Once there was a colony of people — a city that formed just outside the gates of a tall tower. The colony came to be because the people in it had been trying to gain access to the tower for several millennia, but no one could seem to bypass the lock on the gate. Generations upon generations of people all tried their hand at it, but no one could find a way into the tower. The gate was the only way in, and a key was the only way to open the gate.
The people ultimately realized that they needed a master key…
Legend had it a master key would appear among the people every few generations or so. Unfortunately to that point, no one ever recognized what the master key was until it was too late and the opportunity to use it had passed. Post hoc, the people began worshipping possessors of the key in hopes to prime themselves for its next appearance.
It was said that the master key didn’t just open the gate to the tower, but that it could also open any lock anywhere, including locks to doors within the city.
There were several groups of people who held very strong beliefs about the tower, the gate and the key. On top of that some people decided to just profit off of other people’s beliefs pertaining to these things. Those who sought to profit from others ultimately believed that they could game everybody into either finding or constructing a key, and then secure the key for themselves after benefitting from everyone else’s labor and effort. So they crafted several stories about the tower, the gate and the key and then circulated the stories created among different groups of people.
Again, most people had divergent thoughts about the tower, gate and key. Several groups had keys in their possession, and they were told their respective keys would ultimately become the master key if they could just get enough people to believe in and promote them. So these groups of people spent all of their time competing against each other, and trying to dominate and convert each other into believing that the keys they respectively held were the master key.
Upon viewing clashes between groups who were trying to gain support in efforts to turn their key into the master key, several people lost interest in the tower, the gate and the key altogether, while others convinced themselves that both the gate and the tower were just blank canvases that they could project their own beliefs, fantasies and ideals onto, and that everyone was a key in their own right, and that the tower represented personal freedom, comfort, joy, happiness and fulfillment.
One day a man from the group who’d lost all interest in the tower was taking a shower. Upon getting out of the shower he looked in the mirror and saw a flaming golden key around his neck. It seems the key was attached to him with with some sort of invisible chain. He instantly became frightened and tried to rip it of off him immediately, before realizing it was impossible to…
“What the fuck is this thing?” he murmured to himself, wondering if it was some sort of medical emergency…
“I’m the master key.” the artifact replied.
Man: “You can talk?”
Key: “Yes. But for now I’ll only speak to you.”
Man: “Nah, I’m just tripping, dawg… I must’ve slipped and hit my head or something. I’m sure I’ll come to any moment now.”
Key: “No, this is happening… This is for real.”
Man: “What are you?”
Key: “I’m the key to the tower gate.”
Man: “Bullshit! The tower’s just some stupid structure that people keep projecting false meanings onto! The lock is un-openable and un-pickable because it’s not even a real lock! All that fufu shit is good for is making people stupid, bitter, self-righteous and violent.”
Key: “No, the tower’s real, I’m the key to the lock on the gate, and the agreements you’ve made with yourself about the tower, the gate and me have no bearing on the reality of what’s happening right now. We’re just gonna speed this process up real quick because nobody has time to dance around your pride and baseless beliefs. We’re going to the tower now to show you few rooms…”
Man: “Now I’m really tripping! You’re wilding, bruh! We’re all the way down here. We ain’t even nowhere near the…”
The man is instantly transported into the tower and moves through several rooms within fractions of a second before returning to his physical body.
Man: “What the fuck?? What just happened to me?! What did I just see?”
Key: “I took you into the tower.”
Man: “But how?? My body’s still here! And what did I just see? What was that?!”
Key: “Don’t worry about it. It’ll all get more clear to you as time passes — as will all things.”
Man: “Why is this happening? Why are you doing this to me?”
Key: “It’s happening because it’s time for it to. And I’m not doing this to you, this was all done before you existed. You’re simply a vessel — an extension of a greater function, and I’m something that’s simply working through you for the moment. Don’t idealize yourself. You’re not the star here…”
Man: “Alright. But honestly, how can I be sure this isn’t all just some wild and crazy dream, or that you’re not just a figment of my imagination? Why should I believe any of what’s happening now?”
Key: “Legend has it that the master key can open any lock, right?”
Man: “Yeah, I think that’s what I heard…”
Key: “Cool. Go open that lock across the street.”
The man crosses the street and opens the lock on the building adjacent to his.
Key: “Have you ever tried to open that lock before?”
Man: “Honestly, no. I never had a real reason or desire to.”
Key: “Cool. Now travel anywhere in any direction away from here, and try me in any lock.”
The man goes four streets down and makes a left turn. He tries the second building on the right. He puts the key in the lock, turns it and opens the door, then closes it and walks away.
Man: “Well shit… But that could just be a coincidence though, so I won’t blindly accept that you’re this ‘master key’ yet.”
Key: “You don’t have to. Just continue to open locks until you can’t anymore. Belief isn’t required from you, action is.”
Man: “I understand… Okay, so let’s say you are this master key people have been waiting on… What do you want from me exactly?”
Key: “I want you to tell people to clear the path so that I can get to the gate and open it.”
Man: “How exactly am I supposed to do that?”
Key: “Tell everybody that you have, no, that you ARE the master key.”
Man: “Dude, why on Earth would I do that? That’s just inviting trouble to myself for no reason! Lots of people have very strong views and beliefs about the tower, the gate and the key! Telling people I have, or even worse that I AM the master key will only make them bitter, angry and violent towards me.”
Key: “Did I ask for your opinion or input? I’m going to explain this to you once, so just be quiet and listen. I’m already aware that people are going to aggress against you because you have me within you. The thing is, you’ll have to open enough locks and prove to everyone that you’re in possession of the master key. This is the fastest way to the tower gate. They’ll present challenges to you in the forms of different types and sizes of locks to open. You’ll open the doors one by one, demonstrating clearly to everyone that you are in fact the master key.”
Man: “But if people hate me then who’s going to cooperate? Who’s going to grant me access to any locks to see if I can open them?”
Key: “Stupid people love to compete. Their desire to dominate you will compel them to present you with locks to open.”
Man: “But what happens to ME in the process?”
Key: “I can’t say… But whatever happens to you happens to me, and any aggressive action taken against me will be met with consequences that your people can’t even begin to conceive of. No one fights against the tower, the gate or the key and simply walks away from it. Anything that happens to you will happen billions of times over to whoever aggresses against or does nothing to stop others from aggressing against you.”
Man: “But what happens if somebody steals you from me, or takes credit for the locks you open through me?”
Key: “No one can steal me from you, as you and I have now become one being. If your body gets destroyed they untether me from you, and then all who are directly or indirectly responsible for your demise will be met with terrors a billion times worse than anything they could dream of in a million years. And if anyone tries to steal credit for the locks you open through gifts I imbue you with they will have me to answer to, as they’ll be competing and thus aggressing against me directly. Anyone who gets in my way, or who tries to hinder me or prevent me from opening the tower gate will have to answer to me — first, for aggressing against me, and second for every soul they prevented, deterred or delayed from entering into the tower as a result of their stupid and unchecked compulsion to compete. I absolutely guarantee that anyone who gets in my way, and anyone who doesn’t clear the path for me will wish to heaven they’d never been born.”
And with that, the key disappeared into the man’s chest and the man proceeded to go into the center of the settlement city.
Man: “Listen here everyone… Um (he says pensively)… Now, I know this is going to sound crazy, ridiculous, damn near unbelievable in fact, but I found the master key. In fact, the master key actually appeared around my neck after I got out of the shower today, and it spoke to me. I’ve been instructed to open the tower gates, and I need you all to step aside and to clear the path.”
Person 1: “LOL, this idiot thinks he has the master key! Bullshit! Produce it!”
Man: “I can’t produce it because it’s literally part of me now. And even if I could produce it you wouldn’t be able to see it. I can only demonstrate its power and ability to you.”
Person 1: “Hey dumb ass, everybody thinks they have the master key! What you NEED TO DO is stop deluding yourself and start believing in the master key my group worships so that with enough belief, our key can finally open the tower gates!”
Man: “Um… Alright, let me ask you something then. Can the key you have now open ANY door?”
Person 1: “The key I believe in can open all doors!”
Man: “Cool. Let’s just put the keys to the test. Let’s see whose key can open the most locks, or open locks the most effectively. They say the master key can open any lock, right? Well whoever’s key can open locks the best is more than likely, at least closer to being the master key than the other. Is that fair?”
And with that, several series of locks are brought to the men. The man with the master key successfully opens the series of locks placed before him, while the man who challenged him can’t even open the first lock.
Man: “Yeah, you probably need to trim your cuts here, here and here, and then add some length to the shoulder, and then file down and angle out the tip.”
It seemed that the man with the master key, through no effort of his own, had developed an innate understanding and awareness for the shape and mechanisms of keys and locks.
Person 1: “You don’t have the master key, asshole! This doesn’t prove anything! You just got lucky!”
Man: “My thoughts exactly… What else is there for me to open around here? I’m just as skeptical as you are, and I have no reason to trust that this any of this is legit.”
So people started leading the man all around town, trying to see what kind of locks he could open. After opening a few more locks the man began to realize that he could see through all the doors he was about to open. Many of the doors around the town led to dead spaces and traps. The key allowed him to see through and open some doors, but kept him from seeing through and opening others. Any type of damage he incurred from opening doors that had traps behind them was being itemized so that whoever was responsible for it would be penalized on the back end.
Person 2: “If the master key is for real then why can’t you produce it so that we can analyze, reverse engineer and apply measures to?”
Man: “Again, it’s fused to me. You can’t apply measures to it because you haven’t achieved instruments that are advanced enough to track or record any aspect of. The only way you can track it at this point is by measuring its output in the way of my ability to open locks.”
Person 2: “So how do we know it’s just not you? How do we know you’re not some talented person who just happens to be gifted at picking locks?”
Man: “First of all, the only reason I can say with any level of certainty that I’m sane is that I’m well aware that I’m not talented enough to do any of this on my own. But even if I were just some insanely talented person who’s making all of this stuff up, there’s still no scenario in which keeping me from the gate makes any sense whatsoever. Because regardless of whether or not I can open the gate through natural talent, or because I have the master key, I still stand the best chance of opening the lock. You want to get into the tower, don’t you? If my key or skills can outperform yours, then what’s the holdup?”
Person 3: “None of that shit even matters! You wanna know why? Because we’ve been constructing our OWN master key (science and technology) for years now! Our key can open most of the doors in our town! Once we can open every door in our town with precision and accuracy, then the key we’ve constructed should be able to open the lock on the gate!”
Man: “That’s highly improbable. First of all, only the master key can open the gate to the tower. It doesn’t matter what your key can do for you within your city, your city is neither the tower nor the gate. Secondly, the only locks that you can effectively open are the locks that you created. No amount of reverse engineering, theory or speculation will give you the dimensions or know-how to make a suitable key replacement. There’s only one master key. It can’t be replicated and it’s irreplaceable.”
Person 4: “Why are we wasting time here? We can just kill him and take the master key!”
Man: “No you absolutely cannot. The key is a sentient being. It’s symbiotically bound to me until this body expires, at which point it will become a weapon more horrible than anything you could possibly imagine. What it does to you, and will continue doing to you, doesn’t just end once your body dies. And even if there were some way to separate me from it, it simply wouldn’t cooperate with any host it didn’t choose.”
Person 4: “Well I don’t think you don’t deserve the master key!”
Man: “I never said I did. But this isn’t about deserving or undeserving, it’s about opening a gate — a gate y’all haven’t figured out how to open for thousands of years. If you can’t open the gate then shut up, step aside and let me through.”
Person 5: “Hey, we ALL have master keys! There’s a master key within each of us! And if we just focus our imagination and believe in ourselves then the gate will open from our rainbow magic love! Happy thoughts and self belief are the key!”
Man: “Literally shut up. You sound dumb as hell right now. The key is mechanical. The lock is mechanical. They’re each a function to the tower. All that toxic positivity you’re exuding only distracts from the tower, the gate and the key. You’re not helping, you’re making everything worse.”
Competitors: “Everybody gang up on him and block him from getting to the gate! He’s saying our keys aren’t important, and that his key is the only key that matters! He thinks he’s better than the rest of us! We all need to stop him because it’s the moral thing to do!”
Man: “No, no, no… You’re just trying to win at a stupid game you’ve been playing, by trying to weaponize believers against me and then against themselves — all because you’re hopelessly addicted to gaming.”
Competitors: “You’re wrong and we’re right! We deserve rewards and you deserve punishment! We deserve praise and you deserve humiliation! We deserve to win and you deserve to lose! We’re the good guys and you’re the bad guy!”
Man: “Competitors, the key has already said that you’ve made yourselves adversaries to it out of sheer vanity. It’s in your absolute best interest to spend every waking moment and ounce of energy you can muster trying to clear the path for it, because what you’ve racked up in negative consequences by trying to compete against the tower so far are more than any person could hope to bear through a thousand life times of the worst possible agony. You’re trying to win a stupid game. It’s trying to accomplish a task that is its primary reason for existing. Your dumb ass addiction to competition has impeded the key’s progress towards accomplishing its purpose. You’re in far more trouble than you could hope to imagine, and your pride and unchecked appetites for competition and rage-dumping are making things worse for you by the second.”
Competitors: “But we can prove that you’re a fraud! We’ve been monitoring you this entire time!”
Man: “We’ve been monitoring each other.”
Competitors: “You said this over here, but that over there!”
Man: “…in anticipation of this very moment. I’m more than happy to explain myself.”
Competitors: “We can prove that you have these character faults!”
Man: “Let me ask you something… What do subjective character faults have to do with the mechanical process of opening a lock?”
Competitors: “We can stop you from getting to the gate! We can make you suffer and dump all of our rage into you!”
Man: “You’re not stopping me, you’re only agitating a thing performing through me. Regardless of how it comes to pass, this key will ultimately have its way. And then it will give you everything you earned for either trying to assist or injure and delay it. Now move out of the way, or in this very moment, you will quadruple the horrors you’re already about to face…”