Chapter 3. Crying Wolf.

The flight lasted only two hours, and the aeroplane landed at an airport near the capital city of the Supporter. A car of the Supporter’s army waited for me there, and it drove me to the chief headquarters of the military. On the way, I had the chance to look at the surroundings.

The Supporter Country belongs to the same part of the world as my country, but because they have an even greater talent of causing the other part of the world to hate them, I realise that the economical state of things I saw outside the car was even worse than that of my country. Poverty and hunger were seen almost everywhere.

After a while, the car stopped in front of the headquarters’ building, and then they instructed me to exit the car. Two soldiers entered the building with me, and led me through several corridors until I arrived at a door that opened to a room. Inside the room was a long and large table , and around it sat senior officers as well as a number of men wearing civil clothes. At the head of the table sat a very senior officer with a stern and grave appearance. I assumed it was the head of the department of external security, who sent me the telegram. The soldiers sat me in a seat far from him, and then left the room and locked the door. It was probably a confidential meeting.

After a few seconds, the senior officer started to speak: “I’m glad you agreed to come here, the ex‐Member, because at the moment, we find ourselves in a very grave situation — all because of you. For years, the Organisation has operated with an extraordinary efficiency and methodology. As a matter of fact, it was one of our most efficient weapons for venting our anger against the Enemy. But now — you — you alone, have cast a heavy shadow on its future.

I’m afraid that unless you find a way to work around your proposal, then the results will be catastrophic: not only for the Organisation but for all our other projects around the world, that are a model for harmfully and irrationally unloading bad feelings. Moreover, I’m afraid the proposal you suggested would have some consequences to our very reign here!

So, the ex‐Member, what do you have to say about it?”

“Look, ” I addressed him, “I take full responsibility over the proposal I gave you and its consequences. In my opinion, it is an excellent one, but since you, for some reason, don’t seem to think so as well, I could help you find a way to bypass it. The first option is simply to accept Aristotle’s Organum.”

“I’m afraid it is impossible. It contradicts our law book.”

“May I take a look at your law book?”

“Certainly.” And he ordered one of the other officers to fetch me their law book. I opened the book and saw that the first act read as follows:

“1. The assumption that ‘A is A and that A is not not‐A’ is not necessarily true. (or maybe untrue)”

“Why can’t you change the law book?” I asked him.

“Because then we will have to accept the fact that there’s morality in the world. Then, according to the forbidden books No. 34 and 139, which are evil and unholy writings, but correct in every word, we would be unable to kill people unless for self‐defence. It is hard for me to believe that the Enemy will independently attack the Organisation’s soldiers, if it knows that they have no intention to independently attack it.”

“I understand. But if I study the writings you mentioned, I believe I can find there something that will allow such action, because I have an extraordinary talent to find faults in written material. In fact, I contemplated becoming a lawyer, but I eventually preferred to join the Organisation, as I figured out it would bring me more satisfaction.”

“From the mental aspect?”, one of the less prominent officers asked me.

“No, from the physical aspect. I caused more damage this way.”

“Let’s get back to our subject:” the Head of the Department of External Security said, “you cannot inspect the forbidden books, because they are so dangerous that merely thinking about their content can cause a man to lose his integrity, much less reading them. I’m afraid that if you read them, they may affect you, and then you’ll give us a bad piece of advice.”

“But, Sir, I was never less honest than I am today.”

“Even though, I’d rather not.”

“In that case,” I addressed everybody, “the only option you have left is to accept my proposal, which in my personal opinion is perfectly fine!”

A grave silence prevailed in the hall and all the participants seemed like they were stunned. After a while, the senior officer said: “We’ll seriously consider your proposal, and I believe you will soon know what we have decided to make of it.”

“Okay, I think that I can now return to my country and my village. By the way, how many forbidden books do you have?”

“Oh,”, one of them said to me, “their number is growing geometrically. When I checked two weeks ago, their number was 2,148,763. A week ago there were 4,278,109 forbidden writings. Now there must be about 8,600,000 ones.”

“You are wrong.”, I said to him.

“I beg your pardon?”

“There are now exactly 8,517,559 or 8,517,560 forbidden books.”

“Why is it so important?”

“Why, it means that, for the time being, you have 82,440 or 82,441 extra books which you can read at bedtime if you can’t fall asleep!”