The Experiments began in a special laboratory within a non-digital part of Cyberland near the supercomputer the land of science fiction was known for. Six programmers in total contributed all of their skills and talents in the hope that such a peacekeeping program could be created without any negative or adverse side-effects - tales of Artificial Intelligences that went awry were common legends in ImagiNation, and the team of six programmers wanted to prevent the program they were trying to make from going down a similar path. In addition, the program would also have to consist of two components - a physical frame that would serve as the body of the program (which would also allow the program to move and exist outside of cyberspace), and a code which would serve as the mind of the program, allowing it to think and carry out its intended purpose.
The first Experiment, Experiment A, was a small, cute, levitating hologram-looking Creation which vaguely resembled the letter it was named after - an “A”. Although the programmers at first attempted to make this Creation resemble a small “helper” of sorts, it was merely their first try, and the program crashed before it was even fully completed. The Programmers went through several further tests of their Experiments, but each had a flaw of some sort, and as time progressed, the Programmers decided it would be better if their program was more humanoid, so the Creations it was meant to protect could better relate to it as one of them, and would be more easily recognize the program as a bringer of good things.
Everything came to a head when the Programmers finalized the design of their twenty-third Experiment - Experiment W. Experiment W had a complete frame and a near-flawless code, which had a complete A.I. contained within it as well as the prime directives of spreading love, hope, and joy that the “Master Program” (the complete and finalized version of the program the Alphabeta experiments were trying to create) had to have. Although several of the Programmers believed this version of the program was truly perfect in every way, equally many disagreed, due to a flaw that they believed the other programmers had missed - Experiment W lacked true sentience, emotions, and empathy.
The Programmers were divided completely in half on the issue - three were for using Experiment W, and three were against it. Those in favor of using Experiment W believed that the emotionless “W” model was better equipped for its task - it would carry out its task with absolute efficiency and had little to no risk of ever becoming the rebellious and destructive A.I. all six programmers dreaded. However, those against the use of Experiment W believed that it, lacking emotions or understanding, could not truly be the “hero” they were trying to create. They pointed out that any positive emotions it spread would be shallow and meaningless, and Experiment W would wind up as mere device that was simply fulfilling a directive without any true love to share with the world. After heavy debate, one of the Programmers who believed that using Experiment W was the better choice changed their mind, allowing the pro-emotion team to win out and begin work on the final Alphabeta Experiment, one named “Experiment X”.
Programming one last Alphabeta Experiment, which would include emotions in its A.I. , was risky on many levels. A program with true sentience and the ability to feel could easily break from its code and fulfill alternative directives, which could potentially result in the 24th Alphabeta Experiment becoming violent or destructive. However, without the ability to think for itself, Experiment W would not be able to truly understand the Creations it was meant to help and protect - it would simply be spreading shallow emotions without any soul behind them. The Programmers decided to make “X” out of W’s frame and code, but would add an algorithm based on their own psyches meant to allow their final program to think and feel like a true Creation. X was, in effect, to become their child - a being born of the programmer’s thoughts and feelings in addition to their hard work.
This, of course, changed the entire nature of the project. No longer was the Master Program a mere tool for the defense of the people, nor a means to an end - X was a real Creation, a real sentient being, who would need to be cared for and raised like one. X would begin his life as a child, and would have to be brought up to a suitable age at which he could fulfill his purpose - his destiny. This fact brought immense feelings of doubt, fear, and even anger to many of the programmers - the possibility of giving the Master Program emotions alone was a big risk, but the fact that it would also delay the project as a whole was, in their eyes, a big waste of time and effort. Only two of X’s programmers saw the programming of X to be what it truly was - the opportunity to take part in the origin of a new Creation.
Although every inhabitant of ImagiNation was created by the Creators, the means by which they brought their Creations into existence varied between each individual. Some Creations were born, and others made - X was, by his very nature, a bit of both. For the two programmers who cared most about their “son” saw themselves as his parents. By allowing the Master Program to think and feel, they had inadvertently allowed the program to be loved as a fellow person. With approval from Cyberland’s Guardian and leader, the programmers began to raise X as if he was their child, sacrificing the immediate promise of a weapon against evil for a being with far greater potential. With a new frame designed to modify itself slowly to accommodate for aging and other “natural” biological functions (such as the ability to eat or enter a state similar to rest known as “sleep mode”), the simple decision to allow X to think and feel had extended to something else, and a new Creation was born.
Although X was an extremely happy and joyful young man, who had begun to make many friends, the programmers who had disagreed with the decision to make X a sentient being began to grow doubtful of his ability to eventually fulfill his purpose over time. X’s nature as a good-hearted soul caused many Creations, from the most “important” of individuals to the most generic NPC, to begin to love him as an equal and a friend, often even forgetting that he was the Master Program and not just any other, natural creation like them. Resistance teams against the threat of the Destroyers managed to keep the Dark Lord’s minions at bay, allowing such a drastic change in intention from the original idea for a “Master Program” to take place. However, the effects of giving X emotion and feeling were slowly becoming visible as the program grew older. Experiment X, the final Alphabeta Experiment and true Master Program, was cheerful the majority of the time, and a kind person - however, he was prone to fits of rage or waves of intense sadness when things did not go as planned. X also displayed an intense interest in the opposite gender, and would flirt and coo near-uncontrollably when faced with a member of it (although his programmers were not entirely sure if this was a glitch or flaw in his programming or merely a part of the personality he developed as a Creation with free will). Despite these quirks, however, X was also proving to be a kind person, highly competent at the assignment he had originally been given. Spreading good will and cheer had always been one of the objectives the Master Program was meant to achieve, and X was accomplishing this part of his goal marvelously.
The six programmers were even capable of designing a small flash drive compatible with his frame, a flash drive which would not only store files for several attacks that X could utilize in combat but also contain a special file for a frame altering software known as “ModChange.EXE”. This file would allow X to alternate between several different forms for various situations, the two primary “mods” to his frame being his casual and combat modes. X’s Casual Mode resembled his initial appearance at his “birth” (a simple, human-like shape with electronic blue lines circulating his body and long dark hair), but with the added bonus of open-fingered gloves X could remove if he so chose and wing-like crystalline structures on his back. X’s Combat Mode kept the wings and general form of Casual Mode, but also included a robe-like appendage so X could levitate short distances, in addition to a large arm which would help in the usage of attacks from the Flash Drive. When the programmers revealed this gift to the young Master Program he was overjoyed - upon receiving his powers he immediately began to use them to help people (as he was supposed to do), but also began to use them for his own purposes and entertainment, raising suspicion amongst some of his programmers.
It was true that the Flash Drive would allow X access to many abilities. However, this Flash Drive also served a darker and more sinister purpose that X was unaware of. This Flash Drive would grant X many abilities, but it would also serve as a safety net for the twenty-fourth Alphabeta Experiment. Were X’s emotions ever to get out of hand, the Flash Drive would be able to manipulate X’s mind so his programmers could better control him, and prevent any form of an uprising against them or the rest of ImagiNation. Although two of X’s programmers in particular objected to this strongly, the other four all agreed that it was a necessary step in keeping the Master Program in line and the population of ImagiNation safe. X’s “parents” were outvoted - X was to have the equivalent of a leash.
Everything came to a head when X reached the maturation level of a fifteen year old, in both body and spirit. X retained his childlike qualities as a “teenager”, (much to the relief of his friends and programmers alike) but also gained a better understanding of the world around him. The joy he imparted onto others, in addition to the ability and willingness to protect the people he cared about, proved that he was more than capable of fulfilling his purpose. But X’s increasingly common flirtatious tendencies, in addition to the possible abuse of his powers, began to create tension amongst his programmers, for they feared the worst. To ensure X became the hero he needed to be, drastic measures had to be taken eventually, and everyone involved with the Master Program’s creation knew it. Were X to continue living as he was, he would likely never actually be let loose to accomplish his goals. Even if he never rebelled and became a destructive A.I. , he would still be kept from his ultimate mission if he continued to stay a regular program in Cyberland, as opposed to the ultimate, “Master” Program he was supposed to be. Something needed to happen to give him an extra push.
A cruel, but potentially necessary choice was made. X’s programmers would approach X and tell him about who he was and what needed to be done. Although he was already well aware of his status as the Master Program, the fact that there was a new development being made in his overall mission came as a surprise to him. It was decided that, in order for X to truly learn to become the Master Program, he would have to learn how to be a hero outside of a controlled environment. X would have his memories taken from him and stored onto his flash drive, along with his more powerful abilities and all of his mods except for one. The hope was that, through an experience such as the one he would be forced to go through, he would learn values he otherwise would have been denied the chance to truly learn, such as selflessness and the ability to fully understand ImagiNation and all of its Creations. If X went on an adventure such as this, he would be able to learn values related to his ultimate purpose from scratch, and when he eventually did recover his memories of his past (hopefully not too long after the he embarked on his journey), he would have the knowledge gained from the experience to go along with his already loving and outgoing personality.
All of this served a secondary purpose, of course - to test whether or not X’s code was stable at its core, and whether or not giving X the ability to think and feel truly was an appropriate direction to go with the “Master Program”. The Alphabeta Experiments were meant to create a program with a very specific set of directives - if X was not up to the task of fulfilling them, then he was (from some of the programmers’ eyes) a failure. This opinion was kept hidden from the two programmers who loved X like a son, and other individuals who saw X as something far more than a mere tool. The idea of sending their beloved boy off on such a dangerous and possibly even inhumane journey was already horrific enough - adding these details would be absolutely devastating to them. As the Festival of Creativity was coming up, it was decided that X would be sent to a Spawn Shrine near it in FantasyLand, but then subsequently prevented from accessing any more Spawn Shrines until he had returned home to Cyberland, so he could learn from his experience and not end up accidentally abusing a potential flaw in the plan. The hope was that X would meet special people there - the Festival of Creativity did often attract many of the best Creations ImagiNation had to offer. Perhaps it was by coincidence or some contrivance of his programmers that X would meet Candaru, Foxichick, Indigo, Fanwizard, and MCgamer there. Perhaps it was destiny. Or perhaps it was the will of the Creators.
X was not a failure in any light from the perspective of his peers, friends, and even family, for he was more than a mere device or means to an end. The symbol of the Lava Ring contained within the crystal upon his chest originally just identified him as an Alphabeta Experiment, but through his lifetime had come to mean so much more. X would always have an appreciation of the Lava Ring. Even as his memories were temporarily taken away from him to be stored on the Flash Drive (kept with one of the two programmers who loved him like a parent would, for safekeeping), X was allowed to hold onto a few things - his appreciation of the letter “X”, his personality, his “Combat” Mod (in case he encountered anything dangerous), and his knowledge that his homeland was Cyberland, so he would know where to go upon his sudden awakening.
As X slowly faded into “sleep mode”, he began to ask questions - questions which, not long ago, he held the answers to. Kept in this suspended state and trapped within the Spawn Shrine which would lead to his future, he began to think, and dream. Perhaps the void of vast, white space was something physical, the zone through which Creations could teleport from one part of ImagiNation to another. Perhaps the void was his mind, slowly filling with ideas and visions. Perhaps it was a bit of both - no one other than X would ever be able to tell, and soon, not even he would.
Thoughts turned to whispers, and whispers turned to screams, screams which no one would ever be able to hear. As X began to awake once more, these screams came back, as whisper once more, and then a thought once more, and then as an echo of something he should have known...
Where am I?
There was a pause that lingered in the air after that phrase was spoken. Well, not really spoken, per se, but thought. Yes, a thought that was only audible for a moment in the vast, white space that surrounded it.
WHAT am I?
This time, the vast whiteness was interrupted by something. A small, barely visible blue gem floated in the white space. If any sort of entity was able to see it, they might have been able to describe a small, ring-like shape engraved in the translucent blue crystal. But no entity of any kind saw the crystal before it faded away, whispering its thoughts through the pale white nothingness it - however briefly - existed in. Only one thought remained as the crystal disappeared, leaving the infinite void.
Then everything turned black.
LavaringX had, at long last, restored the memories that were lost to him, and had passed the test his progammers put him through.
“LavaringX!” Fanwizard exclaimed worriedly. “Are you all right?”
“Y-yea...” said X, as the world spiraled around him.
“We have completed our quest.” Said Indigo. Once again, everyone was surprised. Indigo almost never spoke unless he was spoken to, and when he spoke, all knew his few words carried tremendous meaning. He did not speak coldly or callously - rather, the Silent Swordsman spoke in a tone that suggested he was genuinely happy that X had recovered his lost memory.
MCgamer was enthused more directly. “Sweet!” he shouted, launching a rocket blast into the air with excitement.
“X, I’m so happy for you!” Said Foxichick.
After X shared his past with all of his new friends, they were overjoyed, which they had not expected to be at the beginning of their journey. At first, the quest to recover X’s memory was but a mere errand, but it had eventually grown into an experience of comradery, trust, and friendship.
“X... did you find out any information on the Dark Lord? I hate to ask now... but...”
X shook his head in sadness.
“There was only one thing... one word... and it was barely even audible. It was likely a distant memory to me even before my memory loss... But yes... there was one word...Machineland.”
“Machineland?” MCgamer asked. “But that’s where the war is...”
“Well, we are warriors, are we not? The greatest way to win a war is to stop it, before it escalates into something catastrophic. Perhaps... we will gain knowledge by stopping the war in Machineland, then?”
“I don’t know... but it might be a good idea of where to go next. What do you guys say, then? To Machineland we go?” asked Foxichick.
Candaru said nothing. She wasn’t sure what the emotion she was feeling was right now, but she
Somewhere far away, in Fantasyland, its Guardian, Sagea, meditated. Sagea served as a sort of cross between a king and an elder chief there, and he knew it. Although he held the title of king, he was wise and he acted more like a librarian (or at least a wise man) to his “subjects”, giving them advice when they needed it. And Sagea could feel a force of Evil growing in his mind, a force that he could not permit to stay, should he continue to be the benevolent sage he wanted to be.
Sagea did not allow the corruption to spread any further in his mind. He would not become a Destroyer. It was out of the question for him.
After a while, he was able to stop the corruption from spreading any further... but he could not shake the feeling that there was much more on the horizon. The recent Destroyer attacks on three of the six lands, in addition to the invasion of the EDOS, were not coincidences. They were connected somehow - but Sagea wasn’t sure he knew exactly how...
All he knew was that darkness was looming on the horizon.
X’s memory - The Truth Behind the “Master Program”.
The Alphabeta Experiments were a series of projects meant to program a “hero” for ImagiNation. These projects were given to a group of programmers by the Guardian of Cyberland, (who was also a program!). The ‘hero’ they were trying to create would be called the “Master Program” once it was complete, and it was not originally meant to be a sentient Creation (and something more along the lines of a weapon). The ‘Master Program’ was to be made up of two parts - a frame (a physical body for the program to operate in the Physical Portion of ImagiNation) and code (the ‘mind’ of the Master Program, the part of it that was digital and would be programmed to fight destroyers). As it was said in the [New] Prologue, the Creators could bring their Creations to life in any way they wished, so the Creators were still “Creating” this Master Program through this group of Programmers, as part of their big story. However, the Creators do not have God-Like control over ImagiNation. They merely have ideas, but the ideas live and thrive on their own in ImagiNation. Sometimes, things “just happen” in my own Imagination that I can’t explain, but do have a limited degree of control over.
This is also not just our Imaginations we’re talking about here - this is everyone’s at once (or, at least, everyone who wants to participate, either directly or through fan-works that we can canonize)! I hope that everyone enjoys what we’ve put out so far and that Lavaring is impactful to whomever enjoys it! =3 Anyways, back to the thing about the Master Program.
At some point, it was decided that the Master Program should be able to think and feel for itself. This decision was the cause of a BIG argument amongst the Programmers who wanted to make the Master Program. Some of them thought it was a great idea - a true hero is a hero because they choose to do the right thing, and otherwise they were just a weapon. In addition, a ‘hero’ must be able to truly empathize with other Creations in order to help them. Some of them thought it was stupid - what if the Master Program went bezerk and ended up like the Terminator? There was a huge argument, but the Guardian of Cyberland ended up supporting the side that said the Master Program should be able to think and feel for itself. Therefore, the Master Program was made to be less like a weapon and more like a living thing. The pro-Sentience side felt that this was the way the Creators wished it (which was true). However, the anti-Sentience side needed some convincing. To prove that The Master Program (who had now been named “X”, as he was the 24th Trial in a series of experiments called the Alphabeta Experiments) would not end up like the Terminator, the anti-Sentience Programmers made X go through a trial where his memory would be deleted, so they could see if his code was stable all by itself without any outside influence. If X was naturally inclined to be a ‘hero’ in this raw and untouched state, then he would be permitted to keep his sentience, and stay a living thing as opposed to a tool. This lead to the events of Lavaring Story taking place.