Words by: C. J. Lewis
Statement of Intent: The following response is a short story concerning the issues of terrorism and the corruption of democratic power and control within the confines of Australia. The audience is for the contemporary society of Australia; however, particular ideas and issues raised in this narrative can be easily understood and broken down so that they can be associated with other nations. This is due to the fact that the corruption of power is not just occurring in Australia but worldwide and terrorism is one negative outcome of this abuse of power.
Imagine a city of glass; glass of distorted colours, a distorted reality. Glass is our sin, our security, our lie, our doom and our salvation. We live in a world that discourages change yet artificially alters our mere existence and mere differences of character and creativity. How does one live in a world that speaks louder than its people? This is a world where the rights of individuals are turned up on its head in the defiance of freedom. Without freedom, to live becomes meaningless; freedom is the true meaning of living. Cages and prisons of artificial creation keep us fearful and submissive to the faults of our superiors, our society, and our world. It’s time we put a stop to this madness. We must fight to make the impossible, possible and the possible, impossible. Today is that day, today is our reckoning and today we take back what is rightfully ours.
I see the lights and sunshine all around me. It’s all an illusion to disguise the truth within a misty fog of lies. The sunbeams are reflected off the glass in an unparalleled manner.
I search sky-high in an attempt to soothe the storm brewing within my own head. Self-doubt and confliction; slowly but surely was seeping to the surface of my mind. This darkness is the contortion of truth and fear of the unknown.
As I enter the control centre, I am not confronted by armed forces of any kind. I am undisturbed as I make my way up the spiral staircase to where I need to be. I know this place like the back of my own hand and yet now I am finally here I feel isolated and detached as I am like splatters of paint on a wall to this facility of power.
My purpose almost feels drained from within myself. It’s the chemicals; I must keep reminding myself as I finally reach the control panel where I set up the sequence for self-destruct. Ironic that its own system should be the one to ends its reign of terror. I ready myself for my own sacrifice and feel uneasy.
There should be an entrance sign all around the world saying, Welcome to the Glass Realm of Control and Misery, and the land of dying hopes and dreams. This very thought once upon a time brought laughter without humour but now it just brings forth numbness throughout my body.
A sickening feeling within my stomach was bubbling to the surface. Light-headedness threatened to overcome me completely in a void of darkness.
“Iridessa!” I hear my name shouted from behind me. I slowly turn as I have come to recognise this man’s voice as one of my own. Septimus. Overtime, he has come to be my own brother in arms and reasoning.
His arms come round me in a bearlike embrace. He is warm and smells like roses and lavender. I feel at ease immediately. His breath tickles my neck as I nuzzle into him for security and strength.
“You don’t have to do this alone, Iridessa,” he softly, whispers in my ear as his lips brush against my skin in a hypnotic way.
I attempted to break the embrace but he wasn’t yielding. His hold was unbreakable and I found that the more I struggled, the tighter his hold on me increased.
“Septimus, I must do this alone. I don’t want you to die or get hurt. Please, just let me go,” I said in a cool, calm and collective voice. I placed both my hands on his cheeks, moving my thumbs in a circular motion in order to soothe him. His eyes closed briefly as he took a large intake of breath. His hold on me never wavered.
This was all so cliché and that’s why I had to stop Septimus. A hero and her lover? Please. It’s much more than this. Love is an illusion that must be first broken down to its purest and rawest form so that the correct pieces fit back together to reveal the truth. In this world love is worthless because it will be crushed and dictated. That is why I must do what I have to, so that we are all free to decide our own fates and futures.
Indeed I do love Septimus but his love is not real nor is it mine to behold. They have taken possession of him, stripped him of his own freewill and thrown him into darkness, so that he will forever be forged into something robotic and inanimate. A shell of a person once mighty now a shadow of his former self.
It’s my duty and desire for peace and freedom that empowers me however it is Septimus in this very moment that gives me hope and strength that change of the acutest kind will be possible.
“I don’t want you to leave me.” I barely heard him utter this sentence as he continued to hold me to his chest in a protective demeanour. He wasn’t going to budge an inch or move a muscle.
“Change doesn’t happen overnight, Septimus, change happens gradually with perseverance, change starts today. We must be that catalyst for change or nobody else will be.” I made him look deep into my eyes by cupping his cheeks in both of my hands. His eyes were watery and filled with fog. He wasn’t fully there and it brought me pain to see him so disconnected and removed.
They purposely sent Septimus to stop me and spy on my every move. They were suspicious of my activities and that was their main motive in doing so. They knew that something was up but what they didn’t know was that I was not alone nor was I going down without a fight or loud bang.
“I know, I know my love but I can’t let you do this alone.” I could feel his heart rate picking up speed. The panic and franticness in his voice was starting to reveal itself. His body language was the biggest sign of this. He was slowly pulling me away from the control panel, urging me to stop.
One button, one push and the catalyst is set off. They lose control of this city and any other city we have held under hostage. We will wake people up to the truth and give them back their bodily control. They will feel the impact and damage of our actions. Their propaganda power will be significantly reduced as they no longer will control the minds of the people with their machines and poisons.
Their technology and advancement in robotic fabrication will be their doom. Using technology as a method of mind control is the most unethical and morally wrong invention to ever be implemented into our society. The worst thing though is that fear led to individuals freely giving their submissiveness in return for security and safety.
Was there any real threat? And who was the real enemy? Answer me that because all I see is men in suits dictating all that is and all that it could be. Life is constantly altered to suit a purpose of men in power. The people will be heard. We will no longer stay silent and submissive for now it is our time for our voices to be heard. For me this is my purpose in life.
I came into this world to live out loud, to have an opinion and to hear the opinions of others. Valuing the opinions of others shows true power not weakness because it takes great courage and strength to really listen and take into account what others want not what you want. But it takes even greater strength and courage to implement change as change is hard for people because it is unknown. For the most though change is essential and special because it demonstrates our ability to evolve and make necessary changes that really matter rather than holding onto the past and conservative ideals.
Septimus managed to pull me five feet away from the control panel. I relaxed my body and his hold on me relaxed as he took this to be my submission of defeat and agreement. I sighed deeply and hugged Septimus one last time.
All I had to do was press the button, it was all set for the end outcome. I brought my knee upward and made contact with his crotch. He gasped out in pain his hold on me loosened enough for me to break free and run to the control panel. I pressed my hand down on the button and I felt the burden relinquish off of my shoulders.
The countdown begun and I felt Septimus’ arms once more around me. He wasn’t harsh; he was gentle as he wrapped his arms around my waist. He face and mouth were once again pressed up to my ear. His breath was steady while his heartbeat was rising from the closeness and commotion of the situation.
“I told you once before, Iridessa that no matter how hard you try I will never be persuaded to leave you ever,” he said, and then continued, “That’s what they never understood; they never understood that they could control my actions but they could never fully control how I felt. It’s the feelings that discern us from them; our ability to feel is what makes us stronger than them. Love is a powerful feeling, Iridessa and…well I love you and I know you want to stay in here while this place explodes into oblivion so I will stay with you, I will sacrifice my whole entire being for you because I believe in you. I always have and always will, my love.”
As his words fully enveloped and dawned on me, I felt the strength and willpower surge through my body. To sacrifice everything, to make a change I knew only this kind of action could truly impact the world because to be heard in this world actions have to speak louder than words.
I placed both my hands on his as they were resting on my stomach and I let go of the self-doubt and confliction, and I welcomed the calm of the sea to wash over and through me.
“I would thank you, but I know that the only thing that you want to hear right now is that I love you too and Septimus I do love you, more than anything and that I know to be the truth. But I must also say goodbye for we shall meet in another life, one that has begun a transformation and ascent to freedom.” I felt his lips press to my cheek and his arms tighten around me.
At the very last moment before the countdown finished; at those very last seconds, I whispered, “Septimus…goodbye.”
The last thing I saw was shattering glass and light but what I felt was incredible. I felt free. And that one taste of freedom was worth every sacrifice I made because if that’s what a small dosage of freedom feels like than I want everyone else to feel and have this sense of freedom.