Quotes 1 & 2 versus: “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” – Ben Franklin
1. Ted’s Existential Crisis
For someone feeling so uncertain, Ted expresses himself in no uncertain terms. Existence befuddles him – it feels fake, contrived. After experiencing the game-world, Ted’s stumbled into a prison of his own making: he can no longer distinguish the real from the virtual. The consequences of his decision to enter the game frighten him, as the action has permanently tainted his reality.
This is where Franklin’s quote comes in. Initially, Ted was unwilling to sacrifice his security (contentment with standard-issue “real” life, evidenced by his lack of bio-port) for liberty (the “enlightenment” of the game experience). When he finally abandons his security at the Country Gas Station, he fails to realize the true consequences of his actions, as he doesn’t enter the game until the Ski Resort. There, he sheds his security in kind. But since he was forced into it, rather than complying of his own free will, he’s unable to handle true liberty.
2. Cares: Allegra Doesn’t Give One
Allegra slays Dr. Whatsisface in cold blood, because she apparently didn’t approve of his character. She demonstrates a stark lack of reservation with regard to human life, a sort of terrible liberty, lent to her by the freedom of the game. She regards others as means to her entertainment. Having cast away the “constraints” of society’s reservations towards killing others, she now enjoys freedom from responsibility toward other humans. She has given herself completely to the game; it swallows all of her inhibitions with its narcotic gratification.
Having forgone the security of human rights within society to the game’s no-rules sandbox, Allegra enjoys absolute freedom from that same security. The freedom itself may not be the best kind… but it sure as heck reverberates into real life: the “actual” Allegra showcases a similar disregard for human life, murdering the designer of tranCendenZ for his slaughter of reality.