Author : Alec Ow

“When are you going to get a new body?”

I ping my guildmates, “I’ve got girlfriend aggro, this might take a while,” and sheathe my sword. They only manage a cursory glance and a quick “later mate” before they and the dragons’ den dissolves away into a white room with Cerise standing in the middle.

“It’s been a month since the accident,” she continues, “you need counseling. There’s more to life than working a menial number-crunching job and wasting your day away in VR you know.”

“I don’t need counseling-”

“You THINK you don’t need counseling,” she interrupts me, “first deaths are a big deal, John, you don’t have to hide behind that tough exterior.”

“Times are tough right now Cerise, being an infomorph for a while can save us some money on living expenses. I can’t afford to buy a body right now and you know I don’t want to rent. What if I get a smoker’s body? Having to deal with the nicotine withdrawal-,” I stop myself. I know I can’t win this argument so I try to change the subject, “Where are you right now?”

“At work, on break. I just got off chat with my mom. They want to take us to the Bahamas this summer. Even if you rent a synth it’ll be better than bringing you along in a harddrive. I miss the feel of your touch.”

“But we-”

“VR’s not the same. Please, I know you don’t want to be hurt again, but think of all the things you’ll be missing out on.”

A lull in the conversation. I let out an audible sigh, “My promotion should be coming soon. I’ll go schedule an appointment for counseling and we can shop for hybrids when you get home. I just hope your parents don’t sneer too much for not going full-organic.”

“They won’t judge,” a smile slowly creeps across her face.

“Oh right, your dad in his ‘all-natural olympiad body, the blue-print cost a fortune you know and fabricated from the finest biomass money can buy’,” I attempt my best impression of her dad.

She lets out a giggle and plants a kiss on my lips, “I’ll see you when I get home, babe.”

Cerise and the white room dissolves away and I’m met by my guildmates standing over a dead dragon, arguing over who gets the spear.

“Anyone know any good hybrid models?” I ask and grimace as I’m met by their sneers.

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