Category: Story


This is the planned opening chapter to the next novel which has the tentative title “We Built This City”. They are featured in one of the three main threads in the novel. They are a married couple who decided to go into cryogenic suspension in the early 21st century after receiving a fatal dose of radiation in an accident. This chapter details their “arrival” and the subsequent revelation of the nature of their reincarnation. Of course, this is subject to change due to editing.

 

It was a crisp, cool morning for a walk in the countryside. All around were trees brightly colored with red, yellow and orange leaves. Andrew wasn’t quite sure what he was doing here but he knew he had to get to the end of this dirt road. In fact, he didn’t remember much immediately prior to this moment. He had a fuzzy recollection of who he was but he had no idea why he was out for a stroll. He also had no clue as to who the woman just ahead of him was. He just had a compulsion to walk.

“Hi.”, she said. “Do you know where we are?

“No, I don’t. I’m not completely sure of who I am and how I got here. I’m just following the road.”

“Me too. I heard you behind me so I waited until you caught up. My name is Brandy.”

“Hi Brandy, nice to meet you. You seem familiar to me but I can’t quite place your face.”

Brandy was as tall as he was. She was as fair skinned as an Irish girl, blonde hair tied in a ponytail, and emerald green eyes. Brandy could have easily been a model for a magazine cover. Not the sort of woman Andrew would get the chance to meet, yet he felt he knew her somehow.

“You seem familiar to me too. I mean if I ever knew a GQ model of course!”, complimented Brandy.

“You’re kidding me of course.”

“No, seriously. You’re handsome.”

“Come on. I’m 45, fat as hell, and my sideburns are gray.”

“Have you looked in a mirror lately? Stop being silly. You are not fat, your hair is a solid dark brown, and your teeth are perfect.”

Andrew considered rebuking her but he looked down at his belly and saw that it was gone. His hands were different, they seemed stronger and the nails neatly trimmed. He felt his face and noticed his double chin was missing too.

“Well this is strange, I must be dreaming. This sure isn’t my body.”

“Funny you should say that. I don’t feel right either. How do I look?”

“Brandy, you look stunning.”

“Aww thank you, what’s your name?”

“And-”

“-drew”, she completed for him.

“Damn, I just had a flash of deja vu.”

“Me too.”, she said and then covered her mouth with one hand.

That. The way she said thank you and the way she covered her mouth was so familiar.

“We have to keep moving Brandy. I am feeling a strong urge to keep walking down the road.”

“Same with me. I think we’re going to the same place.”

Continue reading

Below is a selected piece from the second novel I have started to write. I am taking a slightly different tack with this one and am writing out of sequence when the mood strikes. I found that writing from start to finish can often lead to ideas for future events to fall by the wayside. So as I get a great scene in my head I go ahead and write it down. They may be modified or even deleted entirely as I get to them in the story, but I feel it will be a great help overall. This scene depicts Marty Martian on a date 2 years after the events of the first novel.

 

Marty lay with his back against the trunk of the smooth-barked tree. It was already a few hours past noon and the warmth and humidity of the day was wearing him down. The broad branches of the tree kept him in the cooler shade and allowed him to remove his sunglasses. The modest southerly wind brought moist air up from the gulf where it lifted above the short hills to the south, glided over the broad valley, and then pushed up the tall mountains behind them to the north. Towering clouds began to pile up ominously above the peaks and the bases began turning dark. Soon they’d have to seek the cover of a nearby shelter or at least ride out any storm in their car. Darn convertible, he’d have to get the top pulled up too. He didn’t want to return it to Anthony’s Car Rentals with the insides all wet.

A slight murmur snapped him out of his thoughts. Next to him lay a lovely young woman sleeping on a blanket. “Ahh Marie”, he mused as he smiled to himself. She was the most carefree woman he had ever met. She was also very beautiful. Ivory skin, dark brown eyes, wavy brown hair and crimson colored lips. Her skin glistened from moisture that wasn’t sweat, but the mist of a waterfall that roared nearby. She’s going to need a towel for sure he mused. But knowing her she may just as well opt to go skinny dipping beneath the falls. Her eyes fluttered open and she looked at Marty and smiled.

“Hey Marty, see something you like?”

“Yes. That’s a nice pattern on the blanket.”, he said with a straight face.

“You brat!”, she exclaimed and then she threw a cork at him. She giggled when he managed to swat the cork away.

“You are soaked to the bone Marie, I told you that you were too close to the falls. The wind shifted and the mist fell all over you.”

“Mmmm, it’s OK. The mist is keeping me cool in this torrid weather.”

“This is nothing. Try a tropical jungle while wearing combat gear. Now that’s torrid.”

“You’re such a world traveler Marty. You should take me to a tropical island some day.”

“You should dry off. The clouds are building over the mountains right now and I suspect we may get a storm any time now.”

“I could just jump into the waterfall and rinse of this sweat. I feel a little grungy.”

“I kind of thought you would. I’ll go fetch you some dry clothes from the car.”

“No peeking now!”

“I’ll turn my head. I promise.”

Marty walked to the car that was parked some 30 meters away. The roar of the falls grew softer and he heard what sounded like thunder off in the distance. Better hurry up he thought. His mind drifted back to Marie and he began thinking about his journey of self-discovery over the last few months. It had been a little over 2 years since his break up with GoSpeed. At the time he felt very little pain over it but more recently he felt some regret as to how it all played out. Granted he was essentially born again after the personality upgrade. That upgrade to his programming opened up his ability to feel more deeply but it came with a terrible revelation. To his dismay and he felt little compassion nor deep love for GoSpeed. Worse yet he did have feelings of resentment for her. He felt that GoSpeed had taken advantage of him before his upgrade. It was as if she had treated him as if he was a boy toy or as the used to say in the barracks, a fuck-buddy. Later he came to realize that even though she was more advanced than he was at the time, she too had an awakening of sorts. Sexual intimacy and bonding with a partner was a new experience for her. He was her first man in 40 years and she was making up for lost time. Sadly her needs and his needs did not mesh up well at that moment. He had learned to forgive her but he still wondered if she still hated him.

A rumble of thunder spilled down from the mountainsides. Definitely time to go Marty. Better get this top up now. Continuing his train of thought he mused about himself. Two years later and he still hadn’t figured out what love was about. Heck, he wasn’t sure he had felt the emotion of love yet. After the breakup with GoSpeed, he dated Kona Falconer, the woman who gave him rides to work until he could afford his own car. She was smart, independent, and very confident. She knew exactly where she was going in life. Things ultimately did not pan out for them because his work kept them separated for long stretches at a time. One day he realized they were no longer a thing. When Josie offered him a position at the new facility in Bay City he took advantage of it. Bay City was the new, happening place where anything could happen. Maybe he would find more answers to his questions here. He secured the roof and turned back to the falls. He could see that Marie was topless and dancing in the spray. He scooped up a towel and set of dry clothes from the back seat and slowly walked back to her. If she looked his way he’d make sure his eyes were looking down, lest he earned her melodramatic scorn.

“Just leave it by those rocks and stand behind the tree!”, she said as she submerged herself to her shoulders in the water.

He did as he was told and waited for her to give permission to look.

“OK, ready! Ta-dah!”

“Well aren’t you a sight darlin’”

“Why thank you, sir!”, she said and then promptly followed up with a curtsy.

A loud crack of thunder made her jump.

“Quick, grab the blanket and the basket and let’s go!”, commanded Marty.

They scooped up their belongings and ran down the dirt path to the car.

“Ow! Ow! Marty! I keep stepping on rocks!”

Marty scooped her up in his strong arms and ran with her to the car. She laughed and whooped playfully as the first heavy drops of rain landed all around them. They quickly threw the items in the back seat and got into the front seats of the car right before the heavy rains commenced. They looked at each other, slightly out of breath.

“Well, that was close. I almost got all wet.”, said Marty.

“You spoke too soon handsome.”, said Marie as she pulled him closer and planted a big wet kiss on his lips……

 

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……

This is another companion piece to a story I am writing. The NPC being interviewed is much like Abba Svenska. A combatant in a war in virtual space. Fighting for survival and dignity. The third interview with GoSpeed Racer is already incorporated into the story line. I may also include these interviews in an abridged version if they help the flow of the story.


War Story (Ravishal)

A Dispatch from Altis

 

Private Message : Capt Ravishal Bentham

DTG : 15:57 May 05, 2540 LST (Local Simulation Time)

SUBJ : War Correspondent Interview

 

Captain Bentham, You are hereby directed to cooperate with civilian war correspondent Dexter Desmoines (A User). He will arrive at your encampment at 1730 LST. He has been instructed to not ask questions about your mission. If he does you are to not answer them and you will inform me. You are cleared to answer any question about your past. This includes aspects of your unique origins. My commanders feel that our cause is under such a severe threat that publicizing our existence in the real world may offer us some hope for the future. (Or a decent obituary.) He will also interview SGT Svenska and civilian GoSpeed Racer. If he requests to speak to other combatants he may, but they to must only answer non mission related questions.

 

I know you are tired and exhausted but this shouldn’t be too taxing. I also want to add that if Mr Desmoines show’s any indication of being affiliated with the enemy you are free to dispatch him with extreme prejudice.

 

Colonel Drumheiser

901st

 

Ravishal re-read the message again while he was waiting for Dexter to finish his interview with Abba. He was immediately leery of the man for his odd appearance and his easy access to his fellow soldiers. The biggest strike against him was his position in popular media. Dexter did not deal in facts, he crafted stories. Stories can be wholly subjective and drift away from the truth. Ravishal knew the outside world was driven by facts. A story could possibly produce negative results. He had to trust Sergio and all his allies though. They lived out there in the real world and knew it better than he. He shrugged and then decided to clean his pistol while he waited on Dexter.

 

Looking up he noticed GoSpeed’s dog, Spazz rush into camp barking excitedly. A medic bent down to pet him and they spoke. They casually walked out of sight towards the shore. He was relieved the medic wasn’t running so no one was in immediate danger. It bothered him that GoSpeed was upset with him. He made a mistake that cost a life and she held it against him. He made many mistakes in his life, some even worse than this but he eventually prevailed and made up for it somehow. Sergio told him that the three of them, Abba, GoSpeed, and himself shared a similar origin so several centuries ago. This was the first time that all three of us were together again and he hoped it would not be the last. A sense of family was something to be desired. He had that with Abba who he felt love for. Ravishal hoped to form a connection with GoSpeed but he somehow bungled that up. I’ll do what I can get back into her good graces, he thought. He reassembled his pistol in time to see Dexter leave the building module where he interviewed Abba.

 

Ravishal holstered his weapon and crossed his arms as he remained seated.  As Dexter approached He spoke, ”Have a seat.” He did not offer to shake Dexter’s hand.

 

“I am familiar with who you are and why you’re here. Let’s just get to the questions to save time.”

 

Continue reading

10,000 words

So you may be wondering what exactly I happen to be writing about. Well I will tell you to the best of my ability! In a nutshell it’s science fiction in an interstellar setting. The main characters are (which include my avatar) are artificial intelligences that inhabit humanoid bodies. It’s a meta kind of avatar in an avatar deal. The main characters travel the galaxy exploring new things and keeping the peace. The main characters are Ravishal, GoSpeed, Abba, and Kona. Other SL residents will be featured in cameo roles pending their approval. I don’t know if I’ll get around to creating images based on the stories as that would consume a lot of time I am already devoting to writing. I do have a few images I’ve made in Space Engine I can share.
Blue Hell  Erol 4

My inspirations are from various media. Second Life gave me the characters of course. Other games include Eve Online, ARMA, and Star Wars:TOR. Movies include the Matrix, Akira, Star Wars, and Alien. Of course we can’t forget Star Trek in all it’s iterations and media.

The writing is getting a little easier the more I do it. I’m more than half way through my first short story. I think I am at least. I know how it’s going to ends but the path keeps changing as I write it. Then of course when I finish I’ll have to go back and do rewrites, make sure the timeline agrees, and edit my grammar. I think in a month or so I’l have something finished. From there I’ll share it and see if there’s a consensus as to whether my writing is publishable.

Chapter 12

Chapter 12   She said what?

Go laid in bed warm and snug, the brightness of the morning sunlight penetrating her eyelids. Squinting her she turned her head to the side and felt the wetness around her neck. Her fever had broken and her sheets were soaked in sweat. A warm feeling changed to damp feeling and she felt icky all of a sudden. She slipped out of her blankets and walked shivering from her room to the bathroom, only to realize she was topless as she looked into the mirror over the sink. Luckily no one saw me, she reassured herself. She turned on the bath water and showered when the water was warm enough. It was the first time she ever felt “dirty”. The accident at the doctors office, the tears that soaked her shirt and the sweat that permeated her bedsheets.
Clean and dry she “blinked” herself some clothes and shoes. Amused, she wriggled her lips and rezzed a different outfit on. The she folder her arms out in front of herself and nodded her head forwards and rezzed yet another outfit. She giggled at her antics and decided to trade in the low cut tank top for something a bit more modest. She walked downstairs to the living room and had a seat on the couch.

As she sat on the couch going over the events of the past few days Rav came into the room and joined her, sitting at the other end of the couch.

“Did you sleep well?”, asked Rav

Go nodded yes and put her hand up to her forehead and motioned in a way to indicate her fever was gone.

“I got an email from Doctor Wanda and she has set you up for a few tests on Wednesday. She’ll be by this evening to come and ask you a few more questions.”

Go again nodded in acknowledgment.

“Sarah is at school and Iza is out running appointments. Is there something you’d like to do?”

GoSpeed got up walked over to Rav, sat on his lap and wrapped her arms around him. Taken aback at first Rav then wrapped his arms around Go and hugged her back.

Together they watched TV as Go snuggled up on Rav’s shoulder. They talked for a while as Go flipped through the channels just pausing to type her replies out on the laptop. It was getting a bit frustrating for Go having to switch from watching TV to looking at the laptop as she typed her reply. Then something happened that caught both of them by surprise. Rav asked her if she wanted to watch something on the Discovery channel and Go whispered a “yes”. Go beamed broadly at her first spoken word. It had just slipped out without any effort on her part.

“I knew you could talk without the aid of Vivox.”, joked Rav.

Go playfully punched Rav on the shoulder, murmured “Smarty pants” and then laughed softly along with him…………
Sunday winds down

Doc! It hurts when I do this

Doc! It hurts when I do this….

Dark clothes for a dark day

Chapter 11 – Doc, it hurts when I move my arm like this!

A doctor? Dread. Needles, A wooden tongue depressor, medicine….. **shiver**. GoSpeed sat on the living room couch wrapped in a blanket worrying. Since the mention of a doctor visit she began to notice that she did feel a bit run down and achy. Ow! That sharp pain again in her lower abdomen. “I’m sick, I’m gonna die.”, She thought. Funny though, she felt awful, but yet she felt stronger than before. She felt more solid and her grip was getting stronger. She also could feel her breathing and hear her heart beating in her chest. “Maybe I won’t die.”, she countered herself. If you’re dying you feel weak and helpless. I’m like a new car or new computer and I am experiencing a break in period. Weary and tired, she closed her eyes and drifted to sleep.

“I say we take her to Dr. Wanda or Dr. Cameron.” , said Iza.

“That’s probably a good idea, we can get her in right away. We can say she’s visiting from out of town. Way out of town.”, said Rav.

“How do we explain her? Especially since she can’t talk.”

Rav pondered this a bit. “Well obviously we’ll say she’s a mute. We’ll also say she’s a distant cousin from the Bahamas or the US Virgin Islands”

“Virgin Islands is better, that’s a US territory.”

Rav nodded. “We just want her checked out, make sure there are no major problems. I think getting her a full physical entails providing some sort of ID for her, legal photo ID and Social Security Number.”

Iza put her head in her hands and sighed. “It’s like we’ve adopted a big kid. Can we afford this? You made her you know. You have to make this work.”

“I will, WE will. It’s the right thing to do.”

…………………………………………………………………………………..

They briefed me. They coached me. They BORED me. Yes, I know, no rezzing clothing. No changing anything about my appearance. No telling the doctor anything about my origin. They did give me a new name: Gospel Rasere. Rav discovered that Racer was a corruption of the name Rasere. They also said I had to wear a bra. But I only have 2 pair! I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. I was so done with this.

Iza pointed and said, “See! She’s just like you! Now do you see where Sarah gets it?”

Rav gave me a “just cool it” look and I unfolded my arms. Rav muttered something about “Why won’t that work on Sarah” causing me to laugh. I laughed?!!. They both looked at me.

“Go did it again. She laughed a normal sounding laugh with some ‘ha-has’ in it. I bet you can talk!”, said Rav.

Iza just looked at me and I cleared my throat. I couldn’t do that earlier. I concentrated and felt something happening. I was murmuring, just faintly. I pursed my lips. Nothing. Something was there and it would only be a matter of time before I could speak. What would I sound like? God, I hope not like Rav. I shrugged and smiled at them.

……………………………………………………………………………………

We prepared to leave, first sending Sarah to a neighbor’s house and I went to another room to “change”. I came back out dressed conservatively with a bra underneath my shirt. It itched so much! I’ll have to buy a new one soon. With what money and where I didn’t know. I did know I probably could not get new clothes off the grid anymore. We walked out to the car, a Honda minivan. I got inside and Iza helped me with the seat belt. It laid right across my boobs, my SORE boobs. To an ordinary observer it was just a van ride but I was exhilarated! I was queasy at first but that passed and I felt a thrill sensing the acceleration, the speed and the world passing by at a fast clip. It ended all too quickly for me but at least there will be a trip back home! We got out of the van and omigosh, the place was huge! Cars were everywhere! The space was the size of at least 2 sims. Turning around I saw the storefronts to what I recognized as a mall. Grocery, pizza place, paint store, a gym and right there, a medical office. We walked inside and Iza took me to a seat. All eyes seemed to fall on me and I pretended I didn’t notice as I picked up a magazine and held it in front of my face.

It was a long discussion from what I could see and hear. Rav was talking to the receptionist trying to explain who I was. Finally he motioned me to come over. Again, all eyes on me. The receptionist asked if my name was Gospel Rasere and I shook my head yes. She asked if I had a photo ID and I shook my head no. Just then another woman walked up behind the receptionist and told her to go ahead and start a folder for me. That being settled he walked me back to my chair. I smiled when I noticed Rav staring down the the one guy who was gawking at me. He put his arm across my shoulders and Iza held my hand. I felt safer now. We waited for what seemed to be an hour as 4 people went in ahead of us, including that creepy guy with the backwards baseball cap. When it was our turn a nurse came to the door and invited us in to the area where the patient rooms where located. A nurse made me stand on a scale. 5 Feet 7 inches and my weight, 90 lbs. The nurse was puzzled at that number.

“Are both your feet on the scale dear?”

We looked down. Yes they were. She shrugged and put a thermometer in my mouth. 15 seconds later “Beep”, 99.8 degrees F. She placed her cool palm against my forehead and said I did feel warm. Next we went to a small room with a few chairs, a padded table and a sink. I sat on the table while Rav and Iz sat in the chairs. Even more questions from the nurse. I shook my head no to all of them because well, they really didn’t apply to me. The nurse left and we waited a bit more for the doctor to show up. She arrived a few minutes later, Doctor Wanda as Rav referred to her.

“So, who is this mysterious and lovely woman you brought with you today??”………………………………..

PART 2

“Mysterious and Lovely indeed. She’s actually a long time family friend from the Virgin Islands who showed up on our doorstep a few days ago. She’s not herself. She seems to have lost her ability to talk and has some memory issues. She remembers us but but she seems to have suffered some form of amnesia.”, said Rav.

“Oh I see. I can’t do anything about those issues but I can give her a checkup to see if her health is OK. I see she has a mild fever and she’s underweight. Hmmm,  you don’t look like you’re 90 lbs.”

Dr Wanda proceeded to check her pulse again and checked her ears, eyes and throat. Out came the rubber mallet to check Go’s reflexes. Go giggled when her knee was struck as it tickled a little bit. She performed a few more test and even drew some blood which did appear to phase Go very much. Suddenly GoSpeed looked surprised and then very discomforted. She placed her hands on her lower abdomen and groaned in pain.

“Oh my goodness!” Said Dr Wanda. “Let me get something for you.” She then departed the room.

Rav looked at Go and then noticed the paper sheet was turning red around her. Rav averted his eyes, shocked and unsure of what to do. Iza got up and pulled some paper towels out of the dispenser by the sink and placed them around GoSpeed. Go began to sob, more in embarrassment than discomfort. The doctor came back with a nurse who had brought some towels and a patient gown. They took her by each arm to lift her from the examining table. They lifted her up and placed her in a standing position and then let go, walking back a few steps. Go had rezzed a new pair of pants right in front of everybody.

“Wha, What just happened? What happened to your pants?” blurted out Dr Wanda.

Everyone just looked at everyone else while Go tried to make herself small.

“Let’s just say she’s not what she appears to be.” said Rav.

“I should say so! Can you do that again?”

Go looked at the doctor then to Rav and Iza. Rav nodded an assent to Go. Go’s hair suddenly winked out briefly showing a bare skull and then quickly replaced with a grayish colored hair piece. The gray was slowly replaced by a jet black color and a longer hairstyle now perched itself on her head. The nurse stood motionless with her mouth open. Dr Wanda looked shocked and amazed but quickly gained her composure.

“Well you two certainly don’t look surprised. Care to tell me more about Miss Rasere?”

“Just you. Please have the nurse leave the room.” , said Rav.

Dr Wanda dismissed the nurse and the discussion began in earnest…….

They left the office with a prescription for Midol and a new ally in unraveling the mystery of GoSpeed. Dr Wanda was going to arrange some more medical tests at no charge. GoSpeed meanwhile slumped into the seat, spent from her experience. Her senses were overwhelmed yet again and she still felt the shame of having her first period right there on the exam table. She waited in the car with Iza as Rav went inside the pharmacy. Iza went into the back seat with Go to comfort her and explained what happened and why. Go felt a bit better and managed to dry her eyes.

This day needs to be over soon, thought Go. She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep…..

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!”

Hi there

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.

The TV is STILL broken

” 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.”…………………………..

Chapter 9 – Lost In Space

Chapter 9 – Lost In Space

GoSpeed rotated her head back so she could look straight up again after Rav situated himself on the ground. The ground was hard, cool and slightly damp. “Yuck, I hate being wet in my clothes”, she thought. That’s OK, I can rez some dry ones later, she realized. A few birds flew overhead and she watched them go from one side of the sky to another as they disappeard behind some trees. A slight puff of wind would occasionally  blow across her making the tip of her nose feel cool only to warm up again from the sun’s rays. The smell…. earthy, grassy, maybe a touch of decay from dead leaves. A few hundred yards away somebody started their riding mower and it emanated a low rumble and hum heard throughout the subdivision. Even closer, to her right, a few children were in the yard playing with their toys and engaging in playful banter.

After becoming accustomed to the sights and sounds around her she began to focus on herself. While on the Grid her senses were limited. There was sight, some sound and a vague sense of touch. Her body was a set of stiff objects flexing about pivot joints and her insides were almost hollow. Much like a pinata or paper mache doll she was pretty much a pretty shell. Here, where she was now, it was different, very much different. She felt thick,like she was full of stuff. She could push things and they would move with a bit of effort. On the grid you could move things with touch, but the results were unpredictable and erratic. She could breathe here and feel it as the air filled her insides, her lungs. The breathing was involuntary as it was on the grid, but she could only pause it before long before a strong urge to breathe made her gasp for air and continue. She could also not only feel the ground press against her, she could also feel herself press against it. She especially noticed the sensation of sinking into the soft couch. Smell and taste were just totally new things to her. She also realized in her short time here that they were linked together. Of all the senses touch was her favorite. On the grid you could touch something and you would notice a scripted reaction or some sort of reaction from the physics engine on an object. But there was no tactile feedback. She ran her finger on the seam of her pants feeling the texture of her pants. Raching out she felt the grass grasping at individual blades. She felt a thin stem of a dandelion and yanked. She held the white puffball in front of her face and studied it. Pursing her lips she blew across it sending little white parachutes up into the sky.
Rav brushed the seeds out of his hair and was about to chastise GoSpeed when he noticed her smiling. Not unlike the way his daughter smiled at the simple things. His ass was wet and he didn’t like it but he chose to be quiet. Go was like her daughter in many ways, innocent, naive, and full of wonder. Why wreck this moment? He faintly recalled doing this very same thing as a young child. The fact he could still remember it meant it was a very important moment to him.
Go looked over and saw Rav looking at her with faraway eyes. She blushed and looked away suddenly feeling self conscious. “What am I doing here lying on the grass?”, she thought. She looked straight up again as a hawk flew across a small puffy cloud.
“Nobody lives up there. Closest thing to a skybox is the International Space Station and that’s up a few hundred miles”, said Rav.
GoSpeed almost chuckled. Her body made the convulsive movements but no sounds came out. She widened her eyes and tilted her head as if to say ” Oh, aren’t you the funny one!”
The joke got her over her momentary embarrassment and she looked at Rav again. They weren’t kidding when they said Real Life people don’t measure up to avatar standards. Whoops! Shit! I hope he can’t read my mind! Well, he’s been around 44 years and I’ve been around for about 2 years. I should cut him some slack, she thought. As she looked at Rav she began to sense what he may be feeling. As she was mostly concentrating on physical sensations it occurred to her that Rav’s backside may be a little on the damp side. Umm, well, I think we should go inside, she mumbled internally. Picking up on her facial expressions Rav got off the ground, brushed the grass leaves off of his pants and then offered a hand to GoSpeed. Go took his hand, noticing how soft the inside of his palm was, yet calloused and rough on the edges. Izabella’s hands were much softer than Rav’s she recalled. Standing up she noticed something else was very different now. Her boobs moved, they moved! They’ve never moved before. Which considering some of the outfits she had worn was a good thing! She had to remind herself not to look down lest Rav notice and make a joke about it. Oh hell, he’s seen me naked a bazillion times. Wait, no, that won’t fly here in this place. It wasn’t as carefree here in the real world. She had better learn to refrain from certain impulses here.
“I have a crazy idea. Lets log onto SL and see what happens. I haven’t logged in since your arrival.”
Ooooh, now that would be weird, she thought. I can log in as myself, how ironic would that be? Or what if her avatar had been removed from the database? Can I exist in two places at once? Or am I a copy? This was getting to be downright mind boggling. Damn, lets just see what happens.

Rav walked ahead of Go and opened the front door failing to notice her suppressing a giggle as she noticed his wet backside……

A relaxing Sunday night at the studio

Chapter 8 – Breakfast of Champions

Chapter 8 – Breakfast of Champions

The black skillet did not betray its temperature until a thin strip of margarine landed in the middle and melted quickly. “Crack” went the egg against the lip of the skillet. Rav pulled the shell apart and the gooey insides plopped on top of the bubbly margarine. The spatula split the yolk and it ran over the top of  the now solidifying egg.

“This is a friend egg, not an omelette. Sarah doesn’t care for omelettes.” , Said Rav matter-of-factly.

GoSpeed watched as Rav cracked open 3 eggs into a Tupperware bowl and whipped them up with a fork creating an yellowish blend. In went the chopped onion, mushrooms, bits of American cheese, bell pepper and bits of bacon. The smell was beginning to make her drool. Embarrassed, she wiped her lip hoping Rav wouldn’t notice.

Sarah had awakened and came downstairs drawn by the smell of food. Rav directed Sarah to the toaster and she bean to make toast.

GoSpeed watched, fascinated. She hungrily eyed Sarah’s food as Rav put the fried egg on her plate. As Rav took the plate to the toaster to retrieve the toast Go fought the urge to stick her finger into the uncooked omlette and give it a taste. Rav added a bit more margarine to the skillet and was about to pour the omlette when he decided to give it to Go. Go poured the mix into the skillet and watched as the gelatinous goo solidified and turned whitish. Rav handed her the spatula and told her to stir it up a bit.

“There, scrape it of the bottom, this is scrambling in a way. You have to make sure it’s fully cooked, yet does not get burned.”

“Whoo hoo! I am cooking”, thought Go. After a few minutes Rav said it was done and took the spatula from Go. He cut it into 3 equal pieces and placed the slices onto plates. They sat down to eat and drink at the table
with Sarah. Go savored every bite, making yummy sounds as she did. Rav heard her, but it took him a moment to realize that she was vocalizing.

“Taste good?”

GoSpeed shook her head yes. Rav was hoping to hear a spoken response. Maybe in time. Go did have vocal cords, she just didn’t know how to use them (yet?).

“Iza will be down in a bit to get her portion, are you hungry for something else?”

No, she shook her head in response. Now that’s willpower, she’ll stay lean in real life for sure Rav thought wryly. OK, what next? Really, where do I go from here, he pondered. Sunday morning, things were slow paced on the weekend. Lets just see where things take us I suppose.

Sarah in the meantime had opened one of the shades in the dining room and Go’s eyes were immediately drown to the outside world. It was late April and the buds were beginning to sprout on the trees. In another week or so it would be time to mow the grass too. A squirrel darted up a tree trunk right outside the window.

Go’s mouth opened in amazement.

“Do you want to go outside?”

“YES!”, she nodded excitedly.

“OK, can you rez a jacket, it’s a little chilly out there, about 50 degrees.”

In a blink a red jacket with a hoodie appeared. A Frangipani freebie from last March, he recalled.

“OK, lets go out side then.”

Rav collected his jacket and led GoSpeed out the front door into the bright morning sun. GoSpeed squinted in the bright light and sheilded her eyes. She removed her hand to reveal a pair of sunglasses.

“Nice shades. ROLE sunglasses!”

Go smiled and looked down the steps, considering them. She seemed to hesitate until Rav offered a hand. Rav noticed she seemed a bit heavier than yesterday. Perhaps that was affecting her balance. Together they walked into the grass pausing by a tree. Go closed her eyes. She felt the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze, the sounds of the birds, the drone of a power mower in the distance. She took a deep breath…. and could smell, grass, pine needles, and stone? Asphalt she thought, whatever that was. This was intoxicating, she had to sit down before she fell down.She sat on the grass, leaned back and looked into the skies, watched the birds flitter about, the clouds drift over. “I could learn to love this she thought and she tugged on Rav’ pant leg and motioned him to join her…..