Calypso, Post-finals '96

The final run of Calypso had started, for the World Assassins' Guild Championship. All the top players were in this one, and the high scorers were guaranteed to pull in both endorsements and royalties on the summation film. Everyone expected it to be good, of course. The writers were all award-winners, VirtuoMagic, Inc's synthenesia control program was state-of-the-art, and the competitors were the best of the best. Even the persistent rumors of the selection process having been fixed somehow didn't dampen the enthusiasm.

Everyone expected realism. Just not this real.

First, the bit parts were behaving a lot more tempermentally than usual. You expect some personality and flavor from the stock characters, but not to the extent of their storming off in a huff before they'd delivered their expected clues. Then, the synthenesia was a lot better than anything anyone had seen. The smells, for one. No VirtuoWriter ever spends that much time programming the smells. The illusion was utterly convincing.

And, most distressingly of all, when Lucas Johnson got killed for stealing a goat, his ghost didn't appear to take its parting bow. He just lay there.

That was when people started to realize that something had gone wrong, that things had turned upside-down, in the game of


Calypso is a ten-day game of pirates, voodoo, and virtual reality written by Laura Baldwin, Mike Earl, Mark Maxwell, Mike Person, and rif. It ran Post-finals of 1996.