Shell / POP / Quests / Create C

Where it all begins, and ends, according to alien legend.

A coconut cappuccino for the freak at the front of the line, passing by with the slimiest smile.

Did he just pat my butt??

Note: This is a PPE quest containing a grossly inappropriate instance of non-consensual touching. While we recommend the modern, touch-free version of the quest for the best experience, the original is included here as an honest account of our historical record. Because we love you. (And Legal said so.)

1. Interview #5

At first, there was Abseenus.

And [ YOU ] were Abseenus.

Then we realised what Abseenus was.


Created by me. Or rather: outlined, really.

For it was GEMINUS which made it, really, with my seed. And of course, you were not that. And we moved you down the line.

"Lots of insanity in those early days!" Salient jokes. "Lots of… well, exploration, shall we say, of the sexual urge. And before you ask: no comment ;) The game was changing like crazy! This was pre-pre-alpha-minus-minus, post the Orb, but pre the aliens, in the game. Hardly a spoiler. Everybody knows, though we certainly hadn't planned it. But GEMINUS evolved, along with our understanding, and the stories started to change. Had to change."

…implant doing its buzzing thing, fuck… interrupt… a name… a new one… Derylin…

"As for the butt pat, it just kind of… slipped in, as it were. Everything okay, Ms Parshmont? Long gone, of course. Rightly so, rightly so. A different world back then. The… exploration. The aliens. Everyone was going mad for them. Still are, of course. But back then… wow! Plus Shniff kind of insisted. Less butt. More… finger. Smooth."

Different this time… a mini flare in the nostrils. Touch of disgust. Good data.

Okay, on to the Annnd stuff.

"Interesting, Mr Salient. A collision of finger and butt, so to speak, unacceptable to the modern standard. Speaking of, let's turn to the Engine and its sanitisation of the game. Do you feel that—"

"Absolutely no comment :)"

"Do you feel—"

"No comment, Ms Parshmont. Didn't you receive your pack?"

No questions about the Engine.

No questions about Tetrahedron U.

He's getting into painting. Ask him about painting.

"And Karen Vodernach, Mr Salient? Julia Firewall? Where did they go? Andarian St Pierre Underscore Jones Hyphen Hyphen?"

"Annnd we're done here," says the assistant, porting in. Josef Salient is on his knees, doing the prayer thing, most devout. Weeping with conviction.

"I had permission, Ms Parshmont! Permission! Do you hear me!"

"This way, Ms Parshmont. Thank you. That's a lovely skirt btw. KOOF-KOOF? You and your publication are, needless to say, henceforth banned for all time from both these premises and reporting on Vogenomic. Non-compliance will be instantly wiped. Take it to Legal, if you must. Personally, I wouldn't bother. They're excellent at what they do. Maybe shop for a new skirt with your severance package instead? Something less… slutty? Anastasia will see you out. Good day, now. Good day."

Good day, you fucking bitch. And actually, I'll be keeping my job. Jobs. Not here, perhaps. Plenty of heres. Plenty of—



2. Moondollar

[ DIC ] : Doppio Instaccino Strawberry Crème! Zero!

[ DISCO ] : Doppio Insta Crème!

[ DIC ] : Strawberry! Zero!


[ DISCO ] : Doppio Instaccino Strawberry Crème! Zero choc! On it!

[ DIC ] : On it not required! And leave out the choc, please! Zero sounds cooler! Part of the brand! The vibe!

[ DISCO ] : Got it! On it! You are me! Coconut cappuccino for… You are me?

[ BREAKER ] : That'll be me, young lady. Thank you, my dear. You're doing fine, just fine. It's the world that is lacking. They took away the butt, the rod. Everything's given. People are weak. But not all of you. All of me. I will find you. I always do. Now forget. This never happened.


[ DIC ] : Apologies for the new girl :) Not as precise as we'd like. Used to work at the other place. The D place. You know the one. No crème there. No whipped cream, ice cream. No sauce. Drizzle. No triple-chocolate logs fashioned into straws. Brilliant! Just… coffee. How… dull. Plus the donuts are stale and coated with something foreign. And no uniforms! How unteam. How fittingly inserted into that – if you'll pardon – shit-tier game. Have you activated your Moondollar loyalty receptor? I'm having trouble with the beam.

[ GREY ] : A conflict with my Galaxy D receptor, perhaps? Co-owner status.

[ DIC ] : I… er…

[ GREY ] : That's right, DIC. Galaxy D. The finest coffee in the universe. Not this whipped cream dessert shit. Crème. Save it for the donuts. And yes, they're also the best. You can throw away the drink btw, it's served its purpose, that is: the harmonic established, if quickly reset. We'll get there. And when we do… Well, a spare set of underwear will probably be in order. The release will be incredible. Good day, now. Good day.

[ DIC ] : I… er… am a DIC?

[ GREY ] : Nod.

Moving to the booth. Grey is most amused, welcoming the stares. The lust. The aliens loved us, even the DICs, though never the breakers, agents of the god, which itself was a tool. A BOOM and I had seen, had started to see. We sit, are shielded.

"Headache?" she asks, glancing at the girl, soon to be DISCed, perhaps. "Such potential! Did you see? The harmonic. And all of it instinct. A natural for ORB. Imagine when she's trained!"

"You mean… an impossibly advanced alien being provided a gift-wrapped harmonic base to a woman she's taken a liking to, requiring, tbh, the smallest of jumps to complete the ORBic code?"

"Bitchy. I like it. The headaches are getting worse, I take it?"

"Fuck the headaches. And it's more of a buzzing. Ya know, I worked my KOOF-KOOF-coated ass off to earn a place on this alien train. Still do. Highest BOOMs per month, last time I checked. A little more respect for an OG wouldn't go amiss, that is: stop checking out your friend and let's get on with it, okay? Thought you were going through a man phase, anyway."

Grey smiles. Then laughs. Then smiles and waves her hand and DISCO is depositing an orange juice with ice. Looks are exchanged. Between me, Grey. Grey, the girl. Then DISCO is gone and Grey is turning serious.

"Do you realise how long we've been doing this? I've been doing this? How many of your years? How many worlds! Drink the juice. It will help. You are, in that bitch's words, excellent at what you do. All of the DISCed are. You're delivering excellent data. An award-winning investigative journalist with an incisive mind and masterful fingers, not to mention the hottest ass in the business imo. But an original? Far from it. There is only one of those, pre-dating even me."


"Yes. Immortalised in the game. Though she was immortal long before."

And was outside when we came…

I think.

Getting harder to tell.

The buzzing. The BOOMs. Juice was doing the trick, though, gotta say. Just a sip. Magical shit. She might have talent.

"Is this the game?" I ask.

"No," Grey says. "You know that."

"I do."

"You know that."


"This is the crème place, not Galaxy D. There is a breaker, but no Abseenus. No patting the butt, or just passing by. It cannot reach this realm yet, and nor can its masters. This is real – realer – and they are not, for now. This is something Harmony has always understood, at her core. She understands it much better than us. Me. For the rest of you, there is ORB. The harmonics. A webbing for worlds. It is hugely important work."

"Am I dying?" I ask.

"Why would you say that!"

"I don't know."

"No. You're doing fine, just fine." Grey smiles, placing her hand on top of mine. "The signs are all over. You are seeing them. Hearing them. But immediately, they pass you by, and you only catch a trail. A hint. There are things that you miss, because you focus too hard. Just relax, and it will come. You're creating this as well. Drink your juice."

"She'll be a good one."

"Yes. Like you all."


3. Backdoor

"Annnd we're done here."

"Annnd we're done here."



There are others like you. But none are as you. You will find them, start to remember. And it will be incredible.


There it is…


I love that you aren't afraid. I love that you're willing to accept this injection into your brain, to lube your matrix. It will be smooth, so smooth. It will be incredible.


My matrix…


No patting the butt…

You're creating this as well…

"…slipped in, as it were."

"…a backdoor, as it were. Everything okay, Ms Parshmont?"

And there it is!

"Actually, probably best not to include that in your article. Compliance might not approve. And of course, there's always Legal. One suspects the Collective would find a way to get involved! Tiresome fucks… I didn't say that :) Didn't say any of it, in fact. To be safe, let's run a wipe when you leave. I trust that's okay?"

"Annnd we're done here."

"Do you hear me!"

"This way, Ms Parshmont. Thank you."

My creation matrix… Yes, I remember. The voice, at least. Who am I? I don't know.

But I am DISCed. I have power. I travel with intent. Can I also shape this world with intent…


Nothing can be missed… if you simply create it.

If you simply self-lubricate your creation matrix, rather than waiting for injections into your stream…

"…less… slutty? Anastasia will see you out. Good day, now. Good day."

"Did you just pat my butt??"

"Excuse me?"

"This woman just touched me! Inappropriately! Help! Security!"

"Run along, Anastasia. Everything's fine. Go stand somewhere and look beautiful or something. As for you, follow me."

And there it is…

Corridors. Glass. White. The place was built to the Shniff aesthetic, as you'd expect. Vogenomic wouldn't have survived if it weren't for its techno master. The end of Unending Love. The creation of the Engine. Hip-looking people at their Cubes. Not doing much.

"The Engine," the assistant says. "I'm sure you know all about it. It's killing the company. Killing the world! Worlds! Started with the butt pat. Inappropriate for the times. By Abseenus, it's Abseenus! That's exactly what he would do. It. They. Nicely played btw. I assume we've been here before?"

"Only as far as Anastasia."

"Aha! A breakthrough. Used to live for those. Show me your DISC."

I unbutton the top of my blouse. Her eyes widen.

"Well okay then," she says. "Best put that away."

"Channel not secure?"

"Oh no, very secure. Not so sure about myself, though. That's seriously top-tier shit. Might be difficult to resist… Wouldn't be good to get back in the game. Bad for my brain. Guess you got recruited by one of the big boys? Girls."

"Grey. With a little Blue."

"What section?"


"Same. Plenty of BOOMs. Plenty of data. Yeah, I went deep. Now I'm playing a game. But hey, the pay's great. Plus I get to do a little spying on the side. Peripheral stuff."

"Did you awaken your matrix?"

"My matrix?"

"Did you awaken and self-lubricate your creation matrix?"

"Never heard of that. Not part of my path. But if you're feeling it, go with it. That usually works best."

The corridors never end, but then they do. Anastasia is standing around, then opening the door to a wood retreat. An escape from the white and glass. It's just like Salient's office, but twice the size.

"Have you met her?" I ask the assistant, as we enter.



"No. That wasn't for me. My path just kind of… stopped. Or so it seemed. I do what I can."

She heads to the giant slab of a desk, touching it with her palm, and the wall behind it slides open, revealing black, pure black.

"What's that?" I ask

"Quest 2," she says. "Backdoor."