Virtual God

By Reuben

Down a deserted highway trudged a lonely man, tired and hungry. It had been raining for days and the only shelter he had found was an abandoned spaceport tower, small and musty-smelling. It obviously hadn't been used in months. It probably was last used during the Great Evacuation. But driven onward by hunger, he had left this morning in search of food.

Ten years ago in his teens, Kazak had joined the crew of the hauler Lady Europa and, being bright and curious, had learned all the different jobs on a barge, from galley hand to pilot. Life among space travelers had also hardened him. He developed space legs and leathery star-bronzed skin and earned two scars from barroom brawls. He was not a huge man, but could intimidate with a look.

But now were there anyone within miles to see him, he would have inspired pity, not fear. He had returned to earth four months ago and had seen no living soul. It had taken him a long time to piece together what had happened from the miscellaneous old news publications he read. Virtual World residence had surged in popularity after technology advancements allowed people to upload into computers not only their minds but virtual copies of their bodies as well. No hunger, pain, or suffering existed in a virtual world. These programs, running in real time, gave their residents everything they wanted and allowed them to live indefinitely. People had all the space they wanted, they got to see anyone they wanted who was a resident of the same virtual world, and could even enjoy the company of artificial virtual people.

Kazak learned all this slowly. Most computers and links were inoperative and power supplies were scarce. Even when he was able to link to the network, he found that fewer and fewer people had written anything or indeed done anything during the two years since his last earth sojourn. Everyone was living in virtual worlds, their bodies copied in virtual space then cremated and returned to the earth. Eventually, there had been so few people actually living and working that they couldn't survive except in small communities. Most of these communities had left the earth and gone to found terraforming colonies in other star systems. This was called the Great Evacuation.

After learning all this, Kazak was filled with disgust. He was a passionate, gritty man, and the thought of abandoning reality with all its excitement and danger in favor of a supposed virtual Eden repulsed him. He would gladly have joined the colonists were he able, but when he landed on the earth, his spaceship needed repairs the parts for which he couldn't find. The only other spaceships he found were too large to be manned by one person safely, and would have required more fuel than he could scrounge anyway.

So here he was, stuck on an abandoned earth with perhaps no other human beings anywhere. No real ones, anyway. Somewhere were solar powered computers humming away, providing their virtual residents with everything their hearts desired. He didn't know or care where such machines were. He just wanted off this planet. He found canned food in an abandoned supermarket, carried as much as he could with him, and continued on in his search for a usable spaceship.

Weeks passed. Once he found an old woman living in a shack in the woods, but she was deaf and perhaps crazy. He stayed with her a few days and shared her food, but finally had to continue on.

One day he ran across what looked like a high-tech facility of some sort, and he hoped he might find there a means of escaping the planet. The buildings were a bit run-down and weeds were creeping in, but it still seemed to offer some hope of housing a spaceship of some kind. Even if it were only a ground car, he would be happy if it had fuel. He was very weary of walking.

He smashed a window and entered a gigantic warehouse filled with computers and computer memory banks. Though the room was rather quiet, occasional clicking and whirring could be heard from some of the machines. Kazak was rather sure what he had stumbled across, and it gave him the creeps. All around him were probably thousands of people, maybe millions, living in a dreamy computer-generated virtual world, completely oblivious to the dust in the air, the window he had smashed, or indeed to his very presence. He felt angry at them all of the sudden. They were living with no food or shelter other than the metal boxes that housed these computer chips, yet they were happy and comfortable while he was tired and hungry. They were laughing and playing games with each other while he was lonely and alone. He wanted to smash the computers. He did pound one metal box with his fist, but the echo that the sound made around the huge room made him feel so much lonelier that it gave him no satisfaction.

He was repulsed and disgusted by the place and by the lazy people it invisibly housed. Had they ever done any work? Could they fly a spaceship? He thought of them spending months walking the land alone looking for food and companionship and a means of departure as he had done, and he snorted. They wouldn't last a day. Fat, lazy slugs they were. Not people at all.

He wanted to wreck the place, but he got a better idea. Wouldn't it be great if he could tap into their virtual world? Show them a thing or two about reality? He doubted he'd be able to figure out how to get in, but it was an interesting enough prospect that he thought it worth a try.

A search of the facility led him to halls of offices with desks and chairs, empty halls, and computers, computers everywhere! He thought he was getting warm when he found a large hi-tech looking room containing chairs hooked up to wires and several desks with computers at them. Two things in the room particularly interested him. One was a corner of the room whose walls looked like polished silver and which had lasers pointed all over it. Seeing this made Kazak pretty sure that this facility did indeed house a virtual world program and that this room was where people's bodies were recorded as data. In another corner of the room was a chair facing a gigantic wall made of black glass. He wasn't sure what that was, be he wanted to find out. The door to the room was not locked.

The lights in the room came on when he entered and for a second he was afraid of being caught. He quickly remembered that he was the only real person around for miles and miles. He avoided the corner of the room full of lasers, not trusting it, and went to explore the black glass wall. Something in another corner he now noticed which looked like a crematorium. It gave him the shivers.

The black glass wall was huge and surprisingly clean and flat. Even peering very closely, he could see nothing on the other side. All he saw was his own reflection.

Then he sat down in the chair, which was extremely comfortable. There was a humming noise, lights blinked somewhere just at the periphery of his field of vision, then the black glass wall began to glow. He watched it curiously, wondering just what he had activated by sitting in the chair. A gentle male voice spoke to him: "I do not recognize you. If you have security clearance, please state your security code."

Kazak paused a moment, then said, "I have security clearance, but I've forgotten the code." He was undoubtedly speaking to a computer, and knew how to stall them and get what he wanted eventually.

"State your name, please," said the voice. Kazak responded as clearly and carefully as he could in his gruff voice, "My name is Anton Kazak, captain of the starship Lady Europa."

"Anton Kazak, your name is not on the security list. You need to leave immediately or security will be summoned."

Kazak knew that there was no security to call, but he wanted to stay on the computer's good side, so he left the room immediately, more desirous than ever of breaking into the system. He was pretty sure that the black glass wall was a holographic view screen, though if so, it was the largest one he had ever heard of. It must have been three or four meters tall! And at least half again as wide!

He decided to search the offices for names and security clearance codes.

It actually took him over two days, for the facility turned out to be much larger than he had imagined, but he finally found two things which delighted him immensely. The first was a store of food that someone must have saved up expecting to spend a lot of time in the real world. They either evacuated with the colonists or joined their bretheren in the bowels of the computer banks. In any case, it gave Kazak plenty of good food to eat. And it was better than most of what he had eaten in his recent trek. Frozen dinners, canned meats and soups, and even frozen bread.

The other thing he found was the security office of the place, with lists of names and levels of security clearance and what he surmised were security codes. He memorized several codes that seemed to be for high security levels, and returned to the room.

This time, when he sat in the chair, the computer remembered him and was not so friendly. "Mr. Kazak, I must ask you to leave immediately. You are in a secure area." He replied, "I have a clearance code." The computer asked him for the code and he recited one and held his breath. There was a slight pause before the computer continued. "That code is valid, Mr. Kazak. Why didn't you tell it to me the last time you were here?"

Kazak replied, "I told you, I'd forgotten it."

"Who gave it to you?"

"It was given to me by Dr. Lisa Westerly."

"How is Dr. Westerly, Mr. Kazak?"

His heart raced. Either the computer was genuinely curious, or it was a trap. If he stumbled now all might be lost. Had she evacuated? Joined a virtual world? Died? "I haven't seen her in a long time," he said. "I don't know."

"I miss her." The computer actually sounded sad. "Please give me the principal alpha code so we may begin our session."

Again Kazak's heart raced. One of the codes next to Westerly's name he had memorized was written in hand, not printed, and he thought it must be special in some way. Was that it? He had to try it. "Dr. Westerly's alpha code is 3-4-w-s-5-8-1-phi."

This time the response was immediate and certain. "Thank you, Mr. Kazak. How may I help you?" He had convinced the computer of his right to be there. Now he had to find out what he could do.

"Can you turn on the holoscreen please?" He began.

"Certainly. What would you like to view?"

What would he like to view? "Is this screen for viewing places in the virtual world?"

"Yes it is. Is there a particular place you would like to see?"

"Just show me some of the people there. It doesn't matter who."

It only took a moment for the screen to activate. Not only was it the largest holoscreen he had ever seen, but its quality exceeded anything he had imagined. The people on the other side seemed to be right there, two feet from him. It was exactly like looking through a window into a room of people. The scene seemed to be a dinner party with a dozen or so guests eating and drinking and chatting merrily. The room they were in was lavishly decorated with paintings and tapestries and carved wood and ivory. It was extremely disconcerting to know that he could see them as if he were in the same room with them, but they were completely unaware of his presence or existence.

He asked the computer, "Do most people live like this?"

"In the virtual world, people choose how they want to live. Some like to live like this, some prefer camping outdoors, sailing on cruise ships... some even live in fantasy realms with castles and magic."

"Show me such a place," he said.

The screen flickered less than a half second before revealing a dark stone room, probably in a medieval castle. A man dressed in kingly robes sat across a table from a woman who was evidently a sorceress of some kind, gazing into a crystal ball.

"What are they doing?"

"Would you like to hear?"

For a moment, Kazak thought the computer meant would he like to hear it answer his question, but he realized it meant to turn on the sound. "Sure," he answered.

Suddenly, the people seemed perfectly present. Before, though they had appeared to be near him, they were on the other side of a thick sound-proof wall. Now invisible speakers revealed to him the very noises the king and sorceress heard and made. He listened as the man asked the woman whether he should fear someone named Lady Allando, and she gave him council. Again he felt the startlingly disconcerting feeling of being a completely present yet invisible voyeur in the room with these people.


"Yes, Mr. Kazak?"

He paused, not sure how the computer would respond to his next inquiry. "Do people in the virtual world enjoy sex?"

"Very much, Mr. Kazak. Would you like to see?"

"Yes, please."

The scene before him vanished and was replaced with that of a man and woman on a dirty cot in a seedy room, the only light source a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. "Computer, did these people choose these conditions?"

"Yes, Mr. Kazak."

He watched the scene and began to get aroused himself. The two people seemed abnormally fit and healthy. The man was tall and muscular, but extremely lean, and though covered with sweat, there was not a blemish on his skin. The woman had long blonde hair and a perfect body. The computer asked him, "Mr. Kazak?"


"You may call me George if you would prefer."

He smiled. "Thank you, George, I will." After a few more minutes watching the scene, he said, "George, are these bodies their real bodies? I mean, exact copies of the ones they had when they were living in the real world?"

"These bodies are similar to the ones they had in the real world, but they are modified to fit the desires of their owners. Most people want to keep their bodies, but make them more perfect."

Kazak was not surprised, though he was a bit put off. Up to now, he had been so amazed at the realism in the virtual world that he had forgotten his feelings of anger and revulsion towards these people. Now he thought about them getting perfect bodies for nothing and the anger and hatred returned. Never do a day's work in their lives and live in perfect bodies in perfect worlds. All inside a computer in a decaying building in a world full of living plants and animals and rivers and real places... and no people. What was this world coming to?

Kazak returned to the sex scene and thought about what he'd really like to see. George, are there any men having sex with other men right now?"

George answered, "At this moment, there are over eight hundred thousand men having sex with at least one other man. Would you like to see some?"

Kazak was stunned. "How many people live in this virtual world, anyway?"

"The population of this virtual world is approximately 1.8 billion."

Wow! If there were many other virtual worlds elsewhere with as many people, that would explain why the planet was so empty. Everyone, absolutely everyone had gone into a virtual world or had left. For all he knew, the living population of earth might be less than a thousand, counting him! "Yes, show me some gay sex, George. Something kind of kinky."

Before him, so close he could almost reach out and touch them, were two men in what looked like a dungeon: one of them naked and chained with his back to a stone wall, the other dressed all in leather. He was beginning to remove his leather boots while the other pleaded with him to let him go. The man in leather hit the other man hard in the stomach with his fist, then returned to removing his boots. "Shut your fucking hole or you'll get a worse beating than that!" he shouted. The man in leather was huge and muscular, the other rather scrawny. Kazak supposed that they had chosen one another virtually, sadist and masochist. He asked George if that were so.

"There are some people who do that and I can show you some if you like, Mr. Kazak. But that is not the case here. The man in chains is an artificial construct."

"Constructed by whom?"

"By me."

Kazak had read about this and heard on the network that it was possible. "Were any of the other people you showed me artificial?"

"The servants at the dinner party were artificial."

Hm. Not surprising. "So this man here... the one in leather, I mean... he asks you for a sex fantasy beating someone up, and you give it to him?"

"That is correct."

"And you could change things right now and make them different?"

"I would do so if the man wished me to. This man will probably want to have intercourse with the construct before ending the fantasy."

"Could you change things right now if I wished you to?"

"You have the highest security clearance possible, Mr. Kazak. You may change the world as you see necessary."

Kazak's heart began to race and he got butterflies in his stomach as he hadn't in years, probably since he first had sex with a man and found he liked it. Very quietly, he said, "Make the man on the wall very slowly grow more muscular. When he's punched, make it so he doesn't get injured."

He watched, fascinated, as the sex fantasy continued. The man in leather continued to hurl abuses at the man in chains, and occasionally pounded on him with his fists. But Kazak noticed that the man on the wall didn't look quite so scrawny now. He was an increasingly healthy-looking man, and clearly wasn't hurt by his tormentor. The man in leather paused and examined the other closely. He touched his chest, his sides, and evidently concluded that something was wrong. "Computer!" He cried out. "What's going on? I'm beating on this man aren't I?"

"What should I tell him, Anton?"

Kazak said, "Tell him nothing, and don't let him out of the room he's in. We're going to have some fun, George. Okay?"

"Okay, Anton."

Several minutes later, it was clear that the man in chains was now more heavily muscled than the other. They had not altogether swapped builds yet, but they were headed in that direction.

Kazak's eyes didn't leave the screen. He stroked his stubbled chin as he considered what to do next. "Okay, George. Now I want to see the man in chains begin to grow not only more muscular, but larger in stature as well. So large that eventually the chains can't contain his wrists and ankles, and they split. Make him reach five meters tall. Okay?"

"Okay, Anton."

And so it happened. The man in leather was screaming, "Computer! Computer! What are you doing! Home, computer! Home! Home! Home!"

But he remained where he was, now rather puny and weak, while the artificial construct had just burst free of his chains and was a looming hulk of a man, nearly reaching even the high vaulted ceilings of the dark dungeon and surely weighing 4000 pounds. It was not a handsome creature, but Kazan was very turned on by the whole scene and by his power over it. As he beheld the pendulous member hanging from the fifteen-foot artificial man, his own grew hard and throbbed in his pants. Had he felt more alone, he would have stripped right there and jerked off. But though he wasn't sure why, he didn't feel right doing it in front of "George".

The man in leather (which now hung quite limply on his skinny frame) ran to a far corner of the dungeon and tried in vain to open the thick wooden door there. George kept it closed. The man screamed, "Computer! Let me out! What's going on! Let me out of here!"

"Okay, George," ordered Kazak. "Now I want the giant to act really mean and intimidating. I want him to order the other man to suck his dick or he'll beat on him."

Kazak held his breath. He still wasn't used to having his whims transformed into reality so easily.

The colossal man was so large that he more than filled the height of the viewscreen. To Kazan, it was like looking through a tall window at a giant man, and being able to see only up to his shoulders. Kazan standing would not have reached the man's crotch. The creature advanced upon his former tormentor and roared like an animal. The sound was deep and incredibly loud. Even Kazan felt a bit terrified, though it knew it was no more real than a movie.

To the man in the fantasy, however, it was very real indeed. He cowered in fear as the giant reached him. He was now a rather small man and his face was only mid-thigh to the giant. Indeed, the muscular giant's thighs and even his calves were larger around than the other's entire torso. Then the giant spoke in a low and growly voice. "Asshole runt! You know how many times I've sucked your dick, you piece of shit? Now you're going to suck my dick and I'd better cream gallons or I'll squash you! Come on!" As he shouted at the trembling man, he punctuated some of his words with a poke of his huge finger. He had to stoop even to poke the little man in the chest.

The little man had evidently given up contacting the computer. He weakly took a step forward and looked up at the enormous piece of meat hanging over his head like a Polish sausage. It was easily half a meter long and as big around as Kazak's strong upper arm. But the man couldn't reach it. Kazak said, "George, make the giant's dick grow longer until the little man can reach it."

What a feeling of power! The words were hardly out of his mouth before he saw it happening before his eyes! The giant's already terrific penis swelled like a water balloon, dipping down until it pressed into the face of his former torturer. The giant took some initiative and slapped the other man in the face with his shlong. The smaller man actually fell over. "Get up, runt!" shouted the giant. "Suck on my cock or I'll step on you right now!" He put his foot over the other man's body (it would truly have squashed him, it covered most of his body) and started to put some weight on him, when the small man got up and cried, "Wait! Wait! I'll do what you want!" He was also weeping.

The giant penis was far too large to fit in the other man's mouth. Instead of sucking on it, the latter ended up pulling the foreskin back and kissing the head, slobbering on it, rolling his lips and tongue around the swollen pink surface. It grew hard and began lifting itself in the air out of his reach. The giant handily solved the problem by picking up his sex toy in one hand and holding him at a level where he could continue to lick the cockhead. Kazan felt his own rod throbbing painfully with the giant's.

"I want the giant to chain him to the wall where he had been chained, then come all over him. Okay?"

"Okay, Anton."

Kazan watched it happen as he had instructed. The lumbering giant took the tiny man to the far wall (the "camera" of the holoscreen followed them), chained him up, then came all over him. Kazak could almost smell the sweat and musk and semen. He told George, "The giant will punch a hole in the wall and leave, and you can let the other man get back to whatever he wants in a few hours. Don't ever tell him why you did what you did. It's classified. Okay?"

"Okay, Anton." Kazak watched as the towering man knocked a hole in the stone wall with his powerful fists, then lumbered away. The screen faded to black.

A gnawing feeling bothered Kazak. It wasn't guilt at torturing a man, he felt no anxiety at all over that. It was the fact that he had just enjoyed what was essentially a virtual experience, and had enjoyed it immensely. While loathing the residents of the virtual world, he felt for a moment that he could understand why they enjoyed their virtual lives. Anything at all was possible. Anything. He swept the feeling of anxiety from his mind and thought about what he wanted to do later. The first thing he wanted to do was get away from George so he could jack off in privacy.

Anything was possible. Anything at all. •

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