what would you do?
cry
16.67% 16.67% of votes
complain to the facility
0% 0% of votes
learn to fight back
16.67% 16.67% of votes
run far far away
0% 0% of votes
Other: in comments
16.67% 16.67% of votes
Put a bounty on him
33.33% 33.33% of votes
Change instance
16.67% 16.67% of votes
Total: 6 vote(s)
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In the darkness there was only pain, twisting in agony as wave after wave of agony washed under his skin, trapped inside his own conciousness and unable to resist the crushing weight of suffering without end.

"Karen Adeline Morgan" the judge called out, "for stealing corporate secrets while under the persona of Khali", she looked at the jury podium "and having been found guilty by your peers", her eyes piercing through Karen's heart "of the terror attack on the Hillian Consortium Buildings", lips tighten for a heartbeat, "you are hereby sentenced to 150 years of rehabilitaion in the Neuro Psychological Correction facility" the hammer struck.

Karen stood there unmoving, looking back at the judge who sentenced her for a life of torture and misery in what was most likely a hard labor camp where she would be subject to all sorts of abuse.

Her memories from that day were mostly lost in the confusion, grieving families assaulted her and the police officers escorting her, the silent van where those same cops looked at her with disgust and hatred, ready to attack her if anything went wrong on the way to the NPC facility.

The rules were simple, nine hours of the day she was logged into various games and acted as medietor for non player content, another hour of excercise in the virtual reality without blockers so her body would be conditioned, four hours of recreational activity in the game world chosen for her by the facility medical staff an hour to eat and prepare and then seven hours of sleep before another hour to eat and relax and back into the cycle.

These facilities never had revolts, NPCs were never subject to correctional punishment, there were never problems from any inmate, and the staff was mostly there to protect the equipment.

Logging in for the first time to the NPC interface was delirious, her senses were stunted, most of her body functions blocked out, all she had was visual and auditory sensations and even these blurred into an almost monotone world of prime colors and clear sounds.

[System: Welcome NPC Karen Adeline Morgan, you are assigned as a shopkeeper in the <General Store>of <Carrion Village> your job is to sell and buy items and upgrade the shop through quests given to players]

A short man was already checking the shop moving around and opening crates and chests when she gained control of her avatar, "may i help you?" was met with a system notice that it cost credits to add new lines to the character so she scanned her given dialogues and found it was just a list of disconnected words.

"Hello", "Sir", "Welcome", "General Store", "What", "Looking", "For"

"Oh an interface", he said jovialy, "I need bolts of cloth"

Karen searched the item in her list "5", "silver".

"Wow thats a lot, can I get a discount?"

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 a player initiated interacion, you earned 3 credits]

"I", "can", "go", "as", "low", "as", "4", "silver"

"Thats still a lot for me, can you give me 2 bolts for 6 silver?"

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player continued interacion, you earned 1 credits]

"I","Can","Give","You","2", "Bolts", "for", "7", "Silver"

"Deal", the player passed on his coins, "Pleasure doing business with you", he scratched his chin in thought "Thats one hack of an interface"

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 a player concluded a transaction, you earned 10 credits]

"I also need a knife", he looked at her, "got one of those?"

"Yes", she screamed in her mind, this was the worst comunications system she ever saw, if her life were going to be broken to single word sentences her mind was going to blow, then she remembered the option to buy new phrases.

"That would be 12 silver coins" she tried

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 the requested sentence will cost you 18 credits]

"12 silver" trying again and figuring it was credits per word.

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 the requested sentence will cost you 6 credits]

She was glad to be right about the price but not thrilled about the thought of having to pay for each and every possible combination of coins so she fiddled with the interface until she found a <Help> file that stated that bracketed numbers were interchangeable in interface sentences when added with question mark, also locations and statements could be changed when used the same way.

"<12?> Silver" she finally said

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 the requested sentence will cost you 10 credits]

she sighed and allowed the deduction and her avatar said the words, brackets and marks cost almost as much as words it seemed.

"12?" he cried, "thats way too much", he knocked on the counter, "give me a discount"

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player responded favorably to your interacion, you earned 7 credits]

"<11?> Silver", she answered

"Thats way too much" he leaned over, "show me the knife"

The <Help> file saved her again as she used the [Display] command and the knife appeared over the counter, the player reached for the knife but his had just floated through it.

"What is this?", he hit the table, "show me the real thing"

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player special interacion, you earned 13 credits]

Trying to be helpful she decided to try something and put the knife price on zero so she could produce it, the man immediately grabbed it and stabbed her.

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

She was bleeding on the floor while he was dancing a little jig on the other side of the counter "Thats a great interface", he stabbed her again and she fell.

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

Laughing maniacly he jumped on the counter and then dropped beside her and started stabbing her again and again

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 for player favorable interacion, you earned 70 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper1 you died, you will be respawned in 2 minutes]

"I want to buy a short sword", she was standing behind the counter again, and the man stood beside her.

"No"

[System: Notice Shopkeeper2 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper3 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper9 for player favorable interacion, you earned 25 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper11 for player favorable interacion, you earned 70 credits]

[System: Notice Shopkeeper22 you died, you will be respawned in 2 minutes]

Screaming inside, her mind broken from the abuse even though she didn't feel the pain, dying was terrible, but dying over and over again was worse, she finally said "<25?> silver", and he killed her again before even realising she agreed.

He jumped to the other side of the counter and assumed his 'negotiation' posture, "give me a discount", she knew he looted her body each time he killed her, that was the source for extra credits in the last message, he even looted her a few times before she died, groping all over her before stabbing her again in frustration.

"<20?> Silver" she said and he accepted, he cut off her head with the sword and left the shop laughing.

The world was dark and full of horrors, but the worst of them were those who only saw it as a game.

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ShadeMage

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ShadeMage @ShadeMage ago

Btw do you prefer chapter heads to be coded by POV?

oliverwashere @oliverwashere ago

If she had access to other npc instances, I'd log into one of those if I were her.