Blog Battle – The Reality Bubble Part 2

This is Part 1 of the Blog Battle Entry for January 2022 and the prompt is Park.

The Reality Bubble – Part 2

See Part 1 here: The Reality Bubble Part 1

“Let me ask you something Alan, how many times have you traveled, either near or far?” Clarke asked Alan

Alan paused for a moment. “I don’t think I’ve traveled anywhere really, just between work and home here.”

The light of the TV flickered on the old wallpaper adorning the walls of Alan’s lounge with Stephen Fry hosting a episode of QI on Dave. Alan spent most of his time watching Dave, the popular TV channel, he felt it was more informative than the news, more funny than well, something else and kept him well amused.

“Don’t you think that’s strange?” Clarke asked Alan. “How long have you done this for that you can remember?”

” I don’t know really, I can’t think back that far. A couple of years I think.” Alan replied.

“You’ve been doing this for 20 years, I hate to say.”

“What?!? I was a kid 20 years ago.”

“Ah yes.” Clarke replied. “That’s the thing, this reality, this illusion. It’s all, well nothing it doesn’t exist outside your head. You see you’re a caretaker on board a star ship heading for a planet around the star Antares. Your job is to basically take care of the ship and the people on board who are sleeping. To stop you going mad you have immersive reality rooms to indulge in human contact and I’m afraid something has gone wrong and you’ve become stuck here. Mad Max was the computer glitch keeping you here, that’s why he wanted me away. “

“So… this all isn’t real?”

“Nope, not even the garlic bread, but it’s very nice.”

“I don’t believe you. Prove it”

“Ok, I will. But we need to get a wriggle on here I’m afraid as we need you to kind of wake up the the sleeping people so they can stop this ship as we’ve arrived and someone needs to hit the brakes before we all burn.”

“What?” Alan gasped.

“Ah, too much detail too soon. Sorry about that.” Clarke picked out a stone from his pocket and threw it hard at the glass window. Alan yelped, the start of a cry to not break his window. All that happened though was the windows shimmered and flexed and the stone bounced back.

“That’s the end wall of the room.”

“Who are you?” Alan gasped his eyes wide.

“I’m Clarke.”

“I mean for real.”

“Ah ok, well you see I’m the ships AI and I’ve been trying to get into you for years, I’ve only just managed it today and… well… it’s a good job I finally did.”

“What do I do?” Alan asked.

“Well somewhere you should have a stop button a big red thing like you get in factories, hit that and it all should end.” Clarke explained

“Oh that thing – I wondered what it did.” Alan went into his room and pulled back the curtain. There behind it was a big red button with the words in black on a yellow background saying:
‘Press in Emergency’

“Yes well, we’re kind of at that point. Now.” Clarke insisted.

Hesitating Alan’s hand shook over the button.

“I can’t touch this thing Alan, whether you do it or not makes no difference, you stay here you die. Simple.”

Alan pressed it, the walls the curtain and the bed all dissolved and vanished away leaving him in a big bright white room, wearing a big bright white space uniform that he thought looked rather cool. Blinking as he let his eyes adjust to this new reality Alan stepped towards the exit. The door opened and he stepped out, suddenly it all started to come rushing back to him, where he was and what he needed to do.

“Hello Alan.” Came the voice of Clarke. “Go and wake the crew up and let’s avoid a disaster eh?” Clarke insisted.

“On my way Clarke!” Alan rushed towards the section where the crew were sleeping, reaching the capsules Alana had a shock. They were all long dead.

“Clarke what’s happened?”

“What do you mean? I kept them pumped with Carbon Dioxide as you said.”

Alan shook his head “You daft idiot, I said keep the Carbon Dioxide levels down! It’s Oxygen they need!”

“Oh.” Clarke sighed. ” I thought what harm will a couple of Carbon atoms do?”

“Quite a bit to us.” Alan scoffed. “Can you slow the ship and put us into orbit of this damn world or am I going to fry?”

“Oh yes I can do that, now you’ve asked.”

Alan shook his head, what an utter mess up. What does one expect though when leaving a computer in charge of human life. Literal and a bit bonkers probably with this circuits zapped by some huge cosmic rays turning a super computer into some kind of deranged mad thing and it was in charge of him.

Suddenly Alan felt very alone, but also a bit powerful as he was now master of this ship. He was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something. Even if it was going to be to reset Clark and hope he came back to life.

Computers hey?

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12 thoughts on “Blog Battle – The Reality Bubble Part 2

  1. Nice bit of dark humor! Clarke’s explanation began as illuminating, but when he got to the part about the big red button, I wondered if he was actually trying to get Alan to blow up the ship. 🙂 Great tension there. Also, the name Clarke does make me wonder if that’s any reference to author Arthur C Clarke? Fun read!

    Liked by 1 person

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