Ensign Karey had made plans to camp in the mountains of the Ozark Forest. The beauty of such surroundings would relax him after his journeys in outer space. He was not taking his communicator or weapon, because he just wanted to get out and explore without any interference from the outside world. He was tired of rules and regulations.
Upon reaching the rangers' headquarters, he was given a handbook on survival. A tour guide told him that he needed to take a class tomorrow that would go over the handbook, and he would introduce him to the person in charge. The guide would make arrangements after Karey finished survival training for a volunteer to accompany him part way as this was his first time to explore.
That night Karey was tired of being in cramped quarters and decided to set out on his own, he didn't want to read any old book (they hardly made them anymore) and he sure didn't want to sit in a chair and be confined all day. He took off into the forest until he was very tired and set up camp. There was no firewood, so he breaks off some green branches. He couldn't get the fire to start, then he remembered the handbook which was thick. He lit the book and put it under the firewood to make it ignite. The book was never read by him. After the fire was going strong, he opened a can of peaches and ate part of them before going to sleep. The next morning the fire was out, so he packed up and left. He never noticed the smoke that was coming from the coals after a strong wind blew across them. The forceful wind carried embers way off into some grass. Karey had forgotten all about the can of peaches.
Karey had been in the forest observing the animal life and scenery for a couple of days now. Karey was making good progress through the forest. Noticing the steep bluffs of the mountain beside him, he felt small but free.
That night at the fire tower, the head ranger was very unhappy because yesterday a child was killed. The child had tried to help a bear cub remove a can off the cub's muzzle just as the mother bear came along to defend her cub. With this totally needless death upsetting him greatly, he looked out and saw smoke and leaping fire some distance away inside Devil's Canyon. He could see mutiple small fires where people had set up camp and he knew there was not much time before the roaring fire would overtake them. He sent out a rescue team in a helicopter that did not look capable of staying in the air, but it had a rebuilt engine in the old archaic hull.
When the rescue team found Karey's camp, he was very amused at this flying contraption that he had only seen in books. They shouted above the engine that there was a fire about twenty miles back and he should get in. Karey looked at this flying machine again and thought it could fall out of the sky at any minute. He shook his head and waves them away thinking he can climb the bluffs (he had training in mountain climbing), and he hadn't seen any smoke, so he had plenty of time to get out. They had other people to save, so even though they were distressed at his decision, they went after the others and hoped that they could get back in time to save him later.
Karey started climbing the steep bluffs, but the rocks and earth gave way and he fell and hit his head on a sharp edge below. When he woke up the flames were all around him, and he couldn't breathe. Just before he passed out with the flames leaping about him, he saw the helicopter hoovering overhead but he was unable to grab the rope that they throw to him.
After some unknown amount of time, in some place Karey has never seen before, the One sitting before him shakes his head. As Karey stands before Him and asks what happened, He (the person in authority and control) tells him that He was running a simulation to pick a crew from all those who had ever lived. He had dealings in the past with those who would rebel and make life miserable for everyone else around them. So he thought a simulation would be a good way to let potential crew members make the decisions that would indicate they would be an asset to the crew. He didn't believe in forcing anyone to accept his gift of eternal life after death with Him, it had to be their choice. He had taken great pains to get the information about the simulation to those arriving at the station and offer classes and tour guides to oversee their training. He tells Karey and others that they lack faith and trust in Him and His Son and had shown themselves to be unworthy individuals for His crew.
In the past as a deterrent (and because He knew sin corrupted absolutely), the Creator had told everyone that He would put them (those who did not accept His Son's gift--that made a new person inside the old body that could not be corrupted) far from Him--in a place of utter misery so that they would never find their way back to where He lives. The Creator of everything was in hopes that knowledge of such a terrible place--plus the promise of a place to live without war and hardships--would help them to make the right decisions.