Desperate Upload

Four Minutes

Desperate Upload

The white knight's enemies were arrayed between him and the princess he'd come to rescue. Eight enemy knights in pitch black armor. He had the advantage of reputation, however.

They came at him one at a time, each wanting to be known for defeating him in single combat. The first slashed in from the right, and the white knight cut him down in a single stroke.

The second came in straight ahead, forcing the white knight to parry. Before he could strike again, the world seemed to shake, hard enough that it should knock him off his feet, except it didn't. His opponent still came at him.

Quickly striking his opponent down, he said, "Pause program. Save combat for upload."

Everything paused around him, and the sensuit he wore stopped giving him the feeling of standing in a field in a suit of armor. Instead, he was strapped to a chair, and he could feel the engines firing in a half-g deceleration burn.

He was Jon Whyte again.

While waiting for the burn to finish, he pulled off the VR goggles, which revealed his bedroom. Instead of the natural bright colours of the field that he had been in, he was in a muted metal box. There were colours, however, as every wall was covered in posters, some of engine schematics and astro-navigation charts, others of art from his favourite VR games.

On one wall was a mirror, which showed Jon Whyte had little in common with the White Knight he had been. Where the white knight was tall, strong, handsome, and adult, Jon was none of these things. A skinny and frail boy of almost twelve, he stood not quite five feet tall and had barely enough muscle on him to walk under the moon's gravity.

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