Altered States

I stood at the lone window and contemplated my past.

My forty-second floor cube gave me an interesting view of the city. People filled the streets below, forming a rolling river of bodies awash in an urban neon glow. They were determined to be somewhere, to get someplace.

They envied me: successful, powerful, with money and means to do nearly anything. I had the job, the home, the stims and seds and whatever designer pharmachems were out there. They had no idea my existance was an illusion.

In fact, I envied them: basic pleasures, simple lives, real connections to other human beings instead of these simulated interactions of neural sharetime, knowledge transfers, and fleeting copu-meets.

I popped too many seds, loaded my chits, and switched on my cortical node.

Curtains of digital rain blinded me. I emerged from the deluge on a gritty datapath in a virtual cityscape. In my buffers, I held central bank codes and blank idents.

I looked up at the data towers surrounding me and contemplated my future.

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