S./The Bearer of STATE - a book by Karin Arink
Contents

“Huh...”
Quickly, the Captain rises a golden cup to Her Grace’s lips, watches as she swallows a sip of water. As she moves her hands, the open slits where the liquid had burned heal rapidly. ‘Yes, she is ready...’
“Activate the securiCam!” The image of Her Grace, opening her eyes and slightly moving her hands, floods dataFlow and dataNet, and is broadcasted life on NationalTV. Gently, the Bearer pushes the Captain and Jan aside and uses her hands to stand, a small figure in the sunlight.


trust STATE!


the Bearer is well, like Her Excellency promised us


trust STATE


trust STATE


trust STATE!


the Bearer lives!


STATE lives!


trust STATE!


we all serve STATE!


we all serve the Bearer of STATE!


trust STATE!


But the Bearer is still weak, and, just to be safe, the Captain calls for an inconspicuous car and has Her Grace be brought to the Hospital. While on the other side the casualties of the market stream in, he covers the figure of the Bearer with a blanket and has her brought in secretly to the top floor.

12:49 on the day of the Attack against STATE
Irene walks back from the market, the sound receding. In the quiet of the limo she sinks back onto the dark red reaLeather. She sighs. When she closes her eyes, the horrors of the market, so she opens them again. It is then that she realizes what the color of the limo’s seats makes her think of. ‘Blood. Of course, blood. This was the Presidential limo after all.’ She is faint for a moment. ‘Will this never stop?’
“Excuse me, Your Excellency?” the Guards asks. “Please, take this... It is from the Chocolaterie. It has been checked, er...”
Irene sees some chocolates are missing and cannot help but smile. She takes one, and then another. They are really delicious, and just what she needed.
“How is Her Grace?” she asks the Guard. He is silent for a second as he listens to his securiPhone.
“Ehm, Your Excellency, she just opened her eyes and is, er, conscious. But to be sure, the Captain has taken her to the Hospital. What are your orders?”
“Bring me there as well. Hurry!”
When she enters the Presidential, correction, STATE chambers in the Hospital she knows so well, Irene finds Her Grace standing in the hallway between the three chambers.

Happy to see her, the Captain walks up to Irene and looks at her face. “Are you OK?”
Irene Delwin nods, points to Her Grace: “Is she?”
The Bearer is facing the one door that is closed. There is one Guard there, guarding it.

Jason.
S. had completely forgotten about him. His existence had disappeared in the turbulence of STATE affairs. S. had never cared for this human. Why had she allowed the Captain to save this human’s life? She could have done without him. But... No.
She needs him, to’
STATE forces the thought to end. A strand of her knows the thought is still there, submerged between the others. Waiting to get back at her. Later.

The Bearer steps into the room. Jason is still on the bed, but you can see he is better. The moment he sees the Bearer his face distorts with anger. “And how long are you going to lock me in this golden cage, huh, S.!? How many times have I asked to speak to you! And did you show? Never! The least you could’ve done”

Irene, feeling guilty she had completely forgotten about this friend of Her Grace’s, interrupts: “Jason. It is good to see you alive and well”
But he speaks to her Grace only: “Oh, good my dick! I cannot be tied like this, you know that! It drives me crazy, all this wishy-washy caring! I am better now. Let me GO!”
The Bearer says: “Jason… You are free to go.” She stops talking and stares blankly in front of her. Looking at her, Irene realizes how accustomed she has become to the Bearer’s habits, and how strange they must look to others. The Bearer blinks, swallows, then resumes: “Jason. STATE needs your help”
Furious, he talks right through her request: “What? What’s THIS!? Whimpering for help?! Are YOU asking for HELP? You, S., are the most powerful person around here! Or should I bow and say Bearer as well, huh? You can solve whatever you want to solve, in any way you want to! This is what you wanted, right? This is why you betrayed all of us, and then you came running to the Prison, crying and all! This is what the President gave you in return, to serve as his marionette! I cannot believe your hypocrisy! Bluhg!”

While he makes to spit in disgust, STATE knows it was he who had betrayed the group. He is lying to himself as he speaks, his mind has even managed to gloss over the details, a tangle of conflicting pulses, while his voice is quick and cutting.

No longer able to stand it, Irene interrupts again: “She never betrayed anyone, you hear? Did no one tell you the Bearer killed the President in person, by pressing his own bomb against his belly? Did no one tell you how they tried to gun her, trap her, how she survived a fall of more than a 100 meters!? Really, it is kind of easy, now you have been saved by her, to abuse her like that!”

The iron cutting the flesh of her hands, the flesh that still was soft, and then the body falling and falling and falling and falling.
Had she howled, like humans do?
But it had been STATE falling on the pavement, thundering through into the white. It had been STATE standing up, or’

Looking down on the Secretary, Jason retorts: “Oooooh, so I have to go down on all fours and be grateful now? No fucking WAY, you hear!? ‘Cause I wanna know! I will not stop asking this! Why was S. the only one not in prison, huh? Why was S. ‘selected’ to carry STATE!? Why her? Now? WELL?”

The Captain approaches him, hand on his gun. “This is enough! STOP it NOW or you will be returned to Prison!”
Jason Almerra stops shouting abruptly. His eyes glaring, but his voice overly smooth, he adds: “Oh, yes. Why am I wasting my breath on you? You’re the Bearer’s newly found friends, right? Of course you would be defending the Bearer of STATE, right. Right?! And who the fuck are you, anyway? Is S. collecting mice and faggots and little good girls, or what? Hmn?”

The neon light flickers ever so slightly because of a high voltage discharge some floors below. It is not noticeable for the people around her, but STATE is receptive to all currents around her, the energy flows channeled to sustain these humans, repair their body shells, have them recuperate enough to return to’

“OK. Stop this NOW!” The Captain steps closer. “I will not have you”
The Bearer lifts two fingers.
Silence.
Her face grave, she says: “Jason, go. S. never betrayed the group, but you will never allow yourself to face that truth. So, go. Goodbye.”
Jumping from the bed, Jason puts on his shoes.

Knowing she will meet him again, later, much later, S. turns away from him. The white thumps in her body shell, she does not care for him.

Not kept back by anyone, Jason strides towards the door. Near the door he turns to the Bearer one last time. “Just remember S., I will fight your mono-government just like I fought the President’s! We need a democracy, a true republic democracy, and I for one will not stop fighting these fake monarchies!
Look at you, at the peak of all the country. What makes you so special, huh? Why are you the one and only pinnacle of power here? What is so fucking special about a Bearer of STATE anyway? What does it offer us, the people, hmn? It’s all wrong, this way of governing, and you know it! You fought against it yourself, before you became “Bearer”. And now look at you. I will end your reign, I will, if it is the last thing I do! Nothing personal, mind, but just so you know. Now I GO, finally. Goodbye, S., and good luck with your so-called ‘reforms’. Time to get started, huh? ‘Cause I for one don’t see things getting any better these days! Attacks and all...” And with heavy steps, Jason strides from the room, leaving the Captain and Her Excellency looking after him.

> She is the most perfect, th ultimate
> We cannot even debase her by talking about STATE, because compared to the knowledge present for Her Grace, we are ignorant particles. We are insigificant
> Though through the particles, STATE arises, glowing in the whiteness of the burning sun, it was written, Jon! We are the particles of STATE!
> wouldn’t know, and wouldn’t dare to say it that way, meself. sure she wasn’t the one to bomb at the market?
> WHAT!? did you not see Her Grace suffering, and Her Excellency
> Yes, she was incredible, STATE suffers for us, her people
> Hail STATE! Hail the Bearer

Next: Ch034