XIII: Cyanide and Wariness

Ashley shivered in the frigid air of the mountain and the valley surrounding her with its vast crags.

Boy it’s pretty cold up here.’ She thought miserably. Her sleeping bag was not doing its job against the harsh coolness sweeping down throughout the mountain and it’s various auspices this night, nor had it done it for the past two either, but there was nothing she could do about that.

The chill was natural- or rather, unnatural, but of an evil malice hanging about the air around her, making it heavy and sticky to the touch on her soft skin. Suddenly, whipped out of her reverie by a snap of a twig and a rush of small leaves along the ground, Ashley’s head rose half an inch in surprise. She heard a soft whisper outside her tent.

Ashley?”

She almost leapt with joy. It was Cameron she was hearing!

I’m coming, Cam!” She yelled as she started to fight to get out of her sleeping bag.

Finally succeeding, she started to tackle the tent zipper. Once that was open, she rushed out to greet… thin air.

Cameron…?” She hesitantly asked as she started slowly backing up.

All of a sudden, with a flurry of movement, many tiny stumpy legs thumped across the ground towards her! She was suddenly pummeled relentlessly and viciously by many small arms, scratched here and there, and her hair torn as she was roughly and crudely bound. With that, and a parting shriek- she was carted off into the jungle by a dozen or so Muka Axe Warriors…

*****

“Okay Dave,” Lorenzo began. “I know it’s been awhile since you were last here in Beunos Aires, and…”

Suddenly, he whipped open a door to the sub-basement and gestured Dave on through, down the short flight of steps to Minor Studios’ underbelly.

Okay.” He said breathlessly as they neared a small door all alone in the great belly of the behemoth of a building garage. “Here’s what we’ve worked on while you were…” He paused for a second. “Umm… away.”

He led Dave into a small, dark, gloomy room with a metallic sphere in the center, seemingly floating of it’s own accord. Dave gasped.

Magnificent isn’t it?” Lorenzo asked, beaming. “Made it myself, well along with a few others…” He trailed off. “Anyway. Here we are.”

At this point Dave asked, “What is that thing?” Still in amazement, and Lorenzo was quick to reply, “The Generator. That’s what we call it. Stores all the alternate reality and Cirrus’ data. The game, to put it plainly.”

And why don’t we just erase the data to get rid of the muka issue?” Dave asked.

Lorenzo looked horrified. “Dave! That would be annihilating a whole world! With living, breathing people in it! Plus, the muka would still be here, and we’d probably be worse off… Also, it took us years to finish that data!” He ranted on and on for awhile, Dave listening and nodding here and there.

Finally, he asked, “So if it’s self-updating all of the time and always evolving the gameplay, what would happen if it were to go rogue? Like Glados, from Portal, remember that game?”

Taking it in for a moment, Lorenzo said, “That’s a fair question Dave. The only issue with it is simply, the Generator has no whim of free will or even intelligence for that matter. Only one universal program or doctrine.”

Dave nodded in assent. “Well, in that case. What happens if the muka ever get control of it?”

Revised Edition 7/2/13

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