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.“Components!” she sobbed and tearing her dress from her body she stood there naked.I was beginning to feel sorry for her and I knew this was a mistake.Under certain conditions, pity is as dangerous as a loaded pistol.For as I stared at her, she was so much like my wife, tall and blonde and weeping.(There I go playing the hypocrite again, Posterity.I was attracted by that naked woman.I have no excuses.The time I had spent in the Funhouse had weakened my character.As we say on the Reservation; leave a fresh mountain trout under the sun, and it’ll draw flies.)I walked over to her, thinking that I would console her, when the miracle happened, proving that Her Excellency and I were truly one.I heard words.They were my words but the One talking was not me.“Gladys Ellsberg, Her Excellency X=Y is as real as you are.Real even according to your own definition of reality.You depend on five senses, the five senses of life.Sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.Are your eyes more sensitive to light and darkness than Her electronic eyes? Your ears superior to Her audio-receptors? She can reproduce every voice he has ever heard, every fact and unfact.What are you Gladys Ellsberg, but a human being, and what is a human being but a terminal machine? What is the human ear but a funnel? The brain but a cerebral mechanism joined to the inner ear? The permanent neurons of the brain but an inbuilt transistor? Thought but a sound vibration? Poor creature of flesh so proud of your fleshly reality.You are real but there are other realities and other loves!”Before that remorseless logical Voice that was mine by proxy, Gladys gave up.She ran naked out of the room.I wanted to call after the poor woman.But then I shrugged.She would be no problem to anybody who might see her in the hotel — the Mayflower it was — or downstairs on Connecticut Avenue.People would think that she was merely exercising her privileges and rights under the 28th Amendment.1 Elaborate establishments featuring the alcoholic customs of the past.They included forest groves where the customers wore animal skins and drank mead like the ancient Teutons; palaces where they wore togas and guzzled like the Romans, etc.As Bangani (Barnum F.) sneeringly described their purpose: ‘You Drink, Don’t Think.’2 The R-Treatment of Rejuvenation was awarded every year during the annual debate on the Budget, by vote of Congress, to those three Americans who had served their country with the greatest distinction during the preceding fiscal year.The R-Treatment increased the life span to two hundred years approximately.Its recipients never aged but always seemed to be a permanent forty.This accounts for the unusually youthful eyes and voice of the M.E.Bangani I knew — for when Bangani (Barnum F.) had been surgically altered he had insisted on retaining his eyes and voice.1 A wingless motorless air projectile, more advanced than the atomic-powered planes.Its source of power was a reversal of the gravitational field.1 This area was mostly a belt of happiness factories, as they called them, where an endless variety of goods and gadgets were made.2 A rose-colored liquor guaranteed to produce pleasant animal hallucinations.1 Latin for fly death but a misnomer.The muscamortis attracted and killed mosquitoes.1 The Republic of Northern Kanada, as distinguished from Canada, had seceded from the mother country following a dispute over the division of profits from its famous Eskimo Elysium.1 The famous Albert Einstein formula for the equality of mass energy.2 Photo-Electric cells were no longer visible as had been the case even fifty years ago.1 An anti-laughter gas opposite in effect to laughing gas.Sold under the trade name SA or Serious Atmosphere and because of its color known as The Blues.2 Thank Univac — an expression used by the atheistic personnel in New City.Univac, one of the first of the Think Machines, in a sense was the creator of the later advanced Models.3 I learned later that the escalator was a superior type of Brain-Confessor, tapping not only our minds but also our stomachs.1 In New City, all bureaucrats, scientists and technicians had mechanized or as they boasted ‘Americanized’ their names.1 My hands were not burned or blistered.CH or Cold Heat, a physical self-neutralizing psychological thought-wave.It had been transmitted from the ankles into my brain.1 The liquore had been mixed with NAF or No After Effects, used by various drunkards who for various reasons wished to forego hallucination etc.1 The war between the States over the issue that in retrospect can be seen clearly as the ill-conceived concept of the South to perpetrate the use of human beings as machines.FIVE: LAST CHANCEI BEGAN the historic day of July 1st in the best spirits.No man could have been happier or prouder when, at eleven o’clock sharp, Bangani (Barnum F.) and I stood in the great hall where, only yesterday, Her Excellency the Minister of Police Affairs had given me a new sense of dedication.It was the same cathedral-like hall, but in an instant, it was very different.Before us a curtain of light arose from the black and white chessboard floor, a curtain that reached to the ceiling two hundred feet above our heads, a dazzling curtain that changed constantly from red to white to green to orange.It reminded me of the mushroom cloud at Paris-in-Miami, but here the wild distorted colors had the strangest effect on both Bangani (Barnum F.) and myself.We stood there in a silence punctuated only by the beating of the magicientist’s R-Treatment, aluminum heart.He glanced at me and I nodded as if to say: It’s Them.His lips shaped the word: Vindicated, and his burning eyes, those youthful and original eyes of his, shone in the wrinkled face of Dr.Bangani.Then, the great hall filled with music:‘Home, home on the rangeWhere the deer and the antelope playWhere seldom is heard a discouraging word …’It was startling to hear that snatch of music at that moment, and then I was grateful as no man has ever been grateful to a woman.That bit of music was my music, Our music, a reminder from Her Excellency not to be fearful.Almost immediately, two couches lifted up out of the chessboard floor and I really began to feel at home.With a sigh I stretched out on one of the couches.“Relax,” I said to Bangani (Barnum F.).“Silence!’ A Voice thundered from behind that flickering wild curtain of light, and I realized as I should have done before, that the light was pouring out of Their Eyes! The Eyes of the Court.“We have come to a decision!” the Voice continued [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]