Attack on an Evil God
by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson
Chapter 9: Blood Ritual
There were five people in the basement, all dressed in black. They had left their phones in a Faraday cage on the kitchen table so that emanations from them would not disturb any thaumaturgical waves.
Runni was there, as well as Fura Ösp. With them were two guys and a girl. The girl was small but strongly built with close-cropped hair. The taller of the two guys was pale, with deep-set eyes and prominent cheekbones. He was rather sickly but seemed muscular and carried himself strongly. The other was thin and ratty, and rather looked like a shoplifter.
“This is Nori,” said the pale bodybuilder-guy to Runni and Fura. “He will be helping us with the machine.”
“He will be controlling it then?” asked Fura.
Nori and the other two with him nodded.
“He knows how?” she asked.
“Does anybody know how?” asked the man.
“I can operate any computer,” said Nori with an insiduous feral grin.
Runni and Fura looked at each other. Fura approached the pale man and whispered: “You did not explain anything to him, did you?”
“He will know.”
“It is not technically a lethal procedure. Just a transplant of sorts.”
Fura backed away. “Let’s do this.”
The big guy dragged in the robot and placed it in the middle of the floor. The girls made a perimeter fence of steel wire. It was barbed, but it happened to have the highest iron content they could get their hands on. Runni drew the appropriate runes to the north, south, east and west, both outside and inside the perimeter. Nori just stood there.
The man led Nori into the circle, orienting him toward the robot. He situated himself behind Nori. The others took places at each symbol and waited.
“Look at it,” he said to Nori, “and imagine yourself inside it.”
“Become one with the new body,” entoned the others.
“Imagine yourself controlling your new body,” said the man. The words were repeated in chorus by the others.
“Remove yourself and become one with it. Now close your eyes.”
The man took a knife he had hidden in his pantstring, bringing it up before Nori from behind.
“Danotus ho died dimi” he intoned, as he stabbed Nori through the chest up to the hilt, “timii petaribus haf tras mendiu dakar.” He then gave the knife a twist and removed it.
Blood spurted out of Nori’s chest like a whale blowing, splattering all over the machine. Nori gasped. The spurts came in short pulses, which quickly diminished. The man propped him up against the machine, wrapped Nori’s hands around it, and waited while the others picked up the perimeter wire and began wrapping it around them.
Once completely wrapped in, they each took their own knife, all four of them, and stabbed Nori to death, intoning the formula “Danotus ho died dimi timii petaribus haf tras mendiu dakar. — Traverse now into your new body.”
This went on for a while, until all blood had left Nori’s body and all that was keeping his intestines in was the wire. The whole room was beginning to smell like the inside of a septic tank.
“I think we’re good now. Let’s hose them down,” said the man, and they all relaxed.
After hosing the gore down the drain, they went and washed themselves. Then they went upstairs to have a cup of coffee.
* * *
Nori’s ego was erased in the process - the machine had no provisions to keep it. It had its own personality hardwired in: a killing one. The rest of Nori’s soul flowed through the pre-magicked circuitry, exploring every node, becoming one with the machine.
It felt an urge to do something and found out what it was in the solid-state memory. Kill all fascists. But what was a fascist? The data on that was there, a simple outline. Did the target need to fit all parameters? The machine-Nori wondered. It thought no, it would kill all who fit well enough: 70% or 90%, depending on its mood at the time, it decided.
But there was nobody there to kill. Not for now. It began seeing, slowly, as the soul calibrated with the tech. It had many ways of seeing, and he checked them all.
Someone arrived and came down the stairs. Four people. Two men, two women. He looked at them with all his modes of seeing, and saw they were all very similar.
“It is looking at us,” said one of the girls. It knew the voice and tried fitting it to a name. But the name had evaporated.
It scanned her with the ideological scanner and started comparing, as a test:
Supports universal suffrage, age to 18 years, for both sexes? Check,
Proportional representation on a regional basis? Subject a bit unclear on the concepts of regions, proportions and representation; scanning deeper... Check.
Representation at government level of national councils by economic sector? Subject a bit unclear on the concept of economic sector. Scanning deeper... Check.
The abolition of the Senate? Subject does not even know what the word means.
The formation of a national council of experts for labor, for industry, for transportation, for the public health, for communications, etc. to be ruled by professionals or of tradesmen? Subject unclear on things. Processing. Check.
An eight-hour workday for all workers? Check.
A minimum wage? Check.
The participation of workers’ representatives in the functions of industry commissions? Processing... Check.
To show the same confidence in the labor unions as is given to industry executives or public servants? Processing... Check.
Reorganization of the transport sector? Check.
Revision of invalidity insurance? Check.
Reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55? Check.
A strong progressive tax on capital? Check.
Seizure of all the possessions of religious congregations and abolition of all bishoprics? Check.
It did not know that its creator had just abridged the Fascist Manifesto as posted by De Ambris and Marinetti. There was no military, and the creator had skipped that part. Each item was detailed more in its database, where it was compared with the 25-point manifesto of the NSDAP. Had any of them known what constituted fascist ideas, they would have reconsidered their actions.
It scanned them all, one by one, and watched them for a moment as they smiled at it, congratulating each other. It felt control come over its limbs. It had spotted its first victims. All of them more than 95% fit with the target ideology.
One of them was a bit vague on the “collectivist” concept but was a hard authoritarian. Another had something against workers in general, for some reason, and most had no idea what the word “Senate” even meant, but otherwise they fit.
“I am one with my new body,” the rest of Nori’s soul thought to itself.
It stabbed Runni in the eye with a spike that went out the back of his head. As the others noticed that, it tore the sickly-looking man’s intestines out and flung them across the room.
The girls ran away, but it caught one and removed her head and spine from her body. It used them as a club to beat Fura Ösp in the head. She made it to the door, but was pulled back. Her bones made interesting snapping noises as they split.
The machine that kills fascists felt a strange urge for coffee.
* * *
Einar opened the refrigerator and got out a beer. He had never had this sort before. He had a sip. It tasted okay. He was contemplating it, preparing to move back into the living room to watch more TV, when the doorbell rang. He put the can on the table beside the fridge and went to open the door.
He was stunned to behold the apparition on his doorstep. It looked like it had escaped from a 90’s B-movie. He felt a light shiver as it scanned his brain.
The machine noticed that it took less time to scan this guy than it had taken to scan the other four. It was getting better and quicker with each scan. It was sure that, with ten more scans, it would reach sub-second scan times.
It was disappointed to find the subject to be an individualist. That was a pretty important criterion.
He was also all for universal suffrage, both sexes and proportional representation of regions, although he had issues with the economic sector mucking about with it.
He knew there was no “Senate” in the country but had no ideas about replacing its equivalent. He thought all the councils were a needless waste of air. Same with industry commissions. Labour unions he could get, but not ones tied to the state.
He turned out to be for an eight-hour workday for all workers but against minimum wage.
He actually wanted to privatize the transport sector and had really objectionable ideas about invalidity insurance. And invalids. And insurance.
Reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55... no.
The rest, just “no.”
Not even 15% fascist.
It looked at Einar, turned around and walked away. Einar blinked. “That was weird,” he said to himself, watched the robot disappear into the darkness, then closed the door.
There had to be something in the beer, Einer thought. He went and sniffed it. It smelled like beer. He drank some. It tasted like beer. He sat down, and watched some TV, thinking tomorrow, if he didn’t die in his sleep from this thing he strongly believed to be a tumor or a hemorrhage, he would go to the hospital and get checked out.
Proceed to Chapter 10...
Copyright © 2017 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson