If You Can Remember, You Weren’t Really There [Original Story]

Joel Cass, lord coordinator of the encyclopaedic universal matrix received another notification as he made his morning coffee.

The mug was piping hot, and not one trace of liquid had passed through his lips, travelled down his throat, and warmed the pits of his stomach.

And given how thorough his response was going to be, he didn’t bet on the mug retaining its warmth.

She’d been telling him this for months.

Strict, concise, to the point, and direct.

This obsession with our sources, it’s stalker like’

Joel had the solution.

Another ten or so thousand videos on the subject.

He’d add it to the list.

Most of the videos scheduled for today would be live casts, casts with all of his friends, the thousands of members he had acuminated over the centuries.

People who hung on every infectious word he uttered.

They knew what was up; they knew who was in the right.

The almighty Joel. He was the hero of this story, if one fancied this maddening game of one-upmanship over hearsay and rumour currency a story worth telling.

A game of one-upmanship between the most supreme good and the most condemned form of evil.

But as the one guy who always called him out of concern would tell him, heroes aren’t defined through proclamation alone.

They are defined by action.

And every now and then, this woman, the wife of the individual he had classified as a disinformation artist, would send him crudely worded e-mails reflecting her frustrations, pleas, accusations and questions, all directed at the content of Joel’s character.

They would urge him to reconsider his mission in life

And in turn, his true friends would reach out before any of the members of his podcasts would, trying to be the voice of purest reason and thought

Where are your reviews? Why aren’t you paying attention to Universe M? Where your favourite heroes are stationed?

How goes their days?

Why not discuss something of value that you know, from collecting and archiving their date on a week to week basis, has happened to them? What lessons they learned along the way? Explore what is known to you, not what is out of your reach.

Why should rumour and speculation concerning your timeless idol, a traveller across all the realms you observe, be of such importance to you?

After all, you do not believe with your own eyes in the very timelessness of the idol. You believe that it walks in a straight and linear line, with a defined beginning, middle, and a history you’re familiar with

You do not see an end in sight, but constantly fear the journey comes to a halt if people do not take to the revelations that come with what is now known about the idol.

Were it come to a halt, it would further no change. You would have your way.

Yet if it stops, the change remains, there would be no want nor need for it to walk back on its newfound purpose and point of origin.

It would remain timeless in a whole other way.

So you resist it.

You argue to those who will listen in your reports that those that guide the idol are telling us a lie, they are telling us it is something it’s not, that it remains very much the same being it was known to be when it embarked on the journey. No way can this stand as truth, no way can this stand as change within reason.

You spread that word, and yet the word you are obsessed with is one that suggests the idol in its’ present form is leaving us.

Your sources, their word against those in the wife’s camp, had assured you otherwise. Videos and pictures of the idol in transits, heading towards its new destinations, would later crop up seemingly to back this up, to vindicate your sources.

To vindicate yourself.

Critical as you are of the ways the idol goes about itself these days, your devotion to its exact activities cannot be wrong.

So you spread word across the community chain the source of this gossip is false, that the rumour cannot be created if there is a reality contradicting it.

And you remember everything your source

You insist people trust in your word, in your knowledge, your memory, of events that you were privy to, memories of truths that were spoken only to you. Assurances made to you.

But if you can also remember, you weren’t really there.

You weren’t where your ‘sources’ were Joel.

You’ve never truly been where they are, you are only going on the stories they lead you by.

And in the meantime all the universes you monitor closely, the M, the Ds, the Cs, the Wilderness and beyond, they all have their own heroes, their own idols, on their own travels, overcoming their own hardships, and we never hear much about what you personally make of them.

There are no heroes bar you Joel Cass, co-ordinator of the encyclopaedic matrix.

Now look at the contents of your mug, and then examine the content of your character.

Both so cold.