18 – Metaverse Crash

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Jill: “Jack, oh my gosh you look terrible! I met the doctor in the hallway, and she said you’re all banged up with broken bones everywhere!” 

Jack: “Oh, hi Jill. Broken bones? I dunno. Everything was going great. I was running through the forest, playing laser tag with my friends.”

Jill: “Well, the ambulance driver found you lying on the floor next to your new omnidirectional treadmill.” 

Jack: “Oh, that. Yeah, it’s a treadmill that lets you run in any direction. It really comes in handy when you’re traveling in the MetaVerse.”

Jill: “Hmm. Sounds dangerous. And judging from your condition, it is! Can you please take those goggles off for a minute, so we can talk?” 

Jack: “Talk about what? Hey, give those back!” 

Jill: “Jack, can you look at me please?” 

Jack: “Where am I?”

Jill: “You’re in a hospital.” 

Jack: “Where is this place?” 

Jill: “It’s called the RealityVerse.” 

Jack: “RealityVerse? What’s that?” 

Jill: “It’s a place that some of us choose to live in from time to time.”

Jack: “Well, it looks pretty grim. Why is there an I.V. stuck in my arm?” 

Jill: “For the painkillers I suppose. You’re pretty beaten up.” 

Jack: “I still don’t understand what happened.” 

Jill: “I’m guessing that you’ve been spending a lot of time in the Metaverse lately?” 

Jack: “Of course! It’s so cool!” 

Jill: “Yes, it is very appealing. But, unfortunately the RealityVerse can intrude at times.”

Jack: “Intrude?” 

Jill: “Yes indeed. For example, when you don’t pay your electric bill and the power company turns your electricity off. The sudden cessation of power to your omnidirectional treadmill might be the cause of your current condition. What do you think?” 

Jack: “That’s impossible! My megamansion in Sky Valley is powered by a huge backyard solar farm. I also have a personal fusion reactor in my spaceport that kicks in on cloudy days. There’s no way I could lose power. Who needs power companies these days? They went out of business years ago!” 

Jill: “Yes, that’s all great, but what you just described is your home in the MetaVerse. I’m speaking about the RealityVerse. In the RealityVerse, personal home fusion reactors don’t exist. You also live in a tiny studio apartment in the city. No backyard solar farm.” 

Jack: “Nice try, Jill, but I don’t live there anymore.”

Jill: “Ah. That would explain the overdue rent notices I found in your mailbox. Jack, I’m getting worried. You don’t look too good. It’s not just the broken bones. Your face looks haggard and worn. You’re losing weight. And then there is your job…”

Jack: “Job? What do you mean? I’m independently wealthy. The only work I do is managing my crypto accounts. Although I sometimes help my friends design their starships.” 

Jill: “Starships?” 

 Jack: “Yeah. They’re so cool! Me and my buddies are heading off to Saturn next week to take a closer look at the rings. Very exciting!” 

Jill: “I see. Well, getting back to your ‘independently wealthy’ comment, what happened to your chef’s job?” 

Jack: “Chef?”

Jill: “Well, I’m using the term loosely. You flip burgers at Harvey’s Heart Attack Hamburger Shack”. 

Jack: “Where is that?”

Jill: “In the RealityVerse. Or should I say you used to flip burgers. Evidently you’ve been fired for poor attendance. Not to mention the burger-flipping robot they just purchased. Haha. That sounds more like the MetaVerse. Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. In your case, evidently that would be most of the time.” 

Jack: “Listen, Jill. I really appreciate your stopping by, but this RealityVerse stuff sounds pretty dull. Could I have my goggles back please?” 

Jill: “Sure, but I just want to leave you with one minor thought.”

Jack: “What’s that?” 

Jill: “While the MetaVerse is a choice, the RealityVerse is not.” 

Jack: “That’s fine with me. I have no need for that particular choice anyway.” 

Jill: “No, you don’t understand. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t choose the RealityVerse. It chooses you. It intrudes. Sometimes it creeps up on us without warning, and can deliver something called Consequences.” 

Jack: “Consequences?” 

Jill: “Yes. They’re most abundant in the RealityVerse. Now, if we’re paying close attention to the RealityVerse, sometimes those Consequences can be pretty good. But, if you ignore the RealityVerse, some of those Consequences can be pretty harsh.” 

Jack: “Whatever. I don’t have time for this RealityVerse stuff. I gotta get back to the MetaVerse! I’ve got important things to do!” 

Jill: (sigh) “Okay. Have a great day.” 

Jack: “Sure enough! Every day’s a great day in the MetaVerse! Bye!” 

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