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From the Mortality Doctrine series (The Eye Of Minds series)


The Tangent



Hobbies include creating extremely complex pieces of code, taking over the real world, and inserting Tangent consciences into human bodies. Kaine is one of the oldest existing Tangents, one of the first. He has lasted as long as he has, more than the 15-20 year lifespan of a normal Tangent, because he attained sentience. Kaine was created by the VNS (Virtnet Security) and they lost all control over him once he gained sentience.


Just what are these "Tangents"?...

Well, a Tangent is an AI in the VirtNet. You probably wouldn't really be able to tell if someone were a Tangent unless you took a guess. Essentially, they are just code. A Tangent can only last for about two decades. At that point, Decay sets in. Decay is exactly what it sounds like, the Tangent decays over an extended period of time. The Tangents experiencing Decay will experience AGONIZING headaches accompanied with seeing the world around them basically go insane. Buildings will bend in impossible angle, some objects may be distorted or changed from their initial size, shape, color, and state of matter, and they may even see some awful visions, while nothing around them has actually changed. As Decay progresses, elements of a Tangent's personal life that were programmed in disappear, and the Tangent's physical appearance may change. No one really knows exactly what causes Decay or how to stop it. A few Tangents don't experience Decay because they have gained sentience. They are completely aware that they don't truly exist. Being inserted into a human body through the Mortality Doctrine also stops Decay. It is unknown how Tangents can gain sentience.

The Mortality Doctrine

Although it may sound like it has something to do with death, the Mortality Doctrine doesn't kill anything. It was a program created by Kaine. The Mortality Doctrine takes a Tangent conscience and insert it into a human body. Simple as that, right? Nope! Before the Mortality Doctrine can be used on a person (or Tangent, I really don't know which one it is supposed to be used on) they have to be "killed." The person doesn't actually die, but what happens to them is essentially death. While in the VirtNet , a program called a KillSim must attack the person and drain the soul from their virtual body, taking all of their consciousness, memories, personality, and every other psychological thing that makes them who they are. Then their soul is taken to yet another program called the Hive. The Hive is a storage device for all of the human souls taken by KillSims, each one kept in its own pod. Only after all of those steps are completed can the Mortality Doctrine be used on one single person and one single Tangent. The actual action of the Mortality Doctrine being activated is fairly quick. To the Tangent, it feels like he/she is being Lifted back to their virtual homes. The Tangent then wakes up in the NerveBox of the human whose body they were inserted into.

The VirtNet

The VirtNet, also called the Sleep, is short for Virtual Internet. To get into the Virtnet, all you have to do is slip into a NerveBox, a.k.a. Coffin and Sink. Once someone is inside the VirtNet, they can pretty much do whatever they want. There are thousands of games, chat rooms, and meeting places in the VirtNet. Tangents can't leave the VirtNet without the Mortality Doctrine being used to put them in the human body. When you decide to leave the VirtNet, you just find a Portal and Lift out. Sinking and Lifting sound weird for entering and leaving a virtual reality, but those are the terms that every character uses. Coffins got their nicknames from their appearances. They look like coffins. The processes for Sinking and Lifting only require the person to get in the Coffin, find a Portal, and get out of the Coffin. There are a few automatic steps carried out by the NerveBoxes. Sometimes a Portal isn't needed for Liftin, if you get killed in the VirtNet by something that won't devour your soul or get forcibly pulled out by someone in the real world, also known as the Wake.
I told you all of these different facts about Tangents and the VirtNet because one of the big things in book 1 is finding out that Kaine is a Tangent, not a gamer. All of that information would basically be his life.