The waves lapped around her feet, barely touching her calves. The summer sun warmed her, and it comforted her knowing the sun was there. The chilled salt water felt like an ablution, gently scrubbing away the day's onerous worries from her mind. The warm sand was grainy against her skin, but the feeling wasn't at all unpleasant.

She sighed and opened her eyes, squinting against the glaring sun, angry at her departure. She slowly stood up, stretching as she rose. She stared out at the calming ocean once more, still wanting to stay. She lowered her head and turned away, and stepped out of the reach of the holo-room. She looked around at the impersonal style of her office, all glass and white and weird shapes.

Overwhelming the walls were bookcases, and all of them were stuffed full of a copious amount of novels. She had a voracious appetite for books, and had thought a job as a librarian might suit her well. She should have known that with the invention and inflation of holo-things, not many people would appreciate real books. It was rather reasonable. Why make the tenacious journey all the way to the library for a dusty old book, when you can read the same thing, new and shiny, in your holo-room?

Lost in her daydreaming, she nearly tripped over her chair, and ended up sprawled on the floor. Her officious room program lit up its annoying voice, asking in a spuriously concerned voice, "Do you require any assistance or medical attention?"

She waved the program off, even though she knew it wasn't a real person. "No, no, I'm fine." Her voice showed her exhaustion and annoyance. She situated herself properly on her chair, and began filling out yet more reports on her computer. It was a brainless task, and she found herself daydreaming again. She remembered the times when she was more gregarious, and went to what seemed like a million parties. She missed the old days, but she knew that they could never come back.

After all, if holo-things had changed the world for the better. You didn't need to go long distances, you didn't need to put yourself in unnecessary danger just to put up decorations, it really was a change for the better.

There was now a SLL - Standardized Level of Life. If you couldn't meet your basic needs by yourself, you had the option to fully enter the holo-program. Your brain lived, with so many more possibilities. You still had all of your senses, but you could do anything you wanted, everything you couldn't do before. So of course she shouldn't feel so strange about it.

Right?