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The Dope Machine

by Sven Klöpping

Cinescape … what a feeling!

I’m opposed, you know.

While I sit on my buzzing seat in the CineBowl arena, watching the three-dimensional, nevertheless boring movie, my reasonable mind gets opposed to all kinds of modern Hollywood thrillers. I mean, how idiotic must those producers believe us to be that they should publish something like that? “Leave the place!” my mind screams. But I don’t stand up. I’m just sittin’, watchin’, sittin’, watchin’. Seems to me that I’m on a completely opposite dimension of the whole artificial, wanna-be atmosphere the movie tries to create in my neuronal system. With the help of my nano-mechanical skills, I’ve programmed those little machines to keep my mind awake, so that it won’t sleep away with the others. I know my nano-abilities can beat the film’s BrainWare. I’m a real pro, when it comes to protecting my own consciousness against data streams from the outside. Unluckily, my talent can’t protect me against bad movie-content. If it wasn’t for my girlfriend, I would have left the CineBowl at once. She’s the only reason that holds me to my seat, while in the theatre the horrible movie is paning, zapping, zooming around.

Not even ‘horrible’ is an appropriate description for this naive show full of primitive instincts. My girlfriend said that it would have a great horror plot or so, though they’ve declared it to be a hard thriller at the counter downstairs. You know, this Rambo-on-steroids-with-a-big-gun-in-his-hands-stuff gets on my nerves. Moreover, it’s the modern film industry I’m really concerned about. To be direct; I’m fucking opposed to its mindless garbage. To all those recycled, over-produced, fools-targeted shockbusters I say, “Piss off.“ They’re nothing more than a particle of enpictured dietary food – for guys whose fucked-up, low-brow minds are too happy to be connected with a neuronal movie-interface that’s being shoved into their head at the beginning of a show that’s consuming their mind instead of “providing you with the best in Horror” they’re talking about in ads they flash through your brain. I think, good advertising is used just to keep you from realizing how bad these movies really are.

Looking around, I begin to hate not only the film, but also the audience, those anal, neo-cultured types. They’re sittin’ there stockstill like zombies, not using their brain, ready to be used by OutputControl. They’ve actually gathered all around my sliding butt, to consume the film without any emotional impulse in their faces (at least, I can’t discover any). They’re so un-movable. If I wanted to attract their attention, there’d be no chance. Well, nearly no chance, because as a data-piratez’ member, I’m in one of the most powerful virtua-hackerz org. worldwide (Silicon Valley in the L. A. downtown district, if you know what I mean). If I wanted, maybe I could even revive the audience. But this would just cause more conflict. I’m sure these idiots would rather complain than be glad about their salvation: “Hey, you bastard! Why did you wake me up? I’d nearly destroyed a whole alien race!”

But as for myself, I won’t let those unskilled movie-makers and dollar-faced CineBowl owners take the very piss out of me. No way! My self-programmed, pre-installed software protects me against the movie’s silly content. By now, I’m glad that I needn’t care about someone‘s bones being smashed onto the ground, cracked into pieces, or the shrieking cries for help – not forgetting this delicate odour of blood and brains being splashed all over the 25-acres wide projection field within the CineBowl arena. And no, I don’t care about it at all. I just sit there, bored.

You don‘t need an IQ of 280 to imagine that it wasn’t my own decision to willfully enter this place. The gal next to me is reason enough to do even more stupid things. She’s absolutely the most beautiful and attractive woman that I ever managed to pick up in my home district. Her blond hair flowed in the wind as if she stood constantly on a rocky hill, stretching out her arms, with her wild, full lips ready for a kiss. And when I look into her fair emerald green eyes … I’d really die for those eyes. I would do anything just to catch a glimpse of her sweet little smile that makes you forget all your troubles around and that seems to be untouchable for any human soul. But she doesn’t smile now. OutputControl has paralyzed her, too.

Brain-killing paralyzation is not the only reason why I’d never recommend neo-modern, artificial reality. The system’s got no soul, no ghost in the machine. I’d like to tell you that eleven, maybe twelve years back they produced lots of movies that made you really shudder in your virtual seat. Really good times. My butt wasn’t as fat as it’s today and Cyrah (I’d just asked her to marry me), was looking even more virginal and beautiful than now. The movies in those times were cult classics. Everytime they’d been shown in our district’s CineBowl, the audience was shaking as if an earthquake had overcame them. And an earthquake it was. A real brain-storm, if you know what I mean. Something like The Dope Machine; films that cause a thunderstorm in your head, like the virtua metal sound I used to listen in my teenage years (guess it was the golden summer of 2069). I even didn’t care that those films were just flash movies with a linear, non-interactive pulp plot and real human actors working in a tiny, blue-walled studio. These films contained just few three-dimensional special effects, but they were much more thrilling than one of those mind-absorbing pseudo-thrillers of today. Thinking of them always makes me a bit sentimental and dreamy.

Then I re-wake, to find myself in this horrid, three-dimensional reality. Or, maybe, the opposite of it, as I’m experiencing yet another reality than the audience; the ‘real’ reality (thanks to my axion-fixed software). But for some weird reason (perhaps my butt’s aching too much), I impulsively decide to watch the film like all the other people around me. Click, I deactivate my nano-machines and dive into the pseudo-reality of “MegaTron, The Great Seducer”.

Actually, MegaTron is dragging his sharp separator through my virtual stomach from behind … and I begin to bleed, to cry. Though I hear my own voice crying, I know all too well that it’s just a virtual voice, synchronized by the movie’s artificial BrainControl software that flashes an imprint of my neuronal voice-pattern through my brain’s relevant axions and synapses. Being part of the movie means to get even more (XXX fed-up with it), ‘cause MegaTron doesn’t provide much creativity. He just spreads my intestines and blood all over the wall, like a barbarian, on the curtains, on the desk, letting the whole stinking sauce drip heavily on the virtual floor (I’m just yawning, activating the nano-machines again). Click.

And there is Cyrah. Instead of payin’ attention to the lower-class D-movie, I turn to her, admiring her perfectly shaped body that is by now breathing fearful gasps. While MegaTron might be splitting her virtual body into pieces, I’m somehow charmed by her peaceful expression of total absence, but I don’t want to be part of her experience again – I won’t be seduced by her expression. Then a flash of remembrance crosses my mind (what the hell …)

The Dope Machine (retrospective)

First you’re being ripped out of reality, right into the show as if you’ve precariously balanced in a great catapult your whole life, and just when you realize what’s happening you receive a huge dose of first-class morphine flyin’ in from your right side directly into your veins and you want to hide your shaking body, but you can’t. The movie makes you feel paralysed and just when you’re trying to realize the meaning of being paralysed so you can fight through it, and attempt to stand upright on both feet again, the virtual fix swells and swells through your whole body, stretchin’ its intoxication into your brain, right into the center of your nervous system where it speeds up your neurotransmitters and you begin to talk like a floatin’ mountain torrent. You speak tons of nonsense. Talking without a direction, your feet just stumbling over everything that’s in your way, but you’re running on, passing more and more fixes. Let it float through your body, piercing from the left to the right, from up and down, they’re shooting the particles, the dopamine-blockers through your pores, right into every one of your blood corpuscles. In this dope maze, reality is just an assembly line upon which the dope lies ready to travel into another world without the engines’ never ending rattling. Your body seems to be a natural magnet for illegal drugs, you can’t do anything to stop the attraction. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to consume it, ‘cause you’re already a part of it!

Further on, you fix yourself and fall out of reality. Your mind trips into a junkie’s paradise. With every line you sniff, every needle that’s been stuck into your swelling veins you’re getting closer to the brink. And yes, the world is swelling like your veins. You realize that it has been swelling the whole time since your birth, growing bigger and bigger, until its vastness and multitude of things forces you to misinterprete the reality. Only the drugs can keep you clear-minded, so that you can get an impression of what life really means. After that, you watch yourself in the prenatal phase, swimming and turning in the amniotic sac of your mother. When you finally wake up you think that this whole swelled-up thing, that fills the entire universe, by now has crumbled and crushed down like a micro-supernova. It swirls like dust in the wind, deep inside your ‘just left-behind‘ unconsciousness. And that which are you tryin’ to hide from, manifests in all think exactly the same as you. Believing the fix must have exceeded at least several days or maybe even months, you later on you realize that only a few hours have passed.

Somehow it seems to me as if The Dope Machine is dope itself. You know, you get so many flashbacks from this movie, that you can’t tell how many times force fed retro burn occurs. But it’s worth a visit, nevertheless. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Waking up and returning from the past, which is still better than experiencing the present, I discover some of the previously swelled-up, but now crumbled-to-nothing relics sitting around me; the deaf, dumb crowd. They are still staring, sweating, watching and nearly dead on their seats that could have been coffins as well. They are mezmerized, sheeplike people who always need a leader to lead them right into the Garden of Eden of unfulfilled promises. Their whole lifetime they don’t learn that they’re actually nothing but dust in their much-too-comfortable seats. Their synapse sparks rapidly, yet uselessly, because some VirtuaVision show told them, commanded them, to come here. “Recommended movie” is the political correct phrase for this kind of advertising, but I don’t care ‘bout any political correctness right now.

Attention! MegaTron is watching you!

Oh, how I hate those pre-analysed, 100 % market-fitting test-tube movies! They don’t give a shit about justice, morality or anything less than five billion NeoBucks of box-office returns. Electronically filed in virtual data-bundles on some fat producers‘ e-accounts, they only help to brainwash, whitewash and to provide them bosses with fuck-around-the-clock. I don’t believe anything will ever close the allpresent gap of knowledge.

You may wonder why I don’t speak loud, just as real short story people usually speak, in an attempt to communicate in some way? But with whom of those switched-off bastards should I start to talk to? With the grandma over there, who’s sleeping away but who wouldn’t look any different if she were awake? Or, maybe, with the teenager to the left, who’s grinning the whole time as if he’d just swallowed some weird drugs? No, they’re all sleeping; brain-dead in the sense of being fed-to-the-top with controlled meta-personal data. They would not move even if an air force General stood up and commanded “Wake up, you morons!” (for they know, waking up could be really deadly for them. MegaTron could recognize consciousness and kill their virtual bodies).

Dammit! I want to leave this place, have a nice piece of dope to chew on, maybe some sexual interaction with my little Cyrah and then say goodnight, as the rest of the world slumbers in limbo. Unluckily, the movie still continues, mezmerising the masses, preparing them for I don’t know what.

Again, I look at my girl. Cyrah sweats and breathes sexuality. Her lips are wide opened and her chest is strained as if pressed by the hands of another man; must be the beginning of the pornographic part of the story. MegaTron wants to play an erotic, perverted adventure to every plugged-in member of the audience. And Cyrah is ready for it.

I can easily imagine what she’s watching by now. If I would experience “The Great Seducer” myself, MegaTron would surely change into a half-naked, seductivly posing, attractive young beauty with her silvery hair blowing in the wind. Something kinky, that a 35 year old bastard like myself would really enjoy.

But it’s Cyrah who watches the film and I believe in this very moment that she’s discovering a handsome, yet virtual man, whose sun-tanned muscles reflect the mild colours of the imaginary beach where he does some kind of useless fitness training. His ever-smiling face shaped like that of the ‚Baywatch-guys‘ in their best years. But despite all those superficial pictures, this nice guy is nothing more than a transformation of MegaTron, the great seducer. Whose intentions are that of a psychopathic mass murderer.

It’s enough for me. First I can’t stand the stupid plot of the story and, second, the thought of my wife havin’ sex with a virtual stranger, whom she has never met before in her life and whose goal is just to make goulash out of her. So I take off my seat-belt as well as hers, moving my hands to her body, laying them around her well-formed female hips, lifting her feather-weight body right onto my knees. She sweats even more because BrainControl isn’t prepared for any physical movement of the body while the show is activated in a brain which is deactivated. Cyrah’s skin-tight t-shirt becomes wet and soon her tight nipples are shining through the fine digital silk, like the holografic shirt-projections that gay people use to make them look as if they were a buxom beauty. Cyrah’s very attractive body makes me quite mad. I take off my virtua-sweatshirt, it clings to my body as if I’ve just finished a marathon race, and begin to unbutton my jeans. Sitting there, half-naked, I’m realizing that Cyrah is still sleeping, dreaming. Normally she’d taken off her clothes by now, but, in her neuro-burn, I got to fix that for her. Not a minute later we are ready for sexual intercourse.

Surprisingly she’s crying out loud while I take her three times right in the middle of thousands of people who are not even cognizant of our little game. They’re still staring into the projection field of the “Weekly Horror Shocker”, as it’s proclaimed on a digital sign nearby. All of them are trying to hold back their emotions via OutputControl. Well, I’m just the opposite! I‘m not interested in these cinema-zombies around me, so I simply ignore them, letting my deepest and wildest feelings out. Cyrah’s deactivated body is gliding up and down on me. She’s sweating and crying, moving up and down my knees, yeah, she’s so good to me.

Our last common move pushes me up like a thunderstorm. Climax overcomes me like a flash – click, I’m an angel on a cloud, playin’ with heavenly instruments I never thought I could ever handle. We finish in ecstasy, jerking, moving, uncontrolled bodies that we are. We are awash in the illusion of pleasant thoughts and images, of distant realms, that seem so near. I’m a little bit sorry that Cyrah won’t remember anything once she awakens. So it’s going to be my own little secret I just have to share with OutputControl and MegaTron.

Looking over my darling’s shoulder toward the movie-counter, I soon realize that the show will be finished in just a few more minutes. So I promptly redress my beautiful lady, to place her back onto the very plush chair, generously allowing her to finish the movie without any further interruption.

I’m very delighted now (my angst has just left my body), so I disable my own protection-software, even the emergency exit control, to let myself experience the end of the movie without any more prejudical statements. After all, I got everything that I wanted to get this afternoon, with the kind help from my sweet little Cyrah. I’m sure I won’t forget this adventure for a long time. The only fact I’ll have to forget is that Cyrah possibly thought all the time she was fucking some simple-minded Baywatch guy at the beach, only to be eaten up by MegaTron afterwards.

Blood.

Pain.

And then the audience wakes up. OutputControl frees the minds and slides back into its digital server system. A sighing of 10,380 lungs fill the air (I know the exact number because it’s flashed up all across the projection field: “RECORD: 10,380 visitors! 10,380 honest thanx for visiting our three-dimensional movie show, sponsored by DreamBuilder Professional Edition. Have a nice day and visit again!”). Cyrah turns around, smiling:

“You sat all the time by my side?”

“What else should I’ve done, sweet-heart?”

“I don’t have a clue … Maybe sleep with another woman?” She grins.

“You know all too well I’d never be unfaithf …”

“Let’s stop joking, honey.”

And then she embraces me, kissing my strained cheek, whispering: “Let’s do something … you know … extraordinary tonight.” Her grinning couldn’t have been more conspicuous. My heart immediately pounds faster. Sweat of anticipation appears on my forehead as I take her by her shoulders, bending forward, whispering as quiet as I can:

“I always thought you don’t like a repeat performance.”

Then we leave the CineBowl, Cyrah looking a little bit startled.

Copyright © 2011 by Sven Klöpping

Sven Klöpping was born in Herdecke/Westfalen in 1979. He has published stories at the borderline of inner space sf and contemporary mainstream fiction in anthologies and magazines, Nova among them. Several of his works have been translated for sf websites such as Fantastic Metropolis and the Romainian Lumi Virtuale. His fiction has received several awards. His website is at www.svenkloepping.de. His most recent project is a poetry site to be found at www.lyrikonline.eu.

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