This is Lost Continued but I have included the first part to bring you up to speed, it has some slight changes.
I woke up dazed … on a heap of something that smelled distinctly like garbage and burned metal in the back of what I assumed was an alley. I rubbed my eyes, which were bleary and felt like they had sand in them. I gazed around, nothing looked familiar. I don’t mean I didn’t recognize the street or surroundings, I mean absolutely nothing looked familiar. The buildings were all weird and geometric looking, there was stuff flying about overhead and this weird buzzing in my ear that sounded like coms offline. I went to scratch my ear and felt some kind of weird implant there, as I tapped on it the static cleared and voices started to come through but they weren’t speaking any language I knew – where the fuck was I?
I drew myself upright and started to really look around – it was like stuff I’d seen in science fiction movies or read about in books. I thought wow, this is the most intense and realistic dream I have ever had. I tried to remember the night before. Did I drop? What was I doing? What day was it? My mind blanked. I looked down and saw I was wearing some slippery silvery onesie type garment that looked like one of those thermal blankets the paramedics use, but it didn’t crinkle or rustle. Actually, it felt kind of nice and it enveloped my body almost like a second skin. It had a little flap in front of my mimsi but otherwise, I could have been naked.
It seemed like it was early because there were no people about, although the light insinuated it was not early in the morning, well if that was anything to go by. Who the fuck knew if this place even had “sun”. I looked up and saw there was some kind of dome above us and this was creating the light, everything looked like it was LED lighting but there were no obnoxious billboards – only blank spaces of black everywhere which confused the hell out of me. After taking in my surroundings I realized one, I felt like I was starving and two, there was no people or animals or anything around … It was like this world only had me in it. I was trying not to freak out entirely because I knew that wouldn’t help but fear was slowly creeping up from my ankles and enveloping my whole body, my lip started to quiver, and I wiped back tears angrily. What the fuck was going on? Also where was a washroom, I really had to pee!
I looked around to see if there was anything by me that could give me a clue, that’s when I spotted the silver knapsack lying crumpled beside the (what I could only assume was) garbage heap. I say assume because it was the strangest mish-mash of “garbage” I had ever seen. It had a kind of rotting smell but it was not a smell I was familiar with, it smelled less fleshy and more chemically if that makes any sense. All of this was very confusing and disorienting. I grabbed the knapsack to see if it held any clues. The bag left me with more questions than answers. It was filled with little contraptions of different shapes and sizes all seemingly sealed up vault tight. I took one and turned it around slowly looking for clues as to what it was. As I touched a surface suddenly a blue box lit up, I touched it and it beeped “incorrect scan, please administer again”. Okay this was some next level iPhone shit right here I figured so I put my thumb on the screen. Sure enough it started opening into a fucking virtual reality computer screen! Mind blown. I think I just sat there for two minutes with my mouth open.
I looked in awe at the screen and tried to surmise how this thing worked and see if I could glean some information about what had happened. Memories were zapping in my brain in fits and starts, disjointed bits and pieces of a much bigger jigsaw puzzle. I had no idea what the big picture was. Every time something flashed through it was like a jolt that physically hurt, like electrical impulses … electrical impulses … that’s it, I had been playing a virtual reality game when this happened and … it was in this world! Oh my fucking gawd I think I crossed over! I looked at the reflection in the screen and sure enough, I had blue skin, pink and purple dreadlocks and a wicked angular face and body – I was my avatar. Okay this had to be a dream, “wake up, wake up, wake up!” I screamed. This brought two weird looking rolling robot looking thingies speeding towards me. (Kind of like this – will get a better image later … this hair is horrible, but I digress. Get someone to draw up proper image perhaps or create photoshop image?)
“Good day Echelon Three and how may we assist you? Do you need medical assistance? Let us perform a scan please.” And with that before I could answer they took out this scanner thingy and proceeded to scan me from top to bottom. What the fuck was an Echelon Three and what were these things? Okay, yeah, I was familiar with the setting and my avatar … errr me I guess now, but that’s where it ended. This was not the game and I’d never seen these things before.
“Errrmmm hi! I seem to have hit my head and I don’t remember anything. Could you please give me some information, like what my name is and how to get home?”
The other robot thingy that had been just hovering there spun around on it’s axis so suddenly I jumped.
“No memory? This does not compute. I will have to access my database. Your name is Echelon Three, you live in the upper delta quadrant of Simling Four. You can request a hover transport to assist you to your quarters.”
“Yeah, okay, that’s terrific and how exactly do I do that?”
The robot thingy paused, I swear it looked like it was tilting its head quizzically at me almost as if dumbfounded. Yeah well, join the club buddy. This wasn’t exactly my idea of another day in paradise either. Why couldn’t I have woken up on a beach with minimal techno music in the background and lots of lovely scantily clad people instead? Oh fuck, I wonder what the hell my body looks like under here. Oh my gawd, what if I can’t have sex anymore! The robot thingy brought me out of my panic attack.
“Any requests or desires you have can be initiated by interfacing with your personal online computer.” Okay, at least this was something, I knew what that was. Interface, okay if it was a thumb scan, maybe there was voice recognition but how did I address it? I looked at the screen, cleared my throat and said officiously, “computer, arrange for transport home”. Nothing happened, figures.
“Ummm excuse me … (what the hell did I call this thing?) … as I said, I’ve lost my memory so first of all, how do I address you?”
“We are Helix, all manner of our forms respond to this, there is no differentiation between one or the other.” Okay, so I guess they operate en mass, hmm wonder if they’re like cyborgs all interconnected? Okay Groove steady on there Chicklet, let’s not get off course.
“Okay … Helix. So ummmm how the … how do I get home.” I had to resist doing air quotes when I said this. I had no idea what the political climate was here. Who knows, it might have been seen as a sign of aggression. Everything around me kept altering and shifting, the buildings, the surroundings, it was this fluid environment that quite frankly was making me queasy. I just wanted to get to some place static so I could think. Also, I really didn’t want to wretch right now which is all I would do because also I was fucking starving. Oh, shit, I didn’t even know if this blue thing could eat … this was getting more and more complicated. Okay but if I felt hungry that had to mean I could eat right? Helix once again brought me back from my panic.
“What is home?” Oh fuck.
“Okay, where do I reside?”
“I am not familiar with this phrase.” I sighed rubbed my brow and tried again.
“Where is the Echelon Three storage facility?”
“You can get to this by interfacing with your computer.” Arrrrggghhhh!!!
“And how do I do that exactly?”
“You place your thumb in the prompt, put your eye up to the retinal scan and make a verbal request.” Oh, of course, why didn’t I think of that – as if. I hoped this worked because I was exhausted as shit and fucking petrified. Although I’m not sure this pod or whatever the fuck it was I was going to be taken to was going to make me feel any safer but it was better than sitting in the middle of this street, well not really a street, more like this static holographic image that maintained while everything else shifted around me, except my immediate vicinity. It was like I was in some weird graffiti alley on Queen Street with exceptional art I might add, but it only existed for me … if that makes any sense. No, no, I know, none of this makes sense.
As lovely as the imagery was I still didn’t know what was going on and obviously Helix had limited function and drive capacity. I’d call them assistant drones or something … at this point I really didn’t care to clarify this or any other points I just wanted to get somewhere “safe”.
Okay, I was going to give it one last try. I put my thumb on the pad, aligned my eye near the retina scan and said “Echelon Three Pod” and I felt my stomach lurched like on a roller coaster and suddenly I was inside this … errrr, what I could only assume was my ‘apartment’?
Everything was so cool looking I was tempted to pick up each little item and examine it but I was running on fumes and I still needed to pee. Hmmm I wonder …
“Siri, where’s my bathroom?” Don’t laugh, I was clutching at straws here and for all intense purpose there seemed to be only one room. I assume it morphed into whatever depending on commands and need but I had no idea how to manipulate it.
“I’m sorry Echelon Three I do not understand.”
“Oh for fuck sakes, I have to pee, where the fuck is the bathroom!!!”
“Sanitary facilities are available through your interface connection and a voice command”, oh you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me. Back to the computer I went, thumb and eyeball.
“WASHROOM!!!!” I screamed. POOF! There it was. Oh thank fucking gawd. Okay, let’s see. Put thumb and eyeball on computer,
“Undress” … bupkus. Oh for fuck sakes.
“I need to pee and I have clothes on, what am I supposed to do?”
“Echelon Three is required to press the release valve herself in order to obtain access to her private vessel.”
Gee that’s swell, now I had just taken to staying in the eyeball thumb position because clearly nothing was straight forward to me in this place.
“That’s swell whatever your name is, where is this release valve?”
“Echelon Three’s Valve can be located to the left of her private quadrant.” So to the left of my wooge? Oh I know! It’s under that damned flap! I set the computer down, lifted the flap, found this little hole and shoved my thumb in it and voila, my suit opened in all the right places as it were. I still had no idea if I was even able to get naked but I was glad to see when looking down that I still looked relatively human in that capacity in that I still had a vagina, an asshole and so forth. Absolutely no hair to speak of – and I mean any, anywhere, but I assumed that was par for the course at this point and the stuff on my head was prosthetic … but this was something to investigate later.
Thankfully the receptacle for peeing in was very obvious as were the rest of the items in the bathroom, i.e. sink, shower, bathtub (that was currently part of the wall but I assumed came down on command). I sat on the toilet, let it rip and suddenly realized how dead tired I was. But first I had to eat.
Thumb, eyeball “food menu please” … nothing. Oh for fuck sakes.
“Yo computer thingy, first of all what do you get called? And second of all, how do I eat?”
“My name is Sensoria and for sustenance you have variety of flavour capsules available to you.” Flavour capsules, that sounded appetizing not at all, well hey, on the bright side I’d lose weight – oh wait a minute …
“Sensoria where do I find a full-length mirror?”
“Where would you like it?”
“On a wall, in the bathroom, I don’t care.”
“Ask the room you wish it in and it will be provided.” Hmm, okay simple enough. Let’s see …
“I would like a full length mirror in every room please.” Suddenly there was a glare coming off the mirror in the bathroom and my pod no longer looked like a fish bowl as it was divided up with the mirror. I looked at myself in awe, eww my gawd, I looked awesome! Apparently my avatar came with the perfect figure, well damn grrlll! Hope I got to use this fine bawtey. But it was still … hmmm I wonder.
“Please make all the walls violet with silver sparkles except for one full window that shows me the outside.” And it happened. I was momentarily distracted from my hunger by all of this but then my stomach rumbled so loud it startled me.
“Kitchen please” and poof the bathroom disappeared and was replaced by the “kitchen”. This was weirder than the bathroom because although it had a whole host of gadgets and doflickys that I had no idea what they were. Okay lessee.
“Kitchen show me how to use everything in here.” Everything started simultaneously, a whoops, guess I should have been a little more specific.
“Kitchen show me how to use all the things in here, one at a time.” Something whirled in the right corner behind, what I assumed, was the fridge? A voice started as if from nowhere and startled the crap out of me. My partner in … well, I guess that ‘other life’ now would have peed their pants watching me jump so high. I should really come up with some kind of warning system before Sensoria speaks … I was lost in thought and tuned out most of it so only caught, “and that is how you use your liquid diviser.” Oh fuck me. I was too tired for this crap currently. I really needed some sleep. Maybe I’d get some answers in the morning.
“Sensoria may I please have my bedroom.” I was expecting this opulent room with fluffy pillows and soft blankets, maybe some blinky lamps and a nightlight that shone stars on the ceiling. Instead this oblong pod appeared in front of me with door and a window cut out, like some sensory deprivation tank that looked very confining and gave me the heeby jeebies. Mad roller coasters that dropped thousands of feet, fine. Confined spaces, that’s a whole lotta nope right there.
“Sensoria, this is just a pod, I want a room to sleep in. This is small and confining.”
“Actually Echelon Three, this space is no more than 100 square meters, most of it is an optical illusion …”
“Fine then optical illusion me a bedroom and get rid of this pod thingy that gives me the creeps please. Also stop calling me Echelon Three, that’s lame, call me Groove.”
“Okay Groove, I do not know this term creeps or lame so I cannot respond to those comments” as it said this a bedroom appeared, all soft pinks and lavenders and fluffy and cozy and suddenly my eyelids felt really heavy and that was the last thing I remembered.
I awoke to a dull kinda bleeping sound and this little round thing bumping my hand that was hanging off the bed. A lovely stream of drool had trickled down my face and pooled on the pillow, well some things never change. The bleeping thing was now doing my name on repeat ad nauseum and I was beginning to feel a headache coming on. I grabbed it between my hands and lifted it up. It looked exactly like those other two rolly polly robot thingies from yesterday.
“Okay buddy, first of all what do I call you?” I’m Helix your personal motivator. Personal motivator huh, that’s interesting.
“Okay Helix, first of all do not call me Echelon Three and I want it programmed throughout that I am to be addressed as Groove, never Echelon Three again, okay?”
“Second of all do you have something like or can you make me a coffee?”
“The simulator will provide a substance that will be to your satisfaction Groove. Please give me the parameters.”
Parameters really for a friggin coffee, oh fuck it, might as well get with the lingo I suppose.
“Thanks Helix, I’d like a dark espresso coffee, with sweetener and half two percent and half condensed milk please (about a tablespoon of each). I’d also like something that simulates scrambled eggs, toast, turkey bacon, orange juice, apple oatmeal and a banana.” What? I was fucking hungry dude, who knows when’s the last time I ate or, for that matter, how long I’d been sleeping for.
“As you wish Groove.” And poof, it all appeared on my imaginary but damn it looked real counter. Oh yeah.
“Sensoria, can you please make the counter marble top granite with little flecks of silver and gold in it in a pink tone?” Ah that was better.
All the dishes seemed to be made of this kind of … honestly I think it’s Teflon material (I was guessing this place wasn’t very environmentally friendly …) I knew I should probably work more on the décor at some point but at this juncture I wondered what was in store for me.
“What do I do? How do I spend my days? Oh and also, what day is it?”
“You work in Delta Quadrant 4A as an analytical consultant (whatever the fuck that was, guess I’d find out soon enough), you work as is custom, Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (holy slave labour batman) and it is Friday (woot! I could figure out the human aspect at work and figure out how these guys partied. Gawd I hope they partied. Oh my gawd what if there are no stimulants here?! Oh who am I kidding, there are still humans – well such that I am, so there will still be some way to get wasted, I’m sure of it. I thought about asking Helix or Sensoria but since I didn’t know anything about the rules or protocol or the laws for that matter, I thought I’d better keep those inquiries to myself for the time being.