The gaps between the dark, overgrown trees revealed an innocent marbled sky. The rubble of the destroyed buildings that covered the ground decorated it in a frantic pattern. The view of this sight looked like it rejected life. The view of this sight looked like it had accepted life. It was a place that once would be considered ‘ordinary.’ This was the lost area “N_WSTMINSTR.”
“When the ability to fully create a semi-virtual world was first created, it was a slow climb to the way it is now. Many places and people in the world were against it, but were forced to adopt it out of necessity.” I threw back my head, deep in thought closing my internet window in the process. “No internet, huh.” At this time in the world, everything used a virtual reality system of some sort. People who are born nowadays get implanted with a chip that allows them connect to the internet. I was one who made use of these internet functions implanted inside myself at many times through the day and could not believe life before them. I live in City_01.
I had the ability to upload my memories to the internet. I had the ability to access any information I needed quickly through the internet. These are all things I have become accustomed to throughout my life. While these abilities are available to anybody who can access the internet through an implanted chip, the residents of this city have a greater power to do so. The information almost comes instantly compared to people in other cities. Also the people of this city have near photographic memories thanks to the chip. Why did the residents of this city have such improved powers to do so? This was because this is where the government focuses all of their technological research. To people like me, who we very interested in technology, this was the placed to be.
Anyways, City_01, despite being smaller than other cities had some interesting places to go, one major featured was a boardwalk by the water that had interesting shops by it. A large, sort of run down, high school. A small mall and a library that was close by. There were many small, interesting places, but the one place I liked the most was the library. Why did I like the library? It had many interesting ideas from the past. Libraries in this day and age were used more for archives of the past than for information, as they were used before. One topic I liked to read about at the library was robotics, namely androids. Why did research and the desire for androids suddenly go away at some point? My desire was to build an android based on the information I found from these books.
I decided for my first project that I would try to build a small, basic robot. I needed some materials that I could not find anywhere to build it. Upon asking an employee where to find some materials, he mentioned that I try finding materials by looking out of town. So I decided to go looking for the materials. For people of the past, just finding mechanical materials on the ground would be strange, but today, from all of the technological advancement, material could be found on the ground like trash in the past.
While I had picked up a few pieces here and there, I still needed some more material. I continued walking but then something strange entered my view. It looked like a large forest and when I approached closer, I realized that there were destroyed buildings scattered throughout. I thought that I could probably get some good material through this area. Completely abandoned cities were not rare in this time ether.
As I walk through the streets, filtered sun hit the ground around me through the overgrown trees. I took a deep breath. This place was full of destroyed buildings. I had to be careful of the branches and rubble that littered the streets. After struggling through, I finally found a large building with a large shattered glass exterior. This must be a mall. I found another semi-destroyed building and found books in it. This must be a library. All of this seemed familiar to me. I looked closely and realized that this place looked exactly like City_01!
Had I found a replica of City_01? Why did this place exist? My feet continued walking through the destroyed city. Suddenly I had reached the house that matched the house I lived in in City_01. Inside the house, I found a “mobile phone,” something that the people of the past used to communicate. Upon reaching a password screen, I decided to put in a password that I would have used to try it. To my surprise, the password worked! I looked at what was on the screen.
“An unauthorized government program … using memories from the citizens of New Westminster stored on internet … used in androids … City_01 project.”
If this was true, then “City_01” was a recreation of a town called “New Westminster.” The memories were taken from the people of New Westminster without permission from the government and implanted into androids for research. If this was true, then I was one of these androids. I was part of the City_01 project.
I could not believe this as I slowly left the ruins of New Westminster. I was an android, the thing I was trying to build myself. The memories and technological advancements of the city and the “people” in it were there because we were machines. I walked back into the mechanical city.
About Marco Dotto
16 years old. In Grade 11 at New Westminster Secondary School