To Live, is to Die, and Then Live Again. . .
This book is not about apocalypse. Nor is it about the invasion of aliens. In fact, it's not even fiction. Ben Tariri's Desexed takes you to a place, where you have never been, but always longed to be, a place, where the end is truly the beginning of something breathtakingly phenomenal. As you will see, we all relate to the concept of this book in one form or another. This book is about life, death, and afterlife, and about life again...
This could happen, and when it does, we should be prepared. What if the end of the world came in in the form of this?!
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|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)|
About the Author
Benjamin Behnam Tariri is a free-lance author in Boston, Massachusetts. He has three sons, and lives with his family. Ben is also a practicing attorney.
Read an Excerpt
The Milky Way swirls amid a sea of galaxies, glowing and pulsating in scarlets and gold, emerald greens and whites. A dark blue light shimmers as it speeds towards Earth.
An older woman's voice announces, "A job well done people. We have returned. We will soon reclaim our homeland."
The cylindrical spaceship slows as it nears Earth's atmosphere, and soon it holds. Below, in streets, throngs of people move about in towns, cities and countries. A couple holds hands as they leave a Broadway show. A large group of all ages dance to the rhythm of Tai Chi in Shanghai. Zebras saunter and graze in African plains; butterflies dance with the breeze as they spiral above Mexican forests. Whales spout water in the cold Atlantic while dolphins frolic in San Francisco bay.
A young man's voice says, "But I see life here still. Those are humans, aren't they? So many species. I even see insects and fish. Can we catch some? I want to study them!"
The elders ignore the young man, who is one of eight seated around a sleek round table, the surface of which is a large monitor, with multiple moving views. This is Team 9, consisting of five males and four females, of varied ages, seemingly ordinary human beings, but without exception, fit and clean cut.
Alex, a well-groomed grey-haired man, perhaps in his late sixties, "Sadly, this is a problem. What to do with this mess? We can't re-inhabit amidst throngs of people, animals, fish, insects, even germs and bacteria. It's absurd, and impossible. We will stretch the resources as is. We need every spot upon the planet.
"We can simply nuke them. But let me take some to study first," says Andre, the same young man who had spoken earlier.
"No. We don't want to harm the Earth. We just need to rid it of its pestilence," says Alex. "And don't forget, some insects and single-cell beings are resistant to radioactivity, or may already be shielded from it."
"Let's freeze the atmosphere, which will destroy all forms of life." suggests Wang, a young girl about Andre's age.
Elizabeth, a smart-looking, middle-aged woman with short blond hair, says, "Let's not jump to decisions here. Remember, though we came at different times, we all originated from there, and we will feel right at home. But there's simply no room for more."
Maryam, speaking in a low, persuasive voice, turns to Wang and says, "My dear Wang, please consider the consequences. That would destroy the landscape and might still not kill everything. Besides, we do not want to create a cemetery on Earth. Did we travel 600 light years to destroy or blow up our own homeland?" She pauses and watches the tabletop monitor, and from it she selects an image of a green landscape of rolling hills with occasional trees, grasses blowing in the wind. She pulls it up above the center of the table and lets it go, as each of the eight people watches it. "What we need, simply put," she lowers and deepens her voice, "is an Earth without any beings. Nothing living, breathing, swimming, flying, crawling, slithering — nothing, nothing should be alive before we land."
The members of Team 9 sit around the table looking at one another. No one says a word. Jacob, who seems like the youngest member, fidgets, tapping his fingers on the table. Elizabeth watches him and rolls her eyes. Maryam rises and walks to the window of the spaceship, lost in thought as she peers down at Earth. One by one, the rest of the Team joins her. Huddling around the window, some seem lost, others entranced, and others even uncomfortable.
"That's enough!!" a thunderous voice orders.
"Scottie again!" whispers Jacob, putting his head in his hands. The members of the Team pull themselves away from the window, and return to their seats at the table.
On the far side of the room, a pocket door in the wall slides open, and from it emerges a moving platform-like shelf. Atop the platform sits a small bony man, his limbs contorted and curled against each other. In spite of his size and stance, his grim mouth and fiercely intelligent eyes are piercing and intense, and the Team members attend to his every word.
"You people are acting fools!" He declares in his distinct British accent. "I found it noteworthy that the speed and degree with which the intelligence in your time away from Earth dissipates the closer you get to it. By now, you all should know the problem posed by Earth's beings," he says harshly. The other people in the room watch him, listening intently, seemingly accustomed to his tirades.
"Perhaps I am being unfair." He says with a touch of sarcasm. "Lest I forget, we were not all born with the same dispensations, shall I say. However, as Keplerians, you all have had equal opportunity to improve upon your genetic baggage, the same one you had on Earth, have you not?" He says this with derision and the team remains silent, some shifting in their chairs, others contemplating their hands. "Ok! I don't mean it in a negative way, but let's face it, we are not all equal. We never were and never will be. Not even twins from the same womb are equals." They continue to listen.
"The problem with these miserable beings," he says pedantically as he points to the window, "the problem with this constantly moving, noisy, trouble-making, agitated, agitating bunch, is, anyone?" He pauses and looks around the room.
"Sex!" Maryam says emphatically.
"Thank you Maryam. Yes, sex, my dear friends" Scottie says.
* * *
Morning sun climbs the Santa Monicas north of the flatland called lower Beverly Hills. Scarlet, a young woman in her thirties pulls on her stockings. Her long, sleek legs are perfectly shaved, her lips are perfectly glossed and lined, and her body is supple and firm. She leans towards her vanity to finalize her touches on her mascara. Her boyfriend Brandon stands at the doorway watching her. He comes up behind her, smiling at her in the mirror, and she returns his smile and turns to kiss him. Her long blond locks fall back and swing gently as she melts into his arms. Thousands of miles above her, in the Spaceship, a woman identical to Scarlet is lying in a glass incubator, with eyes closed and in a state of dormancy, awaiting her moment of awakening.
* * *
In Yorkshire, two bearded collies, one male and one female, bound across the sprawling lawn of a country estate. Every day they spend in each other's company. Their dog walkers and masters are proud of them, and like their masters, they receive treatment fit for royals. Grooming, food, exercise, and affection — they have all they need. They even have their own masseuse, which they think of as their personal belly rubber. Twice a day he comes to assure the dogs of relaxed and tended muscles, sinew and bones. They are among the luckiest dogs on Earth and from their constant snuggling and mating, they seem to know this. They bound among the hedges and gardens, their masters clapping and calling to them. It seems as though they have been in love forever. On thing is constant in their life: napping. They play and nap, eat and nap, mate and nap.
In remote Patagonia, two proud roosters in all their feathered finery, each surrounded by their brood of hens, live on neighboring farms. Over the fence that separates their territories, each cock crows without fail, at dawn. As they espy a glimpse of one another, at any time, they call and cluck their hens around them, then bellow across the fields to mark their space. When their energies allow, should the mood strike, the implied wrong noted, they will dash forward, ferocious and furious, in a charge. At the fence, they are airborne, slamming their bodies into the chain-link barrier and pecking at each other's faces and beaks. The hens behind them storm into a melee of screeches, flaps, and crows. After a five-minute brawl, bloodied and tired, the roosters retreat back to their homes, to their hens, their roosts, as they did the day before, and the day before that.
On the west coast of Africa, two bees dance in the sky. The bees spin and chase each other through waves of flowers, landing on one petal and then flitting to the next, sipping each delicious nectar. Like girls dancing in saris, these worker bees flutter about, collecting nectar, while the male drone waits in hope of being fed, his life leaving little for envy, in line to mate with the queen.
Life is abuzz everywhere on Earth. On the monitor inside the spaceship, Team 9 watches all of it, a kaleidoscope of montage, teeming with life, flashing before their awestruck eyes. One monitor zooms in on New York City: Crowds swell down sidewalks, jostling, edging by, greeting, embracing, and bumping into each other. Everywhere in the world, people are walking, driving, flying, sleeping, some playing games, some running, and some even fighting. There is so much happening, everywhere. The Team members simply watch and marvel. They have never seen anything like this in their lives on Kepler-22. They've heard and read of it, life in all its flavor and color and form, but only in pictures, in books or in film. Now, here they are, watching it live on the monitors and from the window, the blue planet looming large as the Spaceship moves closer.
Scottie arrives from the door in the wall and joins the group. "That is how we all were. Each one of you, me, we were like that. We all lived, but not knowing why we were living, our main impetus and goal was to simply be alive and remain alive as long as possible! Now let us look at that man," he calls attention to one monitor. "See how he watches and salivates over that woman's breasts, a simple nutritional delivery system for infants. Look at this other couple quarrelling, as if at war, as if whatever minor matter is one of life and death. This tumultuousness of life here is a result of the attraction called sex. Even children succumb or aspire to it."
"Please young Jacob," Scottie instructs, "have some sense. We were all more like these beings than you would care to know. In fact, some of us arrived at Kepler-22 with less visible intelligence and self-awareness than we see in some of these monitors. So please do not be quick to judge."
As the leader of Team 9, for the purposes of this mission, Scottie has been afforded considerable knowledge of each member's history and background. No one else in Team 9 possesses such knowledge.
"These earthlings believe it is romance, a human notion that gives impulse to action, a quest for love, a weird concept to be sure. Being attracted to each other is a physicality, the basis for which is attraction, a drive towards procreation, for promulgation of the race. This antiquated reflex is now self-destructive, for their overpopulation is suicidal. See how some cheat and lie to each other simply because of the power of this attraction? Many a man has lost a political election because they have succumbed to this behavior. Each one of us was like that, one way or the other, some overtly, some covertly." Scottie says lamentingly. He then sits down, as if fatigued from the thought of it, and continues on with his tale.
"We died at different times," Scottie continues. "Some of us were children, and some were old when we died. But our deaths brought us to our lives on Kepler-22, which has the same exact environment as Earth. About 170 billion human beings live on Kepler-22, a number equivalent to the number of all the people who have lived on Earth. Our planet is 36 times larger than Earth, sufficient, until now, to easily accommodate all. However, the rate of population growth on Earth will soon overpopulate and overrun Kepler-22 and thus, we need to re-occupy, in effect, to reclaim Earth as our own. This presents not only the immediate problem of stopping the overpopulation but more importantly, of de-populating Earth."
A hush fell over the Team members, having just heard the severity of their mission. Each knew of their ultimate goal in travelling here, to populate a new home. But now they realize that the complications and implications of doing so were clearly beyond their imagination or expectation.
"Scientists on Earth have just discovered our planet," Scottie continues, "and some are even referring to it as Earth's twin. Right in the middle of the habitable zone of the universe, the area known as the 'Goldilocks zone,' Kepler-22 exists in a band of space a certain distance from a star in which liquid water is possible." Scottie points to a hologram of Kepler-22 that has just appeared above the conference table. "As you can imagine, their attraction to our planet is not surprising. It is even necessary for their survival."
"Our planet," says Maryam, looking longingly at an image of Kepler-22, "blue and tranquil, with clean fresh water, and a balmy 72 degrees, is perfect for us."
"Every animal on Earth has an exact identical twin born, for lack of a better word, at the same time on Kepler-22," Scottie says. "While on Kepler-22, the twin remains in a dormant state, but ages and transforms as the body does on Earth, existing in a parallel world. The twin on Kepler-22 lies in a state of dormancy until its counterpart 'dies' on Earth. The twin remains dormant because it lacks what is known as 'spirit.' Only spirited beings have twin life forms on Kepler-22."
"Regardless of age or cause of death, a dying being's spirit immediately and instantaneously is infused into its twin on Kepler-22. The difference is that the new body, which is identical to the old body, is now eternal."
"Although the twin's body mimics the age of its human counterpart, it does not decay or suffer in any way from physical harm, defect, ailment, or illness. For those children who died on Earth, their dormant state remains until they reach age 25, when we can be sure their body is at its strongest and healthiest. Our system in effect rewards those children, for suffering an early death." Scottie says rather triumphantly as he paces back and forth.
Team 9 is rapt with attention, clearly being given new information. Andre's brow is creased and Maryam, as she is apt to do, rubs her chin. Wang is looking up to the ceiling, as if trying to puzzle these details and anticipate the next point. Scottie stands in front of them, his arms crossed, watching and waiting for them to retain this new-found knowledge.
"Here, ladies and gentlemen, is where we differ from our counterparts on Earth. As the most perfect human beings, in fact, perhaps the most ideal being in our universe, beset by no concerns of aging or death, we have no need to reproduce. By contrast," Scottie points to the blue planet framed by the window, "the humans and all the other animals and insects on Earth are far removed from this perfection."
Scottie sits back down, takes a deep breath, and continues.
"So you ask what we should do to rid Earth of these beings? There are countless ways to accomplish this, but I say, and I know you will all agree, that bestowing upon them in their current lives, the gift of freedom from the instinctual sex drive is most just, most poetic they might say, and most informational for all of us and in fact vital for us. There is only one effective way: We simply must de-sex them all!" he declares.
The group looks to each other and nods, raising their eyebrows.
"Can't we just watch them destroy themselves? After all, they are such savages with so many guns and bombs designed only to kill human beings. Let them go at it? It's sort of entertaining," Jacob says. Wang giggles under her breath.
"No!" Scottie reacts. "I think it will be much more entertaining seeing how they behave once they are de-sexed, don't you? They may still be attracted to each other, but for entirely different reasons. For example, they may simply love each other, but not in the physical sense anymore. In any event, they will then die off, and yet, in a sense, we will not be killing them. They will still reap the reward of eternal life and health on Kepler-22."
"Riveting," says Jacob. "I'd rather see them tear each other apart as they do with guns anyways."
"Jacob, my lad, you have had every benefit of the knowledge base available to you at home, and yet, still you come back to these kinds of remarks. If I didn't know better, I'd think you have retained some of your base human traits."
Jacob sneers, pushes back his chair, and laughs. "I'm a good actor though, aren't I Scottie? Aren't I?"
Maryam, who is sitting next to Jacob, pats him on the back.
"We have the technology on board to de-sex the entire population on Earth. We will focus an unbroken stream of gamma-rays on the planet for only ten seconds, which will eliminate all living beings' reproductive genes. We shall watch for and notate the results," Scottie says rather studiously.
"This painless process," adds Scottie, "simply frees them of the need to mate or reproduce. Of course, they will not feel a thing during this process."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Desexed."
Copyright © 2014 Benjamin Tariri.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Visitors, 3,
Chapter 2: The Last Night, 14,
Chapter 3: The Encounter, 22,
Chapter 4: The Departure, 37,
Chapter 5: A Child is Reborn (Jacob), 42,
Chapter 6: Michelle's Family, 47,
Chapter 7: An Englishman in Our Midst, 53,
Chapter 8: Brandon, 56,
Chapter 9: Elizabeth, 59,
Chapter 10: Maryam, 62,
Chapter 11: Andre, 71,
Chapter 12: Alex, 74,
Chapter 13: Pranav, 78,
Chapter 14: Wang, 82,
Chapter 15: Of The Birds and The Bees, 90,
Chapter 16: A Desexed World, 93,
Chapter 17: Sex: A Necessary Evil?, 97,
Chapter 18: The End is The Beginning, 103,
Epilogue1: Aging, 107,
Epilogue2: Perceptions, 117,