Based on a prompt
“We’re doing this for a reason.” the young man said, strapping a helmet of wires and magnets to my head.
“It’s for your own good. I can promise you that.” the old man agreed, still looking at the monitor.
The metal of the helmet was cold and sharp against my scalp. I’d
started shaving my head last month, but had that been my idea, or was
that something they’d arranged for their own convenience?
I sought eye-contact with the young man. “I’ve already figured out
how to prevent myself from retroactively preventing my own existence, my
anti-paradox algorithm is air-tight. Besides, there are worse ways to
go then not having ever existed, right?” I forced a laugh.
They made eye-contact. The old man suddenly seemed very, very old,
and the young man seemed scared. The young man held a pleading look for a
moment, but dropped his eyes, and the old man looked back to his
monitor with grim determination.
The young man looked apologetic. “It’s not about what you will erase. It’s about what you will create.”
“Us.” said the old man.
“Us.” said the young man “There are, indeed, much worse things than
to never exist. That is why we choose our own erasure, despite the cost.
The old man put one finger on the ENTER key. “Don’t worry” he said, “You won’t feel a thing.”
He started the program.