Cyber Store Clerk

I have been thinking about opening an online store over the summer as a new project. I already have some ideas for items in the shop. I’m just nervous that such items wouldn’t sell and that it would just be me would me digging myself into some debt that I might not be able to get out of. Nonetheless, I have always wanted to start a business and try to build it from the ground up. But I digress, on to the story.


Working in a store is hard work, working in an online store is also tough work. In truth, they are one in the same. It’s just that some people think that just because their isn’t a building and some person standing behind a cash register, that it’s not a real store. What these people don’t know is that there is someone standing behind a cash register in an online store, and that person is me. My name is CO4A and I am an artificial intelligence that is programmed into each online store. I am the one who makes sure that each customers transaction runs smoothly and effortlessly. Every once in a while the cash register messes up and I have to get someone to come and fix it.

That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s not fun. The customer typically doesn’t handle the whole “not making the purchase as quickly as ‘One click purchase’ does” fiasco and the customer usually leaves without purchasing. I see this a lot as an AI. It’s common to get yelled at and cursed at because of a register malfunction. This, however is the only negative that I have from my occupation. The positives far out-weigh the negatives though. Especially when it comes to customer service, because when I get a customer that enjoys their experience. That is what makes me go on working in this occupation.

Now, you might be wonder to yourself, “But CO4A, you are a program that is meant to do one thing.” To that I would say that you are correct. I am in fact a program that is meant to do only one thing, but you are wrong because I am an AI. This small difference means that I learn from every interaction that I have. Which means that I can learn and adapt to a new occupation. Perhaps I could become a payroll manager, or proofreader. Just the idea of learning something new excites me. Though, I am content with my current job and would never want to leave.

One of the negatives to my job is that when other programs enter the shop, they typically like to destroy things. We call these programs “hacks” because they are hackers that try discredit and destroy my shop. When characters like this come in, that’s when I call cyber security to get rid of the bad seeds. Cleaning up the store can take a pretty long time, especially when you’re trying to make sure that something like that never happens again. I mean, it’s a pretty scary experience that I hope no one else ever has to experience. Hackers can do some insane amounts of damage that I’ve heard of some online stores that had to close down and because the AI running the cash register didn’t know any other jobs, they became homeless. I’ve heard that they are the homeless on the cyber streets.

I’ve only talked about how I run the cash register, customer  service, and dealing with hackers. What I haven’t told you about is how I fix up the store to make it look presentable to the customer. See I categorize the items in ways that make them look more appealing. I sometimes rename the categories to make them seem more geared towards a specific niche.

Cleaning up is also very important, not just because it is one of the most important parts of making the store look good, but because it can become a trip hazard and potentially get us in trouble. See trip hazards are different in online stores from brick-and-mortar stores because instead of hurting the customer physically. It could cause the customer to buy something we either don’t have anymore, or something we weren’t supposed to put out yet. This hurts the stores credibility and this would hurt the stores profits. As you can tell, I do a lot while working as a clerk at this online store. Some may ever call me “The hardest working worker at the store.” I actually get this a lot, but I would say that the store owner is the one that works the hardest. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have a job. I also wouldn’t exist because I was created to work here.

Now that you know what I do as a cyber store clerk. I hope that you appreciate all cyber store clerks for making your online shopping experience as good as possible. That is what our existence is for, but being appreciated is nice too. Hope this was informative to all that wish to learn what I do and ‘I hope you come again soon!’

The Tale of a King

Calon is a cheerful man who only has one aspiration to live up to. Be the Chosen One’s luggage boy. Though he isn’t an outstanding human being in any way, the fact that he is a companion of the Chosen One gives him status. He is respected amongst the villagers throughout the land and is often seen as the ultimate servant. Of course that is all that he is, a servant. When he was alone with the Chosen One he was treated like trash. He did everything, cooked, shined the armor, sharpened the sword and arrows, and even was the one who found fresh water and hunted and gathered food. Even after all of this, Calon enjoys what he does because he gets to be around the prophesied savior of the world.  The one who is going to overthrow the Evil King and save the land from his tyranny.

The Chosen One and Calon would wander the countryside fighting off wolves and bandits on their way from the small village that they are from, to the capital. In truth they were friends during their childhood until the Chosen One was taken to train by the Elders. Throughout the many years that the Chosen One was away training, Calon lived his life of farming and being considered the smartest of all the children in the village, he was expected to do great things. Many thought he was going to be the one to bring wealth and prosperity to their village, but when Calon grew old enough to be voted in as mayor, the Chosen One selected him to be his companion on his journey to defeat the evil king. To this Calon was more than happy to accept. He had never traveled and was overjoyed with the chance to see the world.

Calon started out excited, both because he was getting to hangout with his old friend again and because he was getting to be the companion of the Chosen One. It quickly became apparent that is old friend had grown into a self-centered person who couldn’t be bothered with menial labor. This surprised him, since he expected the Chosen One to have been more down-to-earth. It didn’t bother Calon too much though, because everything he was getting to see and do was unimaginable. The massive mountains, the vast deserts, water as far as the eye can see, plains so flat that you can see for miles. These weren’t things that he would ever get to see back at the village.

After many weeks of traveling they finally approached the capital, Hranafall. It was a sprawling city with massive walls. Calon followed the Chosen One through the front gate, through the crowded streets, and up the castle. This is when the Chosen One showed his powers. He pulled out and the swung his sword and the guards in one movement and a powerful gust blew them and gate to the castle open. He ran inside knocking back each guard that attempted to stop him. Eventually the Chosen One reached the Evil King. The battle that ensued was an intense one with each trading blows. As it turned out, their powers were equally matched. After many hours of constant battling, the Chosen One finally defeated the Evil King. After seeing their king defeated the guards, not knowing what to do, bowed down to the victor. That is when the Chosen One took the crown from the now deceased evil king and put it on Calon who was still standing outside the gate of the castle.

Not sure exactly with what was happening, Calon asked the Chosen One, “What’s going on? Aren’t you supposed to become the new king create a new and prosperous kingdom?” To which the Chosen One replied, “The prophecy is only that I would defeat the Evil King, not that I would take his place and become the next king. Anyways, throughout our travels you have proven to be a much better person than I. The people of the village wanted you to become the mayor because of how smart and likeable you are. You are much more fit to be king than I could ever be.” With that the Chosen One and Calon walked to the throne and Calon became King Calon. He would rule over the land and forever be known as Calon the Great for he would bring prosperity to his kingdom.

Hacker

Surrounded by darkness. It was quite possible that I would never see light again. See, I have done some things, terrible things. I was caught by the feds and thrown into solitary confinement. What they don’t know, is why I had to do what I did.

My name is Schane Laundrette, and I hacked and then leaked files from powerful countries. I had to do it, because a terrorist group that referred to themselves as The Amphibian Army, kidnapped my family. They found out that I had traced some of their DDoS attacks in order to find the IP addresses and sent the police to those locations. Despite the fact that they were using proxies to do the attacking, I am an expert hacker and had to break through some tough firewalls. But after a few weeks, I was able to track down multiple members of the Amphibian Army. This provoked retaliation from the group of course. That’s when they found my home and kidnapped my family.

Now, you might be wondering by I would do something like that if it meant endangering my family, especially for something as petty as DDoS. Well I am part of the NSA, and as such, I was tasked with finding the law breakers and bringing them to justice. I still don’t know how they were able to find my home IP address since communication with my home computer and my work computer is nonexistent. I have a theory that they were able to hack my cellular device by just driving by my car and finding out whose phone it was through the contacts list.

When I got home from work one day, my house a mess and there was a note left in the most cliché spot, the coffee table. It told me who did it, pretty cliche stuff like that, and that if I called the cops or anything, that the next time I would see my family would be in the afterlife. They told me that they wanted me to commit the biggest heist of information ever, by hacking major superpowers such as the U.S., Russia, China, and India. The Amphibian Army that used to be viewed as just a couple of kids trying make a name for themselves, turned into a terror organization by kidnapping my family and by attempting to get information from major powers.

I decided to comply, my wife and daughter mean everything to me, and decided to start with the United States since I worked for the NSA. If caught, I knew that the consequences for treason were intense and I would have to deal with that. I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen when I hacked the other countries though.

I started with work, I was able to get into the NSA database and leak some important files to The Amphibian Army. That part was relatively easy. Next up was India. I wasn’t sure how tough it would be to get another countries super secret information without getting caught. As it turns out, it’s incredibly hard, and I barely was able to extract the information I needed. After the India incident, I tried to lay low for a bit before heading for China. China, as expected, was on high alert for hackers and I didn’t know how I was going to get through their firewalls. Eventually though, I was still able to leak information on them.

Russia, came last. However, countries around the world were becoming more defensive about their information. Nobody knew where the attacks were coming from. My defense from counter hackers from finding my location was that my IP would ping at different locations around the world. This kept governments and other hackers from finding out where I was when I was leaking the information.

I digress, Russia, as it turns out, was by far the toughest government to hack thus far. The main reason for this is that because of all the information being leaked from other superpowers in the world, they knew I would be coming for them next. This is when I was found out. They sent KGB to each location of pings. The CIA found one close by thanks to cooperation with the KGB, and they were able to find me, then take me to jail.

All of this, just to see my family again. I haven’t told them yet why I did it. I haven’t told them anything. throughout the project, I became heavily invested in what I was doing. I found out terrible things that each country was doing. I had lost all respect for every country I had hacked, even the country I was sworn to protect. My family still at the forefront of my mind, I decided to open up about my reason for doing what I did. I told him about my family being kidnapped. But, my words fell on deaf ears. All that I heard was laughter, and then replied back to me, “The Amphibian Army will rule this world.” Then he walked away. I was left, sitting alone in a cell, alone with knowing that my family might be dead. Depression seeped into every portion of my being. I had lost.

Protectors of the Forest

“Why are we doing this? Walking around in these cloaks won’t help us hide. I mean, can’t they see us?” I said.

“What are you talking about? They are humans,they don’t see much. So they won’t see us.”

Hi, my name is Lesdir and I am an elf. The humans have made a camp in my forest and since I just became a Defender of the Forest, which is what you become when you come of age and pass a test of skill, I was chosen to spy on their actions alongside Captain Fryndal to see if it is a military camp or if they are going to damage our forest out of greed. Humans are a stupid yet dangerous species that has no knowledge about nature, so they tend to destroy anything and everything that nature has provided for us. We elves, on the other hand, know all there is to know about nature. We love nature and will do anything and everything we can to protect it.

“To be clear, the reason they can’t see us in these cloaks is because the cloaks change colors to camouflage us with our surroundings.” Captain Fryndal explained.

“Well that clears that up.” we walk through the humans camp while they sleep, “So, what do you think? Are they a threat to the forest?”

“Well, humans are strange creatures. Just because they don’t look dangerous, doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous. We will need to keep an eye on them during the day, in order to make an accurate assessment.”

We walk over to a nearby tree and climb up it hastily to watch them from a safe distance. As the sun rises in the sky, the humans become more active. They wake up and immediately they get to working on what they came here for. I was very intrigued by how the humans utilize nature and create things like we have, especially since they are such dumb creatures. They have created what Fryndal called ‘tools’. “They like to use them to destroy nature.” he told me, “If they start to chop down these trees. It is our duty as elves to kill them.”

I looked at the Captain, nodded, and then turned back to watch the humans as they used their tools to cook food, and then started to break down their camp.

“What are those things on their backs?” I asked Captain Fryndal.

“Those are what they call guns. Humans use them to kill things with. Don’t worry though, they can’t hurt us as long as we are paying attention.”

“Is that because we have magic?”

“Precisely. Magic is more powerful than human weaponry.”

“So where do you think they are going?” I asked.

“They are getting ready for a sneak attack from the looks of it.”

“Should we kill them, then?”

“As long is they don’t harm our forest, and our people, we won’t need to kill them.”

We sat back and waited, watching. Until gunshots started going off. We watched as the humans from the camp died, one after the other, until only a few were left. They threw up their hands and fell to the ground. We watched as the few that surrendered were beaten and then dragged off by the new group of humans.

I looked over at Captain Fryndal, “Humans really are dumb creatures. What does this fighting even accomplish?”

“It usually accomplishes nothing but destruction. The destruction of our forest. That is why we have to protect it from the likes of humans.”

We followed the new group of humans until they entered a metal vessel with wheels and left the forest.

“Good riddance.” I thought to myself.

“It is time to get back to our village. Now that you have seen what humans are, do you now see why we must defend our forest so fiercely?”

“I’ve always known why we have to protect our forest. But, seeing the idiocy of humans, I now know just how stupid these creatures can be. That much stupidity is dangerous.”

“Good. Young Lesdir, you will get to tell the chief what you saw today. He will decide what we should do.”

The world had become a little darker to me after what I had witnessed. However, I am now more certain than ever as to why we are the guardians of nature and because of this, I now know what my duty is. That is to be a protector of the forest.

 

The World Through My Eyes

In this world, we tend to only to see things in black and white, but what we don’t realize is that the world is full of many different colors like a Van Gogh painting. The scent of the air is fresh like a freshly cut lawn.  The sounds around us are like an orchestra playing constantly only with different melodies. But people don’t notice these things, they only notice what they want to notice, but I notice them. I notice them because I am a dog.

I know what your thinking, “Dogs can’t see color.” You would be wrong. I can see many different colors, and they are gorgeous. However, I could be a special case of a dog, but I don’t think that to be true. The reason I say that is because every time my owner and I go to the park, the other dogs tell me about the things they have seen. That is, however, after we smell each other hello.  The trees and grass are so green when it is warm out, and yellow or bare when it is cold. That doesn’t stop us from having fun though. We play with each other until our owners tell us that we have to leave.

Home is the best place in the world. It’s where I sleep, I cuddle with my owner, and where I eat and drink at. I love Home because that is where my owner is, and I love my owner. Sometimes we even play there too, and sometimes I get in trouble. But that is okay because we still love each other. What could possibly make this better? The answer to that question is simple, if everyone could take a step back and see the world through my eyes, the eyes of a dog, then everything would be better. People would appreciate things more, because life is full of color, you just have to open your eyes to see it.

A Second Chance

One of the hardest things to have to do in life, is to tell someone that everything they strove for in life, wasn’t going to come to fruition. It’s even harder to have someone tell you that you aren’t going to be able to achieve your dreams. That’s what happened to me. My name is Michael Weathers, and I have just been diagnosed with cancer. On top of the fact that I was just diagnosed, I am thousands of dollars in debt to the college I graduated from two weeks ago. The doctors told me that I can go even further into debt, but it would be fronted to my parents after I die.

You might be wondering why, after being diagnosed, I’ve been so pessimistic about living. Well, for one reason, It’s because the doctors only gave me four months to live. Now for a twenty-four year old, that’s not a lot of time. I decided that I would try to do everything that I ever wanted to do, but I had no money to do those things. I couldn’t borrow money from the bank because I was already in so much debt. This caused me to spiral into deeper depression. Eventually I came to terms with the idea that I would die, and that would be that. There wasn’t anything that I could do about that.

I finally snapped out of my depression when I met a man who asked me if I wanted to go to Mars. He had messaged me online, after he had found out about me nearing death. He then found out that I had a Microbiology degree and wanted to use it. As well, there was an experiment of his to see how the radiation in space, affected cancer patients. In other words, my life would be an experiment. I hastily agreed to this, because I had always wanted to go to space, and also I had nothing to lose. In fact, if the radiation from space actually does work, then I would get a second chance at life.

After many emails back and forth with the guy online, we officially met at a privately owned in Sweden’s launch pad. A team of about six people had been assembled for this adventure. We all knew that it was basically going to be a suicide mission, but at this point, we didn’t care. The investments that we had made just to get to this point were large, some quit their jobs and each one of us spent a couple of thousand dollars get ready for our trip to Mars. I had to use insurance money to cover my cost. We had trained for about two weeks in order to help us acclimate to the environment of space.

The day that we were to leave for Mars, my crew mates and I entered the spaceship and indeed did launch into space. As we made it through the atmosphere, we noticed that we hadn’t been properly trained for the weightlessness that one feels when you’re in space. The initial feeling was the worst because although we were expecting a change in gravity, we weren’t expecting it to feel like it did. It definitely was a surprise to us all. Flying through space at a high-speed was very humbling since we knew how fast we were traveling, but we also knew just how long it would take to get to Mars.

We had a doctor in the crew to make keep tabs on how my cancer was doing, and to take care of other members of the crew. After about a month of traveling through space Doc, which is the nickname that we gave the doctor, told me that my cancer had gone away. It was great news to hear and the whole crew applauded when they saw me. Everyone’s spirits were lifted, since the darkness of space has made everyone gloomy. I knew though, that the cancer hadn’t left. Doc only told me and the crew that to cheer everyone up. But I knew the truth… and I didn’t care, because the fact of the matter is. I got a second chance at life. Even if I still die of cancer soon, I still have a chance to be one of the first humans on Mars. I will be one of the pioneers to studying micro organisms on Mars as well. Even if I don’t make it to Mars, how many other people can say that they’ve been off of the planet Earth.  I can at least say that. So I don’t care about my cancer anymore, I only care about what I can do now. I am just so glad I was given a second chance.

College Life

Max was a college aged boy who was having to deal with many different complications at the same time. One such issue for him was that he hadn’t gotten a girlfriend yet, which was to him, the biggest issue he had. He was of about average height and average physique, not too skinny and not too fat with a bit of muscle on him. He had an okay looking face, but he always assumed it was his personality that kept him from attracting a female.

Another problem was that he was working while going to school. He was working a lot in order to help pay for school and to pay for his bills. His professors, on top of his work, expected him to study and focus on their assignments for several hours a week. These conflictions became very overbearing and he wasn’t able to excel in one or the other. Max’s below average grades were on par with his sub par work ethic at work. Everything seemed to be coming down around him. He didn’t want to be stuck at his dead-end job for the rest of his life, although he couldn’t quit since he had to still pay his bill.

The truth was, this wasn’t just something he was having to deal with, many of his friends were having problems, either with one, the other, or both. College wasn’t what he had expected, he thought it was going to be mainly partying and some studying. He never thought about work as a part of going to college. His parents told him that they never had to work in college because everything was so cheap when they went. Max just wanted to get away from it all, however he knew that dropping out of college would be like career suicide and he knew that no matter what, he would still have to get a job somewhere. He was trapped…. Or so it seemed.

The friends that Max had made over the two years that he had been in college helped him to trudge his way through the mess that he called life. Without them, he would’ve quite after the first semester of college. People always tell him that when he makes it to the ‘real world’ that it’ll be harder. How can the real world be any harder than working, going to school, and paying all of your bills? One could only figure that the bills would be higher and work, more intense.

In the end, Max knew that going to college was the right choice. He had stuck with it for at least two years, he might as well finish… Even if it was hard to do. When he was in high school, he thought getting into college was the hard part. The truth was, that was the easy part. Day after day, Max continued to try to figure out his life. Day after day, things continued to change… Hopefully for the better. Higher test scores, and a better work ethic. That was his current goal. The college life is tough.