In the year 2052, the world is in shambles as the collective ennui of the human race continues to grow in the wake of current geopolitical and environmental catastrophes. Entire communities of people live in stacked, single room domiciles where they only do two things: care for their physical bodies for a few hours a day to prevent muscle atrophy and illness, as well as generate enough power to keep their cube operational, then rejoin their chosen reality in cyberspace. The desperation for an escape from reality gave rise to technology that allowed average people to create their own paradises and share them in the form of VRMMORPGs running off the P.S.A.T., a hyper-realistic gaming engine. All they had to do was be inspired and the Endogenous Transducer, or ET, implanted in the brain (either in utero at the request of the parents or later as an adult) whose circuits run from the brain stem through the thalamus to the cortex, would induce a state of lucid dreaming and upload the stream to the cloud. As long as the central server remained, so too would the vast and wonderous multiverse that the human race had escaped to in the face of extinction.
In this suspended state of cerebral reality, time is fluid enough to allow a person to live entire lifetimes in a matter of moments, or stretch a single, perfect moment into an eternity. Worlds based on every movie ever watched and every story ever written could be found recreated in excruciating detail if one only knew where to look. It didn’t take long for people to begin “choosing” to forget that their world wasn’t real, instead, viewing the waking world as the dream they can’t remember. Those individuals find a story already written and plant themselves in it so solidly, the AI-driven NPCs would begin adopting personalities based on them. If the NPC personality ever became too buggy or anachronistic, the PSAT monitoring system, developed and distributed by the same company as the ET implants, removes them to be formatted or respawned in a more appropriate world.
In the early 20’s during the system’s early stages, the primary developer invited a few of their friends to the main server, allowing them to play with the controls of the Alpha world as admins and imprinting their personalities onto templates they would later use to form the Pantheons, a network of interconnected avatars throughout the cloud that could help govern the player generated worlds that were made public. After the game system’s release, however, the developer began to see a trend that led them to upload the Wheel of Life program that contained a dormant copy of their consciousness. The Wheel of Life operated as a diagnostic and repair protocol for the overall framework stability.
This is the story of what happened when those programs were activated.