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Chip on My Shoulder

Date: 2-Jun-2014/18:21:03-4:00

Tags: , , ,

Characters: announcer, me, organizer, nude woman, curtain rod girl

I was waiting with a group in some kind of line on a waterfront. We were supposed to cross some kind of pier, but were being held back until it was time to go.
As we waited there was a video playing on a monitor near us. The monitor was playing an ad about responsibility, specifically the responsibility of driving a car.
announcer: "Now you might think you know everything about driving. But imagine someone who doesn't understand what a motorcycle is, and hits one. The momentum may be so much that the motorcycle goes airborne and lodges into the side of an upper floor of a building."
An animation of a car hitting a motorcycle causing it to do exactly that was shown.
announcer: "If you hit the motorcycle, you are obligated to go to the site to help. But that site could be very high up."
I was engaged and made dizzy by the animation, which seemed to show a schematic of a building and people walking like construction workers on skyscrapers up to look into it. The plot was that the woman who had hit the motorcyclist was experiencing a fear of heights from having to go find the cyclist she hit, while the others there were more used to it.
Somehow the immersion made me feel like the pier I was waiting on was very high up, and I became afraid. A friend of mine was there, I asked him to grab me and pull me away from the edge. When he did, he held me close. I felt kind of lame.
me: (embarrassed) "I'm... sorry, I just, am afraid of heights I guess."
When we were called to cross the pier, it turned out that we were not very high above the water at all. Just a few steps up. Each of us were given a printed schematic from a stack. The schematic was large and slick; a difficult to carry poster about the height of the body.
We were to walk along the pier with the schematic to go to some kind of session. I walked and tried to balance, navigating it. It involved a lot of climbing and I was also burdened with this poster. I tried to protect it as I climbed and worked with the seeming obstacle course I was on.
At one point I reached a metal chain that had been hung with a NO ENTRY BEFORE 4 PM sign on it. A guard was there and looked at me.
me: "Ummm... I know I'm supposed to be on the other side of this chain. I know it's before 4PM but we have an event, and I'm late. I'm going to have to climb this."
The guard shrugged as I and my poster awkwardly lumbered over the chain, but didn't stop me.
Eventually I reached some kind of Swedish/Danish-looking design center. It was a cross between a museum and I-don't-know-what. They had collections of things, like old telephones. At first I walked in and looked down to see the group I was trying to meet as being far below me. After all the navigation feats I'd been through, I thought about jumping. Then I noticed there were stairs, so I took those instead.
In a foreign language, someone was chattering into what I thought were just exhibit phones. An organizer of some sort greeted me as I approached.
organizer: "Ah, the last of the alpha group has arrived! We're all here, now we may begin. Our project here is telepresence, projecting your body into places using a machine as a proxy."
me: (becoming lucid) "Yes... yes... well, that would kind of sum it up pretty well. Given that I am not here, I'm sleeping. This isn't my body, it must be something else."
organizer: "Of course, none of us are actually here. This body is a proxy as well, just like yours. See?"
He pulled aside the collar of his shirt, exposing a small chip of some kind embedded into the front of his shoulder.
me: "Oh. Okay. But, I need you to understand, I'm not doing this on purpose. It's some kind of accident. If you understand this technology, I need your help."
I pulled my shirt aside as he had done. There was a chip in the same position, but mine was larger and a lot weirder. There were also several other things that flew out, one had a square looked half black and half white. It was akin to the "flag" of the AI in the Matrix, or the cover of U2's "No Line on the Horizon" CD.
He looked over it and became puzzled.
organizer: (concerned) "I'm sorry... I... I don't know what any of this is. Who are you, again?"
The chips flew around and I tried to take a longer look at the thing embedded into my shoulder, when I felt that I awoke. I don't know if I did, but I quickly re-immersed into the same building. However, I was in a bed there, in a seeming pile of blankets. I was naked but there were some shorts that I could put on.
I really needed to use the bathroom. I went looking around the design center and found one, it also had a shower in it. The bathroom was a first chamber and then the shower was a second, so that you could use the toilet in a separate area from where whoever was showering. Someone was using the shower area with the door open but I tried to close it off to use the toilet.
Repeated attempts to achieve the separation seemed not to work and I had disrupted the curtain. When I did, I noticed it was a large bathtub where people were relaxing, many of them attractive nude women.
me: "I apologize, I can't seem to close this off."
nude woman: "Why are you so dead-set on doing so? Why don't you get in here and join us?"
Weary and lured by her attractiveness, I decided it was probably the best idea. They seemed relaxed and might give some answers anyway. The toilet could wait.
When I climbed in, I noticed that the woman who had beckoned me was sitting in the lap of a guy behind her. It seemed there was also a child sitting next to them. Assuming they were some kind of family unit, I wasn't lascivious and made my way into the large tub in my own area without making much contact.
me: "All right. I had to climb over lots of...weird obstacles to get here, a metal chain barrier, something about 4:00. So there's some issue here about remote-controllable bodies. Then I blacked out while discussing that, then I managed to awaken again. Is there anything you can tell me?"
A girl was seemingly sitting on top of a shower curtain rod that was separating the bathtub from the rest of the bathroom.
curtain rod girl: "I can tell you I weigh less than 135 lbs. So being up here is perfectly safe, don't let them tell you any different."
The water was warm, I was comfortable, but somehow I slipped out and awoke.
Note I actually did need to use the bathroom, however.
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The accounts written here are as true as I can manage. While the words are my own, they are not independent creative works of fiction —in any intentional way. Thus I do not consider the material to be protected by anything, other than that you'd have to be crazy to want to try and use it for genuine purposes (much less disingenuous ones!) But who's to say?