The Simulation Game (first chapter)

January 16, 2012
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Pria Smith sat down in the pink, plush chair in front of her new computer. Her parents and her younger brother, Maxwell, stood behind her. The excitement that everyone felt seemed to make the air buzz like a swirling electrical current.
It was Pria’s 15th birthday, and she was finally, finally getting her sim character. After 15 years of impatient waiting, she would finally be able to play the game.
“Go on Pri,” said Maxwell, so excited to see it that he was bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet. “Click it for god’s sake!”
Pria’s hands were shaking as she grabbed the mouse and moved the cursor onto the folder on the screen labeled, “The Simulation Game.” Everyone held their breath as she pushed the button and watched the window open up.
There was a collective sigh as the window opened and blue, flashing writing appeared in the middle of the screen.

Happy 15th Birthday Pria Angela Smith! Are you ready to receive your Simulation Game character?

Pria moved the cursor over the yes button and clicked. The screen changed to showing a brown haired, green-eyed girl wearing a plain white blouse and plain white pants. The number 34,290, 305 was written under it, along with the words “verification code.”
Pria clicked the right hand arrow on the side of the screen, and another girl appeared, this one blond haired and blue-eyed, but with the same plain white outfit. The verification code was 34, 290, 306.
She kept clicking and clicking, knowing exactly what she was looking for. Her friend Jessie, who had turned 15 just 5 days prior, had told Pria about this sim character, number 34, 290, 320, a girl with black hair and blue eyes, just like Pria. Pria knew she wanted that character as soon as she had heard about her. She only hoped it wasn’t already taken.
But no! There it was, long, black hair, bright blue eyes staring blankly out of the screen at her. Number 34, 290, 320.
“This is the one I want,” she told her parents happily.
“Are you sure Sweety?” Her mother asked. “You only get one choice.”
“Yes Mom,” Pria replied. “I’m sure.”
And she clicked, “choose.”
The screen changed yet again. There were many columns of things to fill out, name and birthday and such.
“Watcha gonna name her?” Maxwell asked, leaning on the back of Pria’s chair.
“Pearl,” Pria answered immediately. “Pearl Occulta.”
“Pearl?” Maxwell asked, seemingly disgusted. “When I get mine, I’m gonna name him Ripper!”
On a normal day, Pria would have told him that Ripper was a stupid name for anything, but today she was too happy to argue with the stupidity that all 10-year-old boys possess. She simply rolled her eyes and clicked, “OK.”

At that moment, in another galaxy, in another world, something awakened inside a 15-year-old girl whose name until just then had been 34, 290, 320.
“Hello,” she said to the world. “My name is Pearl Occulta.”

And back on Earth, Pria Smith smiled at the speech bubble over her Simulation Game character’s head and took her hands off the keyboard. This was going to be a fun game.

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