Wave after wave of fresh condensation amidst the moist night air came gasping in through the Victorian drapes of the open balcony, rending the docile enclosure agape to the vast unknown waiting opaque just outside its contrived borders. The ornate space enlivened by its breath was a wide, elegant bedroom, and in the middle of it, starting against the left wall, was an antique, heavily adorned wooden frame and an equally decorated bed. There in its luxury I lay, covered in sheets and thick blankets up to the neck, preparing to die.
Across from me on the other side of the room lay my wardrobe, and in front of it, building up to the top of its height was a picturesque mountain of flowers in condolence of my departure, wishing me the best along my way. There was not a single other person in the room. And there, to my right, on my ivory nightstand rested the Fabergé Egg my wife and I had gone to great expense to acquire before she tragically passed- The Coronation Egg, lifted on high atop its golden throne. And finally, to my left, was the machine monitoring the end of my existence, waiting patiently for the moment of its closure.
I began to wonder what it would feel like to sink into it- death... I wasn’t feeling the full impact of the expected epiphany of my end; I only felt half the fear, because I knew that if all went according to plan, I would survive. Perhaps not in the traditional sense, but when it came time to face the impending end of my mortal coil, I knew I would persevere by any means necessary and overcome even this final trial, this untimely ordeal.
You see, my wealth had afforded me science’s promise of immortality; an uncertain promise, but it carried with it the possibility of hope all the same. I was in arrangement to be preserved upon the hour of my death, preserved to be passed on to a future generation that might know how to revive me with the inevitable progressions cultivated by mankind’s future. I had faith that the answer would arise, that the future held for me the prospect necessary to assure my revival. Surely it was possible; for all the progress of mankind in the last hundred years alone, certainly the next thousand will bring advancement far exceeding current conceivability, let alone simple reconstruction of the flesh. It was simply logic. So there was only half of the uncertainty of death.
Then, suddenly, as I plaintively mused over my assurances, I felt it begin. It started down low in me, the washing over of a dark shade away at my farthest extremities, out towards the borders of my self. It lapped in slowly at first, at the threshold of my body, then upon contact it became real and took hold, becoming something new that quickly overcame me. My entire being felt the spreading of it, until it felt as though all the life in me was suddenly struggling against it, and all the while that sensation spread I was inside my head being overtaken by it, succumbing to its grasp. A froth began to form at my shaking lips, some liquid expulsion that propelled itself from my body in an attempt to rid itself of the poisons by which it was being consumed, but taking much of me with it in the process, as if my very essence was spilling out from between my clenched teeth. I felt it choking me, closing off my throat and my senses from the world, my eyes rolling up from lack of the need of sight, the phenomenon raging inside drawing away all other physical senses. My entire frame convulsed in vehement quakes in syncopation with the flashing screams of the alarmed monitor suddenly alive by my side, the reverberations of which were unhinging every foothold of perception that supported me, fraying my foundation piece by piece to find me alone and afraid in my innermost sanctum, an unknown force absolving all the ties that bound my consciousness to the dimming world around me. Then, when all but my own sense of self had dissipated from my perception, I emptied down into the rift unfolding, pouring into the darkness, all slipping away until I simply disappeared from existence, and I felt the disappearance of existence from me.
And then it ended.
Soon after the death, two white-coated lab technicians enter the room, carting in the necessary equipment and transportation, and rig the lifeless corpse up to their specialized transport. They wheel the man out, and close the door.
A short time later, the body is neatly secured in its cryonic capsule, slowly flooding with the liquids and chemicals necessary to impose its permanent hypostasis.
8128 A.D. : A Perfect Year
A long hall lay in wait ahead. Stretching along it were hallway after hallway of inconspicuous corridors leading to rooms with colorless doors split down the middle. All the walls were made of a synthetic, sterile looking material, the gentle hue of pale colored light spread across their matte surfaces, and there was a minimalist practicality to each corridor’s assembly. The brain was being pushed along on a metallic cart down the central hallway, heading to a room further along but soon present at the cart’s side, and the chaperone quietly pushed the vehicle off to the right to enter.
The automated entryway slid open. The cart was then pushed inside the vast room contained within, a chamber of unparalleled elegance and intimidation. On both sides of the chambers lay a machine vaguely resembling a small transparent turbine, a contraption about chest height consisting of slick glass and polymer, gears visibly churning an unknown liquid inside, and with an empty slot on the far end waiting to be occupied. In between the machines was what appeared to be a single Greek statue, motionless on a pedestal in the center of the room overlooking an empty basin, awash in the pastel glow that illuminated the room.
The handler pushed the cart forward in unison with the other entrant that had just passed through the door on the opposite side of the room, and soon the fleshy masses of the minds were slid into their places in their respective machines. A slow, building hum began to resonate from their chambers, and as the containers the brains were confined in began to spark, a luminous stream of material soon spilled out from the dispensary on the other side of the machine. The streams were fed by the hands of the overseers up into a reel below the ceiling that aligned their courses and sent each flowing down past the center statue, into the pool at its feet that was slowly beginning to fill. The lights in the room dimmed down in reverence, and the streams, flickering with the gleam of thoughts, memories, and traits passing swiftly by, fell down into the pool in the center of the room below.
A titanic plethora of thoughts and senses overcame me as I came reeling back into existence from the nothingness I had been before that moment. An unending wave of multicolored, unfathomable nonsense and noise surrounded me, and surfacing from its surging waves were swells of memory, emotion, sensations, so vivid that if there were a present earthly form containing me surely it would have been psychologically destroyed by its onslaught. But there was no form, and it felt as though whatever consciousness currently hosted me was fighting for its own ability to be. Strings of chromosomes floated past, their coiled structures slow untangling, dissolving into the nebulous fluidity that both surrounded and represented me. Absolute fear and confusion soon spread within me, and my entire being recoiled in complete incomprehension of my current situation.
[Scene where the man is confronted by an emerging vision representing him and his wife’s Fabergé Egg from his tabletop, since that was the last thing he saw before his death and as a result has the strongest mental attachment in his memory. It opens and plumes of gold and black smoke billow out, and in the center of the egg is a giant telepathic eye encased in brilliant crystal that the man can feel represents the soul of his dead wife, his greatest treasure. While at first basking in the love radiating from the vision and overjoyed at the chance to speak with his wife again, eventually the wife and/or man will lament that he couldn’t save her, which brings him to question what all his riches and work were worth if he couldn’t even save his one love, his greatest treasure. The Fabergé Egg, being the Coronation Egg, represents his riches and his desire to be a king among men, but he is still only a man and therefore could not save her or achieve the greatness he desired in his life. Obviously this all greatly upsets the man, and can play a part in his later conflict of whether he agrees or not with the experiment and its merits, namely its aims to transcend the constrictions of mortality and humanity, having failed in these aims before. Alternatively, it could be revealed here that his wife was in fact also preserved, hence the crystal that encases her, signifying perhaps his riches did save her, and he can spend much of his time searching for her throughout the experiments, while his love for her (as well as his memory of her) is tested during the trials. The vision disappears and leaves the man in a state of despair.]
Then I felt it. The presence of another. It was as if my mind’s eye looked over a chasm and there it was, waiting unnoticed on the other side. And before I knew it I found myself being drawn towards it, slowly at first, so that it felt as though it must have been my own curiosity drawing me towards its source. Then there was a shift, and with it began the feeling that I was being forced towards the other in my midst, until I was no longer curious but afraid; it was too intimate, they were getting too close. But it didn’t stop, and soon we were upon each other, and then the entirety of our beings collided with desperate reluctance. I felt all the individual points and junctures of my reality connect with hers, respecting each other’s boundaries at first, until I began to experience the accumulation of her make-up as a human being. It was a woman, a mother from a decidedly disparaged origin, one as distanced from my own as seemingly possible, so that if I had seen her on the street in my previously normalized existence I might have shrugged away in discomfort from her unseemliness. I began to delve into her memories, to live the innermost places of her, and to give witness to thoughts and depths of an intensity which I had never nearly approached with another human being. It was at times frightening, and the fragility of the experience was subtly palpable in the entirety of its unfamiliar perception, but to witness and experience the entirety of another person, without prejudice or censor, in all their raw nature, to be granted cohesion, depth, and understanding impossible from outside observation- ultimately it was beautiful.
[This section is covered in much more detail during the course of the game, as this introductory melding of minds is the game’s first world known as "Duality’s Peak : Janus' Mind Mountain" that takes a deep look into the lives of both these participants as their psyches meld, while elucidating the structure of the internal procedure itself in the process.]
Then there was another shift. There seemed to be some alteration in the function and atmosphere of whatever realm contained us, as if an aggravating electricity had been introduced, and the world around us began slowly dissipating from its energy as a result. The mutual appreciation of each other’s presence ended as a panic slowly settled, and the borders of our entities unexpectedly overlapped, one into the other, and the dawn of a twisted fusion commenced. Racing through the pathways of the minutiae of her existence, I felt the encroaching inability to process the torrent of information flowing through me. My psyche began to dim with hostility, as it began to sense the differences between it and the other existence present. I felt myself rejecting the innate inconsistencies in the understandings that defined her, a million estimations of reality that clashed with my own, and in an attempt to preserve my perspective and identity, the entirety of my essence began its retaliation.
A celestial storm began to brew above, as an event equal to war in the gruesomeness of its nature began to unfold. Disparate parts of one another, whether it be conflicting thoughts, traits, or even memories, began to attempt to destroy the existence of the other, all aspects attempting to assert their evolutionary dominance. The storm above developed into a great darkened vacuum, and into it rose the parts of the two individuals that had either conjoined in harmony or prevailed over the others, as the rest of their defeated humanity sunk away, screaming, to be lost forever.
And then it was born. The new me.
The lights in the room began to brighten again, as the small microcosm of our dissimilar existences began to conclude its internal drama. When the reaction was complete, the statue in the middle of the room was relit with the tinted light at the base of its feet, and the front of its face detached with the exhale of repressed air and then the successive sound of suction. The other two statues that had been stoically guiding the streams of our consciousness pouring from the machines at this indication made their first movements since the operation had commenced. They went forward towards the pool in front of them, and with incredible ease lifted its entire weight between them. They lifted it up, and in an act of venerable magnitude brought it over to the center statue and poured its contents into its open mask, filling it with the fused souls of its captives. At the last drop of primordial liquid, the statue was resealed. Its eyes flickered open with the hue of white light. The initiation was complete.
I opened my eyes to the unsuitably soothing colored light of the chamber surrounding me. It felt like waking from sleep for a moment, and I might’ve thought I had just exited a dreadfully vivid dream were it not for my emerging distraction and concern at the unfamiliarity of my own mentality and present state of mind. I stood there for a moment trying to examine this sense of displacement, and it was a while before I realized that I could move. And then my hands rose and came into view, and the vital liquid pumping through my chest froze. The hands in front of me were the dull shapes of an inanimate object’s, and my skin had the mottled luster of what appeared to be marble. Then I looked down and saw two statues standing there looking up at me with eyes dull and lifeless but moving all the same.
My scream wasn’t mine. I didn’t know what it was; it wasn’t human. Something like an artificial attempt at crystalline tones produced by a drowning synthesizer had erupted from my rigid vocal opening, and in my confusion and denial I half thought the noise must have overtaken me from an unknown source elsewhere in the room.
In instinctive panic I jumped from the pedestal past the two sentries into the center of the chamber, my heel clipping the large basin that rested there, sending a strangely familiar liquid splashing up onto my back and side. As I looked down at the mess splayed across me that was the rest of our discarded humanity, a flash of recollection was triggered and I remembered the horrific dream that what was left of us had survived.
“What…” I struggled breathlessly. “WHAT’S GOING ON!?” I looked around the anodyne enclosure, unable to recognize any of the alien artifacts it encompassed. “What… what is this”, my capsule beckoned as my mind spun in disbelief inside.
“Help!” A part of me that seemed unnervingly foreign cried in vain desperation.
“Somebody, please…” I sobbed, looking around in dejected defeat for an answer, and then down again at our hands. There was a long pause as the question settled. “Who am I?”
“Please, calm down. This is all part of the procedure.”
“What fucking procedure! What is this? Where are our bodies?”
“You are experiencing a normal reaction for someone unfamiliar with the procedure. Please, calm down and let us explain.”
My head was a rush of adrenaline and anger, and I had half a mind to rush our captors and beat their faultlessly shaped forms into debris beneath my lifeless fists. But from somewhere inside spoke reason, and I was somehow able to still my previously characteristic inclination towards anger long enough to begin to seek the answers to the many questions boiling over inside of me.
“Let us show you.”
The statues led me down their white hallways of synthetic material with that same unnerving glow of calming color. We passed by room after room droning with the quiet sounds of calculated preparations and procedures, and were now and again passed by more hastily moving statues carting along disembodied brains with a muted determination. I looked down at them as they passed, eyeing each unassuming vessel of organic mass emptily as I recognized their helplessness and imagined the makeup of the mind trapped inside. My unease, distress, and frustration grew with every mind carted off into some unlabeled room, and I felt myself about to erupt when we finally turned down the hallway of our destination.
There was an elevator ahead of us, and one by one we climbed in and began to descend. We emerged onto what appeared to be a small dock, in a large cavernous chamber with a slick brown sheen completely removed from the sterile aesthetics of the halls above. There were small orbs floating along in the water downstream towards two larger waterways, but apparently we were headed down the center, lesser opening ahead. One of the statues led us into the small boat while the other untied us from the docks and pushed us off, bidding us farewell. There was no part of me that cared to respond.
As the statue rowed, the cavern narrowed into a claustrophobic duct of a channel, and the walls began to grow progressively more flesh-like in appearance. Before long the first vesicle appeared along the inner wall, a small gelatinous sac both attached and feeding into the fleshy structure behind it, and inside was none other than a human brain preserved in an unknown fluid. Soon the walls were covered in these vessels, to our sides and above as well, and with the driver ahead of me rowing on silently, I did not know whether to react in awe or horror.
Eventually we emerged into a vast sphere, rising so high and wide that even with the dim glow of the vessels covering every inch of its structure, its edges could just barely be seen in the darkness. Every now and then the sickly sound of a vesicle’s suction sluggishly detaching from the walls around us would ring out, and down as a single tear it would fall into the waters below, like some grotesque golden rain plunging into the sea of the collective unconscious. The statue stopped rowing and stood, beckoning outwards towards the sight before me.
“This is one of the two Chambers of Eileithyia, the goddess of birth, which together form the basis of this structure’s reproductive system. All of these beautiful brains are her eggs.”
The statue turned to face me in order to observe my reaction, dread washing over me with each faint wave that rocked our wavering craft.
“Here is housed the rest of humanity.”
Back above in a new section of the building, my guide sat me down in a room with semi-transparent white walls. I was visibly shaken, even if my unexpressive new countenance did not display it. Were my body not so stiff it would have undoubtedly been trembling, and when I was able to compose myself to the slightest degree I looked up with a broken fury at my informant.
“Tell me… what this is. Now.”
With an ostensible disappointment that I was still neither impressed or invested, the statue gathered himself and began to recite a lecture it had no doubt by now perfected.
“As I’m sure you have already noticed, you are no longer in your time. The year you are in is 8128, and this is a very important year for all of humanity. This is the year we are to be perfected.”
“What are you talking about? How is this perfect? How is any of this perfect?”
“Does your current self know anything about Perfect Numbers?”
“…No.” I muttered, glaring raptly.
“Perfect Numbers. The Ancient Greeks discovered them.”
“Is that why we’re walking around in statues like some art exhibition freak show? To pay homage to your heroes the dead mathematicians, some outdated–”
“Let me finish.” He paused to center himself in front of me. “A Perfect Number is a rare number that is equal to the sum of all its proper positive divisors. In other words, it is the perfect summation of all its parts. 8128 was the last Perfect Number discovered by the Ancient Greeks, our saviors from the nadir of irrationality. You are now part of a society-wide experiment called The Perfect Year. This is the year humanity will be perfected.”
“I don’t understand, what does this have to do with what you’re doing here? What have you done to me?”
“Stop to think. You’ll have to do that quite frequently if you want to preserve yourself. Think back to your first experience in your new world. It must have been quite a jarring one; I sympathize. But can you remember what happened? The simple answer is that before the initiation, your former selves were two, and now they are one. One greater self, comprised of the dominant factors from both your psyches. You can think of it as an ensured evolution of sorts, as we now have the technology to take progress into our own hands. We are blessed by the beauty of psyence.”
The insanity of it all began to come over me until the stilled disillusion of my mind necessary to quell the violent, choking emotions within matched the deadness of my eyes, and I detached from reality to fall into utter disbelief.
“The culmination of our efforts, this summation of humanity, will be evident by the end of this year. At this point we will have factored down the population into seven Idealized Selves.”
“Astute of you to ask. You’ll need that inquisitive nature; harness it. Come, look here.”
Even if my physical body was no longer capable of fatigue, the mental exhaustion experienced by this point was enough to reproduce the semblance of lethargy, and it took me a good while to muster the energy needed to stumble to the wall in front of which the statue stood.
My guide tapped the wall, and with his touch the transparency of the clandestine window increased until we could see down below to where an unknown procedure was underway. There bloomed what appeared to be a magnificent purple Iris in the center of a chamber otherwise empty but for a walkway leading out from the flower’s center. Some sort of reaction must have been triggered elsewhere in the facility, as the lights of the chamber switched to a dimmer, heated light, and glowing yellow spores were released into the room. The flower began to spin, drawing the material from the spores flooding the room into itself, and it continued to spin and heat until the glow of some visible reaction appeared at its center. After the whir of the spinning died down and the flower had fallen motionless again, a new statue wandered out from amidst its flowing petals, admittedly remarkable in its grace.
“This is where the Idealized Selves are reproduced, although pre-production will shut down shortly as we reach the required number of vessels for the rest of our initiates by the end of this Spring. The rather large flower you see is the Persephonic Portal, which will bring the personification of our vision to fruition via the Idealized Selves during the course of its flowering season. In reality the device is a three dimensional printing machine utilizing synthetic polymers, but as you can see our reproduction apparatus has been fashioned after the beauty of the Iris flower, an ode of sorts to the majesty of feminine beauty as well as to the goddess Iris who links mankind to the divine. I’m not sure if you’ve yet noticed, but this entire facility is structured in the form of what you may recognize as the female Venus Symbol, or the Symbol of Aphrodite to be apropos. Hence the name the Aphrodite Complex. You might also have noticed the Chambers–””
“Patience. That is another virtue you require”
“If you tell me I need one more virtue…”
“Why does it offend you that I advise you on areas you might improve? Is that not an opportunity for growth? Am I not supplying you with an advantage? Obviously you have not garnered much of the virtue of humility in your lifetime.”
Despite my threat, I let his forewarned condescension pass by unopposed, but I marked his appearance further with that transgression so that I might later enact my vengeance. Then suddenly I was dumbstruck with the realization of a precursory complication– the statue had no distinguishing features to remember.
“To answer your question: It’s simple. Seven is the Mersenne Prime used to generate the Perfect Number 8128. Once we have summated our population down to the chosen seven that will propagate the future of our species, we will reproduce those seven Idealized Selves ad infinitum into a new civilization. That is the result of The Perfect Year.”
“What about all the rest of us? What happened to the parts of me that didn’t make it through that experiment?”
“That wasn’t an experiment, the results of the procedure have been proven–“
“WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!?”
“The Mersenne Prime algorithm used to produce perfect numbers doesn’t preserve the entire factorial– a part of the prime is lost in the process. Likewise, in these procedures, parts of the self will be lost. Those parts of you are gone now. It’s the margin of error necessary for perfection. Aspects of our selves may be lost, even some that would be considered beautiful by an observing romantic, but what rises is superior. The process may never be perfect, but just like the Mersenne Prime builds to make a Perfect Number, so will we come together to build a perfect year, a perfect humanity.”
I sat back down on the chair I’d started on before the lecture had commenced with a thud, and leaned back, head and body against the cold wall behind me.
“What if I want out?”
“There is no out. This is the reality of our time. It has been decided.”
“What people? There aren’t any people left!”
“The decision was made prior to your arrival. Despite your contradictory stance on the matter, undoubtedly derived from the beliefs of your time, our people want to be perfected. As a result of an unfortunate history supervening your own, we’ve recognized it as a necessity if our species is to survive. In the years following your mutual deaths, if anything humankind found that we are to be forever doomed in our external expeditions if we do not first unite in our internal purpose. So our society enacted the onset of this vital procedure to ensure our survival and progress, enabling the collective pooling of our hypostases inside of this beautiful structure, which is the ultimate external expression of our internal aims: our Prosopon.”
“I don’t care what your society has decided! I would rather die than go through one of those experiments again. You can’t make me partake, I won’t be a part of this nightmare. I’ll kill myself before I let you… things kill me.”
“You cannot die. It is no longer possible. You are presently in your immortal form. Even if you were to somehow destroy the immaculate vessel of your Idealized Self, this entire establishment is water-tight, and your essential liquids would be recollected and restored at the nearest convenience.”
“What in God’s name are you talking about?
“Your Water Memory, the liquid inside that now comprises you and which stores what would have once been considered your soul. It acts as both fuel and vital fluid to the Idealized Selves we now inhabit, which are nothing more than operable machines made to act as psyche receptacles for its splendor. You see, it was not well known, but during your time there was a belief that the mind could be submerged and stored by utilizing the adaptive properties of simple and pure H2O- ordinary and essential water. However it was deemed a pseudoscience and foolishly forgotten. A concurrent discovery enabled traditional scientists - the irresponsible heathens of your time - to store 5.5 petabits of data inside of a single gram of DNA, itself stored inside a single drop of water. They were unsure how to utilize this information, given DNA itself was very much a mystery then, however we have since developed the technology to allow us to decipher, decode, and distill this internal information.”
I had a sudden recollection of the kaleidoscopic fluid that I had spilled in the initial chamber where this all began.
“So is that what that liquid was in that strange room- those were people… that was me?”
“Yes, precisely. The machines you witnessed in the Cognitive Dissonance Chamber where you were born, those are Moirai Machines, which convert the mind into Streams of Thought, much like the weaving of the threads of life by the Fates might I mention, in order to be melded in the basin of the Gene Pool where the two selves on trial are mixed. The mixture is then distilled during the course of the trial, which would be the ethereal vision you experienced during your creation, and its transcendent outcome is poured into the glorious psyche receptacle of an Idealized Self, whereafter you live among us in the Prosopon until your next trial. All this is possible as a result of Water Memory- your self stored in a solvent, streams of thought tied together into an internal world, its particles vying for the validation of their varied existence, distilled to become an Idealized Self. The intelligentsia of your time should have taken their own maxims more seriously- magic truly is only science that hasn’t yet been discovered, and we have realized and come to rely on many a previously considered pseudoscience in our time. This sacred liquid will be our lift into new planes of existence we currently cannot even fathom. So you see there is no escape- the input of every human is required if we are to truly realize our potential and actualize the Universal Arc.”
“No, I don’t understand. I don’t want this. This is wrong! I should have a choice. I want out, let me out!
“But I thought you were on the side of progress Nathaniel. I know that part of you still exists, it’s how you ended up here in the first place, and that aspect would not have been discarded. Well this is what true progress looks like. This is what is required.”
Silenced and shaken, I sat in pained contemplation, trying to recollect what exactly it was I had expected of my resurrection. Some utopian vision, hopes for peace and a futuristic paradise, certainly something different than the assumed insanity that now surrounded me. It struck me that my former prevision of my prospective future approached something akin to a description of heaven, and I pondered if that’s truly what I had wanted. If so, perhaps I should have just let myself die. Or maybe the idea of an afterlife itself was just another escapist illusion, a naive reverie spread as a myth to appease a shared fear of death. At present I questioned if such a paradise could ever be possible. At present I questioned everything.
But if anything, it was true I had passed believing in humanity’s progress, confirmed by my certainty that my days of toil would conclude at my mortal coil’s end. I had only wanted to taste the future fruit of mankind’s labor; I never expected to find myself in the throes of its final trial. I tried to see the light at the end of this ludicrous tunnel, but in this state of complete confusion, I could barely come to terms with my renewed sense self, let alone discern what this uncertain future might hold in store for me- for us.
“And sweet Janice” the statue assuaged, it’s steady gaze unmoving from our own ornate container, “think of all that your offspring sacrificed to assure your continued existence, to raise you above the horrid circumstances from which you came. This is much the same; sacrifice is required if we are to thrive, to overcome entropy and realize the glory that awaits us in the promise of our future. Don’t just surrender the worth they saw in you. Strive for your right to survive.”
I said nothing in return. I simply sat there, staring at the ground between the inorganic mineral of my legs, trying to resign my reeling consciousness to the fate I had inadvertently bound myself to.
“Don’t worry your selves. The future is in our hands, and in the superfluid tempest of your transhuman soul. Soon everything will be perfect.”
A Perfect Year - Synopsis
A dying man in our present time has arranged to be cryogenically frozen upon his death, certain that humanity will follow the course of logic and discover a means to revive him in the near future. Later, in the year 8128, the man is partially revived, but only as part of a society wide experiment called The Perfect Year. You return to consciousness inside the Gene Pool of a Cognitive Dissonance Chamber, where your psyche is fused with that of another individual as part of the experiment, and the transcendent outcome of your fused minds is poured into the vessel of an Idealized Self, a psyche receptacle in the form of a male Greek statue which will act as your new host body. The experiment is then explained - 8128 was the last Perfect Number discovered by the Ancient Greeks, and in commemoration the current presiding society has decided to perfect humanity on that very year. A perfect number is a number formed by the sum of all its individual positive factors, and likewise all of humanity will be summated into its perfect form.
Following the collapse of society due to transhumanistic, genetic, and technological experimentation by unstable human minds, the remnants of humanity were forced to evacuate their devastated home planet and head out into the unknown frontier of superfluid space in a biological and symbolic starship called The Prosopon, a fragile but advanced A.I. vessel in the shape of the Venus symbol (complete with the holographic visage of a female face that stretches across its circular center) that has been fashioned after the female form.
The society soon acknowledges the necessity of humanity's evolution if it is to survive, and learning from the lessons of their destroyed home-world, it is accepted that the only way to better their external predicament is to first better themselves internally and hopefully unify as an elucidated species in the process. As a result, the brains of all remaining humans have been removed and stored in the two Chambers of Eileithyia, which act as the ovaries of the Aphrodite Complex, a section of the craft representative of the female reproductive system, and one by one the minds of all of humanity will be fused together through the Cognitive Dissonance Trials and siphoned down into 7 Idealized Selves. 7 is the Mersenne Prime used in the factorial equation to create the Perfect Number 8128, and likewise these Prime Seven will be reproduced in the Aphrodite Complex and proliferated to create a perfected humanity that will progress and spread out through the cosmos, realizing humanity’s true potential.
As an individual in this experiment, you will Race, Resolve, and Reason your way through the psyches of the dwindling individual population (including other players) and eventually the other Idealized Selves. However, only the dominant aspects of your self will survive each Cognitive Dissonance Trial and rise to form the Astral Arc, the collective logical and moral bridge between you and the other selves that now comprise you, which will ultimately act as humanity’s guiding light towards its uncertain future. But what happens when you internally merge with a psychopath? How does the mind cope when denied sexual and sensual pleasure, or is separated from the lineage of its memories? Can we overcome when faced with the gods we hold inside and so zealously wish to externally realize? What place do numbers and math hold in the soul? And can you preserve your self in the midst of forced evolution? What is lost? What is gained? Only time will tell in the Perfect Year.
"A Perfect Year"