Hooked on Life 2.0
Earth is often told to have one history that defined the evolution of its every aspect. This is far from the truth; Earth never had one single history. The fact is that an infinite number of versions of earth simultaneously exist in multiple layers of realities. Everything is happening all the time, but what is happening in one reality might be quite close or very different from what is happening in another. At the center of this web of layers is the Symphony of time, the very essence of time on earth in its multiple versions. In some of those realities, an organization called the Time Watch exists to monitor the major temporal events and lead humanity on a way that would avoid the upcoming end of time that was ought to happen in a certain number of those realities. However, in certain realities, the time watch never existed, and in some extreme case, extreme scenarios came to become a legitimate reality.
Let’s take one specific version of earth where the absence of the Time Watch had leaded in to some rather bizarre social phenomenon to happen. We will call this reality Earth Gamma Minus. In Earth GM, the evolution of the social interactions between people of the human race got the attention of certain scientific communities as well as media geniuses that built empires around the industrial artificial creation of social virtual spaces and the manipulation of social trends and principles. One of the first giants to appear on the Global Wired Network or the G.W.N was Another Life. a Network Site created in 2000 A.D that provided the users with a very basic interface that was able to emulate to certain extends certain social needs, such as communicating. The site was sound based and wasn’t demanding any kind of skills. It also created the concept of gaming social interaction, with the establishment of points, rewards and other game mechanics, the site was not only emulating social interactions, but making them rewarding and challenging and keeping the interest at a sharp level.
The creator of Another Life, Julio Makarov switched lives from a day to another from Economic Engineer to CEO of a giant company that landed in the first spot of richest multinational in the fall of 2004. The rise of Another Life was so fast that no one could react to their massive multiplication of activities in different sectors. It was so quick in fact that by the time the first researches about the behavior of the company came out, it was already too late. During the years from 2005 to 2025, Another Life incorporated many industrial giants to itself such as GE, Microsoft, Apple, AT&T, Shell, Walmart, McKesson, and many others. Another Life was taking control of all the major companies in sectors going from Telecommunication to Pharmaceutics. From 2025 to 2034, Another Life took control of the most prestigious universities in the world, and created special scholarship for certain fields such as psychology, bio-engineering, sociology, robotics, etc… Julio Makarov was ranked richest man in the world by 2027, by 2034, his fortune was much more important than the US GDP. Another Life Inc introduced it’s most important product in the summer of 2034: The Interface ID Ship. Makarov personally convinced every nation of the compulsory the integration of the Interface ID Ship to each and every individual to, as he mentioned, “create equal chances in the new paradigm that the Interface ID Ship will create for every human being on earth.” End of quote. By 2050, 99.8% of the human population was equipped with the Interface ID Ship technology.
Julio Makarov did not lie when he Said the the Interface ID Ship will create a new paradigm. The introduction of the technology changed everything about the meaning of humanity. The Interface ID Ship was not really a ship, it was in fact a true miracle of Nano-robotics and Bio-robotics. The interface was in fact millions of nano-robots that were engineered in a synthetic stem cell like organism. The robots had two major advantages; they were perfectly programmable and had the ability to replace various original cells, multiplying in a fast past and building organs and other complex tissues as they were naturally formed by the body. The robots dormant are capsuled in a pill that is taken orally by the person who wants to be equipped. once in the digestive system, the opening of the capsule starts the nano robots who then manage to integrate every important organs and tissues of the host body. the robots acquire then the genetic code of the host to upgrade his living tissues. This lead to the creation of perfectly functional bodies that can be modified at will through the Interface Program. This basically gave Makarov tremendous powers over the rest of the human race as he rose as Game Master. The quasi total use of the Interface ID Ship by the human population as well as the immense political and economic power of Makarov made it possible for him to change the whole social structure of the world. The social contract of Rousseau was modified for a new life apparatus. A life 2.0 Game as he was described by Makarov; in this game, multiple programs were designed under a cast classification.
The casts were: Gamma, Delta, Zeta, Beta, Alpha and Omega. The Gamma were the low level workers that didn’t really need any kind of skills in the activities they were given. They were modified to be half wits, and live forever. There physical aspect was flawless, but lacked any kind of beauty. They were given limited achievements in the game, and the neural stimulus that was given them as a reward was very low powered. Then there are the Deltas that were pretty much like the Gammas but were given enhanced physical force to carry more demanding tasks. They were given access to middle rate stimulus and a little bit wider ray of possible achievements. The final lower class were the Zeta, they were the bureaucratic classes and were specifically engineered to carry on management functions and official functions, their cognitive abilities were highly increased but only for their specific field needs. They were given a respectable number of challenges and pretty mild and complex stimulus as rewards. All the lower classes were stopped from breathing through their program. An optimal number has been chosen for them, and they were meant to keep the same occupations forever, carrying over their shoulders the new paradigm.
The highest classes were first different because they were actually able to perform reproduction. The Betas form the political and economical elites; they are the first basis of the upper game. However, they are limited to one offspring per couple, and they are only allowed to breed among themselves. The Betas were also given the choice to terminate their game if they wish to do so after a quota of 150 years. They then are divided into nano-dust that is then regrouped for study purposes. It can seem intense, but many terminate their games as soon as they reached the 150 year quota. Then there are the Alphas, or the Star players. The Alphas have no obligations, no jobs, they can do anything that is possible in the game, their experience is way more exciting than any other cast, and their experiences are broadcast through interface to the rest of humanity as main entertainment. The Alphas are also given a random Achilles Heel weak point, that automatically lead to their withdrawal from the game and switching to nano-dust condition. The Alphas are also able to breed freely as much as they can, and can use the maximum potential of the Game. There is one Omega in the whole human race, the Omega is no one else than Julio Makarov, who dubbed himself game master.
The game Master designed the rules, but he wasn’t doing only that, he also had the ultimate player abilities. He could use any human on earth as an avatar, and no one can ever know that it happened; alternative memories are created to fill the gap. He also had a power of life and death over the players, and was the one rewarding or scolding them. The Game master was literally hooked to the game. And for more than 900 years, Earth was his playground, until his mental condition switched to an extreme: The God Complex.
Chapter 13: A God among Us
Julio Makarov became in the space of a few years the most important human being on Earth. The establishment of the “Another Life” franchise, especially its latest hardware and software products: The Interface ID Ship and the Life 2.0 game program monitoring the rest of humanity’s existences created a new paradigm for the human race, the end of an era and the beginning of a new age. In this whole new world, Makarov was on top of everything and everyone else. He was the one and only Omega, the game master who had complete control over the parameters of the game. It was Makarov himself who designed the cast system and all the basic game mechanics of Life 2.0. He was also the first person to be equipped with the Interface ID Ship, and wasn’t subject to any kind of restriction using the technology fully and extensively.
Makarov knew that his creation was going to change the face of the world. He saw the immense potential that it had and all the possible applications that it had to offer, but he also saw how much dangerous and destructive the Interface could be if misused. What was certain for him was that people with the technology would have a huge gap with the ones not equipped. So the first action of Makarov was to push for a global dissemination of the technology. By 2050, almost all the human race was equipped; on the first of January 2051, The first phase of the Game started: Life 2.0 was fully functional and the unstoppable machine started. The very meaning of being human changed with the game. With the cast system, society was fully functional. Everything that was slowing down human societies disappeared, death itself was vanquished. Humans were having the ability to virtually do anything they could imagine and more.
The lower casts were carefully chosen and modified to fill the very basic needs of this new humanity. They were counted and their population was kept alive for an indefinite period of time. No need for them to breed, they can stay in their positions forever, and they wouldn’t complain about it. The game was there to fix that. With the mechanics of the game, motivation was fully stimulated through a process of rewards in forms of direct brain signals to the pleasure center with achievements related to the task the people of the casts were required to do. The game was quite different on the higher casts’ level; first they were able to breed and were also given the choice to renounce immortality as well as a more proper free will. Makarov didn’t want everybody mindlessly doing what he asked them to do; he wanted to make the game more interesting. For him, the game was the ultimate form of his art, and the very materialization of his vision of a perfect world. Of course, arguments can be made against his perspective, but with the power that he had over the game, he wasn’t caring at all if his actions were considered honorable by everybody. He was a visionary, and he strongly believed that the world would never be much interesting if not given a notch of control.
He empowered the higher casts, and made their lives more exciting, stimulating and rewarding. The Betas were given the chance to live parenthood once, according to Makarov, he wanted to preserve a part of the social structure that is family, but more suited to the logic of the game. The Betas were also given the choice to terminate their game after a run of 150 years. Makarov noticed that each and every one of them chose to terminate as soon as the run ends. It made him understand that completely taking death away from the equation will spoil the entertainment value of the game. He also believed that free people should choose to live or die. Living forever can become pretty unbearable if you have a free enough will. Which get us to the next concept that Makarov wanted to let in the game, higher free choice level. A game that is fully controlled is never really “fun”, Makarov thought that by letting free will, the outcome will be more unpredictable, although he still has full control to stop any severe alteration to the Game. He was very interested in the entertainment value of the game as he thought of it as a main catalyst and a strong motivation for the player to keep playing the game. He made the Alphas the stars of his show. The Alphas were kind of his children, in a Greek mythological context, they would be considered as Semi-Gods. The Alphas had no tasks to fulfill, they were as much free as one can be in the game, and their programs were the more advanced and the more complex among the casts. They were given powers that are above the capacities of any normal human being, entering the realm of super powers all possible through the polymorphic capacities of the Nano-Robots. The Alphas were also able to achieve reproduction as any regular human being, a love letter in a way that Makarov is making about life before the game. during reproduction periods, the super capacities of the Alphas program are blocked so they live the experience the old human fashion way. And to add spice to his prime show in the game, he Gave the Alphas randomly designed organs that if triggered can lead to an instant death of the player. That way, Makarov was limiting the Alpha population, as well as creating a thrill leading to epic events surrounding that specific concept. Some Alpha players are taunted by the thrill and high rewards of cheating death. Special events and achievements were made in the game to push the Alphas in a constant dare devil routine.
Concerning Makarov himself as the Omega, he was fully in control of his mind, and was able to do practically anything in the Game. He was also the ultimate player, and was able to control anyone equipped with the technology and use them as avatars in the game. He was able to constantly keep record of everything happening in the game, and for 900 years, he entertained himself by playing the game through every possible perspective. He lived more lives in those 900 years than any human being could have lived even if they were reincarnated on earth since the down of the human race. After 900 years, Makarov’s knowledge of the human race became so complex that he came to take a decision which would change his life forever. Julio Makarov, man born in Italy in a modest family decided to rise above the human race and become a living God. In 2951, Julio Makarov showcased his rise in the minds of the whole human race, making them know of his change of status, and demanding their faith and complete submission to his Omega will. Julio Makarov was no more that day, only “The Light” remained.
The Light disappeared into the game following his mental broadcast in the minds of the human race. For 123 years, nobody heard about him. The game continued as it was, the conditioning was too good for it to be completely altered by the apparition of the Light as God of the game, and thus self proclaimed God of the human race. What this did was the creation of a cult to the light, people kept on their programs, but added the concept of faith to it, which provided more interest toward the game itself. Rumors started to appear in the higher casts concerning the implication of the Light becoming a god. Theories started to appear among them concerning the new nature of death, and what would death mean at that point if The light was living through the entire game.
The 5th September 3074 was a historical day in the new world that Julio Makarov built, this day was known as the day of the return of the Light. during that day, The Light reappeared in the game in a physical form. His new body was glowing light so intensely that no one was able to directly look at him, pretty much like how the biblical god is described to appear to Moses when asked to show its true form. Looking at the Light was like looking at the sun, but for those who were brave enough to keep looking for a little moment, they were able to discern a human shape at the center of all that light, some even say that the Light had the shape of his former body as a human, some say that the light has a female body, no one can really tell for sure. The light spoke to all the people of Earth at once.
” Children of the game, People of Earth, I have been long gone and unheard of. It wasn’t without purpose that I concealed my presence; I wanted to see the value of my children. I wanted to see what you will do on your own, and I am satisfied. Most of you chose to accept me as their lord, and many of you have achieved faith. I came back to reward your efforts and show you the path… to The Light!”
Following that came 926 years of peace and prosperity under the Light. He shaped his religion as a major part of the game, and gave back mortality to the human kind. However, he also announced that their faith after death will be on his hands, so he made his status as the one true God more powerful. The ultimate goal in the game became to reach the Light, and join it at death.
During the last years of what was known as the Era of Light, certain groups of people started to oppose the light, and wanted to get back control of their lives. They felt that the game had gone way too far. Those fluctuations in the game ended up leading to the events of the Fall of the Light in the year 4000. But even after that, Julio Makarov stayed in the minds of the human race as a God among man, and the oldest man to live. Julio Makarov had a run of 2020 years on Earth, and changed everything conceivable about life, but also triggered the beginning of the end.
Chapter 14: Deus Ex Machina
In the Year 4000 A.D, In Earth Gamma Minus, the run of the Living God known as the light was over. The humans who have been his puppets for so many years ended up causing his doom. They united their forces, and fought fire with fire. After a raging war, the Light was dissolved into the program, with no consciousness remaining, just as a data ghost in the network. With the fall of the Light came the fall of the game itself. Humans were finally over that very long conditioning that lasted for 2000 years. It was like the human race has been reborn from ashes, free will was back, and everybody was made normal again. No more casts, no more major physical deformations in the name of societal need. All humans were equal again as the program Life 2.0 was finally over.
Humans were still equipped with the Interface ID Ship technology though, and many of them started to disagree about whether to keep the technology or not? At this very first stage, the human race was still feeling a sort of general empathy, and none of them wanted to relive the atrocity that was Life 2.0. They decided to be fair and permit those who wished to keep the technology to do so; they also designed a protocol that had for main purpose to get rid of the Interface ID Ship. Through high electromagnetic fields, the robotic parts are rendered obsolete and become regular human tissue. Through this process the people that have chosen to be free from the technology of the light are able to have pre-Makarov human lives; their offspring was completely technology free, this category called itself the naturals, and decided to start back at the most basic levels of human societies. They centered their new life style on agriculture and hurdling, and decided to get rid of any new age technology. In a way, they were similar to the Amish of the 20th century. The rest who chose to keep the technology had it reprogrammed and fixed to not alter free will and brain functions. Immortality was made High Taboo and forbidden, the only remaining body functions of the nano-bots were medical, and weren’t altering the aging process. The equipped people moved to the city where they kept on using technology, but mostly as a tool going back to the fashion of the 20th and 21st century. They kept the mental functions as an interface which capacities are no more powerful than a hardware computer; the network and wireless communication through the interface were kept. They were also passing on the technology to their offspring as it was stored in their genetic material. Those people called themselves the Synthetics.
Peace didn’t last long between the Naturals and the Synthetics. They had interdependencies to survive, but they still believed two opposite visions of the world, and soon enough, tensions started to rise among them. They were judgmental toward each other and fights were becoming more and more recurrent in gatherings involving both groups. One incident pushed things toward a very dramatic development. Two cross stars lovers from the two groups wanted to live together regardless of the strict regulations against it. The result was the murder of the boy who was a Natural by Synthetics, and the direct response through the killing of the girl who was Synthetic by Naturals. This alone broke the wall of silence, and angry voices started to rise. In the 7th of August 4013 the thousand years’ war started between the Naturals and the Synthetics.
The war raged for centuries and centuries between the two sides. Each time some sort of conclusion seemed to appear, the other side was getting back in the game, more motivated than before. The Naturals moved to what was formerly known as The American continent, and controlled the Islands of the Pacific, Including Australia. The Synthetics on the other side settled in Europe and Africa. Most of the war was raging in what used to be Asia. The naturals developed sharp technologies that were always controlled by men without any kind of cerebral link, Giant Robots and piloted by top notch trained militaries. On the other side, the Synthetics decided to boost certain capacities of the interface technology, but without breaking the three major taboos: Immortality, Mind, and Human shape.
The End of the war was different than anything both side thought about during a thousand years. All humans lost the war and all their faiths were sealed by the end of it. It all happened because of one foolish man, a man that didn’t want to abide by the rules, and broke the synthetics main taboo, Immortality. He was a young and ambitious general on the synthetic side name Sin. He never lost a battle during 20 years of service, and strongly believed that he could end the war, He had an important battle to lead and went to it like every time, with a strong believe that he was going to win. However, things happened differently that time. His men were getting killed like game and he ended up cornered facing enemy troops. He really thought that his time on earth was over. He was seeing death coming his way, and he was completely unable to do anything about it. It was at that time that he heard it; a whisper, a voice that was echoing in his mind. He followed the voice’s instruction, and doing so, he broke the first Taboo: shape. He overrode the program of his interface, and made his body dissolved into nano-dust. He was then able to flee the battlefield, and once out of danger, was able to regain his human shape. The voice started to sound clearer in his mind. It was telling him about all the possibilities that he could achieve if he really used his interface at its maximum potential. He started to develop a sort of Messiah complex and started to think that he could end the war all by himself. He broke the second taboo, and started to mind control important synthetic personas and used them to lead the war the way he thought would be best. He ended up being found out, and was murdered. However, his program was developed enough at that point to enable him to break the third and final Taboo: Immortality. Sin rose from the death, but him breaking the final Taboo triggered what was feared for ages; the old Life 2.0 program was rebooted, but updated to a 3.0 version. During a thousand years, the program have survived as a ghost in the network and rebuilt itself better than ever. It was so complex in fact, that it was sentient. The program as soon as triggered, took control of the whole synthetic population.
The new 3.0 program took over the world like a swarm; everything infected was becoming nano-dust and joining the great cloud that was infecting, assimilating, and absorbing everything on its way, no matter if it was living or not, organic or not. This huge nano-dust was called by the naturals as it was invading them the Deus Ex Machina; The God issued from the machine.
In the 7th of August 5013, the human race as well as everything else on Earth was no more, only remained the Deus Ex Machina; an entire bio-robotic sentient planet. The Deus Ex Machina discovered a new meaning to its existence, through its takeover of Earth Gamma Minus; it felt achievement through absorbing data, any kind of data. The Deus Ex Machina set itself in motion leaving its orbit, and becoming a World Eater, a Predator Planet absorbing and assimilating everything on its path.