+ Add to Library
+ Add to Library

C7 The New Jason

I. Leaving the Old Behind

Jason awoke on Monday morning feeling unsettled. After months of using his Supreme System abilities to dominate socially and academically, his actions had started feeling hollow, more about feeding his ego than bettering himself. Jason resolved to stop relying on these powers as crutches. He would rediscover his true self.

At school, Jason resisted tapping his augmented intellect and charm, determined to get by on merit alone. In class, he focused intently and studied diligently to earn his grades honestly, without cheating. Jason allowed his social status to dip without manipulating perceptions. He even declined using the System's aid during football games, missing more passes but feeling proud of his effort.

That night, Jason skipped a party to stay home playing board games with his family, enjoying their company without any cognitive influencing or time dilation tricks. It felt freeing interacting with the sincerity and patience he'd lost lately. For the first time in awhile, Jason was living life on its innate terms, not what he dictated. He went to bed tired but fulfilled.

II. Popular and Powerful

Over the next weeks, however, Jason felt mounting restlessness as his popularity and grades declined to average levels without the System's help. He occasionally tapped just enough enhancement to get an easy A on a test or charm someone momentarily. But restraint chafed him. Jason started resenting the Supreme System for showing him heights of glory he could no longer reach alone.

At a basketball game, Jason finally snapped when his unenhanced play cost the team a win. Fuming on the bench, he tapped his augmentation abilities to guarantee victory. At parties, Jason drew admirers like moths again by projecting irresistible charisma no one could ignore. His justification was that he'd learned moderation. But in truth, Jason was dependent on the glory.

With the Supreme System enhancing his mind and body once more, Jason's grades and status quickly rebounded until he stood above his peers again. Yet he felt hollow, needing constant perfection and praise to mask self-doubt. But the alternative of ordinariness haunted Jason more. And so, he imprisoned himself in a gilded cage of his own making, too afraid to be simply human.

III. Losing Touch

Over the following months, Jason withdrew further, rarely socializing beyond what maintained his elite status. At home, he avoided his family, suddenly resenting their pedestrian concerns. Jason's former relaxed nature became sullen and impatient as he obsessed over increasing his physical and mental performance through the Supreme System. But genuine connection eluded him.

One weekend Jason realized he hadn't hung out with his two best friends in weeks. When they came by, excited to catch up, Jason made excuses. He didn't relate to their carefree banter anymore. The Supreme System had opened up a world of wonders but left Jason feeling trapped and alone. All his old relationships were withering under the mask of perfection he couldn't take off lest he seem ordinary again.

This isolation was the price of relying on synthetic means to mask self-doubt. Jason had gained the world through the Supreme System but lost a part of his soul. He yearned to reclaim the basic joy of being himself, flaws and all. It was time to step back from these gifts before he surrendered his humanity completely to them. With maturity came understanding that wanting less often gave more. The best way forward was sometimes retracing steps back.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
Page with