Author : Kellee Kranendonk

I’m not crazy. Really, I’m not. But since they put me in this cracker-box palace and started giving me drugs, I’ve been able to handle the visions much better. They’d like me to tell them I’m not seeing things. But I am.

And I remember the first time it happened – when my team and I first came back from planet W1.3, otherwise known as Alusinar. Strange events that play out in my mind as memories. But they never actually happened. At least not in this. . . reality. I’ve figured that out now.

It’s like seeing your reflection in a broken mirror.Each shard reflects a version of you. You see, for every choice we make, there are alternate paths we could have chosen, each one having a different result, sometimes a drastic one. I see all the alternatives, as if each person in each piece of glass is real and living my life only making different decisions. Hundreds of them. Every variant of every option fast forwarding in my head. Me, stuck in a career I hate. Me, married with kids. Me, planet-hopping and loving every minute of it.

They won’t let me – or anyone else – go back to Alusinar. Not until they find something to cure me. But only those beings on W1.3 can help me. Sometimes I hear them calling to me. They want me to come back. I think they made me one of them somehow. The sound is only in my brain but it’s as real as I am. I can’t explain how I know it’s real. It exists like the wind. You can’t see it but you can hear it and feel it.

Not all the visions I have are bad, but those are the ones I remember best. Like the one where my team and I decide to go to W1.1 despite the black screen on the probe.

In that reality, tiny creatures jump out of the darkness and attach themselves to the back of your neck. I remember their razor-sharp teeth cutting into my skin. Their tongues slithering into the incision and sucking my
blood until my life-force is gone.

Then there’s the one where no peace talks are held with the giants of W0.3 and they destroy T’Rauy, my world. I remember giant people with giant weapons dropping in from an enormous ship in the sky and taking no hostages in the massacre.

But we did hold peace talks and I didn’t die on W1.1. I’m still here, real and alive, hostage only to something I can’t explain.

All of the possibilities, good or bad, mash and mingle with each other until I can’t make out one from the other, can’t single out one memory, actual or optional, and all I’m left with is my own sad reality here in this white, round room. Later, I remember some of them as dreams, but I know they’re real.

Unless I take the drugs. Then I see nothing but spectral images of people floating around me, talking and giving me things to eat and drink, and pills to keep me in this haze. Then I remember nothing but the food, water and pills from the day before. The sounds in my brain are reduced to a hum, like tinnitus in my ears.

But I don’t always take the drugs. Sometimes I want to see the possibilities, to remember the few I can and tell my story to anyone who will listen.

It’s like being a voyeur and watching other people’s lives, except it’s my life. All those images. Hundreds of possibilities every time a choice is made.

Maybe they’re alternative realities. Existing lives I’m leading in other actualities. Maybe that’s what the voices want to tell me.

Why can’t I just take my team and go back to W1.3? I’ll make them take a closer look at the viridian luminosity. I’ll make them see it wasn’t just noxious vapours.

I remember now. It touched me. Reached out to my mind, my soul. A peaceful life-form trying to connect.

With me. With humans.

They’ll see that I’m not crazy. Really.

Is anyone listening?

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