Utopia started as an idea, the concept of a place in which everything is perfect. No wars, no hunger, no worries. And this idea originally took the form of a cobbled together device in a dusty basement. It was the genius mind of an unknown inventor that had devised the system, a system in which animals, and the creator hoped eventually people, can upload their consciousnesses to a carefully crafted and digitally stored virtual reality. Through some technical marvel people could even be given bodies in which to traverse the computerised landscape, which itself had to be meticulously coded using a language known only to its creator.
And like all good ideas, it was swiftly stolen.
Through an unfortunate series of events the original mastermind was found in his basement, dead by suicide, limply hanging from the ceiling with a note detailing how “the world is better off without me” left on a nearby table. But his unknown masterpiece was gone. It was in the months after this that Utopiacorp appeared, as if from nowhere. However, the existence of the company was known only to few, as it seemed to market to only the elite of the elite and humanities richest. When they heard about a fully functional digital paradise many were at first sceptical, but eventually they were swayed by the constant demo videos along with the promises of limitless pleasures and an escape to another world. And so they offered countless millions in exchange for a month long stay at Utopia, the first residents in a perfect world. They were so desperate to enter this new world that they never even bothered to ask if this world was finished, and spared no thought to the numerous confidentiality contracts forbidding them from discussing Utopia with anyone.
And in truth, Utopiacorp had never shown any of their real technology in action for a reason. You see, the technology for uploading human minds to a virtual plane had been perfected. The problem lied in that the technology and coding language necessary to both remove people from, and construct a world for them to inhabit was damaged during its...acquisition. Fortunately Utopiacorp had ambition, and resources.
So corners had to be cut.
And then the big day came. One thousand of humanity’s wealthiest where escorted to Utopiacorp’s facility. They where swiftly taken directly to what the staff (who barely registered the guests presence, much less talked to them) referred to as ‘the gate’ with not so much as a tour. The gate consisted of row after row of seats and helmets, like some early 2000s science fiction movie come to life. They were given a brief video presentation instructing them to sit, put their helmets on, and informing them that “Utopia is now a reality”. And with that they were in.
Utopia was, for a time, a reality. Seemingly endless decadent plazas intertwined with fantasy landscapes, impossible structures and moving artwork dazzled the guests, who could barely comprehend the experience. They couldn’t even feel as their empty, mindless bodies were removed from the seats, and incinerated. Of course there were still problems, subtle wavers in the reality, objects disappearing at random and occasionally, muffled sounds with no apparent source. However these went completely unnoticed by the guests, as they where enthralled by the sheer variety of possibilities: Endless banquets at which one could eat but never get full, sections in which people could fly through the digital clouds, movies in which every scene was tangible and fully 3 dimensional.
Nobody even noticed when people started to disappear. Utopiacorp simply coded messages in stating that some participants may leave early for family matters or business. But slowly, one by one, the numbers started to dwindle. And by the third week, there were only 500 participants left. And that is when the bugs appeared. Or at least that’s what the Utopiacorp staff called them, in a desperate attempt to downplay the situation. But these were far more than simple errors in code.
Even the staff monitoring Utopia’s activity couldn’t help but wince as the remaining 500 realised just what was happening. The half that had supposedly left on business had returned, but they were far from human anymore. They were broken. Digital phantasms phasing into and out of the world seemingly at random. Trapped in a perpetual state of digital reconstruction and deconstruction. Their distorted features writhing sickeningly, as if their very existence was agonising. And all was outlined with a haunting blue haze. It was on the day after their appearance that the Utopiacorp staff fell silent, and all who remained in that forsaken place new they wouldn’t be back. The survivors never stood a chance, helpless, and at the mercy of the bloodcurdling electronic moans that echoed through the halls as the glitches sluggishly chased the living down. Stumbling through walls as if they were ghosts, even sometimes managing to blurt out a word or two before disintegrating any living flesh with their very touch. Until nothing remained. Until every human was either dead, or twisted into another one of the countless abominations that now stalked utopia.
Whilst Utopiacorp was surprised at the extent of the mishap, rapidly searching for any possible way to reverse the damage, but to no avail. Quite soon the disappearances of some of the richest people on the planet had provoked investigation into the company, but Utopiacorp was swiftly dissolved, aside from a small unofficial team, who had managed to transport the core utopia system to an unknown location. Perhaps they were driven by lust for profit, or some sick obsession, but they were determined to fix the flaws of the system. To make utopia a reality. However they had a very good idea of what had caused the faults. They never actually reconstructed the means to build their own digital realm. So they cut corners. They had to create a space in which they could construct a world as well as fill this world with objects and attractions. A realm of limitless possibilities that could be understood and processed by a human consciousness.
And so Utopiacorp decided. What better realm was there for creation than the human mind itself?
I don’t know how they did it, I don’t even know why. But they did it. They pried my mind open, hooking my barely alive body up to some machine. I can still hear the never ending whir of its cooling fans. They then moulded my thoughts into whatever form they saw fit. Next they placed other consciousnesses inside my mutilated mind. It started with animals, but then the people came. I could hear all their thought, every one, always. And the pain, I can never forget the pain.
I think, for a time, it drove me mad. Not that madness would have been out of the ordinary given the situation. But I think it was this madness that created the glitches. I still think about those poor people, they disappeared when I was removed from the system, I just wish I could apologise. I just wish it could end. But it won’t, that is why I am writing this, I have somehow managed to figure out how to move parts of my consciousness into computers in order to make them do things, so I’m writing this on a nearby laptop, and it should upload to the internet, but I know not were. But I have to let people know what happened, what these people did to me and countless others, I know not where I am stored, I could be in a basement, I could be in your area, and My barely alive corpse is hooked up to a computer, used by people who want to place countless people within the machine, I’m not asking anyone to come and save me. But if you hear about anything even remotely similar to the Utopia project, do not get involved, and if anyone approaches you about it, run.
Utopia is a lie
*Mod edit to include a double post from author*
I apologise if it isn't very good (I was very very tired at time of writing) but opinions are welcome.
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