Walking Ghost Phase
Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. When an Army colonel offers her a cure in exchange for her participation in a military experiment, she agrees.
Soon Emily joins others for team-based combat on a virtual reality battlefield. But this is no video game. The consequences of losing are so great that Emily wonders if she should have chosen death in the hospital. More
All eighteen-year-old Emily Heath wants before college is a summer vacation at the beach. Instead she's in Washington D.C. at the height of tourist season, looking for an excuse to leave early.
She gets one in the worst way possible; a nuclear bomb destroys a large section of the capital.
Emily wakes up in the hospital. She's received a massive dose of radiation, her immune system is failing, and she's going to die unless she accepts Colonel Richard Logner's bargain: He has a cure, but in return she must agree to participate in a military experiment. The treatment's side effects include partial memory loss, but Emily wants to live. She accepts his offer and the consequences.
At a military base, Emily joins others like her for team-based combat on a virtual reality battlefield. But this is no video game. When she's killed in the simulation, she feels all the agony of dying, and the near impossible odds of winning guarantee her a nightly routine of pain.
Only one experiment participant understands how to achieve victory—a young man named Matt—but his solo approach leaves the rest of his squad to die in the virtual world. After Matt tells Emily he can help her, she must decide whether to trust a person no one else does—and most likely sentence her teammates to the nightly anguish—or she can keep trying to win on her own and face the unspeakable torment over, and over, and over.
But even success may not be enough to stop Emily from wondering if she should have chosen death back at the hospital.