It had been roughly three months since Joshua dropped out of High School. His reasoning behind it? Failing. Joshua was in his final year of High School, and his grades were no where near passing. It's not that Joshua wasn't intelligent, but rather quite the opposite. Joshua is one of the most intelligent people he knows, and isn't afraid to flaunt the fact. Due to his intolerance for ignorance and stupidity, Joshua chose a lifestyle of loneliness in which he refused to interact with those of significantly lower intelligence than him unless absolutely necessary. Joshua eventually got to the point to where classes bored him and were no longer a challenge, so he started skipping school to do basically whatever he pleased. Joshua was awoken to the incessant yelling of his mother. "Joshua! Wake up! You can't keep sleeping through your alarm!" Joshua had recently got a job. His parents had made it quite clear that if he wasn't going to be in school, he needed to be working. He had a habit of staying up later than he should, and would often sleep through his alarm clock on his cell phone. This was one of those days. He woke up, wiping his eyes and stared at the digital clock on his nightstand. Shit. I have less than a half hour to get ready and head to work... "Yeah...yeah..." He shooed his mother off with a dismissive hand wave, causing her to leave his room. Joshua got dressed in a dark blue polo shirt and tucked it into a pair of khaki dress pants. He grabbed a large cup of coffee as made his way over to the door and slid on his black and white sneakers, leaving his house. He had less than ten minutes to get to work now, and was dreading the reprimanding that he'd get from his less than amused manager. Joshua was already teetering on the edge of being fired, having showed up late to work six times in the past month and a half. If it hadn't been for his stellar abilities of computer repair and hardware maintenance, he would probably have been fired by this point. However, his manager saw him as a valuable asset to the company. Joshua works for a worldwide chain store that does electronic repair. He managed to quickly work his way up to be the top worker in the shop, managing to fix just about any problem that was thrown his way. As Joshua entered the shop, he was greeted by his rather upset boss, Cynthia. She was middle-aged, but looked great in spite of it. She has long blonde hair that stretches down to the mid-section of her back. "You're late again, Mr. Hodges. Care to entertain me with another story as to why?" Joshua shook his head and took a sip from his coffee. She stared down at him with an eyebrow raised. "Oh. I'm sorry....do you want some?" He offered the cup up to his boss with a sincere half-smile on his face. She did not look impressed. "Mr. Hodges. I most certainly do not want any of your coffee, I do however want answers as to why I shouldn't fire you." Joshua tilted his head to the side. "Cindy." He referred to his boss on a first name basis. "It's because I know you wouldn't fire me. Me showing up roughly five minutes late only shadows in comparison to the increasing amount of money I bring to the company." He said with a cocky grin on his face. "In fact, you're really only having these semi-intimidating talks with me so that you'll keep the rest of these lackeys in line. Right?" Cynthia's left eye twitched with anger as she stared down upon Joshua. "Get to your place and do your work, now." She demanded of him. Joshua smiled and nodded, casually walking over to a countertop with his name atop it. There were a few other people on different sections of the counter who were being consulted by customers. After working for nearly nine hours, Joshua was locking up the place and shutting everything down. He decided that he'd quickly check his e-mail. At the very top was an e-mail with no subject from an e-mail address that contained strange characters. Having had his interest piqued, Joshua clicked it. In a light blue color was a link. Upon clicking the link, the computer went black, crashing the computer entirely. Joshua suddenly felt light-headed and then slipped into a state of unconsciousness as his consciousness was quite literally sucked into the computer. His body walked mindlessly back towards his house, his parents were both sleeping. He made himself food with very choppy body movements, almost as if he were a robot. His body began to eat away at the sandwich that he'd prepared for himself, and then he proceeded up the stairs to his room to fall asleep. His body relying purely on instinct at this point, having lost any actual consciousness. *** Joshua awoke in a strange place. It was the computer store. But...it looked abandoned. It was night time, but it didn't feel right. It felt eerie. Eerier than normal. As he left the store, he was taken aback to notice that the streets were completely empty. "Where the hell is everyone...." Even at night time, the streets were always busy. But now...? There was nothing. He continued to walk around, breaking out into a run. He came upon his house and the interior looked nothing how it did in the real world. Joshua was beginning to freak out. I must be asleep. Am I lucid inside of a dream right now? He began to punch himself repeatedly, very much so feeling the pain of doing so. "I'm obviuosly not in a dream...." Joshua said aloud as he ran from his house. Finally, he came upon someone. He shouted upon the figure and approached her. It was a girl with short multi-colored hair. She held a basket and was placing various fruits inside of it. He knew this place. It was a fruistand that was less than a few blocks from his house. "Excuse me? I believe I'm lost. Where are we?" The figure didn't answer, but instead continued to go through the fruits, almost like she didn't even hear him. "Excuse me, lady?" He gripped her, but she didn't feel normal. She felt hard...metallic...like a machine almost. A voice suddenly came from nowhere. "She can't hear you." A female's voice came from behind. He turned to face her. It was a girl that was roughly a few inches shorter than he. She had blood-red hair that was held in a high ponytail that hung to an inch below her shoulders. "You're a human, aren't you?" She remarked, looking him up and down. "Well...yes....obviously...aren't you?" He replied, sizing her up as well. "I am not. I'm merely a simulation of this world. You really don't know, do you? You're inside of the Internet." Joshua couldn't help but laugh. "You're fucking with me. No such thing is possible. Inside of the internet... Are you on drugs lady?" The female shook her head in disappointment. In the distance, a loud sound began to be heard. Joshua knew not of what it was....it was unfamiliar. "I'm most certainly not on drugs human. However. If you wish to live, you'll grab my hand." Joshua decided that he had nothing to lose by doing so. Whatever was happening made no sense to him. He grabbed onto the girl's hand, it feeling warm and soft like a human's. In an instant, they were transferred to an unknown location. It matched with the pictures that Joshua had seen of the very early 21st century. "I'll explain in due time, Human. But for now. You should rest in the corner over there." The building they were ontop of was more likely than not an office building. It was still night time, however, and Joshua knew not what to do in this situation. However, a strange feeling of trust overtook him as the girl spoke. He didn't even know her, yet she spoke with such persuasion. "Alright...yeah....I'll sit down...but I want you to explain." She nodded as Joshua seated himself against a metallic vent fixture. "All in due time human. All in due time." He took a few nervous breaths and stared down at his lap, waiting in silence.