This will be the only time
that I publicly announce anything about this new concept before I secure
the proper patents and trademarks.If
you already know about my old interactive cinema concept, you might also know
that it is not a new concept.It is
basically a choose-your-own-adventure literary style applied to a movie.
What I found to be crazy
is that IBM managed to get a patent
on this old concept.They were able to
secure this patent even though the first interactive film using this concept
was completed in 1967 and debuted at Expo '67 in Montreal.This foreign film is entitled Kinoautomat.On a side note, I found it to be remarkable
that my dad was in a short film about chain gangs that debut at HemisFair '68, where Kinoautomat was
also screened.I didn't find that out
until a few years ago.After
Kinoautomat, several other interactive films (prior art) had been screened in
the theaters before IBM secured its patent.
It is clear that IBM will
continue to own the technology and, in a way, the concept as well.Over the last few years I have been
developing a new concept that could not be claimed in its entirety by IBM.In doing so, I had and still have much difficulty
finding stories that can be adapted to this new concept.I ended up having to write my own story,
developed with the interactive concept in mind from the start.I'm not a real writer, so this journey has
been humbling and overwhelming at times.At the end of this journey, I hope to produce something incredibly
unique and cool.On the flip side, I
could also create something incredibly unique and cruel (painful to watch).
As stated previously, I'll
reveal more once I have a few trademarks and a patent or two pending.If this turns out to be something amazing,
maybe some of you might say, "Hey, I remember when he first started with
Jorge thinks deeply about what is to come next as he proceeds down the long
corridor. The hallway is brightly lit and seems to go on forever despite
the end being clearly in sight. There is something eerie and cold about
the whole experience as well as the inescapable thought of walking the last
mile. The tiles are flat with no identity of their own, reflecting mostly
the bright ceiling above. There are no doors on either side of the
corridor. Only an occasional blood red fire alarm and FM-200 jet breaks
the continuous monotony.
reaches the door at the end, he grasps the handle. The chilled steel of
the handle releases a blast of warm, stale air as the door swings open.
The next room envelopes him in a blanket of its lively atmosphere.
Departure from one environment and entry into the next could not be more
discernible, even before the door closes behind him. He stands and looks
around the dimly lit boiler room, relieved to have escaped the luminous tomb.
the room all too well although it seems like ages since he was last here.
The floor is unpainted concrete with unrecognizable stains littering its entire
surface. The metal panels on the walls as well as most of the fixtures
are coated in a cocoon of tawny rust that seems to tell intimate secrets about
the room's past. The occasional reassuring sound of the release of steam
gives the impression that everything is working properly.
walks down a set of steps to the lower main floor of the room. The rusty
metal of the steps resonates dully within the walls. Pipes of various
colors run along every wall and the ceiling. A mechanical engineer like
himself could recognize that some of the tubes run back into themselves and
serve no dynamic function. For that matter, none of the pipes serve such
a purpose. They are as much of a mask as the rust that covers most of the
room. He takes pride in the fact that only he and a few people know the
location at which the mask could be pulled back. He weaves through the
network of false machinery and pipes to finally arrive at the spot.
pipe protrudes from the floor that is etched in long cracks that extend from
the pipe to the adjacent walls. He bends down, firmly grasps the sewer cap
and turns it several directions in sequence all the while listening for a
specific number of clicks. At the end of the combination, there is a loud
click that allows the cap to open, revealing a fingerprint reader. He
places his thumb on it and then sees the green glow of the confirmation light
around the reader. After a couple of seconds, he hears the sound of the
rubber seals pulling apart. The triangular section of the floor made by
the cracks begins to recede below the real floor before being pulled completely
beyond the wall. The security lighting within the hole reveals steps
leading into a less weathered room. Once inside the small, poorly lit
room, he finds himself standing in front of an elevator and a door to a
stairwell. Both of them require two different finger prints to
access. He remembers that he called in a favor from his friend Bart, who
was all too happy to set the system to only require one print for a limited
final destination is an 8 story ride down the elevator. The idea of being
stuck in that shaft is terrifying. For there are no floors between the
top and the bottom. He could take the stairs but there are other reasons
why that is an incredibly bad idea. He steps up to the elevator and
firmly presses his thumb against the reader. Nothing happens.
Bart," he says under his breath.
think of a reason why he should be whispering. He tries again, pressing a
little harder as if that would make a difference. He then sees the lights
inside the compartment come on as the doors part, sounding as if they are
peeling apart. It is almost as if they are warning him not to open
them. He steps inside and takes the last few steps of his mile. The
elevator slowly descends on a trip that seems to take an eternity. It
finally stops, but nothing happens. A bead of sweat trickles down
his temple. He waits and waits, but still nothing happens. Before
panic starts to set in , he remembers that there is another security panel.
He opens the small metal door and enters his code on the keypad. He's
wondering whose bright idea it was to install this keypad but then remembers
the gruesome scenario of how someone could "steal" someone else's
opens to a small control room with consoles and monitors on every wall.
Beyond the thick glass window of the control room is a surprisingly large
dome-shaped room. The floor and ceiling are made of featureless
concrete. The lines between the massive bricks are hardly visible.
In the center of the room sits a 20 foot upright cylinder made of what appears
to be copper. This cylinder acts as a near perfect hohlraum for fueling
another device. Behind it is a much larger cylindrical structure resting
on its side with a number of cables coming from it to a number of laser devices
protruding from the hohlraum. The pipelines, conduits, and other
electrical components attached to the cylinders are all real and quite
functional. They all run into the rear wall behind which is a device that
is nothing short of a miracle of science.
the door on the far wall is the world's first sustained fusion reactor.
Access to this is restricted even for him, although he helped design portions
of the device. Much of what is on the other side of the wall is beyond
his knowledge. Of course, Steven has very little interest in what is
behind that door. He realizes that what is far more remarkable than the
fusion reactor is what resides in the copper colored hohlraum.
more of a prison.
thought pops into his head for some unknown reason before it fades away just as
quickly. He stares at one of the monitors for quite a while.
Disbelief washes over him as he recalls what he and his team had done. He
tries to tell himself that it had to be done but is not very convincing,
considering the whole purpose for descending into the abyss on this day.
The contents of the hohlraum provides a unique and still mysterious energy
source that feeds the fusion reaction. This is the only fusion reactor in
the world that actually yields much more energy than it takes to maintain
it. What is unique about this reactor is that the energy source is
actually a living creature. What is puzzling to him is how something
alive could survive in such extreme temperatures for ten years without any
sustenance. It is also puzzling why the creature looks so human and can
speak so many languages.
outside of the hohlraum is affixed with specialized microphones so that the
vibrations generated from the creature's "voice" can be heard inside
the control room.
assume this is quite an unofficial visit," the creature says.
"Am I detecting compassion?"
pauses for a moment before answering, "How could anyone show compassion to
something that has committed the crimes that you have?"
not an answer, just another question. What crimes do you speak of?
know what you have done and why you are here."
know why I'm here. The most relevant question is do you know why you
pauses for a moment realizing that he is in one of the most precarious
positions of his life. He has to be careful how he answers because the
survival of the human race just might depend on this foul creature.
creature continues, "I sense that all is not as expected in
paradise. Are we coming to ask a favor of the vile beast in the
dungeon? Is it not enough that I am the battery that powers so many of
say that as if you volunteered," Steven replied
is getting old."
I think you need reminding of the position you are in."
are entitled to your opinion."
pauses for a long time. The conflict inside him is almost
overwhelming. He tries to compose himself because despite the thick
shielded walls and glass, the creature still seems to peer into his very
soul. Steven straightens up and tries to mask any uneasiness in his
was asked to come here to make a deal with you," Steven says hinting at
that is true then why do you start with a lie," the creature asks.
speaking the tr..."
my entire visit to this prison, not once has a person come alone. I
didn't even think it possible until now. I suspect your colleagues aren't
even aware that you are here, or at least you think you have covered your
tracks. Now tell me what it is that brought you to this pit!"
possible that I made a mistake coming here."
you did. You should be on your way then."
knows that doing so could have dire consequences. He also knows that his
request could be almost as dire, but the clock is ticking with very few options
available. He absolutely hates the phrase "lesser of two
evils", but it applies here more than any other situation.
much contemplation, Steven says, "Hesius is just as powerful as you are
but lacks your numerous flaws. It's just that he..." Steven
notice that you still refer to my old friend by name while many of you refer to
me as it," the creature chides, "So your savior, the being who helped
imprison me, may not be quite the perfect hero that you expected."
not what I was going to say."
truth usually comes with little hesitation."
just that he may have created a situation that might be a bit more than he can
you come to me for assistance? Advice?"
not sure why I'm here."
think we already established that. Did it ever occur to you that the
situation Hesius created may not be one that he ever intends to handle?
Maybe this situation is a means to an end."
hardly likely. Something has happened and we can no longer communicate
you believe this is my doing?"
admits that the thought crossed his mind, but he realizes that the idea is
almost absurd. These beings can be detected by a specific energy
signature, and this one hasn't moved from this underground location in 10
years. He begins to come to grips with the real solution to the problem.
think we need to release you," Steven finally admits.
there, truth with ease," the creature says with content.
haven't made a definite decision yet."
you are here as the one-man parole board? Do you think you need to
evaluate my sanity?
imprisoned you once and we can do it again and again if necessary."
then there's that. So what exactly is the problem that you believe I can
solve for you?"
is irritated at the accuracy of the last part of that question. He puts
his hands together prayer-style in front of his mouth and wrinkles his brow.
He's actually not quite sure how to describe what is or isn't happening.
All that he knows is that if the current scenario plays out, humanity could be
wiped out within a few years or less.
seems that he put a global sentinel system in place to protect us and keep us
safe," Steven explains, "The problem is that the system seems to be
malfunctioning. We also can detect traces of his energy signature all
over earth, but he can't seem to be located."
do you see this as a problem?"
only are these trace energy signatures all over the earth, they seem to be
growing in intensity. They also have been randomly killing people in
larger and larger numbers over time."
you believe that I have the ability to undo this."
are very much mistaken if you think that I even care about your little
is where I differ from my associates and much of the human race. No one
else seems to think it to be significant, but over the 8 years while you were
on your reign of terror, only two people were killed more or less directly by
you. As I looked into it, I found that the people who died were actually
killed as a result of an accident caused by Hesius. How is it that a
creature with enough energy to power the entire earth manages to kill no one
while devising, and executing, schemes to destroy entire cities? Only you
can answer that question."
have no answer. What do your colleagues say?"
believe that you have always been stopped by us or Hesius right before the
worse could happen."
they are correct. Maybe your data is wrong."
this point it really doesn't matter who is right or wrong. I just need to
find a way to convince the others that it is time for your release."
if I don't cooperate after my release."
we'll just return you to your prison."
could you possibly do that without the help of the great hero?"
strongly believe that he will return if you manage to escape."
Now this conversation is going somewhere. You just might be one of the
smartest ants in the mound. Are you a..."
moment, the voice turns into static and the room seems to ripple a little
as if a massive heat wave passes through it. The monitors and electronics
in the room start to show noise and distortion before recovering right after
the wave passes. Steven doesn't recall seeing anything like that happen
during previous visits. He thinks that it is just in his head, but that
would be too much of a coincidence. The thought of why they have the
policy that no one is to enter this room unaccompanied creeps into his head.
you just do that?" Steven asks.
what? All I did was ask you a question," the creature slyly
Steven did not hear the question come through the speaker, he somehow knows the
answer to it.
Yes, I am," Steven says as the uneasiness creeps back into his voice.
creature then states very pointedly, "But you are not afraid of me."
know how to defeat you. You can be controlled if necessary. I have
reasons to be cautious around you, but there is no reason to be afraid."
believe that to be true, yet fear is what drove you to imprison me. Be
careful not to mistake a lack of fear as courage or strength. This
perceived lack of fear can quickly turn into arrogance and devolve more quickly
into ignorance. Fear has ensured the survival and success of your species
for ages. You can be most innovative when the fear of impending doom is
upon you. At the same time, fear has proven to be deadly when you choose
to turn these innovations on other members of your own species."
an increasingly loud buzz coming from the speakers in the room. The high
undertones are getting gradually louder. Steven begins to feel incredibly
nauseous. There must be some very low frequency waves coming through the
speakers to cause this feeling. He turns off the speakers and any other
devices that could be the source of such tones.
"loud" thought pops into his head. Without missing a beat, he
answers his own thought verbally.
annoying sound is gone, but I still feel like I'm about to vomit,"
he says to no one in particular. Steven jerks himself almost into a more
sober state of mind. Why on earth would he respond to his own thought in
won't feel any better, the thought continues.
time the thought has a more defined voice that seems to be resonating
everywhere within the room. It is now clear that it is coming directly
from the creature. How is this possible? "Get out of my head
right this second!" Steven exclaims.
demand with absolutely no leverage. I must make this quick otherwise it
could get quite uncomfortable for you.
of fear-- maybe you will invent a special hat made of foil to keep me
out. I am not actually pushing any thoughts into your head. Doing
so would cause serious damage. The mind is too complex, even in primitive
creatures like you. I carefully access the more simplistic neural bundles
that feed your senses. In other words, I stimulate your auditory nerves
and you think you are hearing a voice that is coming from nowhere in
out of my head. Let me turn the speakers back on. I don't like what
I do not
wish to communicate what I am about to say through your communication
system. Others are listening and recording. If you wish to...
is only half listening. He turns on another microphone at one of the
terminals on the console. Panicking, he blurts out, "Bart!
Baaart! We have a problem here! I need you to do something for me
as soon as possible! Baaaart!" There is no response. He
gets up and rushes to the elevator door and then the stairwell. It only
takes one fingerprint scan to unlock either door to go up, but both doors have
been disabled. He notices that the remaining monitors and other console
devices are no longer on. The overhead lights flicker and go completely
out. There is only a dim light coming from the main room through the
window. He looks around frantically for something to trip the locks, but
he already knows that is pointless.
was all of this some plan of yours? You create the problem we currently
have up there so that we have no choice but to free you."
the actual dilemma you face outside of here, does that scenario make any
don't know what you are capable of at this point. It's hard for me to
think right now."
we proceed, I suggest that you stop talking out loud to a voice that is in your
head. It makes you seem like a crazy person. If you think properly
I can understand you.
with emotion and growing rage, Steven expresses his next statement via a blind
fury of words and emotions.
what he manages to mentally convey.
suppose there are many vulgarities and obscenities buried somewhere in that
nonsense. Remember, I cannot read your actual thoughts. You must
imagine that you are moving your lips to say what you want to say without
actually moving your lips and making sounds. It's almost like speaking
while you are dreaming. Your mouth never moves, but you believe that you
are actually talking.
trmfna cleem, Steven thinks with slightly less angst.
much trial and error, mostly error, Steven manages to think about
speaking. His words come a bit slowly, but are finally understandable to
his new teacher. It never occurred to Steven that he rarely thought in
words, and when he did, his brain did not always think about forming them with
why can't... your... you... read... thoughts, Steven
read thoughts but it is a very exhaustive process that requires massive amounts
of energy. It almost always results in serious brain damage or death to
the host. Your sensory neurons are not much different from those in the
most basic organism, so using them to communicate with you is elementary.
In order to hear you speak to me, I must access your cerebellum. I can
tell when you are actually moving as well as when you just think about
moving. Now enough with the anatomy lesson.
the... s... secrecy?
about to get a lesson in what it is like to be me. That is the best way
you will get a chance to...
Steven exclaims out loud, "What the hell does that mean?"
give you a chance to understand how to deal with your current dilemma.
does ith... MEGNRAA!, Steven thinks angrily.
not be aware of it, but raw emotion manifests in unpredictable ways. It
is difficult for me to read your motor thoughts when you are at the extreme of
a particular emotion. You will understand what that means shortly.
then realizes that the consoles and sensors within and connected to the control
room had been disabled for quite some time. Silent alarms were going off
already and armed guards were probably headed his way.
have to turn these back on now," Steven pleads.
leave, there is something that I must reveal to you. I must apologize for
what I am about to do, but it is absolutely necessary.
laughs out loud, "You can't leave. It takes four of us to initiate
the process to release you."
being like me, human emotions may not be as easily interpreted as one might
expect. My friend and I are not of this world.
figured that out a long time ago," Steven says impatiently, "What is
the point of all of this." Sweat stains have formed under his arms
and his hair is more disheveled than when he entered the chamber.
not of this world, nor are we of your known universe. Over eons, we have
developed mental functions that are far more complex than you could
comprehend. The only concept that can be used to describe these functions
are what you refer to as emotions. Even then, it would take several of
your lifetimes studying these and you would only just begin to understand them.
are far more intelligent than you give us credit for."
intelligent beings, but you haven't even scratched the surface of some of the
most basic concepts. You believe that time is something real and
incorporate it in nearly every aspect of your lives. You even create
devices used to quantify it and track it, yet you have no idea what it really
is or why it seems so real.
is making no..."
creature cuts him off and Steven feels a sharp pain in his head and weakness
throughout his body. Steven starts to regret having made this trip and
could not have dreamed that these current circumstances were even possible.
mental functions or emotions I speak of are how beings like me communicate with
one another. The process involves every particle of our being and the
amount of information conveyed would easily overload all of the combined
computing power contained on earth. When I say computing power, I am
speaking of the artificial as well as the organic. A simple flicker of
one of these thoughts could turn your brain into jelly. In order to
better understand what I mean, I will convey one of our most simple mental
functions to you.
All of a
sudden, the weakness turns into searing pain radiating from every molecule of
Steven's body. He wants to scream, but has no control of his bodily
functions. It feels as if his entire body is being ripped apart and
reassembled hundreds of times a second. He can no longer see, hear,
touch, or smell anything in the room. The only experience that he is
aware of is searing pain. In reality, the pain only lasts for a fraction
of a second, but it feels like at least a half an hour. When Steven's
senses slowly return, he notices a foul smell. He is curled up in the
fetal position under one of the consoles. He looks at his pants and
realizes that he has defecated and urinated on himself.
Why would you..., Steven's thought trails off.
of his body is slowly returning. The feeling of shame and embarrassment
is overwhelming. Tears stream from his eyes and mucous from his nose.
sentinel that scares you so much and pushed you to come down here seeking
answers can do exactly what I just did to you. Many of your fellow
citizens who died felt a hundred times the pain you just experienced but
lasting much longer. Why Hesius left this sentinel in place and abandoned
your people is something you must discover. Maybe the sentinel forced him
Can't you just communicate with him... the way you described?" Steven asks
in a trembling voice.
friend stopped responding to my communications ages ago. It is possible
that he regards me as a vile thing much like you do. That, of course, is
not the most pressing matter at hand. You are right to believe that life
as you know it on this planet could end prematurely. The sentinel is
mostly a machine that has only one purpose at any given time. It can link
to living organisms on earth much like I was able to link to you. If it
is malfunctioning as you suspect, it could very well see some humans as a
threat to life on earth. It could also be just reading thoughts of people
on a massive scale, which means a slow and painful death for everyone it
are scaring me. My family could be in danger," Steven snivels.
everyone on this planet ARE in danger.
have to go get cleaned up."
worry, your friends will take care of that for you.
looks over at the elevator and door to the stairs, noticing that both doors are
being accessed. He also notices that the energy signature registering in
the hohlraum has attenuated to just below 10%.
Steven, I must make my grand exit. If you live long enough, you may
discover what I truly am and what I am made of. Of course, I must leave
behind the husk that I once inhabited. Unfortunately, when I interact
with real matter, merging or separating, the process generates a tremendous
amount of energy. I suppose you will have an enjoyable time explaining
how you destroyed the only functionally efficient fusion reactor and
simultaneously killed a creature that was once believed to be indestructible.
can't see anything dramatic happening in the domed room. As a matter of
fact, the room itself looks exactly the way it looked when he first
entered. The console is flashing with numerous alerts and warnings.
The energy field is now completely gone and Steven is left there alone, sitting
in his own excrement. The elevator door opens and five armed soldiers
enter the cramped room. One of the soldiers grabs him under the arm and
lifts him with ease while the other four point their guns at him.
I think this guy shit and pissed himself," says the one who picked him up.
soldier laughs a little, "Yeah, we have that effect on people. You
are in a lot of trouble, guy. They already grabbed your friend."
them radios up top to let them know that they apprehended a single
suspect. They ask if they need to clear the domed room, but they can't
enter that room without properly shielded gear. Another team that
includes a couple of Steven's former coworkers is tasked with that.
who is now in handcuffs, is accompanied by the soldiers on the elevator back to
the access chamber and then the fake boiler room. He realizes that the
creature could have escaped any time it wanted to. Although the creature
never called himself by any name, the press sometimes referred to him as
Mephisto or Loki. Whatever he, or she, is named really doesn't
matter. Steven realizes that this being truly is something beyond human
comprehension. For so many years, Steven Jorge was heralded as one of
the people who captured a monster and saved the world. Now he is starting to
question just about everything that has happened over the last 18 years.
After being shamed and humbled by such a creature, he can now wear that as his
personal badge of honor.
(This story is part
of an interactive experience. Decide if you would like to follow the
creature's path or if you would like to stay with Steven. Enter your
decision in the comment section below)