Virtuality
François Jeulin
Walking down the street I was just thinking about the beauty of this world. The fresh morning breeze over my face was so delicious and the sun rise on the horizon so magnificent ! I felt like in a dream. The shopkeepers were opening there stores and I just could feel the town waking up. This day would be a nice day, like every day since the world had been wired.
I was floating two feet above the ground, like everybody in this world. That is the simplest way to go when you are not bound by the exhausting law of gravity. You feel free and movements require no effort. I had a rendezvous with Claudia at ten in the morning so I still had some time to think about what we could do together today. We could go to the sea, or maybe visit some great monuments. Which ones ? The French Tour Eiffel once again ? Or may be a trip to the famous Taaj Mahal ? I also had a pleasant recollection of Sydney. We could go there for a walk. However Paris or Venice would be more romantic. The problem was that we had been there so many times that I was getting bored with those towns. Claudia would decide.
I was wondering how she would look like. She always loves to surprise me and changes not only her style of dressing but also her face or her body. Last week she was looking like Cameron Diaz, whereas the month before she was the exact copy of Sharon Stone, with the voice of Marilyn Monroe. Thatís quite pleasant for a man to change so often partner without really changing and being unfaithful. The women give much coquetry to their choice, a bit like they did in former times to choose their make-up. This time she would certainly surprise me again.
I still had some time before the rendezvous, so I decided to enter a " chatting pub " to pass the time. I love those places where you can talk with people coming from everywhere in the world, with different languages and cultures. I chose the pub #Hard rock, my favorite music. Passing trough the doorway, I was just wondering why we had kept the # character, old relic of the IRC, to point out the pubs, when a man accosted me : " Hallo ! woher kommst du denn ? ". I realized that, lost in my thoughts I had forgotten to turn on my automatic translator. " Excuse me, could you repeat please ? ". " Of course ! Where are you from ? " the exact replica of Kurt Cobain, the dead singer of a precursor group called Nirvana, repeated. " IP 194.117.200.10 " I answered. " No, in real life ! " he insisted. " Who cares of real life ? What is real life ? " I said, speeding up to avoid this madman.
I joined a couple of my friends, playing 3D pool in the back of the pub. " Hi buddy, still playing pool instead of enjoying the sun outside ? ! ". " The weather is always sunny here ! " Jack answered. " You should visit the world Iíve just created " Ralf retorted, " Itís a desolate place, always rainy and windy. A world where you can experiment loneliness and despair. Can you imagine that before, they had only books or films to live that ! That was quite poor ! ". " Give me the address, Iíll try. " I answered. " Be careful " said Jack, " The last time I have visited one of his world, I was very nearly frozen. His Antarctic world was a bit too realistic ". Sergueï, who had remained silent until now added " Not always : Iíve been hunted by a giant snake in his Antarctic world ! ". " That were minor mistakes, which have been rectified. " Ralf answered. " Minor for the author, not for me ! ", Sergueï retorted. Wanting to change the subject of the talk, I said " You look and sound pretty good Sergueï, could you give me your profile ? ". " I found it in a generic library and I improved the script. You can download it if you want " he answered. I realized then that I was about to be late. " Hey men, I have to go, Claudia may be waiting for me. See you at the party tomorrow ! ". I ran my e-conveyor (electronic conveyor) to go immediately to the place where she was waiting for me. It confirmed what I thought : she was already log in.
I arrived in a wonderful island bathed in sunlight, planted of olives which leaves were moving in the breath of cool air. On a splendid sandy beach, a sort of monster, looking like half a man and half a bull was starring me. " Hey you ! you usurp my girlfriendís I.D. ! Hacker ! ". A deep voice, as if coming from the underworld, answered " But honey, itís me ! ". Surprised by its voice, the thing had a look to its e-mirror and gave a beastly howl. " Claudia, if it is you, this joke is not funny ! ". " But, darling itís me, I do not understand ! You can check my RSA signature ! ". It was actually her signature. It was beyond doubt : this thing was Claudia. " Iíve heard about such phenomena : you have certainly been hacked by a joker and you have caught a virus. You should launch an antivirus ". She was crying. " Donít cry, Iíve heard that Vguard commercialized a very good antivirus for such situations. You should go buy one ! ". The thing disappeared without a word. She certainly did not want to be seen so any longer.
This horror sight had disgusted me to see people for a while. And this island was quite paradisiac, so I decided to stay here and to put down this site in my bookmark. I just stretched myself out under a millenary olive. I let my thoughts wander and felt progressively asleep. I was woke up by my empty stomach. I opened my eyes and saw that the landscape had changed : everything was gray, empty. This world had been erased. I updated my bookmark. It was high time to find something to eat, I was too hungry.
I switched my e-conveyor off. Everything was dark. I took my cyberhelmet off. I was back in the real world. In my twenty square meter flat, the six member of my family were lying in their cybersimulator. I had a look to the window and could see that the sky was still so dark, awfully polluted. I could even not distinguish the sun. As far as the eye could see, skyscrapers spread, all as overpopulated as mine. In the reflection of the window I surprised the fleeing image of my face. It was so awful, so ugly. I was eager to go and join John, the cyber gentleman. I went to the automatic vending machine to get my daily calorie intake. " Roll on the time when we have cyber food to live. I hate those moments out of the cyber space " I thought. I went back to my simulator, I slipped on my suit with delight. I wore my helmet, switch the e-conveyor on. I was cyber John again...
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