The thought of having profligate liberties was a salivating muse. The world at my fingertips - what would I make of it, what path would I choose? The very essence of this vast universe was bewildering yet enticing. The thought that every significant action I make it this world will affect others, not just those that permanently inhabit the world - the drones that adhere to their strict yet curiously detailed programming, but real people. People like myself. It was exciting and frightening - for such a small entity, I could make such a difference. Society outside of this world prevents most from ever achieving this sense of....relevance. How would I begin this seemingly endless journey? How would I make my place in this world?

I placed the headgear on, then sat idly staring into the creator screen, mulling the choices. Big and strong... fast and wiley... too similar to the types everyone else would choose. Menu after menu, scanning, absorbing, until I located something intriguing. ELF ears, I could be a elf, yes, with some pointy ears, and lanky body, swift, agile, a perfect choice. Just think of other’s reactions… other’s reactions, maybe I should create something closer to myself, Nah, they can see me how I choose! Clothes, not much to choose from yet… must be more choices once I’m in the game!

So I click continue, and say YES this is the character I want! Then I wait for the loading screen’s bar to inch across the screen only to see a dozen more bars appear after that one. Finally, almost there, 50mb left… 33, 24, 10, 5, 3, 1… finally 0!!! Only to have to sit there while the page appears frozen… but I see the lights blinking, it must be doing something… There it goes, the map and parts of buildings start appearing, then characters, finally the HUD. Of course once I get a decent look at the other players I notice the many ELFs among them… however to my right I see

As I looked to the right, I noticed I am in another room. “Was I dreaming?” is what I asked myself. “No, I could not be it seemed so real and intense.” As I finished the thought, my body started to ache and shiver, with uncontrollable movements and defining sensation. As the pain starts to subside and I regain control of my body, again it happens, the pain was almost as bad as the first time but once the pain subsided I felt a calming relief come over my body. Being able to move again, I leave behind a hideous reminder of the ordeal that I just went through. I did not know what I had just gone through, but I knew I did not want to feel that pain again. I come back to computer and realize that my game was still up and running, with my avatar standing waiting for its commands.

"I hope this isn't a regularly occurring thing with this game," I thought to myself as I caught my breath, still recoiling from what had just happened. I couldn't recall anyone else mentioning anything like this happening to them when they played, it made me reconsider if this was really such a good idea. Still panting slightly, I repositioned myself in my chair to be a little more comfortable, hoping that any little bit would help to soothe the faint buzz of pain still present in my limbs. That's when I noticed someone, or something approaching my character. I delved back into the game world to face this newcomer.

As I began to study this approaching creature I noticed the pain in my head began to return. I can make the creature out now, a female. The closer she came the more intense and concentrated the pain penetrated. The first thing I noticed was her smile. It was wide, seductive, and sinister all at the same time. Her smile continued up into her eyes, which were spectacular, deep blue, almond shaped and adorned with what could only considered as artwork surrounding the lids and running down the cheek bones and up on to her exquisite brow. She seemed delighted to watch me suffer from the excruciating, torturous assault occurring in my brain.

The pain was excruciating! I thought I was going to die, but then a gigantic, 20 foot Drawf came stomping out of nowhere. He then went and squashed my torturer to a pulp. The pain stopped. "Thank you-" I began to say before the Drawf smacked me, with a tree sized club, which sent me flying. The time I spent in the air lasted for hours. Finally, my flight came to an end as I landed on an unknown continent. I looked around at the forest that lay before me. I began to stand up but was suddenly surrounded by swarm of Ewoks carrying primitive looking spears. "Great," I said sarcastically, "all I need now is for Darth Vader to jump out on me." And so he did! I was confronted by the Vader himself. "Attack." He said. The Ewoks then proceeded to rip me to shreds. "Awww," I thought, "they look so cute!"

My first thoughts were that Ewoks were quite but then I realize they have always scared the hell out of me like squirrels, rabbits, or even lemmings, freaky looking things. Even though the ewoks are making me look like ground beef, I feel gratified that Darth Vadar was the one to kill me and not Darth Tyranus. That old fart used his light saber as a cane, what a loser. The ewoks start to bite and claw me but as they do so their fur tickles me giving me a little giggle but then excruciating pain afterwards. I thought to myself, I would be cool if it was Chew and his gang that was killing me. Are ewoks little wookies or are they a physically challenged version of the wookie? Oh well at least Darth Vadar is killing me and then I think to myself, he physically challenged too, why the hell could it not have been Darth Maul!

With great effort I manage to escape from the swarm of ewoks and Darth Vader and come upon a dirt road. As I limp slowly down the road before me I notice a small hut on the side of the road. I knock on the door to see if anyone is home, an old woman answers and notices my wounds. She asks if I would like to come in and rest while she calls for the cleric that lives down the road. I graciously accept her offer and enter her house to rest, laying down on the bed before me I slowly fall into a deep sleep.

I thought Ewoks were enemies of the Sith? And wait, why are they even in Epic? The Star Wars movies aren't nearly as old as epic, how did they manage to get in the game? Were people still adding to Epic?

As I slowly come to, I see above my head a brilliant white light, nearly blinding me. I can hear beeping noises and the sounds of people walking about and whispering. Groaning from a dull pain in my side, the sound must have alerted someone because suddenly a man's face appeared above me, his mouth covered with a white paper mask. He mumbled something of which I didn't quite understand and then my father's face appeared, smiling gently down at me as he asked me how I was feeling. Confused, I asked him what was going on and if I was still inside Epic.

He told me that we were still in the game world - shocked by that statement my eyes shot open, blinded temporarily by the penetrating light above me. I looked around - the old lady was standing in front of a wood-burning stove heating up a pot of water. I saw the cleric that she mentioned - dressed in a shabby robe riddled with holes and tattered sandals on his worn feet. He looked to be about seventy years old with a gray crown of hair around a shiny bald spot in the center of his dome. I looked back at my father - "But how?" I asked "How am I still in the game. Is something wrong with my real body?" ...I dreaded the potential responses...

My father's grew ashen, and he looked away from me. "You have been gravely ill for several days now. Your real body is wasting away. The doctors fear if we disconnect you from Epic now, you will die." He placed a hand on my shoulder, then turned to leave the room. "Rest now, just rest. We will have a solution for this soon."

For days I anticipated a cure, uncertain of what would happen next. After several days of waiting, I began to ponder a solution, I knew that it was time for me to take matters into my own hands. Because it was too much of a risk for me to leave epic the only way to find a solution was to find a doctor in Epic that could find a cure to my illness.

As I began my journy to find a cure for this illness thoughts started to scatter throughout my head. Will I die here, will I ever get to leave epic, what is going to happen to me. I walked to what seemed miles without seeing a single soul. My eyes growing heavy I began to get tired, I noticed a small fire with what looked like a poor ragged man next to it. I approached the man and asked "Do you mind?" The man smiled and said "Please be my guest." I sat down next to the burning fire, I looked up at the mans coat and noticed a medical symbol upon his coat.

I started thinking in my head who this man is, what was he doing and why was he wearing a such coat. When I first saw the symbol on his coat, I thought he was a doctor, but then I had a closer look. It was not a medical symbol, it was a Chevrolet' brand mark.