Chapter 1

Wonderland by Emily


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Synopsis: Ryan is introduced to Wonderland

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I started working for “The Hub” a year ago.  Working for a social media company was my lifelong dream.  Ever since I opened my first social media account I was fascinated with being able to trace degrees of separation within an extended circle of friends.  I never imagined that those same platforms would become media empires and would control every facet of daily information consumption.


I’m Ryan.  I’m in the middle of my career.  I busted my ass for the past 20 years from company to company developing a whole bunch of algorithms that consumed social media information and used it to build apps for people.  I worked my way up each company’s corporate ladder before finally my resume was good enough for The Hub.


The Hub was the largest social media company in the world having overtook the previous leaders last decade.


Getting here required me to sacrifice having a normal life.  I didn’t have any friends, and I rarely saw my family.  My career was my only focus.


When I was first hired by The Hub, I kept my head down, and coded away.  I used a whole bunch of code that took what people posted and created predictive algorithms designed to help advertisers market products individually to each person.


I lived a rather boring life, so I don’t know why Eric took an interest in me.


Eric is the CEO’s son.  He’s the playboy type and maybe a decade younger than me.  He found me one day and we struck up a friendship.  We had nothing in common, but maybe he saw getting me to come out of my shell as a challenge.


It started casually with lunch, moved to after work drinks, then it was a weekend hiking trip.  Somehow, he convinced me to go skydiving.  Each time he introduced me to a new experience I was scared shitless.  But I found myself getting addicted to the adrenaline rush.


Which brings us to this month.  Eric wasn’t coasting on his nepotism.  He actually was in charge of a secret division of The Hub.  He had grand visions of including virtual reality into the network.  Eric wanted to show me his secret project.  He called it Wonderland.


“What is Wonderland?” I asked.


“Imagine the movie The Matrix,” Eric said. “Now imagine if it was real.  Imagine that it was a desirable place to go.  Imagine you were Cypher and the real world sucks so much that you just want to live in a fantasy world.  That’s Wonderland.”


“Isn’t that what all of those second life applications were about?” I asked


“Yes. but this is different.  This is better.  This is real.  Wonderland lets you choose a pre-existing persona that you can live in for 24 hours.  You tap into that person.  Live a different life for a day.  Leave and you’re back in the real world.  It’s the ultimate walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”


“In Wonderland, you can leave the real world behind and live 24 hours as someone else.  Be a celebrity.  Be a pro sports player.  Hell, you can be someone boring and just live a quiet 24 hours.  It’s up to you.”


“This can’t be real.” I said.


“It is very real.” he said.  “And I’d like you to join me on my beta test.”


“Me?” I asked.


“Yes you” he said.  “It’ll be fun.”


“When?” I asked. “Sunday night.  We’ll do the simulation all day Monday.  Don’t worry, you can charge your time to the project.”


“Isn’t Monday Valentine's Day?” I asked.


He scoffed.  “As if you have a date for Valentine's day.”


“Hey” I said.  I mean I didn’t.  But what if I had.  I let it go because his offer was more intriguing than a date night.


* * *


It didn’t take much convincing.  After all, the idea was tantalizing.  Leave behind my boring career-centered life for 24 hours?  Yes, please.


After work, Eric and I made our way to the Wonderland lab.  It was in a nondescript building on The Hub’s campus.


“Remember,” Eric said.  “This is all secret and still in development.”


I was forced to sign a whole bunch of notices of intellectual property agreements and liability waivers before I was allowed in the building.


The first room was just a generic office lobby.  One would never expect that behind the next door was a state of the art simulation platform.


A woman came out to greet us, take our signed forms and explain the rules to us.  “Hi, I’m Anna Davis, Quality Control specialist for Wonderland.”


We greeted her with a quick handshake.


“Rule number 1” she said. “Don’t tell people in the simulation they’re in a simulation, our algorithms don’t handle that well.  Please don’t pretend you're in the Matrix and try freeing other people’s minds. All of the data is persistent and we don’t want to have to scrub the databases. Question on Rule 1?”


Eric and I shook our heads.


“Great,” she continued.  “Rule number 2 is don’t do anything illegal.  You may be tempted, but again, it’s a mess we don't want to clean up. Questions?”


Again we shook our heads.


“The goal is to live the other person’s life for 24 hours.” she continued.  “Go to work.  Hang out with friends and family. Explore not being yourself.”  She handed us both a tablet.  “You may pick your avatar from here.”


I quickly glanced at the tablet.  I recognized faces immediately.  “Wait, these are real people.”


“Yes.” she said.  “Every avatar in the simulation is based on a real person’s life.  We’ve preselected various celebrities, athletes, etc.”


I scrolled through the pictures.  She was right.  I recognized actors, athletes, and politicians.


She then held up a cell phone. “When you get into Wonderland, you will have the Wonderland app on your phone.  This will give you everything you need to know to interact with the simulation.  It will tell you where you live, where your job is, the names of family and friends, etc.  You can even use it to communicate back with the command center.  Questions?”


“No.” we said.


“The locker room is straight through this door.  Please choose your avatar then disrobe completely.”


“Disrobe?”


“No garments are allowed in our immersion tanks.” she said.


Eric and I walked into the locker room.


“Who are you going to be?” he asked.


“I don’t know yet.” I said.


“I’m going to be him,” he said, holding up his table.  On the screen was an image of a famous male pop star.  “I’m going to throw a wicked party.”


“Weird” I said.  “I thought the goal was to live a different lifestyle.”


He playfully nudged me then started to take his clothes off.


I kept my eyes to myself.  I hated locker rooms.  I hated being around other naked men.


“See you in a day!” he said standing at the door naked.  “Have fun, Ryan.”


I nodded then turned my attention back to my tablet.


I scrolled through the tablet looking at celebrities.  I found a filter that allowed me to look at non-celebrities.  Normal people. I stopped at a cute looking girl.  I felt butterflies in my stomach.


What nobody knew about me is that I think I might be transgender.  I haven’t told anyone for fear that it would impact my career.  I’ve had thoughts about wanting to live life as a woman but never followed through with it.


But here I am.  I can actually choose to live 24 hours as a cis woman and no one would know.


I clicked on the profile of this girl.  Ashley.  29 years old.  Not Married. Computer Analyst.  It displayed several pictures of Ashley with friends.


I nervously looked around.  I wanted to do this.  I wanted to be her. 


I clicked “Choose this person”.


A message popped up saying “Selection confirmed.  Please disrobe and enter the simulation room.”


I was excited and nervous.  I’m going to be 29 year old Ashley for 24 hours.


I took my clothes off, put them on hangers and hung them up.  I walked naked to the simulation room and opened the door.


It was a dimly lit room.


The woman from earlier was there waiting for me.  I modestly covered my penis.


“Please lie down in the tank.” she said.


I walked over and examined it.  A large tank, bigger than a bathtub.  It was filled halfway with what appeared to be water. I climbed the stepping stool and put my legs into the liquid.


It was warm and pleasant.  I sat down next then fully laid down.  The tank was deep enough for me to float a little bit.


“Don’t try to swim.” she said.   She handed me a plastic breathing tube.  “Start breathing into the tube, close your eyes and just drift.”


I put the tube into my mouth and started breathing through it.  I closed my eyes and I could feel myself sink a little.


Before long I noticed my back didn’t touch the bottom any more.  I opened my eyes for an instant.  More liquid was entering the tank.


Each breath would make my body float back to the top.


“Close your eyes” she reminded me.


I closed them.  The ambient light through my eye slides suddenly went dark as they closed the tank on me.    I opened my eyes one more moment to realize I was in complete darkness.


I was floating in the dark.  I felt weightless.  There was no sound.  No light.  I closed my eyes again.


I wondered when the simulation would start.


I eventually drifted off.


* * *



I woke up to an alarm chime.  I opened my eyes.  I was disoriented for a moment.  I was in an unfamiliar bedroom.  Then I remembered I fell asleep in the Wonderland simulation.  


When I didn’t shut the alarm off right away, a calm computerized voice announced.  “Good Morning.  It’s 7 AM on Monday February 14th.  The current temperature is 68 degrees fahrenheit.  Today’s top new stores are..” 


I clicked “Dismiss” on the cell phone.


I could already tell things were different.  I was shorter.  I felt my center of gravity was different.  It was dim in this bedroom, so I opened the blinds.


The blinding sun shone through the window and illuminated the bedroom.  It was a tastefully decorated room.  White walls, house plants, dressers.  A mirror. 


I walked over to the dresser that had clothes strewn across it and looked into the attached mirror.  


My reflection was the woman I picked earlier.  Ashley.  Except she had messed up hair and was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.


The first thing I did was bring my hands up to her modest breasts.  The moment I cupped them, I felt euphoria.  So this is what it feels like.


I stood in the mirror and took off the t-shirt to get a better look at what this simulation has given me.  


She wasn’t a model, She seemed like any other cute neighbor you’d see.  Some freckles, a few moles.


“Wow Eric.” I said with my new feminine voice.  “This is amazing.  You’re going to make a fortune on this.”


I had a slight pang of regret that I didn’t contribute to coding this.  This was amazing.


I picked up the phone and searched for the Wonderland app.  It was the last app listed.  I opened it and clicked the “Job” tab.


Apparently I’m supposed to be at work at 8:30.  I should probably get dressed then.  

I gleefully ran to the closet to start my day



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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

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marter

I didn't notice the horror tag before. Interested to see where this sorry goes but I have an idea it might not be a simulation
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Emily

I'm not the best at writing horror, so we'll see how it goes.
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Elron

I don't trust Eric. The way he sought out and befriended Ryan seems like he had an ulterior motive. Maybe Eric even had enough intel on Ryan that he knew Ryan would pick the female avatar? Might be getting ahead of myself. Seems like a really solid story so far.
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