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Beyond The Lock
by Steven R Green
Book Excerpt:


Total darkness. Luan felt an initial surge of panic as her eyes worked to adjust to the absence of any external stimuli. Even visual purple requires some light and, in her sphere, there was none. Luan experienced a sense of being very small and vulnerable, but simultaneously she felt warm and protected. Her sensations were so contradictory that she had to suspect Zorlaff of manipulating her, pressing his buttons to invoke her responses. With that thought, she grew tense and anticipated an undefined danger. Her breathing became rapid yet deep; her body felt moist. Her sensations were culminating into terror. She began to quake.

The Code, Luan. The Code.

It was a soft reassuring voice, patient and serene. It wasn’t Zorlaff or Traci. She didn’t hear the voice with her ears. She was hearing in a different way. But she knew it was real. With certitude, she realized that neither Zorlaff’s console nor her own self-doubts would shake her confidence in that voice. But there was her dilemma. How can you verify to others the reality of a voice they don’t hear? Should you try? Or should you keep it close to your heart like a a precious secret? For how long? Is reality based on internal processes or external consensus?
Her rational scientific mind cut in without sympathy. With cold, disciplined logic, she came to one unavoidable conclusion: that she truly was insane! That she would never be able to control her hallucinations and was ready to submit. She was accepting these voices and images as real.
This, Luan concluded, was the true source of her panic. The danger she anticipated was the ultimate victory of her psychosis. Luan could no longer avoid the fact that she was mad.

Luan, stay with The Code. Do not surrender to Fear.

The voice was still soft but not as serene. More desperate in tone. The voice sounded concerned for her. But no! The only thing this malicious voice was desperate about was its own survival! Of course. She reasoned it through. If she accepted her madness, that would be a step toward health; but also an initial threat to this voice. Luan began to view the voice as ego-alien, as an entity separate from her. Like a demon of possession, it would struggle to keep alive at the cost of her sanity if necessary! She refused to yield. She would fight back.

Your will is strong. This is good. The Code is the answer.

It was firm now and sounded so wise. It also sounded familiar. No! Another trick! Luan’s hands clenched into fists. “Begone, demon!” she shouted. “Parasite! Torment me no further!”

Don’t be ridiculous! You’re regressing into Tribal Mind. Drop the medieval notions.
Demons and vampires, werewolves and poltergeists! Drop the old fears and superstitions.
You need to keep to The Code.

The term, “Tribal Minds”, set her back. She repeated the term several times. That used to be a familiar expression. The voice also sounded familiar. Like a bolt, she was shocked into memory.
“Daddy? Yes. Daddy!”

Dr. Zorlaff checked the monitor and spoke softly to his entourage. “I created a relaxation environment, which induced her to sleep.” Zorlaff shut the external microphone and spoke into his private recorder. “She is obviously dreaming about her father right now.”
Tracie observed her sister intently, listened to her cries, and nodded in agreement.

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