Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Within the goggles, he saw he stood in the center of a rectangular grey room, about twenty feet square. Of course, the goggles were cheap, and didn’t completely enclose his eyes, so he could still see their motel room at the extreme top and bottom of his vision. But the eye is easily fooled, and Thomas knew that after a few minutes of staring at the image that dominated his vision, his brain would automatically block out the “superfluous” bits of reality at the edges.

He realized then that he needed the gloves that still lay in the drawer. The girl watched him. He tried to maintain his dignity by reaching in for the gloves without moving his head, but his hands couldn’t find them, and he ended up fumbling around in the drawer until bumping up next to them, then he peered around the edges of his glasses and awkardly manhandled the gloves on.

Doodlehopper smirked as she whipped out her own gloves and slipped them on, then slid on goggles.

Finally, his gloves were on. He wiggled his fingers for a moment, an unconscious gesture he always made when first jacking in, then touched his fingertips together in a rapid succession of twitches.

He stood on a square stone platform. Four large granite pillars stood guard at each corner of the square, and gentle rolling hills stretched towards jagged purple mountains all around them. Overhead, the sky was clear and blue.

Next to him stood a stunning young woman, wearing what amounted to a purple-and-bronze bikini on her chestnut skin. Her body was covered in white marks and her hair was the same light purple of the mountains.

She looked at him and burst out laughing. He arched an eyebrow at her. “What?” He asked, shrugging his seven-foot form, completely enshrouded in a black cloak.

“You look ridiculous!” she hooted, then looked down at herself. “Ugh!” she exclaimed. “This isn’t one of those hack-and-slash games, is it?”

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