Chapter 11:


11 Kingdoms

Report: Systems-Cleaning

Accessing Personal Logs: Fawn Midin

The time since Nev left the room passed to what has seemed like a full day, only I could tell by the actions of the people involved, as well as the fact that the food on the tray has yet to receive room temperature before it happened. I stood puzzled as both mom and the captain pause at the same time and they began to talk about something I couldn’t quite see or fully understand.

“A system Cleansing set for this server in 6 hours, the system will be back up in 24 hours. What the heck does this mean?” Mom asked puzzled. There was little I can recall about mom, but I know she wasn’t much for adventure outside of the challenge that a normal day in her shops brought her.

“It means things just got a lot worse for us.” The captain’s dark skin turns several shades paler. “Fawn, gather a collection to take with you but make it light, we need to get you to Strone.”

I suddenly am puzzled at the captain’s requests. “Strone, why there so suddenly?”

“Look we don’t know what effect the system cleaning would be on you. So, to play it safe we need to move you from the cleaning area. A ship wouldn't be fast enough to get us out of the country’s server. You and I need to ride to a border and fast." I can see the concern on Melissa's face.

I stand still puzzled at this why Strone, I ask myself. Strone was to the North West of the country but was a country Neutral to our kind. At least it wasn't Ruire which was one of our enemies in the far eastern lands. But south and a far closer border to us is, Arguo, our allies, and good friends. This was a question I had to ask of the captain. “Why not Arguo, captain? I mean if the idea is merely to run out of the country.”

"You're too well-known there and I don't have time to set up a hideaway for you. If we get to Strone, you have many ruins and woods to hide out in, Arguo, is all cities, with farms and floating islands offering fewer hiding places.” The actions of the captain moved about tossing clothes and wrapping the plate of food, then skillfully in one quick action shoving it all in a backpack before tossing it to me. "Here are most of the things you will need. Grab your weapon and let’s move quickly.”

Mom stood in wonderment at the whirling actions of the captain. I too found myself stuck in shock but as the target of her rushed fury, I was dragged along to go with Melissa. It wasn’t till mom spoke up till the captain even took notice that she was still in the room. “So the three of us need to move to this place to the north.”

Melissa nearly jumps back and I begin to see her fur rising from its resting place hidden along the skin. “Damn, Mrs. Eve. I’m sorry but Fawn at least knows how to ride and has a horse, while I don't need one. I am sorry but you will only slow us down. But if you go and get Moses to help you, you can watch her as she travels. I know you want to protect Jamie, but right now I need to get her to safety." She spends no time waiting and see mom's reaction. Instead, she grabbed my magic staff and tossed it at me hitting me in my side as I was distracted.

Grabbing the staff and bag I fling them on my back as the captain throws open the doors to the room. I turn to Mom who looks worried in turn. "I will be okay. The captain will make sure of that." She turns and hugs me. What a strange feeling in all my memories as I feel her comfort and concern as well for me in the mere instant of our embrace.

“I want you to return to our world as soon as possible. You are not to do anything too risky in this one!" I nod in agreement with her request. I turn and look at the captain who has a look of urgent frustration on her face.

“I will have Nev or the captain, tell you how things are going for me when I get the chance.” I rush out the door in tow behind Melissa, only her speed makes it hard for me to keep up with her and she constantly stops to make sure I am still following her along the path.

We run past many people going about their normal tasks. A strange sight indeed it's like you're the only ones knowing of a disaster, while people go on about carrying on with business as usual. We make quick movements about the halls of the castle with a few people greeting us in a similar pattern as we go by. "Good morning captain. Good morning, your highness." After their set words they return to the task they were handling before. We dash down through the main hall and out the door. A small handful of people take notice.

“Hey it’s the princess, she returned?” shouts one of the strange people.

“She’s alive, Princess what are you doing?” shouts a second

"Ignore them Fawn we must move now." Snaps the captain who is already outside the castle's doors, I try to move at a far quicker pace to catch up and make my way to the door. Suddenly I'm halted as I feel an arm reach out and grab my hand.

“I’m so glad you’re alive, everyone was so worried Princess.” I turn to look at a Young girl in ragged garb coated in blood and mud. “You should go to the press and hold a conference because the media is still reporting you’re in a hospital.” The girl goes on and I try to pull my arm away.

“I must go.” I cry out.

“What the hell for, your safe why are you acting this way?” The girl asks.

“Maybe they hired someone to fill in the role?” A young man replies in a similar version of the outfit the girl is wearing only fitted for a male.

Freeing my hand, I run on as the two begin to follow me. Making it out the door I suddenly come to a halt where Nev and the captain, stand with my horse Caramel at the ready.

"Get on and go, Princess!" Shouts Nev holding Caramel's reigns. The captain had shifted her form to her wolf state and stands still holding the frustrated look about her now elongated face. I make a move to the horse as another one of the people goes to reach for me only to have Nev grab at them. “Back off, the Princess has an important task to head off to.”

"Is she the princess?" cries one of the followers as I situate myself steady in the saddle.

“Quickly Princess we must move.” The captain growls.

I snap the reigns of Caramel and we start moving, as soon as we are clear from the building crowd, I build up a faster pace. The captain runs alongside us but when confronting people or objects instead of avoiding them she runs under or over them. I get so distracted by her actions, I failed to see a crowd, building at the entrance of the city. As a collection of people gather to block the cities exit. Caramel comes to a screeching halt to avoid running over the people. The whinny of Caramel barely blocks out the cries of the people as I look futilely for a way around.

“She is alive.” One-man cries.

“I can’t believe the media didn’t say anything.” Shouts another

“No way it could be her, even if she did get out there is no way the company would have her play so quickly.” A doubter in the group replies.

“Long live Princess Fawn.” A woman shouts.

I struggle to find an opening in the crowd when suddenly one of them cries out. "Hey someone is attacking me." I look about and see Gavin wildly swinging his ax about.

“Get going girl!” I quietly nod and ride through the opening he provided catching up to the captain.

Once outside the walls of the city, I try to make up for the lost time and get Caramel going to his quickest motion. The roadside becomes a blur and I point him on the road to the far north. I find the movements to be going so fast that I can’t even see the captain following at my side or in front of me. I start to slow down to try to find her only to hear her voice out of nowhere. “Keep moving Fawn, you can’t afford to slow down here.”

Blurs of green, brown, and grey fly by as we move across the blue-sky background, roars of creatures from the wild are heard as we move. Yet I see so few of them as we ride. The ride goes on for several minutes and I lose track of my surroundings if it wasn’t for the road, I surely would have fallen off the direction we had placed, as our course as the road takes a sudden bend to a new direction. Caramel slides slightly into the tall grass, as the road bends. When we return to the path a sudden growl is at my side and I feel a sharp pain as a wild cat that is running along behind took a swipe scratching my leg deeply. The sudden sting gets me to want to stop and treat my leg, but I watch as the captain runs up to the cat and toss it back without so much as slowing down from our pace. I look down and see my boot showing a line of blood. I grit my teeth and move on despite the throbbing pain hitting me with the bounce of each step Caramel makes in the gallop.

I try to concentrate completely on the effort to get to the goal of the border. Once again without seeing her talk the captain’s voice appears loud and clear in my head. “That’s right, ignore the pain Fawn, we have to keep moving. If we don’t make it to the border in four hours that pain will be the least of our issues for you. I will try to handle the threats that come up you just keep making your way forward.”

I deal with the pain and concentrate on the path ahead for a good while. I am a bit amazed at how Caramel hasn’t let up the pace once, my mind tells me horses should tire out at a pace like this after so long. I go on ignoring the pain as it throbs in link with the pounding of my heart and the similar pounding of caramel’s hooves as the ride goes on.

File Source Halted

Accessing Linked Material

Onyx Tower Floor 47, Rick Mathers Call Records

Additional sources: Camera network Floor 47

A very impatient Moses rubs the palm of his hand across the top of his shaved head as Gavin sits in front of a computer monitor fixed on the screen and Ebony Eve watches over his shoulder.

“We got to call him.” Gavin’s eyes don’t even budge from their lock on the screen.

“He just left to be with his daughter, first time in a long time for him.”

“But we had our orders. To let him know about issues and this,” Gavin’s words are cut off as Ebony steps in.

“I don’t care what you two think, I will call your boss personally if I have to. My daughter’s life is at risk and if he can stop that, then I will see to it that it gets done.” Ebony tries to reach for Moses’s DAS only to find the man’s height is far too much for her to grab the small box as he keeps it just out of her reach.

“I will call him, but I need you, Mrs. Eve, to calm down first. I don’t know if Rick can even do a thing to protect her. Also, there is the fact we are trying to keep too many people from finding out what is going on with Jamie in the game.” Moses watches as Ebony gives him a cold stare and walks over to sit on a chair in the corner of the room. The look on her face shows Moses that Ebony Eve wasn't the kind of woman who likes sitting back and waiting on others to solve issues for her. Let alone when dealing with life-threatening issues to her one and only daughter. After watching her sit down, Moses began to dial the phone and pressed a button for it to be on speaker. The phone rang several times before a voice hushed answer.

"Make it quick Moses, how are things on your end. I'm trying to not let my wife know we're talking about business." Rick tries to spread his words in quiet but rushed action.

“We have big problems.”

“Why, did you find out Fawn is not Jamie?”

“Well, she is her as best we can tell, but it turns out the system has identified her as a potential threat to the game. We now stand four hours from a system cleaning on the Noiox Systems.”

"Damn it." Rick drops the whisper and is quickly responded to by the voice of his wife in the background.

“What are you doing? Are you talking to the staff? You promised Rick no work today.” The female voice of his wife breaks in a faded way.

“You don’t understand honey something very important is going on.” Rick’s voice fades from the connection as he steps away.

“Yeah, you’re ignoring your daughter’s life, for this life of games and strangers.” The voice of Rick’s wife grows louder but remains faded from the phone.

“We can’t discuss this here honey, but it's Jamie, she is still alive," Rick states firmly.

“Yeah, in a hospital bed.” She replies.

“No in the game somehow, the guys found her and now her life is at risk.” Rick tries to explain.

"Look your life as a father is at risk here Rick. I will give you 15 minutes to settle this, but if you leave your daughter today then don't you dare come back." Moses and Gavin look uneasy at each other and neither take notice of Ebony Eve who has made her way to the box. She reaches to grab Moses’s hand and yanks the box from his hands.

“You look here, play games all you want I don’t care but my daughter’s life is at risk here. Yours merely is missing a day with her daddy.” The shouts of Ebony begin to weaken into sobs. “If I told you how many times I sacrificed the times with her, the days at beaches missed, the school plays never attended, the birthdays nearly forgotten. Then know this, days lost are one thing but a life lost is another. My daughter, or whoever she is in that game is running for her life as your computers are out to kill her. I just want a day like you two are having, I would love for those days even when the two of us argued. I almost lost her two days ago, then moments ago I was given hope and, I for one don't want that hope to die so soon. I don’t want her to die.” She is quiet in her words as her sobbing causes her to hyperventilate. “I just want her to live on.”

The DAS is quiet, as Moses sets it down and pulls forth a chair nearby, and helps Ebony sit down.

“Go. We will bring you dinner later.” The faded voice of Rick’s wife is heard.

"Thank you, Sweetie, after this is done, I will set up a vacation for us all.” Rick’s voice fades back in. “On my way back guys, I need you to go up to floor forty-eight and acquire the help of Bart Howser. Get him if he wants to help or not. Understand Moses.” Rick firmly states.

“You want me to kidnap him?” Moses nods his head with a puzzled smile.

"If it comes down to that yeah, but try just telling him I am on my way to see him, and after our last meeting he likely will not be glad to help you. Meanwhile, I need you all to keep a close eye on Fawn. Is she alone?" Rick questions.

“No Melissa is with her. They are on the road to Strone. But it will be close they should reach the border in about two hours and forty-five minutes." Moses replies hesitantly.

"It's going to be close but it's possible, she can make it so long as no issues arise on the road. Gavin, you watch the monitors along with Mrs. Eve. Moses, you deal with Bart. If you need to Gavin, send advantages for the two in the game for protection." Rick's orders stand strong and help ease the worry on his team.

"Yes, sir!" Gavin says as he watches the monitor which has a static line running down it. "That's odd."

The sound of a faded door opens and a man’s voice too faded to make sense breaks in but is interrupted by Rick. “Handle it guys. Driver to Black Clover’s Onyx tower and make sure to run the lights.” The DAS clicks out and the two men take the dead silence as their call to action as Moses walks out and makes his way to the elevator door. Gavin in the mean times hands a paper towel roll over to Ebony without taking his eyes off the monitor. Ebony rips off a chunk of the brown paper and blows. The two watches on as Fawn and her escort ride swiftly, but when suddenly a strange symbol appears across one of the monitors on the girl's path, Gavin knows all too well the two in the game are going to be having a difficult time.

“What is that? What does that symbol mean?” Ebony, questions.

“It’s a hack in progress. The plague virus, it’s after her again.” Gavin wheezes in worry.

End of Source material

Resume File

The constant beat of the hooves of Caramel thumps in my ears and the sharp pain in my leg begins to fade. I look back at the captain in the trail and see her black fur snout coated red, with blood. She must have been attacking monsters as we rode. She made an effort to protect me as best she could. I begin to turn back to face front, just as Caramel rears back in a moment of shock and I slide back falling off the mount.

By the moment I try to make sense of what just happened I find the captain standing between me and where Caramel was standing a few moments ago. My loyal horse however now is nowhere to be seen. All that I could make out was a fallen tree trunk that had a faint green light fading on it.

"Get back Princess it's possessed by the plague virus!" Melissa shouts.

I was confused, all I saw was a tree trunk fallen about on the road and trees. I look about at what she was seeing that I couldn't. Then my eyes tried to make sense of something. I couldn't quite tell what it was but a large mound of earth, complete with trees and rocks moved. No, the trees didn't just move like swaying in the wind, the earth moved. I watched as the captain charged at the mound that I thought I saw movement. Watching as a dark hole blinked to note that this wasn't earth but a giant mound of earth that was a living creature bathed in a faded green light. Upon my realization, I take a sudden step back taking the advice of the captain. She was after all the top military officer of Noiox and vastly more skilled at fighting than me. My head throbs and I feel a sharp pain in my leg causing me to slip down to notice the damage my leg took earlier.

The monster's claws must have been coated in poison. I found it hard to stand, but the pain in my head grew bigger as I watched the captain fighting the mound as best, she could. However, the mound by far seemed too powerful for her to face alone. My head was throbbing and I couldn't recall the reason, it's like back in my room when my memories. My memories, I was trying to remember something. I focused on the painful throb and tried to zone out the world around me. When images began to flood my head, images of creatures from before that I have fought. A giant boar, a strange plant creature, and lastly and most hauntingly a ghostly green woman. The pain hit me tearing at my head. My head felt like it was splitting as the image of the woman hit my brain.

“Dark Mistress." The words somehow find their way out of my lips without any effort. She was the reason I was here. The one that took me from one world to the next and this creature, this monster is one of hers. I know well that Melissa can't defeat it alone. I must help her. I reach in deep in my soul grasping my mage staff and let the words rise from deep within. "Aqua Lamnia Rapture.” I did not need to think of the words as they came from an uncurious nature of mine. The ground around the mound began to erupt in blasts of water slicing its way through the creature in places along its body. The monster's head is driven up as the water blades slice away and the captain continues to strike at it. Without taking her eyes off the creature, the captain hollers back at me.

“I told you to get back Fawn.” She screams.

“You can’t fight it alone! The monster is too difficult. Besides so far I'm the only one of us to take one of these down before." I shout back at her and I swear I saw a smile on her wolf face as she tears at a chunk of the monster's body. She tosses a chunk of dirt off to the side. She lets out a sharp snarl at the monster and reaches high to strike with her claw when the creature swipes her off and the captain comes sliding near my side. I look down and see she is still breathing even though her breath has struggled.

“Stay back princess!” She Shouts.

“No, I will deal with it, I won't let it get either of us and then we can move on!" I shout back at her, as I raise my staff high and cast a spell upon my hands that begin to release an icy white haze from their palms. Soon the Monster goes to swing one of its massive arms down at us. I act quickly to block it watching as the dirt starts to crack from the icy chill of my magic touch. I feel the dirt become fragile as the creature begins to raise its arm to make a second attempt to smash us. I watch as chunks of its arm break apart in the mere simple action of moving its arm about.

“Fawn cast a stronger ice spell on it!” The captain cries as she rises to her feet.

Quickly I place my hands together with the staff in the middle and cold white smoke builds about the staff. The beast takes a swing at me. It’s too soon, the spell is not yet ready I am forced to take the blow of the beast. I hear a snapping at my arm as the full force of the blow hits my side and a sharp pain runs through my body. But I clench my teeth and hold steady on building the spell. The creature begins to follow through his attack and swings his full force down upon me. Only this time I'm ready and I jab at him with the staff unleashing the spell. The creature's body begins to make cracking sounds and his movements begin to slow. Crystals of ice begin to cover the earthy flesh of the monster and I look as it comes to a halt in its movement. Suddenly a black figure blasts by my side and goes crashing through the beast's body. I watch as the captain is beaten and broken stands upon the back after having plowed a hole through the monster's chest. Its body begins to crackle again and breaks apart. The captain returns to her human form and plops down on the ground as the dirt crumbles apart revealing a small collection of items that likely got stuck within the beast's body.

“You’re going to have to move on your own Fawn, I can't keep up with this. Gavin tells me he put some stuff in the pile you might find helpful to get you to Azurphire, when you get there, we will come to join you. Till then do what you must to survive." Melissa states pointing in the direction I need to go.

I look at the pile of items the captain points out, a strange-looking sword. I never was any good at using a sword but it does make a better weapon than just my staff. A necklace that bears wings upon it. A small pin brooch with a lizard encrusted on it and finally a cloak that is coated in several colors in no real pattern. I begin to stuff the items away.

"The necklace, use it now! It will make up for the loss of Caramel at this time. With it, you can move quickly across the road. Once you make it to Strone though, use the cloak and pin they will help keep you hidden along the path, till you reach a boat to, Azurphire. We will be watching now go." I nod and place the necklace over my head and put away my staff in a strap I have on my bag. It takes little time until the effects of the necklace begin to make me feel weird. Soon I felt I was moving about in front of myself without even moving. I felt the pull going down both ways of the path. I turned and faced the direction where the tree had fallen before and I take a step in that direction. Suddenly the landscape turns to a blur and I don't even feel my feet moving as I run along at a pace that feels even faster than it did on Caramel.

A sudden bend in the road doesn’t even faze me as I make the turn perfectly. I tried to look behind me and see the blur start to turn to a black void. The void brings a cold fear about me. But I continue to run, trying to focus on the goal of reaching the border. I turn back to face the road ahead and look at a sign zoom by, telling me the distance from the border left to go. It went by too fast for me to see any set number. But I start to wish the movement I have would send me faster as the darkness of the void follows. Before long the darkness begins to build closer and closer to my back. While I am moving quite fast the void seems to move faster. The blurred image to my side begins to fade in the darkness and tears build in my eyes. As the darkness is approaching fear of the end of my journey and my life hits me. I think back to the memories I have of this world and the hazy memories of the world I was told I am from. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, praying for my life to go on.

In my prayer, I find the answer soon as I go crashing to the ground and suddenly am reminded of the pain both in my leg and now my arm as the blur halts. Looking back at a road that ends in darkness, I see two soldiers standing at attention.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience but the road to Noiox is closed for one day. Please bear with us it will reopen again tomorrow.” The guard replies

I made it. I don’t recall the moment I crossed but somehow, I made it out of the country safely. Now I need to move on. I go to stand on my leg only to drop back down. The necklace somehow helped me. I go to reach for it but find it now is no longer around my neck. Gone somehow, I must have dropped it. Looking around to find where it must have fallen in the crash, I find nothing. It’s gone, something like that would surely have helped me along the way but somehow, it's gone now. My head begins to throb along with the pain of the arm and leg. Reaching in my bag I pull out a small, potion of healing I had placed in it some time ago. Quickly I drink it down watching the leg and arm heal slightly but my head continues to pound. Something tells me to look on at the bottle of the potion in my hand. I watch as it begins to fade from my hand out of existence. My memories are telling me something. The necklace must have also faded after I used it much in the same way. It had a single-use. It was programmed to be that way. Programmed, I think back. I am in a program of a game within a computer.

This is not my world! I am not Fawn. Tears run down my face as I come to recall things. I am Jamie Eve, and I need to return to my world. My true home. But for now, I must face this world as Fawn. I must survive.

I reach in my bag and dig through the items, taking a quick bite of bread and cheese while I look through my possessions. A few pieces of food mainly bread, cheese, and some apples. The cloak, which I lay stretched out to put on after I leave to move on with my journey. The sword which is bearing a strange color of greenish-red coloring about the blade tells me that there is something special about it. My ebony staff enhances my magical skills when I cast spells through it. A magical map of the world that can show me several miles around me as well as help guide me to a destination. Finally, I dig through the gold and clothing to find the strange pin I was given. I think back at its symbolism towards its purpose.

They gave me the pin to help hide among the players of the world. It disguises me in a false image of my making. I Begin to stash the items away. I need to make my way to a nearby city to gain more supplies before heading on to the coast and in turn to Azurphire. I grab the cloak and wrap it around my body. Suddenly I blend in with the environment around me. A cloak of shadows, Gavin sent me a cloak to go mostly unnoticed. Now I wish I had this on the early part of the journey. Then I may have not had to use my only healing potion. Swinging the bag across my shoulder I started to walk along the path waiting to see where the road leads me next.

File Source End

Accessing Linked Materials

Video Evidence on Floor 47 Onyx Tower Conference Room

Bart Howser walks into the conference room carrying a laptop with him. He is towered in the shadow of Moses pushing him forward to take a seat in front of Rick, who is coated in sweat yet continues to pace about the floor of the room.

“Stop the cleanse now Bart.” Rick slams his fist down at Bart’s side to get the man to jump a bit in his seat.

“That’s not your call Rick, you’re out-of-order sending your goons after me to force what you want.” Bart’s words infuriated Rick who punches the wall which responses with a rattling shake.

“This is not a joke Bart, end it now.” Rick responses with gritted teeth. “We have discovered a clue about Jamie’s problem, and we don’t want it removed by your stupid actions.”

“Corporate orders Rick. I need to clean the server to remove any traces of the plague virus from the system. Like I said it's not your call. Or perhaps you forget who you're talking to, I am your boss Rick, Like it or not. It's my call." Moses grabs the laptop from Bart and slams it on the table ripping it open. "Keep it up, Mr. Dello. I’m sure the police will love to add assault on your current record of kidnapping me from my office.”

The door opens and a handful of security officers seem to be hiding the smaller framed figure of Gail behind them. “I gave you permission to investigate Mr. Mathers, not harass our employees and not use it to further your attacks on Mr. Howser. You better have a good reason for yours and Mr. Dello’s actions before I have both of you arrested.”

“She’s alive.” Rick grits his teeth to the point of cracking could almost be heard. “We found Jamie alive in the game. We investigated it all day, even had her mother come in and prove it as Jamie.” Rick pauses and rethinks his words. “Fawn is still active in the game, with Jamie’s memories. She is alive but only as long as the computer doesn’t kill her with the system cleaning.”

“You’ve lost it, seriously what the hell are you talking about. It is not possible for a human being to be sucked into a computer simulation. It’s insane.” Bart turns to look at Gail who seems to maintain a stern look about her. "The human brain can't be downloaded and saved. What you're talking about is pure fiction, nothing like this could happen."

“All science starts as fiction Bart. It just takes finding the right spark, the right atom, the right circumstances and fiction becomes fact. Just a few years ago we used pens and paper to draw images, now we link up our minds to move digital lines and shapes to form objects that are on a purely electronic plane. This company has proven this and built its empire on turning science fiction to science fact.” Rick calms down as Security officers surround him only to stop, as Gail jesters for them to halt.

“Quite true those words Mr. Mathers. Bart, do as he asks till we can figure out what is going on.” Gail states with some curiosity in her voice.

“No.” Bart’s answer shocks Gail.

“Now who is disobeying an order from their superior?” Gail states turning her gaze to a cold one.

“I am not disobeying. I don’t believe what he says but even still the action is already beyond my point. I can’t stop it. Things are already in motion. The system cleaning of Noiox is out of my hands now.” Bart shows a bit of a smug look on his face with his words. The smug smile doesn’t go unnoticed as Rick quickly proceeds to leap at Bart only to be held back by the Security officers that act. They move just as quickly grabbing Rick and restraining his movement. "It's a program, Rick, possibly created to fool you into letting the virus stay and bringing harm to others. It needs to be destroyed, and the system cleaning will wipe it clean."

Struggling to breathe, as the weight of two hefty security officers bears down on his already exhausted form, Rick reaches at Bart the only way he can, with his words. "You're willing to kill someone to prove your point. Why am I not surprised the same person that walks on the back of his team to get promotions like you, is willing to let Jamie die.”

“The person behind the virus is the one who killed Ms. Eve, Rick! You just want to blame me because you’re powerless in this situation.” Bart is snarky with a sense of confidence about himself.

“Shut it both of you.” Gail reaches a tone never heard by any of the people in the room. “Mr. Mathers, calm down I will deal with you in a minute. As for you Mr. Howser, if you can’t halt the system wipe is there a way to protect the program that they identify as Ms. Eve? And I will check this with central, so if I get a different answer from you than the one, they give. Well, be prepared to spend your next several months looking for cardboard boxes and dumpsters for shelter, because I will see to it you don’t work again anywhere.”

The smug look is dropped from Bart’s face and he looks to the computer screen in front of him. “It would be possible to find that fragment of programming to identify it as part of the game thus it would be protected by all system cleanings. But.”

Bart is halted by Gail’s interruption. “Then do it.”

"I can't without knowing the file in some way. Even then cleaning may still remove the ghost memories of this version of Fawn that it has. Not to mention should she die in-game the memory could also be lost as the system will try to recover the computer files only.”

"Is there something blocking your hearing from me, I said do it, Mr. Howser?" Gail leans in closer causing a nervous look to now come into play on Bart's face. Gail then looks to Rick. “You all know the code show him.” Moses leans down and places a small drive at the side of the computer.

“We tried a copy of it. The original that is still active in the game will match the code of the copy on here.”

Bart moves to plug in the drive into the laptop and begins to type away at the computer. The computer responds in the sound of a beep to which Bart replies by tapping the screen. "There it's done. Can I leave now?"

Gail nods as Bart yanks the drive from the laptop, tossing it back to Moses. Rick loosens his muscles and in turn, the security guys let upon him. "I did what you asked Gail, I did it but I still am not a believer. The next poor soul to face the virus should be on Rick's head for letting this program roam free in the system. The virus will continue to move and be a threat to the system and to all that play. I'm not through with this." Bart says as he makes his way out of the room.

“I will be up there to discuss matters later with you Bart, then you and Mr. Mathers or his team are restricted to not go to your opposing floors, or even make contact. On the threat of immediate termination for all of you involved. As well as any legal issues that we normally look the other way with you all on will be opened for investigations by the courts. Deal?”

Both Rick and Bart nod at the offer. Soon the Security begins to break up and Moses leaves the room leaving Gail and Rick alone. “This isn’t how we agreed you would handle things, Mr. Mathers.”

“The problem was immediate, I am sorry. But when a life of a member of my team is at risk I can’t sit by and let details get in the way.” Rick shakes his face in his hand.

"I was expecting you to at least contact me or deal with matters in a more civil matter. Now you throw this mess in my lap that honestly, I either have to trust you or Mr. Howser. Do you know why I chose to help you?" Gail questions.

“Because I have proof of what happened!” Rick states raising his face from his hand.

“No. I did it as it was a way to calm this matter down before it became a mess that would have compacted on this pile of legal issues and a deeper problem with the UN, than the one I already have thanks to the hacker. If it became known that a real human being had their consciousness sucked into our game, not only would it shut down the game but would cost billions of jobs and more likely close the whole company down, Bart is right on that stance. More lives than one are hanging in the balance here. I plan to try to keep all this quiet, thus it means I must work on meeting the demands of both of you. The proof you have is utter crap, Rick. The only thing you can prove is that someone who knows Ms. Eve very well created an AI that is very convincing to you. It's a piece of hope in a pit of despair that your team sits in. I'm not the cold-hearted bitch that many place me as. If it truly is Jamie in the game then let her live there, as it stands nothing even in R&D can even bring her back let alone do what you claim happened. If we had the power, don't you think we would use it?" Gail grabs a cigarette from her pocket, as Rick looks down. "Hope is poison, Mr. Mathers, It causes people to expect great things in life but often denies you of all of them. But still, it does feel good to believe in something. So, for now, you and your team can go on with your hope of Jamie being alive in the game. But I don't want any of this hurting the team's workload, and you Mr. Mathers for now on will work along with a team in your search, a team I have been working on before this whole mess today came about. I will have the members of the investigation team meet with you tomorrow in the morning.”

“Investigation Team?” Rick asks.

“I can’t have you placing the law in your own hands! Thus, I think having the law at your side might be a good thing. You will work along with people from the FBI, Interpol, and someone who worked on central servers from now on. The group will work in the meeting room on forty-nine. The next time I want to be face to face with you Mr. Mathers is when you tell me you found the son of a bitch hacker. Do I make myself clear?" Rick nods in agreement. "Very well, now if you excuse me, I need a smoke before I deal with Mr. Howser."

File Source End

Accessing Camera Bart Howser's Office

Bart sits away typing at his computer near a System chair. “That asshole will learn to not piss me off. I agreed to protect the program from the computer, but not from something else.” Bart sits in his system chair and activates the program. “Let the hunt begin.” The file he had copied of Fawn blinks on his laptop and he begins to type away at the code and script for the game.

Report end

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