It was the perfect world. A world where God didn't exist, and the word religion was unknown. Nobody knew of God, or the true reason why they were on this earth. There was no right or wrong, in the sense that no one had to act and behave a certain way. In fact, this world was very similar to our own, minus the religion and God. There was nothing to say sex before marriage was wrong, or that homosexuality was against the reasons why we had been created male and female. Everyone was their own person, with their own views on life. It was a perfect world, with one exception; it was a simulation.
People's minds were manipulated into believing this was the real world, when in truth, they were all strapped to operation tables, wires attached to their bodies as if they had just undergone an actual operation. Giant headgear were strapped to their heads, a piece of equipment which looked like it belonged in an Arcade for a virtual reality game.
This was Satan Inc.'s way of stopping the Gospel from reaching mankind. They knew just as well as the Christians did that Jesus was going to return soon, and when it happened, they wanted to make sure that their master of Darkness won the most people. How could the Lamb take home people who were total sinners and had already accepted the mark of the beast before they even knew what it was? Satan Inc. had utter and total control over the world, well with one exception. There were real groups of Believers still living in the real world. But they were no threat. Not to the only most powerful organization existing in the world. The groups were too few in numbers to even cause a problem. At least that's what the leader of Satan Inc. presumed.
Arthur Macgreen was a mean man, and Satan's official representative to mankind. He was the man behind all that had happened. Very few received the privilege, or rather, the death sentence of meeting this man. It was rumoured the Arthur Macgreen looked like the devil, with horns and all, but in reality, he looked like a regular human being. He was 28 years old, and already had an ego that could surpass Satan's. He was good-looking too, a bonus for himself, and he found it especially helpful when dealing with female employees. His sandy blonde hair was cut just up behind his ears, his bangs usually cast in front of his deep blue eyes. He knew this drove the females crazy, and he made sure to keep his style that way. In fact, the only thing that ever made him seem unattractive was the evil that shone in his eyes.
The Intercom buzzed and his secretary's voice came over the speaker. "Sir, John Cunnings is here to see you."
Arthur smiled. John Cunnings was an old friend, and a personal favourite of his. He was the man in charge of Sector 43, the largest operating facility in the world. "Send him in Miss Love."
"Yes sir, right away sir." Miss Love said before the connection ended.
His office door opened and Arthur went over to greet his guest. He held out his hand and the man shook it. "John, it's good to see you again."
John smiled. "Same to you sir."
Arthur laughed. "Forget the formalities John, we're old friends, you can still call me by my first name."
John grinned, and feeling lightly more relaxed, he took a seat in front of Arthur's desk. Arthur sat down on the corner of his desk and pressed the intercom button.
"Miss Love, bring in two Labatt Blues."
The door opened moments later and an attractive young woman about the age of 24 walked in. She had long brown hair and a slim, hourglass-shaped body. Both men watched her every move as she handed the men their beers and left. Once the door was closed, Arthur licked his lips and sighed.
"Lovely piece of flesh, isn't she?"
John nodded his head in agreement.
"Unfortunate part is she plays hard to get. Oh well, makes the prize even more delicious." Arthur looked back at John. "So what brings you here? And I know you didn't come here just to catch up on current events."
John sighed. "Arthur, I think we have a problem."
Arthur raised an eyebrow. "What kind of problem?"
John took a sip of his beer. "The Believers in Sector 43 are getting stronger. I think they may be to the point where they could cause problems."
Arthur laughed. "So eliminate them."
John sighed again. "That's the problem. We've already tried, but there's no clues whatsoever as to where their base is. We've searched everywhere. There's nothing."
Arthur frowned. "John buddy. I thought you were smarter than this."
John looked at Arthur. He knew his friend well enough, and he knew if he didn't cover his ass soon, he'd be on the death roll in moments. "Well, we haven't had time yet to search underground, and they could be hiding in the caves on Hollywood Mountain.." John rambled.
Arthur smiled. "Now you're thinking." His smile turned ice cold. "Now find those rebels and eliminate them, or I will eliminate you myself, old friend." he said sharply, his voice as cold as his icy smile.
John gulped and nodded. "I'll take care of them. I promise."
Arthur's smile remained icy. "I don't want promises John, I want results. If I wanted promises I'd join those damned Believers. Now get out of my office before I change my mind and decide to kill you right now!" Arthur didn't have to tell John twice.
John was out of his chair and opening the door before Arthur even finished his sentence. John closed the door and leaned on it sighing heavily.
"Leaving so soon, Mr. Cunnings?" Miss Love asked, looking surprised.
John nodded. "I have...er... an appointment soon. Just stopped in for a quick hello."
Miss Love smiled. "Well enjoy the rest of your day Mr. Cunnings."
"You too Miss Love." John replied as he walked over to the elevator. As he waited for the elevator doors to open, he looked around and shuddered. He knew he was being watched by some unknown force, he was always being watched. He hated it, but there was nothing he could do about it. The elevator doors opened, and he stepped inside, pushing the button of his destination quickly, as if the elevator would take him elsewhere if he didn't push it immediately. "Each day the Believers seem to be more and more right. Maybe I should follow them. I mean, if they are right........."
He shook the thoughts from his head. He knew somehow Arthur would be able to hear them if he thought them for too long. And that would mean his death. Unfortunately for John, Arthur already knew about those thoughts itching in the back of John's mind.
Arthur watched from his office window as John climbed into his black Mercedes Benz and started the engine. Arthur's fingers itched towards the big red button on the detonator sitting in the palm of his hand. As John began to back out of his parking spot, Arthur pushed the detonator and John's car exploded, John along with it. Satisfied with his work, Arthur smiled evilly and pressed the intercom.
"Miss Love, inform the janitors there is a mess to be cleaned up in the east parking lot. Also send a card and flowers to Mr. Cunnings' family with my condolences, explaining that he was in an accident at work, and sadly, was killed by an explosion."
There was silence for a few moments be fore Miss Love's reply came. "Yes sir, I'll get right on it." came the shaky reply.
Arthur smiled happily and picked up the phone, hitting the speed dial button.
"Hello?" came a groggy voice.
"Dainels you moron wake up!"
"Art? Is that you?"
"Yes it's me you imbecile!" Arthur growled. "Be ready for 8:00 in the morning. You're the new head of Sector 43. Got that?"
"Yeah man, I got it. Sector 43, 8:oo am, head of operations. Is that everything?" Daniels replied sarcastically.
"Yeah. Now get your ass back to bed." Arthur said as he hung up the phone. He leaned back into his luxurious chair and looked at the ceiling. "Enjoy hell John, buddy ol' pal."
Miss Love shuddered as Mr. Macgreen's evil laughter came booming through the door. As she wrote the letter of explanation to Mr. Cunnings family, she couldn't help fearing for her own life. This excuse letter was becoming way too familiar to her.
Aaron ran his hands through his long brown hair and sighed. "Lord, please help me to break this code....we need it if we are gonna be able to free anyone from Sector 43," he prayed as he stared at the computer screen for the hundredth time that day. The same familiar message was flashing on the screen; Code Incorrect: Access Denied. "If only I had kept up on my hacking skills," he thought aloud.
The door to the cramped computer room opened and an older man about the age of sixty walked in. He was known as Grandpa Joe to the Believers of Sector 43, and was considered the Pastor of their group.
Aaron smiled weakly at him. "Hi Gramps."
Grandpa Joe smiled back. "I brought you some food and water," he explained as he sat down a tray containing a sandwich and a glass of water.
Grandpa Joe sighed. "You know Aaron, maybe you should rest for a bit. You've been trying to crack the code for two days straight now. We're going to be having prayer meeting in a few hours." He looked at the teenager, "Maybe you should join us. God may just give you the answer."
Aaron nodded. "You're right. I'll be out as soon as I'm done eating."
Grandpa Joe patted Aaron on the shoulder. "You're a good kid Aaron. I wish your parents could've been here to see you."
Aaron smiled. "Thanks."
Grandpa Joe nodded and left the room. Aaron took a bite of his sandwich and chewed it slowly. He stood up, then carried his tray out of the room.
When he reached the kitchen, Christine, Grandpa Joe's daughter, was just cleaning up from lunch. "Oh hey Aaron. I see you've finally left that computer desk."
Aaron nodded, he was suddenly feeling extremely tired and couldn't find the energy to talk.
"You look exhausted hun. Maybe you should take a nap before prayer group."
"I guess." Aaron said as he put his dishes in the dishwasher and walked slowly to his room. He barely remembered reaching his bed before he fell asleep.
At first, he did not dream, it was too deep a sleep. But soon, he thought he was awake, the dream he was having was so crystal clear. He was inside Sector 43, walking down the hallway. None of the employees could see him, it was as if he was a ghost. He didn't know where he was going, but at the same time, he knew exactly where he was going. An unseen force was guiding him through the facility. He stopped at the door to one of the Operation rooms, and walked straight through it, as if there never had been a door. He was lead to one of the tables, where a girl, about the same age as himself was strapped down. He looked at the girl's number.
"Subject 213." Aaron said out loud, since no one would hear him.
The girl's pale skin had never touched the sunlight, and the clothes she wore were clean and unwrinkled, as if she had never moved with them on. Her long blonde hair flowed from underneath her headgear, and she lay so still it seemed as if she was dead.
"Her name is Celesta Goldheart." A voice said.
Aaron knew it was the Holy Spirit's voice, it was too beautiful and magnificent to be human. He nodded. The unseen force guided him into a room next to the operation table. It was the control room. On the pegboard was a note, the systems password as clear as day on it. "6The6Day6IsNear"
"You know what to do." the voice told him as he finished memorizing the code.
The room faded, and he blinked, now staring up at the ceiling of his own room. He fumbled for the notepad and pen that he always kept on his nightstand. He quickly jotted down the three pieces of information he had been shown in the dream: Subject 213, Celesta Goldheart, and 6The6Day6IsNear. He glanced at his digital clock. 6:55. Prayer group would be starting soon. He threw on some clean clothes and ran down the hall to the prayer room. When he opened the door, everyone was already there. Grandpa Joe smiled and motioned for him to sit down.
"Aaron, glad you made it."
Aaron nodded and sat down beside Chris, his younger brother. Chris smiled up at him.
Aaron looked around the room then back at Grandpa Joe. "Uh... Grandpa Joe? Before we get started, I think I just received some important information."
Grandpa Joe nodded his head.
"Well, while I was sleeping, the Lord gave me a dream. I was inside Sector 43. He showed me three things. One was the code to the system..... the other two was a girl named Celesta Goldheart, and her subject number. I think we're supposed to free her first."
Mr. Grimwald, Christine's husband smirked. "You sure this wasn't just some fantasy dream of yours boy?"
Aaron shook his head. "The Lord spoke to me. He told me the girl's name, then he said 'You know what you have to do.'."
Grandpa Joe nodded. "Very well then. But Aaron, I want you to get a full night's sleep before you attempt to free this girl. Understand me?"
After discussing what would happen the next day, Grandpa Joe began prayer. It was a powerful prayer meeting, and message that Grandpa Joe preached, but Aaron couldn't keep his thoughts on the Word. He was trying to figure out how he was going to get the girl out of Sector 43 before she got caught. Before either of them got caught.
Celesta Goldheart was your average typical California girl. Her long blonde hair was blowing slightly in the wind, and her sea-green eyes shone in the sunlight. It was the perfect day to be at the beach, not a cloud in sight. She flipped off her sandals and ran to the volleyball net where most of her friends were already gathered.
"HEY C! You're late!" yelled Colin, her life-long best friend.
Celesta shrugged. "My mom wanted me to do the laundry before I came."
"Awww, and does wittle Celesta do evewything mommy want her to? How adorable." Lina said sarcastically.
Celesta rolled her eyes. Lina was always trying to make her sound pathetic and embarrass her. It never worked though. Lina just seemed to think if she made enough comments like that, Colin would eventually ditch her for being too pathetic and ask out Lina.
"Fat chance of that ever happening," Celesta thought, a big grin on her face. "At least I get my laundry done Lina." she stifled a laugh. "You've been wearing that same outfit for three days now."
Lina's face went bright red and she turned away.
"If you two are done your bickering, we'd like to start the game." joked Mike.
Celesta laughed and took her position as setter. "Ready when you are boys."
Mike grinned and served the ball over the net. Tariana, Celesta's closest female friend, bumped the ball to Celesta with amazing speed and grace. Celesta positioned herself under the ball and volleyed it to Lina, who spiked it hard onto the boys' side. Colin dove forward and crashed into the sand just millimetres away from the ball. He spit the sand out of his mouth and pushed himself up.
Isaiah grinned at the girls. "Our team is so gonna rock the tournament this year."
Mike nodded. "Especially when we've got teammates as coordinated as you girls."
"Maybe co-ordination is what Colin should be working on!" Tariana laughed as Colin attempted to rub the sand out of his perfectly gelled hair. He kicked the ball at Tariana, who yelped and ducked out of the way.
Lina picked up the ball and got in her serving stance. "Ready boys?" The guys nodded solemnly and waited. The game continued for about another hour, with the final results being the girls whooping the guys 56 - 4.
Lina, Tariana, Mike and Isaiah headed home immediately so they wouldn't miss supper. Colin and Celesta however remained at the beach for a bit. They sat in the sand in silence for a while, both deep in thought. Finally Celesta turned to Aaron.
"Hey. Do you ever wonder if there's someone out there, someone all powerful, who knows everything that's going on... and is always watching over us?" Colin shrugged.
"Not really. I mean if there was someone out there, wouldn't they let us know?"
"Maybe it's not for us to know yet..."
Colin laughed. "I think you've been reading too many fantasy books C."
Celesta sighed. "You're right. I'm just letting my imagination run wild again."
Colin jumped to his feet pulling Celesta up with him. "Well, let's get you home before your imagination tries to take mine with it."
Celesta laughed and followed Colin to his black Porsche. She hopped into the passenger seat and turned on the stereo as Colin turned on the ignition.
Celesta nodded. They drove off leaving a cloud of dust behind them.