The Labyrinth - first chapter
1255 days ago
The four young men and women stood in the transit lounge of the universal gaming corporation. "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. You are about to enter virtual reality game number twenty three-The Labyrinth. I hope you have introduced yourselves to each other." They all turned and nodded.
"I am the virtual reality coordinator and my job is to introduce you to the game. In accordance with the virtual reality laws of 2073 I am required to inform you of the games ratings. These are physical harm zero and psychological harm three. Please sign the waivers now then I can continue."
She handed out the forms and waited till everyone signed them. They were supposed to read them but since it was composed of six pages of tiny lines of legal speak they skipped over it. She collected the forms then continued.
"The game commences by being placed in the middle of a labyrinth, overcoming hazards and finding your way out. In accordance with anti-virtual reality addiction laws the game is limited to thirty days. After that time you will be automatically withdrawn."
"With your common agreement a time multiplying factor of twelve has been applied. In other words, one physical day will be equal to twelve virtual days allowing you to spend one virtual year in the game."
"As I mentioned before you start by being placed in an empty room with one exit, the entry to the labyrinth. The only equipment you have is a mapping tablet that maps your passage. It also acts as a communication device between you. The tablet has one button, the help button. When this is pressed a hologram will appear to assist you in interpreting the rules. The virtual reality game will ensure you never lose this tablet."
"Your journey through the labyrinth is, what is termed as, free progression, in other words not restricted by the throw off a dice or similar equipment. However the labyrinth is divided into segments. When you enter a segment that entire segment lights up but the one beyond remains dark."
"The labyrinth is littered with hazards, all of which could kill you, virtually speaking that is. To enable you to escape those hazards the game will morph your body in some way. the morph will enable you to escape the hazard. Once the morph is no longer needed it will change." "Now if you will follow me we will enter the preparation rooms."
The small group followed the coordinator into another room. "Please enter the cubicle with your name on it. Remove all your clothing, lie on the bed and cover yourself with the sheet." With that last instruction she left. When they were all undressed and on the table an orderly prepared them for the procedure and wheeled then into separate rooms where they were met by a person in surgical gear. He administered an anaesthetic and instantly they were all together in this large empty room. They were all dressed in the same light gray tunic.
"I wonder when we morph?" Asked Tina. "When we go through that door, I guess." Replied Cathy. "We should have a leader." Suggested Oliver. "I guess that will be me." Stated Steve who was always assertive and extroverted. Nobody objected so they headed for the door.