Posted by David Kim on

Katie was in her final year of university. The twenty year old already had over a dozen job offers in the summer when she competes her computer science degree it’s a major in A.I. She already knew all this stuff before she taking classes. She was so advanced in fact that she was teaching the postgrad students and her professors for the last three years. The university gave her, her own lab to tinker with anything she liked. She spent night times playing around with her inventions and software. 

About a month ago, Katie perfected her virtual reality device. It was a simple goggle that had a little plastic extension that touched the user’s temple. Katie was approached by Pear Computers and a creepy looking guy in a black suit offered her a hundred million dollars for her tech that no one knows about. She was more creeped out about how they found out about her V.R goggle. She tried hard not to think to much about it. 

She lost the track of time and knew that it was way past midnight. Katie was actually scared of this thing. Last time she put it on, she had hell of a time coming back to reality. It was hard to explain exactly what she went through. She programmed it to take her back in time, to when she was twelve, when her mother was alive. She missed her so much. This tech that she created does much more than virtually creating a reality. Her theory was that reality simply one’s senses interacting with the memory. The artificial intelligence software that she created helped her to build a machine that does much more than that. She couldn’t quite recall when she put on the goggles. She simply wanted the simulated experience of hugging her mother who she hasn’t seen in eight years. 

At first, she spent few hours with her mother on Palm Beach up state. It was the best dream that she’s ever had. It was the most unbelievable joys she’s ever felt. One thing she didn’t build in for the first use was a timed kill-switch. She was lucky that the cleaning lady found her convulsing on the floor a five in the morning. Katie put on a kill switch software that turns it off in exactly thirty seconds. In the virtual reality realm, that’s all it takes to experience what one needs to experience. 

Katie thought, even thirty seconds was a bit long. She saw the clock on the wall. The seconds hand just reached the twelve o’clock. She took a deep breath and out of the goggle. The little appendage made a silent metallic whizz and touched her left temple. Katie felt as though her soul was leaving her body.

She was confused. Katie made sure that she was taken to the Palm Beach. That’s the thing with machines, you need to be very particular. It wasn’t the beach at all. It was a cemetery, where her mother Theresa was buried. She hasn’t been here since her funeral. Katie sighed and  took a seat. She looked around, it wasn’t quiet night or dawn. She needed to make few adjustments when she’s let out of the VR. It must have been about fifteen seconds. Not long now she thought. In the distance she saw her mother. But it wasn’t her beautiful self, she was gaunt, grey and sickly like she appeared the day she died. Katie repressed that vision of her mother through years of therapy. Katie was starting to get anxious. She reached for her goggle. She had no access to the physical device when she was inside. It felt like hours had passed with her ghostly mother floating back and forth. Katie screamed “Help! Someone please help!”

Katie was back at her lab, violently shaking in her chair. The seconds hand was still on the twelve o’clock.



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