With the first prison constructed we had to test it out. The mechanics of it looked good and our interface with it showed us a beautiful world, one that would regenerate itself despite what the inhabitants did. But we still needed to test our capability of actually putting something in it. I volunteered myself, not wanting anyone else to get stuck in a virtual reality if we were unable to get them back out. The feeling was very similar to translocating, it tingled and made you a bit dizzy, but it worked as we had hoped. I found myself in the middle of a forest, the irony of it made me laugh. I remembered reading at one time about these role playing games people would play, pen and paper type stuff I guess. There were no graphics, just a person sitting there telling you what was happening to your character. I read how a lot of them started out in a forest, not really knowing where they were and having to figure out what to do after that. I quickly made the suggestion to modify the starting area to be an arrival zone, like you had just come from a ship traveling and had been dropped off, it would make it function more like a dream, you would end up starting in the middle of it. Being inside this virtual world made it a bit more real, I could feel and smell and taste everything. We worked on getting some of our alien friends to create virtual selves in this world so that they could interact with our prisoners and make it seem more real. We developed an economy and a city to live in. We even came up with jobs that they could take. If we made it as functional as possible we might be able to trick them into buying into it. We would, of course, have to give them a bit of amnesia so that they'd forget their original purpose, but I was pretty sure we could do that with the dream technology that was holding this all together. Once we were done with the test and getting things ready it was time to extract me from the world.
It had taken them about an hour to get the extractor to lock onto me, it turned out to be more difficult than imagined to lock on to a particular piece of heavy energy when it could move around among the other energy entities in the world, but once they had the lock it took mere moments for me to be out of the world and back where I belonged. It was a much stranger feeling leaving the virtual world, it really didn't take much time in it to start feeling like it was real. I understood a lot more now how people way back in our history could lose themselves to this, and they didn't even get to physically enter it. Once I related my experiences to the others there were quite a few who wanted to experience this themselves, we allowed any who wanted the ability to go in while we made our arrangements to capture the traveling planet ship. The biggest plus in this would be that we would have time to slowly bring the creatures into the dream, the heavy energy jump would put them into stasis so long as we kept it in tact.
With everything in place it was time to get the aliens into their world ship. It wouldn't take much, we knew their ships couldn't do a jump like the original and so to keep up with us they would have to return to the ship. We had a couple wormhole gates constructed, this would be how we would get them to believe they were about to overtake us by performing this jump, which would be the only reason they would do it, I just hoped the desire to destroy me was still somewhere in all of them, otherwise we might not get the commitment we were hoping for. As we approached the shielded system, completely uncloaked, we saw many of their ships start moving towards the barrier. They had weapons ready but no ability to fire them through the shield. Once I had their undivided attention I showed them who the shield owner was by passing through it, enduring their attacks and then passing through. When they tried to follow they were unable to. This aggravated them to no end and I saw the planet ship moving towards the barrier, as planned they would use their combined forces, by suggestion of their intelligent computer, to blow apart the shield. As the ships returned to the planet I saw all the pieces falling into place. I felt the collective energy of the creatures unleashing their wrath into a single attack together and saw the energy tear apart the shield, there was no turning back now, they were free and we had just one chance to capture them. Our ship was the faster and we were able to lead them to the gate, which opened for us but was poorly disguising our destination, as we had hoped they made their jump as we finished passing into the gate.