Chapter 5

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"Is that it?" Cynthia asked, her eyes closed shut. "Did you expect something to happen?" Johnny asked. "Kind of, I didn't feel a thing," Cynthia shrugged. "We figured out how to rid the world of pain, but there was nothing we could do about the suffering," Johnny said. Sparky returned to his square and resembled back into a box. "Does he feel any pain?" Cynthia asked, it was a weird question but if Sparky was anything like Johnny. "No, he feels nothing," Johnny answered.

"Now it's time for you to get your rest. Tomorrow is going to be a long day," he said. Johnny opened the door, and they returned to his office. The door slammed down, and It was so dark out that you couldn't see the gate. The gates were a barrier from the poison. Johnny had built them out of an asteroid metal. It was a particular type of glass. It was stronger than steel and could survive the impact of a comet. All major space carriers used it. Johnny remembered a young captain would always call it his bulletproof windshield. The day Cynthia lost her parents, was the first time the gates fell.

The road was attacked twice afterward. Cynthia was the only survivor. The gates had been formed for miles, giving safe passage to each city. The humans repaired gates with a similar metal but nothing as strong. Johnny couldn't fix them with the original material, little by little the original gates were deteriorating. "Get some rest Cynthia, tomorrow we begin," Johnny said as Cynthia left his office.

From Johnny's office, he could see the top of the forest. You could see gas rising just above the trees before dissipating into nothing. Why did the trees kill living things? Johnny thought to himself. He couldn't understand why the planet changed so much. It wasn't a giving paradise, and it was something else entirely. Johnny believed the world was an organism and it almost died. Once it began it a healing process, it came back stronger, just like humans. That's why he loved humans. He found them fascinating. Little by little, the planet kept taking them away.

In his earlier settlements, they were always under attack. At first, it was the flu. A small cold killed a few families. Johnny couldn't trace the source, the medicine he brought was useless. Then his tribe was hit with a disease, one he never encountered. It wiped out half his tribe. The death toll increased with each virus, plague, and unfortunate event. He stood by through it all and watched. Not this time though, he wasn't going to lose all of them. He wouldn't be alone again. Johnny prepared for his morning appointment and left for home. Cynthia would come in the afternoon, and Sparky would let her know its time.

Neural Artificial Fusion, was a breakthrough in the medical field. It allowed for an A.I. to rewire someone's brain through small electrical currents. They were so helpful that they became affordable for almost everyone. It was a primary treatment for depression. Sparky would give her brain waves. These waves would communicate to her through suggestions to prepare for her training. It was subliminal messaging at a quantum scale. It was extremely healthy, and it included rest, nutrients, and Artificial Intelligence Imagination (AII)

AII was the first project, Johnny's project. The idea that artificial intelligence could lead the human brain through stimulated imagination, and it worked. Athletes used them to put themselves in extreme conditioning. Students used them in universities. Artists used them to create. It became a mainstream commodity. It was banned after two teens came close to winning the presidency. They campaigned and reversed the age requirement. They also ran for office. However, their parents were placed under arrest, once someone found out.

The kids were the ones that mentioned it during an interview. They didn't think it was any harm, but it id. AII has an age limit but for health reasons. Accelerating brain growth could disrupt physical growth among other complications. Independent studies confirmed several cases of extreme mental illness, and it would cause a long-term opposite effect. The boys were forced to withdraw, they opened a law practice and represented their parents. Life is a trip, Johnny thought.

He locked up his office and headed home. He always enjoyed the walk back. Walking was something Carolyn taught him to appreciate. There was peace to moving forward and enjoying one's own company. Johnny learned to understand that feeling of empowered loneliness. Carolyn would often talk about it, and sometimes he wondered if she considered herself alone in his presence.

The town was always alive. Johnny gave them little entertainment, only the arts, and music, but that was all they needed. When they created the city, Johnny was there. As their intelligence grew, he blended in and became one of them. In each of the community, the people put their touch. Johnny was apart of each of them. They built a town square in Alexandria. They created an underground farm, the air wasn't toxic down there. It was something in the soil that changed it. Using concentrated light, they were able to grow anything.

He enjoyed seeing people laugh and joke together. Sometimes he would watch them dance long into the night. Johnny always felt apart from them. He couldn't understand why they danced. Johnny felt like a monster, unable to fully reach human potential. His mind couldn't stop, it was always working. He found that freedom in his patients.

The freedom that only Carolyn had shown him, "Do it, don't think so much." Carolyn said. "It's in my nature," Johnny answered as she leaned forward and kissed him on the lips. Johnny's imagination couldn't let go. Nor could it figure out why. He felt like he understood Samson, and why he couldn't let Shade go. Johnny didn't need sleep, but he did like to dream. When he dreamt, he dreamt of his world. Johnny got home and immediately went to his room.

Genitrix also created an early model of a dream simulator. They called it Daydream. It allowed the user to dream while wearing a helmet. The benefits were that people could rearrange and sort their thoughts more often throughout their day. It also boosted creativity, and it was a hit — one of the few products that didn't have any legal cases against it. It provided an insight into our dreams and why humans dream. It was an unconscious perspective. Each of us dreamed for different reasons. Some ideas tormented us. Others were action and adventure. Some were a defense mechanism, and some were an analytical machine guiding us.

 It replaced video games and virtual reality technology. Kids loved it, and their curiosity would amplify. Out of the world came more inventors and artists. They skipped formal education altogether. They would instead travel through worlds and explore infinite possibilities than learn about artificial support, in the technological age. Some dreams, like Johnny's provided answers. The slogan for Daydream was, "Learn to think while you sleep." It only took 15 minutes and could physically and mentally restore you. No one could fight it in the courts because it was healthy, in all aspects. Johnny was the only one to come across a question he couldn't answer.

Johnny got lost in his thought. If humanity hadn't killed Earth, they would have had a great shot at a harmonious society. Why do we do the things that are bad for us, when we know better? Johnny put on the dream simulator and turned it on. Carolyn believed they were our second life. When we sleep, we experience the energy we put into the world. You can live a good life by day and a good one at night. You must live, the unconscious doesn't understand ideas. They become too complicated. Carolyn disrupted neuroscience and technology. She rewrote the rules on human behavior.

Johnny dreamed he was back in Genitrix. It was his birthday. He was a week older than Shade. She was not yet born into the world. Everyone there was happy and laughing, everyone except one person. One person that Johnny couldn't recognize, they were a shadow of someone or something. Johnny could feel his body start to tingle, and it was the beginning of fear. When threatened, the dream simulator armed the dreamer. It taught us subconsciously to do it on our own. Our subconscious eventually became what we needed. Johnny pulled out a gun and began shouting at the figure. Nothing comes out of his mouth. He quickly began firing the gun. The picture disappeared as the shells hit the wall behind him.

The party was calm again, but not for long. The ground began shaking, and one of the walls completely ripped off the house. Clouds moved in and blocked out the sun. When Johnny looked up, the shadowy figure stood over him, across the horizon. Whatever it was, it was bringing something terrible.

Johnny woke up in a sweat. He calmed himself down with some breathing exercises. Every technique, Carolyn had taught him. He was the student who fell in love with their Master. Johnny began quickly painting his dream. He knew to record it as quick as possible. Even his programming would delete it. He was able to capture it in one picture.

Once he finished, he did what he always does. Johnny went to his bed, laid down, and pretended to sleep. In truth, he could be considered asleep. He spent this time learning and studying each moment. He was careless lately, slow down, he thought. Cynthia will not fail, and he drifted back into his mind.

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