Congratulations! You've been murdered.

You may be wondering how you're reading this message right now. Unfortunately, that information is classified. You may be wondering how you died and who is responsible. That information is also classified. My employers have stipulated that I am to operate with the utmost levels of secrecy and reservedness when dealing in such matters. What I can tell you is that, shortly before your untimely demise, your genome was sequenced and uploaded to our private servers along with your consciousness, which is now stored in a sort of artificial limbo on some hard drive somewhere. Though your physical form may be gone, you still exist and, with your cooperation, you can return to the world of the living.

Whether that happens or not is entirely dependent on your next few choices.

The company I work for is a…recruiting agency, of sorts. Given you were at a relatively young age upon your passing, it seems you check off all the boxes qualifying somebody as a worthy candidate for our program. While this does not mean I can guarantee you anything, it does mean that your chances are higher than the average. I encourage you to cooperate.

Let's begin by asking you some basic questions.

Do you consider yourself a good person?


An intriguing answer, no doubt. A simple yes or no would have sufficed, but I can't fault you for being an overachiever. Moving on - in your opinion, is love real?


While I can't say that was the answer I anticipated, it is titillating nonetheless. I digress, however. Do you value life?


I believe I have all the information I require. Based on your responses to this questionnaire, we can move forward with this procedure. In a few moments, we will begin the transfer process and reroute your consciousness to a new body - one prepared especially for you. Upon resuscitation, you will have two options. You can either leave the building you awaken in and never speak to any of us again, or you can choose to aid our efforts in exchange for a rather…generous salary. Regardless of your decision, this will be the one and only time such a courtesy will be extended to you. Should you find yourself coming face to face with the reaper again, your termination will be permanent; we will not be there to help you.

By company policy, I am obligated to inform you that some mild…discomfort may be felt throughout this process. We thank you for your cooperation and hope you have a pleasant journey back into reality. Beginning the transfer in 3, 2, 1…

In a flash of excruciating pain and blinding light, Jordan opened his eyes and gazed upon the marble ceiling. His heart pounded in his chest like a bomb repeatedly being primed and set off. Machines whirled around him in a thick fog of noise, Jordan shifting his weight erratically until he collapsed off the operating table in agony. A low murmur, somewhat resembling a voice, began ringing in his ears.

"Cthn ythu herurth mheh?" It sounded foreign; meaningless with the stinging that was coursing through his veins. It spoke again, this time more intelligibly.

"Can you hear me?" The voice was mechanical and eerie, yet unusually soothing. Every fiber of Jordan's being screamed out in cruel pain, but he found the resolve to respond.

"Where the fuck am I?" He asked harshly, gurgling slightly on the blood pooling in his mouth.

"It appears the transfer procedure was a success. Astonishing." The voice moved around him in a blur. "How are you feeling, Jordan?"

"It hurts…oh my God…" All that Jordan could feel was his body barely repelling the enticing reach of death.

"As it should. I would be more concerned if you felt nothing at all, to be frank." The voice came closer, as if something was assessing him in his crumpled state. "My colleagues were…unsure if you were a worthy candidate, but I suppose this speaks for itself. I'm quite proud."

"Who are you?" Jordan inquired, his words somewhat more comprehensible now.

He shifted his weight onto his side, coming face to face with two mechanical eyes attached to a metallic body. "I am C3X-22, medical analysis unit and company representative. Most call me Chuck." It extended a three-digit metal hand to Jordan. "I suggest you stand up. I wouldn't call the floor sanitary."

With great difficulty, Jordan grasped the hand and rose to his feet as Chuck began marching around the room, peering at various medical devices. Jordan clutched his ribs as he opened his mouth. "Where am I?"

"As I said before the transfer, that information is classified."

"So you were the one talking to me…what the fuck." He exhaled sharply. "Where was I?"

"Your consciousness and genetic sequence were securely stored on the company server to be preserved until we began the transfer." Chuck grabbed a vial and poured the red liquid into a beaker. "For obvious reasons, we were unable to obtain your consent, thus consent was assumed."

"Was I dead?"

"By medical standards, yes. However, we were able to recover you quickly enough to preserve your mental state with no permanent damage." Chuck emitted something akin to a laugh. "You may find that you have the odd twitch here and there, however."

"This is funny to you? What about my family? What happened to me?"

Chuck paused for a moment before replying. "While it is not the company's concern, all available data suggests your family is safe. As for your demise, well…that information would be classified in any other situation, but in this case, no such information exists."

"What are you saying?"

"What I'm saying, Jordan, is that we're not certain who killed you. While we certainly suspect foul play, the individual responsible remains unidentified." He grabbed another vial and began shaking it gently. "Should you desire that information, you are free to investigate your murder however you see fit so long as it does not jeopardize company interests. Or, you could remain here and assist us with several…extraordinary incidents that need to be resolved."

"And why the fuck would I do that?"

"Besides the generous payment you would receive? It would provide you with a new start. I am aware that, prior to your death, you were a career criminal. 'San Diego Bandit', I believe? I would assume law enforcement personnel are unaware of your current predicament, so yes, you could return to your previous life - but you would likely be identified by authorities, apprehended, and placed in a federal prison for a rather unsavory period of time." He stopped. "Or, Jordan, you could become an employee of the company and have your criminal record erased in exchange for a few months of your time."

Jordan took a seat in a metal chair, still clutching his side. "Even if I said yes…could I see my family again?"

"I'm afraid that wouldn't be possible, no. At least while you remain in our employment. After your contract expired, you would be free to do as you wished." It approached Jordan, cocking its head slightly. "However, making contact with anyone known to be a relative or accomplice would jeopardize your freedom and potentially result in a criminal investigation of the company."

It extended its hand once more.

"So, Jordan. What do you say?"