Several years ago, I saw a news report that claimed something like there was a 33% probability that we were a computer simulation.
Really? It’s something I’ve mulled over since. What if we are a computer simulation? What if none of this is real?
I like toying with idea/perception of reality in my stories… such as what if everything we believe to be true is a lie? What do we do with that? I haven’t fully realized that what-if in a story yet, but I will. It calls to me, constantly beckoning and winking. Just like the news story about the computer simulation. They’re very related what-if’s, aren’t they?
I finally found the story to incorporate the computer simulation idea, and used it in revealing Earth’s story in Worlds on Edge, Backworlds Book 5. The title is the theme of the book – worlds on edge. This includes Earth, and I get around to telling what happened to Earth and it’s role in the enemy of the Backworlds, the Foreworlds.
Physicists on our Earth, real or simulated, have devised an experiment to test whether we are real or simulated. It’s a really fascinating article, and the experiment is being conducted by the University of Washington. CHECK IT OUT
So how did this ‘what-if’ play out? Excerpt Worlds on Edge
◙ Barnabus Manalo
Barnabus Manalo died for the sixth time. The crowd milling at the bottom of the cliff increased, forming a solid wall, mouths agape. They didn’t understand the world wasn’t real.
He willed the scrapes and broken bones away and pushed onto his feet, straightening to his full six-foot six-inches. Eyes twinkling, he winked at his stunned neighbors, altering the color of his irises from brown to blue to gold then purple, hoping one of his fellow citizens would admit they’d made the same discovery, that the mind had more relevance than the physical.
No one did. Everyone’s expressions remained wide and knotted. They pointed and whispered, “Barry Do-Right.”
Barnabus’s smile faded. He hated the nickname. “I’m Baranabus, friends. Bar-na-bus. Don’t call me Barry.” His fists clenched, and he grit his teeth. He called up a breeze to ruffle his golden hair and braced his hands on his hips to mimic a stance he’d seen posed by many superheroes in the comics. Because he willed it, a yellow cape materialized, snapping regally in the wind. This was how he wanted people to see him.
It inspired another round of whispers. “Barry Do-Right.”
Damn. Nothing he showed them sank in, they refused to understand. What could he do? From the rocks, he summoned a screen that replayed an old news report, one of his choosing.
“Remember this story?” Barnabus said. “The one claiming there’s a thirty-three percent chance we’re just a computer simulation? Well, it’s true.”
His efforts were applauded with laughter. His neighbors sputtered what they always did. “Ridiculous.” “Knew he was a loon.” “Anyone in tights and a cape is a loon.” “Where’s a mind doctor when you need one?”
“Didn’t you see me fall and return from the dead six times? How could that be possible unless what I told you is true?” They had to wake up. Why couldn’t any of them comprehend they controlled this world as much as Barnabus?
The cliff he’d summoned in the center of the city and had been tumbling from since sunrise disappeared, but he hadn’t erased it. Someone else did. He wheeled around, searching for his kindred soul. In a flash of harsh white the world vanished.
White and empty, neither warm or cold, no edges to speak of, not enough of anything to define this place as a room, yet Barnabus had no other word for it. His ability to impose his mind over matter diminished too. It took all his strength to remain himself. His cape and tights disappeared.
“H-hello?” He stumbled in a circle, peering into the white void. It swooshed and shuddered.
Tripping, he found himself on a dirt lane hugging the handle of an umbrella. He reminded himself the icy pellets biting into his hands weren’t real. Neither was the lane. He hadn’t created this. Who had?
He willed an end to the mud and for the environment to change to his liking. It took more mental power than usual to part the clouds. The rain slowed, but he couldn’t escape the puddle under his feet. The wet soaked into his shoes, seeping into his socks, chilling his blood. He shivered, but not from the cold lapping at his toes.
“Hello, Barnabus Manalo.”
Barnabus examined the weeping clouds. Not knowing where the speaker hid, his best guess was above. “Show yourself. I’ve been waiting for years for someone to talk to, someone who understands reality like I do.”
“You’ve barely scratched the surface. Nonetheless, we need a hero, and you’re the only one qualified for the job.”
His cape came back, draping him in gold. Barnabus drew it round his shoulders to drive off the goose bumps. This person’s control went deeper than his. “Everyone can manipulate code. Not as well as you and I, but they all can.”
“Yes, but you’re the only one who is aware you can.”
“Me? You seem quite aware yourself.” He searched the trees and sky. “Who are you? Where are you?”
A door materialized a few steps away from the puddle. It shimmered merlot in a meadow dotted with cherry-tinted blooms and swung open with a drawn-out creak. A person in a white robe appeared on the wet grass in front of it. The sleet stopped. Everything stopped.
Barnabus poked at a halted line of rain. Against the pad of his finger, it felt smooth and frigid. His finger disappeared then his hands, arms, and legs. He screamed.
“Your body is a sham too. You don’t need it anymore. Come through the door with me,” the figure said.
Barnabus couldn’t tell by the garment or voice whether the robed one was a man or a woman. “Wh-who are you?” His words rose higher in pitch. “Who?” Then his mouth vanished.
“Your guide to birth.”
Worlds on Edge is now Available!
War is coming. A horde of merciless aliens poise just beyond the Edge. In a matter of weeks they will devour the worlds.
Racing ahead of the apocalypse, Craze returns to the Backworlds to warn them and plan a defense. Only he can’t go home. Banned from Pardeep Station, he must wage a more urgent battle. His moon is under siege, and his friends are dying.
Bad things come in threes, and the galaxy is no exception. An old enemy returns, attacking moons and defenseless globes, leaving a wake of destruction. Worse than that, they threaten to join forces with the alien horde.
Defeat seems inevitable. Craze may not be able to stop it. Yet home is worth the fight.
Available in ebook:
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What ‘what-if’s’ haunt you?