Set in distant future an alien invasion wipe out most of the human races, however their intention remains unclear. These aliens would capture humans and imprison them, aware that mankind's frail body will not last long in captivity unless their mind is deceived, the alien would attach a cord into the human's brain and let the mind accept a hyper reality where the alien doesn't exist the invasion never happens.

In metamorphoses, about a Roman poet retold a Greek myth of Tiresias, a blinded prophet. Let's skip to the climax here comes Narcissus who is so handsome many people desire and love him however their love was not reciprocated. A rejected suitor filed a complaint against Narcissus and request Nemesis, Goddess of Vengeance to place a curse on Narcissus so that he will only love nobody but himself and at the same time cannot accept his own love. One day when Narcissus went to the river to satisfy his thirst he fell not into the river but in love with a handsome man inside the water, he tried to kiss that man but to no avail and soon he realized that's only his own reflection...

My question is if the alien hook us up in a hyper reality where all of our desires can be fulfilled, our mind can believe anything is real will the POW see through the subjugation and reject the control?

Comment below if you need to clarify on the OP. (POW = prisoners of war)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ if...our mind can believe anything is real will the POW see through the illusion...? This seems like a paradoxical question. "If they can create an illusion our minds accept, would our minds accept it?" Or are you asking if such a construct could exist? $\endgroup$
    – Josh
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Josh actually the construct already implemented to deceive our mind and I'm wondering how will our mind cope with this fake utopia. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 3:13

2 Answers 2


If everything went perfectly right for me, I would wonder if somebody had slipped me a happy pill. There are always small frustrations. I stub my toe. It rains and I have no umbrella. Or would the alien mind control stop me from questioning that?

  • If the aliens simply feed the humans sensory illusions, without changing the mind in other ways, some minds should be able to deduce that something is wrong. They finally get to watch the new season of a TV show, and it fells flat. They try to make up with their partner after a quarrel, and everything is forgiven without abject apologies.
  • If the aliens can edit thoughts, they can suppress any doubt about the editing process.

I would say the real answer is "whatever you feel is best for your story." What you describe is often known as the "brain in a vat" paradox. It is a well explored philosophical question which has been answered every which way. Some are positive the only possible outcome is that we will wake up and rise against the virtual reality. Others are positive the only outcome is that we become sheep in their virtual pasture. In between are countless nuances debated in countless variants.

However, you choose to tell a story that involved a mirror: a reflection of Narcissus in the river. This is a valuable choice of imagery, because many versions of this philosophical conundrum can be separated by how people react when they meet a perfect mirror image of themselves. Do they fear the mirror? Do they shatter the mirror? Do they try to interact with the mirror? These questions will be powerful for shaping the story you choose to write.


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