Charlie squeezed her girlfriend's hand as they approached the doorway. “You sure you want to go through with this? It’s not like anyone would think less of you for backing down.”
Beth took a moment to steel herself before responding. “Yes, I’m sure I want to do this. I’m nervous beyond belief, don’t get me wrong. But this is something I want to try, just as much as you and the rest of the group. Maybe even more.”
“This isn’t some cheap VR headset either. This is the real deal you know.”
“I know, Zoe gave me the same speech as you. And I’m certain I’m ready for this.”
Charlie smiled, happy to see her usually timid girlfriend acting more confident. She opened the door and the pair stepped inside, just as they had done hundreds of times over the past years.
They were welcomed by Zoe, the brains of the operation, as she was carrying some supplies across the hallway. She broke into a smile as she saw her newest guests. “Hi you two! It’s great to see you.” She moved in and gave Charlie a quick peck on the cheeks, although her full hands made things a bit awkward. “Everyone else is here, they’re in the game room. You go on ahead.”
While Beth and Charlie were the only two girls dating in their circle, they were hardly the only ones intimate. In fact, the entire group had started out as a pseudo-polycule of friends with benefits. It’s just that over time, they had decided one of those benefits should be tabletop role playing games. Ever since then they’d gone on a number of adult themed adventures, and had “acted out” plenty of their scenes as well.
Every weekend the six of them gathered for a classic tabletop roleplaying game. Zoey was both the host and the Game Master, the person responsible for planning and running their adventures. Vera was the most athletic one of the group, and she occasionally had to miss games for her high level volleyball tournaments. Jaidan was the sarcastic asshole of the group. She was the first one to complain about plotholes during movie night, but also the first one to defend her friends if someone gave them trouble. Finally, Maureen was a few years older than the rest of the group, although her figure made her look much more mature. The fact that she frequently bought cookies didn’t help the jokes about her being the group Mommy.
When they reached the game room, the rest of the party was casually chatting. Jaidan and Vera were having an animated discussion while Maureen scrolled through her phone. “I’m telling you, there’s no way this fully replaces classic tabletop roleplay.” Jaidan was being highly opinionated, as was usual for her. “It’s too weird, and not everyone wants to fully believe they’re the character.”
Vera rolled her eyes. “I’m not saying literally everyone will only use this thing. What I’m saying is that eventually technology that’s like this in some way will become a household item. Like how everyone has a computer. By that point, who wouldn’t use it to help with immersion?”
“Girls, please, you’re both pretty.” Maureen interrupted the two. “Did you even notice our final members have arrived?” Vera and Jaidan paused to glance up towards the new pair. Vera squealed in excitement, while Jaidan was beaming with enthusiasm.
“Charlie, Beth! Took you two long enough. I’m itching to dive right into this thing.”
A voice from outside the hallway responded. “Well you’ll have to wait a little bit longer before we can get started.” Zoey entered the room, a stack of papers underneath her arm. “Since this isn’t going to be a typical roleplay session, I’ve made custom characters for each of you, based on things I know you like. You’ll be playing as them in the digital world.”
Maureen drummed her fingers on the table. “It’s still a little hard for me to believe. I know you’re a tech whiz and everything, but absolute reality immersion? It sounds great, but it’s hard to wrap my head around.”
“It’ll feel more natural once you’re inside,” Zoey explained. “This project’s been in development for the past few years, and it’ll be hitting the market in just a few months. My boss gave me this one as a gift, so naturally I made a kinky sex adventure to take all of you on. The ‘real world’ will essentially be a concept in the back of your mind, and you won’t think about it unless you actively focus.”
Charlie clapped her hand. “Sounds good to me. Now, are you going to show us who we’ll be playing as or what?”
Zoey began handing out the character sheets. “First up, Maureen. You’ll be playing as Queen Meredith, the beloved ruler of the land. Meredith is a royal sorceress with a deep love for her people. She carries the heavy weight of her responsibilities and tries her best to be caring and nurturing.” Maureen began scanning her sheet.
“Typecasting me as the motherly character? I suppose I can’t complain about that, but you’ll need to tell me what the current lingo is.” She looked around at the rest of the group. “ Are people still using ‘ara ara’ or has that been phased out?”
There was a snicker from Vera. “People still use it, but it tends to be for the dommy-mommies. And we both know that’s not entirely your style.”
Maureen met her gaze. “Not entirely, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it from time to time. Do I need to go over there and give you another spanking until you behave?” The two of them glared at each other, letting the silent tension grow. Finally Vera wiggled her eyebrows, and they both burst out laughing.
Zoey simply rolled her eyes and grabbed the next sheet. “Keep it in your pants for now. Believe me when I say there’ll be plenty of that stuff once we’re in the game.” She passed Charlie her character. On it was a printout of a determined looking girl in an elegant suit of armour. “You’re going to be Princess Cherisse, or Cherry for short. A talented battlemage, and heir to the throne of Tirencia. Cherry tends to be easygoing, but gets fiercely defensive of her friends.”
After reading over her sheet for a moment, Charlie’s brow started to furrow. “Wait, heir to the throne. I’m the Princess. That means…” She looked over at Maureen, then at Zoey. Their game master was trying to hold in her laughter.
“You know, your comment about being ‘motherly’ was more on point than you might’ve expected.” Zoey grinned at the revelation. “Yes, Charlie here is going to be your darling little daughter.” There was a round of laughter from the table as Charlie buried her head in shame. But when she looked up, she was smiling as well. “I guess that means I can’t say ‘you aren’t my mom’ anymore when you tell me to do something.”
Maureen returned the kind look. “Aww, don’t worry. I’ll be here to take good care of you, no matter what happens.” She looked back down to her sheet. “At least I’m guessing I will. None of us know what’s going to happen inside the game.”
“I guess that means I’ll be your daughter-in-law.” Beth spoke up for the first time, her cheeks lightly flushed at the statement. “I mean, assuming Charlie and I are still in a relationship in there. Or were you planning to take a different approach?” She looked up to Zoey for an answer.
Zoey responded by passing out another sheet. “Don’t worry, you’ll still be a loving couple in there. At least to start. Beth, your character is Bellwyn, the most skilled archer in the kingdom. At a shooting competition you won the first prize of a noble title and the heart of the Princess at the afterparty. Since then, you’ve sworn your loyalty to the crown and to your beloved, protecting the land from potential dangers.”
A twinge of red crept into Beth’s cheeks. “Aww, that’s pretty sweet. It really does sound like a classic fairy-tale romance.”
There was a snort of disgust from across the room. “Seriously? Please don’t tell me we have to put up with their mushy crap in the virtual world as well.” It was sort of a running joke within the group that Jaidan would call them out on their overly-affectionate attitude, and she rarely wasted an opportunity to do so. “I signed up for a kinky sex adventure, not handholding and cute morning kisses.”
“Oh ye of little faith,” chided the Game Master. “First of all, this isn’t your typical roleplaying experience. You won’t all be together all the time. So if you want, you can ignore the lovebirds and do your own thing.” Jaidan looked satisfied, but Zoey wasn’t finished yet. “And besides, we all signed up for a kinky sex adventure. I’ve read through the list of preferences you all sent me, and trust me when I say Beth is into a lot more than just ‘handholding and morning kisses.’”
Beth’s light blush transformed into a deep shade of crimson as everyone stared at her. She pulled her hoodie down over her face to hide while Charlie patted her head. “There there sweetie, it’s okay.”
Zoey didn’t let the distraction break her stride. “Anyways, here’s your character Jaiden. You’ll be playing as Jinta, the royal cousin whose parents were never in line for the throne.” Jaiden grabbed her sheet and began reading it while Zoey explained. “You’ve never gotten along with the Princess, and you’ve always made it obvious that you think you deserve the crown. And as a professionally trained duelist, your expertise with the rapier gives you plenty of opportunities to back up your big talk.”
Jaidan let out a low whistle at the description. “Getting into some real Hamlet territory, are we? I’m gonna go ahead and assume the whole ‘no infighting with the party’ rule doesn’t apply here. Better watch your back Charlie.”
Her comment was met with a sneer. “Go ahead and try, vile sneak. I’m the one in line to the throne, and you’d better get used to it.” Charlie was already enjoying getting into her character. Playing the role of a proud yet entitled Princess was well within her capabilities.
“Yeah yeah, you’re all pretty,” Vera interrupted. “Come one Zoey, who am I playing? Please tell me you saved the best for last.”
Another sheet was placed in front of her. “You might just be my personal favourite,” Zoey explained. “Your character is Valia, personal maid of the Royal family. You grew up from a young age with the Princess, as her servant and as her friend. As is your own family duty.”
It was impossible not to notice the crestfallen expression on Vera’s face. “Oh. I get to play the maid of the castle? Is that it?”
Zoey shook her head. “Hardly. One of your primary duties is to be the bodyguard of the royal family. Very few have been on the receiving end of your daggers and left unscarred. Your class is a rogue, watching over your leige with a silent yet diligent gaze.” Vera looked much more satisfied with the full description. “Now, are there any questions before we begin?”
“Just the one,” Maureen replied. “How about you? Unlike most games, you’ll be playing an actual character, right?”
The Game Master nodded. “That’s right. I’ll be in the virtual world as well, but my rules will be a bit different. For the rest of you it’ll feel like a dream, and you won’t actively remember the real world. I’ll know exactly who I am and who all of you are.”
Beth emerged from her hoodie with an intrigued look on her face. “Doesn’t that mean your character will be completely overpowered, with you being the GM and all? And how will we know it’s you once the game starts?”
“Good catch. Since it’s not a combat focused setting, at least not in the conventional way, I’ll have a completely broken character.” She paused to let her words sink in with the group. “And recognizing me won’t be a concern. You’ll know it when I show up.”
“Well, sort of,” Charlie responded. “We won’t specifically know it’s you if we don’t remember the real world, right? I’m trying to keep track of what exactly it’ll be like in there.”
Zoey threw her hands up in frustration. “Just don’t worry about it too much! You’ll live out your kinky fantasies, you’ll treat it as if it’s real, and only in situations of extreme distress will you remember it’s all a game. Then you can choose if you want to play pretend or if you want to let yourself believe you’re really there. There’s no risk, no ‘getting sucked in,’ no wanting to stay in there forever. Okay?” The group was silent in response. “Okay, I’ll get the headsets out. Get comfortable, you’ll be sitting here for a while.”
Everyone shifted in their seats while Zoey brought out her miracle device. It was a large cylindrical shape, just bigger than a standard desktop. There were all sorts of blinking lights and fancy buttons around the outside, but Zoey took care of the interface. She gathered the headsets and began attaching them to each person.
“Thanks for doing all this,” Beth commented while she was getting set up. The headsets required a few wires, but it was mostly compact. “I know you don’t like to talk about ‘behind the scenes’ stuff, but this can’t have been an easy task for you.”
“Aww, don’t worry about a thing. It’s my pleasure, really.” After she finished getting the visor on, Zoey reached under the chair and pinched Beth right in the buttcheeks. “And besides, don’t thank me yet. You make the most adorable sounds when you’re both scared and horny, and I plan on hearing all of them.” Beth let out a small squeak, causing the rest of the table to laugh.
Once everything was in place, Zoey began connecting herself. “Here we go girls. The first erotic adventure in VR. Truly the pinnacle of technology. Prepare for the real world to fade away in three… two… one…”