Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Necessary Revolution

Chapter four of Paxcatia is complete (at long last!) and will be here soon. Meanwhile, enjoy this story that's between chapters three and four- I suspect you'll enjoy it.

Last Days of Marconis
Prologue/Chapter 1
What's Worse?
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Necessary Revolution
by Jourdan Cameron

"Throughout human history, there's been a simple pattern: revolution, upheaval, rebirth, and a gradual decline into darkness, decay, and eventually revolution once more. Our world is slipping into the brightest darkness it has yet seen- the time has come for revolution yet again." I sighed inwardly- after a couple hours of preaching to a crowd of assorted power-hungry, warmongering fools- them, along with men who could be so easily assured of their worth- these and many others like them were gathered about me in an abandoned agricultural field- my audience finally seemed to be broken down by my argument. I decided it was time to show them the way. "People of Paxcatia, you've been trapped in the darkness far too long! This period of peace, tranquility, weakness and folly- it's given us no progress. We re-package the old and sell it off as the new, as innovation as we sink deeper into the mire of our own creation. For our nation to advance, we must topple it temporarily."
"But where do we start?" My words had finally purchased their hearts.
"Well, that's an excellent question." To be honest, I hadn't been thinking of the best way to start a revolution- does anybody, really? I fumbled about for a good response to this unusually quick-witted man...
"Much like a heart attack, we must attack this nation at its arteries- we strike their primary source of power first, their-"
"Trade routes!" Somebody else in the audience shouted, and I sighed, relieved- it was much better than my initial idea. Striking children wouldn't have made me particularly popular among the populace.
"That's right" I said, "Their trade routes. Seeing as our Paxcatian economy seems to be fueled by merit, the best thing we can do is stop incoming products- the people will have nothing worth working for. Now, any recommendations as to where we strike first?"

My name is Benjamin Rice, and this is my revolution. You received this file after passing an ancient agricultural structure- or at least the ruins of a barn that was built long, long ago. Perhaps by some miracle, the technology of today that so inundates the people of Paxcatia with a constant inflow of data will still be in use into the future long enough for the short-range transmitter relaying this message to bring it to you. I don't know what kind of people will one day read this, if any, but I do know that I will be vilified to no end. Maybe that's what's going to happen to me in the end- I'll be remembered by history merely as a destructive, deluded dimwit. Whatever the case is, consider this: Do you struggle for anything at all? Do you feel as if you have something to lose if you don't work hard right now? At the same time, do you feel like you have so much more to gain if you are to simply keep going- if you keep pushing a little harder? If not, I deserve to be a villain, for I have failed.

At this point, the crowd became much more willing to listen, and stirred by thought of action they paid close attention to my next few words.
"Paxcatia and her people have become soft, uninteresting, without character... They're so completely wrapped up in their own mundane affairs that they haven't come to the realization that their leader is a giant digital nanny with a thousand eyes and no heart. Black Ace knows only directives, not compassion, not ambition and yet somehow… in spite of knowing everything, it feels nothing. How can we, the people sit by idly as the shadow of the great foot inactivity, of stagnation and of filthy decay hangs heavy above our heads?"
"We can't!" came a woman's voice.
"Indeed" I shouted from atop my crate, nearly falling to the dusty floor after leaping with fervor, "and we shan't sit idly by- we'll trigger the revolution this nation so desperately needs. Now, perhaps we may get organized?"
Within minutes, it was unanimously decided. We'd strike the transport coming in tomorrow.
"I remember hearing about what's coming in tomorrow- it's a transport full of a new type of computer" said a tall, thin man with dark hair and skin.
"Yes, it taps into a user's nervous system, gathering data, processing it and feeding it to the user. The Neo-Tiddlu party- bless their existence- had fought against the existence of this technology for years. Now, it's coming straight for the homes and the hearts of Paxcatians."
"It looks like we picked a good time to strike" piped a person.
For a couple hours, we mostly talked among ourselves before we went our separate ways, to our homes and families. I stayed behind, writing this document.

Am I mad, sitting here in the shell of an old barn, hoping that one day my words, my thoughts will be known? Perhaps I'm insane to simply contemplate the idea that I could change the world by driving people to smash things like maddened animals, but perhaps not.
Perhaps I'm simply giving too much merit to my doubts.

Whatever the case, our assault tomorrow must be swift- I already suspect Black Ace has a clue as to what's about to happen- it's only a matter of time before the Paxcatian Peace Force is prompted to launch an investigation. What happens between right now and the dawn may decide the fate of the revolution and whatever future the Paxcatian people are to have.
This barn is an unusually cozy place for an abandoned building. As far as I can discern, it was built about a century and a half ago- Paxcatia had been at peace for a solid decade and growth in every sector of the market was rapid. for the people were eager to see the fruits of their labor. The new system built on merit was in full force, and somehow a good word was enough to secure a man good things- this barn was built solidly, with good wood and good words. A man had found a technique for growing trees that would produce unusually strong wood- but he had not the means to farm these trees en masse. Yet, through the merit system, enough people recognized his techniques as valuable, and the people united to gather the resources he needed, and with his guidance, his vision (and the visions of so many others) became reality. Thus, today, I can sit in a structure built lifetimes ago, penning words that may be picked read a lifetime later.
Of course, things slowly changed. The necessities came easier- there was no real need to fight, no need to struggle, no need to innovate as Paxcatia's government began to give more and more, and the people had reason to give less and less.
I merely want to see the growth, the innovation, the unbridled and bold creativity of those days when a man's good word was enough for good things- but a man's great word was enough for great things. So many of the Paxcatian people enjoy easy luxuries by feeding the parasites- far too many people are given far too much merit for stifling what could be growth and innovation.
History, I'm sure, will not remember me in a positive light. I probably will do ruthless, regrettable things, but may I never be remembered for giving handouts to the lazy. All I want is a world that's guaranteed not to slow to a syrupy, saturated stop.

You may wonder why I'd take such a violent, destructive route to revolution- wouldn't it merely be another in a long list of bloody conflicts and citizen uprisings? Indeed, it would be. Why not simply go to the government? Paxcatia's government is open to all seeking to accomplish grand scale goals- an overhaul isn't beyond the pervasive reach of party leaders. I ask you to look through history. You'll notice that nothing worth doing is ever done without a cost. The cost of a revolution is property, security, safety and lives. I believe it's a cost worth covering.
The revolution will buy us freedom through the greatest slavery man has ever known: necessity. Necessity that propels invention, creativity, innovation. If it is necessary to work in order to exist, then the people will choose to either work hard or cease to exist- this is what the revolution will bring.
It is necessary.

I'm extremely proud of my sister- she's been drawing a new picture every single day for the past few months in order to help our quadriplegic aunt. If you'd like to order a commission (you can get a really awesome custom cartoon avatar for your Facebook/Twitter account), check out her blog right over here.