NARRATOR: Geeta and Paul are final year archaeology students who don’t get along very well. They are working together on their final piece of coursework, and while arguing over which location to study, they are suddenly contacted by a mysterious character called the Professor, who asks them both to meet him.
GEETA: Well we got here!
PAUL: Just about – I didn’t think you’d make it!
GEETA: What is your problem?
PAUL: Whatever – it’s just a joke, Geet.
GEETA: And don’t call me Geet, I ...
PROFESSOR: Paul! Geeta! Hello. I’m the Professor! Glad you could make it.
PAUL: Hello, er, Professor, um, are you – are you one of the course tutors?
GEETA: How did you know our names?
PROFESSOR: Hmm. Poor questions – I’m not surprised you’re both about to fail the course!
GEETA: I’m not about to fail the course! I’m on for an A grade!
PROFESSOR: Really? Well good for you – looks like you won’t be needing my help then.
GEETA: Well ... Yes ... I mean – um ...
PROFESSOR: So, why are you here?
PAUL: Well, you emailed us and told us to come here.
PROFESSOR: I did, but that’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you chose to come here. You’re here because ...
PAUL: ... because we can’t agree about the subject for our essay.
PROFESSOR: I see. Well, I believe I can help you. Now come in, come in! Welcome to Virtually Anywhere!
GEETA: Wow! What is this?
PROFESSOR: Good question! That’s much more like it – if you keep asking questions like this Geeta, then maybe you’ll pass the course after all!
GEETA: But I am going to pass the course!
PROFESSOR: Details, details, details! Unimportant! What’s more important, far more important, is where do you want to go first?
PAUL: Go first? Go where? Listen, Professor, can you please slow down and explain what’s going on here?
PROFESSOR: Slow! Yes. They said you were a bit slow. Anyway, let me explain what’s going on here. What you see in front of you is a very special computer that I built myself. It’s a virtual reality machine called Virtually Anywhere, and it is incredibly powerful. It uses the very latest technology and it can virtually transport you to anywhere in the world. It is an amazing way to learn about history, culture and lifestyles, all without having to leave the room!
GEETA: I don’t mean to be rude Professor, but it sounds like it would probably be better for schoolchildren – we’re about to become professional archaeologists!
PROFESSOR: But you’re not professional archaeologists yet! You need to experience it to believe it. Once you’re plugged into the machine, everything will appear to be very real – almost completely lifelike. And you can go anywhere you want, to the ruins of Teotihuacan or perhaps even to the Terracotta Army.
PAUL: Now you’re talking – let’s go and see the Terracotta Army! Then you’ll see, Geet.
GEETA: Geeta. It’s Geeta, and this ... is insane.
PAUL: Well, we’re here now, so I reckon let’s try it out. What harm can it do? Plus we can always go to Teotihuacan afterwards so that you can see that I was right all along!
GEETA: Oh dear. How did I end up here? OK, OK then, let’s do it, let’s go.
PROFESSOR: The right choice! Now put these headsets on. No wait, first – do either of you need the toilet?
PROFESSOR: Wonderful! Then put the headsets on.
PAUL: Headsets? They look like huge helmets!
PROFESSOR: Just put it on Paul. Good, now sit down. The machine makes quite a lot of noise when it’s turned on, so be prepared. Right then – hold on to the handles. Both hands. And ... here we go!
GEETA: That’s pretty loud!
PAUL: Are you sure this thing is safe?
PROFESSOR: I don’t really know. This is the first time I’ve used it on humans.
GEETA: What? Did you say this is the first ...