Part I: Connect My name is Simran Singh. I am a systems analyst at DigiCorp. DigiCorp is the company responsible for making the most vital components in the SGD-19 Persona processing chip. It is the chip that makes the experience of programmed human personalities real. Don't ask me how to explain it, but only a few people can fully appreciate the depth and scope complicated matters involve. I'm chuckling just a bit right now. I know you're anxious to figure it all out. But let me fill you in on some of the details. Let me start by sharing with you a very scary, though real, concept from my past. When I was a little girl, I saw a Star Trek episode where creating the imagined human being was possible. I was little, so I remember only the basic concept of it, but it was quite fascinating. I never thought it could be done. No one, to say the least, thought it could be. Not until sixteen years later. In 2010, a well-known basketball player witnessed a UFO in the sky. Most people were curious as to what kind of aircraft had supposedly landed or crashed. The government wasn't going to get away with this one, however. As clever as they were, they tried to pass this off as a spacecraft due for landing. When that story failed, they said it was an actual UFO, so badly damaged in the crash that it had little significance. The cover story concocted had completely bombed after 3 years when the changes started to show up. Once scientists began taking a closer look at what they had found, they realized this was a discovery that somehow could no longer be kept a secret - at least, not all of it. The world had changed and that one UFO completely revolutionized the world over a ten- to fifteen-year time span. Elements, never seen before, were introduced into many new inventions and chemicals. No one could believe what was happening. It was Star Trek. The many uses out of this one rock they called 74G2, for short, was found in the debris. It had also given our world the boost it needed. Suddenly we had more jobs than we knew what to do with. There was no excuse for unemployment, and the once dead economy of the early twenty-first century had vanished. Oil, the most vital commodity on the planet and to the industrialized world, had competition from the elements discovered. Our world was transforming into the utopian society most people never thought they would see in their lifetime. It was like Michio Kaku had said: We were almost a type 1 civilization, but what exactly did this mean? We had artificially intelligent robots that mimicked the mannerisms and speech of humans fluidly, as well as tablet computers that were not made like once were with solid materials, or propped up on such, either. Computers came in the form of tiny devices which projected their screens into holographic user interfaces several feet above. The less expensive, more solid types were placed on invisible to the naked eye atmospheric panels. There were also experimental automobiles no longer running on petrol gas or electricity. The kinks in space adaption technology got a boost, not only putting communities on the moon, but later the first research community on Mars. I could go on, but that is not the purpose of this story. At the heart of each story is character, and funny I should know about storytelling, being that I'm not a writer. I'm an analyzer. Let us look at this term closely. It is described at Wikipedia Encyclopedia as, "the procedure by which we break down an intellectual or substantial whole into parts." It's basically what I'm all about. If something doesn't make sense to me, and it matters, I break it down and try to understand it. At times, it seems my world is all I understand, from the logical results computed from a mathematical problem to the fractal design of a single leaf. It's the reason why some of the relationships in my life never really worked out. These men wanted too much uncertainty, too much fluidity coursing through their preconceived notions of relationships. My need for certainty also explains why I don't spend most weekends on the sofa reading romance novels. Nothing can be analyzed when it comes to a gray area, but can only be speculated upon. With numbers and facts, you have certainty and with certainty, there is the advantage of order. This trait of mine, though demanding and rigid, has been essential in every single one of my successful relationships. People, like my brother, have known how to dance around this part of me so skillfully that it no longer is the central issue of our relationship. Others, like my new neighbor, George, cannot really live without pointing this trait out in our daily encounters – from when I told him his French marigolds on his balcony needed watering to when I disapproved of this watering at night. It made no sense to me why his self-defeating behaviors went on, but I wasn't exactly letting it bother me, either. The only thing that bothered me about George was that he was too communicative and not the right height for his robust frame. With a few exceptions in our society today, flaws can no longer be a problem. But, George isn't a huge part of my life. Even if he was, the solution to George is probably going to seem upsetting and disturbing to you, not to mention navel-gazing. However, the traditional dating services on the planet have been essentially put out of business because of our new advances in technology. We don't really meet people that way anymore. We meet the old-fashioned way, through brief, casual interaction. There is, however, one difference: We don't talk anymore after that. Let me illustrate one example. I am waiting in line at the grocery store after work one afternoon (yes, there are robots that will shop for you, but I preferred to be out on that day.) Next, I notice the bottle of Jack Daniels in the basket in front of me. I briefly get this guy's attention with a smile and then I proceed to tell him Jack Daniels is one of my favorites. It's no lie. Fortunately he engages me in small talk and as I tap at the synch chip, called an s-chip, at the back of my ear, he smiles down at me and does likewise to his own. His smile is to die for. He's got the whitest teeth. His hair is jet black. He tells me naturally at the end of our conversation that his name is Greg. I tell him mine. Then, in a kind telepathic agreement, we stop talking and apathetically look ahead. I go my way and he goes his way. I go home that evening and, with what little information gathered in my s-chip (a kind of mini all-in-one computer carried around like a cell phone), tap the device on the back of my ear once again and it begins synching information to the holographic interface above my desk. It gives me all the information about Greg he's added into his template profile. Saying little to each other in the store, I've gathered what I've needed on Greg to create the perfect date. Greg is boyfriend number seven. That night, as I'm trying to figure out if I want to wear the black halter in the mirror, or the beige-colored baby doll dress I bought last week, I think marriage is definitely in my future with this one. I go to the module, which is like a frosted silver cylindrical shower, its base made of alloy compounds, and I program all the features I want in a compatible candidate. I've programmed a lot of boyfriends since I could remember and not one of them, with a lot of reasoning behind it, was worth dumping. For my parents, dating was a different story, until they could program clones. Of course, memories are too painful and each ended up with someone they could program. As for me, I liked Robert for as long as I could remember. I had worked with him briefly at the company. While his job was only temporary, he and I stayed in touch. I liked him at first; however, he was always overly suspicious and tracked me down once at the mall. Still, his wonderful sense of humor had me programming his clone to be more sympathetic and understanding, yet just as humorous and hard-working around the house. He began asking if he could go to work, but I reprogrammed him to enjoy his duties at home. There was a time when I had to reprogram that sympathetic and understanding persona to be a little more forthcoming. Six months later, I put him back into the matrix unit. I couldn't stop thinking about John Samuels, the physician who saw me one day while covering for my regular doctor on vacation. He had the bluest eyes and the cutest dimples. I had to have him. I just fixed his crooked teeth and added a little more pizazz to his otherwise taciturn demeanor. What would I have done without my s-chip? Just like the cell phones of the past, everyone comes with one. It's like having a brain. You can't live without it. Programming dates is not really where our technology stops. Like many of the 3D chat rooms of the past, we have projected chats, or holographic chats. The seemingly flat 2D images that most people called 3D years ago are no longer limited to computer interfaces or what they used to call the monitor. There were some nights that I didn't feel like romantic company and yet, most of my friends were co-workers who had families or couldn't step out for an evening on the town. Not even in the holographic chats. I eventually programmed a few avatars to keep me company. However, I began to focus on men more. I needed to get married. But I know, it sounds so weird coming from a future not far away, but life changes in the blink of an eye when you least expect it… or at least, in this case with humanity it did. We, as a starving society, were more than ready to accept the spoils.