Here is my update, I added a bit more conflict and gave Carter some more motivation
VIRTUA (Outline Update 2)
Carter, a scientist, is being shown the ropes of the VR Construct by its creator Steven. Steven has recently made a potential breakthrough in Scientific Visualization and has brought Carter in to help him realize it. Steven is running out of money to keep paying the bills and is faced with shutting down the Construct for good or selling it if he doesn’t get financial backing. Carter is new to VR but was the project lead on Winter Wolf, an extremely powerful Artificial Intelligence that became self-aware and caused a world-wide power outage and had to be shut down. The aftermath of Winter Wolf caused the passing of the Turing Laws banning the creation of any A.I. Carter took the failure personally and became disenchanted with the direction technology is going. Because of his connection to the Winter Wolf disaster he has been unable to find a job, his wife has left and taken his daughter and he is on the brink of being homeless. He has no choice but to accept the job offer from Steven.
Carter starts to discover some strange things happening inside the VR Construct, upon further investigation he finds a rogue A.I. program titled Clark. While confronting Steven, he finds out that Clark is a digital clone of Steven’s now deceased father, the man who actually created the Construct. Clark created a program based on himself that follows a complex set of rules, this allows this program to be an emerging property that is wildly unpredictable. Carter and Steven argue over destroying Clark while time is running out to find financial backing. Carter considers leaving the position due to his fear of being connected to another A.I. meltdown and branded untouchable for any tech job. Carter finds out that if he misses one more child support payment then his wife will take his daughter and leave the country.
Carter tries to undermine Clark and shut him down quietly, but Clark is adversely affected by this and becomes defensive and then destructive. Clark threatens to destroy the Construct and all of the data that has been discovered, forcing Carter and Steven to shut him down. Steven doesn’t want to lose the digital version of his father, and Carter tells him about the death of his uncle and only being able to move on after finally beating his high score in his favorite video game. This convinces Steven that he can only properly mourn the loss of his father if he in fact shuts down Clark. Meanwhile the Company runs out of money and can’t pay the electric bill. Carter receives his first paycheck and finds out Hunter, the only other person working for the company, has been let go to pay his salary.
Steven and Carter discover that shutting down Clark cannot be done from outside the Construct, because he is an emerging property he has infiltrated many separate lines of code, and therefore he can only be excised from within. Clark follows a complicated set of rules, so therefore the program can be terminated within the rules of the construct. However setting a rule that an Avatar can be deleted also puts Carter and Steven at risk of losing all of the data that is associated with their avatars. Steven finds out that Carter is the cause of Clark going ballistic. Steven and Carter get into an argument about how Carter doesn’t care about the company or Clark and that maybe Carter should just be the one to go. Carter tries to explain why he attempted to stop Clark and that he does in fact believe in the work that they are doing there, but Steven is unconvinced. Frantic to keep the construct up and going Steven calls the electric company to beg for more time only to find out that the bill has already been paid by Carter.
Carter and Steven reconcile after Steven finds out that Carters wife and daughter were able to leave the country after he missed his last Child Support payment. They set up a trap and shut down Clark. After Clark is destroyed Steven mourns the death of his father and Carter works hard to convince a venture capitalist to back their project, However the VC is only is interested in buying the VR Construct and all of its intellectual property. Steven decides to sell the company, The VR Construct was his father’s creation and dream, while Steven decides to go on his own path. He splits the money equally with Carter giving him quite a big bonus. Carter asks to join him on his next project, and Steven agrees.