Short Halloween Story: FL2020: Are You Real or Not? | BlogPh.net

Short Halloween Story: FL2020: Are You Real or Not?

This short Halloween story was submitted early November for essays.ph writing community's Trick No Treat 2011 Card Making Contest.

Although I spent hours completing it, there was more efforts exerted for making the card rather than writing the content. It's not a winning piece and I only wrote it for compliance sake since everyone was required to join. I enjoyed every moment I was working on it though. I hope you enjoy reading too!

Update: Image no longer available 


You may also read the text-only version below:


FL2020: Are You Real or Not?


If the FL2020 was released a decade ago, it would have been creepy. But no, it was launched earlier this year after a few years of being developed. The program stands for Forever Living. It’s nowhere close to what cryogenics aim to achieve but at least it’s a good alternative. With this software, you can exchange emails and messages with the dead. Videos and voice calls? Nope. That’s even creepier, if ever.

It’s Halloween 2020. I could have passed and tried this a few days after Halloween but I wanted to know how’s my uncle Neo doing or at least his cyber resurrected version. Nope, he’s not the famous Neo of the old Matrix movie series. Those movies spurred geniuses to make the FL2020 though along with other movies like Source Code and those sci-fi flicks which made us believe that the mind can be conditioned to believe what others will program it to believe. I know the feeling with my first 4D ride about a decade ago. Everything is surreal and I would have been convinced that virtual reality is indeed real if I kept the 4D glasses on.

My uncle Neo was only buried a few days ago and his FL2020 counterpart is launched live at 12 MN Halloween. I could have waited in the morning. But no, I’m too excited to read what the virtual uncle Neo says online. It’s not my first time and I chat with deceased friends and colleagues regularly. It’s just the thought of still being able to get in contact online with a very dear departed one which exhilarated me.

So how does it work? It’s very easy. You register, pay the fees, and provide as many written information about the person as possible. These include email content, chat history, public accounts in various websites, and even a hard drive or other storage devices if you can drop them at authorized locations. Oh yes, the company who developed this is rapidly growing and has various offices all over the world now.

The developers then extract as much data as they can to create a cyber persona. A robot will be assigned for that deceased person who will afterwards actively frequent the places where the dead individual used to drop by to online. No, it’s not an actual A.I. “bot” but just plain wires and cables connected to the server.

12:01:02 AM

"OMG! He’s on!"

Composing myself amidst the excitement, I initiated the conversation on chat. I was dismayed because he kept saying the same thing over and over again. I was worried that something went wrong with his persona or that there was a glitch somewhere so I had to say “brb” to call the company. They said there was not much info collected and so his virtual identity was limited.

It was my fault anyway, I convinced my aunt to do this despite her protests. I’ve taught her pretty much everything she knows about the Internet so she can chat with her one true love one of these days too. It’s still my fault because I wasn’t there to have everything taken cared of. I entrusted the registration and everything else to my old aunt. I’m going to gather more data written soon as I go home to make amends. I’m in the city hundreds of miles away from home by the way.

My uncle Neo logged out and I ended up chatting with my aunt instead and told her about what happened. I promised to do something about the lack of information first so she may have to wait till I get home and collect more physical written data of Uncle Neo. 

I was astonished with how she responded. Despite her age, my aunt is not short-tempered like other retirees. She was typing furiously, I suppose beyond readable words. She stopped for a moment and finally said, “You’re dead Danny, you can’t come home to help out. You’ve been dead for months.”

I almost fell off my chair. Is this a joke? But wait, where’s my chair? I can't see anything but the screen and all that’s in it. Is that why I’ve never been able to go home despite planning to do so for weeks? I called the company for answers. They confirmed that it was true. I used to work as an Internet data professional and was practically online 24/7 when I was alive. My office mates enrolled an account for me upon the request of my aunt and uncle. I was one of the first subjects to receive a virtual persona (after death) and have the highest amount of collected data.

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