Alternate Realities

By John W. Zammetti

©2012 John W. Zammetti

 

You lock the door, and throw away the key, there's someone in my head, but it's not me.

-          Pink Floyd's “Brain Damage”

 

Oh, I would do anything, for you I'd turn the stars around, I'd find a way somehow.

-          Bad English's “Price of Love”

 

Impossibility: A word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.

-          Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Prologue

Since the beginning of time, man has sought simple answers to complex questions: who am I, why am I, how am I?  They have also sought out the one grand unifying power in the universe.   I do not believe we are alone in the universe.  To think that, I feel, would be arrogant.  Whether we are indeed alone or not, I may never know.  As for the grand unifying power, I have found it.  Twice in my short life, I have experienced the greatest emotion of all.  For that, I am lucky: some never find it once.  The latter I wish to hold forever for it has taken me to a new level.  This story is my superficial tribute to that which I have found finally: true, deep love.

*

Yesterday is today

As John Mezner sat underneath the old oak, tree behind his house, the universe around him was collapsing.

John stared up into the night sky through his new Mitchel telescope he had just bought only a week ago. He had always had an obsession with the stars above, but now he could see them like never before. Until only 7 days ago he was doomed to look up and see only small specks of light littering the darkness that was space. Now he could see the details of each planet, and one in particular.

At 17 years old, John was very well-versed in Astronomy. He had been studying star maps since he was about .9 years bid. He could name every constellation in the sky at any time. He could give you the names of every star that made up each constellation, and he could tell you exactly when and where to look to see any constellation. He could recite thousands upon thousands of details about each planet in our solar system. He could spew out the names and locations and qualities of other planets in other solar systems. John was way ahead of his time, in more ways than one

Tonight was a special occasion for John though. Tonight, he would finally be able to see Alpha -Nebuion 9, the one planet he had a special interest in. This night, he somehow knew, would change his life forever, and he could not have been more right.

All that remained was for Rebecca to arrive and to focus the telescope, and there it would be, Alpha -Nebuion 9, in plain view, all it's majesty, mystery and danger, all seemingly close enough to touch.

A nicer night John could not have chosen. This was truly one of those splendid, almost fair-tale summer nights. It was about 82 degrees out, and almost no humidity in the air. The atmosphere itself had a special comfort to it. The sky was as clear as a bell, not a cloud could be seen in all directions as far as the eye could see. This would give John and Rebecca an unobstructed view of Alpha -Nebuion 9. There was a light breeze blowing, barely 5 miles an hour. All around him, John could feel the life. Millions of small creatures crawled and slithered along the Earth in the swamps behind him.

John loved this place. He had lived in Pennsylvania all his life. The house only a few hundred feet into the woods behind him was where he had been born and had resided for the past 17 years. To the east of him he could see a small mountain range. The moon's light reflected of its snow caped peaks and illuminated the valley below. John was set up underneath the same oak tree had had climbed many times as a child. This tree stood just outside the forest line, in a small clearing of the brush. John could only stand there and breath in the completely fresh air all around him. It was so peaceful, so calm...

"Hi honey!" Rebecca called to him, startling him enough to make him jump and turn to face her. "Man, don't do that to me Rebecca! You scared the crap out of me!" John said, half scolding her, but in a joking tone. "Well I'm sorry", Rebecca whined to him. "Oh stop. I was just kidding Rebecca. I'm not mad", John pleaded. John hated to see Rebecca sad, even if it was just playing.

"So where's this stupid toy you got? What did you say it was on the phone, a microscope?" "A telescope you idiot," John said with a chuckle. He knew she knew what it was. She was just playing stupid. "Look, it’s right over there! See? Isn’t it cool?" John asked, knowing what the response would be "It's cute", she said.

"Cute!?! You’re telling me that the new model A6E Mitchell High-field Zoom Telescope with Magno -advance is cute? I can see a penny on the money with this thing, and you say it's cute?". John wasn't mad. He was just playing with Rebecca. "Well, fine." she pouted. John decided this game had gone on far enough. It was time to start.

"Well hon, this will be the first time we see Alpha-Nebuion 9 for real. I mean, I've seen it in those dreams, but never for real. I can't wait." “Yeah, it should be cool", Rebecca replied now very interested.

Whenever either of them mentioned the dreams, they got very sullen and serious. Since John was 8 years old, and since Rebecca was 7, they had both been having the same dreams, even though they when thousands of miles apart. Rebecca had lived in San Domingo, California until only 4 years ago. They had known each other since they were 10 though, despite the fact they were geographically isolated and so physically far away.

The dreams had always begun the sawn whoever it was, be it Rebecca or John, would be walking along somewhere, maybe down a street in their town, or maybe sitting in school. All of a sudden, there would be a bright flash of white light, so bright in fact that it seemed to engulf them and nothing else existed for a few seconds. It was not bright painfully, it did not hurt their eyes or burn them, but it was brighter than the sun none the less.

When the light disappeared, as suddenly as it had come, they would be in the exact same place and position they were but this time there would be no one around them. They were the only human beings on the planet, at least in their fantasy dream world.

When John and Rebecca were both 10 years old, they had that dream on the 12th of January, 1986. It was about 10 o'clock at night when they both laid down to go to sleep. The dream started a little before 1030pm. They were sitting in school, both in their own schools states away. The flash of light came, as it always had. This time though, John was somehow sitting in the same class as Rebecca, in San Domingo High School. Both of them were shocked and at the same time happy to see each other. It was the first time either of them had had the dream or had someone else in it.

In their separate but intertwined dreams, they began to talk and get to know each other. John told Rebecca where he lived, and even gave her his address. When they had awoken from the dream, Rebecca decided to write to John. She didn't believe it was real, that John really existed in Pennsylvania, but she decided to write to him anyway. John thought it was all just a dream, so he didn't even bother to try and find her in California. Luckily, Rebecca succeeded in finding him.

Their dreams never again mixed like that, but the two of them became good friends. Then, about 4 years ago, Rebecca's parents decided to move from California, incredibly to Pennsylvania, in the same small town John lived in. When they finally met face to face, they fell almost instantly in love. Since then, John and Rebecca had been going out together, never even thinking of going with anyone else. Their anniversary was the 12th of January, 1989. This was completely by accident, and in fact they never realized what significance the date held.

So here they were 4 years into a relationship that had taken through some of the toughest times in their young lived, about to embark on a journey they both knew would take them places no human had ever been before.

In their dreams they had realized what was causing the flashes of light that left them helplessly alone. Not so much what was causing them, but where whatever it was, was. It was on Alpha-Nebuion 9. Whatever was causing them to be the only persons on earth in their dreams was on Alpha-Nebuion 9, at least in their dreams. So, John and Rebecca had begun studying the planet, and now they were about to see it, for the first time for real.

*

John played with the telescope for a little while, and after about a minute of fidgeting with controls and looking through the viewing piece, the planet was in plain view, seemingly close enough to reach out and grab. John's gaze was fixated on the planet. It looked exactly like earth does from the moon. "This is great!" he exclaimed with great joy. "Let me see!", Rebecca yelled at him, pushing him aside. She looked into the view piece and her jaw almost fell to the ground. "It looks just like earth", she said exasperated by what she saw. "I know", John replied thoughtfully. Rebecca looked up at John, and all of a sudden. As her eye saw a part of his soul she never saw before, they were alone again, together to face the nothingness surrounding them.

*

Journey to Untold Realms

"John, did you feel it?" Rebecca inquired slowly and softly. "Yeah, I felt it too. Have we been dreaming all this?" John wondered aloud to Rebecca. "I don't know." she relied. "Can we wake ourselves up somehow? Pinch me or something." John moved his hand to Rebecca’s stomach and pinched her as hard as he could. "Ouch!" she screamed in pain. "Not that hard you idiot!" "Sorry", John replied, not really worried about the pain he caused his girlfriend. "It's not a dream for once. We're actually here. This is real." They looked at each other, wondering in that meant what they both thought...

The two of them packed up the telescope quickly and began through the woods back towards John's house. "My parents should be home", he said on the way. He was hoping with all his heart that he was right.

The walked briskly through the woods, but before long, they started sprinting down the path. It twisted and turned through the trees until finally John's house came into view. They approached the house apprehensively. They both had a feeling his parent's would not be there, and not because they went shopping either.

The car was still in the driveway, so that ruled out a trip to town. It was too far to go without the car. John and Rebecca walked up to the front door and turned the doorknob. It was open. That almost completely ruled out everything else, since Rebecca’s father always locked the door, even if he was just going outside to rake or something. John turned to Rebecca and whispered, "I think it's what we thought it was." Rebecca just nodded her head, the fright edging onto her face.

They walked into the house, and it was now no surprise to find no one home. The T.V. was on, and the oven was cooking dinner. It was just as John and .Rebecca had thought: everyone in the world was now gone, except them.

True, it was a little premature to assume everyone was gone. Maybe it was just the immediate area, or just people they both knew. But they knew that wasn't the case. Whatever was on Beta-Nebuion 9 that had been giving them dreams for years past had just made the dream a reality. John and Rebecca were now in their own little alternate reality.

*

Reality’s Dream

"I think we better go to town and see what's going on there, if anything." John said to Rebecca, the whole situation now really hitting him. Somehow, the dream John and Rebecca had shared for years was now happening for real, at least that's how it seemed at the moment. John was completely sure it was caused by something on Beta -Nebuion 9. He knew this because he had a dream one time that he never told anyone about, not even Rebecca.

The dream started as it always did: John walking somewhere, this time through the woods near his house. The flash of light would come, and instead of being in the same place, or in Rebecca's school as he was in the one dream before this one, he was in the middle of a desert. The strange thing about this desert was that it wasn't hot. It was quite comfortable. John wondered where he was, and he finally figured it out when he looked skyward. Instead of seeing a blue sky with white clouds, he saw instead the universe. He saw every star in the sky. • There appeared to be no atmosphere. The black sky which was space touched the planet he was on in the horizon. It was at that instant that he knew he wasn't on earth, and he had a strange feeling he was on Beta -Nebuion 9.

John, to this day could not figure out why or how he knew it was Beta -Nebuion 9. He knew a little about Astronomy at the time, but the fact that the name just popped in his head amazed him. He later reasoned that the planet's atmosphere was strangely transparent from below it, but looked just like Earth's from a distance. Why or how this was he didn't know, but that was the only explanation, and really a moot point anyway.

At this point, his major concern was figuring out how to get home. He walked around the desert for a while, hoping to get some clues. All he saw was sand, all around him. He walked for about 5 minutes before it came.

John heard a strange sound behind him, like a person crying and hissing at the same time. He turned around quickly to face what it was, but his gaze fell upon nothing. There appeared to be nothing around him, just sand. Then, slightly off to the left of him, he noticed it. Silhouetted against the black sky was an area even more black than space itself. It was in a form about 7 feet tall, and a lot wider than John. Whatever it was appeared to have legs and arms, just like John, but 3 arms, not 2. It was like something was throwing a shadow on the sky itself. John turned around 2 or 3 times to try and see what it was causing the shadow. That's what he assumed it was. It wasn't.

As soon as he was satisfied that it wasn't just a shadow, but something physical, he turned to face it again. It was closer than it had been, and moving towards him rather slowly. He stood there, half frozen in place and half not wanting to go. He wanted to know what it was, but something inside told him it wasn't safe to know. Just as John had decided to turn and run, his legs began to carry him towards the thing. He was now less than 3 feet from it. He stretched his arm out to touch it, not sure of what he was doing. Just as he was about to make contact, he found himself suddenly back in the woods on earth.

From that day on John had a strange feeling that what was causing his and Rebecca's dreams was not a freak phenomenon of nature, but a living, breathing, reasoning being on Beta-Nebuion 9. There was no doubt in his mind of this. He didn't tell anyone because they would never have believed him, and he never told Rebecca because he didn't want to alarm her He knew whatever it was, it was dangerous, and he didn't want Rebecca to freak on him. Not until he knew what they were dealing with and how to proceed. He had never come up with any ideas, but he would have to now, or they would both die.

John and Rebecca drove to town in about 12 minutes, which was about twice as fast as either of them ever had before.

John stepped out of the car in a hurry and was quickly followed by Rebecca. They both began walking down the road directly in the middle of town. It was completely deserted. - "I knew it!" Rebecca screamed. "I knew there'd be no one here! We're the only ones, and it's not a dream this time!" John ran over to her and threw his arms around her. "Calm down hon." he pleaded with her. "We'll get through this. We always have before. Just calm down." Rebecca was crying now, and she was clutching John to the point of almost hurting him. After a minute or two, she finally stopped crying. "I love you," she whispered to him. "I love you too." John replied. "I said I'd never hurt you, or let anything hurt you and I won't now Were together, and we'll stay together and get through this, just like we've always gotten through everything else." Rebecca trusted John so much, as did he her There love had reached a new level, and it would have to go a notch higher if they were to beat this newest tribulation.

The two of them walked around town for about an hour, hoping to find someone. They never did. "I think we should get some stuff we're going to need," John said to Rebecca thoughtfully. "Why, what do you have planned?" Rebecca asked inquisitively. "Well, this all started when we decided to look at Beta -Nebuion 9. Maybe we can reverse it by doing the same. We're going to go to Philadelphia and use the observatory there. It'll be easy. No one’s there". There was a hint of humor in John's voice, and they both laughed at it. It was the first time either of them had smiled since this all began.

John and Rebecca went around to all the stores, picking up supplies they would need. Food, water, some extra clothing. John loaded up a couple of drums of gas, and went to the sporting goods store while Rebecca was getting some food.

He knew something was not right, so he decided to get some weaponry. While he was picking out some guns in the back of the store, he had a feeling.

John was getting the bullets for the Beretta he had decided on, when suddenly he dropped the gun and the ammunition and turned around in a hurry. He had all of a sudden a feeling like someone was watching him. When he turned around and examined his surroundings he saw nothing. He knelt down to pick up what he had dropped when he caught sight of it out of the corner of his eye.

On the far wall to his left, right in front of the baseball bats was a shadow of something, something huge. It was the exact same form as the thing on Beta -Nebuion 9 he had dreamt about. It was on earth now Eric quickly snatched up the gun and the bullets and ran out of the store. He found Rebecca in a • hurry and rushed her to the truck.

"Come on let's go", John yelled at her, pushing her into the truck. "What's the matter?" she asked, not knowing how to react. This was the first time she had ever seen John in this mood. He was like a man possessed, and she knew enough not to argue with him. She got in the car, continuously asking what was wrong, and with no answer from John. He jumped in the driver’s side as soon as Rebecca's door was closed. He turned the key in the ignition, and put the car in drive. Just as he was about to leave the town, it jumped in front of the car.

"Shit!” he yelled, jamming on the gas as hard as he could. Rebecca didn't notice it in front of them, but John did. The thing jumped out of the way just as the front end of the car was about to hit it. John kept the gas petal to the -floor, and headed out of town. As he did, he looked in his rear view mirror. The shadow stood in the middle of the road, staring at the car drive away. Somehow, John knew it was looking at him, even though it had no eyes.

"What the hell is going on John? What's the matter with you?” Rebecca pleaded with him, the fear now abundantly

 Apparent in her voice. "Didn't you see it", John exclaimed, panting as hard as his lungs could pump. "Didn't you see that thing in front of us?" "No, what thing?” Rebecca said, getting more scared by the moment.

John explained his dream to her about his trip to Beta Nebuion 9. He told her about what he saw in the store, and what had almost got to them. Rebecca didn't know whether to believe him or not.

"Are you going crazy John", she asked, half joking, half hoping he would say yes. "No, it’s true." John was now a little calmer, and finally breathing normally. "That thing is real. I don't know what it is, but I know it's from Beta Nebuion 9. I don't know why it's messing with us either. I just don't know." Silence fell open the 2 of them for the rest of the 2 hour drive to Philadelphia. When they got there, John loaded the cartridge in the gun, along with 6 other cartridges, and also gave Rebecca an exact copy of the gun. She knew how to use it, since she had been shooting with John for a couple of months already. They loaded the backpacks they had picked up in the town back home with some food and other things they would need, and began their journey through the city to the observatory, where John was sure the final confrontation would occur, with what he still wasn't sure. He somehow knew it was coming for them, and that they would have to face it.

All this he somehow knew... somehow knew...

*

Quest of the Avatars

John and Rebecca walked through the streets of Philadelphia carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, not to mention the weight of their back packs too.

They could not have taken the car through the city. That was decided on their way her. All the cars that had been on the road when everyone disappeared where still there, minus the drivers. It had been difficult at times to get around the debris on the road. On the way to the city, and they both knew that getting through that in the city would be next to impossible. They would have to walk to the observatory. That was the only way.

"What exactly are we going to do when we get to the observatory?" Rebecca wondered aloud. "I don't know yet", John replied. They were both off in their own little worlds, their own little perceptions of reality.

"I have no idea what we have to do. Maybe we just have to look at Beta-Nebuion 9 and everyone will come back. I don't know." John was getting more agitated by the minute. He hated feeling helpless. He was trying not to take it out on Rebecca, but he was afraid he was. "Jess, I'm sorry if I'm treating you bad right now. I'm just feeling so backed into a corner. I want to save you, and me, but I don't know what to do." John felt as if it was his turn to cry, and Rebecca saw it too.

 "Hey, don't worry John. We'll get through this together." Rebecca really loved him, but she didn’t realize how much she did until just then.

She had always loved him, but not at the level he loved her. He had always told her he would never leave, that he would love her forever. John had told her that he had given her everything, his body, his mind and his soul, and he had no regrets about it. He would die for her, and she knew it full well. She just couldn't say to him that she'd never leave, and that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. It was so easy for him to say he wanted no one else, and he never would. That was no problem for him. For her though, it wasn't that simple. She had to be sure, and at that moment, she finally was.

She stopped walking and grabbed John's hands. They stood looking at each other, gazing into each other's eyes. "I love you", she whispered to him, "Always and forever, until death do us part." She could see his face light up and a huge smile come across his face. All he could do was hold her John squeezed her as hard as he could without hurting her If they didn't still have so far to go to the observatory, he probably would have made love to her Somehow he knew there would be time for that later though. Right now the embrace they shared was enough.

They arrived at the observatory just a little after 8 pm. The sky was a reddish color, all around, as if the sun was shining through a thin layer of clouds, but in every direction. John noticed the strange color of the sky, but thought nothing of it until he peered through the telescope.

"Did you notice the sky before Rebecca?" John inquired. "No", she said, "I haven't really looked at it since we were looking at the planet through your telescope. Why, what's wrong?" She could sense the anxiety in John just by laying her hand on his shoulder. "Well, it's a reddish color, like it's on fire. I don't know why." John was now peering through the huge telescope of the observatory, trying to see something in the sky he recognized. He couldn't see through the reddish cloud cover above him. He assumed it was clouds, for lack of any better idea.

"Damn!" John exclaimed, almost ready to smash the telescope to pieces. "Relax", Rebecca said to him, throwing her arms around him. "I can't see the sky, and I can't see Beta -Nebuion 9. I don't know what that damn red crap is!" John was fuming, and Rebecca did all she could to calm him down. She almost wanted to leave him at that moment, but she never would have.

"Ok, ok, just calm down. We'll never get anything done until you relax." He knew she was right, and he eventually calmed down. "Ok, let me think." There was silence in the huge observatory main room for a few minutes. John and Rebecca sat down on two chairs they had pulled up.

 John was deep in thought, as was Rebecca. After about 10 minutes of nothing, John's fade exploded as if everything were solved for him.

"Jess, do you remember that episode of Dallas about 2 years ago, when Bobby Ewing woke up in his shower and all the bad things that had happened for o or 6 episodes were just a dream?" "Yeah, I remember it." "Well, maybe that's what is happening here. Remember, we used to have dreams just like this. Maybe it really is a dream. Maybe all we have to do to get out of this is just fall asleep and let our subconscious minds take over." Rebecca could see he was serious and for good reason. She had a strange feeling he was right. "Yeah, maybe your right!"

John and Rebecca pulled the sleeping bags they had in their backpacks out and laid them on the floor. They got into the sleeping bags and began their journey home.

It took about 2 hours before either of them got to sleep. It was just like Christmas time: you knew what was coming was good, and because of it you just can't get to sleep. They didn't say a word the whole time, just laid facing each other, occasionally opening their eyes to see if the other was asleep. They finally entered the dream domain, or the reality state, depending on whether they were right or not

Their REM sleep state began only 3 minutes after their lights went out their minds wandered, but not where John had hoped at all.

They woke up the next morning, at least what they perceived as a day in the future. John rose first, lifting himself from the sleeping bag like a wrath from the dead. When he realized where he was, he shook Rebecca with so much force he almost broke her shoulder.

"I don't think I was right", John said in an almost comical sense.

As soon as Rebecca opened her eyes, she knew he was wrong too.

Around them was no longer the observatory where they last were, but they were now surrounded by desert, all around them. The reddish sand below them was as hot as tar on a summer day. They sky was as clear as a bell, and all around them they could see stars, millions upon millions of stars. John recognized this place at once, although Rebecca didn't realize where she was. "We're on Beta Nebuion 9. I came here in a dream once." Rebecca stared at him, shocked at the information she had just received. "I don't get it. Why is everything seemingly focused on this damn planet?" He answer came not from John, but from her own head.

"Welcome earth-beings," the voice echoed in their head, "Welcome to what you call Beta -Nebuion 9." "Did you hear that?" John whispered. "Yeah", Rebecca replied, fear creeping out of her mouth more than the words. "Of course you both heard it," the voice went on, "I am in you I always have been." The voice was very deep, and very evil. It was almost like Vincent Price's voice from the old radio and television shows John used to see and hear, yet it was angrier, more dangerous. "You've done something I didn't expect, and that's figure the experiment out to some degree. I did not give you flesh minds enough credit." "What's going on?", John yelled. "There is no need to use your feeble vocal cords, human," the voice answered back, "I can hear your thoughts, and you mine. Our souls are as one. They always have been." "Where are you?", Rebecca whimpered, only half wanting to know the answer. "I have no flesh. I do not reside in the crude matter you call your bodies. If you must see me, look behind you." Neither of them wanted to turn, but they knew they must. As they slowly spun around to face their adversary, their eyes met. Rebecca noticed that John's eyes were blank, completely expressionless. It scared her, but at the same time made her feel safe. She had a feeling though that he was not the same person, perhaps not even John at all

John knew what he was going to see. He desperately wanted to shade Rebecca's eyes from it, but he could not His hands would not move, and he knew it would be better not to anyway. If they were to beat the thing behind them he knew she would have to see it. She would have to face it. The fear would have to overcome her as it first did him. Only then could they function as the unit they would need to in order to win.

The shadow stood before them, merely 10 feet away. It was massive, more massive than John had thought it was at first. It seemed to tower over them, and John guessed it was about 10 feet tall. Its hand hung down about to John's chest. This thing, whatever it was, was huge.

Rebecca's eyes fixed on the nothingness before her It literally was nothing. She really wasn't scared, which surprised her. While she was turning around, as she caught sight of John's senseless eyes, she felt that whatever she was about to witness would chill her to her very soul. Instead, it was like nothing more than a chill on a cold day. It shook her, and then it was gone.

"This is I, the HE. I am the creature which has conducted this experiment on you. You have almost beaten my tests, but you have failed. You stand before me, the conqueror of your planet. It is written in your Bible. "...And they shall come to destroy...Their belts will be tight and their arrows sharp, and nothing shall stop them..." That passage refers to my race, the Zandox. When the earth was created, and all it beings put forth by what you call God, we were created as the destroyer. We go by many names, all known to you Lucifer is just one John was beginning to understand, as was Rebecca. The bible had always foretold of the coming of the third antichrist, but it never mentioned the devil himself coming forth to destroy the world. Perhaps the devil was the third antichrist, the final antichrist.

 "What experiment are you talking about?" Rebecca asked, somehow out of place.

She felt as if it were not her place to ask questions, but she had no choice. She needed to know what was going on, and right now she had only the vaguest idea.

"The experiment I have been conducting on the two of you was to see if your race had progressed to the level at which you must be destroyed. The way of the Creator, your God, is that none of his creations exceed a certain level, or they could know him. No being is to know the true God, not even the Zandox. Your race has evolved to a level far beyond what is allowed by Him. So, I, the HE, has come to destroy the human race. Do you not realize your significance?"

John asked himself: what was this thing worried about? What significance could he and Rebecca possibly hold? They were just average, every-day humans. Nothing special. The only thing special about them was the dreams they had always shared, but even that was explained: the HE, the obvious controller of the Zandox race, had been experimenting with their minds, probing to see their apparent power and level of development. John wondered: But why choose 17 years old? Why not pick someone older, someone more developed, to use its term.

John and Rebecca both shook their heads in response to the HE's question. They did not know why they were special, not at all.

"When your God created the earth you inhabit, he created just two of your species, who you called Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve developed quicker and in a way the Creator did not anticipate. The same was done for the Zandox race, but our path was chosen correctly. That is the way of the Creator. The choice of survival is always the choice of the created, as is destruction. We choose the path your kind did not, allowing a longer, more prosperous life. The Creator will continue in this way until one master race is created, the one race he will choose to inhabit the entire universe. In this way, we are all his pets, his to take in and discard at will. You Adam and Eve choose the path chosen by many, the path of apparent evil. We were the tempting factor in your Bible's account. Adam ate from the tree, even after the Creator had forbid him from doing so. We tempted him with the pleasure. The significance of you and Rebecca is the same as Adam and Eve: we tempted you, but in a different way. We tempted your minds to wander to places you should not have gone: Beta -Nebuion 9."

John was just beginning to understand. He and Rebecca had always had the ability to travel anywhere with their minds, as did every human. The difference was, somehow, the Zandox race had opened that ability up, in a sense tempting it. He had taken the bait, and now this race felt that God, the Creator, wanted the human race destroyed. Well, John didn't agree, and he was not about to let this nothing before him destroy him and Rebecca. Not to mention the entire human race.

"HE," John began, choosing his words carefully, "I do not believe the Creator would create a race of beings only to destroy them with another later. I believe your race has simply grown to a level of power were you feel you can rule the universe, and you also feel that the human race is also at that level, and a threat to your claim on everything." John knew he was taking a chance here, and he had to be right. If he wasn't, the human race was doomed.

"Stupid human!” the HE screamed in anger. Defiance was something it did not expect from any human, let alone its science experiments!

"I will destroy the human race, starting with you!”

The HE began moving toward John and Rebecca, and John had to act fast.

John pushed Rebecca out of the way. In fact, he hit her so hard to get her out of the way that she fell to the floor, nearly knocked on conscious. As the HE advanced towards John, like a Tiger stalking its prey, John stood there, ready for what he was about to do.

When the HE was only 5 feet from him, John ran towards it. He closed his eyes as tight as he could, and let himself leave this dimension. He was entering a place no human had ever been but a place he was always in. John entered Hell.

*

Beyond the Center of Eternity

The darkness engulfed him, surrounded him like an Amoeba its food. Everywhere around him, black nothingness was. He looked around, and saw absolutely nothing. Rebecca was not here, nor was the HF. There was no ground beneath his feet, no sky above his head. He was surrounded by absolute blackness, blacker than space itself. It was as if he were floating in midair.

John had entered the HE. It was a place he had visited many times before, but didn't realize it. It wasn't painful, not uncomfortable in the least. On the contrary, it was peaceful. It felt like the night he and Rebecca had sat on the beach, watching the tides continually pound the shore. There felt to be no danger here, no threat to him at all. It was warm, but not hot. There seemed to be an absence of weather, yet the air was comfortable. John had never felt better. It was as if every pressure he had felt for the last few hours had vanished from the entire universe, indeed, every anxiety he had •ever felt had been lifted. His soul was bear, as was his mind. Then he noticed it.

What looked to be miles away, far off in the distance, there was a speck of light. It seemed to be getting larger with each passing moment, and it finally began to take form. John's eyes were mesmerized, like a child staring at a candle's flame. The speck of light finally turned into what it was, images. It was then John realized he was moving, moving at unbelievable speed. He was accelerating towards the images, and soon he would be upon them, able to see what they were.

He entered a tunnel of light, a tunnel of pictures. The tunnel's walls were made up of images from John's own mind. Passing him now were images of his birth. He could actually see what his own eyes had witnessed in his mother's stomach. He was now watching his escape from the womb, out into the real world. He could see himself as a baby, lying in the bed at the hospital. Time was moving rapidly, too rapidly to describe, yet John could see it all could comprehend it all, as if it were taking years to occur.

He watched himself grow up, from a baby to a young man. He could see himself reading star maps when he was 13. He watched himself at the movies with Rebecca, walking through the woods with her when he was 16. He saw himself in the clearing beyond the woods, his new telescope net to him. He could see Rebecca peering through the lens, looking at Beta Nebuion 9. All this brought a smile to his face. He had a wonderful life, and he had just seen it all again. He was flying through his own mind, his ID, at the speed of light, perhaps beyond. He watched the scene in the clearing, and noticed something strange.

The image tunnel stopped, or rather completed, and there standing before him stood Rebecca. He seemed to stop moving, and stood, or floated, before Rebecca. His love for her jelled over, festering in him like a disease. It seemed to encase every cell in his body in a bubble, and all at once, exploded. His soul had always been at one with her but now he felt so much a part of her, and her so much a part of him. It was as if there was only one soul, a mixture of both of theirs. The image of Rebecca began to move towards him. It reached him in little time, and threw its arms around him.

It was at that moment that he realized, it was not an image. I-t was Rebecca herself. She had thrown herself into the HE, and was now in John's mind. She was actually in his soul.

The HE stood there, looking down at the bodies before it. John and Rebecca were now inside it, but their bodies were before it. They had discarded their wasted shells. They had learned the final lesson they needed. Now it was only a matter of time before the HE was beaten, before the Zandox race was destroyed. The HE knew it.

The HE began to cry.

*

Two Souls Forever

John and Rebecca embraced for longer than they ever had before. When they finally let loose their grips a little, they faced on another, and stared into each other’s' eyes. They stayed that way for only a short while, as they began a passionate kiss. In a short time the kiss expanded to a realm they had never been to before. They made love to each other with more emotion and passion then either of them had ever known before.

The HE faded away, and there lay John and Rebecca, side by side in the clearing beyond the woods. Their souls were bound in a way no two humans had ever been before.

"John, I love you", Rebecca whispered. "I love you too", he responded. The words meant more than they ever had before. Their love had defeated an evil greater than any man had ever known before. They defeated themselves.

From that time on, John and Rebecca found a new love for one another. They never had need to be jealous, or to worry about losing each other. They were in one another, their souls unbreakably bound. Beta-Nebuion 9 still fascinated them, and they still explored the night sky, knowing there was life out there.

Their dreams ceased, and their minds never wandered again. The Zandox race existed no longer, but they always still wondered about what the HE had said.

"John, do you believe that the HE really was the third antichrist? Do you believe God really does create races and destroys them when he is bored of them?" Rebecca wanted an answer to these questions, in a way. She was afraid the answer would be no and yes respectively, which would mean the human race was still in for Hell. "No, I think the Zandox race ran their experiments with us but didn't count on our binding as a race. They thought we could be separated and destroyed, and if they succeeded with the two of us, they could do likewise to the rest of the human race. But they didn't count on our love. They didn't count on our ability to sacrifice our lives for someone. No I think we are still going to have to face the third antichrist. The HE was just our manifestation of evil. It was actually our mind all along. We never actually saw the Zandox, I think. The HE was actually our ID, I think. I figured that when I jumped into it. I knew I was going to have to fight myself. You made the whole thing work though, when you jumped into the HE too. That bound our souls as one and that was stronger than any force the Zandox expected."

Rebecca had a feeling he was right. It was the simplest emotion, the simplest thing, and the most basic thing known to man which had saved them all.

They loved each other forever, and that would get them through anything.

Not just John and Rebecca, but the human race as a whole. The creator entrusted us with the greatest power of all, the power to love.

That is stronger than anything in the universe.

At least, until He's bored with us...

*

Epilogue

The point of this story is to bring out the idea that love can survive all evils, and that two souls formed as one can overcome all adversities. This story presents a lot of twists and turns to the reader, and some parts may not make sense to you. There are a lot of open-ended comments, a lot of foreshadowing to things that never occurred. That is done on purpose. I have never believed in writing a story completely by a story line. I have never felt it correct to give the reader the entire story. Instead, I write in a style as to let the reader create his own story. It's like those chose your own adventure book we all used to read. The only difference is, I don't provide different paths for you to follow. You create your own paths, and travel down the ones you choose. Just like life.

Of course, there is a basic story line. The Zandox really did exist, and they really were running mind experiments on John and Rebecca. The HE is actually the combined ID of both of them, and that's what the Zandox were working on a lot of the details are flaky, but their supposed to be. You are supposed to interpret a lot of the details in this story your own way. Part of the reason is to let the story adapt itself to the reader, and thereby keep their interest and let the story work as it well for each individual. The other reason is that a lot of the subject matter i5 delicate. The fact that I deal with biblical matters is touchy. I do not wish to push my own beliefs on other, so, instead of interpreting the bible and its words in my own way, building a story around it, and presenting it to an audience, I choose to decipher the words in coded fashion, if that makes sense!

To follow up on the story, John and Rebecca go on to get married, and live, ready for this?! Happily ever after! The dreams never recur for them. It is left to the reader to decide if the Zandox were destroyed or if they simply left the human race alone.

I do not know the answer to that, nor do I know the answer to a lot of the questions you may have in this story.

I am a reader, as are you Interpret as you will, but the underlying point of this story, the moral if you will, is the same. How you arrive at the conclusion is up to you though.

Love is the strongest and most precious feeling and power in the universe. If you have it, keep it, above all odds. If you are still searching for it, do not despair.

You soul will bind, and love will be yours... Forever...