“That was a long time ago,” Virtute explained to Gumption while she cybernetically opened her cat feeder to peck at some kibble. Gumption is still a little anxious about the possibility that Virtute is going to swoop in and eat all her food. Since becoming bionic, she’s even tried pecking at Virtute’s food to exact a little revenge. This has really frustrated Virtute since if there’s one thing he dislikes more than anything else, it’s losing. He’s a competitive little guy.
I happened to walk in at the moment Virtute was confronting Gummy for lapping up some of his delicious canned duck pate. Gumption had fired-back with an angry retort about Virtute’s past behaviour…and, well, that’s when Virtute left in a huff. The thing Virtute dislikes second most is being told that he is wrong.
I sat next to Virtute and asked him what was wrong. He pouted for a moment, to emphasize his displeasure, but then looked off into the distance and pondered. Finally, he began, “Change is difficult. It requires re-training parts of your brain to accept a new reality, it requires being tender to your heart to assuage your worries about the unknown, it might require relinquishing power and control to other beings who may or may not wield it with humility, it requires surrendering to the future.” Virtute was being a little melodramatic, so I reminded him that the problem he was having was due to a power imbalance that he had been benefitting from for years, rather unjustly and a little maliciously. “I know, I know,” he responded, frustrated that I would bring it up. “It’s just hard to trust that future Gumption, with more power and more control, will treat me as nicely as past Gumption.” Given that Gumption was now bionic, I was pretty sure that there was no going back to past Gumption. But I wanted him to hear it from Gummy herself. So I called her over. I asked her to tell Virtute what “Future Gumption” looked like.
Gumption flopped over on her back and started to purr. She wriggled her head from side to side and then wryly smiled at Virtute and I. “In the future,” she said, “they will tell the story of Gummy and Toots. It will be a beautiful tale of sharing space and being best pals. If I am Future, you are Drake.”
I knew Gumption had won Virtute over with that last comment. If there’s one thing Virtute likes most in the world it’s being compared to the 6God.