Theodora Plays to Win (With Cheat Codes)
Fantasy? Could this be a dream? This entire time the notion had been dancing around in her head, but this elf brought the thought to the very front of her mind. There was no way this could be real? She felt about to hyperventilate, her chest felt tingly and her cheeks were hot. She had no idea where these strange sensations were coming from or how to stop it.
The woman waved to the crowd, leaving the podium with the grace of a Queen. She shepherded Opal back onto the main deck. The sun now peered over the elf’s shoulder casting an ethereal glow around her divine figure. Katya dropped down to one knee like a knight pledging her loyalty to the crown.
“There’s no need for that. Rise. Please?” Her voice was so soft it gave Katya shivers. Katya got to her feet.
“Opal! You did such a good job!” Everest wrapped Opal up in a tight sisterly hug.
“Yes. She was splendid as usual.” She had her hands clasped in front of her, taking on a very demure stance. She spoke to Everest as if speaking to a long time friend.
Everest released Opal, and Bellamy and Madame Ginger stepped forward, “””Lady Luna””” they dipped their heads slightly.
“I’ve been tellin’ you, she is going to be a good looking hen when she’s grown.”
“I’m human, not a bird.”
“Figure of speech! Hehehe!”
“Slip of the tounge” Everest commented under her breath.
“Hey” It was unclear as to who the “hey” was directed toward, as Bellamy was just staring straight ahead.
“And who’s this? A stowaway perhaps?” Lady Luna kept her gaze firmly locked onto Katya. She didn’t appear to have any animosity, but Katya felt locked in place regardless.
“Katya? Is that your name?”
“Luna, Luna Livingston.” She threw out her hand.
“Just Katya.” Katya gently grabbed hold of Luna’s hand, Luna’s grip constricted around it.
“Well, Just Katya, would you care to tell me how you got aboard my ship?” Luna’s hand suddenly felt as though it were made of concrete. Katya couldn’t break her grip.
Everest came to her rescue, “I’ll vouch for Katya. We were actually hoping to speak to you about her situation. She’s an odd case, perhaps you might have some insight.”
“Oh? Very well, then. As it happens I’ve got some time to spare. Let’s move this discussion to my office, shall we?”
Her office just happened to be located right behind where we were standing, though the entrance had us going down some stairs and around a few narrow corridors, then up another set of stairs. After some additional twist and turns, and behind a rusty, peeling white door, they found themselves in a large office.
Unlike most of the rest of the ship, it appeared as though everything in this room were made of wood like the cabin of pirate ship. This room actually felt the most traditionally ship like out of all the ones she’d seen so far. The elf, Lady Luna, took a seat at a large (mahogany?) desk, her seat was a high back executive rolling chair which seemed oddly modern. She rested her head in head in her hands and beckoned Everest to fill her in on Katya’s situation. The one curious thing she left out was the appraisal, which Katya had thought was the whole reason they were there. As Everest finished catching Luna up on everything that happened up till now a great bellow came from the back of the room, “My poor baby!” It cried.
A pair of large meaty pink arms lifted Katya up and swung her around, “You must have been through somethin’ mighty frightful! Feel free to stop by my humble abode, Madame Ginger’s place is always open to you! We have sweets and hugs in spades!” Bellamy put a hand on Madame Ginger’s shoulder (he had to stand on his tip-toes) and she tearfully released her.
“Amnesia, huh?” Luna maintained her dreamy smile but tonally cast doubt, “Well, then, welcome aboard our ship. This is the Mythos, and I’ve already introduced myself. I am the Chief of our tribe and the Captain of this ship. I’m also ranked 8th on the leaderboard. You’ve of course met my second and third in command, Bellamy and Madame Ginger respectively.”
Luna stood up and walked in front of her desk, “Now, I must ask you some questions to determine whether I can allow you to stay aboard my precious ship and sleep alongside my precious allies. First question, you are human?”
Katya nodded nervously, “Yes.”
“I am a high elf. Which is to say a member of the Royal Bloodline, or as some might say, the Original Bloodline.” Luna’s smile disappeared under the weight of her words.
“Do you harbor any resentment toward me?
Katya attempted to compose herself before speaking. The tingling was still there, she felt she was breathing but she could have just as easily have turned undead and not even realized it and not even cared. “I-I don’t really understand what you mead by resentment. I don’t know what I’m supposed to feel, since I don’t remember anything. I-I think elves are…o-okay. I’ve never really seen the appeal, personally. I-I’ve got NO strong feelings either way. You’re pretty – tough – pretty tough, and you seem like a confident leader and your people seem to respect you. So, uh, no I don’t think I do… have any resentment, that is.”
Luna listened to Katya intently and watched her closely for any hint of a lie, the girl seemed to be telling the truth but there was something more to it. There was something beyond reverence and beside lies or honesty. There was a redness in her cheeks and a glassiness to her gaze. It was familiar. It was an expression she hadn’t seen in some time, at least not directed at her. It made Luna a bit nervous and excited. The girl was trying hard to push her feelings down, this wasn’t the time or place afterall. Luna was a bit more experienced at not letting her true feelings show, but she’d been caught a little off guard.
“Um, ah, hmm. Well, anyway, it may surprise you but Everest isn’t human, but a Warhawk, and Madame Ginger is a Minotaur, and Bellamy is a Vampirus. A majority of the passengers of this ship are Demi-human and Faefolk. Do you harbor any ill will toward them?”
“None at all.”
Luna’s smile returned, “Then I welcome you aboard! Clap, clap, clap! Yay!” Luna cheered.
“I was expecting something a bit more life-and-death for an initiation.”
“Would you like to fight? I’m sure a good portion of the passengers on this ship would jump at the chance to beat a human senseless, if that’s what you want.”
Opal heard a sound in her ear, “Urgent notification,” She nodded to accept it, “Upon death the player known as Katya will be permanently locked out of the system. No further lives will be granted. No further gameplay will be possible.”
“I’ll fight you, if you’re down bad for an opponent.” A sinister smile took hold of Luna’s face, nothing like the sleepy soft expression of not so long ago. She was practically oozing with bloodlust.
This is bad, thought Opal.