Type Online: Pariah
Type Online - Pariah Online: Chapter 4
The death wizard slowly got up from the table and started to make his way towards one of the knights advancing towards the table. The Light Mage Type girl was still coughing and spurting, but not gasping for air and crying and openly vomiting like almost everyone else at the table. I could see another knight advancing from the other direction coming towards our part of the table, and started pulling her up by the arm. She was light enough for me to support, but I probably couldn't have tried to pick up one of the wielder types in their heavy armour if I had to.
“This doesn't make any sense, it really hurts. It actually hurts-hurts.” she rested her arm on my character's small frame. She wasn't too much bigger, she must not have turned the slider up much higher than the default. I still struggled to support her, “Something's really wrong, we have to get out of here.”
I heard a loud crash and terrible sloshing wet thunk from behind us. One of the knights nearby had started attacking people, hitting them with his huge sword and cleaving them right in half like a knife through butter. Another delicate looking Mage Type just a few seats down was strewn about, now resting on the writhing mass of monsters on the table, the biggest of which were starting to chew and eat his body. The man that was next to the woman I was carrying had been sitting next to was now drenched in blood, trying hard to stop from being sick and get away from a little creature chewing on his shoulder.
An explosion from where the Death Mage Type had gone drew my attention back in that direction. The armoured player had started hitting people already over there, but now he was falling back, a huge chunk of his armour and head now missing. I ran towards him as quickly as I could with the Mage Type still keeping her balance on me. Apostate was lowering his staff. He glanced towards me, seeming to stop, moving back towards me, and then looked at the Light Mage I was carrying. He didn't say anything before turning back around, stepping over the knight and continuing onward.
From what I could see other people were fighting back as best they could, most were making a run for it with blood and guts still dribbling down their chins. I tried to stop looking, stop thinking about it and stepped over the giant hunk of metal too. My frame was too short, and I was too clumsy in my VR body. I felt my arm slit open on a piece of its decimated shoulder armour sticking out into the air.
One of the little globs of teeth and blood from the table launched itself towards me, drawn by the blood. It dug itself deep into my arm and began chewing furiously, I could almost feel the sensation reach to my bones and teeth grinding against them. The pain was so intense I dropped the Mage Type and started screaming. I grasped at the monster, ripped at it with my good hand, but it wasn't letting go, just digging deeper into my flesh. I could see my hp drop to half in just a few seconds, my head felt light, and I started to slump forward.
As my good arm hit the ground to hold me up, my vision swam and started to become dark. It was cold, and the feeling of being eaten was becoming numb. After a few seconds though, as I felt on the brink of- something. I suddenly felt incredible. I looked up to see the Mage with her stave out using some sort of heal spell, while simultaneously trying to remove the thing from my arm with some sort of chant. It fell off lamely, jerking and shrieking, then scurried under the table. The Mage Type was leaning on the wall, but unslumped to collect me and drag me back to my feet, “I can walk, I think, these are just a debuff.” she cast the same spell on herself and looked sick.
The little specks of blood stopped as she threw up a grape sized mite looking creature, covered in little spikes and teeth. She crushed it beneath her white boot, then went onto click something on her menu. After a few seconds of hitting little different options, she then cast the same spell into the air, while spreading both her arms, it looked bigger. It became some sort of vaporous cloud and settled down onto the people still at the tables fighting with the monsters or vomiting. One by one the creatures were purged out of their systems or released the limbs or heads they had been attacking.
Most of the men and women weren't oriented and looked ready to pass out after purging so much HP and blood, but some started hitting the creatures back, splattering them in almost an instant. A few of the other healers at the table seemed to catch on after theirs had been purged, and were now casting the same spell over the rest of the group, all the way down to the end of the table, going off one by one. Some began trying to heal the incapacitated players. The corpses weren't moving or stitching back up into one piece after being “revived”, though.
We kept moving forward, following the bloodshed and crushed metal hunks. We came to a door at the end of the hall, already left open. There was a twisting staircase leading down and up. We could hear screams from both directions.
“Which way did he go?” I said, scanning around. I saw that some of the other players from the feast were now following after us, bloodied and battered, but alive.
There was a window, already open. I ran over and inspected it. It was wet and slippery from the storm as I tried to heave myself up. My character was too short to get a good look outside of it, and before I could even ask for a boost, the Holy Mage was clicking through menus, and shouted “Levitation!” I almost fell backwards as my feet lifted up the air, but righted myself, using the wall to balance.
I could see a giant field perfectly through the window, as well as dawn rising on the horizon. We were so high up, and it was still raining and clouded, lightning striking near us. Some people were gathered on the ground that was far enough away to look like ants.
How many people are even in this tower? I thought to myself. As I moved to put my hands on the windowsill I noticed something. Vines. Just like from before. They were laced over the stones all the way down to the bottom, they looked sturdy and climbable. I hoisted myself up, and over, gripping onto the plant's flesh as tight as I could. “We can get out this way!”
I had said that, but it was so high up my stomach churned the moment I was out. I gingerly tried to feel out the strongest vine but was afraid it'd snap under my weight once I let go of the stone of the windowsill. The rain was making the surface around the vines slick, and it was still hammering down onto me, making it hard to see.
“Get out of the way, hurry up!” The Mage girl was behind me already, swinging herself over the window and wrapping up her arms in the vines, but other people were trying to squeeze through too. Some were starting to get stuck, others were almost forcing their way past us. By the time we got to the first window below us someone else had noticed the window and vines and was starting to crawl through, followed by others, but they were still vomiting. They almost looked like zombies, missing flesh and mindlessly trying to get out as quick as they could. The little monsters from the feast were jumping out with them to meet us.
“I can't move down more, there are more people here!” The woman trying to get out of the window below us grabbed onto my leg and started pulling. She jerked me down and almost off completely, and above us, the mage type I had carried started trying to push and pry me off.
“We're both gonna die up here unless you let go!” She said, almost in a sneer. My brain was still telling me to hold on tight, but I could see the little mobs trying to get up to us now instead of just following the players down. What had that computer meant about putting our human lives at stake? If I jumped... I could still see the people on the ground. I could see all the little dots moving around, and some near the base stationary and unmoving. Would that be me if I let go? I could hear the jeers of the crowd on every side, see the tower go up for almost at least ten or twenty more floors. We were so high up! Why couldn't we have been near the bottom like the people already on the ground?!
“I can't, I'll die!” I cried. I held tighter to the vines, even while feeling one of the same little mite creatures the man above me had thrown up a few minutes ago now crawling over the waist of my robes. I felt the woman above me slide down beside me, and take my waist with one arm. The mite dug into her hand and started barely nibbling off her HP.
“Close your eyes, lean back, and let go. I won't let go of you.” She said, almost quietly. My chest felt completely seized up with fear. I couldn't even breathe... Which I didn't remember having to do before. I nodded to her, and closed my eyes. I couldn't see the vines, or the ground, or the people, even if I could still hear the screaming. A man above us was already trying to force us down more, instead of going around, and the window below us had become completely stopped up with people yelling for help. I leaned back, it took all of my concentration to reassure myself that I had to. It was almost painful to get further away from the wall, my arms felt like jelly.
“Good, alright!” She said, I hadn't let go yet, but she did. I couldn't hold up both of our weights combine without readying myself, and a small part of the vine patch I had been holding onto tore away from the wall with us. I couldn't breathe and grabbed onto the caster with all of my might.
My hair whipped around my face, and I barely heard the screams of the other players as I felt my quick death rising up to meet me. I couldn't tell if I was crying or screaming, my only thought was I never ever should have played this stupid vr game. Diana how could you do this to me??? Kitty... Diana... Mom...
“Maximum Levitation!!!” I heard suddenly, and wind rushing towards us slowed. It began to feel almost gentle, the harsh cold wasn't crashing into me anymore. When I finally mustered the courage to look, I opened my eyes to see we were maybe thirty feet from the ground. The rain seemed to stop in some sort of stasis around us as we fell, I hadn't even noticed. The mage practically had to pry me off of her, but once she did she took a firm hold of my upper arm. We were floating peacefully, gently, down towards the ground.
“My name is Lingo by the way,” When we were about five feet off the ground she rather unceremoniously dropped me. “Varnish.” she sneered. My HP didn't drop, but it still startled me, I ended up on my butt. She fell to the ground too, slower and with a more elegant flourish, and immediately began casting that spell that had taken the mite off of her before. She kicked it this time, and it's HP bar splatted out immediately.
I looked around. There were little groups of people talking amongst each other, some covering themselves from the rain with their jackets, or items. All rushing around, some dragging people away from the base of the tower where a lot of corpses lay. I still felt antsy, like my body was up in the air and I could fall at any second. Like I was still up in the tower being eaten, and also somehow like it had never happened.
I stumbled getting up off the wet grass and tried to get an idea of my surroundings. There was a thick forest in front of the tower with a path leading towards it, maybe a few hundred feet from the base of the tower. Behind the tower, itself and the bodies of players and monsters from the feast was a cliff side, and ocean behind it as far as I could see. Neither seemed at all familiar to the one starting area I had seen.
“Your bag's making noise, check it and make sure more didn't follow you.” I heard Lingo from a few feet away, halfway between me, and the base of the tower. She stood a few feet away from one of the groups but didn't introduce herself or speak to them. Even as some of the monsters fell onto people from atop she didn't move in to help the higher level players at the bottom with defeating them. She seemed to be listening to one of the conversations in front of her.
I dug through my bag, carefully putting my hands through and shifting things aside, hopefully without disrupting them much. I'd really have to look through it all later. But I could hear it now too, a soft buzzing. At the very bottom was a tiny pearl, it pulsed a soft green glow, and vibrated. I picked it up between my fingers and turned it over in my hands.
“A communication-jewel! What are people saying, we can't send messages anymore!” A large druid woman from behind me yelled from over my shoulder. Lingo spun back around and practically dislocated my shoulder grabbing hold of me as she ran back up.
“Where did you get this? That’s an incredibly rare drop, it's at least worth 500k gold! It lets you communicate with anyone else that has one! Didn't you just start?” I jerked my arm back.
“My sister gave it to me-” I stated, unconsciously squeezing the jewel into my palm and out of sight. In front of me Diana's face popped up, making me stumble back.
“Why did it take you so long to pick up? It's been four hours, no one could get a hold of you!” She looked angry, which wasn't new. Four hours, though? Maybe I had been asleep in-game somehow?
“You know Diana?” Lingo asked, nervously stepping back out of frame of what was probably being projected to her.
“Sorry- I didn't notice how much time had passed. Did you take Kitty out yet?” She got really antsy without her standard three walks a day.
“What- No!! You've been gone for four hours!! Forget about our stupid dog!!”
“How could you say that?! She's not stupid!! Have you even fed her yet?!”
“Yes! Oh my god would you shut up about her for one second!” Diana and the communication-jewel were starting to draw a little crowd behind me. Lingo seemed to try to push people back and away from us, mouthing off at them. “You've been gone for four hours! No one can wake you up, it said you were offline- it still does! We can't detach your helmet without getting warnings that you'll die if we do!”