Author : Brian Varcas
It takes two to tango, so the old saying goes. Nathanial Rogers was doing just fine alone, thanks to the wonderful people at LifeChange Inc. who’s strapline was, “Who will you be today?”
Lifesharing™ technology, the company said, was a natural, if radical, extension of filesharing. Their advertising made great play of the fact that “life” is an anagram of “file”. They claimed all memories could be stored as files ready to be uploaded, using some very expensive equipment, to their data storage facility. For a hefty subscription, members could download those memories and “live” them in the comfort of their own home. The company’s LifePod™ was small and stylish enough to fit in the home of anyone wealthy enough to buy one.
Nathaniel was very wealthy indeed, having been born into one of the richest families in New Europe. He didn’t have to work to maintain his lifestyle, which was just as well as he could think of nothing useful he could actually do.
In the LifePod™, however, he could do anything he wanted, and do it well. Of course, he’d spent many hours in the “adults only” section of the data banks but, in all honesty, he never spent longer than about 10 minutes reliving any of those particular memories.
This tango thing was great. It was incredibly sensual and he found himself totally lost in the rhythm and passion of it all. All good things come to an end though and the pre-set one-hour shutdown sequence brought his evening’s entertainment to a close. He bowed theatrically to his beautiful dance partner as the scene faded and he returned to reality.
Reality was a bummer. Nathanial’s only enjoyment was the time he spent in the LifePod™ and that was now taking up most of his “real” life. The problem was that one of the conditions of membership was that you had to upload at least one memory per week, which could not be a memory of a LifeShare™ encounter. Nathanial’s life was so empty of interesting events that he was now receiving daily warning messages that his account would be suspended.
Fortunately, Nathanial had a plan. He got together the various bits of equipment he would need and sat down in the LifePod™. He entered the Memory menu and selected “upload new experience” from the options. The system required him to indicate a maximum time period for the experience and he chose 30 minutes.
One of the benefits of being obscenely wealthy was the ability to obtain anything you wanted, more or less. So it was easy for Nathanial to get hold of the material he would need for this memory.
He set everything up and then sat back and waited. The anticipation of what was about to happen made him sweat. To stop himself backing out at the last moment he’d injected himself with a paralysis inducing nerve agent just before he engaged the run command on the equipment he’d set up.
Thirty minutes, he’d set as the memory time. The upload happened in real time so other members would be able to relive this experience immediately. What a rush!
After 29 minutes Nathanial closed his eyes and waited. 50 seconds later he heard a click. Then his world literally exploded as the device he’d strapped to his body was detonated. He died instantly so didn’t here the distorted voice from the now mutilated LifePod™.
“Thank you for uploading your precious memory. Thanks to your generosity, other members all over the world can now share your experience. Your memory will become theirs to cherish, always.”
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows