WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER NOW
3PM, November 4th, 2121 CE, Eden Prime, United Asia, East Asia, Tokyo City, Celeste Private Medical Center, an elite healthcare facility a part of Toda Hospital, Room 731, Penthouse Patient Room
Father Dante awoke to find his left eye covered in bandages. He then realized his entire body is covered in bandages except his right eye which had third degree burns around his orbital socket. He noticed that when he blinked he had both of his eyes with lids, his left eye is only covered due to the severity of the burn around it. He moved his fingers, noticing that he still had all of them, he wiggled his toes as his toes wiggled a sigh of relief washed over him. The blinds were partially closed to block light onto the side of the room where his hospital bed is set where light escaped into the room adjacent from him, divided by an equal line of shade and solar illumination. He looked out the floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that he could see an immediate pillared balcony. Beyond that he saw innumerable high rise buildings towering in the distance on the horizon but immediately to vicinity beyond the balcony. The burned man saw beauty rare for this industrialized of a city as a flowing healthy river with a slight pasture of green on the side of what he presumed to be a hospital is an arboretum of verdant green fields on the other side of the river that had many cherry blossom trees growing in it. They were showering their cherry blossoms late this year for the petals were flying about the air, his eyes magnetized by this splendor of nature, the burned man amazed by this. He gazed for a while at the beauty that is the cherry blossoms during their autumn season.
He is shook from this relieving sight as he heard a clinking of metal which he averted his right eye to the source of the sound in the room of a building which he presumed to be a hospital room made for wealthy elitists due to the extravagant luxuries found in the room with how spacious it is with every sort of medical technology imaginable made readily available. Looking past the medical technology for cybernetics and opposite hospital bed diagonal to him in the room. Past all that he looked past, he saw a man who was in the hospital room with them. There sat in a luxury artificial leather black upholstery recliner is a man in his late thirties that appeared to be a devilish rogue of a man while cunning with an aura of enlightenment regarding wisdom to the systems of this society. This man had a sense of familiarity about him pertaining to a former deceased associate they had shared as a friend mutually.
The devilish man is of pure East Asiatic heritage, his face narrow, his eyebrows straight, his nose long and pointed with wide nostrils, wider lips, thinned lined eyes, the only thing not typical of his asiatic nature were his brilliantly radiant violet eyes and his naturally thick crimson spiky quills for hair. He wore a formal black suit with black tie and dress shoes, his white button-up shirt that isn’t tucked in. He carried a sheathed long menacing katana. The bandaged man sensed this man’s aura through his intuition that is filled with fear and wonder at how he had ended up here instead of passing from this world to meet his heavenly father as well as his blessed son.
“Awe, you’re finally awake Father Dante Aguilar, I see you’re enjoying the Arakawa River with the Arakawa Dabashi Ryokuchi Park across the way, nearly everything in this highly wealthy state of United Asia is owned by me, my name is Akuma Ren, I am the Chief Executive Officer of the Keiretsu-Yakuza, you may know me more popularly as Abbot Dogen in a past life but enough about me, I’d first like to thank you for helping my son Zen escape, despite the plan being thwarted, your goodwill still went rewarded, according to my knowledge, his whereabouts are unknown, still what is potentially and possibly giving your life to save my son is more than noble so it is in my best interest to save your life, to nurse you back to health, however if I had known, I wouldn’t haven’t been overwhelmed by a certain confusion when we had discovered you, Father Dante, while you were here recovering, I had taken the liberty to be undergo every Homo Nexus modification update necessary, even getting my hands on a Quantum Autonomous Cerebral Computing Enhancement, we shared this room, while I had my procedure, nurses tended to your injuries and damages, in case you were wondering Father Dante, while I improved upon my modifications I had had since ten years ago but as my son Zen taught me, it is always good to wake people up to the reality of this world and especially their world, so if you don’t mind Father Dante, I will remove your bandages, I have a mirror on the nightstand to show you the damage down by projectile rounds and projectile incendiary rounds,” Akuma Ren stated.
Father Dante nodded, he grunted with his raspy voice an affirmation of, “Alright.”
Akuma Ren approached Father Dante, he strapped his Masamune razor sharp asteroid metallic alloy combined with diamond hardened diamond dust in the forging of the blade with asteroid metallic alloy sheath. The sheath is ornate with decorations of Shinto Japanese mythology. He put the sheathed katana into an artificial leather sling that is slung across his back as he walked over to Father Dante. Father Dante braced himself for the deformities afflicted unto him by horrendous burns. As Akuma Ren began unraveling the multiple layers of wrapped bandages and gauze from Father Dante’s face, Akuma Ren implored Father Dante on the beliefs of his faith.
Akuma Ren asked in hesitant inquiry, “So Father Dante Aguilar, you are a Jesuit of the old faith of Catholic Christianity, I, myself am a Buddhist, I was able to find out a treasure trove of information regarding your religion but tell me, what is it that you believe?”
“The gist of it Akuma Ren, my brother, is that there is a God who created the universe, a universe fallen from its original glory that made this world a place of discord and chaos that their prophecy made by the Jewish people who inhabited Mesopotamia in their land of Judea, their prophecy stated that a man anointed by God would bring peace unto the world and this man would be the messiah, I believe that this messiah is eternally returns in Humanity’s darkest time but those stories of antiquity were fables, I believe you Zen van Nihil to be the real deal commissioned be the true messiah undeniable to us in Humanity which makes Zen a threat to the Gardenia as the teachings I cling to taught me of a divine, I still believe in,” Father Dante rasped as loud as his hoarse voice could assert his words to state the contents of his soul.
“Well, Zen spoke of Friend as if he were this same God you speak of, we truly know this being as the Great Architect, Zen is a Sovereign on the Saturnia Great Commission, Zen told me before he disappeared,” Akuma Ren added his input while nodding his head in gaining a sign of understanding his friends beliefs better before continuing, “Do you share the same sentiments that the Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodoxes shared about cybernetic enhancement of a Human being?”
“Yes, all Jesuits and Christians on Autonomous Zones share this sentiment, however my close friend Father Ignatius Shepherd, God rest his soul, is the exception and the anomaly to this rule for his cybernetics came when he had successfully been accepted into the Gardenia’s Protectorate, he past the physical and mental genome analysis to become a Wraith in the Guardian Special Activities Division of the Gardenia Protectorate in its most Elite Special Operations Command of the Gardenia Protectorates Intelligence Officers involved in the Gardenia Armed Forces. A Wraith cybernetic and biological enhancements as well as genetically engineered modifications. Father Ignatius Shepherd maintained his cover as a Chaplain in the Cosmic Church Celeste but was truly a Jesuit who believed in Christianity, when he retired he took dual occupation of an agent for the Guardian Intelligence Organization as well as his involvement with being quickly promoted to Monsignor of the Cosmic Church of Celeste while maintaining his status of being an asset to the Gardenia’s Protectorate as a field agent who worked within the Cosmic Church of Celeste, I, however like all true believers in God’s perfect image of the Human being pertaining to not meddling with the flesh and the machine remain pure for I have abstained from any cybernetic modification that would classify me as a Homo Nexus.” Father Dante spoke to his fallen brother in faith as he was regaining his voice, he was announcing and accentuating his words like he normally would.
Akuma Ren had finished unwrapping the bandages and gauze from Father Dante Aguilar’s face.
“Well Father Dante, this is the damage that has been done to your body,” Akuma Ren stated bluntly.
Akuma Ren grabbed the mirror from off the nightstand to show to Father Dante. Father Dante braced himself for the deformity that is his image that he had known his whole life. an image given to him by God and taken away by evil men.
“Surprise,” Akuma Ren said with dry sarcasm that lacked any sort of condescending humor to it.
Father Dante peered at first to brace for the horrors of his new image then he gazed in stricken terror. He couldn’t believe it. Father Dante couldn’t believe it. He began to cry, sob, shake then panic. He was having a mental breakdown. What Father Dante is seeing is not the man he had known his whole life but the entity behind the man, his true self. Beneath the melted flesh is not bone, vein or muscle. It is metal, wires, and synthetic aesthetic. Father Dante is neither a Homo Nexus, nor is he ever a Homo Sapiens. Father Dante regained himself to gaze at himself to accept it for what it is. The right side of his face had most of the small patches of synthetic aesthetic flesh left that hid him under the guise of being Human but the rest is pure metallic skeleton with wires, rods, steel teeth, his nose is nothing but two steel slits where sensors for analyzing scent were placed. His ears were built in lobes like a satellite receiving audio transmission. His right eye represented that of his grey blue eye, his left eye is a solid blue visual-interface for his Homo Synthetic computing engine that is what he thought, his own brain. Father Dante calmed himself by mouthing the serenity prayer.
Akuma Ren grabbed Father Dante’s hand which Dante sensed is Akuma Ren’s human flesh grabbing his steel hand. Akuma Ren is silent in reverence with his head downcast as he held the mirror to allow Father Dante to realize the truth of his existence that everything he ever knew about himself may have been a lie. Akuma Ren raised his head after he had heard Father Dante had calmed and accepted this fact for he is now acclimated to being a Homo Synthetic as his illusion of Humanity as a flesh-and-blood Homo Sapien had been crushed.
“Father Dante, now you know the truth about yourself, you are still one of God or the Great Architect’s creatures, you have sentience therefore you have a soul, you are a person just as I am for all life is precious and I love you my brother for sacrificing yourself to save my world, to save the boy I raised for eight years, Zen van Nihil, you are my messiah Father Dante, there is a heaven for you after all the wondrous good you do, you being a Synthetic changes nothing and I love you more than most of those I call my brother in the Human race.”
Father Dante had tears streaming from his eyes which is simply a saline solution that absorbed salt and harvested water from hydrogen and oxygen components in the air. Despite Father Dante shedding his tears, he is not sad, he is honored, he had his Humanity restored by Akuma Ren.
Akuma Ren patted Father Dante on his hand reassuringly, “You are an individual made in God’s image regardless of dogmatism. Devotion is the heart of Dogmatism, Skepticism is the heart of Criticism. The one that wins is the one you feed.”
They had a moment of silence.
Akuma Ren spoke, “Father Dante were going to restore your aesthetic with some slight quirks to your appearance to hide your old self, upgrade your systems and technology to make you better than ever, you are the same great person you are and you deserve to be made physically greater as a repayment for helping Zen, you’ll be able to live a normal life as a Human being on Earth, since the laws against Homo Synthetics of your caliber of Humanity is banned here on earth for you are viewed as servants, not sentient here on the planet earth, you’ll probably have to go by a slightly different name, you’ll start fresh, all expenses paid as for me, I have to find Zen,” Akuma Ren stated despondently.
Father Dante Aguilar arose declaring, “You get me those upgrades and new aesthetic but I am not changing my name, my name is Dante Aguilar, Father or Not, it doesn’t matter anymore in the context of the Cosmic Church of Celeste for I will always have my faith in Christianity. As for finding Zen, consider me your greatest ally, consider me your newfound best friend and brother Akuma Ren as for you and me in our mission to get Zen van Nihil back, please consider us united unto death in our mission by Zen and his Friend as our divine purpose and calling for we are in this together now.”
Akuma Ren’s faint smile grew into a grin as he hugged Father Dante Aguilar as his friend and brother.
Akuma Ren assured with vigor by honor in the newfound brotherhood, “We’re in this together now my friend, we’re in this together now.”
Akuma Ren released his embrace as he left the room to assemble his salary doctors who would not mention a word of this to anyone in fear of dishonor. Father Dante knew blessed redemption to be the most sacred thing in this realm of existence. The concept known as serendipity as Doctors and Nurses specializing in cybernetics entered the room to perform the procedure. Father Dante picked out a face similar to his own with slight modifications to change the facial recognition software on the surveillance that haunted every major city corner then the procedure began.
12PM, November 5th, 2121 CE, Eden Prime, United Asia, East Asia, Tokyo City, Celeste Private Medical Center, Penthouse Patient Room.
When Father Dante Aguilar awoke, he is completely engrossed with dermatitis, regardless if it is synthetic or not. He felt happy, a smile spread across his face. He sat up grabbing the mirror to look at himself in the mirror. There he is looking to be about the usual old Father Dante Aguilar but more handsome than ever. He is proud of his metamorphosis and thankful to the Great Architect for this day. Serendipity had paid off and the lord had answered his prayer to find his serenity. Dante put the mirror down, he found a all-black suit with a set of dress shoes, instead of a tie there is a white priestly collar. He got up, throwing off the scrubs and putting on his favorite garb that Akuma Ren must have picked up for him. As soon as he is dressed he notices Akuma Ren on the balcony drinking a mixed drink and smoking a cigarette.
Father Dante walked to the glass sliding doors where he opened them. On the balcony is lawn furniture as well as a bottle of vodka and cranberry juice on ice on one of the balcony furniture stands. Akuma Ren offered Father Dante a Dreck brand cigarette with the courtesy of helping himself to the Cape Cods in the form of the stack of five tumblers with the combination of vodka and cranberry juice. Father Dante helped himself in the most effective and rushed sense of needing a celebratory drink in his entire life. Once Father Dante had been acclimated to the celebration of his new life he walked over the stone pillared balcony countertop that they cheered their Cape Codes by the clinking their glasses to look at the now in complete flight of cherry blossoms which filled the air in front of them from across the river.
“Welcome back Father Dante Aguilar,” Akuma Ren grinned at his friend.
“It’s good to be back Akuma Ren, thank you so much,” Father Dante exclaimed mirthfully.
“Thanks is all for you my friend, I’m just happy to see you happy.”
Father Dante sighed with relief of the complete alleviation of any suffering he could be enduring.
“So technical talk aside Father Dante,” Akuma Ren said, “The Homo Synthetic agent the Quadragon Keiretsu-Yakuza is only remade and reformed with the best of the cybernetic enhancements of our making and the cutting-edge of Negative 0, I could go great into detail about the improvements on your being as a Synthetic but you’ll find those out from experience Father Dante, now if you are serious about helping me find Zen van Nihil or if you plan on cashing out your chips, either is fine by me, this is just my way of repayment to you Father Dante.”
“No Akuma Ren, we’ll find our friend Zen van Nihil, we’ll get him back, we’re friends of Zen, therefore we are friends, Akuma Ren, we’re in this together now.”
Akuma Ren simply celebrated with Dante by clicking his glass to which they then both drank deeply at that sentiment. Smiling at the thought of getting their beloved friend Zen back into the fold that is their lives. Smiling in silence, they enjoyed their drinks till they were drunk, sharing the pack of Dreck cigarettes till it is empty from the comfort of the lawn chairs, enjoying the cherry blossoms which flew from the field across the river into the sky.
ZEN VAN NIHIL
2PM, November 5th, 2121 CE, Eden Prime, Great Mother Celeste’s Sanitarium.
Zen sat on the couch in the dayroom where he as well as his fellow patients were watching a documentary about the long life of one of the recognized fathers of the revolution that led Eden Prime to the society it is today. This is one of the shows not altered or doctored to tell the story of this man who helped the ideals of Soviet Union born Communism become a reality that would give rise to the United Socialist States of America’s revolution in 2020-2030 CE, after the civil-war that incited a change in governance as through revolutionary force, the democratically elected President Julian Cavendish, rebel leader turned leader of the republic known as the United Socialist States of America or simply the USSA. The Soviet Union and USSA would soon become the Eastern Bloc and Western Alliance which would be averted by the Great Mother Celeste, the goddess which had mothered Humanity and invisibly guided Humanity throughout its history in its existence but when complete annihilation is inevitable made her presence known. Some of those watching the documentary put some belief into that claim while remaining skeptical, some of them doubted, and some had mixed-feelings about it. No one is certain in this room but the most uncertain of such a claim is Zen van Nihil which he voiced loudly.
“Bullcrud,” Zen exclaimed aloud.
The rest of the room laughed with Zen for speaking his mind at what they were all already thinking but Zen isn’t afraid to speak the general consensus. The other patients had already grown to like Zen for his honesty, he had a sense of allure being the only ridiculously different looking person here with a skin condition that is similar to albinism, his notoriety as a terrorist did nothing to shake them for technically, they all were to a certain degree, Zen just decided to go hard before he went to hell. He had made friends with Nathan and Ophelia two who he had made very close friends with. Ophelia sat next to Zen on the couch, Ophelia had her legs outstretched over Zen’s legs, Nathan sat in a recliner to Zen’s right, his legs outstretched onto a ottoman, he is trying sleep but couldn’t due to the stimulant Doctor Miles Verstehen had him on. Zen is going to meet with the same doctor within the hour as the credits to the show played a bump at the bottom of the screen halving the holo-projection they were watching. A cartoon stylized animation of a sloth advertising for one of the many ‘new and revolutionary’ to use the bathroom.
Zen thought to himself, “The only thing new and revolutionary about this is the same thing about all EisenHaus products that you can wipe your arse with it and flush it down the drain.”
Zen began laughing aloud as the sloth began talking about how plush and soft it is compared to its so hated competition or ‘rivals’ which part of the EisenHaus marketing strategy made sure to mention but never name specifically, just ‘rivals’. At this realization, Zen began to feel a little creeped out by how ominous these EisenHaus commercials were in the scare tactic market campaigns which most of these commercials played on real life horrors, by the end of the commercial break, the piece de resistance is the final commercial during a break, it is always praying on the worst fears any Human could have, instilling this magical thinking that if you didn’t buy EisenHaus products someone close to you would die in a freak accident but yet be your fault, you’d catch a life destroying illness or disease that if you thought badly about other people or anything at all then Celeste would hate you, all of these things were portrayed skillfully in the commercials which were desentizing everyone who watched the Holovision, these commercials only happened twice an hour but Zen knew he could just leave the room before the progression into the abyss that is being broadcasted through the ‘Hell-oh-vision’ got any worse.
‘Everything in the commercials is owned by EisenHaus, the shows were brought to us by EisenHaus, even our nightmares were owned and brought to us by EisenHaus’ Zen thought to himself as he asked Ophelia to pardon him from the room.
“Excuse me Ophelia,” Zen said.
Ophelia obliged him so he could get up and dart to the door, turning the handle, he hit the open door button which the door slid open immediately, allowing his escape from the Holovision of Horror. He turned and looked back as he darted towards the arts and crafts room where they were being creative and crafting. Zen walked into the room to see it filled with people of all ages, mostly older folks, the only person in the room with him is a gorgeous young woman sitting alone, Zen knew that he must get a closer look at this magnificent specimen so for camouflage he grabbed a couple of pencils and asked the arts and crafts therapist for scratch paper.
“Oh hello Zen, I didn’t know you were the creative type?” She asked rhetorically.
“Well I am, is that a problem?” Zen asked sarcastically.
“No, not at all, my name is Georgia, you’ll be needing an eraser if you’re going to be sketching but I’ll need that back also here’s your own personal sketchbook to keep, when you fill that up, I’ll give you a new one since you’re a long term patient with a chronic illness, I bet you’ll be needing plenty of those.”
“Thank you,” Zen said then added under his breath sarcastically, “For reminding me how long my rehabilitation is supposed to be.”
The Art Therapist Georgia didn’t hear his comment as Zen walked away with a calm demeanor to the table where the beautiful young woman Zen had seen is sitting alone, pulled out a chair at the table asking as he sat down, sitting at a ninety degree turn from her right.
Zen asked politely yet with dry wit of self-explanation, “Is anyone sitting here?”
“No.” she said shyly.
“Alright, good,” Zen said, raising his eyebrows, opening the book and commencing to draw.
Zen would only look up from his sketchbook to take quick unsuspecting glances at this woman to draw a realistic portrait of her with only pencil and eraser into a sketched out drawing.
“What’s your name?” Zen asked in a kind tone.
“My name is Sophia Sciencia,” she spoke in a certain coy tone that denoted clever humor, a smile on her face, a chuckle in her breath for all Sophia knew about Zen.
Sophia is drawing the red vase filled with synthetic flowers that were a mixture of violets, lilies, and roses upon the wooden table into a watercolor painting that is very vibrant and colorful. Zen could see her painting skills and enjoyed it thoroughly but his realistic sketch portrait of Sophia is kept hidden from her for the duration of their conversation. Sophia Sciencia is a very beautiful fair skinned caucasian woman with long locks of vibrant fiery red hair, she is nineteen years of age, she had a lively wild-eyed gaze that seemed to capture all. Her face is rounded yet she is of a voluptuous yet athletic build bringing out a carnal nature in Zen he had never experienced before in any life towards any desired being, this being the feminine form of lustful allure alone. She had rounded ears, her lips a naturally bright pink, she had an ideally small nose with the tip of it being a slight point among her well-defined cheeks and jawline of her rounded face that glowed with a medium-fair complexion. She peered into Zen’s eyes biting her lower-lip, the look of wanton passion filled her violet eyes matching his flirting to show he pleased her desired implications. She masked her breaths then gazed at Zen without expression.
“Aren’t you going to ask for my name?” Zen asked Sophia inquisitively.
“I know who you are,” she sucked on her bottom lip as a reflex.
“Oh,” Zen let out a slight groan of bewilderment for everyone knew him yet he did not know himself.
“Relax Zen or Mr. Outsider as some of the medical professionals around here have told you that’s what you like to be called,” She laughed, “My name is Sophia Sciencia, I’m non-judgemental, I have no room to judge,” she laughed hilariously at that before quickly regaining suddenly then continuing, “in fact when you were in the news reports on the Holovision, I kinda thought you were weird guy who didn’t like society, a weird guy who is kinda cute and is kind of a fan of yours who may have obsessed about you, cutting trimmings out of newspapers, maybe even going as far to erect a shrine in my closet where I worshipped you,” She laughed to herself at that last bit denoting that most but not all of what she said as truth, “in fact many people, including many people here think that the government of the Gardenia sucks horribly that those Utopian Party members and loyalists who you killed were necessary evils needing to be vanquished, Zen even in your bombings, you never killed any children or innocent people, only a super-genius and mastermind could pull that off without even being there, unless you have magical powers then I take back my comment about you being a super-genius and mastermind,” She laughed more at that last comment.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that I got lucky or I just instinctively knew how to do it, like something deep inside me is guiding me, I’m not talking about psychosis, I’m talking about something more animal or primal, I always thought of it as nature’s way to restart the system, Humanity is becoming too weak, too frail, too herd-minded, I thought by doing what I was doing I would cull out the weak to save the strong, by culling out the mindless I would save the freethinkers, by culling out the stubborn authority figures, I would incite change, by culling out all those who couldn’t adapt in this change and bring a new order to our world, when I would dress as the Outsider and do those horrible things, I would do it in all black with the mask I am universally known as, the one they call the Outsider, I would go on diatribes in that mask in front of an audiovisual recording system to be broadcasted to the cyber-web through heavily encrypted systems in the deepest matrices of the cyber-web to be broadcasted, sometimes before and sometimes after an attack, I’ve done a lot of things people would regard as bad but that’s relative, my understanding is that I was doing Humanity a service in its Autonomous Zones as a lone wolf intergalactic terrorist.” Zen said emphatically drawing more quickly, his sketch is shaping up nicely, he felt a tinge of pain at his words for something inside him felt they weren’t right that what he had admitted about himself isn’t actually true that these memories were never his memories, never were they a reality.
As Zen finished drawing he gazed out the window, in which time-and-space around him began to stand still, Zen looked around quickly into the world, every living thing around him had color to it, the rest of the room had faded into an amalgamation of a shade of grey only revealing the shape, form, and spatial recognition to his eye as he is gazing out the window, he noticed that the immediate vicinity around the megacomplex is authentic but the skyline and everything else is peculiar, he couldn’t quite place it.
A voice spoke to Zen, “Zen, this is your Friend, the one you met in the beginning, I am the one who drives you, I am the one who guides you, believe me as your Friend when I say this Zen that everything around you may be a false reality which you have been tricked into believing, this is all an illusion, this is all a bad dream you will wake up from, Zen, I’m your Friend, trust me when I tell you to have faith in yourself and if not yourself then me, if you cannot have faith in me then believe in yourself, never stop believing in these two things and although you may think I am deceiving you, I am trying to help you but first you must help yourself, take my words of wisdom to heart for although you may believe yourself to be an absolute fool, you are in fact the wisest among men, only the wisest among men know themselves to be absolute fools,” this voice is the same as before as Zen looked over everything surveying the calm stillness to it all.
“Who are you?” Zen asked aloud.
The voice is warm and kind as it is earlier, it had a sense of familiarity to it that Zen hadn’t known according to his knowledge of this reality he found himself in. Zen didn’t know what to make of it but due to his current circumstances he felt as though he should trust it.
The voice spoke again, “I’m your friend, so you may simply call me Friend, I was your friend before anyone else in this world so that is what we are, you are not a madman or a monster, you are just troubled by your situation which nearly every being among your species is troubled, they may need someone who is liberator and enlightener such as yourself to help them realize the trick that has been played on them, goodbye Zen, we’ll talk again soon.”
This sudden stop in the flow of time-and-space ended as the world around him returned to its normal color and bustle of motion. Zen blown away by this is reeling as he looks at the sketch he is just making, it is just as he drew it, a perfect realistic sketch of Sophia Sciencia.
“Zen, Mr. Zen van Nihil?” A nurse said they had walked into the arts and crafts room looking for him.
Zen knew it was time for his appointment with the head of psychology, Doctor Miles Verstehen. Zen wrote a personal note on the back and signed his name in the bottom right corner of the page bearing the drawing as ‘Zen van Nihil’ before tearing the page out and sliding it over to Sophia Sciencia, the drawing laid face-down as Zen got up and walked out of the room with the nurse to go see the doctor. Zen gave back the eraser and pencils to Georgia the arts and crafts therapist while keeping the notebook, the nurse stood in the door as Zen did this then the nurse led Zen down the hall to his appointment with Doctor Miles Verstehen.
Sophia looked at the note on the back of the sketch which said, “To Sophia, my biggest and best fan of all time, love Zen, P.S. My room is in 432A if you should ever want to find me,” she flipped the sketch paper over the thick piece of paper. A realistic and almost photographic sketch of her with pencil is drawn, she is blown away by the precise details in the drawing. She is posed with a smirk on her face with ink brushes going over her painting with watercolor painting to her left. Her heart melted as she tucked the sketch drawing into her bosom as she wept tears of joy as the euphoria hit her, she looked back down through tear veiled eyes at the sketch that is drawn by such a talented creative, she never knew that the man known as Zen van Nihil is such a great artist.
“What a weird and lovely man,” Sophia declared to herself.
After Zen had dropped off his sketchpad in his room with the nurse following him, monitoring his every move. Zen and the nurse were walking down the vast quarter mile long halls, turning the corner after corner until they reached their destination where the department where a vast network of clinical halls where medical tests on patients were practiced to the offices of the Doctors and Therapists were found. These offices were where troubled patients met with Doctors and Therapists from all of the blocks, each block had their own immediate team of Doctors and Therapists but this section is for the high-profile or truly disturbed patients.
The nurse knocked on a door that is ajar, the nurse asked, “Doctor Verstehen, Mr. Zen van Nihil is here for his appointment, I thought I’d let you know, shall I bring him in or are you busy at the moment?”
“Yes, yes, go right ahead, bring him in, I’ve been expecting him, where did you find him, is he hiding?” Doctor Miles Verstehen asked as if Zen were a small mischievous child who had been hiding from his discipline.
“No Doctor Verstehen, he is in the arts and crafts room sketching,” the Nurse replied.
Zen walked open the door so he could come into the room.
“Please shut the door behind you Mr. Outsider.”
“Okay, Doctor Verstehen,” Zen replied, shutting the door smoothly.
“Please take a seat Zen,” Doctor Verstehen said motioning to the two chairs in his office.
Both the patient chairs were angled in such a way that either one would give the same direct view of Doctor Verstehen, just angled differently and spaced apart by three feet and six inches approximately. Doctor Verstehen’s office had the magnanimous regalty of that of an executive of a corporation at the penthouse level suite, if madness sold Doctor Miles Verstehen would own the monopoly on the maladies of its production and service of treatment, an elegant yet studios large oak desk that smelled of a man who enjoyed fine bourbon and expensive cigars, upon his desk is a very small computer tower two small projectors for Holomonitor and tactile friendly hologram keyboard used for typing, his chair is cushioned with actual leather, innumerable degrees from various places of prestigious places of academia in the Gardenia adorned his backside to show off his accomplishments, Zen remarked in his thoughts at this display of ego as what is on Doctor Verstehen’s wall as this man’s, “I love ME wall but I am compensating for other aspects of my life in which I am lacking wall,” this man had fine wooden cabinets that went along the corners of the wall in the right corner on a six foot rise in the room were more cabinets, a sink built into these cabinets with a fine marble countertop, a sink sat upon the countertop as well as bottles and fumidor of what Zen knew to be fine bourbon and expensive cigars, there is also an island on the rise with more fine cabinets built into its base onto the same matching fine marble countertop, the room had floor-to-ceiling windows that wrapped around the curve into Doctor Miles Verstehen’s bachelor loft, behind Doctor Verstehen which is accessible by the rise is a door that led to a private bathroom which probably had a the most luxurious of toilets and sinks for biological iste disposal as well as the afterward sanitation, yet Zen figured Doctor Verstehen is probably the kind of man who also washed his hands before iste disposal, he noticed the feng shui of the room especially the correlation between the bar, the ‘I love me’ wall, and the bathroom, with Doctor Verstehen sitting in front of all of it. Now Zen didn’t have an inherent problem with Doctors, he just had a problem with this one in particular. Something his intuition stated that there is more to this man than what meets the eye, this man is an authority figure, not in traditional or classical sense but in the, I am your master, you are my slave, I own you Zen van Nihil, just like all your fellow patients, I am your king, kowtow to me, sense of authority whereas Doctors are generally naturally respected for their profession of helping people for they are the priests of Humanity and the philosophy of Humanism whereas this man is something else but Zen knew himself to be a man of doubt and would listen to his ability of logic and reason in dealing with this man.
“How are you today Zen? Are you better than earlier this morning when you emerged from the Mind Computer Ultra pod when you had your initial brainscan?”
“Yes, I am much, much, very much better than how drained and groggy I was after the initial scan but I’m better known.”
“That’s good, how have you been getting along with your roommate Nathan Carys?”
“He’s a cool guy, probably one of the first friends I’ve made in a long time,”
“Have you made any other friends?”
“Yes, Ophelia Sunflower, she’s really cool, very accepting and friendly person,”
“I was talking to Sophia Sciencia in arts and crafts, she’s something else,” Zen said with cool and coy remark, “she’s a weirdo like me and I dig it but then again, who isn’t weird in this place, even the people who run it are a little strange and out of place, this whole place is peculiar.”
Doctor Miles Verstehen looked up from the notes he is jotting down on loose sleeves of paper with Zen’s preexisting files from Utopian News Network media speculations on his character to every analysis known to the Human race from a professional standpoint on the mental state of this Zen van Nihil in particular, with one file currently open as his current documentation for the first one out of many to come for his treatment and rehabilitation here at this insane asylum known as Great Mother Celeste’s Sanitarium. This by all accounts is an insane asylum. The location for this madhouse is from the outside window appears to an enormous facility tucked away somewhere in the northern part of the west coast of the state of the United Socialist States of America in North America on Humanity’s homeworld of earth. Zen observed this peculiarity from his chair as he began to imagine the freedom of running free through those woods out of this prison.
“Mr. Outsider, Mr. Outsider,” Doctor Verstehen called a despondent patient before he roared, “Zen!”
Zen snapped back to Doctor Verstehen, “Yes Doctor?”
“Who else have you made as friends?”
“Everyone here seems to me like my kind of crowd, especially the ones so doped up on the meds you give them that they can’t stop drooling or rocking back and forth, the ones pleading for things to get out of their head, you know, those people happen to be the most enlightened people I have ever met that’s when their meds are working or are not working because that stuff that happens to them always happens after you give them the drugs which is counterproductive to psychiatry, these people have issues don’t get me wrong, you may have mislabeled these issues to make them even more quote unquote crazy.” Zen said doing obligatory air-quotes with his hands and telling what he had observed.
“Zen, I’m going to level with you, I thought you were just the psychotic type but I was wrong, from your video-blogs released before and after a terrorist attack and sometimes just for the sake of ranting and raving like the paranoid homicidal lunatic you are, I thought that after a simple five years minimum as the standard for most patients in here that we could let you go and get on with your life but I was wrong, dead wrong!” Doctor Verstehen continued as he fired back at Zen.
Zen’s proclamation had stung Doctor Verstehen, his declaration of his empirical observations of this rehabilitation center or insane asylum or whatever you want to call this bedlam hit Doctor Verstehen right in the ego.
“Zen do you know what a paranoid psychosis coupled with malignant narcissism with antisocial tendencies specifically aimed at figures of authority is?”
“What?” Zen said sarcastically, mocking the tone of an idiot.
“It’s what you are Zen that’s your diagnosis my friend, you are what we call a ‘paranoid psychotic malignant narcissist with antisocial tendencies specifically aimed at figures of authority’ an antiquated term which no Human has had in a hundred years but that’s what you are, a psychotic psychopath, now tell me my friend Zen, do you just feign that you care for these people or are you just in it for the big payoff, exploiting everyone and everything around you, you are a highly-evolved parasite suckling at the teet of society in it’s peaceful trepidation of you and your existence, you are a sociopath, the first of the last, your paradise is lost, let me show you where it can be found, Zen, who are your friends, where do you call home, where are your friends,” Doctor Miles Verstehen roared thunderously at Zen, each word accentuated with the rapport of a venomous blade being stuck in him.
Zen’s facial expression had changed to a sour look of repulsion as the label hit him, the label was negating him. Something about that phrase involving paradise involved a tremendous ache in Zen with the statement that followed, something about paradise being lost and found is putting him through hell.
Zen regressed back through a lifetime to a prior life where he knew the numinous awe of friendship and bonding with a being known as Friend, the first of all friends to all beings in existence. Zen sensed Friend warming the cold numbing void flowing through him from Doctor Miles Verstehen’s words. Friend isn’t going to allow Zen to be dealt such a hand so he gave Zen the strength to answer with his true self.
Zen answered in a timid way of being with a tame innocence noting his regression to this life when things were not so troubling to him, “No, I actually care about these people, I feel like I belong here, I feel like I’m finally among friends again after what seems like a lifetime of fighting, slaughtering, and what I thought is justifiable disobedience to the laws and customs of the Gardenia, I am starting to see the errors in my ways, I’m sorry in particular to a man named Yuri Kafka, he is a troubled being along with me, he sowed many seeds of discord in the world and he and his friends were troubled just like me, however, I’m not sorry to the man with the crimson red hair and emerald green eyes for he is truly evil, the only thing I regret is not stopping when I had the chance on top of the highest mountain I have ever climbed that any being could ever climb in this world, his name I believe is Aiden F. EisenHaus, he is an evil and powerful man like his father Frederick, they are evil for they are not of this world or this existence, I am however sorry to my beloved Serenity as well as my friends Father Ig and Father Dante for I could not save them, I do not know where Abbot Dogen is but I am sorry to him as well, I do not know where you can find Shambhala, my home that is gone from my mind, Doctor Miles Verstehen, those are my friends but out of all those people, I am my own best friend who who loves himself as much as he loves every being, I learned this from my friends and the best of all those you could call ‘Friend’ imaginable.”
Unsatisfied with Zen’s response, Doctor Verstehen made his rebuttal, “Zen, I will be starting you off at 200 milligrams of a mood stabilizer as well as 30 milligrams of an antipsychotic in the morning around breakfast, 5 milligrams of anti-anxiety medication around noon or your lunchtime, and a thousand milligrams of a mood stabilizer with 60 milligrams of an antipsychotic at bedtime, I will assign you a specialist in the field of therapy for your malignant narcissism who is also skilled in treating you for your paranoid psychosis, you will meet with whoever it is tomorrow but I have a feeling I know who it is even before I begin my review,” Doctor Verstehen said as he typed onto his holographic keyboard staring into the Holomonitor as he sent his diagnosis and medications to the resident staff to be administered to the patients of Great Mother Celeste’s Sanitarium.
Zen breathed deeply, the pain subsided, the incident seemed to drain him of his life-force, this is a very strange occurrence for the phrase that reverberated his consciousness is dissipating from his mind, ‘your paradise is lost, let me show you where it can be found’. He felt as the disturbance brought on by the phrase is alleviating is gradual and traumatic for a short period of time that if this phrase is used too often in this place, this Hell known as Great Mother Celeste’s Sanitarium that it would lose meaning, outside the peculiarity of this place, it would have none. Zen wanted to find a way to escape from this strange place called reality.
“Zen?” Doctor Verstehen grabbed his attention.
“Yes, Doctor Miles Verstehen?” Zen said with mock obedience.
“Who’s your friend?” Doctor Miles Verstehen asked with authoritarian delight.
Zen answered in perfect sarcasm not letting his true feelings about whatever this malevolent pseudo-intellectual of a being may be in this reality know that he did not mean a single word of what came next, “You are Doctor Miles Verstehen, you’re my friend.”
Doctor Miles Verstehen let out a joyous, “Good, Mr. Outsider, I’ll have a nurse let you know the first thing tomorrow morning when our appointment is tomorrow, we’ll be meeting daily for basic questions, every three days for more intensive psychological counseling, you are a special patient here at Mother Celeste’s Home for the Mad, we’ve considered you to become a long term case study considering you may be here for quite awhile.”
“That’s fine by me, you do whatever you need to do for the advancement of medical science, experiment on me, lobotomize me, you can even try to do a full autopsy on me, whatever benefits Humanity and the Gardenia,” Zen said with such amicable sarcasm that Doctor Miles Verstehen couldn’t differentiate between willingness to cooperate and humor.
“Alright Zen, we don’t really do those things here but have a nice day.” Doctor Miles Verstehen said with concern.
Zen smiled, simply answering in the same sarcastic amiability, “Sure.”
Zen opened the door, shut it quickly without slamming it then walked briskly down the hall back to his room to see if Nathan Carys was there before they went to dinner for the night. All the while, Zen is wisening up to this place, becoming more enlightened with each moment, adapting to this reality, and slowly but surely having complete faith in himself as well as those he knew in his soul to be his friends. Zen ran through the vast network of corridors committing a mental map to the memory in his head as he is the entire time, if the one called Friend who may be imaginary is right this place could change at any moment, the peculiarity is not just found in the horizon but in the entirety of this place. Zen began remembering something in the amalgamation of the fusion within the schisms of his consciousness that combined the two realms of his mental personality that the medication they were giving them were not any of the drugs they claimed to be giving them but the superdrug of the Gardenia known as Daemon.
These drugs were experimental forms of the drug that is universally used in its Daemon Light form for a panacea to all physical and mental ailments where Daemon Dark is a recreational designer drug that is used for debauchery and hedonism. Zen had peered at the Holomonitor and saw the drugs labeled to be given to him under the guise of being old world psychiatric medications. These included a long list of new forms of Daemon Light and Dark, both would be used in an effect for experimentation. These drugs were the traditional panacea pharmaceutical, Daemon Light. The improved nootropic and stimulant with nutrition supplement of a body’s vitamins and minerals known as Daemon Plus. The mood stabilizer which balanced depression and mania, between despair and euphoria which caused a calm serene feeling of pacification is known as Daemon Equilibrium, there is also a medicinal antidepressant which reacted with the brain’s cannabinoid and oxytocin receptors known as Daemon Love which is all of these are Daemon Light family. There were many forms of the new Daemon Dark that is going to be administered to him under the guise of a neuroleptic when Daemon Dark in its turbulent form such as these types have a high addiction rate that generally caused a limitless supply of consciousness affecting abilities that were subjective to the individual’s experience. New derivatives of Daemon Dark were: Daemon Dream, Daemon Power, Daemon Hyper, Daemon Toxic, Daemon Anarchy. All drugs Zen were to have tested on him in a volatile mixture of a chemical molotov cocktail of brain chemistry. Zen is only aware of the first generation of Daemon Light and Dark, he is not familiar with the new derivative nor did he know what the two families of Daemon would have in effect to his brain chemistry or his quantum consciousness.
The term quantum consciousness sounded like a remarkable construct to the workings of his mind with his newly labeled paranoid psychosis coupled with malignant narcissism with antisocial tendencies specifically aimed at figures of authority psyche as the good Doctor Miles Verstehen had so elegantly said it, the same Doctor Miles Verstehen that had forced a regiment of experimental medicinal and illegal psychoactive drugs into Zen’s daily life. From Zen’s memories that he could remember, he had lived a clean life from these drugs as an interstellar terrorist, nothing had fueled his motivations besides his own nature which nature had tasked Zen with the goal of returning Humanity to a simpler time without bureaucracy or hierarchical masters, to a simpler time when all of Humanity were equals. Zen rounded a corner to his room to find Nathan emerging from the room yawning from the solace of a nap for dinner, he had been aching for some sleep and he had finally found some in the comfort of his bed while Zen had gone to see Doctor Miles Verstehen for his evaluation.
“What’s up Zen?”
“Nothing much, just saw that quack Doctor Miles Verstehen about what’s my malfunction, turns out, I’m paranoid psychotic coupled with malignant narcissism with antisocial tendencies specifically aimed at figures of authority but he revealed his own self-assessment of himself that he is full of crud,”
Nathan couldn’t contain his laughter as tears of joy formed at the corner of his eyes from how funny that statement is from his quirky eccentric albino friend with the jet-black hair and sapphire blue eyes. Zen stood there smirking, savoring the fact that he had made his friend laugh. From the door next to them, someone stirred as an adorable sounding feminine sneeze came as well as a closing of the door. Zen looked to see who had been eavesdropping but it was too late. Nathan calmed Zen, telling him it is Ophelia’s roommate because Ophelia’s room is next to theirs. Zen had a smug look upon his face.
“Who’s Ophelia’s roommate?” Zen asked.
“Some cute artistic girl who loves arts and crafts, you went to arts and crafts today, you should have seen her there, she’s the only one not over the age of thirty in there with the most well put together mind among the lot of them, Ophelia and I enjoy the gym then television then a little bit more in the gym, I took a nap today, Ophelia hit the gym, now she’s probably down in the commons, sometimes her artsy-fartsy weirdo roommate eats with us, she’s cool, just weird.”
Zen could not contain his curiosity as they walked past, he looked at the door to the room the sneeze had come from as they made their way to the commons, glancing back occasionally till it was out of sight when they turned a corner. At the corner they were standing on the second floor above the dining room which is down a floor which meant they would have to take the stairs. The dining room had floor-to-ceiling shatter proof windows on three sides of it that denoted A block, B block, and C block. The other side of the room outside these windows to peer at all his fellow psych patients is a giant panoramic view of the outside from the reinforced shatter proof floor-to-ceiling window. Zen had not noticed it before but the peculiar haze of earlier when he had eaten there from his session in the Mind Computer Ultra which had done some strange things to his head.
Zen peered out the floor-to-ceiling windows of the second floor to see out the grand hall where the patients ate their meals with the view of what is a large wooded area on top of a hill that the large rolling hill sloped down to reveal more rolling hills with verdant green trees upon them, the sun is setting in the distance over the hills, it looked surreal, almost too good to be true, peculiar is what the outside world appeared to the eccentric albino with jet-black hair and sapphire blue eyes. Zen saw this peculiarity as an aberration designed out of imagination, everything about the landscapes outside the window contradict one another for outside Doctor Miles Verstehen’s window is an urban sprawl yet on this side of the building it appeared to be in grand view of verdant rolling hills with meadows, creeks, wildflowers, rivers, valleys, the whole nine yards to bring peace to any dining experience in what is suppose to be a rehabilitation center for the mentally ill as well as the criminally insane. They went through an opening that led to a stairwell with padding on the walls and floor to prevent patients from any harm from accidental trips of intentional lunge throughout the entirety of the stairs, they came around and into the dining room. The dining room had white and black tiled floor made from cushioning as well yet retracted into a hard substance that isn’t made from foam but some sort of textile that is a softer solid like cushioned concrete. They found their typical round table where Ophelia is sitting, Ophelia is writing in a journal with a pencil without an eraser. She appeared to have drawn a basic sketch of the endless verdant hills outside the majestic window, sketching out the landscape in cartoonish yet extremely talented nature on the sheet opposite of what she is writing on in the open journal. She is writing in her journal about her day.
“Hey Ophelia,” Nathan and Zen stated in their own way.
“Hey guys,” Ophelia smiled, closing the notebook and getting up to go get her tray from 23B while Zen and Nathan got their trays from 23A. Ophelia is eating a tofu salmon steak as Nathan ate a tofu burger, Zen saw in disappointment that the beef steak with all the delicacies included is no longer a thing he could order, what he got when he ordered the steak is a slab of synthetic meat made from tofu with all the fixings, little did Zen know that that steak he had ate is a one time thing and only time thing at Great Mother Celeste’s Sanitarium for he is their only designated long-term patient due to his crimes whether they be the ones he committed on the run with Serenity and Father Ig, the spiritual revolution he started with Abbot Dogen later revealed as Akuma Ren or the ones he is brainwashed to believe as an interstellar terrorist. The latter of all three of these things were what he perceived to be. That steak he had eaten is the first piece of meat he had consumed in his life and probably the last as he viewed it.
Zen contemplated the reasons why everything is tofu and that is because the Gardenia is just finishing the cleansing of the purification of its large bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, and rivers while introducing new wildlife from genetically engineered organisms into the wild to reproduce and flourish in the world that had once been laid to iste by war and almost annihilated by nuclear armageddon. Oceans once barren besides the glowing jellyfish were now having fish in their oceans, the now under control factory farming industry which had toxified earth’s atmosphere which had just come under control, the polar ice caps had melted by 40% without any real damage done to the coastlines due to abyssal drilling for resources during 1980 CE and 2050 CE when the antiquated resources of petroleum based vehicles became obsolete due to the free energy based Tesla machines of transportation and industry which were implanted across the planet to supply the world with free energy everywhere.
Zen dug into his mushrooms first, those were authentic at least then satisfied by the texture he cut off a piece of tofu steak, eating it, savoring it, pretending it is real just like this place, this Dystopian nightmare of being an innocent man imprisoned for his crime being corrupting the people of the Gardenia and impiety to the Great Mother Celeste. He ate as Ophelia cut into her tofu salmon steak which is synthetic but tasted like the real deal, Nathan bit into his burger and salted his unsalted fries then dipping them in ketchup then following that into his mouth to devour.
Ophelia stated with the utmost joy as she stabbed some Brussels sprouts with her fork, “Dinner is the best meal we get around here.”
“There’s some real truth in those words Ophelia,” Nathan agreed after swallowing his food.
“Man, this steak is decent but it just reminds me of everything else in this place,” Zen said amicably but with some malcontent in his tone.
“Oh come on, Zen my friend, it’s your first day so I’m not going to give you too much crud but most have lost their damn minds their first day here with their minds current whereabouts still unknown, so you have my respect for that, you hardcore freedom fighter who has zero regard for the Gardenia,”
“flipp the Gardenia Utopian Community, Zen, you should be king charisma of the entire Virgo Supercluster and all life in it, standing up to those good-for-nothing sheeple people in the Gardenia Utopian Community, you’re a hero Zen, you deserve another real steak from a real cow, hell, you deserve all the steak in the universe” Ophelia exclaimed in a humoring matter to her friend Zen.
“You know, I feel bad that I got an actual steak to eat because that means I’m different, I know what that meal meant, you saw the documentary on the old ways of how prisoners were treated, before the one about the history of Humanity and the Gardenia Utopian Community that meal with the medium rare steak, the over-easy eggs, hash browns buttered toast with jam, milk, coffee, and juice?”
“Yeah that is the traditional last meal of convicted prisoners before their executions of heinous crimes of the old world before the Gardenia Utopian Community,” Ophelia said.
Nathan is in disbelief that he is the one who handed the tray to the first person given that in the history of Humanity’s prison system since 2055 CE, the year that all nations had abolished the death penalty. Nathan swallowed heavy.
“Exactly,” Zen said bluntly.
Nathan still reeling over the idea that one of his two favorite people in the world could be given the possibility of death by a supposedly perfect utopia that is the Gardenia.
“Zen they’re not going to kill you, trust me man that’s not going to happen no one here would allow that, and when I mean no one, I mean to say that everyone in this facility supports you and has got your back, everywhere I go people ask me about you Zen, I’m not sure you’re aware of this but a network of rebels emerged from when you were out doing your thing to overthrow the corrupt government that some people and when I say some I mean many sympathize with you and this network but some unspecified number that could be just one person to everyone here could be a Guild of Shadows member or sympathizer.”
If Zen’s skin could turn ghost white from surprise he would for his is kinda shocked that such a thing existed. Zen is familiar with the Guild of Shadows, in fact when he was a young boy, a woman he had called mother in the windowless steel complex that is the cavern of an underground base had talked to him alone, in the privacy of the training room on the subject of the Guild of Shadows. This woman, Doctor Krankenkinder who Zen also knew by her real name Doctor Lilith Moonchild, she is his mother, the soulmate of Calvin Moody Luther or Nemo. She had brought Zen into the classroom where a woman named Iris and two men named Oliver and Isaac, these 3 were Violet’s siblings in more than one way. Her brothers wore classy suits while Iris wore a black ornate dress, her brothers and sisters were all dressed in all black regal suits wearing a sigil pinned over the cloth of their attire where their heart is, Isaac Kindred Autumn wore a sigil that is upon his chest, it is a closed skeletal palm holding a rose with an eye in the center of the rose. Iris Autumn’s sigil on her chest which is a black widow with a red hourglass designed into the spider’s abdomen with a golden crown above the sigil. Oliver’s sigil is a skull and crossbones with a white lattice around it. Zen remembered this entire flashback of one of his most legitimate and real memories from a week before he left his first home on his thirteenth birthday in the Russian wilderness, this same day, the boy with the Auburn hair is welcomed into the Order of the Serpent by someone other than the EisenHaus family.
“Zen? Zen? Zen? Zen?” Nathan and Ophelia were asking for their friend Zen’s attention, snapping their fingers in front of his face as he came back to reality.
His vision that had become black and white while seeing the vision of the ritual became shades of grey as he faded back into reality, the color returned to the world as Zen looked into his friends, Ophelia and Nathan’s eyes with the look of animation in them as he returned from his flashback of when he became a member of the Guild of Shadows. Zen is filled with an equally tremendously powerful feeling that is the polar opposite of what Doctor Miles Verstehen had incited in him. This feeling is of enlightenment and realization towards his own identity and self. Zen rushed as he finished his food, getting up he placed his tray in a slot.
“Ophelia, Nathan, I’m going to take my meds then fall asleep.”
“Get some rest Zen, everything is going to be fine, I’m going to be up for a while in the Holovision room, so you can enjoy your rest and alone time,” Nathan said in a brotherly as well as understanding tone.
“Goodnight Zen, I love you my friend, you’re the baddest cat in this whole damn place, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, don’t let the Gardenia beat you down, you beat down the Gardenia, you make all of us here feel safe from those morons,” Ophelia declared honestly to empower her friend.
Zen rushed off to his room, the memories began playing out in his head with every step they became more and more powerful, blinding him as he took his meds from the nurses station as he asked for his night time meds which is an even bigger mistake for memories became reality.
July 9th, 2113 CE, Eden Prime, Sector of United Russia, state of the Soviet Union, Russia, Outside the City of Samara, Region of the Zhiguli Mountains, Volga River Outside City of Samara.
Zen is in a dream, having a flashback to the ghost of his past, his true past. In this world, this dream, everything that had been black and white at this point in his life is now perceived as varying shades of grey. Where he had been a child on the cusp of becoming a man by the oldest accounts of Old World Earth history and like this ritual, it would signify history. Doctor Lilith Moonchild introduced her three siblings for the first time in young Zen’s life in her non faux-German accent.
“Sovereign Zen, these are my brother Isaac Kindred Autumn and Oliver Autumn, this is my sister Iris Autumn,” Doctor Lilith Moonchild explained introducing them.
Zen remembering as a boy shook their hands firmly and confidently that he is among friends outside the torturesome bully of Aiden.
“Zen, my name is not Doctor Krankenkinder, my name is Lilith Moonchild, I am introducing you to something you may have seen in your latest Mind Computer Ultra direct-mind education processing, can you tell us what it is?”
“The special hologram learning video, depicted an abstract concept that I am not aware of, something about aliens, alien culture, alien government, an intergalactic universe spanning government known as the United Cosmic Federation as well as the concept of multidimensional being known as an Archon that this Archon had the ability to walk among worlds, this being is Zenki Ex Nihilo, he is an Archon of Order, one of the two active paths they followed, Zenki Ex Nihilo died fighting who had died fighting Aka Manah another active path on an undisclosed planet until he is discovered under the remaining Antarctic ice, deep underground in the necropolis that is the ruins of the civilization of man known as the Atlanteans of the civilization of Atlantis on planet Earth then something weird at the end of this video, my creation from the combination of the first Homo Esper and marvel of the Human species, Calvin Moody Luther and this multidimensional alien known as an Archon, this Archon being Zenki Ex Nihilo that I was the product of these two’s DNA being made into a combination of the two?”
“Yes, Sovereign Zen van Nihil, you being the incarnation of the manifestation once known as Zenki Ex Nihilo but were always Zen van Nihil even before then when the Omniverse existed meaning that the Great Architect will reveal itself to you as you are the Sovereign of the Saturnia Great Commission that we will be in contact together always through the Great Architect’s wavelengths of the Quantum Consciousness that is we will always be a friend to you always, it shall reveal its true name for you in your form that you were made for greater things Sovereign Zen,” Doctor Lilith Moonchild said cheerfully.
The Sovereign of the Saturnia Great Commission Zen began understanding more and more about this.
“Sovereign Zen, we would like to embrace you with the approval of the highest echelons of those a part of this noble organization within the United Cosmic Federation to honor you with the title of Lord in this ancient organization,” Doctor Lilith Moonchild spoke.
“Are you speaking of the Shadow Society?” Zen asked.
“Yes, the ways in which the United Cosmic Federation fosters fledgeling races to becoming assimilated into the United Cosmic Federation we take citizens of the United Cosmic Federation who resemble the race of the species then send them to underdeveloped civilizations in hopes that we in the United Cosmic Federation can assimilate these species to our way, Zen there is no rite or ritual known to Human understanding which inducts a Lord for there are no blessings you can receive for such an award but we will grant you the welcoming to the guild sacred rite,” Lilith Moonchild stated.
“I accept this blessing so I ascertain this blessing of a collective for which I stand,” Zen stated.
“So be it,” Lilith Moonchild stated, “Sovereign Zen, kneel down, close your eyes, clear your mind, embrace the shadow that is beyond your closed eyes.”
Zen obeyed, kneeling on both knees, his hands resting on his knees, his eyes closed, his mind clear.
The four Autumn’s gathered around Zen placing their hands on him, and suddenly, an energy began being shifted to Zen from alien psionics whose reach of their powers spanned the cosmos began being shifted into him.
Darkness filled his mind, darkness filled the room, although Zen’s eyes were closed he had entered another reality. A land of ice and snow is all he could see around him, in the center of the sky is a swirling void of golden light, this numinous light is the pathway of friend, the astral bodies of the cosmos shown as spiraling galaxies which were being pushed away from this swirling void of golden light, he saw these galaxies in their entire network of finite dimensions being infinitely created by this glowing golden light he identified as the Numinous Awe of Noumenon realm above all realms that Friend put his craftsmanship in infinitely creating the infinite realms and dimensions in the Multiverse, the sky is alluring, captivating, it engaged Zen. Zen looked around the landscape and saw architecture he had never seen before, decadent palaces built in the architecture that only a perfect godlike being could have crafted lay about the landscape in the endless tundra of ice and snow. The horizon is infinite, his gaze of all it’s wonder is everlasting as he gazes at the palace built for a god among the glacial hills and mountains coupled by the underlying valleys that lay before him. A colossal titan of a being emerged from a valley that laid before Zen van Nihil. Zen identified this being as someone familiar to him as he is familiar to himself. This being is the same being that Zen met in his meditations with Serenity on the mountain of garbage when he went to visit Friend and a friend of Friends. This being is the thirty-five feet tall, wiry framed, hairless, androgynous, being with long gangly limbs, a large bulbous head is on top of this entities head, it’s skin is snow-white in pale complexion, exactly like Zen’s, it’s eyes were glowing sapphire blue orbs, its mouth a slit with fine omnivore teeth, it appeared to be smiling in a endearing manner, this being is known as Zenki Ex Nihilo, the being which made up 23 chromosomes of Zen van Nihil’s genetic coding. It quickly wandered over to Zen until they were both standing on the highest peak surveying the Shangri-La of the palaces built for the gods among the tundra of ice and snow, a warm breeze is blowing despite the arctic landscape with the astral cosmos in the heavens above.
Without moving his lips, a voice of a friendly male reverberated from Zenki Ex Nihilo as he spoke to Zen, “Hello Zen, my beloved benefactor, the Archon which I have bestowed myself to manifest in your existence, you are no outsider in this land for you and I are of the same ilk.”
Zen is puzzled, “Hello Zenki Ex Nihilo, I see Friend is busy at work in the Heavens above and throughout the Multiverse, are you busy as well?” Zen looked around riddled with the awe of the magnanimous land of the wonderland of palaces among ice and snow, “What is this place?”
“Friend is always with us in all things, I wanted to talk to you alone here in our native dimension of Hyperborea, Zen van Nihil, you are a Hyperborean, the second Hyperborean to exist that is an Archon, now the only Archon to exist that is Hyperborean for the palaces you see in this world are empty, none inhabit this place but myself, I am merely a specter, trapped here in my home dimension where my powers of prestige of being an Archon of Order from the world of Hyperborea has been passed unto you, to live through you,” Zenki Ex Nihilo’s friendly voice chimed as it reverberated from him, “There is much to tell you about how you have pleased me despite the obstacles which the Archons of Chaos have thrown at you, you have acted by your nature of being an Archon of Order, you bested many, you handled yourself with discipline and honor, you have learned much and enlightened many but you still have much to learn and many more to enlighten.”
Zen van Nihil felt a sense of familiarity with Zenki Ex Nihilo, he became familiar to this world. Through the memories of Zenki Ex Nihilo in the world of Hyperborea, Zen began to realize that Hyperborea is the home of his immortal soul and multidimensional being.
“I understand this revelation Zenki Ex Nihilo for I am in the process of meditation to the realization that I am not Zen the Outsider as my social labels cry out from others but my inner existence which defines my essence as Zen van Nihil.”
“You are an intuitive and wise being Zen van Nihil, I am honored by the fact that you should carry my name for you are my legacy, you are my presence unto the Multiverse which is truly a gift from Friend, who is the Great Architect, whose mind is the Quantum Consciousness which spans all realities of the Multiverse, you are in tune with Friend, you understand the task of being an Archon of Order but now, I am asking you to be an Archon of Chaos, an Archon of the Chaos of Good, an Archon of Balance, it is a path chosen by the Archons of Good and Order but this is the path the Great Architect has chosen for you, Friend is the Great Architect all along, do you understand your task Sovereign Zen van Nihil?” Zenki Ex Nihilo emitted a tone of hesitance, a voice capricious with the pain of asking Zen to adapt to the change he had been brought to, adapt to the world of the Gardenia so it may all survive through anarchistic benevolence.
“Yes, I do Lord Zenki Ex Nihilo,” Zen answered assertively, his tone wrought with confidence in what he must do.
Sovereign Zen van Nihil is to create a revolution of all things of Humanity, to liberate and enlighten everything in the darkness of the cosmos to guide Humanity to the brilliant dawn of a new future as the Gardenia becomes a part of the United Cosmic Federation. Night began to fall upon the land. The swirling vortex of Friend engulfed this world to change the remnants of Zen van Nihil’s vision quest to a new place in space-and-time. Everything went completely black as darkness engulfed the world, the only light is a nearby nexus of a swirling void in this reality of shadows. Stepping out from the void before Zen is a man who appears to be around the age of thirty-three year old version of Zen, slightly aged, remarkably handsome. This being’s age may have been an innumerable amount of aeons due to the still remarkably handsome form of this demigod of an Archon. This older version of Zen had the same albinistic skin tone, the same salmon red lips, the same sapphire blue eyes, his jet-black hair is shortened on its sides with it thick on the top of his head is shaggy with spiky bangs that arched from his head.
This matured Zen is more muscular, slender yet brawny in anatomical physique, he radiated immense power in his appearance. He wore black armor, a black cloak, black cargo pants, black boots. All of this is reinforced materials greater than any defensive armor ever conceived. Zen van Nihil recognized that this is the Guild of Shadows attire made of Arachnoweave body armor. Zen also recognized a sigil on this mature and accomplished version of himself, This thirty-three year old Zen who walked through the void of space and time wore a sigil upon his chest depicting one of a mystical nature, it appeared to be a perpetually swirling void of the darkness of oblivion from which all life comes from as a nihilistic which generated yet absorbed the darkness of the void of this realm which is only apparent on the magical sigil itself which defied the laws of science. The lord of these spiders and it’s weavers of fate began spinning webs down from the ceiling, distant were a wide variety of exotic spiders that were the size of small cats, large dogs, and bears.
They had weaved together a portal which a behemoth spider Zen recognized as Arachne’s the Archon of Order which spun the fates of mortals. Arachne’s offspring who had gathered here were found throughout the Multiverse. These extradimensional and interdimensional spiders bestow knowledge by weaving the secrets of existence for there was much knowledge that could be ascertained from these keepers of secrets who shared information with those anointed to know for they could understand. These sacred spiders weave the threads of fate, the esoteric knowledge of a mortal’s life until their fate also wove the armor of the Multidimensional Shadow Society. Zen van Nihil knew this because this matured Zen from some other point in space-and-time knew this. Three Multidimensional Archons had gathered in this place, one younger, one older, both are one in the same. While the weaver of fate mortals around them supervised this meeting, it is by fate this meeting is taking place.
“Hello Zen van Nihil, my name is Zen van Nihil, I am you and you are me, you have yet to meet me yet you have yet to become me but I assure you that you shall become me, my dear younger self,” the mature and accomplished Zen van Nihil said.
Zen van Nihil is silent in the void, he is reverently silent in the presence of such a magnanimous form of himself. This silence lasted an eternity as Zen van Nihil looked about the engrossed spiders in spelling out words in their webs such as: Faith, Honor, Peculiar, Outsider, Awakening, Awareness, Enlightenment, Liberation, Meditation, Revelation. After a while of Zen van Nihil’s reverent silence as he changed his sight to gaze past Zen van Nihil into the void behind him, the shuffling of spiders as they worked tirelessly to weave their message. Zen van Nihil looked back up to see plainly, in distinctly huge print, were the words weaved: “Welcome to existence, Zen van Nihil, the Outsider.”
The mature and confident Zen van Nihil, smiled, he shared his sentiments, “You’ll understand when you’re older, with maturity shall come more wisdom, with more wisdom shall come true enlightenment and with this enlightenment shall come liberation, Zen van Nihil accomplished all of this and now you are being reborn into the Multiverse, you understand to respect your elders, you are as wise as I am, for that you have become Zen van Nihil, sometimes referred to as the Outsider, Archon of organized chaos to ensure a greater multiversal order, a benevolent anarchist, a revolutionary of the soul of all the dimensions, dweller of the void, Sovereign of the Guild of Shadows and the Gardenia, Zen you are not Human, you are of an alien hybrid of Hyperborean and Human genetics, regardless you are of the Great Architect’s most trusted of Archons on the Saturnia Great Commission, you are his chosen one known as the Sovereign, Zen van Nihil as an Archon, you are a multidimensional craftsman of the infinite dimensions, and you carry out the will of the Great Architect, to the people of the Gardenia you are the Outsider regardless of everything, despite anything the Outsider means nothing to your identity for we all are one.”
Zen flashed back to his younger self who is known as Sovereign Zen who is surrounded by these four people of the Autumn family, three of the others he had only known briefly were now filing out of the room, Zen transfixed on what had just been disclosed to him. Doctor Lilith Moonchild is the only one who remained.
“Sovereign Zen van Nihil, in a week you shall come in full contact with the Quantum Consciousness which shall lead you to your true identity in the scheme of the universe and as your mother, I proudly consider you my son and I love you,” Doctor Lilith Moonchild stated.
As an innumerable amount of realizations exploded as revelations to Zen van Nihil as he lay in the bed of his room. This place as Mother Celeste’s House for the Mad is a fabricated reality that did truly exist. As the reality of this illusion invoked questioning in Zen of his dualistic nature of what is truth. The room is dark, the door is closed and he is sweating out his weak tolerance to the powerful Daemon Light and Dark flowing through his brain chemistry affecting his consciousness. The door opened revealing a flash of light then complete darkness. A Human being had crawled in bed with him, a feminine Human being, one that he had been feeling a longing and the sensation of romantic feelings for, the strange crimson haired woman named Sophia who had crawled into bed with Zen. As Sophia began rubbing her hands around Zen and kissing him tenderly. Suddenly, Zen felt his world of torment and flashbacks stopped as all is peaceful as she found her way under the blankets and in the arms of Zen’s with her arms wrapped around her.
“Hey, hey, Zen are you okay?” Sophia said, rubbing her hand against her head, wiping the sweat from his brow.
Zen, now calm replied, “Yeah, yeah I am Sophia, thanks, I adore you as the biggest fan I could possibly have right now.”
“What an astute observation of you Zen, it’s almost like you are aware of the Shadow Society,” Sophia sighed.
Zen is silently listening intently to something as if she had read his mind.
“Zen, numerous people support you in all aspects and stratifications of society, what you thought were horrified fans watching your announcements for terrorism brought forth a network of activists brought to fruition in both peaceful and violent endeavors to help you, it is all for you Zen, Mr. Outsider that love and support you no matter what, you have sympathizers all throughout this facility, you have members of the Shadow Society in this facility, you are the elected king of this facility who all patients feel safer now that you’re here, not because you’re a danger but because you’re a defender, our benevolent Sovereign who hates corruption, bureaucracy, lying Machiavellian politicians, authoritarian Protectorate Forces who would rather put a bullet in the head of a citizen then allow them the right of due process, you attacked the elitist masters of society for you are the destroyer of gods and masters, through terrorism and violence you showed a cognizant point to the Gardenia Utopian Community where peace failed, you’re not evil, you’re not even troubled Zen, you’re misunderstood but I want to know what it means to be Zen, my subject of admiration which is you Zen, tell me what it means to be you” Sophia smiled, her body overlapping Zen’s in a lovingly and longingly way.
Zen explained in the most calm and endearing matter, “To be Zen, is thinking, feeling, believing, and living objectively about everything including oneself in existence is where logic and reason rule, existing objectively is what it means to be Zen, to be Zen is to let every fabric of your being exist objectively, to awaken to this reality is the first step to becoming Zen, to be Zen is to let that which does not matter slide, to be Zen is to be nothing, to be Zen is not only to embrace but to be the void, one does not need to be Zen all the time, half of the time it is best to be yourself for that is the greatest thing one can do as for me, I am Zen and I know no other way.”
Sophia said nothing, she only wrapped herself around Zen. Zen cuddled up closer to Sophia. They laid together in a loving embrace. Zen found his balance, between eternalism and temperance, between fantasy and reality, between peace and suffering, between nihilism and eternalism, he found the true meaning of his life. Zen’s entire world is in his arms, his entire world is love. Sophia nestled into his chest exhaling as she relaxed herself in his arms.
Zen’s entire world is the world he knew both real and fantastical, his entire world is his fellow Shadow Society mate and newly found love Sophia Scienia The most blessed thing in this existence is to accept it for what it is. That despite loss, life goes on, that passions will evolve and adapt to find new things to love despite the ones we loved who were perfect with their presence no longer among us. Zen embraced the enigma that is the organization known as the Shadow Society that long ago, he is anointed to the position of its leader, the Lord of Shadows. That riddle is that he is the multidimensional entity known as Zen van Nihil, the Lord of Shadows. This reality is undoubtedly true yet in this fantasy which he could not doubt that he is known as Zen van Nihil.
As Zen is falling asleep, he is awakening to the realization of the reality of himself. Zen state of consciousness in his heightened awareness of his own existence of the infinite realities as the chemicals he had been administered were dulling his senses, he felt enlightened to his suffering and how to alleviate it, Zen is feeling the liberation of enlightenment to his true nature in this artificially manufactured wonderland and the knowledge of the infinite realities which would lead him to his revitalization to be reborn. The synthesis of his environment and his identity is that he is Zen van Nihil, the Outsider, the lord of shadows. This is the fate set before him that he had chosen to master as his destiny.
In this absurdity, Zen found his revolution for the reality of his existence. Despite his failure at befriending the entire species of the Human race and by proxy of his example they would all coexist peacefully from his teachings and good works with the end result of being hated, shunned, and imprisoned. Zen wouldn’t change anything about his fate for anything in all the infinite realities which held infinite possibilities were all void. As Zen meditated with Sophia wrapped around him. Together they rest in a lover’s embrace, upon his bed. Zen walked the universal void that is the clarity of his mind, his inner-dimension, his consciousness.
In Zen’s consciousness held an infinite amount of realities with an infinite amount of possibilities which were all concealed by the darkness of the void within his mind. The void within his mind is familiar to him for even in the uncharted territories of the corridors of his consciousness that not all who wander are lost in any realm of reality in which he existed. Zen celebrated those realms of reality and his existence. Zen loved everything about his fate in all its entirety for this is his life. This is his fate that had been dealt to him. Zen would serve the purpose of his destiny with pride, pondering his future for what is about to unfold.
Zen loved his fate. He wouldn’t change anything about it because he had faith in himself whoever he should be or for whom he would become. Zen found that reflecting on the greatest individual that is himself is composed of absolute nothingness. Discovering the void of oblivion that is himself is where he found his freedom from suffering. This is where he found the revolutionary transcendence of enlightenment which led to the greatest of revelations. Zen let out a soft laugh as he found the most noble of truths in this void that this void is himself that he is creating the shadows of his deluded perception which were an extension of himself for the shadows and himself were one.
Zen realized this, implored further and discovered the most divine and single universal truth he had taught but now in his own complete understanding of everything in existence for nothing is more certain. Zen, willing all his power to make a leap of faith to bridge his own current existence and experience had become enlightened to this absolute truth that is universal for all the beings in existence.
Zen thought to himself, “Is reality real?”
Zen awakened to the realization of his dualistic personality of not a schism between the two but the embracing of both his good and bad character traits, whether perceived or real.
Zen felt the changing revolution of consciousness as nirvana enveloped Zen’s being in mending the messiah and monster as one individual being as Zen received his answer that led to more questions, “Sovereign Zen van Nihil, appointed as the successor to Lucifer Illuminatus as the Sovereign of the Saturnia Commission, you have been my dearest friend and beloved Archons of Creation who never once strayed from the path but Zen, you must have faith and remain true to yourself,” spoke the Great Architect or Friend to Zen.
“Friend, thank you for all my good, my bad, my life is truly a blessing even now in this criminally insane asylum,”
Zen shook the rage and cognitive dissonance of this prison to ascertain his being of who he truly is as an Archon who will return as everything’s eventual in the scope of infinite time throughout the many-worlds with this words Zen knew as truth in his essence.
“Zen what have you learned from this existence?” The Great Architect asked.
Zen spoke in absolute resolution that defined his essence, “That existence is a spiritual experience.”