‘I Dream of Timelines’ by Linwood Storm [Multiverse Myths]
Disclaimer: The tale that you are about to read has been illegally extracted from the Orion Five’s incomplete galactic archives and therefore any information provided in it should be deemed non-canonical concerning historic databases that document alternate timelines for educational purposes due to the possibility of third-party alterations.
Trigger Warning: Contains Brief Language, Sexual Content, Some Drug References, and Mild Violence
To us, existence is present-tense. We live in the moment and are unable to observe the past without external devices. To the priests guarding the ‘Church of Time’, the universe is much like a VHS tape that can be rewound, paused, or fast-forward, and only they comprehend the mechanics behind “editing the footage”, using technology created by the albino Rastafarian diety Chronos. Although considered a reclusive pothead, he is a well-respected genius by Mundïus, shares similar cynical perspectives regarding life, and has reported to him for millenniums under a rare brotherly dynamic between Gods. Their business partnership led to the first alternate timeline being accidentally generated. Upon trying to mend the situation, more arose and added further complications to the multiverse. Chronos saw a disaster worth prodding as an engineer and Mundïus viewed the chaos erupting in various realities with the glee of an acquisitive capitalist. Ultimately, both decided that it would be best to pursue balance and instruct agencies of trusted humans on Earth to micromanage events that would prove to collapse the faith-based economy.
Predicting what might do so was risky enough, so studies were conducted based on the various outcomes that had already played out in the multiverse, and annotations were left for the ‘Church of Time’ to follow up on. This involved the careful implementation of “Chronos Test Dummies” as they were insultingly referred to. These were individuals plucked out of their own timeline and could be placed in another or any era with proper credentials that wouldn’t cause noticeable changes to history if their mission was compromised. Amusingly, with the capabilities of common digital art software on the planet such as Photoshop, even a man or woman with a piece of attire that had not yet been invented, shown in a photograph, would either go overlooked, briefly disputed without raising alarms, or be lumped in with conspiracy theories that go absolutely nowhere.
What selected temporal members did not realize is that after their tasks were completed, based on the circumstance, they could either return to the Chronos Dispatch Center without drawing attention to themselves in history or would unknowingly fall victim to an already documented disaster that they were unaware of. The result of these disasters was always death. For instance, near the end of 1911, a female temporal member became pregnant from a one-night-stand during her first mission and was sent a message via a coin-operated public telephone to await quantum energy extraction on the Titanic. In 1969, one man chose not to reach his final designated point and instead warned Fred Hampton about the FBI’s plot to assassinate him. Both he and Fred Hampton wound up being murdered by another temporal member originally instructed to monitor them. This temporal member was a strikingly similar-looking descendant of one of the 14-Man SAO (Special Prosecutions Unit) and secretly drugged his ancestor prior to carrying out the hit in his place.
The less surveillance available in the past, the easier it is to achieve a higher success rate that guarantees reemployment. Retiring is not an option because the aging process is halted but wiping memories that are too stressful to bear has been done for senior members. However, if this is done too many times, schizophrenia may be developed and the diseased members are “put down”. This disturbed Yemaya, the Yoruba Goddess of Dreams, who noticed that the ‘Church of Time’ would often train African escapees that were lost at sea during the Atlantic slave trade or Black ‘gator bait and condemn them as expendable. She approached Chronos with a proposition and he accepted on the grounds that she would be his wife. She reluctantly agreed.
Per their contractual arrangement, humans of African descent were exempt from being drafted into temporal service. They were not, however, exempt from virtual temporal service.
Virtual temporal service is when the dreams of subjects are involuntarily manipulated by inserting their consciousness in a virtual reconstruction of an era while they sleep. The subject’s brain is then mapped to a fake persona and they are telekinetically guided by suggestions given by a pet in close-range.
Yes, many creatures on Earth are not from the planet that they call home. The Felis catus, in particular, were residents of Myra-8008 before its destruction, and survivors of the species repopulated. Abilities were passed down along as they mated within their own breeds. As you can imagine, this would be quite difficult to practice for thousands of years with businesses based on the forceful coercion of animal sexual behavior. Still, a handful of gifted cats and dogs remain with a life expectancy of over a hundred years. In exchange for protection, they work for ‘The Church of Time’, mainly for reconnaissance. Since humans cannot understand their language, duplicity was not a concern for the priests.
While the Goddess Yemaya was not ethically bothered with using her powers to assist Chronos, she still wanted reassurance that the participants acquired would not suffer any long-term effects, so she supervised an experimental trial on a Black American woman who lived in North Carolina. Her name is Dawn and she was a passionate veterinarian who happened to be an insomniac fighting a dependence on cocaine. Her petite hourglass figure, bubbly face, medium golden skin, 44DD breasts, plump lips, and thick braided dark purple pigtails that matched the color of her lipstick caught the attention of every man. Women envied how she carried herself, often in black floral dresses or a faux-silk white button-down blouse and 6.5-inch cork wedge heels with black elasticated straps on her feet. No one dared to disrespect Dawn because her father owned the veterinary clinic and because she was faithful to her secret admirer.
Dawn referred to her as Madam Mae when she masturbated in bed while speaking on the phone with the woman. Dawn would ask “Mother, may I touch myself?” and Madam Mae would have Dawn profess love for her on some days, and grovel on others. The mysterious mistress’ sultry voice had a strong British accent that made Dawn soak the sheets she lay bare on. It didn’t take long for Dawn to achieve an orgasm after four of her fingers traveled deep inside of the tight wet twat that only one phallus had stretched. “That’s mommy’s little girl…” Madam Mae generally whispered. “Now suck those fingers clean of your juices.” Dawn always did as she was told to do, loud and clear, which Madam Mae moaned excitingly in response to hearing.
The sound of Madam Mae climaxing was immensely soothing to Dawn and helped her rest well. One morning, a package had arrived at her doorstep without a return address. Dawn opened it to find a small white jewelry box with a sticky note on top that wrote: “Love, Madam Mae” in cursive. Inside held a cute sterling silver necklace with a kitten pendant hanging on the chain. Little did she know that the pendant was a beacon and a few days later, it would be tracked by a black Bombay cat who she would come to adopt after finding it on her front porch during a snowy winter. Given the name Alexandre, he soon took to a pampered life and acted as surveillance until it was time to relay dream sequence codes while curled up beside her in bed.
The scenario being simulated was based on an extraterrestrial zombie outbreak in a parallel universe, in which Dawn’s subconscious had been programmed to believe she was a clothing store manager whose responsibility was to lead the lost daughter of an important contact through the mall to safety. Employees and shoppers were being savagely torn apart by the invading hybrid species as she scurried while holding the child in her arms. Armed security guards were overrun by leaping attackers and one of them, cornered in terror, fired a bullet through the side of his own head before being devoured. Dawn managed to make her way to the parking lot with the contact’s daughter and discovered an unlocked ’96 Mercury Sable with a dead teenage girl in the driver’s seat. Her throat had been clearly ripped out by monstrously large teeth and one of her eyeballs was dangling from its socket, ready to snap apart.
Luckily for Dawn, the teenage girl’s car key was still in the ignition, so she pulled the poor victim’s body out of the Mercury Sable, told the contact’s daughter to climb into the passenger seat while getting behind the wheel herself, and starting up the vehicle. Once the car turned on, obnoxiously repetitive pop music blared from its cheap stereos and alerted creatures from far away to their location. It wasn’t long until hundreds swarmed Dawn’s and she woke up in a pool of sweat. Petrified by her horrific dream and shaking uncontrollably.
“The bitch didn’t even make it out of the goddamn parking lot!” Chronos yelled at Yemaya.
“Calm down, humans freeze, and it was a rookie mistake,” responded Yemaya. “Tomorrow night, we will replay the simulation from a checkpoint and mute the volume of the radio station, somehow.”
“Make it plausible. One agent in the field is dangerous enough. Another shouldn’t be necessary just to pull strings as a shadow.” Chronos said with a stern voice. “We’re leaving annotations. Not planning a date…”
The two made sure that the beginning of Dawn’s next dream continued before the creatures rushed her location. The Mercury Sable started without any sounds from the radio station and she drove out of the parking lot safely without attracting anyone. The contact, Tobias Flood, and U.S. Military soldiers awaited her at a very Air Force secure base. In moments that felt like passing seconds, a thankful Tobias Flood was reunited with his cheerful daughter once she and Dawn followed the mandatory decontamination procedure. Dawn’s primary objective was not yet completed though. She needed to pickpocket a flash drive containing the portal coordinates of the “UFO crash site” and change the galactic return address so that the CIA could not be able to open a rift to the right planet in the future. Doing so for the sake of starting a war would potentially leave Earth vulnerable to a much deadlier attack.
Alexandre led Dawn by leaving subliminal clues for her mind to instinctually pick up on and she eventually found Command Sergeant Major Brian H. Ramsey eating with his wife at the base’s cafeteria. Glowing scarification tattoos of an ancient language that only she could translate irritatingly grew on her forearms providing her with the choices at her disposal: “Kill, Seduce, or Steal”. Dawn rolled back down her long sleeves, sat down at their table, and contemplated the decision she would make as the three of them made conversation. Mrs. Amanda Ramsey was very flirtatious with Dawn and Command Sergeant Major Brian H. Ramsey didn’t mind. A ménage à trois seemed to be in the making.
“Let’s drink to it,” Dawn said as she stood up, went into the kitchen to find wine, and uncovered an uncorked bottle of chardonnay. Dawn looked into her purse for anything that she could use as a poison to no avail since she was thoroughly strip-searched during the decontamination procedure.
Determined not to expose herself to two strangers, she continued searching the cabinets and shockingly saw a bottle of quaaludes hidden behind cans of sliced mushrooms. Dawn crushed-up several pills, mixed the methaqualone in with two 11.6 oz old-fashioned drinking glasses of chardonnay with ice cubes, and served it to the Ramsey couple. By the time they made it to their quarters, Command Sergeant Major Brian H. Ramsey and Mrs. Amanda Ramsey had passed out.
Dawn retrieved the flash drive after hours of looking in the couple’s messy room, plugged it into a nearby laptop that fortunately had been unlocked in advance because the Ramsey couple often recorded their encounters using its built-in webcam, and hacked the files stored on it. She then altered the data showing the UFO’s tracking history so any attempt to backtrace the landing would result in an unoccupied sector of space as the destination.
“Satisfied?” Yemaya asked, smugly.
“She gets points for improvising, and loses half for hesitating.” Chronos coldly responded. “I decoded what you drew into her skin…but she’s untrained, so it’s not her fault. The human helped give our researchers an annotation that doesn’t change the desired outcome in the field.”
“At no point did she become lucid, and that’s very important! I don’t need our operating system to crash because someone decided to fly in World War II.”
“That’s not possible. Even Zaphnath-Paaneah was still a slave…but to his dreams.” Yemaya said while watching Dawn’s dream fade to black from the heavens.
The next week, Dawn spoke to Madam Mae on the phone about how vivid the dreams were and how she could remember them as one long-term memory. Dawn also revealed that she wrote every detail in a journal and thought about sending them to a close male friend who was a successful independent filmmaker in Indiana. This troubled Chronos when he was informed.
“Imagine cinema based on a precognition that we implanted disrupting an operation strategized to fulfill it…” he said, worryingly. “I mistakenly didn’t foresee this paradoxical hazard or take into account that there will come a day when the multiverse will be more than just a theory to their scientists.”
“Is it possible to blacklist the Earth, along with a few deserted planets in that universe from a wormhole and interdimensional travel, then treat it as a layer of reality for dreams?” asked Yemaya. “Let them believe that their given fantasies are far-fetched and worthy of publication.”
“You’re suggesting that a fourth wall be built…” Chronos said, pondering the idea as he rubbed his long and grey spade beard. “Their own planetary advancement would be embarrassingly remedial and oblivious to the unknown around them…but production would remain consistent, so I’ll convince Mundïus to sign off on it.”
And Mundïus did put his name on the dotted line, bringing forth a world with an abundance of imagination and primitive desires that would never be actualized by their forcibly isolated scientific ventures. To the sophisticated realms of the multiverse, this world is considered the capital of entertainment, and media from it has been frequently tuned into using interdimensional satellite television or streaming services. This world is mockingly referred to as ‘Capital Earth’ and has garnered social activists residing on pioneering Earths who have collectively formed groups using the slogan “#BreakTheFourthWall”. One of their leaders, Ja’Net Tsujimura, was a Haitian-Japanese scientist responsible for inventing dreamscape pods that allowed physicians trained in the art of telepathy who were linked inside to project themselves into dreams with a strong enough signal in the multiverse. The physicians were called “Psychodocs” because they often used their abilities to heal patients with mental illnesses and disorders or were instructed by kratocracies to lobotomize oppressed and unruly citizens.
Unsurprisingly, the technology of these dreamscape pods was brought to the attention of Chronos, Mundïus, and Yemaya. The trio pompously felt a mere human had infringed on the design of deities, even if nothing could be done about it through legal or ethical means without publicizing irrefutable evidence of Gods. This permitted Ja’Net Tsujimura to continue with her next phase, as a divine encounter would not be a tolerated interruption, and she set out to communicate with Dawn herself.
Many years had passed, and Dawn was in her early forties with three children and married to the close friend she had told of her dreams. They had both made billions from a successful film franchise based on them known as ‘Dead in the Snow’ and retired in an off-the-grid home in Atlanta, Georgia. Her feline pet, Alexandre, also retired and lived with the family until he was fatally poisoned by the claws of another that was sent to eliminate him. His death and being reminded of Madam Mae’s disappearance a long time ago caused Dawn to spiral into depression, which was plagued with nightmares about her worst fears. Ja’Net Tsujimura met her visiting the gravesite of her family at midnight in one of them.
“I can bring your loved ones back to life,” Ja’Net spoke calmly behind Dawn who knelt barefoot in front of the tombstone and cried.
“No, you can’t!” a blood-curdling voice responded.
A Southern African incubus demon identified as the Tokoloshe inconspicuous to Dawn walked from behind the tombstone and confronted Ja’Net Tsujimura who crossed her arms.
“Nor can you save Madam Mae’s gift to me!”
Ja’Net Tsujimura recognized this creature as she had met its kind several times in the most depressed brains and was rumored to have been created by an anti-psychodoc company based in China. Ja’Net brandished an unholstered Type 14 Nambu pistol and shot the Tokoloshe between its eyes. The Tokoloshe screamed in agony as it tossed and turned.
“Once you revealed yourself to me, you became my problem as well, and that means you’re vulnerable to the fortitude of my willpower,” said Ja’Net as she fired another bullet into the Tokoloshe’s forehead, ending his life.
This went unnoticed by Dawn whose shoulder Ja’Net then placed her hand on as an overwhelming sense of relief overcame her. Ja’Net Tsujimura asked Dawn if she could recall any specific details about the flash drive from the dreams that her movie franchise was based on.
“Everything…” Dawn responded quietly as she held out a clutched fist and opened it to show the exact same flash drive.
Ja’Net Tsujimura thanked her, took the flash drive, and awakened to fellow scientists materializing it using a special printer. In a matter of days, they would have been able to break into the fourth wall.
Sadly, the final phase did not come to fruition, as their operation was shut down due to a supposed mole tasked with relaying information to the Central Intelligence Agency of her Earth’s the United States of America. Those involved were arrested on fraudulent terrorism charges and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Ja’Net Tsujimura was secretly lobotomized and labeled insane, for fear that she might incite riots across the multiverse. The flash drive itself was ejected without being safely removed by a careless CIA operative during the raid and its contents were completely lost.
Conspiracy theories surrounding the belief that the CIA had orchestrated everything from the inception of Ja’Net’s operation to its demise under the orders of a shadow government that oversaw conflicts in the multiverse were popular. Historians maintain that there is some truth to this, as a cabinet of various precognitive species would be formally established around the year 2025 and dubbed ‘The Orion Five’.