Chapter 1:

Prologue: The Forsaken Girls

Gun Girls Online


            Nineteen year-old Mikkari Miswa threw her oversized black tote on the floor as she locked her apartment door behind her. She kicked her heels across the room and peeled off her coat. Not caring about the mess, she padded across the room, the cold tile chilling her feet through her thin, white knee socks. He apartment was small; one main room, a bathroom, and an attached kitchen. The large room alone was far bigger than she needed.

             She stalked through the shadows cast by the flashing lightning. It was storming heavily. She didn’t bother with the lights. As she crossed the room to her L-shaped desk, she shed her clothes. By the time she reached her desk, all she had on was her oversized white dress shirt, underwear, and socks. She undid her bun and let her long, dull, black hair fall down to her shoulders.

                 Mikkari’s room was nearly empty, devoid of all personality. A bed with fluffy covers, a large; plush rug, a dresser, an overstuffed chair, a small bookshelf, and a desk full of textbooks and office supplies. That was all she had. No cute ornaments or pictures or the like at all. Her clothes were simple and rather drab. Her wardrobe mainly consisted of mature, professional clothes that resembled school uniforms, even though her university didn’t have a strict dress code. Her bathroom and kitchen were likewise empty of personality.

                   She flopped in her office chair, pulled her feet up, and swiveled around to face her computer. Her large, modern, flat-screen monitor was the one truly personal item in the drab apartment. She had saved up money from her part-time job as a desk clerk specifically to buy it. It was the top recommended model for online gamers. What did she want to play tonight? She booted up the monitor and opened her internet browser but, try as she might, she couldn’t make her hand move the mouse to click on an option. She bit her lip as her hand shook.

                   “Why…?” She grimaced with dull, fragile eyes. “Why can’t I just…why can’t I decide? I…I don’t want to move! I want to, but I just…I can’t bring myself to make a choice!”

                   “Damn it!” She snarled suddenly as she snapped, banging the mouse violently against the desktop. She swiveled around and violently knocked over a stack of books and homework. She let out primal, inhuman screams as she swiveled back-and-forth, sending objects flying from her desk.

                    She panted, clutching her sore right arm. As she stared at the casualties of her outburst, tears gathered in her eyes and she slid from the chair onto the floor. “W-w-w-why?” She blubbered, bursting out bawling. The tears and snot poured down her face. She could barely breath. She pulled her knees up to her chest and ripped at her hair as she screamed in agony.

                     She couldn’t take it anymore! She tried to motivate herself, to just keep going. She made herself go through the motions of each day, uttering the empty promise that things would get better as long as she kept trying. She was so utterly dead inside. She had no hopes, no dreams, nothing.

                     She had no friends. People in her classes talked to her when they were assigned research projects, but all her human interactions were all strictly utilitarian. She was an okay employee at the universities library and none of her coworkers showed any interest in talking to her. She had no hobbies. She went to her classes, came home, did her classwork and studying, ate, and went to bed. Other than attending classes, she rarely left the apartment. She hadn’t even declared a major yet, and she had no career goal in mind.

                         What was the point of trying anymore? She glimpsed the cuts on her wrist as the lightning flashed. No one wanted her. There was no one who loved her to encourage her.

                       When she was under a year old, her parents had died in a car crash. A drunk driver had hit them head-on and killed them instantly. That’s all that she knew about them other than their names; the orphanage had lost most of her paperwork at some point.

                        All she had known her entire life was the dull, cold orphanage. She had grown up entirely within its walls. It hadn’t literally been cold, but the nuns who oversaw it were.

                         The sisters at the orphanage had had no affection or gentleness for their charges. Their job was simply to stop the children from doing bad things, keep them from dying, and find a family to pass them off to. No family had wanted Mikkari. She had been a quiet, frail, and shy child. She was undesirable and easily overlooked. The sisters came to see her as a leech on their funds once it was clear that no one would ever adopt her.

                         The day she graduated, they made sure she was accepted to college and had somewhere to stay and then kicked her out. She was left to fend for herself.

                        She had never really wanted to live. When she was younger, she had cut herself obsessively. She disliked pain and knew it was a bad thing to do, but she couldn’t take the pain and anxiety and had felt the need to let her misery out somehow.

                           She eventually became scared of her uncontrollable self-mutilation and approached the nuns for help. She had been locked up in a mental ward for months. Afterwards, she had been repeatedly reminded by her caretakers that she was wicked and sick for her actions and going to burn in hell.

                             Mikkari just wanted her life to be over. She had considered suicide before, but she had rejected the idea. Even though she didn’t know yet if she really believed in God of any of that religious junk, the idea of more suffering in death scared her even more than her pain. At this point though, was there really any point in living anymore?

                            ‘I think…I think this is identical to Hell.’ She thought through her tears and screaming. ‘Either way, I honest don’t care. I just want to be done with this crappy life of mine!’ Her computer beeped, startling her into ceasing her crying. Still sitting on the floor, she turned towards her desk.

All new MMORPG: Gun Girls Online!

You can become a true hero in this exciting science-fantasy game! Create the sharp-shooting warrior of your dreams, or let us pick the best girl for you! Participate in thrilling quests and assassination missions in a high-tech, futuristic city setting! Protect innocents from monsters and cyborgs! Level up and update your look and equipment! Meet players from around the world and chat in real time! Decorate your apartment and live however you want when you are off duty! Explore the city and participate in realistic activities such as school, shopping, eating, attending festivals, museum trips, and more! If you are lonely and looking to add some excitement to your life, this game is for you!

***Only female players allowed! This game doesn’t contain explicitly lewd or inappropriate content, but there is realistic gun action and the possibility of creating some skimpy character designs!***

                   Mikkari looked up at the pop-up from the floor in surprise. She blinked the tears out of her eyes. What was this game? She’d never heard of it before. Maybe it was newly released? She slowly picked herself up off the floor and sat back in her chair.

               For some reason, she hesitated with her hand hovering over the mouse. Should she register and play? She had a slightly bad feeling about this game, yet she felt drawn to it somehow. Maybe it was the last line in the advertisement. If you are lonely and looking to add some excitement to your life, this game is for you! She didn’t really have much to lose and the visuals on the pop-up looked fun.

            She moved the mouse and clicked Launch Link.

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                Eight-year-old Kammi Wood clicked away on her mother’s tablet. Mama didn’t like her spending too much time playing games, but what she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her.

               It was late, but Mama was having some sort of meeting to arrange more events for her idol career. Ever since Kammi had achieved the number one spot on the singles rankings when she was seven, Love Idol: Ai-Chan! was in popular demand. People fell over themselves to book her for charity events, festivals, commercials, concerts…she was constantly busy. Not that that was always bad. Mama was her manager and she homeschooled Kammi herself. People found that odd, but her Mama was from Eastern America and, in the four America’s, homeschooling was normal. Kammi was lonely, sometimes, but she loved getting to spend lots of time with Mama.

               But alone time was good, too. Especially because she was surrounded by people all the time. Slapping make-up on her, acting overly sweet and friendly, and trying to make her sing higher! And Can’t you get this form right? We’ve gone over this one dance move a hundred times now!

                The quiet was nice. She loved playing mobile games when she had a chance, but she was usually held to a strict time limit. Although, she had found an easy way around it. Steeling had its advantages! Mama probably thought that she was young and not too bright, but Kammi had figured out where she hid their personal tablet and what the password was. She usually sneaked it out when Mama was gone so she could get in more game time.

                     Her favorite game was SHOUT Idol Time! Kind of ironic for a little girl was a child-idol in real-life, but it was comforting to her. She liked how the rhythm game was repetitive, but not boringly so. Routine was nice. She frowned at the phone as she hung upside-down from the sofa. Her long, Carmel-colored curls flowed down like a curtain and nearly touched the floor.

                       “Darn it!” She just couldn’t pass this level for some reason! She sighed and tossed the tablet on the fancy rug, then rubbed her sore, brown eyes She didn’t know what to do. Her eyes burned and she wanted to go to sleep, but she couldn’t. She knew what would happen. She tried to hide it, but she feared sleep.

                           Every single time that she closed her eyes brought intense anxiety and panic. She trembled. She knew what would happen. Even though they were different every night, Kammi knew what her dreams held. Blood, screaming, and death. Loud explosions. Scenes of unspeakable violence and gore. Terrible pain and the fear of death. That’s all that sleep held for her. She purposefully put off sleep as much as she could to avoid those terrors. She hated it. She constantly had bags under her eyes and frequently felt exhausted. She couldn’t help it, though. She wished that there was something that she could do to get rid of her constant fear of something horrible happening. Suddenly, the tablet chimed.

                        “Ooft!” Kammi fell to the floor in surprise and landed on her stomach. “Owie!” She gasped after having the breath knocked out of her.

All new MMORPG: Gun Girls Online!

You can become a true hero in this new mobile edition of the popular science-fantasy game! Create the sharp-shooting warrior of your dreams, or let us pick the best girl for you! Participate in thrilling quests and assassination missions in a high-tech, futuristic city setting! Protect innocents from monsters and cyborgs! Level up and update your look and equipment! Meet players from around the world and chat in real time! Decorate your apartment and live however you want when you are off duty! Explore the city and participate in realistic activities such as school, shopping, eating, attending festivals, museum trips, and more! If you are lonely and looking to add some excitement to your life, this game is for you!

***Only female players allowed! This game doesn’t contain explicitly lewd or inappropriate content, but there is realistic gun action and the possibility of creating some skimpy character designs!***

                             Kami stared at the pop-up ad for a moment and then picked the tablet up. She usually wasn’t into role-playing type games, but the visuals shown on the ad were pretty and she was bored of getting nowhere on her rhythm game. And, according to the disclaimer, this didn’t seem like an inappropriate game that mama would disapprove of. Without hesitation, the little girl hit the download button.

        *                                                                           *                                                                           *

                            Suzune Miyamma surfed the internet at a computer café. Her home didn’t have a computer, so she came here at night after her siblings fell asleep to do her homework. Grandpa would keep the young ones safe while she was away. Even if father came home, he wouldn’t dare try anything in the presence of his own father. He was under the impression that the old man was too dull and useless to realize what went on in their home and wanted to keep it that way out of respect for the elderly man. Papa Yui knew about his son’s misguided opinion of his intelligence, so he used it to his advantage, when he could.

                             Suzune shifted in her seat and winced at the pain that shot through her fractured ankle. Her “fall down the stairs” from last week still ached horribly. The doctor had honestly tried his best, but the Miyamma’s were dirt poor and couldn’t afford good healthcare. The painkillers she was taking were sketchy, back-alley ones that worked on-and-off. The truly funny thing, however, was that the pathetic little shack that she called home didn’t have any stairs.

                               One kitchen, one bathroom, two tiny bedrooms, a worthless piece of human trash, his elderly father, and eight children ages 2-16 were the contents of their awful household. Suzune was the oldest of the Miyamma children at the age of sixteen. She was the mother to her young siblings and their only true care-taker, aside from papa Yui.

                                She had no clue why she was so obsessed with keeping her grades up. She’d never be able to afford to attend university when she graduated. Even if she somehow could afford it, she still wouldn’t go. She would never be able to abandon her siblings. She was the only one who could protect them. For her, there was no way out of the Hell that was her home.

                                  Her stomach gurgled. She wished she could buy a cup of coffee, but she didn’t even have enough money for that. It was highly doubtful that there would be much, if any, dinner left. Suzune was used to going to bed with an empty stomach. When there was barely enough to go around, you got used to going without some stuff for the sake of others.

                                    To be honest, Suzune didn’t want to go home at all. She knew that all that waited for her there was fitful sleep in a room full of eight other people and a persistent, gnawing hunger and fear. She usually dragged her feet on going home for as long she could.

                                      She still had about two hours of time left in the room she was in at the café. She wished that there was something that she could do to kill the time and avoid thinking about her family. Unfortunately, she had finished the book she was reading while she was on the subway and she hadn’t had time to go to the library to get a new book. What could she do to distract herself?

                                        The computer chimed as a pop-up flashed across her screen.

All new MMORPG: Gun Girls Online!

You can become a true hero in this exciting science-fantasy game! Create the sharp-shooting warrior of your dreams, or let us pick the best girl for you! Participate in thrilling quests and assassination missions in a high-tech, futuristic city setting! Protect innocents from monsters and cyborgs! Level up and update your look and equipment! Meet players from around the world and chat in real time! Decorate your apartment and live however you want when you are off duty! Explore the city and participate in realistic activities such as school, shopping, eating, attending festivals, museum trips, and more! If you are lonely and looking to add some excitement to your life, this game is for you!

***Only female players allowed! This game doesn’t contain explicitly lewd or inappropriate content, but there is realistic gun action and the possibility to create some skimpy character designs!***

                               “Looking for excitement, huh?” She rested her head on her hand, contemplating the game. “Is this legit? I’ve never heard of anything like this before.” She stroked her short, dark-purple hair. “This looks interesting. I supposed someone heard my desire for something to do.” She clicked on the Launch game button.

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