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      Erick couldn't help but murmur, "Who are you?"

      Now the faceless man had somehow heard Erick. Erick felt a piercing glare from unseen eyes. The man made his way to within a few paces of Erick and then stopped. Erick now noticed that the men around the table had faded into the background with everything else. The faceless man was now the only active part of the VR.

      "Who am I? Maybe I am King Arthur as you first thought. Maybe I am Charlemane. Maybe I am Alexander the Great. Maybe I am Hitler, who history remembers as having poor intentions, but you never know what it would've remembered if he had won. Maybe I am God speaking to you through a medium that your feeble mind can grasp. Maybe I am the devil trying to deceive you in some way. I know who am I. I know who you are. The answers that you are seeking have been before your eyes all along."

     As the faceless had begun speaking, he had gained a face; many faces in fact. Each incarnation had lasted little more than a split second, but Erick had recognized most of them. When the man finished speaking, his face became blank again. Silence filled the VR room as Erick tried to mentally digest what he had just seen and heard.

      After a few minutes, Erick realized the man wore his own face now, only a little older and more worn. "Or maybe I'm the man you are destined to become." And the VR faded to black.

      Erick stared into the black as he tried to grasp everything that he had seen and heard in the VR. He finally fell asleep and dreamt.

      "Who are you?"

      "What do you want?"

      "Maybe I'm the man you are destined to become."

      Those words still rang in Erick's head the next morning as Samuel awakened him. Erick removed the contact lenses and put the VR gear away. He made preparations for the day and after a quick breakfast, he and Samuel were on their way.

Absolut Paradigm

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