“The enemy!”. The cry carried down the halls, as people woke. The word had come down from the surveillance balloon, and now the garrison was mobilizing. Andreas was disappointed at the lack of sleep, but excited to see his first battle. He ran out from his bunk and to his post. The strong flow of people impeded him some, but before long he was looking at the ammunition dump of a
large gun. The crew fully assembled, he and another new recruit loaded the shell, the leader aimed, and with a spark and a bang it flew toward the enemy. He had read in the newspapers as a child of the intensity of war work, but he was taken aback still. He hoped he had the luck to survive this first combat.

Ugh, nope. Morrisee Williams had never gotten the hang of jacking as a guy. Too much movement. Her sister, 8 years younger, had grown up with the tech and could handle it just fine. Her parents couldn’t jack properly at all; a simple simulated walk and they would need a lie-down.

She checked the screen: 9 hours and 48 minutes. Barely 10 minutes wasted. She called the attendant. “A scotch on the rocks!”. She knew it was terrible whisky (Leanne had ensured her daughter had a proper upbringing), but the thrill of being able to order it herself more than made up. She flicked through the other jacks she had brought. Do Or Die, another action-y thing about the war in Afghanistan. Between Us, a sappy romance. Her Name In Lights, some period drama about the 1990s. There was the one Jaime had given her, but she was embarrassed to try it in public; involuntary movements and expressions were a risk with jacking, and her parents were just across the aisle.

9 hours and 40 minutes. Some crackers. The in-flight jacks were all weaksauce for her parents generation, but one caught her eye.

Piracy. In a world where anything can be copied, the only thing left to steal is people. Tagged: scifi, female protag, deep immersion.

She leaned back and let the machine take her in.

“Ooh, this one looks juicy!”. Three professors, a dignitary, a general. Onto the pile it went. Van idly fondled a peanut as she skimmed the day’s departure list…