The continuation of the adventure will be delayed for a while, instead I am launching an English translation of the existing book. The Swedish version has also been corrected and revised. And I thought I’d publish a few short lines as a test read here.
Extract from chapter 5
The Technosophian Club was not just any club, although first impressions undoubtedly reminded one of a low-key smoky gentlemen’s club, and a haven for misfits, adventurers and eccentrics. The congregation was formed sometime long ago, uncertain exactly when, at a time when a number of citizens felt their privacy and integrity were under threat.
The ruling stratum of society took increasing liberties, intercepting virtually all communications without reasonable suspicion of a crime. Even people’s bank transactions were recorded, as were their movements and activities in public places where surveillance cameras were installed. It was very difficult to stop this development, as various crises and conflicts were constantly arising, motivating even more surveillance. So, slowly but surely, citizens’ lives were entangled in an impenetrable electronic web. From the cradle to the grave they were monitored, a truly undisturbed privacy did not exist.
The aim of the Technosophian Club was to counteract this development, and to protect its members. Therefore, an ingenious countermeasure was created, a system that intercepted the system. Deep down in the bedrock of a closed self-sustaining circuit, an enormous electronic brain was working on this task alone. The Technosophians were always one step ahead, filtering and replacing information that they felt the government should not have access to. Its operations were financed by generous contributions from its members, whose various activities obviously demanded discretion. The Technosophian Club supervised the supervisors. And besides, it was a smoky gentlemen’s club.
The event took place in the months following the great turmoil that erupted in connection with the Grand Master’s disappearance.
He came into the room with his head held high, worldly as ever. His beard was well trimmed, his hair neatly combed back, his clothes were of the latest style, but similar to those he had always worn, black coat, shirt and trousers of the same sombre colour. It had been a long time since his brother had visited the club, many members wondered if he had forgotten the bet?
Balwinder, the butler, took care of the outer garments and opened the door to the red chamber. The calm and collected servant’s eyes became a little moist, but he was not able to show his joy more than that.
Many members were gathered. Iratus had returned from his journey and Dyaus had left the meditation chamber, and Hajek had composed a delightful piece of music which was performed for those present. The orchestra came from the Vestal Conservatory and consisted of pale young women who looked so stiff and anaemic that they could easily be mistaken for a group of androids, if it had not been for the fact that androids could not possibly be programmed to play so skilfully. The Vestal Orchestra never made a mistake.
Pelasgio sat down in his armchair, no one had sat there since he left the room in a state of agitation 112 years ago. Balwinder had been dusting the nut-brown leather at regular intervals. Dirty, dusty or otherwise tarnished furniture was not a feature of the Technosophians.
The returning brother waited until the marble-white girl musicians slowed down a bit. What he would say next surprised everyone, but first the conspirators would rally a bit.
“Dear friend, you have returned!” exclaimed Pulvermacht with artfully played cordiality. Publius and Spengler also joined in, and together they formed the trio who initiated the feud and called the bet. Now they felt the sweetness of victory on their bitter tongues.
Many pleasantries were exchanged before the matter was taken up. It was Pulvermacht who spoke in a salient voice:
“Well, where do you have the evidence? Is it so small that you can keep it in your pocket, or is it the case that the old empire, whose existence you undertook to prove, never really existed, and that you, my dear friend, are the greatest falsifier of history, liar and demagogue of all time?”
All the version of the book can be purchased here.