Habituation, Part III

Continued from Part II.

“I don’t understand,” said Jane. “Isn’t this fulfilling a dream? To actually enter a world that you constructed, Isaac, and brought to millions?”

Isaac shook his head. “Where do you work, Jane?”

“Our office is in central London.”

“How do you get to work from your house?”

“On the Tube.”

“Enjoy it?”

“No, it’s awful.”

“But it’s amazing,” he said. “A marvel. A train that goes under the ground. But to you, with a daily commute, it’s awful. I enjoyed visiting your vision of my world, Jane. But I wouldn’t want to go there every day. That’s not what it’s for.”

Jane looked back into the convention hall, at the long queue of eager enthusiasts that snaked away from her team’s booth. It had grown even during her short conversation with Isaac.

“I think you’re in the minority,” she said. “Many disagree with you. Many want to go to the places you wrote about. They want to see them for real.”

“They are already real,” said Isaac. “In the mind of the reader. Their own version, flavoured by their own life experience. What your gadget shows them is some sort of hyperreality.” He shook his head. “Good luck,” he said. “Thank you for showing me. It’s amazing work, I wish you the best.” He stood up. “But it’s not for me.”

Jane reached up to her head and took her headset off, finding herself back in her office. Her fellow programmer, Brian, looked over.

“How’s the Isaac character?” he said. “Does the game work?”

Jane shook her head. “He doesn’t fit,” she said. “Let’s delete him.”

The End

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