Author: Riley Meachem
After years of research, Delkor Bionics completed “the door of perception.” Not a literal door, but a maze of computers, electrodes, goggles, and wires attached to a chair, it allowed whoever sat in it to examine any choice they’d made in the past, make a different one, and follow it to its logical conclusion, viewing years of existence in mere moments. The product’s release was heavily hyped up by marketing and was already world news before the first issues cropped up.
Several testers came back with severe trauma after only a few seconds in the machine, as their hypothetical choices subjected them to agonies beyond measure, and loss and grief which was yanked from them as suddenly as it was foisted on them. Even those who did not witness their own agonizing death and disfigurement, or the deaths of their loved ones, were sometimes neurotic wrecks after emerging, refusing to make any choices at all for fear of upsetting the balance of the universe. In extreme cases, these subjects refused even to eat or drink or move, and wasted away and died or froze solid. Subjects would live eternities in these myriad new lives, only to be dragged back to their young body, with the experiences of a thousand men in one young brain. Many merely went insane from eternities in other people’s lives, ones which bore such an uncanny relation to their own. Despite this, investors did not lose their investment or undercut public confidence in the brand. The Door of Perception was released.
How that went depends on who you asked. If you can indeed ask anyone and are not just trapped in the door of perception. Would you remember entering it? Could you tell the difference between a real person and a mental projection from our own mind? Most of us only talk to ourselves and an idea of another person when we have conversations anyway.
Many theorize that humans have entered the door many times, and that we are in a perception of a perception of a perception, using the door over and over. That is, as I said, if any of us is real.
I have forgotten my name, and which of my lives is real. I have forgotten how to exit, and how to choose. I wonder if there is anyone sane enough on the other side of the door to pull me back through, or if there ever was. I wonder if the door has closed upon me forever. In the meantime, I push ever further in these potential lives which never were, until in one of them, I once again stumble upon the door.