Something drew Cynthia's attention back to Johnny, it was a beep. He didn't care any electronics on him, then Johnny began to lightly glow. Johnny grabbed Cynthia by the hand when she didn't respond. Cynthia tried to fight but she couldn't get out of Johnny's grip. She planted her right foot across his head and it landed with a clunk. Cynthia felt a sharp pain shoot down her leg, what the hell did she kick?
They made it through the door and Johnny quickly shut it behind them. He now stood firmly between her and the door. She massaged her foot, that was going to leave a bruise, she thought. "Was that what I think it was?" Cynthia asked? "Depends on how you look at it." Johnny quickly answered. He was not thrilled that she had gone through by herself. "Look, obviously this door is something you shouldn't just walk through. It will lead you anywhere," he answered. "You mean like a nightmare?" She asked. Johnny just nodded.
He grabbed her hand once again and opened the door. "Not again," she said, he wasn't listening to her. They were through the door in seconds. They were no longer in the forest. They were on a solid platform, there was nothing but darkness around them. Johnny shut the door.
"Just let me go." Cynthia said, but Johnny kept his grip. "You need answers, and I need your help," he said. Cynthia felt her panic being replaced by curiosity. "You owe me answers, I knew it, I knew I wasn't crazy." Cynthia exclaimed. "We all might be I'm afraid." Johnny said. "Just listen, I'm sorry that it has to be you, I haven't been able to find an imagination that can handle this. I believe yours can," he said. "What happens if it can't?" She said. He didn't answer her, he turned to the door and locked it.
The door disappeared, all that was left was the platform and a dark abyss. "I'm not sure if this is the first time we've tried this. Not me and you specifically but us as in Humankind. The truth is, I'm not exactly human." Johnny said. Cynthia kept her distance from him, "I got that from your eyes, no one can change their eyes like that. What are you?" She asked. "I don't know," he said. Then suddenly the room filled with light and their surroundings began to change.
They stood before a giant crevice, but it was beautiful. She could hear the sound of water and she had never seen so much green. "What is this?" she asked. "We called it the Grand Canyon, it doesn't exist in your world but it did in mine. This is what it would of looked like without Humankind's footprint. It's amazing isn't it, there's so much life here." Johnny walked to a tree and looked up. He slowly placed his hand on it, then embraced it. It was an odd sight for Cynthia, she had never seen someone show affection towards nature. Most of the people she knew lived with nature but that was good enough.
No one showed an emotion of any kind like he had, what was he really? Cynthia thought. "Please understand that this is just my theory of what would of existed. It is a combination of my world and yours. Come, feel this tree." Johnny said. She walked to the tree and carefully looked at it. It looked like a normal tree but something was different. She reached out and felt its rough bark. It was as real as her. "Why do you need my help?" Cynthia asked. "Because, we're all going to die." Johnny said.
Cynthia felt a jolt from the tree, like an electric current. Once it hit her, she was out cold. She woke moments later in her room. What the hell was that, she thought. Cynthia was covered in sweat, it wasn't very cold in her house but she couldn't stop shivering. Cynthia didn't care about getting sick, she was trying recover from the craziest dream of her life. When Cynthia got out of bed, a sharp pain shot up her right leg. It wasn't a dream.
When her parents died, Cynthia didn't take their room. Cynthia stayed in her room. There was never a time where she needed to go in her parent's room. The last people in there where the ones that helped move out the furniture. Her bed stood against the window. A large wooden dresser stood next to her door. Her clothes hung behind a sliding wooden door. Cynthia didn't take much time to decorate.
Cynthia rubbed her foot and made her way to her closet. She was sure there was an old brace she had, Cynthia thought. Cynthia grabbed her closet door, and again a jolt hit her. This time, Cynthia's closet door slowly began to disintegrate into nothing. The room slowly followed. Cynthia remained there suspended in the air, completely frozen. Again, it was just her and darkness.
Slowly a guitar danced it's way out of the darkness and into Cynthia's head.
"Cynthia, can you hear me?" Johnny's voice was as real as the music around her. The music began to grow louder, Cynthia could see something approaching in the distance. In the darkness, it was moving towards her, faster than anything she'd ever seen. Cynthia broke free moments before it had reached her. She couldn't see it, but she could feel it. Like a stalking shadow, it attached to her.
Cynthia opened her eyes, and Johnny was kneeling beside her. "What the hell is happening to me?" She asked. "Honestly, I don't know, you're the first human I've brought into the Warp," Johnny said. "What do you mean human? What the hell is a WARP?" Cynthia asked, her exhaustion drove her quest for answers.
"It stands for Weaponized Arms and Retinal Prep, its a combat simulator built for the human mind. I'm the first of my kind, Artificial Intelligence." Johnny finished. "You mean you're a robot, and this is a training simulator? You brought one of your patients into a training simulator!" Cynthia was furious. She wanted to beat the metal out of him, but she needed more than just her foot.
"Well yes, but I knew you could handle it," he said. Cynthia wished for a wrench so bad, then suddenly one appeared. "I didn't bring that here, so are you going to use it?" Johnny said. Cynthia thought about beating him to nothing but a pile of nuts and bolts. "I wouldn't call this handling it," Cynthia responded. "You forced me to come here," she said.
Even if Johnny tried, his robot intelligence would never deny it. He needed her help, but he had never asked for help. Not in the millions of years that Johnny has lived. Johnny didn't respond to her, he simply stood and started walking away from her. "Where are you..." Cynthia's jaw dropped, the forest they had visited was gone.
There was no sign of the forest, only the hole in the ground. "Where's the forest?" Cynthia asked as she followed Johnny. "It's gone, like the rest of this world. The one you know is very different. This world is mine," he said. "What happened to it?" She asked. Johnny stared at her, "You did."
Buildings rose around them. Metal structures connected homes and built themselves into the sky. There was no longer any sign of Nature. The hole in the ground was gone. All that was left was metal and machine. "We didn't get this far, but if we didn't die, I bet that we would have," Johnny said.
Cynthia could feel her heart cracking, she couldn't imagine losing her forest. She couldn't imagine the people around her destroying the forest. They took what they needed and gave back more. Leave the world better than you left it. It was an unspoken human rule.
"That song." Cynthia said, trying to pull her attention from the thing that was after her. "It was the version from my world, the simulation's program is from my Earth, not yours." Johnny said. "Why is it here?" She asked. "I broke one of my codes. I influenced history." Johnny answered. "What does that mean?" Cynthia asked. Johnny looked through her, for the first time, Cynthia saw sadness from Johnny.
YOU ARE READING
Artificial ImaginationScience Fiction
Cynthia was no one special, but she had an overactive imagination. Johnny Hansen is a professional psychologist, and there's no challenge he can't tackle. One day her imagination uncovers a truth that Johnny would rather stay buried. Johnny is from...