Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DarkwolfX37
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The Omniphone, a new package of various technologies that revolutionized the computer industry has reached its third production run. Featuring a foldable design, a Micromagnetic Piston Display to create a holographic, touch-sensitive display system, a separate mini-computer "Base Unit," and the technology to access and propagate the brand-new "Expansion Network" (a new experimental way to transfer data at extreme speeds) run by newly launched satellites, these are more than just cellphones or computers, they are the new cutting edge of technological progress.

The date is December 31st, 2020 C.E. The final Omniphone running the Gold OS has been obtained. The activation of this Omniphone starts into motion a series of events that will shake many worlds to their core. This is the tale of those worlds...

At 11:03 PM IDLW, before the date has turned over Anywhere On Earth, Aleph Corp. records stated that all one hundred Omniphones with the test OS, known as "Gold," had been activated. These records also stated that each one had simultaneously received a call.

Those with these phones answered them to hear static, lasting just long enough for the listener to notice that it was pulsing in time with their own heartbeat. Then it simply ended, the phone resetting due to the overclocking necessary to run the Gold OS, something that the instructions on the phone's boot-up screen warned could happen occasionally. The owners of these phones would find themselves overwhelmingly tired, their last act in their own world being going to sleep.

The clock has begun ticking...
Hidden 3 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by chrysocoma
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C:\Expanse\Data\User_Data\Suzuki_Takada...

With a two small claps, the lights quickly went out. Darkness collapsed into the bedroom, and Suzuki closed her eyes. She took several deep breaths as she allowed her body to relax into the bedding. The room was mostly quiet. The ceiling fan tinkered its blades around, and small coos came from her parents' bedroom. Part of Suzie wished she still shared a bedroom with her parents, but there was something ominous about her ability to sleep by herself in her own private bedroom. It gave her not just a feeling of maturity that she secretly yearned for, but it also gave her time to explore the Digital World without any parental worry.

Recently, Suzie was even more excited about her Digital adventures. For Saint Nicholas Day and An early New Year’s gift, her parents had surprised her with the new Omniphone, and as much as her little heart was excited about celebrating her first Nativity at the big Cathedral, Nicolai-do, she felt that everything she wanted for Nativity was safely tucked away in the confines of her Digivice. And, tomorrow would be a new day and new year for adventures.

Suzie’s hands clasped together by one last time, but this time, it was quiet and as meditativly Buddhist as possible — like most of her classmates did at school — and she said the Trisagion and Lord’s Prayer in a hushed whisper. After unclasping her hands, she drifted into another sound night’s sleep.

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by LegendBegins
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The cold glow of Aki's Omniphone cast an azure glare against the bridge of her nose. Her uncle Perry worked for one of Aleph Corp.'s subsidiaries and managed to score her one of their special models—knowing him, he must have sweet-talked some of the engineers in his office to get it. However he pulled it off, she loved spinning the holographic globe with her finger and bringing up the digital recreation of any location on Earth. It was one of the killer features of Aleph Corp's flagship model, built on top of the old Google Earth project. Aki spun the globe around and holographically travelled to the first country her finger landed on, bringing a digital representation of Baghdad to life in her bedroom. Absolutely amazing.

Aki continued to fiddle with the phone until she had taken the opportunity to mess with every new application. To finish off the night, she brought up the first YouTube videos recorded in the new YT-H holographic format. Despite starting the journey with the thrilling adventures of Mr. Beast and his gang, autoplay eventually took over, leaving Aki to fall asleep in the middle of a samurai fight scene with the shadows of swords dancing across her blinds.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by WXer
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It was finally here. After weeks of hyping it up to his measly subscriber base, the promised Omniphone had arrived and his review recording was well underway. While his microphone and camera setup wasn't the best, his overtly optimistic expectations assured him that this video will be a smash hit and pay dividends. Who knows, maybe he'll even get sponsored by those mobile gacha games that other influencers plaster all over their ad breaks. One thing's for sure though: this was going to change everything.

However, just as Luso was about to end the review, a call from an unknown number had flashed on his phone screen. Not wanting to edit out more raw footage than he needed to, he was quick to pick up the call only to be met with nothing on the other end... Followed by a litany of irregular heartbeats and internal ringing. Reasoning this to merely be a panic attack, the shaken teen tried to continue working away to distract himself. As his draws of breath became shorter, he figured it was exhaustion on top of the exciting day he just had.

"Yeah, that's it." he reassured himself.

Quickly saving his work, Luso stepped away from his computer desk and crashed into his nearby bed face first. He was gonna sleep it off and hope that everything would be back to normal when he wakes up.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Spiritblitz
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After months of saving and lots of late nights to ensure she had her catch of the new and highly anticipated, Omniphone, Octavia was ready to go home. She has worked tirelessly; covering shifts and getting yelled at for getting copious amounts of overtime. Nonetheless, she is tired and done with the working world for the weekend. A long and silent drive later, she came home to a surprise that she was waiting for.

Quickly, she looks around and grabs the box that is laying outside of the building she is living at, she quickly runs upstairs, making sure that no one sees her with this prize of an item. Locking the door and scarfing down the sandwiches she bought from the shop next door, she opened up the box, and reveled in it's glory.

It's finally hers, in all it's glory she was able to nab it....from her neighbor. Despite all of her efforts, she was unable to get the phone herself, but was able to hear the screams of delight that was her neighbor getting one of the phones from the internet. Probably some bid that he paid more than what the actual phone is worth. After a couple of hours messing with it in awe, and a weird phone call that she quickly forgot about after it reset, she was ready to hit the sack. Laying down, cradling the phone she felt she deserved, she fell into an happy slumber.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by DarkwolfX37
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Of the one hundred people who had received the strange call, five of them awoke to find themselves in the middle of a field, laying on the ground a short ways away from what appeared to be a cellphone tower. The tower seemed to scrape the sky as it loomed over them, the bars it was made of shining in the light of dawn. Aki Rosewall, Luso Hansen, Anemone May, Octavia Wilmens, and the young Suzuki Takada, despite coming from different parts of the world found themselves together as they rose from slumber.

Upon waking, each of them noticed that they now bore a device strapped to their non-dominant hand's wrist. It shone in their favorite color, a wide brace going underneath it around their forearm, the brace being about two inches from front to back and about half an inch thick. On top of this brace was a rectangular machine that looked quite similar to their Omniphone, though the screen was flat and there were new additions to its hardware. These additions came in the form of what appeared to be a card scanner on the side facing away from the wearer's body and five small slots at the top of the screen, near the wearer's wrist, which had coverings which slid over them to protect them. The screen displayed the words "Expanse Caller" in text the color of the device with a small circle cycling below and a slowly filling bar at the very bottom of it.

On the underside of the brace on their wrist was a symbol etched into the machine's brace. After each had been awake for a few moments, the screen on their arms began to change, the bar filling and new information replacing the text. This would take the form of a new, larger bar and two smaller ones below it as well as the word "Initizalizing" above them. Strangely, Aki and Suzuki's devices only had one smaller bar instead of the two the other three had.

In front of each person's eyes came a small hologram, tinted their favorite color with text of a darker shade, displaying the word "Welcome" and showing a slowly filling bar that matched the largest of the device on their wrist. This hologram took up roughly a fourth of their vision; it was always visible but not so obtrusive as to block anything they could see.

Each of them saw something different next to the smaller bars. Aki would see a small, three-dimensional diamond next to hers. Luso's had a small egg with a gear shape on its surface next to the higher of his and a red V above a black three pointed line next to the lower. Anemone's had a green egg next to one and a blue egg next to the other, while Octavia had a red egg and a light green egg next to hers. Finally, Suzuki had a simple white egg next to the bar on her screen and hologram.

While the lower two bars continued filling slowly, the uppermost largest bar filled rather quickly, taking only about fifteen seconds. Upon completion it would disappear only to be replaced with the words "Babel Program Initialized". Regardless of which language they spoke, all five would now hear all languages as their own, allowing for communication with anyone on earth.

Those who looked towards the tower would see five small boxes, each with the same combinations of symbols as were on the still-loading bars. By the person with the same combination's touch they would open, revealing their contents. Aki's box contained fifteen of what appeared to be Megaman battlechips, including Holy Panel, Spreader, Gun Del Sol, Tornado, and Air Hockey. There was also ten blank battlechips and the purple chip she had kept in her room. Luso's box held five of these blank battlechips and five cards. The cards had a completely white front, and a look at the back showed it to be completely black with a red crosshair that had the word "Capture" inside of it. Anemone's had ten of these blank cards, as did Octavia's box, and Suzuki's box contained fifteen of the cards.

By now, the light of the sun was brighter as it was now fully visible in the sky; morning had come.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by LegendBegins
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Aki lifted her hand above her face, shielding her eyes from the rays of the beating sun. It was almost blisteringly— wait, the sun?? What was she doing outside?!?
Eagh!!
Aki shot up—she had clearly been drugged and/or kidnapped and brought to some remote grassland. Panicked, she felt her pockets, but the unfamiliar cherry-colored device on her wrist caught against her pants and distracted her from her anxiety. Was this some kind of tracker? A bomb? Aki looked around and for the first time noticed her fellow captives. They all seemed to have the same wrist device she wore, but in their own brand of colors. That explained everything—they must be some kind of human livestock, raised only to be slaughtered later. What a nightmare!

Aki's hysteria was interrupted by something shifting in her vision. She tried to rub away the now-noticeable smudge in her eyes, only to quickly realize that the blurriness didn't have anything to do with her eyesight. The small viridian diamond in the corner of her vision drew her attention, but she was rapidly distracted by the weird loading-like bar and spinning wheel. Finally, she drifted toward the gleaming text occupying the center of her eyes.
Wel...come...
Welcome? Welcome to what? Why did she have text in her vision, what is this place, and what on Earth are all these people doing here? Nothing about this situation made any bit of sense... Wait. Dreaming. That's right, she must be dreaming. Aki sighed, sitting back down. Now she just hoped she'd wake up.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by chrysocoma
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C:\Expanse\Data\User_Data\Suzuki_Takada...

A small twitch on her nose caused Suzi to awaken as if dust had provoked a potential sneeze. Her small body lay in a bed of ground flooring, and for a moment, her mind immediately grasped to the thought, she had fallen asleep outside in the countryside, again... except, this thought did not seem correct. She no longer lived in the country. Her family had moved some time ago.

Suzi took several calming breaths. Her eyes scanned the world around her, first with the sky, then the ground, touched by her hands. She slowly rolled her body over, pushing it upwards, and in the process, she noticed a light yellowish colored device wrapped around her left wrist. It was right next to her small white Russian prayer beads, "Huh?" Her small voice opened for the first time as her eyes soaked in the nature of what she was discovering.

Her face slowly turned towards the other bodies, gently strewn around the same area. Her brows knitted together for a brief moment while she continued studying everything, and a small shiver went through her wrists as she pushed her body upwards and onto her feet, "Where are we?" She whispered aloud, silently hoping that someone else would hear her... like the girl the long dark haired girl, who was already awake and sitting upwards. Suzi was going to say something more to her when she noticed a small hologram over her vision. She swallowed, and took a step backward, almost stumbling over the air.

Welcome? Her crooked front teeth bit down on her fatted bottom lip, as the words changed in front of her eyes. The transition was smooth and not obtrusive to her vision, which seemed comforting and concerning all the same. Her hand waved in front of her face, as to feel for anything that could have been put on her head — nothing. It was as if someone had put a chip in her brain, Ah! Quickly and almost erratically, Suzi began feeling her head for any bald spots, but upon finding none, her hands loosened and began falling to her waist, again, except her eyes caught glimpse of her left wrist, wearing the device. She paused her juvenile motions and stared at the device, allowing herself to get lost in admiring and contemplating it.

A small white egg projected on the hologram screen. Babel... Program... Initia... lized... her mouth moved inaudibly to the three new words displaying themselves, and then the younger girl repeated them with a naively excited voice. Fear was still at the base of her thoughts; yet her childish endeavors kept her curious.

"Where are we?" Her small voice repeated, again, hoping someone would have an explanation. Anyone, if not the dark haired girl, maybe another one of the persons. Many of them appeared older than her, at least height wise. They also looked to be from different countries. Her attention shifted upwards, and she noticed a tower and five small boxes. This didn't feel like earth. Were they on some alien planet? Or maybe, she thought as she concentrated on the hologram of the egg, we're in some sort of video game.

🥚 ■■■■■■■■■■■□□□

Hidden 2 mos ago Post by WXer
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It was the oddest dream. There he sat, clutching his chest due to a shortness of breath, staring at what could only be described as a stress dream. Luso was not quite sure what to make of the odd contrast of a grassy field towered over by imposing communication infrastructure. Even odder the accessory latched on to his arm and, upon closer inspection, it looked quite familiar. He couldn't remember where exactly he saw it before, and the flashing "Welcome" message only served to taunt him further. It must have been one of the random items he got from Aleph's online catalogue but which one was it. None of them had been this visually intrusive.

The more he thought about it, the worse of a migraine he got. It didn't help that the dreamscape's sun light was certainly brighter to the cloudy weather he was used to. However, this only momentarily blinded him to fact that there were others with him. One of them had even verbalized the same sentiment of confusion Luso had, wondering where they were. This was obviously his subconscious manifesting itself, he rationalized. But why a small blonde girl?

Even in this new world, Luso was hesitant to approach the people around him. It shouldn't matter though as they were just gonna disappear the moment he wakes up, and so he proceeded to ignore the cries for help. Instead he moved towards the only noticeable feature beyond the horizon, the lone cell tower. Discovering the marked box with the symbol matching his own, the odd trinkets he found inside finally jogged his memory.

"I definitely got these for a retro game unboxing a few weeks ago." he said to himself, realizing that this lucid dream was definitely related to Aleph is some way.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Spiritblitz
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Blinking slowly, as she stirred awake from the warmth and the light of the sun, she laid there thinking that her neighbors finally had enough of her and got her kicked out of the apartment. Shame, she was starting to have fun in the small complex. At least she has her new phone!
She reached for her pocket and found her phone was missing, and sighed once more. Her neighbor probably took back his phone when they moved her out. She pick up her arm to shield her eyes when she noticed the device that was wrapped around it.

"Uhh...That doesn't look good."

She sits up with a hefty grunt and inspects it. Initially thinking it was some type of monitor, but after a few moments looking, she realized it was not. Sighing in relief.

"Whew, my bro would kill me if I was under house arrest...what home would I have been staying at though..."

She notices the others when sat up and before she says anything, Welcome appears in front of her eyes. After processing the information that was given to her she shrugged and stood up, dusting herself off. Eyes widening when she looks around and is clearly not at home, she takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out.

"Okay, okay....You may have been playing too many VR games. Just relax and breathe, Tavi."

When she notices that other people are with her, she looks towards them and smiles. Maybe they know what is going on.

"Oi! Uh...I am kinda new around...this place...Do y'all know where we are?"
Hidden 7 days ago Post by chrysocoma
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@LegendBegins and @chrysocoma

“What do you mean? You should know, since you’re part of this dream.”

Suzi’s eyes glazed over at what the older girl was saying, “A… dream?” This thought took a while for the younger minded girl to process, “I… I just woke up here. I didn’t know we were in a dream.” She looked at her feet and bit her bottom lip and contemplated her own conclusion before looking up to Aki, again, “I thought we were in a video game.”

Aki had to double take at the girl’s words. A video game? What would that even mean? What would that look like No, this was obviously a dream. It had to be. But as she looked at the fanciful piece of technology on her wrist, doubts began to claw at her better sense of reasoning. “What… makes you think that?”

“Umm…” Suzi paused, unsure of how to address the question respectfully. Several thoughts flooded her mind, like Aki not having part of her vision scripted with technological advancements, “I guess it was the wrist band.” She held up her arm for show, “And the symbols in the sky…” Her arm lowered, “And… th-the vision in my eyes?” Suzi forced a smile, feeling uneasy about attempting to correct the older girl, “You have those, too, right?”

The child’s words were unexpectedly grating to Aki. It wasn’t as if they didn’t make sense, but… but she couldn’t afford for them to be true. Because if this wasn’t a dream… what else could possibly be going on? She had to admit, between the floating text, the weird looking watch, and the uneasy feeling she got when she looked at the world surrounding them, it did feel like it could be some kind of video game. Aiming to hold onto the more pleasant scenario a moment longer, Aki took a breath and smiled back. “You don’t think it might be a dream about a video game?”

“A dream about a video game?” Suzi repeated slowly, “Does that mean we are having the same dream?”

“Well, it would mean that you’re part of the dream.” Aki’s dreams were usually incoherent and meaningless, and she really didn’t like how human her discussion partner felt.

“I’m… I’m not part of the dream. I have a family… and…” Suzi thought hard on how to explain herself. Even dream people have families. “I just… I just went to sleep last night and woke up here. My family didn’t even celebrate New Year’s because of my baby brother,” she said with a trite of lament in her voice, “I thought we all woke up here.”

“A… family?” Aki tried with all her might to believe that this girl might be anything but real. Maybe some sort of subconscious persona, or even a secret angel or something. Anything but a fellow kidnappee in a weird video game version of reality. If this girl really was a person, she would have to know something that Aki couldn’t possibly know. And Aki would have to have some sort of way to make sure she wasn’t just making up an answer. Okay, perfect—a solid plan without any actual way to pull it off. Great start. “Maybe… maybe you could tell me a little bit about them? And about yourself too?”

Suzi felt at ease as the older girl seemed to take interest in her explanation, “My name is Takada Suzuki. I am eleven years old. I attend KAIS Middle School in Meguro City, Tokyo. My best subjects are social studies, fine arts, and mathematics. I have a father and a mother and a little, baby brother. He was born a year ago. My father is a teacher, and we… we moved to Tokyo when my mother became pregnant with my baby brother.” The child took in a deep breath, realizing that she had still been adjusting to all the recent changes in her life, “My mother used to be a teacher, too, but it was easier this way, and my mother would have more time with my baby brother. I don’t really understand, because we used to live in the country, with big acres of land! Now, and now, it’s just the city and a small apartment. I sleep in my own room, now, though. My father and mother say that we have a nice sized apartment. I believe them. It’s just different, like a new adventure. In fact, we have lights that turn on-and-off with a clap! It’s much more interesting than the country house, even… I still miss the country house, but I love my baby brother more..” Suzi paused, contemplating on what she had just spoken to Aki, and then proceeded to follow her question, “What are you and your family like?”

Tokyo? The girl’s brief description of her life left Aki reeling—the older teen had hardly been outside of Miami, let alone a country as foreign to her as Japan. The only thing keeping her from going off the deep end and considering that this crazy dream might just be real was the thought that she had watched way too much anime the past couple weeks. “M-my family?” She hadn’t expected to be interrogated in her own dream. “Well, I have a mom… and a dad. And…” Aki stumbled over her words, trying to come up with anything more interesting than ‘I have pretty much no future plans right now and live with my parents.’ She settled on “They’re nothing special. I’m taking a gap year before I start college.”

“No plans for the future?” Suzi had never heard of this concept, or if she had, she was unfamiliar with it, “How is that possible?” She asked, almost forgetting where they were and how they had met. The lack of direction in the older girl’s life was troubling. Suzi wished to be respectful, but it was getting harder and harder for her to understand where the older girl was coming from.

“Well… I do plan to go to college at some point.” Aki’s left arm brushed her right, and she could practically feel the child’s eyes burning judgemental holes into her forehead. “I just… you know, don’t really know what I want to do right now. I’m still trying to figure that out.” Of course, Aki’s day-to-day life as an employee for the local skating rink didn’t do her any good on that front; she had wanted to travel the world and see all there was to see, but as she quickly discovered, traveling anywhere took money. Money that she didn’t have. And now this kid was telling her that those plans could be further disrupted by being trapped in some kind of demonic video game for the rest of her life.

It was getting harder not to judge the older girl. Suzi had never heard of such disorganized living. What are her parents like? She wondered if they even cared. Her parents would have been furious with her for not knowing what she wanted to be. In fact, she was already deciding on becoming a school teacher, as well. Although, her mind was not completely made, yet, “D-don’t your parents care?” She asked in a bashful manner.

Aki was taken aback by the child’s question. “Well—well yeah.” She stammered, trying to recover from the inadvertent jab. “If they didn’t care, they would have shipped me off to some college somewhere instead of giving me a year to try to figure out what I want from life. I mean, if we’re stuck in a video game, then I guess it doesn’t really matter all that much what I decide to do.” Aki choked out an awkward laugh at the lackluster attempt to change the subject. She didn’t get what was so hard to understand about her situation—it’s not like she was the only one out there trying to deal with figuring out who she was, right?

A blank stare glazed over Suzi’s face as she attempted to understand and process the entirety of Aki’s response — awkward laughter of a serious subject and all; however, all she could think of saying in response was, “Stuck? Why do you think we’re stuck?” She wanted to continue asking Aki questions about her parents. They seemed odd. Her parents would never operate in such a manner. It seemed as if Aki’s parents did not care about her, but Aki was right to change the subject back to the original topic. The thought that she would be stuck in this strange world never crossed her mind. Being trapped was a new feeling.

“Well, I don’t know what you’re seeing, but I don’t have a logout button.” VR was just some kind of niche hobby that Aki didn’t have nearly enough money to get into, but she imagined if there was ever going to be some kind of inescapable virtual reality death game, this would be it. The floating text and menu-like fixtures more or less guaranteed that. Her friend Ashley would be having a ball in this thing with her VR headset and Sword Art Online obsession, and would probably be pretty good at it to boot. Well, whatever “it” was supposed to be. Aki made a mental note to never make fun of Ashley’s weird tech hobbies again.

Suzi’s eyes darted across the digital screen several times, right-to-left, up-down. She did not see a logout selection, either. Her head turned downwards to her wrist, and she tapped the wristband, displaying the white egg. She took in several breaths as she began caving to Aki’s conclusion. However, she refused to believe it, “My DigiMon doesn’t turn off…” She said allowed, realizing how tomboyish she sounded. She felt like a Tomagatchi was more appropriate now that she had said it aloud to this older girl, “Unless it runs out of batteries…” Her mind shifted, “Maybe someone else knows…”

The younger girl’s attention shifted away from Aki. The others who had entered this realm seemed to have awoken during her conversation with Aki.

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