A section from the first novel I recently completed. It details the first day of GoSpeed’s existence on the island of Altis in the Simvie Loko simulation.
GoSpeed’s first day
The light, it was so bright. She squinted hard. Something soft was placed over her eyelids and the light was subdued. There were voices all around but She could only partially understand everything being said. Focusing on the conversation made her feel woozy. Someone took her hand and squeezed it and said,“GoSpeed, take a breath.”
She took in a deep breath and the dizziness passed. The voices continued and GoSpeed began to comprehend all the words….
“So what is her background again? She’s the darkest NPC I’ve seen so far.”, said a woman’s voice.
“The delivery documentation says she’s a mixture of several ethnicities. Four equal parts of English, African, Carib, and Northern Indian. Relative biological age and mental maturity is 16 years old.”, said a male voice
“Aye, she’s a bonnie lass if I say so myself.”, came a male voice.
GoSpeed reflexively smiled at the compliment.
“Oh look! She smiled. You’re such a ladies man Stuart.”, said the woman.
“She should be ready to open her eyes any moment now.”
The cloth mask covering her eyes was removed but GoSpeed kept her eyes closed. She sensed the lights dimming and she opened her eyes slowly. The room came into focus and before her stood three people.
“Hello GoSpeed. I am Doctor Thorvald Arnasson. Welcome to Kavala Hospital on Altis.”
GoSpeed smiled and nodded. She looked at the couple on the other side of the bed and looked back at the doctor again.
“These people are your guardians, Stuart and Suzy. They will take you home today and teach you how to be an adult.”
GoSpeed cleared her throat, “Hello. It’s nice to be here. I am not sure what to say next.”
“No worries dearie. You talk when you have something to say. We have a bedroom set up just for you at the house.”
“You’ll love it lass, the window looks out over the sea.”, added Stuart.
“GoSpeed, we are going to wheel you down to Physical Therapy and go through some movement exercises. Pending a successful completion you can go home with your guardians immediately.”
She nodded and smiled in response to the doctor. The items in the room caught her attention and she lost track of what the three others were saying. There were devices on wheels with tubing, wires, and banks of lights across their faces. She wasn’t sure what they were for but the patterns mesmerized her. A tap on the shoulder got her attention. An orderly had brought the wheelchair and they were waiting to get her in it. She managed to swing out of the bed and take a few steps to the chair. Looking down at herself she saw she was dressed in a one-piece outfit with a big zipper running up the front. Her heads, hands, and feet poked out and were bare, save for the fuzzy slippers the orderly put on her feet.
“You are welcome to come along if you want to.”, Arnasson said to her guardians.
She was rolled down the brightly lit hallways to a room filled with monitoring devices and physical testing gear. The physical therapists hooked up various sensors to her clips on the bodysuit she wore. Helping her stand up the placed her on a platform surrounded by a railing. They then began making her go through a range of movements and then made the floor move beneath her prompting her to walk.She felt a little weak at first and unsteady but she quickly gained her balance and strength. Within 30 minutes she was jogging at a very quick pace and breathing normally. GoSpeed smiled as the techs remarked at how fast she was acclimating to her body.
“She’s passed with flying colors. You can take her home right now.”
The series of events following were a blur to GoSpeed. The walk to the car, riding the car out of the city, and the arrival at her guardian’s’ home. They seemed very relieved at their arrival. Stuart mentioned something about car sickness but GoSpeed felt no illness at all.
“Dearie, please have a seat on the couch. I will make us some tea. Stuart, did you eat all the crisps?”
“Suzy my love. I could not deprive our young…”, he paused a moment and then beamed,”..daughter of such delicious crisps!”
“What. What are crisps?”, asked GoSpeed timidly.
“Thinly cut and fried veggies, like potatoes, lightly coated with salt.”, said Stuart.
GoSpeed licked her lips and smiled.
“Aye, they are mouth watering indeed lass.”
From the kitchen Suzy called out,”Marty, where are the crisps?”
“Top shelf, above the stove.”
“Come get them and set the trays up in the living room. I’ll bring the cups and the kettle.”
Suzy and Stuart bustled about the house setting up the folding table trays, filling bowls with crisps, and placing cups on them. Finally, Suzy brought out the kettle and filled the cups with hot tea. GoSpeed watched them and began eating a few crisps when she saw Stuart eating his.
“Dearie, we wish to welcome to our blessed home. Me and Stuart are so honored to have been selected to be your guardians. We hope to do our best by you and prepare you for life on your own.”
“Thank you.”, she managed to say.
Stuart chimed in, “Do not hesitate to ask any question you have. We’ll do our best to give you a good answer.”
“What time is it?”
Suzy and Stuart blinked and looked at each other.
“Why it’s tea time lassie!”, chuckled Stuart. “If that’s the nature of your questions then you’ll be easy to raise!”
Suzy poked Stuart and gave him a look. “That was a good first question, You’ll have plenty more as time goes by. Let us tell you a bit about ourselves. My name is Suzy Alfa and I have been rezzed for 11 years. Stuart has been rezzed for 11 years also. We both work in the public works department for Altis.”
“What is that?”
“We help maintain the infrastructure on the island. Roads, electricity, plumbing, piers, and what have you.”
“Ditch diggers!”, she said with a smirk.
“It’s not that physical. We have lots of machinery to do most of the work. I work in the office myself.”, said Suzy.
“I can see you’re a cheeky girl GoSpeed.”, Stuart said in a sotto voce manner. He winked and added more light-heartedly,”I am a jack-of-all-trades.” I can do most anything. I have many skills.”
“Except for cooking.”, injected Suzy,
“Yes, except that. Thank goodness I have Suzy or I would starve to death. Now that you know what we do, do you know what you want to be when you’re liberated?”
“I want to be an astronaut.”
Stuart threw up his arms. “Well, anything is possible. We don’t have a space program here but that could change someday. You never know.”
“Are you two married?”
“Um, well… ah….”
Suzy answered,” No we are not. As a general rule NPCs do not get married nor do we share the same bed so to speak. It’s just how we are. Me and Stuart have a formal union that permits us to cohabitate while we raise you to adulthood, your liberation day. NPCs come together in a civil union when our roles indicate it to be necessary. Marriage is for Users only.”
“OK, sorry. I made you uncomfortable I think.”
“No worries Luv, you cannot offend us.”
“You know what?”
“What’s that dearie?”
“I love you both.”
Suzy teared up immediately and grabbed a tissue.
“Oh lass, you are so sweet.”, said Stuart, his voice cracking.”
“It’s hard to describe what’s going on inside me dad. It feels like I am growing taller and taller with each moment, I have so many words now, and feelings, and ideas, and, and….”
Suzy sniffed and said, “The doctor said this would happen. You’re growing up before our eyes. It’s your first day and your mind is fitting into its 16-year-old body like a balloon being inflated.”
“I feel, so, rich.”, GoSpeed said with a smile. She closed her eyes and leaned back into the chair and felt her world expand……