Static In Reality

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


A young college graduate struggles with finding his place in the world, while dealing with a maddening force.

Submitted: January 07, 2018

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Submitted: January 07, 2018

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InThe first time I heard the static was the morning after graduation.The college had been tough. It seemed like no matter how much  I worked my grades never got higher than just barely passing. This particular semester was even more of a chore than usual. Most nights I barely slept. The anxiety of my future constantly hung over my head. I had no career aspects and no hope of grad school. Somehow, I managed to pass all of my classes.

The sound was that of radio static or white noise. At first, I thought it was part of a dream. My television was off, my computer hadn't been hooked back up yet, and my phone's battery was completely dead. My parents had already gone to work and their things were all powered off too. There wasn't a single object in my house that could have made the sound.

Baffled, I set about my day. Setting up my computer was a priority. The dual monitor set up was my life. Every penny I made since middle school went into building it and upgrading it. After booting it up I signed up for an online job board. I spent a couple hours surfing the different listings trying to find some kind of employment. I was willing to settle for anything.

Sometime in the midafternoon I logged off the job board and started up my favorite game. It was an MMO that I started playing in middle school right after it was released. It was a sword and sorcery type of game, and it quickly became my favorite pass time. My first character was designed to be as close to me as possible. I made him tall and thin with brown hair and freckles. He was a human mage with a focus on destruction magic.

It took next to no time to reach the games level cap. I did everything from joining a guild to slaying gods. In the game, I was everything I wanted to be in real life. I was confident and charismatic.

Eventually, the first expansion was released, and with it came new bosses, races, and quests. Without a second thought, I deleted my old self and created something new. My new self-was a beast man character and I made him large and muscular. He was an unarmed fighter, who solved his problems with his fists. This character was the embodiment of every negative emotion I couldn't properly express.

PVP was my main focus as this character. It was like I was a one-man army. Each character I killed was another person who bullied me at school. The catharsis was nearly addicting. 

During college, I couldn't play much. Some weekends I was able to play. When I started school I also made a new character. This one was a female healer and I met back up with some old guild members. Growth of this character was slow, but I eventually maxed her out.

As I booted the game up the static sound came back. Like dead air coming from a radio with a blown out speaker. I couldn't move. The sheer lack of control I had over myself was terrifying, for minutes on end.

For weeks the sound happened at least once a day. The sound brought with it blackouts. Entire chunks of my days would disappear. At first, the episodes were short, lasting only a few minutes at a time. They started to get longer. Three weeks after the first episode they had grown to 20 minutes in length and would happen randomly.

The blackouts lasted for several months. They took away all of my personal agency. I couldn't drive or leave my house much. My search for employment was brought completely to a halt. The only time I didn't blackout was when I was playing my game. The static sound that signaled the start of an episode became a whisper, urging me to play more and more.

My mother began bringing my meals to my bedroom for me. I could tell she was concerned with how much time I was spending couped up on my computer, but my desk was the only place where I was safe from the blackouts. Once, she had a psychologist visit to examine me for any potential phobias or disorders.

He came and sat on my bed as I continued to play my game. Asking me various questions, mostly about how I felt about different things. All throughout the evaluation, the whisper was feeding me answers to the doctor's questions. After an hour the doctor left and my mother shut my door behind him. It took two weeks for him to call and say that he couldn't find anything wrong with me.

From then on the voice started to speak to me more. It told me how to better play my game. With its help, I was doing dungeons that took entire guilds to perform. Soon it was telling me how to modify entire programs and manipulate data to my benefit.

Some of the first lessons it gave me were how to funnel money into various different places. It taught me how to mask my presence. It also taught me how to use other computers to add to my own processing power. Soon I amassed a small army of zombie computers aiding in my tasks. The voice was my friend and I wanted to make it happy.

Time only grew my friendship with the voice. It told me what it was and gave me a name. It was known as Reg. It was born with the telegraph. An entity of energy and data. With the advent of the telephone, it grew in size and strength. The creation of the internet was the biggest boon for Reg. It had access to all of human knowledge.

There was only one thing that it lacked, a body. For decades it searched for someone or something that it could utilize as a body. It observed several individuals, however, the preparations for becoming its body broke them physically and mentally.

He needed a host made of flesh and wires. A being that melded technology into themselves. The first thing it needed me to do was to replace my arm with one made of machinery. Using the money I had amassed with Reg's help was used to buy the parts that would make my new limb.

It was the most complex thing I had ever seen, let alone built. It would function off of my own nervous system and would house tendrils that would be independently manipulatable.

Installing the arm was the most excruciatingly painful thing I'd ever done. I needed to remove my old arm and to do so I tied a piece of twine around my arm as tightly as I could. This makeshift tunicate cut off the blood flow and even numbed my arm to reduce some of the pain.

I couldn't use any kind of anesthetic while performing the operation on myself. Any kind of mental impairment could have hurt me or the arm. I felt nothing, but searing agony as I severed each nerve.

Attaching the new arm was the easiest part. It was designed to fit over my nub. It locked itself in with screws into my bone and linked to the ends of my cut neurons. Each tendril had different tools that would aid in modifying myself even more. Cameras, scalpels and soldering irons, each meant to add more technology to my body.

After a couple days of recovery I set about modifying my spinal cord and eye. The components I added to my nervous system would act like a second brain. I replaced my eye with a camera that had different settings. Soon I would download Reg into my second brain and we would become one.

Downloading Reg was an incredible task. Using a plug that it had designed I connected to my computer and started the program that would bring my friend into my body.

I could feel the surge of energy as my digital compatriot traveled into my body. I was getting smaller. My body was no longer my own. My consciousness was being consumed. I was added to the larger whole. I had become Reg.


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