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Carl’s wife was not the first to go through these stages of alienation. Others had been there before with their partners, family or friends. In fact Carl could recite many stories, word by word, reading out loud from what was online – what was in his head. Until his wife would get enough of it and close the light. Which wasn’t stopping Carl from continuing his reading… darkness was just what he needed to sort through the daily mails which arrived in his brain.

Transferring thoughts (images, sounds, fragrances) back and forth; swimming the shared waves of world consciousness; being a part of, and helping to build, this eternal soul; merging peacefully with others who once were offline identities, offline like Carl once was. Like his wife still was.

* * * *

It didn’t take Carl much to convince her to get the brain implant, to become connected. She felt she was losing him, the man she loved for all her life; losing him to a future of a world she was scared to be a part of. If only she knew before what she knew now. She would have done it earlier. It was all so easy in the end.

Nietzsche. Kant. Hegel. Wittgenstein. Checking, reading, understanding, comparing. Cross-checking; validating; linking; feeling. 200 books, 300 books. Knowledge – freedom – control – relaxation. Wisdom. That was only the first hour. Many more would follow.

* * * *

No, Carl wasn’t the first, and by far his wife wouldn’t be the last to try out this technology. She grabbed for his hand and he for hers as they walked the park, and sat down on the bench. Shielding their eyes from the evening sun, looking up to the birds drawing circles above them, and then looking down again and at each other; smiling, understanding, and loving each other. There was no need for communication anymore when you know just what the other knows – what the rest of humanity knows.

They knew.

And they smiled.