The void scares me. No matter how many times I fall asleep, it is always waiting for me. I don't know why.
Maybe that's why it scares me so much. I don't know how to fight it, how to beat it. I can't talk to anybody about it, they already think I have "issues". So what can I do?
Phil, you're not paying attention.
Huh? I didn't realise Beth had been speaking. Or had even entered the room. But there she was, with that look on her face again. I don't understand; her mouth flattens and her eyebrows drop, like she's bored of me, but it's different somehow. Did you want me for something? I ask.
Actually, no. I got what I needed. She holds up a plastic card with markings I don't understand. The Housing Commission finally allowed me to get a cardkey to enter your house. It only took three months, she said with an angry tone in her voice.
Did you bring me something? I ask. The cardboard box looked full. Maybe she brought me something? I do love my little presents, even if I never know why she brings them to me.
Actually, I did. She put her hand into the box and pulled out a blue box with a screen on the right half. Do you recognise this? she asked, putting it on the bed in front of me.
I leaned forward, not sure what to expect. There appeared to be a hidden section in the left side. I picked up the item and gave it a light shake. Sure enough, I could hear something rattling around inside. There were buttons on both edges, and some kind of hole that cut into the right side, but other than that, there was nothing that really helped me determine its purpose.
Umm, no. I scratch my head, hoping that maybe it might unlock some hidden memory up there, but all I get is a blank stare from Beth. I put the box back on the bed.
Are you sure? It looks like you were working on this. For Rac... Beth stops mid-sentence.
I made this? I pick up the box again, not sure what to expect, as if maybe an extra five seconds changed it somehow. Surely if I made this it would have some purpose, maybe even help me discover a little bit about who I am, but I still can't figure it out. Nope. I put it down on the table next to me.
I don't know why I expected any different. Beth grumbles and heads back to the door. I'll be back in a few hours, maybe that'll help. She leaves with the cardboard box. Oh well, I guess she needed the other stuff.
It's night time again and I don't want to go to sleep. I have the room to myself, but only because of an incident where somebody like me told me to put a knife in the little hole in the wall. He said it would brighten me up, but when I did it I fell asleep and woke up in this room all alone. It must have hurt because my left arm was really sore for two weeks.
Something sparkles to my left. I turn my head and am reminded that the stupid blue box is still there, reflecting the flashing light of one of the monitors. I pick it up again. Is it a computer maybe? It's awfully small for a computer, and even if it was, I have no idea how to use one. Still, it would be nice to figure this out. Maybe it would be a step forward to showing people I can be normal again!
I hold the device in my left hand and start poking the buttons in random combinations. Each time I press a button it seems like a small light comes out of each button. I make it a game to push them all as fast as I can. I'm so excited by my little game that I freak out when all the buttons flash white and the screen turns on. I drop the box on my lap and just stare at it.
There's something flashing on the screen.
I pick up the device again and read it.
I don't know what that means, but there's an arrow pointing to the right. There's a button that lines up with it. Does that mean push the button?
I should wait for Beth. She will know what to do. Yes, I'll wait.
But as the hours roll through the night I get impatient. I want to do it. I want to see what happens if I activate the computer.
I pick up the device again and push the button near the arrow.
A new message appears. [MISSING 3 FILES: COMP.BAT, EXP.BAT, INT.BAT] Once again, there is an arrow pointing to a button, so I press it.
[CREATE BLANK .BAT FILES AND SIMULATE?] appears, and this time two arrows appear, one red and one green. I don't like red; red means I did bad in my tests. Green is good, so I push the button near the green arrow.
Several messages flash past.
[SIMULATION TEST COMPLETE]
[CONSTRUCT NAVI? THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE]
That stops me. Construct... that means... build, I'm sure. But surely anything I build can be taken apart, right? Yeah, we're doing this. With a smile slowly creeping onto my face I push the green arrow button again.
[CONSTRUCT COMPLETE. USER: RACHEL?]
Rachel. That was the name that Beth started saying and stopped. Well, I don't know any Rachel, and if I was building this it should be in my name. There is a keyboard on the screen, so I type my name.
[CONFIRM USER RACHELPHIL?]
No, that was not what I said. I stumble around, pushing keys until I figure out which one deletes stuff and put my name properly.
[USER PHIL CONFIRMED]
[SAMPLE NET BIOS REQUIRED TO COMPLETE BUILD]
[SCANNING AREA FOR NETWORK CONNECTION]
A small red glow fills the room as lots of tiny beams of light shine all over the room. After a few seconds they all settle on a port on the PC in the far corner.
[PATH DETECTED TO ACDC_NET]
[ENABLE BUILD TRANSMISSION?]
Still very excited, I press the green arrow button. The red light suddenly brightens and a... something... goes from the device to the computer. In mid-air.
That was cool.
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