After sending the message to Terra, the four of us waited in the living room for a few minutes for her to arrive. During that time, the three goddesses began talking about a few of their experiences they had encountered with their mortal incarnations. I was not really surprised to see that each one was still using that system, and was rather pleased that the points spent on it were not going to waste.
A small sigh brought my attention to the hallway, where Terra was walking into the room. “So, what do you guys need my help for?” She asked, her tone slightly irritated. I was beginning to think that we might have pulled her out of an important conversation with one of the others.
Of course, my worries vanished when I explained myself. “Rivy said you told her it was possible to bring someone from my previous world back, and make them into a companion, right?”
Almost instantly, her annoyed expression vanished into one of delight, and she nodded her head. “You want to bring someone you used to know in as the demon goddess?” She asked with a wide smile, confusing me somewhat with the sudden change in expression.
“That’s right. Though, first… is it possible to talk to them before we do the whole companion ceremony? That way I can give them a bit of a warning, and make sure that they are fine with getting the job?” This was honestly something I worried about, because the person I had in mind might be too attached to her family and friends to accept the job without them… and there was no way that I could afford just constantly bringing in more people. Not to mention the headache that it would cause.
Terra nodded her head again. “That’s right. This is something that you can only really do when you are using an actual person, and not creating the personality from scratch. All you have to do is buy the personality first, and you will have the option to go talk to them. Just keep in mind, if they reject the offer, and you end up selling her back to let her rest in peace, you’ll only get half the points back.”
That was fine with me. If they really didn’t want the job, just losing out on ten points wouldn’t be that much of a loss. “Alright, thanks. Then, since you have the archives, could you get me the profile to use for Ashley Newman?” This was the real reason that we needed Terra here, aside from confirming that I could talk to her before giving her the job. The rest of us don’t have the records of anyone from the past worlds.
Terra closed her eyes, seeming to focus. “That shouldn’t be too hard…” She muttered, holding her hands out in front of her, palms facing upwards. Above her hands, a giant book took shape, bound in leather with a golden lock holding it shut.
Once the book was fully formed, Terra’s eyes opened, and she looked at me with a smile. “I see why you picked her. She should do just fine.” She said confidently as she set down what was quite possibly the biggest book I had ever seen on the table.
I couldn’t help but remember how the personality profiles for Accalia and Keliope had only been a few carefully written pages, yet this book had to number in the thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of large pages. “Is it… really that much?” I asked as I looked at the book in surprise.
“That’s right. Every detail of her life is written down in there, from her birth to death. I don’t have access to someone’s private thoughts, but if it was even somewhat expressed, it is written there. That is everything you need to perfectly recreate her soul at the moment of her death.” Terra answered with a nod, smiling and standing back.
I nodded my head slightly as I stood up, walking over to the book. I was just about to open the system and buy Ashley’s soul when Terra suddenly spoke up from in front of me. “Mind looking this way for a moment?” I blinked in surprise, looking at her.
Instead of doing anything that I might have been expecting… she simply smiled, and then turned to run off. “I’ll be back in a little bit!” She called back, her tail swaying behind her. I could hear Aurivy and Keliope giggling to themselves, while Irena and I just watched her leave without a clue what just happened.
Okay… back to business. I went ahead and purchased the personality for Ashley Newman, using the profile that Terra had provided as the template. I really hope that she isn’t messing with me… If this turns out to be some fat dude in his sixties…
Everything had been going great for Ashley, ever since she began college several years ago. While working to get her major in Business Management, she began working at a part-time job as an intern to gain experience. After three months, she was officially hired at the game design company she had been interning with as an assistant supervisor.
Within two years, she had her own team, and within two more her team had begun to work on their own title to be released. In her college, she was still the top of her class, having already completed her Bachelor’s degree, and was working on her Master’s. Although her schedule was difficult to balance, to her it was completely worth it.
Yet, everything changed one day. She wasn’t exactly sure what happened, really. One morning, she got home from work, and was getting ready for bed. Then, after laying down, there was… just nothing. Ashley awoke in an empty void of grey mist, feeling like she might be trapped in a lucid nightmare.
“Hello?” She called out fearfully, not knowing what was going on. The last thing that she expected was that the void would actually answer her.
“Hey, Ash.” The voice was familiar, yet soft enough that she almost didn’t notice it. Turning her head, she saw a man standing not far from her. Wearing a purple shirt and blue jeans, and casting a warm smile towards her.
His body shape was different than what she knew, but his face and his voice reminded her of someone. “Dale? Is that you, or am I dreaming still?” As a test, she reached down to her arm and pinched herself, frowning when she failed to notice any pain.
“Ah, sorry, but you’re not dreaming. You just can’t get hurt here.” Dale answered, seemingly awkward in his tone. “We’ve got a few things to talk about, Ash. Big things.”
It had been a few weeks since the last time that they talked to each other, mostly because her schedule was just too busy to have much time for long distance friends. Yet, she seemed to notice that something had changed about her old friend since the last time they spoke. “Dale? What’s going on?”
“Well… there’s really no easy way to say this.” He lowered his head in thought, before giving a mild shrug. “I sort of caused the end of the world by accident.” If her jaw was physically capable of hitting the floor, it would have by now. “Yeah, apparently ‘God’ ran out in front of my truck, and got the pancake treatment.”
“Dale, that’s not funny.”
“I really wish I was joking.” He responded, though part of her felt like he didn’t mean that. He seemed… happy now. Whenever she had talked to him before, he had always been fairly depressed. Unlike Ashley, his life had never really gone anywhere.
“Okay, so why are we here? Is this heaven, hell, limbo?” Ashley asked as she looked around at the grey mist. If this was a dream, there was no harm in humoring it. If not, she needed to get any information she could.
“Well… apparently, he who kills God, becomes God, so to speak.” Dale said with a light shrug. “After the accident, I had to create my own world, and a bunch of stuff has happened since then. Right now, I’m in the process of making a second world, but I want to place someone I trust in charge of it.”
According to his words, Ashley could clearly understand that he had been doing whatever he had been doing for quite a while. “So… why haven’t you come looking for me before?” She asked.
“I couldn’t, really.” He said while scratching the back of his head awkwardly. “Capitalism is a big thing, even with stuff like this. I can’t afford to just bring people back all the time. Honestly, I wouldn’t have even had the chance to see you again, but…”
“You want me to run a world?” Ashley raised a hand to stop him, reiterating what he had said before. “You want me to become some kind of goddess?” The idea was not entirely unappealing.
“Right. Though… not a human goddess.” At this point, Dale seemed to avert his eyes slightly, but he could apparently feel her glaring at him to continue. “I already have humans as a race in my first world, and intend for the two worlds to eventually meet. Can you imagine the field day scientists would have if they found a completely identical species on another world?”
Well, he did have a point. “Okay, so what kind of goddess do you want me to be?”
“A demon.” He answered immediately, seemingly sure of what he wanted to say from the beginning. “Not a magic ‘sell your soul’ demon, though. I’ve got enough magic with the first world. This is going to be a world of technology, like ours was. I don’t want to introduce the magic until much later.”
Ashley nodded her head, sinking into thought. The idea of being a goddess wasn’t really that bad, even if she was a demon goddess. As for managing her own world? She had always been interested in management. And, if this was really all just some elaborate dream, would it really matter if she chose to accept?
“Before you decide, I need you to understand something.” Dale suddenly spoke up, breaking Ashley out of her thoughts. “I can’t bring back loved ones on a whim. Everyone in the old world is already gone. I don’t want you to misunderstand and think that I’d be able to bring back more people for you.” Although the words he said seemed harsh, she could see the regret in his face, as if he himself wished his words weren’t true.
This made her think of it in a different way. If it really was all real, would she want that? Would she want to be brought back without her family, her friends? If Dale’s words were to be believed, she had already been dead for some time. However… if she refused, all that awaited her was death once again. She subconsciously shivered as she thought about that. At least I went in my sleep. That was the only thought that could comfort her at that moment.
“I’ll do it.” She said, looking up to face him. She knew that he was in no way threatening her. There might be a hidden ultimatum in this offer, but ultimately, it really was just an offer at a second life. It was her decision whether or not to take it. “There anything else I should know?”
“Well…” Dale gave another sigh as he seemed to consider her words. “You’re going to have to be trained after becoming a goddess. There are a lot of things that they can do that you won’t be used to, and it might overwhelm you at first.”
“I also need you to understand that I have something in mind for this second world, so I’ll need you to do your best to follow along with it. That’ll mean minimal interference, unless there is an end of the world calamity or something.” Ashley knit her brows together as he said that, but then relaxed slightly at his next words. “But, that’s not to say you won’t have anything to do.”
“I have a system set up where you will be able to live out a full life as a mortal whenever you want, whether it is in my first world or the one you’ll be managing. You’ll also be able to interact with me and the rest of the pantheon, so there is plenty to do besides just watching your world grow.”
His words did seem to relieve some of her tension, causing her to nod her head once again. “Okay, I think I can agree to that. Now, what comes next?”
When he heard that question, Dale smiled. “Now, I make you into a goddess.”