They called it our salvation. Hope for the hopless. A chance at survival.
Of course people were interested. A virtual reality that would make all your dreams come true? That would erase all poverty and sickness? They never stood a chance.
They lined up by the thousands, the sick and dying, impoverished and hunger-stricken. The outcasts of society, one step away from redemption. I was among them, the few that volunteered for the program. They had warned us, told us that there may still be bugs in the system. We didn't care. Our lives had become too meaningless for us to care. This was our last chance.
I see now that they planned it this way. Take those who had no homes, no family, no one left to care for them, and feed us to the system. What had been our salvation became our condemnation. To be stuck here, forever, in this eternal nightmare.
The first night was the worst. Huddled in a corner, unaware of who I was, where I was, what I was doing. All I felt was the pain, and the guilt. The guilt of knowing I had done a terrible thing, but not being able to remember what it was. My surroundings were bleak: a small room, with a cold stone floor. I had slept on worse, but the guilt made it all the more painful. I felt as though my heart had been ripped in two, but I didn't know who held the other half.
I suppose that what I was afraid of the most was the loneliness. Perhaps the cold darkness wouldn't have been so bad if there had been someone sitting beside me; the reassurance of another human soul. But there was no one. No one but me, left to face my unknown guilt.