Banishment, or 10 Months Later

Helmholtz looked out the window and into the black sea churning below. The waves beneath him seemed to grin, giving him a feeling of foreboding. He wondered what had made him chose this place, out of all others, for his exile. Then he corrected himself—this wasn't an exile, it was a beginning, a chance to reinvent him. Still, the waves did seem so frightening, and the undulating movement of the helicopter did nothing to help his nerves…Helmholtz absentmindedly reached into his pocket for some soma, but found none there. Then he remembered Mustapha Mond's advice—that he would need no soma for this journey, that it would only hinder his writing abilities. Helmholtz thought of Bernard, and wondered where he was—they had had no time to talk after their meeting with the World Controller. Bernard had seemed quite perturbed at being sent to an island, moreso than Helmholtz. It was, under the conditions, understandable, Helmholtz reflected—he himself had been rather surprised when he found out he was being sent to an island. A sudden burst on the intercom interrupted his reverie: "Attention, we will soon arrive at the Falkland Islands. Disembarking: Helmholtz Watson."

As he was escorted by the Gamma-plus security guard off the helicopter, Helmholtz was able to get a good look at his surroundings. All around him, all he saw were rocks and sand, all blended into a nondescript shade of gray. The Gamma-plus guard left, apparently leaving Helmholtz all by himself in this strange world. Then, what Helmholtz had thought to be an oddly shaped rock in the distance opened up, revealing a group of people. Two females and two males climbed out, signaling for Helmholtz to approach. Relieved that he was not the only human on this godforsaken rock (for that was how he had come to think of it), Helmholtz ran toward the strange vehicle. One of the women, evidently the leader, stepped forward. She was dressed in a blue uniform, and Helmholtz vaguely wondered what class she was—blue was not worn by any of the World State members. She seemed aloof and confident, like someone who was used to getting her way. "Hello. Welcome to our lovely land Buenpais, the land where the women rule. My name is Valencia, and I will be your guide for the next week", she said shortly. She seemed unhappy about it, as if it was beneath her dignity to show a man around. Though he was bursting with questions about this matriarchal society, Helmholtz instinctively knew that Valencia was not the person to ask. Instead, he asked the other women, who introduced herself as Maria, all his questions. Helmholtz found Maria exceedingly beautiful, funny, and quite interesting. He decided that he would have her at the first opportunity possible. She had been born (Helmholtz shuddered at this, for she had said "born" instead of "decanted") on the island twenty years ago. Buenpais was founded as a colony when a group of Spanish suffragettes (for in those days, they had voting) left their homeland in 60 A.F. They had instituted a society in which the women ruled, while granting equal rights to the men. Over the years, it had evolved to a monarchy ruled by a queen who held the title Reina. This culture was so different than that of the World State! None of the denizens of Buenpais underwent any conditioning, and the island had no class system! "But", Helmholtz asked, "what about order? What about balance, of happiness? How could you possibly have all those if you don't even have conditioning?" Confused, Maria asked, "What do you mean?" Helmholtz said, "In the World State, everyone is conditioned to be happy—Alphas, Betas, even Epsilons are content with what they are; they want nothing but work and leisure." Maria then said, "But Helmholtz, if everyone is the same, how could they possibly aspire for more? And if no one could aspire for more, how could they really be happy?" Helmholtz was stunned. Her words echoed of the Savage, who had touched Helmholtz in a way that no one else had. He was the first to have pointed out that the World State might not be perfect, that conditioning might not be the best way to achieve happiness. As the ride went on, Helmholtz learnt more about this world. They did not use soma, but a different drug, called moksha medicine, not to escape their world, but to understand it better. The hallucinogenic properties of this drug allowed the user to enter a state of deep learning, in which she (or he, if that be the case), can comprehend even the most elusive mysteries of life. However, the thing that shocked Helmholtz the most was the fact that this culture was monogamous. "What does that mean?" asked Helmholtz, when Maria used the word. "Monogamous?" she responded "why, monogamous means that you promise to only have one person all your life—you get married at a certain time, and you never leave that person afterwards" "How horrid!" Helmholtz exclaimed. Imagine, only being able to have one person your entire life. The thought was so depressing that Helmholtz once again reached for soma, only to remember that he really didn't have any. So Helmholtz, for the first time in his life, had to endure disappointment without any way to soften the blow.

Nine months later, Helmholtz returned to his apartment after a wonderful day with Maria. They had been seeing each other for seven months, and Helmholtz was ready for her to ask him to marry her. He knew that he would say yes immediately. He thought of her as he walked to his library, which contained the complete works of Shakespeare, the Bible, the Torah, and the Koran. In a corner was a coffee table with a large chair next to it. On the coffee table was a tablet box, with moksha medicine. He took some with water, and let the drug take its effect. Ah! What an eye-opening experience! He could see past the walls, through minds, into the deeper consciousness of himself. He went over to the Shakespeare section of the library, and opened up The Tempest. While reading, Helmholtz remembered the Savage, how he would always quote The Tempest, how he naïvely called the World State a "Brave New World". For the first time, Helmholtz wondered what had happened to the Savage. It had almost been ten months since he had last spoken to John. He decided the first thing he would do the next morning was contact Mustapha Mond.

The next morning, Helmholtz opened up the telescreen to call Mustapha Mond. The World Controller answered with his deep, reassuring voice. "Ah, Helmholtz. Adjusted well to barbarism, I presume? Tell me, why have you called? I'm a busy man, you know." Helmholtz explained that he was wondering about his friend the Savage—it had been a while since they had talked and he would very much like to know what had happened to him. For the first time ever, Mustapha Mond looked uncomfortable. "Sit down," he said to Helmholtz. "It seems that the Savage could not adjust to society after being raised in the reserve. He was found dead in his cottage about three months ago." Helmholtz said nothing. After all, it was for the good of society, wasn't it? He was returning all those good chemicals to the environment, helping the growth of the World State. But somehow, he couldn't convince himself of that. He could no longer reduce a human being to a bag of chemicals, just an instrument in society. While living in the World State it was easy, but after spending just a few months in this new society, Helmholtz had already started to question some of his hypnopaedic conditioning. He saw John for what he really was—a friend, a loyal companion, not just a part of many. He acknowledged that this loss was deep, and realized that he would never see John again. And, for the first time in his life, Helmholtz cried. Helmholtz cried his heart out, glad that he had no soma to dull the pain. He wanted to feel the pain, for it was something that he had never been able to experience all his life. His life in the World State had been completely devoid of all bad emotions except boredom, and his life on Buenpais for the last few months had been like heaven. Knowing that he needed someone to comfort him, he ran over to Maria's house. Maria would help him through this—surely she had experienced something like this herself. He went up to her house and rang the doorbell. As soon as she answered, Maria knew that there was something wrong. As Helmholtz explained, she comforted him and sympathized with him. [transition]Maria looked him in the eyes and asked, "Helmholtz, will you marry me?