A Post Opp's Devolution: Part 6 - The Addict

By Jonathan Roseland

Jason's first thought I've spent all the damn day gaming! Now I'm probably late for my date with Astrid and she'll never want to see me again!

As he paused the game he self criticized... Jason you fucking addict! How much of your damn life are you going to waste with these sims?

However, relief flooded his mind as soon as he saw the time, 6:14 PM I still have 90 minutes to get ready for my date and book it over to water fountain park! It's only like 5 minutes by auto taxi.

Jason was near the top of the cognitive enhancement roller coaster; sitting in the nerve center of his little online gambling empire which he had designed with sensory deprivation in mind, he was almost overwhelmed with sensation, sound, and sight. His hearing was as sharp as a bat's, from his high rise condo he could differentiate the individual sounds outside his window that were usually a smörgåsbord of generic city noise; a car's squeaky brakes, a motorcycle revving, a metro train crossing a bridge, a car's engine starting, a woman yelling and a horn honking. The glowing of screens of the nerve center sharply contrasted the dusky spectrum of colors in the sky outside. The screen displayed various live reports of digitally quantifiable aspects of Jason's life; his rankings in various gaming tournaments, the performance of the investments he had made in various funds, emails and social media notifications along with a slew of biofeedback data, his heart rate variability, blood sugar levels even his proportion of alpha to gamma brain waves. In just a few seconds he could glance from screen to screen, take in, and analyze about 50 different metrics.
I should really eat something soon! But... It really would be a shame to waste this buzz! He resumed playing.

The two curvaceous figures in the bed didn't seem to pay a lot of mind to the new intruders in their chamber. He approached their bed, they didn't react much, although one of them uttered in a low, sultry voice "Geia (yah)" - "Hello" in Greek, as she brushed her hair off her shoulder. He smiled widely and slowly at her.

I wonder what I can get away with here with the temple's vestal virgins, while still accomplishing my mission? I really can't let them know I'm an intruder though, they might call more guards.

A diabolical idea crossed Jason's mind, he turned to see the Greek priest hovering just outside the doorway, craning his neck to look in, afraid to enter the room yet obviously curious about what was happening. He gestured to the two in the bed that he needed a minute, left the chamber, closed the double doors, and pinned the priest up against the wall with the tip of his short sword "Tell those two that I'm a high priest of a different order, I've taken vow silence and that I have a gift for them. Then get the dragon signaling firework and wait outside the door." The priest nodded with a confused look on his face, entered the chamber, and exchanged a few abrupt statements with the two.

The younger priest then disappeared down the corridor in the direction, Jason presumed, that the dragon signaling firework was stored. Jason grabbed the vase of flowers and interred the room walking slowly, the sight of the flowers piqued the attention of the girls, they sat up in bed. Jason set the flowers down on the mantle of the fireplace and removed two flowers, which he carried to the bed while holding strong eye contact with the girls.

He began, kneeling on the bed, by kissing their hands, individually, then together. No resistance. This could get interesting! He leaned forward to place the flowers in the hair of the vestal virgins who were increasingly not acting like virgins. He began the nuzzle the neck of one of them, the re-creation was uncannily accurate down to a freckle he had noticed on Astrid's shoulder. An earthy, yet feminine scent tickled his nostril's as his tongue played on her neck. That's new! Accurate scents in a Sim... Usually, scents were really difficult to accurately reproduce in sims because of the olfactory memory disassociation problem.

As his hands worked their way up the thighs of the two, he sensed a little resistance corresponding to an expression of growing concern on one of their faces. That's more of what I expect from a vestal virgin. Jason slowly left the bed, turned his back on the two, grabbed all the flowers from the vase, and proceeded to throw them all on the bed in front of the girls.

That flipped the switch. The bed became a writhing mix of digitized Greek and Atlantean flesh. The myriad of flowers were crushed and moistened by sweat and other bodily chemicals. The smell added a new dimension to the sim sex - I'm not sure if I like that fishy scent - in an attempt at thematic consistency the digital re-creations of Alejandra and Astrid, embodying vestal virgins where less pornstar like in their lovemaking, more giddy, silly and a little nervous.

Then there was a pensive knock at the door, which Jason took as the cue to withdraw from the paradise clenching him as digitized virginal anatomy should and dress. As he was about to open the door a thought crossed his mind Even if a battalion of Greek soldiers is behind this door prepared to kill my character, forcing me to restart the level, making love to those two was worth it. It turned out to just be the priest with exactly what Jason had ordered he bring.

Leaving the temple he ordered the priest "Go to bed. In the morning wake up and tell everyone the story about the older priest getting drunk with whores. Tell the girls I'll be back." Shame those two will die in the attack "Go!"

Jason returned to his vessel with the few of his soldiers that had waited behind on him and the unwieldy signal. In this mission he had exchanged one of the battleships with big guns for a troop transport vessel carrying a battalion of infantrymen, he ordered the troop transport to drop the battalion off far outside of the view of the city or temple, the battalion would then begin a skirmish at the entrance of the city which would hopefully draw the Greek battalion away from the temple.
I'm still concerned about the dragons, it is after all the Temple of Dragos, I'm sure they have another way to signal them.
After the troop transport dropped off the soldiers they were to travel to a distant yet visible mountain peak at the other side of the Peloponnesus and set off the signaling firework there, drawing the dragons as far as possible away from the temple. Hopefully!

It would add a couple of hours of waiting around to begin the mission so Jason turned up the time dilation on his Link. You're not really supposed to speed up time dilation, in fact, it's a feature you need to jailbreak a Link to do. Slow Time Dilation, is an out of the box (and highly advertised!) feature of the Link, it doesn't actually slow down time but it feeds your brain just the right balance of neurotransmitters and gamma waves to put you into a vivid flowstate so you can focus up to 12X more attention on whatever you are doing. Fast Time Dilation is a popular, yet banned, Link hack that just reverses the stimulus the native Time Dilation functionality feeds into your system. I use it all the time and I've never had any problems. Jason pulled up the fast time dilation widget again and punched in the desired settings:
8X speed
Stops at 30-minute increments
Scale down sensory input
Force normalized uniform heart rate

Several small plumbs of smoke rose began to rise over the city in the distance, he had ordered the battalion to fire a volley of flaming arrows into the city to make the threat look bigger than it was, the diversionary attack had begun, from his position near the summit of the mountain he could see the battalion beginning to mobilize towards the city. As he turned off the fast time dilation Jason felt his attention narrow as blue smoke appeared, he was near the top of the bell curve of effects from the copious amounts of cognitive enhancers he had consumed and they delivered a tremendous sensation of focus and clarity, he knew what do and exactly how to do it. He had ordered the diversionary soldiers to detonate a blue signal smoke grenade when the Greek battalion engaged them. The game insists on being 'historically realistic' to the extent that I can't send orders to distant subordinates via radio.

There were still more forces protecting the temple than he would have liked but it was as good a time as any to begin the attack.

He would really have to maximize the advantage of surprise with the Greek soldiers stationed next to the temple. He summoned the other captains of the airships to the deck of his:
"If we can destroy the bolt launchers of the Greeks first then we can just sit out of range of their archers and pound the temple to rubble with the heavy guns of our respective vessels." He strategized with his commanders "We'll drop off the remaining infantrymen and have them attack the Greek soldiers on the ground simultaneously."
Hopefully, the dual diversions of the infantry attacking the city and the unit harassing the encampment will overwhelm the artillery capacity...
The remaining infantry troops were dropped off on the opposite side of the mountain, where the airships could not be seen. As a redundancy, he ordered them to torch the temple and kill the priesthood therein, as a secondary priority to harassing the artillery units. It would take them about an hour to work their way around the mountain.

As soon as blue plumb of smoke appeared near the temple, the sign his troops had engaged, he ordered the flag signals to begin the attack.

The aerial battleships employed the closest thing they could to a dive-bombing strategy, descending upon the encampment from a higher altitude while firing. The airships were more dangerous from the sides than they were from the front. There were smaller guns in front that could be used to fire directly ahead of the vessel, whereas the broadsides of the vessels housed multiple, formidable cannons. This also played the geography and gravity to his advantage, the temple and enemy battalion being perched on a rocky shoulder of the mountain next to a cliff, allowed his airships to reign fire from above, pummel the temple with the broadside guns directly before actually passing below the elevation of the temple.

The vessels did this in pairs, to present multiple targets to the defenders of the temple, crossing each other's wide arching paths of destruction through the Greek sky. In between the diversionary action at the city gates, the surprise attack by the infantry unit, and death from above, the artillery units stationed were blown into 10 thousand digitized splinters of wood, shards of iron weaponry, hot shrapnel, and the anatomically correct digitized innards of their former operators.

With the artillery units out of commission, the air superiority of his Atlantean command became increasingly apparent. The vessels moved in positions around the temple and hammered it with their big guns, converting the stately Greek columns and architecture to millions of bits, the black smoke rising above the temple thickened as fires grew in it. Meanwhile, the infantry slaughtered priests as they tried to escape their doomed house of worship. A group of 5 priests committed suicide by jumping to their deaths from the cliff. Nice dramatic flair!

All the while Jason kept his eye peeled, scanning the sky for scaly wings.

A short while later, the Temple of Dragos, in it's once esteemed position next to a cliff on a proud mountain, had been reduced to a vast collection of asymmetrical boulders, carbonized wood, formerly beautiful metal effigies of the Greek pantheon, and ashes mixed with enough blood and mangled anatomy to satisfy a colony of vampires and zombies.

Not one to waste time enjoying the spectacle of his successful attack, and paranoid of immediate counter-attack by dragons or some other fantastic Greek enemy, Jason ordered a withdrawal.

As airships climbed away from the ruins, Jason grew unstimulated. I'd really like to see what kind of promotion this earns me... What will it hurt to use fast time dilate just once more?

He punched the fast time dilation widget in his link one more time. As he raced across the Mediterranean towards certain commendation and promotion aboard the Atlantean flagship, an odd burning sensation behind his eyes began to grow, which Jason tried to ignore, like the stoic dictator he was becoming. Little stars began to pop in and out of existence in his peripheral vision. Then...

He was back in The Casino, reclined in his chair, even though he had been stationary for many hours his body felt spent; his eyes felt strained and his neck was sore, the putrid smell of excrement filled his nostrils. Stupid dog! Shit in the house!

Light filtered in from the curtains. Jason glanced at the chronometer with brooding self-loathing, it read: Saturday 2:37 PM


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