The new government at once passed a mass of progressive legislation. Ownership of all means of production was vested in the state, but delegated, with suitable checks, to the occupations themselves. In particular, the peasants were assured of ownership of their land. For some purposes their control was individualistic, and for other purposes co-operative. The government also issued ‘an appeal to all persons of goodwill throughout the world’ to work with new courage to found a new and unified world order, ‘to establish freedom and the rule of the spirit’. The Tibetans, it declared, dedicated themselves absolutely to this end.
"In what way 'closed', sir?"
And then she had felt his hand undo the top button of her dress and the automatic recoil of her body had had to be covered by a realistic groan and a pantomime of consciousness returning.
Bond said it was. The lunch came. Bond's eggs were delicious - chopped hard-boiled eggs, with a cream and cheese sauce laced with English mustard (English mustard seemed to be the clue to the Gloria specialities), gratings in a copper dish. Bond commented on the excellence of the cooking.
The movement of protest began in the British Isles, and, though it spread throughout the world, the British and Irish peoples were its most vigorous upholders. The islanders expressed their discontent in mass meetings, processions, broadcasts, letters to the press, letters to members of parliament and cabinet ministers, and above all in hearty resistance to particular instances of bureaucratic tyranny. The most popular slogans were, ‘Less efficiency, more freedom’, and ‘Less producing, more living’, and above all ‘We won’t be robots’. I could not but smile when I compared the grievances of my countrymen of this period with the disheartening inroads into civil liberty which had occurred in my own time and had been far less indignantly resisted. The dominant note of this movement was the insistence on individuality. Comic relief was given by processions of ‘typical Englishmen’. The marchers, or rather the disorderly stragglers, were persons made up to represent ‘unstereotyped types’ and odd individuals in the present world and in all ages. Nineteenth-century tramps, and vagabonds of every period were the most popular figures. They were represented as unshaven, ragged, filthy, drunk, and friendly. Each was got up to be as unlike as possible to every other. These jostled with medieval minstrels, friars, and fools, scatter-brained philosophers, artists, research scientists entangled in electric wires and test-tubes. This motley host of ancient and modern eccentrics strayed along the street in studied disorder, singing songs of freedom, blithely recalcitrant to the efforts of the comic ‘officials’ who fussed beside them, trying to get them into regular formation. In contrast with this rabble might come a batch of well-drilled robots, made up to look like machinery and linked together by red tape or electric cables. All this buffoonery the real bureaucrats regarded with contempt and indignation. In their view it was a symptom of a sinister weakening of social morale, a neurotic craving for anarchy, a denial of the dignity of the human species.
She laughed delightedly. "I got out the old silver and things. It's all I've got. I had to spend the day polishing it. I've never had it out before. It does look rather nice, doesn't it? You see, generally there are a lot of little cages up against the wall. I like having them with me. It's company. But now that you're here…" She paused. "My bedroom's in there," she gestured at the other door. "It's very small, but there's room for both of us. Now come on. I'm afraid it's cold dinner-just lobsters and fruit."
We use the emotional input of other humans asmuch as we do the air we breathe and the food we eat.
'Your own injuries are serious, but your life is not in danger though you have lost a lot of blood. If all goes well, you will recover completely and none of the functions of your body will be impaired.' The doctor smiled grimly. 'But I fear that you will continue to be in pain for several days and it will be my endeavour to give you as much comfort as possible. Now that you have regained consciousness your arms will be freed, but you must not move your body and when you sleep the nurse has orders to secure your arms again. Above all, it is important that you rest and regain your strength. At the moment you are suffering from a grave condition of mental and physical shock.' The doctor paused. 'For how long were you maltreated?'
Bond put her out of-his thoughts. He was getting chilled in his soaking black camouflage and it was time to get moving. He examined the fitting of the giant stone blocks and found that the cracks between them were spacious, as in the case of Tiger's training castle, and would probably provide adequate toe-holds. Then he pulled down his black cowl, and, towing the black container behind him, began his climb.
Bond got to the-rock face. Slowly he let himself down to the bottom rung of wire. He gazed vaguely at the softly heaving sheen of water. It was black, impenetrable, as deep as the rest. Should he chance it? He must! He could do nothing until he had washed off the caking slime and blood, the horrible stale fish-smell. Moodily, fatalistically, he took off the rags of his shirt and trousers and hung them on the wire. He looked down at his brown and white body, striped and pock-marked with red. On an instinct he felt his pulse. It was slow but regular. The steady thump of life revived his spirits. What the hell was he worrying about? He was alive. The wounds and bruises on his body were nothing-absolutely nothing. They looked ugly, but nothing was broken. Inside the torn envelope, the machine was quietly, solidly ticking over. Superficial cuts and abrasions, bloody memories, deathly exhaustion-these were hurts that an accident ward would sneer at. Get on, you bastard! Get moving! Clean yourself and wake up. Count your blessings. Think of the girl. Think of the man you've somehow got to find and kill. Hang on to life like you've hung on to the knife between your teeth. Stop being sorry for yourself. To hell with what happened just now. Get down into the water and wash!
No one scarcely could avoid laughing at poor Mrs. M’Kinley’s thus claiming merit to herself for the active assistance she had given the plunderer.
In vain I sought relief from my favourite books; those memorials of past nobleness and greatness from which I had always hitherto drawn strength and animation. I read them now without feeling, or with the accustomed feeling minus all its charm; and I became persuaded, that my love of mankind, and of excellence for its own sake, had worn itself out. I sought no comfort by speaking to others of what I felt. If I had loved any one sufficiently to make confiding my griefs a necessity, I should not have been in the condition I was. I felt, too, that mine was not an interesting, or in any way respectable distress. There was nothing in it to attract sympathy. Advice, if I had known where to seek it, would have been most precious. The words of Macbeth to the physician often occurred to my thoughts. But there was no one on whom I could build the faintest hope of such assistance. My father, to whom it would have been natural to me to have recourse in any practical difficulties, was the last person to whom, in such a case as this, I looked for help. Everything convinced me that he had no knowledge of any such mental state as I was suffering from, and that even if he could be made to understand it, he was not the physician who could heal it. My education, which was wholly his work, had been conducted without any regard to the possibility of its ending in this result; and I saw no use in giving him the pain of thinking that his plans had failed, when the failure was probably irremediable, and, at all events, beyond the power of his remedies. Of other friends, I had at that time none to whom I had any hope of making my condition intelligible. It was however abundantly intelligible to myself; and the more I dwelt upon it, the more hopeless it appeared.
"Kamerad!" Bond raised his hands in mock surrender. He lowered them and turned to Tiffy. "Who is this man? A one-man takeover bid for Jamaica? Or a refugee from a circus? Ask him what he'd like to drink. Whoever he is, it was a good act." James Bond knew that he had very nearly pulled the trigger of the gun. Hit a gunman in his vanity. ... He had a quick vision of himself writhing on the floor, his right hand without the power to reach for his own weapon. Tiffy's pretty face was no longer pretty. It was a taut skull. She stared at James Bond. Her mouth opened but no sound came from the gaping lips. She liked him and she knew he was dead. The kling-klings, Joe and May, smelled the same electricity. With a tremendous din of metallic squawks, they fled for the open window, like black thieves escaping into the night.
‘I need not say how I long for tidings from India. Most especially do I desire news of Havelock’s precious little army. Upon its success, humanly speaking, may hang the safety of all our beloved ones in India.’
After helplessly watching the decline of population for many decades, perhaps centuries, the World Government decided to take the obvious step, which, moreover, was sanctioned by scripture. For it was part of the sacred canon that some day, when there was great need of workers, the sleepers must be wakened. The rulers now declared that the time had come. In panic and without proper preparation it ordered the physiologists to thaw out the whole refrigerated multitude. The process was a delicate one, and the instructions left by an earlier and brighter generation were at first badly bungled. Millions were killed, or woke up to a brief period of misery and bewilderment, speedily followed by death. Millions more survived only for a life of permanent invalidism or insanity. The majority, however, though seriously damaged by their rough awakening, were fit for active life of a sort. But they had slept through much history. Their minds had been formed by a world long vanished. Their speech and thought were often so archaic that modern individuals could not understand them. Their limbs, and their minds too, moved at first with painful sluggishness. Their procreative impulses were apparently quenched. Moreover they gradually discovered that their new world was even less propitious than the old one. Some of them, when they had entirely thrown off the miasma of their age-long sleep and had painfully adjusted themselves to the new environment, proved to be rather more quick-witted than their normal neighbours in the new world. And, as they had not been brought up to accept the recent and more extravagant prejudices of the new world, they were generally very critical of the modern customs and institutions. In fact they soon became a grave nuisance to the authorities. The Government hastened to order that all the ‘reawakened’ should at once be fitted with radio control. This obvious precaution had been delayed less through fear of putting them to too great a strain before they had recovered from the effects of refrigeration, than out of an amazingly stupid reluctance to raise them to the rank of citizens. Millions were now subjected to the operation. Half of these died under the anaesthetic. Millions more put up a desperate resistance and had to be destroyed. Here and there, where there was a large concentration of the ‘reawakened’, they were able to seize power and set up a rebel state. The spectacle of human beings resisting authority was utterly bewildering to the robot citizens of the world-state. In many minds there arose an agonizing conflict between the orthodox radio-generated will and a shocking impulse to rebel. This would probably not have occurred had not the technique of radio-control seriously degenerated, owing to the general decline of intelligence. Many of the unfortunate sub-humans (for men were no longer human) went mad or died under the stress of this conflict. Some succeeded in resisting the control and joined the rebels. It almost appeared that an era of new hope was to begin for the human race. Unfortunately the ‘reawakened’ could not stand the strain. While their cause prospered, all was well with them, but every passing misfortune was accompanied by a great crop of suicides. So little heart had they for life. One by one the rebel centres collapsed, till none was left.