Floating Point, Book Four of Devi Jones’ Locker, available now! Find out more.

Bodies at Rest, Bodies in Motion

Bodies at Rest, Bodies in Motion

I shrugged as I dabbed at myself with the napkin. I had no interest in the contest. I’d never won, not in any of the years of Halloween parties, and I’d been to them all. Even the ones where were actually together in someone’s flat or house, as opposed to being simulated in this section of Emil’s enhanced mind.

I looked at the ineffectual napkin and shook my head. “This isn’t doing anything,” I said, and caught a glimpse of something familiar in Isaac-the-bartender’s eyes. I tried not to think about it too much.

I accessed the system responsible for creating this ‘body’ and had it clean up the stain on my t-shirt. If only real life were so simple to fix. I caught myself envying Emil — having this much control over his environment full-time. Then my stomach roiled, and a wave of self-loathing threatened to drown me. This was no game, it was more a prison than playhouse; this environment which was rendered by complex implants in Emil’s brain. Implants without which he was completely incapable of communication as a result of his paralysis, a result of the accident we… No. I didn’t want to think of that tonight. Not tonight.

“Nice talking to you, Issac,” I said, thankful that the software controlling my voice made me sound lighthearted. I made my avatar smile and walked toward a knot of people near the music system. It would be loud, hopefully loud enough to make me forget. For a while.