“Keep it safe, keep it hidden. Someone will come I promise. Don’t let them have it.” With that, he turned and fled from the alley back into the mass of people.
Jake came back to the present, the dark corridor squeezed the two occupants together uncomfortably. Both were breathing hard after the mad dash. Jake tried to listen for any pursuing footfall, but the beating of his heart throbbed in his ears. Seconds seem like eons as they waited until they were sure it was ok to move.
The man who had saved him grabbed him roughly at his shoulder and pulled him along the creaky wooden floorboards to an equally dark sitting room. The dank smell and cold room seemed old, unused and uninviting.
It was the first time Jake had been able to get a reasonably good look at his savior. The man was crouching down by a small cupboard searching within its depths for something. He appeared very similar in age and height to Jake. 6 foot tall and in his mid 20’s, although Jake was slimmer in the shoulders.
However, the similarities stopped there.
Black sweatpants and a dark hoodie like he’d stepped out of the gym, while Jake wore an expensive Armani suit. Then there was the strange-looking gun Jake could see nestled between the small of his back and his pants.
Jake didn’t have one of those.
The guy pulled out a small candle and a box of matches.
“Have you seen the matrix.” He asked as he struck the match.
He asked as he struck the match.
What sort of question is that? thought, Jake.
He’d remembered his father allowing him to stay up late to watch it with him, whilst his mum was visiting his gran. That was a few year before his father had the car crash and died.
“Yeah, I’ve seen it,” Jake replied.
Sulphur followed the glow of the small candle.
The man’s dark stumble and rounded face lit up. Deep-set eyes and short black hair complemented his rough appearance. Jake glanced around at his surroundings.
Faded 60’s floral wallpaper peeled from the top of the walls, mold, and lichen climbed the dirty skirting boards. Broken floor board littered the room along with a scattering of rubbish like someone once took up residence only to leave shortly after. The windows were covered by so many years of dirt and grime, that the street lights outside could hardly be seen. The room they were in was pretty bare, just the unit the man found the candle in, a small table that looked half broken and a moldy chair.
Dull metal springs poked through the rips in its fabric.
The man placed the candle on top the small table and turned to Jake.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.”
The man gestured with his hand in imitation of Morpheus from the film, only without the pills.
“You take the red pill; you stay in Wonderland, and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
He dropped his hand to his sides.
“Good film, good quote and they almost got it right. Except there is no pill and there isn’t a rabbit hole, well not one at least.”
The man walked to the filthy window and smeared a small hole with his index finger and then peered out.
“Hollywood loves to do that. They give you just enough information to start you hoping, just enough to make you believe in what if’s; to have expectation’s blossom in your heart, only for reality to hit you smack in the face as soon as you walk out of that cinema.”
He wiped his hand on his pants and turned back to the candlelight. The light danced under his chin giving his features a devilish look.
“I’m Sam by the way.”
The man extended his hand to Jake.
“Umm, nice to meet you.” Jake gripped the man’s pre-offered hand.
“You see what the film did get right is that this world you live in is a prison, not just a prison for your mind but also a prison for your body.
And It’s not a digital or virtual world where you get unplugged, like in the movies, and you wake up in Elysium, all rainbows, sunshine, and lollipops.”
Sam leaned in close to Jake and searched his eyes, he turned back to the window all the while speaking over his shoulder.
“No, is much more complicated than that.”
“Sorry… err Sam, what are you on about?”
“What I’m trying to say, is that’s all changing now, well for you anyway; you no longer have to be content in this dimension.”
Jake thought this guy was losing his marble pretty fast. Sam looked back and raised his eyebrows in search of a response, but none came. Jake inched to the door, maybe while Sam’s back was turned he could slip out and be on his way.
“I wouldn’t do the Jake, I need to explain things first and then if you still want to go, I’ll let you; I promise.”
Jake stopped, the board under his foot eased back with a tiny squeal.
Jake glimpse the gun at his back and thought If he wants him to stay it was probably best.
“The problem I’m faced with, and the reason why I’m telling you this now, is that you’ve got mixed up in something much bigger than you could possibly imagine.”
Sam shook his head and wandered back to the small candle to warm his hand over the tiny flame. A police siren wailed outside. The sound dying out as it moved away. Silence again filled the broken down house.
“I’m trying to tell you that whole new worlds exist Jake. In fact, I’m trying to tell you that there is an infinite number of worlds, a limitless number of dimensions, all accessible to you. You see the truth is your world, isn’t ready to believe in the fact that there are others out there, your prime ministers, presidents, world leaders, whatever you want to call them. They’re not ready to comprehend the implications of other worlds, can you imagine?” He let the sentence hang.
Jake rubbed his head and stared at Sam in disbelief.
“I take it by your blank expression you’re not following me?” Sam smiled.
“It’s like this; I’m from….” Jake cut him off.
“Look, mate, I’m not sure you’ve got the right guy here. This dimension stuff seems a little far-fetched to me. I’m just a normal guy with a normal job, living a normal life.”
“Normal.” Sam’s laughter turned to spluttering.
“Ok, normal guy, why were Regulators after you then?”
Jake thought back to the men who chased him to the tube station.
They looked like government type. An unmarked car, earpieces. Jake had seen enough TV to know that if these types of people were coming for you, you ran.
“Yeah Regulators, they’re from the same place as me, I don’t know why there want you, but it’s definitely you they want. I’ve been watching them, watch you for a while now.”
Jake shifted to the door again.
“I’m not with them don’t worry, quite the opposite actually,” Sam spoke quickly.
“You may have no idea what’s going on, but I do, and we’re running out of time. So please just hear me out.”
Sam’s eyes pleaded with him as he turned away from the door again.
Jake gestured for Sam to continue.
“Thanks, oh well, I’m from somewhere similar to here, similar to your earth, but a different dimension. We call it Earth 9. Remember the infinite dimensional stuff. Well, it’s true. Only my world is a little different from yours.”
Jake opened his mouth and then closed it again one finger held up in the air as he tried to comprehend what was being said.
“Look It’s like this, each dimension vibrates at a different frequency. Your earth one frequency, my earth another. Think of it like bubbles, one linked to another and then another linked to that, sometimes there’re two or three bubbles joined together.
Your bubble is the closest to my bubble in both location and vibration. It’s like our sister earth, actually that not correct; it would be better described as a twin sister. Your world is the same as mine in all but one way. Keeping with me”.
Jake nodded, something about what he was saying was starting to make sense.
“We live in relative harmony with our animals and with the people of our world. We are thousands of years ahead of you in technology and understanding. So naturally, we evolved beyond the need for war. We no longer have famines, draught or needless killing. Our ecosystem is stable and flourished to provide for us. We don’t use what we don’t need, and we replace what we use.”
Sam patted some dust from his clothes absentmindedly.
“We have a ruling body called ‘the council’, they keep the peace within my world, or the Regulators do that for them. That was who was chasing you. If it wasn’t for the council, we would have lived in a reality much like yours. They came to us from another earth when we were a young volatile race. They gave us their knowledge and technology, and over the millenniums helped to create our peaceful civilization. Well, it used to be peaceful.”
“So what do I have to do with it then?” Jake leaned against the wall, his expensive suit forgotten.
“A few years ago, a friend of mine invented a device that can be used to get you to any dimension at will. It somehow manipulated your vibrational energy and matches it to the dimension you want to visit. He went missing a few weeks ago, along with the device. No contact, nothing, except a weird message saying he’s in some sort of trouble and needs to find someone who could help.”
“So what does that have to do with me, Sam?”
“I’ll get to that Jake; I just need you to know a little bit about my world first, so you understand.”
Jake nodded, and Sam continued.
“100 years ago, my people found a portal that they didn’t know existed. They also found 12 individuals laying next to it. They were all dressed in sand-colored robes tied around the waist with strange fibers of blue. Their robes were stained, torn and scorched in places.”
“Skin like black glass showed through the holes, only it wasn’t hard but soft and supple. Each was over 7ft tall, a lot taller than our race, slimly built with sharp facial features that reminded me of a hawk. And each had cold blue eyes.”
“6 were clearly dead, green blood spilled from their heads making one big puddle in the dirt beneath them. It looked like they had been attacked, but by what or who we didn’t know. When we check them, 5 were still alive, but barely.”
“We slowly nursed them back to health, but they never spoke of what had happened to them, and likewise, my people never told them about how the came to be in our world.”
“Who were they?” Jake was surprised to be so interested in the story.
Sam held up a finger.
“The council decided to send a search party to their world to scout and report back. The scouts didn’t find much at first, only a desolate place with a harsh environment.”
Jake thought he heard a sound from outside but seeing as Sam didn’t notice, he thought nothing of it.
“We nursed the survivors back to health, after a while the survivors started to refer to themselves as polluxians, but spoke little about their lives. We just assumed that polluxian was the name of their species. Eventually, we accepted that the polluxians loss of memories was affected by whatever accident had befouled their brothers.”
“We came to trust them and seeing that their world was hostile, we offered them a place within our society.”
Sam crouched down and started to doodle in the dirt of the floorboards. Jake thought he heard another knock from outside the front window.
“We didn’t know that we were being lied to.” Sam shook his head a took a deep breath.
Sam shook his head a took a deep breath.
“Later reconnaissance showed that the polluxians world was dying, they had harvested all of their planet’s resources, creating the barren waste the scouts had found. The few that were still there were at war with each other over the last of the resources.
The council decided to keep the portals a secret from the polluxians. They weren’t sure if they could be trusted with the knowledge that there were more worlds. They thought that the polluxians race might be wasteful by nature and wanted to prevent the fate of their homeworld from happening elsewhere.”
“We now know that the polluxians had stumbled across the portal after a fight on a cliff face. We believe they didn’t know about the Portals before and hoped that this one was the only one in our world, it must have been a shock for them. One minute they were falling, the next they were in our world. A world that was ripe for natural resources.”
“Like I said our technology, and knowledge was more advanced then than yours today. We had long ago found the cure for diseases in cellular regeneration, but the byproduct of this was longevity. The implications of immortality were vast, and the council had to deliberate over the consequences.”
Jake’s eyes went wide. “Immorality, you telling me your an immortal?.”
Sam barked a short laugh.
“You could say that but only in the sense that with our technology, I can live a long life not that I can’t be killed.”
“Anyway within our 15 city’s over-population could have been a major problem. Concerned, the council decided to make all reproduction illegal without their express consent.
Kids are a rare thing for us nowadays and are highly prized. It’s almost a one out one in scenario. When you come of age you can decide to enter the re-Gen program. You don’t have to but pretty much everyone does at least once. It’s designed so you can elect to stay at any stage of your life, but you can never go back in age, only forward.”
“How old are you then?”
“Truly, I don’t know. I woke up one day without any knowledge of my past. That was about 300 years ago.” Sam stood and stretched out his legs.
“Longevity has some remarkable benefits, and our greatest minds are still with us making further advances for our world’s benefits. You could live for ten million years, but they can’t do anything for your bones feeling old.” Sam laugh again.
Sam laugh again. The polluxians sought out a life for themselves away from the population of the 15 major cities. We had first thought that this was their way and left them to their own devices. They had little knowledge of technology themselves, so the council had little concern over them becoming a threat, and thought that in time their natural could be changed.
“The polluxians sought out a life for themselves away from the population of the 15 major cities. We had first thought that this was their way and left them to their own devices. They had little knowledge of technology themselves, so the council had little concern over them becoming a threat, and thought that in time their natural could be changed.”
“What the council didn’t know was that they started to experiment with our technology. Somehow the outcome of the experiment was twisted and warped. It would kill and destroy life rather than nurture and grow. Where ever their technology touched the environment and my people suffered. Our world started to become infected by the polluxians labors.”
“The council became aware and brought them in for questioning. The council cautioned them about their experiments and told them to live by our rules. But that just made them angry. They began to corrupt some of my people to their way of thinking and soon an uprising happened.”
“The polluxians wanted to imprison my world; take control of the council and force the planet to its knees in servitude. They wanted to take our technology for themselves and use immorality to become gods.”
“We managed to fight the uprising and win. We captured them and took them thorough a portal to another world and from there we banished them through yet another that we long believed went to a void. Once through we collapsed the Portal and returned home.”
“What we didn’t know was that they had managed to steal the very technology we fought to keep from their hands, and later we also found that we had sent the polluxians through a portal that didn’t function like the other, it was warped, twisted, we had no way of knowing where it went. All we did know was that we could have potential sent them to a less advanced race, with the gift of immortality.”
“After many years of searching the different planets we traced one to your world and found signs of the polluxians, once confirmed the council order that the portal from this earth be traced and a hunt begun.”
“As a precaution they positioned a guardian at each portal off your world, to defend the it from the polluxians or to collapse it if was compromised.
They’ve been manipulating your world from the shadows. We recently found them and became aware of how the polluxians have been grooming your race for war.”
“They have been pumping the media full of violence, hate crimes, racial abuse, natural disasters, political anarchy anything that filled your race with anger. They’ve being planning an attack on my world for a long time, and all they need is a army. We fear that the masses are one push away from self destruction. Our agents have also confirmed that they have found a way to get to any world they want”
Sam pulled his gun from his back and slid a finger up one side; a series of blue lights followed his finger up the length of the barrel.
“If the scouts are correct and they do have a device that can do that, well it’s won’t be long before my world and yours will be at war.”
Sam put the gun back behind his back and looked up to meet Jake’s eyes.
“Shit!” Jake slumped against the wall.
“I think I know why they were after me.”
Jake pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and unwrapped it to show a weird long metallic object. Sam’s eyes widen in shock, and a smile lit up his face.
“Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. You did manage to get the device to yourself, Damn; I heard you were good, but I didn’t know you were that good.”