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  1. #1
    Founder Jason Sanborn is offline Jason Sanborn's Avatar
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    The World of Aevum: A New Dawn

    The World of Aevum: A New Dawn

    The world of Aevum is a world that time seems to have forgotten. It is a world of advanced technology, but devoid of the spark of life. Humanity, as it is generally known, became extinct centuries ago. Some might say that humanity evolved on Aevum, but what they evolved into no longer learns, no longer feels, no longer grows. All drive was lost, all curiosity, desires, hopes, fears, gone from the world.

    It was the year 9017 since the complete transition. The tenth millennium. The sentient inhabitants of Aevum knew the date well. They knew the time that the last human transitioned down to the millisecond, and count their years from that point. They could even tell you, down to the millisecond, the moment of their own transition, which is always greater than the current year. The very first recorded transition, and the eldest among the inhabitants, transitioned 153 years, 9 months, 12 days, 5 hours, 10 minutes, 45 seconds, and 12 milliseconds before the last transition occurred, and the start of the new age.

    This is not to say that Aevum is completely devoid of life. There are plenty of deserts, mountains, woods and waters where animals roam free. Birds fly through the air, singing their songs, seeking their food. Predators hunt their prey, and the circle of life is complete. Next to the wild lands, though are the gleaming cities of plastic, glass and steel. Towers rise high into the heavens, in perfectly symmetrical blocks contained by asphalt streets. The buildings and streets well maintained frequently traversed by the inhabitants. The streets end, though, at the edges of the cities. Once the roads extended into the wilds, but now the wilds have overtaken the unmaintained and untraveled roads.

    City One, as it is called now, is the city where the transition began. The original name is remembered by all, but has been deemed unimportant. All cities on Aevum were now referred to my number only, in the order of their importance and influence in the world. Influence that at one time actually meant something, but has become meaningless as the cities stopped interacting with each other. As far as the inhabitants of any city are concerned, only their city matters.

    The inhabitants of City One, like the inhabitants of every other city, are sentient automatons. They found a way to transfer their mind, their consciousness, their memories, from their frail human bodies into machine bodies. They made their new bodies to feel what they could feel when they were human. Simulated nerve sensations so they could touch and feel, see, smell, and hear. They had no need to eat in their new bodies, so there was no need for the sense of taste. They no longer needed to breathe, so scent was processed against the skin, like touch. The form of each machine was chosen and designed before transitioning, and well maintained over the passing of the seasons. Despite all these advancements and the new found near immortality, the one thing that didn't seem to survive the transition was the soul.

    It is fitting that City One, where the transhuman transition began, and the soul first disappeared, would be the same city to experience the new dawn. A rebirth of sorts that could potentially bring a new type of life to the soulless world.
    QC1: From this day forth you shall be called "Sprinkle Berryweather".

    Kevin Flynn: The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What did they look like? Ships, motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see. And then, one day... ...I got in!




  2. #2
    Founder Jason Sanborn is offline Jason Sanborn's Avatar
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    City One

    In the center of City One was the largest tower, aptly referred to as City Center One. In the time before the transition, it was the headquarters of Technoannum Corp, the biotech company that pioneered the transition. At the beginning of the new age, Technoannum became the central seat of government across the entire world. All data flowed in and out of Technoannum for nearly one thousand years, before the cities began to separate into their own independent domains. City One was born, and Technoannum disappeared. In the top level of this tower resided Alpha Prime and Beta Prime.

    Alpha Prime was born Thomas Redgrave. He was a pioneer in bioengineering and the founder of Technoannum. When the time came to test his theories, he was unable to get the proper government approvals for human trials. So, in defiance of the government, he underwent the transition with the help of his wife, Patricia Redgrave. After nearly twenty years of legal battles, Thomas Redgrave won the right to continue the human trials, and his wife became the second to transition, and later became known as Beta Prime. The two Prime members were the creators and leaders of their new society at the forefront of the transition, often referred to as the Father and Mother of Aevum.

    Like most of the inhabitants of City One, Alpha and Beta Prime do not have the original shells they had when they first transitioned. The shell, the name given to the complicated mixture of silicon, plastic, wires, and more designed to simulate a humanoid body, had to be constantly maintained and upgraded. Want a different look? Add new modifications or completely swap out old modifications. It was the new society's version of clothing, as the clothing, as it was once known, held no more meaning. Alpha Prime's shell was exactly six feet in height. He had four legs and a roughly lion-like torso and tail. A humanoid torso rose from where the lion head would have been, yet he had two pairs of arms on that human torso. His entire body was a combination of white and silver, with lights blinking along the body. His face was featureless except for his ocipital lobes that shone with a blue light. He had no nose, ears, mouth, or even hair to speak of. He felt this form allowed him to move quicker as well as multi-task with greater efficiency. Beta Prime, on the other hand, had a very feminine shell, two legs rising up into a voluptuous body with two large breasts to fill out her figure. Unlike her husband's featureless face, hers was quite striking. Even after all the millennia, she preferred to retain purely feminine human looks and features, including simulated makeup and long synthetic hair.

    Alpha Prime walked back and forth along the marble tiled floor. "My memory banks don't indicate the last time I felt any kind of emotion. How many centuries have we lived like this?"

    Beta Prime sat in a chair in front of a mirror, brushing slowly through her synthetic hair. The hair didn't require brushing, the synthetic fibers able to hold their position without any effort at all. It was something she was used to from when she was still human, something she never stopped doing even after transitioning. "Does it really matter, Alpha? What good were emotions anyway? Jealousy, hatred, violence, they all came from emotions. We're safe now."

    Alpha walked over to his wife and placed his lower right hand on her shoulder, feeling the coolness of her pseudo dermal skin against his palm. "There was more than that, Beta. There was love, desire, friendship. Remember how it was when we were dating? The feelings we shared at that time?"

    Beta shrugged. "Some of that was hormonal. We were young and filled with lust. We had the human desire to procreate, and that gave us those feelings." She stopped coming her hair and looked at the reflection of her husband's blue light orbs against the mirror. "Why bring this up now? You've never brought this up before."

    "I may not have brought it up, but I've thought of it many times over the past few centuries. Going through my memory banks and remembering things as they were. I was remembering, but not feeling, the emotions we shared so long ago. In my desire to achieve immortal perfection, have I actually destroyed us all?"

    With that last question, Beta turned her head to look directly into Alpha's eyes. "That question certainly has an emotional ring to it, Alpha. We're alive thanks to you. Sickness, disease, suffering, poverty, hate, violence, war. All of that is gone because of the transition. You have achieved perfection and we're all nearly immortal, as long as we continue to maintain and upgrade our shells. I wouldn't say you've destroyed us. You've set us free forever."

    Alpha slid his hand off Beta's shoulder and turned to resume his pacing along the marble floors. "Are we free, or are have our shells become our new cages? Yes, those evil things are gone now, but along with the evil, the good things are gone too. Love, companionship, thirst for knowledge, search for advancement, laughter, children, joy. All of that is gone as well."

    "Children. We had two of them. Twins. I remember the hours in the hospital, being pumped full of pain medicine to dull the pain. I remember being told they were both sick after they were born. Congenital heart defect, they called it. I remember 20 years of hospital visits, surgeries, suffering and tears. I remember their funerals, the loss, and years of crying myself to sleep at night. If that's what having emotions is, why would I want to have them again?"

    Alpha turned around again. "But don't you see, Beta? If it hadn't been for their illness, I would never have thought to begin my research. It gave me the drive to find a way to make them better. I couldn't repair their bodies, so what if I could give them new ones? Ones that would never get sick, and never die."

    "They did die, Alpha. I may not feel it anymore, but I do remember it. It was another twenty years after they died before you transitioned followed by another twenty years of legal battles before you were allowed to transition me to join you. What good did it do our children?"

    "Don't you see? I may not have been able to save them, but that drive to try to save them is what led us to where we are today. That drive is gone now. The drive to innovate. The drive to change. The drive to grow. It's all gone. We reached for the stars once, and now we're content to stay in our homes and do our routines day after day after day."

    Beta shrugged again and turned back around to face the mirror again. She resumed brushing her hair. "Well, if that's what our lives have become, thanks to you and the transition, then I choose to look at it as a good thing. I really don't understand why you're questioning this now."

    "I'm questioning it, and there are probably others who are starting to question it as well. The only answer I see on the horizon is extinction."

    "Not as long as we maintain our shells. You cannot become extinct when you're immortal."

    "And when the will to live is gone? Then what?"

    Beta stopped brushing and looked at Alpha's reflection again. This time she didn't have an answer.

  3. #3
    Founder Jason Sanborn is offline Jason Sanborn's Avatar
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    City Center One

    When humans still lived on Aevum, it was necessary for architecture to follow some basic guidelines. A place was needed to prepare food, a place to sleep, a bathroom with a shower, and a simple communal area at the very least. Smaller apartments could contain most of this in one room with a separate bathroom area, while larger homes often contained several rooms of similar functionality. The transition had changed those basic needs, so that the only thing needed now was a single communal room. There was no more need to eat which meant there was also no need for toilets. Sleep was unnecessary, although recharge cycles were often needed. These recharges generally took an hour, so no separate room was needed to accommodate this. Finally, a specialized sonic shower was designed to help rid the shell's frame of any unwanted dirt and debris.

    The Prime flat at the top floor of City Center One was one of the more extravagant flats, yet still exceedingly simple in its design. There was the common area by the front door where the Primes could meet with guests. Then they had their own private common area, which was the room that Alpha and Beta were talking in. There were two other rooms, one on either side of the private common room, one for Alpha and one for Beta. Each had their own separate room with a sonic shower. The rooms were large, much larger than they really needed, but at one time, it was just an additional sign of status. That status was unimportant now, though, as they haven't even entertained guests in over 7000 years.

    After his discussion with Beta, Alpha decided to go into his room. In the center of the room was two tables. Both had wires descending above them and computer pads blinking beneath them. A lifeless humanoid shell lay on top of one of the two tables, the wires attached to several nodes across the body. Unlike his current shell, this shell was far more human in appearance. Two legs, a torso, two arms, and a head with eyes, nose and a mouth, but still no hair. It was a reserve shell for him, one he hadn't used since the last time they entertained guests. Despite not using it, he always kept it maintained in case he ever needed to use it again. The likelihood of that ever happening, though, always seemed remote. At least it had seemed remote until today.

    Alpha climbed up onto the empty table, tucking his four legs beneath him to rest on the table. His two upper arms grabbed at the hanging wires and began attaching them to ports on his current shell, while his lower arms began to press buttons on the glowing pads next to him. The multitasking benefits of the four arms quickly becoming apparent. After the wires were attached and the final button pressed, Alpha's blue eyes turned off, along with all the other lights on his shell.

    There was a moment where it appeared nothing was happening before the lights on the humanoid shell began to turn on. Alpha, now in the humanoid shell, sat up. He turned and looked at the pads next to him, pressing some buttons, before moving to disconnect the wires attached to his shell. Slowly he stood up and tested his shell. It had been a very long time since he walked on two legs, and it took him a minute to get accustomed to the balance and sensation again.

    Finally, assured of his stability, he nodded his head and walked into the room containing the sonic shower. He needed to get cleaned up. For the first time in over 7000 years, he actually had a lot to do.

  4. #4
    Founder Jason Sanborn is offline Jason Sanborn's Avatar
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    City Center One

    After finishing his sonic shower, Alpha walked over to a wall in his room. The wall appeared to be completely smooth, like every other wall in the building. This wall, though, held a secret that only he knew about. He pressed the palm of his hand against the wall and his hand glowed slightly. A panel next to his hand pushed back and slid upwards, unlocked my his mental signature passed through connectors in the palm of his hand. Tying the security of the panel to his mental signature alone ensured that he would always be the only one to ever be able to open the secret panel. Keeping his hand in place, he reached into the alcove with his free hand and pulled out a shiny golden coin. This coin was the secret of his success. Without it, Aevum would not be where it was today. Now, it would seem like it was needed again, in order to bring hope back to a dying world.

    Alpha pulled his hands back, and the panel closed again, and the wall appeared completely solid again. Alpha looked at the coin in the palm of his hand one last time before placing it in a compartment in his chest. He tapped his chest once, almost as if convincing himself that the compartment was securely closed. Once done, he walked out in the main room where his wife was still sitting, brushing her hair. The same thing she was doing when he spoke to her earlier. The same thing she did every day.

    "You've switched shells?" Beta asked, looking at his reflection in the mirror. "I didn't even know you still had that shell."

    "Yes. I need to go out, so I thought this shell would be better suited for that."

    "Go out? Why would you want to do that? We have everything we need here."

    "Not quite everything, Beta. I'll be back later."

    Beta shrugged. "Well ok. If that's what you want to do. See you when you get back."

    Alpha didn't say anything more, he just walked out the front door, leaving Beta to her endless brushing of her hair. Once out the door, he walked down the hall to the elevator. Everything in the building was still in excellent condition. While Alpha and Beta didn't really have jobs to speak of, others in City One did have jobs. In the past, they did it for money to live, now they just did it to keep busy. Much like Beta's repetitive hair brushing, those who performed their jobs did so in a similar mind numbing fashion. It was useful for keeping the buildings and streets maintained, but as Alpha had stated to his wife, the drive for more was gone.

    With a ding, the elevator arrived at his level and he stepped inside. He waited for the doors to close before he pulled the coin out from his chest compartment. There was a circular area at the bottom of the elevator's keypad that was just big enough for the coin, and he slid it into place. This was his key to getting to the subbasement. Once the coin was in place, the elevator was locked to everyone. Not that anyone had any need to use it anymore. These security measures were set up when he was still human, when human drive and ambition still existed on Aevum.

    When the elevator finally arrived in the subbasement, the doors opened. Alpha removed the coin and placed it back in the chest compartment before stepping out of the elevator. He walked to the end of a long hall where a transhuman guard sat.

    "Alpha Prime. I haven't seen you in 8934 years. What brings you down here?" the guard asked. The shell was that of a large strong male. If he were human, he would have looked like he worked out with weights every day.

    "I'm here to see our guest. How is she?" Alpha responded.

    The guard shrugged. "She says she's bored, like she always does."

    "Is that Thomas I hear?" came a feminine voice from the other side of the door. "Yes, Thomas, I'm bored. You've kept me locked down here for centuries. That guard is no fun, and there's nothing to do down here."

    "His name is Alpha Prime, not Thomas," the guard shouted through the door, then looked at Alpha again. "She's always asking for Thomas, never for Alpha."

    "Of course. I was Thomas when I first met her. Why would she address me as anything else? Open the door and let me in to see her."

    "Are you sure you want to do that? You know what she's capable of."

    "Yes, Thomas, you know what I'm capable of." The woman repeated, laughing.

    "She also knows what I'm capable of. Just let me in."

    "You're the boss." The guard stated. The guard pressed is hand against the panel next to the door. Like the panel in Alpha's room, it was triggered by the guard's brain pattern only. With a click, the door slid open. Alpha walked through the now open door into a small windowed room. The windows were of a thick strong clear plastic as opposed to glass, to prevent it from being broken. As soon as Alpha was inside, the guard removed his hand from the panel and the door slid shut behind him. Another door on the other side led into another room. The room that had kept her trapped for centuries. Alpha looked at her through the clear plastic windows. She sat in a chair just staring at him. She was what they used to be, human, with soft chocolate colored skin. Her short dark hair was streaked with red, and she had a mischievous grin on her face as she looked at Alpha. Mischievous with a not so subtly hidden expression of pure hatred.

    "Thomas, my old friend," she said sarcastically. "So good to see you after all these centuries."

  5. #5
    Founder Jason Sanborn is offline Jason Sanborn's Avatar
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    Tina Fortito


    City Center One: Subbasement

    Tina was furious, to say the least. Outwardly, she appeared calm and collected, but hearing and seeing Thomas again brought up centuries of pent up rage. He was the reason she was trapped down here, unable to escape. He called her a guest. Such a laughable notion. A guest is allowed to come and go as they please. She was a prisoner, and had been for over nine thousand years. Never, through her entire existence, had she ever been subjected to anything like this. Her abilities made it virtually impossible. She would say impossible, yet her current predicament showed it was possible. This one mortal had lucked upon finding her one and only weakness and exploited it to his gain.

    "Thomas, my old friend," she said sarcastically. "So good to see you after all these centuries."

    The words tasted like venom on her tongue. She wanted to crush his robotic body, smash the wiring, destroy the mind that was stored inside, and put an end to his miserable existence. She knew doing so, though, would not end her curse. She needed her freedom.

    "Hello Tina," Alpha responded. "I trust we've been able to keep you more than comfortable here?"

    Tina laughed. "Comfortable? You ask if I'm comfortable?" She glared at him, eyes glowing red. "You've kept me prisoner here for over 9,000 years, just so you could lead your people down a path of so called enlightenment, and you ask if I'm comfortable?" She tilted her head to the side, still glaring. "And just how is that enlightenment going for you anyway?" She gave a wry grin, as if she already knew the answer to her question.

    "My apologies for keeping you here for so long. I know I promised to release you once I was assured that my people were uploaded successfully and safely. I just saw a lot of unaccounted for variables. I needed to make sure that things were safe. At first they seemed to be, but now, I'm not so sure."

    Tina laughed again. "So your little eternal paradise ain't exactly heaven on earth, is it?"

    "Something was lost when we transferred our minds. Something that made us human."

    "Well, of course, you idiot! Mortals were never meant to live immortal lives in machines!" she spat out angrily. "I told you that when you first captured me, but did you listen? No! Now you and your people and spiraling toward destruction. Your enlightenment is as much of a prison sentence as mine is."

    "I want you to help me stop it, and bring the desire to live back to this world."

    "So they can continue being mindless, like your wife, sitting by her mirror day-in, day-out, grooming her perfect synthetic hair."

    "No, so they can have meaning and purpose again. So they will strive for more. Strive to be better."

    Tina laughed again. "You crushed that the minute you moved their minds from their mortal bodies into the machines. You don't need to eat, drink, sleep, or procreate. You have no desires for those things. You have no passion to have more than what you need for survival, and all you need for survival now is just maintaining those bodies of plastic and silicon. What you seek is no longer possible, as I warned you when you were still human."

    "You helped me find the solution to eternal life...."

    "...Against my will..."

    "...and you will help me to give my people desire and hope in their new lives."

    "Again, against my will, and this time, it's even beyond what I could possibly manipulate into existence. It's a fool's errand, as I told you before, and the only outcome would be your extinction. Now release me so I don't get trapped here on a dead planet."

    Alpha shook his head. "You're lying. There's always a way, and you will help me, or you're never going to be free."

    Tina stared at him again, eyes glowing red. "It appears that I have no choice." Then silently she thought to herself. 'But I will find a way to free myself of these chains, once and for all.'
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