- Objectivist Living
- → Viewing Profile: Topics: ValueChaser
ValueChaserMember Since 23 Oct 2008
Offline Last Active Dec 13 2010 08:46 AM
- Group Members
- Active Posts 78
- Profile Views 1,697
- Member Title $$
- Age 37 years old
- Birthday January 7, 1976
Writing; Objectivist epistemology, meta-ethics, and ethics; personal trivia associated with the history of Objectivism; working out on the elliptical machine; cooking new dishes; decorating.
John C. Paschalis
I'm a "P.h.D.": "Professor Hibernating in my Dreams"
A Phenomenological Examination of the Perception of the Differentia as Presented in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology
by John C. Paschalis
Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
Movies: Babel, Rendition, Mission Impossible 1 and 3, the Rocky movies
Looking or Not Looking
looking for male
Topics I've Started
02 March 2010 - 09:31 AM
Quotes that I have found important and/or intriguing have been formatted in bold by myself.--John (a.k.a ValueChaser)
"The last western society to worship female powers was Minoan Crete. And significantly, that fell and did not rise again." - SP, p8
"Metaphorically, every vagina has secret teeth, for the male exits as less than when he entered." - SP, p13
"Man is sexually compartmentalized." - SP, p19
"Dionysus was identified with liquids - blood, sap, milk, wine. The Dionysian is nature's chthonian fluidity." - SP, p30
"If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts." - SP, p38
"The male orientation of classical Athens was inseparable from its genius. Athens became great not despite but because of its misogyny." - SP, p100
"Apollo is the western eye victorious." - SP, p104
"Visionary idealism is a male art form. The lesbian aesthete does not exist. But if there were one, she would have learned from the perverse male mind." - SP, p117
"The beautiful boy is without motive force or deed; hence he is not a hero. Because of his emotional detachment, he is not a heroine. He occupies an ideal space between male and female, effect and affect. . . . He is, I suggested, a secular saint." - SP, p121
"With the Hellenistic tilt towards women, prefigured by Euripides, the beautiful boy slides toward the feminine, a symptom of decadence." - SP, p123
"What is Mona Lisa thinking? Nothing, of course." . . . "Walter Pater is to call her a 'vampire' . . ." - SP, p154
"Western greatness is unwise, mad, inhuman." - SP, p172
"Serial or sex murder, like fetishism, is a perversion of male intelligence. It is a criminal abstraction, masculine in its deranged egotism and orderliness. It is the asocial equivalent of philosophy, mathematics, and music. There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper." - SP, p247
"Woman's flirtatious arts of self-concealment mean man's approach must take the form of rape." - SP, p276
"Reviewing the sexual personae of his collected works, we discover Wordsworth's radical exclusion of one human type: the adult man of active virility. His poems are filled with children, women, old men, and animals. But a stone in the road arouses more fellow-feeling in Wordsworth than does a masculine man. . . . Wordsworth's emotion is never invested in figures of active virility, unless that virility is qualified by suffering or feminine feeling or unless it is seen through the distancing perspective of memory. Since femaleness suffuses the created world, the pure male is cast out. He has no right to life." - SP, p304/306
"Charisma is the radiance produced by the interaction of male and female elements in a gifted personality. The charismatic woman has a masculine force and severity. The charismatic man has an entrancing female beauty. Both are hot and cold, glowing with presexual self-love." - SP, p521
"Wilde's epigrams, which so obstruct the quickness of Restoration repartee, acquire their substantiveness from Enlightenment generalization. It is his intellectual power of generalization that gives Wilde's writing its permanent distinction. A modern play in the Wildean manner, Noel Cowards 'Private Lives' (1930), has only one true Wildean line: 'Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.' And even this generalization vulgarizes Wilde, in whom contemplativeness is never distorted by action." - SP, p545
"In The Importance of Being Earnest, the failed poet created a magnificent new poetry, one that even he did not recognize. Wilde's play, after Spenser's 'Faerie Queene' and Shelley's 'Epipsychidion', is the most dazzling burst of Apollonian poetry in English literature. It was made possible by a hermaphroditic transformation, the strangest I have ever studied. The desirable male body was efficacious for Wilde by its fixing of visible limits. Ordinarily, the epicene is synonymous with effeminacy. But the epicene made Wilde more masculine by giving him the aggressive power of Apollonian delimitation, which I found everywhere in the language, manners, and the aristocratic social order of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. The epicene gave Wilde the discipline of conceptual form that he most lacked as a sentimental lyricist. When, through his own self-thwartings, he was forced by tomblike imprisonment to abandon the amoral Greek worship of the visible world, his sentimentality returned, flooding back into the empathic 'De Profundis' and bringing woman with it." - SP, p571
"Emily Dickinson is the female Sade, and her poems are the prison dreams of a self-incarcerated, sadmomasochistic imaginist. When she is rescued from American Studies departments and juxtaposed with Dante and Baudelaire, her barbarities and diabolical acts of will become glaringly apparent. Dickinson inherits through Blake the rape cycle of 'The Faerie Queene'. Blake and Spenser are her allies in helping pagan Coleridge defeat Protestant Wordsworth." - SP, p624
"Women have been discouraged from genres such as sculpture that require studio training or expensive materials. But in philosophy, mathematics, and poetry, the only materials are pen and paper. Male conspiracy cannot explain all female failures. I am convinced that, even without restrictions, there still would have been no female Pascal, Milton, or Kant. Genius is not checked by social obstacles: it will overcome. Men's egotism, so disgusting in the talentless, is the source of their greatness as a sex. . . . Even now, with all vocations open, I marvel at the rarity of the woman driven by artistic or intellectual obsession, that self-mutilating derangement of social relationship which, in its alternate forms of crime and ideation, is the disgrace and glory of the human species." - SP, p653
"Sappho is a great poet because she is a lesbian, which gives her erotic access to the Muse. Sappho and the homosexual-tending Emily Dickinson stand alone above women poets, because poetry's mystical energies are ruled by a hierach requiring the sexual subordination of her petitioners. Women have achieved more as novelists than as poets because the social novel operates outside the ancient marriage of myth and eroticism." - SP, p672
The webmaster extracted the following quotes from Paglia's book Vamps and Tramps.--ValueChaser
Patriarchy, routinely blamed for everything, produced the birth control pill, which did more to free comtemporary women than feminism itself. (p38)
Much violence against women originates in emotional territory that they already command. By midlife and early old age, as the hormones of both genders change, women are in total, despotic control of their marriages. (p46)
The situation has gotten so out of hand that, in 1993, in one of the first British cases, a plumber was fired for continuing to use the traditional term "ballcock" for the toilet flotation unit, instead of the new politically correct term, sanitized of sexual suggestiveness. This is insane. We are back to the Victorian era, when table legs had to be draped lest they put the thought of ladies' legs into someone's dirty mind. (p50)
Campus speech codes, that folly of the navel-gazing left, have increased the appeal of the right. Ideas must confront ideas. When hurt feelings and bruised egos are more important than the unfettered life of the mind, the universities have committed suicide. (p51)
Woman's sexuality is disruptive of the dully mechanical workaday world, in which efficiency means uniformity. The problems of woman's entrance into the career system spring from more than male chauvinism. She brings nature into the social realm, which may be too small to contain it. (p52)
The prostitute has come to symbolize for me the ultimate liberated woman, who lives on the edge and whose sexuality belongs to no one. (p58)
Men, gay or straight, can get beauty and lewdness into one image. Women are forever softening, censoring, politicizing. (p65)
Lesbians, said a lesbian friend wearily to me, are "program heads": "They need the structure. They have all the answers." Hence lesbians' omnipresence in the social-welfare industry. Rejecting the father's competitive system, they substitute another that they imagine is based on female "caring" and "compassion" but is, in dismal effect, repressive, totalitarian, and hostile to art and dissent. The same friend memorably said to me long ago that lesbianism is caused by either "too much tit or not enough." (p85)
All of us emerge from the body of a mystical female giant. Boys are swamped in the female realm. Note how mothers take male children into the women's toilets: the boys are officially neuter and still part of the mother's body. To progress to manhood, boys must leave the women's world behind. In tribal cultures, men may kidnap a boy, slash his body with knives, throw him into a pit, or abandon him in the woods, cruel rites of passage still evident in the brutal, sometimes homicidal hazing of modern fraternities, which flourishes despite every effort to ban it. (p85)
Because boys lack a biological marker like menstruation, to be man is to be not female. Contemporary feminism called this "misogyny," but it was wrong. Masculine identity is embattled and fragile. In the absence of opportunity for heroic physical action, as in the modern office world, women's goodwill is crucial for preserving the male ego, which requires, alas, daily maintenance. It is in the best interests of the human race, and of women themselves, for men to be strong. (p85)
Middle-class men, neutered by office life and daunted by feminist rhetoric, are shrinking. Lesbianism is increasing, since anxious, unmasculine men have little to offer. Women are simply more interesting to them. Male homosexuality is increasing, because masculinity is in crisis and because maternal consciousness, severed from the support network of the extended family, has become a psychotic system, forcing the young to struggle for life against clinging personal fantasy. (p90)
A pagan education would sharpen the mind, steel the will, and seduce the senses. Our philosophy should be both contemplative and pugilistic, admitting aggression (as Christianity does not) as central to our mythology. The beasts of passion must be confronted, and the laws of nature understood. Conflict cannot be avoided, but perhaps it can be confined to a mental theater. (p94)
Is there intellectual life in America? At present, the answer is no. Since the decline of the great era of literary journalism, when Edmund Wilson, the Algonquin wits, and the politically engaged 'Partisan Review' writers were active, America has lacked a general literate culture hospitable to ideas. (p97)
The two deepest thinkers on sex in the twentieth century are Sigmund Freud and D.H. Lawrence. Their reputations as radical liberators were so universally acknowledged that brooding images of Freud and Lawrence in poster form adorned the walls of students in the Sixties. Yet the voluminous and complex works of both men were swept away by the current women's movement, when it burst out in the late Sixties and consolidated its ideology in the Seventies. Whatever their motives, the first feminist theorists acted as vandals and Bolsheviks. The damage they did to culture has in the long run damaged the cause of feminism. (p328)
19 February 2010 - 11:00 AM
Driving a car this way looks like fun, but is too dangerous for sane drivers!!
This is not an isolated incident of the way Greeks drive in Greece. However, Athenian drivers obviously drive a little bit slower than the car driver in the clip, because there are more cars to take into "consideration."
Youtube Video 2:
Hey, at least this Greek driver had the sense to drive on the shoulder when facing oncoming traffic!
Youtube Video 3:
It is sometimes funny when Greek folks in Greece fight! Okay, so my enjoyment of this clip is something of a "guilty pleasure." When the man loses control toward toward the end, he says something to the effect of "I will now throw you into the sea!" Only in Greece will you hear someone tell that to his companion and go after her when the both of them are arguing on a dock !!
And did the Greek Coast Guard have nothing better to do that day than split up a "couple's" argument?
19 February 2010 - 01:25 AM
Dennis Miller is 100 per cent charismatic with, perhaps, an emotional attitude about current events that is the truest of all three. (Indeed, since none of the three are philosophers let alone system-builders let alone Objectivists, the degree of philosophical accuracy in their personaes are best assessed according to their emotional styles when they are stumbling toward the identification of a political or cultural truth.) Dennis Miller adopts the style of a excited sports newscaster, a style that is reminiscent of the European "Hooligan" frenzy, requiring three paragraphs to adequately offer an assessment of the events unforlding around him. When you think he has made his point with two witty clauses, his lungs have enough air to pierce your comprehension with two even better ones, the excellence of the grammar kept in tact, like a Greek man on a political rave in a cafe, yet more linear. Camille Paglia is his female counterpart; He is the flipside to Harry Carey.
Michael Savage is 100 per cent charismatic with, let's say, a 70 per cent politically true attitude, who is the master of turning the letters of a proper noun's name around to imply a negative truism (insofar as the speaker identifies it as such)--e.g. "San FranSicko," which is his own invention, and if there is a person who can give me the linguistic category of such names, I'd be much indebted. Like the personality of a streetwise, jittery toughguy roaming Manhattan's street at 11:30 p.m looking for trouble, Savage mugs you intellectually--just like the aforementioned, dislinear Greek raver.
And Bill Maher is 100 per cent charismatic with, let's say, a percentage of political accuracy that is similar to Savage's. Yes, he unfortunately believes in global warming, but he also believes that religion is "mass delusion," has presented a remarkably cogent defense of egoism for a non-Objectivist on Larry King Live of February 12, 2010 (see the remarks about the idea that Jay Leno is bad for taking people's jobs), and supports the Tea Party Movement's attack of Republicans in that same program. Bill Maher has the style of an investigative expose reporter who has a knack for shaking up America's hang-ups, ignorances, and sexual and racial mores (see his comment about Obama in the Larry King Interview, I think it is in part 2 or 3 of the links below) in a way that all may consider inoffensive. The capacity and potentiality of a no-holds-barred, humorous outlook is to Maher what metaphysics is to Objectivists--the basic test of the legitimacy of ideas, personalities, and movements.
My favorite among the above is Bill Maher, followed by Michael Savage, followed by Dennis Miller.
I caught the last ten or fifteen minutes of the following interview with Bill Maher on Larry King Live, on February 17, 2010. (Not February 12, 2010 as the title of this post erroneously states.)
If you don't want to or cannot watch all five clips, I recommend that you see at least Part 4 or Part 5.
My best to all here,
15 February 2010 - 10:57 PM
By John C. Paschalis (All rights reserved.)
Chapter 2: Militia for Worldwide Submission to the Holy Word
Shieldman Netter was walking parallel to the façade of the Empire State Building, patrolling its perimeter, becoming accustomed to the silence.
He heard a whistle—the sharp swoop of air molecules breaking. His eyes widened as he heard the soundwaves. He turned his head to perceive the gelatinous form of a face portraying doubt and resentment. A flying man butted Netter with the force of a bicycle speeding out of control down a steep hill, before he rocketed upward through the misty yellow lamplight toward the middle stories of the building.
Netter swiveled his head toward the rocketeer, noticing the two flares of fire from his rocket pack extinguish in mid-air. The enemy rotated a stick on the metal shoulder strap of his backpack, and the fiery plumes returned. Posturing godlike in order to intimidate the Shielder, the rocketeer extended his arms perpendicular to his exposed torso, and bowed to a tuft of clouds that were dark blue in the moonlight. He turned the joystick again and initiated his return to the Shieldman, who was the focus of his destruction.
As the rocketeer descended, Netter opened a hole in his shield through which rose a glass globe at the end of a metal rod. The globe was a video camera whose entire surface received images from several perspectives; the camera transmitted the actions of the plummeting aggressor to the video screen on the inside of the shield. Watching the harpy approach him from the monitor, Netter encoded a message to eject a body net. The rocketeer fell backward into a prostrate position, saving himself from the net while disintegrating its fabric strands with the plumes of fire; then he regained his offensive composure.
The Shieldman directed one small cylinder to spring from each corner of the oval shield, as if it sprouted two ears from a head. A heat-seeking missile shot from each cylinder and sped toward the rocketeer. One missed; the other hit the muffler of his rocket pack, disabling the rockets. The human hawk, having been a few yards away from Netter and near the ground, fell to the pavement. Netter entered the command that caused a steel, horseshoe-shaped brace to detach from the outer depths of the shield. It fastened onto the fallen thug’s legs.
A streak of light that descended from the twentieth story, like the light of a falling star, caught Netter’s attention. It was the emission of fire from from the backpack of another rocketeer, who was carefully bearing down toward the Shieldman, feet first, with the earthbound force of the rocket propulsion opposing gravity just enough to allow him to land safely on the ground. When the rocketeer came within a yard of the ground, the Shieldman noticed a machine gun held in both arms, the barrel pointing in Netter’s direction.
At Netter’s command, the width of the shield expanded into a slightly concave dome the size of his torso; from each side a copper plate extended from the core of the shield, splintering off another plate, off of which splintered another, and so on, until the shield expanded to its full capacity. This function was intended to protect a Shielder’s upper body.
Netter looked at the video monitor and detected that nobody else stood in any possible line of the rifle’s shot at him, assuring himself that any gunblasts would not strike an innocent bystander.
The bionic eagle shot a round of bullets toward Netter , a few of them chiming as they ricoched off his shield. The aggressor took for granted his continued existence, and thought nothing of any impediment to his mortality. But Netter was about to contradict his intentions.
As he tracked the moving object that appeared on his screen, he entered the category of projectile functions and selected “automatic pistol.” A long barrel sprung from the shield; Netter shot twice at the rocketeer. The first bullet missed. The second struck him, and Netter watched an unfastiduous former warrior plummet from one story high.
Netter ran to the fallen body, whose gun had dropped to the concrete of an adjacent parking lot. The fallen man was gasping for air; the black cloth that surrounded a hole in his jacket was soaked with blood, the stain absorbing rapidly into the surrounding fabric. Shieldman Netter pulled a walkie-talkie from his belt.
“Send an ambulance—and a team of field agents—to the entrance of the Empire State Building.”
His attention turned to the fallen man’s face, wretched in exhaustion and pain. After reading him his rights, he looked at the other defeated man to make sure he was still incapacitated; his legs were wriggling in their steel clasp. Then he interrogated his immediate object for information about their mission for the Militia for Worldwide Submission to the Holy Word.
“Are you a member of the Holy Word?”
“I am a field agent acting to preserve freedom for the underprivileged peoples of the world, whom your country has shamefully neglected to carry out its duty in helping. As its goal is not the improvement of every soul’s lot, the protection given by your Society of Vigilant Protectors to American citizens is morally worthless—a sign of spiritual failure. If America is not consistently helpful, your Society’s domestic objectives are meaningless, and I would rather see your nation destroyed than rendered useless, which it is.
“So because we are primarily concerned with our own freedom, this means we are not a good political system, and hence you demand to annihilate us? Now answer my question. Are you a member of the Militia for Worldwide Submission to the Holy Word?”
“What good would the answer bring me if I am?”
“A relatively lenient punishment. You have been captured and will be tried for attempted murder. The Society of Vigilant Protectors will maintain a comprehensive profile on you for the rest of your life--and anywhere you go, you will be nominally monitored. But if you provide us with information, your sentence will be reduced by decades if you are found guilty in court. You should know that the Holy Word will know that you are a useless agent upon hearing about your arrest.”
The man groaned loudly, became silent for a moment, and then confessed, “I am Francois Gaulois of the Militia for Worldwide Submission to. . .the Holy Word. The badge in my coat packet will prove these proud facts. You may believe that your American system will be denying me complete freedom until I die—but it will not have the chance to do so, if it dies first.”
An ambulance followed by a black van pulled up. Dr. Kristoff ran out of the van accompanied by another man wearing a black suit. Netter’s report to them was brief. Kristoff had been smiling reservedly during the Shieldman’s assessment, as if an enthusiastic word of credit to Netter was too luxurious a gift. Medics had meanwhile placed the fallen warriors on a stretcher and wheeled them into the ambulance. Then everyone departed except for Netter, who was looking uncertainly at the spire of the Empire State Building, with the words “. . .if it dies first” resonating in his mind.
15 February 2010 - 10:45 PM
By John C. Paschalis (all rights reserved)
It is the seventh decade of the Twenty-First Century. Devastating terrorist attacks on American citizens and infrastructure have led to a dramatic increase in the power of law enforcement. Congress has granted to police officials the power to use state-of-the-art weapons and surveillance technology in order to bring terrorists to the bench. Every street policeman is legally permitted to use highly sophisticated weaponry of a type once wielded only by specialists on the military field. A single unified class charged with protecting a public desperate to avert the next terrorist attack, law enforcement administrators and the police force are now two arms of The Society of Vigilant Protectors. The administrative arm of the Society is known as the Order of Surveyors, which is vested with the responsibilities to determine the anti-terrorism missions of police, and to produce and employ the surveillance technology that provide information for these missions. The Society’s policing arm is known as the Order of Shieldmen, with each officer wielding an oval metal shield that incorporates a variety of computer-operated weapons systems.
The Order of Shieldmen is molded after the guild system of the Middle Ages. Each officer is adept in the operation of his shield, yet he is an expert at controlling one of its particular weapons. A Shieldman is encouraged to train an apprentice to master the Shield. The apprentice is usually the Shieldman’s biological child, but he can be of any relation to the Shieldman. By law, training must begin at age ten. An apprentice may choose the official status of Shieldman upon reaching a state of mastery of his shield.
When he officially becomes a Shieldman, the former apprentice selects a code name for himself which is derived from the single weapon he has come to master.
Every apprentice is trained in the Gymnasium of Shielders; one Gymnasium is established in every major U.S. city.
For Jason Cyrill, a sixteen year-old apprentice learning at the New York City Gymnasium of Shielders, March 2072 is the last year of his training in the defensive arts of the Shield.
Chapter 1: Shieldman Netter’s Assignment
The automated rubber dummy, molded in the image of a human being, marched toward Jason.
“Enter projectile functions,” ordered his father, Shieldman Netter.
“Yes master,” responded Jason, his braided blond hair trembling as he fixed his eyes on the approaching robot.
“Select the horizontal trip net.”
A sliding hatch in the front of his shield opened rapidly, and two tubes extended six inches, each carrying a red neon sphere. The spheres were connected with a cable that dangled two feet beneath them.
“Type in the coordinates of your projectile zone, and fire.”
Jason switched the object of his attention to the video monitor on the inside of his shield. He found the grid that surrounded the robot’s shins. At the precise moment that its legs were parallel, he typed the coordinates of the grid on the keyboard, and hit the enter button. The trip net blasted out of the shield.
The net failed to catch both legs of the robot; instead it only wrapped around its left leg. The training robot continued on its path toward Jason.
“Select body web, reenter projectile functions, and fire,” ordered Netter.
Jason moved his fingers on the keyboard. The outward face of the shield disappeared. Two clutches extended six inches out of the empty space, each cradling a neon blue sphere. The spheres were connected by coiled web of rope that hid inside the open compartment. The web shot outward toward the robot, tangling itself around its head and torso. The machine did not fall.
“Select pistol, reenter projectile functions, and fire,” Netter said, wincing impatiently.
Jason’s nervous fingers worked the keys. A rod extended from his shield.
He shot the robot in the place where a human heart would be.
“ENEMY DOWN,” droned the robot, halting. It replayed that reminder until Netter typed a code on a small keyboard on the curve of its latex neck.
“You did just fine, Jason. You disabled the target because you knew how to make your shield defend yourself. But the target came too close in defeating you. Please practice some more with the horizontal trip net as well as the body web.”
Jason’s face tightened in respectful acknowledgment, slowly turning to his father.
“And I do not say that because the horizontal trip net is your father’s realm of expertise.”
Jason felt his father’s hand encompassing the back of his head for a few moments. The hand lifted and Jason smiled, turning his face to the immobilized robot.
A man in a suit approached Netter.
“Pardon, Shieldman. Dr. Stephen Kristoph has an assignment for you. He is in his office at the Tower of Surveyors.”
“Thank you,” said Netter, bowing his head. The man departed.
“Jason, I’ll be home in the morning. In your own words, now—-what is the purpose of our Order?”
“To defend and secure the life and property of an individual in a Shieldman’s jurisdiction--when they become threatened.”
“Very good, son.” Netter turned his head.
“Bladethrower!” he yelled across the gym. “Can you please come over here?”
Jason looked in the direction of his father’s stare, noticing a young man of twenty-two who wielded a shield with his left arm, while typing its keyboard with the fingers of the right one. Short, thin blades shot from his shield as his steady head tilted toward the video screen on the back of his shield. The young man’s shield ceased spitting its barrage of spears. He jogged over to his fellow officer.
“Jason, this is Shieldman Bladethrower. You do remember him from the Order gathering a few months ago, don’t you?”
Jason looked at the tall, severe man carefully. “Sure!”
“Bladethrower, will you train Jason for the rest of the day? I must go to the Tower.”
“No problem,” said the other officer.
“Thank you Shieldman.”
Bladethrower approached the robot, and commanded, “Offensive Training Program. Vocal command mode. . .Commencement to initiate at officer’s command.”
“Alright. . .you’re advanced enough to know what you need to practice. Ready?” Bladethrower gently spoke.
“Yes master,” answered Jason with an undertone of anticipatory aggression.
Bladethrower laughed. “Remember that my apprenticeship finished only three years ago, chief,” he said respectfully. “So be a bit loose, will you?”
Jason saw that Bladethrower was grinning benevolently.
“Sure,” answered Jason, lifting his cheeks into a delighted smile.
“Unit NY3, commence!”
“Commencement initiated,” droned the robot.
The robot marched toward Jason from its twenty yard distance. The apprentice shot trip net after trip net at it, failing to thwart the machine’s onslaught. Then he shot a body web toward it, and the net entangled its left arm. He shot another body web toward it; it passed through a thin cavity between the robot’s right arm and body.
“DEFENDER DOWN. DEFENDER DOWN. DEFENDER. . .”
Bladethrower typed in a code on the robot’s neck, ceasing the alarm.
“Now, watch me, he said authoritatively.
“Unit NY3, return to commencement location. . .Unit NY3, commence!”
The robot began its forward march. Two adjacent apertures opened in Bladethrower’s shield. Out of each extended a horizontal metal tube. Then another tube rose vertically from each one, and in its tip spun a windmill of flat pads. The windmill ejected spear after spear toward the robot. The blades pierced its rubber body, sticking into its eyes, forehead, and chest.
“ENEMY DOWN. ENEMY DOWN. ENEMY DOWN. . .”
Bladethrower smiled at Jason conclusively; the apprentice responded with an admiring glance.
Shieldman Netter was reclining in a mahogany leather chair at one end of an oval chrome table. For a moment, the conference room seemed too cramped for a meeting area of the New York City Order of Surveyors.
A middle-aged man with a charcoal beard and moustache walked into the room, his stride a delicately controlled expression of symmetrical geometry, and took a seat at the table. The man was Dr. Stephen Kristoff, a specialist in surveillance technology who had risen to the head of the executive office of the Order. He had earned a P.h.D in Technology Arts from the New Institute of Integrative Science. Dr. Kristoff had begun his employment at the Order of Surveyors as a field operative, a low-level position of incognito placement of surveillance machinery. Displaying a unique combination of respect for employees of every level of his Order, and a detailed knowledge of about the array of surveillance machinery that he erected, Kristoff quickly rose to the executive office. The executive office of the Order of Surveyors held two responsibilities: to organize the covert missions of its own field operatives, and to organize the police offensives undertaken by the Shieldmen.
“Good evening, Officer Cyrill,” began Dr. Kristoff.
“Hello, Doctor,” responded the Shieldman.
“How is your son’s apprenticeship unfolding?”
“Jason has mastered the use of the Shield keyboard in manifesting the weapons. Yet he is—well, just a little rusty—in using the weapons to thwart offensive force.”
“His accomplishment in producing the internal weapons is no easy task. The computer that engages them operates according to an input of language, the learning of which is a great challenge.”
“His knowledge of the Shield’s language is something he can be proud of. Thank you, Doctor.” answered Shieldman Netter, his cheek muscles rising for a moment in a tense, protective grin before they relaxed again. Then his eyes were sad as his plane of vision rested on Dr. Kristoff’s badge, before regaining their confident air when he looked Kristoff in the eye.
“Here is your next mission, Officer. Intelligence personnel have informed my office that two members of the Militia for Worldwide Submission to the Holy Word will set up explosives in the Empire State Building tonight. We estimate them to arrive there between ten o’clock and midnight. Show up no earlier than nine-thirty.”
“Do you know what weapons they will bear?”
“We know they will be wearing levitation rocket backpacks and automatic machine guns.”
“Very Well, Dr. Kristoff. Goodbye.”
[next chapter: Militia for Worldwide Submission to the Holy Word]