The tests held up with similar results as the previous time and my social adjustment was not so much of an ordeal this time round as I was prepared for it. That’s not to say that I felt the same way about the tests.
July 6th 2004 came round and just before noon I once again made a transition into Stasis.
My mind was clearer when I entered the expanse this time. I’d accessed close to my fledgling node, Blue and this was where I would base myself for this session in Stasis.
I decided that my first task would be to work on something that I’d been mulling over during my recent time in the real world.
Or more specific, could it actually be controlled inside of Stasis? If I was successful in manipulating the flow of time, then it would be my secret. Upon entry to Stasis, I’d coded a clock into my energy signature which was now ticking away precisely measuring my time in Stasis. I would only know whether I’d succeeded if I remained in Stasis once 24 hours had passed.
That was the elementary part of my work. Now was the time to work towards my more ambitious target. Tackling a problem head on before I had first entered Stasis was not something that I could even begin to consider one of my strong points. In fact, I would have to go so far as to acknowledge that I’d frequently shirk responsibilities that demanded anything more than a button pushing response akin to the ‘Press any key’ command.
However, that was pre-transition me. I had to approach this from the post-transition perspective. My re-engineered brain in this energy format should theoretically be able to do anything I channelled my thoughts to.
I focussed every part of my form into a wide three dimensional expanse. I ensured that my signature only crossed over with the generic spatial signature that was all around me for this first stage of my experiment. I thought that perhaps the nodes may interfere with my testing process.
I was looking for some form of detectable drift within the generic signatures. I’d already ascertained that there was no transient dormant code that could act as a time signature within the signature. What I was looking for was something entirely different. Not necessarily a code as such, but a pattern of some description.
I continued waiting.
So far, there was nothing. The generic signature was seemingly static. Although I could manipulate the local form, it was motionless when left alone. I could only conclude that I was looking in the wrong place. I attempted the same thing but linked between two nodes, but again I could not sense anything.
I tried every single combination of interaction with the known energy signatures that I could think of but seemingly to no avail. There was absolutely nothing there. No movement, no interaction.
I was about to abandon all hope that I would find an answer when I had yet another eureka moment. There had been one thing that I had been ignoring in all of this and one thing that I obviously could not interact with in this current form of energy.
The swirling colours all around me were obviously coming from somewhere. This photonic energy must have been out of phase with my more electric form of energy. I experimented by attempting a phase shift in my energy signature. I felt different, but still could not feel any interaction. I tried shift after shift, but each time, I could not sense any interaction.
A familiar pattern was emerging. The time clock read 23 hours, and I’d not actually knowingly achieved anything. Finally, I felt it.
Light came crashing through me with such intensity I nearly made an instant phase shift so that I was not subjected to this. But as I adapted, I could feel the intensity reducing significantly. I had yet to perceive a change in the flow of time and I suspected that simply shifting phase would not be sufficient.
I conceived the idea that the perhaps creating a superficial link between the two phased energy signatures using myself as a conduit might well be the key. I proceeded to code both energy signatures onto my own and waited.
There had been a noticeable change in the interaction with both phases. The colours were no longer swirling, they were static and I was able to shape this photonic energy whereas earlier I had been unable to. The generic energy signature on the other hand was less receptive to an attempt to shape it.
My clock entered the final minute of the 24 hours. I’d coded myself triplicate with about 20 minutes to spare, so if this had actually worked, then I had five days in Stasis if the change simply brought me back to real world time.
The day ended.
I was still inside Stasis. My energy manipulation had worked and my new found patience had paid off. As I was already resigned to a life in and out of Stasis until medical science could remove the link with just five days in the real world being prodded and poked, shut off from mankind, I thought that I should perhaps make the most of my time in this increasingly bewildering and beguiling environment.
I now had the time I required to shape this world how I saw fit. The key to shaping was coding and linking. The generic energy signature could be linked to a nodal signature and assigned a unique identifier. This allowed me to build colossal constructs in the space around the nodes that retained their structure and form once I’d finished with them and had started on my next creation.
I had finally caused some kind of status quo within Stasis. The towering micro city that I had sculpted around Blue was a tiny wonder to behold. Each building was currently a black metallic shell with blue neon strips defining each edge. None of them had anything inside them or any unique markings. I systematically forged the interior of each structure. I populated each floor with a variety of activities to keep myself occupied when I got bored of shaping. Now that I had mastered this skill, I could see how dynamic the energy was for this purpose. Stasis had clearly been designed with this purpose in mind yet, to date, I was the only known occupant. I was free to do whatever I wanted and shape this world how I saw fit.
The cycle continued. I fell out of Stasis after five days, went through the same drill as on previous occasions back in captivity before returning to Stasis to continue my world building.
I lived my life in Stasis synced with the real world. I built big, I built small. I build brutal, I built calm. I jumped from node to node, always creating, leaving behind my mark. Day after day, I crafted whole towns around a node. I created transport networks that gave the perception of travel rather than the feeling of instantaneous transportation.
The only thing missing were other people. It was something that I had strived to perfect. I could create copies of myself, but destroyed them soon after their ‘birth’. The only lifeforms that I could create were basic drones that followed set instructions. Digital bees pollinated the lifeless plants to my set instructions, picking up the digital signature and seeding life of sorts. The complexities of something much greater than this were something that I was persist to learn, but the ultimate fear of my own destruction at the hands of what I had created would also be there as a barrier of caution.
Days turned into months and the months turns into years. My world got bigger each day and I’d taken ownership of it as if I was the first man on the moon and I’d put myself there rather than by my country.
When I fell out of Stasis in 2008 onto the German autobahn, narrowly avoiding death, I quickly got myself to a secluded location and waited patiently knowing full well the agents of Stasis would soon track me down and return me.
When they did eventually arrive at my location two days later I told them that I would cooperate with them. They weren’t exactly gentle with me, but at least I did not arrive back at my former workplace all battered and bruised as I had done four calendar years earlier.
I no longer felt the need to question my captors. To them I was a willing and complicit subject. I just simply accepted that the tests and social readjustment were going to be performed and just let them get on with it.
I once again returned to Stasis and continued my work. I was continuously expanding and occasionally refining my designs if I grew bored of something or looked back on them as a little too raw.
Time passed by and the Stasis cycles continued. It was fifteen days before I was due to fall out of Stasis into an unknown location in 2012 when I sensed a set of presences enter Stasis. They were anchored to standard Stasis time and not the time that I had engineered. Something told me that were trying to flush me out. They would only have an hour to locate me and figure out what it had taken me a whole day to figure out on my third visit to Stasis. Even that was after two other visits. In all my time inside of Stasis I had never encountered the signatures of anything that felt alive, so I presumed that whoever these ‘people’ were, it was their first visit to Stasis.
I monitored their movements and signatures over the course of the next fifteen days and they never once came close to my presence. I was not even sure if they could move around in the world that I had created. Since I’d mastered real time, I had not yet returned to Stasis time to see if my own creation was visible. They were either staring in wonderment at my vast creation, or in confusion at a mess of shapes and colours. Whatever they could see, I am positive that my unknown whereabouts would be causing them some consternation.
I decided there and then that I had to put a stop to this cyclical process of Stasis. The presence of unknown factors had somewhat disturbed me into this decision. I’d been relatively happy alone building this world, but these tourists had ruined everything.
On the final day in Stasis, I worked on something that I had been mulling over during the last fortnight. I was going to attempt to turn the tables. I was going to trap these newcomers inside Stasis.
As the seconds ticked down towards my own ejection, I zeroed in on their signatures. There were four altogether, so this should not be too difficult to pull off. I created a copy of their energy signatures and created a denial code. On my transition back to the real world, I would code this into the periphery of Stasis so that they were unable to make the transition back.
There was one drawback. Due to the relative time dilation between the time phases, my current form would be easy to detect. They could potentially intercept my transition, interrupt it and trap me. I could only imagine that this would destroy my energy signature to the programming of the link. I would cease to be and wouldn’t even leave a physical body.
Timing was of the essence here. I had to leave it to the last possible moment. I’d programmed a kill-switch into my form that would turn me back into the initial energy form only with no link to the photonic energy. This was programmed to occur with 30 minutes remaining of my time. Or a mere five seconds of standard Stasis time.
I took a final look at the view from the penthouse suite that I’d vainly taken as my home a mile in the sky as the seconds counted down to my instant phase-shift.
Five seconds. I arrived back in Stasis time. My brief glance showed that my creations were intact in this time mode.
Four seconds. I felt a very slightly delayed reaction from the energy signatures.
Three seconds. They’d detected where I was.
Two seconds. They were on me, clawing at my energy form.
One second. I had no idea if I was going to make the transition or not. Win or lose, I felt the tell tale process commence for what would be the last time if I had anything to do with it.
I felt myself going through the periphery much more vividly than I had before. The extra concentration of my transitional presence on leaving the denial codes in my wake blacked out the actual pain of the reformation process.
It was 108°F when I fell out of Stasis for the last time