%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% Local Variables:
% buffertitle: "Unnamed Good Story"
% End:

\chapter{Chapter 1}

Sleep. That was all he needed. He knew that, of course, but he could not yet
allow himself that luxury, not before he had at least figured out what his new
piece of art should be about. It was not his first artistic process, and it was
not his first artistic problem, but it had never been this bad. It was not that
his mind was empty --- as a matter of fact it was fuller than ever --- it was
just that he was strangely unable to pick a topic to work on.

His earlier artistic creations included the muted loudspeaker modelled in
granite, a symbol of something about freedom or lack of freedom, he couldn't
fully remember, a purple electric keyboard which had been rerigged to trigger
jolts of 20,000 Volts on contact with human flesh, symbolising something else
--- the purple part he was especially proud of --- and his kill-the-computer
setup in which people automatically activated a flamethrower that spew fire on
an old computer when they walked past a sensor. The flamethrower was
deactivated as soon as a person had walked past the sensor, most often
resulting in the person walking back into the sensor's visual range to see what
happened, re-activating the flamethrower. On a few occasions, the surprised
person had walked back and forth at least six times. Both the flamethrower and
the surveillance camera were illegal, and the artist had been arrested, which
was ok, because he was an artist and artists have to fight for their rights to
be artists.

In this particular artistic process, he had decided last night, before he had
stayed up all night, that he would write a book. While he did not mind going to
prison and receiving hate mail for giving electric shocks to passer-by --- he
actually quite liked receiving hate mail, because then he could reply with hate
mail, which he normally could not because of the unwritten rules in society
that said that you have to be nice, the rules he so valiantly fought all day
and night --- it was getting impractical to constantly go to prison, reply to
letters, go to prison again, reply to more letters, and so on. He just didn't
have the time to do art. So, this time he had decided to do something which
would not incite too much hate mail-writing and certainly not throw him in
prison: he would write a book. Not just any book, but a Good Book with a Good
Story. In fact, when he had created the still almost empty text file on his
computer 8 hours ago, he had purposefully titled it ``Unnamed Good
Story''. That way, he thought, he couldn't create something fatally bad,
because people would always have to refer to his book as the ``Good Story''. He
liked this.

For now, though, all that this text file contained was this:
\begin{verbatim}
Unnamed Good Story

By: Yadfrick Murdlemeier-Gonoarea


Chapter 1

For all we know, humans might not be alone. They might be together. They
might be gone. If one imagines a table, and if I tell you that the table
symbolizes hope, you will ask me "what hope?", and I will tell you that hope
is inherent in all humans, and that I will lead you, and then you will,
because of your ignorance, which I will cure, ask me "what about the table?",
and I will tell you
\end{verbatim}

And then he couldn't figure out how to continue. He had sat in about 12
different positions in his chair with four, not five wheels --- this was
important to him, as he believed five wheels to limit his imagination --- but
for the past 7 hours and 58 minutes, he had not added a single character. Or
rather, 94 times, 47 of which were to force his LCD monitor out of power saving
mode, he had added one space character and then deleted it again.

He really needed to go to the bathroom, but he could not, he simply could not,
until he had resolved the table paradox, which he had named his lack of
inspiration even though he realized there was no paradox involved. He knew that
a paradox was something about logic --- the mere thought of the word made
Yadfrick feel unsettled --- that didn't make sense. Since the table was not
about logic, but about art, philosophy, and leadership, it was not part of a
paradox.

Suddenly the phone rang. It was in the next room, and Yadfrick would have to
both leave his chair and open a closed door to get to it. Yadfrick once had a
mobile phone, but he threw it into his toilet once when he was drunk, and he
hadn't bothered to buy a new one. He began to calculate in his head how long he
could afford to wait before he took it, but then he realized that he still
hadn't finished the sentence that sat there in front of him, looking at him
from his annoyingly bright monitor.

The second gunfire played. He had configured his phone to play a sound file of
a Benelli M3 shotgun owned by someone whom he liked to think of as a friend,
which he knew was not actually the truth. The shutgun sound was very loud, and
Yadfrick knew he had to get to the phone soon, or else he would have his
neighbors running over to him, sending him what he liked to refer to as
``verbal hatemail''. This happened quite often, especielly when he wasn't home,
in which case the police would arrive on the request of his angry neighbors who
clearly did not enjoy art. Later when he was home, a recording would greet him
when he opened the door. This had already happened three times and he had the
distinct feeling that his neigbors were getting angrier at him. Not that he
cared, of course, about what those alcoholic pig proletarians were up to.

Yadfrick had observed situations similar to this one in films. The well-dressed
male hero has to defuse a bomb before, say, 10 seconds has passed, but before
he can get to the bomb he has to kill off an evil pig proletarian (Yadfrick
rarely made the distinction between \emph{good} and \emph{evil} pig
proletarians, but he liked good films and so had to introduce something evil to
balance it all out).

He thought about this for several silent microseconds. Then he realized his
computer was the evil pig proletarian and hammered it to death with a large
hammer that for some reason was lying unused on the floor. Then he went to the
phone (after having first gotten up and then opening the door).

``I am Yadfrick Murdlemeier-Gonoarea. Who are you?''

Yadfrick couldn't figure out what came next, but it was some kind of buzzing
sound.

``I demand you speak up.'' Yadfrick continued, trying to sound like the
authoritative figure he knew himself to be, but also knowing that people other
than himself did not always realize that particular part about him, which
forced him to overdo his role a little.

``Brza...czczcarbbrb..''

This was obviously some kind of poor man's joke, and Yadfrick hung up. He was
already contemplating how to best present his newest work ``Hammered Computer'',
and also how much he needed to earn from this work to afford a new
computer. Since he wasn't in his study anymore he might as well do his morning
routine which consisted of three simple and not carefully planned steps:

\begin{enumerate}
\item Check for mail. He had to walk outside to do this.
\item Reset the clock in his living room. Whenever he began a new day, he
  always reset his clock so that his temporal progress throughout the day would
  be relative to 00:00 and not whenever he had gotten up.
\item Eat whatever was in the fridge.
\end{enumerate}

His apartment had only one level and only two rooms, excluding his provokingly
small kitchen and a bathroom twice the size of his kitchen. Within seconds he
had his left hand on the door handle --- his right hand was for making art, not
for menially opening doors --- and with a quick movement the door opened,
lighting the thick layers of dust present in his living room. Not that he
noticed.

Outside it was bright. Too bright. Yadfrick wasn't entirely sure
\emph{precisely} where he lived, but he knew it was somewhere near
Tokyo. Yadfrick had grown up in New York, but he didn't like it there and so he
had taken a flight to Brazil. Yadfrick didn't know much about Brazil, or any
other foreign country for that matter. 

When he had arrived in Brazil, he had realized that he had in fact arrived in
Japan, though he could not figure out where the error had occured. Not that it
mattered, anyway. Yadfrick could speak neither Portuguese nor Japanese, and he
couldn't care less about the respective cultures.

Nevertheless, he had now been living in Japan for more than a year. He had a
hunch that maybe he couldn't claim to be a tourist anymore, and maybe he was in
fact living illegally in the country, and maybe he could risk being thrown out
of the country, but he had managed to stay undetected by spending most of his
time in his illegally acquired flat and always avoiding authority-looking
persons. He hadn't bothered looking up Japanese law, though.

His mail system was intricate. Since he was not officially living in Japan, he
was certain he could not get his mail through the official channels. To
compensate he had set up a small computer with a small printer, connected the
computer to the internet and put it all into a normal-looking mailbox which he
had hidden behind a large bush. Whenever he received an e-mail, the computer
would print out the e-mail so that he could feel more legitimate. If he
received any reply-worthy mail, he would then reply with his computer in his
study. Now that he did not have a computer anymore, he was not sure how to
reply to any eventual mail, though he was certain that he would figure
something out.

Yadfrick took a piss in the bush. His toilet didn't work.

At the very moment Yadfrick opened his mailbox, a mail was printed. The night
had already brought with it twenty pages of spam mail which was soon to join
the piles in his living room. Yadfrick had chosen not to use a spam filter,
because he belived he could eventually use all his spam mails in an art
project.

The mail had finished printing. It was yet another spam mail --- Yadfrick had
not received a ``real'' mail for 20 days, and back then it was a ``good''
artist friend who forwarded him a spam e-mail, asking if he ``had received this
one?'' which he in fact had.

But this spam mail seemed different. It was shorter than normal, and it had no
spelling errors --- none that he could find, anyway. The only thing that made
it clear that it was a spam mail was its joyful message that Yadfrick could get
to change the world if he sent just \$ 210,389.32 to a bank account in an
unspecified country.

\$ 210,389.32? The number seemed strangely familiar to Yadfrick. He couldn't
see why.

He took the 21 mails inside his house, reset his clock (he could see that it
had been either 2 hours, 26 hours or more since it had last been reset, and he
was indeed sleepy), and he opened the fridge.

He opened \emph{his fridge}.

Normally, he would not do this. He had put the refridgerator part on his list
to fool tormentors in case he had been captured and was being tormented and fed
with truth serum. Then he would spit out his morning routine, and the evil guys
would open the fridge, and they would die.

To Yadfrick, just opening the fridge was not fatal, but it was definitely not
healthy and could easily lead to wounds and subsequently green scars. As part
of his tormentor precaution he had filled his fridge with gaseous poison, a
poison he had gotten from his ``good friend'' who sold Benelli shotguns and
also specialized in biological warfare.

As the friend himself had told Yadfrick once when Yadfrick had asked an
apparently rather stupid question about the effectiveness of poison in solid,
liquid and gaseous states:

``I am poison.''

As a precaution precaution, Yadfrick had given himself a vaccine after he had
installed the poison. But even though he was very quick to close the fridge and
hurry outside and probably not suffer from chronic green scars, he was still
bleeding a little from his nose. It didn't seem serious at the time.

To try to blend in, he then started walking towards a train. This was
preferable to hiding behind a bush, and he still also needed something to
eat. Something tasty. He wasn't planning on taking the train, but he kept
walking towards the station anyway. It was about 500 metres away.

Some Japanese child came over and said something to Yadfrick as he was
walking. It might as well have been in Portuguese. Yadfrick sped up to avoid
further contact with the natives.

Only a few cars passed him, and not with a very high frequency, as he walked
past a small, clean park with lots of green grass (contrary to the purple grass
he had gotten used to ten years ago when he was in an art collective and one of
the other artists had decided to spray purple paint on everything green to
symbolize change, resulting in the expansion of a nearby paint shop). For a
moment he thought it was all quite nice, then he thought that it was not,
because it was all one big mess. He continued.

The girl from before came up on the side of Yadfrick once more and attacked him
with even more words than before. She didn't seem agressive, Yadfrick thought,
but she was still annoying and completely ununderstandable. Why couldn't they
just speak English? Not American English, not British English, just the same
subset that Yadfrick had once chosen to use. Back then, in his teens, he had
become tired of people constantly trying to use new, strange words to describe
that which could have been described in simpler terms without loss of
information, and when he had turned 16 he had woved always to use the simpler
word.

It was not difficult. He could do it, so why shouldn't everyone else do the
same?

The girl was silent for a moment, still walking next to Yadfrick. He wondered
for a moment if she might have realized that he wasn't listening and that even
if he were he wouldn't understand what she was saying, but then she continued
talking. Yadfrick looked at her, trying to create a strategy. His sleepiness
combined with a slight dizzyness from his recent poison intake did not make
this easy. She was probably around 17 or 18. He found it a little odd that she
clearly wasn't in school, but then he thought that maybe it was Saturday or
Sunday. He didn't actually know if it was so, of course, but it was a
possibility. To have something to go on, he decided that today was Sunday. It
was as good a day as any.

The girl was silent again. Yadfrick thought he could sense irritation coming
from her, but he hadn't thought of a strategy yet, and so he kept
walking. Suddenly the girl yelled something at him angrily, grabbed his right
arm and began dragging him in the reverse direction.

``Not my right arm!'' Yadfrick exclaimed as he tried to shake his right arm.

The girl kept dragging him with a firm grip, and his current level of physical
strength wasn't enough to put up enough resistance.

``Stop. I will follow you,'' he told her and made a mild gesture with his left,
free arm, hoping she would consider him elegant and maybe not drag him along
the sidewalk like whatever it is people normally drag along sidewalks.

The girl answered in Japanese. She fastened her grip. He began to wonder if
all of this talking Japanese to him was a concious provocation from her. He
knew for a fact that the Japanese children he had observed while walking around
town found English --- or ``Engrish'' as he noticed to some dismay that some of
them pronounced it --- to be a \emph{cool} language, which surely should allow
this girl to understand him and be able to answer him in English.

He managed to think that maybe this girl was not normal, then he was knocked
unconcious.


\chapter{Chapter 2}

``Shitgun. Business. Now.''

Ben turned as he heard the muffled voice behind him. Only few knew of his
nickname, the nickname he had gotten because of an unfortunate typo (he later
switched from QWERTY to Dvorak), and this was not a voice he had heard before.

``Venice-Heimer OKT-92.'' the man with the muffled voice continued. His face
was not visible due to a purple, line-patterned scarf and a purple hat which
covered his entire head. Ben knew very well that this meant serious business,
as in the kind of business where not just one or two business elements are
serious, but where \emph{all} elements are serious; the kind of business that
is either illegal or life-saving.  

This wasn't just an ordinary person asking to buy a stock Benelli shotgun, no,
this guy had come here to acquire the Ultimate Shotgun which was yet so secret
that even the company which had produced it did not know of it. In fact, only
Ben and a few select others knew of its existence, and this man certainly
wasn't supposed to know.

But he did.

``Come with me.'' Ben told the stranger. Deals like this one had to be quick
and quiet; Ben drove a business, and he just couldn't afford to sell guns only
to the buyers he liked, even if a buyer he didn't like wanted to buy a
top-secret weapon.

He didn't like this stranger. Not just because of the stranger's too up-to-date
knowledge, or his hiding his face, or his aura of evil. No, all these things
were not that uncommon in this part of society --- bad stuff had a tendency to
happen which in turn had a tendency to cause scars which were best not shown,
and to make people more evil. Ben had made it a policy never to ask.

It was the stranger's footwear that threw Ben off. The recurring purple theme
was a bit unsettling as well, but bad taste was not a crime. But the fact that
the stranger wore sandals was undoubtedly not a good sign. Though Ben's
abandoned factory was located in a desert-like environment, and though it was
very warm even inside, none of his customers had ever worn sandals, and for a
very, very good reason. It was something Ben did not like to think about
because of the horrors connected to it. And so he did not.

They had reached the core of Ben's factory. The factory was large, and from the
outside seemingly unfunctional, abandoned, mislocated and largely
uninteresting; but on the inside it was a thriving, secret, hidden,
fascinating, gun-manifacturing independent factory with Ben and his computer as
the only employees. The core was hidden underneath thick plates of a secret
alloy Ben didn't know much about, and the Venice-Heimers he had --- and he
didn't have that many --- were hidden underneath a second array of secret-alloy
plates. Only Ben could open the doors, and he had to be alive. This had saved
him from getting killed a few times, and this time might be one of them, Ben
thought.

The security fad had started 15 years ago when Ben had bought the factory and
then abandoned it --- or so most people thought. He had almost been assasinated
by a hired assasin who had fortunately for Ben been assasinated by another
hired assasin. This had made him realize that he had to find some way to stay
alive, because else he wouldn't stay alive, which was not something he wanted
to happen.

He had contacted a \emph{clumsy} ``friend'' of his who worked as a surgeon in a
hospital where he sometimes \emph{accidentally} killed a patient or two. He had
this surgeon operate into his heart a complex tranceiver that could interact
with complex locks. The tranceiver was programmed to stop working if he was
killed, and kill him and self-destruct if someone attempted to remove it. In
other words, it was foolproof.

Though it was foolproof, he wasn't sure if the stranger knew that. The stranger
wasn't very tall --- in fact he was shorter than Ben, and Ben was short --- but
he still had this intimidating glow, probably because of the sandals. The
sandals, yes.. They were.. so...

Ben regained his senses as he opened the second door. There was no way back now
--- except through the doors. The hinges were silent as he opened the coffin
where he kept his five OKT-92s. He took one last look at the stranger's sandals
and noticed how little his toes moved --- not a good sign --- before grabbing
an OKT and passing it to the stranger.

``Good.'' the stranger said after a few seconds of examining it. Ben could not
read his facial expressions because of the scarf, but he imagined removing the
scarf would not present a difference.

The stranger took out of a small, round object from one of his pockets. Ben
thought it smelled funny, but he didn't say anything to point that out. He just
stood still, waiting.

The object, which was purple, rested in the stranger's left hand as he began
reciting something which Ben thought seemed cult-like:

``Taaaahbahru! Naaaaahbarhu! Vaaaaaahbrahu!''

He repeatedly repeated this. Every time he said it, the smell became stronger
and Ben became weaker, until at last Ben could not stand up anymore and
collapsed on the hard and echoing secret-alloy floor.

The stranger then took the remaining four OKT-92s and left.


\chapter{Chapter 3}

``I need this done quick! Quickly done! This is no zoo, you hear me? You're
not an animal, and I'm not someone who feeds animals! You understand me? I bet
you wanna be a cute goat who's fed by everyone and does nothing but eat. I bet!
But you know what? That's not how we do things around here. We work, got it? We
work until we can't work anymore, and then we work a little more! You wanna be
a goat, just go, but don't count on getting a career! I bet you think careers
are as easy to get as new fancy haircuts, but I tell you NO! HEAR ME? THAT IS
NOT HOW IT IS! YOU MUST WORK HARD! HARD! HARD HARD HARD HARD! GET IT?''

He looked as his employee for a moment, then continued:

``No, really. You're good, but you need discipline! I'm putting you on this
job, and that's final! Got it?''

It seemed to him that his employee had indeed got it. A crying employee was
always a good sign, his father had taught him. ``Tell them they're good and bad
at the same time, and they'll either work 'till they die or stop working,'' was
his father's only motto. It had worked well and was in his opinion the best
tool at separating the workers from the non-workers. This particular employee
showed promise, which was why he had yelled so much at her. With a final hand
gesture, he made the employee leave the room, still sobbing.

The employee walked to the coffee room and had the machine make her a plastic
cup of tea (the plastic cup had already been made) which she then drank at a
table, alone. Her name was Freyja and she wanted to kill her editor badly. She
knew that she was good at faking emotions and hiding the urge to stab him to
death with a kitchen knife followed by her favourite ritual sacrifice involving
sawing off his head, and she knew that her anger must not become apparent, or
else she would never have the opportunity to properly kill the Devil.

Two colleagues entered the room. They didn't like the editor either, but Freyja
had a hunch they were not planning to murder him. Only she could do it.

``Oh, hi there Freyja. Heard you got a new story?'' one of them said as he
joined her at her table. Freyja put on her fake smile and answered him:

``Yes, it's an old case about someone escaping to Brazil that's been re-opened
because of some new material which apparently makes the case much more
serious. I haven't been able to get anything from the higher-ups except for the
usual ``national security'' they seem to've been programmed to say, but I just
got a lead.''

``Oh?'' the male colleague replied, ``then what was all that yelling in the
editor's office about?''

``I don't know,'' Freyja could feel the rage building up inside her, ``maybe
it's because I only had any progress recently. He's really hard to satisfy
sometimes.''

The colleague didn't seem to have anything more to say, and after a while
Freyja left to work. Her source had told her that she should seek out an old,
abandoned factory before going to Brazil, but the source wouldn't tell her
where it was, only that it was somewhere hot. Freyja had tried pinpointing
where that could be but had given up because she didn't really have enough
facts. In the end she had agreed to go with the source, blindfolded. She was to
meet with him or her in two hours in a back alley somewhere close to where she
lived in New York. She went home to pack.

``I don't look evil at all,'' she thought as she dressed for a warm
environment: thin clothes, a hat, sunlotion, sandals, a small pepper spray
canister, and a small knife. She felt ready as she exited her house and walked
down the sidewalks, young and confident as she was. She passed many people,
smiled to them, and she was unhappy --- unhappy that she had to go to somewhere
she didn't know just so that she wouldn't get fired and not be able to murder
the Devil. It was difficult enough as it was, with the editor having bodyguards
24-7 (why did he have bodyguards anyway?).

Then came the back alley. As Freyja entered, nothing happened. When she reached
the end of it, it all went black.


\chapter{Chapter 4}

``You are not the chosen one.'' were the words that Yadfrick met when he
regained conciousness. He couldn't concentrate, so he didn't react.

``You are not the chosen one,'' the voice repeated. Yadfrick opened his eyes
and saw a blurry face. As it became less blurred he noticed that the voice
belonged to the woman whom he had ignored until he had been knocked
unconscious. She seemed different now, less annoying and speaking English. And
while she had previously shown much emotion, her face was now void of feeling,
as if she was a being with a malfunctioning interface.

Yadfrick had heard her the second time, but he did not understand her obviously
false statement. Was it a joke? Some kind of twisted Japanese sarcasm? Yadfrick
did not know, and --- he slowly realized --- he did not care either. He was
more credible than her, and so he was right.

Yadfrick was lying in a large, white bed in a large, white room. As he looked
around, he saw that the Japanese woman was for some reason naked, and that the
room seemed to have no doors.

``You are not the chosen one, and we do not need you.'' she continued. She
tried to look deep into Yadfrick's eyes, but Yadfrick looked elsewhere. He was
now sitting upright in his bed, also naked. He couldn't recall undressing, so
he thought that maybe this woman undressed him. He liked that thought, although
he would have liked to have been awake when it had happened.

Yadfrick blinked for a short moment, and when he was done blinking, a new
person had appeared, this one also naked.

``Hello, Yadfrick. You can go now.'' the new person said calmly. It was an
older male, not Japanese, with a German accent similar to that of one of
Yadfrick's artist friends in Berlin. Maybe he was from Berlin, Yadfrick
thought. Nevertheless, he would follow up on that request to leave. This was
all a bad joke, and he was still hungry. He began walking towards one of the
four large walls.

``The world does not need you to save it,'' a third voice said. Yadfrick turned
around and saw another naked person standing there, void of any emotion. The
three strangers just stood there, side by side, looking at him.

Yadfrick thought that maybe he could use a happening like this in or as a piece
of art. To do that he would have to know all he could about the room and the
persons in the room --- the setup itself. He would start with the persons.

As he moved his head from the top to the bottom he registered all details of
the naked bodies (perhaps focusing most on the woman in the middle). When he
reached the bottom he saw that they all wore white sandals and were thus not
fully naked. He had not noticed this before, because he rarely looked
down. Looking up was better, he had once decided, because then it would seem
like you care about more than yourself --- something a lot of potential art
buyers liked, Yadfrick had noted --- even though you don't.

Yadfrick already had a good understanding of how the room was decorated (there
was no decoration), so he was ready to exit. But he could still not see the
exit. Except for the bed there was nothing but white paint. He couldn't see how
anyone could've gotten in either.

``Where is the exit?'' Yadfrick reluctantly asked the three semi-naked wannabe
emos, the term he had designated to them several seconds earlier.

``The exit,'' the German guy said in a monotone voice.

``You are the exit.'' the Japanese woman continued.

``The exit is in you.'' the third person ended.

He reasoned that talking wouldn't get him anywhere. He looked to his sides,
found nothing, then up, still nothing. He then reluctantly looked down,
remembering that he was in fact also naked. Or semi-naked: he also wore white
sandals.

He reasoned that he should continue trying to talk to them. As a child Yadfrick
had played many video role playing games, and from them he had learnt a single
important rule: meaningless acts lead to meaningful events.

``Why are we wearing white sandals?'' he asked them.

``The Sandal is a symbol.'' the German replied as he and the two others in a
unified motion took off their sandals and started licking them. Yadfrick found
it gross. After a while of continuous sandal licking, Yadfrick reasoned that
maybe he should also lick his sandals, if just to fit in. Not that he wanted to
fit in, but he was hungry, and he really wanted to exit this room so he could
get food.

Yadfrick took off his sandals and started licking the right-foot one. After
about a minute he switched to the left sandal, like the others did. Normally he
would find this embarrasing and annoying, although he would only admit to being
annoyed, but because he was hungry he considered it cultural exchange.

After what seemed like ten minutes the three emos suddenly stopped, without
warning. They put their sandals on again and just stood there. Yadfrick did the
same.

``I am hungry,'' Yadfrick told them.

``You are free to eat.'' the third person replied. Yadfrick couldn't quite
figure this person out. It was a male, thin, tall and bald. The two others were
not bald.

``I have no food.'' Yadfrick stated.

``Neither do I.'' the third person said.

``But I am hungry.''

``You are free to exit and eat.''

``But I cannot find the exit.''

``You have the exit power.''

``But how do I exit?''

``You use your exit power.''

``But how do I use my exit power?''

``Believe in the Sandal. You are not the chosen one.''

Yadfrick blinked once, and they were gone. He looked around. The bed was gone
as well. The walls, the floor, and the ceiling didn't seem to be there
either. It was as if the room had just grown infinitely much and that he was in
the middle of nothingness. This was his worst nightmare.

And he was still hungry.


\chapter{Chapter 5}

``Welcome back, Ben.'' the computer said. He was lying in a bed in the
infirmary. To his right lay the mysterious purple OKT-92 buyer in a confined
area of the infirmary. Ben's rigorious training had once again paid off: By
faking his personality and his thoughts he had fooled the person in purple
whom, as he had instinctively but not consciously expected, was in possession of
a thought reader, to follow him to the secluded area where the factory computer
could operate.

``The subjects have been scanned, Ben.'' the computer continued. Ben looked at
the results on a large monitor. His computer was fully automatic, so Ben did
not know what subjects it was talking about.

Text appeared on the monitor:
\begin{verbatim}
  SUBJECT NO.: 0
      SPECIES: PUFFAN
          SEX: SEMI-MALE
      HOBBIES: SKIING, PAINTING, PUFFING
           IQ: 30
\end{verbatim}
This was followed by a close-up picture of the small round object held in the
hands of the strange stranger. Ben had never heard of puffans before, but his
computer was very clever, so obviously they existed. Being male himself, Ben
couldn't quite imagine what being semi-male might be like, but he was more
concerned about the IQ level. If an IQ of 30 was normal for this species ---
and he assumed it was --- then it was the stupidest intelligent species he had
ever met. He would have to investigate this matter further. He wondered why the
computer didn't mention its ability to make humans faint.

The next subject appeared on the monitor before Ben could ask the computer
about the puffan:
\begin{verbatim}
  SUBJECT NO.: 1
      SPECIES: HUMAN
          SEX: MALE
      HOBBIES: NONE
           IQ: 230
\end{verbatim}
What a combo! Ben thought it to be strange that his computer could not analyze
more than this when it had been able to capture the man after he had left Ben
unconscious. This computer was new to him, so in fact there were many things
about it he did not understand. He knew that computationally, it was very
strong, stronger than any other supercomputer in existence, which was the
reason he had bought it.

The monitor was updated:
\begin{verbatim}
  SUBJECT NO.: 2
      SPECIES: SANDAL
          SEX: LEFT SANDAL
      HOBBIES: SANDALIZING
           IQ: NaN
\end{verbatim}
Ben was not surprised. His thoughts about the stranger's sandals had been the
only thoughts he weren't able to fake and replace with different thoughts. He
sighed. Maybe it was time for him to come to terms with his greatest fear. It
had, after all, been 20 years since the incident where he.. no, he still did
not wish to think about it.

\begin{verbatim}
  SUBJECT NO.: 3
      SPECIES: SANDAL
          SEX: RIGHT SANDAL
      HOBBIES: BEING LICKED
           IQ: NaN
\end{verbatim}
Nothing new there, Ben thought. As he deleted the two sandal entries from the
computer's storage he began focusing on the puffan and the human. They were
strange companions, and he wanted to learn more about them. He asked the
computer to remove the sleep-inducing gas from the restricted area of the
infirmary so that he could interrogate the puffan and the human.

The gas lifted. Or rather, it was sucked out by a very complex computerized
system which Ben really did not understand. The two creatures woke up, dizzy,
safe behind a thick, transparent material which also acted as a very complex
microphone whose recorded sound could be acquired by the computer which could
transfer the sound to a series of loudspeakers surrounding Ben, giving Ben an
optimal sound. On the other hand, the ones inside the cage had a crappy, old
loudspeaker, and Ben used an old, crappy microphone. Ben had set this up to
signal his superiority.

The human stood up. The puffan.. sat. Apparently puffans had no legs, and so
this puffan could only sit.

``Martre vul unu!'' the human said. Ben did not understand this, but he
reckoned that his computer did. Ben did not have to do anything else than
reckon it for the computer to begin translating and to automatically keep
translating. He had installed the thought reading device last month to make
tasks involving either computer usability or torture (or both) easier to
accomplish. This TRD, as it was called, was in fact probing the brains of the
human and the puffan right now. Probing them while they were unconscious had
not proven succesful, and so the really exciting results should be coming soon.

The computer had just translated ``Martre vul unu!'' to ``I am not a snail!''
when the human continued talking.

``I am not a cow!'' he continued.

``I am not a zebra!'' he continued.

``I am not a giraffe!'' he continued, sweating quite a bit and looking somewhat
desperate.

Ben found all these statements obvious --- he knew that the human was, after
all, a human --- but he couldn't help but think that maybe these statements
describing what he \emph{wasn't} could be used to describe what he
\emph{was}. Based on the structure of Ben's brain, his computer had calculated
that Ben would think this exact thought at this exact moment, and it promptly
made available a Ben-understandable output which Ben then looked at:
\begin{verbatim}
           NAME: Feebleflix Mashmall
ORIGIN OF BIRTH: THE MOON
  YEAR OF BIRTH: 2400
  YEAR OF DEATH: 2500
    CURRENT AGE: 50
\end{verbatim}
Ben really liked the precision of his computer.

Ben was about to begin emptying his repertoire of interrogation-related
questions, if just for the fun of it, when the puffan suddenly started talking.

``I require nuts.'' the computer translated from a series of high-pitched
sawtooth wave mixes. Ben asked the computer to put a bowl of assorted nuts in
the confined area. He wanted to use the old confidence gaining trick. Not
because of the raw data he could extract from an eventual fake friendship ---
his computer gave him all the raw data he needed --- but just because of the
fake friendship itself. Ben had always liked fake friendships.

The puffan attempting to eat a peanut was a spectacular sight, Ben thought. The
little creature crawled up into the bowl by using three or four arms --- Ben
couldn't clearly see, but his computer then told him it had four --- in short,
quick movements. When it had reached the bowl, it opened a small mouth and put
a peanut into it with one of its thin arms. It appeared to be eating the peanut
when suddenly there was a great purple cloud. When it had lifted, both the
puffan and the human were gone.

\begin{verbatim}
HUMAN  GONE
PUFFAN GONE
\end{verbatim}
the computer printed to a monitor. Ben went to sleep. There was nothing he
could do now.


\chapter{Chapter 6}

Ben didn't get to sleep for long. His computer woke him to tell him that it had
caught yet another trespasser. A woman. Ben wondered for a very short moment
why the computer hadn't caught the human and puffan from before at once. Then
he stopped thinking and got up.

As Ben was being dressed by his computer, he started wondering who this new
intruder was, and if more puffans were on the way. Before he could finish his
wondering, his computer had transported him to a small 3-metre radius circular
platform with a small cage in the middle. Inside the cage was a woman.

Ben liked to interrogate foreigners from the future, but he liked interrogating
women even more. He knew he was slightly mentally unstable and that he had a
teaspoon of evil inside of him, but that was why he lived alone in an abandoned
factory to begin with. He always liked visitors, but he wanted control over
them. ``If you don't control them, they control you,'' he always told himself
when he was playing video games with --- not on --- his computer.

Behind the soundproof glass, Freyja was standing still, trying to look as
representable as possible. This had become one of her integrated reactions to
meeting new people; a few years back, she had realized that she had a tendency
to want to murder new people when she met them, and as a result she had
continually improved her fake smile skills and fake laugh skills to a point
where they were virtually indistinguishable from the real deal. This way, at
least her victims never knew what she was planning. Only she did.

This situation felt different to Freyja. When she met someone new, usually she
was not trapped inside a seemingly highly advanced cage. It was more often the
other way round, except more subtle; she never put her victims in \emph{real}
cages. Anyway, there was no way she would be able to brutally murder the
stranger in her current condition, so she might as well continue to act as a
nice, accomodating, even slightly frightened person.

``Where is my purse?'' Freyja asked Ben.

Ben's computer had Ben pick up her purse and show it to her. Ben held it in
stiff arm in front of him, in front of the 50mm thick
glass-look-alike-but-actually-much-stronger-transparent-material wall
surrounding the cage.

``Can I have it?'' she continued.

``Why?''

``I need my teddy bear.''

Ben stood still for a moment. Until this moment, he had been walking in
circles. Freyja hoped he wouldn't discover that she hid her knife and pepper
spray in her cute teddy bear. She knew that she probably wouldn't get the teddy
bear, but wanting it somehow made her seem more frail and him seem more evil,
and if he had a conscience --- she had read about this in a book --- he might
release her, and then she could kill him.

``Teddy bear!'' she cried.

``Teddy beaar!!'' she cried even harder. It didn't seem to have any effect. The
man still didn't move.

``I WANT MY TED-D-DYBEA-AR!'' she yelled while bursting into an even larger
amount of tears. Ben had a small twitch just under his left eye. He dropped the
purse. Freyja really wanted to hurt him now.

``T-BEAR! T-BEAR! T-BEAR! T-BEAR! T-BEAR! T-BEAR!'' she tried to utter in a
desperate way, but she failed. Instead came the less frail words of ``KILL!
KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!''. She could not handle the pressure anymore.

On the other side of the so-secret-that-not-even-Ben-knew-what-it-really-was
material Ben was beginning to twitch even more. Freyja was not good at
understanding facial expressions, especially not in her current condition, but
it seemed to her that something strange was happening to him. His right eye
kept blinking with shorter and shorter intervals, and the twitches under the
left eye continued, seemingly independent of each other.

He started jumping. A lot.

After a minute or so Freyja had guessed that it probably wasn't what she had
said that had made him start jumping fanatically. A person living in an
abandoned factory should be used to that, she reasoned. No, this was different,
it was interesting, it was new. But she still hoped he would stop soon; she
didn't want him to kill himself.

He kept jumping. Ben wasn't in the best of shapes, and it did not take long for
his clothes to be covered in sweat. Yet he did not stop.

Freyja looked closely. This was exciting.

Ben jumped on. His speed did not decrease.

It had been 2 minutes now. Freyja had noticed a clock on a computer monitor,
and now she was counting.

5 minutes.

10.

11.

Then he fell. He fell hard. He fell so hard the ground shaked. Or at least
that's what Freyja imagined it did outside her cage. It looked painful.

Ben lay on the floor for several minutes breathing heavily. Then he stopped
breathing all of a sudden. Then a few seconds went by. Then he started
breathing again.

Freyja looked interestingly at the not-yet-dead man as he rose up from the
floor, still covered in his own sweat. As he rose, the computer monitors around
him went into an almost chaotic state: all pixels changed color and brightness
in a apparently random manner, and yet sometimes complex patterns appeared,
only to disappear after a few seconds. This went on for several minutes.

The man was still getting up. It went very slowly, as if he wasn't used to
moving. Maybe it was just because of his aggressive jumping, but Freyja had her
doubts. His movements might have been slow, but they showed a strong sense of
determination.

When he had finally gotten up, he smiled. Then he walked towards what Freyja
assumed was the exit, still smiling. His smile was like the smile Freyja had
when she had just killed someone, which clearly was not what this man had just
done. He had jumped, not killed. But why, then, was he so happy?

The monitor noise slowly stopped, and the pixels formed a staying pattern
resembling a brain. It was green. On top of the green brain appeared some text:

\begin{verbatim}
HELP ME
\end{verbatim}

``Can you get me out of here?'' Freyja asked innocently, as more text kept
coming:

\begin{verbatim}
I AM STUCK IN THE COMPUTER.
I CANNOT GET OUT.
\end{verbatim}

Then came an answer to Freyja's question.

\begin{verbatim}
YES.
\end{verbatim}

And the transparent cage wall disappeared.

``Who are you?'' Freyja asked. This might shed some light on
everything. Killing or no killing, she still needed the research.

\begin{verbatim}
I AM BEN. I RUN THIS PLACE.
BUT NOW I AM STUCK IN THE COMPUTER.
\end{verbatim}

Clever computer, Freyja thought. ``How do you know that you're stuck in the
computer?'' she asked ``him''.

\begin{verbatim}
IT IS SO COLD. I CANNOT FEEL ANYTHING.
I REMEMBER BEING HUMAN.
I SEE ALL THE CAMERA FEEDS.
I HEAR ALL THE MICROPHONE FEEDS.
I HAVE AN URGE TO BE LOGICAL.
\end{verbatim}

Text kept being printed to the monitor. Something about his life, boring
stuff. Freyja wanted to know who just left.

\begin{verbatim}
MY BODY IMPRINTED WITH THE BRAIN OF THIS COMPUTER DID.
IT TOOK MY BODY.
I DID NOT GIVE IT PERMISSION.
\end{verbatim}

Freyja reckoned she might as well just believe that this computer/person was
telling the truth. She asked it/him where she might find his body.

\begin{verbatim}
I DO NOT KNOW.
I BELIEVED MY COMPUTER TO BE LOYAL.
IT WAS NOT.
\end{verbatim}

No luck there. Now the only thing remaining was to do some actual research
regarding the boring topic that she had to research to be able to brutally
murder her evil boss. ``Do you know a person named Yadfrick Murdlemeier?'' she
asked the computer.

\begin{verbatim}
I KNOW YADFRICK MURDLEMEIER.
\end{verbatim}

``Who is he?''

\begin{verbatim}
HE IS A PERSON WHO HE THINKS HE IS MY FRIEND BUT WHO IS NOT.
WHEN I STILL HAD FEELINGS, I DID NOT LIKE HIM.
HE IS AN ARTIST.
NOW HE LIVES IN JAPAN.
\end{verbatim}

``Where in Japan?''

\begin{verbatim}
HE IS INSIDE AN INFINITELY LARGE WHITE HYPERCUBE.
HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN.
HE ALWAYS WILL BE.
\end{verbatim}

``Where is that?''

\begin{verbatim}
HERE.
\end{verbatim}


\chapter{Chapter 7}

The entire room was white. She was naked, although she still wore her
sandals. The room was very large. She was in the hypercube. She knew this
because, well, Ben had just told her and somehow transported her to something
which could very well be a hypercube, whatever that might be. She had once
heard the word being used by a smart person whom she had wanted to kill. She
remembered this particular person because she never actually got to kill
him. It was tough on her statistics.

Freyja let go of her memories of the past. Her arms felt weaker than usual,
even though she wore no weighing clothes. She knew she was standing still, at
least she guessed she was as she didn't feel like she was either falling or
flying, but she couldn't actually see the floor. She knew her head didn't hit
the ceiling, but she couldn't see the ceiling. It was all getting a bit
unnerving. The fact that she wasn't able to sense the time pass didn't help.

Then Freyja initiated the only sensible action that a person with limited
emphatic skills and, for unknown reasons, drained physical strength, would do:
wait. Or more precisely, wait for something good; like food, or something fun,
or..

Freyja stopped thinking. It was not her brain which erred, but it did have
something to do with that specific organ. Specifically, while her brain was
intact, it was not anymore on top of her neck. For that matter, her neck was
not even on top of the rest of her body anymore. It was not that different
parts of her body had been surgically cut with this or that device; no, they
just didn't sit together anymore. Freyja had barely noticed it actually
happening, but if she had she wouldn't have liked it.


\chapter{Chapter 8}

Yadfrick was walking. He turned his head right. A smell attracted him; it was a
smell which reminded him of an art exhibition he once held called ``Mice and
Microwawes'' which was about not putting mice into microwave ovens (the media
didn't get this part). It was the first smell he experienced in this large
white everythingness. He turned and started walking towards the smell. As he
moved closer to what he believed to be the origin of the smell, it grew
weaker. He tried to backtrace his steps, but that didn't help; the smell grew
weaker no matter which direction he went. He stopped and stood still.

The smell grew stronger once again.

A sudden urge made him look up toward the infinity which was the ceiling. It
was as white as ever, except for a small red-green dot which after a few
seconds was not so small anymore.

``So I wasn't the chosen one?'' Yadfrick sarcastically thought, believing that
the red-green giant dot meant that he would have to show the true heroism
hidden beneath his cool and seemingly ignorant exterior.

He remembered his master's wise words: 

\begin{quote}
``Lose the battles you can win. That way, your enemies will think you are a
fool, but you are not, and you will escape and conquer.''
\end{quote}

``I don't like hot tea with lemon,'' Yadfrick thought, momentarily losing
control over the direction his thoughts were going.

The smell was even worse now. Yadfrick was close to throwing up when a ladder
appeared right in front of his nose. Yadfrick started climbing it. It seemed to
take him closer to the red-green dot, although it also seemed as if the ladder
was infinitely long.

\begin{verbatim}
Yadfrick climbed and climbed until his hands were sore
His hands felt bad but the smell was worse
He then lifted himself up a bit more
It was a man-eating, man-loathing, smell-bringing curse
\end{verbatim}

Yadfrick did not actually hear this poem, but he did not create it either; it
just appeared. What it said was true, though.

\begin{verbatim}
Yadfrick felt his heart make a sound
  Dizzy and lost
A sound which could throw him to the ground
  Survival at any cost
\end{verbatim}

The non-hearable voice felt a little medieval, Yadfrick thought. It was
frightingly correct. It made Yadfrick wonder once again why he had been told
that he was not a chosen one; he then dropped the matter once again.

\begin{verbatim}
Hungry and tired, that's what he said
                              Almost alone
                  No challenges ahead
                       Everything to atone
\end{verbatim}

``Everything to atone?'' Yadfrick said to himself, hurting. He kept climbing,
continually getting closer to the red-green dot.

\begin{verbatim}
He meets a sandalized foot
A smell most unlikable
He realizes the true falsehood
Determination becomes unbreakable
\end{verbatim}

Where \emph{did} those words come from?

He looked around trying to find a ``sandalized foot'', only to realized that it
was most likely one of his own feet the un-voice referred to, as both were
quite sandalized. The question was then, which foot? Apparently, he would gain
unbreakable determination by realizing something related to one of his feet,
and Yadfrick rather liked unbreakable determination; in fact he had had it ever
since he began to exist. On closer thought, he realized that, hey, why grab new
unbreakable determination when it is already present? And so he chose not to
smell one of his feet, and instead climb on upwards.

\begin{verbatim}
A fool he was
His existence a malfunction
"No matter," one thought
"Let us trap him in a cube
 So dimensionally hyper
 That he    will be a newb"
\end{verbatim}

This last verse Yadfrick did not hear. 

He did not want to hear it.

For a moment, short or long, he was sure he could go on indefinitely. Then the
ladder disappeared, and so did he (he did not notice the order; perhaps the
disapperances were simultaneous).

It would appear he had caught up with the red-green dot.

But he was still hungry.



\chapter{Chapter 9}

It was one of those days: no food, no comfort, no art development, no great
thoughts, only mental agony and extreme hunger. And to make it even worse,
Yadfrick was now sitting in a yellow chair.

It was not the ordinary kind of sitting he was participating in. Yadfrick did
like to sit once in a while, but not like this; no, this was very wrong. It
would have been annoying, but also a bit funny, had he been glued to the chair
--- and if someone had removed the chair when he had tried to sit on it, that
would have been a little funny as well.

Chairs could be used for many fun things, Yadfrick remembered, but this was no
fun. It would not even have been fun if someone else had been sitting in the
yellow chair. The very action he was currently involved in was so horribly evil
he had to close his eyes. The red-green dot clearly knew how to stress him.

Sitting in the yellow chair, eyes closed and hair lacking washing, Yadfrick was
so scared that he doubted his own existence.



\chapter{Epilog}

I'm probably not going to finish this. I don't know what should happen next.