The Nice Guy

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Hemlock, a character in the popular adventure videogame The Nice Guy, enjoys a simple life. He tolerates being played by his human and relaxes in the Sleep World with his other friends in his off time. One day, however, when he receives some interesting news about a leading character that arouses suspicion of foul play, it begs investigation, and when you want a job done right, you do it yourself. Characters taken from this prompt by yoursjivi : An NPC (A non player character) of a game and a character controlled by a player

Adventure / Humor
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

“An idiot,” Hemlock muttered under his breath. “My human is an idiot.”

Then, against his will, his mouth opens and jaw bobs up and down with the video game’s poor graphics. “Hey baby, you come here often?”

To be fair, this was one of the less offensive options, somewhere in between, “Hey, you’re smoking hot–DTF?” and “Where’s the treasury?” Hemlock couldn’t blame a guy for wanting some sort of meaningful human interaction in the game if he was as lonely as his comms made him seem.

The game Hemlock was programmed into was called The Nice Guy, which was pretty lame, if you asked him, but it did hold some value for attracting a lot of “nice guy” memes personified. The more intelligent of the bunch played it for the clever Robin Hood retelling storyline and the irony of the meme, but others thought playing it would attract other “nice guys” and “nice girls” for some, ideally, less-than-awkward romantic engagement.

The girl in front of Hemlock, lounging on her barstool attractively, showcasing her long, disproportionate torso and long, tan, disproportionate legs, tittered and flipped her hair. “Every now and then,” she flirted. “What about you?”

Hemlock could practically feel his human vibrating with the excitement that could only come from being an average to poor looking dude and feeling the attention–virtual or not–of a beautiful woman. Hemlock’s arms and legs lurched him jerkily to lean on the bar close to her. Gross, he scowls in disgust. There’s virtual beer all over that. I’m going to smell like alcohol all night.

A functioning olfactory system was one of the less than wonderful side effects of the Sleep World’s inception. Hemlock didn’t know what the sense of smell was like in the real world, but in The Nice Guy, everything was a little musty and stale, like the air in here was all recycled in the little bubble that was their universe.

“I do now,” Hemlock’s human made him say with a cocky smile.

The woman tittered again. “You wanna get out of here?”

Hemlock thanked everything that was holy for not the first time that The Nice Guy wasn’t actually pornographic. The options on the screen for his human right now were something like “1) Take Angel back to your house, 2) Reject Angel, 3) Ask about the treasury”.

The thing was, Angel wasn’t just a pretty face. She was also the mayor’s daughter, someone who was basically Hemlock’s mortal enemy. Mayor Sanchez was only interested in making herself richer and the poorer and middle class poorer.

Hemlock could practically hear his human groaning with indecision. Just when he swore the dude controlling him was going to cave and “take Angel home”, the kid closed the game altogether. His mom must’ve called him out of his virtual stupor for dinner or something. Every player had to be over thirteen to play The Nice Guy, but Hemlock was convinced his human was eleven at most.

At least now he could relax in the Sleep World. None of them really knew how the Sleep World came to be–some theorized a Big Bang situation and others even believed in an Adam and Eve creationist theory. Hemlock’s theory was that one of The Nice Guy’s creators was a conspiracy theorist and suspected (correctly) that some of the characters were independently intelligent and created a secret algorithm that would support the game in a sort of half-power light sleep operation until the human powered on their character again.

The only characters who were truly awake in the Sleep World were the player created ones. The others were too deeply embedded in code to operate independently. Some of them mechanically drove down main street or walked dogs or picked up the mail, but that was just leftover mechanics, nothing voluntary.

Today, Hemlock decided to hang around one of his usual haunts: the cafe. It was a popular place for characters to hang out in the Sleep World and he wanted to see if any of his friends were around. Some of his friends were rarely played anymore and got to spend all their time in the Sleep World while some were played almost constantly and rarely had time to connect offline. The others, like Hemlock, enjoyed a middle ground.

When he made it to the cafe, he saw that it was averagely populated for the small little hole-in-the-wall establishment. What was unexpected, however, was the greeting he received.

“Dude, did you hear?” Roscoe jumped right in his path to demand just as Hemlock crossed the threshold of the cafe.

Hemlock leaned away from his friend’s musty breath. “Hear what?”

“Someone saw Mayor Sanchez last night!”

“Sounds pretty reasonable, seeing as she’s a pretty crucial character in our game, Roscoe,” Hemlock advised skeptically.

“No, no, no,” he shook his head rapidly. “She was in the Sleep World.

That caught Hemlock’s attention. He blinked, half waiting for Roscoe to psych! him, but nothing happened. He blinked again, brain rebooting. “The Sleep World?” was the best the grinding gears in his brain could come up with.

“Yeah, you heard me right.” Roscoe relaxed a bit now that he’d caught his friend’s attention. “She was lurking around some alley talking to someone, but the dude I heard it from couldn’t ID her.”

“The mayor was out…lurking,” Hemlock repeated incredulously, “around some alley with another woman?”

“Don’t say it like that,” Roscoe rolled his eyes. “You make it sound like she was cheating on her husband. No, she was just…conniving.”


“Yeah, you know…conniving.”

Hemlock frowned, unsure what to do with this information. “So is the working theory that Mayor Sanchez really is controlled by some human?”

Roscoe shrugged, finally leading Hemlock over to a cluster of chairs where a few buddies were whispering amongst themselves. “I dunno. Lots of rumors going around.”

“Do you trust the intel you got?”

Roscoe nodded. “Completely. Very reliable source.”

Hemlock saw a guilty look in his friend’s eye and sighed. “You heard it from someone who heard it from someone, didn’t you?”

“Well,” Roscoe pursed his lips defensively. “The whole chain is people I trust, so it’s basically a primary source.”

“It’s really not,” Hemlock muttered. Louder, he asked, “And we have no leads on who this other woman was? What does she look like?”

Roscoe shrugged helpfully. “Dunno. Different people say different things.”

“Like what?”

“Well, a couple people said it looked like it might have been her daughter, actually, but–”

“Wait, like Angel Sanchez?”

“Yeah.” Roscoe looked at him weirdly. “Pretty sure our good mayor only procreated once, so…”

“Huh.” Hemlock rubbed his jaw, thinking. “I was just with Angel. She seemed normal.”

“Really? I haven’t seen her around much lately. Where’d you see her?”

Hemlock waved a hand dismissively. “Bar. Nothing exciting happened.”

Roscoe hummed and they both found themselves lost in thought. Eventually Roscoe straightened, resolved, and declared, “I’m going to talk to Angel.”

Hemlock smirked. “I knew I could count on you, Ross.” He stood and rubbed his hands together. “Let’s do this.”

Continue Reading Next Chapter
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Janet Cole: This Book is awesomely written. It keeps your interest and makes you wish that it was you in a small hometown and experiencing the joy that they are going through.Great work Author, not only this book but all your books.

Lorena: Me encanta la historia, hechos reales mezclados con humor y excelente escritura. Siento que estoy al lado de ellas!

chabalalanhlalukof: i like the way Alex was acting and they way they have started datingi wish the author could write could continue the story and i can read the way they will date ❤️

Mary Wilkins: What a sweet romance. Lack of effective communication can be a hindrance, huh? I’m glad they worked it out, on the end.

sweetromance2: Very engaging story. I can't wait to read more.🌹

Lynze: An amazing story, well written its like I was really in it. Looking forward to reading more of your books.

Cloudyrae : I'm a sucker for fake boyfriends and bestfriends brother or brothers bestfriend and this book checked off two out of three. Some miscommunication which annoyed me the second time it happened but oh well.

Lee H: Absolutely Loved it, congratulations 💯❤️🤍❤️🤍💦🤍💦🤍

derrickawhyte15: Amazing book.... love the ending... would read again!!💖💕

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Lucille Mason: I’m thoroughly enjoying this book. Love the plot and characters. Can’t wait for the next update. ☺️❤️☺️

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