I: Once Upon a Time...

<-- Read the Prologue



Fallout 101



“You have been in biological stasis; decreased mobility is expected. In accordance with Genesys company policy, we ask that you please wait for authorized medical personnel to assist you in exiting the bio-stasis chamber.

“Scanning…

“Low levels of activity detected in the occipital, temporal, and prefrontal areas of the brain. This is often an indication that a person is suffering from short-term amnesia. This is normal. If you find that you can’t remember your name or personal details, please remain calm. One of your close Genesys friends will be along soon to help.”

A feeling of claustrophobia gripped at his chest. There is so little space here.

“Our life support systems indicate that you are experiencing symptoms of panic. Is it because you can’t remember who you are? In addition to talking with one of your Genesys friends, you may also consult your personal file for information about yourself. Please relax and take some time to review your file while you wait.

“{file not found}”

A light, mechanical whirring noise interspersed with timed clicks filled a pause in the computerized litany. The sound of water sloshing through tubes resounded faintly nearby; in the otherwise dead silence hanging on the moist air, it held an almost therapeutic quality.

“Now that you have had some time to review your file, do you remember who you are?" the feminine voice asked. "If you do not remember, or do not trust the contents of your file, please recognize that you may be experiencing neurological disorders resulting from your time in stasis."

"As always, Genesys claims no responsibility for any memory loss, degenerative muscle diseases, or other neuromuscular disorders you may have developed through the use of our facilities.”

The feeling of spaciousness returned. Gold… Golden light, everywhere, filling everything… The world seemed to be suspended in a solution of boundless energy.

“To ensure the safety of yourself and of all other members of the Genesys family, please remain in the bio-stasis chamber until authorized personnel have arrived to assist you. Be aware that exiting the bio-stasis chamber in a manner not accordant with stated protocol is a violation of company policy, and we will be forced to take appropriate action to keep you from harming yourself, others, and valuable company assets.”

Did I… Die? His mind felt wide open; as infinite as space and time. Coherent memories began to take shape in the endless depth of his consciousness.

“Remember who you are… Boundless energy; infinite capacity; You are a human being—there is no limit to what you can do, no end to what you can create.” Kerry pulled up a chair and sat next to him. “You are part of the great consciousness that connects us all.”

“It seems as if authorized staff members are not responding. Please remain calm.”

“You know I appreciate the pep talk, but what I want to know is if you think it’s even possible.”

“Trust your intuition. What does the unburdened, all knowing mind say?”

“I don’t know,” he replied, somewhat irritated. Kerry had done some groundbreaking work in the field of theoretical physics, but she had been slipping in recent years and it showed. “Why don’t you tell me?”

“Because I was hoping you would open your mind to something outside of what your eyes can see. That’s what good science is all about… exploration.”

“Yeah, but to think you can ask this complex of a question and actually get a usable answer from some kind of ‘space mind’ is crazy.”

“You’re not asking ‘Where do all the pieces of the puzzle go’; you just want to know which puzzle you should build. Besides…” she said, placing a gentle hand on his knee, “do you really want to spend your time making a list of reasons why something can’t be done? And so what if you open your mind up and all that comes out is a bunch of bullshit?” She tossed her hand in the air flippantly.

He would have hated to admit it, but she had a point. Some of his best work had come to him seemingly from out of nowhere.


“Due to the possibility of extreme circumstances, emergency protocol has been engaged. The containment cell lock system will release in five minutes. For your safety, please remain in the Eden general area until help has arrived.”

“Alright, I’ll do it,” he said, nodding in concession, “Aside from my sterling reputation, what have I got to lose?” A friendly smile tugged at his lips. “I still think you’re completely insane though, you know that, right?”

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