Where will we be two millennia from now? Will we be looking at the world through our own eyes or staring into the minds of others?
-A sequel to The Visitor-
Streaming from consciousness to subconscious, breaking down the mental barriers of countless millennia of evolution. It was a lot like hiking in the mountains.
When I dropped into the tank of nano-enhanced fluid, my mind was set to a closed frequency. It was like moving along an avenue of trees. My consciousness set a gentle, easy pace. There was time to stop and inspect each flower. I could have counted every stone on the gravel path if I had wanted to.
Then the sub-atomic pincers clamped onto my spinal column and I was flying.
I shot out into a broad valley, racing forwards with the world passing by as little more than a blur. Grass, rocks, streams. A constant deluge of information flooded my senses.
Things slowed down and I was creeping towards the summit. Everything was laid out below me and on all sides. I could see for miles. Valleys, mountains, forests.
My mind was open, turned inside out. It could reach down and touch a tree twenty miles away. I could see every creeping tectonic shift in the landscape.
But I was blind. My mind groped through the tangled strands and broken webs of human thought which reached out through the derelict city.
Something snagged. It was a stray idea, a thought which spelled danger, secrecy and mistrust. I followed the spider’s trailing silk and took care not to pull too hard.
“We have to do it tonight.” she said.
Her mind was rigid with certainty and I could follow her thoughts like the flight of an arrow. Their conclusion was vivid in her imagination, giving the speaker a thrill of satisfaction. Explosion, fire, destruction.
“Are you sure it has to be tonight?” a man asked.
“I’m certain. It’s now or never.”
A cracking sound rose sharp to her ears, but did not startle her. She had primed the weapon in her hands. It was a long chrome tube with a trigger at one end. I felt the heavy rectangular stock in her hands, the mechanism which would send a precision bolt of radioactive energy shooting out faster than the speed of light.
I felt a lurch in my gut. Something was wrong. The barrier between our thoughts was crumbling away and I could feel her consciousness probing mine.
“We’re not alone.” she said. “They’re listening to us. It has to be now.”
My body lurched out over the side of the thought tank and the connection was broken. I was shaking from head to toe. The urge to vomit was overpowering.
Was that how it felt? Did they know the same sickening sense of violation every time we crept inside their minds?