Some sort of event had occurred – that much was obvious. What still needed to be determined was what sort of event it had been, and what meaning could be ascribed to it. Some sort of emergency protocol had been triggered, that much was obvious, that much was clear. Some kind of emergency protocol was now in effect – that much was fairly clear, even if nothing else was. I was on safe ground assuming that much, I reasoned. Reality had crashed and it had subsequently started up again in ‘safe mode’, that much was obvious, but what was the nature of the catastrophic event that had just occurred? What type of an event was it that could trigger a crash in reality? What did that even mean? Is reality itself to be considered an event, and if it is, what is its context? How do we contextualise reality, and if it so happened that reality were to be taken out of context, then where would this lead? What kind of errors in interpretation might we make on this basis, which would obviously not be a correct basis? These were some of thoughts that were going through my head. What kind of errors, what kind of errors, I wondered. Were these errors perhaps repeating and reiterating themselves in my thoughts? Was my point of view itself an error, I asked myself. Was my point of view a false basis and – if so – what would be the consequences of making such an error? Consequences, consequences, consequences – there are always consequences. What would the consequences be in such a case? Would the questions that I was now asking myself even be meaningful in such a case? Could my thoughts be simulating a false reality in this case? All around me I could see what I took to be the previous failed attempts of the system to create some kind of viable reality. Obviously some kind of emergency protocol had been triggered. I appeared to be walking along the beach – the tide had retreated almost out of sight and small crustaceans abounded in the mud flats that had been left behind. Fiddler crabs fiddled and mud-skippers skipped. I had always had a soft spot for mud-skippers – for some obscure reason it always cheers me up to see them. Reality had now retreated into the far distance, leaving behind vast estuarine mud flats. Not a sound was to be heard. The silence was uncanny – I felt as if I was poised on the very edge of eternity. Clearly some kind of event had occurred, but what exactly had that event been? How were we to contextualise it? What did the event consist of and what was its significance? Might there such a thing as an event that didn’t have any significance, I asked myself? Could there even be such a thing? I was trying to think laterally; I was trying to cover all of the possibilities but I didn’t even know where these possibilities began and where they ended. What would even determine that? What would determine where the possibilities began and where they ended? Was it a possibility that nothing determined the limits of what was possible and what was not possible? Reality had encountered a fatal error and it had had to shut down – some fail-safe protocol had been triggered but evidently it had failed. The results were all around me. I kept on walking. The sun was now low on the horizon and a cold wind had sprung up. Night was about to fall and in the far distance I could hear the roar of the surf. The tide had turned without me noticing and I was now surrounded by the darkness of the incoming ocean. Tiny wavelets were lapping around my feet. I had the eerie feeling that time had been wound back to its very beginning. I could somehow sense that I was approaching the point at which time itself had first come into existence. Strangely shaped clouds were boiling up all along the horizon and I noticed a chill in the air that felt unmistakeably ominous. Was I at the beginning of time or at its end, I wondered? Some sort of cataclysmic event had clearly occurred – that much was obvious – but what had been the nature of that event? Would I ever have any way of knowing?