The Mind Games Bk I, Pt RU 15? Wugga, is a wuff, wuff game!

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Confused...? I was. It turns out they couldn't have switched him into the android anyway, but that's later...


The first thing Quaternity did was give Dr Mentz a venomous look for getting her VR name wrong. As I remembered it from 'this morning', she was only 'Trinity' for any of us while I was 'in' the Gleissner, whether real or simulated; and the Gleissner was still standing at the end of the bench behind her, so I couldn't be in it right now.... could I? She was wearing a head set and  clothes that came from some kind of vintage costume store like Beyond Retro in what used to be London's old Aldgate garment industry district in the East End. She brushed impatiently upwards at her head set without actually taking it off and opened her hands outwards from her wrists, palms facing upwards, looking towards Dr. Mentz. He seemed to understand this gesture and said "Oh, right.... Trank! Back to VR, quick!"

Confused? Look around. I remembered that instruction from the March Hare Mission and obeyed it, or tried to. From left to right behind the demonstration bench and lectern combination were; Jason Voorhees Carter, still tethered to 'Good Dog' and thus incapable of reaching me from down there, or so I assumed, more in hope than faith. Reaching towards 'my', 'his' or 'its' head set with her right hand even as the word 'quick' was leaving the tight, fearful lips of Dr David Mentz, who was standing behind her, was Quaternity. She wore a head set and so did he, as well as a light denim jacket over pale open necked shirt and 'desert camo' trousers. Her hair was still long and dark brown. He was just beginning to spread his arms out, palms downwards, to keep the crowd quiet. On the podium behind the built in lectern stood Life Professor Emeritus of whatever, Henry Markram in his informal, but well cut, open necked pink shirt. His lower half was largely concealed by the lectern but probably encased in dark slacks, from what I could see at this elevation. He was staring at the axe wielding cyborg in astonishment and alarm. Behind him was Trank, in a head set...

... which means the Frank Zappa Lumpy Gravy vintage hair cut was gone... and so was the head set, as was that worn by every member of the audience to the right of the central aisle. Maddeningly, I hadn't seen what Dr Karl Young, still holding on tightly to my right arm, was wearing except that it was the same colour as before; because, by the time I could see clearly, he didn't have a head set and nor did anyone else. Karl wouldn't let me continue turning in his direction and I had to turn to my left to verify that. The back wall of the hall was still there, but I never saw it while anyone was wearing a head set. My own head began to ache even though I hadn't worn one 'here', wherever 'here' was in VR, or 'really here' in that actual building over 'THERE' in what 'they' had been trying to convince me was contemporary, real live, physically verifiable, peer reviewed, genuinely consensual base reality, actually ongoing and totally present, Outside, in the certifiably, guaranteed Real World; which MUST exist if I was to experience any real hope of proper, ordinary, human freedom.

By the time I'd done all that, Quaternity was back in her leather cat suit, had short dark hair, no head set and was sweeping her right hand back, after having mimed dropping something to the floor, towards the Gleissner's face. She snatched at the hockey mask that was still clamped over the android's/my face, in passing, as it were. With the same motions that had removed the invisible head set, she whipped the mask off the robot's head and, pivoting backwards on her left foot, shied it back handedly like a Frisby towards the giant white screen; apparently aiming for a spot behind the Life Professor, who was still turning to his own right to follow its flight with his eyes in case it damaged something. It looked as hard as the real thing had to be, to withstand a slap shot from a six ounce hockey puck.

The rotating mask caught the air and banked as it tilted back towards the hall. Trank was still staring at the computer console near his end of the bench when it hit him squarely on the right ear.

"Why do you ALWAYS have to be such a DICK!", Quaternity shouted, deliberately too late to make him turn round before it had happened. Then she turned back to her left, stared straight up at me and did something these Virtual Reality spectators, however many or few there might be, however long they survived, would never forget; until they'd died.

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