Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Microstory 1612: Absolute Zero

As we’ve discussed, concurrent realities are rare, but they do come up. Salmonverse has a handful, while Area Double Universe has thousands. Today, I want to talk about a brane that has only two realities. There’s no name for it, to distinguish it from others, as far as I know. All I know is that it’s a scary and dangerous place, and I can’t recommend it for vacation if you’re looking to relieve some stress. As a spirit, I hesitate to make a claim about whether evil exists, or if life is just all about choices, but this brane sure makes a compelling argument for the former. From my perspective, one of the realities appears to be the primary, while the other is reliant on the outcome of events from the first. Let’s say you were from this universe, and you happened to be a chef, and restaurant owner. You keep prices low, treat your employees well, and give your day-old bread to the homeless. You’re not perfect, but on the whole, you’re a good person. Your alternate self will be just as bad as you are good—I mean, exactly as far from absolute zero. On the other hand, if you’re a serial killer, your alternate self would be a saint. But their life would be incredibly difficult, because people are good in general, so that makes the alternate reality pretty bad. So that would be terrible on its own, but at least the main reality would be able to move on, and ignore their counterparts, right? Wrong. Whereas most of the time, you have to advance science enough to figure out how to access other dimensions, that sort of thing sometimes just happens to some people in this world. You could walk through your front door, and end up inside the alternate, and would have to hope you survive long enough to make it back home. Fortunately, if you do manage to not die, you will get back home. People remain permanently connected to their reality, and they will eventually be summoned home without having to do anything special. So there’s not a whole lot of interaction between the two realities—not on a large scale—but it does occur in isolated cases, and it does cause problems.

Enough of this back and forth travel happened throughout history that the governments and experts got together, and started trying to come up with solutions. They decided it was their moral obligation to do something about the other side. Could they destroy them? Could they teach them to be better? What if they shared knowledge, or resources, or disciplinary techniques? After years of study, and a whole lot of incidents that did not go well at all, they came to a single conclusion. The only way to stop everyone from being so evil over there was to stop being so good on the main side. They tried to institute programs, which were designed to teach people to just be okay. No more saints, no more sinners, just regular people who were doing all right. Everyone was expected to get average grades in school, and do the bare minimum at work. Don’t make waves, and don’t change the status quo. Just live your boring life throughout the day, and then go to bed. Certain things were outlawed in the hopes of making this easier. There was no more music or entertainment. Everyone ate meal replacements, and cooking anything else was strictly forbidden. All these things made people too happy, and if they were happy, their alternate was miserable. As you might have guessed, these measures did not work in the least. You can’t just make people be different. A rebel faction rose up, and became more and more violent over the years. Before they knew it, the main reality was more evil, and the secondary reality was full of good people just trying to do the right thing.

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