Two Mirrors Facing (ch.1-5)

Jean sat at his TechPort Interface Station, it was mobile of course, but when activated surrounded his body with interactive hologram widgets. Many wheels where now spinning like cogs in a great clock, wheels within wheels within wheels, and it had already been a busy day. Zero Hour was approaching quickly, and his contact had explained that everything must be precisely in place for the plan to succeed, all energies must be aligned, external and internal. It was just so damn tricky not knowing anyone else in the conspiracy, compartmentalization within compartmentalization within compartmentalization.
Of course it was obvious to everyone in the Galaxy that the Emporium wreaked of bureaucratic hypocrisy, and that the few genuine freedoms still granted where swiftly offset by the constant and abhorring fear mongering thrust into your psyche moment by moment while logged into the Techport. But to even dream of changing it all while not knowing anyone else with whom you secretly worked in concert, now that took either true bravery and vision, or insanity and stupidity to measure.
Jean finished uploading the last message a second before the nanolighttubes thread throughout the walls and ceiling suddenly illuminated as someone opened the door. “Jean?!, is that you? What in the world are you doing in this supply closet?” it was Standell the janitor, “With the lights off too? There are only 2 hours left until Shoptime is over…. Are you feeling alright?” Shoptime happened each night from 6-10. It had been decided long ago that time was money, and so that the global economy could roar on like an eternally hungry beast, citizens where required to spend all of their days wages at the end of the day, thus precipitation a GDP or Gross Daily Product. Shoptime had the additional benefit of allowing workers to burn off steam and creativity after a 12 hour work day. “Of course I know what time it is man, I’ve only been doing this since my mom gave me an allowance, I spent my credits early today so that I could have a moment alone, to think.”, Jean regretted saying it the moment it crossed his lips. “Alone to think?” Standell said accusingly “and what does an information analyzer like yourself have to think about alone and in a dark closet?” Even though he technically outranked this janitor, in today’s environment of fear and loathing anyone was capable of accusing anyone, with the Dept. of Homeland Security happy to mediate and question both accuser and accused equally extensive. Thinking quick Jean took a shot in the dark, “My cousins daughter caught cybfluenza.”. “Cybfluenza huh, nasty business, whoda thunk these implants could rupture?” , Standell said running his fingers over the inputs at the base of his skull, “Still, you need to let me know if you are gonna commandeer my supply closet.” “Yeah, sorry about that Standell, my bad.” Jean mumbled as he stumbled out of the closet and into the overly lit corridor.
With an omnipresent glow from the nanolighttubes the corridor stretched for as far as the eye could see in either direction, with a long window on one side looking out into a cavernous chamber with level after level after level of corridors identical to this one. Stretched the length of each corridor were door after door after door, all identical except for numbers and letters. A1, A2, A3… Even with all he chose to fight, Jean was still thankful to the God & Goddess of Science that he wasn’t born in the archaic past like those unfortunate prehistory savages. Left to the cruel cycles of nature, the ups and downs of the seasonal shifts. At least he knew where his food was going to be everyday, in the cafeteria at 8:30, 2, and 7. At least he knew who his predators and prey where, or at least he thought and hoped he did.
Using the smartdust attached to each finger, Jean typed in the location of the nearest Men’s Restroom, he needed to check one more thing before calling it night. Though all people were constantly logged on to the Techport and could see a screen in there field of vision and interact with it by simply moving their fingers like typing, Jean needed to activate hologram mode, to have all of his options 3D and interactive, he needed to bring up more than one screen at a time and cross reference, and this would draw too much attention in this open hallway.
His LocalGPS took a moment too long to activate and Jean wondered aloud as he strode in the direction the arrow in the top right of his vision field pointed. “I don’t remember a men’s room down here” he thought as he rounded a blind corner only to walk right into the janitor Standell and 3 Homeland Security Officers. “Here he is officers!” Standell shouted and Jean took two steps backwards, though he knew better then to run, there was nowhere to run to. “What seems to be the problem?” Jean asked. “Cybnfluenza…?” Standell stammered but quickly interrupted by the lead officer. “Jean Ronar? You are to be taken in and questioned regarding your suspicious actions this morning and inaccurate information about family members. Do you understand?” “Yes sir.” Jean answered, knowing better then to talk further.
At this point he technically had no civil rights, there were of course the Standards of Questioning and Interrogation, and the Common Rights of 2090, but those were no more than formalities. Cups and Containers to hold the water and mold its shape, but the water would be scolding none the less.
Remaining calm and applying his most reserved mask ,Jean marched with the officers and Standell the informer/janitor down the long corridor to one of the interrogation rooms that appeared more often in the sequence of rooms on each floor then even the restrooms. He was aware that each officer had nanocameras thread through their clothing monitoring and recording every angle of every move made. He knew that even now the ear pieces he saw in their right ears were receiving messages to the ones sent out by there steadily typing fingers. He noted how one officer seemed to be an information source, one a medic, and one a thick brute, probably weapons and combat. He took note how each group of officers was a mini-force, self sufficient and connected to the MotherWeb. Such organization… units within units within units.
At this point he started to feel the cold creep of panic, “I don’t even have a cousin!” he thought. What will I tell them? At least I don’t know anyone else, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t torture me all the same. And what of the resent string of bombings and graffiti , will I be made the public fallguy so that D.H.S. doesn’t look inept? He had no way to incriminate anyone else in the movement, they had always contacted him. And the messages had always destroyed themselves immediately after. He had never kept any notes, or left any traces that could be electrically brought to the surface with the MindScan equipment he was presently being connected to. Other then the excruciation torture he knew was about to begin, things appeared to be in order on his end of the multifaceted conspiracy.
After several hours when his voice was too raw to scream and even the interrogation officers where getting bored something suddenly bubbled up from the depths of Jeans MindScan that he had totally forgot, with all of the upcoming plans and stress from the cover up, he had let it slip. Once when he had been changing some code on a DataCard about to be uploaded into the mainframe someone had come around the corner, not unlike today. In a flash of fear he slammed the DataCard in the upload and went about his business. Not wanting to forget the last bit of code he had scribbled it in a notebook he was carrying, later he had other cares and concerns and had never went back to fix the code, or destroy the notebook paper… A Smile crept across the Lead Officers face as he saw the terror flash across Jeans face. “What have we here?” was the last thing he heard before his body, overcome by pain and fear, blacked out.

————————————CHAPTER 2———————————————————————-
PayHour, his least favorite hour of the day, nothing like midnight when the GDP was tallied, now that was payhour. As Regional Governor in charge of Economy he was rivaled in power locally only by the Regional Governor in charge of Military, who happened to have just arrived unannounced at his office. Gov. Hayt, what an appropriate name, Gov. Hynes thought.
“May I help you Gov.?” Gov. Hynes asked, “As you can see I have to thumbprint and DNA all of these payouts, and unlike you in the Military branch, we have to account financially.”
A snide comment for coming unannounced, besides as Governor of Economy, he hated to be rivaled by someone who simply had his hand on the so called button. “Yes Governor, forgive my interruption, I apologize” Gov. Hayt said formally, he appeared out of place in this plush office, surrounded by all of trappings of laziness. “It has come to our attention that the number of public defacings and guerrilla attacks has increased exponentially over the last 6 months, and again over the last 3, and once again over the last month and a half”.
“I understand inverse exponentials Gov.” Gov. Hynes interrupted “Like an avalanche the attacks keep getting worse and more often, creating a cascade effect that causes more attacks to get worse and more often, and how does the ineptness of your office concern my payouts?”.
Hynes was obviously loosing his temper, Hayt notice like a General, good it gives me the advantage. He decided to press it. “It has also come to our attention that these guerrilla/terror cells have got to be getting money from somewhere. With the exponential increase in attacks and defacings, there must also be an exponential increase in credits, and this concerns your dear payouts Gov.” Gov. Hayt said matter of factly. Of course Hynes had known where this was going. The money did have to come from somewhere. But all the money in this economy was dirty, how do you find a grain of sand on a beach? After all, if this entire churning economy was to be kept off of the books right under the noses of The Galactic Account what right did this Crewcut have walking in here and acting like we should open the books for all to see, and unannounced!
“I see your point Gov. , but as you who guard every door in and out of our little beehive here know, this entire economy must be kept secret, of course books are kept superficially and paycredits are monitored closely toward the GDP. But as you who guard every way in and out know, if things are coming in…” Hynes left the thought lingering accusingly, happy to direct attention back on the Military wing. “We are looking into our own breaches of security currently Gov. thank you. In the meantime I need to you start monitoring all transactions more closely, if the credits are all accounted for, then there are obviously people doctoring records.” Hayt said. Presently he appeared to receive an important message on his Techport, fingers drumming on his thigh rapidly and eyes flashing left and right he answered whatever it was he received.
“It appears our Officers have just caught another conspirator, I must go and join the interrogation.” Hayt said. “Why bother?” Hynes replied “They all say the same thing ‘I know no one! I know nothing!’ The conspiracy seems to cover its tracks well, hmmm?”. “This one appears to know something, they say its taken several hours but something surfaced in the MindScan. A Bit of Code to be loaded into the Mainframe via DataCard. Gov.” Hayt said abruptly ending the conversation and sweeping out of the room with his men.
Damned Regional Governor in Charge of Military! Thinks he can come and go from my office as he pleases. And with news of a breakthrough in the conspiracy of all things! It really had done well in covering its tracks. But now he would be being watched more closely also, did they know that he had been contacted by the conspiracy himself? Did they know that even now he was secretly laundering hundreds of millions of credits for the shadow group? With all that he had been promised by them should they succeed and his power of office to cover his tracks should he be discovered he thought himself safe up until this point
But truthfully he had never even met anyone in the conspiracy, he had always been contacted, and in that he was safe at least. He had never even heard of anyone who was caught and interrogated having any information, the shadow group was that well organized. Compartmentalization within compartmentalization. Organized, and funded, and run way beyond any street uprising. This was no unsuccessful beer hall push, this was one of the largest and best run groups in the history of Black Warfare, yet it remained unnamed and faceless.
But with Zero Hour approaching quickly it wasn’t a good sign for things to start to unravel now. The question was to stop all laundering now and hope he could walk away or to forge ahead full steam? He knew the answer, there was no turning back, the ones in control of the shadow group were far more powerful and fearful then the ones he would answer to should he get caught. Caught in a web that I helped weave! And the harder I struggle the tighter I get ensnared!
—————————-CHAPTER 3—————————-

For Jaffrey, the Trading of Psycugo, the highly potent ,highly expensive extract of human nm-DMT, adrenaline, serotonin, and good old dopamine had never been pretty. What could be pretty about growing humans for their spirit juice? But it had always been lucrative. Lucrative enough to build entire underground cities like the one he was in now. Stretching for miles in each direction. Room after Room housed by an unsuspecting living breathing factory of Psycugo. A1 A2 A3. They would be grown and fostered with the maximum amount of creativity, physical activity, and love making to create the perfect balance of hormones. All in all not a bad life for a mind slave. Hell, they didn’t even know about it. Thought that this was just the way it was.
But he knew, and he knew a lot more. His car ride to the interrogation room was taking longer then he expected, he didn’t remember the building being this big. In the meantime with smartdust on his fingernails, he typed in a sequence of letters and numbers known only to him, presently he felt one of the many nanothreads of Psycugo threaded through his clothes inject into his calf muscle…ahhhh…
In the past many books had been written about addiction, and mind expanding substances, but Psycugo was of a whole new order. Part Psycostimulant part SedativePainkiller, it dulled and numbed ones inhabitions, while amplifying the senses and expanding the mental platform. Uses of it were Galaxy wide and as of yet, legal most places. And he was the number one producer of the number one Brand. Its not that he was the most ruthless, though he did have more human factories than his competitors by far. Its that he was the most systematic, willing to examine every individual aspect of a factories life, and customize every moment for maximum hormone production and output and then harvest. … Simple really.
Arriving at the interrogation room he was eager to get this started. The only kinks he had ever known came from the so called shadow group. For a group with no name it had a pretty ominous name. Who were they to mess up his operations and deface his equipment. Each human factory in itself was an investment of millions of credits. And never a trace, not in the cameras placed by a military expert in all strategic locations, not in MindScan after MindScan, not even amongst highly paid(and highly lied to because they knew not their fate) informers. Nothing.. Until this evening.
Normally a few bits of code for the mainframe would be no big deal. The systems were really mostly autonomous and the jobs that the factories did were menial and superficial, none of them actually had access to the real mainframe. Compartmentalization within compartmentalization. Not without a series of passwords and codes, which somehow this man had unknowingly been entering. Had he finished entering all of the code and gotten the DataCard in…..unthinkable. All of that knowledge lost. All of that genetic tracking. Generation after Generation. Work begun long before Jaffrey, he had only been the highest bidder when the last group of scientists liquidated holdings.
Jaffrey wondered if this poor factory realized the full implications of what he had gotten himself into. It was a shame that the Guards had interrogated him so thoroughly, now there wasn’t any real person left to talk to, only a ghost who would say and admit to anything, of no use to Jaffrey. Damn Regional Governor in Charge of Military! Interrogating one of my factories! “A damn waste of good Psycugo if you ask me” Jaffrey spat “Liquidate him.”
At least they had gotten the info out of him. And although they hadnt gotten a name, because Jean truthfully didn’t know one, the info still held value. There were only so many people who knew how to access the mainframe this way. And they would all be interrogated most thoroughly.
As he turned around to watch his men put an end to Jeans suffering, Jaffrey was struck with a sudden idea, almost an afterthought. “Wait!” he yelled “I have a better idea for him.” He laughed.
—————————————CHAPTER 4—————————————–
To understand desire and mystery is to understand the Human Spirit, and to understand the Human Spirit, is control. Grand Bishop Nicolaus Keil had never particularly liked his role in the play of life, is had just been the role he played. Born into one of the Great Families he had been chosen for the Church since birth. Brothers had gone to the military and to be great bankers, but he, a cleric. But no lowly cleric, not one of his birth. He had gone to the finest schools and studied with the best teachers, sparing no expense. Being naturally adept at chemistry and biology he had taken part in many experiments and labs, and had been witness to as well as creating himself, things that appeared nowhere in this universe outside of a testube. Being groomed until the day that he took his vows to serve the Twin Deities of Science, to forever teach and preach the secrets of the fabric of space/time.
But that had been years ago. Now he was one of the 13. The highest ranking elite out of billions Galaxy wide. Among the 13 all branches and knowledge’s of Science were represented. This was the High Council, and here they counted some of the greatest intellects alive. But never were they to meet in one place at one time….NEVER… Then why now? Why had they all been called back by the Oracle, what had been seen by the Twins? Where had their vision taken them?
Before commencing, each took their dose of Psycugo, heightening perception and sharpening awareness for the discussion ahead.
“Nowhere did we foresee this, In no probability, no role of the dice.”
“No Computer models…”
“It contradicts Relativity itself….TIME TRAVEL!”
“Nothing moves as fast as light, E=mc2” though he felt thick after saying it, these were the greatest scientists alive. Each knew that as a mass (E=mc2) approached the speed of light (E=mc2), the energy needed to move it (E=mc2) became infinite also. Infinite energy, Infinite Mass… It made no sense, fit no formulas…yet…
So then how were messages being received from the “future”. They were definitely not from this time. Encrypted in them had been a whole new level of processing that the Church was still reelling from. It would take years to integrate the new processors. Paradigm shifting technology, all so that they could read the messages. Either they were from someone or something with technology vastly superior to the church, highly improbable. Or they were really from the future, also highly improbable..
The messages had been bafflingly simple, “Zero Point Approaches, Time is As two mirrors facing.” If it hadnt been for the extreme level of advanced technology the whole thing would have been dismissed in a nanosecond. But as it was…
“In Nature, systems emerge out of chaos, Powerful nothingness and Death are fractioned into Systems of Order and Life. Once Life is achieved, the death of that life allows other niches of life to catch and form, numbers beget more numbers and systems divide and subdivide into more and more interrelated complex circles and relationships…The so called Circle of Life and Death.”
“As gene pools stagnate and options become lessened, genetics need to play a wild card or face retardation or worse extinction, it has been seen time and again across the Galaxy.”
“While at the same time, in some atom smashing experiments it has been shown that the atoms can react to each other nanoseconds before they smash and at distances while being monitored, implying that at a quantum level communication is happening across the parsecs working in both directions on the Z Axis.”
“There is also the Multiple Universe Theory, stating that all probabilities of the wave function produce there own individual outcomes. We only experience the one that we collapse. We’ve long known that the observer affects the outcome. So what about the unobserved?”
Keil could almost feel his partners and himself speaking words as if out of a script. It felt as if pieces of a Great and Ancient puzzle were falling into place effortlessly and everyone had merely to walk the steps out. Zero Point Approaches, Time is As two mirrors facing each other.
Could they really be implying what he feared they were implying. For years physicists had theorized about life on other planets, then that life had been found. Then other dimensions, and though extremely non cost efficient, near speed of light travel. But there had been a few wing nut scientist who had predicted that the whole Universe was One living entity. Forever in flux between life and death. Like a cell dividing, this Universe was constantly dividing into two Universes and then four exponentially forever. This Multiple Universe Theory Hybrid said that these mirror Universes ranged from the same to drastically different, But like Two Mirrors facing each other, all were reflections of the next.
And although Universal in size and Galactic in nature. These Universes or Multiverse too soon suffer from lack of fresh “genes” thus precipitating a wild card of Galactic measure. A built in Negative Feedback loop. Unfathomable what a MultiVerse would evolve to as opposed to facing extinction.
It made his stomach turn to think of that as being the outcome of the only known gathering of the 13. But it was the only fathomable answer, as unfathomable as it was.
“We must consult the Twins, perhaps the Oracle…”
“The Oracle is as blind as we are in this…. Its unprecedented.”
And with this the meeting was over, and GrandBishop Nicolaus Keil left the room praying to the Gods Of Science that he would never have a reason to be in the same place with all of these people again.

——————————————-CHAPTER 5———————————–
Never before had his mind behaved so amazing and alive. Hyper aware from Psycugo, Questan Blair realized for the first time the intricacies of the universal matrix. Light carrying energy across the parsecs and across our mental synapses. A Starcruiser carrying supplies to a desolate planet as red blood cells bring oxygen and nutrients to tissue. Buildings and machines designed after human bodies. The shape of a shell repeated in a spiral nebula. The shape of lightning repeated in water running down a cup. The whole universe was so efficient in design, creation relative from the quantum to the astro, from the micro to the macro.
“Wow, this shit is for real…” Questan mumbled, “and its all organic, 100% human?”. “Yes sir” Jaffrey replied. The two men sat in Jaffreys overly decorated office, in one of his many underground cities. Representing the money that he did coming from a family line as old as the Blairs, Jaffrey had given Questan only the best. But with Psycugo, once was never enough. And having sampled the best, The Blairs were sure to order a massive amount for who knows what hedonistic purpose. With the people that they could turn onto it, Jaffrey might have to increase production. More factories, more underground cities, more harvesting plants, simple really.
“How much did I take” Quentan asked. “1/10 gram sir.” “How much for a 100 grams?”. “100,000,000 credits sir.” Jaffrey said shooting high. “Then I will take 500 grams at 90,000,000 each.” Questan parried. Jaffrey’s fought to keep his mouth from dropping, 90,000,000 for 100 grams was still amazing money. And of course he would water down the batch a little before shipping.
Jaffrey tapped in the figures on his techport, and had Questan thumbprint and DNA the bottom line. “The order will be shipped within 3 days.”. “Actually,” Questan interrupted, “I was wondering if I could take it with me today, with a little bonus of course.” Highly irregular, thought Jaffrey. But with a family as powerful as The Blairs, it was best to go along. Besides, he would make his 100,000,000 yet.
“On the way in I saw people gathering in one of those cavernous auditoriums. What was going on?” Questan questioned. “Recently my operations have been under attack from unnamed forces. Today my men caught someone associated with this underground movement. A pawn really, but perfect to make an example out of. We are making him out to be someone big, a real organizer. It helps keep everyone submissive to think that we are getting the big guys. Care to stick around and watch?” Jaffrey replied. Questans mind being in the place that it was with the Psycugo, he wasn’t sure that he was in the mood to watch an example being made of. But ,when dealing with human farmers…..
Looking down out of a window along one of the walls in the office, Questan observed Jean Ronar being brought onto a tall platform. Jean was sitting in what appeared to be a comfortable chair with a thin metal wire attached to his implants at the base of the skull. “JEAN RONAR” a voice boomed from nanospeakers thread imperceptibly throughout all of the walls and ceiling. “YOU HAVE BEEN FOUND ACTING IN CONCERT WITH CERTAIN SHADOW GROUPS. FURTHERMORE YOU ORGANIZED A RECENT STRING OF BOMBINGS AND GRAFFITI” ,“no, no” Jean stammered, AND SPREAD SUBVERSIVE PROPAGANDA THROUGHOUT FELLOW WORKERS. FOR THIS, THE MENTEEL.”.
At this a hush swept the crowd. The menteel?! Worse then death. Strange that the Gods of Science released so many devices that could be used for pain. Heat, pressure, pain, physical sensation, the whole physical reality for that matter is nothing more than the brain interpretting electrical signals. The Universe is what our brain tells us it is. And the menteel tells your brain that the Universe is pain. Pain as never known in the physical world. For in the physical world, one is always anchored by either the physical or emotional. Sometime pain hurts the skin, sometimes the heart, but never both. But with the menteel, controlled electrical signals are sent to the brain, overloading both pain endings and deep trauma memories. Grown men wept like babies and cried for ex lovers whiled trembling and buckling under pain.
There wasn’t a sound in the auditorium as Jean began to scream. He had already been broken by the interrogation, but this was so much more. Nerve ending ablaze in fire and reliving his mothers death, Jean fell to the floor near death. Questan watching from the office overhead was speechless. The Psycugo had heightened the moment to such a point that he could hear the poor mans grunts.
“Really, this is too much, release the man.” Questan said. “What?!” Jaffrey spat incredulously, “I don’t think you understand this bothersome shadow group, I really must make an example.”
“ But you said yourself that this man was no more than a pawn. What can this accomplish now? He is broken for all to see.”
“It is none of your business sir. And besides, where do you think Psycugo comes from?” Jaffrey asked, hating to state the obvious. “Then let me buy the poor mans freedom” Questan said before he knew what he was doing. “Unthinkable. He is part of the conspiracy, he must be made an ex…”
“50,000,000 credits” Questan said.
The Psycugo had taken Questans spirit to such heights of clarity and depths of understanding that he couldn’t bare to watch the man be tortured any longer. Especially since he was a pawn. The money would just have to come out of his personal savings. 50,000,000 credits was a mean drop in the bucket, but it wouldn’t break Questan Blair.
By the time Jaffrey answered Questan knew he had him. The best a factory could produce was 5 grams of Psycugo. After paying for the facilities and actually growing and feeding them, Jaffrey netted about Three million credits per factory. On this poor Jean, Jaffrey would clear 45,000,000 credits. What is this fool of a Blair thinking? Did I give him that high of a dose of Psycugo?
What am I thinking? Did he give me that high of a dose of Psycugo? Questan thought. The drug had made it unbearable to watch another man suffer so pitifully. And in that moment of compassion Questan had gotten himself a 50,000,000 credit…. What? What did he plan to do with Jean exactly..?
“Have the poor man cleaned and ready to transport off of this rock in 3 hours with the shipment.” Questan said, obviously done with the meeting. “And Jaffrey, don’t water it down.”

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