Chapter 16

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Wow. Sixteen chapters, and I am somehow still going. I've beat my record of thirteen chapters that are finished. That doesn't seem like much in the long run though, does it...?

Anyway, thanks to anyone still reading. Your views and encouragement are highly appreciated. :3

Anyways, enjoy this new chapter.

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Chapter 16

Once again, Kitten was in darkness. This seemed to be a different kind of darkness though. It was cold, dreamless, blank. Everything seemed dark, with maybe a gleam of light now and then. Kitten turned about restlessly, confused and lost and a little dazed. What had happened to her world, the one she fit so easily into amidst giants and towering steel buildings?

Once more she turned, her feet suddenly guiding her off into the distant darkness, spurred into action by the growing need to be moving rather than sitting still. Her fingers curled and flexed, working feeling back into them. She wondered how long she'd been standing there, gazing out at the bleak landscape from her spot.

The ground below her was black, like everything else, but it felt cold and hard, chilled against the soles of her shoes. Something brushed against her leg, and she realized with a start the sudden smell of grass... Then it was gone again, replaced instead with a sharp, sweet scent that surprised her more than the grass had.

To her left, something rustled and she froze, on high alert. She could not see anything, but she felt she was not alone anymore. Someone else had entered her current plain of existence, someone dark and foreboding. The feeling made a shiver run down her spine, her eyes narrowing against the inky blackness.

A soft voice caressed her ears, whispery and imploring. She couldn't make out the words it spoke. It sounded more like the rush of wind through tall stalks of grass than someone trying to speak. Yet... She responded to it. Or at least, her body did.

Kitten found herself pivoting, as though her limbs were being pulled on by something else. Fear welled in her as she began to walk in this new direction, guided on by the dark voice. Something about it unnerved her, made her want to run, but she found herself unable to.

Strings of numbers began to flash by her, bathed in an eerie crimson glow. Following each new string of numbers (binary, she noted, seeing the all the ones and zeros) came a bold ERROR sign, in all caps. The strands of data trailed around her, by her, through her, and when the ERROR sign hit, pain flashed through her.

Her mind began to fog, her vision blurring. The voice grew louder now, echoing through her skull. It drew her further into the bundle of numbers, forcing her to stay still as the binary slammed into her. The words error began to crop up in her vision as well, as though her brain were trying to alert her that something terribly, terribly bad had infiltrated her body.

The word "VIRUS" flashed through her mind began her subconscious caved under the weight of the attacks. Her body seared with pain as it took root within her, corrupting her thought process and leaving her unable to put up a firewall against it. Her mind's defenses crumbled easily, the virus rooting itself into primary thought processes and clamping down hard on her rational thoughts.

Now that it had assumed full control, Kitten could feel nothing, see nothing. She couldn't even think for herself. Various codes, maps that she knew to be true appeared in her vision, with one deadly intent that Kitten no longer had the power to stop. She felt a rush of peace settle over her, and distantly she could hear voices, a light peaking through the darkness.

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