I asked whether she was afraid of her father. “I respect him and everything he and my mother do to create the stable conditions necessary to rear a child in. He is not a violent man and you’re wrong if you imagine any of us are, that sort of behavior would lead to our rapid destruction given the immense power in the hands of every last citizen.
He is an officer assigned to defense of the black sun, though. He did not get there by accident but was rather selected as the end result of a very long process of tiered elimination in search of only the absolute most committed and faithful arns to personally work aboard the black sun, supervising its operations.
This process prevents demented or ideologically compromised collaborators with our many enemies to infiltrate a position from which they could inflict lasting harm to our society.” I became suddenly and uncomfortably aware of the itchy bulge in my forearm. Shkinta followed my gaze in confusion, not seeing what irritated me.
It at least confirmed for me, as much as I could possibly know, that she was unable to read the contents of my thoughts in any detail. After that we talked about the boy she’d been crying about earlier. I broached the topic mainly to distract from my careless momentary interest in the payload concealed within my arm, but it proved to be as revealing as the rest of our exchange.
“What is it that you like about him?” I asked, recalling teenage infatuation with boys based only on how handsome and reckless they were. “He picks up and dusts off promising but failed approaches to solving difficult problems that others pass over.” She answered.
“Instead of just accepting that if everybody else failed to find anything of merit in those ideas, they must be without any, he instead meticulously dissects and evaluates every part of the idea to see if it was ever feasible and if so, what about it must be altered in order for it to succeed.
Of course this means he spends a lot of time fruitlessly examining doomed ideas, but when something truly revolutionary is discovered, it’s often found where nobody else was looking.” I smiled, somewhat taken aback by the maturity of her answer.
“So it isn’t because of his looks?” She appeared confused. “He looks like everybody else. We all look extremely similar even to one another, how could you-” I gestured as if I’d actually had a lapse of the mind, bonking the palm of my hand against my head for her pleasure.
In fact, inwardly I was reflecting on how what I assumed to be a slavish, superficial devotion to beauty at all costs actually prevented every emotional injury which could possibly result from substantial differences in individual appearance.
Instead of properly dealing with the difficult and complex outcomes of permitting difference to exist, they simply prevented its existence. It was deeply in keeping with what I knew of their glorified notion of making difficult decisions for the greater good.
More than anything though, I felt relieved to be done with that whole sordid discussion of race. It briefly unsettled me when it appeared as if she might be correct, as much an impossiblity to me as when I discovered the Earth has a habitable interior. However, it was only by openly and honestly examining that worldview that I could now unreservedly say it was wrong. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as ever.
Suppressing such discussion, however well intentioned, ultimately serves only to create a mystique surrounding the topic. “Maybe racists are right, if powerful people seek to silence them” many must think. But the people who conspire to deny racists a platform from which to argue do so because they privately fear the racist worldview is true, as I briefly did during discussion with Shkinta.
Such people imagine themselves entitled to decide for everybody else what information we can be trusted with. I distrust these social engineers for many of the same reasons I distrust eugenic engineers, as the process of rapidly and forcibly reshaping humans from what they naturally are into what you think they ought to be only strips away your own humanity in the process.
I also trust the free competition of ideas to produce ideological outcomes better than social engineers can possibly plan for the same basic reasons that I trust natural selection to produce biological outcomes better than genetic engineers can possibly plan.
I was permitted, because of my increasingly domesticated behavior, to sit in the dining room with Shkinta and her parents as they ate their evening meal. Before eating, they all gathered together around a Vril staff and clasped it in their hands. Shkinta beckoned to me.
Me? Really? I’d never once invited a pet to pray over dinner with me. For whatever reason they seemed not only receptive to, but insistent that I join them in the ritual. With my comparatively tiny hands, I too clasped the staff. Because they willed it, I could now understand them.
“Good and strong and pure and wise, and right and warm and beautiful.” her father said in a sort of rhythmic, droning cadence. Her mother was next to speak. “Pure and wise and good and strong, beautiful and warm and right.” Finally, it was Shkinta’s turn. “May our perfect race dwell in power, wisdom and beauty for ever more.”
Even more so than the invitation to pray, this came out of left field. I expected them to say some sort of tribute to the All-Good as Tlalo, Drena and their cohorts had. But in fact I did recall hearing from somebody that these insufferable creatures instead worship their own people and accomplishments.
Some food materialized, which further baffled me. By this time they’d set the Vril staff down in a receptacle in the corner and were sitting with their hands in their laps, nowhere near it. Did one of them have a Vril staff on their person that I couldn’t see from this angle?
It was just a pile of fruits, meats and semi solid masses of different shapes and colors. Shkinta’s father gestured to the food, and I realized after Shkinta began serving portions of it to her mother and father that it had been an invitation to do so.
Afterwards Shkinta retired to her room, and began on her homework. That’s what it must’ve been, unless she just spends her leisure time poring over esoteric information projected by her staff into the room around us.
I watched indifferently as many machines, pieces of art, flora and fauna I did not recognize appeared and disappeared. I yelped in surprise when an image came up that I did recognize, because it was a collection of hominid skulls.
Shkinta looked at me in a way I gradually figured out was the same way I’ve looked at cute cats, because they’ve seen other cats, birds or some other familiar object of interest either on television or the computer screen. I blushed and looked as serious as I could before asking her why she was studying this subject matter, and if perhaps it was related to our shared evolutionary ancestry.
She informed me that in fact the skulls in the image were fully modern. One of them certainly looked that way but the other was so blunt, ugly and somewhat angular that it surely had to be from an individual with a disorder afflicting bone formation.
“This is just a typical Aboriginal skull. The other is the skull of a Europid specimen. I believe they were collected from donors who died in…” She consulted an article about how humans measure time. “..The eighteen hundreds.” I gave her a dirty, frustrated look.
“This is just some shit you made up to convince me you were right about all that race nonsense earlier, isn’t it. No modern human’s skull looks like that. The skeletal proportions of the so called races cannot possibly differ so severely.”
She asked if that was because I believed race to describe only superficial qualities like skin and eye color. “Well…yes” I replied cautiously, while mentally readying myself to shoot down whatever she said next.
She stared off into the distance contemplatively before answering “You are so irritatingly outraged by any fact which causes you to have a brief, unwanted glimpse of truths which you find unbearable. Like one of our stubborn theologians of old who would raise a ruckus about displays in our science museums which depicted an Earth with an inhabited outer surface, because they still believed the universe to be no larger than the Earth’s interior.”
Stay Tuned for Part 42!