My Mom's The New Wannabe King?!
Let me take you back to where it all began. December 14th, the annual Virtual Gaming competition was being held at my High School for Wannabe Gamers. We train all year just to be a part of the V Games. Only two students are picked to represent each school, and the two who make it into the final battle get the chance to test out the latest Virtual Reality game. This year, Wannabe King, only played by the most elite gamers in the US advertised for two students in the V Games to win the chance at defeating the Wannabe King.
This year I was picked! I couldn’t believe it! This was my chance to play a classic elite game. If I didn’t win this, the chance of tackling an S Class Boss and potentially taking his place wouldn’t come my way again! Let alone the chance to impress Karri Suka. My partner for the V Games, and my all-time favorite ex-girlfriend. There’s something about that strawberry blonde hair and her fruity flavored Chapstick. I still get goosebumps!
When the day finally came, my mom prepared breakfast for me and packed me a lunch. The kitchen was a mess before I left, and the sweat on her brow as she waved me goodbye had me wondering if I should have helped her clean up. It crossed my mind for no more than a few seconds before I felt my lips stretch across my face at the thought of the day ahead. I passed Victor and his girlfriend, Anne, at the front gate. I gave him the finger before straightening my tie and unbuttoning my blazer. I then set myself up in the perfect spot to bump into Karri. The red head never looked where she was going. She always ran with her head down and took long strides as if she were jumping over potholes on the street.
“Oh, hey Riu,” she said, crashing into me in the hallway.
“Karri! In a rush?” I asked, knowing full well that she was.
“Of course I am! And you should be too! This is the V Games Riu. Quit dawdling in the hallway and get to the computer room. We have ten minutes!”
I watched as her hair bounced with every lengthy stride past the classrooms and into room 2B.
I followed suit.
Upon entering, the air became cold, and a stifling tension lingered. Three Wannabe officials sat up against the white board behind one long desk. Each had a mug of coffee and papers in front of them. They would be scoring us throughout the competition. The rest of the desks in the classroom had been pushed to one side and the chairs removed completely. A large screen had been hung on the wall across the room for the judges watch and be able to score correctly.
The door slammed shut behind me, slicing the silence of the room.
Karri had been here three times before, and by her calm demeanor and the fact that she had already put on her red Daydream glasses and was stretching her bare legs on the floor, it was obvious she knew what she was doing.
I slung my bag off my shoulder and whipped out my deep blue Daydream glasses and placed them over my eyes. They were a similar style to sunglasses and had a tint to them when they weren’t connected. I placed my bag next to Karri’s and made up a few arm stretches on the spot. Even though I was a rookie, I didn’t want to come across that way in front of the three judges.
After a few minutes, one of them stood up and announced the rules.
“The VG you are playing today is a game you may not be aware of. Yes, it’s an unknown game, made solely for this purpose. I am unable to disclose the name of the game.”
My eyes shot towards Karri. Her face said it all. She was also unaware that we would be playing an unknown game.
“You have one hour to track down and defeat Catalyst, a Class A Boss. I am also unable to disclose anything that can help you track him down or help you in any way. Only two of you will win. Good luck.”
As he sat back down the woman next to him immediately stood up and walked over to the main screen. She peered into a blue duffle bag placed on the floor and pulled out the latest Sensory equipment. It was my first time using such expensive gear, and I readily held out my hands for her to slide the on sensory gloves, then a wrap a sensor strap around my ankles.
Flashing bright blue, the gloves and weighted ankle strap beeped along with my V glasses. Both me and Karri made our way to the middle of the room and stood side by side.
Karri’s breathing quickened. I watched as her chest bounced to the rhythm of her hastened breath. I had always thought she would remain calm and rearing to go, but the thought of playing an unknown game must have rocked her.
I pressed my glasses on and put the thought to the back of my mind. I had to stay focused. But still… her hands were shaking. I reached my hand to hers in hopes I could soothe her, but as soon as my fingers touched hers, she swatted them away in one swift move.
“I’m fine,” she said, but the look in her eyes betrayed her. “Let’s just get on with it.”
As she faced the front, a countdown appeared in front of us. This was it. Now or never.
Come on, Catalyst. Show me what you got!