“Take the family and go on vacation” was the sober advice from the Cognitive Therapist. Dr. Orlong was not being ironic even though Roger Denten had no family and could not afford a vacation. The doctor was just being oblivious. Denten could never take a vacation. Roger was eighteen years old, but he was really fifty-three. The age discrepancy occurred when Time slipped like a fast car on black ice. Everyone was on the Edge due to the Singularity (the threshold where there is no turning back from a future that transcends humanity). It hit in the blink of an eye… the human species was now outmoded and time-stamped to expire. Denten knew it, but everyone else was blinded by recent events to the point of total ignorance. A new replacement species was in the wings pensively awaiting their turn on the stage of history. Humanity hung by a thread. Roger Denten kept the thread from breaking. Before he reverted to an eighteen year old version of himself he was a physicist, a spinner of threads. He knew all about String Theory and sub-atomic particles. Denten threaded the needle with indeterminate Strings and broke the glass ceiling of Reality. He was partly responsible for the advent of the Singularity; but Denten had a key that could stop the inevitable. He needed access to the Particle Accelerator in the lab where he used to work, but no one believed him. He was no longer recognized as an esteemed scientist because his appearance changed and He looked like a drug addled delinquent.
Roger Denten was labeled “psychotic” and forced to go on a long vacation. Doctors prescribed drugs to make him supine. He was transferred to the Office of Virtual Reality and given a new life with an adorable wife, Amanda, former swim suit model; and two cherubic children, Aniston and Petr — the perfect family. They were all going on a long vacation where sweet, ocean breezes cooled the white sands that were normally blisteringly hot, too hot for bare feet, but the family loved romping in the sand without shoes or socks and the breezes made everything perfect. Roger Denten was convinced his vacation was reality. All the while the strings and threads were unraveling.
The New Collective took the form of an androgynous angel and emerged from the nest to gaze at the surrounding city that was abandoned and crumbling. The Collective was immortal and only as “human” as the machine-codes flashing on a phosphorescent screen. The Collective could alter the environment and change shapes like a Chimera.
In a dark hole there was a brain in a box labeled “Denten.” The brain was part of the engine that supplied energy to power the New Collective. There were billions of boxes in the underground hole. The whole of Humanity was on an extended vacation.