Retrograde

Rayner stepped into Sentire with trepidation and came out into a frostbitten world, with power at her fingertips and the word Goddess on everyone else's lips.
Anthony stepped into Sentire with purpose and came out into a war-torn world, with horns on his head and the word God on his tongue.

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Author's note

My entry for Round Two of the Movellas Talent Show, and the sort of sequel to Coloured Errors (can be read as a stand-alone though).
AA

7. Where she controls

 

Act 4, Scene 1

 

“It’s extraordinary Andrew, like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Mrs Littlewood said over dinner in the Hart household. She had paused with serving a second helping of potatoes to discuss Sentire with him. “It’s as though the real world means nothing to them, they prefer their world. Somnia they’ve called it. They become harder to rouse from the simulation each and every time, I fear they may reach catatonia soon.”

Andrew placed his cutlery down, looking to see that Flynn was still occupied with dessert in the kitchen and leaned closer to his mother in law. “I can see things Flynn can't when it comes to you.”

“What do you mean?”

“You value your work, the numbers and calculations, over the value of human life. If Rayner and Anthony die you think of what that will look like in simulation terms rather than the fact you’ve caused the deaths of two people. You don’t really ‘fear’ anything.”

“They pay for it, they only act willingly.”

“That isn’t the point and you know it.” Andrew was adamant and his thoughts were backed up by observations. After his and Flynn’s own trials, which he had consented to, he had found files of notes on their behaviour. Every trial was recorded in writing which cared little for their wellbeing’s. They were the subjects and Flynn was reduced to a patient rather than a son.

Once you entered a simulation you weren’t human anymore. You didn’t belong to yourself anymore, you were hers.

“Anyone ready for dessert? Andrew, you know you love apple pie.” Flynn acted innocent towards the tension over their dining room table and Andrew could have kissed his husband for it. He had to smile but his mother in law, unfortunately, did not change the conversation.

“Their brain scans are amazing, nearly exact replicas of activation patterns. Somnia as a world is breathtaking, the new technology I was talking about relies on creating a visual representation of the simulation so that I can view them in as much detail as them,” his mother in law continued. Over the table Andrew and Flynn’s eyes met, Flynn knew to some degree what his mother was like and he had warned Andrew about her when they got married.

They also both knew that if Rayner and Anthony lived in his and Flynn’s simulation, where colours represented emotions, they would be drenched in retrograde mint. Delirium.

 

end

 

Glossary

Cogito - I think (latin) 

Somnia -  dream (latin)

Fie - damn, an expression of disgust (Shakespearean)

Angellus Bellum - war  angel (latin) 

Bellum Diaboli - war devil (latin)

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