Chapter - 8
The green eyes of Sarah look at the face that isn’t John. The guy is quickly recuperating. She quickly rolls out of the bed. She goes to the bathroom and cleans up. She walks back into the bedroom where her clothes lay. She scoops up her clothes and gets dress while she looks at the man on the bed.
He talks to her, “That was great. You wanna go out again some time?”
“This was a one time thing.”
The guy sits up in the bed as he talks to her, “I thought we hit if off pretty good.”
Fully clothed she starts to leave without an explanation. The guy hops out of bed, and he calls to her, “Hey wait up, you can stay a little longer. The night doesn’t have to end.”
She keeps on heading towards the exit. “Thanks, but I’m good.”
She opens the door to the apartment and leaves. While Sarah drives back home from her rendezvous, Malissa is just lying in her bed, getting ready to go to sleep, thinking about the dreamy man she knows as Leo: I really want to see him. Maybe Janet is right. Maybe he isn’t what he seems. She takes a deep breath as her thoughts maker her a little nervous: I have to know if him and I can really have relationship. I have to test him. I hope he passes. She has made up her mind. This test will decide if she continues to interact with Leo.
While Malissa is making important decisions about her relationship with Leo, John is finishing a short session in the training room.
A square-like block of shinny metallic metal pushes down the on John. The slab of metal is a few feet in thickness. With hands above his head, his whole body strains to keep the crushing weight at bay. His face is covered in pain. His teeth are clenched. His skin is ripe red with blood. His massive legs tremble. Even with all his effort, the weight continues to drop down. Slowly he is brought to a knee then he eventually the weight forces his body in a flat position.
The metal brick continues to squeeze down on the already defeated John. Blood starts to drip out of his mouth from the internal damage done by the crushing force, and the stress of the weight starts to fracture bones. John doesn’t scream out in pain, though a dull moan comes out from passed his clenched teeth.
Just when John is going to be squashed like a bug the metallic square disappears, and the door to the training room opens. John is left gasping for what would have been his last breathes. Parts of his skin are ripped exposing the red below. The muscles in his legs had ripped through the skin. Deep dark scares cover his chest and biceps where they had exceeded beyond the skins limit. Without pause, as soon as the weight disappeared, John was crawling to the exit. He finally makes it out of the training room. The training room door closes. By now all the scares and exposed tissue are gone. His skin is back to normal as if the whole ordeal never happened. The few drops and small puddles of blood that remain, slide across the floor and is absorbed back into his skin.
With one hand John springs himself back to his feet. He is a little disappointed with his performance in the training room. He goes to his room. Normally he would talk to Sarah and that would cheer him right up. But she’s not picking up, so John makes a choice to go hang out with his best buddy. He puts on his neuro gear and logs in. As soon as he logs in his feet elevate off the ground and instead of the tinted vision of his bedroom the expansive world of All-World surrounds him; and now he becomes Endo.
He’s in the village where he had first started playing All-Word. Most advance players like John no longer visit let alone stay in the village they started off in. The reason being is because none of the advance equipment or potions are offered in the starter villages, and also you can’t buy a house in the starter villages. One has to make a house themselves if they want a house in one of the many starter villages. And that is what Endo did. A feat in its self because John’s persona Endo started off in the most remote starter village.
He used to get ridiculed, at school, about not changing his hometown when he was a little John. Ashroth is the small town located in a ravine within the Gerrow mountain range. Light rarely graces the town. There is nothing around the mountains until you get a good bit away where things are not as cold.
The cold is so unbearable that no creatures can live in Gerrow mountains—as far as anyone knows. Though Endo swears up and down that one of the times he was walking to Timbervill, the closest town from Ashroth, that he encountered something.
Most players that have the bad luck of having their hometown as Ashroth use a town card to change their hometown to a different starter-town—if they can afford it. A town card cost out of All-World currency and is pricey. The players that are forced to keep Ashroth as their hometown, they must use teleport cards to go to Timbervill and access the rest of All-World from that starter town. For the longest time the Gerrow mountains were thought to be untrekable. Many had tried and ended up using all their birth-coins; that is until, Endo made the walk to Timbervill. It took him many attempts, and he almost used a birth-coin more than a few times.
The temperature in town is comfortable due to a powerful enchantment encompassing Ashroth. Endo walks out of his house and heads out of town. As soon as he passes the town’s gates, an endless storm of wind and ice greets him; and in response, he takes in a large breath of air, his way of greeting the subzero air as if saying: hello my old friend—it’s been a long time. He gets a message from True Blood that reads: At the forbidden city.
After reading the message, Endo looks up to the sky. The icy air transformed into warm air exits his nostrils, billowing into the eternal whiteness. With their hellos said, Endo leaps into the air. He lifts through the freezing climate to escape to the breezy skies waiting above the coldness. Well pass the clouds and going higher, he looks back and waves goodbye before his dear homeland is out of sight. The sun’s rays warm his skin. After a minute-long rapid accession, he starts to fall back to the planet.
He slices his arm open and put his palm on the wound. He flings his blood-filled hand towards his downward trajectory. The beads of blood fly pass him and quickly from a disc. Endo’s feet land on the impromptu surface. The blood-disc bends to Endo’s weight like a trampoline. He sinks into the blood, and an explosion of blood droplets appear in another part of All-World; and within the blood-fall, Endo comes splashing through.
While he is in his free-fall, he gets another message from True Blood: Where you at man?
Endo writes back: On my way.
With the private massage sent, he moves his body into a spiral. Corkscrewing through the air causes the air around him to split into numerous steams which rotate with his body. The chiming noise that indicates a new message has been received sounds offs, and then, Endo’s feet crush into the ground causing ribbons of dirt and dust to spin up into the air. Once the smoke clears, the bulky mage is still spinning.
Standing a few feet away from the impact site, True Blood thinks to himself: Couldn’t have done it better myself. “Forget that last message.”
Endo’s body comes to a stop, and he looks at his best friend. “So what we hunting?”
True Blood answers, “Players.”
“Let’s go farm a few bosses. We can make a tidy sum from the loot.”
Beneath his armor True Blood grins. “Why do you care so much about what Adrian thinks?”
“He is our leader. But it’s not that. It’s no fun killing weaklings who we know can’t put up any fight.”
The dark knight thinks to himself: Fair enough. “Last one to Hippo Falls, pays for lunch.”
The two best friends leave the forbidden city and start trophy hunting boss creatures. Luke and John hang out like they used to back in the old days. They haven’t hung out like this in a long time. With John’s dad pushing him to succeed, and Luke player-killing--they kind of drifted apart.
In this moment in time John and Luke remember why they are best friends—whether they realize it or not. They don’t get mushy or hug or anything like that—it’s just something in them they understand.
John and Luke see eye to eye on a lot of things. They have a lot in common. The both come from self-made fathers. Both of their dads are very hard on them and demand them both to strive for the most. They are both strong-willed people and they both don’t have a single coward bone in them.
While these two friends are doing what friends do, Adrian is fast asleep getting ready for the next day. Sarah is in the shower, cleaning off her latest fling from her skin. And back on Earth, the rain continues to pour—like cats and dogs.
The doorbell rings and Zenny stops. “Guys the pizza is here.” Him and Leo disengage their neuro-gear.
Majesty calls out as Zenny’s and Leo’s characters stand idle, “Guys, were in the middle of a fight!” Majesty laughs it off as he looks at Doc, “Can you believe these rascals.”
Doc shakes head. “I just want to see who’s going to win.”
Majesty smiles. “All I know is you’re going to be real sad when you lose the bet.”
While Doc and Majesty make quick work of the monster, Leo pays for the pizza and gives the driver a good tip. Zenny takes the monstrous pizza. He tilts it sideway so it fits through the door. After shutting the door, Leo helps carry the pizza to the table. Jeff and Zack walk to the dinner table, and the massive pizza is dropped on the table. The pizza covers most of the banquet-hall style table.
Zenny looks at Zack as he talks, “So how are we going to do this?”
Zack introduces the rules, “Okay rule number one me and Jeff get a least five slices. Second if you throw up you lose and no eating with your mouth open. Other than that, the first one done wins.” He puts three fingers in the air and starts to count down, “three—two—one,” the last finger drops, “Go!”
Zenny and Leo start going at it. Leo shoves one square of pizza after another into his mouth. Zenny stacks ten slices on top of one another and chomps down. Before Jeff and Zack can finish their second piece more than half of the pizza is gone. Zack swallows his mouthful and reminds everyone—mostly Zenny and Leo, “Me and Jeff get five slices!”
A minute passes by and Jeff finishes his fifth slice and starts cheering on his race pony, “Yeah—come on Zenny! You got this!”
Zack is still working on his third slice. Then an interruption comes in the form of a deep.
Leo throws up his hands, “Wait—I call time!”
Zenny keeps munching that pizza.
“Zenny, time was called,” Majesty says.
Leo calls out, “display message.” A large screen appears in the air. They all can see the message.
I need know. I can’t stand not seeing you. If you really are my boyfriend then you’ll meet me. If not then we’re done.
Jeff is the first to read the whole message and it upsets him. Thunder starts to clap outside.
Jeff racks his brain: Damn it, I knew this time would come, but I didn’t think it would come this soon.
They all are looking at their resident brainiac, who is in deep thought. Jeff breaks from his thoughts and notices the others looking at him.
“What do I do?” Leo’s voice is filled with desperation.
Jeff sighs: I don’t want to see Leo get hurt. He looks Leo straight in the eyes, his face is completely serious as he talks, “How much do you like her?”
Leo comes back with the answer that Jeff doesn’t need to be a mind-reader to see coming, “I love her.”
Jeff frowns: That’s what I was afraid of. The sound of thunder cracking through the raging storm has become frequent. “Then you’re going to have to see her.”
“But there is no way. She lives on Morin.”
“There is a way . . .” Looking at his more than friend, Jeff knows: And I’m sure you’re willing to do anything. He shakes his head to the thought. “You and Majesty can log into the Morin server.”
Zack is the first to catch on. “Because we have birth coins,” he smacks his hand on the table, “Damn I never thought of that!”
Jeff nods. “Yup so this is what you do. First of all, message her.” Leo opens up a new message and starts writing what Jeff instructs him to, “I want to meet tonight. But I’ll settle for seeing you tomorrow. Meet me tomorrow at the champion-stone, around noon.” With the message complete, Leo sends it. Seconds later he gets an answer back.
I’ll be there.
Leo looks at Jeff. “Now what?”
“I suggest you and Zack log into the Morin server—to get familiar with the server.” Jeff looks at Zenny as he points at him, “You’re going to have to give all the Zinco to Zack and Leo.”
“I can’t. They don’t have enough inventory in their packs.” Being a merchant Zenny can carry a lot more than the rest of them combined.
Zack speaks up and makes his intentions clear, “I want us all to go. We’re brothers.” With that fact made clear, Zack orders Zenny and Jeff to log into All-World right then and there. With them all logged back into All-World, Majesty transfers one of his birth-coins to Jeff and Zenny.
Doc thinks to himself as he looks at Majesty: You amaze me even to this day. I don’t know if I’ll ever figure you out.
Majesty looks around at his men. “Alright, let’s go to the Morin server.”
They log out of the Earth server and log into the Morin server for the first time. The first non-chosen to set foot on promise land. Being the first time for any of them to log into the Morin server, All-World assesses the four characters and assigns them to their starter-town.
Their starter-towns are different from their starter-towns in the Earth server because they are much different people from the young kids when the Earth server assessed them. Zenny’s hometown is made Sevths. Doc finds himself in Trubine. Majesty is in Ashroth. Echelon is in Oasis.
While Oasis is a starter-town, the only person to start in Oasis was Tim Benus—the creator of All-World and the neuro-gear. He created Oasis, when he was first creating All-World, as a place to allow him to enter All-World and test in world aspects. Mr. Benus made it so the only way one can find Oasis is if they have been there, and he made it so that it would be super unlikely that any player would fit the criteria for Oasis as their home-town.
Majesty messages the other three: I’m in Ashroth.
Zenny, Echelon, and Doc teleport to Ashroth.
Doc looks around the little icy town. “Man, we haven’t been here in a while. Brings back memories.”
I liked the snowmen we made that one year: Echelon mind-speaks to the others.
They all nod to Echelon’s sentiments.
“Zenny post an offer for the Zinco. Make the asking price expensive,” Majesty advises.
Zenny looks at the boss. “Don’t worry I got this.”
Doc adds, “Place the bid anonymously.”
Zenny gives Doc a rude look, “No! That will cost double to post it anonymously.”
Majesty agrees with Doc, “Good thinking Doc. We don’t want people knowing who is responsible for saturating the market with Zinco.”
With their great leader having sided it with Doc, Zenny says, “Okay.” He thinks to himself: Hey while I’m here I’ll post that dark knight armor set that I have. See if anyone here can afford it.
He places the Zincos at an outrageously high price, and he sets each piece of the set of armor at the maximum price the auction house will allow. With a big smile on his face, Zenny announces, “Hey guys the max price in the Morin server is ten times the max of the Earth server.”
Doc looks at the offers Zenny setup in the player market. “You priced the Zincos well. I think they will sell fast and make us a lot of money.”
The nice words from the scientist perk Zenny up, “Thanks Doc.”
But Doc continues, “No one is going to buy a piece of a set for that price.”
Zenny ignores Doc’s sensibilities, “la-la-la I’m not listening.”
“You done posting?” Majesty asks Zenny.
Majesty starts walking towards one of Ashroth’s gates and the others follow. They are going whoopingrillow hunting. Nothing was said about it—it’s just understood among them all. The whoopingrillow is a mythic level creature that lives in the deadly cold of the Gerrow mountain range.
The cold greets the four men. Majesty looks at Zenny as he talks, “You can’t make any snowmen!”
Zenny folds his arms as protests, “Man, you’re a party-pooper.”
Doc thinks to himself: I can’t blame him. When a snowman is so big it creates an avalanche—think it’s best to not make anymore snowmen.
Echelon projects his thoughts into everyone’s minds: I thought his snowman look cool.
“Thank you Ech,” He hugs Echelon, “at least I know I have one person that has my back.” Zenny almost instantly rolls up a snowball bigger than most people. He hoists it up in one hand. “Hey Ech go long.”
Ech disappears: Is this far enough?
Doc uses his ability as a scientist to change the rules of the world around them. The endless whitewall all around them stops. They still can’t see Echelon. Zenny calls out, “Ech, where you at?”
I’m over on the top of this peak.
Zenny looks over to a mountain ridge far off in the distance. He flings the massive snowball. The massive snow orb goes through the air until it disappears.
Majesty shakes his head while he keeps walking forward in search of whoopingrillows, a slightly amused a smile is on his face, “Stop messing around and lets find some whoopingrillows,” he puts his hand horizontally over his brow, “Something thing is wrong guys. I don’t see any whoopingrillows.”
Doc makes the same observation. “He’s right.”
The large snowball comes flying back towards Majesty, Doc, and Zenny. The merchant’s hammer appears. Zenny holds his weapon like a bat; and when the snowball gets close enough, he swings into the snowball sending it flying out of sight.
“Ech get back here—we got a problem,” Majesty orders.
Echelon appears back with the squad, but he has a snowball held up by his mind that makes the one Zenny made look microscopic.
Zenny’s mouth drops open while he looks up at Echelon’s snowball: I wonder what was planning on doing with that?
Majesty chuckles while he shakes his head and looks down at the snow, “Ech, throw the snowball away man,” the tone in his voice showing his mild amusement.
Echelon flicks the snowball away and it goes out of sight.
“Ech what’s going on,” Majesty motions his hand through the air, “there are not whoopingrillows anywhere.”
It is easy for Echelon to see things others can’t. He points as he communicates with the others: There is one over there. He teleports them to where the mythical creature is.
Doc adds insight to the situation, “When were first encountered the whoopingrillow, back on the earth server, there was only one too. Until we killed it. More started to spawn the more whoopoingrillows we killed.”
Majesty looks around at his men while the whoopingrillow charges them, “Well, who gots it?”
Zenny starts to step up. “I got the little fella.”
Doc interjects, “Hold up, you’re the highest level out of all of us. And I am the lowest. I’ll take it.”
Zenny shrugs. “Fine.”
While Majesty and his gang populate the whoopingrillow population on the Morin sever, Luke and John are shooting the breeze.