The Spiral Effect


The Spiral Effect:

The Collector

By James Gilmartin

Copyright © 2013 James Gilmartin

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (Electronic, mechanical, recording, photocopying or otherwise) without the prior written consent of the copyright owner of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Cover background: 2008 by gerard79

Used with Permission

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1043922

A hundred individual voices filter into my mind.

Snap—pop—flare.

Synapses and brainwaves ignite and break Einstein’s speed of light. In the land of thoughts, time holds no meaning or measurement. Multi-tasking takes on an unimagined definition. One part of my consciousness copies memories, another snaps shots of current thoughts, a third carefully transfers and catalogues them into my own mind, and my third eye—well, it watches in disbelief as the world falls apart.

“Help!”

“God save us!”

“Why—why!”

A hundred individual souls, the most I can see simultaneously. Some go about their normal routine, many use it as an excuse for debauchery, while others simply try to survive.

Janine Spangler, thirty-eight, cradles her dead husband Mike. Blood, brain tissue, and skull fragments stain the floor and wall as a gun hangs limply in his hand. As much as I’d like, I can’t raise him back from the dead. If he had any glimmer of life left, then there would be some hope. The best I can do is soothe Janine’s frantic mind and remove that small kernel of desperation to grab the gun and use the other bullet to join her husband.

Not ten miles away, Jason Ledbetter, thirty-three year old assistant from the CDC, stares at three-thousand dead bodies, piled atop each other like crumpled sheets of discarded paper. Disease ridden bodies where loose skin hangs in folded, wrinkled rolls, the illusion that these poor souls had gone decades beyond the average life expectancy, when in fact most were between twenty and forty-five. He nearly pukes inside his hazmat suit, a futile precaution, but no point in telling him that. Instead, I drop a seed of optimism in his subconscious. A cure is in the works. Hold out.

Private Donald Templeton’s rifle trembles in his hand as Sacramento’s remaining thousand inhabitants, eyes glowing blue and red, swarm the gates surrounding what’s left of the hospital. Terror swarms around him and the other two remaining soldiers left to guard the hospital.

—They’ll consume us.

—Not enough ammo.

—Shit shit shit shit shit.

The three doctors aren’t fairing any better inside. Three of the six patients are near death and one of the doctors is hiding that she has recently developed symptoms. Hope must take precedence over fact because the cold truth will only stir more panic and death. Takes nothing to calm the soldiers, doctors, and patients—ease their mind from the worries of death and the unknown—soothe the pain tearing their bodies apart. The crowd of a thousand, however—

Push—A hundred at once—Copy, copy—paste, paste—soothe and ease—

Primal instinct grapples against change more than rational thought. It cages the conscious mind, the logical decision, the human identity, and snarls, barring sharp fangs to discourage escape. Like any animal, it only needs a firm, gentle hand.

Push.

One hundred—two hundred. The back of the stampeding mob loses its momentum and stands in a stupor.

Three hundred—four hundred—they’ve broken down the gates.

Push.

Five hundred.

Copy, copy—paste, paste—soothe and ease—

Six hundred.

Copy, copy—paste, paste—soothe and ease—

They storm past the three euphoric guards.

Copy, copy—paste, paste—soothe and ease—

Seven hundred.

They’ve broken in.

Damn the memories and information—push push p—

Find the Cause.

Find the Source.

Find the Beginning.

I blacked out again. Pushed myself too hard. Need to—wait, what was I doing? What was I—think—prod—poke. Ah, there we go. Sacramento.

Find the Cause.

Find the Source.

Find the Beginning.

The mob. Did I stop them? Two hundred were left and…and…I tried to stop them at the same time. Two hundred at once. That’s why I blacked out. But…

Find the Cause.

Find the Source.

Find the Beginning.

…did I stop them?

Fi—

I haven’t forgotten. Find the cause, the source, I know—I always know. Don’t need reminding every five seconds. Like a bothersome alarm with my thoughts as the snooze.

But it’s the agenda. All that matters.

I know.

Then get on it.

I will.

Shh.

Need to be more careful. Cautious. Blacking out is too big a risk, especially with other memories and thoughts locked away for storage. None have ever escaped, thank the Lord; but each blackout only increases the odds.

The way my mind goes into dual mode every time I wake from a blackout is more bothersome. Becoming like a sophisticated schizophrenic who converses and argues with himself. I need to be more careful about pushing myself too hard. But it was worth it. I succeeded and stopped the remaining mob. For the time being, those 1012 people calmly and patiently work together in the hopes of finding a cure. I hope I haven’t simply delayed the inevitable.

The state of the world for three months—I think it’s been three months—progressively getting worse each day. But it wasn’t like this at the beginning, and that’s what has me so confused, on a constant search for the right mind. Years of telepathic and telekinetic abilities popping up all around the world, and now the gift is a curse, a plight on human existence. But why? And why is it killing everyone in the world but me?

God, have you found it fit to spare me, or am I missing something?

Find the Cause.

Find the Source.

Find the beginning.

The inspiration to my current goal. My reason for breaking my own privacy laws and entering the mind of every person I come across.

Found enough thoughts for the day. Time to organize.

Catalogue and file.

So much easier since I created this office in my mind. Plush beige carpet, desk, stereo, computer desk, and chair. The illusion definitely eases the strain and anxiety of organizing so many memories.

Sit at the desk, play every Sigur Ros album on a loop, draw up the holographic computer screen, and get to work.

1014 to enter and date, all in the hopes that maybe some of them will link up and share a coherent clue to the cause of all this mess. A combined total of 1, 386, 605 memories. That many minds and I’m not any closer. No one seems to remember how this started—who was patient zero.

Each person remembers when they first exhibited signs, first read a thought, moved an object with a focused flicker of their mind, controlled another person, jumped bodies, and sadly, when their bodies started falling apart.

But not who had it first.

It still drives me crazy. How can none of them remember the first person to show signs, or at least the first one publicly broadcasted to the world? The internet, television—showed everything the news could offer before this happened. Where’s the beginning?

The one commonality they all seem to share is the word spiral. It isn’t much. Doesn’t seem to be anything. But I keep searching. Catalogue, file, search.

Janine Spangler—Sacramento—sub file: Female—sub file: Ages 22-26—sub file: Carrier—sub file: Memory Type—sub file: Movie.

Glad to see that Janine’s thoughts and memories took on the form of moving pictures, with dates too. Makes it much easier to chronicle and organize. The only difficulty will be sorting through imaginary and real. Those with the movie memory type always seem to have a vivid imagination. Creative people, but with difficulty putting thought and ideas in clear and concise wording.

Janine, like everyone else I’ve come across, holds over a billion memories. Wonder if she came to the realization that her brain had stored so much information? That every moment, thought, song, test, television show, conversation, movie, and whatever else she experienced, as long as it passed the short term test, never left. She knew she was telepathic. She read minds—changed others thoughts—even forced…hmm.

She remembers like a director watching her performers.

Janine, wearing an airy, yellow and white summer dress, sits on the chair, sobbing.

Mike, wearing those blue, green, and red plaid shorts she always hated, and a red polo, paces in front of her.

The details of the room—floors, walls, windows—are all a blur. Her focus was completely on the conversation and Mike.

—Janine, it’s the best option.

—To stay here and