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Dr. Decker, a brilliant Nanotechnologist and Virtual Reality Engineer, is suddenly tapped by the government to help them on one of their Top Secret projects. Seeing this as a lucrative promotion and an opportunity to work with the latest advancements in his field, he decided to accept their offer. Little did he know that he was about to take a journey into a new reality. As time moved on, he went from the excitement of seeing how far mankind had progressed to the horrors of the high price that man would pay to get there. No man or woman had ever dreamt of the dangers inherent in the interweavement of human potential with good and evil, dangers that resulted in the ultimate hijacking of the human mind.
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FrameworksThe Price of Delusion
By James Regan Phillip Guerra
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 James Regan with Phillip Guerra
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSeptember, 1952, at Dragon's Triangle in the Pacific near the Philippine Sea, 6:25 A.M.
The moonlight danced gently off of the ocean's waves. Uneven fog banks began to form dark paths out to the horizon. The early morning breeze felt refreshing, as it mixed with the salty air. The waves were unusually gentle. The sounds of crewman scrubbing the deck and speaking in Japanese could be heard starboard. Just above the anchor of the ship was the name, (written in Japanese), Kaiyo Maru number 5. The thirty one member crew was busy conducting a hydrographic survey of the region. They had been traveling at a slow and steady pace since about 4:00 AM that morning. Every crewman was evenly dispersed throughout the ship and carrying out his assigned duty.
Every thing was normal, it seemed, until the radar room started picking up a large signal. As the Japanese crewmember on radar duty alerted several others to what he was seeing, the compass began to spin and lights began to momentarily flicker. Another crewman confirmed the radar image for himself and immediately sent word to the Captain. The Captain who responded from the bridge went outside on deck to get a visual. As he looked in disbelief he saw a huge square-like dark mass rising up slowly out of the water.
The dark mass then quickly picked up speed, and the ship began to rock from its displacement of the water waves. The other men on the ship's main deck also braced themselves, while they began to see the large mass emerging like an upside down black-colored iceberg with its tip still in the water. As its tip reached the surface, the water began to calm again. The mass resembled an upside down pyramid. It appeared to be about the size of two football fields at the top and a bluish light began to arise from its bottom. As more and more crewmembers began to go outside to check out what was going on, the light seemed to pulsate and get bigger.
The Captain then came out again on the bridge with his binoculars to take a closer look. The texture of the mass appeared to be made of some kind of stone. Within the span of minutes it had risen hundreds of feet out of the water. There was a humming sound in the air that appeared to be connected to its source of power. At least two thirds of the crewmembers now had gone to the surface of the deck to see the anomaly. There were a few men talking amongst themselves but most were completely enthralled by the monstrous pyramid shaped object, as it began to clear itself fully above the ocean waves.
The Captain and his crew were very nervous. They had previously heard of stories of strange happenings in this area known as the Devil's Sea. As the object finally cleared the water they began to notice a smaller right side up pyramid at the upside down apex of the first one. The smaller pyramid seemed to be the source of the pulsating bluish light. The pulsations and humming sounds of this bluish light began to get a little louder and more intense, as the object drew closer. The light being emitted from the pyramid created a hypnotic effect on everyone aboard who was looking at it.
Suddenly, the blue light exploded outward and individual beams went out from the light. Each beam was directed at a crewmember's head. The light was consistently pulsating and waves of blue energy began to emanate along the beams and into the crewmen's heads. Some of the beams penetrated the hull and found the remaining crew that was still inside the ship. Every single crewmember, including the Captain, became fully interfaced with the blue beams of light.
All of the crewmembers at once then dropped their hands to their sides no matter what they were doing. At first, they were just being involuntarily mesmerized. Then within a few seconds their minds became entirely hijacked by the beam's overpowering grip. While the bluish pulsating light continued, a holographic greenish gray-like plank quickly began to issue out from a door that had opened at the apex of the upside down pyramid about 100 feet above the upside down apex itself. The holographic plank reached the ship's deck just over the railing, and then stairs began to form under the plank to the deck itself. When the plank was fully extended and the steps were in place, the bluish pulsating beams stopped.
One by one, in this oceanic eeriness, the crewmembers began walking the holographic plank that led to the door of the upside-down pyramid. The procession went on for about twenty minutes until every single crewmember had left the ship and the plank was retracted. The door on the pyramid closed and then it slowly sunk back into the sea with the ship's crew never to be seen or heard of again. Dawn arrived and the unmanned ship drifted involuntarily into the unknown fog.
Present day: At an undisclosed location in a secret government lab.
An unknown person in a military uniform with brown hair and rimmed glasses slid his badge and then entered a restricted door in a top-secret government lab. At first it looked like a small studio dark room used for photography, but as one took a panoramic view it revealed that it was much bigger than that. A grey haired man, who was a programmer, was sitting in civilian-styled clothes in front of a computer looking at case files. The computer screen showed a picture of the Kaiyo Maru ship and information about its disappearance. "What is the status?" asked the first man. "We still are trying to find the right leader program," said the programmer. "She has been very resistant to several of the others." "Run the isolation program and then switch to another bait. Let me know when you've completed the process," said the first man as he left the room.
The programmer then walked over to the virtual reality section where there were several set ups. After that he walked up to a specific virtual reality bed that was in a booth. It contained a thin young woman with red hair. She was lying on it while wearing a special headset with glasses. To the right of the machine were a series of wires and a 4-sided holographic display box. There was also a regular monitor positioned there to give the programmer a visual reading of what was being seen by the eyes of the virtual participant.
As the isolation program was initiated, she immediately found herself standing on a virtual representation of the Kaiyo Maru number 5 ship. By intentionally disorientating the subject by means of manipulating her brain's beta waves, they altered her sense of time. "I don't know how I got here," the young woman thought, as she wandered the deck of the Kaiyo Maru. She had been made to experience several minutes of this as if it had been several months. Each time the researchers pressed a button they would fast forward the actual program yet the young woman experienced everything flowing in normal time.
The isolation program drove her to the edge, as the months seemed to pass by at an extremely slow pace. She painfully remained in a very lonesome state of perpetual night. She initially speculated that she had been drugged and brought here by the men in black, but now she was not so sure. She began to hallucinate, or so she thought, but it was really the programmers manipulating and introducing the different stimulations into her mind while they observed her reactions. The programmers knew they had to get her to believe the imposed virtual scenario before they could effectively begin the layering process. As they made various preposterous creatures to confront her she began to doubt her very sanity, "This cannot possibly be real!" she thought as she observed a six-winged creature with glowing red eyes form right in front of her.
The programmer pressed another button and the creature then clasped its hands and released a slew of deadly poisonous snakes. Her reaction was one of immediate fright, making it obvious to him that she had a long seated phobia towards snakes. She tried to run, but she was unfortunately surrounded. A cobra snake lunged at her and bit her torso while she desperately tried to remove it. She immediately began to feel herself going faint. "Could this be real?" she asked herself. Just then, from nowhere, a heavyset gentleman appeared and came to her aid with a syringe that resulted in a calming effect.
She suddenly became aware of her surroundings and found herself in a hospital room. The same heavy set person, who was a male nurse, asked, "Cindy, do you know where you are?" "Uh no," she responded. "You've been in our psychiatric ward for a couple of months now, and this is the first time that I have seen you lucid. That's very good news. I'll go ahead and inform your doctor," he said smiling as he walked out. His face seem so reassuring to her that she didn't want him to leave. The observing programmer was very pleased upon seeing this reaction; now he could initiate the layering process. He quickly notified the OP Manager to come back in.
Cindy pondered over everything that she had experienced and it made perfect sense to her. It had to have been all in her mind. She was in good hands now. She had been brought back safely to this pleasant reality as opposed to the horrific dream that she had been having, or so she thought. Cindy then turned on the T.V. and began to tap her fingers on the tray table while she watched. Everything was better now. She felt at peace and was oriented to the hospital's surroundings. She believed that this was her true reality. Little did she know that even this hospital reality was actually the imposed bait program that had been switched on her. They had reached their objective and had finally gotten her to believe. With this accomplished the gateway to her mind was now fully open and ready for their program embedment.
Present Day: Arlington, Virginia.
"Mr. Peppleton, how much longer?" asked the two star General, while he sat fidgeting impatiently in the back seat of the specially equipped government limo. He had been on a tightly scheduled tour of several military centers. There had been a few stops including the White House where General Corsica had consulted with a group of Congressmen and the Secretary of Defense on a very pressing matter. The driver glanced at his watch and remained quiet as he assessed his whereabouts. The General spoke up loudly, "Mr. Peppleton?!" "It looks like about 15-20 minutes sir!" shot back Sergeant George Peppleton. "Once we get off the main highway, we'll get on the direct access road to the Pentagon, sir." The Sergeant had answered him cautiously, as the General was displaying a more grouchy tone about himself than usual. "Perhaps, he's had a long day or didn't get enough sleep," thought George.
It had been three years since Sergeant Peppleton began driving General Corsica around. It started out sporadically at first but only within the last year did the Sergeant receive more orders to drive the General, until it was just about every day. He had not been officially assigned to the General but was stationed at the Pentagon primarily as a regular driver dispatched to whomever needed his services. Now, however, it seemed like he was becoming the General's personal chauffer and assistant.
Up to this point he had enjoyed meeting a wide range of people there at the Pentagon. With the General becoming his steady and only passenger, it caused him to be more focused and remain on his toes with the constant demands and protocols that the General would continually set forth. This did not disturb the Sergeant as he had faced situations that were a lot tougher during his tours in Afghanistan; so this job was gravy for him. The Sergeant knew that this job might even lead to a promotion down the line. So the seriousness and urgency he sensed in the General's tone only momentarily unsettled his emotions.
General Corsica tapped his fingers as he looked out the window at the evening traffic. At 7:38 p.m. (19:38 hours military time) the evening ritual of cars going home was beginning to subside. As he looked outside at the passing buildings, he began to think on his wife and children. He reminisced about the previous weekend outing that he had spent with them at the Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C. near Silver Spring. The smell of the barbecue chicken cooking and the children playing nearby were all still very vivid in his mind. "It had really been good to get away with them," he thought.
Due to the mounting pressures in D.C. and other parts of the world, it was difficult to spend time with his family. As the General continued to replay and enjoy this memory, he recalled his specific feelings that he had as he watched his kids play with their dog, named Bubbles. He remembered calling over to John, his oldest son at thirteen, "John, don't go too far, the food is almost ready and it's going to be pretty good!" John called back, "Okay," as he threw the Frisbee to Bubbles and then watched the dog leap into the air to grab it. The General's two girls giggled incessantly as they saw Bubbles, their beautiful off-white Cocker Spaniel, come down, land on his side, roll over, and then still come up with the Frisbee smiling as if she was ready for another go at it. The General turned to his wife, Beth, who looked up and grinned at him, as she was busily setting up the table. She was putting out all of her famous home made fixings to complement the General's barbecue.
The General kept savoring this memory until he was abruptly startled with a sudden stop by the driver who had to brake hard for a person who was running a red light. "Watch it Sergeant!" jumped the General. "Sorry sir, Civilian was running a light, sir," responded Peppleton. "Well, watch out anyway!" added Corsica. "Yes sir, will do sir," said the Sergeant, as he exacted the proper amount of deference needed for the moment. "We are 2-3 minutes away sir." "Good!" replied the General while he studied his watch. As it was almost 8 p.m., the General began gathering and tidying himself for the secret meeting that was about to take place at the Pentagon.
The military limo drove up to the gate and the guard there came over to check the driver's I.D. and the orders. After a short period of browsing, he then moved back to the rear of the car. The General lowered his window and the guard looked in. As the guard glanced at the General and the things in the car he said, "Nice to see you again, sir." "Likewise," replied the General. The guard retreated, the gate opened, and then he gave the General a sharp and full salute. The General returned his salute as they drove on. "I like how that guard operates," commented General Corsica. "Peppleton, what's his name again?" "Lawton, sir, uhh, Corporal Lawton Muncy Jr., sir," stated Peppleton. He further added, "He's been with us for six months now, sir." "Make a note and remind me to put in a good word for him about his thoroughness." ordered the General. "Right away, sir, consider it done, sir," responded the Sergeant.
The limo pulled in and arrived at the stopping zone for dignitary drop offs and came to a full stop. The Sergeant quickly turned off the vehicle and hopped out of the front like he was about to win the lottery. He opened the door with military style and hopped to attention and saluted. The General with determination in his voice got out and said, "Thank you, Sergeant, and please get my bag." "Yes sir, right away sir," responded Peppleton, as he quickly recovered the two bags. One was a carry-on for personal items and the other one was his briefcase filled with important documents and his personal computer.
It was now 8:20 p.m., and there appeared to be an unusual amount of activity going on in the Pentagon for that time of evening. There seemed to be a lot of movement and a bit of a hustle in the background, as they entered the stone building that had a black military-style flooring. There were rows of pictures lining the halls with cabinets and flags decorating the foyer for people to see as they came in. General Corsica picked up the pace, which made it difficult for Sergeant Peppleton to keep up, but he managed. "That's what service men in the army are trained to do," he thought. "They just keep up with their officers and leaders."
Excerpted from Frameworks by James Regan Phillip Guerra Copyright © 2011 by James Regan with Phillip Guerra. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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