6) Status the Sixth
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THE ZEROTH COMMANDMENT
Nothing is perfect! – said Nothing.
Having ordered the guy who came into room to take care of #Mac, particularly stressing that at any cost he mustn’t be seen by The Zero, The Old Man, obviously scared, ran out. However, the moment he opened the door, they all heard some mysterious and mesmerizing voice, a wonderful bass, more impressive than the James Earle Jones’s, if that was possible at all.
– I want to meet @RoughMac – apparently said The Zero, emerging like a ghost, standing in the very place where the hopes of finding him seem to be minimal, and showing himself at the moment the least expected.
– How did you know he was here? – asked The Old Man in a stammering voice.
– How couldn’t I know? – The Zero turned his answer into question, and got into room.
Completely opposite to elegantly dressed The Old Man, The Zero was wearing a casual, white T-shirt, jeans and light summer shoes. He was a man at his sixties, of swarthy complexion and black-eyed, whose eyes were glowing like the fiery coal, in opposite to his calm and appeasing sight. His body was tight and supple of conspicuously harmonious proportion, not at all putting into question #Mac’s conclusion that he was the top-level Yogi.
But that complexion! Some primal power forced our hero to reflect deeply just on it. It was the color of the Indian skin, the one which characterized #Mac’s skin either, every single summer until the start of his cabinet work, but now appearing after he would be back from his African summer holidays. That almost identical complexion (The Zero’s in its color very similar to raw clay, while #Mac’s was terracotta colored) created an odd feeling that two of them, without a single word, and without a single touch as well, do manage to talk through their skin.
Probably that was the reason they haven’t even met each other. Instead, The Zero continued to address The Old Man:
– When did you mean to inform me about our guest?
– We just brought him in.
– Strange. He was kidnapped more than a few hours ago.
– How do you mean “kidnapped”?
– Well, just like that – kidnapped. Literally. We have been expecting that something like that was going to happen, so we addressed the secret police to help us, the help which is eternally being owed to us. And really, in the centre of the city, the raid was carried out on the gentleman, who is present here. At the first moment, he managed on his own to disable the gray-haired man, who has been chasing him. Then the members of the special unit succeeded in protecting him from the false police-officers, having pummeled them at the entrance of some building. However, the high-ranking officer of the secret service, who further was in charge of @RoughMac’s security, was in the light of the day, deadly shot in the neighboring street. Our guys have arrived on time to take the dead body away and thus to prevent publicity, but they haven’t managed to confound the kidnapping. And now I am asking myself: What is the kidnapped man doing here?
– I know nothing about alleged kidnapping.
– How am I supposed to express myself differently?
– In a way in which one Three must be addressing The Zero. Nothing what I say must not be “alleged” for you.
– I apologize. The gentleman came to us on his own.
– With a pistol put directly unto my ribs – #Mac interposed.
– You must shut up! The fault for all this is with you – The Old Man tried to roughly interrupt him.
– And how did I know where I should come?
– You know a lot of it, but you are acting like some stupid fool – The Old Man interrupted #Mac and continued his conversation with The Zero. – I’m sure he personally staged an alleged kidnapping…
– An alleged? – like a robot The Zero said again.
– He crossed my nerves so badly that I’m not paying attention to what I’m speaking. It’s not going to repeat.
– I know it’s not.
– But the traces of his fingers are all over this, I assure you! – The Old Man pretended he didn’t understand The Zero’s frightening threat, although his panic obviously began to turn into agony. – Therefore I subjected him to mind-reading.
– Even though I warned you that thereby nothing was going to be achieved?
– I think you’re wrong.
– You think that I’m wrong?
– Please, I am excited, let us skip formalities this time.
– And why wouldn’t I allow you to do that? I don’t see how either formalities or informalities could change your destiny. So, informally, have you read his thoughts?
– Of course.
– Well, in that case you have found out The Secret before me. To your fortune however, I do respect reality. As The Zero, I would undertake the most astringent measure against the renegade Three. But, now when you know The Secret (albeit without permission), you are on your way to become Nothing, and for that reason I, as The Zero, must obey you.
– It’s not fair that you’re mocking me. I’ve read his thoughts, but they haven’t been the answer to my questions. I mean… for now.
– Maybe I’m too rash or biased, but doesn’t that mean that I was right?
– No, it doesn’t mean that you were right… – The Old Man managed to say before he bit into his tongue. – It’s clear to me that you’re not making mistake, but…
– Now, all of us, let’s come closer to scanner – The Zero interrupted him.
– You want to examine him personally? Great! The only one possible solution.
The moment they’ve approached the unit, a couple of robust, brawny guys grabbed The Old Man and started pushing him into scanner.
– Stop, stop, what are you doing that?
– We’re checking on how it operates– The Zero mocked.
– Please, don’t!
– Why? Are you concealing something?
– Of course I don’t. But, why are you degrading me, and showing such a respect for this evil? – The Old Man asked, pointing at #Mac. – He stole one million Euros, he killed and butchered one of our students, tried to kill another one, and managed to fool you…
– Stole his money? I’ll dismiss that as an utter stupidity. Killed the student? I would have asked you immediately how did you know it, but I would have rather asked you that question during the process of the mind-reading. But, to questioning again my power of comprehension, claiming that he managed to fool me? Come on, Man, you’re an utter dupe. I’m asking myself, how did you even manage to attain the level Three?
– There isn’t reason to feel frightened – #Mac shouted at the Old Man in a loutish manner. – You saw on your own that wreck of yours doesn’t work properly.
Then The Zero went off to the room with a control panel, leaving #Mac with gorillaz which were surrounding The Old Man, placed within the scanner. He probably wanted to make him feeling satisfied by observing to death scared monster, what was achieved to a certain extent. However, he didn’t know or wasn’t able to realize how significant was the sensible dimension of #Mac’s personality – moreover any sort of suffering, pain or disparaging of some helpless creature, whatever it was (evil-doer, a good or an average man; a male, a female or a child; a human being or an animal) were so painful and gruesome to him. He even cried after he heard of the news about the death of his arch-enemy Milosevic.
When the whole procedure was brought to an end, all of them got into control-room. In there The Zero was waiting for them, showing his hilarious smile, and he addressed The Old Man with an obvious relief:
– I am happy. It turned out that you are completely clean. I apologize to you for a lack of trust.
– That’s what I said: that damned thing doesn’t work! – #Mac yelled furiously.
Disbelieving his own ears, The Old Man struggled to regain some breath, and afterwards he became flooded by the wave of huge elation:
– I am clean, of course I am! And I am not angry about the fact that you were doubting my innocence. After all, your wisdom helped me to prove that I’m not guilty.
– Would you like something to drink? – The Zero asked both of them.
– An espresso, if it’s possible – said #Mac.
– I just want a glass of water– requested the Old Man.
After the drink was served and the three of them found themselves alone again, The Zero turned on the player and LED screen.
– I guess, we’re not going to watch the recordings of my thoughts, especially not in the presence of this bluffer? – The Old Man expressed his dissatisfaction.
– No matter how different you were, the both of you have to learn to cooperate with each other. Don’t forget our goals: we are not destroying, we are creating! – The Zero was enthusiastic, so The Old Man became silent again.
#Mac, of course hasn’t been impressed by The Zero’s gaffs, so he said furiously:
– I create nothing with you. Fuck your creation and your organization, you lunatics. Either you kill me, or let me go my own way.
Smiling heartily, The Zero addressed The Old Man:
– That’s exactly what I was speaking about with you. That’s his temper, whether we like it or not!
Just at the moment #Mac was preparing, regardless of consequences, to get on his feet and to try to move away, already the first scene of the recordings pinned him down to the chair again – a video-footage of his conversation with The Boy or The Student, dub him as you wish. In order to avoid any repetition, I’ll let you to choose whether you want to read it again in the Status the Second, either to remind yourself of it, or to ignore it.
The Old Man, naturally, was out of his mind, but the projection was continued.
As soon as The Boy left #Mac alone, he entered the second room and closed the door, someone standing behind him, with a help of his strong and dexterous hands, grasped The Boy’s head, and in a sweep move turned it over and broke his neck. Then silently opened the door, came close to #Mac occupied by suitcase opening, and hit him with the edge of his palm straight into the nape, what resulted in an immediate loss of #Mac’s conscience.
– What is all this? What sort of stupidities are these? – The Old Man yelled.
– These are your thoughts. If they seem stupid to you, then you are insulting yourself – answered The Zero.
Further in the recordings it was seen, how the very same hands gripping and taking away the suitcase, taking the money out of it and putting them into the sack, than opening the trunk of the #Mac’s car, and putting the empty suitcase into it.
– Who could know whose hands are these? – complained The Old Man.
– Oh, is it possible that they are not yours? – The Zero pretended to be simple-minded. – This has been recorded “straight from your head”, and it is quite evident that both the hands and the head belong to the same man.
– That kind of logic during the course of someone’s thoughts is not inevitable – the Old Man protested.
– I do agree – said The Zero – But, it is interesting that even a Vacheron Constantin worn on your left hand is as same as yours.
– A lot of people wearing such a watch– The Old Man now began to lose control.
The Zero stopped the particular segment of recording, showing a hand, and then he zoomed the left hand finger next to the small one, on which was clearly visible an elegant golden ring with engraved number three within the circle.
– Would you be rather wearing this kind of one? – The Zero asked, showing almost the identical ring worn on his left hand. The only difference was the lacking of any number within the circle.
– I’m not going to tolerate this anymore. I’m leaving! – The Old Man said, seemingly being determinant, but actually he felt desperately.
– I am not forbidding you that – The Zero reacted unexpectedly.
#Mac was aghast while he’s been watching The Old Man, who, after has been allowed to leave, has continued to sit as if he was made of ice.
– I can’t move! – The Old Man shouted terrifyingly. – I feel as if I was paralyzed, starting from my neck downwards!
– Yes, the cold water could cut you off – The Zero commented in a gentle voice.
Suddenly it became quite clear that some strong potion has been poured into his glass. Maybe he, as being helpless, still nurtured the hope that some kind of miracle could save him, but #Mac was quite certain that The Old Man was paralyzed irreversibly, but realizing at the same time that he might be a lucky guy if it remained just like it was, in his current state.
So whether he wanted it or not, The Old Man was forced to watch the continuation of the recordings. Again, whether it did him well or not, #Mac wanted to watch it.
The horrible scenes followed. At first The Boy’s head had been cut off with a chain saw, and his body had been dismembered. His head (as you remember) had been found in the rubbish-container, while his body parts had been used to feed the wild animals in the Zoo.
The Old Man in a terribly painful manner, turned his head in The Zero’s direction and totally dejected, managed to ask a question:
– What is going to happen to me?
– You’ve got an incredible sense for timing– mysteriously, but just for a moment, The Zero gave the answer.
That same moment, The Old Man began to struggle trying to breathe some air, his face and hands became dark-purple colored, and his eyes lost its focus. His eye-lids unstably began to shiver, while his face was convulsing, and his body, being paralyzed, remained unnaturally motionless.
#Mac jumped and tore The Old Man down to the floor, trying to help him by resuscitation, rhythmically pressing his chest. He hasn’t been stopping doing that not even when the wretched fellow pissed his pants, not even when he became completely stiff.
– I am aware that the varieties of capacities are at your disposal – The Zero added. – But one thing is for sure: You can’t bring the dead people back to life!
Then The Null went out of the room, while the couple of young guys just ran in, so they separated #Mac from The Old Man, and consequently took the body of the deceased away.
For a long time @RoughMac has been sitting on the floor, feeling helplessly and without hope. It’s hard to believe that there ever was someone who showed better understanding for Nietzsche than him and, in difficult moments, was so capable of sensing Amor fati, even though he wanted his life to present him with something entirely different. Almost all the persons, maybe even and all, whom he knew and of whom he was aware, were admiring the human will, effort, patience and deserved reward. But he admired exactly opposite – pure, genuine luck, which comes all of a sudden, for no reason. He wanted to reveal nothing, so he played with words: ”Let the revelation reveals me”. Maybe he was an idealist, maybe just a hedonist, but most probably he was just a fool.
For that reason nobody was surprised by the resentment he expressed, while opposing his bitter fate.
Having entered the room, The Zero began to answer the questions which #Mac put in front of himself, and not in front of him.
– It had to happen this way.
– Maybe to you. But, why to me?
– Only The Universe may know for what reason exactly you were chosen.
– Damn fuck chosen! Persecuted by villains and fanatics.
– And for what reason are you persecuting #Bianca?
– Why do you think that I am persecuting her?
– For God’s sake man, she’s hardly aware of your existence, while you have gotten into trip that she was the one and you were the other half of an ideal human being.
– But I didn’t do any harm to her, at least.
– Neither we did to you. You have right, villains and fanatics did. But not we.
– I don’t want to offend you, and this time I am not going to stick to my opinion as to what I think about secret societies and “saviors” of any kind in general. I will forget that you put my life into danger; I will concentrate on the fact that you have saved it.
– Just give me an indication.
– You are the Secular Cults. For centuries, you are capable of fooling yourselves with some Secrets, Truths and stupidities alike, whereby you’re sacrificing yourselves and the others, so as to take control of the whole world. Could you imagine – the world! There isn’t a single person who is capable of controlling itself, not even to mention the world as a whole. And all of you bringing “goodness” to other people, ”goodness” which is not wanted by anyone. And that “goodness” is not even similar to something beautiful and natural, to something tasteful, refined. You are possessing huge libraries, museums, sanctuaries – and in those buildings, there are, to tell the truth, a lot of good things, but there are entirely worthless as well, and all of them, put together, constitute a considerable danger. So in all these wonderful mansions and treasures, you are actually displaying bullshits. No matter if you are doing it because of your beliefs or sheer greed. The people are being sacrificed, our planet is being constantly put into jeopardy, and all that is happening despite the fact that there’s no way that you achieve your goal. Everything in vain!
– Beautiful In Vain?
– Just in vain. The Life itself is Beautiful In Vain.
– And what do you think, why have you been reading and writing when you were only three years old, why have you been, before your school age, “devouring” serious literature and encyclopedias, why have you been, even at that age, dreaming that someday the whole world would become one state?
– With regard to the last objection, it is not a dream, it is a cognizance. That will certainly happen, unless the whole planet wasn’t blown away, before anything similar took place. As regards my capabilities, I wasn’t the reason for inventing the term wunderkind. There are a lot of us.
Cary Grant used to speak: ”Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” Recently, I began to paraphrasing him: ”No one wants to be me anymore. Even I don’t want to be me.”
If you are that much interested in kids who were literate and familiar with capitals of all world states, well in that case you could have been persecuting Ivica Dacic instead of me.
– He is Minister of Internal Affairs, he should be persecuting us. – The Zero laughed. – And tell me, what is your rank on Twitter for example.
– I rank among the less than a half promile of the leading ones.
– How many followers do you have?
– Several thousand.
– And the rest of the leadings?
– Ranging from several hundred thousands to a few dozen of millions.
– Well, how did you find yourself among them?
– That’s what I’m asking myself either.
– You should ask them.
– And who says we didn’t?
– I do.
– You believe yourself, the one and weak, and we not to believe ourselves, many and powerful ones?
– Your and my power are of different kind, but that is only one side. There is another one. The real difference between me and you is that I am right, while you are far away on the road to nowhere.
– There it is, you gave an answer on your own. Exactly that is the reason we know that you are the real one, the Chosen one. The one who knows The Zeroth Commandment.
– If it is in such a way, then the Chosen one is ordering you: fuck off!
– You are a free man, but our destinies are unbreakably intertwined.
– Does that mean that I am free to go?
– How differently could it be?
– Than, as it’s used to be said in Allan Ford comics, till the no next time!
– May the luck be with you!
Maybe this last sentence, by which The Zero wanted him to find exactly that what he actually has been searching for, convinced #Mac that the Circle didn’t represent any danger to him. The fact is that he undertook a risky and highly irresponsible move – he dialed (though he did it in the public phone-call cabin, as if it could have changed something) his daughter and ex-wife and told them they were free to go back home. In the very end, they can’t be hidden forever.
He wished to give them a hug as soon as possible, but he evaded to visit the shelter, so in that way, he postponed his meeting with them for a couple of days, as much as they needed to arrive home again.
An odd fellow was our @RoughMac. Perhaps a strong man; perhaps simply a madman. But as soon as he came into his apartment, he turned on a computer. And just like the Circle followed its fixed idea, the very same way #Mac surrendered to his obsession.
Having seen #Bianca’s Facebook profile, he immediately realized what was going on. But, there was any proof for that. He searched, reflected upon, analyzed… without success. In the end, he remembered her Myspace account and promptly gave it a visit. He was interested in only one thing, so he scrolled in order to find the exact and precise point on the profile, where it was simply written what he was hoping to find.
THE END of the CIRCLE THE FIRST