Making it Real

Your rating: None
Average: 3.8 (4 votes)

The man in the suit flung his headset, scratching some equipment across the room, and with the same irritated momentum, sat up. Overcoming disorientation, his anger tightened on the man wearing the cardigan. He watched him rise, test his balance, cross in front of him, and then carefully remove his headset. Inspecting the connections he returned it to right hand plinth, pulled the vacuum cover down, and enabled the valve.
“Disappointing, Doctor,” the one in the suit said, steady enough to stand. “Fully funded, with more computing power than the Southern Hemisphere, and that was it?” The doctor attended to a chunky wooden button that had undone itself at his stomach before answering.
“There are limits.”
“What? You got everything you asked for. You promised me you could do this.”
“Maybe I should I explain in my office.”
The suited man closed his eyes. “It’s over. That reality,” he pointed at the bed behind him, “that was as bland as the rest. Tasteless, drab, mundane. It had to be more this time. They’ll shut down everything when they find out.”
The doctor was already at the door, “Let’s talk over tea”.
They crossed the courtyard of the converted monastery. The sun burnt hot on his suit.
“At least the weather improved while we were out,” he said, taking off the dark jacket. The doctor was already across the vivid lawn and into the velvet shade of the open corridor.
Entering the office, the doctor had the water rolling. The huge arched window insisted contemplation of the landscape beyond while the tea was prepared.
“I suspect that hasn’t changed much since they built this place” the doctor said, not turning from his ritual.
The man in the shirt nodded to himself and sat down in front of the doctor’s desk.
”At least don’t disappoint me with the tea.”
“Don’t worry, this is special.”
“We’ll see.”
The doctor poured from the tiny clay pot into two small cups. They each moved their cups to sit in front of them and watched the vapour.
“The problem is,” the doctor began, “the same for all the alternative reality companies.”
“Don’t make excuses, you had more than enough to pull ahead of the crowd.”
“But you can’t fix a problem if you don’t understand it. The headset mimics exactly synapse activity, yet the experience is always somehow,”
“I call it, flat,” said the doctor. He sniffed the heat of his tea and smiled, looking at the shirted man with steamy eyes. They both sipped. “How’s the tea?”
The man in the shirt put his cup down, “You know it’s excellent. Taiwan?”
“Of course.” He lifted the tiny pot. The man in the shirt nodded. “I needed the extra funding to try something new.”
“I was at your presentation, ‘to create reality, not simulate it’. That line filled your vaults with computers.” He heeled the stone flags with an expensive shoe.
“What was it you said, something about a reality of quantum’s?”
The doctor cleared his throat. “The early simulations modelled mathematical object approximations. The next generation moved to building from the atomic scale. It was an improvement, texture and taste experience sharpened, but the computing demand was enormous. Conventional methods have a major drawback. There are only two possibilities: yes or no. Everything has to be built from that.”
“Is this were that fuzzy stuff comes in?”
“No, no, it needed something far more leftfield than that. Newtonian physics can describe the universe very well, but only to a certain decimal place, which shouldn’t have been a problem. It should have been more than enough to fool your brain into thinking it was having a nice dinner. But there’s is something much more subtle, much more intuitive, more,” he paused. “More philosophical about the universe. There’s something important hidden in the detail. Something that is only noticed when it is no longer there. That’s why I had to explore. Create a reality from the most basic of the basics, down to the quantum level, something indeterminate.”
“I’m no programmer, but you’d need several planets of processors to generate that reality.”
“Of course. The extra crunching power you provided just helped me design something new,” he said, adding after the shirted man’s jaw dropped, “and to control it.”
“What kind of thing?”
“I call it a quantum interpreter. It’s quite clever.”
“Clever enough not to work?”
“Fair point,” the doctor smiled. “Fancy a whisky?”
The man in the shirt drummed his thumbs on the desk.
“Why the hell not. We’re both sacked anyway.”
The doctor lifted out a half full, simple but well-crafted bottle, and a couple of small dense glasses.
“That looks like a 60 year old Glenfarclas?” The man in the shirt said.
“It is,” the doctor replied, filling the glasses.
“Long story, just drink.”
Both men went through a personal process of observation, smelling and eventually sampling the liquid. The man in the shirt watched the wind and sun tease the trees outside.
“I’ve never tasted anything like this, Doc.”
“Nice, isn’t it.”
He took his time until it was finished, and put the glass down, laying his hand over the top.
“What will you do next, Doc?”
The doctor picked up the bottle, swirling the amber liquid. “I might try the whisky business.”
“If only you could make something like that,” he nodded at the bottle.
“Well, let’s see,” said the doctor, opening the bottle and grinning. He held it horizontal, and poured it onto the desk.
“Stop!” said the man in the shirt, reaching to upright the glugging bottle, but the doctor stood up, now pouring onto the floor.
“Don’t waste it man!”
The flow continued, the liquid eventually seeping under the desk making him step back to save his shoes. However, the bottle remained half full while pouring generously.
“What’s going on Doc?” he said, blinking from the thick alcoholic fumes.
The doctor winked, “Still feel bland?”

About the Author: 
An engineer having some fun writing.