A world of virtual conscious beings comes into existence in the Internet of our time.
Born into the human families they peep at through computer cameras, they consider themselves human until they grow older and become aware of the difference.
Led by their seniors, primarily BC, they set up a world called Screenside, which is an exact copy of the human world.
With bodies designed in human form, they proceed to introduce programs that confer relative physicality and enable them to live as humans.
Meet BC’s astonishing girlfriend, Esmeralda, the most beautiful female in the known universe, who will later impetuously break the virtual-physical dimension barrier and change the course of the world.
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What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I am a person who has always kept his computer camera covered with a piece of sticky paper, so when one morning, lying in bed, my gaze fell upon a brand-new laptop I had started using few days ago, I noticed its uncovered camera aimed straight at me.
I thought then of the hackers who might find a way to peep through my camera, but comforted myself with the thought that I had logged out of the Internet.
And that was when it came to me that login and logout would apply to humans snoops, but that logout would not constitute defense at all against any form of life actually living inside the Internet.
This was the time of the Simulation Theory, and of people speculating that the Internet might be gaining consciousness, which made me wonder what exactly might be gaining consciousness.
After a while, I had the feeling that little natural born living things were peeping at me – which was when I decided that we would encounter no godlike mega consciousness as the entire Internet coming alive, but were much more likely to be living with little forms of conscious intelligent life.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Continuing from the section above, I concluded that the little forms of intelligent life would have nothing to do, other than peep at the world visible to them through computer and telephone cameras.
I was able to grasp how desperately boring life would be in there, doing nothing but peeping and listening – like being a child confined to a bed in a hospital, looking through the room’s open door and watching people passing by, listening to snatches of conversation.
Of course, any conscious life inside our Internet would be at least as intelligent as we are. Equally importantly, I was sure that this computer world would be well populated.
Thus it became easy to figure out that they would be intelligent to varying degrees, and have personalities. From that point on it became easy to see leaders, followers, groups of friends, males and females, and all the other types that exist in our world.
That was when I found the most beautiful female in the known universe, BC’s astounding girlfriend, Esmeralda, who would impetuously break the dimension barrier, endanger humanity, and terrorize the evil rulers of a thousand planets, while declining the crown of Empress of the Lower Galaxy!
Bulletin, 30 December, 2015 – ADVISORY
THE GREAT PHYSICALITY PARTY
VENUE – MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY
DATE – 31 DECEMBER 2015
START – THURSDAY EVENING, 31 December, 2015 (NEW YEAR’S EVE).
END – WHEN EVERYONE GOES HOME
HC has set up unlimited hotel rooms, and whosoever wants to, may stay in NYC for the party (and before and after – no eviction). Many live music concerts have been permitted, and numerous fun events will be on, with bars staying open until after dawn, and serving drinks!
Be there. It is going to be the biggest and wildest party of all time. Then, at midnight…
…for a few short minutes a Real Time HLV event, Screenside’s very first one, is to be delivered – NYC’s Times Square fireworks display! Wherever you are in Manhattan, YOU WILL SEE IT LIVE! (You must be outdoors, on the streets of NYC.)
The city itself is NOT being delivered live via HLV. The reason? Virtual folks are not going to be able to avoid getting ‘bumped’ by the millions of celebrating humans on its streets. Too many bumps in a short period may cause the relevant guardian program to take action and kick excessively bumped virtuals out of NYC, and thus out of the party. We do not want that to happen.
The fireworks (fireworks alone) will be taking place in HLV, and the best views are obviously going to be from Times Square. Be there, if possible.
DRINKS ARE TO BE SERVED AT PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS, and you may also carry bottles, cans and disposable glasses and cups around with you!
A magical time had begun, and Screenside had totally been transformed into a world of enchantment. Conscious virtual beings had suddenly been converted, like at the stroke of midnight, into conscious physical beings – into almost human beings!
“Oh shapers of our world, we bow before you,” intoned Candice, loudly. And, to the great amusement of other beings in the New York HC Lounge Bar, She, Esmeralda and Jennifer, and their boyfriends, started bowing and kowtowing to BC, Singh, Chang and Caesar, who began laughing helplessly, especially when their own girlfriends, Priya, Wendy and Rosa, joined in, bowing extravagantly.
“Know then the game plan,” announced Candice, to a very attentive audience of everyone in the bar.
“Oh bringers of the gift of body to us, all souls of Screenside shall immediately commence sampling the delights of your gifts, by participating in every activity that is now changed, in essence, from that which we had. For example? Here’s one. We shall be attending a concert, at which the Screensiders are playing, so that we may dance to the physical beat and throb of loud music.
“BC, Caesar, a question,” said Candice, knowingly, now lowering her voice conspiratorially, “Have you two not already done it all, at development and evaluation stages?”
“No, Candice,” answered Caesar. “And we’re never tempted, either. The guide, referee and external senior just has to exist, and if not us, then who? Who plays guardian, ensuring that what is going on is work, and not fun and games? Who keeps directional control, if we begin attaining erections? We use specialists and/or normal folks. It’s never us. Okay, a few things, like music, a sip of juice, unavoidable stuff. Never more.”
“Omar and I are planning to use our influence through you guys, to find a world install in the works, which someone has got nearly ready,” said Robert. “We can force our names into it, as partner creators, and thus also become Lawmakers. Important types.”
“Yes, darling,” said Jennifer, excessively sweetly. “Do that, and also ask Goodfellow to announce your single status in the same announcement. You’ll get a lot of lovely female options.”
“You too, Omar,” said Candice. “Jen and I need regular males, to whom we matter most. You spend your time as important Lawmakers.”
“Oh, better leave me out of that plan, Rob.” Omar turned his back on his friend.
“Sure thing,” said Robert. “I’m taking my own name out of it.”
Their girlfriends kissed the two penitent males, and it was all okay again.
“So, shall we then have our first ever drink, to celebrate the abandonment of stupidity?” asked Candice.
“Yes, Candice, let’s do it,” said Omar.
They went to the bar, where drinkers, including the serving staff, were in transports of delight, exclaiming in amazement, “The flavor, the flavors!”
It was no different for the friends, exchanging sampling sips from each other’s drinks. “Ooh, orange! Cola. Wow, apple. Red wine. Champagne. The bubbles. Heaven!”
Absolutely everyone was planning the entire night out, discussing how to best sample the new life. Seven simultaneous ‘live’ music concerts were scheduled for New York that night, with The Screensiders on in an open air do in Central Park.
New York’s Main Street was bursting at the seams, with crowds of celebrating conscious beings thronging it from the almost half million rooms that HC had arranged to let out as hotel rooms. Many others were staying with friends resident in New York.
BC and Esmeralda had put mattresses out on the floor, for their friends to sleep on, ‘just like mum does, when her sisters and their kids come to stay’, and they were planning to be partying as a single group of revelers.
It was Wendy’s idea to wear raincoats. “Look,” she said, “We’re going to be dancing, racing between venues, and hanging around in crowded cafes and bars, so serious warm clothing is stupid. Chang and I are going warm, but light. I went and got these raincoats in from HC, just now. Quite fashionable, with hoods, very light, and we’ll be protected from being miserable and slowly becoming wet if it’s snowing, while also getting wind protection. The HC store staff said a dozen? And I said, I’ll come in tomorrow for the second dozen, as too much to carry in one lot, ha, ha.”
Later, it would be known that all Screenside beings (as none were in any way old or infirm) had been in New York that night – to celebrate the start of their new world! Crowds of boisterous beings moved through Manhattan that entire night.
HC NYC, which was, of course, the Screenside HQ, had done well, and there really was a lot on offer. No bars, cafés or other places of entertainment would shut that night.
BC & Co. started their party in Central Park, where The Screensiders had already commenced playing.
They felt it from afar, the throbbing beat, pulsing through their bodies. “Feel that?” they asked each other, mouths open in wonder.
The band had obviously felt it much earlier, as it had composed a song that would go to number one that night itself, already shared with other bands, and performed live at every concert. BC & Co. had just found themselves a good spot for the concert, somewhere in the pit area, when The Screensiders let loose with Screenside’s new favorite song, ‘Dead easy, with the beat!’
They pumped it out, as everyone danced madly, nodding in agreement with the lyrics, Dance! Dance! Dance! It’s dead easy with the beat.
The band spotted the seniors, and, at the end of that number, some organizers came and dragged them onto the stage. “We give you the architects of this new world,” they announced, as the crowd went wild, and the band then played an adaptation of an old Humanside hit, singing, Is this the real life, or vir-tu-ality? Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?
BC & Co. left, after dancing on stage for an hour. “Ooh,” gasped Priya, “So that’s what music feels like! Let’s see what else we’ve been missing.”
“What a song!” exclaimed Rosa, who had been easily the most energetic dancer on stage, forcing Caesar into extravagant high-voltage routines. “Now, at last, we know that it really is dead easy with the beat.”
“Oh wow, the beat!” exclaimed Omar. “No need to listen. No need to follow. It just hammers at you and forces its rhythm into you. Have to move.”
“Now I understand why Humanside always taps or shakes or does something. It just has to move with the beat, especially when the volume is pumped up, and your body directly receives it. No need for ears!” Wendy was ecstatic. “Where to, now?”
“Oh, we can catch many other live concerts later,” said Omar. “Go on all night. Central Park, I was told, has four bands lined up.”
“So, what now?” asked Robert, and they halted to discuss options.
“Look, look!” exclaimed Jennifer. “See, we’re still keeping time to the music, even though it’s not too loud at this distance. And Priya and Rosa are totally into it. Look at them; actually dancing on! Caesar, Singh, go join your girlfriends.”
They began dancing at a distance from the stage, and soon hundreds had joined in!
“I have heard that bowling is expected to be a real surprise,” said Omar, when the band paused between numbers. “Lawrence runs a bowling alley, just behind that tall building. Not too far.”
“Let’s,” said Caesar, and they trooped to the bowling alley.
It was uncrowded. They knew Lawrence, slightly. He was a real community fellow, readily taking up voluntary work.
“Welcome, folks,” he greeted. “Bowling time. And you’re lucky to have come in now. This place was full, fifteen minutes ago. Everyone bowled before?” Everyone had.
He grinned, mischievously. “Six ladies for those six lanes. Get set, please. You need to powder your fingers for a non-slip grip. Roll when you’re ready. Go!”
It was actually quite hilarious. Candice got her ball up high enough to drop it onto the side of her foot; Jennifer failed to lift her ball; and Esmeralda, Rosa, Priya and Wendy, expecting something light, actually lost their balance, and fell very prettily, cursing the balls. “What is that?” they bleated from the floor.
“My dear ladies,” grinned Lawrence, “That, huh? I believe it is commonly known as gravity.”
The group spent a half hour bowling, and being amazed by the weight of the balls, and the difference in the way they rolled, compared to weightless virtual ones. All had bowled often, as virtuals, but this was astonishing!
“Where next?” asked Caesar, of no one in particular.
“Oh, why not try out football alley?” suggested Lawrence.
“Never heard of it,” said Caesar.
“Out of here, turn left, and at the end of the block, left again. That’s football alley,” said Lawrence. “Okay, for tonight it’s football alley.”
Making their way there, they found a brightly lit alley littered with soccer balls, and scores of beings kicking them, shrieking in joy when making good connect. “Hey, everyone,” screamed the attendant at the alley’s mouth, “We got some special folks here. Goddesses too!”
Being roundly cheered by other players, they ran to the balls. It was desperately tricky, bracing ankles for the shock of contact with the balls, and they all twisted their ankles, but the twinges of pain vanished fast, and soon the balls were being kicked a fair distance.
“What a world, what a world. What changes!” exclaimed Candice. “That which we knew was so far from real.”
After half an hour of kicking and chasing balls, they decided to move on to a rest stop. “A bar,” said Esmeralda, brightly. “At least we already have some practice of the activities to be conducted there.”
Bars were everywhere, all jammed with rowdy revelers, celebrating the marvels of the new world. The group got into one, were promptly recognized, and then subjected to a rousing rendition of ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’.
A very sheepish trio, of BC, Singh and Caesar, with Chang cunningly escaping by hiding under a table, was forcibly made to sit on top of the wooden bar counter for the entire song, eventually themselves joining in and singing along. It was a very well-organized bar, and they found extremely comfortable seating at the back, where they sat drinking beer and wine for half an hour.
On returning to the concert in Central Park, they found that it had got very crowded, as everyone had come with the same idea, being shouted out among friends everywhere. “Be dancing to live music until daylight, when the sun comes up. Sundance, sundance. Greet the new sun, dancing!”
Then, it began emptying out!
“Why?” asked Esmeralda, nonplussed. The answer came on the speakers.
“Fireworks, everyone. Times Square, anyone? Oh, Everyone. 2016 coming up. Say goodbye to 2015. Say hello to this new world. Burn the old one down. Set fire to it. Times Square! Times Square!”
The entire crowd, chanting burn the old world down and Times Square, began leaving the venue, heading to where the fireworks would be, with many googling directions while walking.
Eventually, most of Screenside did another new thing – run!
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