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Chapter Three

 

            Jason walked into his house and dropped his school bag next to the door.  Jason lived in tidy, organized, and totally unremarkable little subdivision along with nine other houses and families.  Jason’s, though, was by far the largest.  Jason had 2 older sisters, a younger brother and sister that were twins, and an older brother.  Overall he had five siblings; the first three were from the same father, a well respected man Spencer was.  He was hard working and liked by everyone.  He was killed a year before Jason was born by a wild animal that had attacked him on his way home from work.  The twins, Cory and Carrie, were children of a man named Mark Keith, a man that is currently a public nuisance, and on the run, wanted from the law.  And then there was Jason.  With his rich, unknown, lying, and selfish father that had taken pity on his mother one night and then just left her alone with a newborn child and 3 other children to take care of.

            As Jason set his pack down, he noted that there were three others there so far.  The twin’s, most obvious because of their matching black and yellow styles, and an electric green pack, the backpack that belonged to his older brother, Stephen.

            Stephen and Jason were always fighting and butting heads, each wanting to be dominant and head of the family, and both feeling that they deserved it the most.  Stephan was born a week before his father was killed, and that made him there about a year older than Jason, so he thought that he was better.  Jason argued that he was smarter, being a full year ahead of Stephen in schooling, since the school classes were based on brain capacity and not age.  That always made Stephen mad, and he would constantly rebuke that Jason thought he was better because his father was an Elite.

            About this time fist fight would break out, and their oldest sister, Megan Reye, would have to pull them apart.  As Jason thought about this, he snorted and kicked Stephen’s pack before turning down the hall.  He passed the kitchen and dining room first on his right, then the greeting room on the left, the adult’s room and the twin’s room on the right, Stephen’s room across the hall on the left, a turn with the bathroom on the right and Megan Reye’s room on the left, diagonal of it, and finally Jason’s room, nestled in the far back corner of the house on the right.

            Jason had glanced in on all the rooms as he passed.  The doors were required to be open unless someone was in there, then it was optional if it was open or not.  His mother’s room was empty, save for the furniture and the distinct bulky object of the box that was, obviously and surprisingly, placed next to her computer by the maintenance humanoids earlier.  His feet quickened in step, and he saw the twins in their room, their faces almost welded to the computer monitor’s screen.  They had a sleek, trendy, headset on, and their body was ridged, and their face completely blank.  With a pang of apprehension, Jason realized that they must be playing Genesis Alpha.  Stephen’s room had the door closed, so Jason assumed he was home, but Megan Reye’s room was dark and no one was in there.

            As Jason entered his room, he shut the door and looked around his room searching for the game box.  He saw it with a jolt and smiled as he rushed to it and ran his hand along the length of the recyclable metal.  At first, he could only focus on memorizing the box’s design, but then he let his thoughts wander to his other elder sister, Cassidy Bree.

Not yet two months ago, she had suffered a crippling injury to the leg that made her incompetent and unable to do the weekly chore assigned to her.  The Unified Government gave her a week to try to adjust, and since she could not, they took her and turned her into a humanoid.  Jason and Stephen both fought hard to keep her with them, but eventually they had to submit to the officials and watched her be taken away.  It was the only thing that the two brothers would agree on, that the Unified Government did not deserve their power, and that they both loved their sister.

Cassidy Bree had, in particular, been close to Jason, and he had always liked her more than his other siblings, mainly because of her sweet nature and brilliant mind.  Now without her around, Jason was alone with his case.  Their mother supported no one, she was overcome with grief of her lost child, and the death of her first, and favored husband, Spencer.  She spent nearly all her time at her Work Chore and was seldom home to take care of her children, a job that fell on Megan Reye’s and Jason’s shoulders.  No matter how much Stephen pretended and fought, the family secretly considered Jason the head, and more responsible one.

Jason sighed, wondering if Cassidy Bree would ever get to play Genesis Alpha, or if she had been completely brainwashed.  But as he continued to stare at the box, these troublesome thoughts melted from his head.  Slowly Jason moved his left hand to his pocket, where he pulled out the blade that he never left anywhere without.  Jason propped the box up on its side; the end marked with an arrow and said “Open this way up.”  No Shit. He thought with a smirk, honestly, after all the schooling the Unified Government put them through; you would think they had be able to open a box.  Regardless of his opinion, Jason slit the seam of the weakened packaging seal, and the box clicked as if a signal had been given off for it.

            The metal packaging box started to hum, and it opened on the port side.  The design and words that had been styled onto the packaging box faded slowly off of it, and left a shining, dull chrome color, making the box now nothing more than a gleaming, recyclable metal casket.  Jason held his breath, very rarely had such fancy and advanced packaging ever been provided to a commoner, and it took Jason’s breath away with both awe and rage that only now it was provided to them, but at the moment he could not focus on…. Anything really, except the game.

Jason peered into the box, and saw nothing except the smart shape packaging foam.  He placed his hand in the box and felt for the objects that just must be inside.  His hand banged against a large metal object, and he then grasped his fingers around it.  Using normal force, he retrieved it from the box, and the packaging foam shifted around it so it could be taken out more easily.  When it was completely out of the box, Jason set it beside him on the ground.

The object turned out to be a helmet, Jason realized.  He studied it closely, and ran a hand over it gently and eagerly.  Beneath his fingers, the smooth, frictionless metal was peppered and intertwined with jagged copper wires, crisscrossing along with metalloid, magnetic, and electric studs.  The network of the Nanoboard snaked across the helmet’s top and sides, covering nearly the entirety of the helmet.  The wires and such were incased in a thin, flexible, and translucent conductor layer that protected it from outside harm.

The helmet, itself, was sleek and trendy.  It was shaped like a 21st century motorcycle helmet, black, silver, and copper tones on the metal and Nanoboard, just over the left ear was a small, elliptical, grey button.  Printed on it, in white block letters, where the words: “Begin Wireless Transmission.”  Jason thumbed that small little button, and the grove of it fit his thumb perfectly, a match that just beckoned and begged for him to press.  Hesitantly, Jason removed his thumb to assess the rest of the helmet before he used it.

There was also a pull down visor over the front.  It was made of a semi-opaque hologram glass.  Jason had noticed, earlier, that the twins’ helmets each had a different visor color.  Cory’s, Jason recalled, was a light grey tinted blue.  Carrie’s was a pale, smoke yellow.  Which were both somewhere near the vicinity of the twin’s favorite colors.  So Jason was not too surprised to find that his visor was a deep grey mixed with maroon.

For the longest time, Jason had favored the color red.  He knew not why, but the eeriness and accuracy of the visor and the color made his spine tingle, and Jason set the helmet on the ground rather apprehensively.

After a moment, Jason left the helmet alone and retrieved the last piece out of the new game’s package box.  He pulled from within it a rectangular package made of flexible display glass, and set within it, abed on cushions of packaging foam was the game chip.  It was a shiny bluish green, and looked like any standard computer game chip, except on it, webbed in copper letters, was its name. Genesis Alpha.  And that made all the difference between just a chip, and this particular one.

Jason carefully removed the chip from it is so expertly displayed package and hurried to insert it into the chip downloader on the computer modem.  The piece of technology hummed and moaned, and moved as slow as a 21st century computer would have, taking nearly two whole minutes to connect to the internet, download the game parts and files from the chip, and start to load the new account screen.  Jason cursed under his breath, wishing for the hundredth, millionth time that he and his family could have better.

Jason leaned back in his chair.  It was a nice, soft and cushioned, chair on wheels.  Not really a luxury in today’s economy, but it was still popular with the commoners, even though most of the original models from the 21st century had long ago been used as scraps, the newer ones were made in the same style, foam and feather cushions and all.  They were just a bit trendier, affordable, and last able.

All of a sudden there was a loud popping noise that came from the computer’s speakers, and Jason bolted upright, leaning close to his monitor in eager anticipation.  Genesis Alpha.  Finally, after seven months of waiting, he would get to play it.  The log in screen became visible on his browser very suddenly, and the background behind the main text and body swirled in the colors of the ad, black, maroon, and green.  The logo for the game was at the top.  It used the game name, Genesis Alpha, and had wires and cable looking things connecting the letters and words, making them snake together and fit together in a technical, yet somehow medieval, way.

Jason was not sure when, or how, the lights in his room went out.  The thought would trouble him later, but like so many other things, he did not dwell on the subject and instead stared at his walls as blue, black, red, and green light illuminated his room, seeming to dance from the monitor to the air, and take on a spriteful delight and sparking and twirling, mixing and combining until the room seemed tainted and blessed with the pull of the game.

Instantly, Jason had swiveled around in the chair and picked up the helmet and was back in his seat in under a second.  He smiled to himself as he ran one last hand over the Nanoboard covering, and then placed it over his head.  Before he had failed to notice the inside of the helmet.  Unlike most virtual helmets, this one did not have velvet or just padding, it had smart foam, a substance much like packaging foam that was squishy and, if used once could memorize the shape and pressure points of any object.  When Jason pressed the “Begin Wireless Transmission” button, the smart foam kicked into life and molded itself around his head, making the helm firm, secure, and yet comfortable.

Also, once he pressed that button, the visor’s hologram glass lit up with the image that had been previously been displayed on his computer monitor; the log in Page for Genesis Alpha.  Jason scanned the page quickly, but paused, perplexed, at where it said (under Creature New Account) “desired username”.  In all this time, Jason had not once come up with a Username, or hardly even thought about one.  But with him this far ahead, it was too late to go back and think of one, so he randomly chose something he thought fit himself.

 

 

{Personal Log Quota: #2, User: georgeISNOhermit –unedited-}

This game is cool.  It is the coolest thing since instant food.  One thing I do not like, though, is that someone keeps trying to make us do things we do not really want to do.  I am not sure if that is normal, or if anyone else has noticed it, but I feel like the computer is smarter than me sometimes.  But then I realize that is impossible.  There must be someone working behind the scenes that we do not know about.  I really hope that I am not the only one to notice that.

{end of entry}

The End

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