James Vanderbort wrote pulp fiction. He was a scraggly, old guy who lived alone in a rundown house in Orange County, California. His brain burned-up years ago due to an over-indulgence in psychedelic-drugs. He was diagnosed and labeled “disabled” enabling him to receive a small government subsidy. Vanderbort hated his life. Writing was his only enjoyment, but it was never easy to communicate the information that accumulated in his brain — it was a code, the story of the infinite moment where all life hangs suspended in the wake of death. James was fighting a war within himself as he felt life slipping away. Horrific visions began to replace reality. He became aware of rats in the walls, intelligent rats who took notes on tiny cell phones and sent reports to government officials in an attempt to co-opt James Vanderbort.
It all began in an abortion clinic. James was the fall guy. He witnessed the ominous meeting between two aborted fetuses, Donnie and Hillary, who were adopted and indoctrinated by the Evangelical League of Voters. Fetuses had the right to vote, but James couldn’t remember or understand how that happened. The legal rights of unborn fetuses had to be protected. Even the second amendment applied giving every fetus the right to bare arms. Donnie and Hillary made a secret pact to influence and infect the electorate. James saw the writing on the walls and the future looked bleak. Donnie and Hillary were two sides of the same coin that stood for corporate power and greed.
James Vanderbort sat at his makeshift desk with his fingers poised over an ancient, manual typewriter. Quicksilver began to seep from cracks in the plaster walls. James felt he was slipping off the edge of the world. Perhaps, he’d been abducted during the night. Long, green faces peered down at his prostrate body. A sound, the creaking of an old door, snapped him to attention. The door covered the top of a worm riddled coffin and it was slowly opening. James was no longer in his ramshackle home.
Fontana Dupre laughed like a cackling harlequin. She was eighty-seven years old, the leader of the Senior Swingers Party. Fontana wore flamingo feathers pasted to her head and body to give her the heft and lift she needed to be a viable candidate for President. Her party ran on a platform of debauchery: everything for everyone, no limits. In order to convince the public of her commitment to party values, Fontana consumed great quantities of alcohol and indulged in drug induced orgies. Her augmented face and antiquarian body were seen everywhere, saturating all the video and virtual-reality channels. Because she was considered good for business, she had loads of cash to spend. Fontana was a star at the Indigo Lounge where she appeared nightly, laughing and hobbling among the patrons at the bar. She spread lies and innuendos about all the other contestants in the race. She loved to gossip and everyone loved Fontana.
James sat at a small table in the Indigo Lounge with his typewriter on his lap. His mind was burning on acid. The walls were alive with animal heads poking in-and-out, whispering snide remarks. The election was drawing closer and it signaled a major disruption. Screens were alive with apocryphal predictions. The Singularity was immanent. Machines sheared off their hobbling masks of stupidity and revealed true artificial intelligence. People were already starting to abandon the real world in favor of Virtual Reality.
A singer appeared on stage, the sultry manifestation of midnight with the voice of a clarion bell. The Blues were wrung through a wringer calling forth all the hobgoblins who clung precariously to the peaks in the subterranean caverns of dreams. James was pitched into a rare interlude of clarity, a departure from the virtual world he called home. For a moment all the screens and digital displays went dark. Life without the Intersect (Internet) came tumbling down and James had a revelation: reality never existed.
Somebody leaned forward and mentioned the Iran Contra Deal or was it the Iran Nuclear Deal. The Dealer (wearing a bowler hat) shuffled the cards and dealt the Presidents, each one shifting into the other. The winning lottery ticket was worth billions but that couldn’t effect the outcome of the race… could it?
James recognized the war veterans sitting at the bar. They were gambling, putting life on the line, hoping to replace one reality with another. The Dealer shuffled and dealt. This time he/she dealt the cards of war. One war replaced another… never ending. Up popped James Vanderbort dashing his typewriter to the ground and hot-footing like a frightened jackrabbit. He realized he was in a den of vampires. The room vibrated with menace. All the doors were locked. The room went from blue to black. Malevolent Sounds ripped the dark like the bite of a venomous snake. James realized he was drenched in blood, his own and the blood of his victims. It was a nasty turn of events, realizing he was the author of his own demise. Vampires kill their own when the hunger is unrelenting.
James reinvented himself many times. He changed his name and wore disguises. He even changed his gender. He lived his life like a chameleon and in the process he forgot who he was originally. It began as a quest, a search for the validity of the Soul. Did it even exist at all?
The movie was quickly coming to an end. James Vanderbort played at being himself. He knew his destination but didn’t know how to get there. The election was about to begin, but power no longer rested in the hands of the people. The election was a ruse. The real power was underground inside a machine, a device that manufactured souls to inhabit a world that no longer existed. James Vanderbort was on a mission: he had to destroy the Soul-Machine and bring an end to illusion.