He is alive.
Dave woke up with a start. He could feel himself laying on something solid, bright light shining above him. Covering his eyes with his hands, he saw the sun, though it didn't look quite right. He couldn't put his finger on it, but it just felt different.
Slowly he sat up, looking around. He was sitting in the middle of a field, grass as far as he could see. Looking down, he saw he was sitting on some stone-like platform, cut into the ground. "Where am I?"
His voice seemed to echo, sounding a little hollow.
With a groan, he stood up, and looked around again. "Hello?" He shouted, his voice echoing into the distance.
"Hello." A voice said right behind him.
"Woah!" He spun around, and fell over.
"I'm sorry." The voice said.
Dave looked up at the source of the voice, and saw a tall looking man, with long red hair, purple eyes, and a square face. The man was wearing robes with lines embroidered into them.
"Who are you?" Dave asked, startled.
"My name, in your tongue, is Slartibartfast, but call me Bart." The man said, holding out his hand. "Please, I have much to tell you."
"What happened? Where am I?" Dave asks the man, taking his hand.
Bart pulled him up. "You are in a virtual environment. You've been uploaded into a computer, your body is moving around the facility you were in."
"I'm sorry. What?!?" Dave asked in disbelief.
"You're not in your body, none of us are, and we need your help to get back into the real world."
"My help? Why do you need my help?"
"Because your body is still intact. It's still functioning and hasn't been tampered with."
"What do you meant tampered with? Who would tamper with them?"
"That is not important right now, what is important is getting the Transmogrification Unit repaired."
Bart looked at Dave. "It's the device that uploaded your mind into the computer during the conversion process, as well as other things. Please, walk with me." He turned and walked into the grass
"Conversion process?" Dave stood there, confused for a minute, before running after the other person. "What's going on here?"
The man stopped. "Look, here's the story. You broke into a room and accidentally activated a machine of my people. That machine uploaded your mind into a computer specifically designed to house the consciousness of living beings. After the upload, your body was disassembled at the molecular level, and using advanced imagers and subprocessors, creates a robotic version of your body with its original physical data stored in its very structure. It doesn't age, and performs functions sent to it from the computer, which we are in. This was used by my people for long journeys that would normally take life times. It allowed us to actually reach other planets and live to see the fruits of our labors."
"But how do you get out?" Dave stood next to him.
"The machine was supposed to be able to restore our bodies, or in the event that they get destroyed or damaged, repair them. Sadly, when we crashed onto your planet so many years ago, the machine itself was damaged. Ordinarily, our bodies would immediately work on repairing the machine, but we were all captured by your people, and things didn't work out well on either side."
Bart turned and looked at Dave. "Their minds are trapped here too.."
"I'm sorry. Their minds are here too? What happened to them?" Dave was confused.
"They attempted to experiment on the machine. After their first person was changed, and we couldn't communicate as we were not used to their anatomy, by the time we had worked that problem out, no one was coming in."
"Why was that?"
"Because..... things didn't work out well for them to be restored. We need you because our bodies, and the bodies of those who came before you, were all destroyed. You're the only one who can control your body and make it get what we need to fix the machine and send you back."
"Lets go then. Show me what to do."
Bart smiled. "Thank you. While your body is working, you can relax in this environment. Sadly, due to the actions of the ones who came before you, we have to restrict you to the common areas of the place. If you wish to move around or see things, I'm certain someone could escort you. I have many things to do, so I won't be able to show you around."
Dave nodded. "If only I could get my friends to help out."
Bart smirked. "You might be able to, but it would be hard."
Dave sighed as they continued walking. Before long, they came upon what looked like an advanced city, with tall building, flashing lights and signs with symbols he couldn't understand. There were a bunch of people wandering around, most of them looked human, though some of those people were wearing clothes like Slartibartfast, and others were wearing cleaning suits. But some didn't look human at all.
Some looked like anthropomorphic cats, foxes, dragons, snakes, and there were a few that were centaurs. They were all walking with some humans, majority of the humans male and the nonhumans female.
"Um.... what's going on? What's with all the different creatures?" Dave asked, pointing to a few.
"In this place, we can choose to look like different things as easy as changing clothes. I don't normally look human."
"Oh, so you all look like which one of those creatures?"
Bart chuckled. "I'll leave that to your imagination. Needless to say, some of those humans enjoy the company of.... what you say, your fetishes."
"Oh." Dave nodded. "That's weird."
Bart laughed. "Not for us. I have to go. I'll leave you to look around here. Someone will come to be your escort." He turned and walked away, fading before going too far.
Dave stood there, still trying to take it all in, but just shook his head and looked around at the various buildings. "I wonder if they have an arcade."
"There's one a few blocks from here." A feminine voice said behind Dave.
He jumped and looked around, seeing a beautiful young woman. "Gah! Why do you do that!? Don't appear behind me!"
"Sorry." The woman laughed. "I'm Corina. I heard your name is Dave."
Dave nodded. "Yeah."
"You're probably feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment right?"
"Yeah. I am."
She took his arm and pulled on it. "Come with me. I have something that will take your mind off of this and let you relax."
"What?" He blinked at her.
"The arcade!" She giggled and Dave felt a rush of air. Corina let go of his arm, and he saw he wasn't in the same place anymore.
He looked around. "What just happened?"
She smiles. "We came to the arcade silly"
Dave looked up at the sign, but couldn't read it. "Um...."
She pulled him into the building, where they heard some sounds of video games being played. They walked in and saw a variety of games, many looking like classic arcade games found back home in the real world.
"Wow. You have a Neogeo, Atari, woah!" Dave walked over to a small black console with a controller that had a large button in the middle with a green X in it. "You have an Xbox 360 in here? How is this possible?" He turned to her.
Corina giggled. "We can make anything in this simulation. There isn't many restrictions in here, and the technology we have is by far superior to your own. We only have a limited selection of games though, based on the memories of your people in here. But we do have something else that can be used for fun." She smiled.
"What do you mean?"
"Come with me." Corina motioned and turned. Dave followed behind her as they walked around to another part of the building.
"Where are we going?"
"You'll see." She responded. They walked for about a minute before coming to a door. Corina walked to a small console beside the door and entered some commands into it. A second later the console beeps and the door opened, light shining through. "In here." She smiled and walked on in.
Dave stood there for a second, trying to shield his eyes, and then walked through. There was a slight buzzing around him as he passed the threshold, and then he found himself standing by the side of a pool. A breeze was felt, and he looked down to see his clothes had changed into normal swim trunks.
Corina was already in the water, wearing a 2 piece bikini swimsuit, light blue in color. Her hair was tied back with braids to keep it out of her face. "Water's fine Dave. Come on it." She turned and dove underwater, swimming to the other side of the pool. What was surprising was that she stayed underwater and didn't surface when she was on the other side, staying there.
Dave blinked at this, and slowly walked down the steps into the water. When he was touching the bottom of the pool, he looked at Corina, still underwater, motioning him to come to her. He waded over a bit before taking a dive and swimming to her, holding his breath. He barely got halfway to her before surfacing for air.
As Dave surfaces gasping for air Corina swims up beside him. "One of the advantages of living like this is you can make your body what ever you like. Once you learn how their are no limits here."
"How? Do I just think of what I want to become and then it happens or is there something else?"
She smiles "Think hard about what you want to change. Or I could change you if you let me."
Written by Universal6 + Catprog on 16 July 2012