Looking around, I finally caught a flash of red hair in the distance. As i approached, I saw Sarah sitting by the lake.
She was bare foot, wearing a flowery summer dress while the gentle breeze made her fiery hair dance. I caught another whiff of vanilla in the warm air.
She smiled as I approached, “Hi Sarah! This is amazing!”, I gestured around at the entire virtual world I created.
“I had no idea it was so real, so vivid. “, I burst out with excitement.
“Yes, it’s all amazing.”, she smiled calmly and continued, “This world is an extension of you. You came here with a blank slate, and you created your reality here with simply will and intent expressed with confidence.”
I looked around, enjoying the vast stillness with a calmness I haven’t felt in years.
After what seemed like a while, I faced Sarah and asked her, “How long have I been in the machine... it feels like a while”.
Sarah smiled, “Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it. Time isn’t actually real. Time is really just a subjective of visible phenomena, so it really isn’t relevant here.”
Confused I squinted, “Uh, ok. Let me be a bit more specific. How many minutes have gone by since I entered here?”
Sarah nodded and silently knelt down on the grass, calling me over. With her finger, she drew a square about twenty inches diagonal, and then she pushed downward.
The square lifted away, the grass disappearing and in it’s place was a computer monitor. She touched it gently and the screen came to life. It showed the date and below it two sets of numbers each incrementing every second.
Sarah explained, “The first number is the time outside, the second number is the time inside here.”
“Slide your finger from the right number to the left.” She said while gesturing towards the screen.
As I did, instantly my head started to spin a little and i got dizzy. Looking back at the screen, noticed the number representing time outside stopped incrementing and the number for inside remained the same.
“You just increased the rate that the machine is sending you data.”, she continued apparently unfazed, “Now for every second that passes outside, 60 seconds pass inside here.”
“How the hell is that possible?”, I questioned.
“Like I said, time isn’t real... it’s just a subjective data rate even outside. Think about how time feels differently depending on what your doing, and how much focus you put into something.”
My mind was reeling at all the possibilities. I could learn everything there is to know about everything within seconds of outside time. I could write books, develop advanced cutting edge software that would take a team years to create. I can do anything, and have it done NOW.
Wait a second, I’m thinking too small. I looked around, I can live indefinitely in this virtual world creating whatever I want at my whim.
Sarah smiled, apparently knowing exactly my revelations from the look on my face and my far off gaze.
“Yes, John. Now you see that everything is possible.”, she smiled.
Then an unsettling thought came to my head. This isn’t my computer, I can’t stay here. They’re going to end the session and I’m going back to reality where I’m unemployed and broke.
In the distance I heard a slight thunder and felt a slight chill.
“Wow, man. I love what you’ve done with the place!”, Seth came out of nowhere behind me looking around with a million dollar look on his face.
“Seth! This machine, what are your plans for it once it’s tested?” I kept my anxiety in check.
“Well, we’ve got some serious investors who plan on using it to make more money, obviously. I’m not really sure the details, but I’ve got stock options to leverage and judging by what you’ve done here so far...”, he looked around dramatically, “... I’m going to do just fine.”
“How long is this testing gig going to go? I can’t lose this amazing thing.” desperation creeping into my voice.
“Don’t worry about it, man.” Seth dismissed.
Sarah, looking on, finally spoke, “John, don’t worry about losing this. This is only the beginning, enjoy yourself in the moment”, she touched my shoulder reassuringly.
She leaned over to me, instantly the scent of vanilla relaxed me as I breathed in. She whispered in my ear, “Besides, that’s not really Seth... and I’m not Sarah.”
She giggled and skipped away as Seth looked in her direction with disdain.