We're all in this virtual space together.

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Benetnasch

The whispering subsides and leaves you with an uneasy feeling. You can’t quite place the fear but it itches in the back of your mind, unending. You wonder if your surroundings have changed any. If not, you assume your life will be a short one. You walk over to a wall and touch it lightly with your fingertips, feeling the ebb and flow of coding creating the virtual space in which you are trapped. It feels . . . smooth and a bit cold. You shiver. Stepping away from the wall, you turn around to notice a doorway has opened itself on the other side of the space. Handy.

You walk through, seeing another virtual space identical to the one you previously left and discover a man armed with a shield.

What do you do?

A man with a two toned ebony and blonde undercut and green epaulette-covered broad shoulders stood guard outside the main entrance to the inner sanctum of the Empress, tapping his boot-clad heel on the wall behind him impatiently. This man’s name was Zeke, and he was a long time friend of the red haired boy. Unfortunately. Zeke was only a low ranking guard much to his chagrin, with a job description that consisted of merely standing outside and patrolling the area immediately before the hallways Myos had found himself in yesterday. While he was only a low ranking guard in this division, he had proven himself and worked through the ranks to become a high enough official of the Empress to be guarding her sanctum instead of patrolling the streets. Not a very good guard, Myos thought, if he just happened to wonder into a restricted area. But that was beside the point.

“Hey, surprise, you showed up for once,” Myos teased, semi sneering at the other when he walked up, hands shoved deep in his pockets.

“Quiet, Myos, you never had any sense of responsibility yourself,” the taller of the two scoffed, nose in the air as he absentmindedly fingered the pin on his lapel. A pink heart with darker ribbon extending from the bottom, while a stylized black wing burst out from the left side - the symbol of the Alioth Empire. Named after the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Major, it represented the fact that the remains of humanity were the brightest that escaped from Earth. It was also a major navigational star for ships in the days of old, used to trek through the once brilliant seas they now use to trek through the brilliance of space.

“Well, Zeke, not all of us could leave our best friends and join the Empress’s toys,” Myos shrugged in a half hearted retort, not looking at the other and instead adjusting the headset that rested flush against his forehead. Though the two had been friends since before grade school, they had never gotten along the way you would think friends should. They had almost nothing in common, and constantly bickered with each other over small things. The tension and animosity between them had grown in recent years ever since the other man had left to take up the mantle of a guard. The decision to do so had seem to come out of nowhere to Myos, with the other never seeming to have much interest in government prospects before. Zeke decided he was going to ‘make something of his life’ instead of being jobless. It would always be a sore spot with Myos that the man whom he thought would be his continuous partner in their regular gaming campaigns left him and completely changed his personality - while Myos worked up the high scores board, Zeke worked his way up in the Empress’s ranks.“I came here for an important reason if you want to let me actually explain now,” the angular boy continued on, catching sight of the ring on the ravenette’s thumb that matched his own.

Zeke narrowed his forest green eyes at the other, mandatorily bold bottom lashes crinkling as he did so. The Empress had strange uniform sense when it came to her guards, and it was assumed the little touches of similarity in the ranks were aspects of her own appearance – though no one was for sure. Zeke never seemed to complain, though Myos was sure he hated it. The man, polar opposite of his childhood friend, said nothing and simply waited for Myos to continue.

Exasperated - as usual - with the other, Myos launched into his explanation of every detail he heard from standing outside the Empress’s lair. He conveniently left out how he got into that situation, though, and just focused on what the voices in the room had said. Zeke’s eyes widened in shock as he learned of the plan that was being made behind his back, pride at being a high official for the Empress hurt to know he wasn’t privy to such vital information. His scowl formed into a hard line on his face and his brow furrowed, deep in thought and beginning to ignore the man before him even though he was still animatedly talking - something about being ‘Myos of the Rebellion’ and staging some sort of uprising.

“I mean, you’ve gotta join since all the high generals are the first ones getting technologically lobotomized!” Myos practically shouted, waving his arms about energetically, the small black star charm on his wrist bouncing around.

“Wait, what did you just say?” Zeke asked; focus instantly on his friend again. He had to learn to stop drifting off in his own thoughts.

“Dude, of course all her personal men would be first,” Myos rolled his eyes as if it should’ve been obvious.

Zeke’s demeanor changed in an instant - first dismissing the absent minded man in front of him though he had been around him long enough to know his outlandish stories were almost always true - his face growing darker as he twisted the pink fur lined cuffs around his wrists, more symbols of the Empire he served. “They can’t do that to me.”

“Well, uh, unless we stop them they are. Everybody else too.” Myos’s vibrant eyes grew feverish again as he got lost in his own ideology. The redhead could get sucked up in his own fantasy world like no other. “Everybody will be robots, just toiling away in their own monotony for the rest of forever, never knowing when one day begins or ends or anything and it’ll all just I don’t know be like some crappy virtual reality space or something. We won’t even be people, just programs,” he paused, regaining his casual smile and swiping the military style hat that sat daintily atop the other’s head. He placed it on his own head, not at neatly as it sat upon his friend’s. Zeke had to stifle a smirk at the smaller man in front of him, when Myos gave a strange salute. “So are you in or what?”


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