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Chapter 6 - Premilaries

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Jace and Ash followed the crowd down a long hallway which opened into a large room. There were hundreds of seats arranged in the middle. Simtrixx personnel with name tags stood ready to hand out copies of the contract to each person who entered the room. The two boys sat in a corner to read the twelve page contract.

"You got to be kidding me." Ash grumbled. He sneaked a peek at Jace who was frowning.

"You will be monitored at all times. Simtrixx reserves the right to release any or all personal footage virtual or otherwise. Seriously?"

"Virtual or otherwise. That means all the time, anywhere, any when, in or out of the Game frame," Jace mused aloud.

"Even when I'm taking a piss?"

Jace gave a half smile. "I doubt they are interested in that. They will use discretion ... I hope."

"Are you willing to risk it?"

"Focus will be on promoting the actual Game. It's their product. Think about it, I don't think they are interested in any of us personally ... as individuals. We are expendable faceless players. Chances are, we are safe."

He grinned at Ash's hurt expression.

"I thought I was special," Ash said mournfully.

"The crazy terms are only to protect the mechanics of the Game and of course all those competitions for the viewers. They need viewers and gamers out there who will download and buy the Game ... after we generate the popularity for the Game, of course. We are just the means to an end. The reality show is just another way of advertising and promoting Orc Wars before Simtrixx launches the MMORPG in the market. It's bait to sky rocket the Game's popularity and income for the company."

Jace continued thinking out loud. "They would probably only edit the more interesting story plots anyway and promote the avatars. They said our real identities would be kept secret ... actually, it is brilliant marketing. If I told you I had a really big secret but can't or won't tell you. What would you do?"

"I'd try my best to find out, even if it kills me."

"Exactly. I'll bet finding out the players' real identities will be part of some contest. The more tight-lipped Simtrixx is, the more people will want to find out, right?" Jace sat back in satisfaction a half smile on his lips. Point made.

"Sometimes, I really hate talking to you."

"I know."

Ash made a face.

"Whoa! What about this one?" he pointed to the contract. "All participants will submit and follow all physical, mental and virtual instructions (within reason for health and safety purposes) of Simtrixx personnel Grades twelve and above. Any disregard of said instructions will result in forfeit. Think you can handle this?"

He regarded his friend intently. Jace's green eyes narrowed then he squared his shoulders.

"Guess I'll just have to huh? How bad can it be?"

"Check out this one," Ash raised his eyebrows in disbelief as he spotted another condition of joining the show.

"All Players will have a personal trained Medical Assistant on call at all times. All virtual sessions will be compulsorily monitored by said medical personnel."

"Ash," Jace started and looked down at his hands, "I'll admit it's not going to be easy for me. Especially being on tape twenty four seven, with people having the right to pry and stalk me the next few weeks. I might even go crazy. You know how much I value my privacy but I came here for lodgings during the holidays. I'll do whatever to stay as long as possible."

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