Author : W. Kevin Christian
A monotone, bureaucratic female voice shot through the hearing centers of Felicity’s brain: “Free-form imagination, courtesy of The Sensation Station. Free-form imagination, courtesy of The Sensation Station.” On and on it went until the computer had fully mapped the physical structure of her brain. Suddenly Felicity was walking through a wheat field where she grew up. The moon was full and orange. Hundreds of shooting stars rocketed across the night sky. One came down and slowly cruised by Felicity’s head, its tail leaving a trail of floating diamonds, glittering like fireworks.
The last and greatest vehicle of human creativity was a manually controlled artificial reality on the only entertainment device anyone cared about: The Sensation Station. All other entertainment had become obsolete seven years earlier.
In free-form imagination, what one thought became one’s reality. The possibilities were endless. Not even God himself knew the limits of the unbridled infinity of human creativity channeled through The Sensation Station. Of course most people just used it to have sex in a hot tub with movie star A. But Felicity was different.
Before The Sensation Station, Felicity had been a real book worm. She loved to escape to the vivid worlds she could manifest in her mind. She painted, too. She made sad, silly and fantastic paintings, full of vibrant, burning colors.
Felicity’s first artificial pleasure was imagining herself as the coldest she had ever been, naked and alone on the North Pole. She waited until she could bear it no more and then dumped herself into a hot shower. Felicity had saved the first five seconds of that shower and put it on repeat for hours. The computer daydreams were indescribable pleasure. Divine. Perfect. Satisfying. They had cost Felicity her job.
And her family, kids, home, and car. Right now she was sitting next to a dumpster behind a Denny’s where she had found an unguarded electrical socket to plug in. Her rail thin frame sat hunched against a filth-covered fence. She was dying. Two golf-ball-sized electrodes were attached to her temples with wires running down to a wallet-sized receiver that lay limply in her half-open palm. Drool ran down her chin. Blood trickled out her ears.
Something the creators of The Sensation Station had never anticipated was the ability of the technology to intensify consciousness. Felicity’s imagination was expanding at a frightening rate. Where once she had been satisfied to focus and repeat one good sensation, Felicity now combined hundreds, thousands, millions – the ecstasy of gods. There was no limit.
Felicity set her imagination for the heart of the universe. If God didn’t exist, she was about to create him. She flew up into the sky, into space, out of the solar system. Her perspective increased to a galactic level. The whole universe unfolded at the limitless command of her creativity. Somewhere inside she knew—she had always known—what it was to be a star, an ocean, a banker, a pulsar, a honey bee, a fry cook, a sonic boom, a mountain, a crying baby, a falling leaf, a cloud, a proton, an orgasm, a primal scream. Matter ended. Energy became infinite. Time was reformed. Somewhere in some fold of some reality a force of ten billion supernovas was released. A new universe was born.
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