Chapters 28–31 Summary and Analysis
The chapter begins with IOI corporate police demanding entry into Wade's apartment. Apparently, Bryce Lynch's IOI VISA account is overdrawn by more than twenty thousand dollars, and he has been sentenced to mandatory indenturement. Unknown to the credit police, however, Wade's alter ego doesn't really owe this amount. For now, Wade acts according to plan and uses the few minutes before his apartment is breached to program his computer for self-destruction. Before his hard drive zeroes out, Wade is pleased to discover that his tip has allowed Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto to clear the Second Gate. Upon entry to his apartment, the IOI credit police tear off Wade's haptic suit and cuff him. He is given a disposable grey jumpsuit to wear and then unceremoniously shoved into a transport truck with other indents. As the truck drives towards IOI headquarters, Wade notes that his haptic gear will soon be auctioned off and his apartment reoccupied. Despite his anxiety, however, Wade is pleased that things are going exactly as he planned.
At IOI headquarters, Wade and the other indents are taken through security checkpoints at the IOI Indentured Employee Induction Center and then given a succession of aptitude tests. Since his Bryce Lynch alter ego is a computer expert, Wade intentionally performs well on the OASIS technology tests. He purposely fails exams about Halliday or the egg quest, however; Wade doesn't want to risk being assigned to the Oology Division and exposed to Sorrento. Soon, Wade learns that he will work as an OASIS Technical Support representative.
He signs his indenturement contract, is fitted with a security anklet, and is tagged with an ear OCT (observation and communications tag). Should Wade try to escape, the security anklet will either administer a heavy-duty tranquilizer into his bloodstream or paralyze him with an electric shock. The ear tag contains a camera (that allows IOI supervisors to monitor indents) and a com-link (that allows indents to receive commands). Wade is informed that he can rest in his hab-unit until his first shift begins in seven hours. Each hab-unit is a singular capsule-shaped sleeping space, equipped with a gel-foam mattress pad and pillow. All indents can watch TV from a touchscreen on the wall. As he falls asleep, Wade worries about his mission and his ability to win...
(The entire section is 1108 words.)