Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Death Of Sophie Sautereau

Aire Xaris logged into her Afterlife account on main grid and rezzed at the Welcome Center that she, Ruz, Sophie, and Slater had built together three years earlier only to find a barrage of IM’s flooding her Client. It took a long time for her avatar to load and she began the tedious process of clicking away all the message boxes and inventory offers off of her screen.
Aire, which was actually an acronym for animated intelligence representing entity, was being operated by a real person named Beatrice Fontaine who controlled all of Aire’s actions and mannerisms with a click of a mouse. Aire was motionless when Beatrice came to an Instant message from Ruz which had been saved from the previous night. Beatrice, on the other hand, had gasped, dropped the mouse and was now shaking uncontrollably as Aire blinked and put her hand up to her waist as if to say, What’s your problem?
Bea had actually created that animation herself and slipped the line of script into Aire’s AO, (animation overrider), when she first logged onto the Grid. Bea had always been a little bit proud of it, but now she looked at her three dimensional self as if the avatar she had always been in control of was somehow mocking her with a scripted animation that made Aire seem like she had a mind of her own. She found it all a bit unnerving and blocked Aire out by maximizing the Blue IM box labeled Hey it’s me Ruz, Sophie has passed away.

Beatrice slipped on her glasses and began reading the in world messages of After life Grid.

-- After Life Instant message logging enabled --
Ruz Saxsondale [2011/05/02 18:04] Aire I’m sorry to have to tell you
Sophie passed away on April 23. I don’t know all the details yet.
After Life user Aire Xaris is not online: message will be delivered later
Ruz Saxondale [2011/05/02 18:06] Slater and I are at her Sim now. We’ll be here for a while
After Life user Aire Xaris is not online: message will be delivered later
[2011/05/02 18:04] After Life: APP AGENT has offered to teleport you to their location:
Join me in Argenteuil - General Parcel_PG_Light
Ruz logged in as Bea was reading his saved IM’s.
[2011/05/02 18:06] After Life: APP AGENT: Your Freind Ruz Saxsondale has logged in
[2011/05/03 13:39] Ruz Saxondale: Hey!
[2011/05/03 13:39] Ruz Saxondale: I don’t know if you got my notecard last night, but S0phie passed away.
[2011/05/03 13:39] Aire Xaris: HEY!, Yea, What?????
Bea hadn’t even gotten to Ruz’s notecard at that point, and she noted it’s placement on her client screen as she could see a part of Aire partially from behind the opaque IM box, sway the other hip and hand to lean a bit more visible
[2011/05/03 13:40] Ruz Saxondale: Her brother actually sent me an e-mail with a link to her obit. I don’t have many details, just that it was sudden, and they found her like two days later.
[2011/05/03 13:40] Ruz Saxondale: She passed away while she was online
[2011/05/03 13:40] Aire Xaris: Omg
[2011/05/03 13:42] Ruz Saxondale: Aire ~ you alright?
[2011/05/06 21:09] Ruz Saxondale: Sophie died on the 21st
[2011/05/06 21:10] Ruz Saxondale: I was the last one to talk to her
[2011/05/06 21:10] Aire Xaris: omg :(
[2011/05/06 21:10] Ruz Saxondale: she died on her computer
[2011/05/06 21:10] Ruz Saxondale: computer
[2011/05/06 21:10] Aire Xaris: How?
[2011/05/06 21:10] Ruz Saxondale: She tried reaching for the phone
[2011/05/06 21:10] Ruz Saxondale: That’s how they found her
[2011/05/06 21:10] Ruz Saxondale: Two days later
[2011/05/06 21:11] Ruz Saxondale: Saturday
[2011/05/06 21:11] Ruz Saxondale: 23
[2011/05/06 21:11] Ruz Saxondale: Her mom and brother tried to contact her, they were going to a party for Alex I think
[2011/05/06 21:12] Ruz Saxondale: They were all supposed to go
[2011/05/06 21:12] Ruz Saxondale: Sophie never came
[2011/05/06 21:12] Ruz Saxondale: They called her
[2011/05/06 21:12] Ruz Saxondale: Finally they called Police
[2011/05/06 21:12] Ruz Saxondale: Still they couldn’t find her
[2011/05/06 21:12] Ruz Saxondale: they broke the door down and found her on her computer, trying to reach the phone
[2011/05/06 21:13] Ruz Saxondale: She was complaining about the kids outside playing basketball
[2011/05/06 21:13] Ruz Saxondale: She was saying something about closing her window
[2011/05/06 21:13] Ruz Saxondale: But I logged out and I
[2011/05/06 21:13] Ruz Saxondale: well I told her I would be back on later and
[2011/05/06 21:14] Aire Xaris: Ruz?
[2011/05/06 21:14] Ruz Saxondale: I never got back on that night
[2011/05/06 21:14] Ruz Saxondale: what?
[2011/05/06 21:14] Aire Xaris: How did she die??????
[2011/05/06 21:14] Ruz Saxondale: Unknown
[2011/05/06 21:14] Ruz Saxondale: We are the ONLY ones who know this
[2011/05/06 21:15] Aire Xaris: ...Are you sure about that?

“Monday mornings are for assholes”. Beatrice was in her bedroom standing in front of the bureau reading the bumper sticker at the top of her mirror as she applied her lipstick, smacked her lips, then refocussed on the mirror and her freshly painted reflection. She shut off her Laptop, curler Iron and alarm clock all in a turn of one heel as she put on her other shoe, earring then looped her pocketbook over her shoulder and grabbed her coffee.
The T usually was good about getting into the station a couple of minutes early, but Beatrice never got the hang of Monday mornings and as usual, she was late getting up. She arrived at NEW Worldz conference center only three minutes late, which to Bea, was practically the same thing as being exactly on time, but the speaker still shot her and three others from her department a stale look as they fiddled at the door with name tags and itineraries.
“In and out of consciousness was a sort of side effect to the medication that the project coordinators research team indicated would be a clear sign that a subject was part of the test group. Mostly the way these people would speak to one another was through their respective creations, in media art. Scripting objects became a way to leave messages to one another that spontaneously became their real manual on how to develop and we are still not 100% sure how these people are crossing over”.
The fifty-something man in a pinstriped grayish suite and obnoxious yellow tie that had moments earlier shot Bea a less than enthusiastic look as she hurried into the room was now fidgeting with his glasses and continued to read the report he had been emailed in a voice that she immediately recognized as Dorchester/ Irish.
“It was a joke at first, some gamer thought of a way to encrypt cheat hints into the LSL, (Linden Lab scripting language), and avatars would attach them to their mesh as either huds, (Heads Up Devices), or AO’s, (animation over riders), and this “hidden script” would teleport them to the information that they needed to either buy a key to use trial software or give code from hacked files and the Like”.
Finbar O’Leary took off his glasses and tossed the paper he was reading from down on the conference table as he and his secretary, who was nervously standing over him feeding him more paper, scrambled through his own documents for the next sheet to read from. The whole room, in turn, started adjusting their glasses and rummaging through their syllabuses when O’Leary boomed “You’ll not be finding any of dis or da Like in dose information packets, deese are from a fluttering of “Oh Shite” type e-mails that came into me dis mornin, so you’s can be going back to adjusting and situating yourselves like, while the Johnny come lately’s finish up with asking you’s what else dey missed and being disruptive gob Shites.
Finbar pushed the documents aside and stood up in front of the whiteboard that had been ushered in by his anorexic looking secretary and three very nervous looking interns. “Look,” Finbar said as he flipped his glasses onto his head and dotted the whiteboard with a sharpie. “We started dis project with the express idea that loved ones would be saving digital mementos like of their dearly departed! Never once did anyone of you I.T people or your band of misfit scripting geniuses and source code minions ever bring up the subject of hackers getting a hold of our little grid here and using it to steal our clients identities nor did any of you raise the possibility that our in-game currency could be tied into their Pay pal or BitCoin accounts and the like, through third party viewers.” Finbar drew a small story line on the board as he spoke and filled with circles, arrows and repeated angry dots as he addressed the now confused and somewhat half panic-stricken assembly.
“We’ll be shutting down and taking the grid offline for so-called scheduled maintenance and our support team will be putting out a Cover Blog and sending e-mails about a possible security breach until all the Jira reports can be sorted out and gone through.” Finbar pulled his chair back out and stood behind it holding the back as he continued to address the now completely silenced room. He looked over the back of the chair for a second and then raised his hand up as if he had already formulated a plan and continued.
“You’ll all be tasked in each of your departments with a set of assignments given to you by your respective supervisors and all of your departments will be working directly with deese boys from da Fcc and dose MIT so and so’s dat are running around out dare with their untucked shirts and clipboards.” Finbar motioned towards the reflected blur of white shirted and gray slacked geeks scrambling and reassembling outside the conference room looking more like a pack of meerkats than computer scientists as they darted their heads up and down checking each other’s clipboards, unpacked boxes and set up Laptops strewn onto portable long tables usually reserved for catered events in the conference room.
Beatrice was shot another stale look from both Fingar and his almost opaque secretary as her cell at that very moment abruptly buzzed and violently vibrated across the aluminum chair next to hers. She immediately regretted setting it down upon the free space as she noticed that the whole room was now looking at her. She frantically snatched it up and pushed the mute on the side of the phone with her thumb as she half looked at the message that popped onto her screen and then snapped to attention and brought the phone back up close to her face. She dropped everything that had been in her other hand as she stared down at the four words and just froze.
Aire it’s me Soph

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