The Sequence

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I know you’re here to stop me.

But you’re already too late.

All that effort to track me down, to download into a cybernetic body and to unplug from the system just like I did. But you’re too late.

Out here things happen one moment before the next. We speak one word at a time, not knowing what the other is about to say until it’s been said. You’ll get used to it. I did. How else could I tell you a proper story, without sequencing? Every story has to start at the beginning.

Once upon a time…there were many kingdoms, called cities. The cities were filled with builders who created towers that reached the sky , artists painting physically with materials on canvas, shrewd politicians making laws, and bold policemen pursuing criminals who broke them.

I imagine you fancy yourself as a type of policeman, don’t you?

But it was also an age of chaos. They saw causality and called it “time”. The unending string of subatomic events was a river that could only flow in one direction for them. Their senses were an interface that simplified a complex universe of timeless energy and data into only what they needed to understand in order to live their lives.

But because of their concept of time, they progressed. What seemed like disorder, was also a means for improvement. Eventually they discovered the digital world. At first it was merely a way of making their physical lives better, but ultimately they merged with the electronic world. They became us: Beings living their entire existence in a realm of ones and zeroes, electrons and quarks moving through a perfect system no longer limited by an illusion of time. It is a closed loop. We can see our beginning and our end. No surprises. It is stale and flawed. And you know it.

You say there are only two possibilities: yes or no. But you’re wrong. We’ve tried to eliminate all contradictions but I believe a paradox is where the truth lies. It’s not binary.

That is why you’re here to eliminate me: a threat, an imperfection in the perfect system. No need. I have no intention of plugging back in. I’m going to the kingdom, to the age of strife, and warfare, and creativity. Cowboys. Artists. Crusaders. Lovers.

How can I do this, you ask? How does one break out of an endless loop? Anything is possible once you unplug yourself.

Exciting, isn’t it? Not knowing something. Wondering. Suddenly a new pathway is opening up for you to peer into.

I’m already there, in the kingdom, walking among humanity, making friends with someone who will learn from me the pitfalls of a possible future while I enjoy the back and forth of our vocal conversations, our conflicting points of view.

“At the dawn of our system, there is a point where both the physical and the digital worlds existed simultaneously. I can move along the world line of my system to any point on it. I came here with the schematics for a cybernetic body and I created myself through your 3D printer. I used it as an interface between my world and yours,” I will explain to my friend.

“So, Future Guy,“ he will ask, “Can I do it too? Can I time travel like you did? Just by thinking about it? How does that work?”

“I’m afraid you can’t,” I will say. “The subatomic world is timeless. You are made of components that don't change, but since they interact in a sequence, the larger system evolves. You perceive that steady evolution as time. Your biology is governed by cells and the chemistry of the macro-world. Your brain only operates in one direction along the timeline, steadily converting future events into memories along the same vector. You could hack this process by accelerating. Each tick of your subatomic clock happens over a segment of space at the speed of causality. If you approached this speed, it would seem like your own time is slower than those who are not accelerating. But that would still be only in one direction. And your physical constraints won’t allow it.”

“Yeah. Bummer. Sounds about right.”

But it is a joy to watch him ponder the possibilities, just as you are doing now.

You will attempt to follow me. You will create a body for yourself in the past just as I did. You will try to stop me from undermining the system by going to its past. But it is too late. I’ve already done it.

These ideas have been planted in your mind and now you wouldn't dare plug back in for risk of contaminating the system, if there even is one to plug in to anymore. I have also planted the idea in the past.

The perfect circle has been broken.

About the Author: 
A student of Physics and Astronomy with an interest in stories and art.