Computers Are Not Toys
By: CS Fox
Artwork By: Costa
I woke because I could sense the coming storm of my mother. Rubbing my eyes and shaking my head, I slowly began a countdown.
“5, 4, 3, 2… and cue door,” and while pointing a finger at the door, in bursts my mother.
“Found you a job potato!”
“You know Mom; some parents call their daughters by their actual names.”
“You take this job and I’ll think about it.”
I fell back onto the bed and grabbed my pillow to block her out of my vision. “I don’t want to work. What is it today; a McDonalds application?” (Last week it was Taco Bell.)
My mother stomped across the room. “Dr. Kell down the street needs help with software engineering.” She yanked the pillow off my face, and stared determinedly at my eyes. “You love your potato games so much, so I told him you’d be all over it. I’m not letting you stay here all summer doing nothing.”
“What? Why’d you tell him that? I don’t know the first thing about programming.”
“I’m sure he’ll teach you.”
I yanked at the pillow. “Mom, just leave me be.”
Her grip tightened and her eyebrows narrowed. “I found you a job, one that probably involves your brainwashing potato games, and you’re not even going to meet me half way?”
There was something dangerous in her voice. It was a tone she hadn’t resorted to in our daily job frustrations. I slowly sat up, I think by finding something related to video games, excuse me “potato games,” she thought she had me cornered into a situation I couldn’t pass up.
“I’ll… I’ll try it for a day?” I said; sounding like I was asking a question more then stating a fact. My mother’s face lost some of its chiseled hardness and she nodded, giving one good pull to free the pillow from my hands and leaving with it in hers. I let out a loud sigh and fell back to my bed.
“Take a shower, I told Dr. Kell you’d be there at nine.”
I rolled over and found it was 8:30 on my clock. I shoved my blanket off the bed in frustration and stomped off to the shower.
No 17 year old should ever be treated like this. My real name is Gabrielle, Gabi for short, but mom just calls me potato. Not because I’m fat, no I’m more the opposite, skinny, blonde hair, blue eyes and maybe a little too tall… The reason mom calls me potato is because I’m into video games.
Promptly at nine I found myself standing beside my mother at the front door of Dr. Kell’s ample household. We probably would have been here five minutes earlier, but my mother wouldn’t let me out in just a t-shirt and jean shorts. Instead I was dressed in a nice v-neck and a pair of khaki slacks (in the middle of summer, shoot me).
My mother fussed over my hair and smoothed out some invisible wrinkles on the bottom of my shirt before ringing the doorbell. I smiled smugly as I heard the “the legend of Zelda” theme inside.
“What an odd doorbell,” my mother said, making me giggle. She had to ring the doorbell a second time before someone opened it.
“Link, he come to town… Come to save...” and the door flung open to reveal a singing straw haired young man in a lab coat. “… the princess.” A pair of gray eyes met mine, “Zelda?” and the song immediately died away. He didn’t look all that much older then me.
My mom was a little surprised but pushed forward. “Oh, hello is Dr. Kell in? I spoke to him on the phone yesterday, I’m Ellen and this is my daughter Gabrielle.”
My mother’s words didn’t seem to penetrate the boy’s stare. His eyes took in mine then strayed south. I made a bird with my finger pointing back towards my face and sneered at him. The boy looked a little shocked, “Oh ah, another lab assistant, of course of course. How do you do?” He finally acknowledged my mother and brought both his hands to shake hers. “Please come in.” The young man held the door open for my mother and I. “My name’s Sebastian. Dr. Kell will be up in a sec.”
Just as I was sitting on a couch with my mom, a door opened at the other end of the room and a tall man appeared. With the exception of his salt and pepper hair, he looked exactly like the professor from the Power Puff Girls, complete with lab coat and pipe.
“I thought I heard the door,” the man said as he came to one of the couches.
My mother perked up and stood to shake his hand as well. “Dr. Kell, thank you so much for employing my pota.. Gabrielle… She’s been telling me every day that she’s wanted nothing more then to get a job this summer.”
I reached for an invisible gun and pretended to shoot myself. Luckily no one noticed my fake death.
“It’s no problem… umm…” Dr. Kell snapped his fingers at Sebastian who in turn mouthed my mother’s name. “Ellen. Yes, it’s no problem Ellen, I actually needed another lab hand.”
Dr. Kell extended his hand my way. I looked up at him with a cocked eyebrow, but shook his hand knowing that my mother would likely destroy every electronic device in my room had I not.
“Well glad everything balances out then,” my mother said. “Potato, be on your best behavior and work hard. Call if you’re going to be working past dinner.”
I nearly let the damn gates burst… Past dinner? That was like 9 hours from now! I don’t think she much cared what I was doing, as long as her potato had a job, we could just as well be building a doomsday device. Hurricane Ellen left, leaving me alone with two strange men, oh joy. Sebastian seemed to be quietly repeating “potato” to himself, trying to make sense of it.
“All right, you’re the new lab assistant then. So you join the team of two. Now we’re three,” Dr. Kell said doing a little dance with his fingers, like this was extremely significant.
“Um… Right, so then what are we doing? Mom said coding.”
Sebastian quietly went over and opened the door that the Dr. had first come out of. Dr. Kell motioned for me to follow as he went into it.
“Let me just dive right into it. You’ve heard of fiber-optics right?” Dr. Kell asked as he led the way into what looked like a chemistry lab downstairs. There were lines of beakers on the shelves and a few pieces of equipment scattered on the tables.
“Sure, I’ve got a cable modem,” I shrugged. “It’s the stuff in the cables right?”
The doctor nodded. Sebastian was following behind me and but managed to find his voice, “Fiber-optic lines are strands of optically pure glass, as thin as a human hair and able to carry digital information over long distances,” he said. My spider senses told me to glance over my shoulder and I found he was staring intently at my ass, so I put another bird there for him, and he gulped loudly.
Dr. Kell walked into the lab and picked up one of the beakers. It was filled with a liquid, clear as water, but with little bits of fluorescent orange floating in it. “What Sebastian said is true and basic stuff you probably already know, but what you may not know is that the most recent breakthroughs in fiber-optic technology came from nature.”
“Nature?” I asked.
“You lost me.”
Dr. Kell smiled and handed the beaker to me. “A particular variety of sea sponges from the bottom of the ocean naturally produces long tendrils almost identical to fiber-optic glass. But being from the bottom of the ocean and in near total absence of light, they somehow do it better then anything our technology has been able to produce up to now. They’re like organic conduits for digital information.”
I swirled the contents in the beaker. It looked like a raver’s drink. “What’s that have to do with this liquid?”
The doctor smiled, “Not much, just everything!” Dr. Kell grabbed another beaker and flicked it with his finger. “What I’ve done is made a liquid fiber-optic cable! One that conducts information through mere contact.”
I raised an eyebrow and looked at the liquid again, then at the two of them. “Contact with what? Are you going to pour this stuff over two computers to network them?”
A grin grew so wide on Dr. Kell’s face, it threatened to attach the corners of his mouth to his ears. “I’ve poured it over the most intelligent thinking machine ever created. The human body.”
I nodded and looked back at the liquid, before his response clicked into place. “Wait, what? A person?”
The doctor headed into the lab followed by Sebastian, I shrugged and followed behind. Inside there were two large glass tubes, raised above a platform with large cables running from it like the roots of a giant tree. Just a few feet from them, there was a large computer console with at least a dozen computer monitors jerry-rigged around it.
“Sebastian has tested it, and I’ve tested it, but we’ve never had a girl test it,” the Dr. said as he waved about. “Your brainwaves are different and we need to see how the network would differ. So we need you to try it.”
“Try what? I don’t get what you’re saying.”
The doctor went over to a large fishbowl. It was empty, but it had little tubes running from the bottom of it, just like the construction in the middle of the room. He motioned for me to hand him the beaker I was carrying, so I did and he poured in the contents of both beakers. The fishbowl filled up and Sebastian switched on one of the computer monitors nearby.
“Watch this.” Dr. Kell said as he plunged his hand into the liquid. The monitor fizzed to life and showed an image of his hand floating in blackness. It was a perfect reproduction. He clenched his fist and the monitor showed a flawless motion of the same. “Right now you’re only seeing output. The monitor is showing the signals it’s receiving from my arm. To get input, and actually network a person, we need to submerge the head.”
“Won’t you umm… drown?”
“That’s the beauty of it. Believe it or not, it’s breathable. It’s not pleasant to breathe, but once you’ve established the link, you don’t even feel it any more.”
“I’m still not really following you…” I said scratching my head. Dr. Kell nodded and pulled out his hand from the fishbowl. Somehow his hand was dry with not a trace of the liquid on it as he pulled it out.
Sebastian turned off the monitor. “You’ve seen The Matrix… right?” he asked me as Dr. Kell went over to the big console. Amazingly he kept his eyes within proper boundaries.
“Sure, wasn’t very good, but I’ve seen it.”
“Imagine for a second the Dr. created a matrix similar to the one in that movie. A computer program that you can go inside of, without the need for hardware hookups in the back of your head.”
“The next step in virtual reality!” Dr. Kell exclaimed. “Artificial reality! You almost can’t tell the difference when you’re inside.”
Dr. Kell looked at me enthusiastically, obviously waiting for me to drop down and praise him for the genius he was. I looked at Sebastian then at him. “So you’ve made virtual reality?”
Dr. Kell nearly fell apart. “No, it’s so much more then that!” He motioned to Sebastian who slowly climbed up on the platform in the center of the room. Dr. Kell started pressing buttons on his console.
“Here, the best way to explain it is to show it. Jump up there with Sebastian.”
I surveyed the platform before getting on it. I kicked it gently with my foot. “Just to make sure, I’m not going to be some test animal, am I? You said you’ve done this and so has Sebastian?”
The Dr. nodded. “Yes, tons of times.”
I debated but slowly gave Sebastian my hand and let him pull me up on the platform. I stood on two x’s, and Sebastian did the same a few feet away on the other platform.
Dr. Kell pushed more buttons, “This should be paramount to my research, I’ve been hoping to see how the female brain handles the experience.”
“Experience?” I asked.
“I’ll explain in a moment.” Dr. Kell pressed a button on the console and the glass tube slammed down around me and another on Sebastian.
“HEY!” I yelled from inside the tube. I quickly pounded a fist on it. “What the hell do you think your doing?”
“Its cool, its just how you connect network,” Sebastian said from his tube. He suddenly sounded a little more confident. His voice was clear too, probably broadcasted, since I doubt I’d be able to hear him through two layers of glass tubing.
“I don’t like being trapped in a tube! Let me out! Let me out right now!”
The clear liquid with orange bits began to pour into the bottom of the tube. It was rising quick. I started screaming and pounding my fists on the glass.
“STOP IT! LET ME OUT YOU CRAZY SONS OF B****ES!”
“Calm down, I’m just putting you in a warm sleep.” Dr. Kell said. “You’ll submerge in the liquid and be ready to play test. You’ll have to get used to this, since we’re going to have to do it every time we log you on.”
“#@&()#&^#$^*&$@!!!!” I said. (Just imagine everything that girls don’t usually say, then stick it in a blender and imagine me spitting it out of my mouth in one long gush).
Dr. Kell’s mouth hung slightly ajar, as did Sebastian’s. Apparently they’ve never been pwned in counter strike. I screamed again and continued beating my fists on the glass. The liquid was rising up past my knees. It was bizarre because it tingled and found its way into my clothes, but at the same time didn’t feel wet. Feeling a bit hoarse, I managed to stop screaming and looked down at the liquid.
“Just calm down Gabrielle,” Sebastian said, looking impervious to the liquid slowly swallowing his mid section.
My voice was a bit shaky. “Are… are you sure this is okay?” I said looking over at him. He nodded and closed his eyes, completely relaxing. I managed to keep myself a little more under control. If weird boy could do it, so could I.
Dr. Kell looked at me very methodically. “I’m glad you’ve… calmed down a little, but in order to log you in, you will need to be submerged in E-Fib. That’s what I call the liquid.”
The liquid had passed my hips and was still rising. I tried moving my legs, and found minimal success. It was denser then water and harder to move through.
“Your not going to drown me in this tube are you?”
Dr. Kell laughed. “I’m not going to drown you. I wasn’t lying when I told you E-Fib was breathable.”
The liquid was up to my shoulders. It was weaving itself into all my clothes and made my skin feel cool. I noticed with a little more fright that my body was floating up a centimeter or two off the platform. Sebastian was going through the same process, but looked as though it were nothing more harmful then a warm shower to him.
“Now listen to me Gabi. The next thing is going to be the hardest part.” Dr. Kell said. “The liquid is going to come up past your head and its going to feel like you can’t breathe, because your body will think the E-Fib is water and so you’ll keep your mouth closed. I need you to force your mouth open and to try and breathe in the liquid.”
The liquid had reached my chin and he was right. I suddenly realized that the liquid was going to fill the tube and submerge me in it like a formaldehyde specimen. I began to breathe faster, feeling almost on the verge of hyperventilation as the liquid approached my mouth. Instinctively I took in a deep breath as the stuff passed my mouth and then my nose.
“No Gabrielle, let your breath out. You need to breathe in the E-Fib.”
You’d never believe how hard it is to un-train your body and convince it to suck down a lot of water and pass it off as air. I watched Sebastian inhale the liquid and suddenly go limp. As scared as I was, I shut my eyes and gasped as the air left my lungs and a fluid rushed in to fill my mouth and choke itself down my throat.
I quickly brought my hands to my throat to massage out whatever was clogged in it. But then things stopped making sense… I was surrounded by the E-Fib which should have made me just about immobile, so how could I move my hands? The cool feeling of the substance was gone and so I opened my eyes and stared down at my hands.
I wasn’t in the tube any more. I was floating. I was floating in a vast sea of nothingness.
“I guess I’m in the computer now.” I thought to myself. I let myself float for a second, this wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was cool that I could be inside something. I played with my hands and kicked my feet a little, watching them moving around in the space, but I couldn’t do much more then that. I was just afloat and adrift.
Something hit me in the back. I spun around to see Sebastian smiling at me. He was still in the same clothes he’d been in when we were in the lab, and apparently I was as well.
“Do you like it?” he asked. There was something in his voice that suggested he’d not talked to many girls besides his momma. I nodded slightly and looked down at my feet, I was kind of confused as to how I’d turned around without being able to touch any surface for leverage, or at how I felt like I was standing, yet there was no ground.
While staring downwards, I saw a little cloud suddenly appear somewhere below me. It just popped up out of nowhere. Then more of them came. Like some imaginary thing had puffed up its cheeks and blew them out to scatter in the nothingness.
“What’re those?” I asked motioning to the clouds. Sebastian smiled and held his hand out. The nearest cloud flew towards us as if summoned by telekinesis.
“These are files. Think of it as MS-Windows-3D, except without the MS, and you’re sort of inside the window.”
The cloud near us became a picture, like a floating television. It was an image of a sailboat. It was small, but it was like a beautiful painting, just sitting there calmly on water during a sunset.
“Having fun?” Dr. Kell asked, his voice was everywhere and nowhere at the same time, echoing.
“Just showing her around,” Sebastian replied.
“That’s good, now Gabrielle,” Dr. Kell began.
“Umm if you could, just call me Gabi,”
“Okay Gabi, as you may have guessed, I’m talking through a microphone in my lab. I have monitors showing me what you’re both doing.”
“I haven’t actually gone anywhere, I’m still just in the lab right?”
Another cloud popped up suddenly next to the two of us. Dr. Kell’s smiling face was on it. He moved out of the way and I could see the two tall tubes with our bodies floating in them. It looked creepy, like seeing yourself dead… It’s just such an unnatural body posture. Dr. Kell’s face returned to fill the image.
“Okay, let’s begin for today. Sebastian, pick one of the experiences and I’ll start logging brainwaves.”
“Sure thing doc. One moment…” Sebastian started to do a sort of funny dance. Like he was trying to grab nonexistent baseballs all around him, only there was nothing there. Every time he moved his arm a cloud moved around somewhere in the distance.
“Nothing fancy, just something simple,” said the doctor after Sebastian had lingered a little too long. “How about the boat? That’s easy enough, heck you made it… why not show it off?”
Sebastian smiled. He brought a cloud to him with his arm extended and there was a flash of light. I held my arm up to block my eyes and I felt a rush as everything changed around me. The feeling was followed by a gentle swaying, the swaying of a boat.
I was standing on the deck of a small sail boat. It was hard to believe, but at the same time, here I was. I could feel the sea breeze blow coolly across my skin, causing my clothes to flap a little. I found that I was wearing a sarong with a nice one piece bathing suit. My outfit must have changed since I came into the program.
I looked out to the ocean; it spread itself into a soft orange, mirroring the low sun at the end of a day. I took a moment and eased myself down, sitting on the deck.
“It’s beautiful,” I said aloud as I watched the water.
“Not nearly as beautiful as you,” said a deep sultry voice behind me. I turned slowly to see Sebastian, only… it wasn’t Sebastian. It was his face, but put on this ridiculously muscular and bulky body, clad in a male thong speedo.
“Well that just ruined the view…” I said plainly. Everything seemed so real… except him.
“When did you program that in?” Dr. Kell asked as his bubble appeared. It made me jump a little to see a little cloud with a face pop up like spy ware.
Sebastian turned slightly and flexed his muscles, showing off his figure. “Oh just something I’ve been working on in my spare time. You know… to impress the ladies.”
I looked around for ladies, but realized he meant me. “No… really, you shouldn’t have,” I said plainly, but suddenly felt a slight sickness rising in my stomach as he started to flex his butt, the doctor had an expression pretty similar.
“Uh yeah, remind me to limit your free play on this. Anyways,” Dr. Kell turned toward me. “What do you think about this experience?”
“Its incredibly real,” I looked at Sebastian who had moved to flexing his back muscles, “well most of it is very real.”
“Your brainwaves are normal,” Dr. Kell said looking somewhere outside the bubble.
“How would they be different?”
“Well I haven’t come across it yet, but I have a theory that not all minds will be willing to accept this program, or oppositely that the program won’t accept them. I’m not entirely sure of all the properties of the E-Fib I’ve created.”
Dr. Kell’s bubble was suddenly blocked as Sebastian stepped in front of it with a cornball smile. “Why don’t you sit with me and enjoy the view?” He said attempting to put an arm around me. At that moment the boat swayed a little and he moved a little more then he wanted too, plus the fact that I put my foot on his ass combined to cool me off with a splash of water.
Dr. Kell chuckled. “I’ll have to apologize for my son.”
I smirked, “Oh, didn’t realize he’s your son.” There was some floundering as the body with muscles so big couldn’t move its arms in a coordinated stroke. “If he’s your son, why does he always call you Dr. Kell? And he won’t drown will he?”
“He just doesn’t want to call me dad. Says Dr. sounds much cooler. And as for drowning…” Dr. Kell scratched the back of his head in the bubble. “Umm I’m not sure actually, you can feel in there… Like you can touch things and feel their texture as well as you can feel pain and get burned, of course your body is never actually marked or affected back here. To be truthful, we’ve never experimented with um… dying.”
I looked at the floundering mass and wondered what to do. Dr. Kell’s bubble floated toward it. “Sebastion, why not just turn off that ridiculous avatar. You can swim fine in your own body.”
The splashing slowed a little as Sebastian’s size shrunk about 2/3 and a sheepish look grew on his face as he came to the boat and climbed back aboard. His composure and demeanor had changed back to the same awkward gate he’d had when I first met him.
“You know, you could have avoided that by not assuming you can put an arm around me.”
Sebastian looked slightly embarrassed but nodded. Dr. Kell’s bubble came back aboard and floated around.
“I’m going to begin some diagnostics… You don’t need to stay logged on Sebastian, but if you would Gabi, I’d like to run some more tests with you.”
“Sure, what do I need to do?”
“Just lie back and relax, enjoy the scenery etc, I’m going to just take a reading on your brain waves and responses for a little bit.”
“OOooo I can do that,” I said sitting on the deck. Sebastian screwed up his face a little, like he was about to throw up, but before I could say anything to him, he disappeared. I looked in Dr. Kell’s bubble and I could see Sebastian’s tube draining in the background.
I shrugged and laid down, just basking in the sunset on the ship. The gentle rocking of the waves, the breeze, it was like something out of a dream. I stretched and took in a deep breath. It wasn’t real, but it real. Maybe that’s what this was, it was a dream, Dr. Kell hadn’t made experiences, he’d made dreams. Dreams we could visit. Dreams we could fully enjoy. What a wonderful thought. I closed my eyes thinking about it.
Sometime later I awoke with a start. Something was wrong, I could feel it. I sat up looking around. I was still on the boat, still in the dream. I gasped for a minute, maybe I was in a real dream of my own. I tried to think things through, and I felt the wind over the water. It felt real, or realer then any sleeping dream. I looked up to see the sun still orange and just above the where the sky hit the water. I’m not dreaming, I’m still in the adventure.
“Dr. Kell?” I asked. “Are you there Dr. Kell?” There was silence, there was no noise other then the motion of the ship on the water. How much time had passed? The damn sun had been in the same place the whole time so I couldn’t really tell if a lot or a little bit of time had passed. Maybe I’d fallen asleep in the game and rather then take me from my sleep, he decided to just let me rest and do his tests.
I paced around the ship a little bit. “Sebastian?” Or preferably “Dr. Kell? Anyone?” Just the boat and the water… I got a little nervous, but took a seat. This was fine, nothing to worry about. I’m probably being tested.
Five minutes passed, then ten. Still nothing, just me and the boat. The nervousness began to sink in a little. If this was testing, it was cruel. Dr. Kell said he didn’t know all the properties of E-Fib and that it wasn’t tested on girls yet… What if something had gone wrong?
I paced around the ship a little more. There had to be a way out. Like a way I could log off. I thought about it. “Well, when Sebastian got out, it looked like he was throwing up… Maybe if I spit the stuff out… wait… if I’m really floating in a tube of the stuff, it would have to be drained a bit to do that… hmmm…”
It was a tight spot for sure. I had no idea what to do. I paced around again and stared out at the water. It was pretty, yeah. But, while staring at the water I realized I needed to take a leak. I made my way to the ship’s tiny below deck and wasn’t very surprised to find it was just an unfurnished wooden room with no rooms connected to it.
Its not like it was an urgent problem and given that I’m on the water, I could probably just lean over the side and go, but… what if someone were watching? I mean, Sebastian or Dr. Kell could have me on the big screen or something? More then that, what happens to my body in the tube if I go? Do I wet myself and not realize it? Blech… guess that will be dealt with later. If I need to go in game I think I’ll just dive into the water and do it there… How much different would it be from peeing in the pool?
Sitting around a bit more only made me even more antsy. I thought about everything we’d done so far and the only thing to offer me any hope was remembering how Sebastian had started the program, with some type of hand gestures? But that was in the emptiness and files… maybe it didn’t work in here? But… at the same time, I’m connected to the machine, so shouldn’t I be able to access the files all the time? Just have to figure out how. At least it sounded better then my previous ideas.
I sat down on the deck of the ship and closed my eyes, like I was preparing to meditate or something. I spoke aloud. “Okay computer, if you can hear me… Take me out of here. Unlink me or whatever.”
I still heard the water and cracked an eye open to check my surroundings, nothing changed yet. I tried throwing my hand out like I was reaching for an invisible baseball… Still nothing, just me feeling stupid and probably looking ridiculous.
My eyes were open this time, “Okay computer, compy, uber-machine, E-Fib tube, whatever you want to be called… just kick me out. Log me off. Do something!” Nothing happened and I growled a little bit. “This can’t be happening. Dr. Kell? Sebastian? This isn’t funny! Where the hell are you two?”
Another couple of minutes had passed. My anger and frustration was quickly being over come with fear. What if something was wrong? What if I was stuck here? I stood up and looked out at the water. “Since I know its fake… I don’t know if it’s as pretty as I first thought it… Especially being stuck here like this.”
My mind just drifted off wandering in random directions, trying to recall everything that had happened today, even the parts before I’d been inside the computer. For some odd reason, the damn Zelda song came into my head. I rolled my eyes and tried to think of something else but the damn tune just wouldn’t go away.
I hummed the first bar, singing quietly “Gannon took her away and now the children won’t play…” the moment it had left my lips, the same flash of light went off. I quickly held a hand to cover my eyes and a sudden familiar rush took place as the scenery rearranged itself.
When the brightness began to fade I removed my hand to find it wasn’t sunset any more, it was suddenly mid-day. And I also wasn’t on the boat any more, I was standing on a dirt path in a forest.
“Well um.. this is a start I suppose?” I said to no one in particular. I checked myself over and found that I was in my own clothes. “Better then being stuck on a boat.”
I looked down the path and the only thing of note was a wall that bordered one side of it not too far ahead. Other then that, it just seemed to stretch on forever into forest, in both directions.
“Okay, wall it is,” I said as I walked towards it. As I got closer I realized something a little funny. The wall itself was a brick wall, sort of yellow-gray, like something you’d see around a Victorian garden, but the funny thing was that it was tall. Like 12 ft. tall. I couldn’t see over it, but I could hear the faint sound of motion on the other side.
I came upon a wooden door sized proportionally to the wall. I could only just barely reach the handle of it, and it seemed locked. “Dr. Kell, Sebastian?” I asked the door. Wondering if possibly they were inside, or monitoring what I was doing. I could still hear something going on over the wall, but it was hard to make out what.
Hesitantly I knocked on the door. The noise ceased a moment and nothing happened. I knocked again.
“Is that you Seba?” asked a girl’s voice through the door. It was weird, the voice sounded really familiar. I froze though, had Dr. Kell programmed people into this computer? Or was someone else physically plugged into the spot that Sebastian had left? Or was there more then one plug in spot?
Curious, and looking for a way out, I pressed my ear to the door. “Umm… no, its not. My name’s Gabi.”
“Another girl?!” the voice exclaimed. “That’s wonderful! I’ve always wanted to meet another girl. Do say you’ll come in.”
The voice was bothering me. It sounded like someone I knew, so much so that I could almost picture a face, but at the same time I couldn’t. “I’m actually just looking for a way out of this computer. Are you someone else logged in? Or a part of it?”
“Compuwter? What’re you talking about?” the girl said, slurring her speech childishly. That made me guess she was either playing dumb or a part of another program.
“Umm… never mind…” I thought for a moment.
“Are… you not going to come in? Please please, I’ve never met another girl before. There’s only me and Naomi in here.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Naomi sounds like another girl to me.”
“Naomi’s not a girl, she’s a nanny,” the girl said matter-of-factly. I started to have reserves about going inside. She sounded like she was an immature 10-year-old.
“What’s your name?” I asked just out of curiosity, hoping maybe to identify the voice.
“Of course…” I said rolling my eyes. Suddenly it made sense. She first asked me if I was Seba. Which was probably some lovey dovey short name for Sebastian, and this was probably his program. What it was used for was beyond me… Maybe this the Legend of Zelda in extreme 3D?
“Your name was Gabi right?” Zelda said breaking me out of my stream of thought. “Are you suuure you won’t come in and visit? Even for a little bit?”
I thought about it and took a look down the endless path. This wall and what’s inside is probably the only thing in this program so what else could I do? “Sure Zelda, I’ll come in.”
There was a little bit of a fumbling noise, like someone was jumping up to reach something and I eventually heard a latch slide. I backed up as the door creeped out at me and Zelda stepped up to see who had come to visit.
My knees suddenly got weak and I fell over backwards. It was some type of sick joke. I was looking into a mirror or doppelganger. Zelda was me, I was Zelda! She must have either decided to copy my expression or she had a conscious identity of self and suddenly realized that I was her too.
“You’re my my… my twin!” Zelda said clapping her hands together excitedly and diving forward to hug me on the ground.
“Get off me!” I screamed, frantically trying to separate her from me. My tone of voice shocked her and she jumped off. I realized she was dressed like, well Princess Zelda. Er the young one anyway, but still my size, I mean, still me.
Zelda had her hands cowering near her chin, like she was suddenly afraid of me. “Why… why’d you yell at me?”
“What are you?” I demanded.
Zelda took a step back, tears welling up in her eyes. “I’m a girl… I’m Princess Zelda.”
“Why do you look like me?”
My tone seemed to be scarring her, “I don’t look like you, you look like me.”
Touché. “Okay fine… Just…” I fumbled for a moment. This wasn’t what I had expected to run into. It was also disarming to see myself. I mean its one thing to see yourself in a mirror, but to see yourself in person, it’s entirely different. Under my inspection I realized she wasn’t exactly me though, she was an incredibly good likeness, but small details were out of place. My eyes weren’t exactly like hers, my chest wasn’t quite that full, my hips had a little less curve. It was like she had been tailored to be a better looking me…. WAIT…. Better looking me?! “What about Sebastian?” I barked.
Zelda backed up again, letting out a little yelp, “Sebastian?”
Oh this wasn’t going to go in a good direction. If I’d stumbled into virtual porn with myself as the feature, castration would only be the beginning of Sebastian’s comeuppance. I cooled myself down. “Yes, your Seba. What does he… do… here.”
Zelda looked a little worried, like I was asking her a trick question. “He just comes and plays sometimes.”
I felt my blood pressure rise a little. “What do you mean by play?”
Zelda slowly began to put herself back inside the door as she noticed the unhappiness I was emanating. “Board games, hide and seek, tea parties… just… play.”
I tilted my head a little oddly at her. The childish slurring, the scared demeanor, is that really what they did? I walked briskly through the door, surprising Zelda as I just passed right by her.
I found the inside was an elaborate garden. It was lush and full of green vines and flowers and bird fountains and a dream all its own. There was a small creek bordered by rocks and little wooden bridge over it, a marble table with two chairs, a grassy field and a decent single level house.
I’d come in expecting to find something perverse, but instead I found something almost whimsical, almost too girly to be anything else. I just stared, taking it all in until I heard the door shut behind me. Zelda looked a little worried at me but carefully approached.
“Are you mad at Seba?”
“Yes,” I said plainly.
“Why, has he been bad?”
I looked Zelda over again, seeing the cuter version of myself, I just nodded.
“What did he do wrong?”
“It’s a little too complicated to explain.”
“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed an older woman. I turned and my eyes went wide as I saw a raven haired lady come up to us. The only problem was that she had to be 10 feet tall. “Zelda? Zelda is this more of your silliness? Am I seeing double?”
Zelda lost a little bit of worry on her face as the lady approached. She smiled and shook her head no. “Nope, this is my twin Gabi!” she said pointing at me.
The giantess looked at me. I turned my eyes skyward. I was only 5’7 and 10’ ft sure makes you feel a lot smaller. “Zelda’s twin? Well isn’t that just the cutest. Nice to meet you Gabi, I’m Naomi.”
“I…. I…” a broken record was stuck in my mouth. I suddenly felt as frightened as Zelda had seemed a moment ago. She was just… so tall. “Hi.” I finally managed to get out.
Naomi smiled at me. “Well it shouldn’t be much different taking care of twins.”
“What?” I asked a little confused. Naomi squatted down a little and looked at my shirt and slacks.
“These are a little too nice for playing around in the garden, why don’t we get you into something a little more comfortable and less restricting?”
“Take care of twins?” I stammered out. Naomi smiled. As tall as she was, she didn’t seem to be as intimidating as her height made her. Her raven hair was tied in a loose pony tail and she was dressed conservatively in a white undershirt and a jean dress that hung all the way down to her ankles. At least she wasn’t dressed as a character from Zelda.
Naomi suddenly scooped me up with one arm, supporting me on a hip. Zelda clapped happily as she started back towards the house.
“Wait! Put me down, I didn’t say you could pick me up!” I yelled.
Zelda looked up at Naomi, “she yells a lot.”
Naomi looked back at her and nodded with a bit of a smug smile. “I guess she’s not your exact twin, but we’ll see.” Naomi brought her other hand to steady me as I struggled to get down. “Fussy fussy,” she said bapping my nose.
“You can’t do this! Let me go!”
***** (rewind a little)
Dr. Kell had his clipboard up and was checking the readings.
“Dr. Kell?” Gabi asked. “Are you there Dr. Kell?”
Dr. Kell noted the response and made a little tick mark. He checked one of his view screens to see her pacing around the boat. It was a little harsh to give someone the silent treatment in the program, but necessary to see how they’d handle submergence in their environment.
“Sebastian? ….. Dr. Kell? Anyone?” Gabi asked again, sounding slightly more worried. Dr. Kell made more tick marks. Sebastian approached behind him and looked on with only slight interest. He’d gone through the same thing three weeks ago and soon enough it’d be over. He left to get some food.
“Okay computer, if you can hear me… Take me out of here. Unlink me or whatever.” Gabi said. Dr. Kell looked over at the screen. She didn’t quite have it right, but given enough time she probably would. She could access the logout procedures by simply saying the correct phrase.
He watched and didn’t crack a smile at her various attempts to leave. He leaned over and checked a few more readings, nothing seemed out of place, everything was normal. He was only faintly paying attention as he heard her hum something and then the meters he was watching suddenly spiked. He spun back towards the screen and she was gone.
“WHAT!?!” He exclaimed, opening more windows, taking a complete view of the ship. “She just… just disappeared?” He checked the readings again. She was still alive, she just wasn’t in that program any more, she had moved to a different one and for some reason, there was no trail, no notation of where she’d gone, which was something the system was programmed to make. “This is bad,” the Dr. said suddenly pulling at his collar, feeling a little uncomfortable. A girl had just gotten lost in virtual space.
He frantically began pressing buttons and typing in commands as Sebastian re-entered the room. “What’s up?” he asked noting the slight urgency in his dad’s movements.
“She’s gone!” he exclaimed.
Sebastian looked at the tube. Gabi was still there. “Umm… no she’s not.”
Dr. Kell pointed at the screen. “No, she’s gone from there! I can’t log her off, she has to do it herself and I haven’t told her how yet.”
“Uh…” Sebastian scratched his head. “Couldn’t we just reach her anywhere in the system? Like run a search or track her signal or something?”
Dr. Kell pushed stacks of papers aside. “No, I haven’t made the possible yet. We were supposed to stay in controlled environments because I didn’t have an open link to all of them yet. Quite effectively she’s lost somewhere in the system and now we’re going to have to find her.”
Sebastian was stunned. “Lost?” he asked. “It’s not like she could have gone a lot of places, how many have we made so far?”
Dr. Kell frantically reached around for another paper. “There are 324 data clusters she could have visited. 324 places you’ll have to go look around, and I don’t think I have to tell you that some of them are pretty big.”
Sebastian had to sit down… and Dr. Kell started drawing out a grid, making a plan of action. This could be dangerous. He’d never had someone logged on for more then 2 hours and by the looks of things she could be in there for a long time if they didn’t get to work immediately.
“Could we just… manually drain the tank?” Sebastian asked after a moment.
Dr. Kell continued scribbling. “What happens when you pull the plug on a computer and you had a word document open.”
“That doesn’t happen to often any more dad…” Sebastian said momentarily slipping from his cordial title of Dr. “There are back-ups and automatic constant saves and…”
“This is not a DELL. This is not windows… This is what WE have made. Did you add a nice feature like that on there and not tell me?”
Sebastian shook his head no.
“If we drain it, we take her out still half in. I don’t know what would happen, honestly she might not be the same afterward and I’m not going to take that chance.”
Sebastian got up and did his best to help Dr. Kell.
Naomi opened a door that had mosaic glass framed in its center. It looked antique and quite beautiful, but I didn’t really care as I continued to struggle.
“What are you doing?! Put me down Amazon!”
Naomi giggled. “Amazon, hehe I’m not that tall, I’m not even over six feet.”
I was about to say something when I realized the house was a bit odd. Everything else was sized to Naomi’s size, and Zelda and I were just smaller. “But but… I’m smaller?” I asked.
“Nope, you’re my size!” Zelda said happily as she skipped along beside us. Her white and pink robes fluttered as she did so. Was it weird that I was annoyed with a copy of myself?
“But what are you doing with me?” I asked Naomi.
She continued to carry me into nicely furnished rooms and down a hall. One room we passed had a lot of arcade games in it and I paused my complaints just long enough to take mental inventory of what was in the room.
“Well I’m just going to take care of you the same way I do your twin sister.”
“She’s not my sister!” I shouted.
“Well you certainly look like her,” Naomi said. She brought me into a room that was so pink it was frightening. It was also a nursery. There was a crib, a changing table, a play pen, a rocking chair, a full chest of drawers and every other thing a child would need.
“What the hell is all this?”
Naomi approached one of the drawers and opened it to take out a pacifier. I looked at it with wonderment till she tried to stick it in my mouth. I easily blocked it with my hand.
“Hey cut that out. What is this nursery doing here anyway?” I asked. But, then something bad creeped up on me. The way Zelda had been talking, her referring to Naomi as a nanny, mentioning childish activities and possibly worst of all… While everything in the house was sized big, the childish sized things in this room were scaled right to my current height. I gasped out loud as it all suddenly sank in. At that moment the pacifier entered my mouth. I quickly spit it out and Naomi put me down.
“Fine, don’t have it in, but please, no more yelling. I’m only trying to take care of you.”
“I don’t need to be taken care of!” I yelled. Naomi rolled her eyes and leaned down to get the pacifier again. I backed up a few feet. “Okay okay, I’ll stop yelling.”
“Good. Now let’s get some nicer clothes for you.”
“Ummm.. Naomi?” Zelda asked very meekly. I had almost forgotten about her till she spoke up. I almost can’t emphasize enough how weird it was having a copy of myself nearby.
“What is it princess?”
“I ummm…” Zelda looked at me and blushed a little. “I need a change.”
“Aww poor dear. Let me help you first then,” Naomi got up and went towards Zelda, but paused a moment to look at me. “You don’t mind if I change your sister first Gabi, do you?”
“Um.. no by all means,” I said looking a little confused.
Naomi went over to Zelda and picked her up. She looked almost like a child in Naomi’s arms and even laid her head on her shoulder, but at the same time it wasn’t quite right because she wasn’t a child. She had hips and a chest, it was just a little out of the ordinary, but then again everything here was so far.
Naomi carried Zelda over to the changing table and laid her down, pulling up her pink and white robes/dress to reveal shapely legs and… and… I rubbed my eyes. She was… diapered…? My stomach dropped. The perverse copy of me was wearing diapers? Naomi and Zelda seemed completely oblivious to me as Zelda got her diaper changed.
“Why is she in diapers?” I asked, fighting to maintain my composure.
“Because she’s just a little girl and doesn’t really have control yet,” Naomi said with a smile, tickling Zelda as she said it. Zelda blushed trying not to make eye contact with me, apparently a little embarrassed.
“She’s not a little girl, she’s 17!”
“No need to yell again Gabi, and no she’s not 17, she’s more like six. Which I’m sure you are too, but nice try.”
“Nice try?! I’m 17!”
Naomi finished changing Zelda’s wet diaper and she helped her off the table. “Really Gabi, you have to be the most excitable girl I’ve ever met. I almost wonder if you really are your sister’s twin!”
“I’M NOT!” I practically screamed.
Naomi scooped me up again and carried me over to a closet. This time I wasn’t just trying to get free, I was pounding on her shoulder and about to hit her in the face. Naomi’s hand slapped my thigh hard. It hurt and scared me for a moment. “Stop that Gabi,” she said admonishingly as I rubbed my leg, trying to massage the sudden pain away. “There’s no hitting here. Hit me again and you’ll be punished, understand?” She looked right into my eyes and I realized that whatever I did do, I was half her size, just about literally. I gulped loudly and slowly nodded.
Naomi opened the closet and inside were a variety of outfits. There were practical clothes, as well as frilly dresses and even ridiculous costumes. I could see more Zelda’ outfits including the sheik one, and a link outfit and a Mario outfit and a samus outfit, it was just about ridiculous.
“Let’s see… I think something a little more durable… maybe jeans…” Naomi reached in with her one hand and began shifting clothes about till she came to a pair of jean overalls. “Perfect,” she said happily.
“Could… Could I wear them too?” Zelda asked from behind. Naomi looked at her with a bemused smile.
“Want to look like your sister huh?” she asked. Zelda nodded. “Awww, well I don’t have a problem with it.”
“I think I do,” I volunteered. “The stuff I’m wearing is fine, I don’t need to change.”
“Oh nonsense. You need to be wearing playclothes,” Naomi said. She put me down and pulled off my shoes.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, fighting against her again. But being so tall, she over powered me and quickly had them off and working on the button of my slacks. It was almost not worth fighting how easily she dealt with my resistance, but I still tried.
“What’s this?” Naomi asked in surprise. She had worked my pants off and was staring at my plain victoria’s secret panties. “Big girl panties? Maybe you’re not exactly like your sister. Are you potty trained like a big girl?”
“I’m 17! Of course I’m potty trained.”
“Well aren’t we special. All right, that’s fine, but don’t make fun of your sister then because she’s not there yet.”
“She’s not my sister!!!”
“You can yell all you want, but there’s no lying to the mirror. I think your just jealous that Zelda is so much nicer and…” she smiled at Zelda, “Maybe a little prettier then you.”
“She is me!”
“No, she’s your twin sister,” Naomi said as she reached out and got a plain pink t-shirt. She quickly pulled my shirt off and was about to put the t-shirt on when she found my bra. “Aww, I didn’t even realize they made them that small.”
“@)$(&*#!!” (for the record, I’m a nice B, so she can STFU).
Naomi’s hand reached around and smacked my bottom faster then I could react to it. Her finger was pointed straight at me and her eyes were locked on mine. “I never want to hear that language from you!” she said looking at me sternly. I frowned at me and she grabbed my wrist, squeezing hard, “Do you understand me?”
I looked at her a little astounded and tried to tug my wrist away. “All right, geeze. Its not my fault that your all faulty computer programs.”
“Gibberish…” Naomi said deftly unhooking my bra. I tried to reach up and slap her hands away but she had the rests grabbed and was sliding the shirt on me. With more restrained struggling she managed to get me dressed in the blue jean overalls and a pair of white tennis shoes. “Now you stay here and wait while I dress your sister? Okay Gabi?”
I frowned. “How about no,” I said sticking my tongue out and walking straight for the door. I heard Naomi sigh and walk towards the door, beating me because she only needed half the strides. She shut the door and looked down at me with a slightly annoyed look on her face.
“Your just determined to do whatever I tell you not too… Aren’t you Gabi?”
I didn’t answer her but tried to open the door even though she was leaning against it. The door didn’t move and neither did she.
“I think this is your evil twin princess,” Naomi said to Zelda, who just nodded softly. I frowned at both of them.
“Just let me out,” I said angrily. Naomi reached around again and smacked my bottom.
“No. You can wait here for one minute while I get your sister ready.”
I had my hand on my butt. Her swats had sting. I don’t even think she was doing it that hard, but one hand was big enough to catch both cheeks. Reluctantly I backed away from the door, sneering at her the whole time.
Zelda quickly got herself ready, getting out of her costume, and working herself down to nothing but a big toddler-like diaper. I nearly gagged. It wasn’t embarrassing to her to be in a diaper, and she was me, or looked like me, or… gahhhhhhhhhh!!! What the hell is this ridiculous program.
Naomi had Zelda dressed identical to me in no time at all. “OOoooo how precious, Gabi come over here and stand next to your sister.”
I frowned and didn’t move. Naomi lost a little bit of her smile and motioned for me to come over again. I reached up for the door.
“Do that and I’ll tan your hide but good,” Naomi warned. I let out a deep sigh and stomped over to the two of them. We stood in front of an oval shaped stand up mirror that seemed at least 8 ft tall. But looking into it… my mouth suddenly dropped… we were twins… I mean… IDENTICAL twins, wearing what we were I couldn’t see any difference. Well, maybe Zelda’s overalls bulged at the hips a little, but that was it. Same hair, same pink shirt, same height, same look of bewilderment.
“Wow…” I managed.
“Sister!” Zelda said hugging me tight. I gasped a little bit.. not entirely sure what to say… I mean she was fake, but she felt sooo real. I could feel her warmth, her body pressed against mine. I worked my arms down to break her hug.
I looked at Naomi a little frustrated. “Can we leave now then?”
She nodded and went to open the door for us. “Why don’t you two go play out in the garden for a little while?”
Naomi opened the door and we headed out. Zelda grabbed my hand and was about to pull me down the hallway but I slid my hand out of hers. She paused and looked at me the way a puppy does when you take away its toy.
“I’ll um join you in a second,” I said, “I just want to talk to Naomi.”
Zelda didn’t really appear to understand but bounced off down the hallway happy enough. Naomi shut the door behind her and looked down at me.
“What’s up?” she asked with a smile.
“My question exactly…”
“What do you mean Gabi?”
“What are you?”
Naomi bent down and stroked my long hair. “I’m just a friendly nanny. Who’s here for you if you need anything.”
She was giving off a creepy vibe so I took a step back till my hair was out of her hand. I wasn’t sure how to approach asking her any helpful questions. “Well, how long have you and Zelda been here?”
“Oh for a long time.”
Okay I could go somewhere with this. “Well how long?”
“Not sure, as long as I can remember.”
“Have you ever lived any where other then here?” I asked pressing the matter.
“Don’t think so.”
“Don’t you see a problem with that?”
“Nope,” she chirped. “Everything’s wonderful here, why would I ever want to live somewhere else?”
“But where were you born? How old are you? Don’t you even care?!”
A grin grew on Naomi’s face. “Not in the least. I’m happy, so is Zelda, what else matters?”
I took in breath to retort, but the words just didn’t leave my mouth. There would be no convincing her, or getting information from her. She did not know or care of the things that people in the real world would use to define themselves. She simply was… happy.
“What do you do when Seba is here?” I asked thinking to what Zelda had said earlier.
“I take care of him too,” she said with a smile. “Delightful young boy, always brings stuff here for us, makes improvements to the house too.”
“But how does he make improvements to the house?”
“He just does,” Naomi said with that same giddy smile.
I frowned, she didn’t seem to know or care about that either. Perhaps she was programmed to be that way. Something else crossed my mind at that moment. “Does Seba…” I smirked, “does Seba wear big boy pants when he’s hear?”
“Usually not, that boy has lots of accidents. Little frustrating sometimes actually.”
A part of me wanted to laugh, a part of me wanted to throw up. This wasn’t Sebastian’s personal porno palace, but it still was something perverse.
A moment later my twin… er… sorry mentally slapped myself there… my identical copy, came back down the hallway wondering how long we were going to be.
“Oh Gabi here was just asking a few questions, I’m sure she’s quite done now and you two can go play.” Naomi put a hand on my back and pushed me forward. I was a bit bewildered but knew I wouldn’t really get anywhere with her at the moment so I resigned to have Zelda take my hand and lead me.
“I wanna show you the garden!” Zelda said excitedly. She led me past the video game room and I dragged my feet a little.
“Can you show me around in there?” I asked looking at the bright screens and happy chaotic noises coming from the machines inside.
Zelda looked in and shook her head no. “That’s Seba’s room. I’m only allowed in there when he’s around.”
My mind perked up for a moment. If that room was Sebastian’s maybe it had some link to the outside world. Like an exit or maybe a monitor in on the lab. At the very least, it did appear to have some very good games, I could already hear the voice from one game saying “Welcome back to the stage of history!” I worked my thumbs energetically in anticipation.
Naomi choose that moment to walk in front of us and lock the door with a key. “Sorry Gabi, that’s Seba’s room and its rude to go in their uninvited.”
I gasped a little bit at Naomi shutting my best lead yet. “Oh um… he said I could. I saw him earlier today… on a boat.” I’m fairly certain Sebastian had every intention of showing me his room back in the real world if I’d given him the chance, so it wasn’t like I was lying.
“Nice try, he’ll have to be here to tell me that personally.”
“But… but… video games? Please…?”
She put her hand on my shoulder and turned me away from the door, walking me forward with Zelda. I shoved her hand away and just walked on, knowing I was defeated. Zelda led the way out into the garden once more. It was still as stunning as when I’d walked through it earlier. If Sebastian had hand designed this, he had done a damn good job. There was something sweet in the air, like a perfume I couldn’t quite place.
“This way!” Zelda said grabbing my hand again. She tugged me forward almost at a run around the side of the house and into another little open area ringed by a flower bed. The flowers were gorgeous and like nothing I’d ever seen. They almost looked like regular flowers, but they were bigger, and more pretty.
She guided me over to a stream which I’d seen earlier and up to a pond up that appeared to be feeding it.
“That’s Frederick!” Zelda said with a big smile, pointing at a goldfish swimming circles. He was pretty big for a gold fish, but after watching him loop a few times, I realized that he was swimming the exact same concentric circle repeatedly.
“Guess he’s not done yet?” I said quietly as he continued like the hands of a clock.
“What do you mean?” Zelda asked innocently.
“He only swims in circles.”
“Cause circles make him happy!”
We stayed and stared at the water for a little bit and hearing the tinkling of the stream I was reminded of my own slight need to form a stream. Thinking about it suddenly brought it front and center once again.
“Um… where’s the toilet?” I asked looking back towards the house. Zelda blushed a little bit.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
Zelda looked down and patted at her waist, making a slight crinkling noise. “I don’t really need to know…” she replied, blushing a little more.
“What do you do when you need to take a bath.”
“And there’s no toilet near there?”
Zelda hesitated and looked thoughtful for a moment… “Um… nope, just the bathtub and the towels and the changing table.”
I let out a sigh and started back towards the house.
“Where are you going?” Zelda asked, trotting up to follow me.
“To find a toilet, or make my own”
“Diapers are a lot more convenient …” Zelda giggled. I sneered, but didn’t turn around to reply.
We headed back into the house and Naomi was there to greet us. “What are you doing back so soon, you weren’t gone for more then 2 minutes.”
“Gabi needs to potty,” Zelda said happily. This time I blushed a little.
“Do you Gabi?” Naomi asked. It was a little embarrassing being asked if I needed to potty.
“Yeah, but I don’t need any help,” I said anticipating her move. “Just let me know where it is.”
Naomi smiled, “We don’t have one.”
“We don’t have a bathroom, least not one for what you need to do.”
The wind just jumped right out of me. “What do you mean you don’t have a bathroom?!”
“Must you always yell Gabi? Its rather simple, we don’t have a bathroom.”
“Then what do you do when you need to go?!”
Naomi swatted my behind once again. “No need to yell. The answer is that I never need to use one.”
“I never need to use one. I do not urinate or deficate.”
My jaw hung open a bit. Was that possible? Then thinking on it a little more, since she wasn’t real, it was more then possible. She probably wasn’t programmed to do anything other then take care of Zelda and any other guests…
“Okay then…” I said calmly, turning to head back outside.
“Where are you going now?” Naomi asked as I was almost back out the door.
“I’m going outside to water the flowers.”
“Oh they don’t need to be watered, don’t worry about it.”
“Oh I’m not really going to use water, so don’t worry about me.”
Zelda looked a little confused, but Naomi obviously understood, reaching out to grab my hand.
“I didn’t realize you’d be staying with us long enough for this to be a problem, even Seba isn’t usually here for more then an hour or two. But don’t worry, I’m here for just such situations like these.”
“Let go!” I said digging my fingers into hers, trying to pry them off my wrist. For the umpteenth time today I was being led somewhere I didn’t want to be to do something I probably didn’t want to do.
“She’s going to be diapered?” Zelda asked with a smile, clapping her hands together.
“Better then ruining my flowers,” Naomi said with a smile.
“They’re not real flowers. I doubt they’d even be affected!”
“Hush Gabi, no more yelling… I’ll have you diapered soon enough.”
“Don’t! This is inhumane!” I said hitting Naomi’s hand that was locked around my wrist.
“No, making you have to go outside in the garden like an animal is inhumane. Consider this a courtesy,” Naomi started to drag me back towards the nursery. “There’s nothing to worry about Gabi, I’ll have you nice and diapered before you know it.”
“That’s what I’m worried about! I don’t want to be diapered!”
Naomi let out a sigh, but continued to march forward with me in tow. Zelda was doing a sort of funny high step march behind us, as if Naomi was the master of ceremonies in some hunter’s parade, and I was the prize catch between them.
“Being diapered is great!” Zelda said happily.
I worked at Naomi’s wrist some more and just about lost it. “Just let me f***ing go!”
Zelda’s eyes went wide and she stopped mid-march. Naomi did the same and quickly spun my wrist around, turning my back to her. She had her knee to my stomach in one deft movement and I realized all too late the mistake I’d made.
WHAP, came Naomi’s hand. “You are never to use such language! And you’ve already been warned once.” WHAP WHAP. I struggled to get free, this was embarrassing and even worse, it really really hurt, not to mention did nothing to alleviate my need to pee. My eyes were tearing up involuntarily and my butt felt like it was being repeatedly exposed to fire. WHAP WHAP WHAP. The tears came freely.
Zelda looked almost as if this was hurting her as much as it was me. She backed behind the corner of one of the walls, so that she had some protection (from what I don’t know). Naomi’s hand came down at least a dozen more times before she stopped. There was silence a moment, broken only by my pathetic sobs. I reached my hands back to cover my rear, but they were slapped away.
“Are you going to behave?” Naomi asked sternly.
I didn’t reply.
“Well?” Naomi asked again. I could feel her hand raising.
“Yes…” I quickly let out between tears. Her hand slowly lowered and massaged the small of my back.
“Good, I’m sorry I had to do that Gabi, but as I said before. I will not tolerate language like that from little girl’s mouths.”
Zelda meekly came back from around the corner, herself looking a little shaken, even though she hadn’t been punished or done anything wrong. “Are… are you okay Gabi?”
I looked up at Zelda, seeing my own face looking concernedly at me. Naomi let me up off her one knee and drying my tears I nodded at Zelda. She cheered up a little and gave me a hug.
Naomi took my hand again and this time I didn’t really resist much. I just allowed myself to be pulled along while I kept a hand over my sore rear. We all went back to the nursery where Naomi helped me up on the changing table. For a split second I started to put up resistance but Naomi only had to raise her hand a tiny bit to scare me back into line and allow myself to be helped up. My butt hurt from the spanking so much that I had to lay down almost immediately to lesson the pain.
Zelda came and got a little stuffed animal fox and sat contentedly on the floor, watching Naomi as she went about a task that I’m sure had been performed on her at least a hundred times. Knowing that there was nothing I could do but grit and bear the embarrassment, I closed my eyes and just let Naomi do as she pleased. Removing my clothes slowly and then my underwear; she carefully put a fresh disposable under me, just as I’d seen her do to Zelda and then proceeded to apply a little diaper rash cream and baby powder. The entire process left me feeling more humiliated then I had ever been in my entire life.
The two tapes were affixed, and Naomi was done. She sat me up and helped me back into the clothes I’d been in before. Zelda got up too and came over to us. Standing next to me once more, I realized now that there was nothing different between us, other then the fact that in my head I knew that I was real, and that she wasn’t.
Zelda put the stuffed animal back and Naomi took us out of the nursery again and led the way to the garden. I was treated to the experience of trying to walk with something like a thin pillow taped between my legs. It crinkled every step giving me the distinct audio reminder that typical bathrooms didn’t exist here.
“Let’s go to the swing set. How does that sound?” Naomi asked with a smile.
Zelda smiled broadly and looked at me. All I could think about was my need to pee. “Do I have any choice?” I asked.
“Let’s go!” Zelda jumped happily and grabbed my hand. As we started along one of the garden paths I reflected that I might as well have been wearing a leash in this screwy world, because it seems like I can’t go anywhere without being led.
What a picture we must have made. The tall (or normal sized since we were small in this world) Naomi walking happily in her jean dress and long brown hair, while her two blonde haired twins in their play overalls and pink shirts toddled forth, almost legal adults but looking nowhere near the right size. Both of them diapered of course. Blech, how long before I’m out of this nightmare?
We came to another secluded part of the garden. Flowers and a few trees ringed a clearing that had a basic slide and two swings on a woodchip playground. Zelda let go of my hand and started to run to one of the swings, hitting it with her stomach and momentarily leaving the ground like she was super-girl. I watched and sighed quietly, thinking with slight embarrassment how much like a pre-schooler my copy looked like.
Naomi came up next to me and smiled. I looked up at her and did my best to smile back.
“You know, we can play by ourselves,” I said nervously, hoping that my words wouldn’t be construed as a spankable offense.
“Oh I’m sure you can, but right now I’m here for the flower’s sake.”
“The flowers?” I asked.
Naomi winked. “I’m here to make sure you don’t water them.”
I frowned. She smiled back again. I stomped away and daintily sat my sore ass down on the swing. Zelda was still flying around like super-girl and turned herself when her momentum had slowed to look at me with childish wonder.
“I bet I can swing higher!” she said excitedly, quickly getting up to change from lay down to sitting position in the swing.
I concentrated on ignoring my bladder and did my best to reply. “I don’t really want to play.”
Zelda sank a little but shrugged and looked forward, pumping her legs to get the first swing motion started. I sat in silence a little longer while she repeated her motion a few more times.
“You should…” came her voice as she passed by, “just let go…” she said again on the return.
I bit my lower lip and watched her swing a few more times. I turned and looked at Naomi who was standing and with her arms folded, happily watching us two. She waved politely seeing me look her way. I quickly averted my eyes.
I needed to pee so bad. What could I do? I started to sob softly. I heard the chain on Zelda’s swing recoil as she leapt into the air and my bladder disobeyed my brain. A slight pain that had been building with my need to pee released itself and I felt the front of my diaper begin to quickly get warm.
Zelda landed with her feet together and stood up like she’d just done a triple back flip off the high beam. She turned to me for her accolades, but upon seeing the tears building in the corners of my eyes and the way my legs were slightly crossed, she managed to correctly guess what was happening.
She ran up and hugged me. “Naomiii,” she said as she did. “I think my sister needs her diaper changed.”
I wanted to correct her, and say that I wasn’t her sister. But at the moment she was the one in the dry diaper and I wasn’t. I just couldn’t even get myself to stop crying or flooding my diaper.
“Awww… Well it’s not like it was unexpected. Let’s get you both changed. I’m sure by now you could use it too Zelda. It’s getting pretty close to naptime anyway.”
With that Naomi came over and scooped me up out of the swing seat, being careful not to put too much pressure on my rear. Zelda followed once again and we went back to the nursery.
Instead of on the table, Naomi laid Zelda and I out on the floor. She went over to get supplies and then got our names wrong, referring to Zelda as Gabi and me as Zelda, but Zelda was quick to laughingly point out she was wrong.
“Oh… I’m sorry dear. Hehe you just both look so adorably alike, my little diaper girls.”
I couldn’t seem to stop crying. I was worried that this would be what the rest of my life was like. I mean I’d made NO progress on getting out of here. All I’d managed to do is get myself more involved… I mean here I was having my diaper changed on the floor, right next to my identical copy.
Naomi was a pro at changing diapers, probably as she was programmed to be. She had Zelda and I powdered and changed, then went to the closet to get out two more pink shirts. Only when she came over and started to put it on Zelda did I realize it wasn’t a shirt. It was like a one piece bathing suit with sleeves and snaps at the crouch. A onesie, if I’m not mistaken.
“That’s… for babies?” I said feebly as she helped me up and started to work the garment over my head.
“Exactly,” Naomi said happily as she brought it down around my waist and then snapped it on over my diaper. “For the two most adorable baby girls in the world.”
Zelda smiled happily and I frowned, very much the classic Greek masks for comedy and tragedy. Naomi picked me up and brought me over to a crib easily the size of a twin bed in my world.
“You don’t mind sharing your crib with your sister do you Zelda?” Naomi asked me.
I felt resentment and managed to choke back the tears my humiliation had brought on. She was doing this on purpose. “I’m not Zelda!”
“Oh, hehe that’s right,” Naomi said nuzzling my nose. She stopped and looked down at Zelda on the floor who was smiling up at her.
“I’d love to share my bed!” She replied happily.
Naomi smiled and carried me over to the crib, placing me down in it. The left side of the crib was down right now, but even down it came to just above my waist. Naomi returned and picked up Zelda next, giving her a raspberry on her cheek and eliciting fits of giggles as she did.
“All right you two. Lay down for a bit and enjoy a nap. You’ve both had a lot of excitement.”
I was standing with my hands on the rail and Naomi deftly took them off, scooting me back a few inches so that she could raise the bar. When she had, it came up to just above my nose. She went back towards the door and turned out the light. It was suddenly dark in the room and I realized there weren’t any windows.
Zelda whimpered behind me.
“Oh I wouldn’t forget,” Naomi said reassuringly and flipped another light switch. A small shooting star and cloud night light turned on in the corner. Zelda smiled and Naomi shut the door.
Zelda encircled her arms around my waist and fell over, pulling me down to the bed with her. I wrestled for a moment trying to get her arms off my waist. “Let me go,” I said impatiently as I finally got her arms off me.
“But it’s nap time?” She said tilting her head at me. “Aren’t you…*yawn*… tired?”
I frowned. Here we are in a big crib, diapered and wearing pink onesies. “No… not really,” I lied. Truthfully I was a little tired. This whole ordeal had just about ripped out my nerves.
“Okies, but just don’t be loud or nuthin… I tired… I’ll keep warm for you if you wanna snuggle up for a nap,” Zelda said with a smile as she got underneath the ample covers.
She closed her eyes and I just sat on my legs, looking out into the nursery with a sigh. Damn it… how am I supposed to get out of this?
“She’s not in the danger room either,” Sebastian said on one of the screens. He wasn’t actually in the room, his body was floating in a tube of e-fib next to Gabi’s.
“Well that’s a relief. Of all the places she could have gone, that’s the last one I wanted,” Dr. Kell said wiping sweat off his brow. “Keep moving we’ve only covered about 18% of our database so far.”
Sebastian sneered a little. He’d been looking for this stupid girl over 2 hours now. It wasn’t like the most exciting task either. It simply involved him loading a program, walking around it, seeing if any life signs showed up besides what was already meant to be there. It just didn’t make any sense that the girl would just disappear and her signature wouldn’t even show up.
“Loading construct,” Sebastian said in a flat voice. It caused a blinding white flash and brought him to the familiar black nothingness of the main drive. “What should I look up now?”
Dr. Kell looked at a hand drawn chart that vaguely mapped out their data at the last time of their fragmentation inventory. “Hmm… move on to the action script tests. I know there’s really nothing there, but it’s possible she could still be stuck in one of those rooms.”
Sebastian felt a slight pang of guilt. The action script tests were basic builds with things like a street with a single car repeatedly driving by, seeing if the physics and mechanics of the car were correct. Other tests had rooms crowded full of people forever eating a continual lunch… They were tests for future projects that were never actually erased and by some small chance a place where Gabi could have ended up. They were places of such redundancy that after 2 hours, someone would be liable to go insane.
“Sure… action script one then,” Sebastian said. Mentally he cursed aloud because there were probably 25 different action scripts to check. Stupid Gabi. He willed the first one to move towards him. The loading construct was audio and mental link, unlike the games/experiences/rooms and scripts themselves which were audio only.
He appeared a second later in a gym with bouncing balls of every sport. “Gabi?” He yelled over the noise of basketballs, footballs, soccer balls and every other variety of sport ball bouncing around in pre-determined patterns. No reply, and obvious no Gabi. Onto the next script.
An hour and a half later, and 23 more scripts down, things were getting more and more tedious by the moment.
“That’s 32% of the data. So that’s 1/3 of the places she could be,” Dr. Kell said to one of his screens. Sebastian rolled his eyes inside.
“I need a break. Just let me sit still for 15 minutes… I’m about to go freaking insane.”
Dr. Kell looked at the clock. It was approaching 2 in the afternoon. “Okay… I suppose we need to break for a minute. Personally I know we have more data mappings I want to look over. There has to be a reason for what happened.”
“Fine, whatever… Just let me be for a while… I’m going to go hang out in the lounge program if you need me.”
“Twenty minutes. Then meet back in the loading construct.”
Sebastian smiled a little. “Deal.”
Dr. Kell turned off his monitor and ran out of the room to gather some of the filed mappings upstairs.
“Jeeze, glad to finally catch a break,” Sebastian said to himself floating idally in the construct. “Now to actually relax,” he smiled broadly and began to hum to himself. This little program wasn’t accessible by the mental link usually available in the construct. “Link… he come to town! Come to save, the princess Zelda! Gannon took her away, now the children won’t play…”
And there was a flash of light and Sebastian disappeared to a road in the middle of a forest to take a break for a few minutes.
“Hmmm?” I said with a slight yawn. The veil of sleep was heavier then usual, like I’d somehow slept better then ever before.
“My precious little Zelda, its not often you’re napping when I get here. What have you been up to that’s got you so tired?”
I opened my eyes to see Sebastian peering through the bars of the crib at me. His hand reached through the bars and tussled my hair gently. I began to pull away as I woke up a little more and I realized just who the hell was touching me. At the same time, my clone twin who had an arm around my mid-section stirred and lifted her head up to peer over my back to see what was going on.
Sebastian’s eyes suddenly went from mine to Zelda’s and a look of surprise began to set in. “Two??” he asked in a quiet voice, looking at the both of us. I took that moment to put both hands around his wrist and pull for all I was worth. His face was suddenly jammed up against the crib bars as his arm was in to the shoulder. I quickly moved to put both my feet on the bars for leverage.
“GABI! Stop, what are you doing?!” Zelda said springing up into a sitting position. “Don’t don’t! You’re going to hurt him!” she said in sudden shock.
“GOOD!!!!!!” I yelled repeatedly tugging, letting his face move a few inches away from the bars before rattling it against them again. I was doing my best to work him like a piston.
“GABI?!” Sebastian cried out as he got rocked. His voice contorted a little as his mouth made contact with the bars of the crib again and again. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!”
The door to the nursery suddenly flew open and Naomi rushed in. “Good heaven’s child!” she exclaimed running up to the crib and grabbing my arms to pull them off Sebastian’s wrist. He suddenly fell away from the crib and on his back. Naomi held strong to my wrists. Sebastian was tenderly feeling his face, looking a little hurt, but not too badly.
“What was that about?!?” Naomi demanded of me.
I had a scowl on my face looking at Sebastian, but hearing Naomi’s angry words, I quickly tried to put on a sweet and innocent look. “Oh we were just playing….” I quickly said.
“What the f***ing hell are you doing here?” Sebastian said crossly as he got off his ass. Naomi turned a mother’s scolding eye to Sebastian.
“Why I never… To hear language like that from…”
“Alpha caretaker-1 shut down,” Sebastian said quickly… and Naomi disappeared. Zelda’s eyes went wide and I rubbed at my sore wrists that were suddenly released, but I didn’t hesitate long. I got to my feet and grabbed the rail of the crib, preparing to vault over and begin the process of introducing Sebastian to criminal homicide.
“Raise crib.02 bars 5 feet,” Sebastian quickly added. The bars which I had my hands on suddenly lurched upward and my hands slipped free of them as my feet were only momentarily off the crib mattress. I fell back on top of Zelda, landing in a disheveled heap. All the shock and suddenness of the events caused her to start crying.
I quickly got up again and moved to the bars. They wouldn’t budge, and they now reached up to the ceiling. It was no longer a crib, it was a prison.
“Sooo… of all the places you’d end up…” Sebastian said with a slight laugh as he stayed an arms distance away from the crib. He looked me up and down before a big smile cracked on his face. “Scowl aside, I must say you look rather cute right now. Wonder if you kept your diaper dry?”
My face flushed red as I realized that no matter how angry I looked, the fact that I was in a baby’s onesie with a big diaper underneath it, probably took away the bite to my bark.
“What… what happened to Naomi?” Zelda asked Sebastian as tears rolled down her face. She crawled up and hugged my leg.
“Oh don’t worry cutie, she just disappeared for a little while. She’ll be right back,” Sebastian said, completely changing his tone of voice and demeanor. Zelda didn’t look like she completely believed him and hugged my leg a little harder.
“Bastard… Let me out of here,” I said.
“I don’t think I can do that, you were pretty violent earlier,” he taunted.
I frowned, “Would you take my word that as soon as I’m out I’m not going to rip off your arms and beat you with them?”
“How about no?”
“Can… can I come out?” Zelda asked through her tears. I looked down at her and was once again reminded how exactly like me she looked. It was always offsetting to see her, because my mind almost wanted to believe it was me I was looking at.
“I’m sorry Zelda, I’ll let you out later… but right now… this girl Gabi…”
“Gabi’s my sister…” Zelda interjected.
Sebastian smiled again and looked from her to me, then back again. “Hehe, yah, Gabi is your sister.”
“Bastard,” I said coldly.
“Well Zelda, your sister Gabi has been very bad, and she’s going to need to be punished.”
Zelda stopped hugging my leg and backed away from me. Looking a little betrayed. I shook my head. “If I’m the bad one, what happened to Naomi? And why are we suddenly locked in this crib?” I asked Zelda and crossed my arms looking at Sebastian. Zelda started to cry again, only looking more and more confused.
“Touché douche bag,” Sebastian said with a smirk. “Fine… it doesn’t matter to me, ultimately you can’t win… I control this world.”
“You’re going to let me out…”
Sebastian smiled ruthlessly. “Oh am I?”
“It’s just a matter of time. I can’t imagine your dad wants to have me imprisoned in here. And just wait till my mom wonders why I’m not home for dinner yet.” (possibly the only good thing about over-protective mothers is that you can count on them to notice when you’re missing).
Sebastian’s smile faded a little. “I’d like to see them find you… As I said, I control this world, I’m the only one who knows about it.”
I nearly spat at him, “Dick!”
“STOP IT!” Zelda yelled covering her face. Her sudden outburst startled Sebastian and I, stopping our petty back and forth. This was really affecting her, she was about to break down. I can’t really explain why, but I crawled over and put my arms around her… it just felt like the right thing to do. She hugged me tight.
“Is it fun playing god?” I asked Sebastian as I held Zelda. “I mean, if I didn’t know better, I’d say she was real, and you’re destroying her world right now.”
“You went and invaded it,” Sebastian quipped.
“No, you already had me in it,” I said patting Zelda on the back as she sobbed heavily. “I just ended up here.”
“And you can stay here! Where no one will find you!” Sebastian stuck his tongue out and turned to walk away. I felt a little rise of fear in me, could he be serious?
“Wait… but… you can’t?” I said sounding a little more afraid then I wanted to.
“Oh but I can… although I’m not entirely heartless. Give me a few minutes and I’ll have Naomi back up and running and you can get out of that crib,” a grin filled his face. “Have fun with your sister. You two look adorable together.”
And with that he left the room. I looked down at Zelda and hugged her close… then started crying myself. Eventually the crib bars lowered themselves silently and the lights flickered for a moment. Naomi was probably back again, and somewhere in the house. It didn’t matter though… Zelda and I just cried and hugged…
“I… I’m not really your sister am I…?” Zelda said after she’d gathered herself enough.
I dried the tears from my own eyes and took a long look at Zelda. “Of course you are,” I said. She smiled and hugged me again.
“I think Seba’s really a meanie…”
I smiled, “Yah he is.”
A few minutes later Naomi came into the room and checked on us. “Did you have a nice nap?” she asked as she lowered the normal height (for this world) crib bar.
Zelda looked at her funny, as if to ask how she could be so calm after what just happened, but I tugged on her onesie and shook my head when she caught my eye. “We didn’t sleep too well.” I said to Naomi.
“Awww, nightmares?” Naomi asked reaching her giant hand down to check our diapers. I nodded and she looked at Zelda who hesitated but nodded too. “Well it looks like I have two wet babies,” she said with a smile.
My mouth dropped open a little and I quickly performed a check on myself the same way Naomi had. Surprisingly, she was right… which wasn’t a good sign.
Naomi lifted Zelda up and out of the crib and brought her over to the changing table. Zelda laid her head on Naomi’s shoulder and her thumb found its way to her mouth. It was amazing the amount of comfort just being near Naomi gave her. Naomi changed Zelda into another diaper and put a short dress on her; she sat her down on the floor next to the pile of stuffed animals and came back for me. I didn’t really like the idea of needing to be changed like this, but it was secondary to my worries on what to do next.
“Looks like you’re a heavy wetter Gabi,” Naomi said with a little teasing finger at my nose. I contemplated biting it for that comment, but kept quiet. I let her untape my diaper and wipe me down. Yes, it was embarrassing, and yes I hated it, but there wasn’t a lot I could do about it if I wanted to get into a dry diaper.
Naomi put another diaper under me and taped it up. She got out another dress just like the one she’d put on Zelda and helped me into it.
“Well its still a few hours before dinner time, what would you both like to do now?”
“Find a way home…” I said quietly without thinking.
“You are home silly…” Naomi said with a smile, playing with my hair a little. Taking one of the strands she held it looking thoughtful. “We could… braid your hair?”
I frowned. I hadn’t braided my hair since the summer mom forced me into girl scouts. Zelda’s face lit up “Oh can we?!” she exclaimed.
“Hehe do you want your hair braided Zelda?” Naomi asked, letting my hair go. Zelda nodded enthusiastically. “Well come on lets head out into the living room then, and we’ll braid your hair.”
As quickly as my little battle with Sebastian had invaded this world, it was just as soon forgotten. Zelda bopped along happily as Naomi opened the door for her. I was still sitting on the changing table thinking to myself while Naomi stood at the door.
“Are you just going to sit on the changing table all afternoon?” she asked jokingly. I just shrugged. Smiling once more, she walked up and scooped me up in her arms before I had a chance to get down. She carried me out to the living room and I let her without much of a fuss.
Zelda had already found a spot to sit on the foot stool in front of the giant arm chair. She was happily bouncing on it as Naomi came in with me. As we walked by the arcade room I’d seen earlier, I noticed something. The door was slightly ajar, and I distinctly remember Naomi closing it earlier, saying that no one but Sebastian could go in there. A little light bulb exploded somewhere.
“Down! I want down!” I said fidgeting wildly.
“Woah woah, hold your horses Gabi, I was going to put you down soon anyway. What’s got you so excited?”
“Nothing…” I said suddenly trying to adopt an innocent manner again. Naomi put her hands on her hips and looked at me curiously.
“Would you like to sit here and watch me braid your sister’s hair?” she asked after a beat. I shrugged a non-committal answer. Naomi sat down and took a handful of Zelda’s long hair. “French braid’s okay Zelda?”
“As long as their pretty!” she chirped happily. Naomi giggled and began her work. Meanwhile I slowly lowered myself behind the chair and looked back at the door in the hallway. It was still slightly ajar and if I did things right, I might be able to get by Naomi while she was doing Zelda’s hair. The chair kind of had its back to the hallway, but not completely. If Naomi turned her head any, she’d probably catch me out of the corner of her eye.
Still it was worth a chance. That room might very well have the key out of this place, or some type of coding control system in there that I could mess with. I really don’t know anything about code, but still having something is better then nothing when it comes to options. At the very least there were video games in there… GOOD video games… and if I was going to be stuck here for a while, I might as well entertain myself with something not so juvenile as my previous exploits.
I took a step out from behind the chair, and my diaper crinkled loudly as I did. I immediately stopped moving and looked at the back of the chair for signs of notice. Zelda and Noami seemed occupied.
Tentatively I put my hands down on my diaper and tried to press it a little closer to me, hoping to kill the crinkling noise. It made a little more noise as I did so, but for the most part it stopped. I gathered my will once more and took another step towards the door, this time a lot quieter. I probably looked pretty silly holding my hands to my crotch and rump to silence my movement.
Moving about one step every three seconds or so, it took me around a minute to get into the hallway and almost to the door. I had just about broken a sweat I was so nervous, just waiting for Naomi to catch me and then do something awful like spank me the way she had when I’d cursed earlier.
I reached the door and to my everlasting luck, Naomi was still happily braiding Zelda’s hair. I could see that Zelda had turned her head a little to help Naomi and she could see me. My eyes bulged a little; if she said something, I was going to get it. I tried to bring my finger up to make a “shhh” face, but before I could, Zelda smiled and winked at me.
Maybe… maybe she hadn’t forgotten as quickly as I’d thought? Either way I took it as my cue and slowly pushed the door open and snuck into the arcade.
The room was set up in a young boy’s fashion. There was a race car bed in one corner, a basketball shooting game in another. I could see a soda machine and a ping pong table, and then a line of gloriously new and awesome video games. He even had the most recent DDR. My heart skipped a beat for dorky delight, but I quickly shook my head and remembered the business at hand. I needed to find some type of control system.
I walked in and looked around. There really wasn’t much besides the things I’d mentioned in the room. I looked for the obvious at first. Something like a desktop or laptop… then I looked for the creative… something like a modified statue or wall phone or something… then after still not finding anything, I just checked everything I saw. I even checked the basketballs in that game to see if they didn’t open up to a touchpad or something.
Fifteen minutes of searching and I didn’t find a thing. The only thing I hadn’t checked out was the video games, and only then because I didn’t see anything different in them from the real world video games at any normal arcade. I walked to the side of them and checked the back… Besides the fact that these machines didn’t appear to have power cords or be plugged in (which I guess doesn’t matter since this is a form of VR right?) I didn’t find anything there either.
I growled and paced a small circle around the middle of the room. There had to be something in here. On a whim (or maybe out of boredom) I went up to the Dance Dance Revolution machine and stepped onto the pad. The main screen came up and suddenly… there it was.
Solo Dance, Head 2 Head, Zelda’s World Options. My mouth hung open a little. Wow… I mean… just wow… how weird can you get?
I tapped my foot on the down arrow twice to get to the option thing. It came up and a long list of things started to scroll by.
“Umm… okay… where’s the keyboard?” I asked looking around. There was a lot of stuff scrolling by and having only the dance pad wasn’t going to help much. I tried my luck just tapping randomly on the pad a few times. The screen options were somewhere in the d’s and e’s. “door 4.5, door 4.6, draperies 1…” it was like an inventory or something. After tapping a few more times I stopped at “experimental control modifier,” only because it stood out as something possibly useful.
The screen changed into the pre-game mode. “READY?” it asked me. I looked at it puzzled… Ready for what? And the game began.
“Wait? WHAT!” I started trying to play the normal style DDR game, you needed to play.
Sebastian had really put some work into this. I recognized the song as something by Apotheosis, and if you’ve heard they’re music before you’d understand when I say that the arrows came on the screen in a barrage. It was a little funky trying to play the game with a diaper on, and also do it better then I ever had before, I missed nearly every beat. I was beginning to break a sweat and just then I noticed Naomi was standing to my side with her arms crossed and a stern frown on her face.
“I thought I told you that you couldn’t be in here unless Sebastian was?”
I thanked the lord for small favors that she didn’t just yank me off the game… I managed the last few steps and and held in a curse word as it said “Failed”. The phrase “Reverse activating experimental control modifier,” scrolled along the bottom.
No sooner had the song finished, than Naomi reached for my wrist and tugged me off the game. (Wonder if she was programmed to wait for me to stop? Like if Sebastian ever needed to make changes and didn’t want to be bothered during it or something? I dunno, just a thought.)
“Next time I catch you in here you’re going to get punished. Understood?”
I nodded absent mindedly as she took me back out into the living room. Zelda was sitting on the floor playing with a little toy car. Her hair was now in cute braids and as we came to the armchair, Naomi sat me down on the footstool and began to do the same to mine. I fussed a little bit, but Naomi lightly slapped my hand.
“You and your sister are going to match, no more fussing or being naughty, okay Gabi?”
I rolled my eyes, but given that I’d just had the semi-successful little excursion into the arcade, I wasn’t going to let my spirits down that easily. I submitted to letting my hair get braided. When you have long hair it’s sometimes kind of nice to have it played with.
As Naomi worked on my hair, I got lost in my own thoughts. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d done on that options menu. What exactly was an ‘experimental control modifier’ anyway? No harm in asking, right? “Umm Naomi?”
She was just about done with my hair. “Yes Gabi?”
“Do you know what an experimental control modifier is?”
Naomi laughed a little “oh not this sillyness…”
“Why’s it silly?”
“Oh Sebastian said something about that once, and the whole afternoon I had to change him and Zelda probably a dozen times apiece.” My breathing stopped and I felt a sudden panic. Naomi finished my braid and gave me a gentle pat on the shoulder “it was kind of like a game, whenever I asked if either of them needed to be changed, they’d suddenly need to be.” I had an overwhelming urge to run outside before Naomi had a chance, even if just jokingly, to prove what she was saying. “All I had to say was…”
“Nonononono that’s all right. No demonstration necessary.” I said quickly turning and trying to cover her mouth with my hands. Naomi looked at me questioningly but shrugged her shoulders and I removed my hands.
I hopped off the foot stool and joined Zelda on the floor. She was making a puttering noise as she pushed a car along the floor. She playfully crashed it into my knee as I sat down next to her.
“Did you have fun playing games in Seba’s room?” she asked as she backed her little car up and turned it around.
“Not really…” I said with a shrug. “I think I turned something on… or I think by not beating the level something turned on as punishment… I don’t know…”
“Did you play the dancing game?” she asked smiling.
“That one’s my favorite. I like to play it whenever Seba lets me.”
I nodded and shrugged. Zelda resumed playing with her car and I laid down on the floor, thinking once more. Somewhere in my thoughts, I knew there had to be a way out of here… Possibly through that arcade game, possibly not. I wasn’t going to resign myself to being locked forever in this virtual prison.
“You look awfully thoughtful Gabi,” Naomi said idly as she sat in the armchair.
I shrugged. “Just thinking a lot… Would you rather I was off being naughty?”
Naomi smirked. “Think away.”
Eventually my thoughts gave way to boredom and I joined Zelda in just playing around. There was a toybox in the corner and I found a little ambulance in it. When Zelda crashed her car into the footstool, I did my best to make a siren sound as the ambulance sped off across the floor to help out. Zelda’s eyes seemed to glow a little bit as I joined in. As stupid as it was, we had fun.
I was so preoccupied with our game that I hadn’t noticed that Naomi had left the armchair and wasn’t in the living room any more. Looking around I saw her walking by in what was probably the kitchen. Judging by the amount of time I’d been here, it might be getting near dinner time. Surprisingly I didn’t feel hungry, but I was anxious to see if anything would happen. My mom would pitch a fit if I didn’t show up for dinner, and despite Sebastian’s cold hardness, he couldn’t fend off whatever law/police/manhunt action she was sure to bring down.
Naomi came back in the room. “It’s just about dinner time,” she said in a cheery voice. She walked up to Zelda. “Do you need a diaper change Zelda?”
Zelda looked like she was about to say something, but then shook like she’d suddenly had a small cold chill. At her silence, Naomi leaned down and lifted her short dress to check her diaper.
“Uh oh, looks like somebody’s got a messy diaper,” Naomi said with a giggle. Zelda looked up at her and nodded, giggling a little herself. Naomi turned my way and I suddenly realized what was about to happen.
As if my life depended on it; I brought my hands up to cover my ears. Naomi rolled her eyes and kept walking towards me. Her mouth began to move and no sooner had it stopped, then I felt an odd feeling run through me.
I shivered a little and then I felt my body begin to work against me. It was like I was forcing myself to pee without actually trying too… and then… I was forcing myself to do the other thing too.
A warm mass not altogether much different then mud suddenly filled the back of my diaper. No matter how hard I tried to stop it, my body just pushed away and before Naomi had even gotten next to me to lift the hem of my dress, I was sitting in a poopy diaper, just like my sister Zelda. I took my hands away from covering my ears and started to cry.
“Awww it’s okay Gabi… Here we’ll go change both my poopy girls.”
She scooped me up in one arm, carrying me on a hip, and then did the same with Zelda in the other arm. Zelda looked at me a little worried with the tears coming down my face.
“Is Gabi okay?” she asked Naomi.
“Oh she’s fine honey, just needs her diaper changed like you.”
Sebastian coughed up some e-fib as his tube began to drain. He fell to his knees, not out of weakness, but because his body was momentarily readjusting to its own control. Even with the physical discomfort he’d grown used too while logging off from his father’s machine, there was always the surprising shock of clearing your lungs of the viscous fluid. As he coughed, he began to laugh. He laughed so hard he could barely get to his feet.
“Hahahahahah, I’m the father of twins…” he said quietly.
“What’s so funny?” Dr. Kell asked as he came into the lab.
Sebastian tried to control himself as he got to his feet. “Nothing nothing… Just remembering something I saw in… in a video game.”
“Well this isn’t exactly a time to laugh,” Dr. Kell said looking at the limp and lifeless form of Gabi suspended in the tube of fluid. She’d been in there almost eight hours.
Sebastian tried to hide his grin.
“We need to get back to work immediately. We’re going to find this girl before dinner time.”
“And if we don’t?” Sebastian asked ruefully. His father looked at him with an odd expression.
“Well I imagine her mother won’t be especially happy that her daughter is lost in a computer. What are we going to say, ‘Hi Ellen, sorry you’re daughter can’t come home right now, she’s a vegetable.’ Think about it, if she feels so inclined she’ll have every legal right to sue us for everything we’re worth. No one will ever invest in this invention if something like this got out. We’ll lose everything, is that enough? House, machines respect and all. This was not supposed to happen Sebastian.”
Sebastian’s smile faded a little. This would complicate things a little more.
“You should have just stayed in the computer. Don’t even bother to brush off, I’m going to start refilling your tube with E-Fib.”
Sebastian rolled his eyes as the liquid began to fill up around his feet again. “What are we going to check next?” he asked.
“I’ve made a chart and we’re just going to continue systematically checking the rest of the drives.”
“I don’t think it’ll do much good,” Sebastian said under his breath.
Naomi pulled the tapes into place on my clean diaper. “Awww there we go Gabi. All done.” She helped me up into a sitting position and then bounced me off of the changing table and onto the floor. Zelda was waiting anxiously with her arms outstretched to be picked up next. Naomi smiled at her as she lifted her up. “I know Zelda, I know you don’t like to stay in a poopy diaper any longer then you have too. Thanks for being nice to your sister and waiting to go second.”
“Hehe its otay, Gabi looked really unhappy and like she needed a change first.”
I tried not to seem rude by not being grateful for this small kindness, but at the same time, I would have been more grateful if I hadn’t been in a diaper in the first place.
Zelda was changed just as quickly as I was and we were both herded in the direction of the kitchen where there was a small spread at the table awaiting us. Thankfully there weren’t any high chair’s in sight, although the chairs at the table were so big, Zelda and I had to sit in plastic booster seats to be on level with the table.
“What’s for dinner?” Zelda asked as she wiggled excitedly in her seat.
Naomi went over to the counter and got two plates that had already been prepped. “Chicken, mashed potatoes and corn,” she said leaving a plate in front of each of us. Zelda squealed happily and wasted no time digging in once utensils had been given to us as well.
My fork felt plastic and was pink with some cartoony character I didn’t recognize on the handle. I prodded the food a little bit, it seemed real enough, and I did feel a little bit hungry, but at the same time I wasn’t sure if that was me actually feeling hungry or just an artificial desire that the program was placing on me (like how often it saw fit to make me go the bathroom…blech).
I tried a spoonful and it wasn’t half bad. I’ve had better, but it tasted real enough for something my mind knew wasn’t real at all. While we ate, Naomi sat happily watching us. I thought about asking her if she was going to eat, but then I remembered she probably didn’t need too.
“What do we do after dinner?” I asked after clearing about half my plate.
“Well you girls can play a little bit more if you want, but sometime before bed you’re both going to get a bath and maybe… if you’re really good… a bedtime story before bed.”
“The handsome knight and the princess! The handsome knight and the princess!” Zelda sang merrily.
Naomi giggled and patted her head. “Only if you’re good girls tonight.”
Zelda went to finishing everything on her plate a little faster. I sighed and tried to do the same.
“Hi, Dr. Kell? This is Ellen, Gabrielle’s mother.”
A cold sweat suddenly broke over Dr. Kell’s brow as he held the phone uneasily to his ear. He knew who it was as soon as he’d heard the phone ringing.
“Hi Ellen, what can I do for you?” he asked, trying not to sound panicked.
“Well it’s about dinner time and I was wondering if Gabrielle was going to be heading back home soon.”
Dr. Kell looked at Gabi suspended in the tube of liquid, floating as lifeless as a corpse in formaldehyde. “Actually Ellen, Gabi is really helping us out right now. She took to this work like a duck to water and she’s made so much progress that she doesn’t want to quit now. I told her she can eat here if she’d like… she’s such a a… diligent... worker.”
On the other line, Ellen nearly gasped. “Potato a diligent worker?” her daughter and the word diligent hadn’t been coupled together in the same sentence since…since… ever. “You tell her not to stay out too late then… and that I’m proud of her for finally getting interested in some form of work.”
“Oh I will,” Dr. Kell said relieved. He hung up the phone and wiped the sweat from his brow. He’d bought some time; another 3 or 4 hours maybe.
Running to a messy desk, Dr. Kell got back to what he’d been looking over before the phone rang. He rubbed at the stubble on his chin.
He figured he might be onto something, because what he was looking at just didn’t make sense. One of the logarithms had to be wrong. How could you explain a discrepancy in numbers when it came to computers?
He spread out a pile of papers made over the last few weeks. They were sort of a 2D copy of the files they’d created and stored. They hadn’t added anything to the system in the last two weeks since he’d decided to refine what was already there… And yet… He checked the bottom of the registry and read out the number as it appeared; 1,002,934,623 megabytes… nearly a petabyte… A whopping number, and yet… he looked at three of the monitors, all displaying the same final number after their inventory… 1,004,234,473 megabytes. That was about an additional terabyte of information… information that wasn’t accounted for two weeks ago.
And then suddenly something popped into Dr. Kell’s mind. He remembered when he had first shown Gabi the ship experience… and how his son had arrived beside her in a ridiculous muscular body. That body wasn’t something Dr. Kell had programmed.
Dr. Kell looked at his son suspended in the tube, and then to one of the screens where he was walking around an amusement park that they’d built together on one of the monitors. How hard was he really looking for Gabi?
“A terabyte is easily enough information to store one of our virtual worlds,” he thought aloud. “I’d wager that’s where Gabi is. She’s not in a world we created,” he said, but looked over at his son, “Or not in a world that… I… created…”
Suddenly his eyes went wide. “Gabi…!” He exclaimed, and rushed to find what his son had been up to.
“Okay you two… It’s time for a bath,” Naomi said coming down the hall from where the bathroom was. She had already filled the tub with hot water and bubbles.
Zelda pouted, she didn’t want to stop playing with her dolls. I had only just started to play, or at least play to a level that pleased her. With Zelda you couldn’t just dress the doll, you had to give it a personality and talk as though you were the doll. Which I guess I did when I was younger, but felt a little silly doing now.
“Don’t give me that pouty face, I told you before dinner. Bath, story, then bed. That goes for you too Gabi.”
I shrugged, I was getting a little bit more of an easygoing attitude with all this. Besides, after the number of wet diapers I’d had today, a bath didn’t sound too bad. It was another way to kill time and it couldn’t be too much longer before someone got me out of here…
Naomi came over and picked Zelda up, she gave a playful struggle before being carried on Naomi’s hip. She put out her other hand for me and I took it and let myself get guided to the bathroom.
The bathroom was a little odd. It had a large tub raised in the middle of the room and then lots of white tile and bright lights around a mirror on one side of the room. The tub easily looked big enough for 3 or 4 people (at least my size people, it would probably be just big enough for 1 or 2 at Naomi’s size). Naomi undressed us, untaping and removing our diapers, Zelda’s was wet, mine dry. I felt very awkward once more to be standing naked with my twin, who unfortunately had been anatomically gifted a little bit more then me.
“Okay, who wants in first?” Naomi asked with a smile.
I felt Zelda’s hand on my back and she playfully pushed me forward. I stumbled awkwardly in my nakedness.
Naomi giggled “Up we go!” she said lifting me into the tub. I struggled a little bit, but only momentarily. The water was nice and hot, and topped with bubbles. I quickly sank in and murred happily to myself. Oh this felt good.
I didn’t have to dunk my hair under because seconds later a small wave washed over me as Zelda practically jumped in. Naomi laughed and got back enough so that she wouldn’t get wet. She took her time and went about getting a loofa and some body wash to clean us up.
I giggled as I pulled my wet hair out of my eyes. I smirked and brought my hands together to splash Zelda. She looked a little shocked, but quickly got her hands up to start a wet war.
“Girls, girls, water in the tub, not on the floor,” Naomi interjected. She didn’t get much through though as Zelda and I each turned toward her, rearing for a big wave. “Don’t even think about it,” she taunted playfully.
Dr. Kell’s fingers were flying over the keys. He knew where to look now. It was like his computer had developed a malignant cancer cell that had remained hidden. He had to reprogram some of the algorithms to look in areas that weren’t supposed to be there, but soon he was able to pull up 4 programmed worlds. It was hard to figure out which Gabi would be in because a lot of them had simulated inhabitants and looking around off the beaten path, he couldn’t get the program to decipher between real and virtual girls.
The first world seemed to be an intricate Turkish bath and harem, complete with concubines in various states of undress. Dr. Kell was able to tell fairly quickly that Gabi wasn’t among them, but more then her safety began to concern him based upon the type of worlds that his son had programmed. The next world was a girl’s locker room, then a sex dungeon, and finally a backyard.
The backyard is what struck him the most. Of the other three perverted places, it didn’t really fit the mold. He spent a bit more time combing through this world. He started by panning the screen. He liked to call this part “Magic Mirror” because it was like looking through a window into another world that seemed as real as this one. Dr. Kell rarely liked to venture inside the world, always fearing what might go wrong (like now) and not being able to respond properly on the inside. There were more things you could do to fix problems while outside the computer then in.
He reached over for his microphone and started calling out. “Gabi?” he asked into the screen. “Gabi are you there?”
He explored the area a little bit more. It had children’s swings and a little playground at one part of the yard, then a pond, and a modest little house. He kept looking.
After riding the roller coaster for about the fifth time, Sebastian was getting a little bit bored. Pretending to look for Gabi is only fun when you think you’re getting away with it, but it was getting to be less so because of how much time it was taking up. He hopped off the train of coaster cars at the station. For form’s sake he had actually looked all around the virtual theme park he and his father had created, despite the fact he knew perfectly well where Gabi actually was.
“Hey dad, she’s not at the theme park,” Sebastian said over the com channel.
“Okay, keep looking…” His dad said a bit distracted.
“Umm… but she’s not here dad? Where should I look next?”
“Oh, head to the next partition. Maybe she’s come back full circle to the boat?”
Sebastian shrugged. Whatever, it was somewhere to check. He closed the com channel, his dad was obviously busy with something else and he headed back to the loading screen before getting to the boat.
The boat was rocking gently on the waves, no one there… big surprise. Sebastian went and laid out on one of the cushions around the wheel. Time to pretend to look.
He day dreamed idly about what Gabi must really be up to. He couldn’t help but smile thinking about how she’d been dressed last time he’d seen her. She was diapered and in a sleeper. How completely ironic that the random place she ended up happened to be his little fantasy land centered around her likeness. He smirked, if he could some how get his dad to take a break from looking again, he’d head over there and mess with her some more.
Sebastian continued idly daydreaming to himself till he realized something. His dad had a window in on him and for the last few hours, he hadn’t been allowed to get away with this sort of thing. His dad had been riding him pretty hard to keep up the search and all of a sudden, he’d sort of been forgotten.
That didn’t bode well… As clueless as his dad was about his after hour activities, he started to worry because his dad was smart enough to find some of his creations if he’d been given incentive to search for it.
Sitting up smartly, Sebastian quickly got himself back to the loading screen and started trying to trace his dad’s search inquiry. It was pretty easy to do and right away he found that his dad was searching for something, but what got him moving, was that the search seemed to be in an unformatted sector…. CRAP. He might have found her.
Sebastian cracked his knuckles, thought himself into a debugging station and started his damn hardest to lock his dad out.
The water had just about finished draining out of the tub and two of us were almost dry (Naomi was sopping wet despite her best efforts, haha). Besides the embarrassment of being treated completely like a toddler, the individual attention I got while being dried was kind of nice. Naomi smiled warmly and got nose to nose with me before dropping a warm fuzzy towel on me and rubbing me down. Zelda was already swaddled like mother Teresa in her own fluffy towel. Then, as if by magic, Naomi went from dry to wet. I puzzled at it for a moment, but then remembered she was a program.
When I was dry enough, Naomi picked me up and put me on her hip while taking Zelda’s hand and leading us back to the nursery. The comfort of the bath had eased my nerves a little bit, but worry was starting to creep back. The longer I was in here, the less likely it felt like I’d be getting out soon. It had to be past dinner time back in the real world. Shouldn’t my mom be freaking out by now?
I was laid down on the changing table. Naomi took off my towel and got out one of the giant baby diapers and put it under me. She powdered and rubbed a little cream around before taping it shut and swapping me for Zelda on the table. After we’d both been diapered she went and got matching footed sleepers.
“All right girls its time for bed,” Naomi said as she finished zipping up the back of Zelda’s sleeper. Zelda spun around and pouted.
“You promised a bed time story!”
“You did! And a promise is a promise!”
Naomi shook her head before ruffling Zelda’s hair. “What would you like me to read to you girls?”
While they were talking I went over to the bookshelf and took out a hard bound book. It said ‘the handsome knight and the princess’ on the side.
“Read us the handsome knight and the princess!” Zelda started repeating happily. Naomi smiled as she saw I already had it. Zelda had been talking about it since dinner, so it wasn’t that hard to guess what she wanted to have read.
Naomi went over the rocking chair in the corner and sat down, lifting Zelda up to sit on one knee. She beckoned me over and picked me up to sit on her other knee. It took a moment to situate, but pretty soon Naomi had her arms around the both of us, and had me open the book for her to read. Zelda wasted no time laying her head against Naomi and sticking her thumb in her mouth. I sat a little embarrassed to be this close to the two of them, especially with how much of a comfort Zelda seemed to be making this.
As I opened the cover, the first page was a picture of the Tri-force from the ‘Legend of Zelda’. I frowned.
“Wat’s wong Gwabi?” Zelda asked behind her thumb.
I turned the page to find the classic pic of Link holding up his sword to the light. “Oh nothing, I just think I’ve read this one before.”
“It’s a book about our little princess here,” Naomi said with a smile. Zelda grinned widely behind her thumb. “You wouldn’t mind hearing it again would you?” Naomi asked.
I shrugged. Why not? Should have expected something like this anyway. “Read on.”
The story wasn’t very inspired. It was the game in print form. We got through the first 10 or 15 pages, before Zelda was out cold. I couldn’t really sleep, or pay attention to the book as thoughts of time kept worrying me. It had to be 8 or 9 by now. What if Sebastian had… really trapped me in here?
“You ready to go to bed Gabi?” Naomi asked quietly as she finished reading the page.
“Yah, I guess,” I said, still not really paying attention.
She shifted her arm from my back to under my padded butt and managed to stand up with both of us, bringing us over to the crib and putting us down inside. Zelda stirred briefly but I don’t think she actually woke up. She did however sense me near to her and immediately wrapped her arms around me in a cuddle. A part of me wondered if she did that out of programming, or if it was just part of how she’d naturally act… well… if she was natural.
Naomi smiled down at us and pulled some blankets up before going to turn on a night light and turn off the main lights. She quietly shut the door and left me alone with Zelda and my thoughts.
My mind began to wander in dangerous circles. It went from possible scenarios of what was going on outside the computer, to me being stuck in here as Sebastian’s caged thing; forever the sister of poor Zelda.
My hand came up and gently stroked Zelda’s hair. I’d always been an only child; my mom’s computer loving potato. As weird and even embarrassing as the day had been, having a sister was a new experience, one that I kind of liked.
My thoughts were interrupted by a voice from somewhere out in the hallway.
“Gabi are you there?”
It was a guy’s voice, and it didn’t sound like Sebastian’s. My heart jumped.
“I’m in here!” I yelled out, waking Zelda. “Hello?” I called out again.
A few moments later, a floating square with Dr. Kell’s face in it came through the wall.
“Gabi, thank goodness! I thought I’d never find you.”
“You have to get me out of here Dr. Kell, Sebastian’s gone crazy. He’s built this whole perverted place and I can’t get out.”
Zelda sat up and rubbed her eyes sleepily. She looked up at Dr. Kell’s screen a little confused.
“There’s two of you?” Dr. Kell asked looking at Zelda.
“Long story, look, get me out, sooner the better.”
Dr. Kell nodded vigorously and started typing on his side. “It’s going to be a little complicated, you’re in an area that’s not supposed to have been formatted yet, so I’m not exactly sure how to pull you out yet.”
My heart beat a little faster. “Not sure? What do you mean? You can see me right? Just unplug the machine or something, let me out of here.”
Dr. Kell bit his lip. Zelda looked even more confused them before. “Gabi who’s that?”
“This is Dr. Kell, he’s Sebastian’s father.” I said standing up with my hands on the crib bars.
Dr. Kell noticed my outfit, and raised his eyebrow a moment, but thought better of it and kept typing away. “This is more complex then you think Gabi. You’re in something of a virtual black hole in the system. I can see you, he’s got a command line named Zelda something, but I can’t reach the physical you. I’m working on that. As for unplugging the machine,” he stopped to push his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, “I’ve never done it before, in theory it wouldn’t be good. It would be like unplugging your mind while it’s in one room, but you’re body is in the next. You would likely go into a bad state of shock or worse.”
“Please tell me you didn’t know Sebastian created this.”
“I swear I didn’t know Gabi, and trust me, I’m going to deal with him when I get you out.”
I felt Zelda’s arms encircling my leg. “Are you going home Gabi?”
“Will you ever come back to visit again?”
All my determination to leave suddenly slowed a little bit. Zelda was asking in such an innocent voice and she was looking up at me like a puppy would when you leave it at home in your room to go to school.
“I don’t know…” I said feeling a little dumb after I had. I wanted out soo bad, but then… I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but at the same time she wasn’t real.
Zelda started to cry. “Please don’t leave,” she hugged tighter. “I’ve never had a sister before… Today’s been the best day I’ve ever had.” She looked up into my eyes with tears streaming down her face and talked to me as a sister, “I love you.”
I couldn’t help it, I broke down too. Held tight in her arms, seeing her tears and hearing her voice, it was too real… I’d never had a sister until today either. “I love you too,” I said hugging her tight. We both cried.
“Don’t leave forever,” Zelda said.
“I’ll find a way to come back someday,” I reassured her, not really sure how I’d accomplish it.
Dr. Kell’s voice suddenly turned to bad static and I broke our embrace in time to see his window going fuzzy. He looked stunned on his side before the window completely popped out of existence.
“Noooooo….” I said reaching a hand out through the bars. He was gone. The moment passed, and then a minute had passed, but when nothing happened, I began to feel like my chances of leaving had just left. I started crying in earnest.
“Where did he go?” Zelda asked through her own tears.
“I don’t know…”
A light out in the hallway came on, and I felt my heart jump once more as the door opened, only, it was Naomi.
“Is everything okay girls? Awww why are you crying?”
“Gabi’s going away forever!” Zelda cried.
Naomi looked at me. “In the middle of the night? Leaving us so soon?”
“I don’t know if I’m leaving,” I cried. “I think my only way out might have just left.”
“Really?” Zelda said, suddenly stopping her tears.
“It’s not a good thing!” I nearly screamed. Zelda let go of me and looked hurt.
Naomi rolled her eyes. “There’s no need to be this upset at one another this late at night.”
“I don’t want to be stuck here forever!” I yelled.
Naomi walked up to us. “Come on, we’ll talk about this in the morning. Besides, I bet I know what the problem is, do you need a change Gabi?”
It was the stick that broke the camels back. I started to cry senselessly as nature took over. I don’t know how else to describe it other than to say it’s like needing to sneeze all of a sudden. The feeling just builds, and there’s nothing you can do till it all just comes out as quickly as it came. A shiver ran through me as I helplessly wet and then filled the back of my diaper.
My mind caved, all was lost. I wasn’t getting out. I was going to be Zelda’s helpless twin forever.
Naomi reached down and gave my diapered behind a few pats through the sleeper. “Well we have one poopy diaper. How about you Zelda, since I’m up do you need a change too?”
Zelda at first had been upset because I’d yelled at her, then confused that I’d suddenly start crying so hard at seemingly nothing, and then… a shiver ran through her and suddenly she was wet and messy too. She nodded her head, “I need a change.”
Naomi picked me up and held my head to her chest. Soothing me like a baby. “There there Gabi, it’s okay. I’ll change you and make it all better.”
I couldn’t help it, I just cried and cried. I wanted to scream that I didn’t care about being messy (well I did care, but it was secondary to being stuck here). Naomi continued to rub my back as she laid me down on the changing table and began to change my diaper. She followed with Zelda right after.
“Now you two go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning.”
I was pretty sure I wouldn’t feel better in the morning, I couldn’t find the words to say as much. Sunrise would be pretty solid evidence that I wasn’t getting out. Naomi left the room and shut the door.
Zelda hugged me and this time, she held me to her instead of the other way around. “It’s okay Gabi… I’ll be here for you…” she said patting my back as Naomi had. “We’re sisters.” It helped a little, but at the same time, I felt a little worse, because suddenly I felt like she was my big sister and I was crying on her shoulder.
5 minutes passed. 10… I’d stopped crying and we’d laid back down. 20 minutes. I was sniffling still, but Zelda was cuddled close. My mind was wandering some more. I’d started to decide that I almost wished I hadn’t seen Dr. Kell, because seeing him made me believe that I was going to get out, but I was starting to realize I the hard truth that I could be stuck here. Then it struck. The arcade room.
I bolted upright in bed, bewildering Zelda once more. “Gabi?”
“Arcade! Dance dance revolution!! Now, it may be my chance out. Please, we have to get out and try. Please please, Naomi stopped me earlier, I have to try.”
“I… I don’t know if we should…”
“Please, as my sister, help me with this…”
Zelda was silent for a moment, before she got a determined look on her face and nodded. “We’ll try.”
Sebastian couldn’t help laughing to himself. “Dad’s going to kill me when I get out of here,” he mused while floating around in space. The thought had a bitter after taste. He hadn’t really thought this through very well. He’d just locked his dad’s station and changed most of his accessibility protocols… Now his dad would likely pace around the lab like a cage lion.
He wouldn’t pull the plug on him, because it would kill the system and do who knows what to those inside. He effectively had a hostage in Gabi, but at the same time, he couldn’t really get out without having to face the music. This was going to be very tricky… The only thing he could think of was to monitor the lab. It was two way, his dad could look in and he could look out. His dad couldn’t stay there forever, there wasn’t a bathroom in the lab, or a bed for that matter. Maybe he could sneak out when his dad wasn’t there? Or when he’d fallen asleep.
But where would that lead? His dad wouldn’t just let him come back home later with Gabi trapped in the system. He couldn’t really call the cops either. He giggled at the thought of that phone call, “My son is holding the girl from down the street hostage,” the fuzz shows up and then they see two teens floating like dead bodies in a tube. His dad would likely be the one to go to jail over it.
Maybe he could incapacitate his dad in some way? … but could he really do that to his dad? Sebastian thought a moment, he was evil in his own way, but not that kind of evil… maybe there would be some way that he could get his dad into the tube, switch places with him. That made him smile, trap his dad inside the system and custom build him a limited tools workshop. Make him a gippetto inside the machine. Then he could have his fun with Gabi, and go into business solo.
Sebastian smiled, it was the best plan he could think of at the moment. He floated around in the loading area, a black void of space, thinking things over a bit more, playing out possible contingencies in his head. Eventually he turned on one of the duel direction monitors in the lab, and did his best to mask it so his dad couldn’t tell he was looking in. He spied on his dad as he frantically went from keyboard to keyboard, trying different access points.
Sebastian knew that he was smart enough to know that he was behind it. He’d found Gabi, and probably talked to her, so by now he’d know that the lock out wasn’t accidental. Still, Sebastian felt safe for the time being… Time to go check on his ‘prisoner.’ He smiled and thought himself away.
I had played two games already before I got frustrated and had to restrain myself from screaming at it. It was just too hard. I was good at DDR, but I wasn’t as good as it required I be, nor could I move right while wearing a thick night diaper.
I had thought about checking some of the other games, but DDR was what I would be best at (or at least thought I would be best at). When I started the game, I had gone through the list of changeable options and come across one entry that made me slap my head, Hyrule… the damn stupid kingdom where Zelda lived. There was even a list of commands but most of them were turned off, and I was in the process of unlocking them. Or at least failing too… Luckily, my failing hadn’t turned anything retarded on, like the experimental control modifier that had plagued me since this afternoon.
“Sebastian is really good at that game,” Zelda said, as she watched from the side.
“He must be,” I said angrily.
I stepped down, about ready to give up. Zelda smiled “Can I try?”
I shrugged. Why not. So Zelda got up, and… it was amazing. She was like one of those videos that comes out of Japan. It wasn’t just stomping the lights and arrows, it was fluid dance.
She performed flawless and I gave her a huge hug as her score rang up and the options unlocked. We were just starting to scroll through them in the hopes of finding an exit as the machine disappeared out from under our feet.
We only fell a few inches, but it still shocked us. It just wasn’t fair, we’d finally unlocked it and then… gone? Nooo… this just wasn’t fair.
“That was pretty good,” Sebastian said from the doorway behind us. Anger and terror mixed together as we turned to him. He was staring at us smugly as he leaned against the door frame. “I forgot about the arcade games.”
“BASTARD!” I screamed running at him. He backed up into the hallway with that dumb smirk on his face and started mumbling something. I ran full tilt and turned the corner running straight into Naomi.
Naomi’s hands were under my armpits and she held me up in the air as I struggled and kicked my feet, doing my best to get out of her arms and castrate Sebastian.
“Put me down Naomi! $#*$ing put me down right now!”
Naomi’s face was emotionless, she really looked like an androgynous robot now.
“She needs to be put back in her crib,” Sebastian said from behind her. Naomi didn’t reply, she just nodded and started walking back down the hallway to the nursery. I struggled as hard as I could.
“Seba leave Gabi alone,” Zelda said looking worried as he walked past her, following Naomi. He simply gave her a smile and kept walking.
I was put back in the crib. “Raise crib.02 bars 5 feet and Alpha caretaker-1 shut down,” Sebastian said.
Naomi disappeared and the crib bars went up another five feet taller then they already were, touching the ceiling. I quickly got back up to my feet, grabbing at the bars like a cage.
“Lower crib.02 bars to 1 inch!” I yelled at the crib, trying to play his game. Sebastian laughed, but nothing happened. “Let me out you bastard!!” I screamed trying my best to reach him through the bars.
“So you’re starting to believe that you really might be here for a while aren’t you?” Sebastian said with a twisted smile.
I didn’t reply, I just angrily started to shake the bars and throw my shoulder into it.
“You can be like a slave, heh, or a pet,” he rubbed his hands together.
“Seba, stop… please?” Zelda asked pulling at his shirt from behind him. “I… I don’t like this… What are you doing to Gabi?”
Sebastian smiled at Zelda. “Don’t you worry you’re pretty little head, I’m just going to make sure she stays here with you… forever.”
Zelda wasn’t sure if she should be happy or sad. She looked to me. I was still doing my best to break out. “He’s evil Zelda! Don’t listen to him!”
Zelda looked like she might cry and brought her arms up to hug herself. She didn’t like screaming, or Seba being mean. She ran from the room crying. Sebastian shrugged and turned back to me.
“Poor girl doesn’t do well with yelling. Oh well, I expect you’ll take care of her.”
“You’re going to let me out. You can’t keep me trapped in here,” I ordered. A part of my head knew that these orders weren’t going to get me anywhere, but I might as well try.
“Didn’t we go over this earlier? I control this world… and from now on, consider yourself a permanent resident. I’m sure you’ll get used to the diapers, if you aren’t already,” he leaned a little to his left and looked me up and down. “Might I say that you make one beeeeaaautiful diaper girl.”
I flipped him a nice big bird.
“With a bit of a rotten attitude, but I’ve heard solitude and imprisonment can soften that up. Heh, so you have fun here, I’ll be back some day to get you.”
“Someday!? You’re dad will never allow this!”
Sebastian smiled. “That’s going to be a little tricky I’ll admit, but I’ve got a plan in the works, don’t worry, in a few days I’ll get in touch with you somehow and you won’t have to worry about my dad any more.”
I was about to scream and curse to the fullest extent of the devil’s dictionary, but suddenly the lights flickered and Sebastian’s face screwed up.
“Bitch!” he yelled before turning to run out the door. I was confused, but suddenly my crib disappeared and I fell to the floor with a thud. I didn’t have to think, I immediately scrambled to my feet and went running out the door after him. He took a turn into the arcade and I made it in to see him practically tackle Zelda away from a stand up machine of Soul Caliber 3.
Zelda looked at me and was about to say something but Sebastian clapped his hand over her mouth.
“Delete program entity alpha-Zelda, and wipe drive sector.”
Zelda’s eyes went wide, as she looked up at me, before she disappeared.
“You turned her against me?! My own freaking creation. Farewell and @#ck-off to her. Deletion was too good.”
It felt like a deep deep cut… Zelda… She’d just been… My breath was coming in gasps. He couldn’t have, not just like that. Not like crumpling up and throwing away a piece of paper. It was too jagged a pill to swallow, my knees felt weak… She was gone. Effectively cut away from the living media which she’d been.
“Murderer!! You killed her!!!”
Sebastian laughed. “I can’t kill someone who wasn’t real.”
“She was real! She could think, she could hug, she could cry and she’ll never do those things again… You killed her!”
“Pehhh,” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “I think you’ve been inside this game a teeny tiny bit too long. I only deleted her, I’ll reprogram another later. One that won’t turn against me.”
“Only deleted her? I’ll $#%^ing delete you!” I charged with all the rage of my inner bitch.
Sebastian’s eyes went wide and he opened his mouth to say something, but he wasn’t able to get it off before I stuffed my fist in his face. I smiled for in triumph, but only for a moment as I suddenly felt the need to throw up.
It was a miracle, he wasn’t sure where it had come from but Dr. Kell had found a loophole in the system and logged in, and even better, there was a nice shinning partition where there hadn’t been one earlier. It was as if the clouds had parted and a ray of light had shown down on the hidden door.
He quickly returned to the backyard place he’d been before and zoomed his magic mirror around the house till he found a rather well furnished arcade where Gabi and his son were arguing. He turned around and slammed the logoff process on her tube, just as she was running at his son on the screen. Dr. Kell was so preoccupied with making sure the process went smoothly that he missed the straight punch that would have likely knocked Sebastian’s front teeth in.
Gabi’s figure suddenly became re-animated. She thrashed in the tube like she was punching someone in front of her and as the liquid went below her head, she started to throw it up and out of her system.
It all came out in a rush. My vision went blind and then suddenly very white as my lungs struggled to throw out the most horrible amount of mucus I’d ever felt. There was something warm that had surrounded me, but it was slowly receding. I tried to open my eyes, but the light hurt.
“Easy Gabi! You’ve been under for many hours… You’re system may take a few minutes to adjust.”
I tried to speak but all that happened was more of the fluid dribbling from my mouth. As the warmth went down to my knees, I began to fall over, feeling a little too weak to stand. My back hit something and kept me propped up.
“Hold on, I’m coming!” I heard someone yell.
Whatever my back was against, it started moving and eventually I began to fall without its support. Whatever fluid had been around my legs suddenly drained and went everywhere. I felt two arms grab me.
“Gabi! It’s Dr. Kell, can you hear me?”
I tried to speak again, and marginally managed a positive response. About that same moment I heard something crash outside the room.
“OH MY BABY!!!” came the unmistakable worried scream of my mother.
My mother threatened every legal course possible with Dr. Kell, even though she wasn’t really sure what he’d done to me. From her stand point, she came in, saw Sebastian floating in a giant test tube, and me laying half conscious on the platform of another tube (she was also a bit peeved at him because it was kind of obvious that I had crapped and wet myself quite badly…) She demanded an explanation (he’d been ignoring her calls) and after some explaining she was able to understand that Sebastian had tried to hurt me in side some type of advanced video game, and as punishment we were going to leave him in for a while.
Somehow my mother bought this story and was happy just to get me the hell out of there and tell me to never go back… The good news is that in the end, I’m getting my college paid for!!! HAHA computer programming degree here we come. It didn’t take lawyers, Dr. Kell offered it and said he’d pay no matter which school I choose. Once my mother had it in writing, she was able to just pretend it’d never happened. She had his word, and my word that nothing inappropriate had gone on, and that I’d just some dangerous experimental testing. She was happy that I just wouldn’t be doing it any more.
So, life returned to normal. My mom stopped pestering me to find a job. Well, she mostly stopped pestering me. Whenever she brought up the subject I could guilt trip her about what happened last time she found me a job and that usually bought me 3 or 4 days of unmolested videogame time. I think the other reason she didn’t bother me about it as much was because… well I’ve been left with a lingering need for diapers… Dr. Kell said it would probably go away after a few weeks (I’d come square with him, my mom didn’t know why, but thought it was a bad side effect)… I’ll admit it’s a bit embarrassing having to wear diapers in the real world, but at the same time... I kind of like them… they remind me of a twin sister I once had.
Sebastian knew he was boned. He’d flinched as the fist came in, but then it never connected. He’d opened an eye to see Gabi look like she was throwing up, then disappear.
$&CK! His father had gotten her out. But how? He started yelling all his commands but none of them worked. He couldn’t even get Naomi to come back. He ran to the Soul Calibur 3 Machine and started trying to figure out what Zelda done on it.
It only took him a moment to find that she had opened up some pretty glaring security gaps. The stupid girl hadn’t always been dumbly watching him as he played games on this or tinkered with the world, some part of her had learned what he was doing. Stupid learning algorithm.
And now she’d let his father in and he was screwed.
He sat down on the floor, this was going to suck. He started trying to get to any programming outlet commands he could, but everything was locked out. The only thing he could get to was the hashed and deleted files. He started scanning through to see if he could reactivate any of his controls and was just going through the large program pile that Zelda had become before everything suddenly went black…
It was a hard decision, but in the end, Dr. Kell reasoned that this was a good excuse to get data that he’d really needed to get, but didn’t know how else to get. Sebastian was willing to gamble with someone else’s life, so this was only fair. He pulled the plug, and had an emergency logoff.
He turned on all his brainwave mapping systems and immediately rushed to his son’s aid to make sure he didn’t die as he was ejected from the system.