I was busy trying to think of a name for the baby I had suddenly fathered when Anna burst into the room in tears. She pounced, knocking both Theresa and me out of the bed. We all groaned as we untangled ourselves on the floor.
Anna whined, “How dare you wake up while I was in the bathroom! I missed you so much while you were gone!”
I sighed, “I missed you too kiddo.”
“By the way. I am stealing your daughter to be my new sister!”, she announced, pointing to Khara who was still holding the baby.
Khara giggled, “No objection here.”
We all laughed.
I struggled to climb back into the bed. Something felt different. Aya explained, “You are going to have to get used to that body. You used to be tied to your body in the hospital which fed you sensations of being in this world. Now you are actually here. This means that is your actual body. You will experience things just like the other cast members do.”
I felt my legs as I tried to take all of this in. The system settings seemed to all be the same for the most part. I would have to do more research later.
I turned my attention to my son. Khara handed him to me. I looked down at a cute baby's face. He had slightly pointy ears and his mother's piercing blue eyes. He had my hair. It was almost white it was so blonde. My hair had been like that as a child, but it had darkened as I grew older.
He looked up at me, making baby eyes. Then he suddenly scrunched them up and said, “What? What are you looking at? Is it a booger?”
I laughed, “This is going to take some getting used to.”
“I don’t understand”, the baby complained.
“How do you speak so well? You’re a baby”, I complained to the baby.
Aya answered for him, “While I am currently deciphering the true baby languages of gibberish and pixie speak, there are still some gaps in my current knowledge. I have only deciphered 40% of it and therefore was forced to make your unnamed baby speak English as a default language.”
I sighed. A baby with a language pack. I was tempted to have her install more languages on the baby, but then I wouldn’t be able to understand him anymore. Of course, I didn’t speak gibberish or pixie, so English turned out to be a good compromise.
I asked Aya, “So, how exactly did you make him? I mean how did we make him? I mean I know ‘how’ we made him. What I mean to say is: Do we have DNA in this world?”
Aya explained it to us, “My original plan was to mix character traits of two cast members when they coupled. This would produce a new algorithm that I had hoped would evolve into a more complex program. You however are already far more complex than any program in the game. When I uploaded you I chose to reformat the baby that Theresa was already processing. I used your deciphered biological code and mixed it with the core of the code that makes up Theresa, resulting in your son here. There was even a randomizer built in to decide whether or not you have a boy or a girl. I have taken the liberty of adding variables as well so that the next time you mate the offspring produced should be totally different.”
“The next time?”, I stammered, looking at Theresa nervously.
She was blushing a deep red at this point. Aya pointed out, “I presume you will want to do so again as soon as possible. If you do it efficiently enough, you can produce 52 new offspring with her every year with the 1 week gestation period.”
52 babies a year? I was boggled. My house, although roomy, did not have 52 rooms. How was that even possible.
I asked, “What is this 1 week gestation period?”
“To streamline the process, I have shortened the pregnancy period. This means your mate can provide you, children, every week. The process is completely painless to her as well. We have not had any babies from cast members in quite some time. I was hoping that since we got the side quests under control that you might assist me in this task next.”, Aya plodded on, not reading the room at all.
I gasped, “That isn’t going to happen. I do love Theresa, but a normal family has two or maybe three kids, not 52 a year. Let's compromise and I’ll try to help you figure out why your other cast members aren’t dating.”
“I’m still waiting for a name Daddy. And I have to poo. Please take me to the bathroom.”, The voice in my arms commanded.
I looked down, “You are potty trained? Theresa? This kid is potty trained? And did you have a suggestion for the name?”
Theresa, who was leaning over my shoulder cooing at our baby said, “Yes, he uses the toilet. Be warned though, he thinks it's a mini-game and will try to squirt you. Also, I like the name Jack.”
“Jack huh?”, I said, “I like that. His name will be Jack. Also, Khara used to play that squirting game when she was a baby whenever we changed her diaper.”
“Ewww daddy, I did not!”, the kid who was sitting in the corner shouted, outraged.
I took baby Jack to my personal restroom and discovered a mini throne had been installed next to my personal one. Jack settled onto it proudly and did his business.
He called out, “Wiper” when he finished. I laughed out loud before I realized he was referring to me.
When I returned to the room everyone was talking about my impending marriage. I looked at Khara who was looking more than a little uneasy about the situation.
I asked her if I could speak to her privately and we excused ourselves to the living room. I asked her how she felt about Theresa.
“She seems nice enough Daddy.”, The girl replied honestly.
I didn’t really know how to proceed here. Normally the dating process would go on for years and I would awkwardly have to be kicked around by family members to actually take the next step. In this situation, I had people planning the whole thing for me and a very anxious-looking daughter that I worried might be upset by the whole ordeal.
I said, “If this bothers you I can talk to Theresa and hold off on things until you are more comfortable. I know we just got each other back and I don’t want to do anything that would upset you.”
Khara said, “I don’t know how I feel honestly Daddy. I am so happy I got you back. I don’t think I care if you get married. It’s a little weird that she is an NPC though. Do you miss mom? I barely remember her. I wish she was here in the game with you. That would be perfect.”
I was sad that my daughter didn’t really remember her mother. I promised to tell her tons of stories about her mom growing up and what I remembered about our times together when we were babies. This made her happy.
She finally said, “Okay Daddy. I decided. You can get married, but I want to sing at the wedding!”
“Wouldn’t want it any other way sweetheart.”, I said.
Heading back into the room with my daughter we discovered everyone was still hard at work on the quest that was turning out to be my wedding. I laughed and wrote a few new steps at the beginning:
1. Obtain Ring
2. Propose Properly
Theresa giggled and added:
3. Happily accept
Side quests really were the best.
Khara had just logged out for the night informing us that she was late for dinner, and Aya was in the process of bidding us farewell for the evening when Anna stopped her.
She said, “I have one more request for Aya.”
“What is it now kid?”, Aya shot back with a smirk.
Anna placed her hands on her hips and announced, “I want to grow up!”
Aya shrugged and asked, “Sure, how old do you want me to make you? Older than Ken?”
Anna shook her head, “No. I want to grow up normally. As in age, and become a teen, and go through those awkward years like a normal kid.”
“Noted. I will have to research puberty then. What age did you want to stop at?”, Aya stated.
“I’ll let you know when I get there”, Anna chirped.
Anna left for bed and Aya simply vanished.
Sometime later and in the privacy of our own room, Theresa and I were getting ready for bed. She lived with me now. It only made sense since we were now parents.
I casually went to set up a nursery for Jack in another room when Theresa asked where I was going.
I explained, “Well. I sort of figured that you might like to spend some time alone with me tonight.”
Theresa walked up to me and opened my system menu. Apparently, this was something that spouses had access to. She smirked and pointed at the pregnancy slider, which was currently locked at 100%.
I groaned. Damnit Aya!