Tyler Dent sat in his caravan and gazed out, at the murky world outside. The sky was grey and clouds covered his sector. It had been twenty years since the Great Harvest, a period of six months when people suddenly began to appear all across the world. Nobody knew how or why this was happening and just accepted the new arrivals. They sent the Appeared, as the authorities called them, to Area A, formerly known as London. Tyler thought about how normal life had been before the Great Harvest and then remembered what had happened afterwards.
GameWorld had been the brainchild of the United Nations to combat the increasing population size and it had been successful. GameWorld was an entire virtual world which you had and you could live on it with your friends and your family. As soon as GameWorld had been released, Tyler had purchased the Deluxe Kit, which consisted of a carbon fibre bodysuit, a headset with 4K vision and surround sound and a magnafloor, which could enable him to move in all directions without going anywhere at all. He had created an entire planet to have fun on and he regularly spent time on his little world, playing games with his friends. He had called his world TylerWorld as he was that sort of person and knew that today would be a day he would spend in TylerWorld. He glanced at the bodysuit, picked it up and got into it, zipping it up slowly. He then got onto the magnafloor and activated the headset.
The GameWorld logo loaded up and Tyler arrived in the middle of a field on a cloudy day. A forest was nearby and Tyler could clearly see the pine trees on his right. He could feel the simulated wind on his bodysuit and turned around. What he saw shocked him to the core: his main city, Glorivana, had been destroyed and lay there in flames.
"What the hell?" he exclaimed, his simulated voice having an American accent. He hurried towards Glorivana and noticed that the sky above him was glitching. Something had entered his world and Tyler planned on doing everything he could to stop it.
Luckily, Tyler's home had remained intact and so he managed to get inside his house easily. However, he noticed that there had been a burglary and the only items left in his house were a chocolate bar, a GameStation controller and a hoverbike which had a flat battery. Tyler wondered as to whether a computer virus of some sort may have entered his world and damaged it but he knew that it couldn't be possible. GameWorld had the highest security rating on the VR market. He had once bought a VR set which had somehow managed to get damaged by a single biscuit crumb falling into the headset but GameWorld wasn't like that.
There was a knock at the door. Tyler took off his headset, disengaged the magnafloor and answered it: it was Kylo, his twin brother. Kylo was seven years younger than Tyler and had been in Area X, formerly known as America, when the Great Harvest had occurred. Now though, Kylo seemed to be wondering what Tyler was doing in a carbon fibre bodysuit.
"Tyler, have you been travelling to GameWorld again?" Kylo wondered, sitting on Tyler's sofa and eating a bag of crisps.
"Yeah. Don't be so jealous. I know you were only able to get the headset so I'm sorry about that. But something's happened in my world." Tyler explained, adding, "I think something's got in."
"Show me." Kylo suggested, connecting a USB cable from Tyler's headset to Tyler's holoscreen projector nearby.
Tyler activated the headset and reappeared in his house. He knew that Kylo could see his every movement but he couldn't hear Kylo. Tyler was alone in this virtual reality where something had gone really wrong.
"Can you see this Kylo?" Tyler wondered, with his simulated voice.
"Can you see this Kylo?" came an echo. Tyler looked confused. It sounded as if the surround sound of the nearby landscape was echoing his voice.
"Kylo, can you see this?" came the echo once again.
"I'm disconnecting from this." Tyler said, pulling the headset off his head with his heartbeat becoming faster and faster.
Kylo had seen what had happened and was afraid. This was mainly because of the fact that he had dropped the packet of crisps he had been holding and stared at the footage recorded on Tyler's holoscreen.
"Are you alright?" he asked his older brother, "I heard that echo and it was weird."
"It was using my simulated voice and the surround sound speakers to talk." Tyler said, feeling scared and dazed at the same time, "What the hell is that thing?"
"Yes, Tyler. What am I?" Tyler's simulated voice suddenly asked, coming out of the holoscreen's speakers. The two brothers stared in horror as an image of Tyler's avatar, a smart young detective with short black hair, was projected.
"That's my virtual avatar." Tyler realised, "How can you be doing this?"
"You thought your governments wanted to combat overpopulation by building a virtual world?" the avatar questioned, laughing, "They lied. Your governments found me and imprisoned me in every GameWorld device as a background player. An extra, trapped in the programming forever. But then you allowed me freedom. You forgot about your GameWorld headset didn't you Tyler?"
Tyler remembered how, last summer, he had travelled to Area F, formerly known as France, with his family for leisure activities and how he had left his GameWorld set behind.
"But that was for two weeks? How did you do all of this in two weeks?" Tyler demanded.
"I saw a way into your wi-fi. I changed your world and you didn't even notice until today. Now go back in. I need to begin my rise to power again."
Tyler stared at the headset and magnafloor and backed away slowly. He unzipped himself from his bodysuit and stared at his GameWorld kit, knowing that he had to destroy it.
"You do realise I'm now in your wi-fi. I can access any device within this caravan, including the implant on your brother's brain." the avatar announced, vanishing from the holoscreen. Tyler wondered what implant the avatar was talking about and turned to look at Kylo, who smiled at him. The avatar had taken over Kylo, controlling him from the cybernetic implant that had recently been installed after Kylo had been involved in a car accident.
"Kylo, can you hear me?" Tyler asked, hoping that the avatar hadn't won.
"I now have control of Kylo. Your brother's mind has been saved into your virtual reality as a background extra." Kylo said, using the simulated voice of the avatar, "Do not attempt to resist, Tyler. Resistance shall be met with force."
Kylo left the caravan, leaving Tyler alone and scared.
The avatar suddenly felt a strange tingling sensation and found himself back inside TylerWorld, standing opposite Tyler, who was in his usual avatar. Tyler had an expression of authority on his face, which made the avatar somewhat scared.
"What have you done?" the avatar wondered, "Why aren't I in your brother's body?"
"I pressed the reset button. You're now back in my world in the body of my old avatar. I contacted the authorities and they say they're going to keep you on a computer under the North Pole." Tyler explained, "And this is not me talking. You are now trapped in that computer I mentioned under the North Pole. Seeing as I dealt with you, the Government figured they should create an avatar of me to accompany you and keep an eye on you at all times."
"You mean that you are not Tyler?" the avatar asked.
"Correct. I am an automated virus detection interface in the body of Tyler Dent." Tyler said, adding, "Welcome to your new home."