Project B. Human

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

And we're back, after two weeks ^^

Chapter 16 (v.1) - Sould and Fearful Biscuits. Part 1

Submitted: October 13, 2016

Reads: 75

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Submitted: October 13, 2016

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Nella was drinking tea in the balcony. A warm breeze cuddled her hair and the smell of tea left her nose tingling. She could see a block of heavy clouds making their way towards her in the distance. It was a rare sight for there to be so much sunlight, but it was going to end soon. After all, it was already the second half of December. 

Nella took a sip and put the cup back on a white plate. The glass door behind her opened and Suzane came out.

"Aren't you enjoying yourself a little bit too much?" She sat down in front of Nella, took another cup with a plate and poured herself some tea.

"I'm guessing you're referring to tonight's incident." Tonight, just eight hours ago, the headquarters of Citizen Security Department were attacked by terrorists. This was no small matter. The revolutions were always an active group, but they never conducted such a huge attack. Not just that, but it was on the CSD, the department that was supposed to deal with them. This was equivalent to a frontal declaration of war.

"That's right." Suzane had a serious expression on her face as she looked at the distance. "Why would anyone do something like this?"

"Because they are broken." Nella answered with no hesitation in her voice. "In this century, with the help of nanotechnology, people have evolved once more. They are like apes, revolving against the inevitable change. Revolving against us, who have advanced. They are no more than wild animals, and with this, they dug the final feet into their own grave. They might consider this is a brave move, it's not that hard to tell what they are thinking, but in truth, this is just a call for the pest exterminator."

Suzane looked at Nella. There was a small glimpse of fear in her eyes. It has been a while since they got to talk about things like this and she had already forgotten how ensured Nella can be. 

"I always feel better after talking to you." Suzane's lips curved into a smile. Indeed, Nella always managed to say the things Suzane was thinking.

"I'm glad you enjoy my company. I'm really missing someone to share my time with these days. Are you still occupied that much?" Nella finished her tea and opened a box of caramel nut biscuits. "Please, go ahead." She put the box on the table.

"No, I should be fairly free from now on." She took a couple of biscuits and crunched on one, washing it down with tea. Nella gave her a crooked look. "What? I'm going to eat them how I want them." Suzane was well aware of Nella's habits and dislikes. 

"Suit yourself." Nella put another biscuit in her mouth. "But you truly can't relish the taste that way. Quite wild yourself I'd say." Nella laughed.

"I'm nothing like them." Suzane felt a little offended, considering they were just talking about the revolutionists that way.

"I didn't say you were. There are many types of wild. Even I was wild in one way or another when I was young." Nella winked at Suzane.

Suzane sighed. "Talking about youth." She looked around. "Where's your assistant?"

"Matthew? He's working." Nella chuckled. "You do realize how much work came to my department today, right?" 

Suzane understood what Nella was saying. Everything from the CSD building was being brought here. It all had to be re-encoded for the archives. With tens of thousands of files on her hands, even after it was distributed to the people working in the department, there was still no way Nella could be peacefully be drinking tea here. 

"You gave it all to him? Don't you think that's a bit too cruel?" 

"Well, you seem to be enjoying that idea." Nella laughed as she saw the joy in Suzane's face. "You don't seem to like Matthew that much, yet I haven't even properly introduce you two. I think you would get along really well."

"It's simply a feeling he gives off, that I just can't stand." Suzane looked at the distance. The path between buildings let straight to the horizon. 

*** ***

"Are you sure you don't need help with the food?!" Ray shouted out from his room.

"You can't even stand up without my help, how do you plan on helping?!" Ema answered in a flustered tone. Ray couldn't blame her, considering his current state. Even breathing hurt. With every breath, it felt like a knife was being pushed into his chest. "And what makes you think I even need help? I can cook perfectly fine by myself!" Ema sounded more frustrated with every word.

"Not like I can help it, considering your cooking history." Ray muttered. It wasn't something he wanted Ema to hear right now. If she did, she could take him through hell right now. "By the way, what are you making?!" He couldn't help but have a bad feeling. Then again, could you really call it a "feeling", if bad cooking was a part of Ema as much as her arms and legs?

"A steak!" Ema answered. This was a surprisingly normal meal. Maybe Ema got out a cooking book? Suddenly, Ray didn't feel as bad. "Just one more minute, I'm adding the finishing touch!"

Finishing touch? Ray took a deep breath trying to smell the meal, but he couldn't. There was a deep pain in his chest and his nose had lost the sense of smell altogether. His taste buds felt similar but were not completely lost. Ray was hoping to please them at least a little bit. Finishing touch. He repeated once more. Was this a start of a whole new Ema?

"What kind of steak is it?!" Ray hadn't eaten since yesterday's evening. He wasn't a big fan of the fake meat, but anything would have done now.

"You didn't bring back any groceries, so I just had to use what I found in the fridge!" Ema finished making the final touch.

"So what did you use?!" Indeed, he hadn't brought anything for a few days now and hadn't ordered anything too. He figured Ema would do it, since he didn't have as much time.

"Tomato sauce!"

Huh? Ray felt puzzled. "What do you mean, tomato sauce?!" 

"I mean tomato sauce." Ema came through the door. "Here." She smiled. 

Ray looked at the meal. He could tell how much effort she put into it from the first glance. Not once in his life with her had Ema made something with so much care. On the steak, there ware small curvy lines of two sauces: a red tomato and a green jalapeno. Around it, Ema put pieces of fried potatoes that they had made yesterday morning. 

Ema was smiling, waiting for Ray to have a taste. She herself was surprised she could make something like that.

"Ema... this is..." Ray didn't know what to say. "Is this tomato sauce?" Ray pointed at the steak. It looked fine on the outside, but once he cut into it, he understood what Ema meant before. It was just a big lump of fried sauce.

"Yea, I just said there isn't much in the fridge." She looked at him with a questioning look. "Is something wrong?"

"No, nothing." Ray took another glance at the steak. "But let's order pizza instead, okay?" He smiled.

"Ahhh..." Emily growled angrily and after a moment left the room, slamming the door behind her, leaving Ray alone, with the plate on top of his head and tomato sauce steak slowly dripping down his face.

Ray licked his lip, that was now covered with the meal.

"Not that bad." He smiled.

*** ***

Ray entered a white room that had no end in sight. 

Logged in successful. Announced a voice that had a slight robotic echo.

The room started gaining colors. Slowly, it turned into a grass field. A few sheep were eating grass close to Ray. There were many other groups of sheep and rams standing around not too far from him, but aside them, Ray could not see anyone else.

Ray stepped forward and was transported onto the field. The sheep lifted their heads, but after seeing Ray they went back to their own activity. 

"Purity, Ashley!" Ray called but heard no answer. He did log in a little early. Ray looked around once more. His gaze fixed on the hill up ahead.

It was a beautiful day, with a mild wind blowing at his hair and sun shining bright, yet it wasn't too hot. Then again, it seemed that somehow Sun functioned differently here, though Ray didn't understand how. This was a boss room, he knew that much, even if it had no boss. 

At first, Ray thought that the boss was somewhere else on the plains, but after leaving the game, he realized he could log out. That meant the boss wasn't there. He confirmed this by logging in now. If the boss was there, he would be brought into the game near the entrance to the room, but he was placed inside it. Ray wondered what happened to it. Did it leave his room like Tanatos? Ray couldn't understand how PROJECT functioned if that was such a common thing. Then again, he was missing a lot of information.

To verify one of his theories, he dashed to the hill. Ray stopped on top of it, in front of a bluish cat-like creature. It had two small purple horns near his ears and two white spots on his back that resembled wings. It was around half a meter in length, but aside these things, it looked just like a blue cat.

"What's up with this form?" Ray couldn't help but be surprised. He caught a glimpse of him yesterday, however, this was still way too different from what he imagined Tanatos to look like. 

"I like it." Tanatos stretched and laid down on his side.

"What, you think you're cute?" Ray sat down next to him.

"I think I'm adorable." Said Tanatos as sugary as he could. 

"And it's totally not because you don't want others to see how you really look like, right?" Ray instantly felt a sharp gaze. He was spot on. "I won't lie, that does make me interested in it, but I won't ask if you don't want to show it." The gaze settled down a little but didn't disappear completely.

"So, what do you want then?" Tanatos seemed a bit agitated. Ray understood that he should not bring up the question about Tanatos form again.

 "Well, for starters I wanted to thank you. You did save my ass yesterday." Ray took out his bowl and some herbs. If he had time on his hands, he might as well use it for something else while talking. "Then again, were you following me? I doubt you just happened to be at the right place at the right time."

"I'd say it's you who was in the wrong place. I come here quite often. You making a ruckus started bothering me so I stopped it." He paused for a moment. He didn't want to say out loud the following words. "And since you let me out of that darn place, I left you and your companions alive. We're clear now." Ray could hear the pride in that last sentence.

"Good to hear that." Ray smiled. 

"And? What's the other thing?" Tanatos yawned and covered his eyes with his paw.

"I wanted to ask you a couple of things." It was obvious from Tanatos aura that he didn't enjoy being questioned. "I want to know a few things about you."

"Is it not obvious from me hiding my true form I don't want people to know about me?" The air got heavier, but it didn't seem like Tanatos would really attack Ray.

"Your age, your memories. I don't want the specifics, just if you can really recall everything from your childhood and with how many details. And lastly, are you aware of what this world is?" Ray was completely serious this time, ignoring the tension Tanatos was putting up.

"I don't really understand what you mean, do I know what this world is? It's the world." Tanatos was a bit disappointed in the first two questions, but the third puzzled him. 

"I see, and the first two?" Ray asked. This already gave him a lot of information.

"I don't really understand the point in it." Tanatos wanted to brush it off, but he noticed how serious Ray was. "Well, I don't remember much from when I was a child, but I do remember going out to hunt in the nights. The other villagers didn't want me to go out, said I was too young and it was too dangerous, so I would go at night when they were sleeping. I remember riding the sheep around and flipping girls skirts." Tanatos didn't seem that interested at first, but now he was deep in the well of his memories. "I liked the villagers. When the elder died, it was probably the first time I felt sad..." Tanatos caught himself going too deep. This wasn't what he was hiding, but it wasn't something he would tell anyone either. He himself hadn't thought about it for a very long time, that's why he got caught up in it so easily. Tanatos glanced at Ray. He was silently listening and putting something together in his head. "Anyway, about my age, I was over forty when I got locked up. Don't know how long I was in there for sure, probably at least a couple of years."

"I see." This verified what Ray was thinking. 

Tanatos and possibly other entities in PROJECT, though Ray couldn't say how many, were personas set in a simulation. After the world was created, they were probably brought here and left for some time. That way the world would feel more realistic. Then again, how long were they left here? If the ruins of ancient civilizations were also the doings of personas, they had to be kept here for at the very least half a millennia.

To his knowledge, PROJECT couldn't be under development for more than ten years. For this to work, they would have had to speed up the in-game time a hundred times or even more. But with personas in it, it should not have been possible. Ray had even more questions now. 

"Looks like your friends are back." Stated Tanatos.

Ray looked down the hill. Ashley and Purity were slowly walking towards them.

"Yea..." Ray sighed. "This will be a pain." Ray never predicted Ashley and Purity to be together with him when mods would find him. This was probably the biggest mistake of their lives. And the worst part was, there was no going back. Not with what was to come.


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