Virtually True – Paul Stewart

Sebastian Shultz was a 14 year school boy from South London. He was crazy about computer games as was his father. Once he was in his car, playing a computer game on his laptop, when the car clashed. What happened at the time of the accident makes twist in this story. When Sebastian banged his head in the accident, his head had been plugged to the computer. His memory was saved in the computer’s memory and Sebastian lost his memory. He remained in a coma at the General Hospital. While Sebastian lay in coma in the hospital, someone stole his video game slot and sold at the Computer Fair. This game was eventually purchased by the narrator, Michael. When Michael played this game, he met Sebastian Shultz, the very same boy who lay in coma, and was even able to communicate with the Sebastian in the Game. A virtual Sebastian.

The story may appear to be a flat nonsense but there can be possibilities for similar phenomena. Read the following questions and answers to understand the story better.

Level 1 – Wild West Guns
  • Michael’s role – Sheriff Dowson
  • Sebastian’s role – Sheriff Sebastian
  • Game mission – Fight with Black Eyed Jed
  • Deviation – Ride away from Black Eyed Jed and rescue Sebastian.
    • Raced down a corridor – went through another door – ran past some men – out through another door – back in the saloon.
    • The second sheriff goes to the back of the saloon – dived through the window – the first sheriff follows him – the second sheriff mounted a horse – the first sheriff mounted, too – sped off
    • A posse of armed men on horseback follows them
  • Result – Second Sheriff, that is, Sebastian, shot by men on horseback.
  • Game over. Mission Failed
Level 2 – Dragon Quest
  • Michael’s role – Knight 1
  • Sebastian’s role – Knight 2
  • Game mission – Rescue fair Princess Aurora from the wicked dragon and collect the dragon’s treasure along the way.
  • Deviation – Sebastian appears from the wardrobe as a Knight and asks the first Knight to rescue him rather than rescuing the princess –
    • Sebastian chopped off the princess’ two long plaits with a pair of scissors
    • He tied the plaits together, fixed one end to the bedpost and threw the other end out of the window
    • The two Knights descended the dragon’s castle
    • The dragon appeared after them
    • The two Knights reach the battlement closely chased by the dragon
    • Finally, they run into the dungeons and get imprisoned
  • Result – Dragon pounced on the second Knight as the first Knight watched.
  • Game Over with Sebastian caught by the dragon and the two put inside the jail/dungeon
Level 3 – Jail Break
  • Michael – Prisoner 1
  • Sebastian – Prisoner 2, No. 02478
  • Game Mission – Escape from the prison
  • Deviation – Escape from the prison with the cellmate
  • Result – 12 guards with dogs chased the prisoners, the prisoners reach the roof for helicopter and Prisoner 2 (Sebastian) tumbles from the roof.
  • Game over with Sebastian again dead and Michael as usual, safe
Level 4 – War Zone
  • Michael – Michael
  • Sebastian – Sebastian
  • Game Mission – Unknown
  • Deviation – Run across the battlefield, dodge the sniper-guns, reach out for the helicopter with Sebastian and escape.
  • Result – Took a jeep, drove to the helicopter, applied brakes, jeep goes skidding upward, Michael jumps into helicopter, Sebastian failed to get out of the jeep.
  • Anticlimax – The tank crashed into the jeep, Sebastian thrown into the air and lands just below the helicopter’s door. Michael pulls Sebastian up.
  • Mission Successful!
Questions and Answers
  1. How did Sebastian Shultz fall into a coma?
    Sebastian Shultz fell into a coma in an accident in which his head banged against his gaming-console while playing a computer game.
  2. Why was Sebastian Shultz’s recovery said to be a miracle?
    Sebastian’s recovery was said to be a miracle because his doctors had altogether judged that he would remain in coma forever. They had failed to find any trace of memory in his brain. In fact, Sebastian’s memory had been stored in his computer’s memory and the computer had been stolen from the hospital.
  3. When Michael purchased some games at the fair, some of them were found not new. How did this happen?
    Among the games that Michael purchased at the fair some of them had been stolen from Sebastian Shultz, hence old.
  4. How did Michael equip himself for the game experience at his Powerbase?
    Michael had the latest Pentium 150 mhz computer with 256 Mb RAM, 1.2 Gb hard disk and 16 speed CD ROM. To add to his game experience, he had a virtual reality visor and gloves with which he was able to control the game with his mind  as well. Besides, the computer was connected to the internet and a printer that printed messages from the characters in the game.
  5. What was Michael’s first encounter with Sebastian?
    Michael first met Sebastian while playing the first stage of a game, the Wild West Guns. In this game Sebastian was a sheriff.
  6. What was the narrator’s role while playing the first stage of the Wild West?
    In the first stage of the game, the Wild West, Michael played the character of Sheriff Dawson who was challenged by Black Eyed Jed, the fastest gun in the west.
  7. When did the narrator realize that the game was going to be more complicated?
    The narrator realized that the game was going to be more complicated with the coming of the second sheriff who advised him not to go out with Black Eyed Jed. The second sheriff asked Michael to get him out of the scene.
  8. What was special about the second sheriff’s appearance?
    The second sheriff, though a virtual character, didn’t look like the other characters in the game. About the same age of Michael, he didn’t move like an animated character.
  9. Why was Michael eager to play the second level of the game?
    Michael was eager to play the second level of the game because he wished to rescue the second sheriff who lay in danger following an attempt to rescue him in the previous level.
  10. What was Michael’s mission in the Dragonquest level of the game?
    Michael was a knight in the second level of the game. He was to rescue the fair princess Aurora from the wicked dragon.
  11. What was Sebastian’s character in the Dragonquest level of the game?
    Sebastian played the role of a Knight in the Dragonquest level.
  12. Why didn’t Michael rescue the princess from the dragon?
    Michael was about to rescue the princes from the dragon but he abandoned that attempt as advised by Sebastian, the other Knight.
  13. How did Sebastian and Michael run away from the dragon? Why was their attempt not successful?
    Sebastian chopped off the princess’ two long plaits and tied them together, end on end. Tying one end onto the bedpost, they jumped out through the window with the dragon behind them in close pursuit. They could not escape from the dragon as the dragon suddenly appeared in front of them and sprang upon Sebastian.
  14. Why did the dragon spare Michael?
    The dragon spared Michael because it was interested in getting only Sebastian.
  15. What roles did Michael and Sebastian play in the Jailbreak Level?
    Sebastian played the role of a prisoner, number 02478, Shultz while Michael played the role of his cellmate.
  16. How did Sebastian and Michael break the cell doors?
    Sebastian and Michael broke the cell doors using their skeleton swipe cards.
  17. How did the two prisoners outdistance the guards and dogs?
    The two prisoners outdistanced the guards and dogs by dodging and fleeing from them.
  18. How did the Jailbreak mission fail?
    Jailbreak mission failed as the two prisoners could not reach the helicopter on the rooftop due to the arrival of twelve guards and their vicious dogs. To get away from them, Sebastian made a step backward and fell down from the roof to the concrete below.
  19. Why did Sebastian Shultz suggest Michael playing War Zone mission?
  20. How did Sebastian get into the helicopter after his initial failure?
  21. Why couldn’t Michael speak a word to Sebastian after rescuing him?
    While in the game-mode, Sebastian was able to virtually talk to Michael but once the game was over, Sebastian’s memory flew back to his brain that lay in coma in the hospital so there was no time to communicate.
  22. In the real game, Wild West Guns by Gameloft, there is no character like Sebasian Shultz. How did he enter the game while Michael played it? What for?
    In the original game, Wild West Guns, there is no character by the name Sebastian but Sebastian entered the game not from the game character list, but from the computer’s hard drive. It so happened because Sebastian’s memory had been stored in the computer’s memory and it entered the game for a different game – a life and death game to restore his memory.
  23. Do you think that this story is a science fiction? Support your opinion.
  24. Imagine you are Sebastian. After your self-attempted rescue from Michael’s computer, you decided to write a diary.
  25. Why does Michael say that Sebastian’s and his are advanced intelligences?
    Michael feels that his intelligence and Sebastian Schultz’ intelligence are advanced because both were able to communicate in an advanced way. If Michael’s intelligence were not advanced, Sebastian could not have entered his intellect. It was because the two had possessed higher intelligence that Sebastian could instruct Michael to play the games and thus free his memory from the computer.

What do you think?

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