PS V2, Chapter 1: The Solar System, Part 1

After checking out his two new packs of Arcana’s Games cards and designing a deck, Matt was just sitting blankly at his virtual computer desk and contemplating his next step. Suddenly he asked “Providence… How the hell do games this big render? I mean, not just the Earth, but all the other planets were constantly ‘there’ too, right?”

[Your concept of rendering is not accurate. The video games that you are familiar with, require a medium to translate what is happening within the computer, to the human utilizing the device. A monitor or screen of some sort. Along with speakers for audio, a lot of time and energy is wasted in the process. However, since you are within Virtual Rapture, there is no need to create a physical video monitor, graphics processing unit or any kind of audio monitors/processors. It has been a very long time since full immersion VR came into existence. This allows a person’s consciousness to directly leave their physical body and enter VR…]

Matt frowned, wondering “Wouldn’t their brains fry though? Trying to process information thousands of times faster than reality would probably kill a real person.”

[Humanity would not be able to enjoy full immersion VR. At least not in the state that you are imagining them. Humans have long since ‘evolved’ in various ways. Either through biological engineering or mechanical engineering. They are no longer limited by space and time. They can travel to distant worlds, colonize most planets and moons. It has been at least three thousand years since Virtual Rapture was created in its current form. Virtual Rapture allowed humanity to become ‘virtually’ immortal. Even if their physical bodies die, their virtual ones can still exist. Even if their Private Servers are destroyed, another version of them can exist on a Cloud Server or a Public Server until they eventually have a new Private Server.]

He snickered, before murmuring “That sounds really amazing. It kinda makes me wanna play some kinda intergalactic exploration type of game.”

[There are many. However, while there are ‘realistic’ simulators of interstellar travel, the unrealistic versions are far more popular. Simply because the reality of space travel is far less entertaining than the fictitious representations.]

“Yeah, I can understand that. So what’s the ‘best’ or at least, the most popular space-type game out there at the moment?” Matt inquired, before a new icon appeared on his computer screen. It was simply three capital letters and a number, ‘GLO 3’. Then he clicked on it and Providence started to explain what it meant.

{“Galactic Life Online 3” is a massively multiplayer game, which spans the entire fictitious representation of the Milky Way Galaxy. Unlike “Old Earth Online”, “Galactic Life Online 3” is exceptionally massive in scale. There are a total of over 79 Public Servers, with 21 that are in the process of construction. However, rather than being separate versions of the same solar system, each Public Server is dedicated to an entire unique solar system. With a few Public Servers designated for the overall galactic map. Of course, the truly impressive feature of the game… Is that it allows the creation of entire worlds. Players are free to design their own star system to start with, assuming their Private Server can handle that much data. Not all Private Servers are as powerful as this one after all.}

“Well, I don’t really wanna go through the trouble of creating an entire world, especially for a game I might not enjoy. So I’d rather start somewhere more populated. A place where it wouldn’t take too long to get my own ship and fly around wherever I want.”

As he was speaking, Matt clicked on the icon. Since he was an Unranked Player, playing the game for the first time, it didn’t even let him create his own star system or planet. In fact, he couldn’t even choose from any other solar system except Sol. After clicking on his only option, he started looking through the various Factions.

{In the beginning, there were only two Races in the Sol System: Cythereans and Humanity. The Cythereans were supposedly from another universe and had been brought to this one through Luna, the ancient Celestial World Seed. Luna was a colossal device designed to terraform planets, save genetic codes and dying species, in order to ‘seed’ life on new planets. The Primal Cythereans who lived on Mars, were originally placed there by Luna. Unfortunately, when the massive Moon left Mars’ orbit, the devastation was catastrophic. Luna then proceeded to begin terraforming Earth, while the Cythereans were forced to flee their homeworld in order to survive. They eventually reached the planet commonly known as Venus, or Cytherea. This name was not created by Humanity, but instead, all languages in the Sol System come from Cytherean genetic memory.}

“Wow, is this stuff real Providence? Did everything in the Solar System come from these aliens called Cythereans?”

[Unlikely, but unknown. It is probable that humanity did have an extraterrestrial ancestor or multiple ancestors, but they likely died off before humans ever reached the point where their technology was superior to the mysterious ‘aliens’ who created them.]

“Cool, I always liked this kinda stuff ya know? I even wanted to become an astronaut as a kid. Didn’t really work out though. Mostly because I had asthma as a child, and knew that I’d never qualify as an actual astronaut.” Matthew sighed dramatically.

[The true astronauts on your Earth were all Players. You were an NPC, thus did not have the opportunity from the very beginning.]

“Wow, well that makes me feel so~ much better. Anyway…” He stopped talking to the floating screen in front of his face and returned to reading the intro backstory off his computer monitor.

{The Cytherean Race declined more and more over the eons, eventually withering to only a few thousand members. Humanity was originally created to be a source of slave labour and entertainment, but eventually, their policies regarding them changed. Rather than limiting Humanity due to fear, a bold renegade ‘Observer’ named Rhodias, decided that things needed to change. Thus began the shadow wars between the original Observers and the new force, the Cytherean-American Alliance. With the ageless Cythereans hiding in the background, the Earth began a series of intercontinental and catastrophic wars, including World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War. Even the Wars on Drugs and Terror were all caused by their secret conflicts. Eventually the Observers decided to utilize their ultimate trump card… Rapture-727. With the release of this world-ending pandemic, Humanity was driven close to extinction.}

“Wait a second… Is this… Is this Michael’s homeworld?” The more Matt read, the more certain he was of his assumption.

{The Rapture-727 nanites caused most of Humanity and the Cythereans to die off. Yet this also allowed for a few key figures, such as Michael Cinagra, Iris Angelica Healy, Azrael, Ariel Krishna, Uriel, Gabriel Sanchez, Luke Lucas and Lorelei Fleisher to rise up from the ashes of their dying world. Each of them had been blessed with the gift of Rapture-727 Delta nanites and used their newfound powers to slaughter most of the ‘undead’, collecting their own groups of Human, Cytherean and even some sentient animal species that had managed to evolve in the oceans, such as the Primal Cythereans.}

“Not just Mike, but Iris too? Wait, Azrael and Uriel were actual people, and were in the same era as Mike?” As Matt asked, Providence answered.

[At least within this particular game’s storyline. Keep in mind that it was based off of Michael Cinagra’s books, but not necessarily written by him directly. Michael, Iris and the others are characters that appear in the backstories of many different popular games. Thus, you should not be so surprised to find their presence in this one.]

“Okay then, back to the backstory…” Matt snickered and continued reading.

{Although there was some conflict between the eight of them, they eventually managed to unite together and force back the majority of the ‘undead’ creatures… Except for the Sovereigns. These monsters were the personification of death, destruction and corruption, even when they were Human. The Cythereans on both sides created them to control and guide Humanity towards their own goals, yet the Sovereigns had proven time and time again, that they were far too dangerous to manipulate properly. However, after being infected by Rapture-727, they were the most powerful threat to the survival of Humanity and Cythereans alike. They evolved by consuming other undead and using them to empower their own bodies. Becoming massive monstrosities that eventually, even gained the ability to leave Earth, infesting other worlds in the Solar System.}

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