I Will Compete

The terrain takes on the appearance of a wireframe vectored grid as the topography morphs and the jungle renders into an arena that reminds you of some kind of multiplayer map from a first person shooter game.

A multidimensional cube, composed of rotating black and white checkered tiles, appears in the sky above, connects telepathically to every player, and informs them, “I will be guiding each of you telepathically in order to maintain a completely fair game. I am your referee – an impartial observer, and assistant.”

Each player is teleported an equal distance from one another, and the referee continues to communicate, “This is game is every human for themselves. Only one can bear witness to the impossible.” You sense the referee inside your mind, taking note of your lack of enthusiasm to fight. It sends you a jolt of the excitement which some of the more violent and competitive players are experiencing in an attempt to get you psyched. You feel reluctant to participate, but since there is no actual harm coming to anyone, you decide to try to get more into the spirit of the game. “Okay, you can do this. You’re a winner.” you coach yourself, take a few deep breaths and then begin searching for weapons or anything that may aid you. You stealthily scavenge the vicinity, and end up coming across the young girl in medieval garb. She has her eyes to the ground; probably scanning for weapons. You think how easy it would be to overpower her, but the thought of attacking her makes you feel sick to the stomach. A branch cracks under your foot and she looks up startled. Your eyes meet and you feel a mutual recognition – neither of you really want to fight. 

You walk closer, with your hands out and open as a display of non-aggression. Although you assume she won’t understand you, you say, “I don’t understand why we are supposed to fight each other… just to be able to reach an impossible… something.” 

“Þrophapaes h’it only wills sum wæfþ.” she responds, and then looks up as if trying to recall something. “Ic gǣss h’it hace náht elles to dost… Endeleas speace ond endeleas computaeng… Sum coandum computaer… Þrophapaes h’it sy burhhd.”

You are puzzled by her odd way of speaking, almost recognizable phonetically, but…”It sounded to me like you just said… Endless space and endless computing…Quantum computer?” you ask, and she nods smiling and repeats, “Quan-tum com-pu-ter, gyese! Quan-tum compu-ter!” her eyes light at the joy of being understood.

“Aren’t you supposed to be… you know… from the past? How would you know about quantum computers? Aren’t you from the time of knights… kings… jesters… swords and stuff?” you ask, doubting she actually meant to say quantum computer.

“Ic remynder scéawung… pict-ures…” she makes a rectangular shape with her hands and continues, “pictures ov þá… owwldwuurld.” It takes you a moment to process what it sounds like she is saying, “Pictures of the old world? You saw a quantum computer in… pictures of the old world?” you ask incredulously. She smiles and nods, but you are unable to make sense of someone from the distant past referring to the future as ‘old world’… unless, “You are from the future!” you cry out. “Fu-ture?” she asks. You remember earlier she seemed to struggle understanding the concept of time, and the way she said ‘old world’ sounded like she thought it was a place; not a time.

“Þa owwldwuurld wast dwerhstoid… Þa cirorder wrecca á cranicaels.” She says and makes a tearing motion with her hands as if destroying the photograph, tossing it on the ground, and then stamping on it. You are beginning to realize that this young girl comes from a distant future where the past has been destroyed, and stamped out from history – where the concept of time itself is a vague misunderstanding. Despite your difficulties to understand, you feel a friendship forming. This game will inevitably pit the both of you against one another, but perhaps the two of you can join forces for now.

>team up

>stay solo