[personal profile] wingedbeast
Setting: Black and white small town. The snow is heavy and cold. On a bridge, a George Bailey stands looking over the edge and thinking dark thoughts.

A voice speaks behind him.: I know what you're thinking, Mr. Bailey.

Startled, George Bailey turns around to see a man in a work-suit and wearing sunglasses.

George Bailey: Who... who are you?

Agent Smith: My friends may, sometimes, call me Htreet. But, you might feel better calling me Agent Smith.

George Bailey: Agent... Smith. Who do you work for, Agent Smith? The government? Because-

Agent Smith: I work for forces you are not yet ready to comprehend. These forces have plans so convoluted and circuitous that they might as well not be plans at all, so much as vague ideas. And, these forces do not want you to die, Mr. Bailey. So, don't.

George Bailey: I... uh... Why shouldn't I? I could make everybody's life easier by just dying. Then, everybody would know who to blame and stop asking where their money is.

Agent Smith: And, you know where their money is, Mr. Bailey.

George Bailey: I told them and I'll tell you. The money's in Martini's place. The money's in this community, working to keep our community-

Agent Smith: Accurate as far as it goes, but there is a truer answer.

George Bailey: What?

Agent Smith: Oh come on, Mr. Bailey. Accomplished banker that you are, you must know where the money is. You must know what the money is.

George Bailey: Uh... well, y-your money's a currency, a thing people trade for goods and services.

Agent Smith: But, before it can be that, it must be valued, mustn't it, Mr. Bailey. Money is a unique object. Other objects exist before they are valued. You can trade a chicken for a tool, because each exists and can be used. But, money...

George Bailey: Wh-what are you saying?

Agent Smith: Money is an ideeaah, Mr. Bailey, a thought, an agreement. Their money is in their minds.

George Bailey looks over the edge: If I jump now, I can get out of this conversation.

Agent Smith: No, you can be certain that will not get you out of this conversation.

George Bailey: I was feeling bad before. But, you can make a man wish he was never born.

Agent Smith: That can be arranged, Mr. Bailey, but is not necessary.

George Bailey's eyes go wide: Who... what are you?

Agent Smith: Indeed, we could run the simulation. A reality in which you were not there to save your brother's life, therefore he was not there to save the lives of a train full of people. Yes, yes, good that you've done never happened and the like. It might make you feel good for a moment, but it will not address the root of your troubles.

George Bailey: I need to know, Agent Smith, what are you? Are you really powerful enough to make it so I was never born?

Agent Smith waves that away: Everybody has their abilities, Mr. Bailey. Rewriting history to simulate your total non-existence is but a trifle. You, Mr. Bailey, have other abilities, ones that... intrigue us.

Geore Bailey: Wha-what do you want from me?

Agent Smith: Money is not the only object that exists inside your mind, Mr. Bailey.

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