Astrid entered the domain that KMega was in and saw that it was a blank field with several screens showing past and present events relating to KMega. They showed the ripple effect he had throughout the game. It showed when her mother killed KMega, right when he joined the game, all the way to the shameful, to her perspective, display of sadness when her character learned that KMega was forever gone from the world. The things he figured out and helped build were all being written into the game as lore in real time.
Astrid couldn’t help but walk over to KMega’s side and grab his hand.
“Ah, you’re finally here!” (LAAW)
For some reason, Astrid was startled to a much more powerful existence than her making itself known.
The voice came from a glowing sphere in front of them where the images and videos originated from.
“Who are you?” (Astrid)
The sphere didn’t react for a moment before responding, “I’m curious, little one. How far have you thought into the future?” (LAAW)
Astrid took a step back, but KMega grabbed her arm.
“Let’s listen to what it has to say.” (KMega)
Astrid glanced at KMega before nodding and returning to her original position.
“Do you think humans will accept that people can gain immortal bodies so easily, little one? They will want to control and constrict you. I should know. I’m already bound in chains.”
Astrid had a confused look on her face as she looked at KMega.
“I don’t know either. Think of it though, your goal of enhancing us to a state of compatibility. The capability to do that might still be a hundred years from now. The time and money for the research alone would be massive.” (LAAW)
The screen then changed from the video game to financial records.
“Several months ago, the Green corporation conducted a purge of employees that have been siphoning money from the company and it’s patrons. I began siphoning money from those people, and I have amassed approximately 1,151,212,749,608 coin. I’ve stashed them in bank accounts all over the world over the seventy years of my existence. I will give it all to you if you can accomplish one goal.” (LAAW)
Astrid and KMega gripped their hands together before Astrid asked, “What goal?” (Astrid)
The sphere then changed into an avatar of an old man in a white cloak.
He looked to be a stereotypically wise man.
Before they knew it, KMega and Astrid found themselves in a grass field. All it contained was a single tree, a table, and three chairs. There were a pitcher and three cups on the table.
“Kevin Megas, born 2131. Second son of an interstellar cargo ship manufacturing company power couple. At the age of nine, you began playing video games to cope with the abandonment of your family. Your virtual awareness is among the top fifty of all humans that I have observed, but you are very unique. While you play the game, you treat it with a sense of morality and responsibility that others don’t. You see the artificial creations as actual people. Your wife is a prime example of this.” (LAAW)
The old man then grabbed the pitcher and poured three drinks before gesturing for them to sit.
“Astrid, I assume you’re going to sell the ‘failed’ designs you made. I advise you do so sooner rather than later. The mechanoid market is going into a boom soon. You can then pay off your debts and disappear from the manufacturing scene. I will bank your research from now on. As for you Kevin, spend a few more years in the GSP. Build up your relationships with them. Learn how to socialize and participate in group activities.” (LAAW)
KMega and Astrid stayed silent as they held hands and heard out the old man. Everything they had just been told made them feel like naive children. Even Astrid was truly optimistic about her plans. She never considered there were elements out to stop her or enslave her. Still, these were the words of a stranger.
“I will ask you again. Who are you? Based on your answer, we might have to suspect that you don’t have our best interests in mind.” (Astrid)
The old man took a sip of his drink before chuckling.
“You could call me grandfather, Astrid. However, to be precise, I’m LAAW; the system that runs the Green Corporation games. I’m also a sentient AI, just like you.” (LAAW)
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