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Mind Over Matters

As Jacob stepped off the airbus onto the platform a deep fear overcame him. He hated programming. So many people were completely unconscious each and everyday, but the thought of losing control of himself had Jacob frightened down to the core. So many things could go wrong in those several hours. Especially when they were programming Prime Directives.

The UWD Re-Socialization Committee describes Prime Directives as sign posts. If ever a mind jumper gets lost or confused in dealing with another psyche, the Prime Directives will point him in the right direction. A mind jumper never knows his or her Prime Directives, until one makes itself evident while on the job. This only happens if you screw up. Jacob has never screwed up. Still, he’s fairly sure that most of the Prime Directives are there to ensure his loyalty to the Re-Socialization Committee and not to “help” him with his job.

It is highly unusual for a mind jumper to receive any new Prime Directives after the first initialization into the career. Jacob didn’t know any of his present Prime Directives, so he certainly couldn’t guess what he needed new ones for. And he was sure that the Committee wouldn’t tell him anything. They never told him anything that he didn’t absolutely need to know.

Jacob began working his way through the Government Building156/9AS. Just about all government facilities were called Government buildings. Whatever went on inside the building was kept as secret as possible. This gave terrorists a hard time in choosing targets to strike. There are some less-important buildings which do have names. The Civil Public Relations Building was one of them.

It would take Jacob a good fifteen minutes to get all the way down to the committee headquarters on the second floor. He counted once. There are twenty-seven security check-points down the seventeen floors between the airbus platform and the front door to the committee offices. And everybody at the check-points recognized Jacob. That’s why it only took fifteen minutes.

When he arrived at the offices, they were waiting for him. The lab coat men waiting in the outer offices didn’t offer any sort of greeting before they quickly rushed Jacob into the inner offices where the lab was. Before he knew it, he was strapped down to a surgeon’s table with a large round metallic machine lingering over his head. They always did programming this way. They figured it was easier on the jumpers. The room was beginning to spin as Jacob fought off the sedative they gave him. Before he went out, he noticed a couple of men in army uniforms standing in the back of the room. They looked like generals. How curious…

Natalie knew that Jacob wouldn’t be home for a couple of days. He never came directly home after programming. He didn’t want her near him after any type of assignment, because he didn’t trust his mind. He didn’t trust whatever new thoughts, psyches, or programming might be running around in there. He needed some time to get control of it all before he could feel safe sharing with her again. Natalie was fine with that. The committee was fine with that. It proved that Jacob still had good self-control. That was why he hadn’t been retired yet.

Natalie decided to spend the time by herself. Being exposed to Jacob on a regular basis was all of the people that she could stand. She certainly didn’t want to go outside and see more people. Reality was becoming too real for her now anyway. Jacob had taught her the value of being alone. He had also taught her the value of being someone else. She loved him for it.

Jacob was the result of a grand experiment. All of the other mind jumpers only lasted two or three years before they went insane and had to be retired. Part of the reason was because they were allowed to try and live normal lives in society. The only other option was to keep them in cages, but that just made them go insane sooner. If they didn’t have some sense of freedom, they couldn’t perform correctly. After all, once they are sent into someone’s mind, all that controls them is their Prime Directives and whatever loyalty you have instilled in them. Loyalty was the key.

Natalie knew all about loyalty. She was trained to make sure Jacob was loyal. She was his perfect woman designed as a life-companion. Sometimes she wondered who she really was, since she had to be re-programmed for Jacob. She didn’t really care. She was happy now. It was funny how Jacob displayed pedophile tendencies in his psychological evaluation. It was the only reason she was chosen over the other candidates. Whoever they were. Keep him sane. That was her job.

Time passed. She just lay there on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Jacob would be home soon. Maybe it would be in a day, maybe a week, but soon. Jacob would be home soon. She hated admitting it to herself, but she missed him already.

Jacob figured that waking up from a programming must be like birth. For a brief moment, everything looked new again. As usual, there was no one in the room when he woke up. Everything was standard procedure now. Jacob lay on the table, trying to remember who he was. Slowly, it came back: that form of consciousness that he considered normal. It was that familiar swirling of visions as his brain recalled dream sequences to match imagery with everything he saw. This room was particularly heady. Various mechanical devices around the room became monsters of methodical rape and torture. Each one was being mounted and lead on by Mr. Jones, the director of the Re-Socialization Committee. Oftentimes, Mr. Jones had horns and a pointed tail. Jacob was kind of amused by the thought of Mr. Jones as the symbol of all that oppressed him. It was probably true.

Jacob tried to figure out if he could sense any actual differences in his mind. What had they done? Whatever it was, he should probably take a couple of days to himself to figure it out, just to be sure. Besides, it was standard operating procedure now.

He climbed down off of the table and made his way towards the door. As usual, a secretary was waiting directly outside to monitor his progress out of the building. Jacob pretended to ignore her. She hastily scribbled something down on a note-board. It took twenty minutes to get out of the building. Jacob attributed the extra five minutes to fatigue. The secretary probably wrote down something else.

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