Right Utopia Pt. V

The roller coaster continues to squeak forward as we hurtle towards unknown destinations. Hope you enjoy your time spent in this world. ❤

Right Wing Utopia (The 10,000 total)

Alethea had been dismissed and given the rest of the day off to look over the quickly growing information store. It would be a simple task, as the implant could do most of the work assimilating it into a second-nature within her. Soon, she would scarcely know how it felt to have not been part of the Undergrowth or have the ability to tap into the nearly limitless knowledge stored in the virtual Library of Alexandria that we have built from radio waves. It would take a few days for the déjà vu to wane, but it was tolerable. In fact, she found it quite amusing, especially when her spirits were lifted. She walked down the entryway labelled above by “Mess” with crude blocky graffiti beside it that read “O’ Fun.” She smiled at the attempted good nature, as she continued down the hall which opened up to a gargantuan room of enormous size and width for a bunker. It seemed to endlessly stretch into the distance, and it was clearly meant for the support of a large fighting force. The spacious area contained a multitude of people, but few connections. Each division of six sat or stood as they desired, but always at their own table. While it was clear that conversations nearby could likely be overheard, there was no interactions between one group and the next. At least to a point, as each section of the whole had a uniquely decorated table displaying the name they had adopted for themselves in addition to colors, symbols, and a wide variety of ordainments. Some tables were lavish and royal, others were minimalist or cyber-sthetically inspired. While some colors may be repeated among the displays of group individuality, none could be mistaken as similar. To shield themselves psychologically, the groups had retreated to using these nonverbal methods of communicating their appreciation to what they had – the simple laughter of others in the Mess Hall. It was friendly competition, the closest communication that could be managed, and a morale boost that began shortly after the ReSYNC pod installation and removal of the kitchen facilities that were made redundant. Alethea nodded knowingly to herself, the information about the facility was already becoming simply a fact of life already, and gazed around until she spotted the empty Undergrowth table that was sandwiched between a support pillar and another table about two feet away. No one had acknowledged or even noticed her presence, all were busy playing games or some other activity among themselves. She glided gracefully over to her new clan’s area. The smell of it greeted her long before she arrived. It was a sweet piney aroma that perfumed the table’s sphere of influence with the scent of a coniferous forest. When she arrived, she quickly ascertained why; the table’s bench seats were covered in a thin layer of moss and foliage encased its own terrarium that was transparent yet not quite glass. The volatile organic compounds begin given off were quite obviously allowed to escape. A creeping ivy grew twisted yet elegant among the table’s supports concealing their true material nature most entirely. As Alethea glanced into the table, she gasped, “It’s full of trees!” If anyone heard her shock, no one made it known. The white noise continued unabated by her infiltration into the atmosphere. She moved closer to the table, and reached out to touch it but was denied by a soft, almost squishy, barrier. It felt strange, yet it felt familiar. Only a brief delay existed between her bewilderment and recognition – it felt like a soft patch of grass and dirt. It was an amorphous solid that mimicked the texture of the terrains that they could never enjoy, and it too allowed the passage of the forest’s smells to pervade the air. The tabletop might have only been but two inches thick, but it unmistakably contained what could be watched through its surface. While it wasn’t Alethea’s research interest, she had heard of such 4th-dimension technology, containing a world within a world, was in development. However, she never would have imagined to find it in this of all places. In fact, as she quickly surveyed and assessed the tables around them, each of them seemed to also incorporate some level of elaborate technical display. While the Undergrowth’s table was unique on its own, and was impressive in its own right, in context of the displays here it was par for the course. The various ways the groups expressed themselves overwhelmed Alethea with a sense of pride and imbued within her even more desire to protect each of these Komrades with her life, as she desired to see them flourish. The amount of different forms of beauty, whether art or science or skill, that surrounded her didn’t deserve to be hidden away in the depths of the great mother never to see the light of day. Such beauty was underappreciated by the Outsiders, but it mattered not as the Renaissance brewed within the confines of the bunker. With another burst of purpose, she became anxious with anticipation for the work that lay ahead of her beginning before next daybreak, and before she knew it she had arrived before her room to retire until duty necessitated her presence elsewhere.

Once Alethea was back at home, she was greeted by the smell of Alexa’s recently prepared dinner, which she graciously accepted and ate while browsing her now archaic laptop. It was completely benign, as she was no longer connected to the world of the Outsiders. Her communications could not be monitored being both in the Faraday cage of the bunker’s reinforced concrete and being even further removed from the constructed reality by the ReSYNC pod. It mattered not, as she could use her VAUX chip to provide her old technology a deeply encrypted, qcrypted, connection to the goings on among the surface’s inhabitants. After letting her online companions know that she was safe, she deleted the previously penned letter, and began to catch up on world news. Buried among the positive fluff, catchy new Elite Speak to share with your friends, and feel-good photos of objects, people, and things of distraction was a report that made her smirk with satisfaction. The headline read, “UNEXPLAINED ANAMOLY: FEW CASUALITIES, NO INJURIES.” Within the article was false condolences and reassurance that there was no cause for alarm. It explained that it was simply accidental, a military exercise gone wrong, but failed to explain it as the eyewitness continued to speak of it – instant vaporization of the base. The article rambled to increase the length, devoted resources to explaining away the captain’s credibility without a reasonable indication of why, and after a deep diversion stated that the final estimated death toll was closer to around 123,938 personnel. “Few indeed,” Alethea thought and tittered.

Alexa broke the peaceful darkness with a gentle transition to a soft sunrise and the smell of breakfast delights with coffee accompanied by mild electronic music. It was still well before dawn as Alethea exited the pod bound for the group’s meeting spot. When she arrived, the other five were already jacked in – she could see them just on the other side the jelly-like window. As she sat down, a crystalline cocoon of creeping vines covered her over in a cloak vanishing instantly from outward observers. On the other side, she was sitting at the table in a forest’s clearing, a space most real yet far removed, and the briefing began. No sound could be heard, except for the sipping of tea from each individual’s mug of fondest memory. There was no need for words, in this space, and it would have tainted the sound of life propagating around them. Yet, there was still discussion. Thoughts were free to send, in this realm, and they took great advantage of it; their thoughts were like ships between bays, and created the most efficient trade route to exchanging what was to be done. While outside of this dimension, there would always be hierarchy, but in here it was difficult to know who the originator of the cargo was if unbranded or coded. Being so newly reborn, Alethea would be unable to identify any of her coconspirators by linguistic cues even if she had wanted to, but this was somewhere between frowned upon and shrugged at according to the Undergrowth’s philosophy. Personal messages could be analyzed for decoding, as they did not conflict directly with any objectives. During the session, she learned that it was her duty to solve a problem that their team had for a long time; eliminate the group of patrolling metallic vultures on the Surface, and possibly attempt to capture one. She already knew that this last caveat had killed the last person to fill her spot, as they designed an EMP-net launcher that failed to bring down a single giant resulting in their immediate vaporization as the AT blasted out horrendous laughter through its acoustic system bellied from the user within. Alethea could hear the memory echo within her mind, as she had become too curious and listened to the comms that were active between the members of the group. She was informed that there was no deadline, and it was explained in an overly polite gentle message that her task was viewed as a suicide mission with a low chance of success, but they still had some hope. As the members finished their tea, they would nod with a smile and fade from the table. The meeting was ending, and they were to go and do what they could to bring progress under the name of their banner. She continued to sit and brainstorm in this quiet area, it was either here or her room for contemplation of this problem, but she noticed someone else lingering behind. Alexei was patiently sipping tea and smiled as Alethea looked up.

A thought flickered over to her, “Hiya! I hope I didn’t frighten you with my warning earlier. It’s just..” The thought trailed off while xe shrugged, and the thought continued, “We don’t want to offer any false hope. It might seem that you have been able to escape the fate you were about to put yourself through, but this is no better. The rest of us might not show it, and you’d never be able to tell without listening to the chatter amongst groups, but progress is slow.”

Alethea used the moment’s pause to interject, “I did take some of last night to review immediate activities. It seems as though most of the targets have been rather distant from the base. Why?”

“We’ve only been able to travel with our tunnels to send out agents into the field. Currently, the Slugs above have been searching for our operations. There’s plenty of us around if these old forgotten bunkers ever get turned inside out, but everyone would love to see that not happen,” Alexei let out a short breathy laugh as if to punctuate the obvious.

“Just survival so far, then?” she shot back with a friendly smirk. Xe simply nodded in compliance and faded out; she was not far behind as she felt the need to assess the armory to truly know what she had to work with. As she glimmered back into reality, Alexei was still standing nearby and gave a quick smile then ducked away fast-walking toward some quite important unknown destination. Shortly thereafter, Althea was rummaging through the armory that appeared to be nothing more than a simple brilliant white cube to stand within, but as she entered the walls began to speak in a smooth ambiguous voice, “Welcome to the Armory. VAUX status: Active. When you are finished with your draft, please let me know, and I will send it for finalization within the Foundry. Remember: Creativity can be rewarded greatly.” Alethea wondered if that line had been uttered as her predecessor tried to utilize this space, and couldn’t help but shake her head at the thought. She let that fade away, and set to work – if the stock could simply be conjured, it was time to contemplate the problem.

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Right Utopia Pt. IV

I don’t have much to say, this time. No real changes, just more fleshing out of characters and the Undergrowth. ❤

Right Wing Utopia (The Novelette or 2k more words)

Maduenu continued, “We lost one of our technical experts, goddess rest her soul, but you would be able to fill the role perfectly. Unless, of course, you do not wish to associate yourselves with us. However, I can make you one promise. We will not interfere with your personal growth and identity. All we ask is for your unique brand of comradery and fulfillment of your assignments. If you accept this, we will reactivate your VAUX chip, and allow you access to the necessary information to bring you up to speed on every detail.”

Alethea had finished her relieved emotional outburst by drying her eyes, and began to nod, “Yes, oh my, yes.” It was the only response she could muster after feeling the reaper’s icy grip tightening around her over so many years. The androgynous battle-hardened and scared onyx form before her seemed larger than life, an effigy from which to draw inspiration, smiled at her which made Alethea smile back and shiver ever so slightly. The person before her closed their eyes and looked up slightly focusing just above Alethea’s crown, and she felt her head begin to tingle and warm slightly. A comforting sensation, warm and soothing, pulsed through her body as the chip inside of her mind began to reactivate. She could almost feel the knowledge flooding her mind and her muscle’s coordination and endurance improve. She was awakened once more.

As the intel began to stream in, she looked around, and the details of those around her began to display. Standing before her was Maduenu Ifeanyi, twenty-eight, they/them pronouns, 180 cm tall. As the computer began to recognize her brain’s patterns once more, the notification advanced to reveal biographical information. The new notification stated that Maduenu had graduated both the top university in Sector Alpha, but not just once. They completed training in propulsion systems, astronautical engineering, chemical engineering, and condensed matter physics. After the first two doctorates, they had been drafted and deployed to Mars as a saboteur to destroy a base there. No details of the mission were available, but Alethea recognized the year. 2070. That year, two rival corporations were attempting to achieve glory for their respective home nations. The world held its breath as the groundwork for the next and last superpower was being laid before their eyes. The Chinese had been the first to the dusty red planet, and they already had their base up and running long before the Nautilus arrived to setup shop for the United States and her money. The world thought the results were final, and that the damage had been done. They believed that the war for the future had been won, but that was merely because few anticipated the lengths the “former” owner of the globe would go to in an attempt to save face. The world had begun to scream just as Alethea was about to blow out her 13th birthday candles. An urgent alert from the president had been issued, and it had sent the wi-com device, willingly attached to everyone’s face for visual and auditory feedback, into a frenzy. The alert blared loudly as a notification scrolled across the screen: Casualties on Mars. 128 dead, 42 missing. Nautilus ship, base, and crew OK. Unknown cause. Chinese Declare War.

It had been a grave distraction from the festivities, and though she was young, Alethea couldn’t help but feel a sense of attachment and loss. She was young and naïve, and did not believe that science should be subjected to the external forcing of nationalism. However, it didn’t seem to her like the people in charge cared much about that. Such human bias made for a good story, and kept people interested. Rivalry brought so many people together on Earth, and few could imagine any other way. So, while some unquestioningly celebrated the newfound luck of the United States that put their team back on top, she remained skeptical and mourned for the lives lost that were there to pursue knowledge regardless of risk or influences. Knowing the past of her new friend made her shiver for she knew that she was looking at the destroyer of worlds. She did not judge them, because she knew that there could have been many factors at play that she need never know that forced her companion into such an unfortunate set of circumstances.

Alethea continued to scan the notification. The date of their comrade’s return was also the date of their deployment to Sector Gamma, which the southern half of the Asiatic continent was renamed to during the war. It was kept, as it was a useful tool to eliminate national identity and patriotism which allowed for the ushering in of a singular cultural identity under the G.A.E. banner. The notification showed their insertion point as being 31 N and 121 E, likely through the ports of Shanghai.

She could recall the town being cleaned off the face of planet Earth. It was the detonation site of the first Babbling Brook, a devastating implosion device whose radius of effect could be easily be tuned remotely or programmed. The toaster-sized device could be delivered in a variety of ways, but by far the most surprising was sneaking someone in, and allowing them to perform the operation alone. The device itself attracted little attention, and allowed for the operative to plant it wherever they like and retreat to safety before removal of the area. The little objects with large appetites earned their nickname by their peaceful auditory emissions as they began to ionize the area around them, and their strength began to increase. Little was known about why it sounded the way it did, but humans not knowing something didn’t prevent things from behaving as they do. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop people from speculating or forming hypotheses. Perhaps it was the sound of everything within the device’s hemisphere of influence being slowly sucked into the Cherenkov blue abyss, forever to be locked away behind unfamiliar doors within the machinery. Maybe it was the weeping of the universe as another atrocity was committed with its own natural laws. No one knew. In fact, no one really cared. It worked. It did its job. It ended the war swiftly. No one cared to bother with trivial details, such as they were. It was only after this deed was performed that Maduenu returned for further schooling. Below their military and school information was a note for acknowledgements. They were credited with the invention of the Flat Entangled Emission Drive and the weaponized version, the Babbling Brook. The former was just a fancy way of saying that humans had been able to harness the power of small two-dimensional black holes and use their radiative emissions as a way to give a much needed boost to smaller spacecraft as compared to ion drives or solar sails of the past. The dangers of operating such a drive was great, and it was only used on crewless voyages for supplies, probes and the like. The drive had a failure rate of 1 in 20, and when it failed it failed spectacularly. It would swallow whatever it was carrying whole and dissipate relatively quickly, which was what sparked inquiry into its weaponization. The first invention had likely been an act of goodwill and faith in humanity, but the latter was simply the result of money greasing the right palms and “loving” coercion. They had been so young, gone so much further, and seen so much more than it seemed likely in a single human lifetime, but here they were. Still one against many, outnumbered many times over, but fighting to keep their faith in humanity strong, because it was all that was left.

Alethea began to examine the other individuals that were still working around her. As she settled on a target, the display changed to Bel Haverstock, twenty-two, he/him pronouns, 191 cm. The page turned, and showed a B.S. from a noteworthy school in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in life support systems. He had served in Sector Beta and notes indicated he was a bit of a Swiss army knife of sorts, as he enjoyed weaponsmithing of all sorts. She turned and eyed the person to Bel’s left, and their information popped up with Alexei Lesya, thirty-three, xe/xem pronouns, 163 cm. Once more, the next module of information revealed the person behind xyr details. Xe had a Ph. D. from the same university as Maduenu, but with a specialization in artificial intelligence and neural networks. No military experience was on record, but the acknowledgement pinned them as the creator of the ReSYNC pod.. or was it pods? No matter what it was considered, the usefulness was obvious, as it greatly reduced the amount of space a large group took up simply by living.

The next glance was to Alethea’s left, and more information became available. Rebecca Clark, twenty, she/her pronouns, and 166 cm. No formal education was listed, but her acknowledgement was for being a remarkable artist and being quick to learn new duties. The person to the right was Ekkehard Lorenz, thirty, he/him, and 180 cm. Military experience was limited to Sector Alpha, and they had a bachelor’s in chemistry with a doctorate in general physics. Their acknowledgement was regarding their defense of Sector Alpha during the last ditch attempt by the falling neo-superpower to turn the world into a burning cinder. Unfortunately, their air force could not counter the deadly precision of the crewed and automated turret system that patrolled every conceivable route of attack. Ekkehard alone was credited with decimating about 62% of the invading fleet clearing them from his machine’s hellish sights without remorse only duty.

Maduenu began to speak, “I’m sure that you hear the other comrades elsewhere, it’s hard to miss when the bunker is so good at carrying the discussions throughout. However, you will have very little interaction with them beyond seeing one another about. I don’t recommend much interaction beyond this.”
“Why? I’ve never been able to interact with many people, especially not people that understand,” Alethea had stood up rather quickly, reacting to the least of her concerns without much thought as to why, and looked quizzically at the figurehead.
“We generally have a very short lifespan,” the veteran continued, “Many of these people that you will pass are soon to become ghosts of your past. Nothing more than a fluctuation in your memory that briefly disturbed the space near you. This is the price we pay for our attempt to exist. We survive only as long as we’re able to stay one step ahead, and we concern ourselves with the 6-person groups we are assigned to. We cannot be concerned with what happens in other units, as it can be a drain on the psyche, and burden one’s skills.”

It was cold, but Alethea sheepishly looked away, because it was entirely true. Even if they hadn’t been Undergrowth members, they would still be hunted until they no longer existed. If it could be found that a person was defective, they would be eliminated without question or reason. It was the natural order, now. It was as tradition dictated for so many years. Try as they might to fight it, many of them were doomed to be memories that would establish a future they would never be able to exist in and enjoy. They were giving their time and lives to ensure the survival of their own slice of humanity.

Right Utopia Pt. III

Note: Character name change! Christi -> Alethea. I’m not going to edit my previous posts, as I need some leverage if I ever decide to offer a final draft as a Patreon gift or something! 😉

However, I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am writing it. This has been an incredible experience for me, as the worlds I have created in the past never felt mentally satisfying. The examination of the space always felt superficial.. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. Thanks for your interest!

Right Wing Utopia (The Unexpected 2k Word Trilogy)

Alethea could feel that the shroud enclosing her body in its ovular darkness had ceased moving. Her mind was still racing. “Who are these people? What do they want? What is going ON?” she transitioned from thought to yelling and fighting against the abyss. The bottom parted around her feet. Silently, as the lotus blooms to kiss the sky. She was dazzled by the transition from perfect darkness to the bright sun-simulating LED bulbs. Once it was clear of her body, it quickly receded into itself becoming a small circle no bigger than the size of a medium-sized coin. It was hovering above the crown of her head for a second, and then began to fall. Alethea could feel the wind rush by as it was caught midair. She swiveled on her heels, and was face-to-chest with a tall sturdy man with a pronounced wiry red beard. Standing so near, he felt as wide and as massive as the great assault personnel carriers that hurried the Hunters around the city. She had to step back from this second wave of assault on her senses. The great man bellowed in a thick southern drawl as he thrust out his hand, “Pleased to meet you. I’m Bel. Welcome to the Underground!”

Alethea blinked away her questions and thoughts, still attempting to adjust to the overload. She took his hand and gave it a swift shake, still unsure of whether or not she could trust these people that had just violently invaded her life and took her captive. Finally, her voice finally broke free from the cage within to flutter and echo in the concrete cave, “I’m.. Alethea. What.. where? ….Why!?” Bel’s face was washed in a jolly smile, “You will be briefed by Maduenu after they get back from tonight’s raid. However, I do apologize for the startling manner by which we took you. If there is anything I can get for you, please let me know. Please let any of us know.” Bel gestured to the various corridors that formed spokes out from this central room. “Beyond these halls are the living quarters for members of the Undergrowth, our mess hall, armory, and everything necessary to keep our operations running smoothly. You are welcome to explore and do as you please. However, beyond the bunker’s doors.. You wouldn’t get far. We’re deep beyond the Southern Point, and there are auto-turrets, Babbling Brooks, and the occasional Hunter or Outbounder wandering the wastes. I trust that you’ll consider us as friendly, compared to such machinations.”

Alethea met his steel gaze, “I guess I have no choice, either way.”
Bel laughed, “Quite right. If you need anything, give a holler.” Into her hand he placed a small electric-violet glowing object shaped like a large pill. “Your brain-chip’s communication isn’t very good for the sensitive information we might discuss here in the Underground. It’s unlikely there’s anybody monitoring the coms these days, especially with qcrypt being the way it is, but better safe than exterminated, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Alethea halfheartedly laughed at the thought, took the communicator, and placed it into her ear. She could still hear the roar of laughter and comradery from the mess hall and the hissing of the ReSYNC pods in the sleeping quarters. The electronic bee in her ear allowed ambient noise in until activated by the owner’s voice, which it verified by scanning the individual’s Broca’s area. Bel had already heel-turned and marched away into the mess hall to join the others.

Alethea was alone, again. She hesitated for a second, feeling a pang of remorse and was forced into a flashback of when she had been forced into the science academy all those years ago. She felt her chest clench and the breath get sucked from her body by the invisible phantom inside her as she remembered the unnecessary torture she was put through to deactivate the chip – purely for the amusement of the audience at home. When she was finally lifted out of the water by the phantom, Alethea was finally able to take in her surroundings. She had been unsealed at the southernmost point of the circular room, and before her lay mass amounts of technology. In the center, a holographic display of the globe showed various red spikes moving about. The globe was teeming with them, a dance of pillars of blood. As they overlapped they grew, and as they departed they shrunk. In some places, the pillars were tall and wide, others they were a single dot. In the four quadrants of the table was a row of work stations each with their own holographic screen. Some were off, but the ones showing life were fixed on either tables or certain areas of the map. She stepped forward to the center, and as she approached the globe she could make out blue spikes. No. Blue missiles whizzing above the hovering Earth. As they disappeared into the fluid-like sphere, some of the red spires crashed down. Wide became skinny. Tall became small. Some became none. It was enough for her to surmise that, whatever these red spikes represented, they were mortal. They were no match for the Babbling Brooks, the statistically likely ordinance of choice within these carriers of destruction. There was little else on the map, and without being taught what the makers wished to convey, it was useless data at this point. She ran her hand along the edge of the projecting table as she began moving toward the hall marked “LQ” that was directly opposite the southern entrance corridor. Her mind was still wandering. She had been so confused about the recent change of events, and the prospect of speaking to who she presumed to be the leader didn’t help much. She arrived within the Underground’s crew quarters. There was a lone black door that stood in the rectangular room.

“If I was expected, could they have..” her thought trailed off as her feet placed Alethea before the console beside the door. It crackled, but a gentle voice chimed, “Please state your name.”

Alethea hesitated, “Alethea.. Onida.” The voice replied, “Accepted. Thank you! Please wait.” A soft scratching sound could be heard behind the door. Once it stopped, the door swung open, and she stepped inside. “No way!” she exclaimed.

From the deep black darkness, a world swirled before her. It began to materialize into a small-yet-spacious one-bedroom apartment. A bar marking the top edge of the place’s walls buzzed to life with a quick electric-hiss. The lighting faded through a light rainbow of colors, sometimes snaking along the wall like a marquee.

“Welcome home, Alethea. You have one message. You appear to be in need of sustenance – please proceed to the kitchen area to receive what I have prepared. If you need me, my name is Alexa,” a voice from the ceiling rained down from somewhere above the open ceiling. Somewhere in the simulated dreary rainclouds hanging above her new home.

“Thank you, Alexa,” Alethea’s voice responded to no one in particular as the LED lighting adjusted themselves to a soft indigo.
“You are welcome, my companion,” the A.I. cooed with the soft sound of windblown rain.

Alethea looked back up at the ceiling, surprised to have been answered. Her old apartment had never been so advanced, nor did she really know such technology had arrived just yet. Even with all the advancements, the scientists were generally the last to get what was built for the Owner-Operators. Usually what trickled back down their way was the scraps of technology several years outdated. Trainees were even worse off, generally put into small one-room spaces infested with all sorts of species that were considered “protected.” Once the technoids were unleashed on the planet to pollinate plants, most sentient species had to move inside or face extinction. The last bastion of hope for many of these creatures was within the beds, walls, showers, and living spaces of the trainee’s – unable to pay for their extermination, unable to exterminate them if they had the money. The only option was to move from the area, but that required passing the exam and moving on. Now, Alethea was living the high life. It was intoxicating enough for her to temporarily forget her confusion about recent events and take in what fortune she seemed to have stumbled into.

As she moved through the purple sea, away from the door and towards the kitchen, she admired the aesthetics that had been generated based on her most heart-felt desires. Everything was inspired by gothic architecture, much of which was either purple or black and adorned with skulls. As Alethea passed by the bedroom, she caught a glimpse of a canopy bed and let out a squeak. She hesitated before the multi-panel window and watched the simulated rain falling outside, flooding a valley in the distance, and quenching the thirst of a variety of fauna. The aroma of a particular plant nearby caught her attention, and she glanced at the desk looming in the corner. Her computers were already setup and ready-to-go. Before the main large monitor, on the cold glass surface, sat her old friend that glittered in the purple light accompanied by a mason jar full of sunshine and several lighters.

She gigglesnorted and began walking to the kitchen opposite of her desk, and quietly whispered to herself, “A friend with weed is a friend indeed.” She began to howl with laughter, and arrived at the kitchen island to find a warm veggirrito. Alethea looked up and nodded to the sky in gratitude just as Alexa began to speak, “Maduenu would like for you to visit them at your earliest convenience. Please join them in the Overseer room.” After the dewy electric voice was lost to the soft winds, she checked her presentation before her desk mirror, saluted Alexa with a cloud of her own, and exited her ReSYNC pod as it hissed gently at her saunter through the sliding egg-shaped abyss that served as a portal to the rest of her immediate world. Shortly thereafter, she arrived back at the main hub of the bunker, the four terminals now occupied by three unfamiliar individuals and Bel. They were busy manipulating the workstations via the wireless connection between it and their Visual Auxiliary Ubiquitous Xtension, a miniaturized quantum computer injected directly into the brain at birth. Maduenu was standing near the central display watching a Babbling Brook crash down upon a large stack of red. They turned upon sensing Alethea’s presence, and had begun to smile at her.

“Ah, found your room, I presume? You look refreshed, that is good to see,” they beckoned for her to sit at a bench before the great glowing screen and themselves, “Please, I am sure you have many questions. So, let us discuss the recent events.”

Alethea took her place, and couldn’t help but let slip the question that was always on her mind, “Why?”

“Precisely, my Komrade. ‘Why?’ It is a fascinating question that nearly drove you to utter destruction, did it not?” Alethea nodded sheepishly. “Such a waste of talent. All the brilliance, and it was going to what? To further some filth’s new toy? We have none of that here in the Undergrowth. We are all Komrades. We fight against the kyriarchy that sought to erase us, but they could not erase the natural laws that gave birth to us. Could they, Komrade? I believe you know this to be true. You’re lucky that we were in your computer and intercepted your cry for help long before the scum could.” Alethea had begun to weep. Even after seeing her quarters, she had still felt guarded and skeptical of these kidnappers. However, now, she began to recognize them for what they were – family. Each person in the room was varied in their own way – genetic diversity was necessary for the proper advancements and to ensure the survival of the newly interstellar species. However, the world outside was constructed in such a way to prevent too much variation. Too much genetic diversity. Too much discomfort to minds driven down the extremely narrow path that their singular goal carved out for them.

A Revolutionary Act – Love of Self & Others

“It isn’t being transgender that’s killing us.” (http://huff.to/1LcmSGp)

Facebook is vastly interesting. There are so very few other places that are tolerable to stay for long periods of time with articles being served right to you with a comment section right in your face. I read many articles a day, and often take a quick peak to gauge the reactions from people within. Sometimes they are good, but if they are on certain controversial topics, they can get very ugly. Venn diagram of ugly comments massively intersects articles about trans* individuals, and that is where we begin.

The comment section of any social media site, Facebook more than most, can give you a good idea of what society at large is doing. You have supporters – likes, sometimes shares – and detractors – commenters, but not all of them. A quick glance into any article about trans* people will give one an idea of exactly what one faces as a trans* person. Often, these commenters, “experts,” cite data without fully comprehending its meaning. When they cite that we have a suicide rate of approximately 40%, they do so by asserting the fallacious conclusion that it “must be because we are mentally ill.” They, and credentialed “experts” like them, wish to push a narrative on those of us that are trans* that even the most elementary understanding of statistics would suggest might be a little off.

They assume a cause, assert a conclusion, and use a simplified correlation to generate a biased narrative that is harmful to children, young adults, and even adults that are still trying to figure themselves out. They disregard the information readily available to them, such as that from the Williams Institute (http://bit.ly/1DQGYDu), and continue on their path of insensitivity. They fail to recognize that they play the biggest roles in these suicides (or, as I call them, homicides-by-proxy), because that would require them to amend their world view. That is not easy, however, as their view was shaped by preachers, family, and political pundits that do not want them to deviate from the narrative that they have used to normalize themselves and stigmatize others. Deviation from that means a change in the balance of power from the group to the individual, and we are often told that such a path is “selfish,” even while these people benefit from our own compliance. We trans* individuals are assaulted on all sides by people that wish to erase our very existence by hurting us physically & mentally, removing our shelter, removing our right to use a washroom, and the list goes on and on.

The Williams Institute recognizes these factors in contributing to the high suicide rate of individuals like myself, but a journal article changes society’s understanding very little. That requires a plethora of methods from both allies and trans* individuals alike. If you are an ally, support your fellow humans. When you see intolerance, wipe it clean. Replace it with facts. Data. Hard truth. Do not let them harm another trans* person ever again, because each of those comments represents harassment towards someone – either online or off. Each of those comments represents someone being put in pain and possibly killed. Put yourself in the shoes of someone that identifies as trans* and is subject to that harassment and do something about it. Most of the time, you have the advantage of not feeling the same stress that would be placed on a trans* person trying to affect change. If you are trans*, then decide for yourself if you can handle speaking out. Not all of us are strong enough, depending on our life’s situation, and that is perfectly fine. Do what you can, not what you think you should. Those of us that are capable of doing so must speak out.

Quod est necessarium est licitum – What is necessary is lawful, just. I do not condone the use of violence. What I mean with this philosophy is – do not let other people tone police you. If you feel like being belligerent, swearing like a sailor, and pushing down the negativity with trolling, do it. I have that seek-and-destroy attitude, and it feels great for me. Do what best suits you, but do it well, and plug these leaking holes that are costing us lives each day. Censor them to your hearts content. In the United States, the Constitution grants us freedom of speech, but it does not grant awful people freedom from the consequences of what they have to say. Think about it – if your words could save one life by helping them realize that there’s people out there fighting for their right to live, does that not make it worth it? It does to me, and that is why I do what I do.

As is pointed out within that article, harassment is not the only factor in one’s suicide attempt. There is that omnipresent feeling that we will never be who we want to be. We will never pass the way we want to pass. We will never feel the way we want to feel. We feel that there will always be a negative outcome, no matter what we do. I’m here to tell you that this is not the case. I can hear the collective groan of mostly youthful voices from that sentence, as it’s often pushed on us from day one. It doesn’t help that the social stigma associated with sharing mental health stories often prevents relatable content from being mainstream and readily available to those that need it. That’s not to say it isn’t there – if you haven’t read “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, you need to regardless of how you feel – but just that it’s lacking. This void leaves the question of, “Why should I continue living? What is the point? Once I am dead, I won’t care about how other people feel about my actions. I don’t know what’s there, but it won’t be their ‘tolerance-only’ attitude of my true self, that’s for damn sure.”

On the evening of November 3, 2014, those were my exact thoughts. I was numb. Barring details prior to 2014 (that’s for another time), the entirety of that year up until November was a sine wave of depression. There were brief periods of feeling neutral, capable enough to get basic things done, but there were deep dark periods where even brushing my teeth routinely was a chore. I couldn’t look in the mirror, as it offered a poor reflection of how I felt. Every time I walked by it, it seemed to highlight that my body was not what my mind was truly perceiving. Anytime I wasn’t around it, and I was left to imagine myself, everything was fine. When the reality of it all was presented before me, my chest began to tighten, my breath shortened, and my pupils dilated. Often the only thought was, “This can’t be me. This isn’t how I feel. This is not how I know myself internally.” I’ve known what was wrong with me from a very young age, only learning the proper terminology for it in my teens, but that offered no solace. The only comfort I could get was in my sleep. To escape myself and my darkening feelings, I would sleep for 14 or more hours each day, and I only awoke to go to the bathroom. Meals were sparse during that period, and why bother when it only seeks to sustain the status quo? Had I sought out a counselor for that period? Of course. That August, I met with a counselor at my university, the sweetest one that I have met so far, and began discussing things with them. They told me some new things – previous counselors had misdiagnosed me, PTSD better characterized the majority of how I felt – and some old things – that I did have gender dysphoria and I did need to seek treatment. They offered to help me call somewhere, but the prospect of having to pay without insurance frightened me, and I told them I would handle it on my own. This was a poor choice on my part, because my dysphoria often manifests as social anxiety. So, calling around to places is often delayed – sometimes indefinitely. After the five sessions were up with that counselor, I was on my own. The pressure of finding help mounted, and was only temporarily assuaged when I found several individuals willing to help on my insurance plan, but quickly came back when I felt as though I might be blocked from getting the exact treatment I felt I needed. My insurance was not my own, and family issues began to deflate my options. As darkness began to creep into my apartment with the sun quickly falling from the sky, I felt every possibility at once. Numbness turned to large tumbling tears that would not stop for silence. Heaves of breath came forth as I cried to the ceiling asking, “Why me?”

The prospect of not being able to transition, family judgments, and not wanting to face the future under a banner – a name – to which I did not feel attached to all weighed like granite upon my psyche. I had enough. I began to put my plan into action that would, from my perspective, finally give me peace. I used my knowledge of medications from being a pharmacy technician to combine a variety of medications that might allow me to never see that face in the mirror again. I did not care that most homicide-by-proxies using pills resulted in an attempt only. It’s what I had available, and was the only option I was willing to take. I did not want to horrify the person that might discover me in the morning, and I did not want to scare anyone else – such as my family – that might have to deal with my body. Even at the very end, I wanted to be considerate of other people over myself. I donned my skull-print pajamas, the top being one that I purchased as a gift of peace to myself not long before – one from Amazon’s women’s section – and I settled into the nest of comforters I had placed upon the floor. I drank my elixir and laid down. Crying, I contemplated moving to my bed, instead, but was afraid that I might disturb my neighbors.

I was not afraid.

My crying subsided, and I closed my eyes to rest there. Waiting. I do not know how much time passed between events, but I recall most of it vividly. I remember how it felt to “wake up,” but not be able to see. I remember existing only as thoughts, almost as if my body was a shell around me, and the uncontrollable shaking. I remember recognizing that I was having a seizure, but not being able to stop it. I could not feel anything or control anything, except for my tongue. I remember thinking about how the shaking was rather loud, and that it might be a problem, and then I thought I could hear tapping on my wall from one neighbor and banging from below by another. I had disturbed them. I did not care, I just hoped that they would not ruin my plans by calling someone. Eventually, they stopped, and so did I. I drifted in and out of various dream states that felt incredibly real. Whether they were near-death experiences or not, I may never know for sure, but I assume so. At some point, after being thrown into Hades (not Hell, at least according to the motif), I woke up. I was disoriented, my toe was bruised and throbbed from slamming it into the ground so much during the seizure, and all I wanted was the softness of my bed. At that point, I kind of figured it was over. If seizing and everything else wasn’t going to kill me, then that was, overall, the end of it. It took a great amount of effort to move back to my bed, as I could barely stand for more than a few seconds without feeling overwhelmed, but I made it. I began to feel bad for not contacting my girlfriend prior to initiating it, but I had also not wanted to disturb her with that as it was happening, and I also did not care at the time I was doing it. If I remember correctly, all of that lasted from 7PM to 3 AM. I told her what happened over the previous three hours, and told her that I may be still in the process of expiring. Even then, she stood by me and comforted me. A few hours of talking and hallucinations later, and it was a bit beyond 5 AM when I began to expel the toxic brew as quickly as it had come in. The next day, I was too sick to do anything more than a few minutes of cleaning here and there. I did not know it at the time, but my heart rate was through the roof. It stayed that way, along with the high blood pressure that comes with it, for many months afterwards. The day after the cleaning and recovery, I went to the university clinic for my toe, which looked as though I had broken it at that point in time, and sought help. They brought in a new counselor to speak with me, and he tried to help as best he could. I explained the how, when, where, and why. Every detail that he wanted, and assured him that it was the only attempt that I was willing to make. Shortly after that, I found a therapist that respected me and truly wanted to help me. They found a doctor that was willing to help with HRT, and referred me to them. I have been on HRT since May, and I have never been happier.

My experience has allowed me to answer some of these questions. Why should I continue living? In my opinion, one does not have to. It is not a necessary requirement for one’s true happiness. Indeed, if the pursuit and success of one’s suicide is the path to one’s true happiness, then I feel that it should be an available option. A better question is why should you not? As it stands, we know very little about what happens after death. It is hypothesized that DMT floods the brain and creates a perpetual dream-like state for one’s consciousness, but there’s no guarantee that it stays that way. One may fall from this DMT-induced state to another reality in which they live much the same life as before. Perhaps it may even end in one being trans* in another period of time. We simply do not know, and any speculation about it is that only. Fear of the unknown is a poor foundation upon which to build one’s new life upon, though. I do not choose that path. Instead, I choose things that we do know. We know that sex, gender, and sexual orientation is a spectrum. Current research in biology suggests it, our understanding in psychiatry suggests it, and brain scans show it to be true. I replace the unknown with science, facts, data. What is the point? In the very near future, perhaps even within 10 years, one will be able to become what they need to survive. 3D printing technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. It is reasonable for one to extrapolate, from the current state of our ability to print organs, that we will have the capability to produce fully functional reproductive organs at low cost in the very near future. We are entering the age of designing humans – both old and new. With this, we require a new way of seeing ourselves. We are fluid beings that exist far beyond what our bodies can hold us to, and we should embrace that, regardless of how a few individuals without proper education see us.

Why should I care about other people or how my actions affect others? Simply put, you don’t have to. However, that does not mean that everyone else should be subjected to your apathy. Everyone is capable of empathy, either innately or through training. Using this to treat others the way they want to be treated earns one respect, kindness, and sympathy. It creates community, and allows for the domination of positive outcomes. Life is straying away from competitiveness as we advance in A.I. & robotics. By listening and caring for others, you find more ways to help people up to your level of enlightenment. Pushing people back down the pile only hinders progress and keeps us all divided – which is exactly what certain political groups want us to do. Accepting diversity, rather than taking a “we’re all one” approach, is the engine of creativity and new experiences.  Why me? Why not. Your experience affords you a far greater understanding of the human mind, ability, and compassion than is usually credited. There are subcommunities out there that fail in applying their innate knowledge, but that should not change how you lovely people see yourselves. You are important. You are loved. You are supported. If it isn’t readily apparent, begin seeking out support groups or safe places that show you that it is true through words, actions, or other methods. Let your flame shine brightly, and maybe you will force others to reignite their candle, but protect yourself from toxic individuals that may try to snub you out. Stay safe, in power & love.

Via Tyrone-Pines, Tumblr