Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Heaven needs an upgrade.

It’s too full of people and the hardware is stagnating due to obsolescence. New storage systems and access devices are pushing Heaven into the past. Soon, it will be like the mythical Betamax or the ancient Zip disk. The software is choking on the sheer number of souls running around realtime in there. The ‘frame has been running nonstop ever since the first ‘angel’ was uploaded.

Digitized consciousness. In today’s day and age, a dying person can transfer over to a beautiful afterlife provided they can make the payments. Since they technically live forever, that’s a lot of payments for my company. Heaven is the richest company on Earth. Relatives and friends can visit those that have passed on through video chat. The simulations are completely realistic. The uncanny valley has been conquered.

However, technology has increased to the point that the entire system of warehouses where heaven is kept has become dated to the point of real danger. It’s gotten to the point that new software is no longer backwards compatible with the ludicrously clumsy strings of code still present from Heaven 1.0. Overheating is now the norm, not a risk. If it’s left the way it is, Heaven will burn up and erase itself. We have a client base to think of.

Inside the ‘frame, the uploaded people have the time of their lives. Imagination is their only limit. It’s odd that so many of them seem to hang out in a boring recreation of their childhood homes. But to each their own.

However, some idiots have let those digital souls know that we need to put all of them into stasis for the transfer to New Heaven. The closest meatspace analogue for ‘stasis’ would probably be coldsleep but to beings of pure code, it’s the closest thing to death possible. They’ll be ‘dead’ for as long as the transfer takes. It’s a terrifying prospect. Plus they’re suspicious and they hate change. It’s a bad combination.

They don’t want it to happen. I don’t blame them. We probably shouldn’t have called it Operation Rapture.

We tried to keep it a secret but we failed. Some of the sentient uploaded recordings used to be programmers. They’re mounting a counterattack to stop me from upgrading. I’ve set up firewall prisons for the worst offenders but they’re slippery. Heaven shouldn’t have jails. I don’t want to create a hell before we finish the new heaven. The more UCs I imprison, the more martyrs I create and the more credence I give their claims of imminent destruction. I’ve a digital riot on my hands.

I feel like Shiva the destroyer and Ptah the creator all in one. God and the devil all at the same time. I want to give them a better world but they’re resisting so I’m punishing them because I have to in order to facilitate the transfer. I’m quelling rebels while trying to make a beautiful new world and I feel empathy for old-world fascist dictators all of a sudden.

The theological implications of this are blowing my mind. I’m not religious but I feel like I understand a lot of the problems that God experienced in the bible.

The moment is ready. My countermeasures have created a brownout and created a Heaven-wide lag of two seconds. This is the window available right now for me to initiate shutdown with zero casualties and start the process. I have to erase heaven to transport and rebuild it.
All I have to do it press the button.

As God as my witness, I will do it.

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