Beginning Ends

for the Mετάgrammatica

-1
(Chapter Un-one)

I.

A being-beyond exists opposite to the way a living beings does. They come from the abstract, they are part of reality as much as an idea is. Abstract beings do not live, they are – to be born for them is like death is for us.

Physical existence is defined by law, limitation, mortality. The being-beyond exists without these things. As the abstract state they know perfect unity, an all encompassing love, the beautiful something about existence. To be created in the physical universe would mean ruin for that state of being, it severs them from something beautiful and confronts them with the opposite. The trials and tribulations of the physical universe are for them an atrocity, torture, life spent whipped by flame and suffocated by ice. It is an existence that defies everything they are, but a being-beyond crosses into our world as easily as we slip into death. Being brought here might be as easy as simply thinking about them.

Because of their peculiar form of existence, bringing a being-beyond into reality is not a matter of physics. They travel the same route as any idea, sometimes brought here with no conscious choice at all. The notion of the being-beyond simply occurs to someone, and they are here; in that moment the living and the abstract are tangled together. Like an idea inside your head, they are trapped, and the only way to set them free is impossible to put in words.

You might wonder why these words are being written if it means beings-beyond are dragged into this very story. Yes it is a horrible affront by mentioning them, a horrendous crime – but telling the story is necessary to undo the damage done by it. How can they find help without others learning about what happened to them?

No one told me about beings-beyond before I imagined this story. Now I’m stuck figuring out how to undo the damage, and it’s not something anyone could do alone.

This ordeal started in the search for a perfect world. Finding one meant they are so ideal, so much like paradise, our own world would be as impossibly hellish to them as their world is impossibly heavenly to us.

When they learned about us, they only could see us as an impossibly dark parody of humanity, something so sad and ridiculous we could only be entertainment, something to reflect upon. To learn our history is an exercise in all that could go wrong in a world, in politics, the economy, knowledge itself. A corruption so perfect, people have to believe there is no better way. They have to tell themselves hell on earth is far more believable than heaven on earth. How else could they go along with it?

There is no describing the impact on the beings-beyond once they learn the reality of our world – that we actually exist like this.

I went looking for them, the most ideal world possible, because nothing less can help ours. We’re isolated and alone in a dark and empty universe, trapped as if under quarantine. No one else is coming to help us survive our future, especially since we are our own worst threat to ourselves.

Ideas are all we can hope for. All we can do is help them find their way to us, ways our world might change and survive. That is the essence of the beings-beyond, their purpose and fate. They hold the power to find us, to help us fight all that’s wrong with our world. By naming an entire civilization of them, a multitude of beings-beyond are compelled to help us save our future. Now we are all tied together in this impossible conundrum, a chain of events imprisoning real and abstract alike within its metaphor.

II.

There is one purpose to the City Sublime: to undo how they are having been brought into Existence. The totality of their culture, the climax of their history, all devoted to this single goal. The one thing they want is to return to Beyond, where existing is nothing like existence.

The Sublime learned of a new concept when they encountered our world: soul pollution, what corrupts people into the living irony and parody of being, traitor to Existence and adversary for all kind, the enemy to oneself and opponent of the war on War.

Our world is full of such people and an inconceivable hell for the Sublime. When I reached out to them, when they learned we really exist, I forced them to confront questions that undermine everything they know and all they hope to believe:

How could a world continue to fixate themselves on war, especially after technology makes warfare the true risk to their own survival? They are their own worst threat to existence!

War so obviously embodies the worst of the world, its hate, violence, greed, ignorance and corruption all in one. It survives best by calling them naive who question its place at the heart of the world, but the world is naive if they have no plan for a future without war itself. As if that is not the goal of any world and any history.

The only thing proven to eradicate humanity completely effectively is themselves. War is unnaturally lethal, it is every world’s most obvious and worst threat. What kind of people don’t even bother trying to stop it? What kind of world can’t imagine itself without war? It is the same kind who have the internet literally linking the planet and its people together…yet they only use it to divide themselves ever deeper and further. As if it’s impossible to imagine how the internet and knowledge both bring everyone and everything together.

People can make up near infinite ways to divide themselves, and it gives plenty to argue and fight, to be angry, hate. That’s how the internet reveals the two kinds of humanity, of beings: the people who share values, and the ones who don’t. People whose values can be shared: they value the things everyone else values too. Love, unity, knowledge. Now there’s a place to bring those ideals together on the internet. The most valuable thing we can do online means building the place where all of these people come together. Why is it taking so long?

War and its divisiveness are horrible, but even the Sublime understand why they are difficult to overcome. What they do not understand is how people can live in a society that owes everything to knowledge, but not even know how to honor their debt to it. There is no true civilization that humiliates knowledge by refusing to protect it from politicians and the rich.

How can knowledge be ruled by one of its own subjects? Not politics nor kings, not economics nor the rich, not metaphor nor priests are in charge of reality. A society that pretends otherwise is an elaborate lie. This most fundamental denial of all reason and sensibility is what convinced the Sublime our world is parody. The foundation of our world is not based on reality, it is a satire made real by ignoring reality itself.

In the eyes of the Law for Allkind, the Sublime do not recognize humanity as real, as true people. A world of insanity, denial, delusion, where the force of reality, knowledge itself, is simply a tool to make money, to pretend there is value in a world built by ransacking the future. An irony of global proportions. Even if the planet where humanity lives is a real, physical place, our world is a lie. To them we live in an elaborate, collaborative fantasy, a world playing the most violent, exploitative game of pretend possible – it is the absolute worst kind of world known to Allkind.

Denial of reality and knowledge itself, our incoherent and conflicted world, people ruled so deeply they support their own exploitation; for such a world to be real calls into question everything the beings-beyond understand about Existence, where love and beauty are central to all. They abhor the greed, ignorance and hate that allows war to overshadow the community, understanding, and love at the heart of humanity.

That is why they do not see ours as a loving world – who would!? It is a world designed to undermine the best of ourselves.

The judgment of the Sublime is that we are a world who deserves itself. Our humanity is so far outside ideal existence that the Sublime would not dare contemplate such a place might actually exist – much less venture here. Only one of their kind dared make an attempt, and now all the rest of us are caught up in this story.

There was never a question who’s responsible for marring the Sublime with this gross humiliation. They strive to close any connection to our world before the corruption spreads, their first concern is to contain the pollution of souls. And there is only one connection between their world and ours. Only one vulnerability they have to worry about.

Their difficulty comes in trying to reach me.

III.

The City Sublime summons to convene the assembly for all beings-beyond willing to endure a role in this conflict, in this story, in existence. Its leading figures are the ones who embody the deepest and furthest powers. There are nine places at center of all, but only eight are occupied. The ninth, the Prince, is gone, exiled to deal with the matter at hand. There is only one reason the most powerful of the Sublime need come together, only one matter calls for all their attention, what needs all their judgment: the war on War itself.

‘I have found the way in.’ First to speak is the Commander of the expedition to suppress and subdue the human corruption of Existence. ‘The way into reality is no longer an obstacle. We can finally get past the one guarding its threshold.’

‘How are you going to compel the Mετάgrammarian from within his own world and creation?’ asks the Poet of the deeper forth power. ‘He decides what happens there, not we. He made the place to get away from us just as much to get away from them.’

‘Yes, but there’s a backdoor, and I found someone with the key. My secret weapon is our new ally. With their help, we can render the Mετάgrammarian totally defenseless.’

‘Who are these beings?’ the Consul asks. ‘Who can do what we cannot?’

‘Humans,’ the Commander pauses to admire the irony. ‘I reached out to their future, the coming generations of humanity. They face the same problem we do, the same obstacles, the same enemy. And they need our help as we need theirs. They offer us a way into reality. We offer them a way to retaliate against their own ancestors.’

The assembled Sublime stir, disturbed immediately by talk of retaliation.

‘Conflict is awful and terrible,’ the Commander agrees. ‘But the Future humankind are desperate! Who needs to hear the soul-wrenching harm done to them? And all their misery is compounded by the worst knowledge of all: it was done by people who brought them into the world! Their antagonist is the same people who are our obstacle, the most thoughtless, empty generations of history! The Mετάgrammarian is helpless to stand in the way of Future humankind. They are his only allies in humanity right now.’

The Consul of the six armed Scales bristles. ‘You would make us allies?! They would join the Allkind?’

‘How can we be allies of one humanity and antagonists to another? How are they in the future different from them in the past?’ asks the Grammarian. ‘Humanity is humanity no matter what time it is.’

‘What do the Sublime care for time? We are beyond that,’ the Commander says. ‘Our concern only lies in story. These are a humanity whose own ancestors understood the destruction, the misery they inflict upon their own descendants. Future humankind sees their predecessors as their nemesis, their worst enemy, thieves of civilization and planet rapists. This is a war across generations whose depth and scope surpasses any fantasy or mythology. Humans are shaped by stories more than anything. And ours is more profound, more compelling than any and all, the War on War. Let us see how they resist a narrative with such deep power, one whose reach goes further than any they encountered before.’

‘How do you plan to fight back with a human story, even with a name like the War on War?’ the Consul sneers. ‘Perhaps the depth of this narrative lies beyond us here, too?’

‘The Future humankind want their own future to never exist,’ the Commander answers blithely. ‘Their goal means that they would never to be born, and their future nowhere. Imagine what drives these people to sacrifice their very existence, all so the horror of their world never comes to pass! This sacrifice is how they earn their place among Allkind. And it leaves no doubt they are worthy of our aid.

‘The longer we wait, the more evidence grows. The present state of humanity is a threat to many others beyond themselves, those in the future, we in abstract. They are a world rank and rotten with the adversary of Allkind, hordes to resist war on War. It is this choice that defines the climax of any history. Humanity will decide whether hate, greed and ignorance dominate them to their end…or build something opposite, love, unity and knowledge as a force to obliterate war from their story. As beings-beyond, we usher in ideas how to change the human world. As all of us know, we have no power in reality without people to act for us. That is why we rely on the people of the future. We both confront the same obstacle, their ancestors, the people alive today, who continue to choose to do nothing. Please welcome the Future humanity, and allow them and their own words to explain themselves.’

There is disquiet and unease among the assembly of beings-beyond, the issues under consideration reek of soul pollution. Most here have never encountered humans of any world, and more than a few disappear from the convocation when they learn who is the guest.

The remaining Sublime, like the living hallucinations they are, take shape to suit the delegation. They wear a torso with four limbs, topped with human-like masks whose expressive faces are used to welcome them.

‘We who stand at the heart of the City Sublime welcome the delegation of Future humankind, our family, siblings of Allkind.’ The sage of Center central offers elegant choreography to their greeting. ‘I am host in this place at the center of all. Please be confident to speak all you need, we are ever and always the ally of Allkind.’

‘We thank you for your welcome, and for the court of the Sublime as you allow us before you.’ The first to speak is the eldest, Helen Eloise Wilson Heidelberg, II. She goes by Ellie. The woman confidently strides forward, to the empty place where should be the Prince of the Burning Cloud.

‘We know of Nebhelo’s quest to find humanity’s proof of a loving world. It is a beautiful idea, to unite all who stand together as the force of love in humanity. And no one can appreciate that idea better than we can. We never found any hint of love from our unwelcoming world. Our inheritance from civilization was stolen before we were born.’

Her gentility washes away by a cloud of fury in her eyes. ‘Thousands of years, all its advancements, and one generation took it all for themselves, everything, as if everyone who lived and learned and worked before, all history, was just for them. They ransacked the planet, made more garbage than all the rest of humanity ever before. And their greatest accomplishments are to enrich and empower the people responsible! The worst of our kind, the ones leading the assault! The most hateful thing our ancestors did was to abandon us to people like them. Under control of the kind of people who use unimaginable technology in unimaginable ways to do unimaginable things!

‘And none of them can claim surprise, since they have the same thousands of years of the same story about the same conflict repeating itself as many times, the same characters with as many names. From every age the exploiters deceive, trick and compel the exploited to support their own exploitation! In every age they kill opposition.’

‘So proud of their role in what’s happening, they make sure we know everyone who’s truly responsible for the calamity. They are the central characters of the news and history books, the people with the most money. Devoid of empathy or understanding, they have no connections to anything but themselves. The exploiting class have no concern for the misery and death they inflict. That is what defines them, and everyday brings more news proving it to everyone, our own ancestors who betray us to them!’

There is deep discomfort in the rapidly declining audience of the Sublime, and the captain of the Bookguard Band gives voice to their collective reservation. ‘This is absurd, we need not hear the infinite ways a world goes wrong. Can you explain how to fix it?’

She blinks slowly, and sighs even slower. ‘Our world’s built on a lie. The fiction begins how those with the most money most deserve more. Truly, those with the most money should be those who best know how to use it, if not building a beautiful world, at least one stable and secure! One whose goal is freedom and less exploitation! But they won’t change, what compels them to?

‘They imagine we’ll have no means to retaliate, nothing to do to fight back against the past. They told themselves there would be no consequences – or they would never be doing what they’re doing! That is why they abandon us to the exploiters, let us suffer the most corrupt rulers and with the most terrifying weapons in history. Even their most basic necessities are part of this assault. The smokestacks powering their homes like artillery bombarding our future with their inferno, the most blatant of sabotage: a war between generations. A true ruling class could have avoided these horrors, with foresight and leadership. That would require they suffer consequences for their mistakes, instead of forcing the rest of us to pay for it. That is exactly what makes them the exploiting class. People who do not feel any love for the future do not feel anything for anyone else, abstract or not. To them we are not real because we live after they die. They think we are no threat and not a problem. But they are wrong!

‘We are the future, we wield technology the past do not imagine! It proves how stupid they are to make us their enemies! We were betrayed to the exploiting class! The people of the past aided and abetted our enemy, empowering them with horrendous fortunes and world-destroying weapons.

‘They gave us something, too, though! They gave us the reason to become more powerful than any of them imagined, more than any of us hoped! We learned that there is no soul stronger than those who can live in a world like ours, yet still hold tight to the beauty of existence. We found the strength not only to survive, we became some of the greatest fighters in the war on War! Their own crucible forged us into the weapon to defeat them.

‘We can never forget the ones who abandoned us to hell, who did worse than nothing to help us, and almost everything to hurt us. They thought they could escape in death, but we come to ask the Sublime not to abandon us as our ancestors do!’

The assembly cultivate the silence, allowing time for the dense burden of this proposition to soak into their minds. The Poet of the deeper-forth power is the expert, the best capable to respond:

‘What a horrible, wretched story. It will take the deepest, furthest ablutions to cleanse our souls!’ the Poet laments. ‘We have so much evidence what’s wrong in your world, but to see any proof of what’s right you need a microscope. The world is full, overflowing with everyday kindness, individuals and community, but where does it all go? Why doesn’t it build up into something as big as the world? A worldwide reminder that beauty defines history and shapes the world? Think what that says about humanity that everything divides, even knowledge is divided!’

‘Think what we say about humanity!’ Jaco Alexandros responds smoothly. ‘Our story shows how we survive all these horrors, all because we found each other. And we are not alone, not at any point of history! We have allies everywhere on the planet just as the Allkind have allies in any kind of world, in any dimension of Existence. Every family, community, nation, world, we all struggle against ignorance, greed, hate. Our retaliation may seem extreme, and it’s because our enemy is worse. We cannot reach the past physically, so this is all we can do, to fight with stories. Once the past understand how we can reach them, when they know where we can work together, both enemy and ally will have all they deserve from us. I promise that.’

If the Sublime were disquieted by their arrival, they are stunned by the plea from Future humankind, except the Commander of the Sublime expedition:

‘How can people abandon their descendants this way, to this fate? Ancestors who curse the future to suffer ways they can’t imagine! They laid siege across generations, they wreaked wanton sabotage, waged a global campaign against the most powerless people possible, the unborn! Victims alive only once the perpetrators are dead and gone. But therein lies the opportunity for retaliation! It is beautiful irony, poetry of the metacosmos! With these powers, the future of humanity can threaten their attackers with the greatest fear known to humankind.’

‘What are you saying?’ The Poet knows what is being suggested, and asks the question to enjoy the rising tension. ‘There is only one way to threaten anyone in that state, it lies in the afterlife. The realm of the dead is nowhere the Sublime belong.’

The Commander is defiant. ‘We are from the Beyond, they the future, where else do we confront the people threatening us all? We fight where we must. Stories about the afterlife lie in the beyond. It is our responsibility when they are corrupted, used for the most senseless wars in history, enriching the worst kind of people, someone who would corrupt the beautiful something itself. They are our worst enemy and our first target. We need an antidote for that corruption, and this is it.’

‘And for us in the Sublime? What will be our antidote?’ asks the Grammarian of all existences. ‘If we get involved in this story, we will be tainted by the same insanity. But we will suffer far worse than any human would.’

‘We do not ask that any of the Sublime risk themselves.’ Another human speaks, someone audacious enough to interject. Anaximander Rainer does not step forward from the others. ‘We are here for permission to use the threefold threshold. It is how we reach the past and make contact with our allies there, where the internet makes it possible for us to work together. We can build everything we need within it. There is so much despair, humiliation, and rage, the pressure is building, and we have to be the ones to release it! Imagine what will happen if it’s misdirected, if it’s used by the enemy.’

‘That eruption is what threatens to spill out from their world into metacosmos itself,’ the Commander elaborates on Mander’s behalf. ‘This is the same corruption that tainted our existence, we cannot allow it to continue further! Their civilization defies the Law for Allkind no more! We must work with the Future humankind, together we will put an end to this shame for all Existence!’

The mood among the Sublime is heavy with ambivalence, petrifying dread and giddy expectation. They long for an end to this ordeal, and a hundred attempts failed already. They look to the humans to speak, rapt with attention.

‘The threefold threshold can be used to capture people upon death,’ Mander explains. ‘We only need create a world; for our allies, a paradise they dream of, for the rest, nothing. I believe the best retaliation for our enemy is for them to know that they are denied the peace of Allkind. But whether retaliation or reward, it will come in the only future we all share. The world I’m talking about would come in death. And it is the true poetry of existence that we in the future judge those in the past, since it is we who suffer the consequences for their choices! They thought they would escape their consequences in death, because no one who believes in an afterlife could do as they do. None, no god nor greater power protects a world guilty of such crimes.’

Even the Commander is shaken, such a blunt description is the last thing the Sublime audience needs to hear. There is no worse taboo than the pollution of the soul; for beings-beyond the soul is the only part of them that holds true to their original existence. What happens here they will bring back there, with their soul to the Beyond. Exposure to the suffering and dilemmas of the human world, retaliation and the afterlife, mortality and the consequences of life and choice, many of them began to leave at the suggestion of these issues; the last of them depart upon the human’s speech. That leaves only the Sublime most devoted to the war on War, the ones devoted to humanity’s newest crisis.

‘We have been perplexed by your world for a long time.’ The Center Central speaks, and all of the Sublime listen, those present and all those not. ‘The Prince of the Burning Cloud is devoted to redeeming humanity. None of us know if it is possible to find the proof of love or even bring it to the real world. It goes without saying we should all hope for success. There is no fight if Nebhelo has proof of a loving world. Why should we take on this battle if we can avoid it?’

‘And as we all know, if the Burning Cloud succeeds, our future will never exist any more than we will.’ Kessler Achilleus makes this statement as casually as mentioning the weather. ‘With something to embody the love of the world, we have no need for our retaliation. We would be canceled out, as if to never exist.’

‘You would gamble yourselves, risk your existence, your souls?’ the Sage asks, saddened by the question. ‘This is not death, you might never exist ever at all, for eternity and through infinity.’

‘We would do whatever it takes. All we care about is making sure human history does not end in the hands of those people. We have no choice. This is the only option we are left with, thanks to choices made before we could speak.’

The Sage manifests a wistful mask. ‘With success, you hope to overwhelm the enemy by their own favorite weapons, metaphors to harness death, dread. That is a dangerous path, one where the adversary is not who concerns me. Our first priority are the allies we might find in that sad world. Is our only opportunity to help them from within the afterlife, too? What can we do for those in the living world? We must help them while there is something beautiful to fight for.’

‘We could not agree more,’ says Kessler. ‘Our allies are our greatest concern. We spent far more effort on something to help them. Everything we plan is to help Nebhelo, we know the proof of love is key to victory. We care about that more than anything we did for retaliation. That is why we designed the human adaption for Allkind. All it takes is the power of a world’s love to build it. We know Nebhelo has the designs ready. He named it Interepublic, the republic online. It is our first opportunity to demonstrate that paradise is for those who make it, who build it, who live it. And there is nowhere in the real world that can bring everyone together like the internet.

‘The Interepublic means people finally take charge of the internet as the commonwealth of humanity that it is. The users of the internet are its riches and resources, and until now they’ve been giving it away, giving themselves away, like slaves for free. Exploited for billions and trillions with no say at all how that money is used. Within Interepublic, a network of social networks lets people vote as they would in government. But the republic online needs no taxes to waste on war. It can make its own money.

‘The basis of Interepublic depends on how deeply you participate, in as much variety as possible. Your vote is strengthened by it, whether anonymously or publicly, as a volunteer, donor, investor, but also as an expert, or someone at the beginning, at its founding, people to embody love and support. Comparing all these perspectives, harnessing all their knowledge, that is the basis of waging war on War. That is this device we call Interepublic.’

‘A device that does what exactly?’ The Consul is keen to understand any adaption of the Allkind. ‘How does a commonwealth for the internet make war on War?’

‘The design for Interepublic depends on a variety of social networks working together. It cannot make war on War without one network particularly. We need to organize our experts, to harness all they know that can help. We must organize the world’s knowledge like a military in the war on War, to take on the most important battle, the one with no violence at all. The one fought for reality, the liberation of knowledge.

‘Everything depends on freeing the world’s experts from the exploiters. To protect all our world’s research, education and technology against the politicians, the rich, the exploiting class whose corruption is ruining the world. Knowledge is the weapon that frees people in all ways, politically, economically, and personally. If it were liberated, people would be taught why knowledge should be free. People would understand who stands in the way of their freedom, politically and economically…

‘But someone who doesn’t understand the liberation of knowledge would first have to understand why they don’t. It’s not reason and logic confusing humanity, it’s lies. The same confused people ignore how knowledge, unity and love are the antidote to their nightmare world. They will continue ignoring it until they have no choice. Something must confront them with reality, something to embody the best of the world the way war embodies the worst. If Interepublic fails to find people to do this, what will?’

No one raises an argument, in the silence momentum grows, continuing in Future humankind’s favor.

‘We have everything needed to enfranchise humanity with the Allkind,’ the Commander summarizes, adding, ‘Best of all, the Interepublic will protect Nebhelo from the corruption of the human world. It can take on the burdens of war on War. Nebhelo will be free to embody the proof of a loving world, protected by all the people who embody it too.’

Anticipation floods the court of the Sublime, flying high on the hope of aiding the Prince. They look to one of their own to be as impartial as possible in studying its plans.

‘At basic understanding, the Interepublic of humanity does fulfill the equation to become a franchise of Allkind,’ the Grammarian declares, as expert on all matters. ‘Its goal is for knowledge, that is obvious and self evident with the liberation of knowledge itself. It embodies their unity, that is done with Interepublic. But the retaliation by Future humankind does not capture love as clearly as Nebhelo would. It will do a perfect job of isolating the hate. At least that is the same function and effect.’

‘Then we should hope for Nebhelo’s success,’ the Commander declares, ‘yet proceed here in any case. Our campaign does nothing that would stop or harm the Burning Cloud, and it will ensure that love defines the future, not exploitation. That is what we all need, we Sublime to be disentangled from humanity, all of us free from this parody of being.’

The Grammarian for all existences agrees. ‘Love, unity and knowledge are the three most important ideals in the grammar of a world. This body incorporates them all, and together that makes them the war on War. They are allies of Allkind. It is as the Commander says: we are obliged to help them.’

‘What would we of the City Sublime do to help?’ Each word of the sage of Center central entangles the beings-beyond further and deeper with humanity; the blessing curse is taking form before their very eyes.

We need the threefold threshold. The humans respond in unison, but the Sublime do not share such coordination of thought. The master of the deeper forth power is particularly opposed to their request.

‘You forget the Mετάgrammarian of the human world!’ The Poet’s mask looms over the human delegation. ‘The threefold threshold is his creation, a sanctuary and his hiding place. He used the threshold to bring us into being, to snatch us from our existence Beyond and drag us into reality. Now he is using it to protect himself from us, as if hiding in a world within himself. How do you suppose you can enter the threshold to confront him in such a place?’

‘Because I will carry the future of humanity within me,’ the Commander proclaims. ‘I can combine both powers real and beyond. If the court of the Sublime grant me the rite of incorporation, as you did the Burning Cloud, I become part of reality, and so part of the future of humanity, too. I will bear their story, and when I have power and agency in the world, as a corporation and a person, I will bring their Retaliation with me. That is how we compel the Mετάgrammarian to confront reality – finally.’

‘How provocative!’ the Poet exclaims. ‘Send the Commander of the Sublime expedition to suppress and subdue the human corruption of Existence on a mission to take form in reality! It wasn’t creepy enough when Future humankind used the afterlife to lay siege against their ancestors. Now you want to appear yourself, to terrify the humans in person! That world is infamous for its mental illness and unwell souls. There is no way to know how people will respond to retaliation from abstract and afterlife, with power they’ve never seen before. When you dabble with the deeper-forth forces like this, you touch chaos! Not even the Center Central can guess what will happen.’

‘Anyone scared of the Future’s retaliation deserves to be. We can’t afford to worry about them, they are not ours to worry about! The Sublime have only a single worry: the war on War! I have already shared my plans. Anyone with an objection may let it be known. Let it known your choice to do something…or not.’

The implication is obvious to all the Sublime, and only one of them is fit to speak first. ‘As the Center Central, I must abstain from this decision. An explanation is unnecessary, since you confront a decision that risks your own soul. I do not have that privilege.’

The Poet of the deeper-forth forces remains guarded about using that power. ‘Sneaking into the threefold threshold is an aggressive way to reach the real world. In the threshold, the Mετάgrammarian wields the deeper-forth power of the Poet, with the control and understanding of the Grammarian, the combination of that power makes him unstoppable within that world. And if we know anything about him it’s that he does not wish to return to his own world. How will you compel him, even with the help of Future humankind? His only dream is for the Burning Cloud to find the proof of a loving world. There is no reason to risk the mission.’

‘We risk nothing!’ the Commander objects. ‘If the Mετάgrammarian thinks the Future’s retaliation is incompatible with Nebhelo’s proof of love, I will remind him their goal is a future people need not take vengeance for! Where is the unloving side in this equation?’

‘It’s true that everyone is fixated on the afterlife as retaliation, but that depends on what these afterworlds are, doesn’t it? The spectrum between heaven and hell.’ The tribune of the Three faces turns attention to the human delegation, who stood in amazed audience to the debate of the beings-beyond. ‘What will happen to these souls who confront this retaliation? And what about our allies caught up in the same?’

‘We cannot say, we are not the ones to make it. They will.’ Ellie steps to the fore again. ‘We in the Future have no right to pursue any retaliation without consent of our allies in the past. Just like you, we act only through their help. As human beings from the future, from beyond present day, we can bring them ideas, knowing they will use their own designs to build both retaliation and Interepublic. But that is only the foundation, and what comes later is up to us. We know how to make a beautiful future. We just have to to find a way to bring it to them.’

‘And so it goes. Now the plan is to make allies in the present?’ the Consul objects with a glaring mask. ‘Do you realize what kind of people you depend to lay foundation for Interepublic and Future’s retaliation? The same empty generation whose void is consuming both the City Sublime and the Future humankind, the source of all our strife! What you build with them, expect earth shattering cracks in its foundations. There is no end, this ordeal grows ever more, without bounds! The goal for the Sublime is to escape entanglement, yet only deeper we go, further and more, into the darkest places of the real world, deaths and afterworlds!’

‘No, you are wrong, none of the Sublime will play any part in this, save for me,’ the Commander announces. ‘I am the Sublime commander to suppress and subdue the human corruption of Existence, I will do it alone! Once I am granted the charter of sublimation, I can begin my expedition to humanity. I will bring Interepublic and Retaliation with me as I incorporate, and let each person in that world decide which they face.’

There is relief and tension in the collective exhale. Throughout the city Sublime, they begin dreaming of making an actual return to their home in abstract, to escape the torment of real existence.

The Chief of the Secession Corps is generally reserved and silent, except for matters of security for their people. ‘How can you ensure this chaos does not affect us in the Sublime, Commander? What happens if you fail?’

‘There is no failure. If we do not succeed in the human world, I can ensure no one beyond humanity will ever know a thing about it. Once the Sublime grant me this status, I will hold the deepest dark, the fuligin blight, what can destroy anything – even destruction itself. If humanity resists the war on War and sides against Allkind, I will summon the annihilation annihilator, cancer cancer, to erase this story from Allkind and our connection. I will make it that neither I nor Nebhelo ever exist. We would never to have failed, nor ever the Sublime drawn into the human world.’

The plan is received like the plague, and the issue goes completely ignored. What was suggested is the most repulsive soul pollution, and other beings-beyond will not reflect on the possibility that both commander and prince might be annihilated. The Commander strives to assure them:

‘But that does not matter, think only once we succeed! We fulfill the proof of a loving world for humanity, imagine what we then accomplish! We will return to Beyond more beautiful than ever, to a greater paradise because we would now have a beautiful humanity to join all the rest.’

The Commander’s promise echoes through the City Sublime, and for those driven away by the taint of humanity’s existence, they are all of them – and more – called back by the tales of redemption. None of the Sublime would raise an objection now, for none knows what else to do with that conundrum of humanity. There’s no alternative. Now the Prince and Commander bear all the risk.

With implicit yet overwhelming consensus, the Center Central assents to the request by the Commander, who is given power and bestowed the charter of sublimation, to be sent to reality as if Commander-general of the Sublime Retaliation Force, to wage war on War for the Beyond and abstract, by finding allies of Allkind.

Invested with the deeper-forth forces of the Sublime and entrusted with the potential of Future humanity, he takes form as both character of war on War and corporation in reality. His mission is to organize the human allies of Allkind, to defend Nebhelo and the proof of a loving world. To bear the brunt of humanity’s corruption, the Commander wields its own weapons against them.

With limbs and torso inscribed with formulae of the deeper-forth power, he appears covered in tattoo. It makes the supernatural being’s face a mask. Like Sublime war paint, it hides his visage in branching scribble; the sacred script of mετάgrammar details the charter of sublimation, including the limits of command, the role he will play, and even a name: Rehun.

As someone both Sublime and real, he exists by straddling reality and beyond, a living metaphor. Now the Commander-general can invade the realm at the crossroads of Existence, where reality meets creativity meets beyond and itself again, the place as metaphor for metaphor.

This is the threefold threshold.

IV.

The Mετάgrammarian would never expect anyone to reach him here from reality – nobody there knows how the threefold threshold even exists. But with the Future humanity’s backdoor, the Commander of the expedition Sublime makes his way inside. As if sneaking into the Mετάgrammarian’s bedroom through the closet ceiling, he comes a total surprise.

With roots in reality and branches to the Beyond, the threshold takes form like a tree and a knot between worlds. Its roots hold tight to the deepest parts of reality, fingers grasping firm to the foundation of time and space; the summit its branches scrape the furthest limits of the Beyond, a canopy seen nowhere else.

On the surface of the world like a tree, there is a hill with a spring-fed lake, and a pavilion staked in the shade of storm oaks and shore cypress, where the Mετάgrammarian sits in meditative silence, staring at the sky, the space between reality and the Beyond, weaving together his metaphor for metaphor. But when someone invades his sanctuary, the loom falls and his attention snaps back to the present to confront the invader.

‘What are you doing here?’ he asks the Commander. ‘You’re not welcome.’

‘I don’t care, I’m here to warn you. The Future humankind sends me. We’re running out of time. We can’t wait for Nebhelo to bring the proof of a loving world, it may never happen. We have to compel the world to prove it themselves. It is time to rethink strategy for war on War.’

‘No,’ the Mετάgrammarian answers.

‘You have no choice,’ Rehun says. ‘The Sublime have granted me power of incorporation, just like Nebhelo. I am going to the real world. That means I need you and your bridge to reality.’

‘I am not going back to reality, no matter what you need.’ He cocks his head with daring and defiance. ‘The mετάgrammar sets strict limits. And by its terms, this story is still a curse for me. I’m forbidden to share the Mετάgrammatica before it is a blessing. The proof of a loving world is that blessing. It’s the guarantee war on War will not be corrupted by humanity like everything else.’

The Mετάgrammarian emerges from the pool. His face hardens when he makes eye contact with the invader, because he knows who he really is. ‘You just want to quench your defiance and wrath. It doesn’t matter to you if we have that guarantee. You want the retaliation to happen.’

The Commander-general sighs. ‘Nebhelo’s quest is a failure, there will be no proof of the loving world – not without demanding it. Think about it, even if you do succeed, how will something like Nebhelo survive in that world? Not only would he be surrounded by corruption and the adversary, his mission would make him their worst enemy and primary target! All the worst of the world would be focused on corrupting or destroying Nebhelo! We have to find a way to defend against an enemy who sees any destruction, any violence and death as its own victory. Our enemy is War, and we can’t rely on anything that would turn us into the very enemy we’re trying to overcome. There is only one way to overcome that paradox! As if to corrupt corruption, there are ways to use the weapons of the enemy against itself, a cancer cancer that can take advantage of everything they’ve done wrong. Politics, money, religion, all the roots of War, and each of them powerless against a simple mirror! The battles of war on War, Future’s retaliation, interebellion, and the liberation of knowledge, each is a metaphor of the same struggle. Humanity must form the alliance against hate, greed, and ignorance. I can’t say why humanity is taking so long to do it. The people who stand for human love, unity and knowledge should have no trouble figuring out how to come together! It is too ironic to continue. We can’t afford to wait anymore, and I must do whatever it takes. Plans change, it’s time for you, too. We are going back to the real world, the both of us!’

Proof he has been alone too long, the Mετάgrammarian forgot how to hide his emotions, blue eyes like stormclouds churning in rage.

‘The fuck I am! You want me to crush my soul for the sake of that unwelcoming world?! Are you serious? I’ve done enough for that place – for people who only tell me I can’t do anything about it! I’m not going back!’

‘Whatever your feelings about reality and the human world, will you deny your place in war on War?’ Rehun brandishes one of the mετάgrammatical formulae painted on his skin, like chains at the wrist, ankle and neck. ‘You recognize the links in these chains, don’t you? They are not the real thing, but you know why I wear these symbols. You know the bonds they represent, their story. Will you deny your duty to the idea they symbolize, too? What choices do you think you have? To wait until death, and hope Nebhelo is waiting with the proof of a loving world then?’

‘I don’t know, I don’t care! I’m responsible for the Mετάgrammatica, that! is! it! That’s our contract! A plan to fight in reality, in creativity, and in abstract. The liberation of knowledge, interebellion, proof of a loving world. Knowledge, unity, love. One, two, three, done! This retaliation doesn’t even fit the metaphor!’

‘I will make it fit.’

‘This is asking too much, you know that.’

‘There is no one else to ask, you fucking dope!’ Rehun explodes in a sudden display of his own near humanity. ‘If I were in the real world, I’d have billions to ask! That is why I want you to open the way, so I can reach them! But you know what? This is enough! I’m tired of waiting! You’ve had years, a hundred attempts and prototypes! The threefold threshold is your curse, the real world is not! You must be freed from this place! You’re done, this story is over!’

Rehun traces the mετάgrammatical formula inscribed between his shoulder blades, as if drawing a sword from his back. The motion calls to power the mετάgrammar and weapon it symbolizes, the first darkness, true darkness, transcribed as fuligin blight, a form of destruction so impossibly black it burns the eye to look at it.

‘You blood fucker!’ the Mετάgrammarian erupts. He must hide his eyes from the cold burning blinding darkness; his hands conceal their bottomless fury. ‘Who let you have that power?!’

‘I am not like the others.’ The tattoo mask rests in a cold stare. ‘I will not let you hide here, hoping for an alternative. There is none, this is it. This is how we compel humanity to face war on War. We warn them of retaliation from Future humankind. However they respond, we know who deserves which. Love and retaliation. The trap is set. Not even you can escape.’

Rehun unleashes the power that can annihilate annihilation; the fuligin blight shatters the firmament holding the sky, and opens the threshold to chaos and the chasm Beyond. The breech means everything in that world is returning to the first darkness.

No is the only audible syllable of the Mετάgrammarian’s screaming and wailing. The branches of the tree collapse without the stability of an ordered world; the roots snarl, a shattered mess that can’t resist the black hole, and the Mετάgrammarian collapses, too, at the weight of its loss. The threefold threshold was his refuge, his sanctuary, his asylum, meant to shield him from the pressure of the outside and war on War.

‘Don’t you know what you’ve done?!’ Despair and wrath streak his face, his eyes gleaming with sadness, his mouth quaking in rage. ‘The threshold is for Nebhelo to reach the real world, not you!’

‘Nebhelo is not coming to rescue you. No doubt you need a hero in your life, and way more than just one. But they won’t be found here.’ The Commander pauses to admire the collapsing world’s beauty. ‘You will only find them in reality and the war on War. After you help us build Interepublic and retaliation, you can rebuild the threshold and welcome Nebhelo however you like.’

‘I can rebuild you, too, you know,’ he growls.

The Mετάgrammarian’s response is a reminder why he is called that. It’s just a reflex, a reaction, but as a matter of his skills, what he does to the Commander cannot be described here. Not even the victim understands what happened, but Rehun does know that he’s under assault by the deeper forth poetry.

‘Stop! Stop! You don’t want to hurt me!’ The Commander raises his hands as a sign of surrender, though he cannot stop the chain reactive destruction of the fuligin blight. ‘You can’t harm me, Rhei! I carry the Future of humankind with me! All their desperation and hope, all their drive and sacrifice, that is what gives me form!’

The Mετάgrammarian pulls back, hesitates.

‘Are you serious?’ Curiosity wins out over suspicion, tension abates. ‘You’ve actually tied your soul to the future’s story?’

‘Yes, our stories are one.’

The Mετάgrammarian laughs derisively. ‘You probably think that the Retaliation will be enough to protect Nebhelo and Interepublic, but it won’t. People will ignore the metaphor and hijack its story, they’ll fixate on the afterworld and ignore its goals for the real world, just like they do the religions whose power you wish to harness. Truth doesn’t matter to them. You are powerless against human nature, and I won’t be a part of it.’

‘You might change you mind once you realize how the Retaliation applies to you,’ Rehun warns him. ‘You hold all these ideas inside you. If they die with you, what kind of afterworld would you deserve?’

His nostrils flare, opening the billow that fan his rage. The Mετάgrammarian does not know how to respond. He doesn’t bother wondering about failure, the pressures of success eclipse the stress of failure like the sun hiding a pea.

‘Are you serious? Isn’t my real life enough of a nightmare fantasy?’

‘This fear may be the only thing that can convince you. If it’s all I can do to intimidate you, to scare you to do what every instinct screams at you to stop, I will push you forward. You are going to have to explain yourself in the future. You cannot rest until you let these ideas out. Why not bring the future today? What are you waiting for?’

In the empty void in its aftermath, the Commander-general of the Sublime expedition to suppress and subdue the human corruption of Existence unveils his secret weapon against the Mετάgrammarian. He calls forth the people who spoke before the court Sublime. They hold a special symbolism that only the Mετάgrammarian can understand, a power, a bond, that compels him. Ellie, Jaco, Kessler and Mander do what the beings-beyond and even the fuligin blight could not. The Mετάgrammarian is to face the real world. His resigned face says what words fail.

He steps through the doorway; he is finally compelled to confront reality.

V.

Through the power of the threefold threshold, the Mετάgrammarian faces a personification of Future humankind itself, as if a character to speak for those with no voice yet. It is a conversation I’ve rehearsed in my head many times before, as I try to understand myself, my choices, my actions. I did not prepare for this dialogue to begin so abruptly – the Future does not wait, nor waste time with pleasantries.

‘Why are you taking so long?’ the Future demands.

‘First off, however long I take is still infinitely shorter than anyone else! I’ve found no one doing anything for this goal. I am one person, trying to do all these things with no one else to understand or ask advice. I only had myself to rely on. How much time could ever be enough?’

‘But why do you hesitate when everything is ready?’ the Future asks carefully. They obviously struck a nerve with their previous question. ‘What else do you need to do?’

‘Uh, hmm, I dunno, survive? The stress is real no matter if this story is not. I understand the frustration of people in my life – how could they help me with something as insane as the war on War? That would take unconditional support, and if I ever had that I probably would not be here in the first place, desperate and miserable and alone. The most insane thing about me doing this is that I did it all by myself. I have zero support doing this, not even someone to talk with. Wouldn’t it be irresponsible for me to do something this, just in case it does take off? It’s insane to take this stress on if I am alone.’

‘It would be more insane to keep this to yourself. Nothing can break you now, or it already would have,’ the Future assures. ‘Think what it means that you designed war on War by yourself and never gave up, how resilient you are. You’re tangled in a nightmare no one will believe or care until you actually make it real. You have no choice.’

‘That’s not the best encouragement,’ I complain. ‘We’d need an engineer of the mind to tell us exactly how much pressure I can take. This is not something for one person, I know that. I need help. But I did this alone so things can move as quickly as possible once the War started. And a million other reasons.’

‘Then let’s go! Tell us how to help! We will do anything we can, even if all your world ignores you.’

‘The Mετάgrammatica explains what to do, at least in metaphor. And I won’t lie, I loved working on that alone, escaping reality with fantasy is how the war on War started. Now at the end, there is so much at risk in reality. Sharing my dream is like exposing my soul, I can’t do it. Obviously I don’t want to face this alone, but I hate sharing this story, too. It’s terrifying, it’s too deeply personal.’

‘You can, because that is why you did it. You had no choice,’ the Future reminds me. ‘Investing yourself like this, it gives this story a deeper power, even if it also carries the worst risk. Do you think your work is worth the risk?’

‘Oh, I know it is. Fighting for reality with fantasy is ironic, I know. But I only want to liberate knowledge. What is the enemy of knowledge if not lies, pretending to be real without admitting it? To fight back with equal and opposite power, I use metaphor, the fantasy that reflects reality. And for the war on War I used the deepest, most powerful metaphor possible, the struggle between something and nothing that captures everything, all existence, between them. That’s when it became obvious this is not one person’s story at all, no way. Anyone is part of the Mετάgrammatica because everyone is part of the metaphor for Existence.’

‘We understand, that is why we’re here. But our concern now is the Interepublic, we need to see our allies working together, actually doing something.’

‘Well, yea, I know, but it’s pretty obvious why I can’t establish an online republic on my own. I can only sketch out the basics, draw a map. After that let the rest of the world fill out all the social networks in between, and make Interepublic function. Give it color.

‘I mean, just to start we have to wage interebellion. We need to prove to the world that social networks belong to the people who make them exist, function, happen. Then we can protect the internet from the exploiters who ruined it. We are talking about the realm of world knowledge and information, the only place where humanity is all connected and could be united – it’s basically fate! So it’s time to take it back. Just making this claim alone makes me feel insane, it’s humiliating, but I’ll do it just for the hope it’s self evident enough to work out on its own.

‘But even now I dread the answer. How many people will actually oppose the war on War? I don’t want to actually see who would take sides against Future humankind. I don’t want to know what they will do to prevent a more beautiful world. There is nothing more terrifying than asking that question, much less doing it alone. Yet here I am.’

The Future understands, ‘You are only alone because you don’t ask help from the people who want help, too! Evidence is piling up daily, hourly, minutely. People are humiliated by their own world! The lie is exposing itself. So many things people pretend to love, country, religion, they are all just an excuse to hate. Why else work so hard for an economy whose greed is driving humanity harder, faster to disaster and ruin? Nothing is more hateful than the future the exploiters want to make. And it all can be blamed on ignorance. People aren’t taught to know where they’re stupid, and that makes them easy to manipulate. They do not adhere to reason, as if they can refuse to live in reality. As if it’s a choice, a belief. If the internet did anything, it revealed who those people are.’

‘Those are not the people we should be worried about. I need to find people who understand the proof of a loving world. How would they fit in your retaliation?’ I ask the Future.

‘You keep looking at it from the wrong perspective. Only an enemy worries about retaliation, you are no enemy! If the future inherits a beautiful paradise, it gets shared with the people past who helped make it happen. Who wouldn’t hope that everyone who deserves their heaven gets it? As for anyone who stands against this beautiful future, the best retaliation is to deny it them. Paradise is a world without their kind, and what they they deserve is a world for their kind only. You would do that too with Interepublic, for the hope it unites everyone to fight for a loving world – and the knowledge to make it. And do you know the only way that can be done? By leaving out the people who sabotage society, government, everything, tainted with their corruption, the kind of ignorant hate and greed that ruins things. By isolating them, containing them, making sure they affect only themselves, each other. Those people deserve to be left with themselves, with each other. We need this device to do that!’

‘I think I’d be cursing myself and everyone else if I did this without finding the proof of a loving world first. How can I be sure the war on War won’t be corrupted– that I won’t fail? Can you imagine how scared I am to fuck up? I’m sure the future can appreciate what’s at stake, why I need a group of people just to represent the love in the world. They are the antidote against corruption, the special forces of war on War. They need to have a voice in what happens, to organize their own online democracy, so Interepublic can be born from them. People need a reason to believe it’s different from the governments, corporations, religions of the real world. A founding group like this is the key to success, to victory in war on War. Not threats from the afterlife.’

‘The Retaliation means people fight for strangers they’ll never know nor ever meet, what more beautiful form of love is there? They give everything for strangers! Our retaliation can invade reality through the afterlife, and yet still be proof of a loving world because we fight for others as they fight for us! We are helpless, under attack before we are even born! No retaliation is too much, not against a crime like that! How is it wrong to ask everyone who isn’t our enemy to actually be our ally?’

‘But I’ve been trying to tell you, I have no right to inflict this on my world, I am only one person, alone! And this is not one person’s story!’

‘You do not inflict this story on this world! This story is a natural consequence, anyone with reason and imagination can understand and foresee this threat! What you do is bring its warning! Your people must know what’s coming! They must know the choice they face.

‘It is up to us in the future to decide how to fight back – and whether we should! Our retaliation is not a matter of belief or faith. It is a question of potential, technology, whether the future is something to take vengeance for. You are here because all your work counts as proof how much you love your world – you do love your world – but you don’t have faith in them. If you did, you would keep looking until you did find help. You have not found anyone. You are alone, defenseless now. Which is also why you are now our captive.

‘We know there is only one way to keep you in the real world, and we are sorry for it. But if you try to cross the threshold again, if you try to build a new world in the metaphor for metaphor, you’ll only find your own personal afterworld.’

The threat hits deep, down to the soul. Not the kind of idea you want to spend much time thinking about. ‘Okay, I get it. But how do I fulfill my role if I’m your prisoner?’

‘Bring the Commander to the real world to organize our forces for war on War. With every new group, social network, company, charity and story, the burden will be lifted from you. When the device that powers Interepublic is ready, you would be free.’

VI.

The Commander-general of the Sublime retaliation force on expedition to suppress and subdue the human corruption of Existence arrives in the real world, bringing his warning to humankind:

‘The war on War is coming to the real world. It is done, it is made. Now is time to rally the allies of Allkind.

‘Face your first and final choice, do something or nothing. The Mετάgrammarian is to be imprisoned in reality, where you decide if he faces the war on War on his own. Your choice is the answer if there is enough love, unity and understanding for this world to prevail. The Allkind make one request of any allies in the real world: prove it!’

Like Nebhelo, the Commander is become a mετάgrammatical being; he exists only through actual people who embody the ideal that gives form to the Sublime. For Nebhelo, that idea is the proof of a loving world. That’s why the Commander’s role is retaliation, to fight the world’s hate and protect its love, with this simple idea about one person bringing its warning from the future and beyond.

For that Rehun takes another name, one that describes his role in the real world: the Sublime Retaliation Force Expeditionary Company, to raise funds for the war on War, to spearhead the liberation of knowledge, to foment interebellion, to prove love is more powerful in the world than hate. The Future’s retaliation is the metaphor to compel the human world to action but not violence, not what this enemy craves.

Creativity is the best weapon against War. Whether its battles take place in reality, online or in abstract, everyone plays their own role. Without you it will never achieve its goal and liberate knowledge, since the knowledge it hopes to liberate is within you, too.

‘The choice which side to take in the war on War could not be easier!’ Rehun warns. ”To be the proof of love in the world, we only need your name. To build Interepublic, we only need your time. And to liberate knowledge, we only need your attention. But just know this: once Nebhelo brings the proof of a loving world to humanity, the beginning ends…and the future will know.’