There were no conscientious objectors in the Psychic Wars. There was no such thing – you were either one thing or the other, you were either an active combatant or you were food! It was as simple as that. Most were food, that being the way the pyramid always works…
You could of course be a combatant one day and then food the next – there’s nothing to say that couldn’t happen! You could also be food one day and a combatant the next – that was possible too. You could be food that fights back! There happens to be my story: I was food until one day I decided that I would fight back. Maybe not very effectively I admit, but fight back I did. I tried my best to give my masters indigestion…
In this the Post Apocalyptic Era there are debriefing camps where survivors can tell their stories. Everyone knows that telling a story can be therapeutic and so that’s what we are encouraged to do. There are no people to listen but they are robots – special empathic robots, robots that listen and don’t interrupt too much. They just interrupt a little bit, so as to let you know that they’re still there.
Some of the listening robots look like children, some look like Indian gurus with turbans and long beards, some look like ancient Greek philosophers with long flowing robes, whilst others look like Freudian psychoanalysts with pointy beers and severe glasses. Others again look like angels, both male and female, with sad eyes and huge feathered wings. Some tower up into the sky in the guise of supernatural beings. A few even look like judges, for those who wish to confess to heinous acts of wrongdoing.
Whatever idea you might have of the compassionate (or perhaps stern) listener, you will find a robot to suit your needs. It doesn’t matter who you pick, they are all linked in to the central AI; a super-intelligent transdimensional quantum processor which listens to all with equal attention, equal compassion. Earlier, I used the word ‘survivor’ but it occurs to me that I should qualify this term – we all survived the Psychic Wars one way or another, the only question being how. We had all been transformed, one way or another, the only question being into what. Some of us had been transformed into Demons, others into ghosts. Some of us are now little more than mere shadows, banished to the Twilight Realms, imprisoned forever in the Lower Worlds. Some of us are motes of dust, dancing in the sunlight. All of us are the same in that we all wish to tell our stories however, and that’s what I’m doing right now.
Where to begin? I don’t know where to begin – my memories are all jumbled up and a significant proportion of them are probably entirely false. I will start with one of the memories that I suspect to be false. It’s easier to start this way – there less contradictions, less overt flaws in the narrative. I confess to being more at home with the false. I remember going to work every morning; I remember the long commute into the big city and the inevitable difficulty in finding parking once I got there. I remember the sense of profound disillusionment I felt every time I had to interact with the organisation that employed me. I remember the games that I used to play in my own head in order to stay sane. I remember that it rained every day. The only trouble is however that none of these memories (which I remember so well) are true! They are all part of the False Self System (the FSS) that the Transpersonal Conspiracy has engineered in order to secure it’s mastery of this sad planet. They are going to squeeze it and squeeze until all the good has gone out of it, and then they are going to move on to somewhere else….
As I say, everyone survived the Psychic Wars in one form or another. I have ‘survived’ but I don’t know how much worth there is in this type of survival. I don’t know how much stock I personally place in it. Every day I make my way into the town square for a counselling session with a therapy-bot. My therapy-bot looks like a giant seagull – it stares coldly at me through its baneful eyes and it never speaks a word. If I stop talking for a while then it will nod his beak very slightly at me, indicating that I should continue. Then after the hour is up it turns its head abruptly to one side, looking the other way from me. I know then that it’s time to go. ‘I have survived, but at what cost?’ I ask myself, as always. ‘Is there any coming back from this type of survival? Is there really any point in me returning here to see the therapy-bot every day? What good is it doing me?’