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It was almost complete. Almost perfect.
Should we begin, sir?
He knew where the voice was coming from, even though the eye-shield prevented him from seeing.
Begin when ready, he hollered back. The system had to be perfect, absolutely perfect. This was his masterpiece after all. It had started as a fantasy. As a child he had always wanted to travel back in time to places famous throughout history. The Wild West, feudal Japan, England in the ages of knights and kings. Of course time travel is impossible as we know it. But what people never seemed to think of was the virtual experience. When he was a child they had had things called RPG’s where you could play in another world on a computer. But people were not thinking big enough, were they? This was his masterpiece - a virtual computer game that attached itself to your mind and allowed your consciousness to be transported into another world. It was really the equivalent to travelling back in time. You could move your body any way you wanted – to do anything you wanted with the right settings. The amount of time you could stay in the game was ten days. Of course it might feel like ten years, he was yet to judge how time faired in those other worlds. Research showed that you only dreamed for one r two minutes a night yet you could have incredibly intricate dreams that seemed to last hours.
At first the problem had been whether or not you could actually stay in the game for ten days. Although with the simple matter of attaching an IV drip and hospital supplies that were used to keep those who were comatose alive, they were more than able to sustain themselves inside the game.
What setting, sir, came the voice again.
Canada 1812, he called out. I’ve always wanted to see how that played out.
Be careful, sir, same the voice again, we’re not sure where you’ll end up.
Prepare for that then, he answered back. Give my body enhanced shock absorbers, heightened senses, increased speed, multi-lingual understanding, and I think -- telepathy abilities. He could have listed many more things he would need but the game was designed so you could only choose 5 upgrades at a time. More fun that way.
Sir, telepathy is equal to 3 upgrades, you’d have to take away two of the others.
Ahh... he forgot about that. Supernatural abilities like telepathy were extra stat slots - mostly because they gave you an advantage over other human beings. I see, he said. In that case, I think I’ll take rifle-mastery instead of telepathy - -it might come in handy where I’m going.
Very good, sir, came the voice, we’re starting, are you prepared?
He nodded, or as much of a nod as he could perform seeing as how his head was attached to the helmet which was in turn attached to the chair he was strapped to. Go!
This was the part he hated. It only lasted for a second which was good. But that was the only good thing about it. In that one second, each one of his nerves fell asleep and all energy in his body was diverted to his brain. This was unfortunate, but necessary. If the nerves in his body stayed awake when his mind was transported all he would be able to do in the virtual game was sit there on an invisible chair like his body was doing in the real world.
The second was over. The feeling was gone. And a new feeling replaced it. A feeling as though he had just plunged into warm water and now he was sinking deeper and deeper and deeper, but he could still breathe just fine. He waited 10 seconds before opening his eyes. He was sitting on a rock in the midst of a wide field. The wind moving through his hair like the real thing, he could hear gunshots in the background. He looked down at himself. He bore the scarlet coat of a Canadian infantry soldier. So he was on Team Canada, huh? Fair enough - - he always did like winning. But first he had to test if his body worked. He stood up. His legs were working. He flexed his arms, his muscles were working. He flexed his fingers and toes; everything seemed to be working just fine. He noticed there was a musket laid next to the rock he had been sitting on. He picked it up and saw it was fully loaded, he heard another barrage of gunshots. Might as well see what the fuss is about... and he ran.