The Thought Logs¹ of Joseph Doppler, transmitted via VRAIN (Virtual Reality Artificial Intelligence Network)² and uploaded to his short-term memory-storage for later review. The original language was one of the possible developments of English: a partial merger with Spanish, along with many Mandarin loan-words and idioms, due to the Pan-American Merger (2042, in this permutation) and China’s rise as a world power.
“One pile of shit please, with mustard.”
“One maggot-infested, pus-filled dead rat in-between two pieces of road-kill please. Just nail em together, and hold the ketchup.”
“Excuse me, but could you please tear out my intestines, and lather the whole bloody, shitty mess with mayo, then just cut a whole loaf of bread in half and make me a sub, and for sauce just use whatever viscera and vomit you can dig out of my gut, OK? Cool?”
Yeah, that’s pretty much how it is. Except they never say please.
I think this is supposed to be “The Future”. But McDonald’s has existed forever, or so they say.
I guess its different now that workers rent bodies, but really it doesn’t matter whose body you’re in. It’s the same work as it always was, more or less. I mean, sure the restaurant is on a space station orbiting Mars but it’s the same Golden Arches as ever. Those same twin portals still stand proudly and perkily, still unsagging. And of course Ronald McDonald, High Priest, presides over all.
Fuck. I need another adrenaline surge, but they schedule them, like the Nazi assholes they are. Yeah, I know my history. I’ve played a lot of World War II sims.
This body sucks shit, too. They don’t even give enough of a fuck to maintain them. He must be pushing sixty years old, and fat as fuck. I’m wheezing from flipping goddamn burgers! There’s probably been about a hundred thousand people in here before me, and all their smoke breaks and all the burgers and fries from all the lunches they’ve eaten here and the occasional fuck in that half hour after closing but before you have to return the body, and probably catching some shit, and just absorbing all the all pervasive grease of this place. Ugh. It just builds up, accumulates, coagulates, like the greasy grime on the back of this disgusting deep fryer.
See, that’s the thing. People don’t give a shit about the body they’re living in anymore because they know they’re just passing through. The IO³ is the true life, the real reality; this is just something I have to do so I can be a Dragon.
People sometimes say that Lacuna is a dream the VRAIN is creating for us, a fantasy, but I say that the VRAIN is something Lacuna is creating so that we can understand it, so that our reality can interact with its Reality.
I say if anything is real, it is the IO, it is the Dragon, not goddamn motherfucking McDonalds.
¹ For obvious reasons, our operative was unable to retrieve the original information. However, he recorded the audio playback, then translated and transcribed it once he returned, producing the document you see here.
² This seems to be something that emerged from what the Internet became in this future. Details are few, but from what we have able to learn it seems that at some point in this future, virtual reality was integrated into the Internet infrastructure, along with a general increase in the power and sophistication of computers, and something was born. The VRAIN is the hardware that supports this entity, which also creates the virtual reality “dreamscape”. It is also capable of modeling the human brain so perfectly that it can create a virtual version of the person. It is not clear at what point in the future this development was supposed to happen, but it is clear that it changed everything. People were no longer confined to a single body, and could even cheat death, so long as the VRAIN kept running and they had enough Credit. Many spend much more time in the IO than they do incarnate.
³ The IO is the term for the “software” of the VRAIN, the Virtual Reality it creates, a space that is at once an effectively infinite playground, the nexus of almost all the information of human Civilization, and the “Well of Souls” where most humans store their minds independently of the bodies they use. It is also the independent mind of the Network, which exists simultaneously as a single autonomous entity, as a multitude of beings which inhabit every wirelessly connected electronic device not being piloted by a human mind, and as the Genus Loci of the Virtual Reality environment itself. Finally, the plural, “IOs” are the many worlds or sub-realities that exist within the VRAIN and the IO as a while.