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    astone2292
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Rocky Prompts, Tennessee - 5. PT Prompt #11: Running in the Desert

PT Prompt #11 - Creative
First line: "Jump! They're coming!"

A continuation from my 2021 Anthology submission, Caught in a Desert. I recommend reading it first, as the plot will make little sense.

https://gayauthors.org/story/astone2292/caught-in-a-desert/

“Jump! They’re coming!”

The wizard’s command boomed through the server, alarming me. He’s never sounded angry before. There was no time to analyze or question as a black portal appeared before my eyes. Obeying, I leaped.

With my heart racing, I looked behind to see the gateway close. Everything was gray and unlit, but I could make out the Gay Authors site. Something was wrong though. The widget bubbles and menus were faded; absent of familiarity. “Wizard—”

“Quiet.”

Was he displeased? Did I do something to upset him? I shook my head, certain there was trouble. Pulling the trusty keyboard to the hip, I whipped up a diagnostic program to view the site’s performance.

Offline?

The site had never done this! Frantically searching through every form and file I had access to, I found none of them were available. Peering up, I tried to make sense of the situation. My instincts told me there was still trouble afoot.

When all of the windows minimized without permission, I stumbled backwards.

The wizard sighed, “Looks like they’re gone, but I’m keeping you here to be on the safe side.”

“Gone?” I asked. “Someone was here? That’s… that’s impossible!”

“It wasn’t a someone, but a team of somethings. A squadron of Googlebots managed to sneak in and performed an evaluation.”

Googlebots? The term sounded preposterous. “What are they, sir?”

“They’re programs that scour the Internet in search of anything. For the site’s sake, they evaluate whether or not the material found on GA is worthy of winding up on search result pages.”

“That doesn’t sound bad.”

“They’re not,” he replied, “but when I have a human beta tester living in my servers… things can get dangerous.”

I scowled. I belonged here. This was my home now! “Why would they hurt me? Can’t I be explained in the coding?”

“No, you’re an anomaly. As far as I know, you’re the only living entity within the Internet. I couldn’t risk them finding you.”

A strange sense of pride warmed inside me. The wizard was willing to save me? I learned of the mysterious man’s rules over time, but none of them seemed to apply.

“Paraphrasing a bit, but rule forty-eight.”

Taking a moment, I deciphered the bylaw. If his lieutenant says something of importance, the wizard will believe him as the officer is entrusted. Does… does that make me the lieutenant? No, that doesn’t make sense!

“Not really, but you’re my subject. I value your existence and loyalty, so I transported you off the site.”

Scanning the environment, one question lingered. “Where am I?”

“You’re in my hard drive.”

I gasped. Th-the wizard’s computer?

“For safety reasons, I deactivated all permissions and capabilities on your end. You’re safe here. I’m monitoring the Googlebots’ activity and when they leave, I’ll put you back in.” He grumbled, “They’ve already been here this month. Why the hell are they here?”

Not wanting to irritate him, I stood still. This was a new area, but there was no desire to tinker. Realization struck, causing me to bite my lip. I was inside the wizard’s computer! The technology that sucked me through the Chromebook all those years ago. The code’s source.

Trembling, I fell and gripped my lengthy hair. No… no, no! I am the beta tester! I… I can’t!

Escape. A forgotten word. A forgotten plot. To be so close to the existence code.

Fear of losing everything, I flung the keyboard and watched it clatter on the ground. Temptation was shredded. I couldn’t risk this new life. So much work had been done. Tests, edits, code construction.

No. I belong here!

A white portal opened before my eyes. I could see it; the test server.

“That's why I trust you, Jake,” said the wizard.

Before anyone else makes the joke... "Googlebots, roll out!"

Thanks goes to @Valkyrie for not only posting the prompt, but for initially editing Caught in a Desert. I never intended to continue the story, but the prompt sparked this concept.

Copyright © 2021 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

7 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

Sounds like Val's got some scenes to write ;)

@ValkyrieLet's not leave out the following!!!

“What do you remember about last night?”

I furrowed my brow. “I read the latest Ask An Author, edited an anthology story, then headed to Calgary to check on my penguin assassins and escort one of them to Valhalla. I was on the fence as to its worthiness, since it died eating an obviously-poisoned pizza, but Thor reminded me about the time it saved me from the putrid Zombie by dousing it with Pepsi.”

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As much as I am enjoying these stories, I find the banter between the author and the readers just as funny. Keep up the good work people x

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56 minutes ago, mansexlover said:

As much as I am enjoying these stories, I find the banter between the author and the readers just as funny. Keep up the good work people x

Well thank ya kindly! I always appreciate a nice and chuckle-worthy conversation. :)

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Thank you for the A/N to read the story before the prompt story. That said, I’m deeply concerned about Jake’s home life. I mean, buncha griping on social media? Obviously he’s single, bum bumping has been ruled out as well. He doesn’t seem to miss anyone. Doesn’t anyone miss him? Sad. 😜

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2 hours ago, Dan South said:

Thank you for the A/N to read the story before the prompt story. That said, I’m deeply concerned about Jake’s home life. I mean, buncha griping on social media? Obviously he’s single, bum bumping has been ruled out as well. He doesn’t seem to miss anyone. Doesn’t anyone miss him? Sad. 😜

Now we know what happens to all those people who disappear from existence. 🙃

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