I Cried to Dream Again
A Sequel to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World
Note: characters of Pompidou, Joel, Bambi, Facta, and Khrushchev property of Rune Wolfe
characters of Helmholtz, John, Bernard, Lenina, and Fanny property of Aldous Huxley.
"You taught me language, and my profit on't Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you for learning me your language!"
-Caliban, The Tempest
"The body is a weak thing," a voice murmured into the sterilized glass. Fog, like steam on the brim of a china teacup, fluttered over the window, dulling the sheen of its cold surface. "Two months now…"
Hearty mirth shook the room with a pleasant seizure of release. "Nerves are easy enough to rejuvenate, takes nearly no time at all. The cells grow quickly, stringing together in a desperate race to form a web that shall enact all that is sensuous and tangible in you. Cells of the skin dry and flake, crumpling to the ground in a rain of miniscule tanned leaves that disappear into gathered dust beneath your feet. Hair, fingernails, all of it is quick to renew, constantly granting themselves new birth and all the while given no notice. The cells of the heart and the mind are not this way. They have no annual pattern, no biannual liberation into ecstasy of reincarnation. They are few and irreplaceable. "
"So you're a poet." The softer voice was unamused.
"So were you, once." With a deep grunt and prolonged stretch of the arms, the Reconstructor stood and padded forward towards his client. "You've gotten thin."
A shrug of the shoulders wrinkled the loose fabric of Helmholtz's suit about his physique. "It's cold in the Falklands." His hair, still thick, was untamed, and his eyes had grown deep and troubled. "Yes…. Cold. Lonely."
Dr. Pompidou de Gaulle crooked his neck and chuckled again, a large thick paw of a hand being raised to gruffly dry his leathery forehead. "You chose the Falkland Islands, no one to blame but
yourself. Now Bernard… there's the lucky one, got to relax his freckled ass on the beach, women and all."
Helmholtz eyed the man, thick and stout, yet handsome in his own way. He looked to be a kindly hobbit… or a jolly doll of sorts. He quirked his head to one side and sighed, "I've been here three hours today, and not once did you mention soma. But all of yesterday nothing interested you more than drugging me up like a Milanese whore."
"Heh," the jovial sprite shoved his strong fingers into his pockets and grinned a wide grin of pearly white teeth. Coupled with his mop of flaxen ringlets the Reconstructor was… welcoming. "I suppose the Milanese aren't my type. Don't like the Italians much myself, give me good strong Irishwomen and I'm a happy wanker."
The brunette shivered, "I was not looking to discuss your good tidings from the boudoir."
"So do you want soma or are you just looking to dance on my back a wee bit."
"We're off the subject."
"You want me don't you? A kink in your conditioning I say. Never happy with any of the ladies… its men you're after. Too good lookin' for the frail ones, gotta have the rough lovin' don't ya?"
"Savage," Helmholtz muttered, adjusting his grip on the tattered book he held in his hands. The cover curled slightly at the browned edges as his palms moistened the worn paper.
"Indeed, that's why they keep me down here. Far away from the world and its troubles. They told me I'm safe down here... unreachable to any worries or quarrels. And I believed them. Oh boy how I believed them. Then you started coming…" His claret lips parted in a teasing smile.
Helmholtz was silent. Knuckles dusted pink to match his cheeks, he was a sight. Still a ravishable beauty, he was thin and willowy with shadowed features and blackening locks of chocolate hair. The Falkands had made an effeminate man of him. The snow had starved the strength and rebellion from his very bones and had left raw instinct and hunger. He was a wild and untamable beauty left in the wake of a self-proclaimed god.
Pompidou hesitated. "Don't tell me I hurt your feelings."
"You know Khrushchev Molotov asked of you in the oratory the other day, said he'd come across some poems and things…claimed they were yours."
Helmholtz meekly pressed his forehead to the cool glass and groaned. He was having another relapse. "He…. He replaced me didn't he?" His head was filled with psychosomatic screeches and whirrs, dizzying him to great lengths.
"Suppose that's how things happened. Donitz Schleicher gave it to him. They're good buddies. I think it should have gone to Facta Badoglio."
"He's a good man.
"Yeah…. Helped me through my prison years." Pompidou reminisced whilst his fingers romanced the pages of a thick file. "This kid's coming along nicely."
Helmholtz coughed, "it's taking months!"
"Look, when you hang yourself, you suffocate, when you suffocate you-"
"-die? Yes I know."
Pompidou frowned. "I was going to say "damage your brain cells near beyond repair," you ass. Reconstruction is a solicitous process." Delving through the crisp government issue forms, the Reconstructor took a set of colorful x-rays in hand. The blood of the patients intimate veins shone like tangled wires tied taught across his maze of bones and muscles. "See," the stout man persistently pointed to the visual, "his progress is astounding. Heart beats like a newborn- err- new hatched."
"Then why isn't he awake?"
"It'll be some time yet before he can muster the strength to wake up, I'm not a genie."
The man shook his head. "Something Joel told me. You know, Joel from the Administration of Contraband Literature and Fine Art?"
"Katsav now, remember? He can't keep his born name."
"Right. So what about him? Wasn't he charged with sodomy?"
Pompidou shook his white gold plumage. "Nah, the charge was dropped. They say the new savage forced him. He was brought to trial for misogyny, found guilty. But his friends at the top weaseled him out before the punishment could come to fruition."
Helmholtz paused. "New savage? Have there been more to arrive from America? Surely the example of John was enough to put off such radical ideas."
"He's not really a savage at all. Just messed up conditioning. Bambino Medici, one of them Italians. Cute as a button, but queer as you are."
"Then he's not queer."
"Oh he is indeed. Wants nothing to do with promiscuity. To hell with it, he says. Let him hump Joel's thigh for a couple of hours and you'll never hear him complain. Doesn't even need penetration if that's what suits Joel best. Crazier still, the boy proposed. Begged and pleaded with Joel to marry him. Wants to be committed and all, I swear. He even wants to raise children. The kid is 18 and he wants to raise a fucking kid. He's more of a savage than that youngster in there on my operating table."
The brunette growled. "John's not a savage. He was betrayed."
"He was naïve."
"Forget it. What did Joel say?"
"He said yes. He fucking said yes! He's twenty years older than that little wannabe-breeder and he said yes."
"The age isn't a problem, and that wasn't what I was asking." Helmholtz began to pace restively across the office floor, feet dragging in the velvet carpet. "Let them get married, happens all the time in the islands. What I was asking was what did Joel say about the genie? Why in the world are we talking about him in the first place?"
Pompidou eased himself back into the heavy armchair which creaked and groaned when confronted with the new weight pressing down on its aging legs. "You forget that the islands are where we send the nut cases. What goes on there is grotesque and obscene and not to be discussed in proper company."
"Then I don't need to worry. Talking about it with you is like telling Bernard."
"Poor bastard. Don't compare me to the likes of him."
Mr. Watson adjusted his stance and rubbed the side of his aching skull. "Now that I think on it, how were you not exiled? You had two kids, don't take soma, talk openly of mothers and fathers…"
"Simple," the jolly elf concluded. "I am a necessity. Haven't trained any gammas or epsilons so I'm all the W.S. has got."
"You talk like a 50 yrs before fordian cockney shite, that's another one for the list."
Helmholtz voice then dropped. "Does he know?"
"Any of them. Do they know that I'm hiding out."
"Not that I know of, unless you made some personal announcement to the Hour or something, the coast should be pretty clear."
"And no one knows about John, right?"
"They all think he's as a dead as the Oldsmobile."
"Well I certainly thought so."
Joel Katsav eagerly preened the downy swan feathers that tickled his chin and adorned the collar of his black suit. White like the arch of bleached seashell, the feathers were luxurious and divine in the most antique sense of the word. Class. That was the basis of Joel's life. Class and Elegance like that which was once expected of chivalrous knights and maidens. Though chivalry had gone the way of monogamy, both were ideals held closest to the man's beating heart.
A knock at the door hearkened Joel's pale ear and his dusky eyes illuminated. "Bambi…," he cooed tenderly knotting his long creamy finger into his soft milky locks. "Mio Bambino…." Though 48 he looked in the bloom of youth, delicate and blushing with anticipatory passion.
The knob quivered and the sweet dulcet sound of the lock clicking free whispered into the air. Timidly a boy stepped forward into the light of the room. "Joel…."
"My darling," the blonde sighed and tiptoed forward into the adolescent's outstretched airs. Bambi nuzzled into the tepid warmth of Joel's velvety cheek.
18 yrs old and the look alike of a Bouguereau cupid, Bambino was a classic vision of beauty untainted by new age ideals. A slight bit taller than his lover, the boy was 5,6 with coffee curls and rosy cheeks. His skin was smooth and hairless with a golden hue. "Joel… you'll be late."
"Are you certain you cannot accompany me tonight? I shall be desolate and inconsolable without you." The elder sighed and moaned into the crook of the youth's bare neck, taking in the boy's unique perfume of nature and lawlessness.
Bambi shook his head apologetically, his curls tumbling across his cheeks. "I could not bear to see you ridiculed for my presence."
At this Joel tore away from their mild embrace and paced away. "You are right. It is best for me to die beside them. All for the sake of their happiness, it would be cruel of me to crush their delusional nostalgia for an attempt at true love."
"My love, those men spared you exile and incarceration. Do not be so resentful of them."
"Darling…. Darling…. every day I am reminded that they have ripped me from the claws of a blood hungry court. Yet for what? To chain me once more with social norms? To be told who and how I am to love? "Charming Joel" "lovely Joel" they say such things with no meaning or heart. I am a pet to them. A cat to sit in their laps for them to pat when at a loss for entertainment." Joel then stood, folded hands and painted a content smile across his face. "Enough of that now. Bambino, your company this day has been nothing short of magnificent, but now I must depart."
Bambino sighed and took hold of the man's frail shoulders. Then leaning in he placed a chaste kiss upon Joel's cheek and whispered into the creamy ear. "Behave, my love, behave."
Helmholtz eased down onto the floor of Dr. DeGaulle's office, fingers teasing through the pages of the old book. Shakespeare, he had found, was quite fascinating. Grotesque in the way he painted scenes of love and romance, but all the while artful in his mastery of words. The ability to sculpt emotional, free-thinking characters was astounding to a man who had so long been restrained by society's expectations of him. Yet more intriguing to him were not the words of the bygone poet, but instead the scribbles of thoughts and notions lining the pages, filling the blank spaces like the claws marks of a ravenous wolf. These scratches of feelings and heartache revealed to Helmholtz the deepest caverns of John's mind, what he had thought, how he had viewed the World State in stark contrast to the natural earthiness of the reservation.
Though the musings on Lenina sickened Helmholtz to his core, each new passage of the 'savage's' makeshift journal reinstated the belief in him that this mind which had been lost was key to ushering the world back to a purer condition. The way John spoke of things Helmholtz couldn't comprehend inspired him to further seek the secrets locked in that golden head.
"We have to do this," he murmured to the stale air. "We must show the world what sin we have become."
"You know, my friend," Pompidou's voice echoed from the dimly lit hall, "they aren't going to see things your way. They can't. They been born for the sole purpose of not hearing things, of not seeing things. Think about it for a second. Take one damn second to consider what the hell it is you're trying to do."
Helmholtz slammed the book shut. "I have thought about it. I know what I'm up against, but damn it, I have to try, don't i?"
The doctor reentered the room. "And why do you have to do this? There's no chance of you succeeding. People are happy with things the way they are. I mean, sure, they are made to be happy, but in some mutated way they are happy with living life in this manner. "He sighed and dropped back onto the surface of his metal desk. For a moment he simply watched the man. He watched the shifting expressions and transforming emotions then with another sigh of frustration, he started again. "Look… I
just don't see how what you're doing… even if you did succeed…. How would it help anything? I mean, honestly, who would this be helping?"
Helmholtz watched him sadly. "Do you agree that John, Bernard, and I exist?"
Pompidou was taken aback. "Of course… well, the status of John is questionable, but yes, I suppose you all exist in some fashion. What's your point?"
Helmholtz continued, "and do you exist? Does Joel? Does this new savage?"
"Yes, yes, we are all forms of matter that are tangible and in the process of existing. Enough with the games, what are you getting at?" His eyes narrowed, watching Helmholtz in suspicion. He was beginning to doubt his decision to help this man. Exile had driven Helmholtz to a strange place in his mind, possibly insanity.
"Pompidou," Helmholtz breathed, "if we all exist… and if we all have suffered at the hands of this monstrous world-state… how many more are there? How many more are struggling to live in this world?"
The doctor stood, laughing as he paced to the window. "Now I know you've lost your mind, I'm certain there is near to no possibility of there being more like us. Just look at how few have been reported to have faulty conditioning. You're basing your plans of ideal hopes as opposed to founded data." He reached up to scratch his buttery scalp with his thick fingers.
"Am i? You know… a few mistakes seems to be a lot for a supposedly perfect system," Helmholtz interjected. "We mistakes aren't even supposed to exist. But the fact that there are whole islands reserved for exiles… doesn't that grant great possibility to the idea that there are more 'mistakes' here in the world state?"
"I suppose it is possible when you put it that way… Its strange, but I've never considered such am idea before. You may have stumbled on something quite ingenious here."
Helmholtz nodded and stood, moving stealthily to stand beside his friend. "Not only that, but I have given you my answer. We are the ones I'm trying to help. We freed bastards who see the world without a soma-filled haze. Say what you will about Bernard and of this Bambino Medici… but you'll find that your criticisms of these people is that they share beliefs with the people we used to be. Before the World State, and before Ford. We all are being subjected to mockery because we seek a world that society has locked behind secret doors and labyrinths. Though they have forced us to forget it, there is a part of us missing. A part that John knew all too well because he was born in a place where he was allowed to have it. And he died to preserve it. So now we must decide what we will do with the knowledge of its existence. Those of us who were not as fortunate to be born whole must take it back ourselves.
"And you will not give up when it gets difficult?" Pompidou examined him expectantly, his eyes balancing the worth of Helmholtz's being in his mind.
With a smile and a chuckle the Reconstructor clapped his heavy hand onto the man's shoulder, "then, friend, I am with you for this whole ford-forsaken journey."