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John Henry Munroe has done everything right. He worked hard, owns his home, and has prepared for retirement. Now that he is ready to retire, he wonders why he worked so hard to live the rest of his days, bereft of close friends and family; in persistent arthritic pain; finding his only escape in virtual reality games.
When the technology is developed to move human consciousness into a solid state mind, John Henry puts the same dogged determination to build his retirement to work to prolong his life; even if he has to work the rest of his days in his blue collar job, or make a deal with the devil.
It is not the devil that John Henry deals with, but he steadily loses bits and pieces of himself, starting with his name. When John Henry Munroe becomes Dekamara, he begins a journey that will take him away from the little box he worked in for thirty years to a life he may not want, and compromises he could not even contemplate, but will be more than willing to make.