In the middle of her introduction, the Secretary of STATE stops and looks up as she hears the Guards enter. Turning towards the entrance of the hall, she bows slightly, alerting all present to the imminent arrival of Her Grace, the Bearer of STATE.
When the people see the Bearer, radiating like she is made of some luminescent material, all of them bow low without hesitation. Some, having been present at the Bell’Etoile, are afraid. ‘Will Her Grace pull a grenade at them again..? Oh no... no thinking... respect...’ Just to be safe, many start to mouth the incantation the Church of STATE had taught them.
Hail the Bearer of STATE
Trust the Bearer of STATE
Irene is worried immediately. ‘Whatever happened just now? Did the Countess do something to S., harm her in any way?’
But the next second, there is no more room for any such worries. STATE permeates everybody’s thoughts simultaneously. While everybody closes their eyes, entranced, the Bearer walks to the Bearer’s Seat, sits down and is encased, as she in one movement activates the curtains to be withdrawn. ‘Look.’
All eyes open and look the same way. On the grey-green screen, data begins to emerge. At first, nothing is legible. Digits and letters are projected on top of each other, information is continually rearranged as people watch. Some get seasick and try to close their eyes. But the information is there as well, highlighted against the red eyelids.
The Bearer’s voice is inside their heads: ‘Relax. All will get clearer soon.’
People start to give in. As their brain wave patterns start to sync with STATE, the data slows down and structures emerge. On the grey-green, white and rusty red data is juxtaposed. The structures connect and enhance each other, money transfers go from the one to the other via intricate transactions, with certain names functioning in double roles. People feel the knowledge seeping into them but have a hard time to grasp the entirety of its meaning.
S. subtly rearranges some powers of STATE, allows it to mollify.
All minds merge. They form a constellation of knowledge, different bits of information spread from one to the other in small sparks back and forth, over and over until from their entirety a consciousness arises.
Oh. They see what the white stands for, what the rusty red stands for.
The almost mythological figure of the President’s second man becomes an entity whose actions and doings can be seen to evolve over time, his connections to the President and even the measure of his lack of knowledge becomes clear, the number of attacks on the Bearer and the ways in which his power had sought to destroy STATE, incriminate STATE, taint her.
Clearly, B. Matil was not just a criminal agent. In many fields of economy he was active, many grants had been awarded to subsidiaries of him, government money was supporting structures that were in fact illegal. The state in turn profited from the trafficking in drugs, the dealing in weapons, the killings of other underworld figures… both powers using each other. Their obvious reciprocity is unsettling to say the least.
More structures are unveiled. First, many economical powers and their interdependency become visible. Anonymous stockholders’ representatives, often multi-million businesses now, get more depth as their operation and evolution through time become visible. They shift allegiances quickly, sometimes even daily, and even as they watch, Parliament can see how they affect the balance of the Stock Exchange in small willful steps. For those versed in statistics, the information is easily accessible; and some have time to also notice the dates racing towards the present. And then, the red data stops abruptly while in the white, information keeps moving.
Mc Kinsey gets it first. ‘Matil is dead! Or stopped, some way, but I suppose that to do that, he’d have to be killed first... Is there no successor?’ He sharply watches the red data, which remains frozen, as the dates speed a few weeks into the future. ‘How can STATE know all of this, suddenly? Something must’ve happened, just now...’
Then, the screen empties. A new structure arises, centered around the Bearer and the powers surrounding her. The Church of STATE is visible, its funding revealed, the various political groups are there. The powers in favor of the Bearer and those against her are beginning to be defined more clearly, and their various interrelations.
But somehow this picture remains more vague, transforming while they watch, and sure enough, S. is aware of a tiny jerks pulling at the fabric of minds. Many individuals present have or have had contacts with one or many of these groups and fear their activities are about to become public knowledge. One person in particular is a nervous hub of energy, withdrawing as carefully as he can from the entirety of STATE as he cannot afford to have his activities revealed.
And S., even in the entirety of light permeating the whole of her being, knows there are currents in her, in STATE, which enhance his efforts. She cannot steer them consciously, as parts of the STATE core objects strongly against them, but strands in S. approve of his agenda.
Her ambiguity is reflected in the data wavering on the screen, in the mixed feelings she has towards him and the people he represents. She hates him for his arrogance and destructiveness and loathes the simplicity of his views on STATE and on the Bearer, but she sympathizes with his need to… His need, to
No, she cannot even think it, but she hungers for it nevertheless.
One of the many aspects of STATE consciousness pulls back slightly to observe his growing inquietude, the ploys he is trying to develop against her while straining to free himself of the web of STATE. To anger him, she ties him more closely, but when he threatens to panic, she frees some space to be alone with him while the entirety of STATE continues.
Martin looks at the white surrounding him and he knows where he is. ‘Not again, you bitch!’
Quietly, S. looks at him in the white, a blinding silhouette.
He looks shabby and forlorn, and already the white unsettles him more than he cares to admit to himself. ‘Calm down, Martin! They are not here now…’
S. laughs and her laugh echoes the Bearers’ cacophony he remembers vividly from his last visit here.
‘Calm down, Martin! Show you are capable of what you aim to be!’
The shape of S. towers over him and he does calm down. He swallows and straightens himself, as her thought-voice continues:
‘Martin. You will do what you have to do when the time is ready. Keep your calm!’
Martin feels the pressure of fear in his body, his throat blocked with too much to say, words stuck on top of each other and not yet clear enough to be articulated in any way. His stomach aches and he is acutely aware that he is sweating in the cleanliness of this white. S. blows and a cooling breeze ruffles his clothes in the whiteness of STATE. ‘Relax, Martin. You will have your way, when the time comes! You doubt too much, you know… You fear deep down you cannot, that you are not strong enough, and you are so afraid you will fail… Pfff!
You cannot afford any such fears if you want to realize your aims, Martin.
You cannot afford to be squeamish about any pain, either physical or psychological!
You cannot afford to be ashamed of anything inside of you, Martin - and there is no hiding for any of the repercussions inside you or to those around you. There is no more hiding behind ineptitudes, behind others blocking you or behind your past. There is no hiding at all, Martin.
Everybody will see you. They will look at you all the time. And they will feed on you. They will pry the elements of you apart and reconstruct you an identity that is false and true at the same time. They will construct you anew, Martin, and the power you hunger for will be given to another you.
You will be living a new lie, that’s all…
Living a new lie.’
Then, she leaves him and gathers all minds gently for a quick glimpse of STATE. Those who fondly remembered the gift of white at the Bell’Etoile open their hearts in anticipation. They are those who can allow for the experience to reach their consciousness, and they have hungered for it afterwards, only to partially refind the feeling later, in the White Symphonies.
When the people open their eyes, they see the Bearer, still made out of pure light. Even the most skeptical amongst them are prone to fall down on their knees and worship her, and some start to hate her for it that instant.
Veneration and hate soar around her as she bathes in the light, both inside her and around her.
Smoothly, she unclasps the Chair and rises.
People kneel on the ground as the Bearer and Secretary of STATE leave the Parliament Hall.
> What a day! Cruel murder, and then entering Parliament covered in light, and
> I cannot believe it! Did Her Grace really murder the Countess?
> she was alone with her, a Guard says he can testify to that, and he came in and found the Countess strangled ad all.. he even witnessed her doing it! and he was fired on the spot, typical! A real ruler, huh?
> She did not! I cannot believe Her Grace would murder without reason! There must’ve been...
> oh Rosie, you are such a believer... sweetheart
> not yours, Heavy, no way
> hahah oh well, could try, couldn’t I?
> Hail STATE!
> another one, I don’t believe it, this is an OPEN CC guys!
> then I can be open about this as well! Hail STATE! I hear she has finished Matil at last!
> you know, the second in command of that dirrty P...
> mythical, Freddy, mythical!
> real as you and me, Heavy, and stopped, somehow!
> stopped as in DEAD?
> dunno people, jus whispers again
> I cannot make heads or tails of this, people... I am confused... How many people did she kill now? And did she give the gift of white again, or was this something different?
> I wasn’t there, Rosie, no idea what that nutcracker is up to... Doesn’t sound human to me, and a lot scary as well
> scared, I am, of that bearer of yours! made of LIGHT? what kinda woman is THAT?
S. does not see the humans, nor does she savor any emotion. She is neither happy nor sad, in the nowhereness of fulfillment. There are no more enemies as powerful as Matil had been, the stone is swallowed, disabling her potential successors, the state is whole.
For STATE, the white is now finally as it should be, an entirety of power filled with sounds, such pure sounds. By swallowing the stone, the fabric of STATE is rapidly and dramatically changing, and she allows herself to be submerged in the detailed balancing the many levels of power.
There is no other need for her in ruling this state anymore. STATE will validate the Constitutional changes and elections will be held. STATE is ready to develop into something different, something else.
Only Martin needs just one little push, before he can be the ruler he wants to be. The last phase remains, encompassing different levels, the future of STATE, the future of the friends of STATE, including the Captain and Irene, the future of this state. It is time for the next move.
When they arrive back at the Palace of STATE, the body of the Countess is just carried outside by four Policemen, who glance at the Bearer with suspicion, but dare not approach her and throw her in custody.
The Captain rushes forwards and looks down of the Countess’ still form, shocked. He sees the marks of strangulation on the face and on the delicate throat. “Your Grace! This... This is terrible! You foresaw an attack against Her Ladyship, but for it to happen at our Palace! Do you know who has done this?”
The Bearer does not react at all.
In that moment, Irene knows that S. has killed the Countess, strangled her while they were at Parliament. ‘I was afraid for Her Grace, but it was the Countess I should’ve been afraid for... Or?’ Irene glances at Her Grace’s throat and there, in the metalloid skin, two bruises show, mirror-images of the Countess’. ‘They have tried to strangle each other? They have fought on life or death, and S. has won. And Matil is dead, at least that’s what Mc Kinsey whispered to me and that was what the data were showing... The Countess was Matil after all and Her Grace has finished her... Thank STATE!’ She looks at the Captain he sees he is reaching different conclusions. ‘But we cannot talk in front of everybody... I will explain to him later... If he can hear what I have to say, he can be stubborn...’
The Captain is too shocked to speak, turns as Her Grace turns and mechanically walks into the Palace. ‘This is terrible... Everybody will know... Everybody will blame STATE... This will endanger STATE...’
> The filthy Seed has finally shown her true Face: the Face of Murder. We will have to end it.
[As is the Word of Jason A. the One]
The Bearer does not come down for dinner and neither does the Captain. Irene eats in silence, wondering if she had deduced rightly what had happened. Then, at last, Her Grace’s thought-voice: ‘You have deduced rightly, Irene, but the Captain will not want to hear just now. The Countess was a friend, a close friend in the past. Tell him STATE will be gone for a few days. Strand S. knows you would like STATE more present, but this cannot be. Trust STATE, Irene. STATE will contact you when finished. Then, we will finish organizing the CCAP.’
Irene nods, wipes her hands on her napkin and rises to return to her chambers, looking forwards to talking with Susan and having a bath.