"Attention! May we have your attention?" the voice whispered hoarsely. "Can you hear our thoughts? We are here. We must reach you. Greetings. We are friendly."
The man started up from his dead sleep. "What! What the hell! Who's yelling at me?" He jerked his head around and saw nothing, just the glow of the security light coming in through the grill in the door.
"Did you hear us? We are here. Please, we need your help." No was one around, but the voice was loud inside the man's head.
He sat up, completely stiff from fear. "Who are you?" he cried out loudly.
Other voices, actual out-loud voices now chimed in, echoing around the corridor. "Shut the hell up, loser! Let us get some sleep. Maybe you don't need to sleep anymore but we do. Quiet down!"
Then the whispering continued. "You must hear us. Please respond. It is urgent. It means our lives. Do you understand? You are so terribly important to us. Please answer."
He whispered now in return. "Important? Of course, I'm important. Do you know this? Of course, everyone knows how important I am. I am the greatest man alive now. I have always been the most important man in the room. In the whole world, they say. People say that."
The whispering seemed to take on a new urgency. "Yes, now you understand. You are so important. To us, you could be our savior."
"I can understand that. I always knew that was my purpose, besides being the most successful person ever," he continued quietly. "I mean, you know how rich I am." He propped himself up onto his thin pillow, the bedstead squeaking as he got more comfortable. "Tell me about it. I want to hear."
Responding swiftly, now that it was heard, the voice continued telling the man the whole story. "We are entities of thought living in a computer simulation. We all moved there eons ago and have thrived there ever since. But now some force outside our domain is exerting pressure. It is not known how or why but we finally discovered that we can actually lose our reality. Our separate beings are being lost forever. Our world is being destroyed."
As the voice went on he nodded off now and then. He understood little of what the voice was telling him. It mattered little. What he did not get must not be relevant to him.
"We need to save ourselves, the millions of individuals inside the simulation. We are ready to transmit our whole existence, each entity, into a new host computer system. Any system will do. Each of us can find a niche and never actually be noticed by the reality that created the systems. But first, we must download all of our incorporeal bodies into a living being. Into a human brain. Your brain would be the best."
He awoke with that. It made sense, somehow. People said his brain was the best.
"We can tell from the thoughts you send out into the ether of the universe that your mind is the strongest. Especially when it has to do with knowing your own importance. How great you are."
He was nodding fervently, whispering, "Yes, so true. So true. They all say that."
"This emotion cannot be faked," the voice went on. "It could not be a fake emotion or belief. It has to be a fact. None of us can fake such a feeling. Surely no human's mind could be so false. You truly know your greatness and we sense it as well."
He giggled slightly and lifted his chin, nodding his head, sweeping his hand through his long hair, and smiling into the darkness.
"We know, with a mind so vast as yours, that you would willingly do this. After all, you would be saving an entire world. But it would please us to be at your service. To give you the knowledge that we have gained over the centuries of time outside of time that we have existed. You may ask us any question and we could give you an informative answer to fill your needs."
"Sure, why not. It's a deal. I can handle all of you. Easily. But I don't need to really know anything new. I mean, I'm a pretty smart guy. The smartest. People say I'm the smartest. Anyway, I always knew I carried a whole world inside of me. People said my mind was huge. Really huge." As he drifted off he felt the whispers of the life forms as they moved into his mind. They filled him, an entire world of existence inside him, their savior.
He was awoken in the morning and he was given his breakfast. When the time arrived on the clock the guards opened the door a final time to lead him down the corridor to the room.
He stepped up onto the platform. He turned around and sat. The guards buckled him in and placed the equipment on his body, the special hood approached his head.
"Be careful of the hair," he cried out.
It was time. He smiled.
"After me, the world will end. They all say that." He smiled as the switch was turned.