Victor sighs softly, slowly turning over a small, delicate circuit board in his hoof, puzzling over it for a moment before tilting his head, looking up at Dream, “Are you alright? You’ve been very quiet tonight..”
Dream Baker chews her lower lip, nursing a cup of tea as she sits across the work table from the tall zebra. She pauses from staring hard at a burl in the wood table before looking up at him and shrugging slightly “Nothing is wrong… I’ve just been thinking lately..and…” She admits “been reading a few science journals.”
Victor chuckles quietly, smiling as he trots around the table to sit beside the yellow unicorn, “Both dangerous past-times. Is something in particular bothering you?”
"Just.." She leans back on the stool precariously, the pivoted feet wobbling slightly. "How do we know what is real? If sensation, experience and emotion can be broken down into chemicals in the brain, how can we know any of this is real? How do I know I’m real?"
"Ah, a great existential conundrum. Who are we? do we even really exist? Or are we merely the stuff of dreams. Honestly, I remember the words of Descartes, "Cogito ergo sum." Or, "I think, therefor I am."" He reaches over for the small electric coffee pot, filling a mug for himself and slowly stirring in a few sugar cubes.
"What if we are just programmed to think? Even calculators on a basic level ‘think’ not broadly but it is similar. If everything including thought can be broken down into electricity and chemicals how can we know they are our own thoughts and feelings?" She looks up at him, her eyes large and slightly red. It was clear she had been stewing on this for quite a while, maybe even a week, knowing her.
Victor blinks, looking deep into her red rimmed eyes, “You’ve been losing sleep over this, haven’t you? Your eyes are as exhausted looking as Ditzy’s after a few particularly bad nights. What brought all of this on, Dream?”
"I don’t know… Just you know how I get sometimes, I start thinking and it turns into this terrifying dark whirlpool that sucks me in. I guess I was feeling down over a lie and started wondering what was true, then what was real." She goes back to staring at the table, sipping at her tea.
Victor looks thoughtful for a long time, rubbing the underside of his chin with the back of his hoof. He tries to find the right words, but they just won’t come, leaving him stammering. “You know, I really don’t have an answer, but really it is all we have, so it is real to us. I mean, things can appear different to two ponies, so… I really don’t know.”
The big unicorn slumps heavily against him. “That doesn’t really clear up my little crisis.. I know I got a little existential there but honestly I worry about lies, it seems so easy to trick someone.”
Victor Froze for a moment, trying not to let his body stiffen up against her. His eye, thankfully opposite the side she was sitting on, goes wide for a moment. “Er, I know. Science, magic, and even nature can be deceptive. Hell, even my two forms could be considered a deception.”
"I just wonder if maybe there are bigger, darker deceptions out there that are hidden from me because the right signals haven’t gone off in my brain… I haven’t felt this way since the changeling attack…"
Victor leans against Dream, wrapping a foreleg around her shoulders. His mind races back to just a few nights ago, to the horrible act he had committed when his hunger got the better of him. Did she know?
The big zebra chuckles, perhaps a little too long, ”The bad thing is, I can say from experience, there probably are. The good thing is, they will probably never be revealed to you because they’re not that important.”
She grunts but leans back against him, rubbing at her eyes “I suppose and maybe there are some things I’m just better off not knowing. Thank you for helping me with this, sorry I get all…” She flaps her hooves in the air in front of her “…weird sometimes.”
Chuckling a bit with relief, he nips playfully at her eartip. Perhaps she didn’t know after all. Maybe she didn’t even suspect. “Oh please, it’s adorable. and I’m always glad to help.”
She flicks it away and looks up at him, running a hoof over her messy mane. “I guess there is a benefit to knowing some pony over 1000 years old. I guess that makes you my wisepone huh?”
He smiles, giving Dream a gentle nuzzle. A small tuft of fur from her eartip is sitting on the tip of his tongue, filling his muzzle with a familiar sweet taste. He feels his stomach clench a bit, knotting up in hunger. He was going to have to do something about it, and soon. “I suppose so…”