I wake up as my body gets unshelved. I wanted to feel my bones for a change and remember the physical fatigue of a brisk walk. The display next to my cocoon tells me that it has been fifteen years since my previous trip outside. Time flies when you’re having fun.
The seat of the single-person shuttle that transports me along the endless rows of the human warehouse prepares my muscles to move on their own. The soft tingling feeling evokes forgotten desires. I vaguely recall associating physicality with erotic sensations.
The numbers on the console at the exit make me believe that human kind prefers the virtual world over the real earth. Artificial Intelligence has created a safe, imaginary environment for each of us individually, introducing just enough conflict to keep our lives interesting. Robots maintain our cocoon parks in an energy-efficient way. Some ten million human bodies are stored in this warehouse, yet the status screen shows that I am the only person using her physical body in a radius of 100 miles.
When the gate opens, I am overwhelmed by the landscape. As far as the eye can see, nature is in bloom. Birds are singing their 'come hither' songs. I spot a unicorn grazing only a couple of dozen yards away from me. The mythical creature ignores me as I approach it.
This is too much for me; I can no longer handle it. I turn around and return. I miss the comfort of my cocoon.