Reality Wars – Section 1

by Thinman

Even though this is my first posting to any ASFR group ever, even within the newsgroups, I have been following the genre for some time now. I guess I've been waiting for something worthwhile (as far as I feel) to come to mind befor posting anything.

In any case, hopefully this will be it. It's a story I've been kicking around in my head for a while. In theory, it's supposed to contain smaller stories serving as character backgrounds for the overall plot (not gonna tell just yet).

Here is the first 5 pages of one character. If anybody has any suggestions (please be kind ;) ), email me at

"Viewing dimensions as a geometrical figure, one could begin to see how the universe and beyond can be described.
One would start off at the first dimension, or length (a line), and build off of that. The following dimension is width (a plain), and depth (a cube). The Cube, or depth, is equal to a point on a time line. This line is the fourth dimension, the dimension of time."
- From an unknown source (2003)


"Are you even listening to me?"

Robert Durrin looked up from his mouthful of pizza. "You say sumthin?" The words barely made it over the slice of pepperoni and Swiss he was chewing on.

"Oh, come on, man! I bet you haven’t even heard a word I said!"

"Daniel. I came here to eat and talk to you about anything OTHER than shop. You know how I feel about that." Robert swallowed his food and chased it down with his glass of root beer. "Besides, you’ve barely even touched this." He pointed to what was left of the pizza. "You going to eat any more?"

"What’s the use. Talking to you about this is like talking to my dog."

"You don’t have a dog, Danny. You’ve always been allergic to them."

"Exactly, Robert."

"Ouch … besides, I HAVE been listening. Personally speaking, I think this whole ‘travel to parallel worlds’ thing went out with that sci-fi show … what was it called?"

"It doesn’t really matter." Daniel took a swig of his drink and looked over the notes he had scrawled on a bunch of napkins. "The idea wasn’t just to travel to parallel universes, but to travel to … well … to ANYWHERE. Think of it … there are universes out there where magic is used for everyday tasks as much as we use the telephone to talk to people."

"And there are universes that probably hold untold evil and etc, etc, etc. Believe me, Daniel. Your dream is well founded but … you need to think of what type of Pandora’s box you’ll be opening."

"I have. General McFarlen and I think that the benefits outweigh the risks."

"Wait. You talked to General McFarlen? THE General McFarlen?! When did this happen?"

"Last Thursday. We both agreed that this project wouldn’t get very far without you."

"And so you bring me here to try to talk me into playing this Mad Scientist with you, right?"

"Something like that. Look, we’ve known each other for … how long?"

"Since fifth grade, Danny."

"… Since fifth grade. You know me, man. You know I wouldn’t do something stupid or crazy without thinking it through."

Robert picked up the napkins with the crudely written notes and studied them. "Yeah. Like the time you dared Johnny Potter to go into the girls’ bathroom in the eighth grade and take a picture of whoever might be using the toilet at the time."

"Could I help it he was an easy target?" Both laughed at the memory.

"All right, Daniel. I’ll do it. God knows I’ll regret it but … I’ll do it. Give me all the specs and notes you’ve got and I’ll start on it tomorrow."

Daniel left enough for the food and then some. Both got up and left the building, continuing their conversation.

No one noticed the figure in the full-length trench coat walk up to the now vacated table. No one seemed suspicious of the man when he picked up the napkins and sniffed them intently. ‘So. He IS here.’ The one thought ran through the figure’s mind as he stuffed the napkins into the trench coat’s pocket and left the restaurant in a different direction.


It took a total of five years for the project to be completed. The end result was a ring, roughly one and a half stories tall and three car lengths thick. Very few actually knew how the thing worked, and those that did were not telling, at least not yet. The device still had its bugs to be worked out, but overall it was finished.

It stood on end in a room large enough to fit a passenger airliner. Its purpose was to open a gate to alternate worlds ... some worlds differing from this one by only a small fraction, other worlds with laws of physics that would make the greatest minds this world has to offer curl up in a corner and weep. Questions such as "What if Abraham Lincoln was never assassinated" and "What if Einstein remained a violin teacher" could be answered. New and more fantastic resources could be found. And mutually beneficial exchanges of ideas and material could be initiated with cultures that could never exist on our world ... or so the theory went.

Dr. Daniel Everett was the man responsible for making the ring a reality. His theories and calculations were a work of art within the science profession, providing that his peeres would take the time from ridiculing him and look at his research. He and his partner, Robert Durrin, had spent the past few years finding every equation that would make the ring functional. And at last ... the ring was complete. All that was left was a dry run of the systems to weed out the bugs in the system.

The lab intercom continual voiced statistics and instrument readings voiced by technicians within a shielded booth recessed high along one of the walls. Daniel, Robert and his girlfriend and chief technician were securing a control panel near the ring and setting it up for the first dry run.

"Ok. That should do it. What've you got, Douglas?"

* "About a ten percent increase in output" *

"Yeah. That's not going to cut it. Sandra, what would be your recommendation?"

"It's hard to say, Rob. We could shut off most of the outlying redundancy systems ... maybe cut into the power in building C ... but that would only give us about another 5 or 10 percent increase in power."

"Damn. If this thing didn't eat so much power ... ah well. It was a dream worth dreaming."

"What about cutting into the emergency power for the whole facility? We've never had the need
to use the backups, so it isn't like that is going to be missed."

"I'd hate to soak all that up, only to find that it's needed to clean up after this monster goes on the blink, Robert. Douglas, you getting all this?"

"Yeah, Danny boy. Sounds like a plan to me but ... Your baby, your decision." *

"Sometimes I truly hate being the project head ... Ok ... Do it. We'll figure out how to boost the power without drawing on secondary systems later."

* "Done and ... done." *

"All secure here. You two get to your stations. I'll finish up here."

"Got it. C'mon, Sandra. Don't want to miss the big fireworks." Sandra gave a soft chuckle as she and Robert went off to their workstations.

Both had only just turned when one power distributor hummed to life ... then another ... then another.

"Damn it, Douglas! Hit the emergency shut off." Several seconds went by and power was still running through the Gate's hardware. "Why aren’t you shutting this down?!" Daniel only had a second to look into the glass of the control before a hole was ripped in reality and was held suspended within the giant ring. The air, along with any loose objects, was sucked through the hole ... along with the three humans. First Dr. Daniel Everett fell through the swirling mass. Then, clutching each other tightly, Robert Durrin and Sandra Snow fell through the center of the ring.

As soon as all three were gone, the rip closed, the machines shut down, and all was silent...

RUR – Robotic Universe Reality

Daniel fell for what seemed like an eternity. He was moving through a landscape he’d never even dreamed could exist, passing by whole universes; whole experiences as he moved across an infinite sea of shapes, colors, and sounds. He fell through bubbles containing entire universes, complete with their own laws of physics. One contained an exact replica of Earth; all the buildings and objects he'd grown up to recognize, but with no humans. The buildings and unmoving cars looked as if they were brand new. But not a soul moved about the sidewalks. Not one person entered or exited the structures. Another world contained only death. An entire universe made up of a field of grass and withered, sickened trees as far as the imagination could take. Littered across the vast endless landscape were corpses of every species known to man, even a few that were hidden from the knowledge of human kind. Not a single animal stirred. Scenes of the highest level of fantasy to the darkest reaches of nightmares passed before his senses. And when Daniel thought he would go mad from these visions, he landed.

He landed hard enough to knock the wind out of him. Lying on his back, trying to catch his breath, he began to view his new surroundings. It appeared he had landed in a room made of stone, possibly deep in whatever passed for a building. The only major light sources came from torches that lined the walls, allowing Daniel to barely make out some Egyptian-like hieroglyphs carved into the walls. There was enough light to see the room was also furnished with a couple of stone chairs next to a stone table ‘how could one move those around’. He also noticed an open door just off what little light was allowed by the torches and that a small group of men with sharp looking spears were rushing to surround him before he had a chance to get up and run. Each wore only a skirt-like loincloth and some sort of headdress. With little prodding, they managed to get him off the floor and out the room.

The guards herded Daniel in to a large exotically decorated room filled with about thirty or more people. While each person was dressed differently, they all had the same Egyptian themed clothing. And this consisted of nothing more than what the guards had on, if that much. Daniel noticed that even many of the women wore nothing but a sort of metallic shawl on the shoulders. There was something odd about the scene, aside from the lack of modesty from the room’s occupants, but Daniel couldn’t put his finger on it.

"So, THIS is the intruder?"

The voice came from behind him. As he turned, his captures parted to show a long red carpet rolling up to a stone throne. Seating on the throne, flanked by two silver ‘silver?’ skinned females was a man. He wore the same items of clothing that all the others wore, which was not saying much. This lack of clothing showed off the man’s golden skin gold.

"Now that I can see you, I guess I must now decide your fate. What district do you hail from?"

"Um … district?" Daniel couldn’t believe how he could understand any thing this man was saying. He knew that the language was vastly different than anything spoken on Earth, but somehow he could understand it.

"Yes. I can tell you do not come from this district, so you MUST come from one of the outlying districts. However … I have not know any of the others to produce one such as … you …"

The sentence sort of trailed off in thought. The one on the throne, apparently the leader of this … ‘district’ … was looking at Daniel as one would study a caged animal; a zoo specimen to distract his time.

After several minutes, the one on the throne widened his eyes … "Amazing! You … you are NOT from ANY district, are you?"

"Actually … uh … your highness? … " Daniel looked up at the leader for some sort of confirmation. The one on the throne only nodded his head and smile a little.

"Actually, I’m not from this universe. I know that sounds a little strange … and maybe stupid. But it IS the truth."

"I believe you. You are not one of the creators, are you?"

"No. This is actually the first time I’ve come here." Daniel gave a lame smile, showing his embarrassment at his situation and being confused with what apparently was someone of great import.

"No. No, I suppose you are not. But … you ARE organic. Correct?"

"Uh … yeah." Daniel was beginning to see the pattern in the questioning.

"Incredible. Do you realize you are now the only organic sentient in all of the created?"

"The … only sentient?" Daniel took another look around the room and realized what was bothering him about the scene. All the people that were in this room; all those that were standing, sitting, or lounging on the floor had nothing between the legs. As naked as they were ‘If only Mom could see me now’, they had no reproductive organs to speak of. But, there was more than that. In the light of the torches, Daniel could make out what seemed to be some sort of square paneling between the legs.

"Oh man … oh wow … oh … oh wow." Daniel didn’t know what to say. He had made first contact with a whole new species of intelligence outside his own universe … and it was a race of machines.

"Is something wrong?"

"No. Its just … You … All of you are … androids?"

"You do not have anyone such as us where you come from?"

"Well, our government and some major corporations had been working on artificial intelligence, and most manufacturing plants use some type of robotic assembly line but … this … THIS is beyond anything we could produce."

"Then you find us fascinating?"

"Yeah. I guess you could say that."

"Good. You find us fascinating as well. You will be my personal guest. All your needs will be taken care of; food, clothing, living quarters.

" We must talk of each other’s cultures. I would like to know more about your world and the wonders it has produced. I am sure you have many questions regarding our race, yourself."

"You can say THAT again. This is …"

"Good. You find us fascinating as well. You will be my personal guest. All your needs will be taken care of; food, clothing, living quarters.

" We must talk of each other’s cultures. I would like to know more about your world and the wonders it has produced. I am sure you have many questions regarding our race, yourself."

"What?" Daniel wasn’t expecting the response.

"You DID say ‘You can say THAT again.’" The quote was even done in Daniel’s own voice.

"Yeah. I guess I did say that. Well … I wasn’t expecting you to take that literally. Where I come from it’s what’s called an expression."

"You mean like showing emotions on one’s face?"

"Uh … something like that. Only it’s more of a vocal expression."

"Good. You must explain more about these ‘vocal expressions’ to me. But first, you must be hungry and tired from your journey." Come to think of it, Daniel WAS starving. Traveling across dimensions would do that to you. "I will give you a personal servant. Thet come here." A young woman, showing the age of about 26, walked out from amongst the crowd. She had the straight braided black hair that all the others had, coming down to a little below her shoulders in a sort of ‘bowl’ shape. Her attire was similar to that of the others; only the low hanging collar like that found in sketches of ancient Egyptian people. The skin was of a brown / bronze color and smooth like that of a rubber ball. "Thet, you will see to whatever wish this guest might have. Understand?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Will she be to your satisfaction?" Something in the ruler’s eyes said that for the girl’s sake, Daniel had better agree.

"Yeah. Um … she’ll do fine."

"Excellent. After you have eaten and rested, I will have your audience. Thet, you may lead him to his quarters now."

"As you wish, my lord." The girl gently took Daniel by the hand and led him out of the large chamber.

The room she led him into was moderately furnished. The décor seemed as lavishing as what was found in the throne room and kept with the running theme. While at first glance nothing seemed out of place, he realized that this room was special … a room reserved for someone that either hadn’t existed yet in this realm, or one that had died out a long time ago. The bed at the far wall alone showed that the room was set up for someone who needed sleep, and Daniel didn’t think that the current population qualified. The place was even furnished with an odd sort of a bathroom. While the locals could probably make use with some sort of bathing system, he doubted they needed to expel any sort of waste, at least from organic matter. Recessed within a wall off to his right was a metal plated alcove with a control panel to one side, possibly some sort of food dispenser with a touch plate next to it. Slightly to the right of that was a monitor and keyboard built into the wall. A quick glance confirmed that the alphabet was way beyond what he was used to.

"Do these accommodations meet your approval?"

"Uh … Yeah. Sure." Daniel was too distracted taking the sights in to really listen to what she (it?) was saying. Just that it needed a yes or no answer.

Thet had moved to a position off to the side of the door and stood there, not moving or blinking, waiting for any commands Daniel might have.

A low rumbling in his stomach told him it was time to eat. ‘Ok, Danny boy. Time to experiment.’ Daniel walked up to the recess in the wall and put his hand on the plate. His initial thought proved correct. A small plate with a single slice of pizza appeared in the alcove. Oddly enough, it was the same kind he had had with his friend, Robert (whatever happened to that guy?) the day Robert decided to join his little project. Daniel took the plate and began looking over the control panel in the wall while thoughtfully munching the slice.

"Hey, Thet. What does this keyboard and screen do?"

Immediately, the female came to life. "It is an access terminal to this district’s information database."
"Info database, huh? What kind of information do you guys store?"

"I am sorry. I am not familiar with the reference of ‘guy’." ‘Right,’ Daniel though, ‘Note to self; watch slang usage in future.’

"Ok. What I meant to say was ‘What kind of information does this district store’."
"All information important to the optimal functioning of this district and descriptive information to the outlaying areas are stored in our database."

"And these keys? They’re not in any language I’m familiar with."

"One moment." There was silence for a few seconds, and then a small bell sounded. When Daniel looked at the keyboard again, it was in the standard human alphabet and in the standard human keyboard configuration.

"How did you do that?! That was … wow!"

"The current impulses and chemistry of your brain was analyzed and interpreted in order to find the best configuration for your comfort."

"Great. You people are mind readers. Wonderful."

To Be Continued....  [click here]

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