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NumbaCruncha

By Taylor, Rigby

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Book Id: WPLBN0004102414
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 652.50 KB.
Reproduction Date: 4/22/2016

Title: NumbaCruncha  
Author: Taylor, Rigby
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Utopia, Armageddon, utopia, dystopia, genetic modification, clones, brainwashing, collapse of civilization, ecological destruction, sustainable living, hermaphrodites
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Science Fiction
Historic
Publication Date:
2016
Publisher: Rigby Taylor
Member Page: Rigby Taylor

Description
NumbaCruncha begins with a chilling peek into the near future, when Sebastian and Jarek, now in their eighties, confront a particularly vile religious autocrat, whose reign of terror has led to the destruction of their laboratories, but not their secret weapon. We then take a thousand year leap to a future city state in which the human aptitude for duplicitous and unjust social schemes has reached its logical culmination in Oasis, a flesh-crawlingly evil dystopia ruled by the most unpleasant gang of conmen and women you're ever likely to encounter. A couple of young scientists who have recently invented a new means of transport, begin to question the morality of the Oasis social order, and decide to do something about it. Meanwhile, back in the forest, Sebastian and Jarek’s secret weapon is waiting. NumbaCruncha is a thoughtful, perhaps shocking, certainly controversial, at times amusing, and always cheeky assessment of the apparently intractable problems facing humanity. Although the future for life on planet Earth seems hopelessly bleak to people who care about the destruction of the natural world in which Homo sapiens evolved, NumbaCruncha suggests there might be some hope …but only if…

Summary
After a chilling peek at the near-future, NumbaCruncha takes a thousand year leap into the future, where the activities of humans have reached their logical culmination in a flesh-crawlingly evil dystopia ruled by the most unpleasant gang of conmen and women you're ever likely to encounter. Meanwhile, back in the forest, Sebastian and Jarek’s genetically evolved Men are waiting.

Excerpt
1: Somewhere in Far North Queensland Towards the End of the Twenty-first Century. ‘Make sure there’s nothing left to salvage, or tomorrow there’ll be nothing left of you.’ The priest’s twisted smile, more venomous than his customary frown, underlined the threat. Ignoring the nervous nods of his sweating acolytes, he turned, raised an imperial finger in warning and waddled back to his limousine, slashing the air with his stick to ward off mute offers of assistance from heavily armed bodyguards. After passing silently through the gates the black car stopped to allow the priest to gaze back through tinted windows. Impassive, he watched as the splendid old buildings exploded in a gigantic fireball that briefly rivalled the sun. This wasn’t the first such establishment he’d had the pleasure of demolishing, and wouldn’t be the last. Releasing a wheezy sigh of satisfaction he nodded slightly and chewed thoughtfully on his bottom lip. There were few pleasures to match erasing the stench of Roman Catholic blasphemy, nonconformist freethinking tolerance, and secretive research by ungodly intellectuals bent on disrupting God’s plans. He tapped on the bulletproof glass and the chauffeur drove smoothly away, leaving the once grand edifice’s executioners to ensure all had been destroyed. After poking at ashes and embers long enough to ensure nothing useful remained, the demolition team drove noisily away in three small matt black trucks bearing the same gold logo of intertwined crosses as on the doors of the priest’s limo. Forty kilometres inland, two elderly men were attempting to relax on the wide verandah of a house nestled in a luxuriant garden that merged with dense surrounding rainforest. The leaner and taller of the two snapped his phone shut with a sigh. ‘That was Lindoro. The Research Institute is no more. Brother Dominic has just left so we have about half an hour.’ ‘Half an hour. You say it as if it were a lifetime. You’re always so positive, Sebastian.’ Jarek’s sigh was even deeper than his friend’s. ‘I know we’ve been expecting it, but it’s still a shock to know the party’s finally over.’ ‘It’s not over till we’ve given the fat priest the welcome he deserves.’ ‘I wish I was fifty years younger.’ Jarek levered himself to his feet, opened a concealed panel in the wall and pressed a switch that triggered lasers to reflect off multiple mirrors, creating tiny pinpoints of light at strategic locations throughout the forest. ‘We may not be much use, but at least the guys will be ready.’ He turned and leaned against the railing, staring thoughtfully along the driveway, mentally preparing himself for their unwelcome guest. Sebastian stood beside him, equally pensive. ‘The mad monk’s done us a favour—saved us having to close the place ourselves. At least we’ve avoided depressing farewells.’ He shook his head in despair. ‘It feels odd knowing I’ll never see the place again. That’s where I found my father. Then when I lost Reggie and thought my life was over, you turned up. Since then every moment has been the best possible.’ He grunted a short laugh. ‘It’s strange that memories of seventy years ago are as clear or clearer than those of last week.’ Jarek nodded and smiled softly. ‘I can’t believe we’re both eighty-six! If I don’t look in a mirror my head still thinks I’m a young man.’ ‘We are young! Sagging skin’s simply a clever disguise.’ ‘If only. Did Lindoro say if anyone was hurt when the school went up?’ ‘He fears so. They’d been expecting the attack so last week they took away everything that was still useful. He’s been hiding in the old house for the last few days to get video evidence of any attack. Arnold turned up this morning looking for something. Lindoro warned him to stay clear, but he went in not long before the wreckers arrived and didn’t leave, so he must have hidden when the demolition gang arrived and died in the conflagration.’ ‘I hope that fucking priest didn’t get his hands on him first!’ ‘It doesn’t bear thinking about.’ ‘It’s all over then.’ Jarek turned and peered into the rainforest as if searching for something, then shrugged and raised his eyes to the massive western escarpment several kilometres away that seemed to float above the treetops. Large birds wheeled in thermals and dense clouds accumulated beyond the towering cliffs. He sniffed the air. The storm wouldn’t arrive till evening. Meanwhile a pitiless sun rendered outside activities dangerous. The oppressive heat infected his mood. ‘I can hardly bear to leave. This wonderful house you built; the memories, the work, the fun...I’m glad no one will live here after us—it would be sacrilege.’ ‘Coming from an atheist them’s powerful words.’ ‘You know what I mean. Are you sorry to be leaving?’ ‘Not if I think about it rationally. We’ve had an excellent life. I’m not greedy, and politically we know it’s impossible. My brain wouldn’t mind hanging on for a bit but my body and common sense tells me to get out while we can.’ ‘So this is the end.’ Arms linked they wandered indoors to the relative cool of the lounge. ‘Only the end of the beginning. Now the exciting part is starting.’ ‘But we won’t be here to see it.’ ‘Thank goodness. Things are going to get much messier than they already are, so I reckon we’re quitting at the right time. You’re not having second thoughts?’ ‘No way. Even if things remained as they are I’d not want to stay. We’ll deal with Dominic, bid farewell to the guys and...’ ‘You think they’ll survive?’ ‘No question.’ A car horn gave three sharp blasts. ‘Ah ha. We have visitors.’ They watched through the window as a large black car crunched over the gravel and parked directly in front of the house. Two guards in glistening black leather sprang from the rear doors and crouched each side of the car, assault rifles at the ready, heads and eyes flicking from side to side, noses thrust forward as if to smell danger. When satisfied it was safe, the driver got out, crossed to the verandah, tapped on the wall with his rifle and shouted, ‘Everyone outside! Now!’ underlining his order by firing a volley into the air through the verandah roof, startling a flock of kookaburras into maniacal laughter as they flew off. Jarek and Sebastian wandered out, hands in the air. The driver patted them down, told them to keep their hands on their heads and wait in the centre of the driveway. The sun was searing and they began to sweat while he made a thorough search of the house. Eventually he returned and signalled to the car. A fat man in black emerged, shuffled to the verandah, hoisted himself with visible effort up the steps onto the deck and sank into the largest of the rattan armchairs. A casual flick of fingers summoned the two elderly men who stood and stared at their unwelcome guest; faces devoid of expression. ‘We meet at last. From the reports I’d expected a pair of giants, not a couple of scrawny old men. You look as if you’ve suffered a famine.’ ‘You look as if you caused it.’ ‘Touché.’ The fat man’s lips drew back in a humourless smile. ‘OK, where are they?’ ‘Who?’ ‘The mutants you’ve been breeding.’ ‘We haven’t been breeding anything; we’re too old and neither of us have ovaries.’ Brother Dominic leaned forward and slashed at Sebastian with a whip he’d concealed in his surplice, nicking him on the cheek, drawing a trickle of blood. ‘Before disposing of that charnel house of yours, I had a chat with a young man who, after a little persuasion, told me everything. Arnold I think he said his name was. Unfortunately, having no lips made him difficult to understand, so I thought I’d visit you to clarify a few details.’ ‘You fucking bastard.’ ‘My vows of celibacy preclude fucking, and both my parents were married.’ ‘What about your gentle Jesus meek and mild Christian vows? Don’t they preclude the use of torture?’ ‘He who sees evil and does nothing is also evil. One of my multitude of burdens is to rid the world of evil. According to what that unfortunate individual told us, you’ve been playing God.’ ‘We wouldn’t contemplate emulating the incompetent, vengeful, vain, infantile figment of your imagination you call god. According to your beliefs he designed and made you. We, on the other hand, have brought into this world creatures of wisdom, sensitivity, grace and beauty—as unlike you and your ilk as it is possible to imagine!’ The fat priest smiled; he’d angered them. ‘Your passion is commendable and increases my curiosity. Arnold was only able to give me a vague idea of what’s been going on before he gave up the ghost.’ Brother Dominic’s phlegm-filled chuckle failed to elicit the response he desired so he continued in placatory tones. ‘If you tell me everything, and convince me that the results of your work do not pose a threat to the State, there’s no reason not to let your protégés live.’ The old men remained silent. ‘Be reasonable,’ Dominic cajoled, ‘you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.’ Jarek and Sebastian looked at each other, shrugged, and nodded. ‘Can we sit down?’ ‘Of course. Of course.’ The priest flicked fat fingers at the driver who brought two straight- backed chairs from inside and placed them facing his boss. The old men sank gratefully onto them, thought for a bit, exchanged glances and wry smiles, then nodded acceptance. ‘It’s a long story,’ Sebastian cautioned. ‘I’ve an hour to kill.’ ‘A foolish expression.’ Sebastian sniffed his distaste and cleared his throat. ‘Sixty-three years ago, instead of closing the School because of falling rolls, my parents decided to use the facilities for research into social change. Philosophical and practical solutions to the abundance of problems facing humanity were solicited from all over the globe. Millions of responses were computer crunched, analysed, sorted into ideas and mulled over by the philosophers, scientists and medical personnel who had become interested in our project and joined the institute. It soon became clear that because human problems stem from the way humans think, we can’t expect to think our way out of problems our thinking has created. So we adjusted the question and ran it through the computers again. The solution at first surprised, then after consideration made sense. We would have to eliminate some things that once ensured survival, but are now destroying us along with the environment in which we evolved.’ ‘And what did your computer suggest you eliminate?’ Dominic’s sneer irritated, as he intended. Sebastian smiled equably. ‘Two genders, and brains that can be taught in infancy to believe nonsense, despite evidence to the contrary, simply because the person wants to believe it.’ ‘What nonsense?’ ‘Things like believing there’s an invisible, omnipotent, omniscient superman in the sky, or that democracy will ensure good government...that sort of thing.’ Jarek replied, face a picture of innocence. ‘And you want to eliminate sex?’ ‘No—merely the duality.’ ‘Quit the smart-arse act. Cut to the chase! What are you talking about? ‘It’s obvious that the qualities of both sexes are essential, but having two different sexes is an evolutionary compromise. It worked in other animals, but in humans is a recipe for conflict because of our ability to see ourselves as individuals rather than part of a pair or group. The different desires and expectations of males and females...’ ‘Give an example of these different desires,’ the priest interrupted brusquely. ‘Males are usually content with a simple life as long as they feel useful. Left alone we would still be relaxing in the Garden of Eden. Females drive change by demanding ever more impressive evidence of their partner’s ability, demonstrated by the Adam and Eve story in your bible.’ ‘So?’ ‘So humans are in a constant struggle to get more and more, bigger and better, regardless of whether it is useful or essential for survival. We swapped paradise for a work camp. Instead of remaining in the natural state in which we evolved like all other animals who only do what is essential for their survival, leaving the planet fresh, clean, and able to provide in abundance, we’ve become slaves to our unquenchable desires.’ ‘What rubbish! Our ancestors could have remained in a state of nature if they’d wanted.’ ‘I disagree. You see humans don’t have a cut-off switch. They aren’t able to say, “I’ve got enough, so I’ll stop for a while.” Once the climate stabilised, men’s problem-solving brains allowed them to indulge their insatiable desire to impress and provide for the insatiable desires of females. This led to agriculture, cities, heavy industry, commerce and wars with increasingly powerful weapons. Increased security allowed women to breed more, and medical interventions have permitted most children to survive. Twelve thousand million people now eke out an existence in a death struggle for survival on a tiny planet that our evolutionary impulses have rendered virtually uninhabitable.’ ‘If the characteristics you describe are indeed human nature, then I’m living a natural life.’ ‘Sadly true. You’re a living example of how humankind’s natural behaviour contains the seeds of our extinction. Your insatiable desires have led you to excess in everything. You’ve become the most powerful person, the most feared, the most cruel and hated. You’re a vile, obese monster whose selfishness and unconcern for others knows no bounds. You’re the result of ten thousand years of civilization in which men grabbed, killed, conquered, made slaves, built empires, multinational conglomerates...and so altered the planet that it’s no longer a benign environment for most living organisms.’ ‘Only ten thousand years?’ ‘That surprised you, didn’t it? For the first two or three hundred thousand years of human existence, Earth’s weather was too unstable to allow civilization to develop, and humans remained as they evolved—hunter gatherers living in precarious balance with nature like all other animals.’ ‘It’s human ingenuity that enabled you to do your research. You’re no better than the people you criticise. Where do you get these stupid ideas?’ ‘They’re far from stupid. There have always been a few humans throughout history with the ability to observe the world objectively, think about what they see, and by understanding how nature works, suggest ways to live well without destroying everything. But they’ve never been able to influence human behaviour. Instead of facing facts, the overwhelming majority of humans believe what they want to believe instead of the truth because of childhood conditioning and constant propaganda. So now we’re living with the result—a filthy, degraded, overpopulated, overheated planet. Few humans will survive the collapse of civilization.’ ‘What a Jeremiad! The sky’s falling in—civilization is collapsing! Rubbish! There’s no limit to human resourcefulness; civilization is far from over!’ ‘Half the city that used to be down the hill from here, is either under water or a suppurating, lethal swamp.’ ‘Which begs the question, why haven’t you offered sanctuary to refugees?’ ‘Our forest has been designated a sanctuary for displaced non-human animals.’ ‘That will change! Surely you don’t consider animals as important as humans?’ ‘More important than the current crop of humans, which is why we embarked on our research.’

Table of Contents
Table of Contents 1: Somewhere in Far North Queensland Towards the End of the Twenty-First Century 2: About a Thousand Years Later 3: A Demonstration 4: Peteru & Uretep Show How It’s Done 5: The Mages Do It 6: Breakfast with the Mages 7: Peteru and Uretep Learn About Oasis 8: Problems 9: Production Gets Underway 10: How the Other Half Live 11: Plans Progress Apace 12: New Oasis 13: The Forest 14: Where the Men Live 15: The Mages Remain True to Type 16: The Royal Couple 17: The Men Tell All 18: More Information 19: NumbaCruncha is Unveiled 20: The Trap is Set 21: Dinner with the Mages 22: The Best Laid Plans

 

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