Alright, I'm looking for a sci-fi post-apocalyptic novel I read in Middle School, not sure if it was written for young adults. It probably had a year for its title.

The plot revolved around three children, a normal teenage male, a teenage female, and a short young boy who was intelligent for his age. The teenage male had an internal clock and always knew what time it was no matter where he was. They lived in a domed city, the remains of America, and they were specially chosen, possibly bred, to fight for the nation against other nations in a serious of virtual reality cyberspace war simulations. To enter into the virtual world, the kids would each sit in special pods that filled with a special liquid you could breathe instead of oxygen.

What is the name of this story?

  • 1
    Could you please tell us when middle school was? 2 years ago? 10? 30? Also, feel free to check out How to ask a good story-ID question? and see if that helps to jog your memory about any other details. Good luck.
    – Möoz
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 5:01

1 Answer 1


Sounds like Virtual War (also called in some places/printings Devastation), by Gloria Skurzynski, also a subject of this question.

From that answer's plot summary, you see a number of the key points, domed cities and three main characters, one with precision timing ability.

By the year 2080, plague, disease, and nuclear war have confined Earth's two million human survivors to a few domed cities, where they are governed by the Western Hemisphere Federation, the Eurasian Alliance, or the Pan Pacific Coalition. When it is discovered that a small group of islands in the Pacific has become livable again, the three federations decide to wage a bloodless virtual war, with the winner to take possession of the island called Nuku Hiva.

All his life Corgan, then fourteen, has trained to be the champion of the Western Federation. Genetically engineered for quick reflexes, superior physical condition, and a remarkable time-splitting ability, he's been raised in isolation inside a virtual reality Box.

Only three weeks before the start of the War, Corgan meets - virtually - his two teammates: Brig, a ten-year-old mutant who is a superb strategist, and Sharla, the same age as Corgan. It is Sharla, with her brilliant ability to break codes, who brings him his first real human contact. She also teaches him to mistrust the Supreme Council, whose orders he'd always obeyed.

Disillusioned, Corgan begins to lose his perfect sense of timing. After the Supreme Council promises that he can live on the Isles of Hiva if only he will win the Virtual War

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