My first mission was brutal. I was thrown behind the controls of an android in a dark, cramped room that I wasn’t even sure where it was. I was blindfolded through most of it, and too dazed to pay attention to much else. I wasn’t given any instructions besides those I could gather from my surroundings, and the controls weren’t exactly intuitive.
Although the room was sparsely decorated, hardly bigger than a closet, one wall held a monitor and had a semi-circle input panel underneath, gently curving around me. I couldn’t believe how thin it was, and transparent, almost as if it weren’t really there. Buttons and keys were highlighted in the darkness, and I gently tested them. The monitor was in a first person view, and I watched as a real-looking hand waved in front of me on the screen as I waved my own over the panel. It was tracking my movement, and translating it somewhere far-off.
I put both hands up and I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. The monitor projected a hologram that zoomed forward onto my face like a mask, and I felt a tug of nausea, feeling like I was flung forward into a body that wasn’t my own. Now I couldn’t see the panel at all, but I could still move and see the movement appear in front of me. I was seeing exactly as the android was seeing, and I couldn’t tell you how. I moved forward with a combination of leaning and leg movements. It felt stiff and awkward, but I was able to build up a rhythm. There didn’t seem to be other people around.
I was behind a building, in an alleyway, and I walked myself out onto the street. I turned and walked some more, some people passing me by with strange looks, but many others didn’t. I couldn’t tell if they were androids too, or if they were real people. I passed by my new reflection in the glass in the front of the building, and I didn’t recognize that it was me, although I was looking right at me. I moved on, my curiosity building, as well as my nausea. It was a different world, and I was a different, well-dressed, fairly attractive person. Not that I’m usually considered otherwise, but I felt both anonymous and more alive than I had been before I was put on death row.
Within a few more steps, I found out I was in the New Prism City Museum of Art and Science, and I went inside. While in there, I figured out what my mission was, and I completed it to the best of my ability. At the end, I found myself on the precipice of a window ledge, staring down the infamous Star Dog for the first time. Which move would complete my objective? I jumped. As soon as I did, I vomited all over the panel back in that cramped room, and the hologram faded back onto the monitor, which was now grainy static.
I didn’t know it then, but I had done very well.