Being “Online”

Last week, I watched an episode of Twilight Zone in which a man is exiled to a distant planet for committing a crime. A band of three astronauts bring him supplies four times per year. On one visit, the captain delivers a mysterious package to him, and tells the convict not to open it until the astronauts are out of sight, because the contents may be disturbing to the other pilots. When the convict opens the box, he discovers a ‘woman’ – who is actually an android, sent to keep him company. At first, he is very reluctant to form any kind of relationship with her, as he feels insulted by her mimickry of human traits. However, after being expescially cruel to her, she cries – and at this point, he yields to the idea of befriending her. Over the next several months, they became closer. Eventually, the astronauts returned and told the convict that he had been pardoned and that they must leave the planet immediately. However, there was a weight limit – so the conundrum of what to do with ‘Alecia’ presented itself. The convict did not want to leave her, as he had formed quite an attachment to her. As time was running out for them to leave, the captain made the bold decision to shot Alecia, and end the debate. After shooting her, the wires and speakers behind her face were exposed, and the convict snapped out of his delusion that she was real, and the four humans set off for the rocket.

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