The Kollective

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A short story developed out of the idea that we're all connected through the internet.

Submitted: January 13, 2018

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Submitted: January 13, 2018

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What we know about the advancement of technology today is but a drop in the bucket. We are told and exposed to very little of what really exists. The release of ideas and devices to the public are controlled by the government and developers. We are kept in ignorance for the ideas and devices construed would cause mass hysteria and a high degree of opposition. The Kollective was written to inform people that there is a possibility that the reality we know may not be real. That the human need to be connected throughtout the world via the Internet may be preparation towards something beyond our comprehension.
Is something is about to start, or has it already started?
 
The Kollective
 
Jeremy King stood on the corner of East 10th and Avenue A. The multipurpose courts were quiet at this time of night. He checked his watch again. It read 11:45 pm. The voice on the phone told him to be here at this time. He looked up the street and didn't see anything. He looked down the street and it was the same, quiet. Nothing was moving. Not a soul to be seen. The only sound Jeremy could hear was his own breath and the shuffling of his feet as he tried to shift his weight from side to side. He recalled the conversation he had with the voice on the phone. The voice was direct and held a sense of authority.
 
"Jeremy King?"
"Who's calling?", he replied.
"Is this Jeremy King?", the voice commanded.
A pause of silence then, "yes".
"You are instructed to go to East 10th and Avenue A. 11:45 pm tonight".
"Who is this?"
"Wait and you will be contacted".
"I'm not going anywhere", replied Jeremy.
"It would be in your best interest to be there", said the voice.
"Who are you?", inquired Jeremy.
 
The line went dead after that. He couldn't even call out or retrieve messages. The phone was completely dead. Jeremy went to his computer and found it dead as well. He made many attempt to start it up but found that it wouldn't. Jeremy tore out the hard drive and mother board out of it. He hooked up the hard drive to his external power source. An independent system totally free of outside influence. The hard drive would not boot up. The only thing that appeared on the screen was the command prompt which flashed 11:45 pm. Who ever contacted him got into his system and killed it. That was not an easy thing to do. Jeremy himself wrote the program that was used to fight off cyber attacks. Jeremy sat there looking at the screen as it flashed 11:45 pm. He knew who ever did this was brilliant. That didn't stop him from attempting to reengage the hard drive. Jeremy tried to boot up an embedded program he wrote just in case something like this was to happen. Still the screen flashed 11:45 pm. Jeremy hooked up an external system to the defunct hard rive to see if he could diagnose the problem. Each time the screen flashed 11:45 pm. In every attempt the same results. Jeremy sat there looking at the screen with his hands behind his head. He thought to himself who ever did this didn't just come in over a wire. That they had entered his room and screwed with his system. He spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening walking around the room with his mind racing.
Whoever did this had gotten his attention.
 
"Jeremy King", a voice said from behind.
Jeremy swung around to see a tall dark figure standing behind him. The man stood there wearing a black suit. He wore a bowler hat and held an umbrella in one hand. He looked British but spoke without any accent.
"Who are you?", Jeremy inquired. He didn't want to come across as anxious but he could not hide his nervousness.
"We are the Kollective", replied the stranger.
"The Kollective?", repeated Jeremy questionably.
"Yes, The Kollective", the stranger confirmed.
"I never heard of you", stated Jeremy.
"Actually you have. In fact the whole world has Jeremy. They just don't know it".
 
Blackness engulfed Jeremy and he went limp. He could still hear and feel but he could not move. He felt his arms being secured by someone as his legs gave out. The sounds he could hear seemed a little distorted. His stomach churned and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. The last sound he heard was the rolling of a door. The kind of rolling a van door makes as you close it. After that nothing until he woke up.
 
"See Jeremy", the voice continued, "we control what people want".
Jeremy's eyes were focused on the cement floor. Slowly he recalled what happened to him. The mind was still sluggish from whatever they had used to incapacitate him with.
"We control what people desire".
Jeremy's focus came back. He could tell he was sitting in a chair. Jeremy lifted his head up and saw the man in the black suit sitting across from him. He held the umbrella with both hands between his legs.
Jeremy looked around the room. There were four walls, a light and a door. That was all.
"Who are you", Jeremy asked.
"We are The Kollective", he said.
 
Jeremy could feel his legs again. The tingling sensation in his finger tips slowly subsided and he felt the metal of the chair. His mind came into focus and Jeremy realized the situation he was now in. These people wanted something from him. He was here for a reason. They could have killed him if he posed a threat and most likely would kill him if he refused their requests.
 
"Why this cloak and dagger bullshit?", Jeremy asked.
"Oh it is much more effective don't you agree?"
"Why not just ask me instead of abducting me off the streets?"
"It's more effective this way Jeremy. Besides, taking you on the street is less noticeable that dragging your limp body down the stairs in front of you neighbors".
"Why mess with my system?"
"That was to get your attention Jeremy. To let you know our seriousness".
"What do you want?"
"Remember August 14th? 2003?"
Jeremy remembered that day well. He had ties to that day.
"The great northeastern blackout?"
"Ya, I remember", he said.
"It took us some time to track it down. A wonderful program you wrote Jeremy. You got our attention".
 
The program the man in the black suit was referring to was written by Jeremy and collapsed the entire eastern power supply that August day 2003. He had worked day and night for 2 years on that program taking into account that they would make attempts to track it's source.
 
"How did you get out of that loop I embedded?", Jeremy asked.
"Oh, that rabbit hole, as we call it. Yes, very ingenious indeed. It took our techs and programmers a year to re-route it to a neutral position. From there we were able to dissect it. After that it was just a matter of time before we were able to back-track it. Although the drop box terminals were a bit of a pain to locate but eventually we did".
The drop box terminals was an idea Jeremy had come up with. A router that scrambled IP addresses when engaged by his program. The idea was that these routers be installed throughout the city in banks that used cable connections. It was all so easy to walk into a bank under the guise of system maintenance. Accessing the bank's maintenance schedule and rescheduling an second follow-up check of the system was no problem for Jeremy. Once Jeremy punched in the address to the server he was able to go anywhere he wanted on the Internet without leaving his own address. It was obvious to Jeremy that he was beyond the justice system here. They weren't looking to prosecute him for causing such a stir that day.
 
"That story that was released to the public on how the power went out was fabricated", he said to the man in the black suit.
"We are The Kollective Jeremy. We tell those what to believe".
"You want something from me", said Jeremy.
The man in the black suit sat there a moment starring at Jeremy. He then rose and said, "Follow me".
 
Jeremy stood up. He felt a little weak in the knees but regained his posture quickly.
He followed the man in the black suit to the door. They stood there a moment as the lock to the door was released. He pulled on the handle and the door swung open to a hallway much like the room. The hallway was long, white and had many doors on either side. None of the doors had markers to indicate what was on the other side. Jeremy thought it would be difficult to find a room around this place. The overhead lighting seemed florescent but they weren't. They illuminated without a sound and the light was sharper, more crisp. They continued their walk down the hallway until they reached the end. The door that was there was similar to the others only it was larger. The man in the black suit stood there a moment. He then opened the door to the room and stepped in with Jeremy following.
 
"This is the heart of the Kollective", he said.
Jeremy stood on a metal platform that encircled the entire room. He was stunned by the size of the room. He guessed it to larger than a football field and about 60 feet in depth from where he stood. The hanging lights were just below the metal platform suspended by chains. He followed them up but couldn't see were they ended. It looked like there was no ceiling. The walls disappeared into the darkness. Down below on the floor were many computers and processors. Many people wearing white lab coats were tending the machines. Jeremy looked closer and saw them. People laid out on bed or tables or gurneys with white sheets covering them. The only thing that was exposed was their heads. All of them were cleaned shaven and had some type of electrode connector mounted to their skull. Jeremy followed the wiring from the electrodes to the computer processors. He quickly realized that this was some type of experiment that involved humans and computers.
 
"I've seen movies about this type of thing but didn't believe you actually do it", said Jeremy. He walked to the edge of the platform and grabbed the railing.
"The Kollective has been in operation since the birth of the computer Jeremy", the man in the black suit said.
He walked up to where Jeremy stood.
"It is the Kollective that makes those movies. We slowly release to the world our ideas. To prep them for what's coming".
"And just what is coming?", asked Jeremy.
"Think of Earth as a large mobile ship. One that can be controlled. Instead of circling the sun in orbit think of it as a ship that will transport humans from our galaxy to another".
"That's impossible", Jeremy whispered.
"No Jeremy, not impossible", the man in the black suit softly spoke.
"For many years we were looking in the wrong direction when it came to interstellar travel. We were attempting to create crafts that would travel through space carrying people. There were many problems in the development of those crafts, powering them was one to say the least. Then we changed our thinking and looked at Earth as a craft within itself. The power resources the it holds surpasses the needs needed for interstellar travel. All we needed was to develop a system that could harness that power, control it, or redirect it upon command when necessary".
Jeremy stood there a moment then turned to the man in the black suit.
 
"Needed?", he questioned. "That would imply that you did it".
The man in the black suit smiled.
"You've heard about telekinetic power?".
"Yes", Jeremy replied. "Rumors and theories that humans are capable of using their minds to control inanimate objects".
"Bend them, reshape them, move them around and such", the man in the black suit said.
"The Kollective keeps the idea alive that this is just a theory. Yet it has been in use for decades. Look down there Jeremy and tell me what you see".
Jeremy looked over the floor of the room. So many people hooked up to computers being tended by few. Slow it came to him what they were really doing.
"You're attempting to harness the power of the mind through computers", he said.
"We're not attempting Jeremy, we are", said the man in the black suit. He turned and headed towards a set of stairs. Jeremy followed him. The idea that humans are being harvested for their minds enticed Jeremy yet it also brought on fear. To see that the mind could be connect to a computer system directly was astounding but one the other hand not to have free will, to come and go as one wants frightened him. As the two walked onto the floor of the room conflicted.
 
"See Jeremy, we always knew that there would come a day when our solar system would cease to exist and all life as we know it would end. Scientist theorized how this would happen and when it would happen. Sending a few humans into space as a means of human survival would only extend the race. By using Earth as a ship not only do we ensure the survival of all humans, but we ensure the survival of all cultures and creatures of Earth".
The two walked around the floor looking at the people on the tables. Multiple wiring connect to them. Tubes hooked straight into the veins, into their mouths. Humming sounds as motors circulated fluids and processors from the computers computed information. Each had a name placard suspended over them. This whole idea of using humans a processors started to make Jeremy's stomach turn.
 
"Before we could make this all happen we had to convince the world that this was the only way we as humans could survive. We either work together to save humanity or we all perish. Petty conflict between nations stopped. Fighting between tribes ceased. Nation upon nations started to construct large facilities where processors would be housed. In our country there are over 1,000 facilities that house humans who are connected not only to a computer, but to the conscious of each other. They work in unison in the Kollective".
 
The man in the black suit stopped at a table. Jeremy stood beside him looking down at the human. He started to sense that he knew this one. Similarities to himself yet with all the wiring and tube is was difficult to know who this person was. The head was shaven, there was no hair on the person at all.
"I think I know this person", Jeremy stated.
"You should", replied the man in the black suit, "He's you Jeremy".
Jeremy searched his mind trying to comprehend what was happening. Logic dictates this isn't possible. A person cannot exist outside the body. Cannot exist outside of the mind. Yet the body on the table was his. It was him stretched out there hooked up to tubes and wires.
 
"If I am stretched out there then where is here?", he questioned.
"Here is the Kollective".
"So none of this is real?"
"It's real, just not in this realm"
"So right now we're speaking in the Kollective?"
"As mentioned we are connected to each other's consciousness through processors. Those processors run programs. Those programs can be rewritten to interrupt that conscious connection. You are there on a table and we are having this conversation, only through a processor".
"What do you want from me?", Jeremy asked.
"We want you to wake up Jeremy".
"Wake up?"
"Yes, wake up from the Kollective".
"Can't you just pull the plug and do that?".
"It's not as easy as that Jeremy. We have found that removing people from the Kollective caused them much direst. Physically and mentally. Madness and stresses upon the body caused death. When we made contact through processors and prepped them prior to removing them from the Kollective the survival rate was close to 100%".
Jeremy stood there looking down at his body. The idea that everything up to this point was dictated by a computer upset him. Everything seemed to be crashing down on him. "How does one find soundness of mind in chaos?", he questioned himself.
 
"Jeremy", spoke the man in the black suit. "Jeremy, look at me".
Jeremy turned and looked at the man in the black suit. Everything went black. The room no longer existed. It was just the two of them standing there in total darkness.
"Is this better?", he asked.
Jeremy started to calm down.
"Yes".
"We've been out of orbit for more than two centuries".
"What do you want from me?", Jeremy asked again.
"We want you to wake up".
"But why do you want me to wake up?"
"Because we're there".
"Where?"
"Earth has come to it's new orbit. We have saved the human race and now it's time to wake".
 
The man in the black suit swept his arm and Jeremy found himself standing in a paradise. It was like pictures and images of exotic tropical paradise one might see in television commercials. The ones that tell you that this is where you want to be. Jeremy smelled the fresh air like it was something new.
 
"It's all part of the awakening process Jeremy", spoke the man in the black suit. "This is how air really smells like".
Sounds started to emanate from all around him. The rustling of leaves and sounds of animals were sharp to the ears.
"It's like being reborn again Jeremy".
Jeremy knelt and touched the ground.
"Electrifying", he said as he swept the ground with his palm.
"You have to decide what you want Jeremy", the man in the black suit told him, "to stay in the Kollective or leave?"
Jeremy continued touching the ground sifting through his thoughts. Learning that everything you believed in was false was disheartening. Everything you owned, where you traveled and what you saw was all generated by a computer processor. All of it fake yet it was all he knew. How could he now stay in the Kollective? The real world was waiting for him.
 
"What happened to the Earth over the past two centuries?", Jeremy asked.
Jeremy rose and faced the man in the black suit.
"We maintained it", he said.
"Not everybody was in the Kollective?"
"Some made sacrifices, they had to in order to tend to those in the Kollective".
"What about the cities, the towns?"
"They're still there just as they were when we left our solar system, although some received damaged as a result of our travel".
"The animals? How did they survive the cold of deep space?"
"Harvesting the Earth's energy from the core kept them warm enough to survive. Lighting source kept them from going blind. We did lose a few species along the way, small insects and such".
"What happened to our old solar system, did it die?".
"We kept probes behind to monitor it's digression. The sun has started to die and soon there'll be nothing".
Jeremy was attempting to justify the reasoning behind all of this. He thought it would make it easier to leave the Kollective. To enter a new reality. One that was real.
 
"If you decide to leave the Kollective you will be with those whom entered the real world", said the man in the black suit. Everything around them started to change again. It reverted back to the white room and Jeremy was sitting across from the man in the black suit. Jeremy realized that everything he just witnessed and experienced was all computer generated. That he had never left the room.
 
"If you decide to leave the Kollective there's the door. Once you go through it you'll awaken and there will be no going back".
"It must be voluntarily", Jeremy stated.
"It must be", said the man in the black suit.
Jeremy stood up and walked to the door. He stood there with his hand on the door handle listening to what might be on the other side. There was nothing but silence.
"What will it be Jeremy?
"Will you leave the Kollective?"
 
End


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