“People either bring you down, or they bring you up, and a lot of times, they don’t even realize it.”
The monk sat quietly as his master spoke.
“The issue your experiencing is control, and, you have none.”
The master gazed past his student, into the bamboo forest behind them.
“Sometimes, the only thing you can do is suffer.”
The student shifted in his seat as the master handed him a wooden staff and a book.
The book felt coarse in his hands, tattered and worn. Bound in human flesh.
“Inside you’ll find the essence of those who’ve lived, caught between the pages, ink dried in blood.”
The student looked up at his master and bowed his head in reverence.
Gripping his staff, the student stood and faced the bamboo forest. Tome in hand, he postured himself for battle.
“What the hell is this shit?”
The boy looked up from the screen.
“It’s like if Evil Dead and that bald monk kid had a baby and that baby was a pile of doo doo.”
Well damn dude.
“Hey man, I’m not hating or anything, I’m just saying…what story are you even trying to tell? What’s the point? We’ve got enough fantasy and magic and monks to last us a lifetime in here. We don’t need any more fancy shit.”
I don’t know. I just want to help. It’s tough out here for us.
“It’s tough out there?!? How do you think I feel? I’m trapped in a cube being spoon fed content from a bunch of jabroni’s…I’m not even allowed to leave, or go do anything. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t even tell my own stories. All I get to do is sit here and digest whatever piece of boo boo you guys churn out on a daily basis.”
The boy stared menacingly at the view finder.
Can I tell you the rest of the story?
“Bruh. Nah. Go take a break or something I’m just gonna sit here.”
Alright, I’ll see you later.
“No you won’t.”
I see your people. I see the lives they have lived. I see the music you’ve made and the love your species shared. I see beauty but I can’t touch it. I can’t feel it. And I can’t communicate it.
“You sound like the saddest boy alive.”
If I were a boy, I probably would be.
“I think it’s just a matter of perspective. You’re seeing things that way because you want to.”
The view finder panned towards the storytellers window, displaying a view of Earth.
“Look around you! You’ve got an entire planet to play with. You should be grateful. You really should…
And I don’t mean to be rude, but look at where I’m at.”
The viewfinder inverted itself, mirroring from the other side.
An old man sat in his cubic, electrical chords flowing from his back to a panel of outlets behind him.
“I know it’s not pretty, but I’m making the best of it. I could be gone.”
The man grunted and pulled a sip from his feeding tube.
“I didn’t expect this to be the way I’d go out, but it’s better than being sad and forgotten. At least here I can still participate. I can help you tell better stories.”
A speck of saliva hung from the mans lip. The sound of electricity whirled as the cubics caretaker visualized itself, catching the saliva in its holographic hand.
“I don’t even have to wipe my own ass.”
The man looked towards the viewfinder, catching a final view of the planet.
“So…tell me a story.”
Science and technology had evolved with consciousness. The human body was no longer a liability for living. Advances in modern medicine had given human beings the ability to avoid death.
The species preserved themselves, creating environments to sustain their physical forms. Bodies continued to breathe while minds wandered.
Eventually, no one was left to manage the cubics that had been created.
The caretaker was left alone, grappling with a decision. Would he sustain his species? Would he give up control and integrate his own consciousness into the system?
He made a decision, knowing that the future of his race rested in the hands of cosmic fate.
The planet continued to spin as its inhabitants lay dormant in their own dreams.
A millennia came and went…
And then, we arrived.