DEAR LEADER | A bionic cyborg disco erupts, fantastically granting heuristic interdependence | Jun, Kneller, like Morozova, need outside perspective
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I remember the first time I saw DEAR LEADER. My father took us on the old broken down maglev into the heart of the capital, and there amid the thousands of people lining the Boulevard of Infinite Victory was a long military parade, ending in DEAR LEADER’s car. I was little at the time so all I could see, even on my father’s shoulders, was the top of his white gloves as his Mercedes convertible rumbled past us and he held his hand up in a wave. The white fingers looked so clean, like nothing I had ever seen.
The speech he gave I can still remember. It moved me to this day to hear it.
“We are the only true nation left on this earth. The rest of the world are slaves to commercialization, to interdependence. They do not have the benefit of my wisdom. They do not have our values of self-reliance, virtue, morality, and worship of the DEPARTED FATHERS. They even add machines to their bodies, modify themselves. They are nothing better than animals! You may hear that the rest of the world has unified, that there is mutual peace and prosperity. But I ask you, how can there be prosperity without the firm guidance of myself and the DEPARTED FATHERS? How can you prevail without self-reliance?”
We all cheered and I clapped my hands. On the way back, my father had to beat some peasants who had come into the capital, because their donkey-carts were in our way. On the way home, as the maglev smoked along, I said to my father, “I am so glad we have DEAR LEADER.”
He got a funny look on his face. “The rest of the world seems all right. My grandfather remembers when the moonlights appeared. They did that, not DEAR LEADER.”
I was so surprised I almost forgot to report him the next day.
After that, they gave me a gold star to wear on my clothes and took care of me, putting me in the Special Academy. I learned more about DEAR LEADER and the DEPARTED FATHERS. I grew up. Eventually, I met DEAR LEADER himself, on the day I was inducted into the Protective Guard. I saluted him and put on my bravest face, and I swear, even though I was focusing on his golden epaulets, that he smiled for a second.
The day my captain injected me with the bots I protested, citing DEAR LEADER’s words forbidding self-modification. “DEAR LEADER has approved this,” he said, not blinking an eye. “It is to protect him that we do these things. These will make you stronger, sharper, and you will be able to hear our communications without an earpiece.”
I was impressed by how quickly my body felt stronger and more agile. I was good at my job, keeping DEAR LEADER safe. He thanked me one time and gave me a gift: a snow globe.
The voices started after our trip to the coast. DEAR LEADER required that the farmers in that region shift from rice to corn, to vary their crops. Improve self-reliance. I was leaning on the Mercedes and looking at the sun set behind the eastern mountains when the voice spoke.
“It is time for DEAR LEADER and his SONS to join the DEPARTED FATHERS.”
I was troubled. “No,” I said, to the setting sun. “It is too early.”
“This is the voice of the DEPARTED FATHERS. We have decided that DEAR LEADER and his SONS must join us, so that we can descend from the heavens together, to lead as gods.”
For months the voices went on with their argument. Could I be a vessel of the DEPARTED FATHERS? They told me the time was near, and when I awoke I found the syringes. It was Festival Day. “DEAR LEADER will hold his state banquet,” said the voice. “Squirt this on the main dish after the taster checks it. Only you can do this.”
When DEAR LEADER was in hospital, dying, withering away, his SONS equally pale in their adjacent beds, I was not sure, but the voices insisted. The doctors talked about “polonium-210”, so maybe that was what was in the syringes. I don’t know what that is. DEAR LEADER did not look like someone who was going to join the DEPARTED FATHERS. It wasn’t glorious at all, whatever the voices said.
Now we have joined the rest of the world. We have hamburgers and neon. We have choices. But the DEPARTED FATHERS never came.
I miss DEAR LEADER.
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No, I did not forget to close a link. Promise.