Be still my heart (part 7)
Seeing myself for the first time once I was unified with my newlifer body was like having an out of body experience.
“Nurse Aliyah, it is very disconcerting to look in the mirror and not see what you think you’re going to see,” I said, staring at the new me.
“That’s what I hear. But you’re happy, yes?”
“What’s not to like?” Pretty face - same lips, same nose, different eye color. Younger me in a different shade. “My eyes are blue."
"Yes, I know you requested green, but eye color was never an option. As I mentioned in passing, your eyes are a part of the brain, thus, you already had eyes before you asked. And, anyway, all newlifers have blue eyes."
"Oh.” Turning to forget about new me for a while, I focused on the lovely Nurse Aliyah. About my height, she had black hair and violet-purple eyes that Elizabeth Taylor would have died to call her own. “All the bodies you showed me were also the same color. Has diversity been eliminated?”
“Sameness breeds greater stability, solidarity, sociability. Fewer conflicts, more camaraderie.”
“Is that recent experience talking because there was plenty of racial homogeneity historically when people were being used as sadistic entertainment; or engaging in human sacrifice, torture and/or cannibalism; or using slavery as a labor-saving device (long before the cross-Atlantic African slave-trade). Torture and mutilation were routine in the Inquisition. Rape was almost a right of the winning soldiers in wars on every continent. Protestants in Germany, France, England and Ireland had the same skin color as Catholics. Seriously, humanity seems to find a reason to hate and fight regardless of appearance.”
“Physical differences stand out more, giving humans an easy way to divide and despise.”
I raised an eyebrow. “The century I was born there were at least three genocides, the Armenian, the Jewish and the Tutsi people of Rwanda. The Armenians differ in language and religion but look like Turks. The Jews were German, French, Italian, Polish. They differed in religion, not necessarily in appearance. The Tutsi and Hutu were both Negroid, spoke the same language, inhabited the same areas and followed the same traditions. And what of the Russians in Ukraine? I died before they finished killing each other but two of my closest friends hailed from opposite sides. Both named Tatiana. Both spoke Russian. Both had blond hair and blue eyes. So, I’m not so sure racial homogeneity alone is the key. Historically, people always manage to find a reason to hate, to differentiate, to fight, to kill each other. Peaceful coexistence does not seem to be our desired way of being. But I’ll take your word for it." I turned back to the mirror. "I’ve been dead for 300 years.
“But just to clarify," I looked at Nurse Aliyah in the mirror, "Are there no longer economic classes? Religions? Power hungry Machiavellian (or Napoleon) types that want to rule the world? Oh wait, you did say this century is on its fifth Elon Musk clone. And you called him Commander, right? Does he control life in the Zones? Kind of like a dictator? Iron control to keep the masses in line? If I remember correctly, the biologicals basically chose exile in the wild rather than live under the Tesla Zones’ rules.” I snorted. “Honestly, sounds like many steps backwards not forward if you ask me.”
Nurse Aliyah’s eyes seemed to become a lighter, icier violet. “No one asked you, Eva, and you would be wise to curb your speech regarding the Commander until you have lived here and now and can discover for yourself his greatness. You could never begin to understand even a modicum of the brilliance that has made all of this, You, possible. Your new life is a gift. Cherish it or you will lose it.
“Returning to your question, humanity has slowly become less violent over the centuries. Even the two centuries your last life encompassed were much less violent than those that preceded it. Our studies have shown that the most peaceful states are balanced socioeconomically and are racially homogenous. We have perfect equilibrium here in the Tesla Zones. Technology and economic development have improved lives to such a degree that there is no suffering, no envy, no greed. We have peace, tranquility, joy.
“Modern society is a much less volatile, more pleasant place to be.”
I smirked. “And you are the front line for the Tesla Zones marketing campaign. Just kidding. Sounds like a dream.”