Both my arms were paralyzed. I was sweating. One of the cables was wrapping itself around my left arm like a slithering snake, starting from my biceps and working its way down.

"Take it easy Jay, that's just the first module of the neurocardiokinetic interface we were talking about. In simple terms, we have to get the creative energy in your brain to interface with your active powers so that it can be actualized in real-time worlds."

"So where's the brain interface?"

That's when I heard this whir over my head. I couldn't look up, but I could feel this cable coming down over my head and wrapping around it. There was something heavy just above my forehead between my eyes. I looked at my mentor and saw the same thing happening to him. The heavy thing was black and cubical. He seemed cool with it, so I calmed down. That's when I noticed the same sort of black box on my bicep, as well.

"Okay, so what's this thing going to do to my brain?"

"Jay, your brain is fairly topped-off in imaginative power—as far as a standard human brain can go. You can recall scenes that you've experienced or even imagine places that you've never been to. With a little training and concentration, your mind could hold up to seven distinct objects at once. But that's nowhere near the sufficient power needed to generate an entire world of billions upon billions of details—especially one where every being will need some degree of its own consciousness."

"And this little black box can?"

"This little black box is just a receptor. It tunes into a much higher intelligence. Not just an intelligence. Something that can generate intelligence out of the void."

The cable was extending from behind my head and making its way down both sides of my chest. The mentor kept on talking.

"Once we have that intelligence in place, we have to interface it with your reality. For us human beings, things are real when we can touch them and manipulate them with our hands."

"So these cables are connecting brain and hand?"

"Initially, we thought we could do that. But we found that mind and action are hopelessly distant from one another. We needed an indigenous median device to bridge that gap. We found that device in the human heart."

"But the heart is just a pump!"

"Not according to our studies. We found that just as the brain is the seat of consciousness, the electrical impulses of the heart pairs up with the lower stem of the brain to generate human emotion. Emotions are just the midway point we needed between consciousness and action."

"Okay, so that's why this cable is coming down from the base of my skull and passing by my heart. And this other box is right next to my heart and going down to my hand. So why does it have to coil around my arm like that?"

"It's generating two fields within your active domain: a consciousness field and an emotive field. Consciousness is built from a matrix of three modalities, so you need three coils around the upper arm. Emotions have a seven-modality matrix—so you'll count seven coils on the lower arm."

I looked to count. I turned my hand to look at my palm and watched as the cable continued slithering around my big finger. The mentor was still talking. It struck me that he never gave me his name.

"Ultimately, the power of consciousness needs to be actualized. So you'll see that there are three more coils around your finger."

That's when it hit me. "What's old man Goldstein got in this?" I demanded. "So he's one of your agents out there?"

"No agents in Westfield, as of yet."

"So how does he come to have one of these things? These boxes... the cables... it looked just like this! And what was he doing trying to wrap it on me?"

Another chuckle. "What he had were creation-side modules. We'll get to those—you'll see, Jay. Hold on a..."

"So you're telling me old Goldstein sits in his basement apartment generating conscious worlds with stuff that makes Star Wars technology look like Mario? Man, that old geezer claimed he couldn't even dial a cell-phone. So it's all a front, right?"

"What the elderly gentleman you are discussing has are called tefillin. They've been around for over three thousand years—since ancient Egyptian times, when they were called totafot. We examined them to discover that they are resonating devices, tuned to the frequency of a source that exists outside of our time-space continuum. The tefillin themselves don't generate worlds, but the signal source apparently does."

"But they look just the same, so they must be..."

"They do something beyond that. The next step."

He paused. He could see I was just about frothing at the mouth. For a moment, I thought he was going to reveal the whole thing right there and then. But not yet.

"Jay, I could tell you the whole thing and you'll never really get it. Or you could learn it through vicarious simulation, which we were on our way to do. You've got an opportunity here to learn first hand just how the signal source module works. From there, it will become clear to you where the creation-side module fits in. So what do you want to do?"

"Okay, let's go."