Chapter 37:

Nadine [ Return Of The King Quarterer ]

Uploaded Fairy [ Editing ]

I had long broken off contact from my parents: even basic parental duties like defending my against total strangers were completely broken. If this were the real middle ages, and I were queen, she would have already have them both hung. But there wasn't much use continuing to think about it, beyond the memories, and they had long sense deteriorated into dust. My mother in particular, was less about being right, only that she was always correct.Bookmark here

Mother would often times side with politically and morally opposing viewpoints, just so long as she could get an edge over me in a conversation. In this sense, I was less of a mother figure, and closer to wicked step aunt in some ancient fairy tale, written long before the game world merged with the real world. I climbed the darkened mountains, and found it easy to sometimes lose my way, I had a kind stranger point me into the direction of the cave. "Why do you want to go this way?" they would ask, and I would simply respond that I was looking for ancient sword.Bookmark here

Today I stayed at a local tavern, where the brew was always fresh. And the girls based whose dick they sucked on, on their suitors girl like qualities, rather than how much money they could get out of the deal. Money was already useless, with most vending machines being out of commission, thus who used to be prostitutes now based their clientel on the length of their hair, the size of their hips, and the ratio of hair on their body. It turns out, hookers had standards too. And at night, under the glow of slaughtered fireflies, I would manipulate my fingertips on floating holographic GUI screens. Daily pleasures, a world a dream within a dream.Bookmark here

Millie knew that sometimes it would be a while before I would get home, so she would carefully make plans to this effect to make for my accomadation when I would return home. It was a relationship of mutual open unfaithfulness; neither of is generally loved the other one, since we had discovered each other's tendency to cheat. Desires usually fleeting, not always indulged. But today Millie was there with her date far longer than I had come to anticipate. When you're in this business, sometimes you need to expect the worst in people, and not everyone is going to suck your penis exclusively.Bookmark here

Silence, it fills the woods with sharp clarity. Often as painful as the loudest of construction equipment, I knew that the next side quest I found would be a slightly longer one. It beat having to repair a broken virtual reality game. For me, the most tactical of battles was far ahead. I drank out of my leather pouch, slept under a tree outside of the cybernetic ruins that once housed entire simulated ecosystems, that was the catacombs of a bygone era. I dreamed of curly blond fairy girls in wooden clogs, pushing me onto a tree. Them slowly riding me, and yet I sensed pleasure that was mixed with pain and guilt.Bookmark here

"You girls are honestly demons." I said.Bookmark here

I got up a morning later, walked into the ruins. Here the room was considerably brighter in parts, and darker in others. I could here the old film reels in constant automatic replay, when the entertainment still had projector screens throughout the city, the Potato Distract having long replaced the traditional movie theater. People indulged in constant streams from independent video production teams, but some of the teams long had long worked for the National Security Agency, even after Marine La Pen had taken over.Bookmark here

It was at this point I considered taking cyanide pills, but didn't want to leave Millie alone in the world to fend for herself. I knew that Millie would be calling after a while to ask about dinner. I got tired of eating Ape-Goat steaks and Spider-Pig roulettes after a while. There wasn't a whole lot of other options in this strange new world. In this ruins, a section of the city in which we had once lived a much different life, in a section called Purgatory Road. We had once trained old war dogs for a fighting in cybernetic arenas, and made bets determining who would be the victor. Yet now was replaced by overgrown vines, scattered bits of cybernetic debris.Bookmark here

I was in the jungle of my hidden past.Bookmark here

But it was better than renting an apartment in Chattanooga, where nine times out of ten the landlords aid and abet in gendered harassment and stalking; they generally don't care if a trans woman were murdered in the street. Transgender day of rememberance was a crapshoot of generally disengenuous parties at the Universal Universalist. The only escape Satanic Temple activism, in this world once called the United States; not Canada where it may or may not actually be better. Gone are the days where mothers could blame their daughters for being raped, the only silver lining; but its been replaced by general financial insecurity, institutionalized Stockholm Syndrome.Bookmark here

The super computer was something entirely different. Something that has once been a trans woman, decades ago, where the US was split between two different civil wars. And behind those countless screens and simulated skies, I heard the voice of a young Alsatian girl crying for help.Bookmark here

Here, this AI maintained a certain level of sentience, unlike the ones that controlled space soaring ships, into a mixture of space, cyberspace, and fragmented night terrors. More often, people were to caught up in fighting splinter groups of neo-Nazis, that taking down this machine that was once so human. In a sense, no longer was society in the middle ages, they had in fact gone backwards in time from the future; the AI 3D printing itself avatard inside cyberneticcatacombs, waiting for a human to take its prize in a victory game over screen.Bookmark here

"There is no sword Nadine." said the voice. The voice became a silhouette in the dark room, whose electrical lights have shattered in the darkness. "But I feel a great strength within you." The shadow reached out its hand as if to greet me. I could hear the sound of slithering, then silence.Bookmark here

"Then why was I brought here?" Nadine asked, lighting up an American Spirit. This lit the room enough to see a translucent hologram of a young woman from nearly a century ago back in two thousand and nineteen. "I have things to do."Bookmark here

"Dantino has returned."Bookmark here

I had minor hearing loss for many years, but first developed the signs when I was in my early teens. It didn't help that I was also having to carry around a robotic arm and leg. But I never commented on it out of a sense of pride, and simply let Blanci think that I was ignoring her. But the issue grew gradually worse over the next nearly twenty years, until I eventually had to get ear drum replacements. I kept the old style of prosthetic arms and legs mostly as a form of nostalgia and retro fit, but for my hearing I wanted something as realistic as possible. But even today I would wonder what gaming would be like if I couldn't hear, but even this would be nowhere near as bad as not being able to see. Even if they gradually improved prosthetic eyes.Bookmark here

I wondered about the idea of a game world that had merged with the present, rogue like in design, geared toward those legally blind. How the procedurally generated dungeons of yore would be described in carefully worded language, lyrical echo location of a black and white grid chessboard. Gone were the days of robotic dogs on LCD screens, I preferred traveling worlds from here to France and areas in between. My life an epitaph written in the form of an updated game of Ultimate Fantasy Tactics, becoming a ghost in my own wires. I fought empires, killed hordes of ape-goats and spider-pigs.Bookmark here

It was never as satisfying as finding a real soul mate.Bookmark here

I never liked the idea of rescuing women from their own destruction, if one were at risk of possible execution, the least they could do would be to rescue themselves. Prove their own will to live. But what works on paper and philosophy doesn't always work on turn based grid display of dots.Bookmark here

I imagined Millie beheaded, Millie bleeding Polka dots.Bookmark here

I was never one for the dance, despite imagining a French waltz playing at Millie's funeral. Her dance was a dance of pure imagination, like a nude body having melted dark chocolate poured on it. The chocolate flowing like the music of Andalusia, Spain, and Alsace, France. And the accordion of Paris. Yet behind the layers of this chosen reality, was a girl of skin and bones, 3D printed in this world we called our home.Bookmark here

Compared to flower girls, princesses, and queens, her attractiveness to me was less in her desire to rule a capitalistic industry, but a certain degree of non femininity; her dance to the funeral march to her dead father, whom had ruled the fairy kingdom. In capitalism paradise, we treated fairies as chocolate treats for a desert at Christmas concerts. But in reality, Fairies were closer to grim reapers. Victims of circumstance, the absence of Dantino was taken as a relief, that they could restore the kingdom to its formal former glory, flowing like out of tune accordions to the waltz of a skeleton aristocracy. Millie wanted to be the queen, but wore wooden clogs like other peasant girls.Bookmark here

I imagined courtiers with the musical accompaniment of Spanish and French violins playing flamenco to the contrast of the waltz. Millie woke up from a dream within a dream, and checked the door.Bookmark here

It was me offering breakfast.Bookmark here

"I thought Dantino died six years ago?" said Millie.Bookmark here

"I never actually saw what came of him, but now I know different." I said, taking a puff of my cigar, while sitting on the couch. "But I'm not entirely sure how much I trust this artificial intelligence anyway." I took the cigar out of my mouth, and plopped it into Millie's, gave it a light. "Or what's left of her anyway."Bookmark here

"Every day that Dantino lives, it feels like there is no justice for my father." Millie leaned onto my stomach, yet did it mainly as an automatic reaction, expecting not comfort from me, who had previously allowed for her head to get chopped off, and placed on a stick.Bookmark here

"I never got to have a rematch." I said.Bookmark here

"Is that all it is for you?" Millie resisted spitting on my face. "What about the fact that my father's dead?" she continued, then leaned in the opposite direction of me, waited for me to unzip my pants, rubbing her bare feet onto the bean that was inside of the my cargo pants.Bookmark here

"He's just a game character, nothing more." I said this partially out of jest, despite knowing full well that the distinction between game character and human being was largely that of a semantic one at this point. "As are you and Ellen, though I suppose it doesn't make that much of a difference."Bookmark here

"You don't say!"Bookmark here

In the morning, when Millie was milking Ape-Goats, I went to the main community center in order to find a side quest, but found that it was largely empty, aside from some slaughtered game world pets laying strewn all over the floor in a bloody mess. I stared into the back of a man in a large black trench coat, with a note able metallic arm, that vaguely resembled an arm from a medieval knight in shining armor. "Nadine! Nadine! It's good to see you..."Bookmark here

"What did you do with the pets?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Wouldn't you like to know, vampire girl." Dantino turned around slowly. "You know that you would do the same." Dantino then took out his claymore, sharpened it with his sharpening stone, and began walking out of the door."Bookmark here

"How did you not die from your injuries?" I asked.Bookmark here

"Come with me, you must see something."Bookmark here

When we reached the town center, Dantino told me that by attempting to repair the game, that I had caused a much larger problem. It seemed as if the culture had changed over night. What was once snowy countryside, merged with a sprawling complex of pyramids and sky scrapers, lined the skyline like grains of sand. "Both of our homes are no longer as it was, what sense anymore does it make to continue fighting, when we both no longer have a home to go to?"Bookmark here

"I didn't take you as the peace maker."Bookmark here

"People can change Nadine, even you have. I see it in your face." Dantino requested a cigar.Bookmark here

"I'm trying to quite anyway, knock yourself out." I obliged. No longer was there a purpose for me to continue attempting to rescue damsel in distress, yet something in me made hold onto the vague notion, that it was still a requirement for leaving the game of life. My sexual fetishes were decidedly atypical; I could only oblige a couple of them, without risk to myself.Bookmark here

"You see, you and me are not so different. I have some of the same interests. I also have liked watching pretty ladies get their heads chopped off. So why is it then, that you continue to fight me?"Bookmark here

I wondered if this was a part of Dantino's ambition coming through in a loud speaker, and was not entirely sure of what to make of his question. But I wasn't a traditional game character, I was her own person. I took out her punching dagger, "Oui, but I'm not a King Killer."Bookmark here

Dantino drew first blood with his claymore, then pushed me on ahead. "Is that what you think of me Nadine? After all my efforts of trying to make amends? I suppose it cannot be helped. But know this, I can bring back the dead." Dantino waved his fingers across the air as if he were pressing keys on a keyboard, having learned new cracking skills since joining meatspace. Rassie, Ellen, Malcolm, and the others were manifested a holograms. "What if I told you these people are wanting to kill you? And we can work together. I can make you a knight."Bookmark here

"I wont give into your mind games." I said.Bookmark here

Malcolm, Rassie, and Ellen are translucent figures in the simulation, drew out their guillotines guns, as if to attempt an assassination strike on me. "Choose wisely Nadine, I can't always be there to protect you." Dantino split the holograms in two with his Wallacian great sword, turning them off like a dead television channel. "I could even let you train with me."Bookmark here

"What are you wanting exactly?"Bookmark here

"Millie's severed head."Bookmark here

When I returned home, leaving Dantino behind to attend to his affairs, Millie asked me what had taken so long to return; she spoke of the fact that the community center had been completely emptied by the chaos that Dantino brought with him, and that all the pets the players had were completely slaughtered or destroyed. Millie reacted more than I did, but eventually a feeling of calm was able to reign supreme in the atmosphere of smog. Millie completely changed her outfit from a princess inside of a royal court, to that of a female archer in a black leather outfit. I had her wear two Birkenstock Arizona sandals. She carried a small black dagger inside of her purse.Bookmark here

"Don't you think you're overdoing it?" asked Nadine.Bookmark here

"What if Dantino chooses to attack me?" said Millie.Bookmark here

"I'll make sure that doesn't happen."Bookmark here

"I can't rely on your word."Bookmark here

Along the way to the community center, we were attacked by a tribe of giant Ape-Goats, but eventually they were able to slaughter them all, taking their hide to make water pouches for the trip. Day came and went. It was easier to attack these creatures from behind, as their main advantage was in surrounding you, as we travelled the city for a place to hide while Dantino was on the hunt.Bookmark here

"How much longer till the community center?" asked Millie.Bookmark here

"Only a few more more miles to go." I said. Although it was much further than that, by this point the pain in my legs couldn't tell the difference.Bookmark here

We saw broken mailboxes that looked as if they were ransacked by teams of bandits, with the head of the mail box having long sense fallen to the ground. Like everything else in this neck of the woods, it seemed as if there was a giant fire that burned the little hamlets down. Every now and then we would run across an abandoned interstate highway, attacked by abandoned robot drones that were the pets of different scientists across the different periods of the United States.Bookmark here

Eventually we arrived.Bookmark here

All the shops collapsed.Bookmark here

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