AlterNet 2.0

[WP] The first fully immersive online VR game has released in which anything is possible. After months of saving you eagerly log in and hit ‘random server.’ [Link to post.]

Thomas Fincher smiled at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. His dark brown eyes roamed up and down his mostly naked body, making sure he attached the electrodes in all the right places. He grabbed the instruction pamphlet and checked all the marked spots on the pamphlet and himself.

“Wrists.” He checked the golden stickers on each wrist, each had a golden AlterNet logo on it. “Temples.” He looked in the mirror, the stickers appeared to be affixed in the right places. “Back of the neck.” Thomas reached behind his neck and felt the textured sticker attached to where he guessed his spine connected to his head. He grabbed his phone from the grey marble counter top in his bathroom and padded out, in just his boxers, to his newly built ‘Game room’. It’d taken him a long time to save up enough money for the remodel, but his patience was rewarded with the release of AlterNet 2.0 just as he reached his financial goal. He smiled at the large pit of soil taking up the center of the room.  He placed his phone on a nearby table attached to a charger, then grabbed a small vial of thick, bright red liquid and walked to the pit.

He stepped a bare foot into the soil and enjoyed the cool sensation as he squeezed it with his toes. He giggled with excitement, then laid down in the center making sure he was completely on the soil. He lay on his back and stared up at the clock he placed in the ceiling to keep his bearings about him whenever he logged out. He sat up, opened the small vial then drank the liquid inside in one gulp. Thomas laid back down. He kept his hands to his sides, making sure to keep the golden electrodes in the soil. It wasn’t long before he felt a tingling in the back of his neck, then he felt nothing. He closed his eyes.

“Welcome to the AlterNet 2.0,” a bright female voice spoke in his ear. “You may be aware of a sense of paralysis, please understand that this an intentional safety feature. Your body will remained paralyzed until you choose to log out of the AlterNet.” The voice said. Thomas’ eyes remained closed, but images and light filled his vision. He stood outside in a large empty wheat field, the golden grains swaying in the wind. He felt the wind brush his skin. A dark black, featureless, female mannequin appeared in the middle of the field then walked towards Thomas.

“Please select a server,” the mannequin said though it had no mouth. Around her small windowed images appeared, each with a different name.

“Random server,” Thomas said. The figure nodded, then projected a single image in front of itself. “Server: Random chosen.”

“Wait, there’s a server named, ‘Random’?” Thomas asked. The mannequin nodded. “Alright, whatever. What’s next?”

“AlterNet 2.0 is an upgraded version of the AlterNet. There are several varieties of games played within the AlterNet. Though you do not need a character profile for each game, it is recommended. Would you like to go through the games?” Thomas shook his virtual head.

“No thanks, I’m just here for Derby,” he said.

“Okay. Let’s create your Roller Derby character,” the mannequin said. Again, Thomas shook his head, in a hurry to play.

“Just default everything,” he said.

“While Roller Derby allows you to customize your character as you progress, there are some choices that cannot be changed later. Due to the nature of the AlterNet, it is recommended you think about these choices carefully. You will be unable to create a new character later.”

“Default everything,” Thomas repeated. The mannequin nodded its blank head.

“Default character created. Switching to tutorial mode,” the mannequin said. Thomas’ vision went black and he lost all sense of feeling again. Instead of the wind and grains brushing his legs he felt nothing. When he regained vision the wheat field was gone. Instead he stood in the center of a stadium surrounded by winding Roller Derby track. He moved around, taking in the sights. The stadium was empty, but the track was impressive. Sharp turns and corkscrew ramps dotted sections of the track.

“*Totally worth the wait*,” Thomas thought to himself. He pumped his fist in the air happily, then realized his body felt wrong. He looked down and realized his character was a girl.

“Uh, help?” He squeaked out the word. The black mannequin appeared next to him.

“How may I help?” she asked.

“I don’t want to be a girl,” Thomas said.

“I’m sorry. Once your character is attuned, that is one of the choices that cannot be undone.”

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