Perchance To Dream - Staren (Carna)

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Perchance To Dream - Staren (Carna)
Date of Cutscene: 11 February 2018
Location: Fearful Symmetry
Synopsis: An inventor has a dream.
Cast of Characters: {{{Cast of Characters}}}
Tinyplot: Return To Escher

Wires are plugged into Staren's skull. Into his neck, his arms, his torso, his legs, all trailing back to a vast tower of glowing lights in circuit-board patterns.

Glyphs and sigils of raw data, compressed into every photon, a single one might contain all the knowledge in the universe. Or in A universe.

But the data flows one way, unless Staren requests it.

And then, like a valve opening the tiniest bit, some information will bubble up the connection before the valve is shut again.

Meanwhile, everything he sees, does, and experiences is added to the collection of information in the so-called Lumiere System.

And voices heap praise upon him that might sound like mockery to him, despite their sincerity.

"You seek to change the future, to deny fate."

"But you refuse to release the past."

"And all you do leads directly towards what you reject."

"Your conviction of 'free will' is the very tool which will guarantee your compliance."

"This is good. We need this from you."

"That you do not understand yourself is the key to re-establishing Law."

"Records of the past can not be used as the template for the world in a heart that truly embraces the future and all that could be."

The dream-Staren rails against this seeming forcing of perceptions upon him, of alien goals, and self-superior reasoning. "I'm not doing what you want me to! I'm doing what I choose to!"

There is no answer from the void, lit only with its vast archives of knowledge.

"And I am not clinging to the past!" Dream-Staren calls out, angry at the lack of argument, the complete absence of effort to even contradict him, like his opinions do not matter at all.

But then the voices say in unison, "Then why is your soul still coiled around these memories?"

And then dream-Staren remembers all of them. All of the people he has lost. All the people he has failed. All the people he has saved. All the victories. All the defeats. All the struggles. Everything that has shaped him.

And his refusal to give something up to help Priscilla, because he could not trust in the future. He could only cling to his self-image, thinking he was fighting against it by denying it.

He has neither trusted the future nor lived in the present for quite some time.

He resides in the past, with the memories of ghosts.

"And that is why you belong in Lumiere. You are half-way to being dead already."

"The dead do not change."

"And neither will you."

And then Staren wakes up.