Choose Your Own Existence

Tom Chambers
2 min readMar 31, 2021

Darren was sat at his laptop at the beach, scrolling through Universe Warehouse, one of the best places to purchase alternate realities. Since there was enough processing power to simulate every molecule of an entire planet on a substrate the size of a grain of rice every kid was running his own custom designed system with all sorts of crazy physics, competing with each other for the most number of users.

The lists were endless. You could choose by all sorts of categories. Lots of the featured worlds were full up or you had to pay, so Darren was watching the feed of new worlds to see if anything interesting came up. He saw one that incorporated all ten of Newton’s hypothetical laws. Sounded a bit bureaucratic. He’d rather just chill out for a while.

There were certain risks if these things weren’t properly maintained. To avoid a surfeit of clones the law stated that the original body and mind had to be destroyed once created within the simulation. Given that a single person could create a military force composed entirely of themselves backups were deemed to be a stockpiling of arms. That meant you were putting your trust in someone called xxx||megapartyworldz||xxx.

Yeti Catcher World. These were quite common. A bit unsophisticated though. It was basically a copy of the earth template but with a bit of cryptozoology mixed in. To be honest, it sounded a lot like Loch Ness Universe, which was a bit dull. Once you’ve seen a few of these creatures, they just become ordinary, not much more interesting than a dog.

Shortly after the technology’s creation things were going wild. There were detective agencies set up to find errant husbands in virtual worlds. People were being kidnapped from earth and found themselves enslaved on a work planet, performing endless computation just to serve yet another simulation.

You could be many layers deep and sometimes people had to hire the same agencies to find out which world they were in. It didn’t help much though, no-one knew where Earth was anymore.

Darren had scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page. There were just three left in the list now. So hard to find what you wanted with so much choice. There was one with atoms the size of houses. And houses were the size of…? Not properly considered at all. Another whose main feature was Configurable DNA. It seemed to be mostly used to give women larger breasts. And other modified appendages.

He sighed. There was only one left. High Gravity world. It didn’t sound that fun but at least it was novel. He authorised the payment and stepped into the matter transporter. When he arrived in the new world he was immediately crushed to death. The fourteen year old running it had gone on holiday. A time sync bug had been slowly getting worse, eventually increasing the mass of the planet to lethal levels.