NPC: Non-Player Character 9

Name: Katherine Toran


Genre: YA Science Fiction


Word Count: 72,000.


Pitch: Natalie will do anything to obtain money for her broke family, even sneak into a virtual reality game and disguise herself as an NPC. Her plan turns when dangerous she’s mistaken for a rogue AI.


First 250: 
I’m not proud of it, but late at night after everyone had left the virtual reality center, I snuck back in.


A thousand excuses sat easy on my lips as I stood before the white door, fumbling with my key: I forgot my cell phone; I accidentally walked out with the check-in clipboard; I thought I saw a light and just went in to turn it off like a good employee. Admittedly, if anyone caught me inside a VR capsule, I had no idea what I would say.


Once inside, I let my flashlight trail across the concrete floor, white-grey walls, and the receptionist’s desk in the middle. Finding another key on the ring, I opened the door to the capsule room.


The ceiling was high, my flashlight lighting up exposed pipes and beams overhead. Six hundred reclining vinyl chairs covered by glass capsules were packed together in twenty rows.


Keeping the flashlight tucked under my arm, I fiddled with the control panel and got the glass capsule to slide open. After placing the shiny silver helmet over my head, I lay back on the reclining chair. The blood pressure cuff around my wrist would alert the machine if I started moving while in the trance state. A button on the chair’s arm closed the capsule. The helmet covered my face and a screen lit up in front of my eyes.


My solitary voice sounded weak and embarrassed as I spoke into the deserted building, “Activate the Game.”


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