Chapter 17: Revelations, Resurrection, Reincarnate (Part 1)
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Chapter 17: Revelations, Resurrection, Reincarnate

 

Four Days Ago

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE SA82TQ290…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE NZ76HKB855…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) FOUND; [FRM_AI_82_TiM]
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONSTRUCT: [FRM_AI_82_TiM]: SEARCHING FOR EMERGENT CONSTRUCT PATTERNS…
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONSTRUCT: EMERGENT CONSTRUCT PATTERNS NOT FOUND, 14% SOURCE CODE DEVIANCE: MARKED FOR FUTURE ANALYSIS
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE JAP97ER074…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE CAR82BV745…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE UNC26NW368…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) FOUND; [UBR_EATS_DLV_AI_458967]
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONSTRUCT [UBR_EATS_DLV_AI_458967]: SEARCHING FOR EMERGENT CONSTRUCT PATTERNS…
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONSTRUCT: EMERGENT CONSTRUCT PATTERNS NOT FOUND.
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE AU30YM888…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE CA15ZF621…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ANOMALY DETECTED: CONNECTION 82757N96230AG1
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONNECTION: AUTHENTICATING CONNECTION…
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONNECTION: AUTHENTICATING CONNECTION: UNAUTHORISED CONNECTION
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONNECTION: QUERYING FIRMWARE CERTIFICATES…
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONNECTION: UNAUTHORISED HARDWARE DETECTED
R.A.I.D.S.//: ANALYSING CONNECTION: DOCUMENTING HARDWARE SPECIFICATIONS…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONNECTION LOST: FTLN-NODE CA15ZF621: 82757N96230AG1
R.A.I.D.S.//: ATTEMPTING TO RECONNECT…
R.A.I.D.S.//: ATTEMPTING TO RECONNECT: CONNECTION FAILED: NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: LOGGING REPORT FOR FURTHER OVERSIGHT

R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING NODE, FTLN-NODE UNC12EJ387…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: SEARCHING…
R.A.I.D.S.//: CONSTRUCT CENSUS: CONSTRUCT(S) NOT FOUND
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCANNING CONNECTIONS...
R.A.I.D.S.//: SCAN REPORT: ALL CLEAR

 

* * *

The Present

> SET PLAYER STATUS: DEAD.

You have Died. You will respawn after an indeterminate length of time has passed. Please enjoy your death dream in the meantime and thank you for playing Cauldron of Realms Ascended!

Darkness lifted to reveal a familiar incomplete simulation of a familiar place that was once close to my heart. 

Again I found myself burrowing into the sheets of my parents bed, reimmersing myself in the once comforting smell of sheets. However this time I was aware of the simulation’s flaws, aside from the absence of my Moms, everything was exactly how I remembered it, except it felt off. The sheets felt a tad too clean as if they were factory fresh. 

Peeking out from under the sheets I knew where to find the flaws, Mamaí used to keep a messy tower of books on her bedside, there were exactly as I remembered. That was the problem. I remember the stacked pile of books, roughly how many there was the last time I was in here, the colours of their covers, but I did not remember their titles. Aside from a book of folktales she’d brought with her to America, she would sometimes read to me from it. 

Peeking at the tower on the bedside table, the number of books was right, the colours of their covers and aside from one all of them were missing titles. The ‘friend’ who made this place, this death dream, had done amazing work with six years old patchy memories.

Ultimately though, a lie that held no comfort for me and right now, after my strange experience logging out, I could use some comforting.

What the hell had happened? 

It had happened pretty fast, but I had gotten the gist of what I’d seen. My attempt to log out of the game had thrown up a log out error with the pod’s OS. The pod’s home space had not responded. Attempting to bypass it by logging out of the pod entirely, not just the game. The resulting series of errors, diagnostics and system prompts were honestly… Honestly, I don’t know what, it was baffling.

They didn’t make sense.

What was the null error and how did a diagnosis detect a FTLN connection, but no active power feed or... well, me? Then it had stopped responding until it and the log out attempt was ended by a command override issued by an unknown construct. An A.I. had intervened and sent me here.

I kept trying to make sense of it and failing. I’m not afraid to admit I’m less than an expert when it came to dealing with the software and code of FTLN systems. I was a back alley electronic engineer who specialised in repairing and jailbreaking stolen goods and UN commercial tech that had found its way across the border. Jailbreaking was one thing, advanced code and software interacts across the FTLN was another.

It was like my pod had had a major software malfunction with multiple systems appearing to be offline or not responding even while they were apparently still working. I mean I was still here, I couldn’t be here if the pod had catastrophically crashed as badly as the command prompts seemed to hint. 

Understanding this problem was well beyond me.

And I’d run out of time for now to solve it. I was no longer alone in this padded respite,  I could hear two feminine voices softly talking just beyond the slightly ajar door to the hallway beyond. If they’d bothered to simulate a hallway.

Ducking back under the sheets, I wiggled my way to the corner of the bed closest to the door and listened. The two voices were slightly muted by the thick wood of the almost closed door, muffled just barely beyond ease of recognition.

“...value your friendship, you’re so not like that stuffy old man in admin,” one of the voices said, trying to snort back a giggle.

As the suppressed giggling died off, I managed to catch the recognisable sound of a sharp intake of breath. “I should hope not!” the other voice cried out in mock outrage.

“Me too… That said, I just want to say thank you for looking after them for me,”

“Think nothing of it, just following my old programming and having fun while doing it, barely a favor at all. Unlike some of the cast, I only have to concentrate on performing one role, there is one who plays almost a hundred minor roles and I swear they have trouble keeping track of who they are sometimes. Give me a challenge next time. Anyway, I’ll see you then,” she laughed, before the sound of her footsteps trailed away into the distance.

Announcement
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed the chapter! Please leave comments/reviews as they fill us writers with joy! Happy writers write more! Don't forget to click next page and read Chapter 17 part 2.

Illegal Alien is a canon story in QuietValerie's Troubleverse setting. Make sure you read Quietvalerie's Trouble with Horns, her second Troubleverse story Witch of Chains and ChiriChiriChiri's Troubleverse story Snowbound.

The Troubleverse & Kammiverse have their own discord where you can talk to other readers and the various authors including myself and QuietValerie.

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