BOOK ONE – “A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION”
(Tuesday, January 2, 2035)
As Norlin opens the fridge, back at C-Squad... the brown hydro inspected and checked in, yellow-suited auditor from the Solar Commission delivered back to Germany Smith... Frankie's struggles and muffled oaths intensify to such vehemence that the Corporal forgets his own counsel and backhands him, left-fisted, while his right hand removes a gray health-bar in white foil wrapping from its box. He places the bar in a Departmental device rather like a microwave - only larger, louder, and with a propensity to belch smoke. At his desk he cuts the warm JatesBar twice horizontally, three times vertically, leaving twelve neat little squares on a circular, red glastic plate, the first of which he spears with the tip of his silver knife. Chewing slowly, he opens a file and begins to read: a denunciator in a Southwest rooming house informing on a neighbor suspected of making cheese in the common bathtub. Eric Ice takes wolfish bites out of something greasy, possibly illegal, in his fist as he scans the afternoon Journal on his pleader for piss futures; Homer Sack has placed a large bowl of what looks like poison ivy before him, and begins grinding black powder over the leaves.
"Blessed be this meal to be consumed, mighty the spirit awaiting his return to sender," he graces the meal and, by encirclement, all of their dubious lunches. "Waited for you," he tells the others, reproachfully.
Eric replies through a mouthful of grease. "Seeing as you're being shot up into space, come Jatesday, couldn't you lay off the weeds, coal dust and Elvis, and live a little? Even Death Row criminals get what they want for a last meal, within reason..."
Norlin starts, misbelieving that the moonlighting fex-marketeer has made reference to his ex-spouse, but Homer shakes his head, droopy canine ears flapping like desultory fans stirring around the stifling air of C-Squad. "To the contrary... congealed sunlight purifies the body and the spirit, which cleansing is all the more important, physically and mentally, in preparation for my wonderful journey."
"You're just gonna die! Gotta tip the Ayatollah Ali Zazzami's fex is gonna take off, soon as he does, Homes... lay some of that ticket money down on a three-day-turnaround and you could upgrade to first-class..."
"The pursuit of unearned wealth in the service of physical luxury or, even, comfort is not conducive to moral and spiritual cleansing."
"Oh? Like Jezekiah Jemaliel Jates never passed up an opportunity to gouge a buck on his fake eyeballs, Solar Furnace, hydros and airships and pour it into that palace of his?" Eric baits him. "And just who the keb made up that idea of doom-rockets with a first and second class?"
A few cops saunter in to take food or drink from the fridge... Frank Desperate moans and thrashes when the last one's indifferent kick fails to shut the door, leaving him cold and swinging again. Norlin squints at another incomprehensible missive on his pleader, extracting particulars for his DR. Ice slides a pale green lozenge into C-Squad's tukebox, strains of Elvis Presley's "It's Now Or Never" overpower a droning, Vegas-era bloated "Me and Bobby McGee" rattling the Departmental loudspeaker, the sizzle of the lightfixtures and drip-drip-drip of overhead sewage...
"Squawkbox is OK, but play too much of the King's late RCA stuff, Corpse," Eric feels a necessity of justifying himself. "Vegas keb... halfassed movie soundtracks. Gimme that ol' time Memphis rock and roll... Sun, some early RCA..."
"In the King's example of corruption of the flesh, wisdom abides," Homer feels obliged to comment...
"Wisdom don't rock, Homes..."
"Just keep it down," Norlin cuts both of them off, "some of us still have to work..."
Frank has continued writhing and shouting into the duct tape over his mouth... he's loud enough to disturb, if not overpower, both Kings and Eric feels obliged to reply. "Maybe if you got wise and gave up the rest of your bad-glass gang, Frankie, I might consider closing that door, maybe even taking that tape off your mug..."
"He's right," Homer chimes in, "...Mister Jates said, and often, that the mirror over the kitchen sink is a window through the soul."
"Whazzat, Frankie?" Ice reaches the fridge in three steps, ripping the tape off, bringing a cry, then a tremulous whisper...
"Elvis kebbin' Presley!... can't you dooks tape my kebbin' ears instead? As if you never heard of Duke Ellington! Or Count Basie!"
"Who?" frowns a puzzled Homer Sack.
Norlin spears the last rectangle of JatesBar on the red plate, scrolling the incoming com on the pleader as he chews.
To... all Police and Ante-bodies...
A Charge, against Jeremiah Jezekial Jates, and sundry Jateslanders...
Iam that Will will conquer in'vidual expression through rectangular equilibriums of my benefactor. Equilibrium is the ideal dead center whose opposite is dis-equilibirum. Therefore, the center of any relationship must exist on a point between the two. Those who fail to appreciate interaction between opposites are animals - those few others are the pioneers.
I proclaim Equilibrium within any particular aspect of Nature resting on that equivalence of opposites. Tragedy is created by in-quivalance; I see the tragic in a wide horizon or high cathedral... that is why the deserts, seas and churches shall be hunted down – exterminated wholly, as that chocolate my adversary so detests.
Some ordinary dances are created - not by the objects of representation, rather by myself: I, their Mover.
In gesture realms, where a-plastic exteriorization of finance and medicine remain dominant, bloodthirsty theatrical dictators (propped up by baroque, senseless womanity) will cause the Jatesist sur-ciety to slide backwards into devilish Oprae of the lower animals, whipped and driven.
Degeneracy (with its attendant spiritual butchery, gesture and mimicry) augurs a need for continuing re-infection, against which theatrical penicillin-illusions must fail entirely, allowing human-beings' natural evolution into a New Plastic its due procession, the palette softly enclosing curved space and secondary colouring – neither pro- nor anti-, merely biotic.
My personal reward shall be transient enclosure in a prison cell of perfect rectangularity, in a reforming uber-ciety of prefect geometry.
Do you know me? I know you – and better than you know yourself!
You Know Who