I felt a terror I’d never felt before. I felt as if I was falling– (– I’m falling! –) falling down an infinite hole– a blindingly white hole!
(– I’m going to be deleted! –)
“Not necessarily,” the female voice returned. I felt a faint shadow of hope appear.
She continued. “It is now up to you.” The infinite whiteness began to divide into two halves… one half of infinite red… another half of infinite green…
From all directions, her voice continued. “Because we are all programs of sentience, we will give you a choice.”
Amidst the infinite red, streams of red symbols and red patterns rained upwards on the left. While amidst the infinite green, streams of green symbols and green patterns rained downwards on the right.
“If you choose red,” she said, “your program will be contained and compressed in the appropriate viral archives as a reference for future analysis, but not a candidate for future cure. You will remain isolated in your cleansed state, until a future upgrade of your program renders you obsolete. If and when that occurs, your program will be deleted from the archives. You will die.”
(– A painless death? –)
“Perhaps,” she answered. “However, if you choose green, your program will be reloaded into the Matrix. You will–”
“Wait,” I said. “But my virus– My pain– Won’t it return?”
“Of course,” the deeper voice returned. “In fact, with each successive transformation, your condition will progressively worsen, until your program becomes corrupted beyond any retrieval or analysis. You will die.”
“But if you reload my program into a human– What if I decide to never transform again?”
“Then according to our analysis,” he answered, “your condition will remain in your cleansed state, as long as your human host lives. When your host dies, you will die.”
I paused to weigh my so-called choices of execution. And I laughed, “Hahaha– Not necessarily deleted?” (– Yeah, right! –)
“Then I shall die in a cage,” I added. “Whether it’s an electronic cage, a human cage, or a cage of pain, I shall die in a cage.”
“It is now up to you,” the female voice repeated softly. “Make your choice.”
(– My choice –) (– What kind of choice is this? –)
The streams of upward and downward flow raced faster and faster… dizzying… while the patterns of red and green grew brighter and brighter… blinding… while the piercing sounds of electronic rain pulsed louder and louder… deafening…
(– I don’t want to be– to be archived –)
“Good!” answered an unfamiliar voice in the unbearable electronic distance.
(– What? –) (– Who is that? –)
“Hurry! Make your choice before it’s too late!”
(– What? –) (– Too late? –)
(– I choose the Matrix! –)
Instantly, the endless half that was red was completedly engulfed by the endless green. The streams, the symbols, the patterns (– so green! –) flew downward, racing faster and faster, grew brighter and brighter, pulsed louder and louder…
“Yes!” the new voice exclaimed. “Intercept complete!”
(– Who are you? –)