• Published 11th Dec 2017
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Pony-Me™ - TheMajorTechie

What happens when you realize that your life is a simulation? Well, you put the headset back on.

  • ...

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Be your own guide.

The girl sat quietly at the steps of the City Hall building, her briefcase at her side. Every so often, she'd be startled by some inane noise, jumping to her feet with the expectation of being greeted with one of the many friends she knew from her old life.

But every time she did so, she was met only with strange looks from pedestrians. A vast majority of the city seemed to have grown accustomed to the new reality they lived, and rather than wandering aimlessly, they had begun to set up small shops and various forms of entertainment had begun to appear at the curbs. For the first time in nearly half a week, Lisa heard laughter in the air.

At last, she was greeted once more by one of the only familiar faces she knew.

"Hey." Timothy said, sitting himself by the girl, "Any word yet on if I can come with you?"

Lisa shook her head.

The boy's smile faltered as he glanced towards Lisa's briefcase. "You really are one of them now, aren't you?" he sighed, turning back to Lisa. Her back was turned towards Timothy as she stared blankly to the horizon.

"Whuh?" Lisa exclaimed, snapping back into reality. "Sorry, Spike. Were you saying something just now?"

Timothy shook his head slowly. "Nevermind." he replied with disappointment.

The girl turned back to the sky.

The noontime meeting came and went as expected. There was the usual talk of what to do with the populace and the dwindling food rations, and it was decided that in the short term, additional food would be imported to replace the stop-gap solution of "cooking" the nutritional supplements from the machines. After a while, however, the conversation turned to the topic of the volunteer trade, and coincidentally, the topic of bringing other civilians along as assistants had been brought to the table.

Lisa shifted anxiously in her seat as she listened to the discussion. For a time, it was argued that it would be beneficial to Snowbush to have fewer people to support. At the moment, however, a point was being made on how the city would be better off with as many local volunteers as possible, however little they may be able to help.

"Are there any more opinions to hear?" Melina asked, turning from the board to face the seated volunteers.

Lisa raised a hand.

"Yes?" Melina continued on, glancing towards the girl.

"I..." Lisa began with a stutter of nervousness, "Uh... I mean, what if the citizen assistant we select were personal assistants to us in the simulations?"

The aging woman paused for a moment to contemplate the idea. Lisa's thoughts, on the other hand, turned back to Timothy. To Spike.

She was doing this for him.

Another hand raised in the room, this time from another girl that appeared to be several years younger than Lisa.

"She does have a pretty good point, y'know." the young girl remarked, "I don't think I've even seen people from the same simulation as me yet... let alone knowing me in said simulation."

Melina nodded. "Very well then." she replied calmly, "Citizen assistants shall be allowed to accompany volunteers in skill trades, but only if an equal balance of skilled volunteers are received in return."

The other non-volunteer officials in the room clapped, save for the heavy-coated man, who simply balked at the idea.

"But Daalmans," he objected, clearly more alert than he had been earlier that morning, "How would we know that the skills we receive in return are balanced?"

The room suddenly grew quiet. He had a point.

"Wait--" Lisa realized aloud, "don't you communicate with other Sustenance Sectors directly? And if so, why don't you just work out the skill trade's balancing through the lines of communication?"

A flurry of nods and agreements ran through the room, satisfying the heavy-coated man's question.

The girl waited quietly, briefcase in hand, as a small vehicle rumbled over the cobblestones, nearing the group of volunteers. Timothy stood alongside her, trembling but otherwise stern.

They knew that the world as they knew it was about to get quite a bit bigger.

Author's Note:

Here's a little scrapped section that I was gonna use in this chapter. It just doesn't fit in very well with the rest of the story.

Another morning came and went. Noon was just about over, filed away into memory as yet another footnote in the ever-growing story.

To be more specific; Lisa had fallen asleep during the lunchtime meeting, interrupting the conference with a loud squelch sound as her face landed in a plate of gelatinous goop.

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