Hi. My name is Jacob. I’m not very significant in the world that we live in. It seems to me that other people are always the main characters while I’m simply an unnamed extra. For the majority of my life, I’ve been fine with that. But recently, something has come up that has made me much more important than a background character.
It all started the day before a job interview. I recently got fired, and needed a new job. I was stressing out about it, so I decided to play a game to take my mind off of it for the time being. I was browsing around on the internet looking for a free download of a game. Call me a thief, but sometimes game companies can really rob you of your money. The only reason why I download games illegally is because I live in a low-income area, and money isn't something that I can throw around without repercussions. So I’m looking for a download of Assassin’s Creed IV, when I find a torrent of it. I download the torrent, and go downstairs from my desk to eat. When I come back, the file had downloaded, and I opened it up. In the folder was a bunch of ISO jargon that I didn't really care for, and an expected .exe file which I clicked on. Without thinking twice, I accepted the User Account Control panel when it was brought up. But instead of bringing up the game or an installer, I was surprised to find that the windows command prompt had opened up. I tried exiting it, but it was stuck on screen. I couldn't exit out of it either, so I read what was on it. What it read, I was not expecting.
Hello. You know how you never really think twice about allowing a program access to modify your hard drive? Well, maybe after this you will. We can’t blame you, really. Most programs do what they say they do when you allow them that privilege. Most programs. This is an exception. Now I know that you are probably confused, surprised, and maybe a bit miffed that your precious file isn’t doing what you want, but we need you to put aside those emotions. You’re going to take our test. It will evaluate who you are as a person. If you refuse to take this test, then we will plant rather discrepant information on your hard-drive, and notify authorities about it anonymously. So I implore you to comply with us.
I re-read the paragraph. Was it a joke? I didn’t want to take chances, but something about this was off. I didn’t know what to think of it. What did they mean by discrepant information? How are they doing this? Why? But all of these questions went unanswered. I would have to play their game to find out. With much reluctance, I pressed Y on my keyboard and read the new text that appeared onscreen.
“You have recently gotten a contract from a company that promises a high paying position. All you have to do is meet up with the CEO for an interview. You are driving down to the company building when you get a phone call. It’s from your local hospital. Your wife was just in a car accident, and is terribly injured. If you go to the hospital, you will lose any chance of getting that job. Y to visit your wife. N to continue driving to the interview.”
I picked Y, and the program responded.
“You wouldn’t do that.”
I don’t know why, but this unsettled me. I picked N, and the program responded again.
“You’re a bad liar.”
At this point, I was starting to become somewhat nervous. I didn’t want to admit it, but I would’ve chosen the money. I just didn’t want whoever was behind this to know. I picked N again, hoping that the program would stop and move on to the next question.
I picked Y this time, and the original question was brought up again. I picked N this time, and instead of responding, it brought me to the next question. But the way that it knew what I really would have picked before I answered made me feel helpless. I had the freedom to choose which answer for every question, but they knew that I was lying if I did. But what the hell would you have done? If that happened to you, you would’ve picked the money too! Right?
“Both of your parents are drowning. Who do you save? N for your father. Y for your mother.”
I chose my mother.
“Really?” it asked.
I picked N.
These questions kept going on and on, progressively getting darker as I went on. But the eerie thing was, it didn’t think that I would choose the worse of the two options all of the time. Questions like “If given the chance, would you kill your worst enemy?” or “If you were able to, would you rape a beautiful woman?” they relented on. But for every question they seemingly knew. As the test went on, I had started to give up and answer honestly. I had felt like I was seeing myself in a whole new light. Was I really this bad? Was I really this awful person on the inside? I kept repressing those thoughts, but the test kept on encouraging me to think about it.
"You and your friend are trapped in a cave, and it will be a while until help comes. Will you eat him to stay alive?"
I was starting to get it now. I picked Y.
"You find a 100 dollar bill on the ground. Do you try to look for the owner?
I picked N.
Just when I thought it was over, the test gave me one final question.
“Are you a good person?”
I was starting to doubt my self worth at this point. The test had revealed who I really was on the inside, and I didn’t want to see a single bit of it. At this point, I was compelled to just shut down my computer. If the police locked me up, I don't give a fuck. Right now, all I wanted was to end this and go to sleep. But the game wouldn’t let me. This fucking test had me pinned down against the ground and there was nothing I could do but look it in the eyes and complete it. And that’s what I did. With a forceful press of my finger, I selected “N” and the test congratulated me. It promptly closed. I then shut down my computer, and went to sleep. The dreams I had were less than pleasant.
I tried to flush out the memories of last night, but I couldn’t. When I finally woke up, I started up my car and started driving to the job interview. About halfway there, I got a phone call. I pulled over to the side of the road when I saw that it was from the hospital. A distressed nurse was on the phone. She told me that my girlfriend was involved in a shooting, and was dying. My heart should’ve been racing. I should have been going back and forth between what I should do. I should have been in a panic. This was my chance to prove myself! To prove that I am a good person! I should have dropped the contract and drove over to the hospital. But I didn't. I wouldn't. I already knew what I was going to do.
I hung up the phone, and sped off towards the job interview.
~Written by: Sifenchar