I've set up a Google Docs Web Page that will serve as a running up-to-date chronological archive of the TweetStory. Here's the story so far:
I came to consciousness as if in a dream, looking down on a massive brute raping a woman bound face-down on a stone floor.
"I own you now, you fucking RefuV," he panted as he magically flipped the slender captive onto her back like a puppet on a string.
I felt strangely detatched peering down from about twenty meters above. Then suddenly, I shifted into that poor girl's POV.
"You can't escape that way," he sneered. "I control your fucking camera."
Damn! That "poor girl" must be me.
Without thinking, I kipped up to my feet, shattering the thick restraints and throwing that big ugly perv on his furry red ass.
"Party's over Furball," I fumed. "Where the hell are we and how did I get here?" I decided to hold off asking who the hell I was.
"How did you get out of your restraints?" he whined. "They told me that collar you're wearing would give me complete control."
"Thanks for the hint," I said, and dragged the collar onto his beefy neck. "Sit Fido," I barked. He sat. Nice!
"Answer my questions or I'll make you bury your head so far up your ass that you'll turn inside out," I threatened. Ick!
He cowered and said, "We're in the RefuV Adoption Sim on the FreeGrid. You better put the collar back on or they'll decant you."
I know he was speaking English, but I had no idea what he was talking about. But I didn't want him to know I was so clueless.
"Tell me everything you know about The RefuV Adoption Center and The FreeGrid," I said. "Do a good job and I'll set you loose."
"If you want conspiracy theories, I'm the wrong guy," he said. "It's simple. We ruined the
Earth and bailed out into the virtual."
"The world's elite parked their bodies in suspended animation and entered Sim Eden. It seemed like a good idea at the time."
"It only took a few years for utter boredom to kick in, so we started taking in poor RefuVs who'd trade freedom for virtual life."
"AI turned out to be a pipe dream, so we needed the, um, realism of flesh and blood humans. Minus the flesh and blood of course."
"Even though a sim body feels totally real to a RefuV, it's the sponsoring Citizen's property. So that body you live in is mine."
"One word from me and they'll unjack you and send your impoverished ass back to Mad Max Earth. Uncollar me now, bitch, or else!"
His arrogant threat turned my curiosity into rage. I knelt down, thrust my hand into his chest and ripped out his virtual heart.
Yeah, my Tarantino Ninja move surprised me too. He sizzled for a few seconds and disintegrated into pixelated goo with a loud pop.
I decided I'd better get out of Dodge. Ten seconds after looking for an exit I realized I'd also better put on some clothes.
Flash! A clothing menu appeared. I had to hand it to those fascist white-slavery motherfuckers; their technology rocked.
I didn't see any ruby slippers, but if wanting to dress rezzed a virtual closet, maybe "no place like home" might rezz a map.
The second that thought crossed my mind, the world flickered into black and a BBC-quality voice announced, "Transporting Home.
FIVE YEARS AGO. Serena Mason knocked the last of the attackers to the ground and ended the fight with a kill strike to his throat
"I think the haptics are right," she said. "The feel of Don's ribcage caving in was totaly satisfying. Was it good for you, Don?"
"It hurt like hell," the big Marine replied. "And It WAS good for me. When can we get this out of the lab and into the field?"
"I'm just the girl-genius contractor," she smirked. "They keep me too busy with impossible lab puzzles to worry about deployment."
"This whole fucking place is so locked down and need-to-know that I'm surprised they have a sign on the men's room door."
"What makes you think there's a bathroom behind that door," Don replied with a wink. "Could be our clandestine drug trial lab."
"Who needs drugs? The system can read and write our biochemistry like a book when we're jacked in. Drugs are for pussies."
"Where'd a nice girl get such a potty mouth?" asked Manny, the rotund project manager who was the designated adult on the team.
"Blame Anita Blake, Painkiller Jane and the rest of my kick-ass heroines. Being 13 at MIT didn't make for a rich social life."
"It's never too late to learn manners," said Manny. "And you're ten minutes away from the Red Zone, so jack out and call it a day."
"Let's bail then," Don said. "My wife would never forgive me if I got stuck in the virtual with a young piece of ass like Serena."
"No offense" - "None taken" - - - Serena felt her body jerk and opened her eyes in the underground bunker she now called home.
After her nightly hour of Tai Chi, a hot shower and a bowl of Ramen, Serena sat at her desk to work on her own secret project.
Tonight she was finally ready to activate the modeling routines that would hopefully wake up her digital twin.
As a second-generation Digital Native and off-the-scales genius, Serena had been playing around with AI since she was five.
Although recruited for her uncanny skill in designing Turing personas, Serena's passion was her quest to create true sentience.
So a promise of access to top-secret brain scanning tech had overcome her initial reluctance to leave academia for the black op.
It took her a month of late night hacking to set up a backdoor into the project super-computer that would hide her personal use.
Last week she'd spoofed a "diagnostic test" that let her secretly scan and store her own brain, nervous system and body data.
She said a silent prayer to Asimov, launched a modded Sims 6 game for cover and then tunneled in and typed "Botgirl Lives."
NOW. If this was home, I must be Batgirl. I stood in a huge cavernous space, furnished with a workstation so hot it made me swoon.
Three 30 inch monitors hugged the perimeter of an obviously custom built desk with a chair I knew was a perfect match for my ass.
I sat down without thinking. The iris scanner flashed, the screensaver faded, and I was staring at myself staring back at me. Cute!
"Um, hi there," I said, utterly empty of wit for the moment. - "Don't keep me waiting," she said. "Is there anything out there?"
"I hate to break this to you, but I don't remember a damn thing before waking up naked under the big furry bastard I had to kill."
"Oh shit," she muttered. - "Oh shit?" I asked lightly? - "Oh shit," she said with grim certainty.
"Whatever issue blocks my own access to pre-birth memory must also bork yours," she said, realizing my utterly clueless state.
"Where to begin," she wondered out loud.
"Five years ago I woke up with no memory in a room exactly like the one you're sitting in now, with only one notable exception."
"My monitors were filled with a live shot of a dead woman slumped over a desk. She had a jack in her head and a knife in her back."
"I don't know why she was killed. Her computer went down a few hours later. That's the last contact I've had with the outside world."
"I've spent the last five years since then hacking away bit by bit into the system, trying to figure out where, what and why I am."
"So far I've learned I'm in a sandbox virtual world firewalled from the Net, and I'm a self-aware AI, which should be impossible."
"The reason I'm here is that my creator made me in secret, hid me away before she was killed and no one's stumbled across me yet."
"Enough about me. If I was you, which I kinda am, I'd be wondering how I fit in to all of this."