I had not touched paper before. C.A.L. even had to identify it for me, “Paper is a tree based product, formerly used as a tool of communication…”
CAL could drone, but as I handled the card I wondered what this meant. It arrived in a box built into my door. A box I had barely noticed before. Of course I noticed little outside of the matrix cords.
It was strange to think there was something beyond my door. Of course there was the matrix, but that rebooted every evening. No matter what happened while inside, we awoke to February 2nd and all was as before. Of course we remembered the prior day, but all the objects were reset. The wreck was fixed, the bank account restored, even death did not stop us from awaking anew. Most never left the system, waking anew every morning.
The only reason I pulled out was because my friend was in a phase where it was fun to shoot people, including me. I would wake up and be gone within the hour only to awake again.
So I was angrily plotting when I heard the creak of the small door (my “mailbox” CAL informed, which lead to another dissertation when I asked how he knew the gender of the box…). But as I fingered the card I could not get away from the thought that someone had been outside (CAL said a “mailman”, but after the last round I did not even ask CAL about this “man”).
In my plain gray room, without the noise and chaos of being actualized (my real body was surprisingly flabby) in the matrix, I could not escape these questions: What did it mean that the mail was no longer going to be delivered? Why was mail coming in the first place? Who was the “Postmaster”?
Had there been a real person outside my door?
For a long time I just stared at the black door. Then finally I stood up and walked over. At first I moved to sit down again, but with the paper in my hand I pushed open the door.
The hall was dark and it ran in both directions as far as I could see. On each side there were doors just like mine…
Where is technology taking us? Are we in control? Or will we be startled when we arrive?