Premiered 9/9/9 (9 September 2009)
The continuation of The Myth and Legend of D'PTah, an original novel by Dan Sewell Ward.
Feedback on the latest segments of the interim reports filed by Duenki and Gil (and notably the unaccredited, unacknowledged Anna) had been... ever so slightly negative in tone and content. There were these minor tweakings, those suggestions for the slightest of changes... Okay... the general gist was that they hated it. Everyone hated it. There were no exceptions. It was the most hated and derided document in the annals of archaeology.
In particular, the possible implications stemming from the events contained in the martyrdom sequence had apparently gone over... disastrously... with the members of the PROC and its related and some said fellow conspirators. There, of course, hadn't been any direct and argumentative criticism from anyone – perish the thought! There had only been implied indiscretions, possible lapses in judgment, hints of perhaps incomplete understanding of political correctness, and yet not a hint of something upon which a counter argument might be directed.
Reading between the lines of the official PROC reaction – the response in and of itself a masterpiece of obfuscation – suggested that within the description by Duenki and Meshga of the apparent rush by the ancient powers-that-were to martyr Johnny Ceal, that this description might, by extension, be construed to constitute a criticism of the powers-to-be of any other age (including the current one). Thus the PROC and its fellow authorities were now considering the latest interim report segments to be... ever so slightly... well... subversive. Obviously, anything that suggests the status quo is not the delight of the ages, a thing to be cherished, treasured, and above all, never to be changed in any manner... well... obviously, such a thing would be subversive. Equally obviously, such destabilizing and seditious ramblings as in the latest reports could not be ignored. There would have to be changes! Substantial changes.
The inescapable irony was that the PROC, et al, hadn't seen anything yet!
Thus the problem: How to complete the next two segments, and perhaps the third one still in the early stages of translation, post them into the appropriate channels from whence there was no return, no crisis editing, and no way to retract what had been carved into the stone edifices we call the schemas of our minds? That was the question. Meantime, there was, as always, that deepening abyss between those future, even more threatening reports, and the possibly shocking-revelations being included in the all important channel access to the rest of the modern world. For the moment, Duenki felt like he was walking the streets during One (fateful) Night in Bangkok .
Duenki and Gil had gotten away with channeling the previous reports into the system by using the imprimatur of Professor Simon Galiworthy, the only legitimate scientist among the visiting PROC members. Galiworthy was someone who assumed with great logic and rationale that all things should be reported as observed, and not in the more established traditions of science and research wherein the data would be massaged, manipulated, and modified to conform to the current fads and fashions of established doctrine. Simon had of course been soundly chastised for such thinking (and his resulting actions) and because of this could not be depended upon to make the same mistake a second time.
An open-minded observer can, perhaps, appreciate that one hand burned by the fire was more than enough for Simon. There was simply more interesting things to research, study and speculate upon – as opposed to putting up with bureaucratic nonsense and having to continually defend oneself from charges of heresy, incompetence, and the current favorite: misuse of grant funds. The latter was the real monster in that audits could be ordered on each and every one of Simon's former and current projects which had been funded by grant funds since time began. Accordingly, Simon could henceforth be assumed to be avoiding the risk of approving for publication, on the basis of science, anything in the future in which he was not fully vested. Simply put, openly confronting or challenging authority was not Simon's cup of tea. If there was ever to be a gauntlet thrown by Simon, it would be in the dark of night on a deserted street.
Anna Shamhat also had the same access as Simon, but inasmuch as she had insisted on being a ghost writer in the previous reports – no one being allowed to even suspect she had happily endorsed the previous reports... well... there seemed in the minds of Gil and Duenki little likelihood of Ms Shamhat stepping up to the plate and risking her exalted status at this juncture.
This state of affairs had Gil cursing the fates with an extraordinary command of the language of derision and outrage. He knew at least in part what was contained in the translations already in the queue, and he could only shudder at the thought that they might be heavily censored. But while Gil could only bemoan life in general, his underling, Duenki was diligently trying to maintain a precarious prayer – one which for obvious reasons, he could not share with Gil. Doctor Duenki could now be said to have a special relationship with Anna... okay a one night stand, but at least one of epic proportions! In Duenki's mind this might actually carry some weight. Men are often into making such incredulous assumptions. Sigh.
Anna was in fact scheduled to drop by Duenki's tent within the hour – not in the casual manner previously done, however, but now as the official pre-censor of the next reports... the ingredients of which had been very carefully kept from the others. The critical question was whether or not she would allow the following two segments to see the light of day; that is to say, whether or not she might cut her lover some slack. It was time for choosing sides!
Duenki was still reviewing the next segment, when Anna strode into his tent. Her attitude was respectful and professional, without a hint of extracurricular thoughts. As she and her one-time lover (to date?) exchanged trivial pleasantries and got down to business, Duenki leaned back to watch her as she began to read.
Room at the Top
In every age and epoch there are those in power who resist any threat to their power, no matter the form of the threat.
'Dang,' Duenki thought. Had he just seen Anna flinch? But she kept reading.
Not surprisingly, what we might call the merchants of ancient times were very loath to reduce their lives of power and privilege in order that those who slaved for them could have better lives. This is the traditional problem with any aristocracy. On the one hand, those born to and raised in luxurious life styles, are almost never motivated to stop and consider the justification or the reason why they are so blessed while so many others are not. All too often they assume and expect their exalted status as one of being their divine right, and that consequently they may live off the efforts of others purely because of their having been born to better circumstances.
Some aristocracies allow the common-born to work their way to the top and join in the privileges of the elite. While this may be seen as commendable, it does not necessarily imply an improved situation. The commoners by birth who achieve greatness are often even less likely than those born to power and wealth, to consider that they are entitled to the privileges of wealth and power for the reason that they have achieved it on what they believe to have been their own merits. They may even look down upon hereditary aristocrats as not having earned their position, whereas the ex-commoners have. The newly rich are also seemingly oblivious to the role blind luck might have played in their ascent, and are inevitably unwilling to acknowledge the considerable effort others might have expended in contributing to their achievements.
Aristocracies find it most expedient to ignore the lack of justification for their lives of excessive and extraordinary power over others. And therein also lies the problem with such members of the exalted elite. They often do not see the real potential for revolution, where those with little to lose rise up and attack those with everything to lose. But then again, as one King has observed, “the peasants have always been revolting!” 
Any human society or organization which promotes extremes in classes – with or without the possibility of intermediate ranks – does so at the price of a great deal of energy being expended purely to maintain socially stratified stability over long periods of time. Such expenditures of energy stem from the laws of entropy, wherein highly organized systems tend strongly to become less organized, and that furthermore only energy in its many and varied forms can prevent or forestall such impending chaos. Human systems, thus, obey the same laws as physical, biological and other systems. In many ancient societies, the rule of law was seen purely as a means of protecting private property from the mob. Considerations of entropy were notably absent – even when the physical laws had their way in the often traumatic end.
Human systems do, however, have a caveat. The inexorable Laws of Thermodynamics must include (to avoid proof of their irrelevance) information. Maxwell's Demon and similar theoretical arguments have demanded to be heard, seen, acknowledged, or to simply have their day in cosmic court. In all histories it is the control of knowledge and information that separates masters from slaves. Intelligence in its many forms is the lifeblood of every significant endeavor.
Even today, with peer review and other safeguards, there are always the necessities of information being restricted in its access to the well-developed media and such channels as Fox, Nightwolf, Trumpeter, Times-Herald, and what have you. Such authorities control the convenient links that allow the creators of new information, their discoveries and new insights, and access to the greater world outside the laboratory. In return, the PROCs tempt each creator of new knowledge with the means of a vastly improved outlet, only to subsequently exercise their rights to edit, spin, and otherwise modify. And then at the first hint of complaint, the right to cancel.
The mood of the serious seeker of knowledge has been to tolerate such activities. After all, is it really worth the time and trouble to become an amateur adversary against an organization with professional adversarial experts... and from whose ranks judges are inevitably drawn? And yet, if and when a series of research reports and entertainments are so routinely canceled, or warped into crap, how can a true scientist tolerate such organizations? Why even tolerate oversight groups by any name or reputation? In what way do they contribute to the quality of disseminated knowledge?
Clearly, any individuals who have no access to quality information, can often be unenlightened as to the reality of their class rankings,. Furthermore, any new thoughts and concepts that might pose a challenge to such class rankings, including the possibility for a reverse energetic response, i.e., a revolution... must be severely limited. The restriction of information flow thus becomes an energy dependent activity, but the amount of energy is often much less for simply maintaining armed guards at the gates. It is thus, for example, to the advantage of any aristocracy or ruling class to avoid calling attention to the fact that the elite are living such lives of opulence and luxury as they are, and thus unduly avoiding antagonizing the serfs and lower class.
We have delved into this brief segment of the theory of aristocracies as a prelude to many of the words and teachings of the Regency, wherein the subject is addressed with enough clarity to suggest that he well understood the machinations of the elite. For example:
This section of narrative ends at an extremely unfortunate point. Despite some considerable efforts to find the continuation of this statement, the next portions have to date not been forthcoming.
There is even considerable controversy by scholars and researchers as to the nature of the above fragment, its purpose, and unlike the possible play production aspect of the dialogues discussed previously, there is no clear indication of the manner in which the Regent was apparently attempting to present his ideas to the various peoples and tribes of the earth. Everything from written decrees to transcribed verbal presentations have been suggested. For the moment, however, we can only conclude that the given material is directly from the Regent.
Meanwhile, there are some additional, apparently later statements by the Regent which provide additional detail on the methods which he used to deal with the T'Lords – or as he referred to them, the aristocracy. One of the more intriguing is the fragment:
There are other fragments which further detail the changes imposed upon the T'Lords in the exercise of their control. However, these are from an entirely different source, do not contain any indication that the Regent was directing the imposition of such rules, and thus the information might not be considered to be direct evidence to support the legitimacy of the Legend of D'PTah. In fact, many of the directives and apparent edicts appear to be instituting structures and rules which to the modern mind seem almost intuitively obvious. Such directives, however, may have been deemed by the ancient minds to be shocking and even perplexing. The fact remains that resistance to the powers-that-be is a long-standing tradition as ancient as man... and inevitably this resistance is not always logical, rational, or particularly well planned or thought out. It just is.
A critical factor is always the cultural environment in which any such directives (or resistance) might have been initiated. Of particular importance is one comparatively complete document, one which resists definitive dating, but which sets the stage for actions almost incomprehensible by any but the most depraved beings. It has often been suggested that Homo sapiens was a composite of entirely different sub-species. While this seems to have no viable physiological basis, the fact remains that in terms of consciousness, there are extreme forms of humanity and virtually every gradation in between said extremes. As the race progressed from “Survival of the Fittest” to “Status of the Fittest”, the variations in Homo sapiens intelligentsia would clearly qualify for being different sub-species.
There is some evidence to assume for example that the timing of the Regency initiated efforts against the T'Lords were prior to the Johnny Ceal events and aftermath. There is also the suggestion that the Regency was no longer moved (at least to the same degree) by the plight of those choosing other realities. The assumption was that it was their choices, and thus by extension, their karma. They would be harvesting the seeds that they had planted. This dictate to choose, to make your decisions, and then accept the consequences are encapsulated by a momentary fragment believed to be a portion of a conversation between the Regent and his... for lack of a better term... chief of staff.
With this as a concluding remark by the Regent, we can also consider it as a preamble to yet another chronologically floating document, wherein choices were being made by key individuals – with the consequences yet to be determined.
May the Truth in All of its Glory Continue to be Pursued
M. A. Duenki
He'd been crawling all over the bed as my mouth and hands did their job to send him into the climactic moments. Soon enough, he'd gotten his jollies and I'd gotten my protein boost for the evening. Once he was done and his breathing had begun the process of slowing, I rose up and began to study him, my hands keeping everything of his in their proper place, all warm and moist. His eyes and body were still roiling in the aftermath, his body sweaty and hot from all of his minimal exertions. I now had him where I could do anything I wanted. My smile was a combination of “I'm so happy for your enjoying me” and “your ass is mind. Literally.”
Taking a deep breath and starting to focus, David decided it was time to communicate. “Melissa, we have to talk. There are some things you need to know.”
I almost groaned. I had no desire whatsoever to finally hear his sad tale, the heart breaking inability of never having been understood by his wife, that same wife who might be having romantic inclinations toward her boss – and because of which it was perfectly okay for David to screw every dame in town. She was possibly cheating with someone in power, thus justifying the motives for her husband to seek affection elsewhere and everywhere. I hate that shit, the wimpy bastard's plea of temporary insanity. But amazingly enough, that was not where he was going.
“Have you ever heard of ATSAS?”
I almost shit – and not in my pants, since they were on the other side of the room. This was going to be too incredibly easy! 'Of course, I had heard the term, you ignorant bore! It's apparently the biggest damn secret in this wretched town, but we can't find out anything concrete about it. A stinking, fucking mystery. Until now! And you're going to hand it over for a blow job? Jesus!'
In my calmest voice, considering the circumstances, I managed to ask, “You mean, Atlas?” I was still struggling to control my wonderment at his abject stupidity. I had to let go of his dick, lest I dig my fingernails into it – and thus cut off at the source, so to speak, of my very own 'deep-throat' connection.
“No. ATSAS.” For a moment he looked at my masked face – the one he would never learn to penetrate. Then he seemed to grow in stature and he came up on his elbows. “ATSAS. All The Ships At Sea.”
I was genuinely amazed. When in doubt as to replying without giving yourself away, the best route is to repeat his profound pronouncement, the proclamation he had just nailed on the church door. “All the ships at sea? What does that mean?”
That's when he told me about the Global Warming problem and the imminent threat of most of Antarctica and Greenland heading for melt down.
All I could think was, 'Heard that, knew that, let's move on, shall we? When it comes to Global Warming, whatever floats your boat, right?'
But then he followed it with some actual news: The Regency was taking the imminent threat of catastrophically rising waters very, very seriously. “They even seem to have a specific date when they're expecting it to happen.”
“What? How can they have a specific date? That doesn't make sense.” I probably should have kept my mouth shut, but I had to be sure David was not simply hallucinating.
“No clue,” was his response. “I just know that they think the Global Warming thing is real and it's going to happen by a specific date.”
For a minute, I just looked at David. Then something clicked in my mind. There had been bandied about by those in the know... something about a drop dead date for... something or another. No one knew what the date represented, but it seemed to be of enormous importance. Suddenly, another piece of the puzzle was falling into place. All the logistics and the tons of money flowing down to the sea, to the open arms of the sea... not to mention the port authorities, the unions, et al... was beginning to make sense. They were readying the ships -- ALL the ships to sortie to sea to preserve the remnants of the...
Oh shit! Who exactly were they going to preserve? Who precisely was going to get a ticket on the next tramp out of Dodge [pardon the pun]? Besides me, I quickly decided. It had just struck me that David was obviously interested in providing me with a berth close enough to his own for mutual convenience – Mother of mommys everywhere... what the guy would do for a blow job! But I could also wangle a berth with the Senator – he would be all over me when I brought him this news.
Unless of course the conniving shit had already heard of it, and inexplicably somehow failed to let me in on the secret. I'd have to play these cards very close to my lovely breasts. But I would play them, no matter what he had in his hole... so to speak.
David was going on and on, talking about us and the future, laying out the classic scenario of the brave knight screwing the maiden and then promising her salvation on the first ship leaving port. But as I looked at him, his eyes all bright and forthright, I knew that what I did not want under any circumstances was to depend upon David or the Senator. A third option – maybe even a fourth – would have to be aggressively pursued. Then a critical factor leaped into my consciousness. “How soon?” I asked.
David merely shook his head. “I don't know yet.”
'What a jerk,' I thought.
Obviously it was time for a rendezvous with my favorite Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He had initially shown some reluctance, as if he was leaving town for a very long weekend and just couldn't be bothered. People who are burning bridges behind them are often like that. But I pretended to know more than I did – and obviously couldn't talk about it over the telephone. Instead I had to plead massive horniness, our code word for serious shit to be discussed.
“I've got ten minutes,” Mick said when he entered our very special condo... our 'love nest.' My first thought was that ten minutes would have been a record for old 'quick release Mick'. My stomach churned, but I managed a weak smile, and immediately told him about ATSAS.
“Yeah, so I've heard,” he said. Then as an obvious afterthought, “That's the main reason I could make this meeting. I wanted you to know so you could pass on the information to the... group. Feel free to give them the whole story, and not just the quickie you've given me.”
“Absolutely,” I replied. What the heck did the clown mean about the 'whole story'? But now was not the time to show my ignorance. “Anything you want to suggest to them as how to deal with it?”
“Sure,” he said, not caring a tinker's damn for anyone else. “Tell them to find a secure location where the refugees and the mobs can't overrun them when 80% of the world's population heads inland to escape the rising seas. For me, I've a reserved suite at Mount Weather.”
And I thought David was dense! The rains are coming and this General Mick head is planning on holing up in a hole in the ground? Are you kidding me? You're going to have every possible luxury, save for the small detail of air to breathe when everything underground will likely be filling with water?
Misreading my incredulous stare, he added with just a twist, “Unfortunately, Mount Weather is already booked. There's no room at the inn for you, so you should be making your own plans.”
I only barely managed to ask, “My own plans...?”
“Let's face it, Melissa,” the bastard replied: “You're just not that good a fuck.”
There was a split second when I very nearly turned into the super hero Wolverine and slashed him to death with my nails. In the third second following his death defying stunt, I thought to suggest I give him a blow job for old times sake. I would not mention beforehand my fellatio fantasy of taking an ounce or two of flesh as a memento.
But the bastard was already out of the room, before I could even control my voice enough to make any kind of comeback. Ah, well, I thought. He'll get his soon enough. I can take the high road and know that my vengeance is in the hands of the fishes.
Still... I would like to have seen him take the proverbial bath... so to speak. Perhaps there are other things to make his short life a bit more miserable. Or just flat take him out and be done with it. 'Vengeance is mine, sayeth Melissa.'
 The Wizard of Id.
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