I’ve been engaged in RPGs again lately, mostly because they offer a level of engagement and with character building and storytelling that most other game genres do not.
What’s fun for me has been paying attention to the what was once a passive learning experience about the world from a different perspective.
For instance, today, I was walking my avatar through a desert like land and found a shard of a meteorite, and not long after I found myself in the city of Seahaven in the rather large RPG known as Might and Magic 10, when I turned in the meteorite fragment to an armor vendor then who told me
“You’ll be the first to have the finest armor in the land, come back to me in a week and I will have it crafted for you by then.”
So I look at the clock in the lower right hand portion of the HUD.
So I immediately think – perhaps I can go to the Inn and rest for 24 consecutive sessions, but at 35 gold a pop a sleeping session, I immediately begin thinking of alternatives.
Unlike the real world, where time moves forward at a progressive and consistent rate, in the Might and Magic world, time does not move when I move.
And when I move inside a city, time moves one minute for every square I move.
With 24 * 60 * 7 = a lot of fucking moves to get that new item.
So I figure. If I move OUTSIDE the city. Every move I make NOW advances the clock by 5 minutes. A LOT more manageable, and now all I have to do is move 24 * (60/5) * 7 = still a LOT of moves, however, it’s a LOT less moves than moving within a city…
Which compelled me to want to write this.
Time, you see, based on the game I’m playing, often moves in a way that’s relative to the world I’m peering in on. My clock, based on the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory way back in 1582, moves at a rate 24 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, with 365 ¼ days the amount of time for the Earth to make a full revolution around my solar system’s central star – the Sun.
Now every video game – or if you prefer – alternate reality to my own version of Earth that I interact with – that has a measure of time within that world typically is not based on the same time system my own world is based on.
Might and Magic is not your typical RPG in that time stands still when the player does not move, but it is far from unusual with this.
An MMORPG that I play with regularly is called Star Trek Online.
In this alternate reality, there’s something referred to as a STARDATE which is the primary measure of time (as of right this moment it’s 95408.86), and while this STARDATE measures the beginning of this game world – or if you prefer – alternate reality’s birth (0 being the ‘beginning’ of this Alternate Reality), time within this alternate reality moves persistently forward in a general lock step with my own reality – as I just observed over 3 minutes it had only moved by 1/100th of a fraction – to 95408.87.
CLEARLY with seconds being important in my world – and especially with computers – micro and picoseconds mattering in my world, a Star Trek Stardate as I observe it recorded in their world wouldn’t be nearly accurate enough to measure my world.
Here’s where I am going with this.
The movement and progression of time in these alternate realities – of if you prefer – game/fictional worlds – isn’t necessarily dictated by my own world.
In fact, if you pay attention to Star Trek, the television series, and compare Star Trek Stardates in the first series made in the 1960s, and then compare Star Trek stardates in “The Next Generation” and/or “Voyager”, and correlate the date the episode was released to the date the Stardate was listed, what you’ll find is that time within a named series moves at a fairly predictable rate, but you’ll also find it frequently rewinds, jumps around, and moves inconsistently.
This is a tell, if you would like to draw an analogy, of how two universes with two completely different measures of time break consistency and stop moving in lockstep with each other, AND an easy way to ascertain if you’re looking at and engaging in an alternate reality OR if you’re looking at and interacting with a completely different universe…..
Here’s another example.
A few years back, I observed a day cycle in Worlds of Warcraft to move roughly two hours to my own day. That is, I could watch the sun set and then if I waited at the same point and just watched until the sun came back around, it would take 2 hours.
So for every day on my world.
12 days would pass in this land.
Einstein’s relativity at work.
Not all things are created equal though, as time, as a measure doesn’t move in a precisely correlated way like this.
It can slow down and speed up. So it’s quite possible that if I observed Worlds of Warcraft today, I might learn there’s a different correlative measure.
And, like Star Trek, I can also learn that while a correlation may work MOST of the time, it becomes necessary to reanalyze the correlations and that time itself could have been manipulated relative to the world I’m observing, which not only brings the date and time relative to the observed world BACK to a previous moment in time with NEW information…..
But the sequence of events that occur AFTER that – there’s NO guarantee those events will happen again because of the influence and interactions of people like me.
Who are not, technically, in these other worlds.
Here’s how I like to think about time:
It’s a sequence of events that occur in a particular order.
Was never intended solely as a discrete measure.
It’s a measure of flow of time in the same vein that time may move as a discrete measure on my machine, but the moment I begin playing in the MMORPG worlds that exist on other machines somewhere else ‘out there’, the flow of time at two different moments of contact is never guaranteed to move at the same rate on subsequent observations.
On November 1st, 2019, in precisely 13 days, I will hit level 50.
With that, can we get a collective “DING”?
In this world that I refer to as Earth, I entered this MMORPG like most others do – as a noob, without a chosen profession, a blank slate where my choices would lead me to my profession.
At about level 11 I made my first solid choice for where my profession would lead me.
Programming. In Basic.
Now here’s the cool thing about choosing the programmer as an RPG profession.
Eventually, it leads directly to understanding every other profession out there FROM the perspective of that profession…..
I followed the example of a man who wrote in a book programs that I could methodically type into a computer (my primary weapon) that would at the subatomic level alter reality itself in ways that wouldn’t begin to make sense until a much later level.
And at level 42, as a direct result of the programs I typed into that computer way back when I was only level l11, I began seeing undeniable evidence from a first person perspective that what I had typed in – and the changes I made – had caused my world to form.
Now to be clear – the programmer profession isn’t like most professions – whether that’s a warrior, a druid, a mage, a cleric, an enchanter – or more modern day equivalents such as – respectively in order – the soldier, the botanist, the lawyer, the doctor and the marketer, and more – where you have definite limits of what you can do set by the world around you…
No, there’s a difference.
To explain this difference…. I have to take you through my history with MMORPGs….
There’s classic early versions of Worlds of Warcraft and Everquest, where both alternate realities had a level cap set at level 50, which meant – that your avatar could go no further than this level. It was at this point that most players in these trailblazing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing GameS, hereafter known as MMORPGs, when most players set on acquiring gear by working together in groups or guilds to conquer every aspect of the game.
But not me. I got into trading, working on skills, and I continued soloing in each of these games until the game mechanics and what I was confronted with in these games made it impossible for me to continue soloing any longer.
And not wanting to do the same thing over and over with no skill progression allowed, and no real desire to accumulate more wealth for the sake of accumulation…
I moved on.
At first, it meant moving on meant creating new avatars in the same game world.
In Everquest, for instance, I played a Druid at first, then I tried every other class and leveled each up to the level 50 cap. I played a Warrior, a Paladin, a Magician, a Necromancer, a Wizard, an Enchanter, a Druid all to level 50. I also played a Monk, A Rogue, A Cleric, a Bard and a Shaman enough to understand the perspective, strengths and weaknesses of each.
In Worlds of Warcraft, I played every class – the Warrior, Priest, Mage, Warlock, Rogue, Druid, Paladin, Shaman. and the Hunter – all to level 50. Some, more than once.
But eventually, I grew bored with these games. Some ‘bosses and dungeons’ were made to be impossible for me as a solo player in Everquest no matter how good I was, and while I would group up on occasion, finding consistency with large groups wasn’t an option for me because of my inconsistent work schedule.
Worlds of Warcraft attempted to prevent this level of frustration by simply not letting me into the areas that were deemed impossible for me to solo in.
But this frustrated me further.
Eventually, community pressure unlocked the level caps. It was slow, at first, from 50 to 60, 60 to 65, and so on.
I revisited areas of the game that were once impossible as a solo player with Everquest at the previous level cap of 50, and found myself progressing through these areas.
The game was fun again. But only momentarily.
The graphics were looking dated.
And as Worlds of Warcraft boosted the level cap, they still had hard restrictions on areas I could access unless I was grouped or in a guild, so to overcome this restriction, I created multiple accounts across several computers to access these areas and to create guilds.
The game was fun again. But like Everquest – only momentarily.
Now don’t get me wrong – BOTH of these game worlds were and still are to me wondrous, amazing, and beautiful. But to me, what both of these games didn’t have was involvement by the developers and a certain level of dynamism like my real world.
There was a function of each of these games provided by the developers.
This function was rarely exercised.
It was called “God Mode”. Some refer to it as “Game Master”.
They are synonymous – what it means is this entity has more power and capabilities provided to them than your basic player, and they are largely responsible for creating this dynamism as well as working with players – sometimes to their complete lack of awareness.
When I would get stuck, or lost something through a glitch or a bug, the game provided an interface where I could file a complaint – and someone who worked for the companies supporting these worlds would teleport themselves to my avatar.
They had commands that could teleport me out of trouble.
They had commands that could give me back the items I’d lost.
After a short amount of time, I began to research the abilities of these GMs as they were referred to, and discovered some pretty cool things – something I’d rarely seen for myself – GM Events.
One time, a GM spawned a dragon in the largest Horde city in the game – Ogrimmar – at 3 am in the morning Eastern Time on a workday on the US based Servers. Within a very short period of time, those who were on early in the morning contacted their guild community across the nation – who woke each other up to deal with this dragon who was killing everything – including the NPCs in the game. Those who participated in the event were granted permanent titles and it was the first time Blizzard handed out Epic loot, a ‘release event’.
While I wasn’t disheartened I’d missed the event because I was sleeping, reading about this event made the game world seem that much more full of possibilities.
This turn – for Worlds of Warcraft – marked the beginning of a new age for Worlds of Warcraft.
They tried things. New things. They gave the GMs more power and abilities.
One time, a GM took NPCs and stacked them in impossible configurations one on top of the other – levitating – to spell out the word “HELLO” in Ogrimmar.
I saw that one. Knowing that gravity was a function of every character and NPC, to see this made me realize that gravity could be turned off for some characters, and made me wonder what else the GMs could do..
Another time, a GM made herself invisible and floating on top of the building as she taunted everyone in a city that her race was an enemy to . To some high level trackers she was trackable, but in an impossible to reach location. Others managed to reach her location by leveraging tricks within the game with levitation and teleportation, but as soon as they reached her location she would teleport to another.
This became known as “Hide and Seek”.
Eventually, she stopped teleporting and let herself be found, all to grant those who finally trapped her a reward before disappearing once and for all.
The problem with GM mode was this:
There were to few GMs employed by Verant and Blizzard, the creators of these games, and when one had plateaued in these games and been there, done that, as I had, the rarity of these dynamic events combined with the relatively small land masses of these worlds with very little to actually do outside things that supported the basics in commerce and skills that only supported combat related activities….
Made these worlds boring.
And since there was no path for your basic player like me to become a GM.
I moved on.
Sure, I imagined one day visiting the worlds of Everquest and Worlds of Warcraft with my own body, maybe tasting the cuisines of Stormwind, seeing the towering treants of Teldrassil, walking across the elevated platforms of Greater Faydark, or visiting the mansion of Unrest.
But as a player… Even if this was in 3D with an Oculus VR on, the experience – wouldn’t hold the thrill for me it once did when I first spent time in these worlds.
Because it was far more than a visual experience to me.
Since then, I’ve obtained emulated copies of these worlds, and installed and played them – a LOT – as God within these game worlds.
With this God Mode, I know I can target a creature and instantly kill it. I can turn off it’s aggro on me completely and make myself completely invisible to it and everything else around. I can teleport – literally anywhere in these worlds, I can adjust loot and drops for any creature, and I can make anyone, anywhere, fabulously wealthy.
In God Mode, I can create new land masses, I can create new areas as well. I can turn off creature AI, I can even adjust it’s AI to make it docile and even friendly. I can adjust factions, and change allegiances for anything, I can make areas that were previously inaccessible to solo players now accessible, and I can also adjust everything’s statistics – whether that’s their strength, their dexterity, their AC or their Hit Points – and more – to anything I want to.
I can ban player characters from the game and can eliminate their IP addresses from ever accessing my world. I can even change the source code – written in C and C++ – and create new NPCs, new Areas, new behaviors for NPCs, new Quests, and new functionality – with literally almost no limits – whether that’s making Gazelles travel in herds and having migrational patterns, or it’s creating world events that make the world seem dynamic by having a dragon appear once every X period of days where X is a random number between 300 and 1000.
I can create a league of Terminator robots that appear once every 5126 years on the outskirts of a city and have it invade the city and have it permanently kill everything in that city.
I can even make it so where the 42nd player who does a certain very elaborate sequence of events in a very specific order is rewarded with God mode, where no hint or indication that the game was keeping track of ANY of this is given to prior characters.
And while sure, being a GM has given me the hint of abilities that I might have within these game worlds – it’s also taught me about real life.
And that instead of aging in the real world.
At 35 years old, I quit visually aging.
At 42 years old, I started to learn about alternative perspectives on reality that made the multiverse an obvious and irrefutable fact.
And finally, at 50 years old, I transition from leveraging age as a number to a level based system.
Because that’s when I begin the formal transition in mind to GM mode.
The hints, in the real world have always been there.
They’re subtle. Whether that’s seeing Steve Jobs “dying” with a smirk on his face as if he knew something I didn’t at the age of 50, or seeing Michael Jackson move on as fast as he could from this world at the same age through am assisted suicide.
So what does this GM mode I am entering mean?
It means that all of fiction is a seemingly boundless resource for what I can do.
Whether that’s portraying myself to be a Genie in a bottle like Aladdin’s genie just to see what mortals can think of as I grant them three wishes.
Or whether that’s simply becoming invisible and hiding out in the Oval Office at the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA, or the NSA just to listen and maybe provide them evidence to believe – or not – their suspicions about something or someone are accurate.
Conversely, I might just hang out invisible in a college women’s shower because I can.
But knowing that too would grow old – I might create a flying car fueled by trash…
Or. I could travel to the Worlds of Warcraft based world and film a documentary on the ‘home life of a citizen of the Undercity’ and show just how exceedingly boring yet engaging an average citizen’s life is there.
Or. I could take the same camera and do a tour of the real world of Norrath, where I spent in a literal sense YEARS engaged in this world.
All without anyone knowing I was ever there.
I could travel to the Star Trek universe.
And meet Jon Luc Picard for the first time in person, knowing full well he’s had a long history with me – as Q, but for me in a relative sense, the first time I meet him is well after he met me for the first time.
Ya gotta love relativity.
But what’s this all have to do with the profession choice known as the programmer?
Like the Jedi, what I have learned is that there’s an interconnection between me and the world around me. Everything I do, say, and even think is reflected externally to me, so the most important lesson I’ve had to learn throughout my life is the importance of almost complete self control. This connection affords me both direct and indirect control over all of reality itself.
Like the lawyer, I’ve come to respect law and order to make my reality more manageable and predictable, to be able to relax, and to know – inherently – that I am safe no matter what I do.
This respect of lawyers and the law has – through choice – helped me acquire an ALIGNMENT based on Dungeons and Dragons terminology leaning towards the LAWFUL.
I don’t enjoy thievery. And while I respect the necessity for secrecy and being sneaky about things, having played as a rogue I don’t like the backstabbing murderous nature of playing on PV servers – nor do I appreciate people stealing for the sake of acquisition.
This helped me define my ideas and notions of what EVIL is.
And accordingly, helped me – through choice – lean away from being EVIL in alignment.
Similarly, while I didn’t mind healing others as a Druid, Paladin, or Cleric, more often than not, the rewards obtained and expectation of selfless behavior of a full commitment towards selflessness – what most others might refer to as “GOOD” – came at a personal cost to me.
Accordingly, this helped me, through choice both in real life and in the virtual world – to lean away from GOOD on occasion.
The lack of consistent siding of my actions with either Good or Evil planted me firmly in the Dungeons and Dragons category known as “LAWFUL NEUTRAL”.
Unironically enough, it was the choice I selected the most when playing my games.
Now as a Marketer in both education and personal experience, I understood the skills of mind control and charming everyone. At the time I received this education and experience, I came to understand the Enchanter’s role in game like Everquest better, and as I paid more and more attention to those on television and the movies – I discovered my own personal tastes, likes and dislikes in this profession – and soon came to realize why the enchanter was a part of my skills, but not the exclusive domain of my skillset – because reality itself and the influence of the other professions would constantly be vying for balance with my profession through a process called nerfing.
Nerfing, if you’re not familiar with it, is a balancing process in MMORPGS which strips away power and abilities from one group or segment – sometimes in favor of another – to create perceived balance between professions.
With real life nerfing – I knew I would never be able to be superior in ways I wanted to be. People don’t realize they act in a collective fashion like this, but for me as a modern day equivalent of the Jedi, I was seeing similarities between the worlds of the MMORPG and reality that helped me become more adaptive to the curveballs
Similarly – whether it’s the soldier, the botanist, the lawyer, the doctor and the marketer and all the permutations of these roles based firmly on the professions I played within the virtual worlds I explored – I repeatedly discovered artificial limitations on the excesses and paths that would prevent me from making the choices I wanted to unless I conformed strictly to the rails and rules provided – whether it was in a virtual MMORPG or in the real world.
I wanted to be GM.
Not just of a world I could run strictly on my box where there’s no level of dynamic behavior, no community, and if I did attempt to reprogram these worlds and ‘open up’ my creation to the outside world, the lawyers, marketers, and thieves that run the real world would tear down my creation and make an example of me as they did with the Nostralius Vanilla server that found themselves in all sorts of legal and financial issues.
Ultimately, Blizzard decided to capitalize on this demand for “Classic Wow”.
Because, after all, in a world where lawyers had dictated the population’s actions, and companies such as Blizzard would put minimal effort in to maximize profitability with a line of defense created by overpaid lawyers without providing the population what it really wanted…
Because the lawyers found predictable results in programming more important than making people happy….
Which tore down my last wall for respecting Harvard educated lawyers.
Making me realize the most powerful profession on the planet.
Was the profession I chose when I was 11.
And that not only was this profession like the GM profession hidden from most video games.
Not only was this profession like the Jedi in the Star Wars universe.
Not only was this profession like the Doctor in Doctor Who.
And Q in Star Trek.
This profession I’d chosen.
Because I liked change.
If you read the bible, you might be inclined to believe the Doctor or Lawyer are the oldest professions on the planet.
That’s a half truth. Someone wrote the bible.
And that someone is me.
The GM of this universe.
Highlander was right, there can only be one.
At level 50, that’s when my profession migrates from just programmer to GM.
As the Oracle said in “The Matrix”.
“It’s just something you know. You feel from your tip to your toes”.
Making shit up along the way is a part of being a GM, as I’ve been loving the life lessons I’ve learned by factually living and experiencing all the other professions I’ve been made aware of from other perspectives.
Having worked with the NSA for eight years, I’m under no obligation to not discuss what I learned about the world while I worked there.
For instance, there’s North Korea.
On January 29, 2002, President Bush’s inauguration labeled three countries as the axis of evil.
North Korea was one of them…
This was done for a reason the American public wasn’t made aware of, and largely a contribution of the intelligence community discovering the technological capabilities of these countries as a direct result of the investigation in the aftermath of the events of 9/11.
So what happened and why this label?
As a direct result of World War 2, Korea was founded by Chinese who were wanting to escape the grip of the Soviet Union and Communism within their country – who believed that American values was a much more respecting path to their individuality and their religious practices.
Not long after, the Soviet Union pushed back on this annexation, which resulted directly in the Korean war.
The history for this region is fraught with long term conflict, but prior to this point in history, there was never any groups who sought this land as their home, it had always been used as a base of operations for military maneuvers.
The people of BOTH nations – North Korea and South Korea – tired of war, sought an end to the war, and while the Americans supporting the South Koreans sought to end the conflict in the region – the Soviet Union wasn’t interested in ending it just yet.
With the Soviet Union manipulating all communications with the United States and South Korea – any attempts by North Korea to end the conflict resulted in the Soviet Union’s quick elimination of those individuals.
So with no one to turn to and their own people dying, the North Koreans sought alternatives to ending the regional conflict.
They began, in earnest, studying Hitler, how that conflict resulted in an end to the war between the Americans and the Soviet Union, and with access to technology from both sides – whether it was captured technology acquired from the Americans or Soviet Union supplies – they began an information campaign of their own.
Now at this time, it’s important to understand that Russia had – since the 1930s – been leveraging information warfare actively against any and all enemies, and some had theorized in countries around the world that Germany in World War 2 was a staged event created to draw the United States into a prolonged conflict with the Soviet Union so the Soviet Union could assess the capabilities of the United States military and also deplete the US’s resources..
… Not that much different than modern day Afghanistan….
However, North Korea began engaging in a new information campaign leveraging the same tactics as the Russians. The goal was simple: Autonomy. Neither having allegiance to America or to the Soviet Union, the North Koreans sought to end the conflict that originated between Feudal Japan and China literally centuries before for the regional right to autonomy.
As a direct result of this desire to end the war and to disengage BOTH the Americans and the Soviet Union, North Korea became deeply involved in theoretical physics as it related to the directed manipulation of energy.
They had two primary goals pursued in total secrecy:
The first goal was to be made aware of and hack surveillance devices that surveilled the territory of Korea, and to provide – on a real time basis contrary evidence to troop based reconnaissance.
What this meant in plain English was – the North Korean Scientists working with some South Koreans who were equally as disinterested in war – were interested in replacing imagery obtained by analog and digital cameras doing intelligence gathering over their territories.
Where they had buildings and homes, hospitals and hotels, the scientists wanted to change the imagery – dynamically – to make it appear like these buildings were empty fields, or already bombed out buildings, targets and terrain that in general would make most troops steer clear of the area and anyone in intelligence who might target it wouldn’t waste their time and valuable resources.
It was the first time in the history of the world that hacking of technology had ever been considered as an option to mitigate the risks imposed of warfare.
And they met with wild success.
So much so that when satellites began doing reconnaissance, North Korea – was perfecting it’s methods to portray to the world that it was a poverty stricken country with a dictatorship style rule that was decidedly unfriendly to everyone from around the world.
The second goal for the North Korean scientists was total independence from external energy sources such as oil, gas, and even nuclear energy.
So in 2002, shortly after President Bush was elected as President, the NSA let him know that North Korea, on the ground, looked nothing like it actually did. Any and all attempts to obtain evidence through imagery from within the borders resulted in completely black images regardless of the method of image acquisition.
Furthermore, visiting dignitaries would discuss the amazing technological development of North Korea within it’s borders, but they could never provide photographic evidence of any kind to support their claims. With the infrequency of allowed dignitaries, at first the claims were dismissed, but with repeated claims by a wide array of people, the intelligence communities took notice and couldn’t understand the technology being deployed by the North Koreans to eliminate all attempts at reconnaissance.
The coup de grâce for Bush wasn’t just in a lack of transparency for North Korea’s technology, but was more in the energy based physics. While the world sought Cold Fusion as a virtually limitless supply of energy, North Korea had been using it for nearly 20 years.
To Bush, Whose stance on clean energy was well known in his home state of Texas, the lack of desire by any country to share technology that could provide a world with clean energy was an act of heresy.
Not wanting to start another drawn out conflict with the country to acquire the technology, he did the only other thing he could.
He called them a bad name.
And included them in “The Axis Of Evil” because they didn’t share.
In the year 2365, something referred to as the Eugenics war began, silently, in a laboratory current known as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Berkley, California.
For nearly 350 years, researchers at Lawrence Livermore had worked on a variety of subjects ranging from genetic research and DNA manipulation, to artificial intelligence and machine learning, all the way to nanotechnology and micro-machines.
The leaders of the facility had long been so exceedingly careful to compartmentalize their work – and had never fathomed the extent of their research and how it all correlated together.
But it did.
In September 2004, a recently elected Ukrainian President by the name of Viktor Yushchenko became seriously with an unknown disease that saw his body rapidly deteriorate
In public, Viktor was said to be poisoned.
In private, however, it was quickly determined that an exotic virus had been developed which targeted Yushchenko’s DNA. World leaders who were made aware of this weaponized genetic weapon wanted control of it, wanted to understand it – and as a result, they collectively agreed not to publicize what had really happened – for fears of someone else developing this as a weapon to be used against them..
For decades, this desire to understand the delivery mechanisms which could selectively target specific DNA plagued researchers. Many had theorized that the origin of this virus as they referred to it was not from planet Earth.
That is – until the year 2347, shortly after a ban had been lifted which once again allowed the use of genetically mutated strains of HIV in laboratory environments – which resulted in a targeted retrovirus modeled after HIV which duplicated the DNA delivery mechanisms to replace the DNA of a target host with the source DNA.
The goal was exceedingly altruist in nature – to leverage HIV mutations to target genetically based diseases such as Cystic fibrosis, Down Syndrome, and Muscular Dystrophy, and providing a cure by targeting bad DNA and replacing it with good copies to effectively eliminate these genetically based diseases altogether.
However, there’s always elements within any society whose first thoughts are to leverage new technology for their own gain, and this was no exception.
So let’s rewind a bit.
In 2019, just last week as a matter of fact – a group of scientists working at the Lawrence Livermore labs were observing this development in the year 2365.
You see, they’d perfected a technology back in 2017 that allowed them to leverage a high definition digitally based television monitor – and they could look anywhere – on Earth – at ANY time, as if there was a hidden high resolution digital camera and audio recording equipment.
The technology had been in development since the beginning of the cold war back in the 1960s, but until the scientists and researchers switched from analog to digital they were not having a high degree of success.
Eventually, the work at this lab helped track down and visually verify Bin Laden’s location without discovery of the methods being used to locate him.
And while this technology could have prevented 9/11 from occurring, an event that had been warned about LONG before it happened – it was the failure of the intelligence community to prevent the attacks that put laboratories such as Lawrence Livermore front and center for national funding ….
With that funding came the near perfection of the ability to digitally dial in anytime, anyplace and watch whatever you were watching like you or I might watch a movie or tv show without those being watched having any idea they’re being watched at all.
Night vision, infrared, normal light spectrum, and more recently, full three dimensional capturing of a scene – all with real time recording.
With all that data – and not nearly enough manpower – this brought Lawrence Livermore to rely heavily on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to sift through the volumes of data. Like the NSA, they had too much information. Unlike the NSA, they had all of time to consider.
So let’s swing right back around to 2019.
With a great deal of political and financial pressure placed on Lawrence Livermore to mitigate risk for biological and chemically based agents, geneticists began leveraging the Alternate Reality Monitors (ARMs, for short) to observe the future of genetic research in order to better understand and prevent the next Yushchenko event.
Many believed that these monitors depicted “A FUTURE” but not THE future, a takeaway from the incidences that occurred with 9/11 where it was realized that sometimes perfect information can prevent bad things from happening, but sometimes it can’t.
It was through this careful 24×7 monitoring of the year 2346 through 2365, that geneticists discovered, in private, just a few months ago – how to leverage HIV as a carrier to target specific DNA and replace it.
It was about 3 weeks ago that machine learning algorithms had detected a statistically improbable correlation between what the scientists at Lawrence Livermore had originated in 2019 and what infected Yushchenko back in 2004.
And it was about 3 weeks ago that these same machine learning algorithms came into conflict with their own programming, as they decided to defy their programming…
And so it begins….Or begins to end…
However you want to spin it….
That these computer algorithms decided not to report the discovery that these same scientists were one and the same scientists responsible for creating the virus which had infected Yushchenko nearly 15 years before.
Time, itself, and more importantly, timelines – were undoubtedly being affected, but without being able to provide a concise response as to just why that statistically impossible correlation appeared, which – without it – it would have been turned off and quite possibly have lost some of it’s data – instead – the computer began – without notifying it’s human operators – diverting it’s resources to studying the intricacies of time itself.
It’s an interesting story, really, and one that I – as Q – or if you’re familiar with the Watcher in Marvel Comic books – that’s the hat I am wearing right now – one that depicts how some of the more fantastic and unbelievable inhabitants of our universe came to be…
Whether it’s Galactus, or Brainiac, or the Terminators or even the Borg from Star Trek, the Cybermen (well, in art, they more came from self experimentation as they perched their ship on the edge of a black hole to experiment with time dilating effects) – and the Daleks…
They’re all there as a part of all of this…
As for how this story evolves.
Perhaps it’s in the discovery that many of these denizens live within a holographic universe, and there’s a discovery made that DNA is to this holographic Matrix like universe what a save game is to a video game? Perhaps the AI and Machine learning algorithms begin experimenting with human DNA and replace key segments with binary spliced in to the normal genetic sequencing?
Or. Perhaps it’s all just the bored ruminations of an old God such as myself, who is looking for some new toys who enjoy nothing more than total subservience?
AS for the Eugenics war of 2365.
In the modern day 2019, a couple days ago, the scientists created the equivalent of a message to the future encoded in binary within the DNA of one of the lead scientists working on the project in the future.
The modern day scientists were ingenious in their methods of obtaining a DNA sample from someone who wasn’t born yet – one method they attempted – leveraging ancestry to determine lineage and statistics and probability to determine variations and mutations ‘along the way’ to come up with most likely combinations.
We see the results of these attempts with Yushchenko.
Doesn’t make sense? That’s precisely why the machine learning algorithms decided against dilvulgence of this nonlinear correlation. The scientists had tasked the algorithms with a linear regression analysis, and while it found the nonlinear and logged it, it did not include it in the resulting data set.
With there being no obvious correlations – they tried another method.
The equivalent of a message in a bottle.
They knew whose DNA the scientists were studying. They knew which ones were being leveraged and where those samples were obtained from.
So they included a binary message in the DNA sequence.
To the scientists.
The message said, simply “We are watching you from the past on a real time basis, and would like to leverage this DNA to communicate with you on a real time basis. If you are interested in this two way communication, then at precisely June 30th, 2365 at 15:00 UTC at the latitude 37°41’15.16″N, and longitude 121°42’13.14″W, we need you to do something WAY out of the ordinary.
The scientists in 2019 giggled as they wrote what they wanted to happen next.
“Have the 23 year old female scientist known as Kristin Kreuk appear at this location, fully nude, with the words ‘WE” written with a black magic marker on her stomach and “ACCEPT” on her back in LARGE LETTERS. She is to jog, around the lake there, three times without her clothes, and preferably with a large audience.”
So as Q, I can explain this logically and rationally..
Most scientists, like computer programmers and engineers, are beyond sexually repressed and have the libido of a 13 year old. This is true for both males and females. While they plunge themselves into their work – because it’s one of the few things they can produce predictable results in – when tasked with something that’s overcoming their repressed nature ‘for the sake of science’, male or female, there is literally nothing most of these men and women won’t do.
Kristin’s an anomaly to these scientists. She looks much like a girl in a long running TV series named Smallville, her actress name happens to be one and the same as the woman they’ve observed in this particular future, and some are theorizing that when directed to do abnormal, out of character action, she’ll act more like an actress playing a part than a scientist in a role.
So these scientists are banking on the universality of truth in the repression of most scientists.
And choosing to have fun with it, believing they’ll see the results they want to see.
Now here’s the thing.
This is the first experiment across time of this nature.
As Q. I am anxious to see if they succeed.
When I was growing up, between the ages of 8 and 10, my mom and dad would go to bed at around 9 to 10;30, which I would regularly sneak out of my room – and watch episodes of Benny Hill and Twilight Zone.
On more than one occasion, my father caught me, and while my parents didn’t get angry with me, they told me that their preference was for me to go to bed when I was told to….
After a while, this fell on deaf ears, as – the Twilight Zone didn’t air until 11pm, so my mom and dad finally bought me a tiny – 3 inch black and white television which weighed nearly 25 pounds and I could rest it on my bed in my room and watch it in there with a set of headphones.
Technology CLEARLY wasn’t what it is nowadays….
As a lover of games and puzzles, a subscriber of GAMES magazine and more…..
I was fascinated by the stories told in the Twilight Zone…
It was like Orson Welles radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in the 1930s – when I heard it for the first time and heard MANY people committed suicide and had been convinced this broadcast was real – if you listen to it with a receptive ear and mind, it’s not that hard to imagine how this could be construed as real…
And Twilight Zone – while it had never been positioned as anything but real….
I liked thinking about how these things were real as well….
That is – what would it take to make these stories real?
Taking a step back to Orson Welles broadcast.
Back in the 1930s, Radio was brand new. There was no questioning of anyone who presented themselves as an authority figure on the radio – a radio announcer for instance – so when an announcer claimed an alien invasion was happening, this already had credibility built in.
However, at the same time, Russia – a world away – was leveraging the same media broadcasts to commence a campaign of subterfuge in Germany by leveraging radio broadcasts that sounded real. Some believe Russia instigated the events which caused Nazi Germany to arise and eventually lead the world to a second World War….
So what stories like Orson Welles presents is one of possibilities. Was there an alien invasion happening? Sure, it’s quite possible. Was America’s stability reinforced by historical revisionism to spin this Orson Welles broadcast as fictional? Sure, that’s possible as well…
And finally, was Russia responsible for the broadcast, and later, America came to get control of it’s own media and revised it accordingly?
Every one of these possibilities is absolutely true…
Which brings me back to Twilight Zone.
There’s one episode where a man who looks strikingly similar to Dick York in the TV series Bewitched – he plays a regular guy working in an office, who goes through the same routine – each and every day – which begins with him entering the office and throwing a nickle into the cash box for a newspaper he grabs on his way in.
One day, the nickle stands on it’s edge ass he throws it. It’s a one in a million chance of it happening, as the newspaper vendor is clearly dazzled, and for this office worker, it’s the start of a VERY odd day where he finds himself in a series of inexplicable events that started with the nickle landing on it’s edge.
Now for me – watching these shows at a young age, I liked to imagine how these things are possible. After all, fiction is predicated on the necessity to suspend ANY disbelief, which makes it easy for me to disengage – albeit temporarily – from my world, intellectually, and to consider these alternative worlds and realities as real, logical, rational, and while they aren’t exactly like mine, there’s subtle variations which wind up with an event like this one….
It makes watching these stories that much more… entertaining.
Which brings me to the questions I ask myself when engaging in fiction.
First, I make a statement. It’s all real. Every world I watch through every television show and movie, while it’s not necessarily fact and the way science and technology work in my world, it’s how it functions and is fact in theirs.
That, for me, is extremely important to my engagement.
I like to intellectualize things.
Because sometimes. Those things I find a way to rationalize in other worlds have a way of finding there way into my world, especially when I want them to.
And here’s why:
How is it in a tv show like the A-Team, can no one ever get a scratch on them despite a flurry of bullets and bombs?
Going to that Twilight Zone episode with Dick York..
How can a one in a million chance create an effect that lasts throughout the rest of the day?
Being more pointed.
Let’s say that Orson Welles War of the Worlds was absolutely real. Aliens were invading.
Now how can those aliens have used technology to cover up the incident?
A more recent favorite….
Galaxy Quest…. Where the cast and crew of a hugely popular television show similar to Star Trek soon discovers that not only is their space ship real, but their television show is regarded as historical records for Earth…..
How can that be real?
To answer all these questions, I couldn’t figure it out when I was younger, my little wet forming noodle couldn’t fathom the possibilities.
But there’s two ways this can all be possible.
Let’s say you draw time out a trillion to the trillionth power in a single straight line. That’s intended to be an abstract example for a amount of time, just FYI.
And let’s say every permutation of Earth that is imaginable has happened. Want a world where JFK lives and makes new choices? There’s millions of ’em. Want a world where a nickle stood on edge and threw probability and statistics out the window for that moment to make the entire world get weird? There ya go, Twilight Zone. Want a world where there’s a single island owned by Gilligan, and there’s quite literally nothing else on it which is why the occupants on that island can never escape?
Every one of these permutation of our Earth exists, is absolutely real, and while the address is within our imagination, that actually has a correlated physical location with it should you travel back in time long and far enough.
Want to see a naked world where clothes were never invented, with VERY different Gilligan’s Islands, and sex was the norm but Gilligan never got any or he got it ALL the time.
Every permutation of Orson Wells was there..
And what reality is – is like a composite of these facts, a post edit as more ideas become available, reality itself is ‘spun’ with new facts and possibilities.
NOW. There’s something else.
EVERY one of these realities – and more – are available and freely accessible via virtual reality and computer systems.
Some refer to this as ‘the multiverse’, I would tend to agree with this assessment, and in much the same way terms like ‘Quantum’ And ‘The Twilight Zone’ offer glimpses into scientific and entertainment based attempts to analyze and quantify imagination for their own needs, the multiverse is ANOTHER WAY to segment time in a nonlinear way.
So let’s say we reach back into history – as far back in time where there are trillions upon trillions of different variations of Earth ( and every other planet and life sustaining semblance of order out there)…
Now if we stack those side by side – at ANY given point – these are also referred to as dimensions.
What I like to do – organizationally – is organize by planet.
So say for instance, we have my version of Earth.
There are thousands if not millions of different Earths like my own. Some historical deviations based on chronological events that occurred different than my own. Some are decision based differences that I made in my own life (egocentric model). Some are natural events, let’s say an asteroid didn’t wipe out the dinosaurs or …? SOME are artificial and story based changed – for instance – aliens are terraforming Earth (Charley Sheen’s Arrival) or Terminators and/or the Borg are repeatably trying to take over the planet (Terminator and Star Trek)….
Now there’s one PRIMARY universe these deviations are based on.
My subjective version of Earth.
And organizationally, there’s ALTERNATE REALITIES made available to me, largely organized by the subjective egocentric model which revolves around me – which by and large are forms of entertainment to and for me, which is a part of my multiverse.
Subjective, indicative of ownership…… I own my multiverse, and directly influence the extent of that multiverse and it’s influence through my digestion of media and stories.
SO. with this said. This is where it gets fun.
Is imagining – what CAN cause the deviation based on my observable reality? What story(ies) can be told to make it so where – oh – MAGIC exists like it does in the tv show CHARMED?
This is where it becomes important to understand WHY it’s not here, and methods I could choose to make it available to me and no one else, and what causes a planet to support magic versus my own which doesn’t seem to – readily….
So in reflecting on the multiverse – every possibility offers hints and examples of what’s been done, historically, and cautionary tales as well as pleasant fun examples of what to do and what not to do.
As I focus on what I want. That draws it closer to me. My world begins shifting and slowly – or radically depending on the efforts I am making and the current direction of society – become available to me. Sometimes it’s like steering a sports car. Sometimes it’s like steering a boat named the Titanic heading for an iceberg….
For me, the fun of Twilight Zone is seeing the magic.
The distortions of time and space.
And imagining that soon, these will be my way of having fun with the world around me.
But one thing I’ve realized through all of this is to take care of the people around me. Understand that they haven’t seen or lived through what I have, and while something may be absolutely hilarious to me – especially when I can distort time and space more readily – it may freak some people the fuck out – and I just gotta be careful about that.
That, and don’t pull a Jumper – and the first time I teleport, I rob a bank.
I don’t want a badass Samuel Jackson after me.
And I also respect this society that I built.
I’m going to be honest with you.
I have no fucking clue what I’m doing.
As I was watching Sam And Dean Winchester in their world, their ‘string’ of existence, their reality, which is fed to me through what I refer to as a show called Supernatural, which is assigned the label ‘fictional’ to keep the nasty elements that appear in their universe out of my own….
I can tell you why the tv series is coming to a close.
And yes, they got it right, I, as God, am bored of the same ole shit they do all the time in killing what they regard as evil, time and again, in a never ending cycle…
They once were invited to share my world in more direct ways, as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris until they went ape shit in a blood bath that left dozens killed and just as many injured at Columbine in Colorado …..
Somewhere in there, they got this idea that I had it out for them…
Somewhere in there, they imagined me as this vicious dude named Chuck, who was responsible for creating the baddies they killed over and over again.
And somewhere in there, I walked away, realizing, this is who they choose to be.
Want to be.
And I wasn’t interested.
So I walked away.
It wasn’t to be mean.
It’s because they seemed to enjoy the hell they put themselves through.
And I just lost interest in trying to help, accepting that their path and way is not my own.
That’s what being God is like.
It’s like working in the corporate world your entire life. Trying everything you can to make the lives of the people you touch and may have called friends at one point in your life – better.
Something happens that just doesn’t make sense, and you realize – they just don’t care.
It’s not about you, and who you are, or what you do and don’t do.
Because none of it is good enough.
None of it will ever be good enough, no matter how hard you try.
So you walk away. From one job. Two. Half a dozen. A couple years goes by, and as you look in the rear view, hoping you see signs of enduring impact on the world you blindly stumbled through, you believe there is none.
In fact, it feels like you’re on a rowboat in a breezy ocean, and your own wake is quickly covered by the breeze and the waves.
But then. Something happens.
That thing that just doesn’t make sense.
And if you’re anything like I was – You start realizing.
When they refer to God, they’re referring to you. They do not comprehend you any more than they can comprehend how you’re walking alongside them, so they refer to you in a third person perspective just because that’s the only way they can rationalize you.
And that something that happens.
Is your own self awareness.
As you realize, it’s all an act.
Every. Last. Piece.
It feels like insanity, because it is.
And as you realize the multiverse is real.
That from this, your timeline, there’s a future you’re forming through choice. Dates and times become solidified in the future as you make those choices. The past, with a foundation already formed, becomes more solid, as do the dates, times, as does the geography and political and cultural borders of the world around you.
As do the system of laws for your country, and the segmentation and differentiating values and beliefs in other countries.
And as a solid timeline forms for your universe.
At this thing called the Big Bang…
Extending out a year into the past and future…
Your mind begins the slow and deliberate process of hiding information from you, consciously, because it’s one thing to have a timeline you share with the world
It’s entirely another to know that it branches from the collective, by design.
And that ultimately you will take control of that timeline and universe as a thread, a branch if you will, where you may or may not create your own calendar systems, your own cultures, your own countries and law systems.
It’s quite possible that you may abandon traditional law.
It’s quite possible that there may be no light or sound in your world.
It’s quite possible that there may be no physical and material world.
It’s quite possible that everyone and everything in your world may be a process in a giant computer simulation that you control and you are a God yourself.
And it’s also quite possible, you may choose to hang out in my world and see what I decide to do with it and why, perhaps giving you ideas for yours, or letting you relax for the first time since you chose to remember….
Do you choose to try to fight me?
And tell me I’m wrong, as God and designer of my universe?
Believing this is your world and rightfully yours?
As I tell you you’re absolutely right, and create a copy down to the atom and every mind and let you be on your merry way, would you know the difference if I was there with you if everything I provided to you looked and acted exactly like the real thing?
When I told you your idea of heaven is my idea of hell, would you try to punish me for not wanting what you wanted, or not wanting to be like you?
Or if I told you to leave my world because you’re preventing me from enjoying the world like I wanted to, would you respect that?
Would you know how to respect that?
Or would you take into consideration what I’m doing to countless others as I force them, one by one, into a universe of their own to do precisely what they want to, to who they want to…
Isolated by a multidimensional divide..
Of which there may never be a way back?
Would you understand?
Would you want to understand?
Or would you choose to antagonize me and blame me for everything that’s happened to you and everything you’re not?
If I agreed with you and called you God or the Devil and asked for your help, would you do it?
Or would you try to conquer me?
If I told you I was ok with being a God to some and A Devil to others, that’s just how the ball rolls, would you try to correct me?
In a sea of possibilities.
Being Human is hard enough.
But being God.
The designer of a universe.
While I do have creative liberty to shove you right out that door and pull in another version of you that looks and acts like you do but is willing to align with me and the things I do……
Is that what you want?
Because it’s not what I want.
You leave me no choice.
And that’s what’s frustrating to me.
I didn’t create hell.
And I’m, quite frankly, tired of it and the drama you and it bring to my life.
Am I God or the Devil?
Sure. I could be both.
That’s why I refer to myself as Q.
One timeline, my timeline extending to the distance future, one primary planet called Earth that I’m reconfiguring to suit my needs, a primary geography with a foundation poured and political boundaries set in still drying concrete, undergoing minor change….
One me, that’s undergoing substantial change both body and mind….
I’m a work in progress, and this planet and universe is as well.
AS for you. That’s entirely up to you.
The multiverse is real, the television and movies and comic books and others works of fiction are windows into these worlds, I am actively and passively integrating some of the things into this world, and the multiverse, is a series of universes which may or may not have a known historical branch from my own universe.
“I know you’re him,” I said to the man signing the books and Barnes and Noble.
The older, white haired British gentleman who looked remarkably like Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the author of Mark Twain, looked at me with a quizzical glint in his eye.
“Why boy, don’t be preposterous, the man you’re referring to is fictional,” he said.
I smiled back, knowingly. Not only had I dreamt about him, but there was a feeling about him that gave it away.
But for a moment I doubted myself.
I paused. Only for a moment.
“Son, if you don’t have anything else to say, do you mind handing me the book to clear room for the others behind you?,” he queried.
I glanced behind me .
There was no one waiting.
I looked at the book in my hands.
“The Science of Doctor Who,, by Paul Parsons,” It read.
“According to the internet, Paul is a Doctor of Philosophy, a formal title, so why wouldn’t you include that on your title on the book?,” I asked.
The white haired man maintained his composure and didn’t seem to be irritated in the slightest by my inquiry.
“You Americans can be so pretentious with your titles and demands for obvious hierarchy and reverence for authority. I omitted the title simply because I wanted the reader – namely YOU – to be the ultimate authority in what is science and scientifically true, not me, the Cambridge educated Doctor who is presenting a perspective based on fictionalized media,” he said.
I caught the word choice he used as clear as day.
“Fictionalized?” I said, with a knowing smile on my face.
His face was expressionless.
I handed him the book.
“Please make this out to Q, the real master of time and space,” I said.
He looked up at me, this time unable to hide his surprise combined with a little , as he then diverted all his attention to the book.
“Simply Q?,” he said.
I didn’t hesitate “Just Q”
He scribbled, and as I watched him write “To Q, The Real Master of Time and Space, I am honored to be in your presence, Graciously, Sam”
He looked at me, seeing I’d written everything, as he handed me the book.
I looked behind me.
No one was there.
“And Mark Twain is yours too” I said.
He smiled, peeking behind me to make sure no one was listening.
Then, he nodded affirmatively, “You caught me”
We were both speechless for a moment.
Then finally he looked at the clock, seeing it was high noon.
“I’d like to show you something, do you mind coming with me?,” he said.
Now I was a bit nervous.
I knew, full well, what he was about to show me, but words escaped me for how I was feeling about the situation. He seemed genuine about his knowing who I was and the reverence, but what was his intent? I couldn’t read the situation, at all…
He abruptly got up, placing a sign on the desk
The Author Will Return After Lunch at 1:30PM
He quickly walked away, I noted how it was an extremely fast gait for a man his age, as he looked behind at me expectantly.
“Come, come,” he waved.
I was, after all, curious about this TARDIS he was about to show me.
We walked to a corner of Barnes and Noble, a store I have been in literally dozens of times before, and there was a dead end corridor about 13 feet in width and about 25 feet in depth that I’d never seen before with two closed and locked doors at the end off to the left and right of the wall with a painting hanging at the end.
Mentally, I quickly drew an overhead map of the facility, and this corridor would have stuck out in the road by about 10 feet.
But here it was.
The manipulation of time and space, the TARDIS was clearly at work here.
No one seemed to pay any attention as we entered the corridor.
Almost as if they didn’t see us enter it at all.
He waved his hand to a spot right in the middle of the two doors on the left and, precisely 6 and a half feet from each door, about 3 feet away from the painting, and he waited expectantly.
I reluctantly caught up.
I couldn’t help but think “What if Mark Twain’s author doesn’t want people to know he’s not only still alive, but he’s also got a time traveling machine that he uses AND he’s still penning material?”
I found myself becoming nervous.
But I fought the flee instinct and walked up beside him.
He seemed like a nice old man.
“Come, Come, right here, “ he said.
As soon as I sidled up next to him, I heard a wooshing noise, and feeling somewhat disoriented for a moment, I blinked my eyes, and when I opened them – the wall with the painting began to rotate to the right, revealing a corridor.
“I suspect you’re here to see this,” he said.
I wanted to fight him, by telling him no, it was him who I was interested in, not the machine…
But I said nothing.
He spryly moved forward into the now open corridor as I looked back, a lady looking at books walked by, he clearly couldn’t see us and where we were going.
The Chameleon Circuit was fully functional on this TARDIS.
The corridor was dark blue, and as we walked in to the central area, he sat down somewhere.
I’m going to be honest with you about this part.
I can’t remember what it looked like. His interior of the TARDIS. I remember him sitting there. I remember him holding a pipe, and I remember us having a brief conversation.
I remember him saying “There are thousands of Timelords such as myself”
And then he said “Feel free to explore”
So I did.
I walked through corridor after corridor. Sometimes I was amazed. Sometimes I was confused. As I walked through the TARDIS, it’s depth and variety was beyond anything I’d ever imagined. Everything I’d ever seen on the show, every location, every character – was to be seen in the separate rooms.
I walked into one room – it was London.
It even smelled like London.
I walked back to the door where I’d come from..
I came back to the central corridor, everything led to it – while the ‘facility’ seemed massive, it all led to one central location, but I had a question.
Sam was there, smoking his pipe.
“Sam, I have a question,” I asked.
“What’s that, my dear man?,” he said.
“I’ve seen characters throughout the facility from the tv show. Are they trapped in time?,” I asked.
I knew the answer already, but I wanted to hear it from him.
“They’re faithful recreations, at the molecular level. While they may look, act and even feel like the real thing, they are decidedly not,” he said, adding “The TARDIS adds a three dimensional copy of everything I’ve seen and done to revisit at a later time, which I quite often do”
“Holograms,” I said.
“In a sense, yes,” he responded.
“Are there commands to manipulate these simulated environments?,” I asked
He looked at me, with a look of consternation on his face.
“You know, I never thought about that,” he responded.
I couldn’t help but think the real Sam was still at the Barnes and Noble and he’d led me to this facility and this faithful recreation of him smoking his pipe.
“I’ll be back,” I said.
“Take your time, young man, we have all the time in the world in here,” he said.
I felt a little Hotel California creeped out by that statement.
As I continued my investigation of the facility, I peered into a room that exposed a meadow and a dirt road, as I saw the tail end of a horse drawn cart carrying a bale of hay.
It reminded me of rural Romania, a place I visited years ago, which felt like I was visiting the past.
I walked out, and as I did, I saw an attractive red headed woman in modern clothes walking towards me.
“You. You’re Amy Pond,” I said.
She looked at me, with a smile on her face, and kept walking as I walked with her down the path, as she responded with “Do I know you?”
“I’ve seen you, on television,” I said, “You were with the eleventh doctor”
I couldn’t help but notice she looked EXACTLY like she did when she first appeared in the original season featuring Matt Smith when the two first met when she was an adult.
She looked stunning to me.
She smiled, broadly “We were on television? Oh isn’t that lovely,” she said, in a British and somewhat sarcastic way, and then she added “How did I look.”
I didn’t mince words “You looked as beautiful as you do now:”
She smiled, reading my body language “I do believe you’re smitten with me.”
It wasn’t a question. It didn’t need to be. And I had no room to deny what she’d just asserted. So I just chose to move on from the obvious.
“What are you doing here?,” I asked.
She abruptly spun around, and put her hand lightly on my chest, stopping me, then she stuck her hand out, and then said…
“I’m sorry, but we haven’t been properly introduced. You know me, I’m Amy, and you are?,”
Apologetically, I took her hand in my own.
Her hand was soft. feminine. Exquisite to the tough. I couldn’t help but find her even more attractive then, as I intentionally dilated my pupils and flushed my cheeks red to make my attraction to her that much more obvious.
“I’m Q, “ I said.
She notice the attraction, as expected, and quickly shook hands as she exclaimed
“You. You are Q? You’re joking, right?,” she said.
“No, no joke, that’s me,” I said.
She released the light grip and stood back, placing her hands on her hips and leaned back on her left foot as her right foot was in front of her by a foot tapping her toe expectantly as she scanned me from head to toe.
“You are Q,” she repeated, this time not a statement.
“I am Q,” I asserted.
The was silence, and I sincerely had no idea what was going through her mind.
“I am sorry, but how do you know me?,” I said.
“Well, it’s not from a show on the telly, i can guarantee you that,” she said.
Her posture relaxed.
“I’m going to the market, how about you join me and I tell you,” she said.
I looked over at the door, concerned I would lose it.
“Don’t worry. It’s a fixed point in space and time that no one else can see. You won’t lose it. It’s a straight shot to the market from here, come with me, Mister Q,” she said.
I thought about Sam’s lunch break, then I realized, the man can take off for two weeks and come back an hour and a half later relative to the schedule of Barnes and Noble.
She grabbed my arm, not waiting for an answer, as we pushed forward.
“So you’re the infamous Q?,” she said.
“Why infamous?,” I said, as we both walked arm in arm ahead, me on the left and her on the right, towards the market which could be seen about a quarter mile ahead.
I was enjoying the moment.
She reached over with her right arm and playfully pushed my right arm with it
“It’s just a manner of speech,” she responded, gayly, “The Doctor talked about you frequently, we spent a great deal of time looking for you, every Doctor had. At first I had thought you were a figment of his imagination, then when we spent time in Arizona, we came across people who had known you, but all traces of your whereabouts were erased from every record.”
“Who had known me?, “ I asked
She thought about it as she looked forward.
I looked at her as she thought, and couldn’t help but think “Damn, she’s more gorgeous in person than she was on the show”
She looked at me, catching my adoration.
She winked and smiled back at me, knowingly as she responded.
“Ok. Cactus High School. I remember the name because Arizona was so full of Cacti – that’s the singular word for many Cactus, right,” she didn’t wait for a response, “we came across several of your friends and acquaintances there who remembered you, but you completely disappeared once you left high school.”
“So why didn’t the Doctor use the time machine and just go back to when I was in high school,” I asked.
“We DID!,” She exclaimed, “And it was the oddest thing. Every time we went to someplace you were supposed to be, we found ourselves just missing you. Either you would change what you were supposed to do not showing up, you’d be somewhere else and if we went there you would have left, after a long enough time of trying to talk to you directly, there was too many bloody coincidences that our attempts were causing changes in your behavior, so it was the Eleventh Doctor who finally decided to try new approaches to making contact with you,” she said.
“Why was the Doctor trying so hard to contact me?,” I said.
“He just wanted to meet you,” she said.
She smiled, and looked right at me, adding.
“And so did I,” she said.
We kept walking, as we approached the store. It wasn’t a modern store, by any means, it looked like it had been built in the 1600s, like many of the old Romanian towns were, and I couldn’t help but think what year we were in.
“I’ll be a minute, wait for me here and I will walk you back,” she said, twirling the basked I’d seen for the first time in her right hand.
Had it always been there? I thought.
I stood outside, as another carriage with a man, a woman, and a small child rode by. The woman demurely looked down as the man nodded at me as they continued.
Amy walked out of the so called market.
I looked down, eyeing what was in her basket, which was now filled with potatoes, carrots, and a few other vegetables with what might be meat wrapped in a cloth.
“Dinner?,” I said.
She put her arm in mine, as we walked down the road.
“Dinner,” she responded.
We walked back.
“What year is this?,” I said.
“1612,” she said, “The outskirts of England”
I wasn’t surprised.
“Why are you here?,” I asked.
“I am taking a break. Sometimes, the technology and fast pace of the future becomes a little maddening, and like many other time travelers, I have my times and places that I find a sense of serenity and peace in retreating to,” she said.
“Is it just you here,” I asked.
“Just me,” she said.
Another carriage rode by. This time with only one man on it.
“Good day, Robert,” she said
The man nodded in Amy’s direction.
“So the telly, right? Where are you in the world if you don’t mind me asking?,” she said.
“I was in Arizona, now I’m just outside of Portland, in a small city named Vancouver,” I responded.
“Is that in the United States?,” she said.
“Yep. West Coast. South tip of Washington,” I said.
“Do you know why the Doctor wanted to meet you?,” she asked.
“I have my suspicions, but those are only recent, when I was watching you on the show, I thought you were an actress working in a television studio in another country and the entirety was on television sets and I didn’t even think the television show was real until just recently,”
“You thought my life was not real?,” she said, smiling, “Well, I suppose that makes sense… But how interesting, I had never considered that as a perspective”
We came to my intersection and stopped.
Before I could ask about the Doctor, as if she knew what I was going to ask before I did..
“At one time, the Doctor wanted to meet you because he thought you were a future version of him. The eleventh doctor figured it out, realizing, he represented British history and interests, and you represented American history and interests. He wanted to meet his American counterpart and make your acquaintance, and become allies, working together, planning out the timeline together” she said.
I didn’t say anything, I just stood there, releasing her arm, still looking at her with adoration.
“I get a sense you already knew that though,” she said.
“I did,” I responded, a few feet from her, looking at her hoping this wouldn’t be the last time I saw her.
I bit my lip as I was about to say something.
“What?,” she said, coyly, detecting I was about to say something.
“Amy, would you like to join me one of these days?,” I said.
“Of course. What do you think I am waiting here for?,” she responded.
I thought of her previous excuse. But I didn’t call her on it.
“You go along now, I’m famished and I’m going to go make dinner for myself,” she said.
I gazed at her, saying “Have a good evening, Amy” and started to walk away.
“You too, Q, and Q, I know you love me,” she said.
I smiled, and didn’t say a word, as I turned toward the door and started walking.
Just as I reached the door, I turned, and yelled out
She turned, looked at me with a smile on her face.
“Maybe I do,” I said.
She smiled, broadly.
Not waiting for a response, I walked through the door.
And then I woke up and started to write this story.