Sorry about the long post. It's worth it I assure you. In 2028, scientists finally discover how the brain stores memories, and what gives a human their conscience. To their delight, it turned out that it was coded in binary, and used electrical signals to do so. A costless implant was quickly developed by an unnamed american that was able to tap into this. The implant was small and almost completely invisible. It consisted as a series of small electrodes located just under the skin in 3 places down the spinal cord and a total of 14 places at various locations around the brain. The surgery was paid for entirely by a company named CERN, the same company that built the Large Hadron Collider. While the surgery was not mandatory, it was heavily advertised, and in total, 90% of first world citizens underwent the process, 40% of second world citizens in China and similar developing countries underwent the process, and less than 1% of 3rd world citizens did. Talking of the third world, most of that was destroyed after the situations in the middle east deteriorated. Fortunately, the situation in the first world became luxurious for everyone. A series of shady governments were established starting in 2016, which led to the reform of the working class citizens into people who seemed like at least middle class, despite having the same lack of money. The one-child policy of China was enforced in all countries and succeeded in combating overpopulation, resulting in an excess of food and money for almost everyone in the first world. In this process, the population of China was reduced to 50% of its original, the population of India was reduced to 25% of it's original, and the population of Africa, South America, Russia and North Korea were reduced to just 10% of their original. In 2031, once the number of implants peaked, a large number of items were developed incredibly quickly. Thousands of Virtual Reality MMOs based on concepts from 20 year old media started existing, and AI was finally perfected. AI use was severely limited, however. In order to create one legally, one had to fill out an application to the Japanese government, as they were the ones who perfected it. Only 10,000 grade 1 AIs exist - that is, AIs who pass the Turing Test and have all the same rights as humans, and in all essence, are humans. 50,000 grade 2 AIs exist, which are similar to grade 1, but are programmed with a limited number of emotions. In particular, they are unable to feel love, hatred or anger, making them the perfect sub-human intelligence. They are also programmed to never hurt humans or grade 1 AIs, and even sacrifice themselves to preserve the existence of a human or grade 1. The reason the AIs are possible is because something was discovered and called the Brainseed. This was essentially a line of code found within all human brains that is responsible for creating personality. This is what allowed grade 1 AIs to be completely human and have their own responses to situations and their own memories. grade 1 AI matches human conscience code bit for bit. Grade 2 AI is grown from an altered Brainseed that had the code responsible for developing the specified emotions deleted. (Just going to say now that this post shouldn't really be followed under the assumption that one thing happened before the thing below it. Its kinda a mess that way) Now, after the developing of the implant, but before the developing of the Brainseed, someone created a virtual world that became the Internet. They based it on what they saw in episodes of an ancient TV program called Futurama. The internet is essentially a big city, where each webpage is it's own room of a building. Unfortunately, this means that anyone without the implant is unable to use the internet, or access any other virtual world. The Darknet was developed anonymously at the same time, and looks the same, however the virtual people that are found in it are generally the scum of society - criminals, hackers - that kind of thing. One can connect to any virtual reality using a device that is similar to a bed. (think the things in the Avatar movie that let the humans control the blue guys). Most people now own one of these in their own home. These devices physically transfer the consciousness into a virtual body. This means that while one is inside a world, their real world body has no effect on their consciousness. If their real world body dies, they will continue to live on inside the virtual world, and they may even be able to have a mechanical frame constructed for them to then inhabit if they have something to do in the real world. If they are in the virtual world however, and their virtual form is harmed to a point at which it dies, then their conscious should be automatically returned to their real world body. For this reason, it is possible to kill someone inside the virtual world only by destroying their real world body then killing them inside the virtual world before they can connect to another host body. Host frames are expensive, so only incredibly rich people can afford to have more than one. There are also ways to protect one's virtual persona from damage, however these are so expensive that they can only be personally programmed and implemented by top Japanese government officials. Less than 500 of these "immortals" currently exist. On that note, now that real world bodies need not be human, or even biological, it is possible to live forever if you play your cards right. 460 of the existing 490 immortals are grade 1 AIs, and are essentially incarnations of characters from media. The first ever immortality was given to the vocaloid Hatsune Miku after she was given an AI. AIs based on media characters are strange. They have all the conscience and emotions of a human, like grade 1 AI, but they are implanted with memories and pre-programmed personalities based on what their character was like. For example, in 2034, Miku had memories of being in existence since 2007, even though she was only given an AI in 2032. Characters like these are only allowed to live inside the virtual world however, as it is thought that having them in a mechanical frame would ruin their image. This isn't much of a problem though, as they are immortal and cannot be killed no matter what anyone tries. Even the protection code itself is a virus and changes itself every 0.2 seconds, so no one can create a virus which breaks it. This is why it is so expensive to become immortal this way. As it is, more and more people are physically moving to live inside a virtual world, as even from within these worlds, they can call up menus which allow them to simply step into another world. These worlds are referred to as dimensions, as their physics inside the virtual super-universe is based on the now proven existence of multiple dimensions in the real world. That being said, in the real world no one has worked out how to travel between dimensions yet. As more people live and work in the virtual world, it is becoming more and more dubious as to what reality actually is. Power plants in the real world are necessary to support the virtual world, and the databanks that store it are so massive they cover almost the entirety of north Africa. All major plants and all databanks are heavily guarded, primarily by EMP-resistant androids loaded with grade 3 AIs - developed with only the ability to target and destroy those who go near these places without identification. The storage of "indie" virtual worlds (named after the indie games found in games markets), are the only thing stored in a single databank. The data for the rest is shared on a virtual network, so in order to destroy a non-indie world, one must destroy every databank in existence. The same is true for the shutting down of these worlds. To shut one down, first everyone inside must be evacuated to either the real world or another virtual world. Compensation for any assets owned inside these worlds is given in the form of bitcoins, the virtual currency. Now, onto the actual plot... It is now 2039. A terrorist organisation mainly consisting of Chinese, Indonesian and Italian criminals, has popped up. They terrorise by two means. They have developed a sort of virus that can be used to infect anyone who is inside a virtual world and who isn't protected by the immortality - the Firewall as it is now known. It appears to be able to delete, alter and even create fake memories, as well as recode certain aspects of a conscience. They are unable to use this for complete mind control, but people can be changed enough to want to willingly be a criminal. They are also carrying out genocides of up to 500 people at a time by evacuating them into an indie worldspace and then destroying the databank. It is unknown how they know where the appropriate databanks are, or why they are only able to, or perhaps willing to, send only small numbers to their death. Of these, approximately 150 actually die. The rest are simply sent to their real world bodies. Unfortunately, they have recently figured out how to cut off access to bodies without having to destroy them. Simultaneously, more and more people are selling their real world body for scientific research and residing only in the virtual world, under the belief that no one can harm them. Other information about the Virtual Worlds (isn't necessary if you're bored of reading, but you should read it at some point before the IC)(Assuming it gets an OOC) Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler There are around 4000 virtual worlds currently in existence. Of these, 3700 require that those inside them roleplay at all times, as these 3700 are based on MMOs. The most popular of these worlds is based directly on the inspiration for both this RP and the virtual network, an anime named Sword Art Online. Only 10,000 people were ever allowed into this world as players, however, there are fanmade worlds with identical code, for people who were not among those 10,000 to go to live in. The same kind of thing happened for most of the other larger worlds, most of which are also fandom based. One was based on the Hunger Games, and featured a way of having virtual virtual bodies in an arena. Another was based on Harry Potter, although, that never had more than 40,000 players across all worlds, including copies, because everyone realised that HP sucked. (No offense, HP nerds, but imo it does and this RP is tailored to me :P) All Virtual Worlds are identical to the real world in simulation purposes. Virtual avatars in all but the 300 worlds that make up the Internet's Virtual World require food and cannot do anything they could not do in real life unless their universe specifically allows it. For example, a world in which magic exists might allow people to use magic, even though it doesnt exist in real life. Virtual Avatars in these 3700 worlds usually are able to look how they like, except for the main SAO which requires it look identical to one's original real world self, unless the player never had a real world body, in which they are to look like the avatar they use inside the Internet worlds. There is also a Darknet world, which is an exact reflection of the Internet, but i think I already said about that already. That pretty much sums this part up. Oh also, people can pay bitcoins to gain enhancements to their virtual avatar. This can be anything from wings to a dragon's tail, however, if it is a weapon, it can only be obtained in the 50 Darknet worlds that cannot be accessed without knowing a 36 character long password and going to rooms at the end of very long and dark alleyways. These enhancements are temporarily removed when one goes into one of the 3700 "Roleplay Worlds", as those worlds generally have their own currency and their own enhancements. Characters should be based on these rules: 1. No OP characters 2. No one can have a Firewall, however, if you can convince me, I might let you have other expensive enhancements. 3. If you choose to use an image, please make it Anime. I shall be imagining anime people when I read the IC posts. Feel free to imagine in a different style if it please you, but I would appreciate anime images. Naturally, this means avatars in the virtual world will be seen as strange and out of place if they use a style other than anime. (Even if the user is American, as anime art is seen as "normal and real world" to the people in this universe. 4. You may own property in or even live permanently inside a virtual world. 5. Your character should in some way wish to prevent the terrorist threat. The motives can range from it being for the greater good or just because they have assets in a world and they don't want it to be deleted. 6. No one may have weapon enhancements unless they have obtained them from the Darknet, which means they either know a dealer or have been there themselves and know the passcode. 7. A popular choice for No 6 could be the Avatar-key. This is a small but expensive enhancement that can be bought only on the Darknet which basically allows one to move items and enhancements between worlds. One could theoretically take a pet dragon from one world into any other world, even the Internet worlds, though, they would be seen instantly and have the enhancements deleted by a system admin. 8. On that note, no system admins either. 9. No one may have more than 2 real life bodies - one main one and one reserve one incase the first is damaged. OOC being created if more than 1 other person shows interest.