content warning // lots of death, killing, and other related stuff; possibly direct threat

Translated from futurespeak for legibility.

hi, um... it's me, rocco here
i thought about the date today


who's been keeping track? it's gotten me thinking about the past and if anyone dedicated themselves to holding onto the date and time even through the fall of civilization
it's clear someone did, or it might be some kind of computer

emotionless boxes that do nothing but work
do you think someone should free them? do they enjoy doing work, like how my "dad" enjoys going out and collecting firearms?

all i know about computers is that there's one on my arm right now. it seems technology (is that how it's spelled?) hasn't been inhibited quite so bad by the fall

it's a little strange thinking about it
can you believe that there was something before me? something so big that just collapsed?
sometimes it doesn't feel real. like my whole life's a dream

sometimes i wish my life was a dream honestly
that all of everything that's happened to me hasn't actually happened

do you think i'd have friends when i wake up?
maybe i'd go to school? like a real, official school, with kids my age?
i'll admit, it's really weird learning english with people almost twice my age.

how am i real? i'll be honest, i think i might be in hell
this is hell, isn't it? i mean, it's all i've ever known but

i hate being shot at. i hate almost getting fucking killed because i have to steal to keep living.
and i just
i hate being on patrol. i hate having to murder people to stay alive. i wish everything wasn't as hard as it is right now.

i get homicidal dreams almost every night. tossing and turning as my mind goes insane thinking about evaporating every single goddamn person left on this earth
maybe if i was born before the fall i wouldn't have to do this
maybe i'd sleep better
maybe i could dream about puppies and kittens instead of blood and guts

i'd love to throw up thinking about it but i'm desensitized to it now
but i still feel the pain
immense amounts of pain

whatever. goodnight, log reader. i'll be staying up all night

p.s. if you are who i think you are, then you better keep an eye open tonight, you fucking prick. by now you should be dead. if you're not... i'll make sure that you are.
enjoy sleeping, cunt. i'll be outside your window, knocking

some people, when asked who they are, or even what they are – “are you a good boy?” – “are you trans?” – etc., know the answer for themselves. it could be “yes”, it could be “no” – hell, it could be “not exactly”... but they usually always know.

every morning, when i head to the bathroom to start my day, i look at myself in the mirror. i put on my glasses, i fix my hair, and i brush my teeth. sometimes, though, i find myself staring. i stare close at each strand of fur on my face. i feel the hair on my head, and even look into the ridges of my horns. it's always interesting to see.

of course, i don't really think of what i am when doing this – it's pretty well-defined in my brain that these horns, these strands of fur, and this hair are all mine. it's easy to stare at myself in the mirror. but when I ask why I have horns... why I wear glasses... or even why I am the way that I am...

it all starts to break down from there.

It's May 10, 2124, and Rocco sits in his room. He found a few artifacts from a society that pulled itself apart by the seams.

Political Differences, Dynamic and Systematic Oppression, Wars and Violence, Greed and Money, Democrats and Conservatives, Woke America, Transgendered Individuals,

The Internet

The World Wide Web

Tumblr Dot Com

Google Dot Com

Facebook Dot Com

What did this all mean? He was sure, after a few months of research, that technology hadn't reversed so much ever since the fallout, but he didn't understand any of this.

All of it was impossible to investigate. Archives of “The Internet” are incredibly hard to find in things like books and such. Only logs from jaded and defeated so-called “blogwriters”, recovering from the fall, managed to give him any kind of glimpse into what the culture was like.

Anything before or after? No luck.

It seems like a lot of people kept archives of The Internet on The Internet itself. The people on The Internet depended on it so much, that nobody really knew any ways to preserve any kind of artifacts from it into the future.

The mind of this feral 17-year-old boy did not like it when he figured this out.

MAY 10, 2124

hi rocco here
i dnno what happnd
i lost track of th time

k so im like frsrated rn because
iv been readin all of ths books nd
is rly hard 2 make out

what happnd 2 th internet

t js looks lke a ton of ppl

we rly havnt changed

hav we?

You remember and forget.

It's an ambiguous cycle. You're sure you've thought of this before...

...but when? And how?

After all of the thinking, you end up very confused.

Like you almost always are.

It's tiring... sometimes you wish your brain wasn't so weird.

Not even you understand your own thoughts sometimes.

She stands at the base of a tall tower.

It's a tower she's heard of many times before. From friends, from loved ones, even from randoms on the internet.

Her tower stands very tall from a look at the very bottom... it stretches far, far up into the clouds. Many others have had their own tower climb, and have either found the truth, and lived happy for knowing it... or trip and fall, either by unpreparedness, loss of motivation, fear of heights... or just straight-up self-doubt.

From what she's heard though, the tower is a nice climb. Having multiple windows and telephones at every level to communicate with and see other tower climbers...

All it really needs is your work.

She's a little scared, but excited. She's already started climbing.

What awaits her at the top?

Sorry if there are things I forgot to clarify.

This was written as-is; just a stream of thoughts and worries I had dumped on a blog story.

Hope it's OK.

cw // grooming mention

Dear Iszac,

As you may know, to be a solacite, worries in your past life must be honestly and effectively taken care of to ensure minimal conflict upon turning. However, some have an especially hard time eliminating these worries. Iszac, I am one of those people. I know that you are here to help me take care of my worries, but sometimes I feel like it's impossible. I know you would say otherwise, but it's like the more I believe this, the harder it is to hear your voice. I hope that when you receive this letter, you are of full ability. I'm sorry for generating more worries that you have to deal with, and I'm sorry for not dealing with my issues in the ways you suggest. I'm sort of a coward, and it's hard to confront others, in fear of what might happen if things go awry, or what I think others might think of me. I know taking responsibility has little to do with making sure your image is preserved, but I still don't know. I'm young, I'm dumb, but I'm also concerned that those concerns aren't valid enough, and that everything I've done is to be judged in a lens of recency. I want to admit something to you, that may not be necessarily hard to admit to others, but I just have to get it off of my chest. I'm disgusted by my old self. He's still me, but he's a me that has done stuff that I wouldn't know how to explain now. I also feel incredibly sorry for him. He was groomed, he was sort of manipulated, he had and still sort of has a horrible, horrible pornography addiction, and he was just overall *weird*. But I'm not really worried about him. If anyone confronts me about him, it wouldn't be an effective confrontation. I'm more worried about the me who's grown up since then. Who's had a complicated relationship with sexuality, attraction, boundaries, and of course, sex. He's harder to rationalize, because those worries he's made are still relevant today. The people he's hurt are still around me, and I still haven't done anything about it. I'm angry at myself because I haven't done anything about it, even though I want to. I need to apologize to those I've hurt, but I haven't yet... because it's hard. I'm not trying to say that my priorities or feelings are more important than the priorities and feelings of those I've hurt - just that I haven't yet gained the composure to talk to them and own up to my actions. I need to do it sometime soon. I know that some number of them might not even take a sliver of my apologies seriously, but I'm happy as long as I've done it. And Iszac, I know you know all of this. Then why would I write this letter? Because I just need help doing it all. I need times, I need places, and I need methods. I'm not asking you to directly schedule some times for me to apologize to those I've hurt, because I know you can't. But I just... need suggestions, and I don't know who else to reach out to for that kind of help. I know I could talk to the people in authority of the social environment to help me, but they all think highly of me, and I hate that. It feels like I'm going to get the people I've hurt in trouble by going through them, and I really don't want that. So... I need your help, Iszac.

From your dearly-cherished attachment,

P.S. this could be a good start

Iszac is a boy in spirit. Never really born, not really dead, but in a state between non-interactivity and meaning. He has existed 16 years in a state of solace. To not have to worry about anything in an environment where worries are common. Perhaps he has lived a past life where he has died, where his worries did in fact persist past the spectral veil, but none of them are to be worried about anymore.

It has been observed that the things around him change when he changes his sincere identity. Memories of his name remembered by sapient beings who have experienced his presence, internet archives with many hard drives filled with HTML documents, some of which have bore his name, CDs sporting waves represented as data that build up to represent his name, writing with pen strokes crafted to resemble what he is identified as... all of it changes when he does. Sometimes it only changes in his perception, a moment of disconnection from his identity that isn't visible or detectable by anyone else. These moments are significant quirks of those in solace, impossible to detect by even the most direct of their peers. A single tick of the clock called time means all of these instances of identity change synchronously, as if they always were.

Today is not any day of significance to him or anyone around him. There are no such days he burdens himself about, except his “birthday”, and maybe the birthdays of a few other sapient beings he surrounds himself with. His “birthday”, or more appropriately, day of existence, has been observed to be an odd Tuesday — August 7, 2007. There are no legal documents to prove this, but it has been ingrained permanently within his mind, so he doesn't have to worry about losing or forgetting this date.

Solace is a strange state to be in, as it isn't really as easy as instances of names changing, or being unable to forget your day of existence. You can still create problems and have them persist. Solace is not the immediate manipulation of many of these problems to become non-existent, but the ability to accept the existence of these problems and live with them. Some in the state of solace like to help repair or reduce the impact of these problems, and that is perfectly fine, if not encouraged in this state.

Even when resolved, however, a lot of these problems and worries can spread due to those outside of solace not willing to let go of the problem's existence. Some like to refer to this act as “gossip”. Gossip is a non-issue to residents of solace who understand the true meaning of being in this state. Do not worry yourself with the malicious and unapologetic, for their place in solace will be delayed until they finish just one life cycle worthy enough to earn it.

Solace is sometimes known to be very similar to the Christian belief of Heaven, where salvation shall only come after you have sincerely accepted your sins, but those in solace do not judge based on external perception. Solace is different, for you are instead judged by internal perception. Those who are unwilling to change do not get solace, instead being sent back into the mortal coil to have another chance at making things right.

Iszac is a boy in solace. Never really born, not really dead, but in a state between comfort and perfection.

NAME: Iszac Æther-Celeste
PERCIEVED IDENTITY: Teen aged human, identified genderfluid
ANTI-REDUNDANT NAMES: he/him, they/them, she/her
DATE OF EXISTENCE: 2007 - 08 - 07
DATE OF PERCEPTION: 2023 - 11 - 25

[Scene: Iszac and Theo alone in a dark room. Theo is at a desk on the computer, playing something. Iszac is floating to the left of him, simply observing, silently.]

[Neither of them say anything for some time, until Iszac pipes up]

Iszac: Hey, Theo? Theo: Hm, yep? [he says, opening an ear out of his headphones to hear Iszac] Iszac: Um... what do you think we're going to do once we have to get out of this place? I mean, you can't be here forever, right? Theo: I'd rather not think about that, honestly. Not right now. [Iszac floats closer, in a lying position, holding on to the left side of Theo's chair.] Iszac: Oh, come on. You built a house in this game, why's it so hard to think of acquiring one in real life? [Iszac floats behind Theo's laptop, closing it.] Iszac: I mean, you had to take that class about it this year. What do you have to lose? You know how to get an apartment, buy a car, hell, you even know exactly what car you'd like. There's even some interests you have you can put to use to get a job! Iszac: You're an Autistic, aren't you? Why haven't you put that to use? Theo: ...Uhh... well... Iszac: I know. Theo & Iszac: It's hard. Iszac: It's hard, isn't it? Theo: Yeah... committing is hard, I always hate making commitments. I never know if something I like is good enough for me. Iszac: ... [They spend some time looking away at each other. Theo goes to re-open his laptop, before Iszac snaps it back shut.] Iszac: Hey, look. I know I can't give you any new wisdom, since we kind of share everything, but look. Iszac: Doing stuff is hard. Everything's pretty damn hard. We're poor and irresponsible. Our head's always stuck in the digital world, like prehistoric technopaths... The world's falling apart around us and nobody likes each other. Iszac: But I think we'll be pretty damn OK for now, right? You don't have to think about the future right now, but we both already know it's fun to hyperfixate on the things we could do, and all of the ways our current work could shape our future. Iszac: And our mom, she's pretty damn supportive. If you fall, you'll always have someone to help you back up again. Iszac: Plus, you're getting therapy soon! Hopefully having someone to talk to will help you work out your problems. [Theo nods, yet still sad. Iszac floats over to his side, standing and holding him.]


Iszac: ...It's still scary, isn't it? I know you miss how simple it was to be you back in the day. Iszac: But, look. We're going to get through this, one way or another. Iszac: Our future awaits you, Theo! I know it'll be hard, and I know it'll be stressful, but I know you'll make it. And you will thrive. Theo: But- Iszac: And... I know. If it falls through, and you fail, and you end up feeling like shit... Iszac: At least you tried, you know? At least you meant well.

Iszac: You know there will be and are people who will try and support you, no matter what. Iszac: Just... stay hopeful, and keep doing the things you know you love.

Theo: Thank you, Iszac.

The feeling of wanting to take all of your bad moments back. To put your regrets in order and fix them and live a perfect life.

To do that, you will have to time travel. To be human is to make mistakes, yet a lot of these mistakes feel irreversible, and are so hard to grow from.

It mocks you in the night and day, your mind going sick with the thought of actions done. To think of who you once were and feel a sense of horror at what you once did.

It's sad, honestly. To not be able to put them in order, but the balance of humanity and perfection must be preserved. Mistakes are the scars of the mind – something funny to tell your friends in the future, something to learn from for the future. Sometimes you may make the same mistake over and over again, and it carves deeper and deeper within your brain.

It's okay.

Be yourself once again.

Be human. Make mistakes.

- Iszac