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The Story of 8bitMMO
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It had been a very long day, and RobbyZ was fatigued. "Yet another failed pitch."

He had been trying to pitch his new game for weeks now and he had yet to get a "We'll call you." or "Looks promising." from the various boards of the local video-game industries. Sure, it was rough around the edges; but that didn't mean it wasn't a good game. He just had to tweak it a bit more. "Yeah, just like I've been tweaking it for the last six months."

He let out an exasperated sigh as the key turned in the lock of his apartment door. As he walked through the kitchen his nose turned up; the smell of old food and stagnant water eminated from the sink.

"I'll wash 'em later." he said for the hundreth time. Despite the smell, Robby sat down at the small table in the middle of his kitchen, having a feast comprised of a Big Mac, medium fries, and a large coke. It had been three weeks since he had made and consumed a 'real' meal. Afterwards, he went to his computer, checking to see if anyone had sent him a job offer.

"Nope. Just spam, spam, and more spam."

It was the same thing every night for the past five months. The first was much better, but that was when he still had some money. Now he was barely making ends meet taking odd jobs whenever he could find one. The thought had occured to move back in with his parents, but he wouldn't let life get to him that easily. He drowned his sorrows amongst the screams and taunts of TF2. Hours later he just stared at his name at the bottom of the team list.

"Forget this. Maybe something good popped up on youtube."

Youtube fared no better. Just a whole lot of cut-rate crap. In this even of pure boredom, Robby started randomly typing in the search box. Figuring it wouldn't hurt, he typed in "Game Job Offers," and was led to a rather interesting site.

"GAME TESTING! LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS!"

Robby looked over at his clock, it was only a quarter-past-eleven. He skimmed through the rules and regulations and filled out his info.

"May as well, it's not like I'm doing anything else tomorrow."

Soon a small box appeared on screen:

"Do you agree to the terms and agreements regarding the game tester position?"

He clicked the "Yes" box.

"Are you really sure you want to do this?"

Once again, "Yes."

"Positively, absolutely, 100% sure?"

"What the heck?" with growing frustration he again clicked "Yes."

As soon as he clicked this last checkbox, a deep voice came through his speakers.

"RobbyZ-designated Simulated Tester No.9-you have agreed to the testing position. Prepare for download!"

"Prepare for what?

Nothing happened for a moment. The screen merely went black. As he was about to curse at his misfortune, the screen suddenly shined brighter and whiter than teeth brushed with Colgate. He watched with an expression of pure horror on his face as the screen erupted into a vortex. It was like a vacuum, pulling him ever closer. As he ran for the door he was stopped. It was like his feet were glued to the floor. As he craned his head to look back, he was surprised to find the vortex had turned and was now directly behind him. Despite his resistance he was slowly, yet surely, being dragged ever closer towards the gaping maw of the vortex. Finally, with a cry of desperation, he tried to jump away. However, he was now in the air and there was no longer any friction to prevent the vortex from completely swallowing him up. Within a matter of seconds he was engulfed by the ravenous vortex.

As he shot through, he noticed the inside of the vortex changed colors rapidly. It would've been a very beautiful sight if it weren't for the horrible screams coming from Robby's ever-widening mouth. As he twisted and turned in what was virtually zero gravity, he could vaguely make out the outline of a platform in the distance. It only took a matter of minutes for his contorting form to roll onto it. As he picked himself up, he studied his surroundings. It was a basic platform, a small building providing the only feature of interest. With no better options coming to mind, Robby walked towards the building. As he walked, the platform lit up; a long green arrow appearing under his feet. Conincidentally, it led right to the entrance of the small building.

There wasn't much in the small building; much like there wasn't much on the platform. All there was in sight was a weird looking chair. It had the weirdest design Robby had ever seen. It looked lke a very spikey version of an old fashioned dentist's chair. He felt the tips of the spikes: they were blunt; it seemed they were only for show. Feeling drained from not only his ordeal, but his previous fatigue, Robby decided to take a seat. It was a big mistake.

Immediately upon resting his rear, the spikes wrapped around his arms and legs, making the whole experience feel like being strapped down in the electric chair. May as well have been, because seconds later a strong electrical current coursed through his body; causing his face to contort and spasm since the rest of his body could not. It only lasted a minute, but Robby was done. This was some sick joke and he wanted out. As he began to attempt to rip his arms out of thier bindings a screen popped out of the ceiling. It stopped just in front of his face. With a partially blinding flash of light, the screen turned on. On the screen, Robby could vaguely make out the outline of a hooded figure.

"Welcome," the figure boomed, its voice the same as the one which had poured through the speakers, "You have accepted the testing position. I am sure you are very interested to know what this entails."

Robby would have said something but one of the restraints was currently blocking his pie-hole.

"A few decades ago came the birth of our realm, the system flesh-bags call "The Internet." It is home to dozens of sentient programs and hundreds of self-sustaining worlds. However, for some odd reason, we require flesh bags to provide input in order to continue the upkeep of our realm. That is what you are here for, Tester. In order for new worlds to see the metaphorical light of day, we require a human to unlock them for public use. These worlds are ever developing and growing. Some have become what the flesh-bags call "video games."

The world you shall be sent to is the world of Atebitloria. A troubled world, that provides little protection for the human population living there. These are NOT related to the miserable flesh-bags that brought us into existance. They are their own species and culture. You have been tasked with eliminating threats to human safety and establishing connections amongst the races of this world. Once peace has been established, the world can safely be unlocked for public viewing and usage.

Now, in order to conceal your true form, you shall be equipped with a Standard Interface Module for interaction and, to some degree, protection. When you arrive in this world, make contact with the humans and start working towards peace, do whatever you deem necessary. But be warned, this is not a game. If you die, you die; that is it. No do-overs, no retries, no artificial respawns. So self-preservation should be among your top priorities.

Good luck Tester. May you succeed in this task."

Robby just sat there, limp in the chair. This was not due to his mind being blown, even though it was. It had to do with a small injection administered towards the end of the video. As he sat there paralyzed, Robby tried to process everything he had just been told. But before he could even start, the chair started moving. As the screen pulled back up into the ceiling, the chair ran along a track to a very strange room. It was full of random pieces of metal hanging from an assortment of racks. The middle of the floor opened up, revealing a strange looking platform. It had what looked to be a very basic frame for a human body, along with two, very agile and very manuveurable, robotic arms. To his surprise, the restraints loosed their hold and slipped away. Robby was picked up by one of the arms and was dangled in front of the frame.

With a silent scream of pain, he felt the frame being fused to his body. He felt a slight jerk as something imbedded itself into his brain stem. At this point he was finally able to let out a scream, as he regained control of his body. He grabbed the back of his neck in pain as he slumped to the ground; trying not to pass out from all the pain. But the arms were not willing to let him lay there. They picked him up and began to fuse the random metal trapings to the rest of the frame. If he wasn't in so much pain, Robby would've noted this was just like Iron Man. Any traces of amusement were gone as they put on the head piece. At this point, Robby was now totally in the dark, hoping this was just some dream and he would wake up to normalcy. Alas, this was not to be; the suit sprang to life as various schematics and heads-up displays filled his vision.

"What is your designation?" came the on-board computer's voice

"Ro-Robby." came his feeble reply.

"Designation is incorrect. What is your designation?"

He was not in the mood for this. What was it asking?

"Designation please." maybe the computer could answer his question.

"What am I supposed to say?"

"Designation. What is your designation?"

"I don't know. What is my designation?" he was slowly regaining his compusure, along with his temper.

"Numeral. What is your numeral?"

Numeral. What the heck was his numeral? After a few minutes he remembered what the voice had said, before he was sucked into this nightmare.

"9. I'm Tester 9."

"Designation recognized. Welcome SIM. 9. Prepare for departure."

The robotic arms pulled away as Robby's feet were restrained with clamps.

"Intializing Chameleon Circuit. Human tranformation enabled."

As the platform turned Robby looked down at his hands. They were just black stubs. His arms were just flimsy black bars. What was going on?!

As he tried desperately to free himself the platform stopped in front of a large ring. Robby was still trying to remove the clamp, until he heard the loud clunk. He looked up and saw various digits cycling around the frame of the ring. Eventually some stopped, another clunk came from the ring. for a few seconds all was silent, Robby finally noticed his heavy breathing. In the next instant a vortex exploded from the ring, once more trying to pull Robby inside. The clamps released and Robby was sent hurtling towards the open orifice.

This time he tried to keep his limbs close to his body, especially since this vortex seemed to go faster than the previous one. A bright light shone at the other end of the vortex; becoming more blindingly bright as Robby quickly made up the distance. He closed his eyes as he hit the light, a gigantic boom sounding right behind him. He now felt a new sensation: he was falling. His heart almost stopped after he opened his eyes. He was miles off the ground.

"Impact in 20 seconds. Intiating impact damage prevention form"

Robby could feel his arms and legs being pinned together as his neck was set upwards, relative to his current position, that is.

"Impact in ten seconds."

Robby closed his eyes as he braced for impact.

"5...4...3...2...1...Impact."

He felt the full force ripple through the suit as his body made contact with the ground. He was sliding across the earth, boring a shallow trench as his body slowed down. Eventually, he came to a complete stop. As he tried to pick himself up, he thought he heard footsteps. He turned around and saw a strange figure. It had the same flimsy black limbs that he did, and a fearful expression on it's face. As Robby was about to say something to the odd creature, the suit's HUD started flashing red.

"Damage incurred! Damage Incurred! Locking down into recovery mode."

The next thing he knew, Robby hit the ground; the dark was all that met his eyes. He felt his body being poked and prodded. Next, he felt himself being dragged across the dirt, his limbs randomly hitting what felt like big rocks. Eventually, he felt himself being lifted into the air and then being slung across something. He felt the motion of the legs of whatever he was riding on.

"What the heck happened? WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED TO ME?!"

He could hear the muffled speech of the strange being as they trod along.

"Well," he tried to shift his positon, "May as well get comfortable. I think I'm going to be here awhile."

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