Jump to content

Recommended Posts

It's the year 3713, and the people of Earth had solved much of the problems that faced them in centuries past with the creation of enhanced technology.  Now, the common population was working only to support the AI that kept society functioning in top shape.  Everyone was getting bored.  They had accomplished most everything they had even thought possible, the most remarkable of course being the creation of the ultimate VR experience-the Endless Horizon.   A simulated world with endless possibilities-all it takes is a thought, a bit of designing in some menus, and you can have a world of your very own.  At the moment, a large event was about to take place, or so everyone heard, with the media spreading the info like a wildfire.  Record numbers of people had diven into the Endless Horizon through the microchips connected to their brains at birth.  The medieval city everyone had gathered in was abuzz-but for how long would that happiness last?   

Edited by Monoxide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shoulders touching. Eyes meeting. Noise everywhere. Instead of being excited, she felt drained both physically and emotionally. Instead of being excited like the millions of other people gathered around, she felt almost sick. There was just simply too many people. 

The red head obviously wasn’t a big fan of crowds, evidently displayed on her features. Her brown eyes shifted frantically to those beside her, unconsciously brushing against those she had never seen or met before. Although this was technically a VR program, it was still usually odd how everything was so real. Maybe it was because of the jumps in technological advancements, but the thought never left her. Deciding it was enough, she pushed her way through the endless crowd before her. While she didn’t want to appear as cold or distant, she still wanted to leave.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a beaten dirt path leading to a small pond just outside of the town. Feeling as though that would be a safe place to relax, she abruptly turned towards the path ahead. However, she managed to shoulder-check another player. Stumbling back, the red head looked up at the individual to apologize. Suddenly, she recognized the face before her. It was ages ago, but his face wasn’t one to forget.

Oh.. What was his name..

”Notorious?” She asked gently, a small grin forming on her face. Her name in this world was ‘Arietta’, deciding against using her actual name. Instead, she came up with something else. Apparently, so did he.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Eyes.

They are the last aspect of one's avatar that is inhuman.  Eyes that are bland, colored but unseeing, missing that life--no--soul you'd normally see in the real world.  This world-the Endless Horizon, it's existence sprouting out of nowhere, had evolved into almost a second reality.  Besides the eyes, of course.

He was surrounded by these eyes, and happened to own a pair himself, colored a dark orange.  His appearance was his for the choosing, but he wasn't too picky.  Silver hair, a velvety jacket that was just a bit too short, and a baggy pair of black sweatpants.  Notorius was strolling along through the dense crowd of people, dodging when needed.  Soon, he began to wonder why everyone was gathered into such a compact location for the event announcement, when instead the moderators could have just sent it into their notification inboxes.  Something big was about to happen.  He hurried through the crowd to get to a more open space to gather his surroundings, but in his carelessness, bumped into someone's shoulder in the center of the masses.  He turned to apologise, and stopped.  He knew this person!  She looked unsure of herself, and so he grinned in response as confirmation to her guessing his name. 

"Arietta still, right?  It's been a long time.  How've you been? We haven't talked since we split up our partnership a few years back." He silenced himself for a a few seconds.  "Those were fun times.  When I wasn't a loner, I mean." he coughed, embrassed.  

He could feel tense anticipation gathering within the fortress.  With so many people here--at least a billion, he guessed--things would have gotten ugly very quickly if it hadn't been for the anti-combat spell most large civilizations put into force.  Notorius closed his eyes to block out the sound for a moment, and opened them once more to focus on Arietta.

Edited by Monoxide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first difference Arietta noticed about Notorius was how he looks, his appearance taking her almost by surprise. What shocked her the most was his eyes. Although they weren’t a very bright color, they still were unusual. She personally would never pick such a hue for herself, but it looked good on him. Very good, actually. Her appearance hadn’t changed much at all, her wavy, red hair stopping at her shoulders much like how it used to. The small freckles that displayed on her cheeks and nose still remained as well. Her eyes shone much brighter now, the previously dull eyes replaced with beautiful doe-like ones. She wore an amber-hued hoodie, as well as a mid-thigh black skirt. While her clothes had changed, nothing else had. She didn’t want to stick out, already feeling out of place from those around her. 

When he recalled the last time they spoke, a small frown adorned her features. It wasn’t that she disliked the memory of going on quests with him, rather, she disliked how it ended..

She couldn’t remember exactly how they met, instead, she remembered one  peculiar moment. They were in a small group of three or four, the two of them included. While searching for some sort of special treasure, Arietta found herself separated from their group. Alone, she found herself becoming more lost than when she began. She ended up finding the treasure, but in the meantime found a strange powerful monster her group had yet to encounter. While fighting it off the best she could, she struggled immensely. If it wasn’t for Notorius finding her, she would have lost that treasure. In the end, the reward was worth it. However, after that event she began to distance herself from him. She didn’t want him to be associated with someone who couldn’t hold her own weight.

After he spoke about him being a loner, her eyes shot to meet his own. A small look of regret flashed over her face, looking genuinely surprised. He seemed so calm and collected.. but a loner?

”A.. loner?” She questioned, looking a little stunned. Arietta opened her mouth to say something more, but stopped herself when she received a notification. She apologized quickly, frantically opening the message and reading its contents. Apparently, whatever was happening was going to happen.. and very soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He noticed her surprise.  He would have been surprised, too, if he had been her.  And yet...why should she be surprised?  If other's didn't want him around, then he didn't, either.  But he could at least make amends for whatever mistake he had made.  

"Yeah, I've been alone for these past years, which tends to harden a person.  Maybe, now that we're back together, we could co---"

Interrupted by a humongous array of fireworks up in the sun-tinted sky, Notorius shook his head.  They'd have to talk more seriously once the event had started, and when the crowd dispersed.  Straying his eyes away from his old partner's features, doing so with a sigh, he shifted his attention to the commotion a few hundred feet in front and above him.  A squeaky voice screeched out of the sky into his ears, fanfare included (with even more fireworks).  

The bodiless voice coughed violently before it spoke.  "GREETINGS, MORTALS, I HAVE SPECTACULAR NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU ON THIS FINE GATHERING!  HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE, HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE."   The crowd booed in response, covering their virtual ears.  A random avatar could be faintly be heard in the furthest edges of the crowd, clapping slow and sarcastically.

Suddenly, as if on cue, the voice changed completely, booming dominatively over the entire population.  "SILENCE!"  Many people jumped at the outburst, but Notorius did not. The event would just be another generic bossfight, but on a much larger scale.  He frowned, and figured he was wasting his time.  But the voice that seemingly had a personality disorder continued monologuing.

"YOU"RE ALL PROBABLY THINKING, "oh, it's just another generic bossfight, boo hoo!" WELL, DO I HAVE SOMETHING IN STORE FOR YOU.  IN ABOUT THIRTY SECONDS,  A TENTH OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION WILL BEND TO MY ALMIGHTY WILL!  HEED MY WARNINGS!  IF YOU TRY TO LOGOUT INTO THE REAL WORLD NOW, THERE WILL BE DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES FOR YOUR ACTIONS!  WHY, YOU ASK?  YOU FIRST HAVE TO COMPLETE MY EVENT, OF COURSE. THERE WILL BE NO SHORTCUTS!"  Many players, new and experienced to Endless Horizon, logged out, thinking the voice was lying to hide event secrets.  After hundreds of thousands of people, almost a million people, had done so, the voice cackled gleefully.

"ALL OF THOSE THAT HAVEN"T LOGGED OUT ALREADY, LET THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY SERVE AS AN EXAMPLE OF MY MIGHTY POWER!  LET'S WATCH THE NEWS!  OH, WHAT'S THIS?  VR ARCADES ACROSS THE GLOBE ARE CARRYING OUT DECEASED USERS?  WHAT A SHAME.  I CERTAINLY  WOULDN"T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED!  OF COURSE I DO!  I'M THE ONE TELLING YOU ALL THIS, AM I NOT?  THOSE MICROCHIPS IN YOUR BRAINS WERE ALTERED BEFORE THEY WERE IMPLANTED INTO YOUR MINISCULE HEADS.  YOU CAN"T TAKE THEM OUT, AND I CAN KILL YOU WITH THEM."  As the maniacal laughing revamped, Notorius stared in horror at the news projection that lit up the sky, enveloped with the smoke of launched fireworks.  Bodies were clearly being carried out of not only VR Arcades, but out of homes, workplaces, and even the headquarters of Endless Horizon itself.

This....can't be happening.  This must be some sort of social experiment, we can log out, and we'll be fine, right?  Let me just....think.....why can't I get the logout screen to pop up?!   When I think about logging out, it's supposed to pop up.  Shit.  All of those horror stories about VR are coming true, with me in them.  I need to get out of this crowded courtyard, and figure out how to go forward from here.

A notification popped up in his inbox stating the details of the event, but that was the least of his worries currrently.  The crowd had finally spiraled into a chaotic mass of people who were silent, yelling, screaming, hysterical, and cring in a variety of languages.  Notorius looked around frantically for any sort of way out, but he found none.  All he could do was hesistantly reach his hand out to Arietta, hoping desperately that he wouldn't lose her in the chaos.  He still needed to give his amends.

        

Edited by Monoxide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the bodiless voice came, she practically jumped out of her skin. She wouldn’t call herself a ‘scaredy-cat’, but the poor girl startled easy. She quietly listened to the voice, stealing glances at the player beside her. He didn’t look any particular way, if anything he seemed almost.. bored? But his features changed when the voice advised against logging out, a worried look spreading over her own. 

Despite being told not to, Arietta found herself being one of those people who believed that they should log out. That’s what she always did when she didn’t like how things were heading. She could go back to that gaming store where she had eagerly logged on to try and join this event. However, something stopped her from doing so. It was him. Granted, she barely knew him but he seemed to make no attempt to log out in the beginning. So, she ignored the idea and waited along with him. It didn’t take long for her to realize her potential error, one that could have costed her life.

Fear flashed over her eyes, her brown orbs never leaving the screen before her. She could barely believe what was happening. People being dragged out of their homes, dead as a door nail.. Her attention shifted to another screen, where a boy their age was found dead. A young girl was at his side, bawling her tiny eyes out at the sight of her dead man before her. She brought a hand to her mouth, trying to hold back a sob. She wanted to look away.. but she simply couldn’t. 

When she felt his hand grab her own, she didn’t jump. She didn’t pull away either, her mind was on nothing else. Stunned, she followed him when she was pulled into the courtyard she had previously spotted from afar. Once they reached the area, she met his eyes once again. 

Those people.. this isn’t a joke.. this is real. If I leave, I’ll die. What am I going to do? Am I going to have to stay.. here?

She didn’t know what to say, blankly staring at him. Her hand tightened around his own, her body quivering in fear. She shouldn’t have been this scared, but the more she thought about it, the worse her state became. After a moment, she only had one question burning in her mind. 

Am I going to die here?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the pair entered the courtyard, he wordlessly tugged her hand towards a bench underneath a willow tree.  Notorious flopped down, mentally exhausted after all that had occured.  The world, for millions of people, had changed.  Deep in thought, he suddenly realized that he was still strongly gripping Arietta's slender hand.  No, wait, she had tightened her grip.  He didn't let go.  If he was heavily worried about being stuck in a virtual world, who knew what she was going through.

What am I....no....what are WE going to do?  Logging out brings death, and dying here will bring death in the real world too.  We only have one option: to complete the event. 

Arietta was overwhelmed by fear, he could tell.  He looked deep into her brown, fearful eyes, and sighed.  The last time he had been in a scenario like this one, this same girl had almost died.  Back then, the game was the same ultra realistic world it always had been, but without that "real death" factor.  But now, that factor had become a reality.  He would have to try and help again.  Right now, too, because she had been staring into his soul for the past minute and a half.

 "It's very clear.  We can die here.  I sure don't want to die, and I have the feeling that the idea of dying here scares you just as much if not more than I.  Once things settle down, maybe we can make a plan to start and find the way out of Endless Horizon.  All those people that died....I won't let that happen to you.  I don't think I could bear that kind of weight.  So, if I may, I'll stick with you. That's a promise."  He slowly let go of her hand, hoping he had done the right thing.

 By putting up a small smile, he tried to lighten up the mood.  Notorius lazily put his hands behind the back of his head.  So he was now trapped in a VR world, for who knows how long.  He wondered if he would come to regret taking a quick break into the VR world after he had ordered a pepperoni pizza online.  It sure was a good thing he ordered that pizza, actually.  The drones that deliver food, packages, and other items into people's homes would alert the pizza company--Papa Domino's Pizza--when a customer was in the realm of VR at the time of delivery.  It was for informational purposes, so that the company and other food delivery services could one day partner with Endless Horizon to incorporate a notification when drones arrive during a customer's dive into VR.  In a sense, Notorius' life depended on the overseers of a pizza delivery service.  

 

 

Edited by Monoxide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arietta wasn’t fully paying attention to what Notorius was saying, so much so she only snapped out of her thoughts when his hand left her own. Looking up at him, she nodded quietly. After a moment, she couldn’t help but feel the air around them grow uncomfortably still. She needed to say something, he did in fact pull her away from the crowds of people. As if reading his mind, she spoke solemnly.

“I’ll be honest, I’m not very experienced. I know some things, but not everything. Like you said, we need to start making a plan.” She quietly sighed, “If I knew my life was at stake I would have never gotten online..” 

As soon as she finished, she quickly turned away from him in embarrassment. “I mean, it’s not that I don’t want to be here with you. If anything I’m really glad I found you again. I just kinda wish it was a different situation, you know?” She asked, swallowing dryly after her little ‘explanation’. Arietta leaned back against the base of the willow tree, her eyes drifting up to the branches above before closing.

Slowly, she held her hand out to him once more, a dainty finger held up. More specifically, her pinky finger. “I’d be honored to accompany you again. I know it’s been a couple of years since we’ve last seen or spoken to each other. I hope I won’t let you down.” She sighed, locking her finger with his own. “Sorry to be quoting you, but that’s a promise.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...