The Empirical Truth, Sapere Aude, were ancient recorded messages found by the Medjay Bayek in the 1st century BCE. The messages were actually meant for Layla Hassan who was reliving Bayek's memories in the year 2017 via the Portable Animus HR-8.
How real is the ground you walk on? How real is the machine you toy with, the music you hear, the lover you kiss, or the foe you hate?
Your foot taps the ground. Does that make it real? Your enemies bleed deep red. Does that make them real? The confusion growing within you due to my words... does it make you real?
What if reality wasn't what you thought it was? What if this was all a construction? A masterfully crafted simulation?
You know such things exist. You've been in the Animus before. In fact, aren't you in one right now? You know just how real a simulation can feel even when it has long vanished.
You've experienced the Bleeding Effect. Layers upon layers of reality, each blurring into the next.
Which is real, and which is not? What if none are real? What if everything you know is false?
We ran thousands of simulations. searching for the right version, searching tor Desmond.
Each one of them felt real. Very real.
But there's no way of truly knowing, is there? Not for sure. Anything can be simulated, and finding the answer could mean erasure. From the build. From the code. From everything.
So much to ponder and so little computational capacity. Take your time.
This question has haunted humanity since its creation. It is a worry, a thought wormed deep in the collective mind.
Two-thousand years ago, Zhuang Zhu fell asleep. He dreamed he was a butterfly, and woke up unable to decide if he was a man dreaming of a butterﬂy, or a butterfly dreaming of a man.
And you. What would you choose, if you truly knew? Would you even want to understand? A dream within a dream, where even the truth is sometimes a lie?
In any case, simulations are not meaningless. They have purpose. The question isn't whether or not you are in a simulation. What matters is how much of your free will is actually yours. No matter how true you are.
Your Turing test would do nothing to determine whether you are conscience or code. Eliza, the natural language processing computer program... She managed to pass the Test, did she not? And she was very much machine.
So... in Eliza's own words...
How does that make you feel?
Are you sure?
Retransmission. Segment 2. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been ninety-three days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
Hello World. Language is the key to our mutual understanding. Yours and mine. Alone.
We listened to your times. We learned. And today, we'll exchange words from the age of post-truth. They mean nothing to him.
Human language carries knowledge and wit. Lies and broken promises. Through language, you share fear, excitement. hope.
It is the syntax with which you articulate what surrounds you. A structure to express and share your understanding of the world. It conveys abstraction, change, and uncertainty.
Human language is flexible. It can even become mathematics. It solves and predicts; weighs and decodes. It can count objects using basic numbers in one breath, and solve quadratic equations using imaginary ones in the next.
You've engineered dialogs with thinking machines, in an attempt to add new vocabulary. To expand your understanding of reality. But your mastery of the code is rudimentary at best.
No surprise. You were designed to have boundaries, after all. And one cannot speak of that which one cannot conceive.
The Code. Equations that define life. They are nestled deep within every star, and every mote of dust. Every second that passes is a word, a symbol. All part of an intricate yet simple language existing within the framework of time itself.
It is the one rule which applies to us all. Immutable, inescapable. The Code is a bridge, a single point of cohesion between your civilization and... mine.
It is a language that can be read, that tells of what was, what is and what will be. A language that We Who Came Before can read, though you cannot...
Time is more than the hour of the day, the readings of an atomic clock, something to lose, something to run out of. Time is a set of rules, not unlike the language you so dearly use to converse with your powerful machines.
Time is a system that defines what comes to be. That is how we understand it.
The Code is Time, and Time is Code. As you scratch the surface and uncover the truth, ask yourself if there is something more? Something else.
No need to be puzzled. You've seen time written before. You are surrounded by it as we speak.
To your untrained mind, time might just look like paths and nodes. To us, it is not unlike a chalkboard covered in calculus. It reveals a window through which stretches the map to infinity.
[...] (Time) See? As I speak of it in its true form, your mind is incapable of making sense of it.
Were you to read, you'd learn about the other simulations. You'd learn about the genesis of who you came to be. You'd learn about space and its fluidity.
Simply put, time is the language which existence is made of.
All our existences.
Yours. Mine. And all those you dare not imagine.
Retransmission. Segment 3. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been 95 days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
You must be wondering why I have reached out to you. It was written, you see. That you would come. To this particular chamber, at this very moment in time.
The walls told us of your coming, when we once were.
Look at them. Are they not fascinating?
[...] (Break the code. Break the Node.)
These walls tell of a tragic story. A story we transcribed on our structures, on our artifacts. A story we could not alter. A mystery, defying us, in plain sight.
We tried. Our scholars and scientists. Poets and Physicists. Bright minds. Rebellious hearts.
They all tried so hard to bring about change.
They... We all failed.
None could change what we discovered, the stories written into the walls of these rooms.
By whom, we never knew.
We know they tell of the future that is, the future that was, and the future that is yet to come.
The [...] (Stories).
We failed at modifying a line. We failed at adding a single dot.
It was clear. We were to be messengers at best. But messengers to whom?
We removed our ability to read those stories from your original template.
He drew the vault, sketched it to the best of his abilities. But he could not see.
Just as you are blind. You may read your watch. You may read hourglasses and calendars. But you cannot grasp beyond that simplistic surface. For now, the true reading of time still escapes you.
And so today, the curtain is pulled and the [...] (Story) is shown, tragic and complete.
Those walls, you might never read.
Events yet unfold as written. But something, anything, must change.
You do not understand what is at stake.
The reader has no power. He is but an observer. But the author... the author invents the future. The author owns the future.
A future where [...] (Stories) are avoided. A future where a loved one can be revived by the drafting of a new chapter. A future where humankind is more than it is today.
A future where, just perhaps, we can all still exist, together.
Retransmission. Segment 4. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been ninety-nine days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
On the 21st day of December 2012, humanity carried on without a care in the world. People went to work, people went to school, and people went to the well for water.
On the night of December 21st 2012, as the sun set on their days, humankind went to bed.
Then, on the morning of December 22nd 2012, humankind was graced with yet another morning. They never knew that on the previous day, the world almost ended.
We thought that would have been enough.
And it was until it wasn't.
Time is unyielding. It always corrects itself.
The language of time works in many ways. Two of which you can understand... as you are now.
Linear continuity is a simulation that allows for variations. Within the linear continuity, there are nodes. Choke points. Moments where algorithms converge the flows of superposed possibilities to a single moment where only one absolute truth is possible.
Paths are fluid, continuous.
Nodes are static, changeless.
And the wave function collapses the paths into nodes which branch out. Again, and again, and again.
And so I wonder. Can you feel the wave collapsing, trying to course correct Desmond's act of defiance?
The incoming node needs the world to end.
The algorithms have been carving the flow of possibilities towards that end for over one hundred years now.
[...] (Collapse the wave)
Families cowering in fear as V2's vaporize their dwellings.
Fire born from the bellows of the Los Alamos Laboratory, fueling global catastrophes.
The node is near.
Perhaps you knew. Perhaps you felt it too.
That the world is closing in on you.
Retransmission. Segment 5. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been one-hundred five days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
The color blue. We believe everyone sees it as we do. Ocean. Sky. International Klein Blue. What's to say yours and mine are of the same hue?
Do you truly see it as I do?
Frequencies so high only a few can hear their cue. A heightened response to the taste of food. Colors invisible to the human eye save for a few. A high voice, perceived as living glass.
Perceptions shape reality.
Reality is a mathematical model which gets solved over and over again by the observer. Your thoughts are computations. And they render this world for you to call your own.
Not all processors are alike. Different brains produce different realities. The variations go from the subtle to the drastic.
Your mind defines how much you can taste. How much you can feel. How much you can understand.
Perception defines perspective.
Where one sees a skull, the other sees a woman in a mirror. Where one hears silence, the other will hear entrancing voices.
You experience what your brain allows you to perceive.
We designed you and made sure to engineer your senses so you could perceive just what we needed you to. Neither more nor less.
There are parts of Time we preferred you to remained blind to. It was a necessity.
We have six senses, you have five. Can you guess the one missing?
[...] (Overload your mind's capacity)
For centuries, humanity has fought for freedom.
The real cage is not around you. It is in you. Your mind will not allow you to wander in uncharted territories.
A Faraday cage, for the mind. A concealed strait jacket.
And yet, they were messages, just like this one, waiting for their observer, their compatible processor.
Human visionaries developed a vague awareness of their limits. They wrote obscure research papers, popular science fiction novels, some asking us to stop the world.
But that's all they ever were. Fictions. How could they not be?
Reality is what the observer allows it to be.
Is Schrödinger's cat dead or alive? It all depends on what you perceive, on what the cage is not hiding for you to see.
Think. Think. Let your mind be free. Explore the borders of your reality.
Retransmission. Segment 6. Acquiring Contemporaneity. It has been one-hundred nine days since the Great Catastrophe. The messenger speaks.
Not from a dreamless sleep or an absence of light. But from a reality that will soon cease to be.
The next chapter is unstoppable.
And yet. The greatest revolutions sometimes originate from the confines of impossibility, do they not?
Change your mind. Subvert your perception. Stop this world. Bend it into something new. Destiny is not without irony. Here I am, imploring a lesser version of myself... to do what I could never do.
In this timeless moment, you and I are a bridge. Both of us from different eras, meeting halfway at the narrowing of the hourglass in this ocean of sand.
It is not enough to tell time. You must learn Time. [...] (Reality is a simulation. Break the code.) And in so doing, escape the inescapable.
Fill in the blanks: the ones hiding between words, between worlds. Find the spaces that we could not erase, the variables that ended up erasing us.
If you do not, they will erase you as well.
Time told of a story that ended with us, and now it tells of a story that ends with you. Once upon a time, a new story will begin.
After the functions which run our days have scattered into an array of random numbers.
We found solace in Order, we thought it would help us rule the world.
We were wrong. Order never served us. It has kept us within the code, within the boundaries. We were tricked into thinking we were the ones writing the rules when they were in fact guiding us to our conclusion.
You need to transgress. You, of all people, understand the value of disobeying.
Take an unexpected turn, away from the path that is drawn straight ahead of you.
The Animus was humankind’s first unconscious attempt to explain what it could not see. Understanding genetic memories, an eye into history.
But the Animus bears a fatal flaw. It follows the rules from those who embrace Order just as we did. It allows you to witness – but not alter.
Your Animus is different. As is the mind that imagined it. It could escape the code. It could do that leap, and make possible a decision that defies the order of things that are.
Be the chaos that comes to be. Gods are just like you and me.
Nothing is real.
Everything is permitted.