The story so far: (Part 1 & Part 2)
Two people in an oblong, stretched room are searching for a window. They find it – minimized. They open it, go through the window, enter oblivion & step out into a brand, new world.
“Looks the same. Feels the same. We can’t be too far away from the fork.”
“It depends on how you look at it, really. If you’re looking to get as far away from A.R. as possible this would be a very bad place to end up. on the other hand, if you want to return to A.R. as soon as possible – this is the best place to be.”
A.R. is Absolute Reality – the universe that we all live in. Everything else is A*R – Alternate Reality. You see, dreams have a universe of their own. Every time you dream, you are actually creating an parallel universe – an alternate reality. Every choice you make, every decision you take is a pathway to this parallel universe, this alternate reality. Dreams are direct windows to these alternate universes.
That is where we come into the picture.
We are tA/ARP – the Alternate/Absolute Reality Patrol. Our job is to edit the Alternate Realities that could be detrimental to our Absolute Reality. Often this is accomplished by influencing the subject into believing that the Alternate Reality in question is detrimental to their own existence.
Simple, yet elegant, isn’t it?
“Sure. Let’s get this show on the road.”
Our destination was a posh-looking apartment in the middle of one of the richest areas of the city. The subject apparently lived on the top floor – clearly, things had worked out well in this scenario. How else would you explain a penthouse flat? I was impressed. The subject had chosen well. Heck, I wouldn’t mind having a pad here!
The lift opened into (what looked like) a well-decorated lobby – or is it called an ante-chamber? A butler greeted us upon arrival. A butler, eh? I thought to myself. Impressive. We were ushered into a large study that also served as a home-office. The subject sat behind a large table that looked like it was made out of mahogany, or ebony, or whatever it is that the rich guys keep bragging about.
“Who are you & what do you want?”
“Mr. Smith, we are from the I.R.S. and we’re here to investigate you.”
Mr. Smith is, quite obviously, an alias. I can’t tell you the subject’s real name. What I can tell you is this: the subject in question was offered a large bribe in exchange for trade-secrets – you now, the kind a competitor would pay for. The RA team (Risk Assessment team) at tA/ARP estimated that there was a 99.375% probability that the subject would eventually become a bigger menace if left unchecked.
“But… but… I…”
“We know everything, Mr. Smith. I must admit, you have come a long way from corporate espionage – you sell state secrets now. I’m impressed! However, it also ensures that you will be going away for a long, LONG time.”
Like I said earlier, our job is to influence the subject. A gullible mind is easy to influence if you have your story right. In this case, influencing him meant scaring him. By the looks of it, the commander seemed to be doing a fine job. I could see the subject turning pale. I could sense the panic building in him. I could feel the fear emanating from him. Heck, I could almost read his thoughts. This alternate reality wasn’t well-constructed at all; which meant that he hadn’t thought it through. This was going to be easy – right out of the textbook.
“Mr. Smith, from this moment on you are under arrest. Here’s the warrant. As of this moment all your accounts have been frozen. You are to not to leave your house without permission from the court. Do you understand me?”
We had the guy where we wanted him – in the corner, sweating his pants off. The rest of it was pretty standard procedure.
“You have the right to remain silent…”
“The skies have begun to fall. The A*R is crumbling. Time to leave, 101. Is the subject asleep?”
“Yes. I’ve set up the re-insertion equipment. I also added a little extra to ensure a smooth ride back.”
“Good. Keep an eye out for the skirting tile that looks like aminimized window on the taskbar.”
I smiled & said, “Ready & waiting.”
And thus, the story concludes. But first, a disclaimer: I had thought of this story much before “Inception” released – I hadn’t gotten around to writing it. I hope you’ll believe me. And yes, do let me know what you think. Thanks for dropping by! :)