Second Chance

What would you do to stay alive?

Better yet, how much are willing to give up?

Adam was willing to do everything. He believed that the corporate company by the name Second Chance, was going to grant him another life. A better life.

But it all goes miserably wrong when his father unveils truth he wish he never knew. And Adam knows one thing: only death can control us.


*based on the short film True Skin by director Stephan Zlotescu

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2. Your Life

To sign up for Second Chance, it meant that every memory you ever owned, every thing you ever learned would be transferred into a piece of data on a computer, ready to be put into the new you, once you die. It meant that once your current body reaches it's limit, a newer, technological one would be yours for the taking. The experience, they said, in a Second Chance body was surreal. You would be smarter, more beautiful, more efficient, more resistant to disease. On the other hand, you would be less.. organic. They said the synthetic skin of the Second Chance body rivaled ours in it's natural feeling. In all sense, we would look human. There would be no blood inside of us, no cells or organs, all technology and wires and things hard for a teenage boy like myself to understand, but all in all, it would still be you.

It was a hard offer to turn down, and that's why people had no problem giving them the keys to their bodies. After uploading you brain to their servers, you get assigned a tracker. It was a beastly thing that would accompany you everywhere, and with it, came an assigned number. I was 2453. Or maybe even 2543. I don't remember. The tracker doesn't sit on my wrist anymore. The purpose of the tracker was to analyze your every move, and upload it to the server. In addition, it also gathered information about your self. The way you think, talk, and behave. It would all be essential for the move from this body to the Second Chance one.


The Second Chance executives assured the world that those of us with criminal past, and memories they wouldn't  want anyone knowing about were far from the law's reach. At least about that they were honest.

They mentioned nothing about their own reach.

For weeks, I didn't understand why my father did it. If you had intentions of bringing down the Second Chance, why hand them over the keys to your brain? They realized my father's plans once he pressed the button and uploaded his memories, and a day later, they were in our house, guns ready. You see, at this point, the government had no hold over Second Chance anymore. Second Chance
was the government now.


I had had too much to drink the night before, and not a day goes by that I don't regret doing that. Because if I had been sober, I would have woke up at the sound of men breaking our front door. Or at the sound of someone pointing a gun at my father.

What did wake me up, was the sound of that gun being fired.

But it was too late.

I walked over to our living room, and he lay there, in a puddle of blood. What followed next was erased from my memory, by my own will. I refused to think about it. I only just asked my self the same question, over and over again: Why did he do it? Why did he sign up for Second Chance?

Only when I found the file he'd left me did I understand. I loaded the file on my computer, and in it, was everything I needed to know. Documents ousting the Second Chance executive's true intentions. They were a nightmare.

In our Second Chance bodies, it would still be us, but nothing would be under our control anymore. You think governments could be unfair? Well, the Second Chance intended to completely destroy our will. Nothing we did would go unsupervised. If they wanted to, they could control your every more. If a Second Chance executive wanted you to dance in the middle of a funeral, your body would have no choice but to comply. They would make slaves out of us.


My father was once a part of this group of bandit hackers, the Hacker Hoods. That was in his early years, and he said it was nothing but some young men having fun and causing a little mayhem, but from those documents, I realized he was much more than that. My father had broken through the Second Chance's database, deleting the memories they had uploaded.

The reason he'd outed himself was to send a sign to the other Hacker Hoods to start their plan. It was also a sign to uncover some of the Second Chance's true intentions to the world. In the document he left, I found means to connect with the rest of the Hacker Hoods.


All that, brought me to this day.To this moment

You know, I was always somewhat of a lone guy. If I don't make it out alive today, I bet no one would miss me.

Alright, maybe Helena would miss me. A lot.

She was my girlfriend, and about the only person who truly understood me. I never even got to tell her I loved her. I had been delaying saying the words, although I knew that was how I felt ever since I laid eyes on her beautiful face.

And now here I was. 


The plan was easy enough: Get the document that would oust the Second Chance in the open. Robert was handling Tokyo, Martin handling New York, and Jake was in charge of Paris. Any live screen in those cities would be hacked to show the document in fifteen minutes. The rest were working on news stations.

The news will reach every single part of the world. It will be on their TVs, their laptops, their phones. After I finish uploading my father's hacking program, everyone would have proof of the Second Chance's hidden brutality.

Getting through the building was easy enough. The Hacker Hoods have set everything up perfectly, and I maneuvered my way into the grand room, where my father's program only needed to be uploaded to the server. Then, I would have to flee the scene as quick as possible, and let the Hacker Hoods take it from there.

I searched for the nearest Second Chance computer, and inserted the program.

The dead screen turned blue, and the words PROGRAM LOADING flashed across. 

I took a seat in front of the computer, looking around frantically for signs of someone's approach.

5% PROGRAM LOADING

I could hear voices outside. Crap.

15% PROGRAM LOADING

The sounds got clearer and clearer, but they weren't yelling though.

30% PROGRAM LOADING

I went to the door, and hooked a chair underneath it. Behind it, I placed several more chairs. I could just flee the scene, but I needed to make sure the program was fully loaded. We have been planning for this a long time, and I wouldn't want it all to go to waste.

56% PROGRAM LOADING

Foot steps echo in front of the door, and I nervously looked around for a place to hide.

75% PROGRAM LOADING

I can't fail now, I tell my self. It's too close.


85% PROGRAM LOADING.

Someone tries opening the door. When they realize it's locked, they bang on it. I don't move an inch.

PROGRAM COMPLETE, ENTER PASSWORD.

I curse. What password?! Think, think. Outside, they are pushing the door ferociously, and my hands are shaking just as much as the door. 
 My father did this, and he meant for me to see it.

I type in my name, and pray it's correct: ADAM.

PASSWORD CORRECT, PROGRAM LAUNCHED.

The door breaks, and I hear the sound of guns pointed at me, even as my back is turned to them. Everyone yells at once.

“Put your hands up, and move away!” They yell.

Like hell I am.

I know this is the end for me, and before I give up, I still have something to say to a certain girl. I had arrangements for a scenario like this, and the message is in my phone, waiting for the press of button to send.

Just as I do, every screen in the room comes alive. The Hacker Hoods leader, Robert was talking.

And the guns were fired. I heard it before I felt it. It was the same ugly sound I heard when my father was shot.

The pain was excruciating, and within moments, I fell to the ground with a thud.

Once upon a time, Helena told me she wish those Disney fairy tales were true. That there was a Prince Charming who could come up to save the day.

With my last breath, I take relief in knowing I had made that wish come true. That I was her Prince Charming. 

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