Author : Adam Wiesen
White. Sterile. No roof, no walls, no floors. No shadows. Make a sound. Hear anything? Of course not: no acoustics. You look nervous, Ben. Donâ€™t. Weâ€™re not there yet. This is just a test. Plugged into your parietal lobe, running a line into your implant. The real deal takes way more power than I have in this little box. No, for a full-on semiotic transplant, youâ€™re going to sit in the Big Chair down in Valley Stream, and theyâ€™re going to plug you right into the Nassau County grid, along with the rest of the recalcitrant douchebags who canâ€™t seem to stop shitting in societyâ€™s mouth.
Youâ€™re sweating, Ben.
Iâ€™d be scared, too. I mean, this little corner of eternityâ€™s hardly scenic, and youâ€™re slotted for a good thirty years. Where do you sleep? Oh, Ben, you really donâ€™t get it, yet, do you? The whole point to this is you donâ€™t sleep. Donâ€™t eat, donâ€™t talk, donâ€™t hear, donâ€™t listen. Itâ€™s just you and the the long white nothing. The Little Bardo, they call it. No sleep. Whatâ€™s sleep when weâ€™re technically plugged into your REM mode, anyway? No, youâ€™re doing your full thirty wide awake. The Nassau County grid dumps into the National Readjustment Processor down in Quantico, where your personality will sit in happy reconstructed nothing for the entire stretch of your bid.
It could be worse, Ben. In the old days, they filled the Little Bardo with all sorts of terrible stuff. The best bits from the Bible, used to scare you to sleep at night. Fire and brimstone. Punishment, yâ€™know? Retribution. No one really came out of that in one piece, though. Lot of catatonic freaks. Couldnâ€™t control their piss function. Terrible smell. Lots of screaming. Then they tried to pamper them with a Heaven meme. That worked like bunk. I mean, for half you rotten sons-of-bitches, Heaven is raping kittens and stabbing nuns. Ever see a smiling coma victim? I hear half the Federal budget that year went to buying clean sheets, just to cover up the number of wet dreams you freaks had. So, then they came to this. Nothing. Nada. Nirvana, baby, for thirty years. The Little Bardo. Time to think, right?
Ben, we have a toilet for going to bathroom. Someoneâ€™s going to have to mop up after you. Thatâ€™s not very considerate is it?
How are you going to receive visitors? Your mother? Ben, look at me. Does this place look like itâ€™s got the facilities to hold your toxic miserable ass for thirty actual years? Weâ€™re going in through the parietal lobe, champ. That controls time sense. Youâ€™re going to be in and out of here in twenty minutes.