Chapter 8:

Meeting of the Kingdoms

11 Kingdoms

Report: Meeting of the Kingdoms

Accessing Personal Logs: Princess Fawn Midin

Alternative source: Personal Logs of Jamie Eve

Frustration fills my head, as eyes lock on me.

"Are you daft, woman?" Gavin shouts at me. As only his computer-generated voice can place ringing in my ears.

“We have been helping them learn for the last fifty-five hours Gavin. I need a break my head hurts, more so listening to you sing, those gods’ awful dwarven hymns of yours." I try to look from the glass of the screen inches from my face and sigh at the fact my aspirin bottle in the room is empty.

“Ye just had three hours downtime, tit be plenty of time to get rest.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him trying to understand his words were more responsible for the migraine I now sported. Instead, I needlessly wrote help me messages in private to Melissa. But knowing the trouble we caused days earlier Melissa was stuck trying to be a model employee, dealing with issues in the game as they arise.

“Look I just need a few hours of sleep that’s all I’m asking for, I have that damn meeting tonight and I need as much sleep as possible to handle those guys.” I say rubbing the temples of my head as I pray for the pain to go away.

“Tit be our job to make sure the freshies, understand how to go about the kingdom.” He responds as I bash Fawn’s head down across the table the two of us have been sitting at. I feel a small rumble from the helmet giving me the sense of meeting an object I can’t pass through. If I hadn’t been working with this character of Gavin’s for months I wouldn’t know what he meant by freshies. It was his slang term of calling a new player to the game that barely knew which end of the sword to use.

As for in-game characters, we had a responsibility to teach the new players of the Beta how to play the game. Mind you we have done that for the last two days with mere short breaks for food, restroom trips, and sleep. Gavin as both my assistant and Fawn's godfather has yet to leave my side as he feels I would too easily slip out of character. But now the very idea of Fawn's bed is looking just as good as my own, if not better. “Look all I want is 6 hours, okay, I mean we aren't going to be getting new people anymore. It’s these people and only these people for the next two months. If they don’t know how to buy weapons, put on armor or level up by now then they never will.”

“New people keep showing up.” He replies in hopes to win the argument we are having.

“No, new characters are showing! It’s the same players just new characters, People go thinking they missed something in the creation and restart with hopes of a more powerful character type or new class.” I get a stern look from Gavin on speaking out of character and about the game in general. The look is broken as a speeding NPC that is computer-controlled comes running up in a cloud of dust than pronouncing his reason for being there in a hurry

“I have a message for Princess Fawn!” I reach out and accept the letter and open it reading it out loud.

“It is a request of the gods on high in the Public relations office. The princess is to proceed to take part in a test of skill before the crowds in the Battle Area, in the Capital City Midin, of Noiox in 1 hour. The session will be broadcasted across the Network. Well looks like I get to leave, but not to rest.” I sigh out in partial relief that I will be away at least for a brief time from Gavin’s side.

“What! Why do they want you?” Gavin stands with a shock on his face.

“Because I’m the Great Hero, the princess of the midnight star, why else would they want me to take part. It’s just to show off the power of a strong character I’m sure.” I let out a whistle and my Horse Carmel comes running up, I quickly act to free myself from Gavin, leap on it. “Once I’m done, I need to take some downtime and prepare for the meeting at the Nook later. So from here on you need to run any questions the freshies may have.” I ride off before hearing him respond, but an instant message to me gave his feelings in one word, Traitor.

I made it to the Arena and pulled Caramel in, I looked on looking over the detail of the wall carvings I placed in some of the reliefs. I walked up to the gate to watch as six players were holding their makeshift event fighting for the rights of a magic sword they found. Their fighting paused when a booming announcement for the event spread across the land. "In one hour there will be a demonstration battle between Princess Fawn and a monster from the Northern Frost Jungle, at the Noiox Battle Arena, all are welcome to come to watch the great hero battle for her life." The loud boom faded and I watched as one player takes advantage of the distracted others by stabbing them unaware. Two of the six falls, fading from the arena floor leaving four in the battle. I leave them to their battle as I head off to the champions prep room, there I sit down and take a short nap after informing the NPC squire, to wake me in time for the fight.

I feel worse when the alarm of the squire is going off waking me from my nap in the chair. The screen is blurry at first, but I see that in my sleep the squire brightened the armor plate I wear to present the best look for my upcoming performance. Rising to my feet I move on to the gate listening to the noise of the crowd gathered around the arena. I see not only members of the black Kingdom but also players from both blue and gold, as well as even a few from our neighboring rival red, including one man. A man I would rather be facing in the arena at this time. Red Kingdom’s Hero, Min Gang. I haven’t had much time dealing with my Chinese counterpart since our competition before the judges, but he was reprimanded along with several others from his team with sharing game info with their home countries to gain an edge in scoring on the boards. So now he is looking weakened more since when I last laid eyes on him. The man was a snake if I ever knew one and worse he despised the fact that a woman like myself, is held at a higher ranking in the game than him. I returned to the task at hand by the announcer breaking in across the sky with an announcement.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, of all across the 11 Kingdoms, and beyond welcome to today's first event. The Battle Arena throughout each of the 11 Kingdoms is a place not only to resolve disputes but as a host for great events like the one we have for you here today. In honor of the opening of the new world, to you the players we have set up a deathmatch. This match will be between a powerful monster of the Savage Northern Frost Jungle, and the great hero and princess of the Kingdom of Noiox, Fawn Midin.” The announcer could have very well gone on here but it would have been pointless over the loud cheers of the crowd and the crunching noise of gears opening the gate before me. The cheers grew louder, but I kept my eye on Min, who was presenting his thumbs down as well as a soured look at me. Ignoring his gesture I turn to look around at a packed Arena. Given I had a few NPC’s set in the audience at all times, but this was packed seating that would cause a fire inspector in any venue to freak out at the possible threat of a panic stampede, or structural holding issues of the building. The voice continues as the distant gate for the monsters opens. “Her chosen opponent for this match is the vile, Polar Cavo Jack.”

I have never seen a Cavo Jack, let alone a polar one, but when a small white rabbit hopped out of the cage I felt someone was playing a joke on me. The crowd starts erupting in laughter at the fight when suddenly the ground from the cage starts erupting in icy spikes. A hole breaks open claiming the little rabbit killing it instantly. The ice cracks and suddenly a large blue plant creature, with the head of a T-rex, came bursting from the ground. It causes a quick gasp from the crowd as well as a near loosing of my bowels. I look as a strange green flicker goes about it. Reminding me of the Boar in the woods, the day I chose to be a Mage Hand.

"Well, I guess you're a little more powerful than the bunny." I try to joke mainly trying to ease my nerves. As I activate my flame fists, engulfing my hands in the fire. "But I haven't fallen yet in battle and I'm not about to let a freezer-burned veggie beat me now."

It makes the first move diving at me and tunneling as I quickly dodge past its attack. While it has the body of a plant and the head of a dinosaur it's acting more like a Sandworm or fish, leaping in and out of the ground, Only the line of ice spiking up showing where its movements are underground. I learn this the hard way as it gets my left arm briefly before raising from the ground. I feel the sudden shock but worse an odd sting on my arm in the chair. Focused on the task at hand I decide that fighting on the ground made me a better target for him, so I activated a flight spell, sprouting feathers of light I took to the sky. Watching the ice form at the spot I once stood and the creature leap from its hidden location in a vain attempt to get me. As the creature flops in midair I take the chance to strike, blasting a volley of fireballs at it, causing it to show severe burns across its fleshy face. Parts begin to slowly burn away but the damage does little more than detain it from trying to attack me as I stay out of his reach.

I try to keep up the volley each time he bursts up in an attempt to reach me. But the little damage it continues to do means it is not going to be such a simple fight as I once thought. Before I know it my flight spell has worn off. I find myself falling to the ground with the creature's movements making an effort in snagging me as I fall. I grasp both hands and focus on the flame that they create and start spinning in my fall. In hopes to cause as much damage as I can on the way down, before the crash alone hurts my hit points. But my plan was just as good as the instinct of the creature, as it opens to maw wide receiving me in its gullet and closing shut. A new gasp is made from the crowd as the great hero had fallen. Or so it looked for a few seconds. Till a loud bursting crash at the ground of flame, as my body slide down its throat, unwittingly created a new opening in the monster's plant body. The beast let out a scream and turned to face me. "Guess you're not going to die easily either, huh.”

I reach into my character inventory and summon forth my battle staff Ebony Heart. The beast lunges at me. But I am too fast for it, hitting at it, knocking its head skyward. Shaking off the blow it tries striking at me on two sides by lashing its tail at my right and striking its head at my left. But quickly I activate the spell Inferno Aura, as flames spin around my body and burn the tail of the beast off as its blow goes to strike. Its head must be a different substance, as it was able to slam into my side knocking me out of the spiral orb of flame and giving me another shock. Once again a sharp pain hits my body not just from the shock. No this was a cold forceful blow to the left side of my body.

All that remained moving was a small stub of the monster's body and its head. Yet it still was alive. Gathering to my feet I watched as it was trying to move about the ground by moving its jaw. But its speed was greatly depleted and I moved quickly to position myself where it couldn’t quickly strike. I slam an attack from my staff now wholly engulfed in the magical flame splitting the monster's skull in half as a roaring rush of flame disperses. The Monster begins to fade and the crowd erupts in loud cheers of honor. I turn to look at where Min sat but don’t see him in the seat when the announcer proclaims. "Winner of the deathmatch, Princess Fawn Midin." I fall to my knees when hearing the loud cheers of the crowd and start to take note of the pain in my arm. I pull my right arm out of the cage it sits in. Then with my free arm, I reach to the left caged arm and wipe a liquid dripping from it. I bring it before my face and there under the screen where I see a pale red on my fingers. I'm bleeding! Somehow during the battle, I hurt myself in the chair. This was odd, never had I hurt myself in the chair by merely playing the game. Something was wrong. My attention to my arm is pulled away as I hear a sudden gasp and look up at the screen to see what people are suddenly converging their attention on. Looking around I see the crowds looking up at the sky above. I turn my gaze to look as well. There in the sky, written in some weird type of mangled letters spelled the phrase, Thou shall not worship false idols.

Instantly I’m getting messages from the staff, all asking if I’m okay. Worried that this is merely a person’s joke, I tell them I am fine and choose to ignore the dripping blood from my arm in my response. I walk out of the arena, get up on Caramel and ride to the palace. Once in the bedroom, I sign off and make my way out of the chair to assess the damage to my arm.

The throbbing pain makes me wish I had aspirin, even more now as I move to the bathroom turning the light on. The arm has a small cut which is the first and the main thing I expected to find. Yet while investigating I saw the skin around the cut was whitish pale blue fading to a hue of maroon and very cold to the touch. In some way, it was a blessing as the cut was bleeding slowly due to its frozen mark. But what on the chair would give my skin the look of frostbite? I look at my body a little closer and discover bruises along the left side. Both wounds match the ones Fawn took in the fight, but why now. I mean by now I fought regularly and all I received was a slight static shock to the back of the neck. Could it be the green lines on the creature, as I recall only the Boar had them before?

I think back to that day and remember hearing about some injuries the staff took during the battle with the boar. Could the green lines mean the creatures can do more than shock us, in real life? This damage is more severe and harder to believe than the injuries that the others reported. Who is behind this, and how is it even possible? I want to tell someone but who would believe me. Sure technology can affect the body in motion and read the electrical motions of a person’s brain, but nowhere could it cause someone to suffer frostbite without anything cold causing it. I decided to keep it to myself and if more issues arise I would report what happened. A small scratch and some frostbite aren't enough to raise alarm for now. But my lack of supplies to clean the wound and deal with the pain does have me needing to head out of the room. Security is instantly at my side from the moment me leaving my apartment. I make my way to the spare room where Rick's Wife and child were staying, knocking on the door.

The door opens and the disheveled woman answers the door. “Oh Jamie, can I help you, Rick is in the game shouldn’t you.” She stops her question when seeing my arm with the blood.

“Yeah, I had to get out of the chair for a bit, I kind of hurt my arm. I am all out of bandages and aspirin, I was wondering if you had any.” I placed a goofy smile trying to hide the injury from too many prying questions.

"Well, there is the clinic downstairs." She pauses and thinks through her statement, remembering how I was not allowed to leave the floor. “Never mind, I think I have some. Come on in I will clean the wound and dress it.” I walk in and look at a room similar to mine. Only this room is filled with crayon drawings, a small plate, and a half-eaten sandwich with carrot sticks sitting on a table, as young Lily lays in front of the TV playing the highlights of the game. "She has been set to see her father's character pop up, but they were all focused on your actions earlier."

I watch as Lily looks up to see me, “Hi Jamwee, did you watch da pwincess fight da monster!” I guess she doesn’t know I am the princess, so I chuckle at being in the room of one of the few people in the world that doesn’t know that yet.

“Ah no, I was busy taking care of some things. Was it good?” I reply to my young fan

"DIT WAS AWWSOME!" I smile as she bounces up and down.

"Lily that's enough, go finish your sandwich. I need to help Jamie with something okay.” Lily’s mother’s stern voice reminds me of my mother. I follow her into the bathroom as she pulls out the medkit from under the sink. Grabbing a bottle of alcohol and a towel she pours a small amount pressing it to my arm. The sting gets me to singe in pain. “Oh please, Lily is braver than you. Hard to believe you’re the same one fighting a few minutes ago.” She wipes away the blood and places a cotton pad on the wound. Suddenly she pulls out the can of spray vinyl and sprays my arm. A small collection of heat hits my arm as the vinyl wraps and hardens around the cotton pad. "Well, that should keep any infection from getting at it, till you peel it off, as for aspirin here.” She hands me a bottle. “I have extra, Lily gets pretty loud when she is excited or upset so I buy these in bulk. Look, take it easy okay! I know the company is pushing you all to work hard now but don’t keep injuring yourself like that.”

"I will try! The company has me set for a day off after tonight's event, given as much Rick likes to chew me out. I think I will spend the day sleeping in my bed and clean the place up." I reply with a sense of ease that she didn't pry too much as to how I got the injury. I walked back through and watch Lily take a bite of her sandwich which had gone untouched till the two of us returned to the room.

Making my way back to the room I slump on my bed and nap for a few hours before a ringing from the chair wakes me. Looking at the clock I see that I slept for four hours and now have to go to the meeting in the Nook. Making my way to the chair I quickly slide in and login but perhaps it’s not fast enough for some, as I have Gavin waiting in Fawn’s bedroom for me by the time the world fades into view.

“You sure took your time girl! Ye only got five minutes to warp there.” The grumpy Dwarf proclaims.

I make my way to the Mirror in Fawn's room and tap it in a pattern. "Shut it, Gavin, the Mirror is already set to send us there instantly. Computer Access Code, Alpha Gamma zero seven four, Access warp, Nook of Alliance." The Mirror glows and both of us step through into a forest area outside the Nook there stood the collection of Players of each tower waiting to be announced to enter the room. A small goblin coughs and looks at me and Gavin.

“Good to see the Princess of Noiox joins us finally because your first to go in.” I look and see Min snarl at my appearance. And I try to ignore Gavin’s grumbling under his breath, I told you we were running late.

In the distance, a sound of fanfare is heard pronouncing the opening of the events. Then the speaker pronounces the opening of the events. "Ladies and Gentlemen we will now begin the second event, with of the opening with the Meeting of Heroes. The events will hold a meeting of the greatest warriors in the world and discussion on the events taking place in the world.” The speaker is silent for a moment and I find my character slowly moving without choice forward. I look behind me and the Goblin is pushing me to the door.

“You’re on Princess, and you too mush mouth, you follow in with her and sit behind her at her place at the great round table.” Trumpets sound off fanfare again.

Suddenly a voice calls out. "From Noiox Kingdom, Warrior of the Midnight Star, Princess Fawn."

I walk out into a cleared area in the forest where a large stone table, with four sections that have a staircase, letting people walk up on the table. With 12 chairs sitting at, 11 painted segments, and an open fire pit in the middle of the table. Many other chairs surround the area for the followers and other select people from the towers to sit. I follow the table around finding the place bearing the Noiox royal crest and take my seat. No sooner after I take my seat they announce a new name.

“From Topeal Kingdom, the Knight of the Moon, General Mikov.” I watch as the large Russian enters the area and takes his seat next to me. While one of our rival groups, Mikov has always been kind to me in our few encounters. He has a sense of trust he is willing to lend, even though his earlier showing in our first meeting showed his trust ends when it comes to his alliance with Red and Orange Kingdoms. I watch as the massive blond man smirks before taking his seat.

"From Azurphire Kingdom, Hero of the Surf, Councilman Riex." I try to ignore the suave blond unshaven man in a fancy tunic with a flowing cape as he flashed a smile at me. He makes his way to the chair that Mikov is sitting in and strikes up a conversation with him. “Hey comrade you mind switching places, I’d like to be next to my woman.”

The man gives him a look, then looks at me shaking my head no, and responds with a large grin. "Sorry, my man but your seat is right there.” The smile on Riex fades as he takes his seat. Soon uneasiness fills his face when the next name is called.

“From Strone Kingdom, Quake Walker, Priestess Cassandra.” I watch as Cass walks in an odd display of what a starlet likely would wear on a night out in the public eye, draped on her normally hulking bovine body. She snorts in my direction, though I can't tell if it's a good thing or bad. The two of us have gotten along okay in the interactions we shared as we built the borders of our kingdoms. I find her to be a rather peaceful person who prefers to work alone on tasks. She also has a habit to sing songs while she works. I am looking forward to her clips on the reality show releases. Though calls for songs royalties may cause her to be cut now and then, from singing too often. Cass takes her seat as Riex sighs, placing his head in his hands.

"From Crystinal Kingdom, the Mystic Angel, Princess Kylie." This is the one woman I wish I knew more about. All I have found out is she is originally from Sydney. I have asked the others about Kylie, yet everyone agrees the third-ranked Hero remains a mystery keeping to herself for the most part. She walks in with her wings decorated all about with jewels. She folds her wings as she takes her seat next to Cass.

"From Cirturn Kingdom, Rider of the Wind, Prince Nasam." The heavy-robed Nasam appears with a walking staff. I recognize his choice, of his robes and stick to match an outfit I saw in a movie. This film was once shown in college history classes when we studied the First World War. He nods at Kylie before taking his seat and looking down the table at me. His covered face makes it hard for me to acknowledge any emotions other than the strong stare. Given as a member of our rival alliance, I am sure he is sizing up my skills, since the time he last saw me battle.

"From Preould Kingdom, Spirit Talker, Prince Malok!" Malok has exchanged his normal attire of a simple loincloth for a much more elaborate collection of furs draped across him, with the heads of the beasts staring down any soul that looked on. While many had doubts about Malok's experience in the group of heroes to be in question, when the numbers finally came out Malok was the fifth-placed member based on skills and level, making many of the other heroes having to play catch up to the newest recruit to the list of Grand Heroes.

“From Emrass Kingdom, Blood Dance Warrior, Princess Grendal.” The red gelatinous faceless form of Grendal had been adorned in a traditional outfit of her home country of Germany. She reminded me of the concept I saw often during the fall at Oktoberfest events throughout town, during my later college years.

“From Arguo Kingdom, The Dawn and Dusk Twin Princesses, Emi and Amayo.” I watch as Emi and Amayo, enter the area. Emi smiles and waves in my direction and I wave back. The two girls take their seats next to each other under the sign of their kingdom. Gone are their normal matching outfits, which are replaced with bookend-styled kimonos. My eyes land on Amayo, who keeps her eyes fixed on the center, where the flame pit sits and seems focused on something about the table.

“From Marion Kingdom, the Nature Born, Duke Savo.” Savo enters with a tight-fitting outfit like the uniforms I saw on the renaissance guards that were in Italy or Spain. The only difference being, he seemed to overdo it on the jewels placing them every naked inch of material that isn't highlighted by the gold stitching of the outfit. He cracks a smile at the group and takes his seat.

“From Ruire Kingdom, The Fallen Dragon, Prince Min Gang.” I watch as Min, is the last of the heroes to walk in. He has placed his ornate armor on and tries his best to walk with a sense of superior dignity above the rest of us, which in many ways could be said of the second most powerful hero in the game. Only I know very well this look is only meant to be on display to the one that outranks him. Me.

“I was hoping to be placed near a great warrior, instead they put me next to the whore of Noiox." While most of the attitudes and words I shared were based off-script, when dealing with Min, when he’s like this it’s not hard for me to play this one with ease.

"Wow really whore that's the best you can come up with, oh wait to excuse me your pea brain is too small to recall just who beat that monster today in the arena." I snap back.

“I saw a pathetic display of a weak little girl, if I were in the arena I would have had it beat in two blows.” Looking smug at his boast I take my chance to respond.

“You couldn’t take down a tavern rat in four.” Min Jumps from his seat and stares me down from his standing height when suddenly a voice calls out.

“Settle down heroes, now is not a time of fighting." The flames erupt and out-stands a body of a very old-looking elf, considering all tales of elves is they are forever looking young. One can only guess this guy is centuries old. "Every few weeks we plan to hold gatherings here where the issues of the world will be discussed by the great heroes. In time new heroes will be invited to this space to take part in these discussions. But since this is the first time and the world has just started we will forgo each kingdom reporting in, instead, we invited a guest for the events tonight. For tonight's guest is the man who brought us and as well as this world into being. Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Kinchrou Masaru.” We watch as the flames switch color and an image of Master Masaru in the same outfit of golden robes from when I met him for the first time, appears from the flames.

"I welcome you and all looking on this event throughout the world. In the past few days, the first people have had the chance to take part in my latest creation, a fantasy world built on establishing alliances, friendships, and rivals. A world that takes so much from our own homes of the earth and the mind, in time many will come to explore the world is far greater in size than just that of the 11 kingdoms. For beyond the sea lies an unexplored land of new dangers and savage wilderness. The players must claim, build and hold those territories for their home countries. While players represent each of their kingdoms, they also each represent their home towns, countries, and more. Each week the leading players are offer deals to their hometowns from, Black clover. The prize can be financial or something more precious such as food or supplies. While it may seem unfair to some weaker countries a character's level is not the only way we will be looking at for points. Each player is measured on their actions as well as their skill. A player that is weak in level but fights the just cause, those helping those in need can get just as much or even more points than a player that simply walks in and kills the creature.”

I look around and see most of the group paying attention to the words of the master, even though the heroes by now all have heard this speech many times over. In looking around I notice Amayo, isn't paying much attention either, I'm sure she heard the speech far more times being one of the master's assistants. Emi, on the other hand, looks to be unmoving, I wonder if she is actually in her chair. But if she wasn't, then neither would her character be there, right? I continue to look around purposely avoiding the gaze of Riex, who out of the corner of my eye blows me a kiss. I switch my gaze over at Min, I never really learned about him in person, just the jerk in the game. Soon he turns and looks at me with great disgust in his eyes. I quickly turn away from his gaze and look on back at, Master Masaru.

“Gathered here today at this table stand the best in many different areas of this game, and different parts of the world, some here hold similar dreams and goals, others work to be better than each at this table. The choice of this table was no mistake. In many ways we wanted it to reflect the ideals of the legend of King Arthur, where each person sitting at the table has an equal place. The fire in the middle is to show that all sides work equally, and as such are rewarded equally, given that they place an effort and their love in it. After the last war, we learned it was the actions of people trying to unfairly balance their ideals on others, that caused the bloodshed and violence. There is equality but as you note the only ones here at this time are the great heroes. Thus the table lacks something, it lacks fairness. Because fairness is a dream that cannot exist, while each here is treated fairly as the next. Some want more than others have so in the very act of making things fair, the world is still ripe for greed and want. The world has been designed to not be fair. It will challenge each of these people and each person who joins it. Only those that strive to be something better will make it to this table. Only those that truly work hard will be honored with the title of Grand Hero. I ask each of my Grand Heroes here today to stand and place their right hand on the symbol of their Kingdom.”

I look around and see both Emi and Ayamo, have already done so before any of us, perhaps knowing about the speech beforehand that it would call for such an action. Not trying to look out of place I follow suit placing my hand on the symbol of the Noiox crest I had created some time ago. As I did a faint light hits my hand. “The light that comes forth from the symbols, represents your contributions to this world and how it is shaped. If you were to remove such light as follows.” Masaru turns and nods at Emi and Amayo, and they step away from the table and the light of their symbol fades. The light of the fire dims along with the symbol as well. “Should one leave the table, then the light of the world will fade but go on burning, should all but one leave the table then the light will be dim. I ask all but Princess Fawn, to leave the table.” Each follows the advice of Masaru and their lights fade and the flames dim. Soon all that remains is a small flame no bigger than a torch. “The world suffers greatly from the light, and eventually it too will fade into darkness. This is what happens when we as a world focus singly on the ideals of our lives and care not for the possible benefits others can give. So I ask each of you and all that are watching that the world is equally our responsibility and our light, to care for it as I have. Please return your lights to the fire.” Each person goes about doing as such in turn. And as they do the light fills the area from the fire bringing in the surrounding area to light. But it’s not just the fire bringing in all the light, as a new light appears from the entrance of the Nook. This new light is a bright pale green, with two glowing red orbs.

The group looks in shock, and to my surprise, even Emi and Amayo looked troubled at this. Masaru turns to look at the figure with a puzzled look.

“What is this?”

The figure moves in closer to the flame and the body shows a wireframe of incompletion which sways as it moves to walk up the stairs of the table.

“Master this is not planned, what is going on?” Shouts a frightened Emi.

“Central, lock in on this program! Where is it coming from?” Shouts an equally excited Riex.

“Masaru this makes no sense. What is this, some kind of test of our skills?” Questions Mikov.

“This is not part of my design.” Masaru stands looking over the figure that now stands eye to eye with his image. Till the creature waves a hand, and Masaru’s image breaks apart as the creature speaks. “Computer Disconnect Image projection.” The creature turns to look at us all in turn. Quickly I join Min, Mikov, and Cassandra, in preparing attacks when a voice breaks over the area.

“This is the watch staff. This character is a foreign program, we don’t know what it’s doing or from where it comes from. But all actions are failing to remove it.” States a voice from the heavens above us.

Emi replies to central. “Cut the broadcast feeds, and remove all non-staff characters.”

"The World will watch my rise." The creature responds as it glares skyward.

Central cuts in. “It’s got control of the broadcast, we cut the players active. But it’s still there.”

"Well, then we have an unwanted hacker!" States Min with a grin on his face. I can't help but feel that the very man known for being a former hacker himself may seem to know more about this new visitor than the other 11 of us in the nook.

“What do you want hacker?” Malok askes.

“Want? I want nothing from those that have taken from me. This is my world. I will reclaim it with the help of my children.” The strange creature shrieks.

“The altered monsters, like the one in the arena. They are you’re doing?” I shout and note that the group stands puzzled at what I was saying. But get a nod from the creature.

“What do you mean altered monsters?” Min questions by grabbing my arm and thrusting me to look at him. His action is so strong, I feel a small shock from the damage he does in his grip. “What do you know, that we don’t Princess?”

“The creature in the arena was altered, it was the second one I’ve faced in the game. I thought it was just a glitch in the system, but after the damage, it did to me, from that fight I could tell it wasn’t normal. I was bleeding.” I explain.

Cassandra is the first to question my meaning by that. “But we all bleed when we fight a monster.”

“That’s not what I mean.” My response is interrupted by the creature.

"We have touched her. The plague has felt the blood of this child, this false idol today. We bathe in the sweet crimson, from her earthly body." The creature explains.

“False Idol, the words above the arena?” asks Riex.

“A Bible verse, now we know you’re a pathetic coward hacker that likes to show off tricks, then dealing with you should be easy when we hack you're being apart." Shouts Min as he charges in along with Mikov, and Cassandra. But the creature waves its hand and the three are halted as their forms become unmoving in dead air.

"Computer disconnect users Min, Mikov, and Cassandra." Suddenly no sooner than when the creature states it, the three pop out of existence in the Nook.

“This thing is powerful.” States a shocked Grendal.

"Stay away from it if you can sign off, do it now!" Shouts Emi. I watch as all but Riex, Emi, and Amayo, sign off. I try but find my computer unresponsive. "Amayo, Fawn sign off!" Emi shouts now with tears forming in her eyes. She then suddenly pops out.

“I can’t disconnect!” I scream. I turn to look at Riex, who is being unresponsive to all this.

"If you must, pull yourself from the chair, sister! This program is not normal. I fear has some hidden power.” Hollers a usually quiet Amayo as she suddenly vanishes as well.

“I want to stay, and see what this thing is doing with my own eyes.” Claims Riex.

“You’re an idiot Riex.” I scream trying to pull my arm from the cage but feel a sharp pain from my earlier injury letting out a cry of pain.

I open my eyes only to see the creature's face moved from right off its body and stand in front of my own. "We are Dark Mistress, We are Plague, and we are the gods of this world. And we will make you suffer like none before." Suddenly I feel a slight shock to my neck as I go crashing to the ground from Riex shoving me away from the creature. “Computer disconnect player Riex, I will not let the false idol go so easily." Riex pops out and I remain alone in the Nook face to face with the creature. I try ripping my arms free when suddenly the restraint locks down tightly on my arm. "You have deceived the world, you must be cleansed from both worlds, and never again will you infest my world.” I hear the Tower alarm sound, and perhaps the team has noticed what is going on. But as I look on I find not only can I not move in the chair. But I can't move Fawn. I look on as the creature's hand forms into razor-sharp talons sparking green light. Then suddenly the last thing I feel is a final shock to my neck, in such a way my throat closes up while my mouth is open trying helplessly to scream. Then everything is Black.

File source End

Accessing linked Source material

Security Camera outside Onyx 47-A

The building fire alarm goes off as the hand of Rick Mathers breaks the handle in an act of urgency. “Alert there is a Fire in the Building, Alert.”

“Why did you have to flip that Rick?” Shouts a hysterical Melissa Gaunt.

"We need as much manpower as we can. You guys got that door down yet." Rick shouts at two security guards bashing at the door, he goes to pick up a metal trash can to aid them in their effort. But they all pause as the lights of the building flicker and a Muffled scream is heard from the room.

“No, this can’t be happening.” Cries Melissa.

“Gavin report, what’s going on in the game.” Shouts Rick.

“The Signal dropped when the creature attacked Fawn.” A combination of panic and his breathing causes the words to stagger out.

“Get Emergency personal here stat. We need to get this door open.” Hollers Rick as Moses comes running in with a fire ax.

“Out of the way Rick.” Moses takes a large swing splintering the door. “Jamie, respond if you’re okay! Jamie!”

The shock continues and knocks out the camera’s signal.

Report end

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