They think they have bodies but they don’t. They live in the hallucination that has been produced by the bad machine, the all-pervading hallucination that has been created by the evil world-machine. We all live in that hallucination. This is to be the basis of my story – the story I am about to tell you. Then I realize that it’s been done before. I have to tweak it somehow, I think. Make it fresh, make it new. I have to put a whole new spin on it. I’m scratching my head waiting for inspiration then but the inspiration isn’t coming. It’s nowhere in sight. There’s no flow of ideas. There’s not even one idea. Everything’s stuck – I’m stuck in my head and that’s all there is to it. Stuck, stuck, stuck.
The matrix-projector is malfunctioning I realize. Creatures have gotten into the primary feeds and they are contaminating the output. We think we have bodies but we don’t, I told myself sternly. It’s important that I remind myself of this as frequently as possible. It’s important that I don’t get lulled. By the lullers who are always lulling. Never allow yourself to be lulled. Never allow. Well, that’s ruined another cycle, I noted sadly. A whole cycle spoiled because of those vile monstrous creatures in the primary feeds. I knew that I should have cleaned them out after the last cycle had completed. I’d been in too much of a hurry, in too much of a rush. God alone knows how much trouble those creatures are going to cause. And there’s no way to get them out until it’s all finished. They’re there for the long haul…
Time Worms, I call them. I know them of old – they ingest space and excrete time. They obtain energy for themselves by transforming space into time and the more energy they obtain the more they reproduce. They propagate exponentially and there’s no way to stop them once they get started. The Time Worms create in their wake a shapeless mass of intricate little time-tubules that go on and on forever, each one forming the parameters of a Type-2 degenerate universe, a collapsed world. Rubbish worlds, I call them. They’re a type of cosmic effluence. They’re the ruination of everything.
Some friends had come. The machine had made them. They came and sat down at my table, chatting away happily as friends do. Not that I know much about friends because I’ve never had any. Not since I was a kid at school and even then I was shy and awkward and tended very much to be a loner. I’ve never been any good at making friends but in this case the machine had made them for me, which was nice of it. Maybe the machine wasn’t so bad after all, I thought! Maybe it has a nice side. It can’t be all bad after all I told myself – that would be a clear violation of the Cosmic Principle. Nothing’s all bad….
The Time Worms were burrowing deep into my brain at this stage, spewing out tubules left, right and centre. Each tubule was a virtual world. I felt happy because of my new friends. They sat all around me, chatting happily as friends do. I was effortlessly included in their conversation, part of it. The time passed pleasantly, easily, and as I sat there I forgot about my troubles….