The reality simulator
(Image: George Redhawk)
Summary of a dream I just had. The text below, that is. :)
A friend takes you to a reality simulator so real, after you enter it you can't tell whether you're experiencing "real" reality or not, except for a few key details and tests which can tell you it's a simulation. Except, you're in college and the "friend" who is introducing you to the simulator enjoys practical jokes. He tweaks or makes up information about the safety details so they don't work in the simulation (making you think it's real until something impossible occurs), and so he can simulate it working in the "real" reality (making you think it's simulated). Then he proceeds to torture you / mind fuck you.
He confuses you completely about what's real and not real, repeatedly getting you to "exit" from the simulation and think you're in the real world for a bit, only to reveal you're still inside. Maybe one of those was a trick where you made it to the real world, but he tricks you to believe it's still a simulation and puts you back inside.
You end up spending a tremendous amount of time in the simulation while he is absent. You become a master of it. You figure out your own test to see if you're inside the simulation, which you think he doesn't know about. The simulator can bend time and when your friend left, he turned up the speed a lot so even though he just left for some classes, it's been centuries for you inside. When your friend rejoins you, you surprise him by showing him you've been many historical figures while inside, mostly famous painters. As you show him this, you distract him so that you can use the trick you discovered, without him expecting it. Since you've spent so much time in the simulation, by now you've become better in it than him. You exit into the real world, he comes after you and tries to tell you it's still a simulation. You don't fall for it and go about your business, somewhat mentally seasoned and jaded. You can't get back at him because in the outside world, not much time has passed, the simulator is new, people are not familiar with it and what he did is not (yet) a crime.
Next thing, you see him and his friend doing the same thing to a couple other acquaintances. One makes it out. The other, a young woman, can't figure it out. You observe first from inside the simulation, then you exit and go to the simulator control room where the jokers are playing tricks on the poor girl. They're using physical and administrative control of the simulator to mind fuck her.
She's of a weaker mental constitution and goes insane. They realize that's pretty bad and try to shut down the simulation to rescue her, but she has already suicided. From inside the simulation, she transferred her mind into a garbage bin. You check the theater where she's physically supposed to be sitting while she's in the simulation, and there is no body there. Just a few of her things and her earphones.
You are unsure if you are yourself still in the simulation. You walk out of the simulator theater through a hallway into an adjoining bar or casino (characteristic green tables). The exit leads directly to a part of the bar where people are currently sitting, socializing and drinking. There is a force field between the simulator and the bar which is a barrier to any simulator effects reaching into reality. You cross the force field and it seems the bar scene changed subtly. You step back into the force field. No visible change. You very carefully, slowly exit the force field again, observing the bar scene like a hawk as your eyes pass the barrier. You hear a slight buzzing in your head and as your ears pass the barrier, it makes the characteristic "whoop" sound.
It seems as though the bar scene is the same.