The girl wandered aimlessly through the maze of pixels. After everyone had left the game, she was left. All the world had been was now pixels. She thought about the game testers, and the players. Her legs collapsed under her and she sobbed. Why had the Toymaker been so cruel? Just because she wasn't made of human flesh didn't mean she didn't have feelings. The OSS had shut down the game about five years ago and she had been wandering around his empty maze ever since. She felt deep anger over what had happened, and slammed her fist against the floor. The robots had escaped the game world before it was shut down, and everything else died shortly after, as it couldn't withstand not having nourishment. Even game stuff couldn't last forever, but it was different with herself. The Toymaker had made Demetra indestructible and there was nothing left to do now but play the blame game. What ifs crowded her mind. What if she had escaped the game before it had been shut down? What if she had contacted the gamers? What if, what if, what if. Demetra just kept crying. Then, she pulled herself together. There was NOTHING she could do about this situation except navigate the maze and hope she could find a way out. Either that, or something to...well...kill herself. The Toymaker had made her invincible, but some things could still kill her. She didn't have to eat, and she wouldn't die if she fell. However, if something was plunged into her heart, Demetra would die. It would stop her aimless wandering. With a purpose in mind, she kept walking.
Finally, she reached a silver wall. It seemed to be solid metal and she banged at it mercilessly to try and break off a chunk. Maybe she could dislodge something. Metal was solid and sharp when it was broken. As expected, a triangular shape fell off after a few minutes and she picked it up to end her own life. Just before it reached her heart, she happened to glance at the place the sliver had broken off and discovered that a panel was on the other side. She desperately banged more shards away before squeezing through the small opening. It was the game control panel! Demetra knew how to work all but two switches. Those must have been added after she had been programmed. She flipped them both and a whirring sound ensued from the ceiling. "Come on, come on, come on. Work faster please, please, pretty please!" She muttered this softly and a door soon creaked slowly open on gears. Daylight streamed through and the view was like nothing she had seen before in her lifetime. Silver towers reached to a sky filled with grey clouds and a raging ball of fire she knew must be the sun. It was the real world, she was sure. Would it kill her if she stepped out? She didn't know and didn't care. She had been ready for death and if she died trying to make it to the real world, so be it. As she was about to leave, a metal clip fixed in her hair. Then, she stepped forward into the sunshine and discovered she...wasn't dead.
For many hours, she wandered the streets of the town. Then she noticed everyone was looking at her weird...of course! She was still in her purple game clothes! The nearest store was clothes, so she walked in. All she had was game currency, but when she withdrew it from her pocket she was shocked to discover it had changed into money! American money. Demetra laughed with glee. Why were things always American? Looking through the racks, she picked out a red clingy spandex top and blue jeans and paid for them at the counter before slipping into the bathroom with the plastic bag. She dressed in her new clothes and put the game clothes into the bag and walked from the stall. She felt a mixture of relief, anxiety and surprise as she saw a brunette walking into the store. I ran up to her. "Carmen! Carmen Cortez! I need to talk to you. Please can we talk now?" The face had such surprise on it. "And...who are you? It's kind of creepy you know my name, I'll admit that." Demetra wasn't recognized. "I'm from the game that you and your brother played? Along with the other gamers? They called me the 'Deceiver'. Please Carmen. Talk to me please?" She was desperate-sounding. "Okay...uh...I'm still not sure who you are, but how about we go to the café across the street?"
"Okay, but I've been wandering around an empty pixel maze for five years. I don't need to eat." They walked to a table and sat down. Demetra tried desperately to explain herself to Carmen. "The OSS shut down the game by the Toymaker five years ago. Everything there died from lack of nutrition, but I was made invincible."
"The Toymaker MADE you? He died a year ago, but who are you?"
"Your brother liked me. We were friends in the game. He was my first friend. I was programmed, but I found the control panel and came out of the game. Don't you remember me? Juni wanted me to come back with him and you swiped your hand through me to show him I wasn't real. I'm Demetra." Carmen's eyes widened. "Demetra? I remember that name now! Juni brings you up once in a while, but not so much anymore. He's sixteen now. Do you want to meet him? I've moved out, but Juni still lives with Mum and Dad." Demetra just nodded and they took the next bus out.
They arrived outside of the house and Carmen walked in with Demetra. She was greeted at the door by her family members and Juni was the first to speak. "Who is this Carmen? She looks vaguely familiar to me."
"Who is it, Juni? Mr. Cortez?" Footsteps approached and a blond girl walked up and kissed Juni on the cheek. Demetra's heart fell. He had a girlfriend. Still, she maintained an outwardly cheery composure. "Hi Juni. I'm Demetra? Do you remember me?"
"Demetra...Demetra...where have I heard that name before..." Demetra's eyes betrayed her sadness. The memory of Juni had tormented her for five years while he was busily FORGETTING her? "Never mind. I can see you don't need or want me as a friend anymore." She glanced at the blond, who was kissing his cheek again. Then she turned and ran out the door and down the street, hiding in a neighbour's shed.