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Chapter 1: A new wavelength.

Chapter 1: A new wavelength.

A Chapter by Immortal

Lightlock. A drug. An absence of light, yet an entire spectrum. A lifestyle, mine included. A set of electromagnetic wavelengths never before seen in the universe. It is all of these. 
The concept behind it is simple; Erase all sense of light from the eyes, along with the accumulation of a lifetime of retinal burns. These are the lights you see when you close your eyes. Lightlock took it all away, and set you into a new darkness. It changed the way people saw the world, and also quickly became illegal. 
Certain "Waves", or wavelengths, were lethal once administered, literally shorting out the optical nerve and melting brain tissue. Despite the dangers, Lightlock Dens sprouted up all over the world. But one city was the center of all dens; Anchorage, Alaska. The prominent Aurora Borealis drew users from around the globe, and what was once a small city quickly became a metropolis. It was here that I was born, and here that I will die.

My first exposure to Lightlock happened when I was sixteen. I can recall the day with surprising clarity. It was a friday, and I had just been let out from school.
I lifted my head from my desk in a sleepy haze, muttering curses at the bell for interrupting such a rest. Pouring my dented and worn books from the table into my bag, I never noticed the new presence at my desk.
I looked up and blinked repeatedly to clear the fuzz before realizing who had spoken to me. It was Jennifer, arguably one of the most attractive girls in Anchorage, and she had never even glanced in my direction before. Holy s**t.
"Uh hey." I returned.
She giggled before replying. I think my heart stopped. 
"Me and some friends were going down to the Den on Belmont. You wanna come?"
"I've heard of that." I had. It was run by my classmate Devin Puma in his basement, and was pretty exclusive. You had to know people to get in. I had never been to a Lightlock Den, but I had better chance of spontaneously combusting than saying no. "Uh sure. I'm down. When?" 
"Yea. Now. Jas is driving, and a blizzard is coming. We gotta go now, or we won't make it."
"Alright. Onwards."
We left the school and I saw a Highlander waiting for us out front. The perpetual twilight made headlights a necessity, and Jas had custom red ones, making the snow look like it was made from crystallized blood. Jennifer and I jumped in, and I saw several others packed in. There was Jas O'Reilly, an who was driving, Marley Simmons, an underclassman six and a half feet tall with angelic features, Isaac Fletcher, the lead guitarist of the school rock band, and Hal Shean, the bassist in Isaac's band. Simply entering the vehicle with these living gods of high school made me feel like an insubstantial outsider who didn't belong. My heart was racing.
"Hey Ic." That was Jas.
"Icarus! My man!" Hal.
"Icky! How's it going?" Isaac.
"You ready for this s**t, boy?" Marley.
"Hi guys." Me. What a stupid thing to say.
Jas put the car into drive, and I left my old life behind. 

We arrived at Devin's house in ten minutes, and I found myself looking at a small mansion. Since he lived by himself, all the money from his Lightlock den went into building and renovating his house to his liking, which had a noticeable grandeur to it. We approached the giant mahogany door, and Jennifer hit the big brass knocker attached to it. At this point I was riding a rush of adrenaline. I had heard legends of the things that had occurred in this house, but had never been invited. The door resembled the pearly gates to me, and when it opened I half expected an angel to answer the door. Close enough.
Devin Puma was clad in white, billowy robes, and his shock-white hair was slicked back to let light fall on his handsome features and show his light blue eyes. He smiled and flashed flawless, ivory teeth. 
"Hey there party people. This must be Icarus."
He offered his hand to me and smiled again, his eyes twinkling.
"I've heard I took it and was so enthralled in shaking it I almost forgot to let go. He stepped to the side to let us in and I caught my breath. The wooden portal led onto white granite flooring with a reflective brass trim flush with the ground. In the center of the atrium was a grand stair case leading up to the second floor, splitting in two halfway up to go left and right and connect with the walkway that wrapped around the interior halfway up the wall. Colorful artwork covered all the walls, and was being enjoyed by the multitude of guests milling around. 
We entered the giant room and immediately went to the center of the floor, where the brass trim changed into silver, which outlined four of the granite tiles. Thus, a silver square was set into the ground about five square feet big, and we stopped upon this square. Devin drew from a pocket in his robe a device that looked similar to a small calculator. While his slender fingers danced across the keys, I examined the guests. Something didn't seem right...
Suddenly the floor jolted under our feet and we began to descend. I understood the purpose of the silver square now. It was an elevator. I glanced at Jennifer, who only winked at me before returning to her conversation with Devin. Right before my head passed beneath the floor, one of the guests turned to look at me, and I realized what was wrong. Her eyes, along with everyone else's, were completely and utterly black.

As we descended into the darkness, I tugged on Isaac's sleeve. 
"Hey Isaac." I whispered.
"Hey Ic." He whispered back.
"I just looked at this girl's eyes. They were completely black." 
"So? She's just tripping." 
"Just tripping. You know, on-. Wait. Have you never tipped on Lightlock before?"
"Uh no." 
He laughed. "You're in for a trip, Ic. Just ask me the questions. Some people in here aren't as trustworthy." 
"Alright then. Thanks."
Devin spotted me and Isaac whispering to each other, and approached us. "Everything alright guys?"
"Totally" Isaac said.
No. "Yep." I said. 
We reached the bottom, and I couldn't tell whether it was the elevator or my heart that emanated the resounding boom. A dimly lit tunnel stretched for a short while, and was designed in a fashion similar to the house 200 feet above us. As we stepped off, the elevator began it's return trip to the surface. I watched it pass the roof of the tunnel before looking ahead. There was a wall twenty feet forward, and a door was set into it that looked very much like a large aperture. Along the walls in front of it were several lockers and a computer terminal. Devin approached the terminal and logged on. 
"We're running the regular wave today," He said. "Everyone cool?" 
A chorus of agreements replied. Devin typed in a command at the computer and the aperture door irised open. 
'Okay. Everybody in. But first," He then reached into a locker and retrieved three strange looking devices. " We need these."
He handed one to Isaac, one to Jas, and one to Jennifer. 
Jennifer examined hers with practiced eyes and asked "Wave chip?"
Devin dug into another pocket and withdrew three memory cards. These he distributed once more. All three of them inserted the cards into the devices and pressed a button on which was printed another aperture. Isaac handed his to me and I inspected it. The device had a slight heft to it, and was made to resemble night-vision goggles, but without the lenses on the outside end. In their place was simply a smooth, convex surface made of the same cold metal as the rest of it. I made a motion to look into the eye pieces, but Isaac quickly took it back and gave me a don't-touch-anything look. My hands fell to my sides. 
Devin looked at everyone and said "Alright ladies and gentlemen! Are we ready to 'lock it up?"
"Locked and Loaded baby. Let's roll." Marley said in his smooth tenor. 
"Alright. My chamber can only hold two at a time, so Marley and Jas, you two go first. Then Isaac and Hal," I panicked at his pairing before he said who would go next, "then Icarus and Jennifer."
"You're not coming?" I asked.
"Can't. I've got a house and a hundred guests to watch over. I have no time to 'lock right now. I'll be down later though."
"Alright." Jennifer said, hooking her arm through mine and leading me through the portal into the small chamber beyond. Everyone else had already passed through. 
The chamber was lined with a light absorbing material, so the walls seemed depthless. I had to touch them to make sure I knew where they stopped and the dark began. I looked out to see Devin smile before the door irised closed, plunging me and Jennifer into a darkness so complete it seemed as if light never existed. 

Her breathing. I can remember it as if she was right next to me. It was delicate and calm, a soothing sound to anchor my mind to in the absence of all else. It sounded beautiful compared to my nervous and harsh respirations. She squeezed my arm in assurance and asked when the last time I had Lightlocked. 
"Never." I said, expecting her to immediately kick me back into the tunnel.
"Wow. Well then, you're certainly in for a trip."
"That's what Isaac said."
"It's true." She said with a giggle. 
Jennifer pressed an unseen button and the wall opposite the door to the tunnel irised open. I didn't see it, but heard it whisper open and the air around me shifted slightly. We stepped into the new chamber. The wall resealed itself, and somehow, everything got darker. 
"So, what's happening?"
"We're in the second Lightlock chamber." She replied. 
"But why?" 
"The chambers are here to make sure that absolutely no light from the visible spectrum enters the den. It's what Lightlock relies on. Don't worry."
I'm nearly pressed bodily against a girl, whom I've admired for years, in a private chamber 200 feet below ground. No worrying there. 
"So what do we do now?" I asked.
I heard the sound of an electrical discharge, followed by a hum of power as the device in Jennifer's hands put her into a state of Lightlock. 
"This." She giggled. 
She pushed the goggles into my hands and guided them to my eyes. I held them tight as my heart threatened to stop. 
"Open your eyes." She commanded softly. 
I held my breath, and she triggered the goggles in my hands. 

© 2011 Immortal

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Added on July 21, 2011
Last Updated on July 22, 2011
Tags: Lightlock, Icarus L. Light, Light Lock, A new Wavelength



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