The world learned that this reality is, in fact, a simulation on April 23rd, 2043. Scientists working for a major corporation (you can guess which one) managed to create a “vacuum” of code, generating a space of true void. And once this void was generated, whatever was in it before it became a void disappeared forever, and whatever passed into this void ceased to exist completely. The experiment was called to an end after thoroughly freaking everyone out, but when they took the power away from the void generator, nothing happened. Literally nothing. The void remained. It was described as a tear in the fabric of space and time, but in reality, it was an absence of the very code making up this reality. A deletion of whatever cosmic ones and zeros were responsible for displaying that particular bit of the universe at that particular point in “space” and “time”. The scientists were even more freaked out by this, and they immediately turned the containment field back to full strength, and hoped to God (the Programmer?) that they hadn’t corrupted the entire hard drive containing this version of the Universal Software.

News of all of this began as an internet conspiracy first proposed by a TikTok theorist named tymtravDeacon1743, who mysteriously vanished some 43 hours after his post went live. The post was then deleted from his account; in fact, his entire feed was completely wiped, but not before three of his most loyal conspiracy theorist brethren had downloaded his entire catalogue onto air-gapped and safely stored hard drives of their own. They’d always supposed one, if not all of them would one day “disappear” for promoting the “truth”. Years later, a brilliant young documentarian of the bizarre put together a reel of the most interesting internet mysteries of the decade, and the story of tymtravDeacon1743’s post and subsequence disappearance was brought to light at minute 43 out of 72.

From there, the story bubbled up into society’s consciousness, finally making its way to the world’s most famous podcaster at the time, SamSam Pollywop, who went on to do a whole series of interviews with real, live physicists, military personnel, and religious/spiritual gurus.

“Is such a thing even possible?” he asked over and over again.

They all agreed that it was quite impossible. Down right improbable. They’ve never heard such nonsense. But old Pollywop wasn’t convinced. He kept digging. That’s what his audience loved so much about him, his ability to smell bullshit from miles away. The interviews continued for weeks until he finally convinced Dr. Tessawich Gorganovic to admit that yes, there have been experiments of this sort conducted all over the world for quite some time, but no one has released any results with any conclusive evidence. Certainly not a “void” in reality proving that we’re essentially living in the Matrix.

Oh, poor Doctor Gorganovic. She disappeared just seven hours later, and if Pollywop wasn’t firmly entrenched on his own well guarded compound, he’d have been a goner then, too.

“We’re under attack, folks. Stay with us in this live stream as we battle the nameless, faceless forces besieging us from all sides. Click like and subscribe. Tell your friends. Call your congresspersons. The truth is out th-“

The live stream ended there rather abruptly. It was later reported by authorities that Pollywop’s compound had burned to the ground due to electrical shorts and a glass water too close to an outlet.

His audience was not convinced.