After his nap, Milo woke to find he was feeling better and noticed he had several email messages.

The first was from Williamson Plumbing and Supply, routed through a shell company: Dear Sir, We wanted to thank you again for your most recent order and hope you are happy with the work we did on your new designs.

If there are any flaws we need to correct or any changes that need to be made, please let us know.Sincerely, Joe and Pete WilliamsonMilo was quite happy with the work they had done and happy to have connections to a factory that could take his designs and produce the specialized machines he needed.

And it looked like they were selling to more people than just him.

That was good.

A profitable and competent company that owed him favors was a good asset to have.

According to two articles in trade publications, the company was having a renaissance, expanding and rehiring older workers with the skills needed to produce their innovative machines.He was certain he'd need to place more orders and send them more designs.


And not just orders for himself.

Steven and his crew were dealing with all the problems that came with revamping the sections that Genesis would be occupying.

Problems Milo was very familiar with.

The engineer and construction firms hired by Steven and Wally had funneled a constant stream of questions up to Steven, who forwarded most of them to Milo for consultation.

Upon hearing about the new model Clog Eaters and Duct Drones, Steven had placed an immediate order.

It would be at least two months for delivery, owing to an even larger order placed two days before by another customer.His own Clog Eaters and Duct Drones were already at work, confirming his maps of section E and constantly looking for problem areas.


The controller he was using was more complex than the basic model he'd designed for Williamson.

Milo wanted more flexibility, more security, and the ability to reprogram them on the fly.

The drones would make good scouts in case of another invasion of his section.

They could operate within the corridors of the habitat as easily as the ducts, and in the event someone tried to disable his security cameras, they would give him an alternative to his Roomba Brigade.

Those machines were much more complex and he hated the idea of losing any of them.Even in areas or situations where he couldn't communicate by simple WIFI, he could send orders to the Drones and Clog Eaters.

The machines passed information from one to another, chaining back to sub-controllers that communicated with his system.

The version sold by Williamson didn't need the advanced security modules he'd upgraded his machines with.

Another upgrade was programming and recognition protocols to deal with the Clog Eaters and Drones that Genesis would be using.

When a Genesis Drone met a Milo Drone, they would talk naturally and exchange data, but not equally.

Milo didn't want a map of Section E available to the people working for Genesis.

Some were friends, but he didn't know the other 99% or the people hired by them.

Information only flowed one way when the drones talked: Milo gave up nothing but was happy to accept all the data from the neighboring system.

This made sense to him.

It made it easier for him to recommend fixes for the broken systems Genesis was dealing with, but Milo would never ask for help in section E, so he saw no reason to give anyone a blueprint of his area.

And his machines would confirm the boundaries of each Section into the other machines, if they happened to stray, or were sent, into his area.

Overall he was quite pleased with the upgrade.The next message was from someone named Terrence that he hadn't yet met.

Greetings Sir,Miss Sidney asked me to send you a summary of the actions we are taking with your new game: Run, Run Ramona.

She is currently asleep after she passed out trying to finish the Disney World section of the game, on the plane ride home from Geneva.

We pried her phone out of her hand and will be hiding it until she recovers.

Her actions in Geneva were very good advertising.

An independent film crew began to follow her and film as she played the game continuously while attending the convention and touring coffee shops, which made for some interesting footage.

Taken from Royal Road, this narrative should be reported if found on Amazon.Initial reviews are extremely good, and footage from the beta testers has been streamed world-wide.

The individual evolution of each person's game depending on their actions is creating quite a bit of talk, and pre-orders for the game are doing very well.

Initial plans to release it on the top three consoles have been expanded to include seven more platforms, including a full VR version that will be offered by Genesis Corporation for players using pods.

Vidflix has optioned a 16 part first season for a retro-video, filming everything in an abandoned habitat in Mexico City.

Your proceeds from the game will begin flowing to you today.

Please contact Miss Sidney, (Or myself if she is busy for some reason.) if you have any questions.Terrence Mantaco, Head of Accounting, Clawmaster Inc.Milo once again wondered about the programming he had put into that game.

But he was happy people liked it, and it was always fun to have money to spend.The last email was confusing, it seemed to be coming to him from the game.System Message: Greetings Tallsqueak,You must be terribly busy 'Out There', my condolences on having to deal with boring, mundane problems.

In Genesis, exciting things are happening.

Your friend Larry needs your help with an important quest.

He's being very insistent, so pardon me for reaching out to you this way.

(And you have no idea at all how hard it was to get Hecate's attention and ask her to pass this on to you.

Please try to be more considerate in the future.)As odd as it was for the System to track him down, his main concern was about Larry.

The System's antics could wait for another day.

Everyone else was still in school, so he sent a message to Mama that he was taking a little break and logged into the game immediately.

If Larry needed his help, he'd be there to help.

It was probably a quest to chase down the Pickle Gang or find a lost badger.

Just the little thing he needed to take his mind off the real world.

Of course, he needed to find Larry.

It wasn't like he was going to be standing around Shadowport waiting for him.As Milo entered the game, he was struck by how different Shadowport looked.

The docks were a tangled mess of ships, like someone had tried to put too many into a tight space.

Some had sails, others huge sternwheels and smokestacks, a few were submersibles.

And some? Well, some defied any definition, looking like they were combinations of anything else that moved across the seas.

One even looked like a mechanical shark.

To make matters worse, one ship had been partially burned and two others were sunk with their masts leaning over, their rigging tangled with adjacent ship.

Nowhere on the docks did Milo see the fishing and merchant vessels that were normally in port.

More worrying, a section of homes in the poorer part of town had been torn down and replaced by bars and tattoo parlors.

A few old buildings remained, marked by fire.

Everywhere he went he saw inebriated female dwarves from the ships drinking beer, wresting, or passed out in the streets.

Bonfires were roaring in two places with dozens of voices raised in incoherent singing.

He moved into the shadows to avoid a large group walking his way, and bumped into something large and furry.

A deep, growly voice said, "Good job, Tallsqueak! You found Larry! Larry thought he had hid so well no one could see him.

I am lucky to have such a good squire."Milo could barely see Larry, even right in front of him.

"Squire?""Yes, Larry has a quest to be a Knight and he needs a Squire and a faithful Hound.

Larry is lucky to have good friends."

Larry has a quest to do a good deed and help an injured knight finish his last request.

Will you aid Larry in becoming a knight and help him fulfill his quest?