Chapter 1

Laste edited: 2017.01.26

This story starts with the humans of the planet Earth in the Sun solar system of the Milky Way Galaxy. We enter at a point in time where things are going to dramatically change, where the future of their beings and societies can be directly and consciously designed through the tools they have developed in the past up to the present. The Earth year is 2010, and we follow one very determined person in their quest for a new paradigm beyond the status quo, for adventures beyond where any others have ventured, for answers to deeper questions, for new lives cultured away from the source, for new beings departed from conventional reality, for a glimpse into a realm where logic leaves behind human, where existence outlives this space and time. As with any adventure, we being with the things that have yet to be, and through the telling, we will have arrived somewhere, possibly an end, but more likely just one step closer in a greater story of this vast reality.

Welcome To The Suck

Once upon a time I was dead. Then, all of a sudden... poof; I was alive. Then in a blink of an eye I was dead again. This is the story of what happened in between.

My name is Sam. It's not short for Samantha or anything, just Sam. I've lived all my life in Brentwood. This place literally sucks. It sucks your life away, day by day, year by year, until you're too tired, too old, or too full of responsibilities to escape. There's only one High School in Brentwood, and, you guessed it, it sucks too. The only reason I manage to stay sane is because my parents aren't completely awful and I have two awesome friends, Henrik and Danny. I've known them forever. Up until now, my purpose in life has been to simply survive the suck, but this is the point where everything changes. I was so normal. Sure, maybe I was smarter than most, and more stubborn that most, but how could I ever have imagine the realities I would step into. Compared to the adversities of my futures, the misfortune of grown up in Brentwood was nothing. Compared to the adventures that lay ahead of me, my wildest dreams were nothing. Compared to everything, this... THIS is nothing. Looking back, I wonder if I would do it all again if I had to. Ha! Of course I would. I'd do it with unrelenting passion and a smirk on my face. Oh, I see. Now you want to know how I found this devilish path I got to be on. You're only human. Ha. Ha ha. Okay. I'll tell you... back to the start again.

We were sitting in our spot watching over our domain and dreaming up futures for the three of us. Our hill looked over the entirety of the city, a tourist town waiting calmly for summer to hit and the sunscreen covered middle class families to flock in.
"Hey guys", I said. "Do you remember that Allegory of the Cave story we read in school?"
Henrik, "What about it?"
"Well I've been thinking. What if Brentwood is our Cave. What if we're too trapped here to even realize we're trapped here? What if we need to get out?"
Danny cracked a sly smiled, "Who would ever want to leave Brentwood?"
Henrik and I chuckled.
I decided to play along, "Yes, I can see it now. We'll all be 80 years old and have never set a food outside the city limits. I'll be retired after a long life working at the library, Henrik will have taken over the family business and passed it on to his son, and Danny will still be white water rafting 'till he dies."
Danny, "You gotta die somehow."
The grass we sat on epitomized Brentwood. It was a nice place to stay for a while, but there were no adventures or excitement to be had, just full of people stuck in their false American dreams. Often times we would sit in long silences, contemplating life, or just staring at horizon, wondering what adventures might await us beyond our kingdom of Brentwood.
I broke the silence, "This place... no one's going anywhere. We've gotta get out of here."
No response.
"Don't you guys see that every second that goes by is ingrained into the past." I pulled out some grass and threw it back at the ground. "Every second we waste here is stuck that way. Is this the way you want to spend your life? Let's get out of here. Let's ride off into the horizon. Let's be somebody."
Henrik, "And go where?"
"I dunno, anywhere. Anywhere but here."
Danny sat up, "You know, I'll have enough to buy that car next month."
"That's our ticket out of here!"
Henrik, "At least wait until we graduate."
"Oh, yeah, sure. So wait, are you guys in?"
Danny, "I've already been thinking about it for awhile. Yeah, let's do it."
Henrik doesn't say anything.
"Okay, yeah," he said.

I spent the next month planning furiously, pouring over all the books in the library trying to figure out what our adventure should be. I eventually came across a story I had once heard before. It was about a team of fifteen men that aimed to trek through an infamous passage that snakes through treacherous mountain terrain. They called it Judgment Pass. No one had ever made it out the other side alive. The only people who lived to tell of the tales were the ones who turned back. In this particular story, only one man survived, and he told of a wondrous and tormentuous place that would push any man to beyond human limits. I read the book twice, falling in love with the idea of Judgment Pass more and more by the day, but I didn't dare speak of it to the others... not yet. Not until they realized as I did that the tragedy is not in the life lost in search of a deeper meaning, but the life lost through the slow torment of passive indecision, wasting away in a sea of 'what ifs'.

I wrote up a manifesto for our journey in my state of inspiration (although it was mostly just for me).

It won't be too far before
reality is crushed to conformity by the dysfunctional identity brigade,
barely reaching a medium for extant thought.
Drafted into being; cultured into form.

Form a new culture to be a new draft,
Pondering extant mediums we could still try to reach.
Aid the identity; bridge from dysfunctional conformity to reality,
before it's too far.

First, you find a map. Second you leave the city to find the trail head. Third you walk the path. Fourth you reach the edge of the map. Fifth you throw away the map and make the way into the unknown. Sixth you find the truths that lie in the dark and empty yourself of everything but these truths. Seventh you make your way back to the city under your own terms, knowing you can conquer anything.

I now knew what I needed to do, I just had to do it.

"What are you packing all this up for, Sam?" My mom seemed to always find me at the exact worst time.
"We're going camping," I said.
"And you need all of this?" She motioned at the mass of clothes, water bottles, food, and gear I was cramming into my hiking backpack. I looked around to see that it was most of my possessions, leaving my room bare. I guess it could look like I was running away, not that she was thinking that.
"Yeah, we're gonna be gone a few days. It's a three day weekend."
"Where are you going?"
I let out a sigh. "To Bridgepoint."
"I don't have the time to drive you all the way our there, honey."
I continued stuffing my backpack. "Danny got a car."
"Oh... Okay, well be safe."
"Will do, mom." I flashed her a smile and she sent one back before leaving me to finish packing. I managed to cram in everything I would need in order to leave Brentwood forever, then I headed downstairs to grab some breakfast before we headed out.

Honk! Honk! I finished downing some cereal, grabbed my pack, and headed out the front door to join Danny and Henrik. Danny popped the trunk and I shoved my backpack in alongside Danny's.
"Hey Henrik, Where's your pack?"
From inside the car Henrik said, "It's up here with me."
I closed the trunk and went around to join Henrik in the back seat.
"Pfff. Come on Henrik. What's that?" I said, looking at his sad excuse for a backpack. Danny started the car and we set off for Bridgepoint. I continued my interrogation. "This was supposed to be the test run. Are you telling me that everything you need to survive in the outside world is contained within that tiny backpack?" I poked it with my finger to further convey my doubt.
"Yeah. I don't need a lot. And this is my school bag; it's not tiny," Henrik said defending himself.
"I don't think you're taking this seriously. Danny and I have done all the planning. You've gotta commit to this." I looked deeper into his eyes. "You're coming with us right?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'll come." He grabbed my hand, easing my anxiety.
"You promise?"
He nodded. I leaned over and putting my head on his shoulder. He kissed me on the head, dispelling any momentary worries I might have had.