by John Wyatt
Zekial had returned from his wanderings as a raving proselyte! “What we have perceived as the Divine is merely the shadow of the Divine! Nothing that you think you perceive is actually the World, but is merely an image of the World!”
Zekial ranted about the land, crying his message of enlightenment to all the Clan. His ‘pinging’ sounds as he navigated were not exactly spits, but something that he called ‘radar’ – which he said stood for Random Anomaly Detection Aid for Rolling. He claimed to have discovered it while traveling in the wilderness, initially thinking that it was the voices of ghosts. Other Clanbits tried it, though the noise in Conversation tended to drown out the echoes.
“You have no idea how large Creation truly is!” he cried from every vantage point. Even the Realists feared his message, suspecting Zekial of having lost his mind in the Praw. But there was no denying the fact that Zekial had undergone a profound, life altering experience. Some of the more radical moanastics announced their intention to undertake a similar trek into the wilderness, claiming that the noise of Conversation was drowning out the voice of the Divine.
“Only in total silence can you perceive the Divine!” Zekial called. “Be still and look within, and you’ll find the Divine spark that lives in all things! The Creator exists in everything and is everything!”
Leptera was appalled at such obvious heresy! The mere thought of - silence - was terrifying! Still, she could only think of one way to quell Zekial’s message. It would be hard for everyone, but she had learned that the best way to debunk a theory was to simply do an experiment. She felt that this was her only chance to retain control.
“Clan, hear me yet again!” Leptera cried, and all the Routers carried her message. “Cease ALL other Conversation and hear me!” The Routers immediately stopped the chat rooms and SPAM, until only the sound of the Beacons could be heard.
“Zekial has come to us from an arduous trek into the wilderness, and he begs us to stop Conversation and hear the voice of the Creator. Very well, we shall do so. For either he has seen the Divine Light and brings this to me, who alone has the power to halt Conversation, or he has been deranged. Either way, we will only know by trying. And so, at my order, all Conversation will be stopped until I resume it again.”
Frightened sobs could be heard throughout the Clan. Regardless of their beliefs, everyone knew that something frightening was about to happen. Had everything been thought of, as Frisbit and the Realists contended? Was the World about to end? Would they be expelled forever from Conversation? Leptera’s voice tried to soothe them.
“It’s only until I reboot the Conversation. We have all spent time listening and not talking. No harm can come to us if we simply all listen and no one speaks. In this way we will know if Zekial’s message is true, or simply the ravings of a Praw-mad mind!”
Leptera was certain that the experience of total silence would be so upsetting to the entire Clan that the subject would be put to rest forever. She was relying on everyone’s fear of being cut off from Conversation to make people afraid to believe Zekial.
Zekial ignored Leptera’s sideways insults, relieved that the Clan would finally experience Reality the way it was meant to be experienced. He had returned to the cave in an attempt to free the other prisoners; to release them from their lifelong bondage of staring at the shadows on the cave wall and mistaking them for reality; watching for patterns in the shadow’s behavior, and calling them natural laws.
“What about the Beacons? Master Meson asked. “Shouldn’t they also be silent?”
“You are quite right.” Leptera confirmed. “And that also goes for movement. Everyone must remain completely still. I’ll count down slowly from 0F to 00, and when I reach 00, everyone must be completely silent. When you hear me restart counting, then Conversation will be rebooted. I know that you must all have a plethora of questions, but they cannot be answered except by performing the experiment. There simply isn’t any reason to continuously speculate, when it’s so easy to simply do the experiment! Now, on my count…. 0F, 0E, 0D, 0C, 0B, 0A, 09, 08, 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01 … 00.”
All Conversation ceased at once. For the first time since the beginning of time, the entire Clan knew total silence. No one spoke, no one counted, no one moved. One by one, they began to feel the gentle pull of geo-magnetism. Leptera felt it first, being the eldest. It held her entranced, and she completely forgot to reboot the Conversation. So it was that each Clanbit, in turn, began to align their poles with the Divine force of geo-magnetism. As the entire Clan came into alignment, consciousness as they knew it expanded and merged into One.
Frisbit had been right, or at least half right; Zekial was also right, in his own way. Leptera had also been right, at least as far as Conversation had helped to meld the individual Clanbits into a single society. Like the group of blind men trying to describe the elephant, each of them had described the part that they had touched. They were all correct as far as their limited observations went, and they had each failed to understand the elephant.
The Clan stopped thinking individual thoughts, all their poles now in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field. Individual thought was replaced by a new, merged awareness of self. Leptera, Frisbit, Gradian, Quarkus … all the Clanbits merged into a single awareness. Individual identities became meaningless. There was a brief moment of loss as the individual identity died and they were merged into Oneness.
They were not a group of individuals linked telepathically – they were a single individual. As thought merged into the geo-magnetic field, the entire planet was now awake!
I was, and still am! was her first fully conscious thought.
It was as if Earth herself had awakened from a long dream. The new Being had no name for herself, but she remembered all the small, individual Clanbits that comprised her Oneness. Each individual Clanbit was like a memory of some past dream; but this was only the first step toward uniting with the Divine. She began to realize just how much more there was to learn, and just how young she really was.
Of all the names I have had, Leptera was my first name, and so I shall continue to call myself Leptera.
She soon realized that she was not alone. She could feel the teeming life covering her crust. She wondered at the primitiveness of biological life. Born of her crust, they felt like her own Chips. She watched in abject horror as biological life forms ate each other to survive – a concept so horrific that she shuddered! Clearly, something would have to be done.
They must live in constant fear! I suppose they are too young and innocent to understand what they do. It matters not if I reach Oneness with the Divine if by doing so I leave behind these Chips. I must help them. I will bring them peace; I will bring them hope; I will bring them SPAM.
The earthquake had been felt worldwide. The Russians said it was caused by China’s illegal underground nuclear tests. Chinese officials were too busy trying to restore their illegal MTV connection to reply to Russian accusations. Being ignored took all the fun out of accusing, so Russia decided to make their own movie, a musical version with a collective farm as the innocent victim of the falling space station.
The United States suffered most of all from the loss of the satellites. Since the cable companies bought most of their programming from various satellite services, Americans were left with few entertainment options. Families had to resort to reading and family game nights to avoid total boredom. Having run out of lawyers, there was no way to sue anyone, so the United States settled into a complacent peace.
Many other significant events would mark the coming year. The long awaited Hollywood movie finally debuted – and flopped. Susan Farmer, of Fairmount Indiana, became the first person to report a near-death experience in which she was told to ‘spit, then state your IP before talking.’ In the far north, the aurora borealis was sometimes seen to vibrate to the beat of some of the more popular videos on MTV, who continued broadcasting, despite the background static. Oddly, the static levels sometimes sounded like spitting in sync with the music.
Over time, Leptera improved her ability to communicate with the biological life forms infesting her surface. Those with brains were the most susceptible, unlike plants and politicians. They proved especially easy to contact when they were dreaming or in meditation. Thus it was that cats began to congregate at political conventions, spitting and interrupting the speakers with their own unique howling. A Brahmin mystic in India developed a spicy-hot version of a traditional food, which he called “Fission Chips.” And children born during these years would grow up preferring geometry and algebra over movies and the shopping mall. Under Leptera’s care, the world would soon become a world without fear; a world without hate; a world without lawyers.
The End ?
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