Things aren't always what they seem...
The world around him appeared through a flash of chromatic light. Consciousness returned. He panicked, trying to remember where he was and what he'd been doing.
Laser fire flashed around him; collimated energy striking dangerously close by.
Where am I?
Knowledge seemed to flood back into his brain, as if being downloaded from somewhere: memories, impressions, skills. It was accompanied by a vague sense of familiarity.
This has happened before...
There was no time to think. He was strapped into a flight chair, a dizzying array of instruments and controls before and around him. Instinctively he knew what to do, he was an Elite Combateer after all.
How did I know that? I can't even remember my name...
This was a short story that suffered from being a short story. Set in a world of the ground braking 80's computer game Elite (and all its later iterations including Oolite), the background, technology and other social structures are at least partly familiar to all who have played these games to any extent. This made the story more accessible as there was no need to start the sotry with page after page of background / set up / scene setting.
Great story, lovely twist at the end. Twist is quite a traditional one, but set to papaer in quite a different way. (you'll understand when you read it, but I am not giving anything away as that would spoil it)
This and the other stories by Drew are highly recommended to anyone who played Elite, likes space stories or just generally wants something a little different.
Excellent quick read. A frightening but plausible future technology - simulated reality through stimulation of brain matter. I will be looking at more works from this author.