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Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
Transcript of Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
In England, sometime in the distant future, four audio tapes are found documenting the experiences of the protagonist Kyle Straker. On the first side of the first tape, Kyle talks about his friends, his dysfunctional family, and how he would do anything to have them back. This story is a flashback.
Initial Moment of Conflict
Kyle, his friend Lilly, and two other townspeople, Rodney Petersen and Kate O'Donnell agree to be hypnotized by Kyle's friend Danny during a town-wide talent show. When they wake up, they find everyone in the town alive, but frozen in time.
One of the four, Rodney Peterson, is distraught and claims to have seen something he will not say, but the allusion is to some sort of alien life form. Kyle is reminded of an old rumor about UFO lights above a silo at the farm of a neighbor.
Everyone in the town wakes up and they all go home as if nothing had happened, but Kyle soon realizes his family is not the same, and when he "escapes" his house to go find Lilly, his fears are confirmed. The people they think are their families are something else entirely.
They pick up Kate, the last of the four who were hypnotized and set out to find out what happened to their town. They go back to the green where they were first hypnotized and get Rodney and a video camera that might help to explain what happened.
Then they head out of town. Their first stop is the silo, and when they reach it, they realize there is an other-worldly light. They see it take in and transform another survivor, but Lilly and Kyle keep it secret from Kate and Rodney.
While walking away from the farm, the group begins to hear a noise. Something is chasing them. They run and realize it has caught up to them. Lilly stops Kyle before he runs right into "the monster" which seems just like a void, a tear in the world that will swallow them up. Oddly, Danny, the original hypnotist shows up. He is changed, but tells the group to follow him and he will explain all. He also turns off the video camera in Kyle's pocket, which was accidentally turned on, and attracting this void.
Danny explains that the old world has been "upgraded" and while the four were under the hypnosis, they missed out on the upgrade (very Matrix-like). He says nothing bad will happen to them, but rather they will be ignored until they just eventually disappear from acknowledged existence.
Danny tells them they may not deal with upgraded technology whatsoever. If they do, the Vestigivore (the black void) will swallow them up, as they are now little more than "random leftover code" from an old world that needs to be deleted.
They go back to the town and see they are being erased. Their rooms have been emptied, their items trashed. Paul and Kate decide to stay behind and live the best they can. Kyle and Lilly move on.
Kyle begins making the tapes to try to make sure the world does not forget them. Kyle understands that he and Lilly have been forgotten, but are not unimportant - because they know the truth of what the world was before the "upgrade" and this gives them value. They are the keepers of history. He begs the world, in his final words on the tape, to remember them. The "editor" then, Mike Lancaster, addresses the audience of readers who would have access to the book. The only readers of books would be the .4, the people left behind. In the end, he wants to make sure they know...they are remembered.