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Chapter 7 - Orc Wars

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The next day after a hearty breakfast, the players were ushered into a large Gaming hall. Hardwood floors echoed the sounds of hundreds of footsteps. Each player was directed to individual Gaming consoles with their Registration number displayed electronically on it. Ash grinned in excitement and peaked in.

"Awesome!" he exclaimed excitedly.

The consoles were like mini capsules from the future. There were numerous controls on each arm rest and touch screens in front. Above the touch screens was a large darkened panel. A comfortable head rest nestled with devices surrounding it. Ash spied the head gear and gloves. A small hood covered the top. Wow, what does that do? he wondered.

"Ah, my prison cell," Ash quipped as he slid into Game console number 0318. He looked over to his left at Jace through a small window. "Clang your tin cup if you need me," he was in good spirits.

Jace gave Ash a thumbs-up. So far, this was much better than he had expected, Jace thought as he inspected the hi-tech console. These people were serious about the Gaming. He had been secretly worried that Simtrixx would focus more on the reality show and not place much importance on the actual game itself. It seemed that he was wrong. Jace rubbed his hands in anticipation. This is going to be great.

Once they were settled in their pods, the stage in front lighted up as the room dimmed.

"Welcome, Season One players," a disembodied voice sounded.

Applause burst out coupled with catcalls and excited yells.

"You have been divided into three groups due to the limited Gaming pods we have. All present here are designated Group One. You have six hours before you have to vacate your pods for Group Two. You may return for another session after Groups Two and Three have completed their sessions. Please check when the virtual pods are available for your use. Thank you."

The wall behind the stage was made up of multi screens. A large screen placed in the middle was currently displaying the Simtrixx logo. It was flanked by vertical rows of smaller screens on each side, cursors blinking on each screen.

"Please put on your head gear and gaming gloves. Thank you." A few minutes went by.

Jace strapped on his gloves and put on the head gear. He pulled down the mouthpiece into position. Immediately, the pattern on the headgear lighted up. The head gear had intricate patterns worked into it which made it look cool. The same pattern running through the gloves glowed as he put them on.

Sensors to monitor us, eh? He didn't like this. Keeping tabs on us so we don't accidentally die. He wondered if the game had dangers Simtrixx had not disclosed to them.

"In a while you will each create your avatars, pick from the Classes available and give it a name. Though there will be Orcs and many other types of races in the Game, you will all be humans."

A low murmuring started in the hall.

"This tattoo," and a symbol much like a mystic rune glowed on the large main screen "must be placed somewhere on your avatar. It indicates that you are a Player – the Mark of a Ghost Lord to the NPCs."

"Once discovered, you will automatically out rank all in the Land except other Ghost Lords. Your Player level will determine your ranking amongst the Ghost Lords. However, it will also make you a target to the Orc hordes. They have been programmed to target Lords above all other targets. I suggest you place the tattoo somewhere hidden on your avatar's body in a place easily accessible. This tattoo is crucial to you too. Touch it and the virtual menu comes up, this includes logging out of virtual mode. Games Control will only extract you in an emergency which does NOT include death of your virtual self."

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