Hopper 1

As a special note, in this book the scene may switch between the physical plain and the mindscape. This will be represented by three * symbols

Chapter 1: Hopper

There were voices. That was all he could tell. Uhg, what happened? He couldn’t move.. couldn’t see..

“It looks like he will be able to recover soon.” a female voice spoke “He won’t be able to remember anything for a while”

“Very good. We don’t want him remembering too soon.” a male voice responded “He should be waking up soon, we should let him rest”

What did they mean.. he wouldn’t remember what? He struggled, finding himself unable to remember ..anything.. What was going on? What happened? He wanted to panic but he still couldn’t move.

Earlier that day…

He woke up late, it was past 11 in the morning, it was a Saturday so he had no work to do. Getting up he headed out towards the living room, when he suddenly heard a wicked giggling, he thought a moment where it was from, it sounded familiar.. he shook his head, it was from one of his games, he must have forgotten to turn it off last night. Oh well, hopefully he saved sometime last night, his character surely couldn’t have survived the night. Walking into the living room he was surprised to see that the TV was off.

He heard a yell from outside suddenly, running to the window he opened the curtain, seeing short skeletons running around, with some kid in a green tunic chasing after them. He closed the curtain again, stupid kids were making way too much noise with their games, you’d think somebody was actually in trouble with screaming like that. He heard the giggling again, only it was still coming from inside his house. The sound seemed like it was coming from the kitchen actually.

“Something isn’t right, careful.” G poked at him

“Don’t be paranoid” He thought back, as he walked into his kitchen quickly, wondering who was messing around in there, when he noticed a black distortion around his stove, unable to comprehend the unworldly image, his mind immediately jumped to ‘fire’ grabbing a blanket he ran towards it, intending to smother it and…

“uhhhg.. whhhwhaat..”

“careful” the female voice said softly “you are still recovering.”

“ffff.. from.. what..”

“Your home world has been merged.” the male voice spoke “You were right in the middle of the core, where we were able to save you. You see, every thought you have, anybody has, spawns a whole universe of ideas. Lately, the balance has been distorting as ideas mix and collide, causing some worlds to start to merge with each other. This causes perhaps a peaceful world like yours, to be mixed with worlds filled with monsters. Or perhaps a world devoid of magic to mix with a world where magic is part of their daily lives. As you can imagine, this can cause disaster on the scale of global panic, destruction, and mayhem. We are between worlds now, and are trying to save as many worlds from this fate as we can. Do you have any questions you’d like to ask us?


“You know, maybe someone would actually understand those expositions of yours if you didn’t insist on only getting people who have amnesia.” the female said, sounding more like she was teasing him than anything else.

He put his hand to his forehead, running through the standard ‘freak out’ check list. Bad dream? No, he wouldn’t have a headache. Prank? No, nobody can pull a prank to give him amnesia. Maybe he- wait. his eyes widened, his vision had finally stopped blurring, the lady in front of him was a catgirl. Even though he couldn’t remember anything he knew that had to be wrong. As he stared she giggled at him and stuck out her tongue.

“Finally able to see huh?” she teased “Didn’t expect such a cute nurse did you” His look went flat, she had to know that wasn’t why he was staring, she was just teasing him. “Oh, don’t look so grouchy.” she pouted her tail waving back and forth behind her, in a way demonstrating that it was real “My name is Cherry, and I’m going to be working with you, so, you know, we should get to play around some.”

He shook his head it was starting to clear a little, but he couldn’t remember anything still “Can we just talk about whats going on? Why can’t I remember anything?”

The doctor looked back at him “Its better for you that way.”

“Whyyyy” he said, halfway between annoyance and curiosity.

“Because, if you remember what your old world was like, it’ll only shock you more how different this one is” the doctor answered “If you agree, we would like to make you a Hopper, Someone who goes to different worlds on the verge of merging, and stop it from happening. We can talk you through it, its really easy when you get to it, the only hard part is coping with the new rules, new shapes, feelings, colors you probably have never even heard of. Science, math, magic, everything is completely different in every world. Well, not everything everything, some worlds are fundamentally similar, but getting used to it repeatedly can be a shock. Since you have amnesia of your old world, you will be able to handle the shock far more easily than somebody who remembers a whole lifetime living by one set of rules. I know its a lot to take in, so we have a book on it you can read tonight.”

Cherry giggled again “He just loves to talk” she whispered to him “He gives these speeches to all the new mergers, only like half of them are even awake enough to figure out he’s even talking to them”

“The whole lot of them is insane” G said irritably. “lets just find a room and figure a way out of here”

“So, if this isn’t a hallucination, nightmare, prank, or something, you want me to ‘save the world’?” He asked skeptically.

“Hey come on, lets just ditch this place before something else happens.”

Cherry giggled “I guess in a way. Not the world though, more like a world. If you can handle it, probably more than just one. Kinda depends lots of guys chicken out after their first world and just hang out here.”

“Are you listening to me??”

“How do you ‘stop’ a merging?” He asked, not sure weather to buy this.

“CAN YOU HEAR ME!?!” he was getting frustrated at being ignored.

“Well, basically you just point the sealing device at the hole and fire.” her tail wagged quickly “It can be tricky if the hole appears someplace hard to reach, but we can usually track it down ahead of time for you so you can get to it”

“COME ON! SAY SOMETHING WOULD YA!” he yelled, realizing that for some reason couldn’t be heard. He grumbled wondering how he can manage to get around this.

“What if it appears like, in a vault or, on top of a skyscraper. How the heck am I supposed to get to it?”

She was suddenly looking rather excited now “You sneak in!” she chirped. “We can help with that too!”

“I’m almost afraid to ask.. How are you going to help with that?”

The doctor spoke up again “Our technology that can merge you into the world, and merge the sealing device, can also make small alterations. Specifically, we can alter your body and mind just slightly, to give you physical, or mental powers. These are only able to be small changes though, if you don’t develop yourself too, you won’t get much stronger. I think that is enough for today, we need you to leave tomorrow, so you don’t get too used to this world’s physics before entering a new one. So go ahead and get some rest” The doctor handed him some books “Try to study this if you can, there is a map there that will show you how to get to the station tomorrow morning.”

“What a windbag” G said to himself, knowing he still couldn’t be heard “every time he opens his mouth my ears would fall off if i had any.”

He got up, looking at the map “Well… I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then.” he said slowly. Walking out and towards the spot labeled as his room. He felt like he was sleep walking, maybe tomorrow would make things more clear.

Chapter 2: POW- Prisoner Of World

Original story

His alarm went off early the next morning, he didn’t have much time to study, he wanted to get some sleep more than anything else. He followed the map, eventually finding his way to the landing.

“Good morning!” Cherry yelled, waving excitedly at him.

“How… can you possibly be this energetic, this early?” he asked as he walked up to the platform.

“You know how you never, ever see a cat girl drinking coffee?”

“I wouldn’t remember if I did.”

“Well, there is a good reason why we don’t.”

“Oh..Kay..” he got up onto the platform “Well, I’m here.. Now what?”

“Just stand in the middle of that circle, you are going to merge into the world this is still -slightly- experimental so we can’t quite control where you land, but you kinda wind up near the weakest point so the rift should open near where you will show up.” she giggled “My turn to give big long expositions. Anyway, to give you time to get used to the world, the world we’re sending you to won’t start merging for about a year, I know it sounds long, but you actually stopped aging as soon as you merged. Buut you still aren’t getting any younger” she giggled again “I’ll keep in touch telepathically, nothing can keep us apart, so, thats good news right?”

“As long as you let me sleep” he joked.

“No promises” she says winking “I might get lonely!” She hit the button and everything went white as the merging began.

Everything blurred around him, he could feel himself moving, turning, as the colors began to appear, he found himself in a new world. Also, he found that he was about 10 feet in the air. And upside down. He crashed into a food stand on the side of the street, It didn’t hurt as much as he thought it would though. “Ouch.. Couldn’t you have put me on the ground at least?”

“Sorry!” Cherry’s voice called in his mind “I told you it was experimental”

“Exactly.. How experimental is this?” Maybe he should have asked that before..

“Um.. Well.. You are the fourth hopper”

“WAIT A SECOND! You said there were a bunch of people and it was easy!”

“Please don’t be mad!” She pleaded “We saved a lot of people but almost nobody wanted to actually go to another world and try to stop it. We HAD to make it sound easy. I don’t want to see more worlds being destroyed”

He would have continued arguing with her, but there were a few more.. pressing matters, such as the police that just showed up. “There are police here now. What do I do?”

“Don’t run from them, it’ll make everything harder if you are wanted, just explain it was an accident and hope you can get out within the year. I don’t know what the law is like in this world. Once there was a world where they put you to death for sneezing in public!”

The officer walked up to him, now that he was looking around he saw the food was scattered everywhere, the stand was broken in half and he was covered in food. His hand went straight to the back of his neck as he gave a nervous smile. “Um.. Hello officer”

The officer looked pretty serious “I don’t know what the law was where you are from, but around here destruction of property is not tolerated.” he said.

He realized, his accent was pretty different from the local accent, and he did look different, so he probably could pass for a foreigner.. if he actually knew a place that he matched well enough to claim himself as “Sorry sir, it was an accident, I tripped” he tried to explain, the officer looked skeptical though.

“Tripped? This is a lot more damage than ‘tripping’ I think you’d better come with me.” The officer said, taking his wrist.

He let the officer lead him down to the station. What a start, well, he was pretty high up actually, so of course it did a lot more than what just tripping should.

It took several days before he was finally before the courts. He’d had it all figured out, he tripped, and fell out of the building, totally an accident no need to put him in jail. Yeeah, thats not what came out of his mouth when the judge asked him what happened. “Um um um.. cannon travel!”

“CANNON TRAVEL?!?!” Cherry shouted in his head “What happened to the window idea? That had potential!”

“I’m sorry! I got nervous, my mind froze up and it was kind of like being shot through a cannon..”

“Either you are extremely gullible, or you think that I am extremely gullible” the judge said looking down at him “So which is it”

“I’d have to say, I’m probably the gullible one here” he said, feeling the weight of doom on his shoulders

“Let me see if I have this straight, somebody told you they were going to put you into a cannon, and shoot you at the city, and you thought that was a good idea?”

“Is it too late to plead insanity?”

“If you plead guilty we can let you off with 14 months”

“Let me OFF with 14 months? Thats a LONG time!

“If we go with your story, you are an accomplice to an activity that could have seriously injured several people.”

“Every time you say something it makes this situation feel a lot worse.. But I really can’t be in jail for 14 months, I know it sounds weird but I direly need to be out before one year from now.”

“Well.. Normally this isn’t something for violent crime, but, since your motives were not malicious, if you take the banishment program, I can reduce that sentence by one third”

Banishment? That sounds good, I’m not really planning to stay in the city this whole time anyway, I can just come back in a year “I’ll go with the banishment then.”

“You know. Your people skills could use a little work” Cherry said to him as he sat in the back of the truck on the way to the prep area

“OK, so that could have gone better”

“Better?? That couldn’t have gone worse!”

“I’m sure if I gave it a few minutes I could have gotten two years”

Everything seemed to drift by for a while, waiting, waiting, more waiting, the place was a lot like a hospital. He had to sign some waiver forms, he really hoped there wouldn’t be anything too bad happening, he guessed he probably wouldn’t be able to do anything about the side effects within the legal system anyway, he wasn’t a citizen.. of anywhere. After that they took him to prep for some sort of suit “This is about the wierdest banishment I’ve ever heard of.”

“Maybe the area outside of the city is toxic and they need to outfit you with a biosuit or something?”

“I didn’t see anything that looked like it would keep toxins out of the city, so I’m doubting it”

“You sure are a quiet one” The nurse mentioned as she shaved off his hair “Normally guys get a little chatty at this point”

“Oh.. Sorry distracted I guess”

“You are missing your last chance to get to talk to people”

“Wait- What? There are no people outside of town?”

She looked confused, and studied him “You.. do know what banishment is right? You signed all the forms didn’t you read them?”

“Well, my sentence would have been too long otherwise so I figured I’d just have to deal with whatever the problems came up”

“Is this the kind of thinking that got you in here in the first place?”


His focus faded out again in distraction, apparently the shaving was in preparation for a skin tight suit. Great. Though more pressing was the fact that some sort of computer chip monitor was being stuck IN HIS HEAD!

“Don’t worry, I doubt it can disrupt our telepathic link” he remembered Cherry say, he didn’t know how long ago, he had so much on his mind most of it wasn’t even registering.. then he fell unconscious as the chip was placed in..


“Great.. Whats happening now” G looked around as everything around him whited out. He walked around, looking for some sign of what was going on, no visual so the eyes must be closed, the whiteness meant no thoughts. Not even dreams. suddenly the ground began to shake as metallic roots began to burst from the ground, spreading outward “NOT ON MY WATCH!” he shouted, throwing shields out to try to stop the roots. Wherever he placed them though the roots simply moved around them.

Defensive not working, he lunged forward, flames bursting from his hands as he launched himself at a root, he struck it hard but it did not even leave a singe, not missing a beat his eyes went black as he raised his hands, sending a flood of energy out of the ground in front of him at the roots. When the energy wave cleared, there was nothing, not one scratch. “Well, that proves it, whatever this thing is, its physical not mental.” he said to himself watching it growing “How big is this thing going to get??”

The days dragged by slowly as he watched the roots spreading through the mind. there was though one oddity he found, the part of the mind that he was in seemed to keep the majority of the roots while the mind he could not reach had very few roots reaching into it. Five days ended up passing before signs of consciousness began to re-emerge, quickly, he checked to make sure everything was working right. His mind did not seem to be different, aside from the presence of the roots.

One he had awoken it looked like they were taking him to prep more for the suit “Good thing I’m back here” G said to himself “I’d hate to be dealing with that” looking back ironically at the roots, he had his own problems to deal with. Kicking one in frustration he looked around the mindscape, it had become rather twisted, amnesia, subconscious barriers, roots, it was a mess. from the way it seemed they would be alone for quite a while as well. What else could make things worse-“GHEEAHH!!” he yelped, electricity shooting through him, he glared back and saw the lightning coming off of the roots. he glanced at the wall where it showed what was happening to the body, they were calibrating the thing it looked like.


“Strange.” The doctor said looking at the screen “I’m not sure the custodian installed properly, default punishment four. Do you feel anything?”

“No, am I supposed to?” he replied, wondering what this meant. Does this mean he doesn’t have to deal with punishments?”

“NO NO NO!! LIE!! LIE TO HIM YOU IDIOT!!” G shouted feeling the electricity hit him, how could anybody be this stupid? if he doesn’t feel pain then he should not advertise it, he should take advantage of it!


G turned back to face the roots, not sure exactly what he could do against them but at least he hoped to avoid the lightning. As the man tinkered on his computer and gave the punishment command he lept out of the way quickly avoiding the lightning, which then went through the wall, and he saw on the screen the body convulsing in pain. “Gah! You mean if I dodge those he gets hurt??” he yelled then paused as something occurred to him. HE couldn’t remember the guy’s name either. “Uhg that amnesia thing is effecting me too? Well, I guess it sort of makes sense, our minds are bound together. I guess I’ll call him hopper for now too.” he watched the roots warily, ready to try to block any attacks that might come from them.

No new attack came from them, since the ‘punishment’ was properly calibrated. At least as far as they know. He watched as Hopper was lead through the remaining procedures, the screen went black as lenses were put into Hopper’s eyes “Great what now more tricks?” He said grumpily. Pads and pieces of the latex suit were pieced together and finally Hopper was completely encased. Some odd chemical was added to the body G could tell, which made it begin to numb “..That..could actually be advantageous.” he said to himself without thinking. A fighter by nature, G sometimes lapsed into considering the combat potential for many situations.

Chapter 3: Free to go nowhere

“I’m bored. Very very bored. Soo bored.” Hopper was chanting to himself sitting by a building on his own. He couldn’t do anything, any time he tried to touch anything that looked interesting he’d just get a voice telling him it’s against the rules.

“Would you cut that out?” Cherry shouted in his head suddenly “Do you have any idea how boring it is to watch someone sitting around complaining about how bored they are?”

I can’t help it! This is REALLY boring. I can’t do anything, can’t go anywhere, can’t remember my past, and I’ve been in jail, court and this suit longer than the entire span of time I DO remember.

“I’m sorry, this would really be worse if you had your memories though, it really would!” She tried to explain, not to much effect though

And without them is better? He snapped bitterly, all during this conversation he was getting nagged at by the custodian that he can’t talk to people. By the time this is through I’m going to remember being a ‘bane’ and hardly the two days I wasn’t. You can’t tell me that won’t have some significant side effects!

“I’m monitoring your mind for abnormalities” She began.


He wandered around town for a while, the custodian would pester him any time he went to or touched anything that looked interesting though. He also noticed that other ‘Banes’ avoided him like the plague. He had no idea why though..

You’re welcome G thought. Every time Hopper did something that got the custodian to speak up or got near a bane, he had to deal with the lightning.

The time passed uneventfully, which was likely to be expected for someone in this situation, feedings through a stomach tube so he can’t taste it, wandering aimlessly around town, and unable to do anything that resembles fun… laying around outside the Custodian spoke up. D-5377: Status update received from central monitoring network: Violations totaled and demerits assigned. For the 18 violations in the last week, your sentence has been extended by 1 Month. Try harder, D-5377


He fumed. What was the point of going through this for a reduced sentence if you could go beyond your initial sentence that easily?

“Careful Hopper, if that happens again, you might end up going over the year limit we have, which would be very bad.”

“You think I don’t know that?? I don’t even want to be in this thing for one MINUTE longer much less a whole month! I’m getting out of this thing.”

“I don’t think you can. You can’t use tools and doing that might increase your sentence if you fail you know.”

“I’ll just wait for a lightning storm, and make sure i’m higher up than anything else around me. That’ll short circuit the suit and it won’t stop me.”

“OK, aside from the whole.. um.. DYING thing that comes with that plan, you are a rubber ball, you are the exact opposite of conductive. Lightning would be more attracted to the DIRT than you.

“Ok, well this stuff is thick but not impenitrable. if i could set it up so i fall onto something sharp and cut a part of it open i could tear each pad apart.”

“Except that you would be just as likely to stab yourself through it, and even if you got the suit off, you still have a chip in your brain that may or may not be hard wired into the suit. You really want to risk pulling the helmet pads off if they might yank metal wires from your brain, not to mention that if you wear the mask after taking the suit off you couldn’t eat, and you’d be easily recognized as a bane anyway.”

“Can you de-merge it from my brain?”

“Sure, but i wouldn’t know if i was getting your brain or it. Our merging technology is still in the works remember? I can make little alterations from here but anything that delicate you’d need to be back here to do, and we can’t de-merge you to here until the job is done, or we might miss our chance to save this world.

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