Life in the Milieu
Dedicated to Julian May
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6178 SC
Lost in the Milieu
Rogatian Remillard was on holiday. The peace was there, again, in his heart, in his mind, this grand meta-concert of life, this Unity.
He saw his soul, examined at will, by countless others, all hosts and citizens of the galactic milieu, all in grand meta-concert, united, examining each and all and every, freely, without hindrance, in love and in mercy.
But Rogatien knew himself, he was a cranky old soul in many ways - Remillards were good at that, being cranky - and sometimes, despite the overwhelming sense of joy and peace he felt, especially in his dreams, at night, when soul after soul said hello and loved him, he often wished for that old freedom, that ancient freedom, the freedom of liberty of self, which seemed a forgotten reality in this brave new world.
And then 'Spacula' the Simbiari approached him, and said 'Do you want to be free Rogatien? Let me show you how.'
And the alien entered his mind, and turned away Unity, with a strange power, a strange psychic sense, and Rogatien felt that old feeling - solitariness, isolation - aloneness.
had - forgotten this,' he said to Spacula, as they sat in his old
bookshop, his cat on his knee, stroking it gently. 'Are you able to
keep it like this Spacula?'
'I can teach you how it is achieved,' replied Spacula. 'How to say no to the voices, to the Unity, how to be your own self, how to live your own freedom. But they will watch you - believe me - they will watch you then. For there is no freedom from the Galactic Milieu and their psychic watchdogs, no matter how much you may crave it.
Rogatien sat up late at nights after that, considering Spacula's offer. The Unity had returned, and they continued to bless him with peace and love and they examined his libertarian spirit and they all said 'Whatever Rogi' and nobody seemed to mind, for love was supreme.
But Rogatien yearned still for his freedom. And it was a choice he would make soon enough.
The Adversary looked at his fingers. Atoning Unifex looked at his fingers, and a small, quiet voice said, in his head, 'What happens when you have atoned?'
The fingers were real. They were his fingers. They were HIS fingers.
Mark Remillard left the hangar of the Poltroyan Spaceport in Ottowa City, were he was currently a guest, and walked. He walked, down the runway for a while, daring to risk life, and not caring anyway. And then he got to the end of the airport, and climbed the fence, despite the barb wire, and the blood shed, which somehow he didn't mind, and found a stream nearby and drank water.
12 months later he found old Rogie, and knocked on the door.
The door opened and Mark was instantly shocked. 'I can't read your bloody mind, Rogatien!' he exclaimed.
'Your human again, aren't you,' said Uncle Rogi. 'I'd heard the rumours.'
'The more things change,' said Mark, and wandered inside at Rogi's invitation.
'Who says, in the end, we need it. You know,' continued Rogatien. 'The gland climax of mankind's evolutionary odyssey. Who says we need it. Me, for one - well, I don't. I've gotten used to the isolation again, and, you know what. It was joy, the unity, but this? This freedom? Bliss. Freedom to be me, and think whatever the hell Rogatien Remillard wants to think.'
'I'm not sure if I'm one to lecture you anymore,' replied Mark, who was enjoying the purring cat on his lap. 'I sense it with me, but here, it's like it hardly can come in.'
'I have strength here - its built up a lot in the last few years. A lot of strengh. I keep everything I can at the kerb, and let nothing in if I can help it. This is MY kingdom. This is MY freedom. Not for the galactic milieu to dictate the comings and goings and thoughts of Rogatien Remillard.'
Mark Chuckled. 'As if they ever could, uncle Rogi. As if they ever could.'
'I'm happy, as well. It's better now. And I've got old contacts. INTERESTED old contacts, from various organisations, who like what I represent. And, no, we are not the anti-metapsychic rebellion. We are just who and what we always damn were as people. As simple as that.'
'Then so may it always be,' replied Mark Remillard. 'So may it always be,' finished the Adversary.
'I'm Wrath, Mark.'
'What are you?' responded Mark Remillard.
'Your conscience. Hah. That's good. You don't have one. My furious cousin spoke well of Denis, but you are so much more interesting. So much more - potential.'
Mark didn't like this voice in his head, which seemed to be taking over him in the last few weeks. It seemed to be - controlling.
'What do you want?' asked Mark.
'Oh, you know. Chaos, misfortune, evil in general. Standard commission of hell. We know, though, an Adversary when we meet one. You are that, aren't you Mark. An adversary. Face it, buster. You're not a conformist in the end. Your too brilliant for that.'
'Hell is not exactly the agenda of a Roman Catholic,' responded Mark, trying to dismiss the voice from his head.
'Oh, you can't get rid of me,' said Wrath. 'Not even the fasting of a female catholic priest will break my grip on you, child.'
'I don't serve the devil,' said Mark, trying to force the voice into submission.
'But you're so much like him. In so many ways, you know. Well versed in how stupid men really are. How unfit for - life - they really are. I mean, why even bother with 99% of them, you know. Dullards. Psychic shit. Homo Inferior in every way, buster.'
'I might not disagree with that,' replied Mark. 'But it hardly warrants what you are probably driving at.'
'How about choose your own adventure,' suggested Wrath. 'We can have a bit of fun. Poke fun at this milieu establishment. They are soooo boring and uptight. I can show you how to have a hell of time with them all. Believe me, buster.'
'I know an exorcist, you know,' replied Mark.
'Oh, phooey,' responded Wrath. 'That would spoil all our good and wholesome fun. Can't cause a galactic rebellion with an exorcist hanging around.'
'Galactic rebellion?' queried Mark.
'Oh, you know,' said Wrath. 'Mankind making war on the rest of the Milieu. Ruling supreme. Just your destiny, and all that. An adversary never really changes his spots, you know. Sure, atone away forever. You'll never change what you are. The way HE made you.'
'Shut up,' said Mark, not wanting to hear anymore. But Wrath continued, and Mark listened despite himself.
'You'll never bring the kind of change to this galaxy with your current efforts. Most of those races think humanity sucks anyway. Simbiari think your second rate versions of themselves. Thick and stupid ogres, humans, I've heard them say.'
'The milieu is in peace,' said Mark.
'But that's just it. And peace is boring. Liven it up. Give them some news headlines. What's life without a bit of chaos, hey, buster.'
Mark sat there, hating what he was hearing, but a small part of him was tempted. Because he was an adversary - and he didn't even like the establishment in many ways, his OWN establishment. So he listened.
And Wrath made HER case.
'Life in the Milieu' - 'The Serpents of Gehenna'
In the Negev desert in south Israel, there was a small cave, were the earthworm made his home. The Devilspawn himself. The ancient serpent. If you followed the cave to its end, there were pools of water, and through one of them it dipped downwards for a little, and then upwards again into an antechamber, which ran underneath a mountain range, and became a large cavern, full of molten lava, and the worst of all creatures - the Serpents of Gehenna. Satan ruled them. He always had and always would, but Fury was there also, and Abaddon, and Wrath. And other also. For they were the cursed ones, the seed of Satan the Serpent, the demonkind, who tormented humanity. Wrath was a bitch of a serpent, and she was under the agenda of Satan to corrupt the Atoning Unifex. Satan loved corrupting mankind, and his agenda never really changed. Barring the apocalypse, he would go on tormenting them forever, but who really believed that old fable. Wrath enjoyed her work, she had never really known any other, and the corrupting of Mark had begun and was going as planned. And that plan was chatoic war and intergalactic conflict on a devastating scale, so they did desire. The Serpents of Gehenna were a fallen race, and would never quite be redeemed, and Wrath herself, with all her cool charm, yet diabolical undertone, was particularly fallen and enjoyed every little bit of it. But Gehenna sucked, and when the Pope got on his throne and bound the darkness for a while, the serpents slithered back to their Gehenna home, to plot and plan once more, and to dwell in the pits of darkness, and calculate the next chapter in their cruel and savage torments. Fury had achieved much, but it was now Wrath's turn, and Abaddon, lord of the bottomless pit, would undoubtedly be back to his old tricks soon enough. For hell indeed hath fury, as well as wrath, and evil never got tired of its vengeful and ancient machinations.
It had been rumoured, and here it was. The timehole reopened, somehow. But this time, it ran the other way. Back to the future. That is what had been surmised, and Aiken stood there, in front of the one way trip he had made all those years ago, ready to be bold once more. Did it go exactly were it came from? Was it the universes way of correcting itself. Was it a small act of mercy from God. He didn't really know. But he took of his golden torc, and walked to the timehole, and waited, and was gone soon enough, and was gone from the Pliocene era forever.
He looked around. He was not in France. But the smell of the place was like home. He surmised he was in Scotland. He found a small town at the bottom of the hill from where he descended, and the town residents gave him a funny look, and he found a newspaper. It was a bit later than when he had left, and the Milieu was still well in charge, but life was mostly the same as usual from the looks of it. He thought of home, Caledonia, but would they accept the return of a fallen exile? Instead he did the most practical of things. He found the town library, forged a fake UK birth certificate on the printer, found the social security office, said he'd been 'Off the grid' for years, and they gave him a suspicious look, but provided him with temporary accommodation and the unemployment benefit.
And now a new beginning, but something was stirring in his psychic conscience, and a new plan was afoot. Something told him he would be a sovereign again soon enough. Soon enough indeed.
Simrantak and his partner Keldina Simrantak,Simbiari naturalists,
were in Namibia on Earth, on the Spitzkoppe mountain ranges,
collecting plant species. They had come accross the Gemsbok tail
grassland (the scientific name of Stipagrostis hochstetteriana var.
secalina grassland), and were in a campfire, stewing up the
'This appears to be approximately correct,' said Tallynak, later that night, with the liquid from the stewed grass in a glass bottle. They had stewed the grass first, then taken out the plants, and poured the liquid into the bottle.
'Should be fine,' replied Keldina, disinterested.
'You are still missing home? This expedition is for only 7 months. We agreed before we started we'd do the research. Namibia and the A.C.T. of Australia are barely touched in our studies of grasslands fauna, and these should be ideal as syrups.'
The Simbiari had a particular fondnes amongst naturalists in their communities for plant based syrups which they used in their cooking and meals. Grasslands from Earth were particularly prized, and Namibia and some places in Australia had not been touched much yet in the life of the Milieu.
'Wrath worries me,' said Keldina.
'It's none of our business what that vial fallen one wants to get up to. Rogatien can handle our concerns on the issue. We're barely involved. Our sponsor is extremely operant, and the encounter was very challenging in the desert last month, but Albek confronted Wrath, and prevented him from accessing our memories. We'll be fine. Wrath is long gone.'
'Still I worry,' said Keldina. Father was heavily involved with the foundational years of the Milieu and the early Operants in relation to Earth. Wrath knows I have knowledge which he can use. We'll never be safe here.'
'Life is for the brave, Keldina,' said Tallynak. 'Now come, let us have a little of this syrup for supper, and we'll find sleep.'
Yet while Keldina enjoyed the taste of the liqueur in its early form, she could not rest that night, the memory of Wrath and a dark encounter not that long ago still fresh in her memory.
The Fragmented World
'It's like life has a colour here,' said Aiken. 'A many coloured land. Full of wonder and primitive Terran beauty. It's been this way since I advented. But, no more,' he said to the Tanu Queen. She smiled at him softly, and stood back, and Aiken stepped through the time vortex.
Life has a strange thing about it. A universal law. A physical reality. A mathematical truth. What goes up in certain measure, comes down just as much, and even more at times. But generally, there are opposites in the universe, and counterparts. And when someone pushes one way, often another pushes right back, especially when threatened. And sometimes primitive society gets sick in its guts at a level of operancy it was not really supposed to deal with when it came right down to it. So a gate was in France, which was old news in the galactic milieu and old news in the pliocene exile. And that gate closed, and the mysteries of time had done their thing. But life has counterparts, and opposing factors and, in the end, a weird sense of justice. When you go out on a holiday, you usually come home in the end. Not always, but usually. So some time later, in both respective historical periods, right nearby where one gate from the future to the past closed, another gate from the past to the future opened. So it was assumed by Aiken. His gut knew. It just knew it. So he farewelled his queen, and his world, and stepped through, and to hell with the milieus sanctions if he was wrong or right.
And when he left France, in custody, being returned to Milieu justice, Atoning Unifex presented itself to one certain Aiken Drum, and Rogatien Remillard was present, for the recording of the matter.
'You know,' said Marc Remillard. 'My brother Jack would have liked you. He would have appreciated your damn honesty about things. Fuck the universe, I rule motherfucker. He would have laughed at the arrogance of that mentality. Found it an amusement. He was born with bugger all body parts, and perhaps didn't see much of the humor in God's grand design, but I think he would have chuckled on you Aiken.'
Aiken snorted, touched the golden torc around his neck, and said 'What of it Marc?'
'What the hell are we going to do with you little drummer boy? What the hell are we going to do with you?'
'Send me home. I've learned my lesson,' he replied with dry sarcasm.
'Mmm,' thought Marc.
'Yep, send him home,' said Rogatien. 'He's faced his penalty. They exiled him. They can't repeat the dose, so they'll have to put up with the man now.'
Marc looked at Rogatien, and looked at Aiken. 'Very well then Mr Drum. You will be escorted to your homeworld, placed under their authority temporarily, and then be allowed to re-engage with milieu society. And heaven help us all.'
'Sweet,' replied Aiken.
And the deed was done, and a strange new era had entered the galactic milieu, as if Set One had been completed, but Set Two was just getting under way.
They didn't keep a strong eye on him, and when he moved to go out the building, his guard looked at him for a moment. 'Catching a smoke,' said Aiken.
The guard stared at him, and said nothing more. Aiken moved off, and wandered down the street. They'd given him some debit cards with a fair bit of spending money, and provided his milieu identity cards. He found the airport, and got to France quickly enough. He was back to the original spot. He'd landed first in Scotland, but decided to travel to France. It had come out in Scotland, and he wasn't sure why. But when he returned to where the original timegate had been, it pushed at him. Like gravity repelling him, then his mind was in turmoil, and logical flow of thought disappeared, replaced by a thousand voices of Scottish ancestry, insulting him, rebuking him, admonishing him, reminding him he was a Christian, and get the fuck over it Aiken. And he fled to Scotland, and then his mind was at rest. He was outside of Glasgow, in a small parkland, eating fast food, and looking out. His mind was quiet again, and then, seemingly happy he had found his rest, they started chatting, but coherently, and respectfully enough.
'Listen dimwit. The Drum plan is not what you think mate.'
'The Drum plan,' replied Aiken to the voice.
'The clanplan, dimwit,' said another voice.
'The clanplan,' replied Aiken to the other voice.
'He's an idiot,' said another voice. 'He doesn't even know what's in his blood, let alone his heritage of ancestry. Can't even work out the powers of his being, and where they came from. Assumes he's gifted. Total moron.'
'I resent that,' replied Aiken Drum.
'We've gone through a lot of struggle in competing with the rest of them,' said a voice. 'And froggies are fine enough friends, but don't let Marc push you around so easily next time. Remillards have a lot of power, but they are not alone in the milieu. Other people have plenty to say as well.'
'You're my ancestry,' said Aiken.
'Give the man a prize. He's still got that IQ point we discussed.'
Aiken chuckled on that one. 'Classic,' he replied. 'You guys are Drum bastards alright.'
'Watch your Ps and Qs,' said a voice. 'We are honoured members of the Drum clan, servants of the Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ his blessed son.'
'Jesus,' sword Aiken.
'Exactly,' said a voice in reply.
'So I'm a Christian am I?' asked Aiken. 'Pretty sure I'm not baptised from memory.'
'It's in your blood. Quite a lot of the tradition is in your blood, Aiken. Baptism is not so crucial anymore. You are born again enough.'
'I see,' said Aiken. 'Where do you guys exist? Heaven? Spiritual dimension?'
'Something like that,' said a voice. 'We're the aspects of spiritual knowledge in your blood. But we have life from our spirit, and you don't need to know much else. Suffice to say you have work to do to tidy up your reputation a fair bloody amount, and we expect some actual heroics this time when the Serpents of Gehenna really start pushing their agenda. And don't expect them to play fair.'
'Marc mentioned something about that,' said Aiken. 'Briefly in New York.'
'Apart from that, it's your life, but you owe the family the effort of getting around to our actual traditions. And there is no better place to start then fair Scotland the Brave.'
'I see,' said Aiken. 'I suppose so.'
And the voices went quiet, and he munched on his fast food, and enjoyed the day.
A Second Coming
'A Second Intervention is coming,' said one voice.
'And maybe you have been entertaining angels unaware,' said another.
'And maybe they'll intervene soon enough at the climax of certain issues being resolved.'
'And he shall come again in the clouds,' said another.
'So we're gonna give Satan a dust up,' said one.
'And teach him not to mess with us,' said another.
'And leave the sitch be, as we're not really right,' said another.
''We're not,' said Aiken.
'The Jews are the main concern of the Creator. Torah Covenants people,' said a voice.
'We get along with the mission of Jesus of Nazareth,' said a voice.
'It's what we do,' said a voice.
'Our lifeblood was poured into that service. Can't really change it much,' said one.
'So we follow the man from Nazareth, and have a bit of grace from God in Revelation being partially recognized as something to bother with a little bit for world to come purposes.'
'And it's really just a thing the church has to concern itself with. The world is not to be bothered by our bothersome faith any more. Pissed enough of them off.'
'Pretty much,' agreed Aiken. 'It's bullshit.'
'As you say. But it's our way, and you have been seconded into christian duties to mess with the Serpents of Gehenna in our rumble coming up. Think the outsiders movie. We know you've seen it. It's just a rumble, a bloodspit, a melee, and we've mostly learned our lesson to leave the devil alone to his own business, and he's had a piece of our mind.'
'I see,' said Aiken. 'Coz God is Torah, and the church is just something to please the Christians with prophetically on judgement day – the revelation. But it's not his plan. No eternal hell.'
'Wouldn't say it quite the same. Many opinions that there are some who are going to be condemned actually. Our conclusion is that its probably just their own reputation for their life works. They will just have to live with what they've done, and they will never really be forgiven many of them. The crosses they will always bear.'
Aiken stood there, in front of the house he had been brought too. 'I see,' he said. 'A second intervention?'
'World to come and all that Jazz. Heaven coming down as Michael W Smith likes to harp on about.'
'So eternal life in the physical world?' queried Aiken.
'The overall point,' said a voice.
'Which is why you are here,' said a voice. 'Knock on the door. Her name is Sarah Drum. She knows who you are. She will know what to do with you.'
And Aiken sighed, knocked on the Glasgow door, and a middle aged woman answered it, smiled at Aiken, and ushered him in. And the 'Drum Plan' continued on its merry way.