(A story inspired by and almost totally based on a dream of Reid R. Carlsen)
Biblical, truthfully, Satan does not rule in Hell. In fact, he is destined for the lake of fire, and he knows it. (Revelation 19:20) However, until then, he has been allowed to rule Earth, and so he has. For thousands of years, or longer, he has tempted and tormented God's children, enticed them to fallow him, or simply steer them away from God; his former master. He has been instrumental in some of the fallowing. In 1969, the United States Department of Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) began working on a new computer networking idea, attempting a better way to connect several computers together and share information. Years later, in 1983, ARPA changed their networking language to TCP/IP, which lead to what became to be known as the Internet. In 1984, the term "cyberspace" was introduced to refer to virtual reality in computer networks, or, specifically, the Internet, by William Gibson in the book Neuromancer. In 1996, Dolly the sheep was the first mammal to be successfully cloned. In 2024 the first human was cloned from a embryonic stemcell. In 2030, Cyberspace became a "real" place, one that feels more real than real life because of the way virtual reality headsets connect directly to users' sensory receptors in their brains. It became a place where people could go to escape or explore, resulting in hundreds starving to death. Two years later, safe guards were later put in place to prevent such an accident, which included an elaborate intravenous food supply, much like cable television or phone lines, but instead of zeros and ones, it was actual nutrients sent through highly pressurized tubes from huge tanks in major cities and into the homes of those who were so addicted, they never had to leave Cyberspace. By the year 2032, the black market of human organs became too big, resulting in a universal crackdown on all black markets for human organs. In 2065, it became possible to "transport" oneself through the reality of Cyberspace. It wasn't as instant as people hopped, (not quite the "beam me up" they were hoping for) but did save time and money travelling. Trains, cars and other forms of transportation were added to Cyberspace to accommodate the demand of people traveling from city to city via the Cyberspace Hubs set up by Internet service providers in central locations in almost every major city through out the world. In 2073, the new travelling method became so popular that the technology became public, making it possible for restaurants, coffee shops, museums, and hotels to build their own Cyberspace Hubs inside their business. Three years later, individual users began building Cyberspace Portals (access points to Cyberspace, and therefor anywhere in the world which had a Cyberspace Hub or Portal) for their personal homes. That same year, the black market for human organs tripled its demand because of the public’s understanding of the implications of easy transportation of humans through Cyberspace. Supply also went up.-------------------- You're not even human. He thinks to himself as he watches her walk onto the train. It's not really a real train. Apart from not physically existing in the real world, the train was more like a "car" on a rail that seats about eight. Why did He send me to save you? He continued to argue. A normal looking man fallowed her, leading her where to stand while the Cyberspace transport took them to the next Cybercity. The name was corny, he thought, but it had stuck since its first use. She doesn't move without his okay. I wonder how old she is. She has the body of a thirty year old, but she's a clone, she could be only a year old, or a day...or an hour. The car jerked forward and sped off down the rail from the platform leading to a black nothingness which lead to the entry point from the real world, from Earth. He looked at her and realized she was incredibly beautiful. He wondered if it was the way she was rendered, but then realized that only an expert hacker could pull something that amazing off. Which, the man leading her to her fate could have been, but he didn't think so. The man sent to save the woman from her organs being harvested, resulting in her death, looked at the man leading her. He didn't appear evil, though he guessed he didn't really know what evil looked like, if anything. But he knew that what he was doing was, even if she was only a clone; only sort of human. The train jerked forward and sped off along the rail. Reid, the man sent to save the woman, thought about the law of physics that states "with every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Which meant, in the real world, when a train lurched forward, everyone on it would get pushed backward, perhaps even losing their balance for a bit, but at least experiencing the forward motion in someway. But in virtual reality, this didn't necessarily have to be the case. However, someone went to great lengths to program that realism in, causing everyone to step backward one step, catching themselves from losing their balance. Reid watched the woman as the train sped through the tunnel, away from the platform, and towards the first cybercity, which the train was not supposed to stop at, but Reid knew it would. The train traveled at an alarming rate, much faster than any normal train the in the real world travel, perhaps two-hundred or three-hundred miles per hour, without any protection for those riding it. No seats, no ceilings or windows, just a platform with a three foot wall enclosing the area where people were supposed to stand. The train began to slow, and the people started looking around, confused. It continued to slow as the car approached the first cybercity, and finally stopped. Once it stopped, people tried to get off, figuring that if their train was going to stop here anyway, they might as well see what the city had to offer. However, no one was able to. The people began to feel frustrated and some started to panic. Three people, however, remained calm, but all for different reasons. The woman remained calm because she knew she was supposed to, knew that if she acted out, the man taking her on the train would scold her; though, she did not know what kind of monster he truly was. The man leading her did not panic because he somewhat expected a problem like this eventually, knew that someone would find out about his dealings in Cyberspace, and accepting the problems as inevitability. Reid didn't panic because he planned the problem, planned for no one to be able to get off until they came. Reid looked to the left of the car on the rail, underneath the balcony of shops, stores, coffee houses, gaming rooms, etc...that populated the the small cybercity, and there they were. Five people walked towards the car, the people in the car who could not get out because of some unseen barrier, calmed a bit, supposing that the five would help. They stood there, looking at the people in the car, the people looking back. Then one of the five outside the car took out a device from her bag and hit a switch, turning it on. Then she aimed it at the car. This pulled at Reid and the woman, but no one else. It pulled them past the rest of the people in the car, pulling Reid and the woman through them, like they were all made of jello, then emerging out completely whole and unharmed. Reid and the woman were pulled through the invisible barrier and stood facing the five. "Thanks, lets get out of here." Reid said. Reid turned and looked at the man who had taken the woman, who was going to harvest her organs. He didn't look different, but he felt different. For some reason, Reid knew that this man, whoever he was, was Satan. He was the Devil. Not just some character in a video game, or some construct of someone in Cyberspace, but THE Devil, the fallen, the one who betrayed God, who went against Him, who was banished from Heaven and sent to Earth to do what he willed. (Revelations 12:9) And here he was, here in Cyberspace, delivering a woman to someone in the real world who was going to kill her, then use her body for spare parts. Reid and the rest of his rescue squad left the train station and went deep into the city headed to a safe house. He thought it strange that the fallen angel, formerly know as Lucifer was here in Cyberspace, dealing with one woman. What was so special about this woman? Reid looked at her and knew. Knew that she was special, she was important, or was going to be. "How old are you?" Reid asked. Wondering if his theory was correct. "He said I was made yesterday." The woman said in a voice that was unassuming and soft. Reid worked hard to control himself from moving closer to her, which her voice and body inclined him to do. "He made me do things." She said. Reid stopped. Before she said that, his mind was a blur of questions he wanted to ask, of plans of how to get her to safety, of weapons that he needed, of cars that he had already lined up for the rout that he had chosen. But all that stopped, his perfect mind which solved every problem instantly in Cyberspace completely stopped, was completely distracted by what she just said. "It's my job to make sure that never happens again." Reid said, and continued to fallow the others. The safe house was a neat little apartment above a Chinese Restaurant. (If you eat something in Cyberspace, you actually taste it, but you don't gain any weight, especially if you aren't hooked up to the intravenous food source. If you are, Cyberspace is set up so that even though you may be virtually gorging yourself and tasting a ridiculous amount of food, which would normally kill you, the amount of actual food your physical body gets in the real world doesn't change. Reid doesn't like this idea, and tends to stay away from Cyber Restaurants.) The safe house is decorated with mostly reds in different shades, but some deep greens. The walls were hung with large scenes of wars long forgotten in cultures from Asia, and folding screens that sectioned off portions of the main living space. There were several bedrooms, enough for all to have their own. They stayed up as late as they could, but were getting tired. (In Cyberspace, although your actual physical body isn't being used and therefor doesn't get tired, your brain is actively experiencing a world as complicated as the real one. Therefor, if you're in it for too long, you will have to sleep to experience REM sleep, otherwise, you'll go crazy and start to hallucinate. Some have died because they couldn't handle the stress they put on their own brains by staying awake for too long in Cyberspace.) They all went to bed, but the woman didn't want to go into an enclosed space, she was afraid. Reid didn't blame her, not only was she only a year old, but she had personally spent time with the Evil One. "Stay with me." She said to Reid. "Okay." He replied. They stayed in the main room, with one of the rescue squad watching the door, he had slept most of the day, knowing he'd be the watch for the night. "I know I'm only a day old, but they did something to me. They made me be like you, like an adult." She said, confusing Reid. "What do you mean?" "They taught me everything that someone my age would know." She said. "Why?" Reid asked, but as the word left his mouth, he knew the answer. "I don't know." She said. Reid knew, knew that her organs weren't the only things that the black market wanted. Reid had heard rumors of full brain transplants, the super rich buying a new young body and having their brain put into it, but he didn't know if it was true. It just sounded too science fiction. But, he had heard of partial brain transplants, where part of someone's brain would be cut from the doner and then grafted into the recipients brain, hopefully restoring function where the recipient had lost theirs. This had been beneficial to those suffering from cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and frontal lobe disorders to name a few. However, these uses were only beneficial for the recipient, not the doner. This woman had been sped taught thirty years of knowledge, but for what purpose? For her brain to be dissected, cut and then grafted into someone else's? Why? Perhaps, simply for the purpose of getting ahead. Perhaps some rich parents wanted their daughter or son to exceed in life, but wanted it to be a certainty. They bought their child knowledge and were going to hand deliver them a future. Or, perhaps it was more diabolical. Reid didn't care, it wasn't going to happen. "What's your name?" She asked, sitting on the floor cross-legged, sitting with her back impossibly strait, picking at the rug she sat on for no particular reason but for something to do. "My name is Reid." "What do you do?" "I do this." She looked up at him with a face that meant she wanted to know more. "I save people from Cyberspace. A lot of people get addicted to it, so families hire me to get them out. I find them, bring them out, and hand them off to people who help them get treatment so they don't get hooked again. But, that's a front. We've been fighting against something more evil than just addiction in here for a long time, but we didn't know who or what until now. That man out there was the Devil, and he wanted you to...well, he wanted you. I don't really know why, but I don't care. He can't have you, and that's that. We're going to get you out of here and protect you." She looked at him with those soft but intense eyes that made Reid feel like he needed to tell her that everything was going to be okay, that nothing was going to happen, that there wasn't anything to be afraid of...but Reid knew that last part wasn't true. There was something to be afraid of. "Who do you work for?" She asked, knowingly. Reid didn't expect that, he didn't expect her to ask him such a discerning question. "God." Reid responded simply. "God?" She asked with a raised eyebrow. It wasn't that she found the subject of God unusual or unnatural, just unusual for someone to specifically say they were working for Him. "Yes. A while back my friends and I all had this feeling like we needed to help people in here. He has been guiding us and sending us help ever since we started doing this two years ago." "Help?" She asked. "Satan isn't the only one who can manifest himself in here." This brought an understanding nod from her. "I'm tired." She said as she curled up on the rug. "You're in love with me, aren't you?" She asked, again, knowingly. "I barely know you." Reid said. "That doens't matter, though, does it?" "I guess not." Reid replied, a bit embarrassed. "Hold me." She asked. Reid went to her on the floor and slid his body next hers, careful not to get too close, but also wanting her to feel safe. Her hair spread out on the rug behind her head, and he laid his right cheek on it, feeling her silky strands on his face. They both fell asleep.---------- The next day, Reid arranged for them to be driven to another city with cars he had procured for the convoy. They used three cars, all the same type and color. Reid drove her in the middle car, with two in the lead car and three of the rescue squad in the car bringing up the rear (Reid had a feeling if they were attacked, they would come from behind.) The road through the city looked like any other city in the real world, accept for its proximity. Since real world physics did not apply, the side walks were thinner and did not have a curb, and there were no street lights, the light emanated from no where, there was just a glow every once and a while from where a street light should be, but wasn't. Usually, the cars in Cyberspace were either more complicated then they had to be, or over simplified and therefor more difficult to get it to do what you wanted. Reid, however, had someone script cars that were more or less exactly what they had in the real world, so it wasn't too difficult to learn how to operate it. You'd think in Cyberspace you could have anything you wanted. In circumstance such as this, where someone is trying to get away from someone else and fearing for their life, one should be able to simply have something scripted and made to deal with it. Take the cars Reid has now, hypothetically he could have his hackers and system writers build in guns, rockets, or grenades, or whatever he wanted. But he can't. Cyberspace is policed by the government, much the same way the real world is. Only in Cyberspace, it's actually easier to see someone abusing the rules. If someone were to create a weapon, say, a gun, it would be easily spotted, since it would have to scripted to inflict harm. All object specifically scripted to inflict harm, and therefor, actually inflict psychological trauma to the receiving end of the victim, are strictly banned and coded out. This does not mean, however, that no one has weapons. On the contrary, almost every one who knows anything about Cyberspace has one weapon or another. This is similar to when the Internet was relatively young, when any who knew a little about the Internet had .mp3 files illegally downloaded from websites or Napster. However, the weapons do not look like weapons from the real world, and are scripted in way so that although they can inflict bodily injury, that code is hidden behind and around so much other code it’s difficult for the government code cleaners to find.. The lead car turned left at a green light that hung from nothing above the intersection, Reid fallowing close behind. He looked to make sure that his banana was still where he left it on the bench of his car that very much looks like a 1979 Ford LTD, and then looked in his rear view mirror which was hovering inches away from the windshield. He waited for the rear car to pull into view, but it never came. "Micheal, we have a problem." Reid says into a mike that does not physically exist. "What?" "Trando's car isn't back there." "What do you want to do?" "Take the next left, I'll take a right. Head for the next stop, if we don't make it, don't come looking for us but get out and recruit." "Got it." Trando said. "What's going on?" She asked. "We're in trouble. But, don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you." After Reid took a right turn at the next intersection, a police car rear ended him, smashing its front end and folding the hood back like an accordion. The car Reid was driving failed to respond to his desperate attempts to keep the car moving. Cop must have some kind of virus, Reid thought to himself. "Stay in the car, role up the windows." He told her. She listened and locked all the doors and rolled up all the windows. A man came after him and Reid knew he was one of the fallen. It was then that he realized that if he let anyone, especially the Devil or one of his followers or demons touch his love that she would be corrupted, that her face would change and she would never be able to love or to be loved. Reid could not let that happen. "You can't win." The man said to Reid. "Watch me." Reid said with determination. The man lunged at the car with her in inside, but Reid blocked him, pushing him away and then throwing the banana he had remember to grab before he exited the car. The banana planted itself and sprouted a tree which was a cross between a banana tree and a venus fly trap. One of the huge leaves on the instant growing tree reached out and grabbed the demon and devoured him. Reid knew that the fallen angel wasn't banished to the void or the pit, but at least he would be out of his hair for a while. The police officer in his squad car inched his car forward towards Reid's car as another squad car pulled up behind it. Reid knew it was all over, there was no way he could stop two cars from getting to her, but then he saw them. Two feathers underneath the first squad car. Reid grabbed both and put them together. An explosion of light lifted the front of the car and let it hover there. Reid pushed the it the rest of the way and flipped it over on top of the other police car. He then ran over to his own car. "Come on." He said, reaching out his hand. She exited the corrupted vehicle and took his hand. Her soft skin made him believe that all this was not in vein. They ran down the curvy road surrounded by grassy hills and trees that hung over the street. The road took a sharp turn to the right and Reid told her to stay put as he ran up ahead to make sure it was safe. A truck sped past him. "Look out!" He shouted, but it was too late. She was struck and spun around in the middle of the street. He ran to her, knowing that his one love had just fallen. She was dead, gone, his heart would never be the same. Yet she stood up and looked to her hand. It showed some signs of injury, but it was okay. Reid's eyes welled up with tears. "You're okay." He said with a gladness in his voice that spoke volumes of love and joy. "Of course, I have you." She replied with a smile. She and Reid walked hand in hand up the knoll and over, finding a nice little walk bridge over a stream. Many people walked the bridge, but this did not concern Reid, for he had beaten the attack, and everything was as it should be. Soon they would both be out of Cyberspace and they would begin a new life in the real world. They smiled at each other while crossing the foot bridge just as a woman walked by and casually but deliberately touched Reid's love's hand. All was lost. Reid ran to the woman who had violated his love's innocence and punched her in the face twice. "Reid!" His love screamed. Reid turned to her after he stopped hitting the woman. "I'm okay." She said, holding out her hand. She certainly looked okay, but Reid wasn't sure. She hadn't changed, but the damage could have already been done, but the effects might take a while. He looked at the woman he had struck, eyeing her suspiciously. She only looked back at him without emotion, without denying or admitting anything. Reid didn't know what to think, but his love was so far unharmed. He took her hand once again and walked her to the nearest Cyberspace access point and left it, never to return.---------------- The prisoner of Cyberspace Hell (which barred a remarkable resemblance to Wallmart) was released as Satan left with his demons, but only to do his bidding. But this day was different, this day felt different, this day felt as if he had a choice, as if Satan had no power over him any more. So he stopped. The Devil glared at him with his perfectly rendered human eyes, and whipped him with a whip that normally sent him sprawling to the ground in pain, knowing that his real body was also registering the very real pain. But this time it didn't hurt, though he could feel the whip hit his back. "You are bound to me here, slave. Obey me." The former servant of God said. "No, I don't think so." And with that, he simply walked off. He knew something had changed in Cyberspace, the hell that Satan had created and ruled had no power anymore. Perhaps Satan's reign on Earth was about to end as well.--------------
The actual dream I had wasn't as specific as this short story, but it was amazingly plot driven and linear. I decided to write it down both because it was so interesting and because of the wonderful triumph over evil. I am myself a christian and value my relationship with Gid. Therefor, after having a dream like this, and after writing it down, I think about it and wonder what God is trying to tell me or teach me. In this case I believe He was trying to show me how Godly men are supposed to treat women in their lives. If God did give me this dream, I don't think He meant to be accusing or judging, but it did bring to light my short falls. In the dream I played "Reid", the savior/protector. But, in real life I've played the role of those who would corrupt by a simple touch of the hand. Perhaps someday I will be given the chance to do what a Godly man should do and protect my future wife or girlfriend from those who would use them to satisfy their desires, including myself and my own. However, until then, I will continue to work on my relationship with God and get my needs met by Him.
All these things were in my dream which I included in the short story:
Transportation through cyberspace
Satan delivering the woman to steal her organs.
Me getting her away from him
the safe house above the Chinese restaurant and its colors.
Me holding her and laying my face on her hair.
the Police car attacking and rear-ending the car I was driving
Me being able to pick up the because of two objects found underneath the front of it.
Demon, which looked like a normal person, attacks and I make him go away using physical force
Woman getting hit with the truck, injuring her hand, I thought she was dead, but even her hand was okay.
The bridge and the woman who touched her
Me punching the woman who touched her in the face, but she then tells me that it's okay
Even the weird side story at the end where someone was in some kind of Cyber hell and didn't obay Satan because he no longer had power over him was in my dream, pluss, I was the guy leaving the cyber hell.
You get the idea, pretty much everything in this story is directly from my dream. The only things that were not in my dream were elaborations and specifications about how the cyberspace worked, when it was created, and etc...
Post, Post Script
I was thinking just now about why "the woman" had no name. I didn't name her in the story because she had no specific identity in my dream or had a name. This could mean a trillion different things, but I think the main thing it means is that I'm not supposed to protect just one woman or individual, but all women. Every woman I meet in life is that woman that I saved in my dream. I'm supposed to be the Godly man in their life and make sure that nothing bad happens to them. I'm not talking about some stupid knight in shining armor (because that's supposed to be Jesus for them) but I'm talking about just being a gentleman. Someone who simply respects them for who they are: daughters of God, sisters of Christ. I guess, who ever reads this, take it for what you think it means, but I know what it means for me. To not use them. To not use them to satisfy my desire for intimacy which God is supposed to be my source of anyway. To not strive for more than a friendship when they do not want it, or are not interested. To not cause confusion by adding physicality to a comfortable friendship. To not focus specific attention to any one woman if I am not dating her, especially if I do not plan to pursue a dating relationship. This dream has caused me to reflect deeply into how I view the women in my life, and how I treat them. And, frankly, I don't like what I see. I see a man, no, a guy who sees attractive women for only that, physically attractive, and then wants to be near them and wants them to give him their attention. And then, if they aren't, or are giving someone else, especially another guy (probably a real man), he gets really jealous. I don't like that guy. I want to be a man. A real man, a man of God, who, even after dating, engagement, or marriage, can be sitting next to an incredibly attractive woman, perhaps even someone he's seen naked in a movie he shouldn't have watched or a magazine he shouldn't' have opened, and simply bless her and pray for her. Be polite to her and a gentleman, but nothing more. To be able to maintain my focus on the one I'm with, and not change it to someone who I deem "more attractive," which, what the hell is that? All I can do is pray and press into God and hope. Hope that he can change the habits I've developed, the habits that a lot of guys in this American culture seem to have, and be the man God has made me to be: an example of how to be, not an example of what not to be.
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