Part 1: Chapter 8: Return

I was resigned to my cyclical life of reality and stasis. I’d spent the last few days arguing with my captors and pleading for my release so that I could see my family. Engage with friends. Give my fish a bathroom burial. But right this moment I was directly engaging with a countdown to my unwanted redeployment into Stasis. And there was no way out. At all.

Transition hit me.

I was back in Stasis. But this time it felt different. It felt much more constructed than it had previously felt. As if I was no longer alone in the construct.

It felt different.

I sensed an interruption.

A schism.

Impartiality.

Life.

A waterfall.

Trickles.

I sensed all this as a fulcrum. Some sort of electrically charged emotional pivot. Although I had no physical form, I could feel myself being torn apart from an inside that I did not have. It appeared that I had some form of electric competition.

I attempted to reason with myself, but I could see that that was not going to work. Then I attempted to concentrate on the colourful landscape that was always shifting before my eyes. I failed to find a focal point. Although this was only my second experience of Stasis, I felt unnerved and attached to a presence that I did not want to be near.

I was also much more aware of my own personal presence this time. Or perhaps Stasis was far more aware of my presence on this cycle.

I drifted around the electric wilderness attempting to confirm my senses. I tried to rationalise what I was feeling and soon determined that it was something else other than a ‘person’. And there were literally thousands of them littered around Stasis. I jumped around, realising that with thought I could control the way that I moved travelled. I’d just drifted at first, but by triggering a digital synapse of wanting to be far away from my current position, I discovered that I could be there in a flash.

I leapt through Stasis to these curious nodes. Though not visible, they appeared to be inherently the same. However, on closer inspection each one had their own discernible properties. The energy around each node was different, almost as if was acting as a unique signal. I attempted to put this theory to the test by aligning my energy with that around two nodes and then switching between them. Sure enough, I leapt from one node to the other. This method was far more precise than my initial transit by thought method, though short of testing random energy frequencies I would have to seek out each node first in order to copy its energy signature.

I started to map out the immediate vicinity, coding each node signature into my energy with a name and a command to action the travel when required. Once I reached 100 nodes, I stopped. I was working on the assumption that I’d have plenty of time in future visits to Stasis to map further if required. Anyway, 100 was more than sufficient for my network.

By my perceptive calculations, I estimated that I had six more hours to kill in Stasis until I fell out again. I decided that the time would be best used building on what I’d attempted during my first time in Stasis. The colours and patterns around me needed work and I certainly wanted to have some sort of form. But how do you shape energy into definable forms that don’t simply crumble away once you have finished shaping it?

Giving myself shape and form was easy and would obviously take a more concentrated effort to make me resemble my human form. But every attempt to shape the world around me was met with a failure. Even though I was only creating small shapes, they just dissipated once I tried to shape something else.

It was hugely frustrating, but I persisted with my attempts. Once again, each attempt was met with failure and I decided that I was getting nowhere. I had to rethink my strategy. I concentrated my energy to tearing apart my own basic form and diverting it all into thought processes. I had to be overlooking something, otherwise I was faced with a very colourful landscape utterly devoid of any places of interest.

With about an hour until I returned to normality, I was suddenly hit by an idea that I really should have seen earlier. I checked the energy signature of the area around me and recorded it. I then moved to a perceived distance 100 metres away and recorded the energy signature there. Sure enough, they were identical. Shaping an area was fine, but it would not hold when I tried to shape another area.

I moved to a node that I had named ‘Blue’ and gave it a basic shape. It held. I could only shape energy with a static signature. I was thinking about testing a theory about linking and changing energy signatures when I felt the tell-tale signs of a transition starting.

Seconds later, I fell out of Stasis.

 

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