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      Samuel must have slipped it in there, was Erick's first thought, but then he thought of the man who had bumped into him in Nairobi. This scratching looks similar to his tattoos. Erick wondered what was on the disc. Erick was curious if it had a neurovirus, but he still got out his VR set. Even though VR had been strictly monitored and limited at the Institution, Erick and every other student had their own VR set.

     Erick's VR set was not bulky like most others. His consisted of only what looked to be ordinary contact lens and a disc player that fit in the palm of a hand. The contact lens received wireless transmission from the disk player. The set also had the best anti-neurovirus security possible, which is why he wasn't worried about using a strange disc. One of his acquaintances at the Institution had been the son of a black marketer. He had kept a steady supply of new and sometimes illegal tech on hand to pay off people to do his work. Erick had agreed to do his schoolwork for a year in return for the VR set.

      Erick put in the contact lens first. Without the VR disc player operating, the lenses did not affect his vision, although they could be programmed to change his eye color. Erick next took the disc, put it in and activated the player. His vision went black as the hardware embedded in the lenses began receiving transmission. Erick waited for the program menu to appear, so that he could customize his control over the VR, but it never came up. Instead, a message appeared.

      "His time is coming soon. Are you ready? Do you know what your destiny is? This VR will help you answer those questions.

      "Disclaimer: this VR will not cause brain burn."

      Erick's vision returned to black a few moments more before a picture slowly brightened before his eyes. He found himself in a hallway. No matter how he concentrated his vision on the wall, floor or ceiling, he could not make out any detail. He also found himself compelled to walk down the hall. After walking for some time, he found himself before a large wooden door, which looked to be rusted shut. Erick walked up and braced himself for a good push at the door, but found that it opened easily. He entered.

Absolut Paradigm

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