The Man Who Never Sleeps - Part II - Chaz's Manuscript

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Neversleep Part Two - Chaz's Manuscript title Neversleep p2 -1 Dear reader, I expect you'd like to know who I am. Who is this man who can kill your kind off at his leisure? And why do it? Allow me to explain. As far as the `why' goes, at first it was revenge, quite simply. However I've presently come to understand that one cannot wreak vengeance from `people' in general, but only from specific individuals or groups. And I have no grievance against anyone specific. Quite. Therefore revenge is no longer the motive. I've come to view your society as the literary character Robinson Crusoe would view a forest, indeed, with your citizens representing the trees; whenever I desire material to make my own stranded existence more comfortable, I take it -- the material in this case being the energy that occupies the same space as blood. It's as simple as that. And any attempts at my capture will only succeed in amusing me. My advice is to accept it, as you will eventually be forced to do so in any case, regardless of your decision. But so saying, I will not have myself viewed as an evildoer. Having set down the nature of our new relationship, I'll now show you that I am completely justified in my deeds. Charles Aaron Darf is my name, for I've no fear of revealing myself. Until some years ago I lived a quiet lifed in accordance with the customs of the culture I was born into. Very much like most of you do in regards to your own culture. Never did I seek to harm a soul; never did I have reason to. Nevertheless everything I knew was destroyed -- not just my family, friends, work, and love, but my whole culture was destroyed. And it was done so by your society. Not deliberately, I'm forced to admit, but I'm left stranded and alone all the same. The end of my way of life began with the changing of mass opinion. Mass opinion itself evolves in accordance with the gradually developing `group intellect' of the masses over generations. Therefore, as stated, no individual can rightly be blamed. However, it did start with an individual, and I can even pinpoint the very day it started. On that day my home was invaded by one of yours. His name was Toby --- I know that because the idiot tattooed it on his arm with a skull and a snake. It was by no means an accident, for my abode was so situated that for any one of yours to reach it, they would have to venture completely out of their usual way. Hence our secret service obtaining background information on your Toby. We found that he was a poor and uneducated man suited to a life of labour. The young man had just resituated in Adelaide from the country. He went exploring the city that day; it was his first time there. Although it is a small city by worldly standards, it must nevertheless have filled a country lad like Toby full of excitement. Not to mention curiosity. Quite so, and surely he gawked at the different kinds of society as he went. For instance, the number of beautiful ladies that modern cities have to offer must have delighted him. The city is also never lacking in people who dress in suits and ties. My theory is that this deeply impressed a young fool like Toby. I would postulate that none of his family or friends ever donned suits; suits are for `high rollers', wealthy people like myself, La Peu, who have everything under control. It was the suits and brief cases and black shoes that impressed Toby the most about the city. He half admired and half loathed suit-wearers, because they had what he didn't have. Toby was, you see, childish in his understanding of the world. It was, as it were, `inbuilt' in his and all his peers' consciousness that one is either born a millionaire -- a suit wearer -- or born a worker. “There's nothing you can do about it,” his self-esteem would have decided, “so leave the subject alone.”  Eyeless So the rich, like myself, were like a different race or species of human who dwelt far off in our untouchable mansions, somewhere. Or high-rise buildings. Toby constantly gazed at the tops of the high-rise buildings around him. Then he'd bump into someone and look straight again. This I know for sure, because he stopped at one. Then something inside him made him enter. When he entered, he began ascending floor by floor. If anybody inquired what his business there was, he answered that he was visiting someone. I still don't know how, but he made it right up to the second-to-top floor, where the elevator ends. Then he entered the second elevator that travels to the top floor. He waited in that lift enthusiastically. I could tell that by the look on his grubby face when the door opened. The enthusiasm changed to disbelief when he saw my abode. This is what he saw: The top floor was almost one big, carpeted room. In there was a bar, a bookcase and a dining table --- all in polished pine -- with high-backed wooden chairs around it. There was a computer with a large screen of approximately three metres by three, and there was a mechanical contraption with buttons and flashing lights in the corner -- but I doubt Toby noticed that. After a very quick survey of the room, his eyes became fixed on a beautiful fem who was lying on a couch --- that was my Marietta. A second later, Toby noticed her deformity and his disbelief turned to shock. She too was caught by surprise and stared back in fear, my poor Marietta. Then Toby became aware of the throne-like chair towards the back of the room. On it was a young man of pale complexion…wearing an expensive suit, of course. He had an angular face with almond shaped eyes and thin red lips --- and handsome too if I may say so myself. That was me. My brown hair was parted and slick and I sported a thin moustache. I looked Toby over, considering this new presence. I knew I had to act immediately. There's absolutely nothing, you see, that these lower classed savages wouldn't do if you gave them half the chance. On my lap was a plate of food. I put it aside, took the knife I was supping with, and calmly advanced towards the lift. We stood face to face for a moment, me with the knife shaking behind my back. Then, still with shivering hand, I thrust the knife into his stomach. Both he and my Marietta cried out. I yanked the knife out and raised it. His stunned eyes only stared back at me. His hand pressed his wound. I drove the blade down into his neck. Gasping, he collapsed in a heap with the knife still buried to the hilt. With no desire for the sight of blood I turned my back and speedily left the lift. When Marietta screamed, Rose, my maid, appeared from the kitchen. I was pacing nervously, and she, seeing the seriousness of the situation, made directly for the teleporter and summoned Nate Rutter. She's very good, you know. I nearly bumped into Nate before I knew he was there. That's how quick he was -- and carrying a firearm too. “He's in the lift.” My voice was shaky and my heart was still pounding. This was the first time I'd seen one of these Neanderthals face to face. Nate went over and inspected. From where I stood, Toby's leg and a puddle of blood were visible. Nate closed the doors. “Well done, Chaz!” he said. That's short for Charles, you know. Rose was calming Marietta. “A scary business though,” I said. “How the hell did he get up here?” asked Nate. “I have no idea. Quite no idea.” I went to the bar and started to mix myself a drink. Back then I possessed the finest wines and spirits. “That must be a first,” I said. “Why, yes. You're right,” said Nate. “This is going to make some noise!” I handed Nate his usual drink then threw mine down my throat. “I've never heard of anything like it,” Nate exclaimed. “Have you ever been in the country, Nate, and had a bird fly in your front door, then shoot around the room looking for the way out again?” “I'm not sure I follow you.” “These sorts of things --- chance occurrences --- they don't usually happen singularly. They're usually in two's or more, in my experience.” “I believe you're being superstitious, Chaz.” I started to mix another drink. “No, I'm merely illustrating a point. How can one make allowances for things like that? You follow me?” Again I emptied my glass. “…I'm merely illustrating a point.” Neversleep p2 -2 That was my first kill. I was quite perturbed by it. Unfortunately the matter did not end there. Three months later, the Toby incident remained the prime topic of conversation world wide -- among the gentry, that is. For that's what I was then. “The first time in history!” “Is this the beginning of the end?” “If one human came up there's sure to be more!” “This Chaz Darf fellow is quite a man!” These are examples of what folks were saying. I might here explain that it had become fashionable, or perhaps customary, for us not to refer to ourselves as `human'. We were of course humans, but because of our lifestyle and past…well, as there are only two of us left I suppose I should briefly explain our past. Not long after the Second World War, our grandfathers had made an agreement with each other: The wealth (and power) of the world had to stay in the hands of the few; and this for no other reason that they, our grandfathers, were the few. To do this, their first act was to step completely out of view of the world; that is, to separate from society. Thus, for the common citizen, our kind did not exist. We were only an abstract, an idea; there were no individuals. This was a perfect position from which to work. By the late Nineteen-Sixties our society was perfected. We were settled in the cities on the top floors of every skyscraper in the western world, and in secluded mansions in the country. All this is very `anti humanity', hence our, if I may say, honest custom of not referring to ourselves as human. We called ourselves La Peu, the few. So, where was I? …Since the Toby incident I was invited to many parties and dinners, and I had many more visitors than usual. Because it is a rarity for us to deal with humans of Toby's class in person, I was snowed under with questions from everyone I spoke to. Apart from the implications of the incident, this was all a welcome change to my humdrum life -- an exciting holiday in which I was the centre of attention. One gentleman who didn't visit me was my new neighbour. The old tycoon, who lived in the highest building in town just across from me, had died about a month before the Toby incident. The tycoon's nephew, a Mr. John Spaper, had moved there from Europe apparently desirous of a small-town haven away from his frenetic business life. Although I well felt his presence in the Australian stock market, I hadn't seen or heard from him in person. I dropped in twice but he was out. I left messages inviting him to my parties but received no answers. Then one afternoon, when the hype was beginning to die down, I had a most unexpected group of visitors arrive at my teleporter. First came my long time partner and friend Nate Rutter who, as he often does, just dropped in to drink, smoke and talk money. Nate was a flabby gentleman with glasses, and blond hair that was destined to fall out in the shower. He was in his early twenties, as was I, but was already a keen cigar smoker -- as was I. Yes, those were the days! Then within five minutes of Nate's arrival came the elusive Mr. Spaper (of whom I only recognised because he introduced himself) with two old gents. The old men were sons of two of the original Seven; that is, the seven men who made the agreement after the war -- the founders of our `behind the scenes' society. The two elder men were in their early seventies. One was named Mr. Yesh, and the other, Mr. Van Leer. Though I was unprepared, I did my best to make them comfortable, with Rose running about thus and so, fetching refreshments and cigars. They didn't seem to care though. Spaper and the two old men were somewhat intoxicated already. Quite so. We all reclined and smoked. Mr. Spaper introduced everyone to each other, except for the enthusiastic Nate, who introduced himself to everyone. They all commended me for my initiative in stabbing Toby in the neck, and I tried to give them a modest and flattered impression with my replies.  Eyeless But I forget myself. All chances are that the reader of these pages is of the lowest breeding. What about police, you're thinking. Investigations? Forget police. Each corporation had their own police. And forget uniforms too. Uniformed police are for human control. The only law with us was survival of the richest. My killing Toby affected nobody important. The inquisitive poor are the common enemy. “Mr. Spaper,” I said. “I was beginning to wonder whether you disliked me for some reason.” “Please, call me John. We're neighbours now, after all,” he said. “I've been meaning to drop in, chief, but I've been busy lately. You know how it is?” Spaper always addressed people with names like `chief' and `captain'. It was one of his little novelties. I think he was fond of the sound of it. As far as he was concerned everybody was named `chief' or `captain'. We continued chatting lightly about money and people. Spaper was just a little older than I, maybe two years older. He was definitely a people-person and both Nate and I took an immediate liking to him. The two old gents acted towards him as one would towards a close friend of the family. He was the nucleus of our party and seemed full of enthusiasm. I noticed at the time, without actually thinking about it, that his skin was slightly darker than the rest of us. I should have taken note. You see, our kind had separated from humanity for so long, we had kept a pure Caucasoid bloodline. That coupled with our lifestyle even made us appear different to `humans'. We were pale even compared to the human Caucasoid, but Spaper had a little more rose in his cheeks than did we. He wore his tie loosened, and had the top buttons of his shirt undone. I would learn later that he dressed like that all the time, as if showing that he didn't have to neaten up for anybody. Eventually we arrived at discussing the wider implications of the Toby incident, and whether or not anything need be done. “I still say that this is all linked up in globalisation, and it's starting to feel like we're losing control!” said old Mr. Yesh. “And damn it, Yesh, I still say the globalisation of humanity does not and will not affect us!” said old Van Leer. “Well I don't like it!” Our kind had already had a `globalisation' of our own, thanks to the many technological advances that we've had and kept exclusively for ourselves. But a globalisation of humanity seemed imminent in time and some of us, Mr. Yesh included, saw it as a threat to our way of life. “I don't see how it can affect us, Mr. Yesh”, joined Nate. “Not when we don't exist as far as they're concerned.” “But that's just what globalisation will do!” said Yesh. “Come now, we're not exactly on the information super highway”, said Van Leer. “This kid coming up here didn't have anything to do with the Internet,” said Yesh, “nor had he any money worth speaking of, I agree; but just what do you think it was that made him so curious? What's wet his appetite to go sticking his nose outside of his natural borders?” “That's all very good but we need only to remain non existent, and that will not be a difficult task,” said Van Leer. “How can we remain separated from humanity while our money is very much entangled with it, and indeed conditioning it?” That was Spaper. He was less passionate than the others were. He was even smiling. “Have you seen the figures of how many humans have reached the billion dollar mark now? No? Well I can't remember the exact figures but I'll tell you, just the number of working class shareholders has increased dramatically within the last few years." “Look,” said Van Leer. “The key issue here is whether there will be more like this Toby, venturing up to our homes, and whether it will be easy to stop them.” “Toby was a stupid fellow,” said Yesh. “Thus he was easy to get rid of --- no offence, Mr. Darf.” “None taken,” said I. “His coming here was in itself a freak occurrence,” Yesh continued. “But, my friends, what if the next one, or ones, are cunning and intelligent? What if they're war-like and with purpose?” There was a pause as each took that last thought and turned it over to see what we could make of it. “An intelligent human would never come up,” said I. They gave me their attention. “And why not?” asked Spaper with his confounded smile. “Well, sirs,” I explained, “Toby was a childish person who knew nothing of how the world works.” “Yes?” said Spaper. “You see, the whole reason he came up here was because of his childish picture of things: that the rich are up in high rise buildings, coupled with the curiosity to see it for himself.” “And an intelligent person?” “An intelligent person has better things to do with his time, like learning how to make money or, I don't know, studying psychology.” Everyone laughed. “So then, this globalisation of humanity will be a good thing,” said Yesh. “We'll educate everyone and give them money, and they'll not care to venture up here!” Our conversation drifted to light-hearted topics from then on. We ate and drank some more then in the evening they bid me adieu. And that was that. to be continued...  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