The Virtual Files, Volume 1:

Physically Virtual

By SightSpirit

Pixels of Darkness

Suburbs of Washington, D.C., USA; Present

Clicka-clicka-clicka-clicka. Les rapidly typed at his computer. The Game had to be created. Soon. He was the only one who could do it. Someone had told him. Over the radio. He had an I.Q. of one-hundred fifty. At age fourteen, that was considered genius. And that was exactly what Les Manding was. Genius. Pure genius.

"This is taking too long," he muttered to himself still typing away. "The War could break out any day now! This needs to be finished very beforehand, so we can be ready! At this rate it won't be finished until after we all die!"

Les could almost always be seen typing at his computer. He only got four haircuts a year. His hair did not grow that quickly anyway. But it still grew almost to his shoulders. The hair on his head was as black as night. He did change his clothes everyday, though. Except he wore the same outfit everyday, no matter what the weather was: a green shirt and black shorts.

If Les had gone to school, he would have been considered a weirdo and a nerd. But he didn't. Senior-level college was too easy for him! So he stayed at home with his computer.

One Week Ago

Les was watching the news on television with his father, Joseph Manding. Les did not care about the world around him. He hadn't watched the news since he was about five years old. Naturally, he had refused when his father had invited him to watch the news a few minutes earlier. But Mr. Manding insisted that his son learn about "the latest scoop around the planet." So Les eventually gave in.

So, here he was: watching what would soon become the most famous and scariest news stories in history.

"We have received an odd report from NASA that a bizarre computer virus has come from outer space and is now spreading throughout the world. Other countries are putting the blame on the US. Rumor has it that the other main powers of the world besides the US are preparing for war."

The scene changed, and the President of the United States was being interviewed by another reporter. The President was saying, "I do not know what has driven these other countries to turning against us. It is almost like this virus is putting little 'pixels of darkness and evil' into their hearts."

"This is getting too weird for me," Mr. Manding interrupted, turning the TV off. "It's almost like when everyone thought there was an alien invasion when they listened to the radio, and they were actually listening to a radio play of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds." Les said nothing. For at that moment, the radio turned itself on.

"Les Manding," an odd, slightly metallic voice whispered from the radio. Les looked up at his father. Mr. Manding was still talking about the chilling news report. He seemed unaware of the voice from the radio.

"Les Manding," the voice repeated. Les felt chills running up his spine. He forced himself to listen to the radio. It began to give him instructions for programming a virtual reality game, meant to train anybody for war. When the voice was finished, Les pondered on whether to obey. After all, it could be a trick. Or he could be hearing things. Les Manding decided to begin the creation of the Game.

Author Notes: This is a fairly short chapter. Most of the chapters in this story should be longer than this.

In case you failed to notice, the title of this story, Physically Virtual, is an oxy-moron! I just wanted to point out that little easter egg to you!

This is a work of fiction. The characters and situations in this story are elements of the author's imagination. They are not real. Any likeness to real people is entirely coincidental. (As of now, most of the situations in this story are impossible.)