Short Story: In At The Deep End

On the seventh day after gaining physical access to humanity’s shared subconscious, the contractors announced that they had killed God. Of course, three days after that he rose again and forgave them, and from there on out it started getting strange. Well, stranger than it already was.

The whole thing had been designed as a preemptive strike to mold the general populace into something more malleable for the big businesses sponsoring the project. The discovery of applied branches of multidimensional mathematics and physics in the banking sector had taken a while to be smuggled past non-disclosure clauses and appropriated by rival research teams in a number of agencies. It hadn’t then taken long before productivity consultants had begun to get very excited about concepts such as description theory and psychodynamic modelling.

The thought of being able to edit their own workers, let alone potential customers, had been a siren call to the usual suspects. Given the projected financial gains, the research teams working in these fields were showered with budgets and carte blanche unseen since the Space Race and the Cold War. The Information War soon outstripped the simplicity of fake news and net traffic manipulation into far more esoteric realms.

As usual, nobody wondered what was watching from those realms. The shadows of these computations played like firelight on the walls of these sideways cavern’s and fields and curious intellects answering to alternative laws began to huddle round the brightest spots to push back.

In retrospect we can ask why nobody queried the higher incidence of unexplained phenomena like temperature changes or visual distortions in the research labs. Perhaps they did, but they were quietly edited out of the recorded reports dutifully spooled out to corporate masters. Nastier minds than mine have suggested that such editing may have come from The Other Side, just as the research teams were affecting things Over There.

Either way, nobody’s talking. Certainly not these days, anyway. The breakthrough event had a body count as the contrasting laws of competing realities twisted and pretzelled around each other’s event horizon and scythed a zone clear each side to a distance of precisely ten kilometers radius. We know this because the gateway on our side was in the heart of Wall Street. In that moment, we all knew we’d need something more effective than Ghost Busters to push back.

Given the generally pugilistic nature of both politics and corporations in search of recovered revenues, it wasn’t too surprising that a military response was made, despite the pleas for a more scientific investigation. A rapid corporate tendering process resulted in an outsourced security bidding war breaking out, and then the troops went in.

Human minds, even bolstered by drones and telemetry are not equipped to interpret other-dimensional spaces. Our brains are designed to approximate inputs they have no frame of reference for, so the intelligences on the other side were reported in terms that the troops brought with them – as the gods and devils that they believed in below their ostensibly rational fronts.

Over there apparently can be the nearest thing to heaven or to hell, even within a few steps of each other, so when someone tagged Over There as being our subconscious, it seemed to stick. The standing instructions from the corporate owners of the security teams became a mission to take down anything that might inspire the masses – which is why the biggest entity they could find was codenamed God, and taken down with extreme prejudice.

Of course, the entities over there were as affected by us as we were being by them. That’s why God rose again, a near infinite number of virgins began camping outside the Staging Area, Kali began reaping lone travellers, and new arrivals are now interrogated by Ganesh.

Suffice to say, all involved are desperate to find a way to disengage from this holy mess, church attendances are up again, and mathematicians are now on hit lists around the world. Strange times are back; now can I interest you in some prayer beads blessed by Buddha and Pikachu?

About Tim Maidment

Writer, House Husband, Raconteur and Bon Vivant
This entry was posted in Fiction, short story, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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