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Aether gasped. [i Soren is so strong! ] The red card shattered and she felt hope that they were going to beat this quest. She rested on top of his head, laying down and kicking her feet back and forth. She pointed to go onward. The maze was a hard foe, but they got out of there.
The fear built up in the pit of her stomach the more and more louder the sound of scampering grew. [i I have to protect him too. ] Her lips wavered, but she flew forward. Aether looked over her shoulder for a second, hearing Soren, [b "Okay! Don't leave me, okay?" ] She met face to face with the rat. It was so scary, and tears were bundling up in her eyes.
She managed to outsmart it, and let it smash into the glass. Aether was breathing out in relief and flew back to Soren. They were inside, and she collected as many cookies as she could in her little bag, before following Soren out the door and into a huge dining hall.
Aether's mouth dropped. [b [#00cca3 "Food!" ]] The aroma of the food flooded her senses. She flew a bit higher into the air and saw all the many choices of food. Her eyes mostly directed on the desserts with fruits in them.
[b [#00cca3 "Queen..." ]] Aether lifted her head, and looked down the aisle of tables, and then her eyes followed the long red carpet, and up three steps up to a red chair shaped like a heart, and a table in front of it. There were cards painting the surrounding floral red. But there was no queen.
Her tablet chimed. Aether held it up, and read the objective.
[center [b [i 'Find the key to Alice's cage' ]]]
[b [#00cca3 "Sori! We have to find a key!" ]] Aether flew by his shoulder and pointed at her tablet, not realizing that he couldn't see the tiny font she was seeing. Aether flew up on top of his hand again, thinking. She pointed to the left side of the room [b [#00cca3 "You look at the left? I look at the right?" ]] She pointed at the right side of the room, [b [#00cca3 "Okay? ]]" She dangled herself between his eyes.
Aether began flying herself slowly to the right side of the room, and trying to stay high up enough so that they didn't notice her. But, she forgot to flap her wings when she was on top of a dessert with strawberries in a pretty glass. So, Aether was dropping down, but she remembered to flap her wings the second she almost fell in.
She exhaled deeply and wondered if the key would be in the food. She flew to grab a spoon, struggling real hard to lift it. [b [#00cca3 "Too heavy." ]] She whined, and rested it down again. She climbed on top of the dessert, and thought the best way to find if it was in there, was to eat it. She began eating the vanilla mousse away, and it tasted so good, until she saw the load of other food she had to go through. [i That's too much... ] She frowned, and tried to finish it all. Instead, she tried to dig into the bottom and found nothing. She used a napkin to clean herself up, while the duck wasn't looking.
Aether than flew to Soren, and laid down on his head, curled up. [b [#00cca3 "I can't find the key... It's too hard. My tummy feels weird. " ]] Aether patted her tummy. The key was actually carried by one of the red cards.
Even Soren wanted to touch the sky, but he hasn't really gotten the chance to yet. HE wanted Aether to be amazed at his world because he didn't want her to think that just stayed in some strange place and that was it. He told her that he was by himself, but he wasn't proud of it. It wasn't like he didn't get along with people or anything, he just didn't want to be around robots all the time.
[#F78F18 "Okay, we can go to your house after we make it out of here"] he told her, wondering if her home was much different than his. He only had a room beneath the bridge, but he has been trying to make a bigger and larger place for himself. He just hasn't decided yet.
He wanted to protect her because he felt like he should. He was supposed to be brave and not afraid of anything. All he wanted was to make it out of this world alive, see her house, and then maybe play some more. Then he'd travel back home. It excited him to hear that she'd go to Avalon and see his world as well.
He wanted her to see where he came from too. As he held her in the palm of his hand, rubbing her head and seeing how tiny she was. He had some figures that he designed back in Avalon and she reminded him of one.
Now he was faced with challenges before him. That red card looked fierce, but he ran towards it and stabbed it with his sword, seeing it shatter to pieces. When he peeked up and saw that he won, he had a grin on his lips, smiling so proudly as he heard the loud sounds behind them. They could clearly see the rat going through the maze.....[i Crap] he thought to himself as he backed up against the door. He looked around and when Aether said up above, he saw the door and wondered how to get up there.
He watched as Aether flew off towards the rat [#F78F18 "Be careful!"] he told her, carrying his bunny as it changed into a tablet. He hurried beneath the door, drawing some boxes that stacked on one another. He began climbing them and then drawing more until it reached the roof.
He looked back at Aether, seeing the rat had disappeared. Did she beat it? That was amazing! He opened the door on the ceiling, he climbed up and through, seeing that he was so big in a tiny house. He closed the door behind him when Aether went inside and then he crawled towards the door at the end.
When he opened the door, it led to another part of the castle. It looked like a huge dining hall. THe smell of food filled Soren's nose and he licked his lips. [#F78F18 "Mmm, it smells good"] he crawled inside, noticing that there were animals sitting at the tables and eating. He let Aether go through and he slowly stood up. [#F78F18 "Where are we? Are we almost to the queen?"] he wondered, seeing that he was normal size compared to all of these animals.
Aether's eyes gleamed at the thought of touching the sky. She stretched out her hand into the air, and wandered how high did she have to go to touch it. [b [#00cca3 "You live with the robots! Oh, me too. I'm by myself. I can show you where I live to Soren! I live in wonderland, in a tree, bigger than ten tables of apples." ]] She nodded, thinking that was pretty big.
A smile formed on her lips, feeling the warmth in her eyes at the idea of someone protecting her. The other AI's never spoke like this. Aether nodded, [b [#00cca3 "Okay. I'll come with you to Avalon, and I'll protect you here too!" ]] She grinned widely.
Aether was only five inches tall in the palm of his hand. She couldn't help but cry, and tremble. Soren rubbing her head, was weird but also calming. She saw him smile, and he looked pretty scary when he was a giant but his eyes were prettier than ever. [b [#00cca3 "I am small..." ]] She frowned, and noticed that she couldn't turn big yet. She grew wings instead, and directed him around the maze.
[b [#00cca3 "I am!"]] Aether cheered out, and then frowned, [b [#00cca3 "I think I am..." ]] She rubbed her head, and eventually figured it out. THey got to the door, and there stood a red guard. She got out her tiny sword, and then heard Soren's words. She held onto him tightly, and kept her eyes open, wanting to see if Soren needed help. But his sword poked at the card, and the card scattered into pixels and vanished. Aether breathed out in relieve, [b [#00cca3 "You're really strong."]]
[b [#00cca3 "It's okay, we might find more cookies on the way. There's a shops that sell them to," ]] She was telling herself not to be afraid of getting stuck. She had thought once that she would be stuck, but now, she knew what to do.
A loud rumble shook the ground, she could feel the vibration of it through Soren when she was gripping onto his hair to hold herself still. Then she heard the sounds of a rat. Aether gasped, [b [#00cca3 "The rat ate the cookie! It ate my cookie! ]] Aether kept looking around the whole entire room, and couldn't find an exit. She whimpered and then saw a door on the ceiling.
[b [#00cca3 "Soren, up! up! A door is up! Draw a box and go up that door! I'll be right back, " ]] She put on a brave face and flew off his head. It was sure hard to control wings. She made sure to flap them at the same time and occasionally, she'd drop but she did the job.
The rat was coming raging in, and Aether flew towards it. It's disgusting giant pink nose directed at her.
[b [#00cca3 "I'm not scared, I'm not scared,"]] Aether recited those words over and over again, and began moving behind the rat, trying to direct it's attention on her, and to go away from Soren. The rat's giant hands tried to reach for her. Aether kept whimpering, and flying back and back, into the Maze. She flew over one wall of the mase, and went behind a glass. The rat, saw her through the glass, and smashed hard into the glass, and scattering into pixels before disappearing.
Aether breathed in relieve and then flew bit by bit to Soren. She didn't have this flying thing down just yet. When Soren would open the door on the ceiling, it would be just like stepping into a room, into a miniature house, with just enough room for Soren to crawl in. There was also another door at the end, that was enough for Soren to fit through. There were also a miniature table with 'eat me' cookies.
When she got there, she would shove a lot of the cookies in her bag. She was smart enough to tell that there wasn't enough room for both of them to crawl through, so she decided to wait. [b [#00cca3 "That way!" ]] She pointed at the door.
He could see the excitement on her face when he told her about Avalon. [#F78F18 "I haven't tried touching the sky, but I bet if I go on top of that building, I can!"] he told her, smiling up at her and then telling her about the robots. [#F78F18 "You should come visit me. I live there. I really like it there, even if I'm by myself"] he frowned and then he looked at the bunny behind him that was his tablet. He's never bitten him before, why hurt someone now?
[#F78F18 "I told you, I'll protect you. If you come to Avalon, I'll protect you from the robots too"] he smiled up at her and then he followed after her into the castle, not wanting to let go of her hand as they headed inside to an unknown world to him. He saw that Aether was being carried away by a rat and Soren was in the middle of eating his cookie. He heard her screams and he knew he had to protect her, otherwise, what kind of a knight would he even be? He grew back to his normal size and then he saw where the rat flung her.
Soren caught her in his hands and then he watched her curiously, seeing her so tiny in his palms. She was so small, like an ant. He rubbed her head gently, seeing that she was crying. Soren stopped [#F78F18 "You're not a toy, but you're so small"] he smiled and helped her up as he looked to see the ran running off into another hole.
He headed to where Aether directed him as he walked towards the door, seeing a glass maze before him. Aether soon flew off of his hands and when she told him where to go, he walked left and right and soon enough they were nowhere. [#F78F18 "I thought you said you were good at this?"] he asked, wondering where to go. They eventually reached the end of the maze, seeing a red guard. He heard her voice and then he aimed his sword at the card.
It was much taller than Soren, but he wasn't going to give up. [#F78F18 "Hold onto me"] he told her, running towards the card as he yelled [#F78F18 "Ahhhhh!"] he poked through the card with his sword, charging in and then closing his eyes. When he opened them, the card withered and then shattered into pixels, disappearing. Soren looked up at the door and then he smiled [#F78F18 "We did it! We can go through, but how do you get bigger Aether? We don't have anymore cookies"] he wondered, thinking if he should go back.
All of a sudden, there was a loud, crumbling sound behind them. The rat that had eaten her cookie was now the size of Soren. It was crawling through the maze to get to the other side as well. [#F78F18 "Oh no! What do we do? Where do we go next?"] he asked her, backing up against the door and holding his sword out again, his small hands shaking.
Aether's lips formed into a big 'O'. [b [#00cca3 "Bigger than a table of apples! I want to touch the sky!" ]] She nodded, and hadn't moved her eyes off him the whole time he was talking about this Avalon. Ather's lips wavered, and she inhaled a deep breath when he said they shoot lasers, even if she didnt' know what lasers were.
[b [#00cca3 "That's really scary... I don't know if I want to go there anymore." ]] Aether frowned, and had to disagree about his AI not being mean. But, she forgot about it when they had a quest to complete. Her instructions were followed and she was ready to be brave-until she saw a spider and then grabbed by a rat.
Aether felt the strong force of speed lifting her legs up while the rat was running around with her. Her screams were came out into high pitches sounds. She flung into the air, and at first, it was an okay feeling, and then she dropped. Then shew as falling at fast speeds, and her screams returned, seeing the checkered tiled ground. Her little bunny was on the ground, staring up at her.
[b [#00cca3 "Help me!" ]] She cried, and squeezed her eyes shut, when she hit something a bit more softer than the ground. It send a viration throughout her body, but she didn't feel much pain. When she opened her eyes, she was met with flesh colored uneven ground. She sat up, and looked up and saw a giant Soren. She yelped, and felt a bit afraid but slowly returning her breathing pace to normal. He wouldn't hurt her. She trusted him.
Tears filled up her eyes, and when Sylus rubbed her head, the tears burst out of her eyes. She felt him rub her head and it was somewhat calming her down more. Aether began rubbing her head, and fixing her hair after.
Aether blushed and pouted, [b [#00cca3 "I'm not a toy. " ]]
She rubbed her eyes, and heard his loud booming voice, saying he'd protect her. She brought a smile, "Thank you, for catching me." She used his finger to help herself up to stand. She still had her backpack on, so she pulled it out and gasped when she saw that her contents had been empty. Where was her cookies? That rat! She knew where to get more but they were a bit far.
[b [#00cca3 "Go that way!" ]] Aether pointed to the door ahead. Meanwhile, she called for her bunny, and it appeared beside her in her size. She turned into a tablet and began drawing herself wings. There were some restrictions in some worlds, so that's why she pickd wonderland cause there was almost to no restrictions. She got herself some teal sheer wings and began flapping her wings but, it was a lot harder than she thought.
She waited till Soren opened the door. When the opened the door, they were met with a glass maze. [b [#00cca3 It's okay. I'm good at this!" ]] She grinned. She began giving him directions, and end up getting him lost and going backwards. Aether managed to fly up to the top of Soren's head, because his bunny was on his shoulder and that bunny looked scary.
They, finally got to the end of the maze. But at the door, there was a animated red card guarding the door. Aether whimpered and gripped onto Soren's hair. [b [#00cca3 Attack it," ]] She spoke and then drew up a new sowrd for herself too. She may be pixie sized but she wouldn't let her new special AI friend vanish.
Soren wanted to make sure that she was okay because he didn't want her to disappear like the other AIs. They would usually just shatter into pieces and then fade away the minute they were hurt badly or if their artificial bodies couldn't handle it. Aether looked like she was really nice and sweet, but Soren's never seen another person that looked like her. He was used to seeing robots or giant machinery and usually the other worlds he went to, still had robots, not people like him.
He looked at her wound and then he told her she'd be okay. The place surrounding them still looked unfamiliar. He didn't know where he was besides the world of wonderland. It was a world on the library map that he hadn't visited. In truth, he didn't really travel much, only enjoying places he felt comfortable in.
He told her about Avalon, the huge buildings and the robots. The sounds they made came from his mouth and she looked so interested in what he was saying. [#F78F18 "Bigger than the table of apples. They were so big, they touched the sky!"] he told her, making the sounds of the robots and the lights. [#F78F18 "They are nice, but they also can be bad. Some of them shoot lasers from their eyes or fire from their hands! They can be scary, but I'm not scared!"] he told her.
She had a tablet and that made Soren wonder if she was a special AI too. He has never seen anyone else having the capabilities like he had. He held his tablet [#F78F18 "He's not mean...he doesn't like strangers"] he told her and then stood with his sword and shield, ready for another adventure.
He held her hand and didn't want to get lost in such a weird place. Soren was always alone with just his tablet. He wasn't excited about being lost or going somewhere new. He was fine the way things were, so he held onto Aether's hand.
When they approached the castle, he took the potion and shrank with her, fighting off the spider with his bravery as he stepped inside. When Aether accepted the quest, he saw his tablet blink a few times, accepting the quest as well.
He took a bite of the cookie, and as he was transforming, he saw Aether get carried by a rat. Soren grew back to normal size, seeing the rat toss Aether. He reached out with his hand and caught her, looking at the tiny girl in the palm of his hand. [#F78F18 "Are you okay Aether?"] he asked, looking at her curiously. She was so tiny and it made him curious.
He used his other hand to rub the top of her head, amazed that something like this could even happen. [#F78F18 "Woah, you're like a tiny toy. That's so cool!"] he said excitedly, his large, green eyes watching her as he helped her up onto her feet with his finger.
[#F78F18 "Everything's okay. I said I'll protect you"] he promised her, feeling like a real knight with all this armor on.
Aether pouted when he came over to see where she hurt herself. Instead, he placed his hand on it, making her stiff for a second. That wasn't normal AI behavior. He replied so well to her questions, and didn't have a repeated pattern.
[b [#00cca3 "It did? "]] Aether felt the area of the scratch. Her eyes lifted up at him. She only knew of Avalon through the library but never bothered to take a look at it. She's visited a few other worlds but Avalon wasn't one of them. She always picked ones that were similar to wonderland. Then, Soren gave her a huge insight to existing worlds.
[b [#00cca3 "Oh!?" ]] Her eyes widened, and she tried to motion her hands as big as him, but failed, [b [#00cca3 "It's this big! That's like...That's like as big as a table of apples!" ]] Aether nodded and listened intensively with her mouth gaping open when he talked about Avalon.
Aether giggled [b [#00cca3 "Beep, Bloop, toot toot." ]] She then repeated it again, [b [#00cca3 "That sounds funny. I want to hear robots but are they scary? ]]
Her tablet was displayed to him. It amazed her that an AI had a tablet too. Maybe it was a special AI, so that she wouldn't feel so lonely. Aether frowned, [b [#00cca3 "But it bit me. That's mean."]] Then she had to back up because she didn't know what he would do with that sword. When he spoke, she decided to believe him.
Aether blushed, [b [#00cca3 "I am?" ]] She grinned. All the AI's kept saying she looked funny since she never wore the clothes for the current world. Wait, he recognized her clothes, and how she looked! How could an AI do that?
When she got close to the tablet, she felt her stomach stir and build fear that sh would be bit again. She slowly stretched out her finger, and jumped with his AI turned itself into a bunny and hid away.
[b [#00cca3 "You will?" ]] Aether doubly blinked and then grinned, [b [#00cca3 "Okay! I trust you." ]] Aether then was taken away by him holding her hand. She never had an AI do that. She nodded, [b [#00cca3 "It's okay, I know my way. "]] She led the way.
A giant spider made Aether stiff. Tears welt up in her eyes once more. Soren aimed at the spider, and she finally moved, and gripped onto him. She squeezed her eyes shut, and then heard his voice. She peaked with one eye open, until she realized the spider was gone. He took her had, and they went through the tiny little door and into another room.
Aether's tablet chimed. The bunny formed back into a tablet.
[center [b Quest: ] Saving Alice ]
[center Accept or Decline ]
Aether hit accept, and would glance over at Soren, and wonder if he got the quest too. Aether then went into her backpack, and pulled out two cookies. It read 'eat me.'
[b [#00cca3 "Eat the cookie, it'll make us bigggg again." ]] She offered him one. As she was about to bite into hers, a rat came swooping in, and used its mouth to grab her by the shirt. Aether screamed, and start swiping her sword into the air, but couldn't reach back. She tried to swing back and forth to get the rat to release her and was damn well terrified.
[b [#00cca3 Let me go! ]]" She cried. The rat must have understood, because it threw her into the air. Aether screamed, and saw the floor that she was about to impact. She didn't want to vanish! if she didn't, how bad was this going to hurt? If she landed on the ground, it would hurt, and wither away out of the quest.
It wasn't normal to be seeing a young girl in a place like this. Soren's never seen another AI looking similar to him. He didn't think he's ever seen anyone looking, so....normal? These worlds had different types of AIs, different types of environments and even he hasn't been to all of them. Not even half. He only liked staying in a place that he was comfortable with. A place he already new. Venturing out to new worlds seemed dangerous, even just appearing here.
[#F78F18 "Let me see"] he leaned over and took a look at the scattered pixels that made up her leg. He placed his hand on it, seeing that it was normal....it usually went away after a few hours. [#F78F18 "I got a boo boo like this once. It went back to normal the next day"] he told her, unsure what would have happened if he fell from that flight of stairs and hit the ground. Would he just disappear like the AIs? He didn't really want to find out at all.
When Aether asked about Avalon, he thought about it and tried to describe it to her. [#F78F18 "It's a lot different from here. There's biiiiggg buildings that touch the sky"] he motioned the shape of the building with his small arms. [#F78F18 "Then there's lights everywhere...like a rainbow. Robots walk around and so much noises....like [i Beep, Bloop, Toot toot]"] he told her, making the sounds. He watched her motioning around and didn't think AIs did that.
When she showed him her tablet, he knew she was different. AIs didn't normally have those did they? [#F78F18 "Mine's not mean. He doesn't like talking to strangers"] he stated, creating some armor and a sword that he wore.
As he stepped closer to her, he watched her hide and close her eyes. [#F78F18 "I wont hurt you. You're really nice"] he told her, walking over to the table of fruits and eating another apple. It's been a while since he ate. He was hungry. Soren called out her name and told her she was pretty.
When she said his hair was cute, along with himself, he smiled. [#F78F18 "You are too!"] he didn't know what happened if she touched his table though. It was scared it was going to bite her again and he didn't want to hurt her. He held his tablet towards her and let her touch the screen, but it quickly turned into a bunny and hid behind Soren. [#F78F18 "I think he's scared"] he told her, surprised she had one herself. Was she an AI?
He held onto his sword and then he shook his head [#F78F18 "You wont get hurt. I'm a strong knight. I'll protect you"] he told her, walking over as he reached out and held her hand in his. [#F78F18 "I don't want to get lost"] he admitted, looking around the strange world around him. He didn't know where they were going, but he was afraid she'd leave him alone. He peeked up at the guards when they approached the castle and hid behind Aether. He had his sword in its sheath as he walked towards the palace.
Soren drank the potion, seeing her turn really small. He shrank to her size and followed after her. He saw the spider walking towards them and he took out his sword. He aimed it up at the spider, standing in front of Aether. He point it at the spider and ended up closing his eyes, shaking in fear.
The spider just hovered over them and continued walking past them. Soren opened his eyes and let out a deep breath. [#F78F18 "There's nothing to be scared of. Come on"] he told her, taking her hand in his again as he led her past the doors further in the castle. He didn't know who the red queen was, but if she was Aether's friend, maybe they weren't a bad person and he wouldn't have to fight anything.
Aether nodded. [b [#00cca3 "I hurt my leg, but I think I'm okay."]] She rubbed under her lower left leg, where the scratch was. It appeared digitalized, rather than looking like blood. She wasn't sure what would happen if she hurt herself entirely. Would she wither away into the world like expired objects or spawned monsters?
Thinking about that made her skin crawl.
Aether saw how he looked at her, so carefully, like he was trying to undrestand her too. She felt a little uncomfortable being stared at so carefully. An AI from a different world... Maybe she should go to that world if the AI's were like this.
[b [#00cca3 "Never? I never went to Avalon, what's that like?" ]] Aether went back to rolling back and forth on her heels and then stared at the tablet. Would it turn into a bunny and bite her again if she touched it? She took a step back as a precaution. [b [#00cca3 "I have one too, but mine isn't a meanie."]] Aether pointed at her bunny resting on her shoulder, staring so curiously at Soren. Their personal AI's were young AI's too, that were just learning more about them through experience.
Aether watched him come in so close with a sword. She didn't want to get hurt. She squeezed her eyes so tightly shut, until she wasn't feeling anything. She looked up at his teal eyes and felt nervous again, but she got up on her feet. [b [#00cca3 "Okay,"]] She grinned, [b [#00cca3 "I'll give you more food so you don't hurt me. They are right there."]] She pointed at the tables and tables of food.
The sound of Soren saying her name sounded different then normal AI's for some reason. She couldn't put her finger on it, but there was something different. It lifted a big smile on her, and she saw such a warm realistic smile from him. He was the best AI she's ever seen. Aether felt her hair and felt embarassed that he liked so much of her.
[b [#00cca3 "Oh, thank you. I made my dress myself. I like your hair, and you look cute." ]] She nodded and pointed at his tablet.
[b [#00cca3 "So, I can't touch it or use it? Can I?" ]] She wondered, [b [#00cca3 "I have mine ever since I can remember too!" ]] She brought her bunny into her hands and whispered to it, and it formed into a tablet. She then turned it around and showed it to Soren. Aether grinned, [b [#00cca3 "Look! See! I have one too! You're pretty weird for an AI."]]
Aether gasped, [b [#00cca3 "No, don't kill the queen. I like the queen. We can talk to her after. I think... I hope. I don't want to get hurt Soren. I'm scared of getting hurt." ]]She frowned, and shuddered at the thought of feeling more of the pain.
[b [#00cca3 "We're in the courtyard of the red queen's castle. I'll lead the way," ]] She kept a straight face, and summoned her backpack through her tablet. It appeared in the air, and she grabbed it, and began pulling out a red card that gave her access to enter the palace.
Aether lead the way to the two large wooden red gates. She stretched out her hand to the guards, and gave her pass. [b [#00cca3 "He's with me," ]] Aether pointed at Soren.
[b [#00cca3 "You may pass, but if you cause chaos, it will be off with your heads," ]] The guard spoke.
Aether gulped and nodded. She looked back at Soren, [b [#00cca3 "Ready?"]] She walked into the place with him, and into long high ceiling halls. Aether than brought out to small teal colored potions. She gave one to Soren and took one for herself.
[b [#00cca3 "We have to drink these, because we need to go in there," ]] Aether pointed at the little tiny door against the wall. Aether knew a bit of how to go around wonderland. She swallowed the potion and bit by bit, she shrinked down into super tiny size. She waited for Soren to drink it, and feared that maybe he wouldn't do it and she'd be stuck alone.
As Aether waited, a spider was slowly crawling over. She froze in spot. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea afterall.
With a loud [i thud], he was no longer in his world at all. He was somewhere new. The surrounding environment was something he's never seen before, with the trees, the grass, and the creatures around them, he knew at an instant this wasn't his home. With curious eyes, he was sitting on top of a troll with a mysterious girl AI standing before him. His eyes watched her closely and fear built up inside. Who was she? Why did she not look like she fit into this world?
He took her hand and felt warmth. Was this what it was like to feel someone else's hand that wasn't a robot? He didn't really know, but even in his world, this girl would not fit in. He stood up and took a bite of the offered apple, tasting it's sweetness as he licked his lips and then listened to her. [#F78F18 "Well if he's being mean, you did the right thing. Are you okay?"] he asked her, knowing she was hurt.
He eyed her carefully, telling her where he was from and then seeing her reaction. She clearly didn't know where it was, but he didn't know where he was either. [#F78F18 "I am. I've never tried going somewhere else though. I....I think it was this thing"] he pointed to the bunny that was now formed into a tablet.
He saw that it made her cry and he apologized [#F78F18 "I'm sorry. I don't know why it's like this"] he admitted, seeing her holding a rock. He immediately drew himself some armor and a sword as he faced Aether. He waited for her to open her eyes. [#F78F18 "I don't want to hurt you. You gave me food"] he told her, hearing about a quest and then thinking that maybe it'll be fun. [#F78F18 "I'm not scared of anything too. I can....beat them!"] he told her, soon after introducing his name.
[#F78F18 "Aether? Aether"] he recited and lifted a warm smile. [#F78F18 "I like your hair. It's a pretty color and your dress"] he told her, looking down at his tablet. [#F78F18 "I've had it with me ever since. I don't know where it came from, but it's mine"] he told her, unsure if she was an AI or not, but he wasn't going to give his tablet to anyone.
[#F78F18 "I'm strong. I can beat the queen"] he told her, pointing his sword. [#F78F18 "So where do we go? I don't know where we are"] he admitted, moving around with his armor and shield. He walked across the grass, looking at the world and then seeing so many other tiny animals running around. This place was odd, but he didn't mind it.
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [i Don't be a baby ]]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn With those words of encouragement in mind, she took the first step forward. She tilted her head up, and defeated the crushing nervousness that he may hurt her. Aether peaked at him with one eye open when she offered a hand, and a forced smile that was cracking into the fear she felt. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether's lips formed into an honest smile when she felt the touch of someone else's hand take hers for the first time. With a tug of his hand, he was back up on his feet. [i He's not going to hurt me.] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "He pushed me...it hurt."]] Her voice cracked, peaking at the unconscious troll. [b [#00cca3 "He was being mean to a family, so I told him to stop, and they wouldn't listen and keep being mean! I kicked him to save the family, and then he pushed me and really, really, really, really, really hurt me."]] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn An idea popped in her head. She offered him the red apple and grinned when he munched on it. Aether kept her hands behind her back as she rolled back and forth on her heels and toes. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Avalon?" ]] Aether titled her head to the side, her long faded redish pink hair weighing down. [b [#00cca3 "There's no Avalon in wonderland."]] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The little girls rose colored eyes popped wide open, as she let out a big dramatic gasp, [b [#00cca3 "You're from a different world! I didn't know AI's could do that. How did you get here?"]] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The temptation was strong in Aether to pick up the stuffed other little bunny. She held a wide grin, and occasionally whispered quietly, [b [#00cca3 "Bunnies are so cute, come here little bunny." ]] She scooped the bunny in her tiny hands and felt a strong shock of pain on her hand. Tears easily filled her eyes, and she grabbed a rock to defend herself. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether whimpered and sniffled and before she could aim for the bunny, he scooped it up. The pain in her hand was too much for her. She hadn't noticed that the rock was still firmly in her hand, but then she noticed the bunny turning into a tablet. A tablet. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether looked back up at the little boy, tears running down her cheeks. Her small fingers loosened the grip on the rock. She watched him draw on his tablet and poof, stuff appeared. Aether was still crying, so talking was out of the question. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn She simply shook her head when he asked if he looked funny. Her eyes followed him, when he stood up and walked towards her with a sword. At first, she squeezed her eyes shut, afraid he'd attack her for trying to throw a rock at the bunny. But seconds passed, and she didn't feel any more pain than she did now. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether peaked up at him. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Fighting?" ]] Her voice crackled a bit. [b [#00cca3 "It was the troll. We can do another quest. We can do the quest in the red queens castle. It's called 'freeing Alice'. I didn't do it because I didn't have time, not because I'm scared. Because I'm not scared of anything."]] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Yet, the fear build up in the pit of her stomach. She was good buds with the red queen, and if she freed Alice, than things would get scary. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Soren" ]] Aether recited his name, liking the way it left her lips. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Soren,"]] She lightly smiled, [b [#00cca3 "I'm Aether. Nice to meet you. I like your eyes."]] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn She pointed at his tablet, [b [#00cca3 "Where did you get that?"]] She hesitated, but took a step forward to him. Her bunny hopped onto Ara's shoulder and stared at Soren so curiously too. Of course, he was an AI, she was all alone here... ]]]
The new challenge faced before him was going to be a difficult one. There was a reason he didn't like to do the athletic tasks, but he could only do a certain amount of tasks a day. He couldn't have all his tasks be the emotional ones. So it all ended up being a combination of the three. Each task was specialized to fit the person's age, height, and build, so they were always capable of completing it, it was just a matter of how you were that day.
Soren did his best, climbing up the paths and ladders until he was on the second floor. He was running as fast as he could with his robotic orb beside him. His teal eyes were so focused on making it to the other side, but the floor began splitting apart from beneath him. He ran faster, jumping and then managing to grab the edge of the other path, but he could see that it was disappearing into the wall. He had no choice but to let go....but then he'd hit the ground from two stories up. That would definitely hurt.
The boy tried think in the last minute, but he was also terrified of falling. He grabbed his orb with one hand, seeing it shift back into the tablet and once he let go, he gripped onto the table, inadvertently clicking on another world, transferring him and his tablet to another world.
WHen he fell from the sky, he landed on a troll, feeling a tingle on his behind as he groaned out in pain. He looked down at the troll beneath him. [#F78F18 "I'm sorry Mr."] he spoke as he looked around and then he saw a girl standing there. She was holding a sword and she faced him with her dress flowing in the wind and her bright eyes looking at him. She was really pretty and she didn't look like anyone he's ever seen before. He didn't think that AI's could look like him.
His tablet changed into a bunny and stood at his side. When he saw her hand, he looked up at her curiously and took it, getting up onto his feet. [#F78F18 "You're welcome. Was he bothering you?"] he asked, seeing her bringing him an apple. Soren was really hungry and he hadn't yet. He took a bite and then he thanked her. [#F78F18 "Wonderland? I thought I was in Avalon..."] he said, looking so confused.
He watched his bunny interact with the other bunny, his eyes falling to the girl once more. When she was bitten, he pulled the bunny back to him, it's shape changing back into a tablet in his hands. [#F78F18 "Don't bite"] he told the tablet and then he walked towards her. [#F78F18 "I'm sorry. Please don't hurt me"] he used his hands to block his face and then he stood up, drawing himself some armor, a sword, and shield. Soren wore it all and looked around. [#F78F18 "There. Now do I look funny?"] he asked her, seeing that the armor was pretty heavy. He slowly stood up and pointed his sword at her, seeing she had a sword in her hand as well. [#F78F18 "Who are you fighting? I'll help you"] he told her, looking to see no one else around.
[#F78F18 "I'm Soren. Who are you?"]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The tingle on her knee wouldn't wither away. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [i It hurts! It hurts! It hurts! ]]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether had tear buds in her warm rose colored eyes. [i No. I can't cry anymore. I'm a bigger kid now. ] She pouted. Then she inhaled a deep breath, tilting her head up and let her fingers ball into a fist. She swooped up her little bunny into her small hands. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Tablet on," ]] She stared into its button eyes.
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The bunny made a little squeal before it quickly turned in little pixels, glowing into one glowing silhouette Then it morphed into the shape of a rectangle, and gained color and thickness, until she had a tablet in her hands. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The troll roared, and shouted, spitting all over when he yelled, [b "You hurt my brother!" ] He charged forward to her. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether gasped, and acted quickly without thinking if what she wanted to do was possible. She kept her eyes on the screen, and opened up her library of object creation and kept stabbing the button. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn ERROR 106 CAN NOT OPEN CREATED OBJECT ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn ERROR]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn ERROR]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Work!" ]] Aether whimpered. A thin sword formed in the air. She stuck out her hand and grabbed the rose gold handle. The fear wiped away from her face. The world glitches, and the surrounding AI's and weather froze in spot for a brief second. Her tablet instantly reverts itself back into her bunny companion. It was only till then, that she is forced to look back at the troll and hear the brief silence. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether gasps at the sight of the boy and the new bunny. Did she break the world?]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn She gripped onto the bottom of her dress, nervous and scared. Would he hurt her like the trolls? ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Curiosity won this battle. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The AI boy opened his eyes. Aether's eyes widened. It was a pretty green. He was pretty. She doubly blinked and stared at him long and hard. She reached out her hand to poke him but instead... ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "Hello," ]] Aether offered her hand to help him up, instead of poking him and touching his hair like he was novelty. She would do that later. Her lip twitched to form a smile, because she wasn't the best at smiling unless it was natural, [b [#00cca3 "Thank you for putting that troll bed. He was really ugly." ]]]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether backed up a little, and ran to the fruit stall and grabbed an apple. She ran back to him and stuck out her hand with a red apple, [b [#00cca3 "Here. You can have it. But, you look funny for wonderland" ]] Then she bended down on her knees and went to the bunny beside him. She narrowed her eyes at it and her own pink bunny jumped off her shoulder and toward the other bunny. They stared at each other. Her bunny pointed at the other bunny and looked at her, like it's saying '[i Do you see that? ]' They looked confused. Even the tablet would built an AI personality to meet better needs to their owner. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether attempted to lift up the other bunny, and she did, but then it bit into her hand. Aether screamed when she felt the tingling painful sensation on her hand. She end up falling back and sitting on her bum. Tears formed in her eyes again. [b [#00cca3 "Ow, ow, ow," ]] She whimpered, [b [#00cca3 "Meanie!" ]] She grabbed a rock from the ground and aimed to throw it at the other bunny. ]]]
A flashing green light filled his dark eye lids with color. The young child, opened them to take a peek. The green light filled the room, as if it was calling to grab his attention. Slowly sitting up, he rubbed his tired eyes, looking around the room. He noticed, he was lying on a bed in an empty room. Each wall was covered in foam and and there were no doors or windows. The darkness filled the space and as his eyes diverted to the bright green light flashing, he found himself walking up to a tablet on the ground.
The boy walked over, seeing that he was wearing nothing but an oversized shirt and underwear beneath. He crawled towards the tablet, tapping on the screen. [i 'Soren. Draw with me'] it said as the boy sat up and held the tablet in his hands. [i Soren? Is that me?] he stared at the screen and then he saw the instructions.
[i 'Look at the mirror in the room']
Soren slowly made his way towards the other side and stared at the small child's reflection. He motioned his arm and saw the figure copying his movements. He opened his mouth and widened his eyes.....[i this is me?]
The tablet beeped a few times, grabbing his attention as he saw the next set of instructions.
[i 'Draw a wall, then a door']
Soren looked at the blank canvas on the tablet and then he saw an arrow pointing to where the stylus was. He pulled it out slowly and drew as he was told. He felt all alone and he didn't want to stay in this space. IT was dark, cold, and he couldn't recall much about anything.
After seeing the door appear before him, he walked towards.
[i "Go outside']
Soren felt his heard beating loudly against his chest. This was scary....what could be outside? He shook his head and sat back down. The tablet explained all that he could do. He could visit the worlds displayed on the screen, he could build whatever he wanted, but the tablet wouldn't make him exit the room, his curiosity did.
After a few months, Soren had been wandering around the area outside of the foam room. Occasionally he would walk back, but the door would no longer open. He was forced to create his own home, so he ended up walking around. He was later discovered that he was staying in the futuristic world of Avalon.
Soren had created a small hideout just outside of the city. He had a hidden door drawn beneath the bridge that separated the high class to the low class. He had nothing more than a single room and some drawn pieces of furniture that he acquired from seeing in the city.
He would venture out during the day, accompanied by his robotic orb. His tablet took on a form to fit the world he was in. In Avalon, it was a floating piece of machinery, shining light in his direction. It followed him wherever he went and had become more of an object of comfort that allowed him to live his life.
Soren climbed onto the bridge, walking towards the city that had buildings that reached the sky. Along every street, every pathway was covered in colored lights. AI's would walk around, hovering over him and passing by. Soren bumped into one of the AI's on his way towards the athletic building. The tall robot, glanced down at him, seeing his clothes and the color of his skin. He recognized the boy as an outcast. [i "Little boy, you should upgrade. Your clothing does not represent our beautiful city of Avalon"]
[#F78F18 "But I like my clothes?"] he told the robot as he nodded.
[i "I do not understand. Why not be like the rest of us"]
Soren didn't know the answer to that question, but as he made his way towards the facility, he tried to focus on making some money. He needed to purchase a few things for his home, and to make sure he had a meal for lunch and dinner.
When he entered the building, he was led to his usual room. It was an area where you could complete challenges to obtain some currency. Soren would go here on the days he was short on money and try his best to complete the tasks. For him, some tasks were easier than others. There were tasks dedication to intelligence, some athletic, and some emotional. He usually was able to the emotional tasks asked with ease. Some of the AIs didn't understand how only he was able to complete those, but they allowed him to acquire extra currency because no one else could.
Today, Soren did an athletic task. He was placed into a white room where moving pathways twisted and turned in different motions. His goal was posted on the large, electronic screen on the roof.
[i 'Reach the third floor and hit the green button']
A timer began and then young boy darted up the ramps, waiting for his chance to reach a higher floor. The floor would move and the pathway would extend and retract. He tried to make a jump for it and ended up holding onto the edge of a continuing path. It was pulling back and looked as if it was going to disappear into the wall. He was beginning to panic. The floor below him was too far away to reach. If he let go now....he would fall and hit the ground.
Soren grabbed onto the floating orb, causing it to change shape into a table. The floor was moving into the wall and he had inches left until he was forced to let go. Within seconds the pathway disappeared into the wall and he began falling.
He held onto the table, his hands pressing onto the screen that had a list of worlds he could explore. Soren griped the pad to his chest, seeing the ground approaching. He closed his eyes and prepared for impact.
Soren soon fell from the sky, landing on something hard as if it was a person. He opened his eyes and noticed he had hit the ground, but something broke his fall. When he looked around, there were trees, scenery, and grass. In Avalon there was nothing but pavements and clean white buildings.....no nature at all.
He glanced down and saw that he had fallen on a creature. [#F78F18 "Ouch..."] he spoke, looking to see that he looked like a large troll. He blinked curiously and then slowly stood off of it. He released the tablet in his hands and it turned into a grew bunny beside him.
When his green eyes glanced around, he noticed a girl standing there and watching him. She had long, red hair, a teal polka dotted dress and another bunny beside her. Where was he? This was definitely not Avalon.
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether stretched out her arms into the air, with her mouth widely open. She kicked her feet back and forth on her bed, and ruffled her hair. A little musical tone echoed in the small space of her bedroom. Aether rolled off her bed, and followed the sound of the musical tone to her desk. A tablet. She stared at the glowing display. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [i 'Aether, draw with me.' ]]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [i Is that my name? ] She stared. Aether looked around the room and found no door. Why? She climbed on top of her bed, and peaked out the window. A large field was in her view, and a pretty red tree. It made her eyes widen, she's never seen anything so pretty. She frowned, and went around the room, and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. [i Do I really look like that! ] ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn The tablet chimed again. She turned her head, and frowned, not knowing how to get outside. She went to the tablet again, and she stabbed it with her finger a couple of times, but nothing happened. Then, she noticed the pen. She lifted it up and tapped the screen with it. It gave her instructions. She clicked what she was told, and then it opened into a black page.]]]
[size13 [center [Vollkorn[i 'Draw a wall, then a door. ' ]]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether tried her best, but she wasn't much of an artist at this age. She made weird faces as she did her best to draw a wall. She then made her attempt to draw a door. When she managed to get the right size of the door, the tablet chimed. Go outside it said. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "I can't," ]] She whined and turned her head around and nearly jumped when she saw a door on the wall. She ran to the door and she turned the knob, when she felt a pang of sadness strike her when she saw outside. It felt like she should be seeing something else than a field, but she didn't know what. She wanted to call to something, but what? She end up crying for a while until the tablet called for her again. She scrambled to get it. The tablet end up being her comfort. Something that couldn't talk back, but at least could tell her what to do. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether ran out into the grass, and sat under the red tree. The tablet gave her instructions more on what to do. It explained to her all the things she could do, and showed her the library of worlds she could visit. They were all kid friendly ones for now. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Months passed since she first woke up. For a month, she slept in a tree in the land of wonderland. With her little stuffed bunny companion that she created; she jumped on top of giant bouncy colorful mushrooms. Her little bunny was ahead of her, but she was having so much fun. She jumped mushroom to mushroom, with a forest surrounding her. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether jumped off the mushrooms once they ended, and followed the path to the palace for the day. They were having a festival and Aether missed a chance to eat free food. Even wonderland had some currency that she could get by doing quests. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b "Would you like a ride?" ] A knight in white armour came from her path. Aether nodded, and she mounted the horse.]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b "Little miss, you should wear clothes from our marketplace," ] The AI noticed that she wasn't wearing the registered selection of clothes for the world. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "What's wrong with my clothes?" ]] Aether peaked down at her teal dress, thigh high socks, and laced loose ankle boots. She stared at the knight but no reply. She sighed. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn It rode her into the red queen's town. Aether got along with the queen, and thought she was a funny AI. The knight went through two large iron gates with vines and roses taking over most of it, and arrived at the queen's courtyard. The courtyard was decorated for the festival, and had tables and tables of different food. There were also some vendors selling objects and clothes.]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether dismounted the horse, with her companion on her shoulder. There were some human AI's and some talking animals ones. Then she saw the love of her life, a table of fruits. She darted to it and snacked on every single berry. Then, she heard some yelling. Aether looked over her shoulder and saw two big fat troll looking AI's yelling at a small bunny family. She heard a chime from her tablet. When she was in these worlds, her tablet normally took in a different form, and in this land it was her stuffed bunny. She lifted the bunny out of her shoulder and it turned into her tablet. ]]]
[Vollkorn [size13 [#990000 [center [i ' [b Quest: ] Defend the people from the orgs.' ]]]]]
[Vollkorn [center [i Accept] or [i Decline ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn It normally only counted as a quest if she was going to receive anything. Aether shrugged, and hit accept. The tablet turned back into her bunny. If she declined, the bunny family would just get bullied. Aether swallowed one more strawberry before walking between the orgs and the family. She put her hands on her hips and made a mean face, [b [#00cca3 "You're being rude. You need to stop." ]]]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b "No! They called us ugly" ] One AI org said. After the back and forth of telling him to stop and be nice, she decided it was time for drastic methods. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [b [#00cca3 "I tried," ]] Aether shrugged and kicked the org in the stomach. ]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn [i Mission fail. ] Her tablet told her mentally.]]]
[center [size13 [Vollkorn Aether frowned and felt miserable that she failed. Then that org pushed her down. Aether felt the uncomfortable tingles on her leg, that scratched a bit on the ground. "Oww," She was set on crying, but she got up again and then grabbed an apple and threw it at the org, [b [#00cca3 "Big meanie!"]] The apple struck the org's head and it fell down on the ground. Now, there was one left, and she was set on fighting it. ]]]
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