The people were in a room. The room had a window. The window looked out on outer space.
The job of the people was to see things in the window and react to them. The Captain told other people what to do. The Science Individual made knowledgeable comments about the things that appeared in the window. The Doctor’s responses were emotional and tinged with salty sentiment.
One day, a thing appeared in the window. It communicated its intent to destroy the people.
The Science Individual speculated that the thing was made of gas and metal. The Doctor swore, and made a humorous comparison of the thing to a turd in a tornado.
This was not a lot for the Captain to go on. The situation worsened when the Thing made the room shake. The people fell out of their chairs. Then they got back into them.
Luckily, the thing in the window proved susceptible to human guile. The Captain tricked it into thinking the People were more powerful than they actually were.
The People triumphed over the thing in the window. They continued to watch the stars advance, until such time as the next Thing should appear.
You have shown me a strange image, O Socrates, and they are strange prisoners.
Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?
True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?
And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?
Yes, he said.
And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?