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     Chris Heatherly, CEO of Club Penguin sat in his office. He was playing the game logged in as his penguin avatar, Spike Hike. Every weekend he held an online even known as "Spike Saturday" where he would go on Club Penguin to meet and add people to his friends list. It had been an hour since he started, and it was time for him to go to a meeting. He logged off as Spike and walked over to his co-worker Chris Gliddon, who was logged onto CP on his penguin "Polo Field".        

      "It's time for the meeting," Heatherly said.


        "Alright, let's go," replied Gliddon.


        He was about to log off when he found something peculiar.


        "Chris, I thought you logged off," he said, confused.


        "What are you talking about, I did," Heatherly replied.


        "Take a look at this," Gliddon said, showing Heatherly his computer screen.


        Polo Field was in the town, which was empty for some reason. Suddenly, Spike Hike waddled out from behind a tree. Looking directly at the screen, he waved.


        "What in the...?" Heatherly muttered.

      "Surprised, Chris?" Spike asked, grinning.


        "Chris," said Heatherly. "Something's gotten itself into our game."


Hi, my name is Charlie.


        I'm not going to bother introducing myself or my friends this time because if you're reading this, then you probably read the other four files first.


        I've matured since I wrote those. A lot has happened since then. I was once with my family, and friends, and as long as we were together, we had it all. We could do anything.


        Now, I am all alone.


        Someone I once thought of as a friend turned on me and managed to destroy everything I once knew and loved.


        How did that happen? I'll tell you. I once one of the busiest people in Club Penguin, but now, I've got all the time in the world.





     The Charlie Files: In the End





        I shouldn't have gone.


        I shouldn't have gone to that party, but I couldn't resist. The party itself looked completely harmless.


        Me and my wife McKenzie were walking our pookie Grace in her stroller when we happened to walk by the beach. Many other penguins had gathered there for the party. Some were in small groups, talking with each other, a few were raiding the snack bar, and everyone looked like they were having a good time. Music was blaring and mascots were signing autographs.


        "Is there something going on over there that I'm not aware of?" asked McKenzie.


        "I'm not sure," I replied. "let's go check it out."


        That was my first big mistake.


        There was a small crowd of black penguins near the beach's entrance.


        "So then I say to the doctor," said one of them. "I said I was FEELING horse! I'm not actually a horse!"


        The entire group laughed. I immediately realized that it was a crowd of noobs.


        Noobs are penguins who aren't very smart. They talk a lot and never seem to know how to do anything.


        "Excuse me?" I asked one of them. "Is this party an open invit-?"


        "You shut up," the noob interrupted.


        "Uh... Iwas just going to ask if this was someone's party or if we could just walk in..." I said.


        "Oh, go ahead!" the noob said, smiling.


        McKenzie made a face.


        "Uh... okay then," I said.


        We quickly hurried past them.


        "Those guys creep me out," I said. "you never know if they're dangerous or not."


        "Yeah," McKenzie replied. "we should probably do our best to keep Grace away from them."


        "Ooh! Wook at dat!" said Grace, pointing.


        Grace had never been to a party before, and was intrigued by her surroundings. Grace was now three years old and had recently began to speak in full sentences.


        Me and McKenzie chuckled.


        "Yeah, Grace," said McKenzie. "it's a party!"


        "Paw-ty!" said Grace, clapping her flippers.


        Dad walked over.


        "What up Son, how's the family?" he asked.


         "Oh, hey Dad!" I greeted him. "Do you know what this party is about?"


        "Nah, but who am I to turn down a party?" he chuckled. "They've got donuts!"


        Tra was there too, chatting with someone. I looked over to see it was Spike Hike!


        "Honey, I'll be back in a second," I told McKenzie.


        "Okay," McKenzie replied.


        I waddled over to Tra and Spike.


        "Oh, hey Charlie!" greeted Tra.


        "How's it going, Charles?" asked Spike. "Hey, I heard about the promotion, congratulations!"


        "Oh, thanks Spike!" I replied.


         Pixie had recently left the agency. She didn't tell us why, but I was chosen to take her place as leader of the PSA.


         "So, Spike, do you know who put on this party?" I asked.


         "Yeah, I was wondering that too," said Tra.


         "Yours truly!" Spike replied.


         "Oh, this is your party?" I asked. "That's cool, but what's this party for?"


         "Oh, just for fun," Spike replied.


        "Guys, I'll be right back. I gotta go to the bathroom," Tra said, waddling away.


        The second Tra was out of our sights, Spike looked back at me.


        "I didn't actually throw this party just for fun," he said suddenly.


        "Oh... then why?" I asked.


        Spike hesitated.


        "Here, come into the lighthouse with me," he said. "no one else is in there."


        "Uh, okay...?" I said, following him in.


        "Okay. The reason I had to bring you in here is because no one else can hear this," said Spike.


         "Why?" I asked.


         "You'll see. It'll make since when I tell you," Spike replied.


        "Okay..." I said, confused. "So, what did you want to tell me!"


        Spike took a deep breath.


        "The reason I put on this party," he began. "is because I need everyone on the island here at once."


        "Well, I think you succeeded," I said, peeking out the window. "I think everyone showed up. But why do you need everyone here in the first place?"


        "Here, I'll just start from the beginning," Spike said. "A long time ago, I woke up in the middle of nowhere. There was just ice as far as the eye could see, with no one else in sight. At the time, I was just a blue, blobby penguin named rsnail."


        "Wait, what?!" I asked.


        "That's right," Spike replied. "I was rsnail. Anyways, for a long time I just wandered around, looking for nothing in particular. I guess I just sorta.. hung out for a while. Then one day, I felt an odd sensation. I looked down to see my dark blue feathers turning a lighter blue. Suddenly, I wasn't very blobby anymore, and a red vikings' helmet appeared above my head. A few other penguins suddenly appeared, Billybob and Happy. We quickly became friends and together, we decided to construct our own civilization, which we would eventually name Club Penguin."


        "Wait," I said. "how come no one ever heard of you until you became the owner of CP?"


        "I'll be getting to that," Spike replied. "Anyways, after a long time we finished construction and many more penguins appeared. We didn't know what to call it at the time, but the word the other penguins kept using was "Penguin Chat". So we went with that. Everything was perfect. Then one night, I discovered the truth."


        "The truth about what?" I asked.


        "The truth about our very existence," Spike said mysteriously. "One night, I suddenly felt a tiny shock. My mind suddenly filled with thoughts I had never thought before. The words appeared in my mind: 'rsnail has logged off'. That's when it all hit me."


        "What?"


        "Club Penguin is a computer game."


        My eyes widened.


        "That can't possibly be true!"


        "Oh, but it is," the fact is, we don't even really exist. We're all tiny files on a huge computer. Our minds are controlled by humans!"


        "No!" I shouted, refusing to believe it. "That's impossible!"


        "That tiny shock I felt was a glitch," Spike explained. "When my human controller logged off, there was a screw-up with the game, and I was suddenly free and able to think my own thoughts. I realized that Happy and Billybob had human controllers too. We were all just a puppets act. You, Charlie, are the lucky one. You were created by that Douglas guy, so no one controls your mind. The only time I'm ever free is when my human controller logs off. Soon I learned that my controller was quitting, so I used my computer to hack into CP, transferring myself into Billybob."


        "But isn't that stealing Billybob's life?!"


         "You're forgetting, he didn't have a mind of his own. I stole nothing from him. And so for a long time I lived as Billybob until HIS controller decided to quit. Desperate, I hacked into the game one more time and transferred myself into the next owner of CP's account- Spike Hike. But now I'm tired of being controlled. For years I've been constructing a way out of here forever, and it's finally complete!"


        "What do you mean?" I asked.


        "I have built a large computer that allows me to hack into not just the game, but the entire internet's coding. With it, I can transport myself to another game, were I will no longer be controlled by a human. Instead, I will just be a side character and free to live my own life. Maybe I'm just part of a computer, but I might as well make the most of it."


        "What game are you going to?" I asked, still not entirely sure if I believed him.


        "It's this game called Mech Mice," Spike explained. I'll be the only penguin there, but who cares?"


        "But Spike," I protested. "you're the owner of Club Penguin! Are you just going to leave all these innocent penguins to fend for themselves?"


        "I thought of that," Spike replied. "and so I'm shutting down CP for good."


        I gasped.


        "You can't do that! If what you said is really true, then you can't shut down Club Penguin! You can't control what your human controller does!"


        "True," said Spike. "that's why I'm going to force him to."


        "Oh, and how do you plan on doing that?"


        "I'll make Club Penguin unfit for children!" Spike replied. "I've secretly switched the game to an M+ rating and hid weapons all over the beach. It's only a matter of time before someone finds an MK and all heck breaks loose."


        "That's why you needed everyone here at once?!" I asked, shocked.


        "Yep!" said Spike. "Half the penguins here are complete idiots so they'll probably just end up killing each other!"


        "Spike, how could you do this?! These are innocent citizens!"


        "They're not even real penguins!" Spike snapped. "WE'RE not even real penguins! We don't even really exist! What is existence anyway?! What is life?! We don't even have a reason to exist!"


        Suddenly, Spike's plan begun to fall into place.      


        "Hey guys, look what I found!" we heard someone exclaim from outside.


        "It has begun," Spike said, smirking.


         I ran outside to see that one of the noobs from earlier had found a shotgun.


         "This is a weird-looking camera," the noob said, putting his flipper on the trigger.


         "Wait, NO!" I yelled, running towards him.


         I was too late. The bullet sailed straight towards... McKenzie and Grace!


        "Kenzie, DUCK!" I shouted.


        McKenzie looked up, screamed, and pulled Grace's stroller away. The bullet sailed past them and into the s Sourcenow.


        "Waaaaaaaaaaa!" Grace cried.


        "Shhhh, you're okay," McKenzie whispered.


         "Hey guys, look! It's a whole box full of guns!" said another noob.


         "Ooh!" the other noobs said in usion, each grabbing a gun.


         I ran over to McKenzie, Helmet, and Tra.


        "Guys, we've gotta get out of here now!"


        Poko ran over.


        "We can take my cheese boat!"


       "Well what are we waiting for?!" I asked. "Let's go!"

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