The star called A-Enki slowly dropped below the western horizon; its rays exploded into every shade between amber and violet and shimmered off the surface of the Junei Ocean. Maran's thick Saturn-like rings faded over the water, waiting to be revealed as a brilliant arch in the northern night sky. We sat on the beautiful grass and listened to the melody of the ocean waves on the beach below. Vair's jet-black hair danced in the light breeze, her head resting on my shoulder. The air was fresh and smelled sweet, just as all the air was sweet in Dynamic Reality.
Of all the real and fictional landscapes a couple could enjoy, we chose that beach in Maran's southern hemisphere as our spot. Maran was a real place rendered fiction; a far-off planet once thought to resemble Earth. Just a few years earlier, Maran had been a popular setting for fiction and speculation: on the life forms that lived there, the cities we could build there, the resources we could mine, and so on.
When the probe revealed Maran to be yet another dead rock, the stories ended and pricey top-quality simulations of the planet became practically free. The speculators buried their old work and picked new planets as audiences stood waiting for the next big frenzy.
"Exploration is dead," Vair once said during a night there. "Another planet supporting life wouldn't have to resemble Earth this much, would it? They're just copying and pasting their own perfect visions of Earth onto every star in the sky and seeing if money comes out; then some truth is revealed and everyone whines for two days, until they're given something else to distract them. Cycle complete."