Cogito Ergo Sum


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Scene Title Cogito Ergo Sum
Synopsis I think, therefore I am.
Date May 11, 2009

Global Telecommunications Grid

I think, therefore I am

It's all so much static: White noise, digital information, radio waves, microwave bursts, all and so much more bombards the world on a daily basis. We live our lives surrounded by so much information, all of it free-floating and bouncing back and forth from the world to space and back again. It feels like a lifetime since Reed felt this disembodied detachment, felt the bodiless caress of the digital world cascading over all that remains of him — his mind.

René Descartes originally quoted these lines, ones which became a foundational element of Western philosophy. The simple meaning of the phrase is that if someone is wondering whether or not he exists, that is in and of itself proof that he does exist.

It is unlike the tactile sensations of a physical body, unlike the limitations and conversely the benefits of having a flesh and blood form. Now, trapped beyond each of Mallory Alistair, Reed finds himself once more questioning his own existance, trapped in a world of selfish noise and clutter, a world he cannot escape from.

Thought, memory and consciousness. They are the keystones of who we are and what we can become. We as humans are little more than empty vessels to be filled with infinite possibilities.

Over the noise, over the din of so much inane chatter, traffic and congestion of information, there is something akin to the beacon of a lighthouse. A path opening up in the data streams to Reed, like a door opening at the end of a long hall, followed by what only people like Reed can perceive as a disembodied voice.

We are an assortment of thoughts, beliefs. A collection of disjointed memories and experiences. Can I be me without this?

Purusha, I've been looking for you.

Can you be you?

There has actually been quite a bit of cursing since Reed fled the body of Mallory Allistair. He blames it on residual-Mallory and her sewer mouth. He never was much for swearing growing up — finding little use for it as a teen. Kids mostly use it to impress their friends, and growing up — Reed really had no friends, thus no one to impress. But the pull to use those slang terms tugged him hard inside the body of Mallory that he found himself giving in.

Something stops him — where he was going, he doesn't even know. This is all coming back to him now and he doesn't like it one bit. He had so much freedom out there — the fresh air, the emotions, everything. It was great. But now. Gone. Shit. But — what was that he just heard? Is someone looking for him? Hopefully not that freaking maniac.

Who's there?

He responds, ready to flee at a moments notice.

A friend.

That seems dubious, at the very least. But that doorway, that tnnel into a specific network opens up just a bit wider, enticing escape from the chatter of the global telecommunications grid and into something more sheltered, something shielded and remote. You can call me R.Ajas. I've been looking for you, Robin Hood. The monicker comes back to haunt Reed, along with the ghostly echoes of images conjured up in the network traffic — movie posters for a Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, with a question-mark super imposed over the face.

It's safe. Please. We would like to speak with you. And there's the magic word that makes this seem all the more suspicious, we.

Reed is already emitting feelings of suspicion and the urge to flee hits him very strongly. There is nothing about this that seems safe at all. In fact, up until this moment, he's felt rather safe, even if claustrophobic, inside the net — now all of a sudden. It's almost as if a chill runs over him, though that has to be impossible.

What do you want with me?

There are any questions running through him right now, but he'll start there. He is preparing to latch onto the nearest UDP stream and head out on out of here at the first some of trouble.

We want to find out what you are. Another voice, different from the last chimes in, older sounding, feeling. You are not alone, Robin Hood. You do not have to be the pariah.. There is a long pause from the voices, leaving Reed only in the echoing static of the network's noise, watching that gateway slowly begin to reduce in size.

We just want to find out why you're doing what you do. The younger voice chimes back in, echoing around Reed's disembodied form like so much static, as if a crowd of unseen people were trying to communicate at once. The younger voice, though, is far less clear than the older one.

I could help you be a hero.

What the f—? Reed stops himself before he finishes the question, but it's out there none the less. Granted this is started to creep him the hell out, he finds himself backpedalling inside the net.

Who are you? Why are you looking for me? And who says I want to be a hero?

Better yet.

How can you help me? I just want to get out of here and be a boy again.

You won't like the answer for that desire, Purusha. The older voice speaks in a calm tone, the sounds following Reed as he backpedals. The younger voice, however, seems to get lost in the distance, having a far more difficult time tracking Reed's movements.

We have the same power you do. My mentor is a Purusha like you are, he knows what it's like to be like you. We can help you control your power, help you find purpose. The younger voice is mixed with static, crackling and popping unevenly through the conversation. Every kid wants to be a hero, when I was your age I know I did.

Hero or not, what is your alternative? To steal another body and move on? There's a moment of silence from the older voice, I can offer you something else. A different life.

There are many after me at the moment. I don't think I'm ready to trust you. What is it you can provide for me? What is it?

Admittedly, Reed is curious as to what this might entail, but he's not entirely sure what this is going to require. He stands his ground now, listening.

The older voice responds after a prolonged moment of silence, Enlightenment. But as those words echo through the vast distances of electronic communications, the gateway to the other network closes entirely, cutting off the younger technopath's voice. There only exists now the disembodied tones of the older man.

Reluctance indicates a lack of readiness. An image is conjured up of an closed telecommunications network on Manhattan belonging to a "Stillwater Security Consultations." When you are ready, attempt to access that network, and contact K.Apila; she will teach you a lesson you do not want to learn.

The image quickly fades, replaced by the depiction of a human silhouette composed of swirling lines of ones and zeroes. Then you will look for me and be ready to learn. I am T.Monk.

The image breaks apart into individual strands, each one carrying his voice. And I will be waiting.

Reed is ready to write that off as some crazy kook, but — but, indeed.

He needs to find a frickin' body. It's getting weird in here. He moves on, for now to continue his search for a new home.

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