As we enter this dark age, we see clearly now that humanity’s morality is not kept intact by discipline or fortitude but by the functionality of our gadgets.
-Susan Patel, the last prime minister of the United Kingdom — from the holo-file The History of the End War and the Fall of Civilization
Looking outside a vast window, Silas watched earth below. First he observed only its roundness and its blue oceans, white storm fronts, green and brown land masses. He then remembered how the planet was a home for people. No, not people. Savages. He had the window of a god, but he had no compassion for those below.
A distant memory of earth came to him, and he turned away in disgust.
Silas was in a cavernous room with sterile white walls, white tiers, and white tables and chairs – the Forum, a place where people could gather in the thousands. At least it used to be. People hadn’t been gathering for a long time. Nowadays people much preferred to stay plugged into the Dream where they could live out their own realities and fantasies. Who would want to leave an imagined world tailored to their own personal desires? Especially when the view from the Forum brought no comfort. The memories of Earth showing in one window. The terrible black emptiness of space showing in the other.
When Silas designed the space station Olympus, he thought that people would want to take a break from the Dream and come to the Forum to gaze at the stars. Seeing as to how no one came to the Forum anymore, he could see how he had miscalculated. But he was still proud of his creation. Getting out of the Dream helped him to remember what he made. A construction nearly two miles long. A thousand years orbiting the Earth. Over three million inhabitants, all hibernating and Dreaming in their pods. All safe and snug.