We're all in this virtual space together.

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Pherkad

You feel Alone, wishing you could forget everything that has happened.

You wish to wake up from the horror of reality. To be together with the ones you feel you used to know in the virtual space that was the only home you’ve known.

The broken glass mocks you. You don’t have the fire within you to mock it back.

Myos felt something akin to lightning surge through him, flames racing up and over taking the armored body and enveloping his suit with their flickering glow. The armor reacted to his body seamlessly, his attacks becoming more wild and aggressive as the feelings of loss took over him. He no longer cared about the guards before him, around him, anywhere near him - they were as useless as a beetle beneath his boot. He knew they had families, friends, lives separate from the control of the Empress, but he refused to care any longer. Blows that were once meant to maim, now were aimed to kill.

Through his rage though, Myos began to pick up on something he hadn’t noticed before - the guards never once seemed to block themselves from his attacks. At first the ginger boy thought it was because their weapons were too powerful for them, but now through his rage induced clarity, he noticed they simply weren’t trying.

Look into their eyes.

The unforgettable text flashed across his screen and blocked his vision, and Myos had learned enough by now to heed the more sensible words the pixilated font showed him. Taking on a defensive stance more than an offensive one, Myos begin to really look at the guards before him and almost dropped his weapon out of sheer horror.

The guards’ eyes were blank pockets of color, small this lines like blocky rivers running through them like circuits on a motherboard. The eyes showed no light, no sense of recognition, and no awareness to the world around him. Myos and his friends had not been fighting the Empress’s guards, who were driven to fight them to defend their royal highness - they were fighting her slaves, programmed to do her bidding. That’s why they didn’t fight back. That’s why they didn’t care, didn’t know, or think or feel or anything that anyone should have the right to do. They had no choice but to fight Myos and his teammates, it was in their software to do so.

Myos felt sick with himself. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen - he was supposed to be the hero. To save civilians and those unprotected from this. He wasn’t supposed to be a villain. Myos looked away from the dead eyes that surrounded him, raising his arm towards the heavens like he did before the battle began and fired a rocket shaped missile into the ceiling to get the attention of whoever would hear him.

“Just come out here! I know you’re in here Empress!” Myos yelled, gritting his teeth to keep the angry tears from spilling down his cheeks. His voice was slightly distorted by the armor that surrounded him, but the desperate and powerful message was still present.

Zeke stopped his firing to glance up at his friend, wondering what had caused him to cry out. All round him, much to both of their surprise, the guards they had been fighting fell to the ground like lifeless puppets. Bodies upon bodies piled atop each other like a graveyard of dolls, a cemetery of humans that no longer had the capacity to think or even move for themselves. The sight both sickened and strengthened the resolve in Myos, for he knew this was the fate he was trying to protect humanity from. This hero would not falter, no matter what trials faced him. Yes, his hands were stained with the bright blood of the innocent people that surrounded him, but they were beyond helping. What mattered was the future.

“Are you ready to come out now?” Myos taunted, waving his crossbow around with his sweeping hand gestures. He waited. And waited. And waited - but no reply came. As he was getting antsy and bouncing around with adrenaline, a familiar font flashed across the screen.

Ready or not, here I come.

After Myos had read the text, he tilted his head in confusion, furrowing the patches of skin where eyebrows should be. Then the entire floor opened up beneath them


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