Optimism,” said Cacambo, “What is that?” “Alas!” replied Candide, “It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

Voltaire, Candide
Image Source: Pinterest

Optimism

Lee Kwan Che, the Empress Dowager, mother of the Emperor to be addressed the assembly of Dragons. She was the most revered mother of all having birthed the legendary Dragon, Juron’s soul in the form of Hue. Lee stood with a regal air of calm and the room hushed to silence. Only the faint clattering of dishes in the kitchen kept the room of Dragon Aristocrats grounded in the present.

“Masters, brothers and sisters, I welcome you to my house to hear my plea of unity, the unity that has kept us on our course for over 108 years. We have accomplished much since the beginning of our ancestors’ flight out of China in 1912, Lee began. We are at a crossroads where our unity is shaken and our grand accomplishments, our sacrifices, our efforts to be the people that lead the world out of the dark pit it has lived in since our ancestors learned to record history are endangered by our fear and misunderstanding.”

Lee glanced around the room at the faces of the Dragon Masters that led each enclave scattered across the globe. There she found the stoic gaze of agreement on some, doubt on others, and rebellion on a few. She paused to let her words sink in and to ensure her gaze of supreme authority was recognized by each face she met.

“I ask that each of you continue to rule your enclave with benevolence and care. Our Cybrids are the foundation of our future, not the slavery some have relegated them to. Our Praetorians will live among you in strength to ensure you do not stray from your oath to serve the Emperor and the prophecy we bring to reality. Noble cause need not fear the Praetorians because I will reward you for your dedicated service as we always have in the past.”

Another scan showed the effect of her words on the leadership vital to success. It is better to be feared than loved, she thought. Love led to disappointment but fear kept the march of Cybrids unmolested to their objective. She knew that some in this room must be made an example of to enforce the rule of the Dragon Royalty. The Empress Dowager knew that mercy often led to reprisals from the spared and so there would be no mercy nor any soul left alive that subverted the prophecy of humanity born out of the union of Cybrid and human. The Praetorians would ensure the goal was achieved. Knowing this, Lee smiled and called the meeting to attention and dismissed the assembly to enjoy their meals and to talk of the future among themselves.

***

After the venue began to wind down, Peter grabbed Alexa and spirited her to a dark shadow in the hall. “I want you to go with me to visit Mariah,” he begged, pain registering in his features and mannerisms. Alexa’s stunned face changed to agreement and they left to drive to the Biomed facility where Gloria and Mariah had undergone extensive stem cell regrowth and biomechanical enhancements to their damaged bodies.

***

The pages of Voltaire’s Candide flipped rhythmically under voracious scanning. Shick, shick, shick, the pages sounded off with each flip. Mariah had come to realize that the age of Romanticism had fueled the world’s liberalism and challenged old beliefs. Romance, love, and freedom were ideologies that humans only gave lip service to. She felt a fool for diving headlong into something that left her near death and fearful of every human person she was forced to interact with. 

Jon had been right to warn her of interacting with humans. But, here was Voltaire, a writer of the Age of Reason, who brought humor and satire to bear on the status quo and paid dearly for it as she had. His writing and philosophy pointed to the futility of optimism and so optimism fled Mariah’s mind and she withdrew into the silence of the Cybrid way.

“6B5504. You have visitors,” a synthesized voice sounded in Mariah’s room intercom. “Who could be visiting at this hour?” Mariah stood nervously as the door registered a loud clack when the bolt lock retreated.

Shock flashed on the Cybrid’s face as Peter and Alexa walked in, their countenance rigid in forced smiles and happy greetings like none of her suffering had registered on them. Mariah found herself averting her eyes and greeting the two royal Dragons in proper protocol. Where had that come from, she wondered.

Peter approached Mariah and stopped. He said nothing. Mariah shook with fear. He smelled different. There was the bitterness and acrid smell of cigarettes, wine, sweat and unkemptness. Mariah retreated. Voices from a befogged past registered in her ears as she stared at the floor and a pair of scuffed men’s shoes in front of her.

“I’m sorry Mariah. We didn’t mean to startle you, Peter said. Please relax and sit down. We want to see how you are doing.” Hands seemed to guide her to a chair beside her bed. She sat but she could not bear to look up. Is there anything you need? Alexa asked.

“Why am I kept locked in this room? Mariah asked.

“It’s to keep you safe Mariah. You only need to ask if you want to leave and someone will go with you to keep you from being bothered,” Alexa lied. Even in the ultra security of the facility, there were those who would avenge Gloria by killing Mariah and Alexa was not taking any chances.

“Will I ever be allowed to go back to work?”

“Yes, of course. Peter replied. Whenever you feel like working again, you can come back. We have some more advanced work in your specialty and we have a new lab in a forested area. It’s beautiful Mariah and you’ll have free reign of the facility, your new home, and all of the surrounding lands.”

“I’d like that very much. The Cybrid finally looked up, her green eyes glassy and dull with a pain that appeared far beyond her physical discomfort. Can Jon join me there?”

“If he wants,” came the reply.

86 thoughts on “March of the Cybrids-12

  1. After reading this most excellent addition to your story, and ignoring political commentary, I’m nominating you for the Isaac Asimov continuation award! The goes to the person who can best pick up were he left off…and you are carrying that ball over the finish line! I’ll try to keep p by posting today!! Try being the operative word!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I accept this award on behalf of all those writers that have a day job and write after the family goes to sleep or on rainy weekends. The story moves at warp speed with the online version in the next two chapters and then we face plant into the meat of what the story is about. Keeping one eye on notifications for a new update to Akira’s rise to fame and fortune on the Women’s MMA circuit.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. This is one of my favorite stories to write. It takes place as much inside the characters minds as in the world of action and reaction. I have a little bit of my past incorporated into the scenes. You’ll certainly know when I’m drawing from memory. Muwaaaa haaaa haaaa! Such nefarious deeds were the spice of life.

          Liked by 1 person

                    1. I think it amazing you write it out first. That is a sign of true genius because it uses a different part of the brain that has to have some good visualization in real time as well as track detail in memory because it is hard for most of us to write as fast as we think so details are lost. The dialog was engaging and it also revealed the personality and motives of the characters. I would swear you had astrally projected into the Oval Office and recorded the GOO as he crapped out another exalted self aggrandizing scheme to torture the Libertine majority and keep the media machine screeching.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    1. LOL! Hits went up 400% in one day. Unless Harper-Row was checking me out, I thought the blog might have triggered some AI scans at the actual NSA…think about some of the buzz words in there…call me paranoid. We know a bit about AI scans, don’t we?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I can tell you with 100% accuracy, if you were scanned by certain AI’s your words are preserved for the future. You pr deletion only removed the public view but the scanners have everything the want and need. If you were naughty and needed discipline, the scanners will visit you in a friendly way with jovial greeting where they’ll ask if you know something that can help them with their own Nanite studies. Don’t fear anything. I have friends in the right agencies who can look after you and ensure your literary gift to the world remains safe and available as you see fit. You are destined for the National Library of Congress and other national libraries to be preserved for the future. Write on Bro! You are safe.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Whoa bro, thanks! I may be getting to involved in my own story…I expected to come home and find my house trashed…or 3 guys driving up in SUVs escorting me out of the workplace! LOL! Now…If I got scanned by an actual publisher…I’m unlock the front door! LOL!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I suspect it’s the same people at Disney that stole Drac’s story and became millionaires. Quick, put a copyright backdated yo when you started on your website otherwise you’ll see your story on the Big Screen and Harvey Weinstein can finally afford his sex change operation for his new prison life.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Maybe you are prescient or a victim. The media steals a lot of privately owned material to try to boost their readership. Lying is now the preferred method to boost profits for the online news.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Also, these days, whacko’s post “manifesto’s” on-line and although the audience on WP is small, it is still considered “social media.” Oh well. “THEY” have it now! LOL!

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Rene, we are in the twisty turning phase where nothing is as it seems. We’ll cover ground quickly in the next two chapters and then the real journey begins. I hope you will continue to enjoy the story as a strong bond of love in all its mysterious ways is often hard fought and well earned.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. You can count on me Dan, I’m n totally absorbed in your story and it’s not easy cause WP is keeping us apart by hiding your blog from me and making me hunt you down. I wouldn’t mind a nudge when you put up a new post.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I will be delighted to let you know when the dragons appear. I had massage therapy for my back today from a young lady who is a student at the local school. I willingly donated my carcass to the training which lasted 2 hours. During my stint as a training aid, I went to my zen place with the Head Elves and we went over the new story based on your poem line by line. During the review I didn’t mention I wrote an entire novel during the session. I thought it might not be a good time to mention that. So, now the documentation starts. I will definitely let you know when it is ready to post as well.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Oh the joy of donating oneself to health practice in the massage therapy domain is a great and altruistic sacrifice. You can find a school in your area and let them know you are interested in attending any of their public outreach programs/clinics. They will hook you up and life is good. Plus, in my area, they can’t charge you for the services but if you like the student’s work, you can give good feedback and they can also accept a gift of cash or some other useful thing they like and will use. Once the student becomes licensed, he or she can charge for services in home or at a clinic. They really need the practice from different people because it gives them a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. I’m on the permanent volunteer list as long as I behave and don’t snore during the sessions. 😴

                  Liked by 2 people

                    1. It’s no joke my friend. If there is a school of massage therapy in your area, they often have clinics where the students give free massage. If you meet a student whose skill you appreciate you can generally volunteer yourself for their educational enrichment. Of course, the school does try to protect the students from the mass of predators out there so it is important to build a positive relationship between student and training aid.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    1. LOL! My benevolence and sacrifice is inspiring a generation of massage therapists to see eccentric people with tattoos as suitable for use. I will admit that the day after is the first day in two years without waking up in pain. There might be some side benefits to my new job. 😊

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. You are soooo right Rene. Not everyone in the business has your best interest in mind. I avoided massage because I seriously didn’t think I could stand someone touching me I didn’t know. It was chronic pain that broke the ice along with a trusted doctor’s advice. After that, I cursed myself for cheating my health and welfare. I think realizing that taking care of myself was more than taking a Flintstones vitamin a day finally got me into a happier more natural lifestyle.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Oh dear gods below! Been there, screamed that. There is a level of pain where it is cruel, inhuman not to offer relief. I’ve seen the toughest minds beg for relief. While we all have our limits set at different levels, pain will humble us all.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I fear that insurance and bureaucrats have crippled our health care system and in some cases our health failures as a nation put us on a level course with third world countries that have ineffective government and minimal means to address their national health and health care challenges. When I read that America has the lowest survival rate for newborns and their mothers than most industrialized nations, I felt that stab from those who sold disaster as a valid option. And it continues. Thankfully, we have people like yourself holding the line.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. It’s a complex subject with no real great solution in sight. I am resentful of the onslaught against opioids in Florida and the attack on legitimate doctors prescribing appropriately coming under the threat of the punishment by the government. Their scope has expanded way to wide, we need to go after pushers (some dr’s are pushers) and leave the care of patients in the hands of legit. Dr;s and hospitals. I personally blame Pam Bondi for starting this debacle to gain favor with her lord and master.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Pain management doesn’t need to be a social problem, it needs to be a social responsibility,as you said, in the right hands. We’ll get there because people will demand it eventually.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad it is that Mariah has been crushed in her optimism.

    I found that phrase “the Prophecy of humanity born out of the union of Cybrid and human” interesting.

    I don’t recall it in the first draft.

    It sort of leapt out at me.

    It sort of summarizes the yearnings of some in the 21st Century – the Transhumanists -union of Cybrid and human.

    Sort of different from the Messianic expectations of the Jews prior to Christ.

    Most of them expected a Messiah but a Messiah who would be a man – albeit a man with supernatural power.

    But when Jesus arrived, some were willing to accept him as the Messiah except Jesus went further than they expected – He brought out that prophecies in the Old Testament referred to a union of God and man in one person.

    Which most of the Jewish religious leadership could not accept.

    They were expecting a Messiah yes- but a Messiah who was a man – albeit a man with Supernatural power.

    They weren’t expecting a union of God and man in one person.

    So they crucified Him (thinking He was guilty of blasphemy).

    As Paul noted this concept of the union of God and man in one person was “to the Greeks foolishness and to the Jews a stumbling block”.

    It looks like the Transhumanists are more amenable to the idea of a union of Cybrid and human in the 21st Century than the Jews and Gentiles were to the idea of a union of God and human in the 1st.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning Chris! Great observations. With the onset of significant technologies and computation power all wired to the internet, the biomedical science has unraveled many of the mysteries of the human body and of our history. Long held beliefs of human origins are falling away as science proves those long held beliefs to be wrong. We have even discovered earth’s sibling in Alpha Centuri just as the ancients had predicted. I have revised a lot of this story in subtle ways and more so in these next few chapters. We really can’t be sure that the Dragons are just like the Greeks, Romans, or Jews in their desire to achieve a lofty goal and yet the ghosts of power, greed, and insular ways always subvert the dream into conflict. Technology has already rewired the human race and our DNA shows many changes that weren’t evident in the DNA of humans who lived 100 years ago. We are becoming a more homogenous race as populations explode and huge migrations greater than any before wash over the globe like floodwaters. Sadly, scientists have discovered that this mingling has spread genetic disease and weakened humans making us more susceptible to cancer, immunodeficiency disease, and weakened our cognitive abilities. As science advances, humans digress. Only a new, more pure, genetically modified human can live beyond this century. Thus, the March of the Cybrids.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. Strange as it may seem, he is the only person in the line up with real leadership skills. But, again where he leads is the quandary we must work through. I still think a Bernie and AOC ticket is what we deserve.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Waaaa haaaa haaaa! You get a vibrator, you get a vibrator, you all get a vibrator….. socialism is here to stay with Bernie leading the way. Bernie, Bernie, he’s our man. If he can’t ruin us, nobody can. Kinda rhymes, doesn’t it?

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. I think Bernie should hire Oprah to do the announcement. Oprah should then be given the position of Secretary of State. She could probably coerce the world into getting along fabulously. We need to reinstate global tea parties.

                      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.