Another photo taken in the dark in the Victoria Gate Plaza [not may favourite place in Kew, but it's the way in and out so it's always the last thing we see].
Mind Games pt 10 Falling in the waterMind Games pt 10 "He's fallen in the water!"
The door closed behind me and I had a glimpse of some ribbed, tarpaulin covered structure from the inside before plunging through the floor, which had vanished under my feet in the meantime to reveal blue water about thirty feet below. I heard a radio sound effect as of a loud scream, but with rapid diminuendo, followed by a large splash as I hit the briny. It was salt water. What sounded like the voice of a four year old girl a few feet behind me could clearly be heard to say,
"He's fallen in the water!"
I struggled to the surface, shook the water out of my face angrily and looked up in the air. There was a dirigible there! It was trailing a tail. It was a crazy tail. It reached down to the ground.... and was tethered to a donkey! I should have known... it was Colonel Bludnok's Donkey driven Zeppelin Service!
"You swine, Bludnock!" I shouted in a high pitched voice, straight out of the Welsh valleys, "I'll get you for this!" It
Mind Games Part NINE ExistenZMind Games pt 9 ExistenZ
Dr Mentz ushered us into the Environmental Resources Design Suite; a regular open plan office full of neat but powerful looking work stations, through that and into a space that looked like an indoor basket ball court, only with the walls and ceiling covered in high tech LED lighting rigs, beyond theatre or film studio grade. There seemed to be a trampoline set into the floor with what looked like Dr Young's clone wearing a VR headset and haptic gloves apparently moon walking towards us on it. Karl walked up to this figure, and as he did so the clone walked towards him, and the 'trampoline' in the floor kept pace with him until the two were facing each other across its boundary. "Professor Young! Delighted to meet you. How are you getting on in there?" The clone replied in the same stuffy, slightly upper class British accent, "Can't complain, old boy. The things this thing can do are... well, it's just magic. Makes you think, what?"
Karl turned an
Mind Games pt 8 If you can, hire the A-Team.Mind Games pt 8 If you can find them, hire the A-Team
"We'd like to prepare you properly this time; help you adjust to your situation...", the Professor continued. At the environment programming suite you'll be told much more. You'll be shown around, told how we've done things so far... a sort of orientation lecture, don't ye know? A little tour of the facility." I was certainly looking forward to a tour of something apart from the nether regions of Edwards AFB, or wherever this was supposed to be. This seemingly endless desert might as well be the ass end of nowhere.
At this point Karl took out a map. It was blank except for the title.... NOWHERE. I shifted my eyes back to the road to concentrate on my driving. Did that make any difference? Could I really run off the tarmac into the desert and get lost? There was a sign up ahead. When I could see it clearly enough to read it, I read "YOU ARE APPROACHING THE MIDDLE". Things were going from bad to worse!
Mind Games , Magnificent 7Mind Games pt 7 "Shoot your way to freedom, kid"
It was a Spanish, 1960s vintage, machine made, side-by-side 12 bore with authentically blued barrels, case hardened and patinated box lock and brass bead fore sight. The trigger pull was six and a half pounds and there was an 'improved cylinder' on the left and a 5/8 choke on the right [I think 'full choke' is 40 thou]. It was chambered for two and three quarter inch long cartridges, although it would take two and a half inch ones. It was nitro proved to withstand a pressure of 3,000 psi at the breech face and could be loaded with anything from dust shot to solid ball.
It was MY Marixa shotgun, abandoned by my father in Rhodesia when 'information, Immigration and Tourism' minister P.K. van der Byl had suddenly kicked him out, after failing to get the independent judiciary to convict him of anti-state propaganda in the high court, by the simple expedient of refusing to renew his two year work permit... at only three days notic
Mind Games SIX Waiting For The Electrician...Mind Games, 6 Waiting For The Electrician...
"Tell you what, old chap... let's go for drive, if I can fit into that dinky little Kit car they gave you.", said Karl in what I was sure he meant to be an avuncular manner. It had 'KAR 006' as a personalised number plate, just like the one Patrick McGoohan drives in the opening titles of The Prisoner. It was Goodwood green rather than canary yellow and, small as it was, it did have a passenger seat.
"What's the point," I demurred, "you know there isn't anywhere to drive, I can't even get it into fourth gear on that winding Welsh country road out of The Village. All it does is go through a few tight 'S' bends before you hit the downhill stretch to the Observatory, and that isn't long enough to get up any speed. I don't even bother to drive any more. It's so frustrating..."
"It might be different, this time," said the Professor, cheerfully, "Please? I really want to see what it's like, and you never know..." Why not? I thought. I had no
Mind Games 5 simulation, SIMulation, SIMULATIONMind Games pt 5 Simulation, Simulation.... SIMULATION
I'd never really believed Morphingus or any of the others who had tried in various ways to convince me of this. I didn't know how this trick with the text was done, though. It was hard to imagine a non invasive method that didn't involve The Village being a simulation, as claimed. Were they beaming lasers onto the back of my retina? I shook my head. The word stayed stubbornly put just outside the usually invisible boundary in my visual field beyond which I normally stopped seeing clearly, which was bloody annoying. It kept causing my gaze to drift downwards.
"Do I have to keeping seeing that?", I asked testily. The professor of existential philosophy, which sounded like a new discipline to me and was obviously not the same as 'existentialIST' philosophy, waved airily and the word 'SIMULATION' vanished. "Oh, it's just gone... that's a relief." I started looking around nervously.
"Are you bored, sitting here?", asked
Mind Games pt 4 'What happened to the lights...'Mind Games pt 4 "What happened to the lights?"
Blackness... one of my childhood memories, assuming I'd had a real childhood, was of standing underground in a 'show cave' somewhere with a tour group when the guide turned off all the cave lighting. It was dark enough to make a black cat in a coal hole at midnight look luminous, but not totally black like this. I was suspended in a featureless void so dark that the absence of light seemed to press in around me as if there weren't even any space for it to be dark in. There was nothing but black, not even that dim haze of visual noise that you can see with your eyes closed. I had no eyes to open or close, no ears to hear, not even a skin to feel with.... nothing.
In one of the science fiction stories they'd let me read in The Village, 'The Quaker Cannon', the hero was fighting in a long running war between the Free West and the Utilitarian East. The 'Utes', as they were called, occasionally captured people