Behavior Analysis: 93% – Correction: 94%
It’s almost exactly as you remember it. The lift on each level of the Pin opens onto a central, circular room that serves as a common meeting and meditation space. The perimeter of the circle is composed of a series of doors, each precisely 31.83 cm from the next. Behind each door is a stubby, wedge-shaped office. In total, this configuration allows 100 employees to work in 100 offices on each level of the Pin.
Except when you step off the lift, there should be laughter. Joking. Talking. This close to the end of the day – just 12 minutes until the 16:37 bell, you realize – the meeting space should be filling with people taking their final Good Reflection break of the day. You can remember back – it was only a year, after all – to when you yourself would have been standing around that fountain, there, sharing a drink and sharing the Good your day brought you with your co-workers. You can practically hear your wife – ex-wife – laughing over the others as you tell the story of Mr. Nimitz, the man who’d had to give up his analysis job because he’d “fallen in love with his cats.”
But now there is only silence. Silence and lights. Melancholy is not Good. You push down the thought and forge ahead.
In front of you, a path lights up guiding you on the optimal route to your assignment’s office. You know the path isn’t actually there – it’s being projected directly into your retinas via the laser-emitting bioelectronic implants – but it appears as if it is a physical, three-dimensional line. It perfectly conforms to the carpet on the floor, adapting its subtle shading and texture, and instantly becomes smooth as the carpet gives way to polished granite.
For a moment you consider the futility of this search. How can anyone hope to hide in a world that’s this connected? The Good pervades all – even those outside its reach. All are one with the Good and the Good is one with all. You walk along one line, one connection, mapped by the quanputers that monitor all connections, maintaining the Good. How many others follow these lines today?
As the thought crosses your mind, suddenly the room goes black except for the electric white line you follow. Your eyes dart in a panic all around you as your heart skips three beats. It’s not a line – it’s a web. Millions and millions of paths connecting millions of points extend to infinity in all directions. You focus on the one to your immediate right and see that as it shifts, its four connected lines shift, then the dozens they are connected to, then hundreds and then thousands of other lines light up and shift beyond that. Some glow a faint green, some glow a faint red. The dance extends out to infinity. You raise your hand do tap your implant center at the back of your skull. It’s too beautiful and it’s too Good and it’s too overwhelming and it’s too confusing and you blink and it’s all gone and you’re standing still and what is that buzzing noise…
Behavior Analysis: 90% – Correction: 87%
The buzzing is a deviation alarm. Your first in months! You shake your head quickly like you’re trying to get water out of your ear. You glance at the clock projected in front of you. The room is just like it was thirty seconds ago, except you have stopped moving and your heart is racing. Thirty seconds? It felt more like five minutes! But 5% is an extreme deviation from the Good. You jar yourself into motion, making a note to get your implants checked by the optometrist soon.
After a few seconds, you slow your pace to give you time to think. Such a projection surely could not have been a simple visual malfunction. The implants were stable technology. They were of the Good. They connected the members of the Good to the Sphere and allowed the quanputers to refine the Good. So what just happened?
You recall several cases in the past when the subject reported hallucinations or malfunctions of their optical implants. Motioning the command, you search the arbitration archives. Over one hundred cases in the past month alone. Everything from as low as a Drunkard Class 1.6 up to as high as an Arbitrator Class 90.4. Searching for specific images, you find no results that match your experience. Curiously you notice that the cases of Class 80 and higher have no image files or descriptions of the hallucinations or malfunctions.
A brief global image search brings one major result. As you walk, you pull information from the page. It’s something called the Quantum Church, whose background nearly resembles the connections and lines you just saw. Other than the name of the organization, the only other thing floating above the background is their symbol, which resembles an ancient symbol known as a Celtic Knot (your great grandfather was descended from Irishmen and obsessed with genealogy in his old age). Instead of just three plain leaves, the symbol of the Quantum Church embeds an outdated Bohr model of the atom in each leaf. Great, a crackpot cult. Just what you needed on your plate right now.
You’ve reached the end of the line. The path terminates at door 42 – not quite halfway around the floor. The door opens automatically as you approach.
Behavior Analysis: 90%