Duas Vias, Unam Populi

“Do you think he knows?”

“Knows what?”

“You know. That you’re…”

“How could he?”

“I dunno. I mean, it’s out there. Anyone could know.”

“Please, Linney, nobody knows. Besides you.” Elith sighed. She had a very dark secret. A forbidden talent.

“I mean, somebody knew. That’s why The Guild came and talked to you.”

In the late twenty-seventh century, there was a breakthrough in neurobiology. It was discovered that through quantum entanglement effects, the brains of all sufficiently evolved living things were networked.

“They found someone else that led them to me. Nobody knows about me, not even him. He just found the other person and told them.”

“So why go after him?”

All organisms are innately receivers, although some are stronger than others, but it was found that for reasons still not fully understood, some develop into transmitters.

“I’m supposed to. To make sure he’s on our side.”

“What do you mean?”

The transmitters with practice were able to put thoughts into other people’s heads across any distance, even across time. Elith was one of them.

“He’s not one of us. He’s one of them.”

The talent was, upon discovery, immediately forbidden by the People’s Happy Democracy of Earth.

“He’s a… you’re joking? Why would he talk to the Guild then?”

What followed was a brutal extermination campaign of anyone thought to exhibit signs of the transmitter talent.

“They think he’s on our side.”

It was a witch hunt for the most part. A convenient excuse to execute dissidents. But those they executed were the lucky ones. Through vivisection and advanced brain scanning, PHD’s scientists were attempting to construct a machine that could replicate the transmission effect. They called it The Inception Device, and it was to be the greatest technological achievement in the history of mankind. The two ruling parties had long had a motto, “A united people, unified in society, unified in spirit.” Shortly after the first barely functional prototypes were built, they added “unified in mind” to their slogan.

“I think it’s a trap.”

Some, such as Daringan, about whom Elith and Linney were speaking, were found to be highly receptive to receiving transmission, were trained to root out transmitters such as Elith, trained in covert strategy, brainwashed into hatred of their talented prey.

“In this war, sometimes you just have to walk into traps.”

The transmitters were fighting back through an organization known as The Guild. Loosely organized, with only the vague goal of helping transmitters and resisting the tyrannical rule of the People’s Happy Democracy.

“But why you specifically?”

“Before he led the Bureau to me, I was already a goner.”

Some wings merely find transmitters, teach them to both grow and hide their power. Some wings actively attempt to sow thoughts in society which challenged the PHD of Earth’s rule. Some sought to directly influence and turn enemy agents to their side through concerted emotional tactics, exploiting the phenomenon of empathy.

“You know what they do to people like you… transmitters?”

“Yes. They already had me, remember? I barely got away?”

“So why are you trusting Daringan? Why are you getting close? You already know he can spot transmitters?”

Daringan was playing a dangerous game.

“Because he already called the guild’s attention to a transmitter who was in trouble.”

He had, with his commanding officer’s approval, tipped off the guild to an impending arrest, an execution of a newly discovered transmitter of low strategic importance.

“How did he even know how to contact the guild?”

“They aren’t hard to find Linney if you’re smart and have the freedom to look for them.”

He had done it using a means of his own discovery, to avoid suspicion.

“And you didn’t?”

Not that it worked. This wasn’t a particularly new strategy for agents of the PHD. Usually, the guild thanked them for the tip, and then kept them away.

“I still don’t. The Guild contacted me covertly.”

But this time was different. Daringan was not only a highly sensitive receiver, he was a weak transmitter, and was unaware.

“And what do they want you to do to him?”

This meant that he had no control over what he transmitted, and the guild’s trained receivers knew enough about him to formulate a plan for him.

“Get close to him. Find out what makes him tick.”

“Why?”

“He’s one of the enemy’s strategist recruits. We think if he realizes what I was, after he’s been put in command.”

Elith would let him play at double agent. They would feed him good intel, but none of it would be new intel. At least not new intel of strategic value.

“He’ll what, betray them? That’s insane.”

“I think it’s working.”

“He’s playing you.”

They’d use her to make him turn on the PHD.

“No, I got him twisted around my finger pretty well.”

“I think you’re just twisted around each other.”

“What’s the difference?”

He was to be the guild’s prototype. A model they could repeat whenever the PHDs tried their little bait double agent game.

“I think this is dangerous territory you’re in.”

“It was before this assignment. At least now I feel like I’m really doing something.”

“I still think this is a trap.”

“Sometimes the only way out of a trap is to stay in it, play dead, and hope to catch the enemy when they are overconfident.”

“I don’t like this, Elith.”

“I think, let’s just see where this goes.”


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I've been playing with the idea that people can leave imprints of themselves in other people, a sort of imaginary copy consciousness which they can communicate with. What are your thoughts on this? I've also often wondered if people's brains are invisibly linked through a sort of quantum-entanglement communication. Obviously there's no science backing this, but I find it a compelling enough notion to write fiction on. Comment any thoughts you have below.


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