‘People want to imagine they are on an excursion into outer space, confronting strange planets, surreal new life forms. They want the ultimate in drug sensation, sexual stimulation, the most dangerous roller coaster rides. People seek out the outposts of infinity, everywhere save the one most important area, the only area where the ultimate in reality can be reached, the one area where the ultimate is able to be transmuted from mere sensation into progression, accomplishment and psychological satisfaction. That fascinating unexplored terrain is their own lives.
‘Too many people are willing to go to the top of Space Mountain for the ultimate thrill, but are stymied, terrified to move in their own lives past the level of a two year old. In life, growth is paramount, required of all species. Only in man and woman is there the choice to remain psychologically an infant. Today, the greatest challenges, the ultimate in experiences are found merely in accepting the reality of our lives, the challenge and responsibilities of maturation, and obtaining the primal ultimate rewards, which come automatically to those of other species.
‘Be not afraid. Go forth. Grow. Progress. Develop every possibility within you.’
The next day, Tuesday, Omicron was at the piano after his morning run. He was so encouraged by the songs he had written during the past two days that he saw no reason he couldn’t write a few more today. Perhaps he could write enough for his own musical drama which could rival the mediocre one he had collaborated in in school.
Now, where do I start? he asked himself. What did he do when he wrote the song for Aura?
Well, he had felt a great rush of passion and emotion, which certainly was infused into the melody. However, this emotion by itself seemed scarcely enough to account for the result. The words must have come from somewhere.
Quietly he pressed the keys using the weight of his hands to make the tones and the speed with which he allowed his hands to drop to control the volume… not physically pushing his hands down…but dropping his hands… letting gravity do the work… he was actually pushing his hands up… against gravity to control the volume… as a master of piano in the Nation had taught him…Just using gravity to generate volume…was sufficient to propel sound to the extent… of a concert hall…
The music that came forth was interesting. At points the music sounded very good, in fact some of his friends had encouraged him to write such music down. However, he knew it possessed little worth. The notes and melodies had a logic of their own, but they had no meaning beyond that. If he put words to the music, he knew from previous experiences that the words and music would not mesh unless he worked on both together for weeks. Yet he had written the songs for Aura in seconds, the words emerging in one stream with the melody. Both melody and words had been consistent with the energy embodied in them, and they seemed to express simultaneously, yet in different ways, the same basic feeling and idea. How this had happened, he had no idea. However, his goal this day…was to do this again. Instinctively he felt that he could not be successful as a composer until this ability was developed. And in addition, he knew that his psyche would not be satisfied unless he could write this caliber of music repeatedly and at Will.
After two hours and a half, in spite of the fact that his brain was alert and quick, and physically he was fresh and energetic, nothing of any promise resounded from the strings. There was something missing, but what was it? He rose from the bench and walked through the band’s creative center cluster to where he could see through the membrane…between a space in the pods of the band…where men from nearby bands and with their machinery were assembled in the nearby large meadow…in preparation for their daily maneuvers. He was beginning to feel useless just hanging around while everyone else was busy. He saw Beta with her parents. She was obviously anxious to be with him again. However, he stayed where he was and soon they were gone.
He decided to just walk by the activity in the meadow and observe what was going on. He would need some acquaintance with formations and procedures if he decided to stay.
With that thought, he walked through the calf-high grass to the center of the large oval that was rapidly being converted from an education area into a parade grounds. Near the center was a squad of volunteers being trained in the use of laser guns and ion bombs. The force of the hand guns could be modulated from a full blast, which could disintegrate a human being instantly, to a low stream of bosuns that would merely stun a person. The ion bombs were capsules filled with positive ions which were thrown into the midst of the enemy, saturating them with a debilitating ion cloud. The positive ions would not kill in doses of short duration, but instead drastically slow perception and reaction times… slow all physiological processes to the point that the enemy could be easily subdued. Each soldier carried a device that neutralized positive ions and another that generated negative therapeutic and invigorating ions to keep the soldiers at top physical health and mental alertness.
The men were wearing pants and shirts with camouflage on them. They wore berets with a feather in them. Helmets were useless in a war with lasers and ion bombs. Omicron walked past another group of men learning the procedures for, but not firing the giant laser cannon which could easily blow a hole through a mountain. Such a weapon was restricted to use outside of cities as one blast could shatter a mechanized metropolis. These weapons and many others had become almost obsolete after the Change because international peace had been instituted under the world government. The most powerful weapons were non-nuclear now and under the command of the world government and could only be used to bring peace and security to the world.
The world government had indeed brought peace to the world. The Change had created a world of joy and happiness. Nevertheless, there was always the possibility of adverse forces arising to threaten that happiness. This was happening in the United States now. It could happen on the world level at any time.
Beyond the cannon, Omicron saw his father and the other local officers in serious reflection, occasionally looking about at the men and machinery. The sky was dark and a cold wind was roaring. It was evident that rain was near again.
Steve looked up and left the small huddle to meet his son as he approached.
‘Omicron, I was thinking that perhaps you might want to join the ranks here at a temporary PFC level and learn a bit about what’s going on, just in case you change your mind and stay. It certainly wouldn’t hurt anything, you’d only have to spend a couple of hours a day, and you probably don’t have a lot to do anyway.’
Omicron smiled at the accuracy with which his father read his mind. ‘All right, I will. Which group shall I join?’
‘Try one of the small arms groups first. If you do decide to join up, I’ll see that you are made an officer because of your management abilities. However, you’ll have to learn to command a gun as well as people.’
Omicron pressed his lips together. It was not a small distance from the creative solitude of a piano composition to the brutal destruction of war. Yet he knew that he could be master of both if he wished.
If he wished,…that was the rub. He was so damn free to do what he wanted, that he might make the wrong choice. For this reason, it was best to hedge the bet, wait as long as possible for as much input as possible before making up his mind, and in the meantime, prepare for any decision that might be made.
CASTLE was on the move. They were traveling slowly, however,…for three reasons. First, they could not travel on the mags because their presence would be recorded immediately. Second, they could not travel in mass… their travel was in small groups spread over a large 100-mile area in order to avoid detection by drones ever present in the sky above and satellites orbiting the earth. Finally, they made all movements at night, hiding among hills and in valleys away from all communities. It would take them five or six days to travel about 300 miles… they would reach the Bay by Saturday or Sunday. The mobsters, who comprised most of the troops, were able to bring only relatively light weaponry. They carried only small laser guns and truckloads of small laser cannons. They would have to hit hard and fast. The battle would be won or lost in a few days of furious fighting. They knew that they would sustain monumental casualties win or lose, but the attempt must be made. In attacking one of the Cities, they would not only incur the wrath and full military assault from the entire country, but, in addition, they were giving up the protection of their scattered settlements to the north. In the past decades the country did not care what the mobsters did as long as they stayed away and did not attack anyone. It was far more efficient to protect the Cities by means of barricades, automatic defense mechanisms, and strict control of all people traveling in and out… than attack every possible dangerous group without…even with constant surveillance from above. The band communities were almost impossible for the mobsters to invade and exploit because of the volunteers which were always ready to spring to the defense, and the natural unity and instinctual defenses such a primal community has toward enemies without. Also it was easier and more efficient to attack a City and have a large impact than it was to attack thousands of communities scattered over hills and valleys. It was only the fact that CASTLE was rapidly running out of resources that it even dared contemplate an attack at all. Before this time, they knew that any offense they might direct toward the Cities would be highly costly to them and that their best defense was to remain remote and scattered. However, now they had to rush in mass upon the very concentration of people and machinery they feared. It was truly a last gasp effort against great odds, but their demise would not be automatic and if their plan worked of holding one or two Cities hostage and perhaps even in permanent slavery, then perhaps a victory, even if partial, might be possible. If they were spotted early and if they were kept from making a rapid and successful assault upon Jupiter City, they would be left at the gate of the City, vulnerable to instant and mass annihilation.
Scar Liege stared intensely ahead into the distance as his troops rested and waited for darkness to mask their movements. The mobsters wore slacks, shirts and jackets from the urban world they hoped to restore. The Creative Centers made clothing of all types. The mobsters were supplied in surreptitious ways with all they needed, as long as they could pay for these things. These were days of desperation for Liege and his men. One thing going for us, he thought, is that those people out there are too happy and content, lolling about, dreaming and reading all day, to really cause us much trouble. But when we get that City, maybe we can make their lives a bit more exciting…as well as profitable for us in the deal. He sneered as he lay his head on his rolled sleeping bag and stared in the direction of the dying sun.
It was dusk. Steve walked in long thoughtful strides over to where Omicron was packing the supplies lying around him in the tall grass that had been issued to him in case he decided to join the effort. Omicron was sporting his new uniform as he looked up at his father’s grim face.
‘Well, I’ve practiced shooting the small laser gun, marching, compass work, and communication by ultraviolet spectral frequencies. I’ll read the tactical manual for officers that you gave me tonight. I don’t know. I thought I would feel alien among all this equipment and rigid organization. But I’m actually beginning to get excited.’
‘Perhaps your desire for getting in on the fighting can be tested a bit. We need to send scouts north to monitor the enemy’s movements. You could go, if you wish. It might help make up your mind.’
Omicron squinted into the blood red sun. ‘I don’t know. Maybe I will. Can I let you know tonight?’
Steve nodded, stuffed his hands in his pockets, and slowly walked back to the group of commanders.
Omicron went back to his cluster to eat dinner. Then as the sun sank in the west…he hiked down the hill to the shore of the Bay, guided in the dusk by a search lantern. The water lapped against the base of the hills. It was apparent that a tourist town and suburb to the City had been in this area previously. Remnants of houses still were spread up the side of a hill overlooking the Bay… However, the commercial areas that had been near the shore…were now sitting in dilapidation, half-immersed in the water of the Bay.
Then it was night. Not a star could be seen through the canopy of nimbus clouds overhead. Omicron sat on a rock at the water’s edge, his Light beaming out into space. He knew what he would do. However, he felt unable to initiate the action. The military surveillance action…if he chose to participate… would not be a combat mission… hopefully. Still there would be hundreds of miles to cover in a short time. He would have to land, perhaps confront, or at least spy upon, the enemy If it were the enemy, he would have to gain some idea of their plans. This would be no easy task.
The words of his father flowed through his head… ‘The supreme Power is balanced by the eternally active Mind and by absolute Wisdom.’ This meant that if man and woman constantly pursued the True and were thoroughly knowledgeable concerning the Just, then the power to act would come naturally and with the ability to do all things required. He knew that all matter, including his body and his mind, was permeated by the energy of the universe. This energy, when fully tapped, was sufficient for all needs. The ability to act, however, and the ability to fully utilize this energy, he knew, must ‘spring from the Will.’ Man and woman must firmly control their thoughts of their minds and the passions of their bodies, if they are to accomplish the tasks before them. The Will must grow beyond control over body passions of the first Cosmic step and diligence in the pursuit of knowledge of the second Cosmic step. The Will must now be in command of bodily energies, initiating bodily action and directing such action in a manner consistent with the dictates of the Laws of the universe and toward goals that will reap joy and happiness.
Energy capable of impacting the Cosmos resides within all matter. The ability to meet and transcend obstacles resides in all organisms produced by the processes of evolution. When these Cosmic energies and natural resilience and abilities are tapped, one may soar as high as an eagle in terms of accomplishment.
The power resides within man and woman to rule over all matter… rock, plant, and animal alike… if it is tapped by a Will which is ascending in accordance with Cosmic Law. His father had told him time and time again that if one in solitude determines what is True and Just in a particular instance,…the bodily energies, adrenaline, and motivation required by the Cosmos…will instantaneously and automatically be made accessible. To operate in accordance with any other principles or desires is to resign oneself to a complete debilitation of these capabilities and to a Life of mediocrity and meaninglessness. One may find a Life of joy and happiness only if creative action is produced, controlled, and directed by the Will in accordance with the Cosmic Laws of mind and matter.
Before him he saw the vision of a blinding sun in whose center Isis, or Nature, was sitting. As the symbol of eternal, universal and ubiquitous energy, and of the third Cosmic step… Action… in the upward and outward development of the Will… her appearance and that of the brilliant sun around her… bade Omicron to meditate upon the True and Just related to this particular instance. Omicron snapped off the lantern, leaving himself within a blanket of total darkness, with only the sound of the nearby water lapping the land… and the feeling of the cold wind at his back. The communities, the City, and his way of Life were based on the principles of the Cosmic Law. Therefore, the fight for the preservation of these things was a True one. Furthermore, the enemy whom they were fighting had declared war upon all that is Good, all that is True. Therefore, the fight was Just, as it was an effort which would contribute to Goodness and to the benefit of all mankind.
Omicron’s blood rose within his body, until it pulsed strongly through his temples, his fist clenched with fury, and his feet were already in a swift run back to the clusters with his decision firmly made. Music academy, Aura, family, community, Life, all concerns faded from his mind as he traversed the dark path, now illuminated by his Light, towards the True and Just.