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The DarkLand

 

By Sandi Layne

 

DarkLand - Part 1

“It happens to all of us,” the one called Dalyn said. She was the humor-laced girl. “Don’t be embarrassed. We have no privacy, here. It’s just the way it is.” 

“It’s a prison!” Kat protested, trying to wrap her mind around the circumstances, impossible as they were. The girls all told her how it had happened, for they had all seen the Memwands in life, and they had discussed it in this, their post-life. 

“It may be prison, but there’s no such thing as jailbreak from a computer.”  That was Irissa, a laconic presence. 

“I broke out of prison. Juvenile Detention,” Kat confessed, pushing her panic down, deep in her mind. “I can beat any security feature.” 

Brennie’s voice snorted. “I’m a security expert. I designed Juvie.” 

“Let her tell us!” insisted Dalyn. “We haven’t had a new story since…since…” 

“Since I got here, I know,” Irissa finished. 

Kat related how she had broken into the security system in Juvie and managed to let herself out, without being noticed by the Eyes in the Sky until it was too late. “I can’t be locked up again, you guys,” she stated at the end of her tale. “I can’t. I’ll go crazy.” 

“We’re all going crazy.” 

“Yeah, just wait ‘til the Walking Libido wants to play.” 

Kat ignored the groans and sighs and curses that surrounded her. Instead, she told herself to adapt. Immediately. She had to find a way out. 

Can I get them all out? she wondered. 

“You better, or we’ll find a way to haunt you, Kitty-Kat!” 

Kat felt shock in her mind at the evidence that her thoughts were public. That wasn’t something she had ever had to deal with, before. 

“None of it is, Kat. Get used to it, already. We’re stuck.” 

“No, we’re not! I’ll find a way!” 

^ ^ ^ 

Lyric joined them. Marta. Ninian. Still, Kat learned the ways through the inner world where she and the others were trapped. 

While Ninian was still in her adjustment phase, Kat’s presence began to vibrate throughout the strange inner community in which they had, one by one, found themselves. The DarkLand, she called it. No sights, smells, or anything to touch, but the presences of one another. It kept her sane to put everything into a context she could work with. 

“What is it? What happened?  Did a virus make it in?” 

“No!” Kat exclaimed. “I found it. I found a trapdoor.” 

“Impossible,” Brennie countered instantly. “I never leave them. It’s my policy. I can’t leave a loophole – even for myself.” 

“You didn’t, Brennie. You didn’t. But he did.” 

“What?” 

Ninian was still in a fugue state, but she managed to ask, “You saw it?” 

Several prodded again. “What?” 

“The new connection,” Kat blurted out, her relief and excitement tangible to those in the DarkLand. “Reece found a new way of getting his kicks, girl. He’s decided to hook himself up through one of those legal, scaled down versions of the Wand.”  She paused, relishing the moment, feeling the certainty pulse around her as if she had nerves, after all, and not just psychological space. 

“I can get us out.” 

^ ^ ^ 

Reece’s smile was broad as he palmed open his apartment after his time in Hades, as he called his nine-to-fiver job. Psychophysics was a delicate field, but lately he’d been processing research. That was so boring. 

Now, it was playtime. 

“Okay, ladies,” he called, stripping off his shirt, trousers, socks, shoes and briefs so that he was naked as he sunk into his massage chair. “Let’s have a party.” 

The chair was upholstered in actual leather, costly beyond price, but Reece had to have his toys. The massage chair had a pocket on the side. From this pocket, he slid a clear Lucite case. From the case, he slid the Connector. 

It had come from his lab, as a matter of fact, and had taken years to garner official approval from the Ethics Committee. Pale green in color, it had markings that were similar to the Memwand’s. But the connector had an added bonus, making it prime for the Virtual Reality Salons. Holo-tangibles. Not holograms, but holotangibles. No longer was it merely a mind game. Now, this was a full-blown orgy of sensation. 

He had helped design them, had been heralded a genius. Getting one of his own was, therefore, a courtesy. He designed his to interface with his personal dek . It was an upgrade. 

It was an incredible rush to relive each encounter with His Girls. An almost transportive experience. The final barrier had been crossed. 

Triumph and arousal coursed through his body again as he settled into the chair. His breath was coming faster and more loudly as he adjusted the headset so that the connections were made from his mind to his dek. 

“Ah, Ninian,” he groaned in pure, pleasured anticipation. “You were so…appreciative.” 

^ ^ ^ 

“Here he comes!” 

Ninian recovered from her depression sufficiently to be enraged at this repeated use of her past psyche. “Are you sure this will work?” she said around the sounds and feelings all experienced together. Again and again, as Reece plugged himself in. 

Plugged himself in to them

Kat gathered herself to catch the opening. No light intruded into the DarkLand. Nothing to give a bold indicator of the trapdoor that she had found. Only an impression of space in the terribly closed-in environment they shared. 

“Now! Follow me!” 

Linked together, the women latched onto Kat’s presence as she dove to the barest of open spaces. And all at once, the women shouted with one voice: 

“Light!” 

^ ^ ^ 

“Light!” Reece shouted, his voice throbbing in ecstasy as Ninian reached her peak again and again. “Light!” 

He stopped, ripping the headset from his scalp and looking at it as if it were some insidious form of viper. “What on earth…?” Had he heard something?

Yes, you did, Reece Jac. You heard us! 

Reece cursed fluently, leaping from his brown leather chair. “No freaking way! This is a nightmare!” 

We’re all here, Reece. This is Ninian. 

And Annalee. Remember me? 

I’m Irissa. 

The names continued to flow behind his eyes and somehow behind his ears as well. He felt dizzy and checked each corner of the room for intruders. 

Then, he stopped, completely convinced that someone had put something into the ventilation system of the building. Maybe someone was messing with him. Spying on him. He ran to his room to pull on a black velvet robe, tying it securely around his waist. 

“Okay, fine. Ha ha. Very funny.” 

It was the final thing he said of his own accord. The Girls were out now, and they wanted to…play. 

About the Author

In addition to writing historical stories, Sandi Layne is a published romance writer and weekly columnist.

She is also a freelance editor and proofreader for all sorts of written works, ranging from comic books to full-length novels.

 

 

 

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