Cyber-bridge

Regina stopped walking. She turned around and saw dozens of lights dotting the distant pier. Then, she faced forward on the bridge again; there was only darkness in front of her.

“That’s one question answered,” the teenager sighed to herself. She learned why the end of the bridge could not be seen from shore. The bridge didn’t end, it just stopped. A tall black hole hovered directly in front of Regina; it swallowed the bridge. “But now I’ve got another question.” She eyed the dark portal, then spun in place to make sure she was alone.

Satisfied that she was, Regina concentrated on the hole; her eyes scanned it. Text filled the corner of her vision.

[Stable Portal. Connected to: AlterNet Server – Cyber City.] [Earth Template: Advanced Technology, Full AlterNet integration.] [Governing Guild: CyberRiot owns and operates Cyber City.]

“Whaaaaat?” she whispered the question to herself. Regina could not decide if she was more confused by the readings or by the fact that she somehow got that information. It meant someone took the time to catalog whatever was on the other side of that portal. It sounded safe, and with a name like Cyber City, it sounded more than inviting.

Regina did not have to debate the decision for very long; it was already half made when she decided to find the end of the bridge. It was why she had a backpack of parts and supplies. She was ready to leave, and she wanted to leave.

The 14 years she’d live until that point confused her and she wanted to leave it all behind. Regina could ask for, and get, anything she wanted, from anyone. She loved it at first until she realized everyone was afraid of her. Not all of her, just the metal parts.

With the decision made, Regina walked forward and stepped into the portal. The night bridge disappeared and she found herself standing in a vast desert with the sun shining overhead. Before she could get her bearings, she heard a woman’s voice.

“Welcome to the AlterNet!” Regina whirled around to find the source; she found a dust-devil forming itself into the shape of a pitch black mannequin. “Please wait here. A Registrar has been dispatched to this location to process you.”

“Process me? Process me how?” Regina asked.

“All cyborgs that wish to reside in Cyber City must be processed. If you do not wish to make Cyber City your home server, you may depart,” the mannequin said and pointed at the black portal behind Regina.

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

“That depends on how accomodating you are,” a man’s voice said. Regina turned to see a tall, lean man with metal arms and legs. When she faced him; the stranger’s jaw dropped.  Her platinum hair shined in the sun, her chrome eyes blazed like fire.

“I don’t believe it…,” he said. It was little more than a whisper, but her enhanced ears heard him. “What’s your favorite number?” he asked.

“47,” she shouted back.

“My name’s Roger,” the man said. He walked forward with a friendly hand extended.

“Regina,” she accepted the handshake once he was close enough.

“Well, Regina. Tell me, what’re your feelings on Roller Derby?” Roger asked. “I’ve got a team you’d be perfect for.”

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