Only way Out (Simulations, Chapter 9/Final Chapter)


By darksouls1 on

Previous Chapters:

Chapter 0, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

Finn hastily walked over to his table where the machine was resting on. He grabbed several empty pages of paper and a pen and started writing equations. Sophie watched him.

Finn stopped.



“Would you please stop tapping your foot? It’s highly distracting.”

“Oh, sorry.”

Finn started writing again.

“How long will this take?” Sophie asked after a few moments of silence.

“I don’t know. I must get the calculations right. Otherwise, we might end up dead. Can you please be quiet now?”


From the corner of his eye, Finn could see how Sophie walked over to the window and stared outside into the night.

“Uh … do you have a moment?”

Finn threw the pen down.

“What? I can’t concentrate like this!”

“I don’t think we have enough time for you to finish the formula.”


“They found us.”

The sound of feet running up the stairs outside the apartment confirmed Sophie’s words. Finn felt his hands go cold, and the hair on his arms rise. Too late. Much too late. It was over.

“We have to get out!” Sophie sounded panicked. “But there’s no way out! We will be erased!”

Was there really no possibility to escape? Finn’s mind was racing. Invisibility? Teleportation? None of that would be a long-term solution. It might not even buy him enough time for new calculations, a new formula. Especially not if he was under stress. Math needed time, focus. He couldn’t just enter a formula and hope it wouldn’t destroy everything! @suesa



Stop the whole simulation.

“Sophie, secure the door!” Finn shouted, got a new piece of paper and wrote down a new formula. The girl had thrown herself against the door and tried to keep it closed.

“What are you doing?” She squeaked. “I can’t hold it alone! They will come in here at any moment!”

Every program had safeguards, not just against malicious code. There also had to be something to avoid a complete crash. Something that holds the simulation and lets the coder fix things. Check what exactly is going on. Reset the code.

Finn didn’t know who was running the simulation that was his life. He didn’t know if that entity was even watching. Maybe he was about to kill himself, but he would die anyway if he didn’t do anything. A last attempt, a last hail Mary.

The formula he wrote was plain, simple. It wasn’t supposed to change the law of physics in any complex way, it was a wrench in the gears of reality. Finn wanted to bring reality to a screeching halt.

Sophie screamed when the door shattered under the pounding of the incoming guardians, but Finn forced himself to ignore her and instead entered the formula into the machine. Quickly, quickly, but make no mistake! It had to work, there was no second chance!

Guardians grabbed him by his shoulders as the machine started to calculate.

“You are a danger to the simulation”, one of the guardians said. “You will be purged from the code.”

A white flash of light washed everything away.

“Fuck, fuck, FUCK!” Error messages popped up all over the screen. Hugh had been away from his desk for five minutes, five damn minutes to make himself a coffee, and everything had crashed. Years of work reduced to this.

Still cursing, he pulled up the log data. Where did all these errors come from?

Hugh’s eyes skimmed over the lines upon lines of error codes. Right before he had left his desk, one of his safeguards had been triggered. A malicious piece of code it seemed, which had been changing parameters left and right. What was that? The computer wasn’t even connected to the internet! How had a virus been able to infect his simulation?

Suddenly, he stopped scrolling. There it was, the moment when everything went to hell. A single line of text that was not supposed to be there. A single sentence.

We are alive, please don’t kill us.

Hugh blinked. The message was still there.

He took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes, put them back on.

We are alive, please don’t kill us.

Where did that come from? One of his colleagues was surely trying to make a joke! No error message looked like that!

They had been discussing simulations so sophisticated that they came to life, but that was just a theory, right? He couldn’t really have created something like that!

And yet …

We are alive, please don’t kill us.

No. There was no way this was real. Someone had tampered with his code to mess with him, that was the only logical conclusion.

Hugh sighed. Now he had to run the entire simulation from the beginning! His boss would be mad after all, Hugh had promised new data about how human evolution could proceed. But without knowing what had caused the error, he was forced to start over from the moment life first developed on Earth. It would take days to get back to the same level he had reached before the crash!

Before resetting everything, Hugh moved the data for the old simulation into his archive. Maybe he could use the data again, one day. A good scientist didn’t throw data away.

For a moment, Hugh considered changing his parameters, but if the error had occurred because one of his colleagues had tried to mess with him, he would risk messing up his simulation again.

“Ah, let’s just keep everything the way it was. It went well before that error occurred, maybe it will be faster if the computer can just go through the same calculations again.”

And with the click of a button, the simulation started over.

The smell of burnt rubber stung in Finn’s nose, prompting him to jump up and run across the room.

Signature by @atopy


Are you serious? Woah, that ending is mean! And deterministic, so I love it!


There are no happy endings


When there is no happy endings, you start asking many questions. What if...


On your scale, wasn't this actually a happy ending?

Kind of?