Creative Commons License Public Domain Science Fiction Writer

Arico Chronicles contents contents Wai Z contents


8) The Convert

Control had to be universal for the ruai. Not one of them had sat down to make this control universal, it just developed over time. Often people would say how clever the ruai were, but that isn’t really the case. Of course they are devious but the real reason they were so successful is that they had fundamentally dehumanised themselves and their rationales. There is only one thing that mattered to them – their accumulated wealth. This is how they measured themselves, how many 0’s in bank accounts, how much they can lavish on their children, just a pointless lifestyle that had little intrinsic meaning but had horrendous consequences for the rest of humanity.

From the outside you could examine their control, and you could see it as total. Many even saw external forces involved, and such misdirection was embellished upon in that control. But such control developed from human nature, and the single-minded direction of wealth accumulation. Early in history wealth came with land, to increase land the then-wealthy developed armies, invaded territories, appropriated agricultural produce and so on. This was single-minded accumulation of land, and those that opposed were squashed – murdered enslaved and so on. But to maintain this land required force. As they took over new lands they had to provide incentives for some people to take care of these lands, and with wider territories the landowners got stretched thin.

With the advent of money the landowners discovered that it was easier to control distant lands if they had more money, and so the appropriation of land became replaced by the accumulation of money. This money still financed conquests but it was the profits from these conquests that the erstwhile landowners sought. Over time most of the world became “owned” by a few landowners, and whilst they were able to buy off a few people to run their conquests the control was tenuous.

Over the centuries the ruai had learnt that the best control was self-delusion. Hands up if you are happy saying you have been a wage-slave; nowhere to be seen. Hands up if you are happy in your career, myriads of hands. Self-delusion. Can you be happy being a wage-slave? No. Can you make do with saying you choose to be a teacher? Easily. Self-delusion. To apply this control principle, the ruai developed a scheme in which they installed puppets as rulers, and these puppets provided what the ruai wanted – wealth, raw materials and markets to increase their wealth. Not quite as simple as that. If these puppets became too powerful they might sever their ties with the ruai. So the puppets they installed were always dependent on financial support from the ruai. They were minority parties, smaller tribes, weak leaders with limited charisma, crooks hated by their people – it didn’t matter who so long as they didn’t have the total backing of the kon in that country. And if a democratic leader came along trying to usurp the power of the puppets covert operatives ensured this didn’t happen, and if the worst came to the worst money and advisors were dispatched to the puppets to sure up their regime.

Global war was a key platform to the ruai. Of course they didn’t start with global war. The early landowners were always fighting battles on the borders of their lands – as they expanded or fought back the expansion of another. There was no objection to these battles because the people who died were border people - not their own. Land accumulation changed to money accumulation but disputes only occurred on borders. And if there were a strong threat to the ruai, then they destabilised the threatening country.

Mostly this worked but there was a period in time in which equal opposing ruai forces were developing. There were 5 dominant players who came together at the same time. For many years two adversaries had fought for lands accumulating their wealth. Previously a great war had been fought between them, and this war had decimated both sides – but not completely. To continue the pretence one side was awarded victory, and the other side was stripped of certain powers. But the ruai in these countries were damaged with the huge loss of wealth, and peoples’ movements developed seeking to overthrow these ruai.

The losers were particularly vulnerable to a threat from their own people so they sought funds from an up-and-coming new power. As is the nature of the ruai such funds were easy to come by so long as profits were returned. Soon the losers became powerful again and war was in the offing. The newly-equipped losers soon became a match for the victors and a further conflict developed, and this conflict became protracted. Both sides were funded by this third power who throughout the war profited immensely whilst the older powers dwindled more and more.

However all was not roses for this new power as in a distant land a threat from a new ruai developed. The new power, wanting to expand their territories, started battling on distant borders – no problem, exporting war was par for the course. Knowing this the distant power attacked close to the home of the new power, and so gradually military involvement increased. Undeterred the new power worked on a new strategy, what could be called the overkill strategy. Ultimately this new power only wanted token adversaries, there would always be enemies but to deter these enemies from ever uniting they decided on this overkill. This distant power was no match for the new power so over a couple of years they were decimated. But the new power wasn’t satisfied with that, they wanted to deter people from ever attacking them again. And so they did, they nuked two islands so that for generations these people couldn’t live there. The world was in shock, who could be so evil? But they never forgot, if you stood up against this new power there was always nuclear overkill.

Meanwhile back with the traditional powers their armies were almost completely defeated, and along came the new army pretending to support the victors but in reality they came in and took over. At the end of the conflict neither of the traditional powers were strong, and both then had to pay lip-service to the new power.

There was one final player in this scenario, and they had an important function for the new power. More than any of the traditional powers the ruai living in this new power had learnt how much profit there was to be made in the time of war; their ruai needed war for profits. But you cannot have a war without an enemy. So the ruai began an ideological witch-hunt. Now this witch-hunt had two purposes. Firstly this ideology was critical of the ruai, it understood that the ruai were only interested in profit and that their puppet government presented a snow job to cover up that greed. The ideology had been critical of the traditional powers for the same reason as it saw the way people were being used to create profits for the few. Secondly it was condemnatory of the eastern power, and in so doing they created an enemy.

But how were they able to create this enemy? Historically this eastern power had been very hurtful of their people. Their ruai were ruthless in the way they maintained control, and so the people rose up to fight them off. Whilst the other powers did not like this eastern power it was preferable to a country run by its own people – what some called democracy. So when the people rose up, typically the other powers tried to destabilise the peoples’ movement that was running the country. They were so successful in this destabilisation that there was a civil war for many years – a typical consequence of the destabilisation as well as a good profit-making venture. And once the civil war was over the peoples’ movement had been replaced by a “dictatorship for the good of the people”. This dictatorship, the eastern power, was ideologically different to the other powers. Although there was a dictatorship following the intervention it had originally started as a peoples’ movement – a democracy. Now the other powers claimed they were a democracy but in practice their puppets were well under control. It was quite straight-forward for the ruai to control the governments. Remember a government is only a small number of people, and whilst the ruai had the power governments always pretended they have power. And there were always people around who wanted to delude themselves that they had power, their very desire made them fall for the delusion the ruai created – complete control. These puppets provided the ruai with puppets who could present policy and puppets who could be blamed when ruai greed hurt the people. An important function of these puppets was to provide scenarios for the wars for profit, and again these puppets were blamed for the “mistakes” but that didn’t seem to matter to them as they were well paid afterwards – company directorships, global positions, lectureship deals etc.

So the eastern power was a democracy taken over by a dictatorship, and the other powers were ruai puppetries that used democracy as a subterfuge. The ruai genuinely feared democracy, how could they exploit people if the people were in charge? So they used the media to focus on the dictatorship and started an ideological war against this democracy-dictatorship combine. Strangely enough although most of the world lived in ruai dictatorships covered up by elected puppetry, the thing people most feared was a dictatorship and slavery. This made the eastern power an easy target for propaganda – and then providing the new power with an enemy.

So the ruai had control in government, they had wars for profit to provide their wealth, they controlled what the young learned so there was little else. It was fine-tuning. If the ruai became vulnerable they controlled the puppetry. They controlled the people who worked for them, and a significant part of the company’s work was PR – basically a group of mouthpieces whose job it was to present the ruai in a good light and blame anyone including the puppets if things went wrong. What was important in the way of things was that ordinary people did not see the ruai as the problem, and that the ordinary people were able to delude themselves that they were not wage-slaves.

However the ruai knew there was one other problem, and this was something they could not control – the planet. What was worse for them about the planet was they didn’t understand it. Their world was profits; use the material of the planet, use the people as slaves to make profits. There was more but more was something they couldn’t know because it didn’t fit in with their narrow profit-oriented existence. Things happened, natural disasters and the like, and the ruai had absolutely no control over them. Often these disasters would occur as a result of their profit-making, desertification, landslides, all kinds of stuff. It was predictable, the ruai push too hard and the planet responded; this was a rule of business they accepted but could not control.

But it wasn’t just these ecological disasters that were beyond their control, it was religion. Now they did work on religion because it was a powerful force but to limited avail. A long time ago people were afraid of ghosts, of the night, of supernature. The trees, the rocks, the streams they all had spirits and people were afraid of them. Farmers wouldn’t plant in certain areas – haunted, spirit, kwaai, all kinds of words all over the world for this stuff. As business took over people were moved to cities where the jobs were. The cities as places became less and less connected to nature as factories developed with effluent and environmental damage. Previously these taboo areas became engulfed in the cities and nature was disrespected. When these ruai left the cities they told the farmers to plant this land, square land in rows, and the farmers had to lose their ways; how could they say this land is kwaai the ruai would give their money to someone else. The spirit got forced off some of the land becoming focussed in parts of the world that were not arable. And there the people were much more superstitious, and unless there were very sound business reasons the ruai had learnt to leave these people alone, it cost too much to work with them, they were not tempted with money, the land and the planet had control of them.

All people had religions and the ruai didn’t mind that – they found ways of control through religion. Especially in the cities because in the cities the people had lost contact with the planet. Being good is always core to any religion, it’s a planetary prerequisite. That was a potential risk for the ruai – because good didn’t matter to them unless it affected their profits. Deep down all religions know you should respect the planet, God’s World, Nature, Gaia, whatever word you want to use; the ruai couldn’t have this. To make their profits they needed raw materials and had to rape the planet. So through historical powers they changed the religion so that people did not respect the planet they just had to behave well to each other. The ruai liked this, use the religion to make the people behave. No crime was good for society but it also meant you couldn’t steal from the ruai – and the ruai paid the security forces extra to make sure. Yet in these spirit societies, the ruai called them, there were no super-rich, it would be a crime to use more than was needed – theft from the planet. The religions the ruais wanted could not have this.

They also fashioned the religion so that the God was not connected to the planet, one religion laughably had this human figure with a long white beard who lived far above the atmosphere. Such a God could not possibly be connected to the planet, this was what the ruai wanted.

But even in the religion they created which had this God somewhere else in the galaxy the religion at times managed to connect God and the planet, and that was something else the ruai were forced to accept – something beyond their control.

Now Chekka was a priest in this religion – although somewhat bitterly she saw herself more as a moral policeman keeping people in order. For years she had trained to be this policeman – priest. She studied their holy books, books that talked about this all-powerful God who lived out in the galaxy. How this God had sent people to their planet to teach people how to behave, how this God made miracles to help the people who worshipped Him. She could quote these books, and when the people came to meet with her every week she would quote these books telling people how to behave with each other, to cut down on the drugs, to work so that they could look after their families etc. The priest was liked because there was something in her that people could relate to – some would use the phrase “down to earth”.

Now Chekka didn’t see the point in quoting these books, but she enjoyed meeting with the people and trying to help them through this difficult life. For her she could study, read her books, and try to get close to her God, but for the people she met each work they only had their jobs – working day in day out soulless jobs that just made profits for the ruai. The ruai had driven compassion out of these people, and she hoped that she could bring it back into their lives when she met with them each week.

One Sunday she had just given a service for a woman who had lost her husband. Her husband had worked all his life as a process-controller, that meant he knew how to optimise the factory belts of mass production. This job was stressful, if he screwed up profits were down and he lost his job, money and home. Now the ruai had learnt that older people developed illness and were not much use in making profits. When young it paid the ruai to keep these people healthy but when they were too old even if they came to work often enough they didn’t do well. So basically at 50 they transferred them to a lesser-paying job, still with a home; by that age the people were so scared they were grateful they kept their jobs. But even with the transfers sometimes the people became ill, and a burden on profits; the ruai wanted them dead – to keep up their profits. Some of the companies came up with a trick to do with health insurance. Now health insurance, some argued did more harm than good because they paid for drugs that in the long term made you ill, was provided so that the young could be got back to work quickly. But as the workers got older the effects of the drugs started to produce systemic degenerative disease. It was the plan. The drugs gave the people sufficient health, someone said the drugs were based on adrenaline – but someone always said, so that nature’s restcures, the flu and so on, could be fought off getting the people back to work. But what is the purpose of a restcure? With the drugs the people didn’t get what was needed, and in the end nature made the human body pay.

Knowing this they had a clause in the health insurance called pre-existing conditions. It could be argued, and often was, that all symptoms could be judged to be part of a pre-existing condition, and this became the norm. At 50 they changed jobs, new employer, new health insurance, and illness and there was no money. People died or cured themselves, and if that was quick enough they had a job; if not they had no money, no home, and were sent to resthomes where there was little sustenance and they soon died. This pattern had been repeated with the poor man that Chekka gave the service for. The woman had some work but not enough to qualify her for a home, she was pushed into the home of one of her children’s families – a home with insufficient room and food.

But this was the norm, why was Chekka particularly sad this week? After the service and consoling the tears she returned to her room, and prayed to God, how can He allow such misery? Where were the miracles she read about? She repeated her prayers over and over again until the words lost meaning. And there was silence, it was a silence that was full. Then the silence was replaced with God, the importance of her relationship with God. From the top of her head grew a light, a light that moved up and up. It became a path of light coming out of her head leading to …. She followed up the path, and as she did so the path just seemed to stretch and stretch. Growing longer and longer she began to fear but then told herself that this path was connected to her relationship with God, how can she fear that relationship?

So along the path she went, and in the distance she saw a glow, and moving towards this glow she saw a figure. She felt apprehension, was she going to meet God? As she neared the figure it took shape, it was a man with a long white beard. It’s God, it’s God, I’m going to meet God. She began to rush towards the figure, and yes it was the image she remembered, the image that was in all her books. This was God. She ran towards him and threw herself at her feet. God, God, I love my God, she shouted weeping with joy.

“I am not God,” the figure answered simply.

“You are God,” Chekka continued weeping, her sobbing shaking her whole being.

“No I am not God, I am a man in your dreams,” he said matter-of-factly “I am a delusion.”

“God is not a delusion,” muttered Chekka, slowly spouting her faith.

“No He isn’t,” replied the figure grabbing her arm and pulling her back along the path of white light. And this time there was such a force pulling her, gone were the tentative steps that had pussyfooted her up the path of light to the man in white. To begin with she thought the force was the man in white but as they returned to earth this figure began to melt away and join with the path of light. Was this figure, God?, going to join her in her head? Excitement grew.

But then the force pulled her down, down, down into the planet. The figure had now gone, instead there was just a path of light. And the light dimmed as it began to fuse with the planet, so now all around her inside the planet was a colourless glow.

“Now you have found God,” the distant voice of the old figure in white, and she knew that God was in the planet, was the planet, the ONE planet, Gaia. And the silence came back, the silence that was God, Gaia, the silence of spirit that was all around her if she chose to look …. feel. No elation could describe the feeling of finding God, no words could ever limit her relationship again.