by John McB
Chuck recieves a mysterious device in the mail.
| The package arrived unrequested. When he first saw it, Chuck assumed it was some new piece of junk his mom had bought. But no, it was addressed to him, Charles "Chuck" Freeman. He tried to remember if he has ordered anything online recently. Perhaps it was new pair of football cleats, or a new basketball jersey. He looked at the return address. CronoLabs? He was sure he hadn't ordered anything from a nerdy sounding place like that. He double checked the address again. Wait, did that say Dr. Charles Freeman? Someone must have screwed up his address with another guy's, probably some old scientist. He set the box down as was about to head down to the court to shoot some hoops, but his curiosity got the better of him. No sense just sending it back without at least opening it.
At the top of the box was a letter. It simply read:
You were correct in your suspicions. The project has been breached.
Chuck wondered over this for a second, then wadded up the note and shot a free throw into the waste basket. Too bad for whoever this was meant for. He was much more interested in what was below it. The device looked like a barcode scanner from the supermarket, except with what appeared to be a touchscreen on the back. There was a USB cord included to connect it to a computer, and a computer disk to install. He took the device to his room and hooked it up to his computer. It was good his parents were on vacation, as it meant he was free to figure out this thing without being interrupted.
He put the disk in his computer and set the program to be installed. After about ten minutes it was ready. Apparently it was called the Transmatic. He booted it up. The screen was mostly blank, except for a button that was marked Scan an a drop down menu listing various radii to scan. He left it at the default and presses the button. A list of names appeared on the screen, starting with his own including most of his neighbors. He clicked his own name. A pup up, but due to its length he closed it without reading it. "Probably the tutorial", he though to himself. "I can figure it out on my own." The screen instantly sprang to life. To the right was a highly detailed 3-D model of himself, complete down to the smallest detail. He could manipulate it around to see it from different points of view and even change it's pose. To the left was a variety drop down menus, sliders, and editable boxes for a variety of stats. He could scroll down to see almost anything: name, age, gender, height, weight, ethnicity, eye color, hair color, percent body fat, muscle definition, even personality! When he changed something on the left the model on the right shifted to reflect it. What kind if program was this?
He decided to have some fun with it and make some changes to his virtual self that bring it more to his liking. First he added a few inches to his height, going from about five foot seven to an even six feet. Then he expanded his muscle mass, and increases his muscle definition until he had a physique most could only envy. He was surprised to find that the Transmatic even had a place to edit his position on the football team. He wouldn't playing second string to Tommy anymore! If only it were real. After pressing save he got up to go to the bathroom, walking in front of the scanner like device. He began to feel a tingling sensation spreading throughout his body. It wasn't painfully, just strange. Then the changes started. He felt himself shoot up, stretching out to a new height. His muscles began to inflate like a balloon, and his strength increased with every passing second. His mind filled with new memories of leading the Knights to victory. One glance in the mirror confirmed what he already suspected. He now looked exactly like the model on the computer! On His shelf was a trophy declaring him last season's football MVP, and team poster on the wall now featured him rather than Davidson. The reality of the Transmatic began to dawn on him. He cracked a mischievous grin. He would enjoy this.