“In the year 3042, the soul was discovered by a group of scientists after years of research. It revolutionized almost every aspect of human life as well as the lives of all other organisms that share this great planet. Unfortunately, it also led to one of the worst wars this world has ever seen.” Tommy had heard it all before. He was graduating from high school in a year, and has had history his whole life. The teacher continued rambling on; “After the war ended further research was conducted more earnestly on the soul. This led to the ability to identify a person’s soul mate, which has become common practice. Eventually, soul searching organizations became just like local drug stores.” Bored Tommy decided to try and grab Jasmine’s attention. He poked the upper portion of her thigh and smirked at her while she shot him a look of disapproval.
“In 3222 time travel was invented. Though a group of scientists worked together to invent it, Drs. Frank Sun and Meredith Fane were the first to use this device. Dr. Fane traveled back to before the war and returned with no problems. Dr. Sun’s destination was much further in the past, however, he never returned and we still do not know what happened to him. Many scientists and people have attempted trips into the future, but none have returned, these disappearances lead to the ban of future travel. Time travel did however allow scientists to research the world before the war. Much like any great scientific creation, it also had problems such as people going back to attempt to alter the course of history. Some attempted to go back and murder the group of scientists that discovered the soul, attempting to avert the war. Others went back to try and avert other wars. Each time they succeeded in killing their targets they would return to the present to find that others merely stepped in to replace the target often times the replacements had the same or similar names. This led scientists to believe certain aspects of time must occur, and time simply adjusts itself to accommodate. Eventually, these acts of violence ceased because it proved futile. In 3234, the discovery of soul mate creation occurred. Scientists realized that a soul mate is in fact created by saving the life of someone who should have been killed. This accidental discovery occurred when almost instinctively Dr. Wendy Gallien saved the life of a man who would have been hit by a car while she was in the 21st century researching the economy there. Curious as to what would happen to the man’s soul since it could no longer reincarnate into another organism, she pulled out her soul scanner and noticed his soul split. She theorized and was later supported by many that when a life that should have ended is saved the soul that should move on simply splits and half of it goes to where it was intended while the other half remains with the current vector. Eventually through much research the connection between these splits and how they relate to soul mates was made.”
During class Tommy enjoyed teasing Jasmine. She was Tommy’s soul mate, his fourth, and he spent more of his time with her than his other soul mates because they were the same age. Jasmine cherished him as he was her only mate. Tommy, on the other hand, was the son of a wealthy man and had several made for him. However, until Jasmine, two were far older than he was and the other was his dog. The teacher continued to discuss the history of the science of the soul. “After this discovery a business emerged providing for the creation of soul mates for those who wanted one. Agents of this business would travel to the past at a known existence of their client’s soul and save their life in one way or another.” To stop Tommy, Jasmine raised her hand. “Yes Jasmine you have a question?” the teacher asked. “Yes ma’am, I was wondering if humanity only discovered how to create a soul mate in the late 33rd century, how is it that documented proof shows that soul mates existed before then?” Jasmine said. The teacher expected this question; “That is actually a subject that is still somewhat in debate. Most of the split souls that are identified in the past are simply those made from past soul splitters. However, there is documentation that some souls were already split before time travel existed. The current popular theory is that in some cases the soul splits naturally on its own either due to stress or some other outside force. Naturally split souls and where new souls come from are the two biggest subjects which the scientific community still seeks an answer to.” Satisfied and with Tommy off her back Jasmine resumed taking notes. “Unfortunately as many of you no doubt know, only a limited number of soul mates can be made and in some very rare cases only a single mate can be created. The average number is around ten, though it has been reported that one man split his soul fifteen times before he suffered from the typical symptoms of a torn soul. When a soul is split more than it can handle, the creature inhabiting this soul becomes deranged, violent and cannot be reasoned. This is why The Church of the One Soul, our ever protecting body of government, enacted law so a soul could only be split once.” Immediately the door to the class room burst open. In walked two men in suits and three men in riot gear. One of the men in a suit approached Tommy activating his soul scanner, and entering his soul. After a few moments he nodded at the other suited man who extended his arm and manipulated Tommy’s soul such that most was contained in the man’s hands. With a flick of his wrist he severed the portion in his grasp from the smaller portion. Tommy sat catatonic blankly staring at the wall. The men in riot gear picked him up and carried him out of the classroom. With an apology to the teacher, the two men in suits left as well. “Well class, what we just had the unfortunate chance to witness was the punishment of creating more than one soul mate. The Church rips your soul from your body and leaves only enough to keep you alive. This may seem extreme, but the risk of having torn souls running rampant through the world is too great” she paused for a moment to clear her throat while the bell rang. “That will be all today, don’t forget to bring your homework on soul searchers tomorrow.” As the class emptied, Jasmine sat blankly not yet ready to move. She felt this incredible emptiness in her and wasn’t even sure how to process it yet. It felt almost as if a part of her was missing and she had to learn how to function all over again. “Jasmine, class is over dear” the teacher said. With her attention spurred for a moment she looked at her teacher “He was mine” Jasmine whispered. The teacher walked up to her “I’m sorry dear but he had multiple soul mates made in his life. The church forbids this” she said. Jasmine nodded and got up to leave “What do I do now?” she asked. The teacher walked up and put her arm on her shoulder “You will find someone or something to live for. Soul mates aren’t everything just something that helps us move through life.” she said. Jasmine nodded and left the classroom.
Nearly out of breath the young Egyptian crossed the dune to see a cave at the foot of it. In an attempt to hide, he raced inside the cave and sat in a corner. He watched as his pursuers pass his hiding place then continued on through the desert. He took a moment to view his surroundings. It appeared he was in a chamber of one of the pharaohs. He noticed inscriptions of the gods and saw the jars that would have contained the organs of the dead. He didn’t see a sarcophagus though he assumed it was further in. His attention turned to a faint light at his left and turned a corner towards it.
Awaking suddenly, his head pounding, Kane rose to a seated position in his bed. Frustrated by the pain in his head and annoyed that yet again the same dream woke his sleep. He got up and went to get a pain killer from his medicine cabinet. His clock showed 4:30 in the morning meaning he had managed only two hours of sleep. This was still more than he usually got when the dreams woke him. It had now been four months of recurring dreams and he didn’t understand the source of them. Kane was on assignment to split the soul of some “big wig” in the financial district, when he grabbed a woman as she stepped out into traffic. No sooner did he save her, she was immediately killed by a rifle round to the head. Dazed and having to avoid the authorities, since he didn’t belong in that time line, he raced to the local safe house to gather his bearings and resume his mission. Afterwards Kane split the man’s soul without a problem and returned to 3423 with no issue.
Kane had discussed his dreams this with a shrink who simply told him it was likely a past life seeping into his current life which can be a side effect of his job as a soul splitter. Kane being one of the best soul splitters in the business accepted the diagnoses. The doctor prescribed him sleeping pills, but Kane felt they impaired his judgment so he stopped taking them after only a couple days. He decided to simply endure the dreams and attempt to repress whatever it was that was seeping into his mind.
Kane decided to head into work early. Charlie, Kane’s boss, could no doubt use him. While in the bathroom Kane took a hard look at himself. Kane was in his 40s with a few marks on his face from a bar fight or as a result of his career. He was in good physical condition particularly for his age. Leaving his apartment which was located in the lower quarter of the commercial district, he walked to the train station. The whores were out in force this hour attempting to entice those that got up this early and enjoyed paying for the physical form of sex. It was Kane’s favorite form, but he preferred to spend his earnings elsewhere. He left the slums behind and entered the more civil part of the world, or at least society deemed it so. On the strip, there were several soul sex shops these are where the average citizen with a few bucks would go to get off. Kane felt these girls were reducing themselves even further than the whores in the slums. From his view point they were doing more than selling their bodies but were literally selling their souls. Society didn’t see it that way, and promoted the idea of enjoying the pleasures of sex without the concern of pregnancy or STDs.
Finally reaching the train station a few minutes early, he bought a newspaper and began reading. “Did you see the Joiners attacked another soul searching shop again” said a stranger. “Just now reading the article but if it’s all the same to you I’d prefer to read in peace” Kane replied. Kane didn’t like people poking into his life, the government did enough of this. The Joiners were a group of conspiracy theorists turned freedom fighter that felt the Church of the One Soul was controlling the world and keeping humanity in check to their agenda. While Kane didn’t disagree, that the church was too involved in the citizens’ lives, he didn’t think they were literally controlling humanity. Why the Joiners would attack soul searching shops was beyond him though, as they were privately owned businesses not run by the church.
The train arrived and Kane got on. This must have been one of the newer trains as it didn’t have the smell or appearance of one that had been abused. There was a big push to remove all the old trains 20 years ago but only a few ended up getting replaced due to funding. He was half way to his destination when the alarm lights came on and the loud speaker kicked in. “Do not be alarmed The Church of the One Soul is doing a routine check of passengers to ensure none have broken our most sacred law”. This referred of course, to the splitting of the soul more than once and these checks were getting far more frequent. Kane laughed as the Guild, an illegal operation which split souls more than the one time which was legally allowed and Kane’s employer, had long since learned how to hide that their clients had split their soul multiple times. The common police didn’t have the technology of the feds who could see through even the best attempt to cover up a multiply split soul. Every now and then someone would still be caught by these checks likely due to them not hiring the Guild but instead, using an independent source. “Fools” he thought “They shouldn’t on the train, much less not hire the best”. The inspector approached Kane with his soul scanner. Kane could tell this was a new recruit since he had a far older looking gentleman with him. “Umm sir? I don’t understand this reading. We may have a counterfeit here”. The young man moved so the veteran could scan Kane, “No son what we have here is a bonafide pure soul, there are not many of them anymore” “sorry for the inconvenience sir” the older officer said. “It’s no problem officer sorry for the confusion” Kane was tired of people being surprised that his soul had never been split. He wasn’t even sure himself how that was possible since it is likely that his soul lived several lives before him in a time when soul splitting was common. He simply had no desire to split it, and suspects that maybe his past lives felt the same way. That, or he is a brand new soul and this is its first life.
No one knows how fresh souls are created or where they came from. Kane remembers the history lessons from school about when the soul was discovered. All the religions claimed that they were correct and the Great God War ensued. Billions were killed during this war as there was no neutral party. The Christians killed the Jews and Muslims who also killed each other. The smaller religions tried to take in refugees and but they were constantly attacked by one of the big three as they were called. Atheists had it the worst being treated as the common enemy of all other religions. Kane admired those that stood up for their belief that there was no god even after the discovery of the soul. He admitted that just because the soul existed didn’t mean a god had to exist. What the soul was after all was just an energy source with a specific signature for each organism that could be tracked from death to another when it was given life. The war finally came to an end when little remained of the big three not to mention the world. Most of the world was destroyed by nuclear warfare Asia and North America being hit the hardest. The Middle East was the first to go due to fighting from all corners of the globe. South America and Africa essentially wiped themselves out through internal conflict. By the end, though ravaged from combat, Australia and Europe were all that remained habitable. The Church of the One Soul quickly took control of civilization and dismantled all remaining nuclear weapons whether in a fall out zone or not. They created a government and made themselves the official religion and belief structure of life. It has remained that way ever since and few have spoken up about it not wanting another great war.
Kane laughed to himself looking out the train window at what was a dark grimy world. Neon signs lit up the streets, but they were dirty and while clean means of energy had been discovered a cloud from the war still hung over head. Renewable fuels meant little when nuclear weapons wreck the countryside. Still he had to admit the planet had bounced back. A normal weather pattern began only a century after the war. He shuttered to think what it must have been like to live in a dark environment caused by nuclear winter. The major cities looked better than the slums he lived in of course, but even they weren’t the pristine clean environments that past civilizations talked about. The world still looks very much as it did he thought albeit a little bit more high tech. Arriving at his station Kane departed and headed for the shop. Hidden behind a video game store that served as a front he walked to the back room and punched in his pass key entering the guilds HQ.