Drick had only the time to blink before the two-dimensional cartoon image of Alice changed. Not that Drick did blink instead there was a gap in the visual stimulation for that section of the construct. Rodero controlled and manipulated this world, it was their environment and within it they were almost a deity, but more accurately an architect with real world painting privileges.
Recreating a world on the fly was difficult and expensive for both wetware and hardware, it could be done, in fact many of the more expensive forms of entertainment from immersive holomedia to clubs, sports and pleasure services were entirely created to user, or audience, response. But they had budgets and teams of personnel, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of artificial intelligences and the software systems that were pre-constructed to make their operation slick.
A lone operator like Rodero would have to use a mixture of their own with other people’s software and piecing them together was time consuming. Rodero was a decent slicer though and had at least created their own flavour of construct with low level packages. Drick would bet that there were few elements that Rodero hadn’t changed to create their own specific flavour.
Rodero appeared again. Manifesting as a gender which surprised Drick. Clearly male in their late middle age, bald but with a grey-brown beard; there were thick silver eyebrows over eyes sunk behind wrinkles yet the eyes were still sharp and a bright green with the meerest flecks of hazel. They were less than one metre seventy in height with a skin condition that suggested little natural light and too many poorly balanced foods. They sported a pair of grey lounge pants, a hooded top with a band that Drick had never heard about and a pair of expensive magnetic slippers made from a cotton fibre with magnetised metal sole.
“Is this better?”
“Sure,” Drick was about to dismiss the random thoughts that had coalesced on seeing the image but then a curious moment caught their attention. “This is an interesting look. Is it a character or someone you know, or is this a real world input?”
“Shit, Rodero, this is really you?”
“It has been some time.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t presenting as anything back when we last met after a long period of being fluid, I was in a null place.”
“Just how I feel. This is comfortable. Look are we going to debate my personal preferences all day or are we going to do this thing. It’s your money but I don’t owe you that much anymore and I am not sure I care to share more than what I have.”
“No, you’re right. I was being pushy. Thanks for dumping the memes. I will guide you into their mind. I don’t expect that you will be able to cross fully in with me as I have a number of protections and I will not be turning them off. You could probably try to work around them but it may be better if I go in and then throw what I see into this construct. You can open that for me, right?”
“Sure. This world is partly responding to you anyway. I defined the look but this is all you Drick. You are the one who fills in the colour, the distances, the shelves, those weird boxes. I then provide a system for ordering which in your mind comes out as this spiral with everything labelled with an index for theme, a code for item and what looks like a time and place. I have to say I am very impressed. Not many people have such a structured way of thinking.”
“So this is responding to how I internally marshall my thoughts?”
“Yes. You have a tidy mind, Drick. Though others would call it cold and harsh.” Rodero smiled, “I like it, I wouldn’t want to live here. Please bear in mind that this is only representing the gateway to your memories, how you like to order your mind and retrieve data for perusal. There are other areas, for you there are doors.”
Drick looked and suddenly thousands of doorways appeared in the distant horizon, they hung in the air, or maybe they appeared to hang in the air at this distance. The doors seemed to have some regularity, though the occasional doorway looked bigger or wider, some had vastly divergent colours. “Where do they lead?”
“They don’t really lead anywhere. The software construct orders parts of the brain and restricts other parts. In this instance we merely want memories and information. So we have an archive and I instruct the program to hold back and suppress everything else. You can of course open any of the doorways, portals, gates, whatever you wish to call them, you made them doors. If you do what is held beyond will merge and the archive will expand and change to adapt to the part of you that has been let in. I thought an archive would be the best since we are using a third brain, better to hold back as much as possible. Unless they are as well controlled as you, then maybe we should allow full freedom?”
“No. I like this. It was the best idea.” Drick smiled. “So which way then? One of the doors?”
“No, going out towards the doors merely connects to more of you. We need to go into the centre of the archive to find the connection you made to the other mind.”
Drick smiled, “So, to the centre of the spiral then.”