A Short Story by Chris Johnson
Mike O’Donnell awoke, frantic, sweaty, and misplaced. It took him a moment before he realized where he was. His eyes looked over his room. The blue and silver lava lamp, in the corner, glowed under the blacklight. The last year had made him accustomed to this scenario. He rolled his eyes as he shook, afraid that he might never get a good night’s sleep again.
An hour and fourty-five minutes was all the sleep he got this time. His nightmares had grown steadily worse, waking him several times throughout the night. He had fallen off the wagon, over the last couple months and was in a stagnant rut in his life.. He wasn’t aware of things like he used to be. Yes, he had problems, and he dealt with them proudly. He wasn’t humble.
“Damnit!” he blurted out. He wasn’t pristine either. How was he, an award winning, best-selling novelist, going to finish his latest novel with all of this on his mind?
He knew what was causing the nightmares, but just couldn’t let go. It was a re-occurring dream. He was alone, successful, but alone. He was sailing in the ocean on a ninety-foot yacht. He would walk the deck, pacing, stopping, and again. Every once in a while, he would jot down notes pertaining to his latest story about a teenage boy falling in love with a girl who goes to his high school. He could feel the yearning. Nay, the craving and the emptiness to the point of physically manifested pain. It felt the same as the cravings that, as he understood, heroin addicts feel. It was a longing straight from the center of the chest: somewhere in there; not from the heart or the lungs, just somewhere in there. Inexplicable.
A sinking feeling got to him. He hears plane engines in stereo: one from the east and another from the west. They both approach a cotton-ball, white cloud that separates the two. It’s obvious that they can’t see each other. Their courses are head-on. It’s a matter of time, and Mike can’t do anything to stop it. He pulls out a telescope and sees the plane coming from the east before it heads into the cloud. He focuses on a passenger’s window. He sees his parents. They disappear into the clouds.
Moments pass, that seems like hours. This part lingers on and on. Each moment adds tons of pressure to tip the scale that holds in the balance, Mike’s heart.
Lightning flashes from the cloud that turned an evil charcoal gray. Fire pours out the top and sides as the heavens start to rain the ignited flesh and debris into the sea. Sometimes the debris would come down on the yacht and it would start to sink. Mike was at a point now where he was drowning before waking up.
Mike opened his nightstand drawer and pulled out an old newspaper. It had been six months since he had lost his parents. The headline read:
MID-AIR COLLISION CLAIMS 902
He continued to read the article.
Two 747 passenger planes collided over the Atlantic Ocean, twenty-seven miles east off Long Island, New York, on Wednesday.
He glanced further down the article.
Among the dead were movie moguls, Joseph and Kimberly O’Donnell, the producer/director team that was finalizing the realistic story of Beatles for the big screen. The film is slated for release this fall.
He returned the reminder to its place by his bedside.
He was in California when it happened, at a book signing. It was part of the promotion of his second book, “If Speed Killed Lingo…”. His friend Jesse just started living with him and June. He released at number three on the best-seller’s list.
He was into numerology at the time and three was considered a lucky number to him so, he shrugged it off as beginner’s luck. He thought that he’d have to work harder on the second book than he did on his first but he wrote the entire book in three sittings. Of course, the time he sat writing each time lasted days.
He wrote about one hundred-fifty pages during the first sitting. That lasted about three days. He was wired and barely ate. He slept one day, around twenty hours and then got up for the second round. This time he wrote for four days, and it worked, at the very least, just to keep him going. After one more day of sleep, he added another sixty pages. At this sitting he wrote while basically hallucinating. It was good stuff. He didn’t know what his name was but he was his story. He wrote for about eighteen hours and had to go to sleep when he wound down. He ended it very abruptly. There was more that he thought he should have resolved but it worked, so he stopped.
He looked at the clock on the nightstand. It was almost half-past four.
He got up and walked into his bathroom. He put on his Betty Boop boxer shorts. He usually slept naked because he felt restricted by clothing. That made him tense, when he felt bound, so he couldn’t sleep. Now it was the nightmares binding him like shackles.
He was pretty much used to this routine. He walked into the kitchen and opened the cupboard above the sink. He pulled out a large tumbler. He set down the glass and rubbed his eyes. He filled the glass with bourbon from an unlabeled designer bottle that was part of a set that his ex-wife gave him.
It was the same dream he’d been having since he heard the news about his parent’s crash.
The kitchen was small and he hated it. He missed his house in the Pacific Palisades. It was huge. The kitchen had industrial equipment, in order to throw big parties. The parties are what cost him that house. No, that’s not true. His parties are what cost him that house. June Roberts, his ex, wasn’t into it, at all. She didn’t like the raucous bunch that Mike attracted, and Jesse living there didn’t help any. She never understood why he needed to squander all that money for so many useless gatherings. Mike ended up losing the house to her but at least he didn’t have to pay alimony.
Mike opened the cheap Amana freezer and tossed a few ice cubes into the glass. After closing the door he walked into his living room. The ocean pounded the shore on the other side of the sliding-glass door. Mike turned on his computer in the corner where his ‘office’ was. He waited for a second.
“It’s too fuckin’ quiet. I gotta hear some music.” He reached over to the tower, which held his collection of CDs. It would look like he owned two hundred copies of the Beatles “White Album”, but each disc was placed in the plain cases to reduce visual stress. This had resulted from a previous depression and considering the condition he was in right now, he wondered about the quality of that over-priced, time-consuming therapy. The only thing that he was convinced of was that he needed some smoke and he needed it now.
He opened the carved wooden box that sat in the middle of the coffee table. There were several pre-rolled joints in one compartment, about seven or more grams in another compartment and various items such as papers, roach clips and a pipe in the remaining compartment. He took out a joint and lit it. He glanced at his two published works sitting on the coffee table: “If Speed Killed Lingo” and “Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll, & Her Heart”, his first book. It appeared at number fourteen upon its release. It was the story of a musician that meets, and has an affair with a mysterious woman. She takes him out of his element and his obligations and responsibilities don’t allow him to be as transient as she is.
Mike walked over to the sliding-glass door and opened it. As he toked, he moved back over to the collection of music. He browsed the titles and selected an album from the Doors. He took another hit as he put the disc into the CD drive of his computer. He pressed play and then he walked out to the balcony. The crooning of Morrison, to “Riders on the Storm”, came from the living room softly as Mike chased a hit with a suck of bourbon. A seagull flew over-head and Mike coughed, not being able to hold the hit any longer.
Mike sang along, “Girl, you gotta love your man…”
He started thinking about June again. Why couldn’t she have understood these words. Why couldn’t she have been like Pam was to Jim. Mike once attended a past-life regression therapy group and came to believe that he was Jim Morrison reincarnated and that June was Pam. June hadn’t put up with anything like Pam had. Still, June wasn’t into anything but had smoked a little pot with him once. It was only because he hot-boxed their living room with a pound of weed in the fireplace one New Year’s Eve. On one rare occasion, he convinced her to take a single hit of acid. She acted like she was drunk. She laughed and laughed and laughed about the stupidest stuff. That was the night that she watched Oliver Stone’s “The Doors” with him. She never drank, even that night. She did reorganize her sock drawer six times though.
“Fuck her” he mumbled as he walked inside. He took another huge hit and retrieved the roach clips from his box. His routine had pretty much stayed consistent. He’d wake up at about four in the morning and smoke up until he was baked. He’d write for a little while if anything came to him and then sometime around eight or nine he’d go to his favorite diner and eat a meal while drinking about four pots of coffee and smoking an entire pack of cigarettes. He wrote on his laptop while he did this.
He tossed and turned in the late morning and ended up only getting about four hours of sleep over a seven hour period before taking 2-3 hours to fully wake up by six or seven o’clock at night. If he was manic, whatever he did in the afternoon was usually over by five or six and then he’d retreat to his Santa Monica ‘bungalow’, as he like to call it. It was his favorite word from ‘LA Woman’, even though his abode wasn’t really in Hollywood. When he arrived home, he would break open a bottle of bourbon, smoke more pot, and fart around with his guitar while watching television. Mike liked to chase his bourbon with beer, and he normally went through a twelve-pack each night. He had a few friends that would stop by and party with him occasionally. He never had any problem throwing them out when he was ready to crash.
Surprisingly, he slept normally, except for the nightmares. He maintained this schedule of sleeping from ten-ish to four-ish. Weekends changed very little for him. He avoided the local nightclubs.
He sat back down at his workstation and opened the file of his latest work. He ignored the signal coming from his email inbox, and then, knowing what it held, opened the email..
Mike: Your deadline is approaching. Where’s the preview? Please attend a meeting with us on Friday to discuss your progress on this matter.
@ 1:30 p.m. Room 212
George Miles II
Today was Friday and he had no story, nothing on file. Nothing new at least. He clicked on the MS Word icon on the Windows program taskbar and opened a file titled “DayzOff.doc”. A single paragraph sat on the screen. He read the words, highlighting as he did so.
Days come and go and night drifts in and out. To explain why dusk has dawn and vise versa is redundant. Vampires sleep, dead to the day, as the mortals quench their desires. Once you didn’t, but now you do. Like a deja vu, the recycling of the past becomes new to you. Alone at last with your desire, you spend your days off.
“What now?” Mike spoke aloud. Where had he been going with this? What story did he have? His thoughts strayed to a riff he’d been working on the night before. Then he looked back at the highlighted selection and hit the ‘delete’ button.
“I don’t even know what I’m writing, anymore.” he sneered cynically. His negativity was consuming him.
His train of thought used to run really well. He would come up with a story and develop it over a week or so, and commence with the writing of it within a month. His train of thought would take over. But, where was it now?
Mike was only asking questions. He used to be definitive. The type of guy that you could ask something of and even if he didn’t know the answer he’d give the most logical solution that he could think of. Now, he was insecure and unsure of himself. He was completely lacking in logical thought. He couldn’t see a solution to his writing problems, nor to the real problem that was causing it. He knew what it was, but he didn’t want to believe it was the true answer. It was what he was used to. That was his comfort zone, no matter how discomforting it really was to him.
When he did write, he felt it wasn’t great at all. And, it wasn’t. All he was doing was revising poorly thought out ideas. Something had to change so that it made sense to him as well as to the reader. How could he begin?
Maybe some different music would help his creative juices flow better. He enjoyed the Doors’ music. But, the drug-induced sputtering of Morrison, no matter how ingenious, just wasn’t doing it for him. He enjoyed writing in silence also but, right now he needed some activity. Whatever it was, it couldn’t have lyrics. They only distracted him. He wasn’t looking to be entertained or to internalize any deep thought provoking lyrics. He needed something instrumental; inspiration from a motivated piece of work. Something with a theme that could ignite the fire inside of him. Maybe a movie score or a symphonic piece would fuel his creativity. Perhaps that would give him the stimulation that he needed.
He looked through his compact discs. Who should be the source of invigoration. Gary Hoey, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani; No, they were all too electric. Maybe some Kenny G would do it? Hell no. That was way too mellow. Beethoven, Mozart… That’s it!
He selected a disc of Mozart’s that had “Concerto 20 in D minor” on it. He put the disc in the player of his workstation and drank the glass of bourbon to half-way down. The old psychological question of half-full or half-empty came to mind. ‘Who gives a fuck if it’s half-full or half-empty?’ His ugly cynicism showed in the sneer that crossed his face.
The sounds of the concerto came from the speakers and he gets lost for a moment. He always loved Mozart. Mike held the belief that Mozart was the first rock ‘n roll artist. He was defiant and inventive, not to mention egotistical.
Mike thought about the deleted portion: Vampire. That on word stuck in his mind. It was a word that evoked thoughts of magical beauty and unscrupulous power. What could he do with such a thought.
Bats started flying across the monitor as the screen saver. His thoughts pondered the loneliness that a creature of the night must feel. Depleting the lives of his victims in order to maintain his own immortal life as one of the un-dead. Or how a bat darts and sneaks and hides out.
Mike felt like a vampire in so many ways. The parallel of sucking the life out of the women he’d fucked, screwing them over the way he did. His conscience was nagging at him suddenly. He slammed the feelings down into the far recesses of his soul by downing the remaining half-glass of bourbon. Nothing remained, except for a few bourbon covered ice cubes.
“Shit!” he mumbled as he dragged the mouse up to undo the deletion. Maybe he could use this as a springboard to a good story. Right now though, he wasn’t capable of putting anything down. There was something, or rather nothing, inside him at this moment. He couldn’t put his finger on the nagging feeling that welled up inside.
Mike got up out of his chair and walked over to the island in the kitchen. He poured some more bourbon from the bottle, and this time carried the bottle with him into the living room. He took another pre-rolled joint from the carved box and walked back out onto the balcony. He set his drink on the wide wooden railing and lit the joint. It had become rather calm outside, yet he was still having a difficult time lighting the number. The end of the joint wasn’t very packed and he burnt off almost an inch of it in the first hit. What a waste.
The sun had started to light the sky. It was cool out, not cold or hot, just cool. A sudden breeze teased Mike’s hair. A plane flew silently in the distance. All he could see were the red and blue lights and then a flash the sun reflecting off of the wing. He thought of its destination. He thought about the last plane trip that he’d taken.
About two months after June left him, he went to Las Vegas. There he was basking in the town that never sleeps. He played craps, blackjack and poker mainly. He loved the roulette tables but he never did very well at them.
Mike sat on the chair on the balcony and then it hit him. The story he’d been looking for. It was perfect. He took another hit, grabbed his drink and practically ran inside.
He looked at the monitor. The portion of text was still highlighted. He read it again.
Days come and go and night drifts in and out. To explain why dusk has dawn and vise versa is redundant. Vampires sleep, dead to the day, as the mortals quench their desires. Once you didn’t, but now you do. Like a deja vu, the recycling of the past becomes new to you. Alone at last with your desire, you spend your days off.
“That is an award winning intro.” Mike smiled for the first time in days.
Mike walked into the diner that he’d enjoyed for weeks now. He knew he’d have to face therapy with some rich asshole who he was convinced wouldn’t give a flying fuck about whether he recuperated or not. He awarded Steve and George the clout to repair his tattered ego. Why did it seem that his life was suddenly emerging in his writing as never before. It was as if the fiction that he’d been writing about all this time was now manifesting itself in his life.
This wouldn’t be that bad except, the craziest part of this reality was that it was as if his life were a car going seventy in a thirty-five and his super-fiction manifestation was doing a hundred in the passing lane. He felt he was obliged to feel a bit of stress over this.
When June left him he never thought that she’d leave him for good. Now, after this exquisite woman left his world, he was unsure if he’d ever find another woman to replace this one. Was this what he’d talk about in therapy? Would he have to share this shit with a group or would it be one on one?
Mike walked through the California breezes under the noon Sun which was beating down on him in direct proportion to the winds cooling him off that it kept him from sweating too bad. He approached the doors of the building of his publisher and went inside.
After the twelve-floor elevator ride, Mike stepped into George Miles’ office. George may have been George Miles II to others but to Mike he was just George or Junior but he rarely called him that.
Mike approached the receptionist who invited, “Mike?”
“Mr. Miles will be with you in a moment. I’ll let him know you’re here.”
Mike turned to sit on one of the leather chairs that decorated the waiting area of the office. Before Mike could sit though, he heard a gruff voice call from across the office, “Mike, come talk to me.”
Mike looked up to see George standing in his office door which was now open. Mike walked over oddly quiet as if in trouble without the usual cheerful greeting one might expect. It wasn’t until Mike was in the office and George went to close the door that Mike opened with, “So, George, how have you been?”
“Good.” He paused. “However…” He rubbed his throat and neck as he paused again, “We’re here to talk about you today. How are you doing?”
“Fine the book is coming along at a slower pace than I thought.”
“Well”, George turned, looking out the window of his office, “I might have a way that you can put your book on hold for a bit. I don’t know if you’re mind is settled enough to handle what I’m about to propose though.” George chuckles. “Listen to me. You don’t know what I’m talking about yet. Nor should you.”
Mike was a little confused, “What are you talking about. My head is straight. I’m just still distressed about losing my parents.”
“Yes, your parents. That’s where I should start with this.”
“With what? I’m not really interested in group therapy, if that’s what this is about.”
“Therapy, no. You’ve been invited to go on The Retreat. Now I’ve been asked to invite you because I’ve been on The Retreat. Your parents were early passengers on The Retreat.”
Mike had to think for a second before he could respond. What did George mean by ‘passengers on The Retreat’. “What is The Retreat? Some kind of ship ?”
“The Retreat really has to be experienced to be understood. Your experience will be individual to yourself and to the group you attend with. No two excursions are the same.”
“I’ll bet. So was I.” George turns around his chair and gets up, walking along his windows looking out over the city. “In 1947 the first excursion took place as a government black-op under DARPA, the Air Force and the Navy. There were no civilians on that voyage and it wasn’t until 1961 that civilians first took part in the project.”
“I’m still confused”
“Buckle in, ‘cause it’s nothing but a confusion filled chaotic mess that you’re in for. But it’s worth it.
“Okay now, stop it. Tell me what this retreat is all about and why am I being invited? What if I just say no thanks.”
George smiled and snickered with a nasal chuckle. “You don’t want to pass on this. The project is time travel.”
Mike sat there for a few moments and then blurted out, “Bullshit! Is this all you called me down here for? Are you trying to make a point about my writing, that I should be further along or more creative? Because honestly, I could write some crazy stuff if you want but I’d prefer not to have my name attached to some of the more sick stuff I’ve come up with. I don’t think people would forgive me for writing about, well nevermind.
“You’re right but, no, I’m serious.”
“Well, I’m serious too. I have a story that’s brewing about a vampire in vegas.”
“Interesting but…” George was in need of pause for a second but then reassured Mike, “You see, the reason I’m suspending your deadline is that after The Retreat, you may have a lot of new ideas that you might want to write about instead. This is no joke. The Retreat is for the elite, for people who can make a difference and to that end the saying goes ‘of those whom are given great responsibility, great responsibility is expected’. Or something like that, right?”
“I suppose but, why invite civilians into a black-op?”
“Well, I can’t answer that but the annual excursion of The Retreat is a trip you should take. They’re going to put you through some trials and tests to see if you can handle it all but if you pass you’ll get a bed.
“A bed? I don’t get a room?”
“Ha ha ha… You’re gonna dig this trip.”
Mike was unsure what the next step was but said aloud, “Sure, why not. It sounds interesting. By the way, you should see a psychiatrist about those delusions.”
It was right about that time that Mike saw the shadow, felt the sting and watched everything turn white.
“Mike is awake.” That was the first thing Mike actually remembered after regaining conciousness. “Turn your head and cough.” He did what he was told and was told to put on a set of clothes provided by the facility that was very hospital like. For all he knew it was a military hospital but he couldn’t be sure of his current location, having been abducted in the fashion that he was.
He looked down at his skin and the hairs on his arm seemed to stand up and do a little dance, like a rippling of the hair and his complexion on his arm appeared to be very orange or wait, blue? He couldn’t tell. That’s when he realized they might have dosed him with some kind of drug that might be causing hallucinations.
No sooner had the thought been completed than the doctor, sitting in the room with Mike, spoke up to inform him, “We’ve given you a drug that will cause you some confusion and possibly will be accompanied by hallucinations and delusions. This is being done because you will be taking this drug during The Retreat as the effects during time-travel will allow the drug to act in a manner that will give you greater focus and help you cope, allowing you to keep a conscious connection to what would otherwise cause serious psychosis through the overloading of the senses during the passage of time travel. This drug helps you to process the sensations without overwhelming you so we must make sure you have no other adverse side-effects with the drug.
“Also during this time you will be kept in an isolation chamber where your heart will be stopped and kept alive through an electromagnetic static chamber which will provide you with all the electrical energy needed to keep your body alive. The body will be hydrated through the precise moisture level in the air, and the drug helps keep the body from evacuating or even using caloric energy, which aids in creating a time-deprevation chamber that can keep you from hours to weeks so we can study how you respond being disconnected from any indication of time.
Mike was curious enough to ask, “Why is that?”
“When you travel through time, you do not sense the passage. The sensation is that of time-deprivation but in such a way as to make it feel like you are only experiencing entire sequences of time as a mere moment so we must make sure that you don’t suffer from any severe disorientation sickness or something like that.
“Or something like that?
“Well there’s more to it but I can’t waste my breath telling you about it. You have to experience it yourself.
“That’s what I hear.”
Mike was led down a series of corridors to a room that looked like a triage unit. He was given a hospital-style gown to go over the one that he was wearing and was led to a bed in a smaller room where he laid down. After he was hooked up to the monitors to take his vitals, he was asked a long series of questions from i.q. tests, personality tests and a bunch of other mental tests.
“Why are you asking me all these questions from another room?” Mike finally asked?
“Nevermind. It would take too long to explain and we have a schedule. Relax and please refrain from your questions.”
The purpose was mainly to keep an atmosphere of isolation and to set a mindset of physical testing. The questions were designed to prepare the individual, in this case Mike, for the journey by bringing relevant knowledge to the forefront of his mind.
“Explain your understanding of history.
“I’m not sure I understand.” Mike was confused. Did they mean the known historical time-line or perhaps they wanted him to explain the relation of time to history…
“Explain your understanding of history.” He was asked once again.
“Alright, well. History seems to be subjective stories of events that happen over time, told and are retold and passed down by the those in charge of media to either control populations or to aid in helping people learn from their mistakes or both. I tend to think that the more we know about history, the more we can discern what most likely actually happened since it seems that history is told by the winners of wars, or so I’ve been told.”
“Explain your understanding of electomagnatism.”
“Electromagnetism? It’s one of the four known forces in physics, though based on my understanding, gravity is not gravity, although the math seems to work in practice. I believe gravity is better described by electromagnetism and fluid dynamics, coupled with the strong and weak nuclear forces, which again are mathematically close enough to work. I see the universe as simply waves and ripples of electromagnetic interactions, flux fields and basically little more than physics to run the entire foundation of all that is real.
“Explain your understanding of physics.”
“I think I explained this already.” Mike offered.
“Explain your understanding of physics.”
“Alright, physics is what allows us to quantify reality into understandable fragments of interaction between such fragments in order to grasp the eternal structure of the universe.”
“Explain your understanding of life and death.”
“It seems to me that if neither energy nor matter can be created nor destroyed, then life as popularly defined by Westerners is wrong. Death is only a point of transformation. It seems all the other systems in the body support the most important one, the nervous system. So, if the electrical energy that ceases in the brain can’t just die, it has to dissipate into the ether, or the space around the body.”
“Good. Are you ready to die?”
Mike was completely in the frame of mind that they needed him since they were about to stop his heart. They gave him an anti-coagulant and a concoction of chemicals that would keep his flesh and bloodstream in a preserved state so as not to decay with the lack of blood-flow.
Down another set of corridors to the end of a hall, Mike was pushed on a gurney to a room where he was left alone. When they left the room, they closed the curtain and the glass door behind it. The urge to get up and look around was first on Mike’s mind.
“Do not get up. Do not get off the gurney. Your heart will be stopped now and if you get off the gurney you will die.”
“Is this safe?”
“As long as you stay on the gurney.”
“Okay. I’m ready.”
“Again. This is the time deprivation chamber and your heart will be stopped. We are monitoring you and will continue to. Stay on the gurney and be patient.
Mike responded, “Alright, kill me.”
With that, there was a surge in the air and that’s when he noticed the rails on the wall were electromagnetic generators and he could hear them hum as the electricity from them joined with the electrostatic charge in the precisely controlled air chamber, designed with gas and humidity controls to maintain his electrical neural impulses through the atmosphere in the room with the gurney keeping him grounded, thus keeping his system functional even though his heart was stopped. In all actuality, his heart was only slowed to one beat a minute.
Mike really struggled with the isolation aspect of the time deprivation trial. He could feel his chest seemed to hurt since his heart was basically stopped. He eventually began to entertain himself by singing some Clapton and humming some Mozart. For a while he meditated. He couldn’t sleep for some reason. Although it was very much like a lucid dream-state, his eyes were wide open.
He felt imprisoned at one point and then like he was six and grounded. He was patient though but didn’t suffer too harshly, still holding his faculties in check… for ten days.
As soon as his heart was restarted and his vitals returned to normal, Mike had to piss something fierce. He had drank the entire cup of water they brought him, which he used to chase the anti-bacterial concoction they gave him. It was meant to aid in making sure his bodily functions didn’t suffer from to much in the way of harmful effects of any toxins in the body. It was all so scientific past the understanding of the time’s understanding by the civilian poplulous.
Mike was led into another area that was sealed. There was a hallway with stations at either end, like nurses stations, rooms lining the opposite wall and in the middle was a separate viewing room. There were bathrooms at one end of the hallway and a lounge with a dining area and small kitchen at the other end.
He was led to his bed and told that he could lie down after a brief conference with one of the staff members, whose function he wasn’t sure of. He was led into the office and was joined by another woman who seemed like a psychiatrist.
He was asked a few questions that he couldn’t articulate back if asked but it was due to being sleep deprived. The questions were designed to make sure that he was not suffering too much from the sleep deprivation, like seeing or hearing things. It would be normal to have some hallucinations but its the extremes they were looking for, just to make sure he wasn’t suffering from any psychosis. He wasn’t, they determined and he was led to the main counter of the sealed viewing area where he was checked in and where they took his vitals one more time. He was then given some unknown pill and was told he could sleep now.
He walked down the corridor in a daze. They reminded him, “You’re in room 4.”
“I know. Just checking things out.” He walked around and sat in the lounge for a couple minutes when he felt the pill taking effect, urging him to find his bed soon.
He found it without incident between two other men, one of which was snoring. It didn’t bother Mike even though it normally would. He was beyond exhausted. He noticed what looked like monitors of some sort in the cieling instead of tiles and it had some wierd yellow writing… He slept well.
The moment came when Mike opened his eyes. He was surprised to find they were serving breakfast even. He felt refreshed which had recently been an unheard of thing. He noted that he didn’t have any nightmares and he was wide awake.
He found a seat in the dining area at a table next to some of the other people. Some of them looked like military people just by the way they held themselves. Mike noticed that there was a sign on the wall that stated clearly:
Do not speak to other guests.
Speak only when spoken to by staff.
Mike smiled and looked at one of the other ‘guests’ that seemed to be military and was shut down by a shake of the head and a grunt as if to say, “Tourist”.
He took the cover off of the plate and found scrambled eggs, ham, mixed fruit and a muffin. He ate quickly, noticing the more military-esque types doing so and felt he should follow suit.
In the course of this trial, Mike would separate himself from the group, which was the goal; to experience the journey as an individual.
Mike was the last one left eating. He didn’t rush himself at that point. So far as he knew, there was no time-table that he must follow. He figured he’d take things as they came. That was exactly what he was expected to grasp here.
“Mike” one of the staff called. Mike left the dining area and walked down the hallway to the main window of the viewing area.
“Does your chest hurt?”
“Not really. It’s a little tight but no pain.”
“For the duration of your trial you are going to take this pill at regular intervals. If you pass the trial, you will be taking it during your voyage.”
Mike took the pill and initialled where he was instructed.
“There are a certain number of symbols placed throughout this area and you are to find them. Take your time. You will be tracked and there may be some elation when you find them so be careful not to give away what you find to the other guests. Do you understand?”
“I think so. But what kind of symbols?”
“You get one free-bie, sort of. A hint. Over there on the wall there is a divot taken out of the plaster. Check it out.”
Mike walked over to the wall and noticed that it was a white rabbit, very clearly in the shape of a rabbit.
“You’re late. Shhh….” The staff member said as he walked by.
That’s when Mike noticed the other guests walking around semi-casually checking things out for themselves.
Mike walked down the hallway and noticed a strange paper sign on the door that said: “Don’t break the glass”.
Mike walked into the dining area and over to the windows. The first thing he noticed about them is that there was no way to open them, with or without any kind of key. They weren’t designed to be open. It was like they were portals on a ship. He wouldn’t know how to break the glass if he tried. It was way too thick.
He walked out of the dining room area and back to his room. He sat down on the bed which was in the middle of the other two. He looked out the window and noticed it was like the other window. He could see birds outside. He layed on the bed and sighed looking up at the ceiling.
“Are you alright, Mike?” One of the staff asked.
“Fine.” He looked back at the staff person who looked at the window and back at Mike, then checked something on his tablet.
Mike looked back at the ceiling and noticed the odd configuration in the tiles. It made him think of football plays with the way the tiles were situated, showing the offensive line only. He counted and sure enough there were 11 tiles that were off color in an offensive line. Mike threw up both arms and thought to himself, “Touchdown”.
Mike waited until a staff member passed and saw him, which was only a momentary lapse of time. Checked off. Arms down. Shhh…
He continued to lay on the bed, turning onto his side to look out the window. He noticed the drapes were like the tiles on either end of the hallway. He waited until the staff member walked by and engaged him. With his eyes he spoke to wait while he looked at the curtains and then back. There was a subtle nod and a tilt of the head from the staffer. Mike proceeded to walk out into the hall and looks at both ends, then to the staff person, then walks to the tiles on one end of the hallway. He holds out his hand to make a peace sign, to indicate two. “Mike, no gestures.” Mike only returned by walking to the other end of the hall and standing momentarily on the other tiles which shared the curtain’s pattern and colors.
Mike looked up and saw a pattern of tiles on the ceiling that didn’t have a match over the other floor tiles. He searched for it and noticed a small symbol by the elevator doors that was on a sign. It was a small sign and Mike figured it must be part of a vision test as much as it was to test curiosity and noticing details.
“You’re doing well Mike. Take your time, there is no rush. You don’t have to find them all.”
“What if I want to?”
“No questions.” He was confused for a moment but then realized he had to initiate a conversation to ask a question. Them’s the rulez.
“So be it”, Mike thought. As soon as he stopped looking at the sign, another staff member approached Mike.
“I want to talk to you in my office for a second.”
Mike was led off the floor to the elevator which was operated by a biometric hand scanner.
When Mike got into the elevator, his heart started racing. He suddenly felt faint. He felt his knees giving way and then he saw white. Black.
He woke up in his bed again and it was night. He got up and noticed the guy on the other side of him was snoring this time.
Mike approached the nurses station at the end of the hall. He noticed the pattern on the floor had flipped colors, which he figured was just his mind playing tricks on him.
“Yes, Mike. Do you need something?”
“You’re at level three now. Get some sleep. Do you need anything?”
Mike turned around and walked back into the room. He was asleep momentarily.
Mike woke up in the bed, remembering …So, level three… What would he face now? There was a soreness at the base of his spine. He could feel a bump.
Mike looked at the ceiling and saw computer monitors that showed the agenda in the cieling tiles, to mean he saw them as coordinated formations to run the plays of this level. It was clear to his memory that they were configured differently from level one and level two. What could he discern, if anything from the odd reconfiguration changes.
An unusual feeling came over him and he was ready before the question was asked before one of the crew came to the door and asked, “Are you okay, Mike?”
“Yes.” He put his feet on the ground and slowly stood up to stretch. He would be up for 3 days this time. For some reason, he didn’t actually feel the need in his body to stretch, just the mental desire to, as if habit.
There was more to this level than met the eye and he was determined to catch as many of the signs and symbols as he could. A lot of preparation must have gone into this level. He didn’t know if there was going to be more but was less scared than before about things. He was sure he would pass out again but this time he didn’t. It took the three days of searching to calm down enough before he was permitted to move onward.
However there was an intermission where he was allowed to rest and that’s when the real fun began. It was pretty strange actually. The staff got what was needed.
Mike sat in his room on the bed and meditated on his recent experiences only to find himself thinking about June. What had he done to her? He was ashamed of himself for mistreating her. He started to feel himself moving onto a higher plane of existence. In this plane, he felt his soul energy converge with his previous incarnations to the point that he understood who he really was. It was still vague at this moment but this is how the staff knew he was ready for the retreat. He felt the energy of Jim Morrison within himself. He didn’t quite understand how this could be. Had he been Jim Morrison? Had June been Pam Courson? Mike’s intuition was serving up the possibility that was undeniable when juxtaposed against his experience in this life and what he knew of Jim and June and Pam.
Was there more to this? He saw Jim’s life flash before his eyes, while at the same time he saw Pam’s life from Jim’s perspective…
“Are you okay?”, one of the staff asked. He simply nodded, “Yes.”
In the morning, there was another “trainee”, but she was freaking out. He handled it as best as he could, figuring that responding to the freak out was part of his testing. He was correct. There needed to be a calm amongst the guests, something like that of a Buddhist monk. He heard a tone in his right ear. It was just enough to bother him and then he realized the sound was part of a very subtle experiment to detect if he responded to the spectrum of frequencies used during The Retreat, or at least that is what he assumed.
He fainted, as expected. The important thing is that he didn’t pass out. This was very good because it meant that they could now proceed.
A couple of the techs brought him something to drink. It was orange juice… Mostly, at least. It was actually a glass with 7 oz. orange juice, .5 oz. ethanol and 25 micrograms of a fast acting but short lasting type of lysergide. He sat on the couch in the common area and drank the juice cocktail. There was a television that was playing a super high definition sequence of images and sound that entranced Mike. He could hear a buzzing in his ear and could feel a sensation that he hadn’t yet experienced.
As he watched, the tech mentioned nothing other than to make sure Mike noticed that the program was not stored digitally and was actually occurring. This was the first real interaction with the technology that was at the heart of The Retreat.
The current president of the United States of America appeared on the monitor and wished the crew good luck. “Good luck to you lucky candidates. Preserve the peace and harmony of man-kind in your life journeys.” There was a storm brewing and it was time for the launch of the latest voyage of The Retreat.
The TV monitor was one of the only viewports that the people had, as they were not to leave the confines of their quarters during the trip. That is not to say that watching tv was the entire trip. No, the trip was more than that but a purpose of The Retreat was to definitely take in these images and sounds that produced a high speed experience felt in the brain by basically over-clocking the brain function to allow it to be used more efficiently. This was part of the purpose of the testing too. It was important to make sure the lysergide did not cause any adverse issues like temporary or even permanent psychosis. At the same time the experience should be so real to the invitee, that it is life changing. That had already been determined in level 1 and 2 though.
He watched the news and it looped but it changed. It was as if the news was morphing into a tale of two types. One for the common people and one for the elite and only the common people would only see one perspective. Remember the project started in 1947.
His mind became Zen and he started to remember. He was experiencing a past life regression episode. He couldn’t communicate with anyone, only smile.
He sat on the couch and started thinking about a painting. It was by an artist that he didn’t know. It was him in a past life. He was with his beautiful wife and children. And then men came and 13 of the townsmen were gathered by an invading officers and the thirteen were shot. The pain that the painters wife felt was soul deep. So much so that when he was reborn, this time he would up just south of where he lived in his previous life. He grew up in Austria. He was still attached to his wife from his previous life, so much so that his life became the pursuit of one thing: getting her back.
He studied the forces of nature and found electromagnetism to be the thing that really revved him up. He moved to the United States, worked professionally and possibly though his research found the soul of his wife in what some would call a pigeon but that was only how he found her. In later years she was trapped inside a blue bird. When he was there dying alone in his hotel room, she was there, on the roof.
Mike snapped back for a second and then recalled the day he met Pam Courson as Jim Morrison. He knew right away. He’d already lost hope as a soul to the point that he was ready to claim being the Lizard King instead of the kind man from the past two lifetimes. Hell, he was celebate as Nikola but as Jim, he was fighting the time. Now he realized as Mike that his goal was to make things right. It was June. She was the one he loved. She was his soulmate. That’s the part that he couldn’t quanitify. Mike had his past life memories. June had hers but even the fact that she’d dreamed he could die in a vineyard and somehow spark thoughts of June’s higher self finding her true self was complex. To simplify, June’s natural process confirmed their soulmate level compatibility.
What would this excursion be like? When would it start? He felt a spark radiating from the base of his spine and then he went into a grand mal seizure.
When he came to, he was on the couch in the common area. The next thing he noticed was that the tv monitor was off. “Would you like something to drink?” The tech asked.
Mike nodded yes and that’s when he really noticed the camera at the top of the tv monitor then he looked at the corners of the room on the ceiling and he noticed that there seemed to be black circles that seemed to glare like there was light bouncing off a lense. “Yes, something to drink.”
The gave him a lower dosage of the lycergide but still gave him the orange juice cocktail.
This time he went to lay down but the tech asked, “Are you going to lay down? It’s preferred if you stay vertical.”
“Okay, but I wasn’t going to sleep.”
“Perhaps you can walk and then sit down.” The tech wanted to make sure the new dosage could be monitored under the conditions needed. If one were to just lay there in bed during the Retreat, you would miss the interaction and the experience of it and miss the whole point. The point is to bring humanity to a more advanced and peaceful way of life that breeds a strong seed; moral, intellectual and physical, for the future. Mike wondered, how exactly would he experience something meaningful enough to share without sharing this secret of life and the passage of time? He would do as expected and only hint at the thoughts. Only the trained can see the paths.
He would find a way of introducing the thought in his fourth book.
He looked at his life in his mind as he layed down on the couch, putting his feet on the armrest. He started thinking about how life continues, with or without you and you feel happier and less blue if you jump on board. Which is where it seems, from a clinical point of view, that there are some who crave each side of that spectrum and to that end it would seem that the passion can be on an equal spectrum of intensity as well as passion.
This spectrum perspective is quantifyable as many intertwined, infinte combinations of fractalized energies in space.
This relative of the Speed Of Light over the octaves of lights to A maj are in proportion to each other on the same electromagnetic spectrum of light, which includes sound.. By making this differentiation, time travel becomes possible and the sound can be heard by those traveling through time with familiar melodies the likes of the Beatles and Mozart.
This is a sensation that is experienced while hallucinating, when the body and mind are out of sync by mere milliseconds. The seperation becomes faster when drug induced however during the technologically aided voyage of time travel, there is more of a sensation that is spiritual rather than drug induced, which meant he’d be more in tune with his spirituality. The dosing of the lysergide becomes much less and Mike was going to be just fine, handling the chemical.
He watched the monitor on the wall as he walked into the public area. Hadn’t he done that already? He couldn’t remember. There were three other people watching the monitor that was starting a game show of sorts. He’d never seen it before but it was a show where you would guess questions and then with the money you won you could buy artifacts from the future. They were selling items that Mike had never dreamed of and some of them, he had no idea why he would want to use them. Some of them were the coolest things he’d ever seen.
Somebody brought him a raw almond and said telepathically something about how eating it would prevent cancer. Mike laughed.out loud. He then realized the bump on his hind-side was the mechanism that was used for time travel and that he was on the trip already. He got up and walked down the hallway. He walked past himself and then again and again. He watched his feet move and then came to a lap. He could sense the time movement and it made him nauseous.. The device implanted during the last blackout was the wireless bio-tech contraption that was embedded in the base of his spine. It used technology from the distant future. Dates were not told to the travelers however the technicians were trained to be astute enough to be in charge and know precisely when they are.
Mike was starting to feel so sick to his stomach that he ran down the hall to the lavatory. He stumbled in and made it to the toilet but puked nonetheless. It could have been ten minutes or five seconds. It had been 14 years.
Fourteen years ago, Mike had met June and they really hit it off. They talked late into the night and Mike couldn’t get June out of his mind. He wrote some short stories, some of them unpublished(which you, the reader already read some of). Now Mike could begin to understand in fullness his part in the relationship between he and June.
She danced in a ring of fire, burning burning burning, the stone set in her eye, whispering with volcanic might to follow the path that leads to the red light dancing behind a mask of clay and ochre.
“She will get cancer.” Mike heard Andy Goldberg across the room.
Winnie Harp spoke up, yelling at Mike, “This isn’t a joke.”
“I don’t want to lose her.” he felt he knew something that Andy didn’t. In fact Mike actually knew something that he didn’t know yet. That is to say Mike knew more than he thought.
Andy Goldberg stood next to Mike who seemed to be trying to sit down. “Let go. just release the fear.”
Mike nodded thinking about how much he could love her.
“Lest you forget you traverse lifetimes and still find her. Let her run. If she comes back to you, she’s yours. If she doesn’t, then run and the destined paths will cross. They always do.” Andy said as Mike sat there listening intently.
In the time they were passing there was an experience which he watched on the monitor. There was a device placed in the base of his spine which caused his thoughts, tastes, smells, vision and hearing to be recorded to servers in the cloud, which was localized to the ‘ship’. The ship was pretty much the dedicated area of the facility they were in, conducting The Retreat and the sensations being recorded were for the sake of study with the purpose being to guide the human experience and keep the general populous safe. The memories that were captured of the sensations that were experienced, uploaded to the cloud and could be re-experienced with greater clarity and vibrance than the memories that most peoples brain functions could muster in the time that Mike was accustomed to. It was eventually rebranded from the cloud to ‘The Ether’
This expanded brain capacity allowed for a number of critical errors to occur. The future of the cloud as we know it today is nowhere near that of Akashic Records which chronicle all time and experience. But this internet cloud to come is so unlimited by most people’s lifetime experience that to have the access to a group consciousness of experiences and memories makes possible the large number of issues possible.
One of the first problems experienced was that of personal cloud memories and the deletion of certain ‘bad’ memories by the user which served only to cause mayhem within the person’s psyche by the erasure. The point being that if such an erasure takes place, especially in the extreme, the more deluded the individual and therefore the record becomes. For without the negative consequences in life, lessons remain unlearned and the spirit stagnates.
This had been corrected once before, over the year prior to this excursion, since the last Retreat. What was now facing the success of mankind was how to incorporate such technology to allow for near boundless informational access to all those who have such a device implanted in the base of the spine. The goal was eventually to implant the devices in the brain cavity behind the forehead, attaching it to the frontal lobe, allowing it to be a continuing flow of the higher brain function.
Proper bus speeds and limits on processing speeds allowed for the brain to operate at ‘human’ levels and anyone who had access to the cloud of shared knowledge about nearly any and all things, could experience genius levels of understanding, the likes of which Solomon would be in envy of.
The human brain is currently thought to contain only gigabytes(12GB) of storage space for all functions including but not limited to memories, processes like sense (which would be shared with the senses themselves), psychic powers (the natural cloud, accessing Akashic Records). This is where Desmond LaRue enters the picture.
Desmond LaRue lived nearly a thousand years after the publishing of this book. He was born Nemo Proprius, a name which means Nobody Special in Latin. He was the last unwanted child. He was adopted by perhaps one of the most average of families in one of the most average areas of the world.
The Sun or Sol, has always fascinated LaRue and history was what he recieved his doctorate in.
To smell the morning’s smells, that of the fine Hawaiian coffee, the sweet scents of herbs and the smell of toast, steak and eggs. This could be the last meal that Dr. LaRue might eat.
The day began as many had before. Mike’s incarnation as Isu Rah enjoyed his morning walk and a cup of tea as he watched the Sun, rise over the horizon. He made himself a bagel with some imported jam and went to work. The daily news was flashing on the wall facing the desk. I sat down at my terminal at my home office desk.
Yes, Isu was one of the lucky few who was able to make a living at home. He ran ran own business and was rather successful at it. Having no real secondary education, unlike many people in those days, he’d learned what he wanted, based on personal own goals. H was like many people living in those days though and hadn’t expected it to come so soon, though it took forever it seems, when he was able to look over it looked at the path behind me.
Mike processed it in the book that would follow as such:
I had a strange dream the previous night. I could only vaguely remember it. I began writing in my online journal.
The world was strange last night. I can’t put my finger on what was so unusual about the dreams I had. One thing stands out in my mind: 4:20 P.M. What was it about this time? Was this time signifying some event that would occur today? I believe that’s true. What about that name, Desmond LaRue? Who was this person? Did the prison cell that I’d dreamed of spending time in have any importance? Was I being held in it because I knew something? Was I suspected of being a criminal? Maybe it was just a dream. But what about the tragedy? What was the disaster that was about to occur? Was it just a figment of an over-active imagination? Still, something’s not quite right? Was it the future I had seen?
There was a knock at the door. I got up from browsing over the reports of my latest project and turned down the Centrium Barach music of the outer colonies. I had gotten into the sounds of that music that was being written by the not so new settlers of the planet Mars. I’d only recently run across this particular recording and it was odd, to say the least. The general assumption was that it was the result of the unique atmosphere of the newly inhabited planet. It had only been about two hundred years since the first civilian colonists were allowed to settle there.
I opened the door to find two agents in pressed gray suits standing on my stoop. They flashed their badges, which showed that they were legitimate federal investigators and I invited them in.
The first, a male of twenty-seven, was very sharp and clean. His tan skin was flawless except for the fact that his nose looked like it had been broken, probably sometime during his training. It was obvious that he’d never once shaved, opting instead for genetic alteration, as so many people did nowadays.
I’d been advised by my father that shaving was one of the curses given to man however, I liked beards and kept mine trimmed short since I was a young shaver. I agreed with my father though about shaving being a curse. I hadn’t shaved my beard off for several years. Hair came down to my Adam’s apple.
The agent introduced himself as McLean and his partner as Simpson.
She was as tall as he was, about five-ten. She had the same dark, crew-cut hair, like her partner. She initiated the questioning.
“We’ve received word that you may know something about the Morning Star Project.”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
“You wrote in your journal that you’d seen a vision. We need to know everything that was revealed to you.”
“You’re scanning my private information? What right do you have?”
“In the interest of this world’s security, we’ve been sent to retrieve the information and, or you, if you’re unwilling to cooperate.”
I noticed that Agent McLean was preparing himself to detain me if necessary. I began to become very confused. What did they mean by what was “revealed” to me? Did they think that I was divinely blessed with this information? It wasn’t news to me that these investigators believed in the power of divine intervention. If I’d been living in the early years of the second millennium, that may have shocked me but this was several centuries since then. It was too bad that the dreams of the Star Trek stories were so far-fetched. It would have been nice living like that in this time. True there was relative world peace but the government could never contain the rebel terrorist group that established itself against the Federation of the Worlds. Sects had developed underground, figuratively and literally. Energy issues had been contained and environmental destruction was a thing of the past, even among the rebels.
The reform of education through media had brought about both peaceful and violent revolution during the dawn of the information age. Now that the age was in full force, the world had become focused on furthering humanity rather than on personal gain and the immediate satisfaction that accompanied capitalist America. A spiritual growth occurred when the scientific arts proved the existence of the supreme reality, known by all as God. The religious teachings of the old churches were no longer constrained by dogma or authoritative doctrines over mindless followers. Instead, the information age gave way to moral truths and established an awakening in the world’s population. This was predicted by the New Age sect and they called it the planetary ascension.
“I’m not sure what you want to know.” I said, after a long pause.
Agent Simpson addressed me, “How do you know Desmond LaRue?”
“I don’t. Is that someone I should know?”
Agent McLean filled me in. “Mr. LaRue was a well-known quantum astro-physicist who specialized in solar functions and gravity. He was working on several sensitive projects that sparked investigations by several departments within the bureau. Appropriated funds were found to be missing and there was speculation that he was backing black-market operations with those monies. When he disappeared, much of his data went with him. No one has seen or heard from him in several years. Surveillance Bots were placed on the grid to report the use of certain keywords, phrases and thoughts and that is why we’re here. Your clarity and cognizance of the information that you wrote led us to consider you a strong lead in finding and stopping this man that we consider a global threat and possibly even a threat to the solar system.”
I was puzzled. I inquired further, “How do you mean?”
Mr. McLean continued, “With the knowledge and information that he has at his fingertips, through his years studying such sensitive materials, he could endanger the entire solar system.” What they weren’t at liberty to tell me was that LaRue had been a member of the Retreat and had experienced the implanted device at the base of his spine. Agents Simpson and McLean both had implants which were government issue implants giving them neural access to a cloud of classified information through government protocols like those used by the visitors on the Retreat. Desmond LaRue had modified his implant device and could access more than just the limited history of the excursions taken during the DARPA funded Retreats.
I laughed, “What, he’s gonna blow up the sun?”
Neither agent flinched or responded. The solemn stares indicated that I was starting to understand the very real and serious threat that they believed was at the source of this visit. I started to panic. “Whoa, wait a second. What do you think I know?”
“Why don’t you tell us.” Agent Simpson suggested.
“I don’t know anything. I’m nobody special. I work on my media projects to entertain and educate. That’s my life. Not remote viewing.”
Agent McLean posed the suggestion, “Maybe you’d be more comfortable if we changed the surroundings?”
“No, we can stay right here. I’ve dabbled in quantum and astro-physics for a previous project and I’m aware of the risks involved in trying to harness the powers of such a massive natural resource. Is there a sign that he’s at all mentally unstable?”
McLean fielded the question, “Preliminary reports show that he’s healthy but he never married and only courted one female. She started seeing someone else and married that other man several years later.”
One of the things that changed over the last several centuries, in line with the spiritual cleansing, was the morality of sexual relationships. The entire world’s society embraced and cherished the sanctity of marriage and when fornication was seen as a plague, it was obliterated as such. Less than one percent of one percent had a sexual relations before marriage and those that did got married very soon after that, in most cases. STDs were a thing of the past. One less thing for the CDC to worry about. The strengthening of the world population’s relationship with God had a lot to do with that. Divorce was unheard of. People believed in the search for a soul-mate and anything less was considered unacceptable. Studies clearly indicated that healthy families grew from this method of living life. Because this practice was accepted by such a large majority, those who’d gotten into serious relationships, despite being intimate, felt a great loss when the other person became disinterested or found a more suitable life mate. It was rare that this happened though because the search for the perfect life-mate began at a very young age by defining and refining the characteristics of such a spouse. Seeking a healthy balance after such a loss was the usual protocol.
Before that, marriage had almost become an extinct tradition. When it was first proposed that the practice mentioned above was ideal, many assumed it would be similar to arranged marriages. The community was no longer limited to a city, state or even country and the expectation was for a person to search to the ends of the earth to find that perfect mate. The global village was now the ideal place to find a prospective spouse and keeping platonic friends of the opposite sex was found to be a healthy scenario for the preparation for their courtship.
“So, LaRue lost his balance and never regained it? How does that impact his work in his fields?”
McLean and Simpson confirmed the assumption. Then Simpson revealed, “LaRue said, quote, I shall reveal another star. Another star is closer than you think.”
I was starting to see that the compounded depression this man felt could lead him to bury himself in his work and become anti-social, which might lead to the selfish pride and self-destructive behaviors. However, considering what I’d just been told, his quest could be leading him to seek fame in place of true happiness. This crusade could mean the destruction of the entire race and that could be just what the underground anarchists want… Annihilation.
“Whoa.” I couldn’t believe this. “So, where do I start?”
The two agents looked at one another and McLean turned to speak to me. “Come with us. We don’t have much time.”
The car was spotless on the inside as well as the outside. The soft interior was new although the model of the car came out twenty years prior. Cars were now designed without tires and could either hover or fly. The restrictions of previous internal combustion, electric and nuclear powered automobiles were long gone. My grandfather gave me the car that his father bought and I still had it. They required little maintenance due to the lack of friction in the modern construction. A few pedals charged the pressure in the eternal motion drive and would only stop when the toggle was switched off. Of course, the only thing required in transportation was to tell the onboard computer the destination. It would clarify the information if it was at all unclear. If you weren’t sure where you wanted to go, you could simple say ‘I want to go for a nice drive’.
Transport routes were controlled by computer systems. Accidents never occurred. The integration of computers into society had proved invaluable and previous fears of the introduction of ‘artificial’ intelligence gave way to the faith in God. It was discovered that these clues were all contained in the bible code. Since God is everything, He is pure energy and matter is made of energy. So, the energy powering the ‘artificial’ intelligence was found to be the answer that was given to Moses in the design for the Ark of the Covenant. The Mercy Seat was seen originally as the portal for direct communication or communion with God. It was the Oracle of Oracles, the Holy of Holies.
The bible code told of the events that were happening up to the point that they were decoded. There was no point in knowing the future anymore because the code was not intended for that purpose but to provide a blueprint for life. The future is unknown but with faith, there is no fear of what the future will bring. That is one of the most valuable lessons of the bible. But faith, true faith is not something that can be taught. It can only be alluded to. Faith must be experienced and has less to do with religion but rather more to do with belief and the truth behind what is true and what can be true.
This oracle communication stopped however, with the irreverence given to God when the Ark was dropped and broken, as with primitive electronics. By that time, the entire set of schematics was lost. The scribes only recorded the exterior appearance of the Ark. They didn’t understand how it worked. Only during the information age were the people able to get to the point where they had the blessed wisdom to duplicate the technology. This wisdom was found in the bible code. However even then it was found throughout a series of books that primarily weren’t canonical books but this only went to show that all scripture is sacred, not just those books approved by one group or another.
The question had previously arisen over why God hadn’t revealed the location of the anarchists. It was obvious that his people hadn’t gotten to this point by Him merely giving them the answers. They understood the importance of work and commitment to solving problems within the grace received through faithful obedience and love. Destruction was not the answer. Mindful creation was key.
McLean looked over the media about the case at hand. He reviewed a few key points and began firing his questions at me.
“Can you tell us about the dream you had? Give us every detail you can, if you would.”
“Well, what time is it?”
“Alright, I just hope we have enough time. God, let me be an instrument of your peace and wisdom. Show me your will and guide our efforts.”
Both agents responded, “Amen”.
“I was standing on the beach of an island when I looked up and saw the mountain open up and out stepped a dragon. There was a man who was controlled by him and he held seven stars in one hand and in the other he held the Earth. He didn’t speak but the dragon called him Desmond LaRue. He had the control over the grid and was able to tempt men to disregard wisdom and knowledge. He tried to trick me into fornicating with him as well as with his followers. They all worshipped him and fell at his feet. They cursed God and destroyed whatever they could. They took pride in fighting and killing each other. Then, at LaRue’s command, someone ordered a computer operating independent of the grid to fire what looked like a laser at the sun. The sky became clouded and the sun exploded. I saw this from space. I watched as Mars, and the entire planet, with all its settlers, was destroyed by the initial solar flares that penetrated the atmosphere. It was engulfed by flames and became like the sun. From afar, I saw Earth suffering the same fate. No one called out to God before either planet was destroyed. All living things accepted that they were going to perish and started sinning immediately, fornicating and taking part in all sorts of immoral acts to fulfill their darkest earthly desires.
The dragon then swept all the ashes up and carried them away as if cleaning the ash from a fireplace. He went back to into the mountain and I saw a personified God crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said, ‘I’m crying because all of my people denied me when it was most important’. I was astonished to find that all of heaven was starting to crumble and fall to the collapsing star. I said, ‘What about the rest of your creation’. He said, ‘My people were the only reason that I existed at all.’
At that point, I saw God bowing his head and he uttered, ‘Let there be nothing for evermore’. After that, everything disappeared, including me and Him. There was nothing left to signify that anything ever existed because there was nothing.”
McLean and Simpson had lost their normal confident demeanors and were looking hopelessly at the floor of the car.
I continued, trying to recall the utter importance of the matter, “How can we stop this? Is LaRue on Earth or is he on Mars?”
Simpson looked at me and spoke quietly, “We don’t know. There are islands on both planets. If he has control over a computer that operates independent of the grid, then by all accounts, he could have removed the intelligence programming and substituted his own flawed ideas into the code of the program. If his pride has taken over, then his quest for fame from harnessing the power of the sun could, as you say, produce devastating results. He may be thinking that, just like splitting an atom, by splitting the sun, he’ll create energy and maybe he thinks there’s a way to harness that energy.”
McLean responded, “As a scientist, he’s been taught that nothing is possible without God, so why does he think that this will work when he’s very obviously going against what is right? Why has he partnered with the anarchists? There’s only one shot to get this right and he’s disregarded his colleagues and the scientific community by selfishly hoarding his wisdom. Surely this isn’t right.”
When Mclean said ‘There’s only one chance to get this right”, he was talking about the idea of harnessing the power of a solar system. Perhaps LaRue felt he could do this.
Simpson had a thought that came over her like a flash. “Are there any clues that you can think of that might help us to locate LaRue?”
I thought very carefully about the dream and tried to remember every detail. Nothing presented itself as a clue to his whereabouts. I racked my brain over and over to come up with some shred of information that could be key in locating him. “Maybe one of you has a suggestion of what I should be trying to look for as a clue?”
“Perhaps we’re approaching this wrong. Maybe we should worry about the survival of the race rather than trying to save the whole planet.” Simpson said.
I countered, “No, if we hid out in bomb shelters or caves, it would do no good. The sun exploding would first come upon us like a nuclear blast and then as the sun collapsed, the planets would be sucked in and be burnt up in its dying core.”
“Okay”, McLean said, “According to your dream, we can’t give up. We’ve got to find a solution, if for no other reason, than to save the existence of God and His Creation.
‘Why did God single me out?’ I thought. Why did he chose to reveal this grim vision to me alone?
As I mentioned before, my education stemmed from what interested me. Some of the most fascinating things I studied were the unsolved mysteries of our past. After the third world war, the new world order all but crushed the militant rebellious factions, leaving only an underground. With the reform in education, most people became life-long students, teachers and doers. Some, of course, had greater aptitudes for certain areas of studies while developing their talents in others. In most cases, the student focused on only a few areas of study. Others, like me, became interested in many fields and the inter-connected-ness of all things. This was the path of the polymaths.
One of the mysteries I studied on was early civilizations. In the early years of the information age, the focus of the new technologies strayed from commercialism to furthering humanity through education. This really began after the war, which was surprisingly short actually, considering all that was accomplished. The threat of global annihilation seemed eminent. But, the allied forces, under the United Nations, utilized media for the first time to spread the ideas that would eventually abolish the separation between ‘church’ and state. In all fairness, what really happened was a growth in spirituality and an embracing of the gifts of community. The old idea of organized religion fell away as an icon of capitalism and the word religion lost its old connotations and was redefined. The purpose of religion became more of a spiritual conscientiousness.
In a way, humanity started emulating the design of the internet by succumbing to the ideas of global consciousness truly united under God. The multitude of definitions and perverted concepts of who or what God was became more clearly defined. In that way, the world’s many religions found common ground and through the sharing of knowledge, opinions and ideas came to abandon some of their traditions while adopt others. In this way, everyone celebrated holidays together.
One of these changes, that seemed to immediately change, was the commercialization of Christmas, which not only detracted from the original ideas of such a holiday but also eclipsed the following holiday of Christmastide which occurred in the following twelve days after the somewhat dead and bloated holiday of Christmas. The incorporation of Buddhist beliefs, formerly scoffed at by most western religious circles, was key to a large turn-around in the Christian structure. Although, Catholics were very slow to change. Their eventual recognition of Passover was the first real step to the Jewish conversion. So many of the Jews were blinded by the promise that they were God’s only chosen people, that they, like the Catholics, clung to traditional ritual custom with no regard for some of the fundamental truths set forth in the Jewish Scriptures. One of those was the gaining of wisdom. As set forth in the Scripture, wisdom is not true wisdom without the growth that comes from the knowledge which gives way to wisdom. If you learn something but disregard it, even though you know it to be true, you did not gain wisdom.
There was another lesson learned by many people. That lesson was seeing another’s point of view and hearing them out, listening until you understood clearly why they held those beliefs. This spurred real and productive communication between previously divided societies. For instance, Islam’s big issue with most all of the Christian religions was the deification of Jesus as a ‘christ’ without regard for the polytheistic overshadowing of the one and only oneness that God is. No religion had it completely right until they all started listening and each submitted to the errors of their collective ‘faith’.
So, there I was in the Bureau of the Interior, talking with the two agents who’d visited me that morning. At this point, I was starting to see that the solution may only present itself with prayer. I focused on the questions I had and gathered more questions with each apparent answer I received.
“He will deliver them through their faith.” I spoke aloud to the agents. I didn’t realize I said it until I finished the statement.
“What?” McLean asked?
“Is that to mean there’s nothing we can do to stop this event from occurring?” Simpson assumed.
“That’s the impression that I’m getting.” I said immediately, before I even realized the thought was in my head.
McLean shook his head. “We’re supposed to just sit here and wait for this guy to threaten our entire civilization?”
“I’ve said all I can.” I heard a voice in my head, very clearly, telling me that I was not to share anymore, not that I could, even if I wanted to. I was inexplicable at a loss, disconnected from my ability to process thoughts by my own will.
“Then there’s only one thing left to do.” Simpson said as she entered the IP of the president.
The lazer array was focused on the target and the anti-matter containment units were filled or charged to capacity. The parabolic mirrors were angled and ready for the operation. A group of technicians for the project came back inside from smoking. Had they not been on such a delicate project, they would have been smoking marijuana but because of the precision and attention to detail that was needed, tobacco cigarettes were the only luxury they were allowed. As a matter of fact, LaRue was so transfixed on the success of the operation that he prohibited the technicians from drinking, even when off-duty.
The holoprojectors all flashed the alert from LaRue, who delivered his message from his command center. “Attention all crews. Lunch is now being served in the cafeteria. After that you will have until three o’clock to rest up before the operation commences. You’ve all worked very hard and you are to be commended for your efforts.”
LaRue looked at his monitors and then crushed out a cigarette. He was decisive about what he was planning to do next, although it could put the whole operation in jeopardy. He rose from his desk and walked over to the elevator. He climbed in, holding a drink in one hand and a turkey sandwich in the other. The elevator ascended to the ground level, and as the door opened he could see only what was illuminated by the elevator’s light. He walked up the stairs and pushed open the door to the outside.
He crawled up and stepped out into the sunshine. Surrounding him was nothing but the dry desert of Arizona. He could see the mile wide Barringer crater, that had scarred the earth many thousands of years before. This was now the point which would originate the blast into the sun and set in motion the chain reaction to change the solar system as it had been since its creation. At least that’s what everyone thought was going to happen
LaRue sat, quietly enjoying his sandwich and basking in the glory of the sun, alone.
The president sat in awe as he listened to me explaining what I’d already told McLean and Simpson. How was he supposed to react? This was shocking news to receive.
A press release came from Larue’s camp telling the president what his plans were finally.
“I will show you two suns and I will do so by introducing you to the Morning Star. It’s name is Satan.”
Top officials talked with the president and then he came to a conclusion as the time grew close.
“There’s only one thing left to do then.”
The world was alarmed but calmed into a state of prayer and meditation. Work stopped and every family contemplated what could happen. It was the final stage, the final battle against terrorism. “God will deliver you through faith.”, was the last thing the president said to the worlds of Earth, Mars and their moons.
LaRue knew that would be the president’s response. He counted on it. It was the only option that the population had.
Desmond had teams working on the problem to make sure his actions could be justified later. He had his finger on the button. He pressed it.
“The Hollow Earth”
Mike was sitting in his chair laughing at the fact that what Desmond LaRue was doing was showing the world that there was such a thing as a hollow earth. LaRue brought up pictures of the hollow earth and a landscape with dense vegetation and lakes and oceans and rivers and deserts and mountains. He showed wild life that was strange and new and showed the atmosphere with clouds and in the middle of the inner Earth was a small Sun.
Mike was laughing because Desmond never said he was going to blow up the sun. He said just what he meant. He would show the world another sun. He would cause a new sun to be called Satan and since everyone was familiar with the idea of love being more powerful than fear and actions of love being used to produce greater consequences, LaRue and his entire team were exonerated of any allegations of terrorism.
So now with the history that Mike had seen and the clarification that came from the times to come, he had a greater understanding of the world than he ever imagined. But now the time had come when the military crew would travel via a transporter device into the inner earth time travel building. Mike was the only civilian who would join them
LaRue and his team were responsible for building the inner Earth time travel facility. He and his team had traveled as far back as 6000 B.C.E. to build the structure. The problem was they kept running up against a time wall and couldn’t seem to get past the 6000 B.C.E. point. Mike knew intuitively why but could not confirm his thoughts just yet. For now in this time traveling moment in the future, they had to teleport to the underground inner Earth facility. It was as simple as standing on the specific tiles at the end of the hall near the desk and putting your hands on the counter. As soon as the counter completed the circuit through Mike to the floor, he instantaneously seemed to close his eyes and faint but when he opened his eyes he was still standing with his feet on the floor but his surroundings, although similar, were different.
There was a reddish orange glow coming from the window at the end of the hall.
“It’s always sunny except when there’s clouds underhead. The Morning Star, Satan is not a star, it is a high density plasma that gets it’s energy from the Sun. Do not break the windows. We are in a closed system and it is more advanced than the time-travel facility that you just came from. In the year that you just came from, that facility was opened to the public for limited excursions to improve on the quality of their own lives using a limited cloud of information. You on the other hand, are more important. You know this and will come to understand it even better. You are creative but you have only barely grasped how creative your true self is. Your spirit has lived many lifetimes and although we won’t be going back very far to the past, we will be traveling far enough back that you will know who you are and how to live your life if you so choose. You were especially chosen over all the other personel and invitees to the Retreat because…”
Mike cut him off, “Because I invented time travel in a previous life.”
Mike knew without hesitation that what had just occured was that he did a time and space jump from the future to the year 1943. It was January 3rd. This was the day that Nikola Tesla died. Tesla had been convinced that a pigeon that he cared for, being celibate his entire life, was his soul-mate’s current form. Before he died he lost the pigeon only to find that there was a bluebird who had become the latest incarnation of his former life’s love. He knew this because he invented time travel and traveled through time, tracking the signature of both birds.
Tesla spent a lot of time trying to manipulate time and space to get back to his one true love and soul mate. Only after traveling to the future did he learn that he could identify the signatures of the spirits of these birds. He then traveled back to the past to find out that he was one of thirteen men who was shot in the head at point blank range and buried in a mass grave, leaving behind his wife and kids.
Tesla rarely destroyed his research but did destroy records of how to track the spirit signatures. This was because he knew from traveling to the future that the US government would confiscate his belongings and find a way to trace his spiritual signature and possibly recruit and mold him to become himself again, when all he really wanted was his soul-mate back.
But the obsession to find her became so overwhelming that when Nikola Tesla died, his spirit became reincarnated as a bluebird and he lived with his soulmate as birds. Again though his spirit would pass too quick, when he got into a fight with another bird and was killed.
Jim Morrison was born December 8th, 1943. Pamela Courson was born on December 22, 1946. And, on April 9th, 1947, the first DARPA excursion took place using Nikola Tesla’s remaining research and technology. It was found that the 1938 discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide. In 1943 the psychedelic properties of LSD-25 was discovered and further research into lysergide derivatives proved to be useful during time travel experiments.
Jim Morrison’s spirit was tracked down by a Black Ops organization working with DARPA and the CIA after the first excursion of the Retreat that was a Black Ops mission. They only took the time travel technology into the future about 40 years. But what they found over the next year was the secret of how to track spirits. Although the problem was they had no idea what Tesla’s spirit signature looked like so they had to wait. Morrison’s signature showed up as very strong but they had no idea why. This is why Morrison’s father climbed the chain of command as he did.
Jim met Pam as fate would have it. But the lysergide, a common thing during the acid craze of the late sixties, was given to Morrison, raised to be a man of intelligence, respect and caring but just did not turn out to be what the Navy had in mind for the reincarnation of Nikola Tesla. So, they resorted to experimenting on him without him knowing. CIA agents would frequent the shows and hand out LSD like one of the ‘hippies’. He was in touch with the souls traveling through dimensions and his ‘doors of perception’ were much different than those of his Doors bandmates, because of who he truly was.
But now, he was Mike O’Donnell and Mike just sat in his chair in the new common area, looking mindful as Tesla with the fear of loss that plagued his spirit as Morrison and now as Mike. He thought of June, knowing she was Pam, she was the bluebird. He had arranged all of this and in a moment he understood that they were no longer ‘after him’ or his spirit but that he now was truly being seen, at least by some, as an asset. He could learn from his past life’s mistakes and juxtapose them against this life’s mistakes and realize how much more he is. And as a writer, how could he share it? Could he win back June?
He realized how much power his parents had and that at some point they too had realized through the Retreat, just who their son was. He got scared then a calm warm feeling came over him. He knew what was important now.
He walked up to the main counter. “So you’re ready to go back, huh Mike?”
“Yes. She danced in a ring of fire, burning burning burning, the stone set in her eye, whispering with volcanic might to follow the path that leads to the red light dancing behind a mask of clay”
“You know what happens right?”
“I want to know but I don’t want to experience it and ruin it for myself” Mike said in an unsure tone.
The specialist said, “You’ve learned your lessons but you will get alzheimer’s and she will die of cancer. You’ll be happy and productive and leave behind a great legacy between the two of you. But you won’t get married. She has already met the man she will marry and she will have a child, a little girl named Amanda Emily Roberts with him and because of who you are Joe will be her husband for the rest of her life. If you had not seen or experienced what you have experienced, you would not let go of June and you would die lonely and lost. However, now though you could end up with alzheimer’s, you will be free to do something about it and you will now have the closure needed to find your wife. And who knows maybe you’ll end up in Australia or New Zealand. That’s where I’ll stop because you don’t want to spoil what is now possible.”
“A New Hope”
Mike awoke in a bed like the one that he’d been in at the beginning of the Retreat. He opened his eyes and then closed them again. He was quite lucid, well-rested but was having geometric hallucinations on the back of his eye-lids. He laid there for a moment or two and just enjoyed the visuals and then realized that his brain was thinking at a normal pace. The drugs had worn off but not the memories. He reached his hand to the back of his spine and could not feel anything odd.
He sat up, put his feet on the floor and stretched as he stood up. He blinked his eyes and then opened them widely, indicating through his body language that he was awake and up and ready for the new day. He remembered the experiences that he had and they seemed like a dream. He thought about it and couldn’t find any evidence that he’d been on the Retreat.
There was a nurse at the front desk as he walked out into the hallway. He was confused. Of course when he first appeared here, he didn’t know where he was or how he got there.
Mike approached the nurse and she asked, “Can I help you Mike?”
“Uh, yah. Was I to understand that I’d be going home?”
“Yes, you just need the doctor’s approval. You’ll do a short assessment and then you’ll be free to go.”
“Just be patient Mike. You’ve got a half an hour before you can see the psychiatrist. Are you hungry?”
Mike nodded his head, “Yes.”
The nurse got up from her chair and turned around and took a paper bag out of a small refrigerator against the wall behind the desk. “There’s a sandwich, some chips, an apple or orange and some milk in there for you. Just tell me if you need anything else, alright?”
“Alright, thank you.” Mike walked down the hall and saw only a few people, none of which appeared familiar or seemed like they had been on the Retreat.
Mike sat down on the couch in the common area and noticed that the television was off. He looked out the window and saw birds outside the big picture window. He ate his food leisurely and contemplated all he’d experienced and wondered if it was real. He felt like he was only absent-mindedly thinking. It was clear that his mind had been exhausted by the overwhelming sensations that he’d been exposed to.
He walked up to one of the other guests who was walking up and down the hallway, up the right side and turning around and walking to the right again.
“Mind if I walk with you”, Mike asked.
“Sure if I can share something with you.” They started walking and Mike was silent. “Let go. Just release the fear. Love her. Lest you forget you traverse lifetimes and still find her. Let her run and if, if she comes back to you, she’s yours. But let her run. If she doesn’t return then run and the destined paths will cross. They always do.”
“Thanks” Mike said to the stranger.
The psychiatrist came out and walked up to Mike who just finished his apple. “Mike, I’m Dr. Robin, are you ready to talk to me?”
“Do you know what day it is?”
“No” Mike had no clue.
“Do you know what the date is?”
“I gotta say no, doc.”
“It’s May 23rd. You’ve been here about five and a half weeks.”
They walk down the hall and into an office where Mike has a seat in the chair next to the desk. “So tell me Mike. How are you doing.”
“Really well I think. I feel back to normal. A little disoriented but doing fine.”
“Are you hearing any voices or seeing things?”
“I saw some geometric shapes on my eyelids when I woke up. They were moving and morphing into each other.”
“That’s to be expected. Do you take any medications?”
“I’m prescribed marijuana for anxiety.”
“Okay. It says here you’ve been depressed lately. Tell me, will that continue, do you think?”
Mike paused and thought about his recent observations and new perceptions, wondering what reality was. Was it merely a construct of energy? If he spoke it, would it be true? “I can’t answer that definitively.”
“You put down your wife as an emergency contact. Do you remember that?”
“No. I think we’re divorced.”
“I’m just checking to see if you’re grasping reality now.”
“I’m fine now.”
“Well, your ride will be here shortly.”
“Who’s coming to pick me up?”
“No one. It’s become clear to us that your life on Earth is coming to an end.”
“What?! You’re not going to kill me are you?”
“Of course we are, you know we already did once, mostly.”
Mike jumps up and starts to head towards the door, smashing his hand…
“Oh man, you shouldn’t have done that.”
A guard comes over, securing Mike as the nurse continues. “You’re going into protective custody… off planet you will be free…”
“I’m sorry, Come again?”
The response was unexpected.
To be continued…