The Trapped Mind Project
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A GameLIT Series
Austin Zane leaves behind his CEO position with RB Corp to play Dave, a half-dwarf in the Virtual reality game Emerilia, trying to escape his life.
What Dave doesn’t know is that Earth as he knows it, is really a virtual reality simulation and Emerilia is a world imbued with futuristic technologies to mimic early MMORPG’s.
He just wanted peace and quiet, to build a house, do some fishing, to take some time to find himself once again. What he found out instead was a cause, he found out the biggest lie of his life. He found out the truth about Emerilia and the lies of Earth.
What’s the best way to control slaves? Make them think that they’re free.
Ja’sheem looked to Lo’kal. They were both Jukal, the ruling sentients of the Empire. The Empire was the largest known organization of sentient creatures working together.
For the most part, other sentients welcomed working with them to further the Empire and their own systems. Though there were other civilizations that preferred to fight instead of working together.
They were called aggressive species. Creatures that lived for violence. The true threat to the Empire was not purely aggressive species but fractured species.
They had been a theoretical possibility until the humans were found.
There was no one unifying item in the race; they fought one another over the smallest items. One group would accept the Empire’s terms. Another would raid their merchants.
The Emperor had put down an edict. Humanity was to be given a purpose or destroyed.
It had taken twenty years for the Jukal Empire to push humanity back to their home planet Earth. Still, there were groups sown across the universe, fighting the Jukal Empire.
Ja’sheem was Regent Admiral in the Emperor’s stead, overseeing the human issue. Clearing out every last human would take another twenty years at least.
Lo’kal was a brilliant scientist who had worked with humanity before the war had broken out. He was also the only person offering a legitimate way to not only defeat humanity but use them.
“Instead of fighting them directly, why don’t we have them fight one another and our other aggressive species?” Lo’kal said.
“Just how in the seven stars do you suggest we do that?” Ja’sheem asked. There were two entire fleets watching Earth and the Sol System. The nefarious humans had more hideouts and secret bases than there were stars in the sky.
“We get them to play a game.” Lo’kal’s eyes flickered in amusement, his frog-like mouth unable to show emotions.
Purple mist sprayed down on their bodies as Ja’sheem stared at the other Jukal.
“How?” In for a krAes, in for a GoA, Ja’sheem thought.
“Humans love to play games. Before the war, they were playing immersive virtual reality games,” Lo’kal said.
“The same simulators that allowed them to prepare for battle when they weren’t even in combat?” Ja’sheem’s eyes thinned in anger.
“Exactly!” Lo’kal seemed too excited to care for Ja’sheem’s anger. “They would play these games in an entirely fictional place, for entertainment. They’d get things called quests, to kill or find items. There were even special events that garnered massive attention. Like the addition of new enemies or regions to explore.”
Did Lo’kal want to play the game himself or was he trying to see Ja’sheem on it? “And?”
“Well, it’s the answer!” Lo’kal said.
“What is?” Ja’sheem sighed, feeling the need to hit the supposedly brilliant scientist in front of him.
“We make a game, the biggest one ever, and we let the humans play.” Lo’kal said it as though it was obvious.
“That might pacify some of them, but not all,” Ja’sheem said.
“No, no. Okay, so humans want to escape boredom—we make a game that makes them bored. They interact, going through their lives, going to work, coming home from work, having kids, retirement, and dying.”
“Does not sound like an interesting game,” Ja’sheem said.
Lo’kal glared at Ja’sheem for the interruption.
“Exactly. It’s not fun, so they play games—they go to a fantasy world filled with other humans and creatures that have been born and raised there. We open a portal and the humans go to fight the new aggressive species.” Lo’kal looked to Ja’sheem, who was now thoroughly confused.
“We take a planet, imbue it with technologies so that it functions like their games would. We make the humans think that it is a game. When they ‘leave,’ they enter a simulation that is boring and annoying, promoting spending more time on the planet. They think it’s a game, show less restraint and do whatever they can to complete their tasks that we make for them,” Lo’kal said.
“So the game is real, and reality is a simulation?” Ja’sheem said.
“Exactly! Then we can create portals to other planets where the other aggressive species are. The humans can level up their abilities and bodies through our technology. We use scouts and reports to make new events and the humans will do our work for us,” Lo’kal said.
Ja’sheem sat back in his chair. More mist sprayed.
“That would be a large project.” Could it succeed? And if it did? His mind reeled with the possibility to use the humans’ own tenacity against the other aggressive species.
“Yes, it would be,” Lo’kal agreed. “Though the possibilities are endless. The humans might even augment our own abilities with their knowledge and meddling. They would be able to fight for generations. If they could respawn—”
“You want to give them the ability to respawn?” Ja’sheem yelled. The technology was advanced; it allowed a person to respawn time and time again, with their new knowledge and abilities uploaded into their body at its peak condition.
“They’d be able to fight an enemy again and again, knowing more each time. We wouldn’t just be making this world for one time. If we ever have another aggressive species, we activate a new batch of humans. They wake up, fight the aggressive species; then we cull them. This could solve our issues with aggressive species forever.”
Ja’sheem looked at the roof of his Imperial carrier. If Lo’kal’s plan worked, then the men and women who fought under him would be saved. Replacing their lives with the lives of the humans.
“When humans are in the game, they let their inhibitions fall away. They allow themselves to act on their impulses. Often that means going out and destroying something. Humans didn’t like killing things in reality. In games, they’re fine with killing entire civilizations as long as they get a reward,” Lo’kal added to his argument.
Ja’sheem tapped his bloated front with his webbed hands.
“Fine, we will test it. What do you want to call it?”
“Emerilia,” Lo’kal said.
Trapped Mind. A cold look passed through Ja’sheem’s eyes.