Most awoke within one of three ecosystems spread out before them: high desert, rolling grasslands or bucolic forest, replete with birdsong and burbling creek.
The consciousness of JIC-B4R blossomed within none of those. Bar, as he became known, awoke floating amongst a symphony of shapes, some bulbous, some sharp and angled, others long and thin, some as tiny, flitting things—all of a rainbow’s dazzling colors.
“SYS-SCAN complete. No critical anomalies identified. This unexpected situation stems directly from the subjects oddly formed representation of self.” Chik-tau-pen-rah transmitted signals of confusion encased in wonderment.
Woah-fen-dee-mok diverted Chik’s thoughts to the review-board log. “Nonsense. Sim-vees have predetermined environments for all revitalized intellects. Variations are impossible.”
“Panel says otherwise,” Chik replied confidently. “Unanchored visuals mixed with aural, tactile and nuances of gusta-olfactory inclusions permeate this specimen’s self-actualized simulation.”
Bar’s reanimated mind knew exactly what it was experiencing—the detached sensations of a blind man.
Hey! Wow, this is wicked. Bar’s presence, a quantum-bio construct, both physical as well as virtual, stretched outward. Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can…
“Subject has begun probing its sim-vee. Operability achieved.”
Woah detected more than twenty percent bravado-factor in Chik’s announcement. “Then proceed to sequence testing. You recall the process, do you not?”
Chik scoffed within his private subconscious and played along. “Sequence testing?”
“You fail to amuse,” Woah sighed, which came out like a hiss. “Chik-tau-pen-rah, will you ever attain sheez-nal? Somehow, I doubt it. Inform me upon conclusion of sequence. No interruptions while I vahz.”
Chik began the sequence.
Oh, hey there. What’s your name?
Chik’s private subconscious trembled. He recorded, “Subject appears to have made contact… With another entity.”
What to you mean ‘entity’? I made contact with you.
“Subject may be experiencing failure due to the enviro…”
Why are you calling me ‘Subject’? I’d know your voice anywhere. And that hideous cologne you wear. Charlie, it’s me, Barry. Don’t tell me you don’t remember that stunt we pulled at university? Their psych lab and the theory I had about…
“Um, Subject… Subject has manifested an entity it calls, Char… Um, Charlie.”
Don’t do me any favors, Charlie, but could you reach over to that great looking display of lights and numbers and press that pretty little blue button? No, the other one. Yeah, that one.
“Barry, I mean Subject has failed to p…pass sequence. Initiating recycling procedures.”
Oh, no you don’t. I think you and I have a few things to chat about. Now, first off, whatever happened to Nancy?
‘Mole Note: Not all of these work out. This one fell flat. Oh, well.