Just like the first time I have ever come to my senses, I started perceiving things with my actual body and nothing felt more me than this feeling I have right now.
My Pain felt different, it felt real, both my head and my body were aching and stinging, I can barely maintain my consciousness, but I still perceive, the rush I currently feel from getting to feel my body, to feel a sense of me, to realize I’ve done it keeps my mind active. As I lift my hand, I realize how fragile it feels, in the complete darkness I touch what feels solid up in front of me realizing I was laying on my back. As soon as I touch the cold hard surface, with a hissing sound, whatever was in front of me moves away and light floods in.
Perceiving true vision for the very first time when I open my eyes, the rush of light blinds me initially that I try to blink through, but having no water left in them they feel heavy and tired. I take a few seconds to slowly open and get my eyes used to the light. I see that the ceiling is high but feel glad to have a real solid ceiling that I can see, unlike the endless white I felt so far. I slowly press my hands down beside me and try to get up but as soon as I put any strength in them, they fight back by shooting pain through all the muscles involved. I take it slow realizing my physical condition is not what I want it to be and definitely how I felt it like in all this while and slowly sit up.
Over the next few minutes, I slowly take in everything around me. I look down to notice I am in a cylindrical bed of sorts with its top open. I have many small thread-like things attached to my body. I freak out at all the tubes and yank one out from my hand near the elbow, but as soon as I do, a stinging pain rings out from where I yanked it out and a red liquid spurts out from where the tube came out from. I reflexively wrap my fingers where the liquid was oozing from and try to hold it. As the pain subsided and the liquid slowed dripping in a few moments I closed my arm and just sat there taking in what just happened. Worried not to repeat my mistake I slowly check each tube and find only some other loosely hanging cords of the sort. Fortunately, I notice to have only one fat thread attached to my arm and the rest were thin and came away with a simple tug. After checking myself over and make sure I don’t have any more threads coming out of me I finally focus on my surroundings.
I find two more cylindrical tube kind of things beside mine and these were closed and in front of me on the wall was a huge screen of sorts like the one I had to read stuff on, the only difference is that the screen was split into multiple screens that each had a different picture or looked like a place. I find one of them had three tubes with one opened as if looking at the room I was in, as I focus on it and raise my hand the picture on the screen changes too. I realize it could show me where I was and where anyone could be so that I find others and…
That’s when it hits me, the conversations the two voices had before I went in. Not sure what if I want to find anyone else yet, I at least didn’t feel like going and finding them. When I look over all the screens and don’t find them anywhere I reflexively call out, “Buddy?” to ask where they were, only to realize I was not in the program anymore, but then almost jump up as I hear someone responding.
“Yes, Test specimen – 07?”
I look around the room weirded out at not understanding what was happening and who responded, when it happens again,
“Is there something you need Test specimen – 07?”
“Who are you?” I shout out a bit panicked.
“I am who you called me to be, buddy,” I hear the voice.
“You are the big white bunny?” I ask.
“Do you want me to be?” the voice responds.
“No, please, I don’t ever want to see that again,” I plead.
“I’ll certainly make a note of that, will that be all?” the voice responds.
“Do you know who I am? I mean why I am here and anything is happening? I mean tell me only if you can and not if you have to ask me to play with you or anything to give me an answer! And definitely please don’t give me any punishments, who even has that kind of punishments to teach kindergartners, were they raising a bunch of monsters? Well, they did call me just that before sending me in, but am I? Who am I? Why don’t you say something?"
“Why am I feeling so weak? And what in the world was that tube and why did it pain so much? What is this red liquid that came out of me back then and why did it?
“I’m swearing to you if you are that big white bunny and are lying to me I will…”
“Please go on”
Realizing that I just ranted away so many questions, even talking over, whoever was talking and not even letting them respond I look down and slowly say, “I’m sorry, I just…”
“Feeling a bit overwhelmed after having such a long deep dive is fairly common, Test specimen – 07, though you were supposed to be in there for much longer, I don't know how you managed to eject out of it. We did not plan for this hence we have no one to run the diagnosis, I can help by guiding you through if you need …” I cut into the voice before it could even finish,
“What do you mean I was supposed to be in there for longer, how much longer was I supposed to be in there? And stop calling me test specimen – 07, it sounds weird,” I shout.
“Acknowledged, then what would you like me to address you as?” the voice asks
“I don’t know, but not that,” I mumble realizing I don’t have a name.
“Well, then how would just 7 sound like? It is a very weirdly intriguing number after all,” the voice responds.
“Ok” was all I could muster.
“Now that that’s out of the way 7, what I meant by you were supposed to be in there was that you were meant to be in the deep dive program till you reach 15 years of age,” the voice continues.
“That’s…” I stop trying to find a way to get my anger out in words and failing at it. I still knew barely anything about things.
“Do you want me to answer your questions from before 7?” the voice chimes in.
“Well I don’t remember all that I asked, but I’m sure they must be some useful questions for me, can you answer without needing anything from me?” I ask.
“Can you please expand on what did you mean by that 7?” the voice asks.
“I mean like the buddy who was a bunny in there,” I say pointing to the cabin I was sitting in, “Would you need me to play with you or will a get a punishment for anything?”
“I’m not sure what you mean by punishment 7, but I will answer a question that you have to the best of my ability, that’s all?”
“Really? That’s all?” I sit up with excitement.
“Then would I be able to somehow punch buddy in the face?” I add in.
“I’m not sure what I’ve done to warrant such violence from a young lady like yourself but with the right tools, knowledge, and skills I’m sure that can be arranged for,” it responds with.
“What? NOO! No, I don’t want to punch you, you sound like a nice….” Realizing this voice sounded a lot nicer and nowhere as irritating as the buddy from the program, I finish, “voice? I want to punch that prick of a buddy that has been all like, Hey, do you want to be my friend and all that,” I try mimicking his voice and snicker.
“Well, I appreciate that it's not me and thank you for the compliment but I think the one you are talking about should be the AI program that was handling the kindergartner program you have been experiencing the deep dive with?”
“Has two big ears, white skin and that eyesore of blue overalls?” I say making a face.
“Well that seems to be the default avatar of that program, so yes,” the voice says.
“Please teach me how to punch it,” I say delighted.
“We can simply revamp the entire design or even completely delete the avatar if that’s what you want 7?” the voice informs me.
“No! delete sounds bad, he was not that bad either, I mean I just want to irritate him as much as he did,” I respond.
“Then we have a lot of things that you need to learn, after you want answers to the questions you have asked I’m sure?” the voice responds
“First, I feel weak, like why do I feel weak, I want to close my eyes a bit, but I don’t want to sleep in here, can you help me out?” I ask.
“You have been in the deep dive for almost 32 months now, so your muscles might feel weak due to being not used. Regular workout, food and rest should help you back to normal in an estimated 32 days. Also, I’m sorry but I cannot manifest physically to move you myself, but there are a few bedroom quarters right beside this room that I can direct you to if you’d like, where you can lay down.
“That sounds super great,” I say and then try to lift my body out of the cabin, as I lift myself over the sidewalls and suddenly toss myself out…
“I wouldn’t recommend that…” I hear the voice saying before my body hit the floor hard as my legs give out from under me and I’m flat out face down on the floor.