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Mind Over Matters

This time they were swimming in a black hole. Around and around they would go as they watched all of their favorite things get sucked in. The vidscreen, the Government Building, Mr. Jones. Yet they could resist the pull of the black hole, because together, they were stronger than its gravitational forces. Natalie had such an imagination. They might have had enough time for one more REM together, but Jacob wanted to shift now.

Jacob opened his eyes. He really had wanted to stay, but the image of the black hole had somehow disturbed him. Besides, it was practically midmorning now. It was midmorning in the real world, not Jacob’s world. He always had to remind himself. It kept him sane.

Reality had a different meaning for Jacob. There was no conscious and unconscious state; there was merely shifting, since both states seemed perfectly real and controllable to him. However, when it came to dreaming with Natalie, Jacob usually let her have control. It was always pretty scary whenever Jacob lead. With so many parts of other psyches roaming around in his head, he was never quite sure where they would end up. Jacob could never forgive himself if he let Natalie get hurt.

Jacob was prone to strange dreams. He was a mind-jumper after all. A government built fixer-man who rearranged some of the more belligerent members of society. Sure, it takes a lot of expensive machinery and preparation time to go that deep into someone’s psyche uninvited, but then again, Jacob is pretty good at what he does. Now, all he has to do is touch someone to see certain parts of them, especially if they’re willing. And that’s where Natalie comes in.

Jacob sat up in bed and looked out through the window of their thirty-second story apartment. Shifting beams of white light danced through pockets in the black smog lingering outside. Natalie was still asleep, alone in her own dreams. Sometimes she did that. He watched the beams of light move up and down her small little back. How fragile Natalie was. So much energy in such a little body.

“Vidscreen, news channel 75,” said Jacob to the black box on the other end of the room. It came alive and projected a 3D image out over the bed.

A beautiful woman appeared in front of Jacob. She was wearing a business suit and had her hair done up in an elaborate and towering fashion. She spoke in a very calm and steady voice. To the left of her were images of burning buildings and dead bodies. People were running everywhere as the firemen tried to mount an offensive against the flames.

“There was another terrorist strike in sector G31 of New New England. This time, it hit the Civil Public Relations Building. It has been estimated that over 200 civilians and social workers were killed in the blast. The total casualties have yet to be determined as the fire-forces attempt to put out of the remains of the fire that has now completely destroyed the building.

“The United World Democracy’s investigators are saying that this terrorist attack is most likely the work of the so-called “Prophet”. This is the same Prophet who claims to be on a holy mission to cleanse the Earth of human greed. We’re going to Chief Inspector Hengle live at the scene for more information.”

“Chief Inspector Hengle, what do you think is the reason behind this terrorist attack?”

“I don’t know what that crazy man thinks he’s doing, but he’s costing a lot of innocent people their lives. When we find him, we will prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. Such reckless murderers can’t be allowed to roam free in the UWD.”

“Inspector, how do know that this is the work of the Prophet?”

“We have received a number of phone calls from people claiming to be members of the Prophet’s ‘disciples’ who say that this is the work of the Prophet. There is also a lot of activity on the Prophet’s numerous web sites claiming a victory for their ‘jihad.'”

“Why haven’t you been able to apprehend this Prophet yet?”

“Honestly, he’s a pretty tricky guy. He uses the web as his sole means of preaching his message and communicating with his disciples. This makes him a very hard guy to find. But don’t worry. We have some good leads now and expect to have him in custody within the month.”

“Thank you for your time inspector.”

“No problem.”

“We will be back with some air ball highlights after this patriotic break.”

Jacob wasn’t sure why he felt so compelled to watch the vid news every morning. Maybe there was some part of him that hoped it would be good, or at least, true. Too much of his training as a jumper told him not to believe a word he heard on the news. The United Word Democracy was big indeed.

“Vid screen off.”

A small hand began to make smooth, circular motions on his lower back. Natalie was awake.

“Watching the news again?”


“Why do you do that?”

“I don’t know.”

Natalie stopped rubbing Jacob’s back and sat up. The swirling beams of light landed on her pert little breasts. She was the silhouette of a child against a swirling background of light and dark. Sometimes, the mid-morning visions of her against the window were stranger than his own dreams. Perhaps that’s why he left the window open. There was really nothing to see but light and dark playing with each other.

Jacob watched Natalie as she climbed out of bed and walked over towards the bathroom.

“Lights,” she said as she walked in. Jacob could see her climbing into the steam-shower. She never bothered to close the door.

He wondered why he was still with her. It had been practically eight months. She was so little and so fragile. Jacob was always afraid that he would break her. Yet she was ferocious in bed and even more ferocious in her dreams. Her imagination was always outstanding. In some ways Jacob was sure that Natalie was the work of the UWD. Their meeting had been awfully convenient. She ran into him outside of the Government Building one day. They touched hands at that moment, and there was an immediate connection. Since then, Jacob hasn’t been able to let go. Perhaps it was better that way.

“Do you have work today?” said Natalie leaning out of the shower.

“Um, not really, but I have to go in for some programming.”

“Really? What type?”

“Prime Directive.”

“Prime Directive? Are they crazy!? I thought they only did that to initiates!”

“Yeah, well they say that I need some more, an no, they won’t tell me why or what kind.”

“Don’t you get tired of them fucking with your brain?”

“Yeah, but this isn’t the kind of job that I can quit. You knew that when we met.”

Natalie walked into the room, still naked. Her body was red from the heat. Water droplets were running down her breasts and between her legs as she toweled off her short blonde hair.

“Yeah, but I don’t have to like it.”

“Yeah,” said Jacob.

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