The Rule of the Voiceless

A future/alternative world where the ruling class use music to control the clone-bred workers, unsuspecting that a revolt is about to shatter their idyllic existence. The Bowmasters use music exclusively to communicate with each other and the working classes but still have the ability to understand their speech, regarding the literary language as an archaic relic of simpler times and even simpler people.

Minim 32 eased the nano-filament gloves onto her slim long-fingered hands, fastening the cuffs so that they pulled tight to her skin. She frowned momentarily then made two fists, activating the neural circuits so that she could begin.

Clearing her mind, she studied the shift's instruction sheet, considering the necessary phrasing she'd need to use.

Steepling her fingers, she slowly pulled her hands apart and a rose-coloured circle of light appeared between them. Grasping the paramagnetic field, she opened the field nexus further, giving it a turn to set it spinning.

A low minor chordal tone sang out, setting up the initial configuration for the data matrix and then, pulling the field to one side and inserting her left hand into the centre, she flexed the fingers of her right hand to focus the energies that were to become the force bow.

As a third-generation Bowmaster, she had passed beyond the necessary skill level to become an adept at barely three years of age and now, recognised as being a prodigy, she could formulate and sequence multiphasic melodic and chordal lines with ease, something thought impossible of someone still in her teenage years. Because of her family upbringing, although not technically a mute, she had never spoken and had always been encouraged to communicate by use of the 'field' and 'bow' by her parents. Both second-generation Bowmasters themselves, they were more than qualified to help her focus her talents throughout her earlier years until the time that she surpassed them both on her ninth birthday.

Pulling the force bow's violet energies past the whirling rose field torus, she began to coax melodic lines out of the paramagnetic field, setting the shift imperatives into the interplay of tones and rhythm so that the instructions for the vat-grown Servitor classes could be broadcast via the Subliminet system. As she played, she imagined the cloned workers all standing attentive to her in rapt immobility as she downloaded the orders for the next work shift into their unconscious minds. A riffage of minor scale notes backed by dominant chords punctuated the Lydian runs used to open their minds to the work orders, adding urgency and authority before the final glissando fugued into the holding melody used to maintain the wakeful working consciousness required for the Servitors to carry out their daily work functions.

Minim 32 drew her bow back from the field, smiling tiredly.

A flood of notes issued from the local SupraLiminet station, caressing her and easing her stress. “I'm fine, Octave 7,” she bowed, replying to her mother's worried question. “You thought I sounded tense,” she continued, frowning. “I'll admit that I've been working long hours lately, but I've been using the Somnolence sleep programs to ensure that I'm always rested when I wake up each day.”

The SL station integrated into the room's self-management systems sounded out a chromatically descending series of diminished chords, grating across her synapses as Octave 7 sternly admonished her. “Oh Mom,” Minim replied, her bow bouncing and skipping on the field arc, “I know you don't like me using automated sensory modifiers, but what'm I to do? You're not here with me, neither is Pop, and I know you wouldn't want me to go to anyone else. I'm doing so well here in Loganopolis. It's everything you always wanted me to do.”

The dissonant chords eased and Minim pulled her mouth back into a smile, full-bowing a series of languid tones. “Thanks, Mom. I love you too. I'll be in touch again tomorrow after I've done the day-shift programming broadcast.”

Minim clenched her gloved hands again and the fields dissipated. Slipping the gloves off, she hummed softly to herself, tonalising some calming melodies as she slipped them back into their hip pouch. Flipping the viewscreen on, Minim watched the newscast for a few minutes, checking for any problems before switching it off again. She looked up at the chronograph, noting the time.

“Time for my massage,” she smiled happily, anticipating a little personal contact with her private Attendant.

A few minutes later, back in her private room, Minim was laid face-down on her relaxer couch as the Attendant's hands kneaded her tight shoulder muscles. Her pale electric blue gown had been neatly folded when the man now working on her back had removed it moments after coming through the door, and now the warmed oils and massage were starting to ease the tensions out of her body. “I wonder if this would be how it would feel to be in a relationship,” Minim mused fancifully, as the Attendant's hands moved lower down her back. “I can't really imagine what it would be like sharing intimate time with an Attendant though,” she smiled, looking winsomely over her shoulder at the dough-faced block of a man handling her body.

“Can you please relax, madam,” the Attendant urged. “I can't get those knots out of your muscles if you don't relax.”

Minim laughed quietly to herself. “I can't even speak his language,” she continued fancifully to herself. She sighed, luxuriating in the strong but gentle touch of the Attendant's hands, murmuring a run of soft liquid tones to reassure him that he was carrying out his work satisfactorily. “I could order him to run me a bath or serve me up a meal,” she thought on, “but he'd not know what I'd tonalised or bowed; he'd only know what I wanted when the instructions registered fully-formed in his subconscious mind.” The anonymous man's hands continued, now working down the backs of her thighs, gripping softly and then sweeping upwards in quick, short movements.

A few minutes later, when she'd been expertly made up and redressed in a loose pastel tunic, the Attendant took his leave, nodding politely as he palmed the door panel. Minim, smiling shyly, nodded back, still thinking about the massage and the touch of his firm oil-slicked hands. “Maybe it would be nice to be able to speak – like a Servitor or an Attendant, perhaps,” she wondered to herself.

The End

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