Kid Error Meets a Garbage Can Man

Kid Error is the name he decides on. User Error can’t remember what the name of this alternate body he’s now stuck in is, so that’s what he’ll go with until he learns otherwise. It hits him that he’s just a bunch of wiggly little molecules all bonding together and doing their thing in the shape of whatever form he’s in now, and it’s really tripping him out. He wishes he could show Sanford his new digs, but Sanford’s back down there, in the tunnels, alone, probably wondering why User Error won’t wake up. He can tell Sanford’s trying to wake him, because every once in a while an image flashes in front of him, Sanford’s face, giant, with wide eyes and a frown, telling User not to die on him. User wants to go back to his old body just to tell Sanny D it’s gonna be okay, but he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to come back to this body, and he’s still got unfinished business he needs to take care of.

He doesn’t know where the sciencey dude that’s been keeping him in cryo sleep is, but he knows that when he finds him, he’s gonna blast him. He’s never fired a gun before, and this blaster looks super futuristic-like, but he’s pretty sure it’s just a point-and-shoot situation. He leaves the room he’s been kept in, blaster in hand, stolen sciencey overcoat on, and he looks both ways. There are more sciencey dudes wandering the halls, but they’re far enough away that they don’t see Kid Error. He puts his back to the wall like the action dudes he’s seen on faded old VHS tapes, but he stops when he realizes it’s super inefficient and slow-going, so he crouches a little and walks quietly instead.

More flashes, this time of his parents’ faces. He wouldn’t quite recognize them as User, but as Kid Error, he knows who they are. It’s like he has all of the memories of User but is being patched with a firmware update that adds in all of Kid’s memories. But it’s slow, like a crappy Windows 95 PC. It’s going one file at a time.

With the Sanford flashes and the parental flashes, it’s hard for Kid Error to focus on what he has to do. He keeps going anyway, down this hall that seems to go on forever, until he can hear the sounds of people coming from the direction he’s heading in. When he gets to the end, there are double doors that stretch from floor to ceiling, with frosted glass that refuses to show you what’s on the other side. Kid takes another step, and the doors open automatic-style.

In front of him are thousands and thousands of people, in a giant open room that makes the biggest tunnel in the underground look like a claustrophobic drainpipe. He opens his mouth, but he can’t breathe, like a sewer fish that accidentally flopped out of the water and now doesn’t know what in the frak to do. There are scattered shops leading to a huge bazaar where all the biz is going down, restaurants with posters that just say “EAT” on them, and bands playing in every corner of the warehouse-room, all of the sound coming together into one symphony of crazy. All the people are wearing relatively normal clothes. A little futurey, but recognizable. Kid decides his baggy overcoat would give him away, so he tosses it into a garbage can and starts to walk away. A voice coming from behind stops him:

“What in the world was that for?”

Kid turns around. It’s the garbage can. It has wheels at the bottom and a plastic garbage bag sticking out at the top, but Kid now notices that it also has a face.

“That was very rude. I don’t just toss things into your head, do I?”

“Oh, I’m… Shiz, I’m sorry, man. I thought you were a garbage can.”

If Kid didn’t know any better, he’d say that the garbage can’s getting all choked up.

“I was a garbage can. But I’m not anymore. How’d you like it if I called you a fetus, human boy?”

“I’m sorry, really. I’m new here.”

“New?”

Shit.

“Uh, I mean, I don’t come around here that much. Just, uh… play video games in my room?”

“A homebody, eh? Well you’ve a lot to learn about manners, human boy. I’ve been around for 400 years, and…”

“Wait, did you say 400? Like 4-0-0?”

“Yes. Are you deaf?”

“So you’ve been on this plane thingy for 400 years?”

“Of course, as has everyone else. You’re a strange child, human boy.”

Kid Error’s stomach drops.

“What year is it?”

“2400, of course. Wait, you’re not committing time crime, are you?”

The garbage can man looks for an authority to shout for.

“Time criminal! Time–”

Kid Error kicks the can man and tells him to shut it. He does.

“Okay, okay, so I’m not from here. But please don’t tell anyone. I need some help.”

Can Man looks around.

“The punishment for facilitating time crime is–”

“I’m not a time criminal, whatever that is, okay? Sheez. I’m originally from the underground. I live in the tunnels. Sorta.”

“Tunnels? Underground?”

“Yeah. Look, listen, it’s not important. What’s important is that you help me get out of here. Show me what’s what. Can you do that?”

“Well, I…”

“Look, you’re a good dude. I can tell. I’m sorry I called you a garbage can, but can you give a weirdo human boy a hand?”

“I don’t have hands. Nor would I want any, what with their gangly-looking fing–”

“You know what I mean. You gonna help me or not?”

Can Man look around again, then turns back to Kid Error.

“Come with me.”

Kid Error follows after Can Man, and the two of them roll/walk away.

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