Part Two: Install Update

By The Influencer -
published January 4, 2020

Charlie has concerns about logging back in after the events from the other day. When he finally does, he receives and alert that he was right to be concerned.

Charlie let himself into Simon’s apartment, but the front door snagged on the jacket and boots piled behind it, so he couldn’t get it all the way open. He managed to squeeze through the opening he made and let the door close behind him. Simon’s apartment was a mess, but that was nothing new. Clothes, pizza boxes, unopened mail, and a thin layer of dust littered the space. Charlie stepped over the refuse and made for the office in the back.

The mess here was worse, and yet better. Even less of the floor was visible, but instead of garbage it was techno-junk. Computer chips, motors, and bits and pieces of what looked like might eventually become a robot filled every corner of the space, including shelves all along each of the four walls, a cabinet with wires poking out through the slats in the doors, as well as on a desk that faced the wall from which the door opened into the room.

Seated at the desk was a stocky man with long black hair wearing eye protecting googles and gloves. He was soldering some computer thing to another computer thing, neither of which Charlie could distinguish. Charlie shielded his eyes when he saw the sparks flying in front of Simon, waving his other hand to get his attention. “Yo,” he shouted over the EDM playing loudly over the speakers. Simon set down his equipment and lifted up his googles.

“Charlie, I didn’t know you’d be stopping by.”

“Yeah, sorry, I just wanted to give you the rest of the money for the virtual helmet thing,” Charlie explained.

“Thanks, but you could have just sent it from your phone,” Simon said, examining the chipset in front of him.

“Yeah I know. But I was in the neighborhood.” Simon lived one floor above Charlie in the same building. In fact, their units were identical floor plans, and yet looked very different based on how the two men lived.

“Very well,” Simon said, still not looking up. He was tracing a wire with his finger, making sure he knew where it began and ended.

“Right,” Charlie said, pulling out his phone and sending off the agreed upon amount. “Cool, so that should be the last of it.”

“Much obliged.” Simon didn’t even check his phone to confirm the amount. He put the goggles back on and was getting ready to get back into it when Charlie piped up again.

“So about that helmet, the, uh…”

“The SoulUnbound Virtual Reality Immersion Helmet. How do you like it?”

“Yeah, it’s great. So great. But, listen: are there any, um, side effects to using it?”

“Side effects?”

“Yeah. I didn’t exactly read the instruction manual before I put it on. Is there anything about prolonged usage? Effects it can have on the body? Things like that?”

“Not to my knowledge, so long as you’re maintaining a health living situation altogether. You can only immerse yourself for eight hours in a 24 hour period, and it kicks you out when you hit your limit to avoid dehydration, starvation, and general discomfort. Are you having any such troubles?”

“No, nothing like that,” Charlie shook his head, “I mean more like does using it too much affect you… physiologically?”

“I may need you to be a bit more specific,” Simon responded, taking off the goggles again and using a remote to turn down the music.

“It’s not a big deal, it’s just,” Charlie stalled, “lately I’ve had trouble, well, getting excited.”

“Getting excited?”

“Yeah, excited. You know, down there.”

“I see,” Simon responded.

Charlie looked away. It had been three days since the incident at the strip club. Since then, he hadn’t been able to get hard at all, and it was getting frustrating. It didn’t matter if he was by himself just rubbing one out, watching any of the bookmarked porn channels he had saved, fantasizing about any of many women he’d encountered with SoulUnbound. It seemed to start after his encounter with Nicole, but now he was starting to worry something else was going on. “You’re not gonna give me shit about this, are you?”

“Impotence is no laughing matter,” Simon said. His voice didn’t give much in the way of tone, so Charlie presumed he was being sincere. He was a pretty straight shooter that way. Simon was kind of a tough guy to read. They’d been friends since Charlie moved into the building, but he still didn’t know much about him other than he worked with tech a lot. What Simon did when he wasn’t tinkering in his workshop was a total mystery to Charlie.

“So have people reported anything like this?”

“Not that I’m aware of. The technology has only been live for a few years, and it was beta tested for a year prior to that. You’ve only been on it a couple months, so if there was anything that severe, there’d be riots in the streets in front of SoulUnbound’s headquarters.”

“I guess you’re right,” Charlie conceded. “But could something be happening while I’m in there? I was using it like normal and everything seemed fine, and then all of a sudden, he just went limp,” he said, looking down. “I mean, I get it not working in there; that’s just a software bug or something, but what if I brought something back with me.”

“Brought something back?”

“Yeah, I don’t know, like a computer virus or something?”

“A computer virus?” Simon pushed himself back in his office chair to face Charlie. “Are you suggesting you contracted some sort of sexually transmitted malware? How exactly do you think SoulUnbound works?”

“I don’t know. You put on the helmet and you go into the Internet. Right?”

“It’s not Tron,” Simon proclaimed. “It just creates a simulation of your mind and puts your body to sleep. The simulation runs around and does whatever you’d do, and then when it logs out, all of the activity and experiences gets written to your memories by the helmet.”

“Right,” Charlie said, not really understanding, “So I couldn’t have caught anything.”

“That would be a no.”

“Okay good,” Charlie said, a bit relieved, “and it’s not like it could have changed anything else, right?”

“Well, the helmet can write changes to the brain other than just memory, but only with your permission. Users can run programs to learn new subjects, relieve past experiences. Some psychologists have been using it for therapy for depression and stuff, adjusting thought processes and brain patterns. It’s actually been getting good results. But for all of that you’d have to have administrator access to your account. SoulUnbound’s been darn near paranoid with the amount of security you can put on your account.”

“Right, so it’s not possible for it to have done anything. Or for someone to have gone in and changed anything without me knowing.”

“I mean, never say anything’s impossible when it comes to the Internet, but I highly doubt your problem downstairs is from the helmet. What you’re talking about is a pretty sophisticated attack, and let’s face it, you’re not that special.”

“Mmm,” Charlie acknowledged, choosing to take that comment as a good thing. “Fair enough.”

“Have you seen any unusual activity on your account lately?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Do you have two factor authentication set up with biometric verification?”

“Yeah,” Charlie answered, not totally knowing what either of those things were.

“Well, if you still have concerns you can always reset your password.”

“I just changed it the other day.”

“Well then I think you’re covered,” Simon concluded. He pulled himself up to the desk. “If you’re still having problems, a physician might be a better stop than me.”

“Right. Thanks anyway.”

“Not a problem. Take care to shut the door on your way out,” Simon said, putting his goggles back on.

Charlie let himself out, the music turning back up as he headed out of the apartment. He headed back down to his own place, reassured, and yet disappointed that he didn’t have an answer. But it didn’t seem like logging in was the problem. Simon said people used it for therapy; maybe this was one of the problems it could cure. Lord knows he’d been using the helmet exclusively for that reason with much success since he’d gotten it. Charlie told himself that he probably had just been spooked and that he’s been psyching himself out ever since. Going back in was probably the best thing for him.

Having thoroughly talked himself into it, he made a beeline for his office, reclined on the lounge chair, fastened the helmet to his head, and pressed the power button on the side to log in.

Charlie opened his eyes for the first time in three days as the younger, slimmer, more sharply dressed version of himself. He found himself again on a familiar city street at night. He checked all of his directions, looking up at the signs that illuminated the avenue. He mentally scrolled through the catalog in his head of the women in each of the spots, deciding which venue gave him the best chance of reclaiming his manhood.

He was approaching one such place when a notification appeared off to the side. [80 New Messages] it read. He hesitated. Even considering spam, that number seemed high. He tapped the box and it enveloped his field of vision, the messages each creating their own windows layered on top of each other. Some indeed were the familiar junk messages and he threw those away, but he also had some detailing changes to his account that he didn’t remember making. Password changes, account information updates, preferences, settings, all since he logged out a few days ago. He didn’t recognize some of the settings it claimed he had changed, like “Administrative Override”, which seemed important.

As he sorted through the inbox, trying to make sense of it, he felt himself being pulled down. It wasn’t like someone was grabbing him, but as if the ground under him turned to sand and he was sinking, or perhaps the world around him was being lifted. He fell down and passed by the passing pedestrians’ ankles as he sank below the surface of the street. Underneath there was nothing, just an empty void that had a bluish tint. Up above was the dim underside of the world where he formerly stood, but that soon faded into nothingness. If his heart was actually in his chest, it would have been racing. He flailed his arms and legs, but there was nothing to give him traction. He had no momentum to stop. He wasn’t sure if he was moving at all or if he was falling so fast that he couldn’t tell.

An answer of sorts came when he felt a surface form under his feet. He planted both on the ground and braced himself against his legs. He wasn’t out of breath but felt like he needed to catch it anyway. Charlie blinked a few times and looked around. To his left and right were men who seemed similarly fraught. As time went on, his vision became clearer, or the world just revealed itself more, to show him he was in the middle of a long row of men like himself. It was longer than he could count, all standing in a space that went on endlessly. In every direction, he could see the pitch black sky meeting the dark grey ground at the horizon, nothing except other bodies obstructing his view. He stamped his foot onto the ground. If it were the real world, he would guess it was concrete based on how hard it was, but it was way too smooth and uniform to be any man-made material. There was no light anywhere that he could see, the space above and around him nothing but perfect black, and yet he had no trouble clearly seeing himself and everyone around in perfect detail.

Charlie’s breathing was just starting to slow down when he looked forward and saw a figure in front of him that wasn’t there before. He supposed it was a man but he couldn’t tell. The figure was dressed in a loose fitting black robe, like a monk or an eerie fantasy character might wear. Where the figure’s head should have been was instead a pixelated blob. It moved with the figure so their face was never visible.

“You nearly got away from us, didn’t you?” The robed man said to Charlie, he assumed given he couldn’t see where he was looking. His voice was deep and distorted. “We had to go on without you the other day, but luckily you logged in right before we got started on today’s batch. Glad you could join us.” It was impossible to gauge the man’s tone through his masked voice, but it sounded more sinister than sincere. “I think we’re ready to get started.”

The robed man took a step back, and several other robed men with pixelated faces stepped forward. There was about one of them for every five frightened men in line. Each of the robed men stepped up to one of the men and pulled up a menu in front of them, and began tapping on options. In a few moments, the frightened men would suddenly lose the emotion from their face and stand up straight, looking forward at nothing. Charlie looked on at one guy to his left a few spots down. The man in the robe continued tapping and scrolling, and soon the other man’s clothes vanished, leaving him completely nude.

Charlie panicked when he saw that and immediately pulled up his own menu. He reached for the logout option, but discovered all of his menu options were greyed out. He tapped desperately on [Log Out] but to no avail. Not even the familiar bonk when pressing the wrong button could be heard.

“You can keep trying,” the first robed man, observing the scene from a distance, “but that’s not going to get you very far. Just relax, you’ll feel better in a minute.” Charlie tried to move his feet to run, but they were cemented to the ground. He pulled and pulled, but there wasn’t any movement.

He looked up again and now a new robed man was standing in front of him. Charlie was startled, but the man didn’t react, he just pulled down a menu and pressed some buttons like he saw him do to the other guy. Suddenly he felt the room spinning, even though neither he nor anyone else had moved. It was like a small tornado had formed around him and was blowing right through him. A million thoughts began running through his head, none of which Charlie could focus on to know what they were, but when it was over he didn’t feel anything. He did realize that he was standing up as tall as he could and was only able to look ahead. It wasn’t even that he felt unable to look away, but that he had no motivation to. This felt natural. He felt his clothes disappear, which bothered him, but he did not move and did not adjust his gaze from directly in front of him.

“Is that everyone?” The distorted voice said, though Charlie couldn’t see him. Charlie didn’t hear a response, but it must have been yes because the voice proceeded. “Perfect. So how many is that in all, thirty… no, forty one. We’re a bit over but that’s ok. Can you pull up the manifesto and start dividing them up?” Charlie only had the man’s narration to gauge the situation. He was panicking, but his body didn’t betray his fear.

Charlie felt a hand on his shoulder and felt himself being nudged to his left. His feet, formerly glued to the ground, started walking effortlessly in the direction he was being pushed until the hand lifted from him, and his feet locked back in place. Now he was in a huddle with a number of men. He could see about four directly in front of him but felt others being pushed into him from behind.

He was just standing there for a few minutes. Directly in front of him was a guy who looked about his same age and height that was nearly looking back at him, but just slightly off so they couldn’t make eye contact. Not that it would do them much good now. Charlie was already sure he felt the same fear and uncertainty as he did; they all probably did.

Two of the robed figures came around, talking to each other. “Which group is this again, ‘Twinks’?”

“No, they’re handling that over there. These are the muscle guys. Boss said to make sure you mix it up a little, too. The last herd turned out too white.”

“Yeah, got it. Did the order specify top and bottoms?”

“Uh… eight tops and seven bottoms. How many do we have, sixteen? I’d just do half and half. It’s always good to have a bottom in the can ready to go.”

“Right, yeah.” Charlie saw some of the men being pulled to one of two sides, himself being pulled to the group on the right. He was still looking at the same guy from before, but now that guy was looking off to the side. One of the robes pulled down a menu in front of him and began tapping buttons again. The man in the robe was facing away from Charlie so he could see part of his menu from behind as he scrolled through the options. He flicked through quickly, so Charlie couldn’t read them fast enough, but he managed to make out some terms like [Body Type], [Race], [Age]. Another menu appeared that said [Behavior Profile] and expanded into a long list. The robed man scrolled quickly and started to slow down, eventually landing on a choice that was mostly obscured by the man, but ended in “061”. The man in the robe checked over his work and must have been satisfied because he tapped a button at the bottom of the menu that read [Install Update].

After he pressed it, the naked man’s eyes grew wide. He was shaking a little bit and his eyes began darting back and forth. Charlie couldn’t look down, but from below a bright green light appeared in his field of vision right above the man’s waist. It was a horizontal plane cross-sectioning him that ran up the length of the man’s body, like a 3D printer. Above the glowing surface was the familiar sight of the man Charlie had been staring at, but below the surface was someone entirely different. The first thing Charlie saw it render was a dark-skinned stomach with a well-defined eight pack, a stark improvement from what the gentleman had there before. His arms hanging limp at his side also changed, starting with hands that were larger, followed by more prominent forearms. The light began to move laterally up the man’s body, sculpting larger biceps and a pair of hefty pecs as it climbed his body. The light was creating a person taller than the original man, so as it started to move past his head, it was still producing a wide pair of shoulders and thick neck. Eventually it made it’s way all the way up and over his head, which had the face of a much younger more attractive black man, compared to the relatively older white guy he started out as.

When the process finished, the light disappeared, and the freshly created black guy seemed to relax, no longer frozen at attention. When he did, he had a bit of a goofy smile on his face. He began to feel up his own body and seemed particularly intrigued by his ass, which Charlie couldn’t see very well but judging from where his hands ended up must have extended from his body a fair distance. He could also see his cock coming into view and point upward, clearly getting excited from his new body.

The man in the robe walked around his creation and appeared to have nodded. He invoked another menu and made the guy evaporate into thin air. Out of the corner of Charlie’s eye, a black blob appeared. It stepped back and it was the other robed guy, and he had a menu open just like the first. He scrolled down a big list just like he saw the other man had done, and then pressed a button at the very bottom.

Everything went to black. Charlie couldn’t see anyone in the room or the room itself. He couldn’t feel his body at all. He no longer had the locked in feeling when he was frozen, but still couldn’t look around himself because it didn’t feel like he had a body to turn. It just felt like he was a pair of eyes, and in front of him was lines and lines of white text, scrolling up faster than anyone could possible read. He caught glimpses here and there of parentheses, the word “if” showing up a lot, but mostly it was indecipherable.

As the words raced by, he started to feel different. The anxiety and fear he was experiencing lifted away, and he felt a calm wash over him. He started to forget being captured and trapped. He forgot seeing the man in front of him get transformed and then whisked away. He forgot about his anxiety of not being able to get an erection for the past few days. He forgot about living in his lonely apartment. He forgot about his boring desk job. He forgot about being dumped by his ex-girlfriend a few years ago. Everything left his mind and was replaced with new memories. They weren’t concrete, he didn’t have a new life, but he just felt different. It was like a coat of paint was being painted over the walls of his mind, but without stripping away the old paint first. He could feel himself changing, but the more he lost of his old self, the less he could tell what was different.

He blinked and he found himself back in the same room. To say he found himself was a bit misleading, though, because when he looked down the person in his skin was very different than what was. What had been the body of a reasonably fit white guy in his mid-thirties was now the built frame of someone with an exotic complexion. He couldn’t pin down his own race, but something in the back of his mind made him think he was Latin. And he didn’t know how but he knew he was a bit younger. He explored his body with his hands. He instinctively went for his ass, which filled out his hands in a way that felt strangely familiar. He’d played with different avatars when he first signed up for SoulUnbound, but they always felt like a costume. This felt real, like his body was always this way and he was just remembering it. He ran his hands up and down his smooth torso, flinching a little when he felt his nipple. He ran his hand over it again and giggle a little at the sensation. He liked how his body felt and liked feeling his body. He didn’t even mind the people in the room looking at him, although most of the guys weren’t looking at him. They were either staring off into space or feeling their own bodies. One guy a few feet away was big and bulky like himself, except he seemed focused on his own cock. Charlie looked at how big it was and began to get excited. His own cock, slightly smaller but still impressive, getting hard at the sight of it.

“Looks good,” the robed guy said to himself. Charlie bit his lip, turned on a little by what he perceived as a compliment. The man in the robe pulled up a menu and tapped on a couple things. When he did, the room around Charlie swirled and changed into something else entirely. Judging by the bed in the middle and the general decor, it looked like he was in a hotel, and a pretty classy one at that.

Charlie noticed a man seated on the bed that wasn’t there a moment ago. This man’s face was not obscured, and he appeared to be a slender older gentleman. He was wearing a dark suit with a matching tie that fit his body perfectly. He stood himself up so he was at eye level with Charlie, who was still naked in front of this man.

“So, here’s how it’s going to work,” the man began without any kind of formal introduction. “Men are going to come in through that door,” he said pointing at the hotel room door, “they’ll tell you what they want, you’ll use the menu to figure out the price. You’ll send the request, they’ll accept it, and then you let them have their way with you. Got it?” Charlie nodded enthusiastically. “Good. If they start doing something that wasn’t agreed upon, just let them and charge them after. It’s slow right now but it tends to pick up in an hour or so. How long have you been logged in?” the man asked, but wasn’t really looking for a response from Charlie. He tapped just inches from Charlie’s forehead and a menu popped up. “Ah, twenty eight minutes. Very good. So that means you’ll be active during rush time and we don’t have to adjust your schedule. You’ll go until the system logs you out and then you’ll log in as soon as you can tomorrow and the program will run again as soon as you reconnect. Sound good?” Charlie nodded again with the same level of enthusiasm. The man gave him a polite smile. “Enjoy yourself.” Without another word, the man opened his menu, tapped a button, and vanished.

Charlie stood alone in the room. He sat down on the bed and waited. He didn’t think about much while he waited, just kept going over the instructions in his head. The entire time, his erection never subsided. He couldn’t tell how long it had been but eventually a man opened the door and let himself in. Charlie stood up to greet him. “Hello,” Charlie greeted. “What can I offer you today?” he asked, purely from instinct. The man was shy but discussed what he wanted, Charlie tapping it into his menu like he was taking an order at a fast food restaurant. When the man finished, Charlie hit [Confirm] and a window appeared in front of the gentleman, who accepted it. With that, the man disrobed with the push of a button and the two started making out. They fell onto the bed and Charlie began expertly giving the man oral sex. The man leaned his head back and moaned as Charlie took him entirely into his mouth. He did anything and everything with his lips and tongue to get a reaction from the man, all positive. The man was enjoying himself, so was Charlie, but after a few minutes pulled Charlie off of him and gestured for him to turn around. Charlie did and positioned his ass in front of the man. He felt his cock press into his hole, which felt tight without being painful and seemed to already be lubricated just the right amount for the man to slide in and out without too much effort. In seconds, he was thrusting in and out of Charlie with full force, Charlie moaning loudly and clutching the sheets underneath him with his fingers. The sensations radiating from this asshole pulsed through his body and he felt like he was on the verge of cumming. The man only went at it for a few minutes before shooting a load up Charlie’s ass. Per the man’s original request, Charlie came right when he did so they both shook and moaned in unison until the man fell on top of Charlie.

After a few seconds, the man pulled himself up, thanked Charlie and logged himself out. Charlie looked around and realized the room and himself were just as clean as before they started, and he was just as hard as well. He sat back at the foot of the bed and waited a few minutes before the next man came in. This pattern continued for hours, reaching a point where there was no time between men leaving and a new one taking his place. Some of the men would be exceptionally good looking, while others would be very average or unattractive. Most of the men wanted basically the same thing, but a few had very specific requests that Charlie was all to happy to accommodate. Charlie enjoyed it regardless of what they requested. Sometimes they’d want him to cum at the end, sometimes they told him not to. A couple guys had him cum multiple times throughout which was fun. But it always ended the same way with them logging out and Charlie returning to his place at the foot of the bed.

After one such interaction, Charlie sat down, still not feeling any fatigue despite having slept with easily over thirty men by now. A notification came up at the top right that said [Alert: Maximum daily log in allotment has been reached. Auto-logout in 60 seconds]. The number of seconds began counting down. No one else was coming through the door, so they must have known his time was running out. Charlie didn’t do anything other than wait for the timer to reach zero, and when it did, the world around him faded to black.

Charlie opened his eyes and looked at the interior of the virtual reality helmet. It was the longest he had ever been logged in at once. He grabbed the helmet with both hands and set it down on his lap. He looked down his body and cringed. He set the helmet aside and pulled off his T-shirt. It felt uncomfortable having clothes on when he didn’t have to. He stood up and started pacing about in his office. He felt really scrawny, and his stomach felt bloated, even though neither of them had really changed since this afternoon. It was night time now, so he flicked on all the lights in his apartment. He pulled off his sweatpants as well to free himself up.

He felt a little relief just being in his underwear, but his body still felt wrong. The hair on his chest and stomach was itchy and irritating him, and every time he moved his arms or legs, it felt like he was overcompensating for weight that wasn’t there. He got onto the ground and started doing some pushups, just to feel some resistance and move around a bit, but after even a few reps his arms began to give out. He groaned and rolled over onto his side. He never spent much time at the gym but now he was wondering if there were any close by that would let him sign up for a membership this late. He’d need to find one that had tanning beds as well, he realized looking down at his arm and grimacing at how pasty pale it was. None of it felt right. It was like he was in someone else’s body.

He got up to search through his cupboards in his kitchen to find something that was high in protein. Most of what he had was junk food, except for the stuff in the freezer to make prepared meals. They were probably the best he’d find, but they still wouldn’t be enough. He started searching on his phone for protein powder so he could start making shakes. He scheduled a drone delivery that would come by in a couple hours, so he’d have to hold out until then.

Another need distracted him from that one, though. He reached into his underwear and grabbed his own ass. He gave himself a little squeeze and he moaned softly to himself. Even after seven hours of near constant fucking, Charlie was still super horny. He was self-conscious of his body, but it couldn’t be helped. At least not tonight. He downloaded a popular gay dating app he’d heard of and quickly made a profile for himself, making it clear that he was looking for something immediate. He put as much down as he thought he needed to, but it would take some time for his profile to get approved. Until that happened, he hopped into the shower, grabbing a razor to start clearing away some of his pesky body hair. He peeled away his underwear, looked down and saw his less impressive, though equally as hard, dick standing at attention. He grabbed his phone and took a couple quick nudes of himself, for when guys started asking for them. He’d take some more later after he cleaned up but set his phone down for the time being. Right before he did, he logged the time. Fifteen hours and fifty-one minutes before I can log back in again, he thought.

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