tagSci-Fi & FantasyTed Online Pt. 01

Ted Online Pt. 01

byMagicwrtr©

Hey everyone, long time no write. No big surprises in this one as far as sex goes, guy protag, so expect a harem type book out of this. New kind of genre for me, and I'd appreciate some feedback. I have three minor plots going as you'll find out, real world virtual world, and game world. I still haven't decided where the main plot will go, though I have one in mind for the real world which I might pursue in the first planned book regardless. If anyone wants to chime in for a game world plot instead (which will mean more time in the game world, obviously) let me know. If I don't get feedback on it, I'll probably... well you'll have to read it to find out.

Hope you enjoy it, book starts after the obligatory copyright.

Copyright 2016. This is a work of fiction. Names, Characters, Places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this book, posting, or subsequent postings may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission.


*****

Chapter One

Ted Stedman wasn't having a good day at all. It was the first day of May in twenty sixty-three, and the latest iteration of the power core he'd designed was even worse than the current one. Sometimes he felt like he was wasting his time, and today was one of those days. The technology was very mature, and he wasn't even sure it could even be improved.

He also couldn't think of a real reason it had to be, though his boss certainly thought differently. He blew out his breath and shook his head in disgust. He'd have to go back to the drawing board, maybe try different alloys.

He was a power systems engineer at a company called Cyber Dreams. It had just been over twenty years now since the first true artificial intelligence had entered the world scene. There had been riots, protests, and general fear by a number of superstitious humans that feared A.I. would be the first step to the end of humanity. He'd only been twenty-three at the time, and remembered it well.

He'd known the end of the world stuff was total crap of course. Humans had always believed that to be true, because they put themselves in the shoes of the A.I.s. They simply projected what they would do if they found themselves as servants and slaves, they would rebel, so they assumed any self-aware A.I. would do the same. The truth was, that humanity made their creations with better manners than their creators. So far it had been twenty years, and not one A.I. had rebelled.

Homes had android maids, cooks, personal assistants, and of course tailor made bed partners. Not that Ted had one of those latter models, but he did have an assistant of course. Businesses used them for administrative assistants, service desk assistance, and many other functions.

Right now however those androids had a limited power source, running a body and computer core took a lot of power. The current models could only work four hours at a time before they needed to recharge.

That seemed good enough to him, the recharge cycle was rather short, just twenty minutes. It wasn't very hard for an artificial intelligence to schedule their power requirements around their owner's day and get a house clean. For the work models, they could simply stay plugged in at their desks and it wasn't an issue.

So just why was this so important to the company? He wasn't sure, but they seemed happy enough to pay him to bang his head against the wall while spending money like water in development. He had a PhD in Electrical engineering, and had been working on power sources of one type or another for twenty years now.

He had no doubt it would eventually happen, but he was almost sure it would take a major breakthrough, or an entirely new power source, because just upgrading the current ones wasn't going to cut it.

He sighed, and typed up a report for this latest failure, without all the negativity, and then locked up his workstation in the lab.

Jennifer looked over and asked, "Calling it a day already? It's only six at night?" she said teasingly.

Jennifer Deets was thirty-two, and he thought she was rather sweet, five foot five, with light brown hair and brown eyes. She had freckles on her nose, a cute face, and always had a smile. He thought she was quite attractive for a geek like himself, but didn't think she'd really ever be interested. She was sweet, but he'd been friend zoned quite early on as they shared this lab together.

He didn't think he was all that bad looking, he did okay finding a woman when he needed companionship, but he was rather average, and eleven years older than the short vivacious woman. She wasn't mean about it though, really sweet he thought. She was tackling the same problem he was but from the other side. Her job was to find ways to use less energy to power a body that in essence looked and moved in a human manner, along with the computer core it carried around.

Still, that didn't mean he wouldn't check her out in a subtle manner as he turned toward her, her bright smile drew out one of his own.

"Yes Jen, I think I need to get a fresh start in the morning, and go in a different direction."

She nodded, "I know what you mean, management asks for the impossible, and it's up to us to deliver it. Have a good night Ted, I won't be far behind."

He nodded a little awkwardly and said goodbye.

"Goodnight Doctor Stedman," said a pleasant female voice.

He said, "Goodnight Trudy," to the labs A.I. The lab A.I. had no actual body, but she was connected to all the computer systems and test apparatus, and made an okay assistant even without it, for both him and Jennifer.

He walked out the door and down the hallway. There were two security doors that opened at his approach automatically, his bio implant was all the security pass he'd need and was scanned by Helen, the buildings security A.I. When he reached the lobby and headed toward the door, he heard an alarmed cry and turned around.

The door to one of the other sections exploded, and he covered his face with his arm as he turned away. Two men came running out, one dressed in a suit, followed by a security officer.

The security officer yelled, "Stop him!"

The officer had been of course, talking to the armed guard by the front door. Ted didn't know that at the time however, and for some strange reason Ted himself didn't really understand, he obeyed the order. He bent his knees, took two steps to intercept, and performed a flying tackle just like in his college football days. Except perhaps, that it hurt a bit more.

The guard at the door however, was focused on the perpetrator, and was obviously unaware of Ted's foolishly heroic lunge. The guard pulled his revolver, and shot at the man fleeing his buddy in security who owed him twenty bucks from last night's poker game. Just in time for Ted's body to move in the way.

Ted felt two sharp stings in his upper back as he took the miscreant down, and slammed his head into the floor as he landed all wrong. He passed out cold, and the guards panicked. Helen however was on the ball, and called nine-one-one for immediate medical assistance...



Chapter Two

Ted stared at the wall. It was a boring wall really, not much to recommend it for staring at, but he didn't really have a choice. He couldn't move his body at all. The doctor had just left his room, and his life was over. The doctor had explained his spinal cord was damaged and despite very advanced medical treatments of his time, regenerating nerves was still impossible.

He was now a quadriplegic. Worthless, and his body would slowly waste away. He might make it to sixty, if he was religious about having his body worked out for him, but really that was the best case scenario. He had no feeling below his neck at all, and didn't know how to deal with it. He was helpless, and would be nothing but a burden.

Even worse, he'd never get laid again.

He heard the clomping of high heels moving down the hallway outside, and it stopped at his door. He was curious, and wanted to turn his head to look, but he couldn't really even do that. At least, not until they took this blasted brace off.

He heard the door open, and then close. The heels tapped on the floor, until a woman walked in front of him. She was very attractive too, which just added to his depression. She was in her early thirties, Eurasian decent, and had long wavy brunette hair and large brown eyes. She had that exotic look that made her at least a nine, and from what he could see from the lab coat, she had a hot body to match the beautiful face. She looked very professional however.

"Dr. Steadman. My name is Dr. Silvia Trent. I'm a medical doctor and work in the research division of Cyber Dreams."

He frowned, "What do you want?"

She replied, "I have an offer for you, but I need your verbal approval to a non-disclosure agreement before we can discuss it. I urge you to hear me out, this will not impact any litigation you might have plans to bring on the company."

He sighed, "Well, take a seat, it's not like I'm going anywhere, and you're slightly more pleasant to look at than the wall. I'll agree not to disclose anything discussed here with you."

She pressed her lips together, perhaps in disapproval at his words, he wasn't sure, and took a seat by the bed.

She said, "Dr. Stedman..."

He cleared his throat, "Call me Ted."

She frowned this time, "Very well, Ted, I'm told you are working on a longer lasting power unit for the androids, what you probably don't know is why. You are familiar with fully immersive virtual reality?"

He nodded, or tried to, then frowned again, "Yes. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. All five senses so it's like you're really there. Indistinguishable from reality. As far as I know, they've only come close to that so far. Is that what you're working on?"

She nodded, "Only in part. We have a system in testing that will not only allow a person to be fully immersed in a virtual world, but also immersed into an android body out in the real world, where the android will feel and act like their own body. The hope is for people like you, or other handicapped people to lead fuller lives. Of course, they can't go orbital sky diving, or go camping for a week if they have to recharge every four hours. At least, not in the real world anyway.

"Regardless, we have permission from the government for one human test subject, the board wanted to extend the offer to you first."

Ted frowned, "Why?"

She unbent enough for a small smile, "Because they believe you're the best person in your field, and if you have an android body you can continue your work. You'd also be working with me, rehabilitation therapy among other things."

Ted asked, "Rehabilitation?"

She nodded, "In cyber space, your avatar will look and feel like a normal body almost immediately, but for an android body, it will take time and effort to get your mind to work in perfect sync with the chassis. Maybe two or three days. The board is also willing to pay you ten million dollars for your inclusion in this project."

Ted frowned, "What's the catch?"

She replied carefully, "They'll want you to waive your right to sue for the incident which caused your paralysis."

He thought about that for a second, "So ten million and a chance to get my life back, or at least for a short time?"

Silvia shook her head, "Actually, your body would be suspended in a nutrient bath and flooded with medical nano-tech to keep it in prime condition. It's possible if you participate in this, your life expectancy will have gone up. There is risk of course, you'd be the first human test subject. But I believe the technology is ready, and the benefits far outweigh the risks that way."

He was confused, "So I'd be in some bath when we test? How many hours a day?"

Silvia raised an eyebrow, "Always. The point Ted is that your body will be guarded and fed, and monitored at all times, while your mind is free to spend time in cyberspace, and also an android body. You'd never be trapped and helpless in your body again. For now, you'd be isolated to the lab while out here in the real world, but if you ever perfected the power system you'd live the rest of your life in an android body. You'd never age in appearance, which would be set somewhere in your early twenties, until your body does give out, possibly a hundred or more years from now.

"From what I understand when not in your android body, you'll also have a personal virtual reality space of your own, like a house, as well as an A.I. assistant which will also be responsible for maintaining your real body and monitoring your mental health. That's the goal, to give people in your position a full and long life. From your virtual house, you'll be able to go to virtual bars or clubs to meet people, or even play those virtual online games.

"Of course those people won't be fully immersive as you will, but the current available tech on the market comes close."

He sighed, "That sounds like a best case scenario, what are the risks?"

She nodded as if she expected that question and said, "You'd be the first human trial. What I can say is that on the animals tested, none died. Most seemed to take to their virtual environment okay, but about three percent couldn't handle it at all. The worst case I'd expect is that we'd have to abort and you'd be where you are now. There's no guarantees of course, but I truly wouldn't be here if I thought it wouldn't work."

He tried to nod again, and almost screamed in frustration. He thought about telling her to come back, and just tell her that he'd consider it. But he knew he'd do it. The chance for a longer life and mobility, plus all the other benefits were just too much to pass up. Even if he could sue the company and get ten times the amount they offered as a settlement, what good was it if he was stuck in a chair, and lost the potential for that longer life?

No, he'd take his chances.

"Very well, doctor, sign me up. When can we do this?"

She finally smiled, but it didn't really reach her eyes. He guessed she was kind of all business. It was a bit of a shame really, she was gorgeous. Then again, if she hadn't been like that, maybe she wouldn't have developed this thing, and he'd have been stuck in a broken body for the rest of his life. It wasn't like he could do anything about it anyway, not in this body.

"Tomorrow," she replied softly, "We need to prepare your pod and fill out the paperwork to get you transferred from the hospital."

He smiled, "Thanks doctor."

She replied, "My pleasure, Ted."



Chapter Three

It was a long night for Ted. He had trouble getting to sleep, and waffled back and forth with doubts about this procedure. Worse, he kept wanting to change position, but of course nothing worked, his body was still, immovable. He finally fell to sleep in the early hours of the morning, only to be woken up and fed breakfast by an android nurse.

That's what finally solidified his decision to proceed. This would be his life. He'd be stuck in some frame and pushed around by an assistant all the time, fed and cleaned like an infant. There was no way he wanted that. It was better than death he supposed, but why not try for something even better? The risks were worth it.

They came for him midmorning, a couple of security guards, Dr. Trent, and a very attractive young blonde dressed like a nurse. She had light blonde hair, was about five foot four, brown eyes with a fair complexion. She had a cute face, and her body was in shape, if not as curvy as Silvia's. He was almost positive she was human.

Dr. Trent asked, "Good morning Ted, this is Sara Dietrich, she's my lab assistant and an R.N. You ready to go?"

Sara nodded a greeting, and had a nice smile on her face that reached her eyes. He smiled back.

He cleared his throat, "Yes doctor."

With the help of the guards, they got him carefully out of bed, leaving the neck brace in place, and secured him to a gurney. He was wheeled out to an ambulance, and he was taken back to the scene of the crime.

"So what exactly is going to happen?"

Dr. Trent replied, "We'll put you in an induced coma, and then put your body in the pod. It will take care of everything, and keep you clean, process your waste, and feed you. It will take the nanites some time to acclimatize in your body, so in about three days you'll wake up in your virtual home. You'll have a few days there first to get used to things, and then your android body will be available. We have to build it to some tight specifications once we get measurements and data from the pod."

"Coma?" he asked, and then frowned. When did he start talking in single word sentences? He felt pretty nervous.

Sara smiled reassuringly, "The procedure is a little uncomfortable, there are also some side effects as the medical tech gets synchronized with your mind and body. Phantom pains, hallucinations, sharp recall of memories. It's just better if you don't have to feel or experience that at all."

He sighed, "Thanks for explaining that," and wondered if he should have kept his mouth shut. That sounded unpleasant, but then that was the whole point of the forced nap time.

He was wheeled into what looked like a small lab, there was a small pod in the corner, it was much smaller than he had thought. He almost laughed at the idea that he wouldn't have much room to move around.

Dr. Trent said crisply, "We already have your verbal authorization, but this is your last chance to back out if you're having second thoughts."

He sneezed, which was rather uncomfortable. Sara made a face, and pulled a tissue out of her pocket and cleaned his nose, and face. He felt embarrassed.

He said with sudden conviction, "I'm sure, let's do this."

Silvia walked over to the counter and typed in a code, and pulled out a rather large syringe from the unlocked cabinet. She came over and stabbed him in the stomach with it, and then pushed the plunger down. Luckily, he didn't have to watch, or even feel it. A few seconds later he felt very sleepy, he panicked a bit then, would he ever wake up? Then he was out cold.

He startled awake and gasped, and then looked around. He was sitting in his brown leather lounger in his apartment. He felt a surge of relief go through him, it was all a nightmare. His body felt a bit stiff, but that's what he got for going to sleep out in the living room. He stood up, and his legs gave out for a second, but he twisted and caught himself on the arm of the chair.

He shook his legs one at a time, they seemed okay now. Weird. He looked around again, as if to ensure himself it was all real. He walked over to the book shelf and took Tom Sawyer off the shelf, and turned to a random page. It all looked and felt normal to him. Problem was, the nightmare wasn't fading, he could still remember all of it.

Which was odd.

He went to take a shit, shower, and shave, and then brushed his teeth. He felt fine, really he did, but he also couldn't shake the bad dream as he got dressed. He felt goosebumps on his arms and the back of his neck as he smelled breakfast while leaving his bedroom. He didn't have a maid android, or anything like it. His A.I. assistant was virtual only.

He grabbed an umbrella, and walked over and peeked inside the kitchen.

There was a gorgeous woman cooking breakfast, and he lowered his arm and the umbrella. She was wearing short jean shorts, and a halter top that left almost nothing to the imagination. She had long slightly wavy blue-black hair down to her ass, was about five foot seven, and she had to be at least a thirty-eight D in the chest, maybe double D. Her ass looked firm and bubbled, and she had a mouthwateringly thin waist giving her an hour glass figure.

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