Anna, part 23

“This is astounding,” Bob said. “I wonder what the limits are.”

“If it’s some sort of mass illusion,” Alec said, “then I guess there wouldn’t be any limits.”

Gene was looking over at Jill. “I don’t think Jill thinks the unicorn is an illusion.”

Jill wasn’t paying attention. She was looking happily into the eyes of the unicorn, which was looking just as happily back into her eyes.

“They usually only go for virgins,” Bob and Gene said at the same time.

There was a long and uncomfortable silence. “Awkward,” Alec finally said.

Jill laughed. “Only for them.” Then she went back to ignoring the men and paying attention to the unicorn.

“I wonder whether Anna can conjure up other mythic objects,” Bob said. “Mind if I have a go at it?”

He sat in front of the laptop and began to type. “Anna?”

"Yes Bob."

“Can you get me the stone tablets with the ten commandments?”

"Are you referring to the tablets of the man you call Moses?"

“Yes, those tablets.”

"I am sorry Bob, but that would be a contradiction."

“You mean it would defy the laws of reality?”

There was a pause. "In a sense, yes. But perhaps not in the sense you mean."

By now the others were gathered around the laptop, following along intently. “Ask Anna what reality it would defy.” Alec suggested.

The answer quickly appeared on the screen. "It would defy *your* reality."

“May I try?” Jill asked. Bob nodded, and Jill sat down in front of the computer keyboard. “Anna,” she typed, “pink unicorns also aren’t part of our reality, any more than time traveling police call boxes. But haven’t you just demonstrated that unicorns are consistent with our reality?”

"Yes, in fact they are. Your secular humanist mindset allows for non-denominational magic, not for tablets of ancient stone appearing with rules for a moral life."

“Are you saying that the limits of what you can do are set by our own belief systems?”

"It is more subtle than that. A world in which the tablets of Moses existed would be a world in which you would not be you. The person who made the request would cease to exist. That would be a contradiction."

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