Prologue

"Hello, my name is Lara Entrix and I'm a game sprite. I'm from the small secluded system of Uphoria. Two hundred and sixty-four humans live there along with six game sprites, that's including myself, and about fifty binomes. Well, at least until just recently, but I'm getting ahead of myself - you don't know what the Net I'm talking about. Let me start a little bit before everyting went haywire, random, however you want to describe it; completely out of control.

"As I said before, I'm from the system of Uphoria. I guess one could call it a small colony of humans, mostly humans anyways.

"The colony started right after the humans began entering cyberspace as a last option to save the entire race from starvation, and almost complete extinction. They programed small pockets of cyberspace to contain the humans' new cities but received a shock when they came to explore them.

"To their surprise, cyberspace was all ready inhabited, by sprites, Khatrans, Ledrites, Zeds and other beings; it was already crowded.

"Feeling superior than the current occupants of the Net, the humans forcefully tried to take over the systems and colonies that were already occupied. Their logic was that if they had created the beings, they could rule over the sprites or Khatrans or who-ever they wanted. As you could have guessed, that didn't go over well and started an all out war between the 'Users' and everyone else, minus the viruses, who remained neutral.

"There was a small group of humans who didn't want to get involved in the wars and racial tension. They just wanted to try and continue with their lives as normal as possible. After weeks of searching through the Net, they came across a system that had been evacuated and destroyed during the historic battle against the Super Virus that had taken over the entire Net. Daemon I think her name was...or was it a he...?

"Anyway, it was an ideal place for the humans to repair and settle down in. They rebuilt most of the buildings and homes, restored the city parks and play areas and began growing agriculture again. They also equiped the system with the latest Earth technology and some ancient sprite technology, including old sprite games, history, information and small ways to make the human lives a little more comfortable in their new world.

"Soon after the reconstruction of the system was complete, the humans cut all connection with the Net and other systems and became a self-contained system, relying only on its inhabitants. They had someone from every occupation to do their part in the small city. But, not only did they cut all connection to the Net but they erased their location so they would be left alone to continue living as if they had never left earth's surface and would not be attacked by outside parties. The only known co-ordinates of the system were given to the Guardians, who put these in their information database under 'Top Secret', and protected them by a password. Since hacking was made illigal, the informaiton was extremely safe there.

"With the ancient sprite technology made accessable to them, some humans became 'programmers' and taught themselves the ancient languages of computers. They discovered a language that dated back to the very beginning of computers called 'binary' and it was such a simple language they learned it very quickly.

"The historians of Uphoria read in the old read-me files of small beings called 'binomes' and that they had helped the User in the simplest tasks, such as word processing. An experiment was set up to see if the programers could create such a being again to aide them in their new life. The experiment was a success and the first binome in 300 years was created. Several more were created because of their help to the humans.

"The programmers were so pleased with themselves for creating life from old codes that they wanted to try again, but creating a more complex being: an artificial intellegence game sprite. It took several tries and several years but, finally, a game sprite, which they named Genesis (meaning 'beginning') was created.

"Genesis wasn't the best game sprite for their purposes, which was to be an opponent in their games to battle against the 'User' if  no other 'User' would want to play. With the template of Genesis, the programmers created me, Lara Entrix along with four others: Duke Racer, Quake Conquor, and Myst and Riven PC. The game sprites' job was to be at the game arena all day to compete against a single User that wanted a challenge.

"All of our names came from late 20th century computer games played by Users for entertainment purposes.

"Duke Racers' strength was speed. His mind can adjust quickly when moving at high speeds. He has the quickest reflexes than the rest of us. His favourite games include 'Need for Speed', 'Formula One', and Viper Racing. Duke's first name came from the game entitled 'Duke Nukem' and his last name is what he likes doing best: racing.

"Quake Conquor's strength was agility and shooting. He was a great shot and a difficult opponent in games like 'Doom', 'Quake', 'Half-Life', and 'Honour Guard'. How Quake got his first name is already quite obvious, but he received his last name from a war and stragity simulation game titled, 'Command and Conquor'.

"Myst's and Riven PC's strengths are thinking and mind puzzels. They both got their names from two games which had the User travel to different worlds and solve mysterious puzzels and collect items to win the game. Myst and Riven were created at the same time and made to look very similar: programed to be brother and sister, they're refered to as 'the twins'.

"Lastly, myself. I have good reflexes, excellent agility, quick thinking and I'm good with a gun. I was created to play adventure games that involve danger, problem solving, and nice aiming skills . My name, Lara Entrix, comes from two different sources. My first name is from an old computer character named Lara Croft; an adventurer like myself. My last name, Entrix, is after an ancient hero of the Net, Enzo Matrix; maybe you've heard of him. He, along with several others, helped defeated the super virus, Daemon and saved the Net.

"Outside of the the tiny colony, they system became a legend told in school readers as a fiction study. It turned into a place for all who heard of it, an ideal to live in; which it was.

"The game sprites didn't have much freedom to do what we wanted in Uphoria. We were to do as we were told by the humans, which was alright with us; we were never treated badly. We had plenty to eat, a place to stay and many good friends. The humans gave us days off occasionally and given gifts and special events just for us as a thank you for being there to play against them. It was a great life in Uphoria, each doing our jobs and interacting with one another. Then, one day, all of that changed..."

Chapter One