Virtual Self Industries (Surrogates)
Virtual Self Industries (VSI) is the name of a company that features in Surrogates.
Virtual Self Industries, also known as Virtual Self Incorporated and as VSI, was the name of a corporation that was founded in the 1992 by Doctor Lionel Canter alongside his creative group. The product of this new company was Surrogacy technology which had been experimented on two years earlier. The man who was himself disabled had developed the means to allow everyday humans to use telepresence technology mixed with robotics to create lifelike replicas for mankind. Their first test subject was Marvin Gates who became a quadriplegic and bounded to a wheelchair after a car accident. In 1994, he took his first steps since his accident at the age of 48 and became the first surrogate operator unveiled to the world; his first act was to scale Mount Everest in his new body. A year later, the technology began to be accepted by the general public and in 1998 Virtual Self Industries goes public with its stocks going through the roof with $210 trade a share. The next year, Leftwich Chemicals were successful in creating synthetic skin and hair that solidified the creation of real life surrogates that were almost indistinguishable to normal humans. Over the coming years, surrogacy began to see widespread use in the media with numerous notable campaigns such as the Brown versus Microsoft case where Alexandria Brown used a surrogate at Microsoft claiming to be female but was in fact not though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Brown. Furthermore, there was Albert Coe who won the state elections whilst using an African American based surrogate despite being white in his human body. In 2006, the Center for Disease Control listed AIDS having dropped by 99% and noted in their findings that this was due to the use of surrogate technology.
In 2006, the death toll by suicides in Eastern Europe such as Lithuania dropped 67% due to the use of surrogates which furthered VSI in the European market. Later, in 2008, surrogate usage had risen to 92% amongst the American populace. Dr. Lionel Canter stated that the technology was going to be in further use stating in 2009 that surrogacy technology would be ready for use by disabled athletes competing in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. This was intended initially for the handicap and the disabled but gradually spread throughout the human populace. As such, Virtual Self was created which quickly grew to become one of the largest corporations in the world; providing the means to manufacture more surrogates and selling them to the people. The United States Supreme Court eventually allowed for the wide spread use of surrogates that became embedded into society with normal everyday people making use of the robotic replicas for a variety of purposes. By 2017, it was stated, news reports indicated that 98% of the populace made use of surrogates in their lives. This had an impact on civilization as the crime rate also dropped down with there being no known homicide for sometime by future events. Furthermore, the death rate by communicable disease or viruses also dropped due to the use of the synthetic bodies.
Surrogacy was not limited simply to the civilian environment but was eventually contracted out to the military. Special military models were used by the Defense Department that used remote links for their soldiers to operate in the field with these surrogates sometimes being used for peacekeeping operations. Whilst Dr. Canter was the Chairman of the company, he began to differ with his comrades on the direction of VSI as well as surrogate technology in the early part of the decade. This disagreement led to him eventually being forced out of his own corporation that fell into the hands of his former comrades. Publically humiliated, Dr Canter led a life of secrecy and used his wealth to rarely interact with the public. The rise of surrogacy was not, however, completely unchallenged as there was the rise of the Human Coalition led by a mysterious Prophet called Zaire Powell who preached that Surrogates were an abomination; a lie that needed to be destroyed. They eventually established Dread Reservations where Surrogates were not allowed with only organic humans being present in such sites. This sparked many debates over the evolution of mankind through the use of surrogates as they allowed humans to tailor make their models to allow men to live in female bodies or remove any imperfections and live in physically appealing forms whilst some made use of death defying stunts without fear of death due to the failsafes present in the system.
At some point in the future, the Defense Department contracted VSI with secretly creating a weapon that was capable of uploading a virus into surrogates. This handheld energy weapon fried the optics of the surrogates, destroyed the identity chip on them and the feedback killed the operator. At the sametime, VSI learnt that the so called Prophet of the Human Coalition was none other than a Surrogate himself operated by the "Father of Surrogates" himself; Lionel Canter who had grown to despise how his creations had been perverted. To that end, VSI hired an assassin and made use of the Overload Device to kill Dr. Canter in one of his surrogates. However, they were unaware that his son Jarid Canter was using the body at the time and led to his murder. The strange murder brought the FBI into the case with agents Tom Greer and Jennifer Peters of the Bureau's Surrogate Crimes Division getting the case. Learning of the unusual death of the operators, a media blackout was imposed to prevent anyone from knowing that using a surrogate could get them killed. The two FBI agents later went to VSI and med with one of its corporate heads who did not provide a response to their questions. They later made a unscheduled meeting with the company's engineering department to learn of a similar incident with "G.I. Joe" models used by the military. The Defence Department also denied any claims of making a weapon to destroy surrogates as they stated that it was one of their chief assets.
This company was one of the largest businesses in the world and had deep connections to not only the civilian market but to law enforcement and the military. Their base of operations was responsible for the manufacture of the robotic surrogates and creating the various tailor made models that were to be sold to the public. This included special military models used by the Defense Department for wartime operations and police models that had night vision as well as improved pursuit capabilities. Advertisements were constantly shown on television screens to encourage people to make use of surrogacy as it was noted that the technology was safe and allowed users to live the life they dreamed without fear of death.
Virtual Life Incorporated also possessed its own Legal Department which was not responsible for the death of the operators of surrogates. Furthermore, they had a dedicated engineering department responsible for analysis and production of surrogate bodies. They also offered full time customer support for surrogate users with such an offer being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their company slogan was "Anything you dream, you can achieve.".
- Dr. Lionel Canter (former Chairman)
- Victor Welch (VP, Corporate Relations)
- Dr. Seth Steinberg (Engineering)