Entry 20 – What Could Have Been
And that's where I am now – a small pod on one of the top floors of the Perihelion building clearly designed for staff sleepovers in case things get too busy, still reeling from the entire experience. The whole evening afterwards was a blur. I received a tablet from Dr. Haswell with the basics in written form, including an especially interesting example of a reality with a time shift. In the example he provided, the year was 1944 when the reality was discovered and a series of strategic blunders culminated in a failed invasion attempt in Normandy. Thousands of Allied lives were lost and the Germans were able to contain the beachhead, gradually mopping up any opposition within days after the fiasco. The war has since ended (by now, the year is 1948 already) but not without additional millions of casualties as the German might, fearing its impending demise at the hands of merciless Soviets, began eliminating any and all witnessed. By the end of 1946 there was hardly a single Jew alive in Europe, a terrible price for plans gone awry.
But there's also a cynically practical side to the whole disaster. The eggheads below have watched the Nazis dump stashes of gold into the ocean, hide them in caves or bury them in mines in their misguided belief that the Thousand-Year Reich (which lasted barely 15 years) would rise again. As it turns out, they thought the same way in our world and Perihelion teams in Europe were actually able to recover several priceless artifacts.
Even now, this all feels like a dream, another nightmare one will wake up from at any moment. Having pushed the memories of the last couple of days aside, I now realize my entire life's felt that way – the uneasiness, the sense of not belonging anywhere, all of it.
And then there's the entire truth behind the reality. Even now I am having trouble believing it. Having given some thought to the matter, I now also realize why it must be kept secret. For one, it would turn all the religions on their heads – the masses are kept in check by the promise of glorious afterlife but what happens when there's proof there's no such thing? A schism, no doubt. Some would claim this too is a work of God, some would become apostates, some would perhaps see the work of the Devil behind it all. Perhaps they would even be right. But the hard truth is, it is the promise of afterlife that keeps many in line – without it, they'd turn on each other like ravenous wolves. Homo homini lupus and all that.
And what of all the rest, those who believe not in higher power but in themselves? They too would suffer, I fear. Over the last two decades, many theories arose about the nature of the universe. Some claim it is a hologram, some even claim we live in a virtual reality. What I have discovered isn't very different from both notions that are proven to lead to boundless nihilism. If you're nothing but a simulation, what does it matter what you do? You might as well turn to your ugliest self and cater to every depraved whim if every choice is pointless.
I am not sure I'll sleep tonight. I'll try. A new world awaits. Am I ready for it? Not in the slightest.