Title: Reformation.

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Resistance against ordered government has always existed. When the Clerics are overthrown they become the new resistance, until the hugely addictive side of Prozium is revealed, and the terrible side effects of withdrawal, once more brings them to prominence.

Notes: This repost has been written. My other copy was most unfortunately deleted, but perhaps this is even a little better.

The resistance fought against the TetraGrammaton and what it stood for, as it always would fight, as it had to fight- to give definition; meaning to a life devoid of both. Throughout society, there has been resistance against the established order. As Ireland suffered under the colonial whip, the IRA rose to be saviours- the new Messiahs bringing hope to the oppressed and guns to the weaponless. Suicide bombers blew themselves and others up, in the name of an unseeing God, a meaningless cry against new chaos. So many others fought and died, for causes, worthless except in their eyes. For every Mahatma Ghandi there are a thousand Michael Collins'. Standing together arm in arm for a cause they blindly believe to be right. Fighting to the death for beliefs long held. And when it overthrows corrupt regimes, terroist leaders shed red headbands and cries of liberty, and settle into the Gucci shoes and grey suits that characterize leaders.

A new resistance starts. No-one is satisfied with the status quo, and those stripped of power become the new oppressed, crying under the heavy hand of those-once-rebels. There are always rebels. The rebels become the new leaders. The old leaders become rebels. Natural order.

A gun fires, and a whisp of cordite lingers in the air. The brief flash illuminates the faces of four men and two women, dressed in the plain black of clerics. Their faces are blank, without emotion, as they crouch near the small fire on the ground and feed it with stolen colour advertisements. Not one looks up to where the magnificent ceiling towers above, crisscrossed with hundreds of wooden beams. They've taken refuge in the distribution section of Equilibrium. Filthy grafitti disfigures the stark shelves, red as blood dripping from a slaughtered animal's throat. Around them, piled in cases is enough Prozium to last hundreds of people, hundreds of years. And it will need to. The building is abandoned, no-one comes here anymore. They leave it to domineer in awesome presence, yet the superstitions that have come with emotion prevent them from entering, as short memories fade, and clerics become tales to frighten children with

For the clerics are not John Prestons. They are not Errol Partridges. When Prozium left their systems, it left them in total sensory overload. The lightest human touch, the faintest whiff of scent induced spasms of agony. A cleric who had unwittingly listened to a piece of music called 'the Hall of the Mountain King' had reportedly gone insane from attempting to process the notes. Rather than face tumultuous emotion they retook their drug as faithfully as always.

For there was one thing Preston had not foreseen. Mixed with the emotion deadening substance, there was an addictive. An addictive more powerful than heroin. An addiction that caused such terrible withdrawal systems that without the help and support of the Underground, you could not survive it. Instead only by small withdrawals at a time, reduced dosage could you combat it, and even then only by dint of agonizing pain.

John Preston's system was able to free itself from the drug almost unnoticeably. He had no knowledge of the withdrawal period- the seizures of intense pain. Maybe one in three thousand could adapt so fast to the drugs withdrawal, though even they in the days after sense freedom, still found it more difficult than the person of a couple of centuries ago, to face total sense overload. Now, the Grammaton Resistance as they called themselves, gleaned more members who dropped out of the withdrawal clinics. Practically all the clerics joined them, an irony, since the unique constitution of the cleric, made more of them able to withdraw easily, but used to being the highest ranking individuals in a society that feared them, they had dropped to the despised former oppressors.

For the next twenty years they fought, living in the shadows and the sewers. They continued to pass on their hard won skills, which gradually had died out in the world overhead, for lack of use, of need. They trained their young, giving them such high doses of Prozium that they were permanently damaged, and even when removed from the drug could not feel. This caused a number of defects in the children of such individuals, and so they were not allowed to have children. They became the elite. Trained to standards far higher than even the original clerics, damaged emotionally forever. Their adults spent hours with them, patiently teaching them to mimic expressions, and emotions. Quite often the children were superb mimics, and those were the ones which infiltrated organisations, and gained government jobs. Their job? To bring the goverment down. That time honoured aim of rebels from the beginning of time. Those who upturned the order from before, those whose Prozium withdrawal was easy, those should be the first to die- the traitors to the Grammaton, now fat and comfortable, all skills gone, as they lived in comfort, and others starved on the streets.

More and more people joined the Resistance, tired of the side effects caused by withdrawal;- their children born with terrible defects, and a craving for Prozium. This was not their world. Who cared for what they once had? The emotions that had brought them no more than pain and suffering beyond their wildest dreams. All the pictures in the world could not alleviate the maelstrom of physical and mental anguish brought. One by one, they found their Prozium again, showed children how to use their injectors.

The economy had collapsed after Prozium manafacture stopped. Workers complained of boredom, and left factories unattended;- those which managed to drag themselves into work that is. Despite people craving new sweeter foods, than the fairly tasteless fare that they'd once consumed, under the new regime, no such foods appeared, and the food that had been there began to disappear. Starvation set in. The new leaders had no idea how vital the systems from before were, and panicked introducing emergency measures that had no effect. The cities were placed under martial law, and citizens began to whisper of disappearances.

The clerics were clever though and did not make the same mistakes. They offered partial salvation. They allowed books, paintings, music. But people as they took their Prozium found themselves less and less wanting them. They were… unnecessary. And as they grew blank eyed again, and the clerics grew in power, offering compromises, doing deals, being fair, being reasonable, those who still felt were marginalized. Little by little over thirty years, those who felt fled into hiding, a minimal sect. And they became rebels again. Where was their Preston to lead them? He died in the second year of sense freedom, by his own hand, surrounded by the memories of his dead.

A wild eyed man in ragged clothes screamed for freedom from Prozium, and murdered two dispenser clerks. Reluctantly the council agreed that clerics were needed again, and so they came into being, ostensibly to protect.

Resistance begins again.

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