Tynan looked at the clock as he waved goodbye to yet another customer. Why did time go by so slowly today? There were still ten more minutes before he could clock out. Normally, the part-timer would have enjoyed working any extra hours at all. The money he earned would have been useful for paying bills and rent. However, that was any other day. Today, Tynan just wanted to head back home. He just received an SMS from the courier company that they'd left his long-awaited package at his doorstep. The convenience store cashier simply wanted to run home to unbox his latest purchase - the G-phone.
Slowly but surely, it was time to go home. Tynan threw off his apron and rushed to the lockers. It didn't matter if he toppled over a box of cup noodles, his co-workers would sort that out. Instead, the glasses-wearing part-timer apologised and ran off with his backpack. Kamie shook her head. Tynan was a great guy when he worked but he could be quite the klutz sometimes. She sighed and picked up the fallen cup noodles and wondered if Tynan had found himself a girlfriend for real this time. The technology university graduate was good with his hands but when it came to relationships, Kamie didn't think he was the brightest about what girls wanted.
As feet thundered on the pavement, Tynan felt his heart race in excitement. So what if he wasn't rich enough to afford an i-phone? The G-phone was a relatively unknown brand that could do exactly the same things the i-phone does. As a graduate of Information Technology, Tynan had faith in his technical knowledge. He read all the tech specs and researched for consumer reviews. This G-phone was godsent for poor people like him. This purchase is also probably the first thing that had gone right for him ever since he graduated with his degree.
Jamming his keys into the familiar door, Tynan let himself in. There was no need to turn on the lights as the bulb had blown a few days back. The part-timer simply didn't have enough time to get a replacement for it yet. Besides, it was late afternoon, he could make do with the sun. The light from the monitor was bright enough at night anyway, it wouldn't make a real difference.
The six feet tall man kicked his dirty sneakers off and bent down to pick up the box by the shoe rack outside. Yes, the box was addressed to him and already, Tynan could tell that G-phone's company took pride in its brand. The box had G-phone printed all over it and a small quote introducing their company's slogan on the top.
"G-phone - the revolution for lonely people... what's that supposed to mean?" Tynan frowned. According to the marketing campaign, the G-phone was like a lover. It would always be by the owner's side and basically worked as a digital personal assistant. But making such a statement... Was the company taking it too far?
Regardless, Tynan started unboxing his phone carefully, not wanting to damage it at all. He had the phone cover and screen protector ready beforehand. These were must-haves and a true man would never compromise on protection against scratches. If the phone was like the wife then a man must cherish it like how he would cherish his wife.
With gentle hands, Tynan placed on the tempered glass protector expertly. Truth be told, if the convenience store didn't pay him better, he would have worked at a mobile phone store to help people replace screens and paste protector sheets. Nothing brought him better joy than caring for products of technology.
After the protector was on, Tynan fit the leather phone cover casing and smiled. It was a perfect fit and the colour suited it perfectly. Usually, people would be satisfied with that but for Tynan, the initiation ritual would not be complete without a name. So far he'd named his computer, his laptop, his keyboard, mouse and old phone. Now that his old phone of four years was dying on him, it was time to say goodbye and welcome a new member into his harem.
"What should I call you?" Tynan blinked at the G-phone. Names like Sandy and Yuki were already used. His last phone was Ruby and the new phone needed something special. He just knew that buying himself a G-phone would be the biggest turning point in his life. Tynan never had the money to treat himself to expensive food or clothes. His computer was also salvaged from parts and built together from scratch. G-phone was the first luxury product he bought for himself so it had to be something special.
"Laura... The name means victory and I like starting the new chapter of my life on the right foot. With you around, let's accomplish great things together, shall we?"
Unknown to Tynan, something magical happened the moment he said that. The man was happy to plug the new phone in for it to charge while he went for a shower but the phone flickered to life even with zero percent battery.
On the screen, an image of a girl started to rub her eyes and look around. The girl had pink hair tied up with a bandana that was decorated with a cute skull. She wore a red tracksuit and looked very athletic. If anyone recognised her, they would know her as the Princess of the Dirt Track from five years ago who met a freak accident during one of her stunts. Her name was Laura and she was a professional dirt biker who performed stunts all across the globe before she vanished at the age of nineteen.
Laura was perplexed. She was staring into an enlarged version of someone's messy room when she woke up. The last thing she remembered doing was flying through the air before a rookie came slamming into her with the front wheel of his bike from the side.
"What the fuck?"
"What the fuck?" Laura yelled. She was not standing or sitting on anything. In fact, she didn't even have a shadow. What's going on?[Welcome to the G System alpha release 1.0. During the initiation phase, tutorials may not be skipped. Please press next to continue.]Laura blinked at the pop-out screen in front of her. This looked very similar to the touch screens that she used to get her train passes topped up except, it was cooler. the moment the ex-dirt racer hit "next", the screen blurred for a moment and the words changed.[Please press this button to go to your status screen.]Laura followed the instructions. So far, it appeared like a normal home screen for a computer or a phone but much bigger. She had a feeling that the 'picture' of the room was not just a picture. After all, why would her room behave exactly the same as the inside of a device? She was no computer program, she had a name and
Getting Tynan Boey to talk to her and open up wasn't a very difficult thing to do. Laura knew that the best way to get someone to start talking is to ask about themselves and then lead them into talking about a topic they're enthusiastic about before falling silent to listen to their tale. In fact, Laura preferred listening over talking. One tended to learn more by listening to others than imposing their thoughts onto the world."My colleague Kamie always told me that if I didn't dress well, nobody would want to get to know me better."The biker slammed a fist on the virtual wall beside her but the sound resounded in the speakers. Tynan was slightly startled by the explosive reaction."How dare she judge a person by their attire? So what if people loved wearing what they feel most comfortable in? It's not against the law to do so, is it? What's her deal?"Seeing the E-ghost get so worked up, the IT g
Tynan was already on his way to the store he worked at when his phone rang. It was an unknown number but the programmer decided to pick it up anyway. Chances were, it was an insurance agent trying to sell him something but being the nice person he was, the man simply couldn't decline calls."Hello?""You doofus! You left your wallet at home!"Startled, the half-Asian nearly dropped his phone. "You- Laura? How did you get my number?"If he could see the e-ghost, he would have seen Laura rolling her eyes. "I have skills. That's not important, come back and get your wallet before you starve!"The conversation made Tynan smile. Having someone care for him just made him feel very warm on the inside. "I understand. How about I run back to get it during lunch break? I don't work very far from where I live, a ten-minute walk would suffice. Can you wait until then? Is there something you'
When Tynan came back from work, he was carrying two heavy bags of groceries. It had been so long since he last cooked that he had to get everything from sauce and oil to rice on top of the things Laura requested. The shopping trip took longer than he expected and he was slightly tired from such a long day.Laura was resting and trying to piece back her memories. How did she end up as a ghost inside a phone? Also, it seemed like every time she tried to find out more about herself using the Internet Assistant, the system would deny her request. It was as if it didn't want her to find out how she died. The worst part was how Laura was unable to recall anything about her family. She knew background information like her home and that she had parents and was an only child with a pet cat. However, none of them had a real image to the names she knew. It felt like an implanted memory and at this moment, the ex-biker felt confused about her identity.
Laura was excited. She was able to see more of the world outside now that Tynan was bringing her to work. In the twenty-first century, it wasn't uncommon to see people holding their phones up and talking to themselves. People would assume that they were on a video call and Laura made it very convincing that she was someone calling from the other side of the line.Tynan showed her around town as he walked to work. The e-ghost smiled at the peaceful town. There were a few cars and only a few people because it was afternoon. Tynan's shift started after lunch and ended around dinner time. He was covering for Kamie who called in for an emergency leave today.The first thing she noticed was how crappy of a human the manager was. He was an overweight man who looked extremely greasy and didn't clean up after himself very well. While Laura tried her best not to judge a person by their looks, it was a clear case of human ga
It was a lazy weekend and Tynan didn't have to go to work. Initially, he intended to spend the day lazing in bed until noon but when he saw his new phone, he was quickly reminded of Lauren and swallowed thickly. The realisation of his feelings last night made him feel a little awkward around the e-ghost who was now very silent.Getting out of bed, Tynan wondered what would be a good breakfast for the snoozing e-ghost. After a few days, Laura and Tynan discovered that while Laura didn't need sleep or food, she would sometimes go offline for a few hours. During that period, the phone would work like any other phone and Laura couldn't be contacted.It was a scary thing but Laura explained it as a power outage of sorts where the system wouldn't allow her to view the outside world and she would feel a very strong feeling lulling her into a half-asleep state where she could not open her eyes yet could still hear faint stuff going on around her. Laura didn't know what she was
Tynan was taking a break. He'd call it a rather productive day as the game was making good progress. The first dungeon stage was complete and he tested it several times to find bugs. Laura even helped out as the game reset, giving him comments about where she found it lacking or difficult to cope with. He didn't know that the e-ghost was a gamer but Laura turned out to be rather decent with games even though she claimed that she didn't play games often in the past."You're actually quite good at this," Laura commented and Tynan rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment."Thanks. I actually wanted to work in a game development company that's why I studied programming. It's hard to get into that market here in Australia. I did think about moving abroad to America but nobody would employ me. The dream company to work for would be Playrix in Russia but I don't speak Russian so that's a huge no-go. Getting a job at that shitty convenience store was the only thing that al
Laura and Tynan settled into an easy routine after a while and just like that, two weeks flew by. The dirt princess was slowly but surely levelling up her housekeeping skills but she was unable to complete the new task the system assigned her. She wasn't able to improve Tynan's financial system and that was becoming a little bit of a nuisance."Why wouldn't the system level up already? Surely it wouldn't take much longer to get Internet Consultant to level 2, right? I'm already level 10 with cleaning, level 3 with cooking and level 7 with comforting!"The system addressed Laura's complaints with patience.[The ratio of xp to level up purchased skills from shared xp in trainable skills is 5:1. Replying, a total of 30 levels must be achieved in trainable skills to level up purchased skills once. Shared xp function works collectively, purchased skills will be levelled up at the same time.]Laura read the explanation twice and threw her hands up in frustratio