Chapter 37:

Vol. 2, Ch. 12: Legendary Collectors of Unfathomable Treasures

The Integrity of the Super Club [Beta version]

“It’s an elevator.”Bookmark here

The room Rover stepped into behind the mighty metal door was two metres by two metres. Its walls, ceiling, and floor were more like stone than metal, covered in elaborate, decorative etchings on every square centimetre—their details were intricate enough to be imperceptible by the naked eye. Everything was the color of the twilight sky under the clearest conditions, like galactic eddies had been painted with stardust into the very material.Bookmark here

Rather than conventional lighting, the galactic material itself provided illumination, and it shimmered brighter with each person who entered. This elevator seemed to breathe itself to life, responding to its passengers.Bookmark here

Rover examined a panel on the wall made of the same textile, set apart by deep engravings around it.Bookmark here

“This could be the button panel,” he said, moving his fingers over the rows of etchings, “except like a touchscreen? But it isn’t glass…like stone or something, just like everything else in here…”Bookmark here

Graphite barged in, pushing Rover aside to lean in close to the device.Bookmark here

“It does kinda look like an elevator control panel.” Graphite pointed to the numerous insignias that appeared to be in lieu of buttons. “If that’s true, and each one of these is a floor you can go to, then that’s a lot of floors!”Bookmark here

Rover counted the insignias. “Five columns and twenty rows. A hundred. Pretty solid number.”Bookmark here

The elderly Headmaster and simpleminded Mr. Bouncer stood in front of the large door, preventing the curious student body from flooding into the discovered room while Quintegrity, Lumpy, Adele, and Skater Girl followed Rover and Graphite.Bookmark here

“Super Club members, interns, and slaves, only!” Quintegrity chortled, thrusting her commanding finger at a couple students who were wandering too close to the doorway.Bookmark here

Skater Girl smiled weakly. “When did I become an intern, too…?”Bookmark here

Quintegrity’s finger was enough to halt the approaching students, and Mr. Bouncer’s stare was enough to repel them. The students frowned with disappointment, remaining in a tight huddle as close to the door as they dared to get while Mr. Bouncer formed a metaphorical barrier with his glare alone. His massive muscles, bald head, scarred face, and tranquilizer brass knuckles were a symbol of raw intimidation. The teenager prod strapped to his utility belt was the same model used by the Curfew Crusade, and the sight of it was enough to dissuade every student who’d never forget the zap it packed.Bookmark here

Through their screens, everyone saw the AR effects lighting up the control panel similarly to the large metal door. Numbers appeared over the engraved insignias in sequence from one to one hundred.Bookmark here

“I can see it, too!” Adele said in awe, using her tablet. “Does that mean we all have access to use it?”Bookmark here

Lumpy shrugged. “Maybe.”Bookmark here

“The number one is blinking,” Rover said, “and the number two is lit up. But do you see how the rest seem dull?”Bookmark here

Graphite pushed his finger against the number two insignia, seeing his finger go through the onscreen AR graphics with no effect. “Maybe we gotta use our avatars.” He looked at the others. “We’re gonna try working this thing.”Bookmark here

Adele asked Headmaster, “Are you coming with us, sir?”Bookmark here

“Heck no,” he replied, hovering just outside the door. “I’m a tad scared, if ya ask me.”Bookmark here

“That’s not reassuring,” Lumpy muttered with a faint smile.Bookmark here

Rover gave Headmaster a smirk and a thumbs-up.Bookmark here

“All right, sir,” he said, “we’ll be, like, embarking now.”Bookmark here

Headmaster replied with a skeptical expression, “Be safe, ya hear?”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry,” Rover assured, “my team isn’t so easily shaken by danger.”Bookmark here

“Speak for yourself, Rover!” Graphite snapped. “And this isn’t your team. It’s mine!”Bookmark here

Rover furrowed his brow. “Bullshit! It’s not your team.”Bookmark here

“I led you guys in here!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, as our slave.”Bookmark here

“Slave!” Quintegrity laughed, patting Graphite’s shoulder. “I’m the president of the Super Club, and the Super Club is heading this expedition, so it’s my team! Didn’t you read the gorgeous posters all over the school? They spelled it out in plain Anglo-Thugwoodian.”Bookmark here

“Ugh…fine,” Graphite grumbled.Bookmark here

“We’ll be conquering new worlds,” Quintegrity added, including the entire team within an open-armed gesture. Her voice was deep and mysterious as she continued, “Who knows what awaits within the underbelly of Southbound Thugwood High School??? We’ll find it, claim it all as our own, and establish a new republic under my reign!” She stood tall with her left hand on her hip and her right hand pointing into the cosmos above. “Planet Quinn!!!”Bookmark here

Rover’s face sagged. “‘Planet Quinn,’ eh?”Bookmark here

“Slave!” Quintegrity demanded to Graphite. “Take us down to the second floor, stat!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah.”Bookmark here

Graphite commanded his avatar to hop up and slap the control panel, highlighting the number two insignia. The large metal partition rumbled again, hissing as if powered by giant hydraulics or snakes with attitude.Bookmark here

“Best of luck!” Headmaster told them before the doors closed, sealing them in.Bookmark here

The room shook, and the weightless sensation followed as it descended with its passengers. Adele noticed the giddy grin on her brother’s face as he projected his in-game character into the elevator.Bookmark here

“Excited?” she asked somewhat flatly.Bookmark here

“Heck yeah, I am!” Rover replied. “And you aren’t?”Bookmark here

“Of course I’m excited.” Adele called out her character as well, and the remaining players followed suit. “But…I’m also kinda scared.”Bookmark here

Rover looked at his sister as the elevator slowed to a halt. “Scared of what?”Bookmark here

“I dunno.” Adele shrugged, looking away. “It’s just weird, this whole thing.”Bookmark here

When the big doors slid open, Adele’s uncertainties were replaced with sheer fascination at what lay before her. The team of six stepped out, rendered speechless.Bookmark here

The area was massive. The far walls and ceiling (which seemed composed of the same glowing, stardust-hued, stony, metallic material as the elevator and everything else) were almost too far to see. Perhaps thousands of structures and walkways filled the entire space, many with the slightest semblance of buildings and technological devices. It could be likened to a small city at first glance with skyscrapers, monuments, and paths. However, it possessed the senseless layout and formation of the natural wilderness, lacking apparent rhyme and reason…as if it was the culmination of mad scientists, delirious architects, and impractical deities. This facility truly looked like an alien civilization in outer space with its gentle, cosmic lights.Bookmark here

Wow!” Rover exclaimed over his fellow explorers’ similar exclamations. He ran forward a bit before stopping to take in the surrounding visuals. “What is this place?!”Bookmark here

“And this is only the second floor!” Lumpy laughed out loud. “Man! This was under our school the whole time?!”Bookmark here

“I feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie,” Skater Girl said, “or like in a space simulator. The lighting this rocky metal gives off is like black lights and aquatic neon.” She looked down at her Anti-Grav skateboard’s electric eggplant-colored under-glow. “My skateboard’s design fits right in here!”Bookmark here

Graphite held up his phone, peering through the camera. “Hey! Check it out through the game’s AR!”Bookmark here

“Are those in-game enemies?” Rover saw the virtual beasts roaming around the area.Bookmark here

“They look like it,” Adele said.Bookmark here

“A lot of them, too!” Lumpy added.Bookmark here

“They are enemies,” Skater Girl told them, hopping off her Anti-Grav skateboard and scanning everything with her gaming smartphone’s binary code view. “And…huh? That’s weird…”Bookmark here

“What?” Rover asked, looking at her.Bookmark here

“Everything here contains binary code,” she replied. “The physical structures, I mean.”Bookmark here

Rover looked at her screen, confirming what she’d said. Everything, including the floors (or ground, or whatever it could be called) contained programming codes.Bookmark here

“That is weird,” he said. “They don’t seem to be made of code…but there is definitely coding involved…”Bookmark here

“See how the floor responds to us?” Skater Girl pointed to the intricately detailed material they stood on which glowed around each person, following them as they moved. “It lights up when we get close.”Bookmark here

“Everything does.” Graphite walked toward a wall, and it grew brighter upon his approach. He knocked on it. “It’s all made of the same stuff?”Bookmark here

“Seems so,” Skater Girl said, examining more of the surroundings, “and the coding looks consistent. And that’s not all. There are bits of quantum coding in everything, too, which I think is related to the responsive glowing effects…”Bookmark here

“Quantum coding,” Rover repeated, thinking it over.Bookmark here

“It’s so pretty!” Quintegrity boogied and jived, the environment lighting up to her actions. “It’s like a city made out of that dancing game, Dance Dance Ragnarok!”Bookmark here

“Quinn makes everything glow way brighter than we do,” Adele said, noticing the superior illumination and range of effect around the dancing girl.Bookmark here

Rover scratched his head. “But why and how does everything respond to us like this?” He looked at Skater Girl. “Is it the quantum coding?”Bookmark here

The punky girl shrugged. “Maybe. Quantum codes are beyond me.”Bookmark here

“The funk here is strong!” Quintegrity sang, still dancing around. “I think it’s linked to our essential funkiness, which is the groovy flow of the universe found in everything! Ha-ha-ha!”Bookmark here

Moving his AR avatar around, Graphite said, “My Clairvoyant Radar is picking up a lot of stuff.”Bookmark here

“Mine, too.” Rover considered it. “Rings? No…maybe treasure chests, like the Clairvoyant Radar originally detects in the normal Glove Alien Fight.”Bookmark here

“Monsters and treasure chests?” Lumpy turned to Rover, his face loaded with awe. “Does that mean the School Dungeon…is a video game dungeon???”Bookmark here

Goosebumps erupted over Rover’s body. “An augmented reality dungeon…an expansion of Glove Alien Fight’s AR feature that isn’t limited to one-on-one competitions…but takes advantage of the multiplayer exploration features of the regular game…”Bookmark here

Graphite exhaled, his excitement brimming around his lips and eyes. “That would mean this is a combination of the game’s full adventure mode with the AR features!”Bookmark here

Rover’s cackling echoed off the city-like surfaces in the vast space around them.Bookmark here

“All right, guys!” He clenched his fist, sneering with delight at his team. “We’re the first ones to wrangle in the next phase of Glove Alien Fight, so let’s rock and roll!!!”Bookmark here

“Yeah!!!”Bookmark here

They pumped their fists into the air, and the surroundings shimmered with a temporary boost from the team’s surge of funky gusto. Everyone joined the same co-op game party, allowing them to share all experience points and coins earned for defeated enemies.Bookmark here

“Quintegrity.”Bookmark here

The girl turned to Rover at the sound of her name, and she saw the bravado all over his smile.Bookmark here

She grinned. “What’s up, Rover?”Bookmark here

Taking her hand, Rover said, “Let’s go on an adventure, babe!”Bookmark here

With blushing cheeks, Quintegrity replied, “Adventure!”Bookmark here

Rover and Quintegrity dashed off into the structural jungle as everyone else split up, full of excitement.Bookmark here

Minutes later, they all ran back to regroup, sweating and full of fear as the monsters chased their characters.Bookmark here

“These things are strong as hell!” Graphite yelled, having his character run and shoot magic spells at the flying Giant Squirrel Bat pursuing it.Bookmark here

Lumpy’s character threw a Lightning Bomb at the two-headed Pharaoh Mutant he’d encountered, dealing paltry damage despite being weak against Lightning Elemental attacks.Bookmark here

Keeping his character moving to dodge the Pharaoh Mutant’s cursed breath, Lumpy grunted, “Anyone else notice these enemies are like clones of the bosses in the regular game?”Bookmark here

*BOOM!*Bookmark here

A direct hit from Rover’s Incendiary Artillery Shot slowed down the Underpaid Maître D’Mon he’d been running from.Bookmark here

“So,” Rover snickered with a devilish grin, “the enemies here are all previous bosses, and they’re roaming around like regular enemies! Mwa-ha-ha-ha! This truly is for the hardcore, isn’t it?! Man… it really is a shame we didn’t bring the headset and controller and earpieces!”Bookmark here

Skater Girl had her character soar over the chaotic battle with a Goosepack, following on her flying skateboard. With her Malignant Glove Aliens, she used the Hateful Carpet Bomb ability to rain explosive orbs on the enemies, making the AR environment thick with digital smoke and magical bomb effects.Bookmark here

“Good thing there’s no friendly fire damage,” Adele commented, using her character’s Stupid Glove Aliens to spray the bombed enemies with Confetti of Despair, inflicting Sad Elemental damage (which the Underpaid Maître D’Mon absorbed and converted into healed HP).Bookmark here

“This is like being in an action movie!” Quintegrity chortled, punching at the AR enemies (which did absolutely nothing). “Surrounded by booms and dooms!”Bookmark here

After some frantic teamwork, the players eliminated the aerial threat when the Giant Squirrel Bat was defeated. Lumpy and Adele—whose characters had not been at level nine hundred ninety-nine—gained a few levels, making their characters stronger.Bookmark here

Rover, Graphite, and Skater Girl, however, had their characters advance to level one thousand.Bookmark here

They had exceeded the maximum level.Bookmark here

“I leveled up!” Rover shouted, dodging a cursed loogie the two-headed Pharaoh Mutant spat at his character—they still had a dangerous battle to win.Bookmark here

Graphite noted the level-up message on the top of his phone screen. “The game’s level cap has been increased…?”Bookmark here

“Level cap: BUSTED!!!” Quintegrity grinned. “Now you’re like me, Rover!”Bookmark here

Rover was speechless.Bookmark here

“And I got something!” Skater Girl added. With her character tucked into a safe spot high above the ground to buy a few seconds, she called to her teammates. “It’s a passive skill called ‘Legendary Collector’…”Bookmark here

Graphite’s character, equipped with the Scribbly Glove Aliens, lashed out with a flurry of dagger attacks while boldly weaving through the Maître D’Mon’s broken wine bottle stabs, part of a coordinated effort with Adele to take down the enemy.Bookmark here

“We’re a little busy to check it out right now, Skates McGee!” Graphite growled, healing his character with some Potion Lotion items, which also granted a temporary defense boost.Bookmark here

“P-Please don’t call me that…”Bookmark here

Skater Girl read the Legendary Collector skill’s description. As a passive skill, it could be equipped and didn’t require further action from the player while in effect.Bookmark here

“‘Now you can become a collector of the most important artifacts.’” Furrowing her brow, she gave a half-shrug. “Huh? The hell’s that mean?”Bookmark here

The battle took a decisive turn when the Mutant Pharaoh summoned a horde of Mummies that dug themselves up from the AR ground. Adele was quickly overwhelmed, having her character surrounded and defeated moments after.Bookmark here

“Damn!” she yelled. “Now I gotta respawn in a Safe Haven…if this place even has one!”Bookmark here

With one less teammate and an army of undead enemies thrown into the mix, Rover, Lumpy, Graphite, and Skater Girl split up. A new tactic was necessary.Bookmark here

“Try to spread the enemies out!” Rover called. “Then pick off the Mummies first!”Bookmark here

“Don’t tell me what to do!” Graphite barked while doing exactly what Rover had told him to do.Bookmark here

Skater Girl used the Hateful Carpet Bomb to deal widespread damage to the Mummies, but she failed to kill more than a few that were already hurt. Since the Hateful Carpet Bomb had a long cooldown time, she had her character charge into the fray and deal some melee attacks.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Rover chased his avatar into a twisting alleyway or something (there were no clear definitions of streets, alleys, or anything in this weird, illogically designed place).Bookmark here

“I hope this isn’t a dead end,” he grunted to Quintegrity.Bookmark here

“Could be!” she said, spinning around with ballet dance moves while keeping up with Rover.Bookmark here

Then they skidded to a stop.Bookmark here

“Yup,” Rover muttered, staring at the walls, “it’s a dead end.” He peered through his phone and smiled. “But…there’s a treasure chest here. There really are AR treasure chests!”Bookmark here

He had his character pick the chest’s lock. Seconds later, the top popped open, and Rover was presented with something he’d never seen before:Bookmark here

“A bazooka?! Oh-ho-ho!” Rover snickered as the Magic Bazooka was added to his inventory. “Not a bad addition to my consumable items after I lost them all! C’mon, babe! Let’s go blast some baddies!”Bookmark here

“Yeah!”Bookmark here

When Rover emerged back into the open, the action was spread out more as his teammates avoided the big enemies to take out the weaker Mummies.Bookmark here

He selected the Magic Bazooka, and his avatar immediately mounted the magical missile launcher on its shoulder.Bookmark here

“Ten rounds, eh?” he snickered, seeing the ammo indicator on his screen. “Should be plenty…”Bookmark here

Taking aim, he targeted a cluster of Mummies shambling toward him and then fired the first round. Rather than a rocket, the Magic Bazooka fired a straight laser beam, cutting through several Mummies and killing them instantly. When the laser beam hit a shapeless structure, it created a sizable digital explosion, taking a few more Mummies out.Bookmark here

“What?” Lost for words, Rover’s attention was redirected to Lumpy’s character running past, the Underpaid Maître D’Mon hot on its heels.Bookmark here

Rover fired his second Magic Bazooka round at the powerful boss enemy. The laser incinerated a couple Mummies before striking the bigger target, exploding and inflicting impressive damage.Bookmark here

“I get it!” Rover said, repositioning his avatar to take aim again. “The laser only explodes when it hits something it can’t destroy in a single shot, otherwise it cuts through. This could be handy!”Bookmark here

The third round of the Magic Bazooka took down the Underpaid Maître D’Mon, giving plenty of experience to the players still in the fight. When Rover saw his character had reached level one thousand one, he nodded, feeling very satisfied.Bookmark here

“The level cap really has been removed,” he said to himself. “Ha-ha! I gotta say this is a most excellent expansion to Glove Alien Fight!”Bookmark here

When the two-headed Mutant Pharaoh was eliminated and the remaining Mummies were defeated, Rover, Lumpy, and Skater Girl brought their avatars back together.Bookmark here

Lumpy grinned at his phone screen. “Man, I leveled up a lot from that!”Bookmark here

“I’m surprised I leveled up at all,” Skater Girl said. She turned to Rover. “Did you see the description for that ‘Legendary Collector’ passive skill?”Bookmark here

“I’m reading it now.” As Rover tried to understand the description, a groveling sound sauntered up from behind.Bookmark here

“Ugghhh…” Graphite trudged over to the group, looking quite sad.Bookmark here

“What’s wrong, Graphy?” Rover asked in a mocking tone.Bookmark here

Sighing, Graphite replied, “I found a treasure chest, but when I opened it…it ate me. I died…”Bookmark here

“A Mimic?” Lumpy asked. “There was nothing like that in the normal game, I don’t think. People said it was weird that Glove Alien Fight didn’t have Mimic treasure chests because they’re so common in these types of games.”Bookmark here

“Well…they’re here,” Graphite whined, on the verge of tears, “and they’re ornery.”Bookmark here

“It’s okay, you dumb mongrel,” Adele told him, patting him on the back. “We’ll have to look for a Safe Haven together so we can respawn and continue playing.”Bookmark here

“Ahoy!” Quintegrity pointed down the winding pathway. “Meanies be drawin’ near!”Bookmark here

A group of Werewolves were coming at them. Behind their ranks was a huge, ugly one known as a Therewolf, which were strong recurring minibosses that commanded the lesser Werewolves in the original game.Bookmark here

“Eh, this doesn’t look too bad,” Lumpy said, gearing up for the invasion.Bookmark here

“I got this!” Rover had his character aim the Magic Bazooka, fire a round, and wipe out most of the horde while dealing significant damage to the large leader.Bookmark here

Huh?!” Graphite gawked through his phone screen. “What was that?!”Bookmark here

Nonchalant, Rover answered, “A Magic Bazooka.”Bookmark here

“Where’d you get that?!”Bookmark here

“I found it.” A sneer stretched on Rover’s face as he looked sideways at Graphite. “In a treasure chest that didn’t eat me.”Bookmark here

“Grrr…!” Graphite’s clenched fist trembled with anger. “That’s so not cool!”Bookmark here

Skater Girl made quick work of the remaining Werewolves and Therewolf with a Hateful Carpet Bomb, clearing the area of enemies.Bookmark here

“Takes care of that,” she said with a proud smirk. Turning to Rover and Quintegrity, she asked. “Well, what do we wanna do now? We can tell everyone waiting what this place is really about.”Bookmark here

Rover looked at Quintegrity. “It’s up to you. You’re the leader here.”Bookmark here

“I’ll let you decide, Rover,” she replied, “because I’m not really playing the game.”Bookmark here

“In that case,” Rover said, addressing the others, “I think we should explore as much as possible before returning. I wanna get as much out of the School Dungeon as we can before we tell anyone about it.”Bookmark here

“I knew you’d say that,” Lumpy said. “All right, I’m down for that.”Bookmark here

“Let’s go back to the elevator to talk about it,” Rover told them. “There are too many enemies out here, and I don’t wanna sign out of the game without knowing where a Safe Haven is.”Bookmark here

During the walk out of the city-like jungle of glowing structures, they took a couple detours to avoid the mighty enemies prowling about, not wanting to draw attention with two teammates out.Bookmark here

“I wonder how high the maximum level is now,” Skater Girl mused while they walked; the in-game enemies couldn’t see them or hear real-world sounds, including talking.Bookmark here

“No idea,” Rover replied. “I’m also curious about the Legendary Collector skill.”Bookmark here

“Maybe we gotta get more Special Number items,” Lumpy said, “or something similar.”Bookmark here

Graphite shrugged. “That’s as good a guess as any.”Bookmark here

“Yeah!” Quintegrity shouted. “We’ll be legendary collectors of unfathomable treasures!”Bookmark here

Upon returning to the large elevator, Adele and Graphite were pleasantly surprised to find their avatars waiting inside.Bookmark here

“Hey!” Adele’s eyes lit up. “Looks like the elevator is a Safe Haven! That’s convenient.”Bookmark here

“If we get defeated or sign out,” Lumpy said, “we can just come back to the elevator to try again. And with those kinds of monsters,”—he pointed his thumb over his shoulder toward the complex environment— “this is good to know.”Bookmark here

Rover aimed his phone’s camera at the elevator panel. “The second floor ‘button’ is blinking, and the first floor one is lit up, but the rest are still dark.”Bookmark here

“We might have to find a key or defeat a boss before going on,” Skater Girl said.Bookmark here

“But there are a hundred floors!” Graphite squawked. “That’ll take forever…”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Rover said, “but think of the size of the adventure this makes! If each school has something like this, then it’ll be way, way bigger than the original game! We’ll just go as far as we can for today before we tell the world.”Bookmark here

“I have an idea!”Bookmark here

Everyone looked at Quintegrity, who held her hand up like she had the answer to a difficult question, smiling.Bookmark here

“I’m afraid to ask,” Rover told her in a flat voice.Bookmark here

“Because of my awesome nature,” Quintegrity explained, holding her fist to her chest with a dignified expression, “I’ve concluded that this whoooole plaaaace is strong with the Great Will of All Things Funky!”Bookmark here

Meaning???” Rover pressed.Bookmark here

“Meaning I’m like a goddess here!” She held her hand over her mouth, snickering while her grin reached far beyond what her hand could conceal. “Fu-fu-fu-fu!”Bookmark here

Adele shivered. “That was a really strange, creepy laugh, Quinn…”Bookmark here

“Gwa-ha-ha-haa!!!”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Adele said with a weak smile, “that wasn’t an improvement…”Bookmark here

Quintegrity thrusted her face toward the elevator panel, and the entire room swelled with light as the quantum code-loaded material reacted to her awesomeness.Bookmark here

“Hmmm…”Bookmark here

She stared at the display for a moment while everyone else was left to reach their own conclusions.Bookmark here

“See anything?” Rover finally asked.Bookmark here

“Uh-huh! Just watch.”Bookmark here

The others instinctively stepped back as Quintegrity balled her right fist, slowly pulling it back behind her head—it was like she was winding up for a punch that could split a continent. They could feel their hairs standing on end, a weird vibration humming in their brains. An uncanny need to dance was fluttering in their bones while an unheard beat pulsed through their hearts.Bookmark here

Her index finger sprung out. Her soul’s funk band was at the ready.Bookmark here

Then she poked the button panel, her finger moving no quicker than a normal button press would require…yet the momentum of her funk shattered the coding inside the device, scrambled it, then rewrote it as her will had dictated.Bookmark here

“It’s just like the Disc Jockey User Interfaces!” she chortled.Bookmark here

“Like a what?!” Rover asked.Bookmark here

A brilliant light shone from the elevator panel, forcing the others to either shield their eyes or look away. It subsided in a matter of seconds. Rover and the others could sense that everything had returned to normal and that the funky vibes had calmed down.Bookmark here

“All done,” Quintegrity told them with a bubbly demeanor, clasping her hands behind her back.Bookmark here

Rover peered through his AR camera as he stepped past Quintegrity. “The panel is all lit up with AR effects now?” He glanced at the others. “So…does that mean we can head to any of those floors now?”Bookmark here

“Yep!” Quintegrity replied.Bookmark here

“Like…even the hundredth floor???”Bookmark here

“Yeppity-shneppity!”Bookmark here

“Grrk!” Rover’s throat tightened. “I know I said I don’t care about cheating to take down the daily quota…but this is—”Bookmark here

“Genius!” Skater Girl interrupted Rover, hopping into the elevator, her eyes sparkling as she examined the codes through her special AR camera. “To think you were able to perform such, such…insane code work so quickly! Even with the quantum coding involved!! And without a device!!!”Bookmark here

“It was very tiring,” Quintegrity said with a small smile, snapping her fingers and bobbing her head, “and a little painful, too. I need to be careful with how much funk I use, or there’ll be permanent side effects.”Bookmark here

Adele laughed as she pushed Lumpy and Graphite into the elevator.Bookmark here

“All right!” Adele had her avatar press the door-closing button with everyone inside. “Big Bro! I vote for the one hundredth floor!”Bookmark here

He grinned. “Heh-heh…sounds good to me!”Bookmark here

“Just like that?” Graphite asked, looking at everyone for the affirmation he wasn’t going to receive. “Just skip to the bottom???”Bookmark here

“For sure,” Rover replied, moving his character toward the fully-illuminated button panel. “Worst case scenario, we’ll encounter some enemies we can’t beat or a checkpoint we can’t get past yet…” He smirked at Quintegrity. “Unless, of course, you’d be able to hack our way past that.”Bookmark here

“No!” she laughed, pointing at Rover’s now-disappointed face. “You get one cheat from me! Think of this as a favor.”Bookmark here

“A favor for what?”Bookmark here

“For losing against Graphite, you were unable to come shopping with me for a swimsuit! I know that made you sad.”Bookmark here

Rover’s face lit up like the insignia button panel.Bookmark here

“Gahh…I…uhh…”Bookmark here

As Quintegrity laughed, Rover snuck a quick peek at all of her features that would’ve been more exposed in a swimsuit-shopping situation.Bookmark here

“Actually,” Graphite said, “the worst case scenario would be getting in trouble for cheating! I don’t wanna be affiliated with this!”Bookmark here

“Then we’ll let you go back to the lobby,” Rover told him with a shrug.Bookmark here

Graphite glared at him. “For some reason, it pisses me off how you said that.” He crossed his arms like a grumpy gremlin. “Fine! I’ll come with. Hmph!”Bookmark here

“Now,” Quintegrity said, “let us embark! Next stop, Planet Quinn!”Bookmark here

Rover had his avatar slap the AR-decorated insignia for the hundredth (and bottom) floor to the School Dungeon.Bookmark here

And down they headed.Bookmark here

*******Bookmark here

<<<STATUS>>>Bookmark here

Rover… Lvl 1,002Bookmark here

AthletaCom Points… 9Bookmark here

All Money… {T}10,705Bookmark here

Allowance… {T}9,705Bookmark here

Food Slip… {T}1,000Bookmark here

<<<EXPENSE GOALS>>>Bookmark here

Anti-Grav Skateboard… {T}499,999Bookmark here

<<<CURRENT EQUIPMENT>>>Bookmark here

Weapon… InfantryBookmark here

Armor… FASCAR ShirtBookmark here

Acc. 1… Yakuza ToolsBookmark here

Acc. 2… Heist HoovesBookmark here

<<<PERIPHERALS>>>Bookmark here

<None>Bookmark here

<<<SPECIAL NUMBERS>>>Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.