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Austen was tired and there probably was still flower stuck in her hair, but she was going to finish this assignment even if it killed her. No way was she going to keep working in that bakery forever. She had dreams, she had plans, and they didn't involve either flower or eggs, and definitely no more sugar. Well, maybe some cake once in a while. She was going to be a programmer, preferable a game-designer, since those could use with some actual female representation. Someone needed to make clear girls weren't made up out of inflated boobs alone. So yeah, out with the cookies, in with the code. If only this assignment wasn't kicking her ass so much.

Seriously, where did this code even come from? She didn't write it.

 

0100100001100101011011000110110001101111

010010010010000001110010011001010110000101101100011011000111100100100000011011000110111101110110011001010010000001110100011010000110010100100000011000110110111101101100011011110111001000100000011011110110011000100000011110010110111101110101011100100010000001101000011000010110100101110010

And it didn't belong here at all. She was about to delete it when a part of it caught her eye, and she realized it was binary text. Did one of her classmates send her this? Was her computer hacked? This wasn't funny. Although they had great tast in hair-color, she did rock that pink.

So Austen went on to investigate, but as far as she could tell, none of her security walls had been breached, and when she checked with the class forum, most people just seemed stressed with the final assignments.

And then she got an email from herself, which she definitely didn't do.

 

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01110000011011000110010101100001011100110110010100100000011101000110000101101100011010110010000001100010011000010110001101101011001000000111010001101111001000000110110101100101

Ok, so this was getting weird. Was her computer being hacked? Or was something else going on. Still, she wasn't going to find out anything by doing nothing, so she wrote up a quick reply asking for the hackers name and why they were doing this, hit send, and hurried to the bakery to slave over the dough again.

When she came back, she had a reply.

 

010011010111100100100000011011100110000101101101011001010010000001101001011100110010000001001011011010010111100001110100011101110110100101111000001000000100110101100001011001110110010101101100011011000110000101101110001000000100100101010110

01001001001001110110110100100000011011000110111101101110011001010110110001111001

011110010110111101110101001000000110000101110010011001010010000001110000011100100110010101110100011101000111100100100000011000010110111001100100001000000110001101101111011011000110111101110010011001100111010101101100

01101001001000000110110001101001011010110110010100100000011110010110111101110101

Ok, that was just flattering. Obviously going for the pink was an excellent life choice. She still had no idea what was going on though. So she hit reply again.

183 emails later Austin had learned that Kixtwix Magellan IV was a ghost haunting her computer. She didn't believe him at first, until her made her monitor flicker on and off in morse code, writing a poem about her hair. He had no idea how he ended up there, but he did know that every time she had rebooted her computer, his memory got more or less wiped entirely, which is why he referred to himself as the fourth. He didn't like her having to reboot that much, so could she please stop getting so many viruses? He could download her porn virus free if she really wanted some. (What could she say, she has specific tastes). He also really, really liked her, wrote her binary poetry, and was an excellent coder. And she could call him Kix (She tried to call him Maggie, but he really didn't like that, and made her iTunes play the Happy Little Clouds song for 3 days in revenge. She loved his wickedness really)

He helped her with her final assignment, which she aced (she could have done that on her own, but now she actually got some sleep, so she was grateful). Austen caught herself thinking about him as her best friend. But the binary got a bit tiring, and she hated that he could only communicate on her own computer. And then one night she had a very lively dream of them walking together on the beach, with him touching her hair (in her dream it was blue, maybe she should switch again). She woke up strangely melancholy and a little bit turned on.

Obviously she had to take action.

So together they wrote a code that might export him from her hard drive to a portable one. That took three tries and one reboot, but she had managed to back him up, so he still had all his memories, and didn't request a name change. Once that had worked out well for everyone, she needed to think of a device to store him on that she took take with her everywhere. Which ended up in them having their first big fight, because Kix wanted complete freedom or no freedom. He was a ghost, not a toy, and if he was going to leave the computer he called his home, he wanted to be free to go where he chose to be. She didn't speak to him for two days, until he wore her down by playing All By Myself the entire time. God she hated Celine Dion, but she loved his sneaky ways so much.

So she decided to give him a body. Since the only resources she had were her computer and the bakery, she hid the computer there, and at night they started the Frankenghost project. Kix was worried she was going to make him into a monster, but she reassured him that wasn't her intention. He on the other hand reassured her when she had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the bakery, after a batch of purple colored dough had exploded.

01111001011011110111010100100000011000110110000101101110001000000110010001101111001000000110100101110100

01001001001000000110001001100101011011000110100101100101011101100110010100100000011010010110111000100000011110010110111101110101

So she pluttered on. 4 months, 11 days and 397 minutes after that first binary message, Austen finally managed to create the perfect jelly like substance, with the perfect moist/hardness quotient. She held her breath when she jumpstarted him, crossing her fingers that this would work. It was deadly quiet in the bakery, until suddenly the refrain of Born To Be Alive filled the kitchen. She laughed a little hysterically. God she loved his sense of humor. 

Kix morphed his jelly body in some kind of ghost like blob shape, and obviously they could improve on this, but they could work with this for now. She would have to keep him away from water though.

He morphed a tentacle like appendage and touched her hair. He beeped at her.

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She kissed him. He tasted like candy.