Recurrence

In the distant past, the world had split in two. Humanity had grown beyond the exercise of war as advanced weapons would render both sides extinct. The concept of conflict had not faded. Turning to nonviolent solutions, disputes began to be settled in virtual reality. The first Great Virtual War was marketed to be and delivered a success: no deaths and a peaceful transition after one side toppled the other. It was a milestone in human history for it to have worked, and opened the door to absolute diplomacy. No peace lasted forever but the process of resolution had never looked brighter.

In time, the second Great Virtual War came to be. Each side assembled thousands of their greatest soldiers and placed them into a battlefield. The scene was prehistoric, a complete recreation of the world as it should have looked millennia ago. The simulation had been greatly improved since the first war. The physics, environments, and violence were drastically more realistic and all trials received high acclaim. The war began and raged for weeks. Finally the second war came to an end with one clear victor.

Days passed and the soldiers questioned why they had not been pulled out. Many thought the simulation had malfunctioned, leaving them trapped in a digital purgatory. Some believed that the rules of war had not been respected by the outside world and the simulator had been kicked aside in the actual war, left for time to forget. Some people killed themselves in hopes of escaping, leaving others to wonder if they made it out. If they had escaped surely they would have awoken the remaining soldiers. No matter the reason, the soldiers had no recourse. They could only survive the simulation and wait to be rescued.

Months passed as the injured healed, the surrendered adapted to living alongside the victors, and with no sign of assistance from the outside world a new civilization began. Together the soldiers leaped through the stages of human development from hunter-gatherer to farming to their first city. The environment had new challenges for them to face, but the simulation never wavered in proving to be a realistic experience. It was not long until this new world became the only one that mattered to many people.

After years of waiting, just as they had on the outside, two divided groups formed. Knowing of the war left the soldiers feeling intangible and meaningless. Psychologies were broken down, people were driven insane, and only so many people were strong enough to carry on, let alone embrace their situation. With the advent of the first new generation of children in this new world, the question arose whether to bury the truth of their origins in order to let later generations live like they could actually matter. Arguments turned violent and a new war was born.

In the end, the truth was buried and those who refused to disavow the past were imprisoned or killed. It took only four generations for the simulation to become reality. The new world bloomed quickly. The earliest generation exhausted themselves articulating the best they could the advanced technologies they had left behind. For centuries, the motivation for life itself was the fulfillment of that blueprint. The blueprint was completed and the years continued to pass. With enough time, this artifact of civilization came to be appreciated only in scholastic and historical circles. The world piloted its own future.

Eventually one of these simulated beings stumbled upon a relic made by a dissident soldier depicting the truth of the world. They deciphered it and felt compelled to share it with the world. Most people never found the truth through the noise of their lives. Everyone who read the truth could not embrace it as it had no consequence to their lives even if it were true. Most who did read the truth thought it was a good story.