Chapter 10 – Logging in
As Rav went upstairs to change his clothes GoSpeed wandered into the computer room with Sarah in tow. She stood in facing the L shaped desk with the 3 computers computers enticing her. The one on the right had some flickering displays which she quickly discerned to be the KONA Radio computer. In the middle was a large LCD screen with a screen shot of herself as wallpaper. “Hmm, I look cute”, she thought while grinning to herself. The left hand computer was off. She sat down in the main chair waiting as Sarah circled around asking questions. GoSpeed paid scant attention as she began to ponderwhat she was about to do.
Rav came downstairs to see GoSpeed seated, with elbows on the desk and hands on chin, deep in thought. He walked up and placed a hand on her shoulder. GoSpeed looked up with apprehension that turned quickly into a smile that seemed to say “Oh, am I in your seat?”. “Don’t bother.Here, slide over here to the left.”, said Rav. GoSpeed scooted over to the computer that was turned off as Rav rolled up another chair to the main computer. He pushed a button on the monitor and instructed GoSpeed to push the silver button on the front of the computer down by her calves. As the computer booted up Rav launched his Second Life client and prepared to log in. She watched the bios screen flash by, then the XP splash screen, a light blue screen and then the desktop appear. She waited, and waited not knowing what to do next. She knew what this was in theory, but had no experience or even instinct to fall back on.
In the virtual studios of KONA Radio a puff of white smoke appeared and pulsed by the desk. A grey male figure flashed into being, the cloud dissipated, and the form began to color in. Caucasian skin, brown hair, blue eyes, jeans, Hawaiian shirt…. .
At the Keyboard Ravishal turned around to face GoSpeed who was still staring at her computer. “Do you know what to do?” “GoSpeed shrugged. “Here, you click this.” Rav took her mouse and clicked the Second Life icon on the desktop. “OK Go, type in your name and password and meet me at the studio.”
GoSpeed typed in her name, GoSpeed <tab> Racer <tab> _____ …. . Password? She had no idea. She tapped Rav on the shoulder and pointed at the empty password field and shrugged. “Watch this.” said Rav as he slowly and deliberately typed in the password so she could see what he typed. In world a puff of smoke appeared in the corner of the studio as
GoSpeed rezzed into Second Life.
“What do I do? How do I move?” she thought. Without thought she reached out for the mouse and held the ALT key and was moving her camera around, pivoting around her avatar, zooming up close and then pulling back. Her camera got stuck on the other side of the wall and she quickly hit the Esc key to brin ghe camera back close to her avatar. She found the movement keys and advanced her avatar towards the couches and chairs. Without much thought GoSpeed was quickly mastering the keys. She may have been stumped by the Windows interface but she quickly recalled the Second Life interface. This was starting to feel comfortable and weird at the same time. She knew what to do, but everything was oddly skewed. Friends list. What had always been a mental picture was now a pop-up menu that blocked part of the screen. Mini-map, Inventory, user menus, all of those had been mental abstracts now were pictorially rendered on the screen before her. What had required a thought to bring into view now required a click. “What next???”
Ravishal clicked the cushion next to her on the couch and sat down
Ravishal Bentham: Welcome back to SL, how does it feel?
GoSpeed Racer: Weird, really weird. I remember how it “felt” to be in here, but I don’t feel anything like that. I feel the chair I am siting on, the keyboard and mouse in my hand, the noise the computer makes and your daughter talking into my left ear.
Ravishal Bentham: Sorry bout that.
“Sarah, Give Aunt Go some space, ok?”. GoSpeed grinned at her new title of “Aunt Go”. An indignant Sarah stomped off in search of mom to complain at how mean dad was.
Ravishal Bentham: Ok, do you want to meet somebody?
GoSpeed Racer: Ummm, OK. Sure. Who???
Rav opened his friends list scanning it up and down, finally stopping at LaDonna Upshaw. He opened a conference between the three and invited LaDonna over.
LaDonna Upshaw: OK, but it has to be quick, I am preparing to launch a new line of furniture soon and I’m falling behind.
A third avatar rezzed into the studio and stood before Ravishal and GoSpeed.
LaDonna Upshaw: OK, what is it you need to show me.
Ravishal Bentham: LaDonna, fire up Skype. I need to show you a visitor in my computer room.
Rav could have sworn he detected a sigh coming from LaDonna’s avatar as its AO caused her to fold her arms and look up at the ceiling.
LaDonna Upshaw: Hold on, one minute.
Rav saw LaDonna’s name pop up on his Skype contact list and immediately called her.
“Hey LaDonna, I am going to fire up my camera so you can see who I have here sitting next to me.”
“It better be Cal Ripken, I’m awfully busy today.”
Rav grinned and said, “Oh, much better than ole Cal hun.” A video window popped up on Ladonna’s computer and it did a fade in from white to reveal Rav seated in his chair wearing a headset. Off to his left was a dark skinned woman with short, bobbed hair wearing a v-neck top. LaDonna paused a moment, mouthing but not quite vocalizing the phrase “what tha…” .
“Rav, who is that? Do I know her”
“In a way you do. You’ve met her before in SL.”
GoSpeed was looking around wondering who or what Rav was talking to. Sarah came back with mom in tow and stood behind Rav with arms folded.
“Oh, this is Sarah and next to her is my wife Izabella”
“Oh, OK, so that woman seated next to you is not your wife”
“Oh lord, not at all LaDonna. Here, lets get a closer look.”
Rav scooted aside and motioned Go to look at the webcam on top of the LCD monitor. Go came over, eyed the webcam and beamed a big smile.
“OMG Rav! She looks just like GoSpeed! Look at her eyes!” Go leaned back in her chair revealing her top and LaDonna gasped again. “The tattoo. She has a rose tattoo!”
There was a moment of silence and Rav spoke up.
“She showed up at my front door yesterday. Her resemblance to GoSpeed is incredible, down to the tatto, skin tone, eyes and clothes. Oh Go, show her the clothes trick. Nothing sheer. How about that INDI outfit, the Sienna.”
GoSpeed nodded and her clothing began to change. A brownish white blur covered her as her black pants and white top were replaced by brown shorts, a white top, a jacket vest and suspenders. GoSpeed looked up and a hat and new hairstyle appeared on her head. Withing the space of a few heartbeats her clothes had fully rezzed and solidified. LaDonna was shocked, speechless. Rav and the family were still wowed by the demonstration too. GoSpeed smiled a big smile and stood up to demonstrate her outfit. She lifted a leg to show off her boots to the camera.
” I don’t know what I just saw Rav. You either are showing me a neat trick or you’ve got a modern miracle in your home.”
“Tell me about it. We’re all trying to figure out what this means. She can’t talk at all, but she can write and type so we can communicate with her.”
In the meantime GoSpeed turned her attention back to her avatar and began moving about the virtual studio.
“How real is she? I mean, is she human?”
” I don’t know. She’s eaten with us and umm, did other stuff. She sleeps too. But you saw what she did with her clothes.”
“If I were you I’d take her to a doctor and have her checked out.” , said LaDonna.
” I think you’re right. God, she may not have an immune system at all! She could get very sick if exposed to a virus.”
Izabella spoke up, “Safe bet would be Urgent Care in town. There would be less questions.”
Rav nodded with agreement. “We should do that very soon.” He turned around to address the family. “OK, no physical contact with GoSpeed until she gets a checkup. I have no idea if she is resistant to disease or not. And Go, no kissing, ok?” GoSpeed blushed and nodded in agreement.
“OK LaDonna, it appears I have a plan of action for today. I’ll get back with you later.”
Rav closed the connection and turned to GoSpeed who in the meantime found her Huddles AO and was dancing away on the studio couch.
“OK frauline, get something plain on and lets see about getting you to a doctor.”…………………………..