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Mind Over Matters

When Jacob got down to the office, it wasn’t procedure as usual. There were all sorts of people in various miltary garb and civilian suits milling around outside the offices. The local guard appeared to have at least tripled. Jacob could see the short figure of Mr. Jones weaving in and out of the groups of people trying to answer a thousand questions at once. When he noticed Jacob, a look of anger overcame his blunt face. As Mr. Jones started walking over towards Jacob, everyone else there suddenly noticed him standing there. Mr. Jones ordered the guards to hold them back as he made his way to Jacob.

“What are you doing here?” asked Mr. Jones, “we haven’t even called you yet.”

“Natalie kind of told me that I was jumping today and I figured I should get here early,” answered Jacob.

Mr. Jones raised his eyebrow, “She was ordered not to tell you yet.”

“That’s not important now,” said Jacob, “What’s important is that I’m here and I’m ready.”

Mr. Jones took a moment to look Jacob over from top to bottom. There were no signs of fidgeting or nervousness. He might not have been sane, but he was ready.

“Yes, I see that you are,” said Mr. Jones, “Follow me.”

With that, he turned around and instructed the guards to clear a path to the laboratory doors, which they promptly did. Jacob followed Mr. Jones into the main laboratory where he could see that his “victim” had already been strapped into the “mind meld machine” and sedated. Jacob recognized him immediately. It was the same face that he had seen on the morning news every day for almost a year. It was the face of the Prophet, the man who claimed it as his mission to rid the world of human greed. Or so the news reports said. The prophet was the absolute last person on Earth that Jacob expected to see strapped into that machine.

“We need you to re-adjust him,” said Mr. Jones.

Jacob started thinking: The prophet? What does this have to do with a war against aliens? Was I completely wrong in my assumption?

“Jacob?” said Mr. Jones.

“Sorry,” said Jacob, “You want me to re-adjust him, right?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Jones.

“But, he’s one of the UWD’s most wanted criminals. Why not just put him to death?”

“That would give us a problem with martyrdom. He still has quite a large faction out there that would become even stronger in his absence. We need a modified prophet to go back and undo everything that has been done.”

“Okay. You just want standard re-adjustment.”

“Yes. Complete and utter loyalty to the UWD should do quite nicely for our purposes. Also, be sure to clean out any excess clutter and junk.”

“Right, S.O.P.”

Jacob loved the idea of standard operating procedure in his line of work, since there was nothing standard or operational about it. Excess clutter and junk was classified as any of the many neural/personality disorders out there. If they had multiple personalities, Jacob wiped all but one out. If they have a phobia, Jacob wiped that out. If there was any clinically defined psychological disorder in there, he wiped it out. After all, no fully functioning and contributing member of the UWD can have any of those problems.

“Well, time is of the essence,” said Mr. Jones, “So, if you please.”

Jacob took that as an order and promptly walked over to the machine where the lab-coats strapped him in. As soon as he was strapped in, one of the lab-coats gave him a shot of the committee’s special hallucinogen. Jacob never needed it, but they gave it too him anyway.

Just before the swirling room forced him to shift, Jacob could see faces staring into the windows of the lab watching his progress. Mr. Jones stood there waving a thumb up and mouthing the words, “Good luck.” Jacob couldn’t recall him ever looking so inspirational…


Jacob shifted into what can only be described as an endless black room. He could see no boundaries, yet he felt confined.

“Now this is a strange place to wake up in a brain,” said Jacob.

Then the darkness echoed with a voice that seemed to fill all of the emptiness.

“Welcome to my mind, Jacob.”

“What a flare for the dramatic,” thought Jacob, “booming voice and everything.”

“Welcome to my mind, Jacob,” the voice repeated.

“Um, thanks,” said Jacob.

By now Jacob would be grinning because he had made contact with the psyche already. That was always the hard part. Usually, all that is needed now, is to do the dirty work. However, even though he could feel the psyche, he couldn’t reach out and grab it. Strange…

“You have come to destroy me.”

Jacob wanted to ignore the “holier than thou” banter and get to work, but he couldn’t. There was nothing there. It was a new experience for Jacob. Fortunately, Jacob was used to new experiences. For now, he would just have to play along with this would be prophet.

“Well, destroying is a matter of opinion,” said Jacob.

“You would erase the key parts of my personality that make up who I am. You would destroy me.”

“I could argue that you don’t need those parts because they hinder the good and whole person that is really inside of you. I merely set him free.”

“You don’t believe that.”

“What do my beliefs have to do with it?”

“Everything.”

“Oh yes, I forgot, you’re a prophet and know about these things.”

“Prophet is what they called me.”

“I thought that most people called you ‘murderer’.”

“I never killed anyone.”

“That too, is a matter of opinion.”

“So you do believe the news stories about me.”

“I didn’t say that. I’m just stating a fact. Many people think of you as a murderer.”

“I can’t help what the media says, as much as I try.”

“Why do you care?”

“I care because I believe in the truth. Society is sick with lies and needs to be cured.”

“So you search for absolute truth.”

“Yes.”

“Well, there is no such thing, only different people’s versions of the truth, suited for personal gain.”

“I’m sorry if you believe that.”

“I don’t believe in anything, I just make arguments.”

Then there was silence. Jacob still couldn’t grab the psyche, but maybe he was getting somewhere. After a few moment’s pause, the voice came back.

“You know I can’t hold you off forever.”

Now, Jacob knew he was getting somewhere.

“Yes,” he said.

There was another pause. Jacob knew that all he had to do was be patient. But if this prophet is powerful enough to hold him off for so long, then why doesn’t he attack? Jacob knew that whatever force was holding him off could just as easily destroy him. Whatever else happened, Jacob would try not to anger him.

The voice came back.

“I’ve wasted too much time already,” it said, “It’s time we got started.”

“Got started on what?” asked Jacob.

Before he knew it, everything shifted. Jacob found himself standing on the surface of Mars once again. This time he wasn’t in an encounter suit. The prophet was standing next to him dressed in white robes. Jacob still couldn’t grab his psyche.

“You don’t give up, do you?” asked the prophet. His voice was no longer booming.

“What?” asked Jacob.

“Never mind.”

At that moment, Jacob could see a speck that looked a lot like a human in an encounter suit go flying over. The sky suddenly became filled with laser shots. The encounter suit was hit repeatedly, but didn’t fall out of the sky.

“It wasn’t my followers’ intention to kill them. We just wanted to drain their energy reserves so that they would be forced to land within our reach.”

“What?” said Jacob.

“Bear with me,” said the prophet. He took a step forward and the scene shifted again. Now Jacob saw the prophet standing next to a table in a small, dark room. The military guy who Jacob had jumped into earlier was laying on the table. He was strapped down and unconscious.

“This particular specimen was a failure,” said the prophet, “We learned that not all humans are compatible with the coupling process. We are sorry that he had to suffer so.”

“Who is we?” asked Jacob.

“Well, that’s a little hard to explain.”

Jacob was quite confused by now. He came into this expecting that he wouldn’t have to deal with the whole war on Mars thing. Now it was hitting him in the face. Who was this guy? Was he somehow connected the whole Mars thing or was he just so powerful that he could reach into Jacob’s mind and play with his memories of past events. Jacob had never seen that kind of power outside of the mind-jumper organization. It made Jacob wonder. Was this guy a mind-jumper of some kind, or was he something else altogether not human?

“Well, try to explain,” said Jacob.

“We are an alien race. About four years ago our consciousness managed to expand into human occupied areas, primarily Mars.”

“Your consciousness?”

“Yes, we have evolved into a non-physical entity. We communicate and exist through energy. We are a part of everything we touch.”

“So, you are not human?”

“No, I am human. I am more human than you could know.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Here, let me show you.”

The prophet reached out his hand and touched Jacob. For the first time Jacob could feel the prophet’s psyche. Galaxies came swirling into view. In the same instant Jacob could see the grain of each pebble on each planet as well the entire galaxies as a whole. Jacob never knew that such vision was possible. It seemed so perfect, so normal.

Jacob was stunned with amazement.

“Then there are the memories,” said the prophet.

Just as he said it, the past opened up out of the galaxies as far as he could see. Suddenly, he understood who these alien people where and what they seek to accomplish. Evidence of their presence was in everything he saw.

Jacob knew that the prophet was the first successful contact that the race had made with the humans. The prophet used to be an archeologist on Mars colony. He uncovered ‘a hole’ on the surface of Mars, which allowed the others to reach him. It was only because of his psychological receptiveness that communication was possible. The prophet then made it his mission to share this awareness with all other receptive humans and to eventually bring the entire human race into the new awareness.

“I choose to do that. They didn’t make me. They don’t control me, but they are a part of me. We all want the same thing. We want a shared appreciation for the beauty and power of existence.”

“I know,” said Jacob.

“But I can’t do it alone. So far, I have found no one who could tolerate exposure and maintain who they were. That is until I found you.”

Jacob already knew everything that the prophet was going to tell him. He simply hadn’t figured out how to organize and process the information that the new awareness was feeding him. This whole thing had been set up from the start. Jacob simply had to discern what the prophet had actually done from what the media said he did. The prophet didn’t actually come to Earth until several days ago. Before then he had been on Mars fighting the UWD with the colonial militia. All of his supposed terrorist attacks on Earth were merely cover-ups for other government activities. But why this whole prophet thing? Why did he try to make a name for himself in the media. As soon as Jacob asked himself this question, the answer became clear.

“Is that what this whole prophet thing is about? Is it just to get to me?”

“Mostly. I still want to educate the people. I want to make them find their own abilities. I want to prepare them for the awareness. And I wasn’t gunning for you specifically. I just wanted their best mind-jumper, whoever that was. I hoped that I would finally be able to truly share this gift with someone.”

“So then, why all of the banter and argumentation?”

“I had to make sure that you were ready. I was probing you the entire time. And besides, the argument was interesting, if only trivial.”

“And the military guy?”

“A necessary sacrifice to get to you.”

“Why did he see a bug face instead of you?”

“Government programming. The marines were supposed to think that they were fighting bug-eyed aliens. It makes them more lethal in combat.”

“Did the whole war start because of me?”

“No, but you are part of the reason we fight it.”

Jacob was shocked. He couldn’t believe that someone would go through so much trouble just for him. Yet, here was this awareness which he was sharing with the prophet. He couldn’t deny what was so obvious before him. Maybe everything else that he had experienced up to this point was a lie. Jacob felt so betrayed by the life he had been given. How had he managed to be so happy with it? But now, a very promising and different future rested in the psyche that was sprawled out before him.

“Now you see why you can’t destroy me,” said the prophet.

“You are the only link,” said Jacob.

“Yes.”

Jacob knew in his heart that there was no way he could deny what the prophet was telling him. The truth was right there before him. Jacob could no longer finish the job. What the prophet offered him was far beyond anything he had ever dreamed. He would have no problem ignoring his obligation to the committee. It didn’t mean anything to him anymore. None of his previous experiences would mean anything if he could have what the prophet offered. Jacob decided that he would do everything in his power to help the prophet realize his dream.

And then it happened. He had never experienced it before, but he knew it the moment it struck. It was his prime directive. Like a battering ram out of the depths of his id, it charged in and took all semblance of control from Jacob. He no longer had a choice in anything anymore. The sensation was overpowering. Suddenly, he was pushed back, like someone had taken away the controls during his moment of incompetence. Jacob knew what was going to happen next, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

The prophet was still before him. The prophet was still open to him. Jacob watched himself reach out with a huge hand and grab everything that had just been offered to him. The life, the experience, and the awareness quickly drained away in a sudden burst of imploding violence. The prophet screamed and screamed as Jacob squeezed away at the awareness. Jacob was helpless to do anything. He wanted to scream too. He wanted to say he was sorry. He wanted forgiveness for what he was doing. But Jacob could do nothing. The prophet howled in dismay as his conscious was brutally forced back into one solitary human existance. All of the alien memories were taken away and the prophet was left as a solitary naked soul. Jacob wanted to cry, he wanted to comfort, but all he got was one more look at that lonely, starved face before he was forcibly shifted away into blackness…


When Jacob woke up, he noticed that the prophet had already been taken from the room. He could see Mr. Jones walking in to greet him.

“How did everything go?” said Mr. Jones.

“Okay, I guess. Did I pass out?”

“Yes, for a couple of minutes.”

“Why? What happened?”

“Your new prime directive kicked in,” said Mr. Jones.

“Really? I don’t remember that happening.”

“You probably don’t remember anything about the jump, do you?”

“No,” Jacob said with sudden realization, “No, I don’t.”

“Well,” said Mr. Jones, “that’s what happens when prime directives kick in. You’re lucky to be alive.”

“Yeah,” said Jacob, “Lucky to be alive.”


This time, Jacob didn’t bother to check into a hotel. He couldn’t remember anything and he couldn’t feel anything. Whatever it was that had gone on in that lab, seemed completely absent from Jacob’s mind. The only thing he wanted to do now was see Natalie again.

When he got to the apartment, she was there, waiting for him. The door opened before he could touch the door panel. Natalie stood there, naked. Her body seemed worn out and excited at the same time. Her eyes looked tired from crying and sobbing all day. She was wearing her best smile.

Jacob stared at her. She said nothing. After a while, Jacob held his hand out to her. At that moment, it seemed like she couldn’t hold back anymore. Natalie ran through the doorway and jumped at Jacob, embracing him in a full body hug.

Jacob said nothing and calmly stroked her hair over his shoulder. He carried her inside and closed the door.

Jacob couldn’t be sure what would happen since he had the prime directive kick in. The committee frowns on engagement of Prime Directive and sees it as a sign of weakness. Jacob didn’t know if his was a special case, but retirement still seemed like a good possibility. But, whatever happened tomorrow, they would have tonight together.

The End

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