Excerpt for Techno-Oblivion (Episode 1) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Techno-Oblivion

Episode One

SMASHWORDS EDITION

A Science Fiction Short Story by Den Warren @2018

Author of The Lucid Series: Android Uprising



John saw a familiar sight; a small seaside stone chapel. The weather was sunny and perfect with a refreshing breeze. There was no trash on the beach or no fishy odors coming off of the perfect water as he walked across the sand toward the chapel, thinking about the desperate situation and how it got started.

He thought back so many years, when he was younger. There were a lot of distractions with so many forms of entertainment. But the worst distraction was social media. Everyone stared at their phones. And since everyone was staring at their phones, there was no one left to talk to if you wanted to talk to someone, so you didn’t. You went back to staring at your phone. That was how the techno-isolation began.

While those who were addicted to their phone were isolated socially, they also became more isolated intellectually. They only looked at content that they agreed with. They did not look at opinions, or even facts that made them uncomfortable. Their minds became increasingly closed, but they would never hear of any criticism about it. They let other people, who they trusted blindly, to do their thinking for them. “Keeping in touch on the internet” might be bad for some, but not them.

Then over the years, people poured a lot of their money into virtual reality (VR) devices and software as it became better and better. The experiences became more real all the time as biometric sensors were added to make them feel and even smell and taste real. Most people preferred those pleasant or exciting experiences to the lonely, boring and disagreeable real world. Every imagination that they could want was within reach of their minds. It was more addictive than any drug. VR sessions were sometimes so intoxicating that the participant’s minds would block out any real-world bodily needs, leading to dehydration and malnutrition. In some cases, VR participants had spent so long in their VR fantasies that they would forget when they were in the real world. Some super-hero obsessed individuals realized they were not in VR while they were on the way down to the pavement from the top of a high-rise building.

People could not be depended upon to regularly show up for work and the developed countries started to decline. People did not take care of their own properties. Anything that could be put off was. All things went into decline. People were too distracted to resist an increasingly tyrannical government, and too distracted to care about opposing enemies who hate them.

By the time the serious alarms began to sound by those few caring individuals who could see what was happening, it was too late. People were no longer willing to listen to any ideas about implementing countermeasures to their comfort zones, such as VR auto-shutoffs or alarms.

John entered the perfect seaside chapel. It was beautiful with the bright sun gleaming through the beautifully colored stained glass windows along both sides. The pews had a perfect glossy finish on them. There was no one else there. Ever. He walked up and kneeled at the altar. The sun reflected off of a foot-tall gold cross on the altar.

John began to pray about what seemed like a hopeless situation. People had lost touch with reality. It seemed there was no bringing them back. As far as he could tell, he was one of the last ones who favored the real world, although he was not totally immune from the pull of VR either.

But as John saw it, losing touch with reality was only one layer of complexity to the problem. There was another complete reality that John knew was being ignored by his preoccupied fellow countrymen. That was man’s responsibility for his own spiritual condition. How was a person to care about the spiritual world, which they cannot see, when they can’t even care about the temporal, earthly world. In John’s thinking, the spiritual world had to be more real than the temporal world, because man’s standing in the spiritual world was eternal. So now man was becoming two steps away from reality instead of one.

A Bible verse had often crossed his mind over so many years; Isaiah 55:6:  Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. It appeared that there were very few left who would seek the Lord while they were totally immersed in VR experiences. It appeared that most people would quietly go into the next life without hearing the best thing they could ever hear: That Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to the world to save all people from their sins so they could spend eternity with God in his sinless Heaven. John fell to his belly and started to weep for the souls of the virtual reality slaves. He begged God, Who had limitless resources to help with the situation of so many souls going into an unthinkable eternity of torments without God.

“Excuse me,” an unexpected man’s voice with a foreign accent came from behind.

John quickly turned, surprised that someone else was there. It was a young black man of slender build.

“Don’t leave,” the man said. “I would like to speak with you.”

John remembered that he was in a virtual reality chapel and another person had come into the program. He wiped tears from his eyes and asked, “Who are you?”

“I am Mawuli. I am a Christian missionary from Ghana.”

“Is that in Africa?”

“Yes, West Africa. I did not realize that things were this bad over here. I found you because we are going into the virtual reality worlds to find people, to try and reach them for God. It is not going well at all. I came in here, not realizing that I could find any Christians. I can see that you are a Christian. Right?”

“Yes. My name is John.”

Mawuli said, “Things in the West have become very grim, John. Very grim indeed.”

THE END



If you would like to see this story continue, please leave a comment and star rating. Each star rating may help increase the possibility of more episodes. –Thank you, Den

Read more of my free articles and short stories to find out more about the Christian faith and other topics.

Also check out: The Lucid Series: Android Uprising, an entertaining Christian novel suitable for young adults.


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