There once was a man nicknamed Dream. He was 17, a bit of a science geek, and played all kinds of sports. A fairly well-rounded individual who had decent looks, smarts, and high ambitions. However, all this did nothing to prevent the apparently common case of self-doubt and hopelessness.
As a kid who grew up in Los Angeles, California during the year 2060, he had all the knowledge he could ever want at his fingertips. Scientists were constantly pushing the limits of physics to develop greater technology as they always have. The entertainment industry was growing by the day, jobs were constantly being taken by robots, the lives of everyone ordinary becoming better but more intruded upon. It was just your normal, everyday descent into the dystopias you read about in books.
Dream grew up in the midst of all this, but was raised under one creed: "Question everything." This is what his parents always told him, and it shaped his entire life.
In highschool, Dream was quite the ambitious teenager. He always wanted to become a millionaire who was able to make his money by inventing something great. He wanted to develop an ingenious piece of tech, develop a business, and maybe sell it off for money he could live the rest of his life off of. However, while he thought that was the start of an uptrend and successful life, he had no idea it was the opposite.
Because he wanted to become successful and make something awesome, he decided to get to studying. Not studying in highschool, but studying on his own. He didn't think much of highschool. Never did. He thought it was a waste of time as they only taught him stuff he already knew. So instead of paying attention there, he put all his focus into online research.
Freshman year of highschool, and electrical engineering was his first gateway into the world of science. He was always interested in energy and how it was harnessed. He would take apart many different devices and attempt to create his own. While none of them were successful, it sparked a boundless curiosity in him.
How did energy travel through copper? What were semiconductors? How did batteries work? What are magnetic fields?
All kinds of questions shuttled through his mind, and he sought out the answers for them all. The internet was free and the information infinite, so he scoured it like a starving man during a feast.
Physics, chemistry, engineering, material science, genetics, biology, cosmology, and more. One thing always led to another, and for 3 years in a row, he spent all the time he could studying all aspects of the universe. His mind was like a black hole for information, but with everything he discovered, there was always another question to be answered, and his curiosity kept pushing him deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.
This wasn't all he did though. While he loved indulging himself in study, he had other responsibilities and worries about the future. One of these responsibilities was actually sports, something he excelled at.
After years in middle school, Dream found himself most talented in track. He was remarkably fast, and this was only discovered in highschool. Either way, he wasn't allowed to waste this talent, and thus he joined the team and trained every day.
Unfortunately, while he was fast, his body didn't like the strain very much. Dream was riddled with injuries and had the spine of an 80 year old man. It was so bad that it got to the point where it hurt to breathe should he strain himself too much. And it wasn't caused by anything like asthma, but instead his spine pinching different nerves with the shifting of his muscles.
But he pushed through. He got himself to a chiropractor which helped immensely. That was able to keep him on the track where he pushed through any other pain that cropped up. Within moderation of course. He wasn't a masochist, so if things hurt a little too much for a little too long, he would back off.
Unfortunately, that didn't help much. When it wasn't one thing it was another, and Dream soon had to deal with hamstring injuries. These were worse than back injuries as they would keep you out of all sports for extended periods of time should you get hurt enough.
But he got through those too. It sucked and Dream came to hate running, but he was good at it and couldn't waste the chance for things like scholarships and free rides. So he just continued to trudge through while comforting himself with the thoughts of learning new things in science.
And things went well for a good while. But as Dream grew up a bit more, he started getting more and more depressed. At first he didn't know why. He liked studying, he read books, he was active, and he had some friends. He should have a pretty perfect life, so why did he start losing motivation? Why did he start hating himself?
It got so bad that he could barely get out of bed. He lost all sense of purpose. Everything he studied, if he did at all, started making him nihilistic too. Things like scientific determinism and religion drove him into a hole that he just curled up in.
Dream and his family were actually catholic, so he was no stranger to religious concepts. They frequently discussed things like God, the devil, Revelations, and the apocalypse. But discussing these things further drove Dream into a void of his own creation, one that he never felt like taking himself out of.
Dream loved discovery. Seeing new things, learning new ways to see things, and coming up with his own interpretations on concepts was the most satisfying thing Dream could do. But as you went further and further down the rabbit hole, things got dark.
The universe can't be traversed, God is an omnipotent being playing sandbox with the world, and people, whether they want to be or not, are just ignorant sheep waiting for the day that they've been used for all they're worth and expire.
It was an incredibly hopeless picture that Dream drew for himself, and when you threw in the depression, you had a recipe for disaster.
But they say time heals all wounds, and maybe that was true for him too. Come the end of high school, Dream was finally in the position to move on. While he didn't have the best grades since he never did homework, they were decent and his sports ability was top notch. So he finally decided to try taking his head out of the gutter for once and look on the bright side.
And doing that gave him some solace. Going into college, Dream received far better training and was able to push himself to greater heights. He also mustered up the courage and got himself a beautiful girlfriend. She became the light in the void he made or himself, and for once, he thought that while he would never become much in the grand scheme of things, he would be able to cut himself a little slice of fulfillment with the girl next to him and the sports that kept him strong.
At least, that was until life took out a gun and shot him in the dick.
He tore his hamstring on one fateful day, and from then on, he knew that he would never be able to play sports again. While he never liked running, the achievement that came from winning races and getting medals was something he kept looking forward to. It was one of the things that made him think it was all worth it. All the blood and sweat, for months on end, for a short and glorious race.
But now, he would never get that again.
It was like a knife in his heart, and he went into another bout of depression. He started sinking back down into that void. His mind became unhealthy, especially since he was no longer active during the healing process.
But there was someone to pull him back out. His girlfriend was always there, and she didn't let him sink.
She was there to keep him going through the painful rehabilitation and physical therapy. She didn't let him give up and tore him out of bed when he didn't want to go. It was tough love, but that's exactly what he needed, and once again, she lit up that dark and lonely place his mind was in.
Eventually he got back on his feet, and he started finding another purpose for himself. He went back to being active, and he continued his studies. Things were going good once more in his life.
Until they weren't. If before life shot him in the dick, this time, life shot him in the heart.
On one horrible night, the light of his world was murdered.
It wasn't anything wildly dramatic. A robber had broken into her house during the night, and when she tried to fight back to protect her family, she was shot dead.
It was so simple that not many people cared. The robber was found, jailed, and the case was wrapped up quickly. In the large city, it was just a passing breeze, not causing anything of significance.
But that passing breeze was enough to destroy someone's whole world. Dream was once more cast into the void. He was thrown farther down than he ever had been. So far that he couldn't pull himself out.
She had been his light, the key to something greater. With her, he didn't need sports. With her, he could keep himself from thinking that everything was hopeless. But with that light gone, there was nothing keeping him from not only burying himself in the void, but sinking down to its farthest depths.
However, as he sank down into the abyss, he actually started going back to study. Studying and learning became the only thing that could keep him occupied. It became the only thing that could fill the void. It was a curious thing, but he found himself going back to it. When everything was hopeless and it seemed as if there was nothing more, he went out to research more as if he was trying to find a way out. He wanted to find a way past the darkness.
But nothing he did brought him any light. Nothing he saw brought him any hope. It was all just a distraction, a way to cope with the horrible truth.
And one day, he reached his breaking point.
Knowledge couldn't do anything for him anymore. He couldn't process anything. His mind had reached its limit, and he wanted everything to end.
So he decided to end it himself.
He drove himself out to the middle of nowhere. A place where the lights of the city didn't reach. There, he could see the stars. He could visualize the universe and all its splendor. And he could understand how vastly cosmic everything was.
It was moments like that when he was the most enraptured. He could feel it in his bones, how magnificent the cosmos were. It wasn't simply a thought, but something that made him shiver. He got goosebumps from the incomprehensible significance of the universe and all its workings.
And it was those very goosebumps that reminded him about how limited he was. Everyone was extraordinarily limited in both mind and body. One person would never be able to comprehend the secrets of the universe. It simply wasn't possible, and it was exactly that which drove Dream further down into the void.
Finally, after pondering in the biting cold weather of the rural desert for hours, he felt it. The abyss that called to him, and the abyss that he started to long for. He longed for enlightenment, and the abyss would either bring it to him, or wipe away his existence forever. Either way, he would get what he wanted.
So he gave himself to it.
<Announcement-- Individual: |Dream| has given the ultimate sacrifice for the pursuit of knowledge.>