Episode 1: “Where It All Began”
By Jaysen True Blood
It has been seven months since my wife died. In that time, I have struggled to find my way. Incomplete, I now drift. I am only half a man. My will now almost gone.
Life is no longer important to me. I merely exist. That existence is only to finish as much of what I had started as I can.
I am John O’Dell. I am a mystic and a philosopher. I have written political reform proposals that should be made into indelible laws. And yet, they remain unheard. Unseen. Unpassed.
I am a poor man, never seeking riches or power. I seek only change. Progress. Advancement of the human race.
I was unable to go to my wife’s funeral due to promises not kept. I was unable to have closure. I also had to put my own plans to memorialize her on hold due to my own failures. Failures that I could never have foreseen. Lack of work. Slow book sales.
As for all that I was supposed to get done where taking care of her affects were concerned, I have only gotten half done. Things were supposed to be sent out. Important things.
But none of that matters now. All that matters now is getting personal things done. Things that will still benefit all. All but me.
My time, it seems, is nearing its end and I am the only one who realizes it. And my cat. She seems to know that something is amiss. My health has deteriorated. I am only half the man I once was.
Now, I write. Columns. These, I hope to make a living off of so that what time remaining will not be spent starving to death. After all, I cannot rely on those who have shown me what little kindness I have received much longer. Nor are there any jobs. Those vanished long ago.
So into syndication I take what I can. The rest will remain where it is. Online for all to read freely. But the columns will make me money.
Perhaps they will also boost my nonexistent book sales. One can always hope. And I need something to break loose. Quick. Before it is too late.
But I want more. Much more. Maybe too much. And possibly more than possible.
I want to restore my happiness. I want to return to what had given me peace. I want to restore my wife back to my life. But I know that this is an impossibility.
But is it really? Or do they tell us those things to keep us from pursuing similar avenues as Dr. Victor Frankenstein? Is beating death truly impossible?
Perhaps not. Perhaps, I can. After all, I have a plan. But it is not a plan that comes from plundering graves and reanimating corpses. It has more of its roots in The Invisible Man than in Frankenstein, though it might seem to resemble both.
Call it the demented, or ingenious, however you want to view it, lovechild of both stories. But it is not simply a mix of just those two ideas. There are elements of nearly every science fiction book, movie, and television show I have ever seen. And in this, it is my own secret monster. Call it a flight of fancy. But it is time to break the power of those who refuse to cure illnesses because of their greed.
Greed. A disease all its own. Just like ignorance, hate, fear, and dishonesty. The very things that plague this country.
If I plan these columns right, I can get at least six months worth of material (one article a week) done and submitted. At that rate, I will be able to prepare the next six months over a more relaxed period of time and not have to hurry or collect old material to make for a compelling grouping. Not that I have anything against my old material, I just want fresh and new. So will my readers.
Working first on this column, then that one. When writer’s block takes me on one subject, I pursue another. As I do so, I allow myself to reach back into my memories. First of her, then of my distant past. My youth. When all my hopes and dreams begam. When I came up with the original idea.
But one thing at a time. Do I run with my thoughts at this point? Or do I stick on task and continue the boring tasks I have appointed for myself? At the moment, science and medicine seem more interesting. But it would be rude of me not to finish a thought.
The tasks it is. The columns. At the moment, it is four. Maybe five.
The first is a music review, a little something I started before my second marriage. At the time, I was writing serial fiction for a small startup ezine. The editor/owner decided to try a print version, branching out into interviews and reviews. And even articles.
I wrote many articles, but many more music reviews. At the time, the form was a bit unrefined. I still used the “star” system so prevalent in reviews. Over time, I refined them. Now, over twelve years later, I am getting ready to release these reviews nationally and internationally.
Next is a book review I started a little over four years ago. I had a lot of friends, then, and built up a library of ebooks to review. I only made it through about 200 before being interrupted by life. Since then, I have reviewed quite a few books.
And then, there is my political, scientific, and philosophical writings. One more blog. One more column. Makes me smile to think how many people I will piss off.
Finally, I have decided to begin something that is reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s. I have begun a column that serializes fiction in a column, much as was done with Tolkien’s books, the works of C.S. lewis, and even Robert E. Howard and many others. Though I begin with my own fiction, I hope to also give a voice to many of my fellow authors along the way.
This is something I’d always wished I had when I was younger. Sure, there are magazines dedicated to such things, but they have grown too stuck on ideals and not enough on aiding the aspiring writer or the struggling published author. They have their rules. Their regulations. Their likes and dislikes.
All the while, those of us who do not write their kind of fiction, or their idea of a good story, are stuck without representation. I intend to change this. In a major way.
Now on to science, technology, and medicine. Back when I was still a Junior in high school, I created the crude idea behind a current project-in-waiting known as biocybernetics. But I will need a private laboratory for that. Think of it as a combination between the cybernetics of Terminator, but more basic and less metallic. It mixes technology with genetics to create nano-chips, or nano-bots if you will, that can turn off or on genetic switches as need be.
Basic application would be to regrow amputated limbs, repair spinal cords, or switch off a genetic or mental illness with a simple implant. The final list of possible applications is endless. With the current medical, scientific, and technological capabilities, I believe it to be a real possibility now.
But without me to nudge it into being, it may never happen. Especially if man sticks to his current downward spiral. Civilization may well be at its end unless those of us who are more intelligent fight back.
Things are progressing well. I have begun the process of syndication and am now awaiting the act of being picked up. I have spent most of my free time preparing each column, so have had little time to record my day. It has been nearly a week since my last entry.
I have gained notice, but am not sure where it will lead. No one has picked the columns up yet, though. At least not that I have noticed. Perhaps they will soon.
I am getting ready to submit the final column, the serial fiction column, the gem of my collection. This column will revive the serialized fiction in news print. I am hoping that it will draw more readers for those papers that choose to put it into their circulation.
With all the columns done, I can now return to writing my books. God, I have let things go too long! I have tons of books to write and not enough time!
In two days, I have received no less than five queries from newspapers! Even Rolling Stone wants to make a deal with me! Were my reviews that good? Were my columns that good?
Three editors from England are now on their way to the Midwest to meet with me! The Chicago Tribune, New York Times, L.A. Times, Omaha World Herald, Des Moines Register, and the Miami Herald all want to talk! Is it time to start making contract deals? And to think that yesterday, I was a nobody!
Still, I have to keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. It is so unreal! So surreal! I am still in shock!
Yesterday, I was slowly starving to death. Today, I am a hot commodity. Tomorrow, I may die a legend. Or I may die in obscurity. I don’t care. As long as I can make enough money to live comfortably.
At the moment, however, my calendar looks full. I meet with London tomorrow. All three editors. One of those editors publish the newspaper trusted by the queen herself. The others are competitors. Me, I am non-exclusive. I will insist on non-exclusivity. It will make me more money through not restricting who I can be published by.
It may also open up more opportunities in the long run. What’s next? The Washington Post? Guess I will have to wait and see.
The meeting with London went fine. Non-exclusivity was agreed upon and all agreed upon a payment option. Tomorrow, I meet with Omaha and Des Moines. I have added Lincoln and Kansas City to that meeting as well, since they will be here tomorrow. It doesn’t matter when they call, just that they are in a meeting that is best for them.
Wednesday is New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Thursday is Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Minnesota. Friday will be Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Indiana. And Saturday is California, Florida, Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon.
I doubt I will get to rest on Sunday. Depends on what happens. I might use the day to work on a book or two. After all, I have several unfinished WIPs that need to be worked on.
Still, it all depends on what happens and who calls upon me. Perhaps this will be the beginning of something bigger. After all, I am a political rabble-rouser and philosophical malcontent. Not to mention opposed to religiosity and hypocrisy. Yes, that makes me very dangerous to a minority of people in this country.
At the same time, I have to wait to see just how much I have stirred the hornet’s nest. And exactly how I have done so. Will I anger the ignorant? Or will I stimulate the intellectuals? Or both?
I can’t help but smile as I embark on this journey. Especially since it is at what I fear to be the end of my life. I say this because I have not felt well for years. At least a decade.
Even worse is the fact that I have struggled through the last few month without the one I love. But what I do, I do in her memory. I only hope that it is not too late to salvage what is left of the country and the country’s honor.
My mission has always been clear. Stamp out ignorance. Destroy hatred. Remove greed. Fight tyranny. Reform politics and all that needs to be reformed. Drive out those who would destroy.
It is as it always has been. Even from my youth. Yes, this is why I have always been driven. I just wish I had started sooner.
I am running out of time. I die a little more each day. And yet, I continue on simply because I envision a better world. One where all are treated equal.
I cannot give up now. I cannot give in. I shall not. Not until I breathe my final breath.
And so I march on, a champion of education, science, progress without greed, advancement without condition, change without religiosity, and evolution beyond this mortal shell.
And I do not fight on alone. Many believe as I do. Time for the old to die and the new to be born. No longer to be divided, we the people must first reunite.
Traditional religion is no longer relevant or valid in any way. What should have been embraced had long ago been discarded, then lost. Only to be replaced with ideals that allowed mankind to slip back into his idol worship. Health, wealth, and happiness tinged with an unholy worship of Moses and the Mosaic covenant. The Old Covenant.
Christ, what a mess! No wonder so many have turned their back on religion. Myself included. It is beyond saving. Nor could it ever save anyone now.
They have killed it, resurrecting a far more ancient and evil religion in its place. Ah, but I am speaking as if I am directing my frustration at just one. But I am not. They are all equally guilty, now becoming the same religion but under different names.
But they cannot see. All are blinded by rhetoric and political innuendo. But then, that is the problem. Humanity is blind. And sick. Just as the earth is sick.
My columns will be in print from coast to coast! The only states where I will not be read are Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas. Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alaska, and Tennessee joined the states that negotiated contracts with me. Idaho was at the meeting with Utah and Nevada. Maine joined the delegation of editors from New York and the rest of the east coast.
I am now read in forty out of fifty states, plus DC. quite a feat from a virtual nobody. There is even call for me to syndicate in Europe as well. I believe I have started a movement! This comes as a surprise. Not used to being the agitator. Used to being the agitated.
But here I am. Stirring the pot, so to speak. Add to this Britain and nearly every European country and a few Asian countries, and I have a nearly worldwide audience! This is quite unexpected! As was Britain and much of Europe literally begging me to make two of my columns a daily thing rather than a weekly!
Never in my wildest dreams had I ever foreseen this! But the side effect has been even wilder! Seems I have distant family wanting to meet with me! Some are due in in a couple of days! The rest will have to wait!
I just wish that my wife had lived long enough to see this. She would be ecstatic. She had hoped to see me become successful, but had died before she could. And I wanted to see her succeed as well. If I could, I would go back and prevent her death.
Ah, but I am breaking my own rule. One should never go back to seek a selfish solution. Of course, I also believe that to go back would cause a ripple effect that would only end with change beyond all comprehension. Still, it would be nice to share this with someone.
And I hate being alone. Sure, the solitude is great for getting shit done…but I can’t stand the silence. It is totally maddening! Music and DVDs do wonders, but it is when there is no sound that I find myself wishing for an end.
Or at least a return to happiness. An end to the migraines. An end to the pain, both emotional and physical. And end to my nightmare.
But I doubt there will ever be an end. At least not until I fulfill whatever it is that the universe desires of me. But exactly what is that? What is my real mission?
To provoke thought in the thoughtless? To turn people back to the truth? The free them from the slavery of the religion of their own making? To effect change against all odds? What?
What if my purpose is to go back so that change can be made at a much deeper level? Or what if I am to be the one to make contact? What if both are intertwined and inseparable? What if–?
The questions run wild in my mind when there is no other sound but my breathing. Am I mad? Am I insane? I have been told no so many times before.
Perhaps I merely think on a completely different level than others. I don’t know. All I know is that I am completely lost without her. I am rudderless. Without a guide. Without grounding.
And so I walk aimlessly through life. But maybe not so aimlessly now. I don’t know. Perhaps now, I will know my purpose.
Perhaps after my meetings, I will know what I am to do. I hope so. I hate not knowing. It leaves me unfocused. Empty.
I look forward to meeting my new family members. From what I understand, they may have a solution to some of my problems. Not that I need much.
I took a look at my bank account today. I am already a millionaire. It isn’t as if I have a need for much. I would, however, like to be able to fund a few experiments to prove my theories correct. I would also like to open a private laboratory so that I could develop a few ideas into reality. Perhaps they will agree with my ideas. I don’t know.
I just have to wait and see. And hope. Whatever comes of the meetings, I am sure of one thing. I want to emerge friends with my distant relations. Since I have very few friends among my close relations.
The ten Englishmen have arrived and now recently departed. All are from some branch of my mother’s family. All have never had a family of their own and are the end of their lines. And I offer them an alternative, despite the fact that I am a distant relative. Extremely distant.
“What will you do should we will our fortunes to you?” This had been the first question.
“Change the world for the better, I hope.”
“And this means?” Asked for clarification by one of the group.
“I would create jobs and effect political, economic, business, and social change. I would start research to find cures, not treatments for symptoms.”
“Very well played. An answer worth investing in.”
“Why? What is you motivation?” another question.
“My motivation is manifold. First, I have watched this region and this country being drained of its jobs. Secondly, I have watched as politicians have promised much and delivered little. And third, I am tired of watching a minority grow rich off the suffering of a few. It is time for a change…and perhaps a shakeup.”
I watched a smile creep across one of the faces. Up until now, he had been very stoic and somber. But now, he nodded, smiling in approval.
“You do realize that what we do will appear as if we are investing in you?”
“I would expect nothing less.”
“Your actual inheritance will be what is left of what we keep back for ourselves…and our estates once we are gone. The bulk, however, will be an investment in your revolution of change.”
Their lawyers stepped out of their midst. Ten lawyers for ten men. Twenty people altogether.
“We will work out the details.”
And so we did. At that very moment, I went from a mere millionaire to a trillionaire! I was extremely fortunate! Now I could do all that I had dreamed of doing. The cannery. The sustainable paper and plastic mills. The lab. The entertainment business. Small business projects for young entrepreneurs.
But where to begin? That was the big question. I settled on the purchasing of the old factory building where my father once worked. This would be my lab, and in one end would be a safe to store excess in.
At the same time, I made a promise that no one would know exactly how much I was now worth. I kept my personal account low enough to fool everyone, but high enough for me to be able to live comfortably. Within the multiple million range.
The rest, I would slowly begin placing in bank accounts under different company names for the cannery, the mills, the lab, and an investment collective to supply the money for such entrepreneurial endeavors as a shoe manufacturing factory, auto manufacturer that would manufacture electric cars only, and even a flood control idea I had come up with before my wife died.
The bulk, however, would be in the vault waiting to be distributed as needed. And this was the plan that we agreed upon. With a promise to send via private courier jets, they left.
From what they told me, there are hundreds more waiting for me to visit Britain and Europe to do this exact same thing. Hundreds! At this rate, I will never run out of money to invest! Just how much will I end up with?
Of course, I have abbreviated the conversation, the interview, but I have given a good idea of what has transpired. Yet, a call came in and a team wants to meet with me. Physicists, both astro and theoretical. Geneticists. Medical bio-techs. Bio-researchers. Even a pre-eminent surgeon and physician! All are due in a couple of days at the most.
I now have a team of over one hundred. Medical researchers and bio-techs. Even a team of doctors! The equipment has been ordered, received, and installed. The vault has also been installed.
Research has begun on the different projects I had envisioned. The first to emerge as a reality was the bio-tech armor that appears to the observer to be the wearer’s skin, but is impenetrable even in its weakest spots. I now wear this armor, acting as a test subject, until my pet project is finished.
My pet project. Biocybernetics. A possible cure for all that ails mankind. Even ignorance.
On the most basic level, biocybernetics can be genetically programmed to switch off specific genetic malfunctions. Or even a mental illness. They can even be genetically programmed to regrow spinal tissue and return the ability to walk to someone who has been paralyzed. And even “regrow” amputated limbs.
The applications are endless. The only professionals with any clue as to what the project entails are in my employ. And no one knows that our lab exists…which is how I intend to keep things. Should the pharmaceutical companies learn of the lab’s existence, they would try to get the government to either close us down or make us sell to them. But this is a private project. I don’t intend to sell. Or be discovered.
At least not until we can limit the power of said pharmaceutical companies. In a major way. Which means that I also have to bring down certain powerful people. Still, I agreed to bring about change. Somehow.
Perhaps that will be easier to do once I return from Europe. My first destination? Britain, of course. The Queen desires to see me. I even get to speak before Parliament! How cool is that?
But I also have appointments in nearly every European country. Strangely enough, though, Russia seems afraid of me. I wouldn’t know why.
Of course, I have been rather outspoken against them and their meddling. But I am also outspoken against America’s meddlings. I am just that way. I see no reason for the larger nations to stick their noses into the politics of smaller nations.
And foreign involvement, militarily, should be a very limited thing. We should not start wars. Nor should we invade. Perhaps I can do something to change that. We will see.
I am not advocating isolationism, I am simply saying that wars for sake of war or profit is wrong. A defense budget should be a tenth of what is annually spent on military simply because defense does not include waging wars on foreign soil for no reason and a huge arsenal of weapons is not necessary for defense purposes.
And neither is the arming of the populace. But I get into a very touchy subject there. And my philosophy tends to cause crazy people’s heads to explode. And sadly, quite a few Americans seem to have crossed over to the insane side of the line. Many of them, should have mental evaluations.
But then, they have all bought into the lie that greed is good. At any cost. Thanks, Hollywood. Thank you for distributing that falsehood in a way to make the masses believe that it was a truth.
Greed is not good. Ignorance is not bliss. And hate is not a “Christian trait”. America’s morals have utterly collapsed. What had made it great is now seen as what is causing it to be not-so-great while what makes it not-so-great is trying to destroy its very soul. All because of the polarization caused by the parties and the richest of the American elite.
No, I don’t believe in an illuminati. That is a lie. A myth. Something for conspiracy theorists to scare their children with at night. Along with their imaginary “they’re coming for our guns” and “we’re always at war on some level with our government” bullshit. After all, they vote these shitheads in. then they believe their lies. Not very bright.
And they believe what the rich tell them. All sort of ridiculous when you realize that jobs cannot be stolen from you when the corporations that are lying to you are leaving the country because they really don’t want to have to pay you. All comes back to the policy of greed. “More for me, less for you.”
It’s all lies to keep us blind to what they are doing. But I aim to change that. In a major way. Once I am done doing what I have to do.
I am off to England. The Queen sent a special envoy to accompany me. Possibly to make sure I get there safely. After all, it was at her insistence that I began writing my two main columns as a daily item, breaking with my idea of a weekly only series. But then, I do write compelling stories and put forth provocative ideas.
From London, I am to travel to different cities throughout Britain. Afterward, I am to fly to Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid, Toledo, and Paris. From Paris, I am to travel to Rome where I am to meet with the Pope. I find this fascinating because I am not Catholic. Hell. I am not even religious.
From Rome, I am to go to Bern, then to Berlin. What happens after Berlin is anyone’s guess. I am thinking of going to the west African countries and setting up the experiments where my reforms are concerned. And possibly an experimental version of my flood control.
I may even travel a bit and find what I can find, doing whatever I can do to change each country I go to. I don’t know yet. What I do know is that I have work to do. A lot of work.
So I leave my team to continue their research. I hope that they have something new for me when I return, but it isn’t imperative. Even a small breakthrough would be nice.
But we do have numerous projects being developed. Sonic propulsion. Long-term stasis pods. Sentient transport. Things I had dreamed up as a teen.
But, then, I was always an inventive youth. I was always coming up with new ideas. New technologies. I guess it was what kept me in school.
That and the fact that school was my asylum from my father. At least in school, I could be myself. No matter how weird my classmates believed me to be.
Now, I am forging ahead while most of them are stuck in jobs they hate or marriages they abhor. I see the future while they look back at the past. But then, I have always looked at the future. Even when I was studying the past. Maybe I can help them see that the past is best left where it is, in the past. But that is a project for when I return.
At this point, I have more than I can handle. Well, not really. I should have said that I have all that I can handle. I need to quit making new projects and focus on what is currently being done.
The first episodes of this story are taken from my proposed Fiction column “Souljourner’s Tales Form The Darkness” . I completed three or four episodes as filler for the column, which is meant to become the platform for independent authors to get discovered by prospective readers. the column, based partially off this blog as well as of the tradition of some classic writers who would publish their books as serials in newspapers.