Practice For SkieLights

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Practice For SkieLights

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tea on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:46 pm

STROLLING THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY
A Practice Role-Play For SkieLights


For him it had been yet another day at work. He had eaten immediately upon arriving home. Then he settled in for some much needed relaxation. He turned on the computer, navigated through menus, set the chic virtual reality glasses on his head, and dove in.

The server's waiting environment appeared around him. It was simple, but not stock. The leather furniture reminded him of a lounge out-side of a doctor's office, but that it sat in a scape of blank steel struck him as out of place. A simple holo-graphic looking tablet hovered in front of where he appeared. Its computerized display offered two buttons, that of a guest and that of a member. He touched a finger to the member button before entering his server I.D. and pass phrase. Another two touches were made to confirm the entries and the character he wanted to use before the stale and tepid environment darkened into nothing.

What rose in its place was Another Life. The echoes of quiet sounds against stone reached into his ears. A light scent of dusty books touched his nose and his eyes swept up across a calm blue sky with large puffy clouds.

The environment was a surprise and the look was clear on his face. He looked down from the crenelated stone wall to find the garb of long white robes on his virtual body. Another moment passed and his personal character screen began flashing. A visual message was there indicating the presence of a newbie log-in. The surprise mellowed on his face as he turned around on the top of the tower. In the center of the expanse was a star of mosaic floor tiles and around which was an ornate wooden rail. Inside was a character he had never seen before.

And so with his short white hair and clean face covered by a square white hat which showed the word GUIDE, he raised his arm in the direction of the other player. Above the quiet drift of the out-side air his tenor voice called, "Excuse me? Are you new?"
Last edited by Tea on Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tea
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Re: Practice For SkieLights

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby skielights on Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:51 pm

“Chase, I really don’t want to wear that helmet.”

Claire tapped her water bottle nervously against the table. Her younger brother waved the VIT gear in her face. His own helmet was on already, but he hadn’t plugged it in as of yet. The cord trailed behind him toward the beat-up computer while he presented the helmet to Claire.

“Come on, just once! It’s not going to hurt. I don’t get a headache until at least five hours in.”

Claire placed her feet on the edge of her chair.

“I’m sorry, Chase, but I’ve got work later. I need to eat dinner.”

Chase’s face fell the tiniest bit, but he stepped away from her.

“Fine,” he sighed, “but it’s always more fun with other people…I wanna dive with you. Please? Just for a little bit? It’s a brand new game.”

“You just said it was fine if I didn’t,” Claire attempted, but she kept her eyes off of Chase. She could practically hear him making a puppy face. As long as she didn’t see it, it wouldn’t work on her. Claire turned back to her plate and reached for her fork. The instant she grabbed it, something slammed around her head and blocked her vision.

“Chase!” she cried, but he’d already walked her helmet through almost every step. The only thing left for Claire to do was select ‘dive’. Claire sighed. Dinner would apparently have to wait.

“Mom,” she called, “can we dive?”

Her mother’s affirmative answer floated down the hallway, followed by her footsteps. Chase’s cheer faded, and Claire dove after him.

Her eyes popped open at the leathery texture beneath her hands. A blank steel wall rose to meet her, as did a few other pieces of furniture and absolutely no Chase. Claire pushed against the firm armrests and found herself standing in the middle of the room. The holo-tablet followed her, just as Chase had once described. Claire cautiously poked a finger at the screen, and grinned in relief when the sign-in menu came up.

Claire moved to select the guest option, but just as she did, her other hand brushed the leather chair. The texture exactly replicated that of her uncle’s office couch. Soft and smooth. Her hand even left a slight dent in the armrest for half a second. Now that Claire took time to notice, the air around her even felt like a stale office. If she hadn't remembered diving, Claire would have thought she was truly waiting in a lobby somewhere.

Is it this real in the whole game? Claire thought. Amazing. Her other hand moved to the ‘sign-up’ option. Maybe some exploring would be alright.

Claire played with various server IDs, but settled on Lari. Close enough to her real name, but not too obvious. To make sure Chase could find her, Claire made her virtual body mirror her real one. Brown/blonde hair, grey eyes, even the freckles were accounted for. Her purple crystal ring was the only feature Claire could not replicate here.

Transparent words tainted deep blue appeared before the holo-tablet.

“Choose your weapon.”

Claire grimaced while the starter options scrolled slowly by. She couldn’t picture herself wearing any of those and was almost repelled by a couple of them. How could anyone stab an opponent to death in this lifelike system? Claire thought about taking the basic bow, just to get into the game. The last choice edged into view just as she was going to select, and Claire paused the screen.

It was a ring; a band of gold so bright it appeared to be in liquid state. The demo showed tendrils of gold twining from the ring halfway to the player’s elbow. Claire’s grimace eased off as she unfroze the screen. The ring gently rotated as it slid across Claire’s view.

I could wear that, Claire decided. Whatever it was, it was beautiful. It must have accidentally been put in the weapons section instead of jewelry or whatever. She pressed ‘select’ and felt her left hand grow slightly heavier. The gold not only looked like liquid, it felt that way as it secured itself around her hand and wrist. It shifted when she tilted her hand; apparently it wouldn’t hamper any movement.

Nothing else came with the ring, but Claire didn’t mind. It wasn’t like she would be fighting anyone. She held up her left hand to press the confirm button, and smiled at it while the room faded away.

Claire processed wind on her face and a scent of old pages before the voice called to her.

“Chase?” she questioned. As the blinding light faded, Claire sighed in disappointment. She stepped off the mosaic star toward the white-clad player.

“Hello, Guide. You are a player, not a computer program, right? I was looking for my brother, Chase; he said we’d dive together…”

Claire caught sight of the soft sky behind Guide and stopped to gaze in wonder. It took a few seconds for her to remember the Guide was present.

“I'm so sorry. I'm new here," she admitted. Her voice was quiet with embarrassment.

"Not just to the game, to virtual reality in general. It's a bit distracting; everything's so vivid here. The sky, this jewelry, it's all so detailed.”

She held out her hand to show Guide the shifting golden strands.

“Anyway, Chase said he wanted to show me a place called Hypharon Falls. Or it may have been just ‘Fall’…can you point me in the right direction?”

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Re: Practice For SkieLights

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tea on Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:55 am

The slight brush of air pushed at his back while the feminine avatar turned before his sight. The collection of body choices seemed so plain to him. Simple. Human colored skin with no visible tattoos or markings. No webbed fingers or elongated ear lobes. In the Alpha server where hair could be the color of lemon, lime, teal, or periwinkle the drab ordinariness struck him as very typical of a newbie; too much of a hurry to get into the game.

But the freckles under and between her eyes were interesting. She seemed to drink in the surroundings with those eyes and her ears and a reflexive smile appeared on his face. Very newbie.

"A program?" His casual tone was a little rough. "Um... Yes. I'm a programmed...meat loaf. I get hot and steamy in the oven and I taste good with ketchup!" The simple smile grew into a grin as he followed the out-side of the banister. His steps were nearly silent as he approached the newest addition to Another Life. Both feet were wrapped in dirty white strips of cloth and no apparent shoe. Every hem of his robe: ankle, wrist, and neck, was decorated in a red rectangle pattern. A simple white rope with no tassels served as a belt.

Perhaps it was the direction that she turned which hid the ring from his sight. He clearly heard her question about a brother. His mouth opened to answer it, but the glittering of her left hand attracted the notice of his amethyst and pupil-less eyes. They narrowed as he passed by an open recess in the floor which held a set of stairs. The sound of a snicker floated up from there, but he paid it no heed.

"Where did you get that?" The ring was indeed rather glamorous to look at, but his voice sounded sour and his brow was stern.

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Re: Practice For SkieLights

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby skielights on Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:32 pm

Uncertainty pulled Claire’s arm back. She instinctively clasped her right hand over the majority of gold detailing. After a moment, she changed her mind and switched both hands behind her back.

“It was the last of the weapons options,” Claire hurried to say, “I figured it was only a glitch. Does it mean something bad?”

She’d only just entered the game; Guide wouldn’t think she’d stolen it, would he? Claire rocked back on the heels of soft brown boots, taking in the box over his face. With no visible clues as to what Guide was thinking, Claire was unsure how else to react. She wanted to ask about Hypharon again. However, the way Guide had switched from a bit coarse to suspicious meant this was troubling him. Claire pinched the ring between her right thumb and finger and tried to subtly tug it off.

The shifting gold grew tight and cold around her arm. Claire twisted her hand around the folds of her pale green skirt. Even with the extra grip, it didn’t move.

First it bothers Guide and now it won’t come off,
Claire held in a groan.

Maybe there was a catch to undo. She swung her left hand around to see it from the front again. As she did, a band of vivid light spiraled from her ring in an arc around her hip. Claire yelped and jumped away. The tail end of the light faded while more ribboned out after her. Claire stared until the whole trail had gone. There were no words in her mind, just amazement and an urge to try again.

Her arm was neither burning up nor blowing up, so Claire decided it must be safe. She caused a small circle of light to take shape. When her fingers curved in at the end, the ribbon became a broad brushstroke. Claire let out a breath of awe.

“This glitch is amazing,” she informed Guide, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t even think. Would you like to try?”

Claire took a step Guide’s way and stretched out her hand to offer.

“It’s not difficult, if we can get the ring off.”

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Re: Practice For SkieLights

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tea on Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:04 am

Claire's question was flatly ignored. By the time her experiments had come to a conclusion the hands of her fellow user were tapping quickly across a surface which she could not see or hear.

The vague suspicion and sternness in the guide's face and voice had left. He had worn surprise and some amazement at Claire's luminous display, but that had passed also. Instead of attending Claire the guide's gaze was directed at some non-visible point. The expression filling the front muscles of his head could have been a variation of concentration. A closed and tense focus in a person whose apparent dress code might suggest gentility, subtlety, nicety, and whim.

A few moments came and went through the gentle air above the rough masonry. Then a consistent noise of digital beeps emitted from Claire's stylistic character screen. The Chat tab was high-lighted as the tablet vibrated and a series of visual messages displayed there in crimson letters.

session_start(); create rand(); rand() = rand(10000, 99999); echo rand();
={Destro}=: You must be human. Stay put. Your character violates server rules.
={Destro}=: For your safety do not log off.


The first of the three lines appeared to be plain text and were unadorned. The following two hovered inside a flat and rounded block of a back-ground similar to a speech bubble. No image appeared beside the name of Destro though the symbols to the left and right of the letters did not appear around Claire's character name when the status tab had been high-lighted upon her logging in.

The display of the chat tab was bisected horizontally. Near the top was a mostly empty space save for the current date and time in bright blue symbols. Near the bottom hovered the flat holo-graphs of the messages Claire had received. Beneath that was an empty space of a thin cream color. A suitably flat, stylish, and touch-screen-like key-board filled the lower half of the tablet's current screen.

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Re: Practice For SkieLights

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby skielights on Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:14 pm

Claire jumped at the high-toned beeping. A sharp A-frame line trailed her hand’s instinctive jerk. Her right hand hovered over the touch-screen keyboard while she reread her messages.

"You must be human"?

Claire would have to ask what that meant later. She shot Guide a worried glance. Would mentioning the message to him be a good idea? Claire twirled the ring around her finger, and consequently, her lower arm. She barely registered the twisting spirals loosen, or the ring itself dim down.

Wind twined through her hair as she strained to see in all directions. "Stay put" meant someone wanted to find her. Was that good or bad? In the end, Claire decided she had to follow directions in either case. Destro seemed like he knew what he was doing. Claire ceased all fidgeting and glued her feet to the tile. In no way did she want to be seen as rebellious. A blush was already tinting her face, probably swallowing every freckle on her skin to broadcast her embarrassment. She’d lasted less than twenty minutes before wrecking the entire system, apparently.

“Guide?” Claire asked the blank-faced box, “Have I done something wrong?”

Claire typed a simple “okay” into the cream-colored speech bubble. She wanted to ask why logging off would be unsafe. There was a chance Destro would perceive the question as confrontational, though. Claire stuck with her single word. She caught herself in the nervous habit of rubbing her thumb against her forefinger, as if it was a worry stone. Deliberately pressing her fingers against her skirt helped a bit, but upped Claire’s urge to pace. Whoever was coming to the star dias, she hoped they wouldn't make her stand there for long.

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