The Neo Creadds Are Born (Ch.14c) : The Meeting Of Two Groups
Ch.14c : The Meeting Of Two Groups
The group advertised itself on the Vidbase in various information menus, and it was here that they noticed the existence of another group which sounded as if it had a similar nature.
Nero, the quietest of the original group, one who was accustomed to spending most of his free moments researching on the Vidnet, was the one who first noticed the existence of another ‘discussion group’, led by a man called Jairis.
“It’s uncanny Janus,” Nero had said when he contacted Janus after his discovery, “They advertise their group in much the same words as we do – as a ‘discussion group for any people who wish to discuss the current nature of society and economy. Of particular interest to those who feel that current society is not functioning in a natural and beneficial way.’
“Apparently the group leader Jairis is a lecturer in Economics at the University of Marta West. He delivers small lectures on a variety of subjects sometimes in their meetings, but they invite other speakers, both specialist and amateur. Apparently, just like ours, the main purpose is for meaningful discussion and exchange of ideas. All are welcome, although for those who wish to campaign on group sanctioned campaigns, they do that too.”
“Just like us,” agreed Luvian, who happened to be with Janus at the time.
“We do the discussions, but we don’t exactly lecture,” commented Janus.
“I know you’re not a lecturer Janus, but you could be. You talk for long enough and we all listen,” joked Luvian.
“I certainly present my ideas, but I try to turn it into a discussion as soon as possible,” said Janus. “Well they sound like our kind of people. Have you contacted them yet Nero?”
“No, I just found one of their adverts today, and you know I don’t feel comfortable in making contact with strangers,” said Nero. “But I have researched their vidnet addresses, partially. They have quite a lot of free ‘lecture notes’, ideas and opinions published, mainly by their group leader Jairis. Other members of their group have contributed too. There are quite a few members’ addresses quoted also. They may have more than one local group, because the addresses range from Mardiane, Verrig, Seaward, Cato and other cities as well as Marta.”
“This sounds good,” said Janus. “They must be a lot bigger than us by the sound of it. I will have a look at these vidnet addresses myself, if you will give me the details, and then I will contact them. I would like to attend one of these lecture discussions.”
And so Janus found the vidnet addresses, and observed the meeting times and places, which were indeed spread across the Empire. He read some of the free published articles by Jairis, and by other members. It seemed there were some ‘active’ women in Jairis’ group, which also impressed Janus, because although a handful of women occasionally attended, mainly in Luvian’s West Marta group meetings, none of them could be said to be active in the preparation of campaign materials or actual campaigning.
One woman Julia Relis had written three very inspired pieces on the subject of what was going wrong with modern life, and what life could be like if changes were made. Her sentiments were his entirely although he appreciated the personal way in which she had handled these subjects. His own work was somehow different, but how well her essays complimented his own!
Another woman Vera Serranus had written an autobiographical account of her life to date, telling the story of her past unquestioning attitude towards the work orientated imperatives of society, and her awakening experiences of love on a space station, which led to her realisation that her earlier beliefs were all confused. She went as far as her introduction to Jairis’ group, which further confirmed Janus in his pleasure that this organisation was akin to his own.
Janus lost little more time in contacting the other group. Initially he called Jairis’ own address with a vocal only connection. This remained for many the polite way to make initial contact with strangers. Appearance and vision was something to be kept in reserve as a further gesture of friendship or business relationship, to be played later.
‘Probably he will not be in,’ Janus thought. But it was evening time, after the end of a University Lecturer’s day, he presumed. He expected that this group leader could well be busy, but there was no meeting advertised for this evening. The line was unengaged and no answer message cut in. After a few rings the line was picked up, “Hello?” A male voice.
“Hello, are you Jairis?” he asked.
“Yes that is correct.”
“My name is Janus, Janus Appinus. I understand you run a discussion group about the modern society? I have read some of your articles on Vidnet.”
“Yes, that is correct also,” Jairis repeated. “I hope you found them interesting.”
“Oh yes, very! In fact I have been gathering a discussion group which sounds quite similar to yours. I think we have been thinking along similar lines. I would like to come along to one of your meetings, and maybe we could exchange ideas,” offered Janus.
“Of course, you are welcome! That is why we are advertising,” explained Jairis. “We have decided to expand our groups as much as possible. We want to spread our ideas. It is a faint hope, but if we don’t grow we can’t change the world.”
“My group has been going for a few months now,” explained Janus. “We’re in Marta City. We have split into two regular meeting groups, one in West Marta and one often at my home near the centre of Marta. We too want to expand because we feel that this kind of group can spread ideas, operate as a social as well as political function. We are beginning to campaign for changes in whatever way we can. We do not just discuss, we intend to try to achieve real changes.”
“I have not heard of your group,” said Jairis, “but you do sound quite similar to us. We have not done campaigning politically as such, but we are certainly spreading ideas, stimulating people to think. I am sure we could help each other.”
“I have been writing a few books, which are now published on the Vidnet, and as a group we have turned two of them into short documentaries. One of them has been run on two of the Vidnet live channels recently, although the other one has not made it yet,” Janus reported.
“What was the subject?” asked Jairis. Janus had the feeling that Jairis was becoming highly interested in what he had to say, now that he realised Janus was not just an individual wanting to come to his group, but was a thinker and a producer of ideas in his own right.
“The ancient Creadd movement. Have you ever heard of it? asked Janus.
“Yes, I remember now. I have not just heard of it. Some of my group members, in more than one place, saw it on the live channels and recommended it. In fact it has been discussed by members in some of our groups. I accessed it from Vidbase and watched it myself a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it is excellent! It is just the kind of historical angle we need to raise awareness of the present crisis and to point in alternative directions. It was a long time ago in the past, but the way you compared it with the present and suggested that the ancient Creadds could provide a model for an alternative, more fulfilled and harmonious society today, was a superb angle. What was your other documentary about – is it on the Vidnet?”
“Yes,” said Janus, “ that was about the Communalist movements and raised similar questions. It also reinterpreted the accepted histories of those movements to some extent. As I say the live channels would not touch it because they seem to have a bias against that kind of interpretation of Communalism. But it is on the Vidbase. I will give you the Vidbase address. We will be doing one based on my other book, which is called ‘A Critical View Of Our World : The Decline Of Civilisation.’ That is a brief, but hopefully hard hitting critique of the present Society, which includes some pointers to a better future. Have you heard or seen anything of that one?” Janus looked with hope in his eyes at the blank console as they had not activated viewscreens.
“Say the title again?” requested Jairis, obviously struggling to take in all the details. Janus repeated it.
“Well I have not read it myself, but there is a lot out there to be drawn on, but yes, I think one or two of those members who have seen your Creadds programme have read your Creadds book and the contemporary book. It must be that one. I remember some of the points they brought up at a couple of recent meetings were directly from books they had read. Julia, one of our own leading writers and thinkers, was one of them. She has read your books, I know, and come to think about it, I remember her mentioning one about Communalism too. She is a big fan of yours I think, so we are well met Janus. Glad to meet you!”
Janus was overjoyed to find that his work was reaching at least some of its intended audience. It was a pity that Jairis had not directly read his works yet, but he had seen the Creadds programme. It was a miracle to Janus that anyone out there would want to see or read his work, so hardworked were most citizens that they barely had time to think beyond their daily routine of existence. “Is this Julia the Julia Relis on your Group Address Connection?”
“Yes, that is her.”
“I thought so. I just read some of her essays and one by another woman called Vera. They were all very good, thinking along the same lines as my own group,” said Janus.
“You must meet them. They are in Marta. As a matter of fact I have just started going out with Vera. She is a lovely lady,” Jairis revealed. “And Julia, well she is a lovely lady too.”
“Let us connect the vision shall we?” suggested Janus. “Then we shall know who we are when we meet. I am coming to your next group meeting.” He pressed the key on the console, which sent his visual image to the console of Jairis. Jairis reciprocated almost instantly and there they were, facing each other! Jairis was a tall strong looking man. His main feature was his longish untidy looking light brown hair which waved as it cascaded and stuck up in places too. The visage was friendly and the smile natural. He wore the casual attire of a man who was tidy enough, but refused to complete the picture his employers might have wanted. He wore a shirt, which was orange rather than white. No tie hung around his collar, and two, not one, buttons were unfastened. His jacket was unfashionably brown, but it fitted him. He also sported a tidy moustache. Janus could tell just by looking at him that he was his own man. He had an air of confidence, but seemed kind and open.
Janus wondered how Jairis would see him. Even in his periods of reclusiveness he normally kept his hair cut and shaved often enough. At present he was dressed casually. Well he did not work any more. If the royalties from his new work increased substantially he might almost be able to live on it, but there was potential for further growth he believed.
The two group leaders continued to talk for a long time. They found that their visions matched. Both harboured a deep desire to publicise and spread their views and a hope to save the world from the money machines it had created. It became obvious that Janus had developed his ambitions further than Jairis, despite Jairis’ group being larger. Jairis’ group believed in raising consciousness, but Janus already had hopes that a movement could grow into every city, not just in the Empire, but across the whole continent and the others as well. If they created the movement and developed, he imagined a movement which could enter politics and slow the wheels of the International Giant Houses themselves. His suggestions for improvements to the world economy could be followed by actions if people pressed and voted for it sufficiently.