Chapter 51: the People of STATE
30th September in the first year of the new Bearer’s Reign
The Bearer walks down the busy pedestrian area. She walks with her eyes closed, her arms lifted sideways, her hands open. At first, most people do not notice her, too immersed in their own social encounters, shopping aims and thoughts. But soon, the strange group starts to attract attention: a woman up front, an old man wheeling hard to keep up with her, two Guards of STATE on motoBikes, keeping their feet at the ground for balance at this slow pace.
---Bearer of STATE for 6 months, 1 week, 1 day, 0 hours, 7 minutes and---
Guided by STATE, S. keeps her eyes closed.
Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.
The humans do not notice yet, but from afar, the heliCopter’s sound approaches.
Under STATE, the pavement tiles, conscious of the presence of STATE, carry her weight. Everything here is conscious of the presence of STATE.
The buildings lining the streets are made of metal and glass, exposing scores of objects in all materials. Objects for aiding the soft human hands with piercing, slicing, grating, cutting edges. Objects to clothe and adorn the furless human body shells. Objects to carry and collect the many objects and thoughts humans need and desire. Objects of status. Objects for sale. Objects meant to entice the people, to seduce them to buy. The objects whisper, they will make you, change you, entertain you, sustain you...
The black round pupils of the humans’ eyes eagerly reflect the objects. In the minds of the humans, objects furnish their dreams, objects encapsulate and project their selves. Vague desires and concrete acquisition plans are jumbled, money flowing or divided.
Strand S. used to want these objects. Nut now she does have the power to claim and obtain anything she would lay her eyes on, their appeal has disappeared. What does STATE want here?
> The Filth has returned to us, and we can only be cleansed of her Presence by strong and persevering Hate. [As is the Word of Jason A. the One]
But then she starts to sense it. These humans are the people. As the objects react to STATE, the humans start to become more and more aware of her presence. And the more thoughts center on STATE, the more STATE becomes aware of them.
They are the people of STATE. The particles of STATE.
She apperceives that she is radiating an almost invisible light. People look at her.
Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.
The camera’s eye is approaching, but as yet it cannot see.
People recognize her, the Bearer of STATE. At first they are afraid, and some withdraw. But when they see her closed eyes, her open hands, they become curious. The Bearer of STATE is here. The Bearer of STATE is here, for them, open to them.
STATE is here!
People approach her. First timidly, then more daring. Compelled,
people start reaching for Her Grace.
People touch the Bearer’s hands, softly, a quick caress.
People feel that the hands feel different. The Bearer’s hand is not of normal flesh. Like made of a flexible and soft metal, the hand prickles with a tinge of power.
People feel her hand, then pass it to the person they happen to stand next to, in a simple ritual.
Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.
Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.
The camera’s eye is here, and takes in the scene from above. The camera films what the people do, to show everybody. To show all people, the people of STATE.
Sarah Feyman itches to make some cutting remark, befitting a critical star reporter. ‘Look at her! Like some kind of saint! I don’t believe I am filming this! Uh... But... I’d better watch out... This is not a time to seem anti-STATE... My figures might drop... And they say STATE knows... I’d better be positive... I’d better be good... Bless the Bearer of STATE...’
---Bearer of STATE for 6 months, 1 week, 1 day, 0 hours, 14 minutes and---
S. is wading through the people. A solid white stream of people, cushioning her in. Instead of cutting her path through them, she allows herself to be drawn into the stream. No longer a gap is surrounding STATE. Only a wake, widening behind her, to allow Werther and the Guards to pass.
From hand to hand the hand of STATE passes.
STATE subtly changes the atmosphere. Even people who do not see the Bearer, or touch her, unconsciously react on her. People’s interchanges’ shades shift from curt and asserting to open and friendly, a bit like the effect of a sudden warm spring day, making people greet total strangers and smile.
---Hail the Bearer of STATE --- Worship the Bearer of STATE --- Welcome the Bearer of STATE --- Receive the touch of STATE --- Hail the Bearer of STATE --- Thank the gift of STATE --- Rejoice in the light of STATE --- Worship the Bearer of STATE ---
The whole length of the shopping area, the Bearer walks.
Never was STATE so fulfilled as this. This is how it was supposed to be, this is how it should be like, this is how people should be near STATE. Artur Werther is right!
> cannot believe what’s happening now!
> am just watching NationalTV?
, looking goood! wish I was there...
> Well, I for one do not think things are going well at all! Don’t you guys check the Stock Exchange? Rapidly deteriorating! All this is just to distract
> ow mister sour is here again! Hail STATE is what I say! how’d you know that not something else is causin’ this exchange shit? huh?
> I was under the impressing that to explain the nature of STATE was not necessary, but maybe I will oblige
> don’t oblige us mister blahblah, I’m off watching it in real, I’m not too far, can reach it if I run
The Guards cannot believe their eyes. Though they hope the Captain will never scold them for this irresponsible exploit, they see Her Grace functioning as a real leader, a true Bearer of STATE.
And the NationalTV?
cameras see it as well, broadcasting the image life, making more and more people leave their houses for the shopping area.
---Bearer of STATE for 6 months, 1 week, 1 day, 0 hours, 23 minutes and---
Some human is not reacting, is refusing to be melted into the crowd. His hands are in his pockets, clenched. His face is contracted into a frown. Very consciously, he opposes the mass movement, which is slowly but inevitably pushing him towards the Bearer. His back hardens against the people bumping into him, shoving him out of the way. He blocks the flow.
S. slows down slightly. With eyes closed, she gets a good view of him. He is in his fifties, grey hair, a bit portly but no belly, a dignified demeanor, a very expensive suit. Whether it is his self-image, or his real appearance, S. does not know nor care about.
She also sees how he regards her. A small, plain woman, a violent terrorist with no hesitations to kill innocent civilians, a power-grabbing type, a slave of STATE.
Why he is so opposed to STATE? He does not really read as a President’s man, though STATE does not distinguish them that clearly. He definitely does not appear to have lost opportunities by the Bearer’s reign. He just abhors the populism, the wallowing in the masses’ adoration. The vehemence of his thinking engulfs her, pulls at an old strand of her being. He is right!
What the hell is she doing? She is making them venerate her like some pagan goddess!
How can she?
She is no longer S., the invisible, or S., the terrorist woman. She is no longer a freedom fighter. She is no longer human.
She is now S., the Bearer of STATE.
She is a symbol. She is the extension of all power structures of this state.
And STATE cannot allow him to see her otherwise.
The Bearer diverts her course, going for him. He is too rational to try to flee, with the people pushing in his back, the Guards drawing nearer. In a way, he is satisfied. ‘See, she will kill me for disrupting her nice little procession. Terrorist idol!’ When the Bearer halts in front of him, her eyes are still closed. ‘But, how does she know I am blocking her parade?’ he wonders.
The Bearer slowly detracts her arms, allowing them to fall at her side. ‘Ward.’
‘Huh... How can she call my name? But… did she speak..? Or’ Confused, he stares at her, his mind refusing the contradictory information. ‘I must have been’
‘The Bearer of STATE does not need to speak via airwaves, Ward. Look at me.’ He is compelled to do as told.
The Bearer opens her eyes. The grey glints metallic in the winter sun. The pupils are very small. She does not blink. She does not breathe, nor move. She stands unnaturally still, totally still, like a statue, for minutes. Almost until people start to whisper.
Then, she lifts her right hand. It goes upwards, slowly, in a nice curve, aimed for his jaw. When the hands grips, Ward’s eyes widen.
Now, he sees her.
A tiny female figure, wound in endless cords and cables, all of a blinding white.
The body is almost obliterated by the white. The thick white threads wind and unwind over the small frame, like snakes slithering over. It has a fascinating cadence, catching his gaze like the rhythms of a belly dancer. Over and up and over and sideways and over and down and over and slither and over and sideways and over and up and over and slide and over and down and over and sideways and over and slither and over and up and over and slide…
Then, he can briefly glimpse where the white tubes and cords and cables originate.
The snakes grow from her belly.
STATE, too bright to look at directly. He has to close his eyes.
Trembling and looking weak, the man kneels. During the vision, he had lifted his hands against the light of STATE, the palm open in the ancient salute of STATE, and they remain there in submission. People want to whisper, but cautiously stay silent.
The clattering of their thoughts, their fear, their admiration. All their individual thoughts form a harmony, a high whistling and erratic and at times very atonal structure, unfolding over time.
---Bearer of STATE for 6 months, 1 week, 1 day, 0 hours, 29 minutes and---
S. closes her eyes.
She softly turns away, resuming her posture. She continues down the shopping centre, allowing herself to be guided again by the hands of the people. She threads her way through the growing crowds, who stand packed between the low row of flat-roofed shops.
More people have second thoughts, and she approaches some of them, to do the same; a baptizing ritual. They seem almost happy to be relieved of their doubts. Now, everybody knows and S. carries the knowledge like hot oil inside. She is the Bearer of STATE.