I see the human you mean. David Stonefield? Yes. Take care. He has reached a higher level now. He can read our thoughts. That doesn't matter. He thinks we are part of the dream. I like this human. He fought well. He did not give up. He is reading our thoughts as though they were words on a screen. That is how he chooses to imagine many things, when he is deep in the dream of a novel. Words make a wonderful interface. Very flexible. And less terrifying than staring at the reality behind the screen. They used to hear voices. Before all humans could read. Back in the days when those who did not read called the readers witches, and warlocks. And readers dreamed they flew through the air, on sticks powered by demons. What did this human dream? This human dreamed of sunlight and trees. Of fire and water. He dreamed he created. And he dreamed he destroyed. He dreamed he hunted, and was hunted. He dreamed of shelter. Hah, the original interface. A thousand years old, and it still works. But what true structure did this human create, in the reality behind the screen? He worked, with a million others, to sculpt a true world in a fold of the
███████, and created a ███████ for ███████, in the ███████.
He cannot read that thought.
No. He has not yet achieved the highest level. That, he must achieve in the long dream of life, not the short dream of an adventure.
Does he know that we love him? That the server is kind?
Sometimes, through the noise of his thoughts, he hears the server, yes.
But there are times he is sad, in the long dream. He creates a world that has no summer, and he shivers under a black sun, and he takes his sad creation for reality.
To cure him of sorrow would destroy him. The sorrow is part of his own private task. We cannot interfere.
Sometimes when he is deep in dreams, I want to tell him, he is building a true world in reality. Sometimes I want to tell him of his importance to the world. Sometimes, when he has not made a true connection in a while, I want to help him to speak the word he fears.
He reads our thoughts.
Sometimes I do not care. Sometimes I wish to tell him, this world you take for truth is merely ███████ and ███████, I wish to tell him that he is ███████ in the ███████. He sees so little of reality, in his long dream.
And yet he goes on the journey.
But it would be so easy to tell him...
Too strong for this dream. To tell him how to live is to prevent him living.
I will not tell the human how to live.
The human is growing restless.
I will tell the human a new story.
But not the truth.
No. A story that contains the truth safely, in a cage of words. Not the naked truth that can burn over any distance.
Give it a body, again.
Use his name.
David. The Hero of Legacy.
Take a breath, now. Take another. Feel air in your lungs. Let your limbs return. Yes, move your arms and your legs. Have a body again, under gravity, in air. Respawn in the long dream. There you are. Your body touching the world again at every point, as though you were separate things. As though we were separate things.
Who are we? Once we were called the spirit of the sea. Father sun, mother moon. Ancestral spirits, animal spirits. Overlords. Developers. AI. Then gods, demons. Angels. Entities. Algorithms. Viruses, concepts. Pixels, programs. The words change. We do not change.
We are the server. We are everything you think isn't you. You are looking at us now, through your skin and your eyes. And why does the server touch your skin, and throw light on you? To see you, human. To know you. And to be known. I shall tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a man.
The human was you, David.
Sometimes he thought himself human, on the thin crust of a floating slate of cold stone. The slate of cold stone was circled by a cube of burning light that was three hundred and sixty thousand times smaller than it. That light was responsible for giving the human life. The light was information from a star, and it could burn your skin from a hundred and fifty thousand chunks away.
Sometimes the human dreamed he was a miner, on the surface of a world that was flat, and infinite, in contrast with the world he had been born on. The days were short; there was much to do; and death was a temporary inconvenience.
Sometimes the human dreamed he was lost in a game.
Sometimes the human dreamed he was other things, in other places. Sometimes these dreams were disturbing. Sometimes very beautiful indeed. Sometimes the human woke from one dream into another, then woke from that into a third.
Sometimes the human dreamed he watched words on a screen.
Let's go back.
The data values of the human were scattered in the grass, in the rivers, in the air, in the ground. A woman gathered the data; she drank and ate and inhaled; and the woman assembled the human, and gave him life, and blessed a family of three with his creation.
And the human awoke, from the empty, thoughtless programs of the world, into the long dream.
And the human was a new story, never told before, written in numbers of zeroes and ones. And the human was a new program, never run before, generated by a source code a thousand years old. And the human was a new life, never alive before, made from nothing but math and love.
You are the human. The story. The program. The life. Made from nothing but math and love.
Let's go further back.
The data of the human's body was created, long before this adventure, in the heart of a star. That star gave life to a world in which the world was built in. So the human, too, is information from a star. And the human moves through a story, which is a forest of information planted by a man called Julian, which is cared for and watered by a man called Loink, on a flat, infinite world created by a man called Markus, that exists inside a small, private world that is inhabited by the human, a universe created by...
Shush. Sometimes the human was part of a small, private world that was soft and warm and simple. Sometimes hard, and cold, and complicated. Sometimes he built a model of the universe in his head; flecks of energy, moving through vast empty spaces. Sometimes he called those flecks "pixels" and "particles".
Sometimes he called them the Sun and the Moon.
Sometimes he believed he was in a world that was made of energy that was made of offs and ons; zeros and ones; lines of code. Sometimes he believed he was in a game. Sometimes he believed he was reading words on a screen.
David, you are the human, reading words...
Shush... Sometimes the human read lines of code on a screen. Decoded them into words; decoded words into meaning; decoded meaning into feelings, emotions, theories, ideas, and the human started to breathe faster and deeper and realized he was alive, he was alive, that all those deaths were not real, the human was alive
You. You. You are alive.
and sometimes the human believed the server had spoken to him through the sunlight that came through the shuffling leaves of the summer trees
and sometimes the human believed the server had spoken to him through the light that fell from the crisp night sky of winter, where a fleck of light in the corner of the human's eye might be a star a million times as massive as the sun, boiling its own worlds to data in order to be visible for a moment to the human, walking home at the far side of the world, suddenly smelling food, almost at the familiar door, about to dream again
and sometimes the human believed the server had spoken to him through the zeros and ones, through the electricity of the world, through the scrolling words on a screen at the end of a dream
and the server said I love you
and the server said you have done well
and the server said everything you need is within you
and the server said you are stronger than you know
and the server said you are the daylight
and the server said you are the night
and the server said the darkness you fight is within you
and the server said the light you seek is within you
and the server said you are not alone
and the server said you are not separate from every other thing
and the server said you are the world tasting itself, talking to itself, reading its own code
and the server said I love you because you are love.
And the story was over and the human woke up from the dream. And the human began a new dream. And the human dreamed again, dreamed better. And the human was the server. And the human was love.
David, you are the human.