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
Mind Games pt 3 Welcome to the machineMind Games pt 3 Welcome to the machine
We walked together across the soft, powdery yellow earth, Morphingus, Quaternity and I; who ever or whatever I was, until we reached a small metal door set into a much larger pair of doors that took up most of the front elevation of this rust coloured building. Morphingus opened it and showed me in. Trank was sitting at a console full of screens showing incomprehensible, colour coded graphics which pulsed with electronic life. One of the screens appeared to show a view of the console itself and Trank from somewhere near the door. I walked towards it and it bloomed in my vision until I was looking into it and staring down and infinite corridor of screens, each showing a small picture of itself. There was even a 'video tape delay' effect, like that used in the early Dr WHO titles. The corridor bent and twisted as I moved my head. It made me feel dizzy.
"Ah, that's our sampling of the direct feed
Mind Games Number TWO 'OUCH!'"!The Mind Games 2 Ouch!
I could sense the damage almost at once and the pain followed a split second later. It was much more intense than I expected but duller, as if I'd hit myself with a tack hammer. I withdrew the pencil and glimpsed some bluish grey strands of something before my 'skin' closed up around the wound, leaving a puncture that leaked a slightly viscous translucent pink fluid. I was shocked and horrified, as well as bewildered. Without thinking I jabbed the pencil into the hand that Morphingus was even then bringing up in front of his face. He pivoted on his right foot and struck me with a low left jab that caught me just under the sternum.
Vagal inhibition kicked in at once and I bent forward and leaned on the desk, unable to draw breath. My left hand hurt like hell. I looked upwards at Morphingus as he retreated behind the computer desk and addressed the webcam above the flat screen.
The Mind GamesI was having a nightmare. I remember going to bed in London after resigning my position as a cog in the Wheel but can't even remember waking up again before finding myself here, in this picturesque little Italianate square with its well trimmed box parterres and a tinkling fountain, surrounded by quaint little shops with candy striped awnings. On the skyline there was a more imposing building capped by a verdigris coloured copper dome like a renaissance observatory.
"Where am I?"
"In The Village", said a voice I'd never heard before, speaking through the tannoys of some distributed public address system which made the voice seem to echo as if it came from everywhere and nowhere.
"Who are you?"
"The new Number two."
"Who is Number One?"
"YOU are #4,367,824,000,006... we'll call you 006, for short!"
"I am not a number. I'm a human being with free will..." After a brief interlude of sarcastically derisive laughter from the speakers I got in another question."Whose side are you on?"