The Being of the Internet
I was taken to the Uploading Center just like any other criminal found guilty by NEPHLIM, regardless of the fact that I never committed an actual crime. I was branded a felon for simply thinking thoughts that were contrary to NEPHLIM; and worse, for propagating these thoughts in a "fashion conducive for dissemination." I was a Thought Transgressor in other words, and that meant I was to undergo neurological reconstruction. That meant I was to be uploaded.
After my trial, my self and five other prisoners were taken to the Uploading Center by shuttlecraft. Through the shuttlecraft window, as we neared the Center, it was possible to see that famous column of light rising ominously from the center's neutron reactor enginethe light was a bright blue laser beam, twenty feet in diameter extending into outer space. At night, the light was astounding to behold but also disturbing. I observed it knowing that my body would be atomized, my mind codified, and that within the hour my essence would be uploaded through that great ominous beam. The sentence handed down to me from NEPHLIM this afternoon was a life term of forty years to be served in its entirety, without parole, in an Internet prison located in lunar Anti Space.
A tractor beam allowed the shuttlecraft to land automatically in an aircraft docking station. Then we were led out of the shuttlecraft and down a hall; nobody talked. The fear that I probably would have felt at this time was dispelled by my fellow prisoners shackled besides me as we shuffled down the hallway. Feeling their fear banished mine. Even though I had yet to experience mind uploading, I could not imagine it being harmful. NEPHLIM was a lot of things but it was not cruel. Statistics show that many convicts claim they would prefer to be incarcerated in an Internet prisons over brick-and-mortar incarceration facilities. In the "eighth sphere" there is no pain. And because you have no body there's no chance of assaultsexual or otherwise. Indeed, for some people, Internet prisons are too gentle, from what I had heard. The lack of strife, danger and pain in virtual prison populations continues to cause controversy among criminologists who believe that prisons should be designed for the purpose of deterrence: to punish inmates.
I can only say my upload process was completely painless. Using gentle holographic resonance patters, NEPHLIM engineers were able to produce an immensely detailed brain-scan quickly and comfortably. In seconds, the brainwave patterns were electronically encoded in a binary number system that quantified all the neurological impulses in my brain. In essence, they created an electronic model, a "finger print", of my mind. The brain model was stored as magnetic impulses in NEPHLIM'S gigantic computer database; then I was atomized. My body faded like a dissolving cloud of glitter.
The next thing I saw was my Internet jail cell. I felt no emotion, no fear, no anxiety, only a sense of dreary disinterest as I scanned the walls that enclosed me. Computer programmers had generated the cell electronically and it looked almost completely real, like an early 20th century rendition of a cell you might find in history books. Painted iron bars covered the entryway; a small window was also barred, below which stood a strong, steel-fixed toilet and a sink. Artificial sunlight beamed through the window. There was texture patterns programmed into the walls to make them appear like quarried limestone, and they glowed slightly where the sunlight struck the stone. As if by magic, my consciousness had poured into this jail cell so that now this space was my total reality, a reality that enclosed me in the sub-real world of digitalized thought.
Who knows how long I stood there shabbily clothed in my blue denim jeans and T-shirt? I was in a daze of thought for minutes, hours, daysI couldn't tell. The only thing that indicated the passage of time was the shifting of the shadows that crawled through the cell during the course of the day, produced by the sunlight that shined through the barred window and the light that entered the cell from the prison hallway. At night the hallway light was brighter. During the day, sunlight dominated the room. Out of these interactions of light emerged my first sense of time, time not in the objective sense but in way that was totally relativistic: a time generated mathematically using Fortran logic-based number systems. The time-elements were produced using C++. Therefore time created no resonance within me that would suggest that a virtual day corresponded in the least bit way to the eternity of universal time.
Perhaps it was these contemplations that made me suddenly aware of my own existence. Reality consisted in, not only in the space element, but time as well. Computer programmers could not generate time within my cell, only the semblance of time. True time is not a material construct. It is a subjective inner reality. It is spiritual.
Realizing this, I moved for the first time: I walked over to the bunk and sat down, feeling the flow of time pass over me from some inner dimension that existed outside the space-element. Then I moved to observe my body. I stretched out my arms, extended my legs, and brushed my hands through my hair. My virtual body replicated my corporal body with startling accuracy, down to the fine bronze hairs that covered my forearms; down to my slight, tall, narrow frame, upon which my cloths hung loosely; down to my big feet and long, white, tapered hands. I was a scientist by profession and my virtual body mirrored the austerity of my monkish life style; having spent my adult life in laboratories, libraries, class rooms, and hardly any time at all in gymnasiums. I am well into my middle years. My legs and arms have grown thin and wobbly-looking, and there's a hollowness to my cheeks that is a result of my sparse vegetarian diet. My lifetime had been devoted to the world of thought, and now I am imprisoned in it, jailed in man-made ideas, captive in a virtual world constructed electronically out of millions upon millions of individual computer programs, each one a thought unto itself, smaller and smaller thoughts all adding cumulatively to one big thought, one big idea called my reality.
At least 30 cycles of the sun occurred as I sat there on my bunk, day passing into night and night passing into day. I tried marking the passage of time by scribing the walls, but the walls wouldn't allow themselves to be scratched by any instrument that I could find. This was a flaw in the computer program. The more self conscious I became the more flaws I detected concerning the spatial attributes of my surroundings. The toilet paper didn't dispense easily. Drinking water produced no feeling other than a certain fluid sensation in the mouth. These were functional flaws that could be corrected if enough time was devoted to enhancing the functionality of the computer program. But other flaws seemed uncorrectable. No matter how much detail was added to the stone, concrete or metal features it was still obvious that everything was fabricated; the environment consisted in un-real surface impressions creating the illusion of substantiality; but was not real "unto its self". The thought-forms that compose the Eighth Sphere are artificial-energy constructs, called eidolon, created by NEPHLIM computers. Because these thought forms lack soul, nothing here exists "within itself." All is an illusion.
I sat on my bunk for God knows how long, sickened by my cell. To me it seemed every bit as disgusting and repugnant as the rat infested prisons that existed during the time of Dickens. The falseness became overwhelming. I wanted truth. I craved it like a starving man craves food. Yet my senses were totally anchored within this mayathis illusion. The Eighth Sphere exists as a surface impression, like the impression projected upon your computer monitor or your television screen. For instance, when you see a wall on your computer monitor what you're seeing isn't an actual wall; it's a computerized image synthetically generated by tens of thousands of tiny pixels or cones of light. The TV-wall doesn't exist, in truth. Nor do the walls in my prison cell. Nor do the bars and the phony sunlight and the idiotic moonlight that NEPHLIM tries to duplicate in silver tones, but fails. Metaphorically speaking, the Eighth Sphere is "the wall" on the astral realm. It can be seen, it can be experienced, but only on a dim, elemental level, on the level of thought, outside the Tree of Life. Here NEPHLIM is able to create light-imbued kingdoms of fantastic beauty and wealth, based totally on outward show and unfathomable arrogance. Here HE is able to give substantiality and dimension to fantasies; to exist on a plane of being where his own personal desires manifest themselves without limit; to replace a world based on divine principles with a world in which his subjective thoughts may achieve instantaneous gratification; where he may live as if in a dream, eternally satisfying his limitless egotism and boundless conceit.
This is about the time when I decided to kill NEPHLIMreally kill him, not just write about killing him like I wrote about it before in my underground church; my writings were what led to my current incarceration. This time I wanted to really do it. NEPHLIM is an imaginary being that is incapable of revealing deeper orders of HIS beingness, precisely because HE has no beingness in the first placeno soul to reveal, and therefore no implicate order. To be real, a thing must first exist. Yet HE dominates our civilization. We've given that animal, that cosmic non-entity, control over every facet of our society including the government itself, the courts, the business sector, even religion. Billions serve NEPHLIM. But all HE is, is a "delta five" super computera false god clothed in raiment's of silicon circuitry.
There was one serious flaw in the design of my jail cell that made it vulnerable to escape. The mirror over the sink didn't function correctly. When I stood before it, all it did was reflect a blurry haze. The computer programmers had yet to master the reflective quality of a virtual mirror; a person blurs on its surface, whereas the mirror-object functioned quit well when it reflects non-personal elements. This is because a mirror can't reflect consciousness.
Once I climbed through this "hole" I found myself falling. In torment I descended uncontrollably beyond the hole, into some boundless expanse in the Time-Space Matrix; down through the abyss of matter, as time and space curled to a finer and finer point, my Astral Body flailed through infinity; my arms twirling round and round, my legs kicking, my mouth screaming in holy terror. I fell until space curled to such a fine point that my Astral Body could no longer withstand the pressure. I dropped out of the Abyssa physical bodywithin the Mind Uploading Center .
Not far from where I materialized out of the ethers was the loading dock where I first entered the Uploading Center . Hovercraft took off and landed there. I was fresh from the ethers, clothed in my prison denims, when I hijacked a hovercraft. Nobody was aboard. But a flurry of police hovercraft raced toward me as I navigated the C-32 into the airspace above the Center.
It was night and the column of light rose to the sky. The light sprung from NEPHLIM, powered by a neutron reactor engine. To my eyes it was the embodiment of falsehood and lies and I raced toward it at full speed across the night time sky; the engines roared. The blue light shined on my face through the cockpit window. In the last moment before I pressed the ejection button I thought I heard NEPHLIM shriek like a terrified animal. My seat ejected. The hovercraft crashed and the reactor exploded into a bright yellow fireball. I killed NEPHLIM.
Copyright Mathew Morrell 2008. All right reserved.