Chapter 31:

Millie [ Up The Scaffold Stairs ]

Uploaded Fairy [ Editing ]

I would have been tormented by nightmares, but my experiences with my good friends perishing under the teeth of the pit-wolves teeth played like a universal video tape being rewinded to the end.Bookmark here

The trodes activated the same bio-sensors that triggered sleep in any normal person. Even an insomniac like myself could be in the dream world forever and ever. This everlasting dream was like no other. I longed for the coming darkness, the light was not a normal light. But the eyes-of-god watching, peering at me making me feel paranoid. Lurking, yet for whatever reason the beings that always watched from the sky never came after me until this last week when I met Rassie. It was a game of dream-space cat and mouse. I always woke up screaming to a colder shoulder than I ever experienced before.Bookmark here

I heard voices.Bookmark here

In the darkness a dimly lit prison.Bookmark here

"Brother, I think I've found --" Elena said to Al-diel.Bookmark here

"Don't tell me, you think you've found the hero?" Al-diel said to Elena.Bookmark here

"Well, Millie found someone the other day."Bookmark here

"What, Millie handled a non-kin. And your allowing --"Bookmark here

"Where else am I going to take her, do you really think I'm going to let her die?"Bookmark here

"We don't need another hero Elena. We are doomed."Bookmark here

"You may have given up, but I have not."Bookmark here

"Fine, but first I'd like to know where they have come from."Bookmark here

"I wanted to see if I could break the game." I said.Bookmark here

"Well you broke the game alright." said Rassie.Bookmark here

Me, Malcolm, and Nadine restart the game of Voreth's Promise. Presented was a 3D equivalent to what we used to call Roguelike games, but there was a number of differences: in this game, you actually bled. One wrong move, you were dead. One wrong move, and you lost your head. Scenery was a wire mesh of fantasy naturalism: the only movement lucid fluidity; the creatures flitted about like dead butterfly wings. A world of purple matrix snow.Bookmark here

The village was reminiscent of some of the fantasy villages found in different trope specific simulations based after various adaptations of different 1990s fantasy movies, with most of the female characters based on the lowliest of differet assistant tropes. The straw that made the houses were wire framed and translucent.Bookmark here

"Can you imagine yourself trying to live in one of these?"Bookmark here

"I wouldn't even be in this simulation, without your morse trans-coder."Bookmark here

"I've played it, no doubt. But while my lasted, it manifested very differently."Bookmark here

"How so?"Bookmark here

"My forests were lushly green, and other things you might label to be utopic."Bookmark here

"Sounds boring."Bookmark here

"Yes, but it's good boring to you. I can even converse with Bianca after she left this world."Bookmark here

Millie used to live as a princess in the castle. After the dark knight Dantino killed her parents, she lived on the edge of society. Yet here she was, lowering herself to being rescued by some stereotypical hero. I didn't understand why I needed to do this.Bookmark here

"You can't be serious Elena, and Aldiel is in on this too?"Bookmark here

"Well you want to eat better food right, and not have peasants flirt with you."Bookmark here

"Well that's true, but doesn't that mean I have to suck the dick of anyone that rescues me from my execution?"Bookmark here

"Well who said you were going to be executed anyway. (Gently brushing away Millie's tears.) I know the death of our parents was hard on you, it was also hard on me as well. But we must do what it takes to secure our throne.Bookmark here

Ah, somebody is at the door. I'll go and answer it."Bookmark here

I was reacquainted with Millie, and wasn't entirely sure whether she remembered me. But it was this cut scene that always seemed the most persistent of my most lucid gaming sessions.Bookmark here

"You see, that's why my sister puts me in this position. Sometimes I wonder if she really wants my throne. Though it doesn't matter now, as we're both peasant girls." said Millie.Bookmark here

"Say Malcolm." I said.Bookmark here

"Yea, what's of Nadine."Bookmark here

"That's one hell of a smart chat bot isn't it?"Bookmark here

"I know right!"Bookmark here

"Don't listen to them Millie, they're just addicted gamers. We can do what we can to help you." said Rassie.Bookmark here

Millie is brushing her long curly blond locks, while Elena converses with Aldiel about the nature of their visitors.Bookmark here

"Don't you think something seems a little off about them? I don't mean in the "hero" sense, but ... well you tell him Millie." Elena said.Bookmark here

"I feel like I've met the red haired girl before, ... I can't recognize that tomboy appearance before. It feels as if I died once before, and she's there to greet me on the other side." Millie said.Bookmark here

"You musn't think to much about it. The important thing is Dantino's army will arrive here in the morning." Aldiel said.Bookmark here

Me, Malcolm, and Rassie discuss the recurring issues that I had been having, while getting ready to sack out for the night.Bookmark here

"I didn't know there was that side of you Nadine. I mean, in all the years I've lived in the slums." Malcolm said.Bookmark here

"Well would you talk about your fetishes to people?" I said.Bookmark here

"I get it, but you also used your fetish to get us stuck inside this game world."Bookmark here

"The point is, if we want to return home, we need to protect Millie."Bookmark here

I remembered when I first broke the game. I didn't know saving the princess was some kind of sadistic cliche requirement.Bookmark here

I saw Millie place her neck upon the chopping block, after making her final speech to the crowd. Dantino would have rather kept the girl alive, because he had at one point wanted to marry her. But she knew that it would secure his right to be King.Bookmark here

Nadine simply snickered in the crowd. Yet felt a chill down her spine, and resisted at least one tear that day. The first one in a long while.Bookmark here

"What is this feeling I feel?"Bookmark here

The ax swings down, cutting through the flesh and bone of Millie's thin neck. Her severed head fell into the wicker basket. The execution held up her bleeding neck to the crowd.Bookmark here

"Now I shall be your King."Bookmark here

I woke up screaming.Bookmark here

"Hey Rassie, are we really stuck here?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Should have thought of that before letting Millie die the first time you played."Bookmark here

"What happened, I heard a yell."Bookmark here

"Da rien."Bookmark here

I had originally hated Millie. She represented everything about fantasy characters I despised. More importantly, she represented everything I hated in cis-genered women: those luscious lips, that beautiful smile. That illusion of childish innocence. The feeling of being a real woman.Bookmark here

But I needed to return home, despite her hate.Bookmark here

Even if it was for myself.Bookmark here

The next morning we woke up. It was Rassie who was intrigued, yet remained behind quietly behind us. I had a feeling that Rassie was secretely returning recordings back to home back, but I had no evidence to tell for certain.Bookmark here

"By my hypothesis, Nadine found a way to crack the game so that it would not send messages. I am puzzled. How could the universe seemingly restart every time they plugged into the machine?" I thought I heard Rassie say.Bookmark here

"Hey Nadine," Rassie she said to me, while playing with her hair while they road in the cart to go visit Aldiel. "Am I the only one with the feeling where it almost seems like the game is toying with us, almost like the game-engine is alive somehow? Like it wants us to be dead?"Bookmark here

"You sure tend to think the worst," I said, half joking. Malcolm cackled in the background. How did they know the game was not designed to be that way? It seemed like the most logical conclusion to me at the time. Both me and Malcolm wondered about Rassie's intentions, but we didn't let it get the better of us at the time.Bookmark here

"Let's just try to work together, and see what comes of this."Bookmark here

When we arrived with their cart at the prison, of which Al-diel was currently staying on treason charges against the crown, it was Rassie who, while she had observed many versions of this game played over many times before in private sessions with Slephner, and some of Malcolm's session when he did not cover his tracks, this game seemed different. Rassie felt a bit of unease, going into the dark cell. The dark ambiance did not make her feel much better about it, especially with the sound of squeaking rats that were plaguing the prison.Bookmark here

"Is it a hero? Leave at once, my family is done for. I will be vivisect-ed, and my sisters head will be on spikes by the end of the month."Bookmark here

It was strange how a seemingly hardened dream-scanner like Rassie was less used to this than I was, but then again I already played the game once before. If this was in fact, really a just a game at all.Bookmark here

"Brother Al-diel, are these the heroes?" asked Elena. I resisted cackling, as it was all formulaic down to a T.Bookmark here

"Brothers, sisters. They are coming, I can hear there marches." Al-diel cold not resist coughing, for his immune system was lacking due to the month without eating. "First save ye selves, for I hear marching, marching, marching."Bookmark here

Sooner than we knew it, there was the sound of beating hoof steps. "Go at once."Bookmark here

The group boarded up the cart quickly. "We can warp in weapons later." said Rassie.Bookmark here

"Warp weapons?" asked Elena, "Sounds evil and magical."Bookmark here

"So all cheaters are magical? Great I know what power --" I half joked.Bookmark here

"Nadine, not now!" said Rassie.Bookmark here

"Hey guys, look ahead of you. I think we are surrounded." said Malcolm.Bookmark here

The cart came to a screeching halt.Bookmark here

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