The Oracle Paths

Chapter 5 Guidance
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Chapter 5 Guidance

He was burning from the desire to ask so many questions, all on the tip of his tongue. But somehow he managed to hold on. He would first hear what the Oracle AI had to say about the last available device’s function.

[If you are ready to listen to the Guidance function introduction, I will now carry on.]

"Please, do so." Jake had never been so polite, not even with his hierarchical superior at work. Anyone could tell at a glance that he was a shitty actor.

Here were the 4 points in Communication for you! He could not fake respect even if he wanted it. He had shifty eyes, his grimace more akin to a smirk. Lucky for him, the AI didn’t care. She truly seemed to have been configured to work best with him. Her voice was always soft and mellow, even though he could perceive from time to time a vague scorn.

However, every time he thought that she had thrown a barb at him, she would always take a formal tone. He could almost imagine her with an innocent babyface. The psychopath kind of course. Well, he didn’t dislike this setting...

Touché, he had a vicious side inside of him, but no whipping girl to let it on. Bullying an AI was still legal, and obviously, he wouldn’t fly off the handle from a program’s joke either.

[ The Guidance function is the most important ability of the Oracle. It is what allows the Oracle wearers to accomplish their objectives. To fulfill their dreams.]

[The Oracle is bound to the Universe it has been built in. According to the concept of determinism, if you have knowledge of every parameter inside a closed system, you can predict the future of the system. The Mothership flashed your solar system one hour ago, realigning the Earth with the previous model. Therefore, you can activate this function.]

A flicker of comprehension hit him suddenly.

"The blinding white light!" He exclaimed with a slight elation.

He had felt something fishy when he had been blinded, but he couldn’t tell what was bothering him back then. From now on, he knew why. How such a powerful light, that could travel through the entire solar system in a second, did not burn his eyes to blindness?

Now that he thought about it calmly, he only felt confused for less than a minute. At least, he felt like it was quite short. It didn’t make any sense when people could go blind for good just by watching a nuke exploding a few kilometers away without a protective pair of glasses. Subsequent to the False Third World War, quite a few cases of people losing their sight were reported.

He understood what the determinist theory entailed. But for this to work, you would need a technology able to obtain every data of the chosen space at the same time. All data, included every physical particle known or unknown, every electromagnetic ray or field, along with a perfect understanding of all physical laws. If unprovable concepts like the soul needed to be understood too... An impossible feat!

Moreover, their solar system was not a close space. Any random comet or asteroid could fly in and thus disrupting the Oracle calculation. The only way it could work was if the entire Milky Way at the very least was part of their closed system. Terrifying!

[You have guessed right. The whole of your Universe is inside the prediction domain of the Oracle. Every move of matter or energy is in our grasp. Every Oracle device like the one you wear is connected to a primary Oracle which is itself linked to a higher level Oracle and so on. This way, the Guidance can’t be interrupted, except if—]

[Authority level insufficient.]

"Oh great! It’s been a while." Jake cursed, glaring daggers to the poor AI. "Can’t say I missed that."

[...]

[I will now activate the Guidance function. Only three features are available at your current Authority level: Prediction, Shadow Guide and Coaching].

A new burst of blue light overwhelmed him. Same as when he felt like the Oracle bracelet was a limb he always had, the Guidance felt like a real part of him. It was like giving sight back to a blind person from birth. Or seeing new colors for the first time. A marvelous epiphany.

He knew straight away how the Prediction and Shadow Guide functionalities worked. Even a three-month-old baby could use them instinctively.

Basically, what you wished for, the Prediction ability would tell you the most efficient way to grant it. The more precise the wish, the more specific would be the divination. It was synced with his mind at all time, anticipating his desires and moves to show him the right Path. There could be many paths depending on the specificity of his wishes, but the Oracle would only show the perfect one.

Nevertheless, Prediction couldn’t answer any ’questions’. You couldn’t ask him things like "How will be the weather tomorrow?" or "What is --- (insert any name of your choice) doing right now?". It could only predict how to best accomplish or obtain what you were yearning for at the moment. It implied an action, a movement. If you asked how to get something unreachable, you would only get silence.

Despite this restriction, the predicting possibilities were broad. There was absolutely no issue to get a limpid answer when it came to wishes like: "How to become the new Earth’s President?" or "How to make my favorite celebrity fall in love with me in the shortest time?".

Surprisingly, when Jake expressed these kinds of fantasy-like wishes, he got valid Paths. He could not see the whole process, but he could see the next few steps. It was a precaution to protect his brain from short-circuiting and overheating.

He couldn’t access every little detail, but he could know when a Path needed to do some ruthless actions to stride through it till the end, like killing, torturing, raping and other immoral things.

He immediately filtered these Dark Paths. From now on, all the predictions would be politically correct haha. He could still get under the skirts of any actresses though. Should he follow the right plan, of course.

There was still one thing bothering him. Petrifying him.

Everyone had such an Oracle bracelet. The implications could escalate far further than anyone could imagine.

Take a famous actor or actress for example. What if one million fans at the same time tried to follow a Path to seduce them? Were their Paths even doable? Maybe they were, but the real success rate would certainly be zero.

The other side of the coin was that you couldn’t know when you were part of the Path of someone else. You could easily become a stepping stone, or yourself fall in love thinking it was love at first sight, when in fact everything was planned.

All these flowery words that made your heart beat so fast. All these compliments right on point. All these adorable attentions. Just a perfectly executed plan, step by step, following the plotline that had been written for you.

You could retort that, especially if you were a pretty girl, that you wouldn’t be charmed by any boy trying to get you into his set-up. Sorry to bring you back to earth, you would. If there was a Path of course.

This wish-fulfilling ability had almost no limit. Even if you judged yourself as a straight heterosexual, or only liked blonde skinny women, the determined one would get you if you were not cautious enough. However, do remember that it would only make the Paths harder to follow. It didn’t mean there wouldn’t be any.

Was it unfair? Or against the principle of free will? Not really. When a poor ugly introvert boy loved a girl so much that he wanted to kill himself because of the pain while she flirted with the handsome guy of the class, was it fair? Of course not.

Fairness was the keyword of the Oracle. You could get anything, as long as you were ready to put in the effort. If you were seduced or stepped on by any random dude, you could only curse your bad luck. After all, you had an Oracle too.

You could even wish something like "How can I protect myself or avoid these predators trying to get laid? If such was your desire, the Oracle would give you a full-time Path to follow in order to never meet them.

The Oracle devices were all linked between them. They would adapt their Paths in real-time, taking account of every change.

Interesting fact, the Paths would always be doable for you, but the Path already knew from the very start if you would effectively succeed. When they were giving the Predictions, they would naturally not forget the other Oracle’s predictions.

Thereby, the Path was always true at the prediction time, but it would naturally adjust depending on how well you could execute it.

Jake could already picture in his head the waves of chaos that would engulf their world soon enough. Just imagine serial killers using the Oracle predicting ability to avoid the policemen’s pursuit. That would be a catastrophe.

So, what was the Shadow Guide? Simple. Prediction was giving the plan, the Shadow Guide showed you how to follow it. It was a shadow-like version of you. It would do the movements you needed to do to complete a Path just a bit before you had to do them.

Sometimes a plan could be very complex, requiring very on point body language or facial expression. In these cases, just having a prediction with the steps to follow was not enough. A guide was needed.

It would perform each step of the Path perfectly in front of you. Of course, only you could see him. It was like a ghost. If you needed to make a specific grimace, a picture in your mind of the expression to adopt would be shown.

If the Shadow Guide was set to show you the moves too ahead in the future, you took the risk of having the plan changing meantime, drastically increasing the risk of failure. Thus, the more reactive you were, the closer to the present could be the Shadow Guide. Your chances of success would improve but only if you could react in time and adequately.

Now, there was only one feature to discover: ’Coaching’.

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