This room had been my prison for as long as I could remember now. The walls are painted a deep burgundy and several frames are neatly arranged covering most of them. Each contains a keepsake from my life’s achievements. A newspaper clipping here, a picture of my family on vacation in Montego Bay, another of when we went to Barcelona. There are also several ticket stubs from rock concerts we attended across the country. Two shelves also sit to the left of the door frame, each covered in trophies, medals and ribbons. The result of several years by my two sons. Every item on the wall is a comforting reminder of better times. This room was once my den, where I would retire after working a night shift and watch hockey or where my wife and I would snuggle up and watch the latest must see TV show. Now it stays mostly quiet, except for the faint hum of my computer. The monitor’s glow can be seen playing off the metal of the picture frames.
It is 5:30 am and just outside the room in the kitchen I can hear my youngest son, Derek, getting his lunch ready for work. Just this year he started working as a police officer with the local department, the same one his old man worked for so many years ago. It has been 12 years since I stepped inside that police station, but I still remember every detail of it. I can hear Derek approaching the room on his way out the front door.
After two quick raps on the door it opens and Derek’s head appears. “Good morning dad,” he says a big smile on his face. “Off to work, did you want anything while I’m out? Maybe I can get you a byte? Ha!”
A few seconds pass and I am able to muster a response. “Morning Derek, hilarious,” I say, but it static garbles most of it. “I think that storm last night messed up some of my hardware. As for picking me up something, would you grab me one of those new SGI 500s?” I tell him laughing.
“Good one dad, I already told you that we can’t risk a swap, we might lose you for good if we mess up.” he says a serious look coming across his face,” I will see if I can get a technician over here though to look and see what the storm messed up in there, don’t want to have you shutting down on us. Have a good day dad, I will see you later, love you.” Within a few moments the door closes and he is off. A minute or so later the car can be heard starting and then leaving the driveway. Once again I am all alone, inside my beautiful prison cell. What I wouldn’t give to be able to hold my son again, to be able to go out and be with my family for dinners, parties and other social events. Instead I am stuck here, inside this room, listening to the dull hum.
Twelve years ago I was on patrol in one of the rougher neighborhoods when I was jumped by four armed men. Doctors and my family tell me I was stabbed 37 times, all of which I don’t remember. Nobody ever expected me to recover, so when I finally did come to it was inside of this blasted machine. As a precaution in case of my death my consciousness was transferred to a special computer, one that has all of the devices I need to substitute for my senses. Being stuck inside this machine was terribly depressing at first. Not being able to do anything but sit and stew over what happened to me was like torture. Eventually Derek was able to upgrade some of my hardware and I can now use WIFI to surf the internet and do research to pass time. My memory is now much greater than it ever was in my flesh body. I can process complex problems in a fraction of the time and my memory recall is lightning fast. My situation might not be ideal, but I have come to enjoy aspects of it very much. My wife and I still get together to enjoy a good TV show now and then and I have been able to watch my children grow up into strong and responsible men. All of which is much better than the alternative if you ask me.
Now that Derek is gone for the day it is time to get some research done, the hum of the computer starts to get louder as the secondary processors fire up.