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Vejhon by Ty Estus Narada
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Remote Viewing
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Superstar -- Chapter 12

1. "Don't go away!  We'll be back right..." the announcer said.  Stage hands scurried around on the set while the camera was off.  One technician approached Bri, "2nd Counselor," he said earnestly, "I'm picking up that the First Counselor has been assassinated."  Bri tapped into the psi strata.  "Excuse me, children," he said to his young audience.  He was taping a segment for a popular kids holo as a special guest.  The kids were not especially concerned.     

2. Other technicians on the studio floor were briefed by supervisors at roughly the same time.  Within one minute, the entire psionic strata was buzzing with the news.   "How did that happen?" was everyone's mutual question.  "Where was the Psionic Guard?"   Even the kids sobered up when the mood became a unified pain. 

3. Prior to the assassination, the Psionic Guard Director had issued an 'eyes only' report to the President about an adverse threat to Vejhon's psionic climate. 

4. Citizens across Vejhon felt like they were being shadowed by a menacing psionic presense of unknown origin.  The Guard could not trace the negative emotions to a specific source:  It was clear that the source was well organized, and capable of instigating widespread malcontent. "We are NOT a reactionary force!" the Director said more frequently lately, "We do not bark at psionic pranks -- we discover and eliminate them."  Simple enough.  The next logical question was, "How?"  because the perpetrators were elusive.  Every time they they had a lead -- it turned into nothing.                    

5. Vejhon was unaccustomed to panic, yet a panic pandemic swept across Vejhon faster than the medical community could treat.  Nobody could trace the panic to a source.  Because nobody actually died, the word "pandemic" was avoided.  "Fear" was the catalyst that spread the pandemic.  'Fear' was tearing the shell apart. 

6. Since so-called 'dark powers' was pure supersitition:  Nobody was willing to postulate a theory based on folklore or myth.  Shellans were afraid of an 'invisible' attacker, yet, 'invisibility' had been the uncontested prima facie modus of both psionic polar extremes throughout time.  The Secret Society's #1 weapon was 'disbelief in the Secret Society:'  The idea of an elusive sinister force in opposition to the Psionic Guard was preposterous:  That 'disbelief' was now biting them in the ass. 

7. There was a single tangible clue:  The Guard infiltrator who followed Kor's only instruction for letting him live.  He reported the details of Kor's assent to Bri, and retired with the Director's blessing.        

8. Kor knew that the testimony of a Psionic Guard was legally irrefutable so he let the Guard live for that reason.  Even if the Guard could believe that Kor was sincere, the concept of a pretentious miracle permanently maligned his outlook and disfigured his polar alignment.  The Director retired him with full honors.              

9. The Kids could not apprehend Kor because nothing could be traced to him.  In effect, The State was now 'on notice' of a dangerous new nemesis.  The threat is real -- but you can't see it.  The Kids were a concern to Kor:  They were holistic and pure; they cut like a knife and were as elusive as Elite operatives.  To Kor's relief, the Guard kept the Kids under control. 

10. Psionic attackers plant seeds in the unguarded paths of the minds, like an electronic pathogen that magnifies fear:  Those seeds are kinesthetically triggered and metastasize on their own; fed by the victim's psychosis.          

11. Mental health specialists use the same method to stabalize their patients by overpowering maladies with virtue:  The only moral concept incompatible with evil is 'sacrifice.'  Sacrifice is an act that invalidates the function of evil; where love is expansive -- conceit recoils into the black abyss of itself, sucking up all ambient light with it.      


12. At an emergency briefing in the President's situation room, Vicar Miles presented news clips of random acts of violence.  "Shellans are having neural seizures everywhere," he said.  "It used to be said that someone who suffered a neural seizure was never stable to begin with; that they were just too lazy to deal with life."  Miles presented a chart with psychiatric illnesses, "Nearly every category -- completely off the chart!"   

13.  He pointed at the 'depression' column, then tapped the 'morality' column which expanded into 50 sub-categories.          

14.  "Citizens with no criminal record have been committing strange and unusual crimes; some inexplicably heinous."  A holo showed some gruesome imagery with photos and dossiers of the perpetrators; most of whom were respectable shellans, never predicted to have a bad day, let alone murder their whole family.

15.  Vicar Tell'on injected, "Shellans are asking us if the Psionic Guard has moved to another shell?"  "We've heard that 1,000 times," everyone reflected.  They both made eye contact with the Director who did not want to mention a truck load of letters from shellans asking that very question.  The President was sympathetic -- he received even more mail on a wider range of issues, mostly negative lately.  Although somewhat redundant, mail symbolized permanently imprinted thoughts that could capture moments in time and provide key insights into failures and successes.  Mail was an official, if not elegant means of communicating.    

16. "This is spinning out of control," Miles recapped.  He did not want to say that the battle was lost, because it wasn't lost yet... just heading in that direction.  "And we don't have a solution?" the President said with concern.  "We're working on it Mr. President," Tell'on assured him, since he was sitting right next to him.      

17. Absolute bedlam was not an immediate threat, but the situation needed to be publically addressed.  "Thank-you, Vicars, for your report.  I know you're doing the best that you can."  The Vicar's bowed and with the Director's blessing, left the situation room.  Other cabinet members and invited high-level guests followed them out.  The President made eye contact with an usher who understood that an elevated meeting would begin once the room cleared.    

18.  The lull gave Bri time to fret over his dubious promotion to First Counselor, notwithstanding that the office of 2nd Counselor was figuratively esteemed to be a pocket spare anyway.  "The system is perfect, even if the shellans aren't," the President was fond of saying.  Aqu'Sha had a way of making the worst condition seem more palatable.  The vacant 2nd Counselor chair was a sober reminder of imperfection. 

19.  The room ambience was electronically modified to accomodate a smaller meeting condition.  The interior lighting was dimmed and the window tints were lightened to permit more outside light.  An usher brought in a silver-framed wooden tray with a ceramic ice bucket and four crystal tumblers.  There was also a mysterious bottle draped by a silky mauve towel.  The aesthetic was peaceful and warm.  The lighting at the other end of the table was completely turned off.
20. The Proletariat Chair was not asked to come.   The word "proletariat" carried over from Dans past since everyone was technically among the 'working class.'  The Proletariat was a Congress of elected regional representatives; some of whom were appointed through a jury-selction process to invalidate the function of lobbies and special interest groups.  The system had worked faultlessly for so long that there had never been a need to fix it.  Bri noticed four tumblers, but only two others beside himself in the room. 
21. A dazzlingly georgeous woman with a serene, seductive grin, stepped into the office and reverently announced the arrival of Vicar Wexli.  Bri stared at the woman, who seemed like she had dressed to impress him.  Without the slightest psionic resistance, she confirmed the fact.   Wexli was the Director's heir apparent.  She was the most gratifying sensory ambush Bri had ever experienced. 

22. The President nodded his head at Wexli, who without waiting, stepped in from behind the secretary.

23. She tightened her smile toward Bri, who had reclined his plush swivel chair beyond it's balance point.  He busted his knee on the table's underside to rebalance his chair.   Wexli was ready to catch him if necessary, "Don't forget to breathe," Wex directed just to Bri.  Bri loved Wexli because he didn't fit the stoic Guard stereotype: Wex was not very inhibited and inclined to engaged in light heartedness on occasion; he was also fully vested by the Director so his credentials and competence was never questioned.  "I used to be you, once," the Director confided in him.        

24. If not his knee, Bri might have bent something else to prevent his fall; Kyle'yn and Wexli kept their grins to themselves.  Wex sympathetically patted Bri on the shoulder while taking his seat.   

25. "Sit down, sit down," the President beckoned congenially -- he did not catch any of the mischievous innuendo; he was not fully at ease either. 

26. Wexli sat between Bri and his boss, who was still quietly laughing at Bri.  "We're only shellan," Wexli defended, anecdotally.  Bri had become his charge.  

27. Four of the five most powerful figures on Vejhon sat around a lustrously polished, dark wood table. 

28. "Help yourself," the President prodded, reaching for a glass, adding two ice cubes and pouring some Jolvian Mead into it.  Bri smiled, almost blushing, "So that's what was under the napkin?"  He didn't say it out loud, but everyone, including the President easily read the Jolvian Denial story from Bri's unguarded thoughts. 

29. "There's no denying it," Bri thought as a private pun -- he knew the docking collar story like everyone did, and felt like he had just unshelled the greatest mystery on Vejhon.  The Director took it all in stride, "It's sort of a sipping Brandy," he suggested to Bri psionically, "don't go too heavy with it."  "Will I change colors?" Bri asked.  He accepted everything the Director said as ex-Cathedra, even if his comment had been about girls or some other pedestrian topic.  "You see," the Director said to Wexli privately, "the stoicism will come.  But you don't have to rush it."     

30. The President sat back in his plush, custom-made swivel chair and sighed contemplatively like a father amongst family.  He looked like he was contemplating a sports strategy or something of less importance than what was really on his mind. 

31. Aqu'Sha's face was known throughout the shell as the all-knowing father.  His present company understood his facial gestures and caught the subtext of what he didn't say.      

32. "Mr. Director," said the President, "What's going on?"  His formality fluctuated according to the number of guests.  He wasn't being formal.   

33. The Director answered, "Do you want the long or the short version, Sir?"

34. "Oh, by all means," Aqu'Sha implored comically, "give me the short version," then he warmly gestured toward Bri and Wex, "and give them the long one - they need it."

35.  Bri almost laughed out loud because he loved the way the President spoke so charming and disarmingly -- his voice could warm the coldest room and possibly prevent a war... just not the impending psionic war that they were dancing around right now.  

36. "Let me put it this way, Mr. Director," the President rephrased, "How long?"

37. That was cutting straight to the chase.  Cryptic conversations within psionic conversations had already taken place and Bri was astutely in the loop from the beginining.   He knew the President's perspective as well as Wex knew the Director's.  

38. "Mr. President," said the Director, "we have between three and five months before we can expect a complete revolution."

39.  "Ask and the shell receives," the President pondered.  He was only this relaxed among certain friends who understood the volumes he didn't say.     

40.  He allowed his eyes to glance up toward the ceiling as though he were seeing a divine vision.  Bri and the Director wished they had more insight to Aqu'Sha's visions, but politely refrained.    

41. The President's eyes were getting a touch watery.   Everyone understood.  It was a reality that no civilized shell leader should ever be faced with. 

42. Bri had come to know and understand the President's mind and heart very well, and he knew that the President's heart was breaking.  That pain, hurt Bri worse than the inexplicable afflictions that Vejhon was suffering.  Symbolically and in fact, the President felt the planet's pulse.  He was the living vestige of the State and had accepted that mantle willingly.  

43. "Guards," the President mumbled despairingly, then he lipped other words that his present company could not decipher.     

44. He recomposed himself, "First Counselor," he said, directing himself toward Bri,  "Are we ready?"  Bri was not used to hearing himself called that.  

45. "Yes, Mr. President," he answered, "The last three units are being detailed but the rest are shiny and new.  We've even got money left over."  Whatever that amount was -- it couldn't be very much. 

46. They did not focus on any particular topic for very long, on purpose.  They all knew basic guardianship, and were shielded by the premier authority on the subject.  A proposal of megalithic porportion had been debated several years prior and enacted by the four of them.  That proposal was now a reality.  They had created innocuous cryptic alternative symbols to discuss the matter indirectly.  Actually, the truth would have been harder to believe.       

47. Vejhon was about to stage one of the most incredible events to occur anywhere in the Universe, without divine intervention.  

48. "Divine" was an interesting concept since the Cacci Dai system is a machine world that also believes in The One.  Machines, however, are apsionic, which enables them to guard psionic secrets better than biologicals.  Machine vulnerabilities lay in other areas, but psionic leakage is not one of them.  Harmonic synchronization is similar to psionics, but exists mainly in the Elliptical paradigm.  

49.  For the discussion at hand, no other civilization could have filled an order of this magnitude on such short notice and produced a state-of-the-art product.  All of this was communicated without saying anything.    

50. "Is there anything else, Sir?" Bri asked.  If an infiltrator had been listening, the symbols would have been meaningless.  Boring makes a great disguise.    

51. "No Bri," the President replied, "It confounds me that those ships could have been built.  Did you see the numbers?  They go completely off the page!"  It wasn't the number of ships, but the dimension of the ships that the President referred to.  To say more would have been compromising.  The thought had been communicated in code:  They were discussing a paper clip shortage in D'Luthia.  

52. Psionically, Bri said to the President with the Director shilding them, "It took the entire treasury to pay for it, Sir.  But we have them.  They're real.  They work.  Just awaiting your order."  The coded thought was of a domestic military build up with Theotian assistance.   Only these four knew the whole story from start to finish.   

53. The President was impressed with his protoge'.  "Thank-you for coming gentlemen."  These four had to walk separate paths to avoid sending up red flags.   There were no indications of external interest, just another boring meeting.  

54. He nodded politely at the Director and Wexli, "I need to brief the First Counselor on the evacuation plan, since he will be overseeing the operation, but do keep me apprised as always."  The Director assigned other Guards to shield the meeting so that he and Wex could attend to local matters. 

55. The Director rose, kindly nodded to both, and exited.  Wexli left too, but remained with them spiritually; an antic intended to serve a diversionary purpose.     

56. The President and Bri proceded to discuss sports, news and anything that had nothing to do with anything.  "Off The Record" had an identically named piece of legislation on the Proletariat floor, invented to obfuscate a hot issue by dubious design:  The military buildup was demanding attention and the media was spinning it a thousand different ways.  Reporters from other systems were getting involved too.  It was easy for the Proletariat Chair to stay in-character since he didn't know anything either.      

57. The missing question was, "When?"  "But lets not think about that right now," the President suggested, "Aren't you going to the outer banks today?" he asked mischievously.  Bri nodded with a grin.  


58.  "If you could live in your mind and create any reality you wanted -- what reality would you create?"  The sparkling lights of Tyrannis were derived from squid cells.  The buildings as well as their ships had biomorphic exteriors and controllable pixelation. 

59.  Almost any sentient imagination has pondered the thought at least once.  "Are you asking fraternally or as my High Up?" Micha qualified first.

60.  "You may answer in any capacity you wish," High Up invited.

61.  By a Jolvian standard, Micha was still a kid, albeit, a very intelligent one.  He gave no immediate reply, so High Up asked, "If a castle is built on a dung heap, and the occupant never leaves the castle -- where does he live?"

62.  Micha grinned, showing his razor sharp, jagged white teeth, "Up to his turret in shit," Micha laughed.  High Up smacked him, but not violently -- Jolvians were inherently physical when away from foreign scrutiny.

63.  "Let me show you something about our distant cousins."  High Up waved his hand non-challantly and a crystal clear holographic scene appeared before them.  In the scene was a much more vicious-looking strain of reptillians sitting down to dinner.

64.  The language was barely understandable but the visual details left little to imagine; civilized, yet grotesque. 

65.  The reptillians were feasting on a terran-looking creature tastfully prepared and garnished.  Jolvians did not eat sentient creatures.  "It wasn't enough to have power over a meeker species -- they ate them too," High Up commented.  Jolvians were not vegitarians by any sense.   "Why do you supposed the Theites consider it such an insult to be a vegitarian?"  "Because they live right next to us," Micha answered.   

66.  This was ancient history, "Why are you showing me this?" Micha asked.  High Up skirted the question, "They didn't just 'eat' them," High Up added, "they raised them for food; shellan-looking Jols not terribly different from your Vejhonian friend."  The presentation was confusing; like comparing terrans to primates.  They had already discussed Bri's promotion to First Counselor. 

67.  "How did they evolve from one state to another?" High Up asked.  "Ahhhh," Micha breathed a sigh of relief, grateful that this was going somewhere.

68.  "You know that famous Vejhonian litney... " High Up reminded Micha that it's origin was really Thulian.  

69.  "They're leaving," Micha confessed.  High Up squinted his eyes and remained silent. 

70.  "Leaving?" he finally replied.

71.  "Yes," Micha nodded, "and I'm going with them."