Meet the Jin Family
-Friday October 12th 2028-
Walking down the bustling streets of Tokyo, Jin See and her group head towards the Main Street.
Since it is Friday they have decided to do some Karaoke with drinks celebrating their youth but also their long awaited reunion. They had all dispersed for the summer holidays and now are in their last year of College, the seniors.
Above them, on the fluorescent billboards are a range of advertisements on the most mundane things, such as soap, to the action packed recorded legendary fights that took place in the well known VRMMO, Faery Tales Online. Most of the billboards are based around FTO as it has the highest number of players and viewers in the country, bordering 2 million.
FTO is the major VRMMO from Jackal (the company), which blew its competition out of the water due to its 3 key selling points. Firstly is its extensive AI which is able to control the world and grow it as it pleases. Secondly is the 2:1 time ratio which drew many gamers in (as before it was only 1.5:1) because they could play more in less time. And lastly is the ability to fly; as the players are faery races, most with wings or magical powers enabling flight. This ability in itself made because it allowed a larger number of players to enjoy the wind rushing by their face, not only high level wizards.
Jin See and co. stop at one of the gargantuan billboards stuck on a skyscraper and look at the battle in a daze. The battle depicted 8 of Faery’s races buzzing around a large black dragon in dark skies.
The red-winged fairy, Czera, unleashed a barrage of fireballs which crashed into the dragons left flank, meanwhile the twin golden Elves, Ellaria and Lothor, whom rode on the back of a large Gryphon shot arrows with pinpoint accuracy at the tendons in the dragons’ wings causing it to roar in anger.
Crawling his way up the dragons back, is the stout Brown and bearded Dwarf, Cholk, with a murderous grin on his face. The dragon, too busy with the others doesn’t notice his struggle.
The mighty Orc paladin, Kvark, rides on his own gryphon and is slicing away at the dragon’s tail with righteous fury.
The blue and green Fairies, Lana and Solina, criss-cross under the dragon’s abdomen, leaving thin red trails with their swords and daggers.
The Purple Fairy, Kord, spews black tentacles from his hand and has them constrict the dragons mouth to which it fiercely shakes its bloody head in frustration.
The group of 8 keep chipping away at the dragons health, cutting and slicing and barraging it with spells of all sorts, until the dragon with its last vestige of health tries to fly higher, away from the party.
But the dragon does not get far; as a dark figure appears above it dropping down at an immense speed. The dragon roars at it and the figure barrages into the mouth and within seconds the dragon stops flying up and drops down, lifeless, for a few seconds till it explodes colorfully into japtem.
Amidst the colourful explosion is the figure which is now revealed to be the famous party leader: Night. Night is the newly acquired black skinned fairy with red veins protruding from his skin and fiery red hair too. On his back are black wings, not insect-like as is with the other fairies but more like a bat’s; leathery and sharp.
With him raising his sword into the air the party cheers and the video switches to announcing the new release of the Demonic Fairy.
With the end of the video See’s group applauds quietly at the video that they’ve watched multiple times already as it is still quite amazing to see players do such a feat. Those players are the rumored ‘best’ of the game due to their multiple adventures and mishaps throughout the game. Also many media companies broadcast videos of them and the hall of fame in Jackal is littered with their videos.
They continue moving and soon See splits from the group as they head into the Karaoke while she heads home giving the excuse that her brother called her back. With a chuckle they wave her off, the guys look painfully sad but the girls look much relieved.
See waves them off with a smile but once their sight she lets out a relaxed sigh.
“Now that they’re out of the way…”
See strolls down the main street for a short while before stopping at a small store in an alleyway. She heads inside nodding at the clerk and browses as the goods in the store for a little while. With glee she spots what she is looking for and without hesitation steals it away from its rack before anyone else gets their hands on it.
Heading to the counter she pays for it and with a bright smile hides it in the depths of her handbag.
Strolling out of the store she hugs her handbag in glee
"Finally i have everything I need"
-Saturday October 13th 2028-
“GOOD morning everyone!” exclaims the joyful Jin Sook
“Ay Onee-san stop being so cheerful in the morning” Whines the yawing Jin See
“Tshu Kiddo let the poor man be happy, it’s the weekend after all” Chuckles their Uncle, Jin Hong.
See pouts as she sits on the floor by their little wooden table.
“Oy Gramps don’t call me kiddo, I’m almost 18 you know”
“Now now child don’t get flustered, ah wait who you calling Gramps?!”
Almost dropping the egg he was frying, he points his spatula accusingly at See, who sticks out her tongue at him
“Now come on both of you”
Sook takes his seat opposite his little sister and rubs his stomach with an evil grin
“So how’s breakfast coming…Gramps”
“Oh Clara why do my children hate me so much calling me
Gramps, I’m not old am I, just 42, I’m not a sack of bones am I?” Tearing up, ‘Gramps’ continues to cook with his crocodile tears
“Well Uncle, being 42 and all you’re losing your youth and chance to get a partner. No one’s going to want an old geezer above 50 you know” Suggests Sook pensively
“Onee-chan how can you be so mean, I’m sure some older lady will still go for him”
With a hopeful grin Uncle Hong starts imagining the mature beauties he could meet.
“Hey Uncle I think I know a mature beauty. The one down by the veggie stall” Exclaims Sook evilly
Uncle’s face becomes visibly crestfallen at the mention of the more plump than pleasant woman with a turkey’s neck
“Oh yes that’s a good one but how about the woman at the butcher in the supermarket, oh or the cat lady two floors up from us? They’re all good choices, take your pick”
“Uahhh” Seasoning the eggs with his tears Uncle finishes frying them.
The three of them live in a small flat with only a living
room/kitchen and two bedrooms (as well as one toilet). Each of the young people take a bedroom while Uncle has a mat for the living room.
All of them sit down at the table and start munching on the well prepared breakfast of egg on rice porridge. 5 bowls are set out, 2 left alone.
Although they all were joking around a few seconds ago, the atmosphere remains abnormally tense.
See sidles over to Sook and rests her head on his shoulder.
Sook and See are siblings, Sook being the elder while See the younger. Both have black hair, Sook’s is short and spiky, whereas See’s is long and slick. Their faces are similar enough to be called twins; however there are obvious differences between them.
Firstly Sook is a head taller than her and his face more angular and bony, his jawline well visible. Due to his harsh looks he appears quite old, although being 22, he seems in his early 30’s. His brown eyes are not typical Japanese due to their roundness and drawn-back eyelids.
See on the other hand has a more soft and rounded face, quite alluring to many who prefer those with younger looks. She may be 17 but her face has the Moe appearance of 14. Many had mistaken her and Sook for father and child due to their height and look difference.
Finally breaking the tense atmosphere Uncle claps his hands once
“So Sook, do you remember what day it is today?”
“How could I forget” with a grim expression he glances at the uneaten bowls
Uncle, noticing his mistake, tries to push away the returning atmosphere with a grin, but then quickly gives pleading eyes to See, screaming for help.
Looking up at Sook and flicking his forehead, she grins lightly
“You silly boy, it’s your birthday!”
“Oh…what? Really, I completely forgot!!”
“HAPPY 23rd my little boy/Onee-chan” the two shout in unison and then begin to sing their horrendous family song denoting his most embarrassing moment each year of his life till 23.
Tackling his Uncle when he started the lyrics of his 15th year: “And when he was 15 he actually wet his Ooomph”
“Bed! And when we all gathered round, no words could be said” Continues on See while trying hold in her laughter at Sooks reddening face.
Uncle, wriggling out of Sooks grasp, makes his way to the small fridge and procures a small strawberry cheesecake (like the mini-ones you get size of your hand) with sparkling eyes.
See also has the same sparkling eyes when she spots the cake and wipes off the drool escaping her mouth.
Sook, given up on trying to stop them had sat down covering his face as if it were to make him disappear but still looks up at the delicious red cake.
The song ends as Uncle places the cake in front of Sook he gives him a wink telling him “It’s all yours”
Sook grabs his fork and slices the cake into thirds giving the bigger piece to See as her eyes have become as red as the strawberries with devilish intent to eat. Patting her head she “hrumphs” at him before gorging on the cake. Uncle takes the smallest piece, slapping Sook when he tries to go for it.
Reluctantly, Sook takes the middle sized piece and starts to gorge gratefully with as much gusto as his sister.
After finishing every last piece of cake (yes there was plate licking), Sook plants a kiss of See’s forehead “Aaagh no Onee-san!” before heading off to work.
He jogs lightly to the convenience store he works in and arrives there a minute before 8.
Dressing into his
work clothes he attends the cash register.
The store is as empty as usual with only a couple of people passing by for this and that. Some schoolgirls from the nearby college grab some melon-bread as well as try to collect Sook’s number.
With a winning smile he gives them a number and lets them leave happily. Little did they know he has no phone.
Continuing through his 4 hour shift from 8 till 12 he practices his winning smile with his fellow cashier; an aging man of around 40, as well as trying it out with the customers.
Nearing the end of his shift, the cat lady two floors up from where they live buys quite a bit of milk. Upon paying she tells Sook: “Try smiling with your eyes not just your mouth”
She leaves soon after giving the advice and Sook's shift ends there. Picking up his daily salary, he jogs to the burger joint where he works: Chongs Chops.
The place is as usual and Sook rotates from the till to frying the burgers to checking on the chips. His 4 hour shift ends pretty quickly and without much hassle as the place is not packed with school children as is on the weekdays.
Collecting his meager pay as well as a free lunch, he jogs for a good 30 minutes past the many bus stops and finally arrives at his third shift of the day.
He goes inside the restaurant and puts on a white t-shirt and black pants given to him for waitering. He works another 4 hours taking orders and giving incessant smiles at the brats who toy with their food and husbands who complain about the quality of their meals and slow service.
After the grueling hours, he and the rest of the restaurant crew gather in their staff room getting ready to go home. Or that is what Sook thought they ought to be doing.
He walked in after attending the last customer to get blasted with a loud shout of “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” and a chorus of a birthday song.
There is a small chocolate cake on the staff table which they point towards with grins.
Sook with an equal grin cuts up the cake into slices and they all eat their slice happily. Jeng takes out a bottle of red wine, which a picky customer asked for and then rejected once it was opened, and starts pouring it into glasses for everyone.
Sipping their wine merrily, everyone starts to chat animatedly asking Sook various questions which get surprisingly interesting as more alcohol is brought in by someone who had been unlucky enough to draw the short straw. The 3 girls especially were having more than their fill and their blushing faces showed their intoxication.
While trying to answer the questions thrown at him honestly, Sook tries to avoid the more colourful ones that pop up from the ladies such as “what’s your size”: “46 is my shoe size” and “Want to get in your birthday suit? Here let me help you”
One of the girls, the usually quiet Tsuki opens up her blouse a couple of buttons, fanning her well developed cleavage while winking at Sook.
All the men upon seeing Tsuki, the assistant manager, like this, gulp. However Sook gulps in mild fear because he feels her intentions clutching at him.
Luckily/Unluckily the manager himself enters the room at this moment, after about 2 hours from the beginning of the ‘birthday party’. He is a balding man in his late 40’s and takes one look at the partygoers before shaking his head and leaving the room.
Re-entering a second later, he asks Sook to come with him as he remembers his purpose.
The girls look at bit unhappy as Sook leaves them for the manager. The party continues in the background but with a little less fervor.
The manager sits down on his leather chair behind his desk and while rubbing his knuckles pensively, he asks Sook to sit.
Doing so, Sook looks at the manager with clear eyes, he has no doubts.
As he suspected the manager takes an envelope from his drawer and slides it to Sook exclaiming quietly “We need to cut on staff, sorry”
With a deep nod, he tells the manager to not worry about it and re-enters the party.
The crew looks excited about seeing him again and the girls cling onto him with glee.
Wiping his nose Sook pushes them away gently (wipes his nose once more) and heads to his locker grabbing his things. The girls intoxicated as they are continue to chatter and laugh along with the rest of the crew but Aron and Jeng both lose a bit of light in their smiles.
Jeng quickly announces that the party is ending because the store is closing and that they could go to a bar in town. The girls look at Sook but he shakes his head explaining that his sister is missing him.
“Oooh didn’t know you had that sort of relationship” says the ladies as they giggle and wink at him
“How about you start that kind relationship with me?” Asks Tsuki as she pops off another button making her threat more reliable.
Sook with the help of Aron and Jeng, gets away from the red-faced women and escapes to the outside.
They shake hands with Sook and give him a pat on the back. Giving their last goodbyes they watch Sook jog off into the night before they shake their heads in annoyance in losing such a person.
Sook jogs all the way back home and arrives there at 11:48.
Slightly damp with his own sweat, Sook loosens his shirt and walks up the cold stairs of the block he lives in. He reaches his flat on the 3rd floor and opens the door with his key.
Heading inside, he sees Uncle chatting with See about her day and other trivial things.
Upon Sook entering See bounds up and hugs his abdomen.
Patting her head, he blushes slightly as she rises with her slightly drooping eyes and asks him why “Onee-chan smells like woman”
Uncle in the background devilishly grins “Oho, my young boy is no longer a boy then?”
Sook shakes his head at the barrage of winks from Uncle.
He pats See once again and starts to re-tell her about his shift at the restaurant.
He reassures her there was no women business, his co-workers just got a bit intoxicated.
He talks about all the customers embellishing the boring orders and re-enacting the grumpy husbands with funny faces and voices.
Needless to say, he does not mention his early retirement from work, nor does he mention the more vivid details of the night which now linger in his brain.
Throughout the story they had moved to the little table and had sat down, See still clingling innocently to Sook. They changed the conversation to the rest of the family's day and about various random topics and new news.
After a short while See began to get a bit drowsy and thus tried to get a lap pillow from Sook. She gives him her best puppy eyes but Sook lifts her and pops her into her bed. She grins happily as he tucks her in.
Saying goodnight Sook returns back to the living room and sits down with Uncle to talk about finances.
The minute See was out of sight, they both transformed somewhat, losing a certain light in their eyes. They looked more haggard, more worn out from the long shifts of endless work and smiles.
Sook tells him about the change in how much he’s bringing in and they adjust their spending accordingly. To their calculations they will live steadily until Christmas where they’ll need to splurge a bit for See’s sake. After that they may have quite a few dangerous months.
After sorting their estimations Uncle leaves for his night shift while Sook heads to his room.
After hearing the click of his closed door, Sook’s image transforms wildly: His face wipes itself into a deadpan visage. The tension from forced smiles is finally released, leaving his facial skin slightly distorted as it slowly rearranges itself back to its natural, deadpan position. His aura, before filled with fake warmth now permeates certain coldness.
Dropping the women-smelling shirt uncaringly on the floor he heads over to the bed only to find a large blue machine residing in his room.
Raising an eyebrow he walks towards the machine and picks up the letter that was placed on top of it.
The letter in See’s handwriting explains it as a capsule for VR games and that the chip for Faery Tales Online has been put in there by See. She wrote as if she were quite angry here because the writing gets thicker due to the force. She explains that one can buy chips for games in stores and thus the capsule instead of being purposed for one game is able to be used for any VR games that have a chip. Uncle had added a line at the bottom of the explanation saying that Sook needs something to do rather than just work. Furthermore See also added on the back of the letter that within the game Painter is an available profession.
Sook folds the letter neatly and places it on his dusty desk where many old books, filled with doodles and things he drew and painted as a young child, reside.
After folding the letter he heads towards his bed and grabs a large bin bag from underneath.
Taking the bin bag with him he opens his window and stealthily moves down the rickety iron stairs.
A man dressed in black walks down a deserted alleyway, his boots clicking on the stone floor sending a quiet echo down the street. A soft chink of metal accompanies the man.
The midnight moon shines above but is repelled by the dark coat and hat he wears. A cat hisses as he walks past it but it stops midway for some reason and flees from sight.
He walks for a few more minutes till he sees two burly men loitering by a flickering lamplight.
The two have numerous tattoos spread on their thick arms along with a scar or two. Further added with their black unkempt hair, they appear thuggish. They both wear black clothing and glinting with the moonlight are their metal knives which one twiddles in his fingers while the other cleans his nails with it.
Upon seeing the man in the distance and hearing the chinking metal, the twiddler pushes lightly off the wall with a nasty grin.
“Well looky here, seems we got a nice pile o’ cash walking in on us” His eyes stuck on the mat-black suitcase.
The nail picker looks up seemingly uninterested, but his mouth twitches slightly in delight at some prey.
“Now now brother, let him beg for his life at least”
“Oho you are right brother; I should let him beg me to end his life”
“...Just kill him and be done with it”
With a cackling laugh, Twilddler steps forward menacingly towards the man; who keeps on walking towards him without a drop in speed, it is as if Twiddler did not exist. The soft chinking of metal gets louder to Twiddler's ears
Upon seeing this and hearing the ominous sound, Twiddler feels a cold sweat running and he pours his killing intent properly towards the strange black man.
At this point the man is barely few metres away from the duo but his face is hidden behind his hat.
He stops suddenly after Twiddler pours his killing intent and Twiddler looks happy at seeing the man stop in fear.
But...the man does not go down to his knees and beg. Nor does he try to flee. He stands there still as stone leaving the alleyway quiet as a graveyard, creating an ominous atmosphere between the trio.
The nail picker moved off the wall and prepares to join in at the upcoming fight. Twiddler strengthens his grip on his razor sharp dagger. The man…does nothing.
Jumping a little Twiddler curses under his breath as the man had dropped his suitcase suddenly. Although the duo believed the man had silently given up they did not seem as sure of that when the man slowly brought his hands to the front of his long black coat.
Slowly opening his coat the soft chinking sound echoed in the alley and the duo stood aghast at the man. Nail picker dropped to the floor kneeling so quickly that his forehead slammed into the stone floor but he remained in a begging position barking at Twiddler to do the same.
Once both prostrated themselves they whimpered “Forgive us” and “Don’t kill us please” to the strange man.
Wordlessly, the man picks up his suitcase and walks past the groveling men. Reaching the border of the darkness, where the light of the flickering lamppost began, he stopped.
Nail picker rushed up to the lamppost and turned it off completely by opening the fuse-box and fiddling quickly with the wires.
1…2…3…4…5 seconds passed in complete silence and darkness before a thick iron door, painted as the wall, swung open to welcome the outsiders.
The man walked past the whimpering Nail picker and went through the door.
The door slammed shut behind him, another iron door opened up in front of him. Light flooded the man’s vision and he walked through into a well lit room holding a few people.
Most prominently is a blonde bleached man in a flowery shirt who puts his arm around the silent man.
“Ah you finally made it. Now we can actually get something done”
With that sentence he glances angrily at a man in a black suit smoking his cigarette in the corner. In his hands is a pair of tongs holding a yellowing tooth.
Rolling his eyes, the suit man points towards the door next to him.
Moving through the door is the silent man while the flowery shirt opens the door and follows from behind.
Inside this dim lit room is a single wooden chair, the colour of dark red. Tied on the chair is a man with a laurel of wispy black hair and broken spectacles. His business suit is torn and blood has made a line down his white shirt from his mouth where a toothless hole resides. Due to his quite expensive clothes and protruding stomach one could presume the man is of some importance; a CEO of a company or less.
The man is slumped on the chair, sobbing quietly at his misfortune while wincing at the aching pain of his gums and his bound wrists.
Upon seeing the silent man, he does not react, as he has already given into his fate.
However his eyes grow wider when the silent man gently placed the suitcase on the floor and opens it: Rows of equipment lay neatly in rows, all cleaned till they shine in the dim light.
He felt dread clutch at him and shake him to his core. The rows upon rows, layers upon layers of knives, saws, screws, spikes and various other devices which the man had no idea what they were. However he knew they all shared a single terrifying purpose: Causing the utmost pain.
However, he knew that pain was not just from the equipment but also from the individual using them and the individual in question let off the cold air of a killer.
The silent man slowly opened his coat revealing with a soft chink more knives and devices, however these seemed different. They seemed sharper, more brutal than the others. The rows upon rows of things in the suitcase were just toys compared to what resided inside that mans cloak.
The silent man removed the cloak and handed it to the flowery shirt man and the one who was tied up almost laughed in agony as he knew that only toys would be used on him; he wasn’t worth the real thing.
“Please spare me, I’ll tell you everything” Seeing no hope, no escape he claws at his final resort.
With a grin the flowery shirt man shakes his head “I believe you but juust in case you’re lying we need to loosen you up a bit, so hang in there”
With that he left the room leaving just the two of them and a heavy atmosphere.
Tears started flowing silently from his eyes and he looked up at the silent man who wore all black, expressionless before tears of terror.
“No, please, no. Please I don’t want to die. I have a wife, I have kids. A little girl and a little boy. I have to say good night to them and sing them to sleep. I still have to give them hugs now and then whenever they’re sad and make them smile and laugh. Please my family, my children they need me.”
Taking out a small bag of white powder the man kneels down by his left foot and removes his soft leather shoe. Removing his socks, the man sucks up the white powder with a thin pipette and slowly but surely fills up the space between the toenails and skin.
He continued to wail incessantly about his family’s generations and delved into his most heartwarming moments with his family, his most tear jerking moments with his children, but his words fell on deaf ears.
Sticking a match between each toenail, he strikes a single one and lights the one embedded in the left big toe. Standing up, the silent man returns to the suitcase and takes out a serrated blade; it’s teeth glinting wickedly in the dim light. The silent man looked at the tied up man; whose face was red and puffed from crying, with snot running down his nose mingling with blood caused by the freshly opened gum wound.
Moving his lips and uttering quietly but with the weight of a thundering roar, a single sentence came from the once silent man’s mouth.
“When you want me to remove your toe, tell me so”
The fire reached the end of the match and set alight the crushed firelighter.
The door opened slowly and the smell of burnt flesh wafted outwards along with the silent man carrying his suitcase in one hand and a large pile of toes and fingers in the other.
From the viewing room 3 of the 5 onlookers were bent double retching and wiping their mouths clean with their sleeves. The Flowery shirt man looked decently unfazed, only a few sweat droplets ran down his head.
Seeing the silent man he laughs darkly
“Well that was quite a show you put on there, never though matches and firelighter could be so…effective. Well now that the fun is over we should get to work” He points at some guards, who did not come to watch but still had a light sweat over the screams and the burning smell, and has them go into the room for cleaning and then interrogation.
The flowery shirt man turned back to the silent man and put on a concerned face.
“I’m sorry about his babbling, stupid man really must’ve gotten on your nerves”
“Don’t worry, it had no effect”
“Oho so then we’r…” He was stopped suddenly by the silent man raising 3 fingers in his direction
“Ah that is more like you, but 3 million? 2 should, no 2.5 should be enough right?”
With 2.5 million the silent man nodded, retrieved his cloak and left the suitcase with the flowery shirt man.
“Have a nice walk home; I’ll get in contact with you the usual way when the next job comes up. Until then, be as free as a bee”
nodding towards the silent man he got the 2.5 million sorted and then walked into the interrogation room closing the door behind him.
Rising to the surface of a dark river is a man dressed all in black, dripping wet; his clothes now cleansed of the smell of burning flesh.
Putting his cloak back on he starts to sprint alongside the riverbank, his clothes whipping in the wind, their moisture being ripped away. The man ran on the grass and then on the dark moonlit streets in the dark alleyways away from the lights.
He jumped on a fence and vaulted over rolling on the lawn of a house and quickly sprinted across the garden. He made his way to the other fence within seconds.
Rocketing through the cobbled streets, he takes sharp turns through the mazes of alleyways, getting safely out the other side with apparent ease.
He dashed up stairs 3 at a time with ease and jumped down a flight of them before rolling on the concrete.
Making his way to his destination took him close to an hour due to his roundabout way to dry his clothes.
His clothes now smelled somewhat dirty, as if he had rolled around in the grass and put his back on a stone wall for some time. It smelled normal; like clothes should smell.
Finally making it to the back of a large block of a building, he climbed stealthily up 3 flights of rickety stairs and slid open a window of a dark room.
Tiptoeing into his room he took out the bin bag from a pocket in his coat and removed his trousers from it and placed them on his bed.
Taking off his black clothes, he put them in the bag and hid the bag back underneath his bed.
Standing in his room in only his underwear, he glanced at his wall clock stating it was around 3:10 am.
Suppressing a yawn, he peeked at the large blue capsule taking a large chunk of his room. He decided to open it up and check it out.
Inside was a chair-like shape along with some sort of helmet that was attached to the ceiling. Sitting inside the capsule, he closed it and placed the helmet on.
Immediately, dim blue light appeared around him and grew in brightness along with a soft whirring noise.
Please give Username
A system message appeared in front of him floating in the air.
Enter the world?
Welcome to the world of Fa-DARKNESS
His world went black