A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 261, Tuesday
September 18th, 2018
Chapter Two: The Suppressed
All throughout the Empire dissent of any kind was punished with brutish joy.
The Imperial police delighted in torture. They developed their cravings for it in the Imperial Schools, where the slightest infractions were punished without mercy, and the record of a person’s transgressions followed them for the whole of their lives.
The Imperial Cult taught the same thing. Transcendence through pain, they taught that suffering was purgative and they perfected all of its arts.
Every citizen bore the marks of their upbringing with them, scars inflicted by family, church, and school, visible and invisible.
The extreme emotions produced by the citizens of the Empire were like sustenance for the Collective, it dressed the banality of their disembodied existence, such scenes of suffering fed the appetites of the Collective, and the Continuum as well.
The Collective would become intoxicated on fear and pain, on remorse, the dashed hopes and failures of the ordinary citizens. The Continuum used those appetites to control the membership.
In the living fields of the Empire, a charge of dissent was not limited to aberrant behavior, to the things an individual might do, or fail to do.
The Empire also policed speech, art, and every form of expression.
It demanded conformity from the citizens at every level, as if it were orchestrating a great dance throughout the cosmos, with each and every individual playing a vital role.
That is how they taught it in the schools and at the temples, they enforced each person’s obligation through years of indoctrination.
The imperial conditioning attempted to govern thought as well, but monitoring the thoughts of individuals was a trickier proposition, The Continuum never wanted to reveal the extent to which the people were monitored, but it collected the innermost ideas of each individual through rituals they passed off as magical and supernatural.
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