“Why did you start doing what you do now?”
They were up early again making something in the kitchen. No doubt to placate me after I walked off the other evening.
There was coffee freshly made so I thought I would play along for now. I stepped out onto the porch, and they followed me.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Why did you start doing the job you do?”
“Because it was a way out. It gave me a level of freedom and it gave me something productive to do.”
“But why not just live in ultra-high reality like 99.9% of the rest of the world and find purpose and freedom in there?”
“Do you truly think that’s freedom?”
“No. Don’t you? You seemed to be saying so last night?”
“It’s the illusion of freedom whilst being manipulated and controlled, so it has an element of freedom to it, and much the same level of freedom as people had before stepping inside Ultra-High, just with certain boundaries which are mainly for their own protection”.
“And has that changed at all in the last 3000 years?”
“Maybe not but this is different from nudges, manipulation, coercion through the TV, social media or other forms of tricking or influencing behaviour such as religious dogma, now we are literally creating people’s world. And managing their experience within it.”
“I am not sure those things were any less manipulative. Most of the reality is in people’s heads anyway, all you have to do is trigger those thoughts and feelings and you are already shaping that reality. So why do you do it?”
“What do you mean?” I knew what they meant but I wanted them to spell it out.
“You know what I mean” dammit, I still couldn’t tell if they were reading my mind “Why do you do the work you do and live the life you live if you think that those that you do it to are not free?”
“What other choice is there?”
“Fight the system. Rebel. Cause a revolution.”
“You haven’t been out of touch that long to know that that is a futile endeavor.”
“It’s only futile if they convince you that it is. Do you not see that you too are being manipulated to think that?” Did they mean by the system or them? I couldn’t tell.
“Well yes. But I have more autonomy over my freedom than those within the system. As in at least I am aware of the boundaries to my freedom.”
“If there are boundaries it’s not freedom.”
“Well, no, but I know how to play the system to get what I want out of it and not get into any trouble.”
“As so just another sheep doing as the herder bids.”
“How do you know I am not subverting the system from within?”
“Are you?” I didn’t answer that as I did not really know where their allegiances lay.
This is a live book series writing/story art, graphic novel, cyberpunk, dystopian fantasy project. Written by Sam I Am Artwork by Wonder Ai directed by Sam I Am. Copyright is protected. It is a first rough draft work in progress so will change over time. This project is part of the SleeplessDystopian.com writing projects.
Words by me
Images directed by me and created using Wonder Ai