This was written as an answer to a question on Quora.
Congratulations, Gina, Your Name Was Chosen...
The room was so lavish that Gina's eyes could not stretch wide enough to take it all in. From the twinkling chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, through the extravagant paintings hanging on the walls, right down to the thick, plush, scarlet carpet, it was an explosion of glamour.
Gina stood in the doorway, hesitant. Surely not. None of this could be real. She blinked and rubbed her eyes. Holovids were like this. Neural ads were like this; personalised to fit in to her social media taste profile. But she never imagined that any of it could take on a solid existence. Somewhere in the depths of her mind, of course she knew that this kind of opulence must be commonplace for someone - it must be available to buy - but not for someone like her.
Gina's life was so... Gina never had this kind of... Never needed this kind of... The shiny things were preventing her from thinking straight. But her life was functional. Her world was austere. Her existence was mundane. She was mundane.
All of a sudden, Gina gasped.
Gina's breathing was taking up too many of her resources. She had to concentrate: breathe in, breathe out, breathe in - otherwise she would surely suffocate from excitement.
The person was there. She was an angel in heaven. She was the most beautiful, softest, kindest, most attractive thing. She spoke. Gina gasped within her gasps. Not able to draw in enough oxygen, like jumping into a cold pool.
"It's alright, child," the person was saying. "You can come in." Her voice was multi-tonal, firm, yet vulnerable. Childlike, but strong like a child.
"So, you're the one who won the competition to come and see me?"
They spoke together all afternoon. The person drew Gina in. What did she do? Did she like it? Who were her friends? Did she watch the show? What did she think of it? Where did she live? Was it nice? Whom did she live with?
It went past so quickly. And all too soon, it was over. Gina would remember this day for ever. She felt she would be sighing forever. Perfection. So different.
She was starting to come round too soon.
"Increase the dose," the doctor said. The nurse complied.
"Did you get what we wanted?" the general asked.
"Of course!" the medic replied. "The person always drags the most useful information out of them."
He smiled. The person was his own invention. She could get people to do what anyone wanted. Buy what advertisers wanted (social media and word of mouth were amazing things, still), and most of all, she could get people to give away the dregs of information that people kept hidden up in their brains which was still not shared online. But one day...
He pulled out the electrodes and turned off the simulation. One day...