How can tomorrow even exist for us if you won't fight for yourself today?

Tempest Crossing

The Grand Challenge - Chapter 11 (Commitment)

If I just swipe away this notification, maybe I can go back to my ordinary life. But...


The weight of the headset once agains presses against my face as I grip the area around me and once again feel bedsheets. Slowly sitting up, I gingerly take the headset off my face and once again find myself alone in a dark bedroom. Turning to the window, I open the blinds and find it to be nighttime in the townhouse community I reside in. Closing the blinds, I walk across the room to flip on the light switch, and in a moment, everyone once again becomes visible in the small bedroom. Nothing of note strikes out of the ordinary in the bedroom besides the virtual reality headset on the bed and the phone next to it. Glancing quickly at the phone, I quickly grasp my body to confirm that I am indeed in reality, and a couple of pinches later, ease my tension and begin to relax once more.

What the hell is this app? Why does this experience need to be so needlessly immersive? How real can the pain become? The first time the damage was near fatal, the app simple logged me out… what if my avatar actually dies? If I die in this game, will I die in real life.


I chuckle quietly to myself, making a reference to a story I read long ago, and compose myself once more. This VR app does bring about a question I never bother asking though… if it were to all end today, was this life I lived of any meaning? What would I leave behind when I’m gone? A quick chill runs down my spine as my brain trys to pry into old memories I had long ago locked away, my body remembering the reason I was so adamant about trying to forget them. What was it that I was striving for all this time? Truth be told, I had be wasting my time waiting to for something to happen, some reason to move towards tomorrow, was this app going to give me the answer? But this risks and uncertainty… were something I was not comfortable with jumping towards. Not now anyway. Turning towards the clock, I notice it’s late past midnight, and that yet another sluggish day of work was nearing. Putting away the VR headset in its docket and taking a long look at my cell phone as if waiting for another surprise notification to pop, I decided to table this decision for another day. It feels like I would have time before I would be forced to make an answer.

Another couple of days pass with nothing of note occurring. Though difficult, I am trying my best to wake up early and go for a quick jog before starting my morning routine. It’s a huge pain to wake up earlier and an even bigger pain to go to sleep earlier… but on the nights that I return from the Grand Challenge VR App, my exhaustion gets the better of me and I go to sleep with so much more mental release then I have experienced in quite a while. It got me to thinking in between my working stints, what kind of life could I live if I did something like this everyday… and then it goes back to me waking up in that empty room, and that motivation quickly dissipates away. Shaking my head when I realized the automatic resignation, I try to focus on what I can do for the next stage.

I have also spent the last couple of days casually browsing the Internet for any signs of anyone else experiencing this bizarrely realistic virtual reality application, but searching for “The Grand Challenge Virtual Reality” yields numerous articles citing the difficultly in virtual reality becoming immersive enough to become our daily driver for interfacing with our digital worlds, both user experience wise and cost-wise.

Ironic, all things considering.

Sometimes I think about posting my experience online, but I’m not sure where I could post something like this without seeming like I’m just hyping up an imaginary game or the ravings of a lunatic. I had long ago deleted social media so I’m not even sure what would be the best avenue or platform to write something like this on. Maybe I could go on that fan-fiction site I read goofy fantasy lores on years ago - it could be like a scavenger hunt for someone else who has also experience the Grand Challenge. Hiding in plain sight, per say.

Again, I shake my head at the ridiculousness and apprehension I have in simply posting a question online.

I lean back in my computer chair and stare at the window outside. Usually these blinds would be shut at all times of the day, but for some reason I’ve been letting the window stay open after I open the blinds to check the weather state in the morning for my jogs. Lately it’s been pretty dry, but today was the first time in a while that has rained. Looking out the window now, the originally drooping gray sky gave way into a crimson black blanket with the rain falling heavier and heavier. A flash dances across the sky, shortly followed by a loud crack, and at the same time I receive a new notification on my phone.

(( Your next challenge awaits. ))

Staring at the phone screen once more, all the thoughts that have been tossing and turning in my mind over the past week come to the forefront of my mind all at once, and once again I become gripped with indecision. Maybe, if I just swipe away the notification and pretend this whole thing never happened, I can go back to my ordinary life.

Looking around my room once more…

Maybe if I take a chance on this ultimate unknown, my life can become something more than ordinary.

No longer deliberating on this any longer, I grab my headset from its docking station, lay on my bed, gently placing on my head, clicking the Grand Challenge application, and wondering what lay next in this mysterious world that Anim calls home.


Dialogue & Discussion