The chiseled granite beneath my feet felt smooth and warm like an extension of my toes. I was, as always, at peace. I watched as the azure sea turned a royal purple and the sky in turn shifted in hue from a bright green to a maroon. I always liked to see the clash of colors.
The platinum moon far above stood out against the darker colors. I went there and I floated on the platinum in the current circling around the islands where sirens sang to me. However, I was not drawn to my doom by the beautiful music like the tragic Greeks a million years before. I am the hero so I can’t die.
I awoke many years ago. I wasn’t here, but I could have been if I want to be. The universe is me, and I am the universe. Whatever I want to see, I’ll see it. Whatever I want to feel, I feel it. Whatever I want to hear, or taste, or smell, I will. Everyone I want to see will be with me at the moment of my choosing. Whatever I want to happen will happen. I think, therefore it is.
I remember very little before I awoke. All I vaguely remember was a dream. Oh what a horrible dream it was. I dreamed a dream that I was confined to only one body. I dreamt that I controlled nothing, that nearly everything was out of my control.
The dream was of being a simple man in a simple world where every day was a struggle. In the dream I felt pain. I felt pain if I cut myself, I felt pain if I didn’t eat enough, and I felt pain when someone I loved did not love me back.
I felt fatigue as well. I could feel fatigue if I did not sleep enough, I could feel fatigue when I worked too much, and I felt fatigue when I stayed up night after night waiting for someone to come back.
I dreamed that I feared an ending to myself because I was not immortal as I am now. There was a woman that was more beautiful than the world I have created, but even her love could not save me from the blackness of the fear that pulled at my heart. In the dream I was consumed by a job. The job would provide me a chance to defeat that ending and live forever.
In the dream the woman grew weary of my work. She grew weary of my fear. She grew weary of me. In the dream she cried many times. In the dream she tried to put up with my apparent lack of interest in her, and my devotion to my work. In the dream she left, and she didn’t come back.
In the dream, my job earned me the right to immortality. The last thing I saw before I woke up was a big white room with doctors, and I thought I was passing out of existence.
Now I am existence, and nothing else exists unless I wish it to. Despite this, the dream haunts me. The woman in my dream is here with me now, but it doesn’t feel the same.
I feel cold now on the platinum moon, so I walk upon an ocean of black. My feet are not wet, but I am drenched by the ruby raindrops that are falling from the dark clouds gathering above my head. For the first time in a hundred years I ask myself why I felt more whole in the dream than I do in reality.
“I’m afraid that the brain is deteriorating miss,” The doctor stated to the young woman before him. “The nutrition and fluids being pumped into the brain have remained the same, but simply put, even the chemicals that we have injected it with cannot stop the decaying process that occurs over two hundred years.”
The woman looked about the massive warehouse full of machines. Each machine housed a human brain that had been removed from a dying person. Some were fifteen years old, some (very few), were the age of her grandfather’s. Each person had paid enormous amounts of money to have their brains transferred to one of the machines before they died. They were advertised as an escape to a reality that they could control. Simply put, the people were put into a perpetual dream. The dream could be controlled by the brain simply by thought, as dreams usually work.
To this point no one had created a way to communicate with their incomplete relatives, and the woman wondered what her grandfather would have to say at this point.
“Are you saying that it is dying?” she asked, not bothering to refer to her grandfather by the name he was formerly known by.
“I’m afraid so.” The doctor responded with the forced sympathy he was expected to give.
“A pity,” the woman replied cynically, “He wasted his life trying to live forever. All that money just didn’t pay off.”
The doctor raised his brow inquisitively but remained silent, as was expected of him.
I assume that you’ve asked me here to make a ‘difficult’ decision then?” the woman asked airily. The doctor nodded.
“Miss, the brain can be saved for potentially another fifteen years or so… that is if we upgrade him to one of our upper-level machines. If you don’t wish to do that we will have to turn off the machine.”
The woman turned away from the doctor, surveying the massive room, “I see. Well, I should let you know I never met the man.”
“That is no matter, it is common among the people who come here.”
“How often do the machines fail?”
“Your grandfather is one of the longest lasting recorded.”
“You can’t cheat death can you?”
The doctor remained silent, as was expected of him.
The woman faced the doctor again. “How much would it cost to make the transfer?”
The woman scoffed. She spoke, though not directly to the doctor, “Mom killed herself when I was thirteen, but whenever I asked about grandpa she would tell me that all she ever cared about was money. She cut off contact with him many years before he got put in this thing. She could never live with the fact that her own father wanted money before he wanted her.”
“What do you want to do miss?”
The woman stared hard at the machine. “Will he ever know that he is dead?”
“There’s no way he could know he is dead. One second he will be aware, another second, he will not.”
“I see.” the woman sighed a disgusted sigh.
“Pull the plug.”