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Virtual Reality is the better Reality

Augumented Reality


a part of Virtual Reality is the better Reality, by genericroleplayer92.


genericroleplayer92 holds sovereignty over Augumented Reality, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

381 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:


Default Location for Virtual Reality is the better Reality
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Augumented Reality is a part of Virtual Reality is the better Reality.

11 Characters Here

Rennet Asten [6] "If you can laugh you are already taking a step to a greater life."
Karma Cooper [6] Username: MadXNightmare
Roberto Graf [1] A person with no place to belong to.
Kyle Jance [1] "GG"
Codey Rodgers [1] Hmmmm, games without controlers aren't usually good, but what the hell!
Fen Lupos [0] "Why do I follow my nose? Because it's a dang good one!"
Fiolai Almiron [0] "Come lets do this!"
Gracie Kendrix [0] Escaping reality
Bronwyn Cambridge [0] "This game looks so cool!"

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Character Portrait: Karma Cooper
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Karma took in a deep breath of the fresh coffee that sat on the desk before her. It smelled rich and full of french vanilla, which was her favorite coffee flavoring. She twirled the small stirring stick around in the coffee for a moment before taking a quick sip from it. At first it was hot, but smooth flavor soon overwhelmed the heat making it quit pleasurable. After clearing her throat, she took a deep breath and focused her green eyes onto the monitor in front of her.

She had been one of the few who were selected to be a beta tester for the new VR 5. It was already plugged up and ready to go, all she had to do was log in. Tilting her head to the left, she felt her neck pop in several places. A small smile crossed her face as she pushed her short black hair back and pulled it into a small bun in the back. Again, she took a deep breath before moving her fingers to the keyboard and typing her log in.

A small smile perched on her lips as she started at her character, who was like a polar opposite to who she really was. Though, this was very intentional and she liked to keep it that way. The character was about the same height as Karma, who was average height for her age (around 5'5). However, from there everything else seemed to change. The character was a neko, a creature that was mainly human but had cat-like qualities. The only physical qualities that Nightmare (the characters name) had was neko ears, a tail, and odd tattoo like stripes located on various parts of her body. She watched as the city seemed to form around her character, though it was very quickly.

The slight wind blew through Nightmare's long hot pink hair, making her black neko ears twitch slightly. Her green eyes looked around the city, which was at its usual business. She took in a deep breath of the hot city air before looking down at the ground beneath her. There was golden brown stones that made up the road though there was also a very thick layer of sand from so many traveling along the road. She looked up and around at the bustling city.
She took a few steps forward so she wasn't in the middle of where everyone who logged in would appear. Her head turned to the right to see a small potions and scroll shop. Her eyes then looked further to see a few other shops. A small smile spread on the neko's face as she gazed at the various creatures around. There were a lot of human characters, but also beast and creatures she wondered if they were completely custom made.

She took another deep breath before walking towards the stairs just before the bridge. She went down them, rather fast, before she made it to the small ledge just over the river. She gazed at the reflection of the sun and herself before kneeling down and placing her fingertips in the water. It was rather cool against her skin, which was something that amazed her. "wow." she muttered before leaning her back against the warm brick wall and gazing at the small river for the moment.

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Character Portrait: Rennet Asten
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Skrik skrit skrik skrit went the nails of Zane, Rennet's dog, against the pavement. Rennet was taking him for a walk before she went to try out the ne game she had been selected to beta test. If he was tired out she reasoned he wouldn't bother her while she was playing it. Rennet had a smile on her face. The sun was out, a slight breeze regulated the temperature, and it wasn't too humid. It all made for a marvelous day. Birds sang their songs as they flitted through the air, populating the area with sweet notes.

Zane paused for a moment and did his business, then politely waited for Rennet to pick it up. She patted her dog's head. Zane was a large black dog with a star on his chest and a lot of hair. She suspected he had some Newfoundland blood in him. The two started walking again. Rennet placed the dog's waste in a nearby garbage bin. The exercise was good for both of them, especially because they probably would get out of the house much later on today. She took a swig of water from her bottle and poured some in a cupped hand for Zane to lick up. They were almost home.

As they arrived at the small house Rennet was using Zane began to pull harder, ready to stop walking. He was tired out all right. Just the way Rennet wanted him. She took the key out of her pocket, unlocked the door, and went in. She unleashed Zane and hung the leash on a hook nearby the entrance. He flopped down on his hair-filled doggie bed and rested, panting. A noise that sounded like Prrup! came from somewhere around Rennet's feet. A soft feeling brushed up against her legs. She looked down and stroked the little grey cat, Pruups, who purred contentedly.

After getting a quick bite to eat Rennet went to the VR system and logged on. Her character was a large golden gryphon with leopard markings. So far she hadn't played very much at all (she had just created her account and character) so she was eager to go. She synchronized with her character and watched as the real world faded into the virtual one.

Espik Nord shook herself, straightening both feathers and fur. She was in a city with various other people, mostly NPCs, in it. With a languid stretch she felt her muscles roll deliciously beneath her tawny pelt. She padded off to the side of the spawning area and looked around the city. Shops were open with their patrons visiting, street vendors called out advertisments, a river was running; it was simply amazing. Looking down, she saw a road of sandy bricks. It led out to the rest of the city over a bridge. By the water was a cat person, called a neko if Espik recalled correctly.

Experimentally she raised her wings. They were foreign to her but she didn't plan for them to stay that way for long. Walking on all fours was a new thing too, come to think of it. Or was it? Espik knew that in another life she walked on two legs and lacked wings, but in this world it seemed natural. The foreign feeling of having wings was subsiding as she became used to the idea.

Quietly she walked over to the river by the neko. After inspecting the river for a moment Espik dunked her entire hear in the water and quickly pulled it back out. It was cold! She laughed, a sound between human laughter and a cat's purr. Assuming the neko was another player she said, "This is amazing! I'm Espik Nord, by the way. What's your name?"

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#, as written by warthog
"So much fake blood! I can't take it!" Said Codey as he threw away the shirt he was wearing. Work was horrible for Codey today, the website went down 4 times that day and the small short that he had actted in that day involved fake blood. Fake blood which was spilled and ruined his cloths, it was deffinitly not the best day. But it didn't matter, he was the luckiest man in the world, or one of them. Codey was one of the lucky few that was selected to test the VR-mark5. Nothing was quite as great as litterly going to another world, becoming another person, and doing whatever you wanted to do.

Codey threw on a new T-shirt and moved to his living room. Siting on his couch he gripped the headset looking at the screen on front. Looking around at the world he lived in once more before slipping on the new world. It was a little creepy, the fact that they lived in one world and another one was held in his hands. He smiled and with a slip of the band on his head.

When Cooper materialized into the City of Fate it was like a breath of fresh air. The buildings and their unique texture, the landscape in the distant, the NPC's and some of the other lucky players. Looking down at the dark blue and the white trim he had on. He felt powerful, with the force of mana streaming through him it was unbelievable. He focused on his hands as his staff materialized in front of him. He swung it over his head and slammed the butt down on the ground, giving off a small wave of physical mana. "Never gets old." Cooper said as he started his walk to his blacksmith weapons store to see if he had any orders. He was happy now because in a way, it was a new day.

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Character Portrait: Rennet Asten Character Portrait: Codey Rodgers Character Portrait: Karma Cooper Character Portrait: Lewis Caldecott
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"Ah yes Yoshine-san, I'll of course be going to her wedding!"

"Say, you wanna come with me? Bring along someone too. Okay, great!"

"I know, right? Shame those Grade-A loins will be off the market. Send Taichi my condolences."

A young blonde man jovially sauntered down the street as he talked on his phone with his buddies, greeting neighbours as they passed. Old-Lady Hakida, who was watching him from her laundry stand, would often tease him about about some of his lewd comments. But in time, even she got used to it, it was his way of mixing in with his over-active colleagues at work and the young man never meant any harm. He was often respectful and would even come over to teach her some English in his free time, company that an old woman could occasionally use in this quiet neighbourhood especially when her children were often abroad.

"Hi Mrs. Hakida." The youngster waved back, pressing his thumb to the speaker as he noticed her squat figure amongst the drying white sheets, startling the discreet old woman who quickly darted back behind her laundry. Even at her age, she could tell he was a handsome man who was...or at least not bad-looking. 6' Tall, well-dressed and impeccably polite, despite his fractured use of the japanese language. Rich too, she guessed, anyone who lived in this area was usually well-off afterall. His house looked well furbished on the outside, with a roof top garden and back up generator, but she has never gone the inside before. No one has for three years. The only furniture she's ever seen was the door plague outside his house, it read in English "Lewis Caldecott".


Locking the doorknob, he let out an tired sign of relief and hung up the phone, leaning against the door till it shut. He stood there for a few moments, dangling his head and letting the briefcase slip from his hands to his feet. It took a long while.

...And then he looked back up.

His entire expression had changed. An emotional blank slate. No longer was there the mirthy smile that was there a few seconds ago, instead his lips were pursed in a rulered line. His eyes glazed over as they stared blankly at the halls devoid of furniture and his limbs automonously picked up the briefcase and dropped it on the shelf. Passing the doorway, he turned to look at a list of names tacked to the wall.

"Relationships with Other People" it read.

And put a tick besides the name "Hakida Omimura", then dropped the pen and walked off without any lingering sign of interest. The rest of the dwelling was dim with barely any light shining through, it's curtains were closed and dust settled anywhere untouched by humans. The coffee table, sofa, T.V -all covered in a thin layer of grey powder. The only semblance of life in there were the flickering monitors of a high-tech VRPU in a dark corner, to which Lewis soon parked himself in front.

Username: age_limit

Password: *******

"Welcome to the Realms of Destiny."


When sense of reality returned, he found himself set in an incredible scenery. Stretching far beyond his vision was a vast cityscape littered buildings of all sorts, streets intertwined between them paved with cobblestone. The open areas were patrolled by Knights and humans mingled freely with different races, even the air smelled crisper than usual.

And when he looked down at his hands, they were large, scarred and covered in short yellow hairs. His virtual avatar was a large, muscular tiger-like human, of a race called Beastmen, the females were called Nekos which meant cat in japanese. At six feet eleven inches tall, more or less, he wore clothes that looked like they belonged on a mountain bandit. An unmodest open vest and knee length trousers held up by a thick belt with a golden buckle, along with bandages that covered his wrist and ankles that provided support when performing tougher movements. There were two sets of stripes that ran down the side of his cheeks, as well as another two across his shoulders. His unruly hair was loosely tied back with a strip of cloth, which was long enough to reach behind his waist where his tail was. A long corona of yellow and brown.

When he looked up with two sets of bright green eyes, he saw at the left most corner of his vision. Character Name: War Tiger (Confirm?). In blue transparent words. Of course only he would see it, as it was a popup reminding him to confirm his character name. Which till now, he hasn't decided to, among other things.

Many players do an entrance move as soon as they "break-into" the New World, skillfully brandishing their weapons or casting customized-spells that displayed their aptitude with magick. Speaking of which, in front of him, a magician sent a wave of blue energy rippling across the ground from his staff.

War Tiger, however, just turned and walked to the right with padded feet -having made no special moves to show whatsoever.

"Check Mail. Code 2013." He recited monotonously, standing next to a mailbox. To which a furled parchment digitalized into existence inside the box's compartment, it was from the Arcaneum -one of the city's magick shops. It was also where he recieved his daily quests from. Many players had in-game occupations in this world which was constantly evolving, jobs provided a means of obtaining items and experience. Some also provided skills which were required complete the tasks given. It was an alternative way to make your way around the world, there were all sorts of tasks for people who did not feel like bounty hunting monsters. He was a Disenchanter.


The letter read:

A Flask of Purest'h Water

One Lost'h Souls

Thrice'th Broken Wandss

I need'th thou tae bring'eth these'th thingss tae myself before'th sundown...'th, no time'th tae explaineth they are'th urgenth.


After reading it, he crumpled the paper and chucked it in his pocket.

The open parts of the city were not hard to navigate after someone has been in there for sometime, he would first need to find a place where the water flowed clear and there was one nearby. It didn't take him long to reach the edge of town, ten minutes at most, where it was surrounded by a river. Unplugging a vial, he knelt down by the bridge and dipped it, along with his hands into the stream. Letting the clear water seep in. He would later take it to an Alchemist to be refined.

The second part, a Lost soul, however.

There were two, no, one more person left at the bridge. On the opposite bank. By the waters, frolicking, was a gryphon looking creature, it looked like it was tamed by the cat-like female sitting beside it. This was the first gryphon he has seen so far, they were usually rare and from what he knows are higher tier monsters. Then a Neko, someone as the same race with him.

"Do you ...know where I can find ...people dead?" He would say in a low-growly tone, looking straight at them. Though unwittingly, it sounded like he was asking for an assassin.

It wasn't hard approaching complete strangers. There were only two answers they could give, yes and no. If it's not one, it's the other. If even they do not know, there was a Mage earlier at the blacksmith's shop, their kind were usually thought to be more knowledgeable on these matters.

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#, as written by Seerow
The city lay in a sort of smouldering ruin, the buildings broken up into piles of ashen ruin. Innocent townsfolk rushing from their cars in panicked terror. Screams of some horrible beast erupts over the metropolis. More fear is generated; women snatching up their children to run wildly, men in business shirts with their briefcases cemented in their pale hands. Then the terrible thing peeks over the skyward horizon. It's great alien reptilian eyes beaming down at the fleeing innocents. It's massive body towering over the high-rises it's scaly claws shaking the terrified uniformed men from a busted up tank. Fighter jets come racing overhead their weapons useless on the scaled goliath. They engage knowing that their lives are all that stand between the monster and countless lives. The gunfire blazes fourth in parallel streams of bullets bouncing harmlessly from the behemoth. The great lizard rears up and gives a mighty roar. It reaches for the gnats that pursue it so relentlessly. Swatting at the jets almost idly; little more then a nuisance.
Then from the opposite side of the catastrophe another giant appears. It's body and joints forged in metal and welded together to make a sort of robotic replica of the creature ruining the city. Its eyes aglow with unthinking light, a machine given its destiny only by the hands that command it. The Robo-beast waits for no challenge, its chest cavity flips open and releases a volley of rockets hammering into flesh and bone. Blasting open large rends in the dinosaur god. The enemy's bellows of pain giving the cold steel no joy or even a sense of triumph.
Then the return the monster rushes to its counterpart crashing into the construct with its sheer weight and hatred. The two kaiju tumble over another breaking through a grand tower along the way. Sparks fly and fire spreads to the streets what remains of the military flee. Resting their heavy burden onto the shoulders of science and engineering hoping that human intellect is enough. Both legendary monsters exchange blows till at last the mecha-thing emerges, the stronger of the two. It's body shutters a second, and then a luminescence collects itself through the circuitry. The crude thing of metal begins to burn like a star in the midnight sky. A moment of hesitance and its mouth opens a beam of sheer energy pouring down on the gargantuan lizard.

"Blam-O three super strikes."
The basement of Larry's Lair erupted with equal sounds of astonishment and laughter. Cheers are given and sodas tipped in respect to the unyielding champion of Kaiju Kombat. James gracefully nods and takes his opponent's hand firmly. Slapping his shoulder playfully and promising for a rematch, he helping the confounded gentlemen to the door. With the night's event wound down, James casually took a seat and ordered a drink to sip upon. Letting the rush of excitement run its course and clear his head from figuring stats and moving plastic bits.

"Hey Big Man! An ugly little bird told me you were running Beta for one of those V8 major launch titles."
If James heard the squeaky young man he choose to say nothing. Taking more from his little tin can of frosty refreshment and allowing the tension to fall from his shoulders. Even a game played in fun can be frustrating, and though he'd never admit it, he wasn't sure he was going to win at all this night. It seemed he was losing a bit of that magic he kept just under the rim of his hat. Of course though the curious lad with the bad haircut was not content to let him rest.

"So is it true?"

Slowly the critic stood up downing the last of his drink before placing the empty can casually upon the table. He smirked at the question hanging in the air above. Knowing full well that there was plenty of people who wanted to know that very answer. At the same time understanding that his privilege was to be private and only allowed him first peek over many others because of his reputation as a staunch secret keeper and true lover of games. They all already knew the answer of course, but with his say they could open the door to much insigt on what the future of video games was to be. Today though James addressed his people in the usual cheeky manner.

"My friends, If indeed I had such an expensive console at my house. Then what would I be doing here? Now that I think on it, what am I doing here?"

There was nothing more to be said on the matter. James fetched his coat and made his way promptly to his car. No one any the wiser as to the exact nature of what he was testing, and perhaps for the better. If they only knew to what depths virtual reality was going, they would likely riot in the street before the product could be brought to market. For now it's best no one but the testers know. After all, no use getting adjusted to a product that isn't finished.

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Character Portrait: Rennet Asten Character Portrait: Karma Cooper Character Portrait: Lewis Caldecott
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A small smile had perched itself onto her face as she stared at the river, however she knew she would be leaving soon. Nightmare never stayed in one spot for too long. She pushed herself away from the wall slightly just as someone aproched her. Her eyes gazed at the creature before her head tilted to the side slightly. It wasn't every day you see a Gryphon character. They truely were a rare breed, however they were also fascinating.

She gave a small wave as she watched the creature dunk its head into the water. A small snicker escaped her as she knew the water was cold and would probably be cold to the gryphon too. Quickly, it brought its head back up and made a odd laughing sound, which reminded Nightmare of some sort of purring sound she had heard before.
"This is amazing! I'm Espik Nord, by the way. What's your name?"
Nightmare's neko ears perked up in interest before she spoke. "I'm Nightmare." She replied before bowing her head respectfully. Normally, Nightmare was more child-like and possibly less respectful, however seeing as gryphons were feirce creatures she decided it was time to be a little mature. "Its nice to meet you." She purred before moving her gaze down to the small river.

As she stood there though, someone on the other side of the river caught her attention. Again, her neko ears perked up. The scent of something familiar was in the air. She sniffed the wind before realizing it was the scent of her kind, though it was male. Her green eyes locked onto the blonde figure before a smile crossed her face. "I don't see too many of them around..." She muttered, thought she was mainly thinking out loud.
"Do you ...know where I can find ...people dead?"
For a second, she had to think of what he said, since she could barely hear him. Her head tilted to the side and looked up at the sky as she thought about it. "Hmmm..." She thought about each place she had been and the ones she had heard of. "Well..." She began before moving her bright green eyes onto the blonde figure. "There is the Amalgar Forest. I'm pretty sure there are dead people there. There is also the Swamp of Nightmare, however I wouldn't recoment that place unless you have a good group of strong players with you." She informed him then thought of her horrible experiance in the swamp. Then again, her experiance didn't last long at all before she died and was sent backt to the City of Fate.

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Espik shook her head, spraying water droplets everywhere. They glittered in the sun before they splattered on the ground.

"I'm Nightmare," the neko said, head bowed. "It's nice to meet you," Nightmare said with a purring undercurrent to her voice. The neko's hair was an eye-watering hot pink. The bright color would definitely stand of in any crowd. Espik was a bit puzzled about why Nightmare had bowed her head. Maybe out of respect? That might make sense. After all, gryphons were powerful creatures.

Espik waded a bit into the water and put her head under again, looking to see if there were any fish. There were! The small silvery bodies glinted and flashed in the sun, darting to and fro amidst the water weeds. Her fluffy tail began to wave back and forth as she watched them. Raising her head, she took a deep breath. If her gryphon's beak would of allowed a smile she would have done so. The river's current pulled and and mussed the fur on her legs, creating a sort of tickling sensation. She laughed again.

Glancing back towards the shore, Espik saw the Nightmare talking to another character. This one was obviously male and was more cat like. Espik recalled that this was the male counterpart to a neko called a Beast Man.

"Do you ...know where I can find ...people dead?" he asked. Now that was a strange way to phrase a question. This guy wanted to find dead people? That sounded a little creepy.

Nightmare replied that she thought dead people were in Almagar Forest and the Swamp of Nightmare. Espik's ears canted forward; her interest was caught. "Why do you want to find dead people?" she asked, walking out of the water.

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#, as written by warthog
Cooper let his staff subside into energy again as he walked to his weapon shop. As he came to the small shop he notice his "protection" waiting outside. His stone golem named Sedimint was standing by the door, watching the NPC's and players pass by. "You haven't been playing with that cat again have you Sedimint?" The golem let out a groan as he turned to Cooper. "Ha ha, of course not, you would never eh? I'll be inside taking orders OK?" Another groan from the hulking mass as Cooper gave him two slight pats on his arm as he entered his shop.

No orders had came while he was away and for that he was happy. His job was amazing, he met people, got to experiment with weaponry, all of it was awesome but he usually didn't have free time. With his free time lately he had started a project, he was making a ultimate weapon, something so powerful that it would have to mentioned in legends. It was a sword, a one hander with thick spread. The face of the blade was as wide as a beast mans bicep at the base and came to a point at the top. The blade itself was a deep blue, a material that had made it as light as something made out of wood, yet it still carried the weight of sword made out of something heavier than steel. The face of the blade was forged with a deep design, it was a forest of things that made something so deadly look so beautiful. In the center of the blade was thin clear circle, a place for a jewel. What was really going to make this sword special is that it would be intertwined with a spirit. He needed a pure diamond, a experienced white mage, and a strong, willing spirit that would want to be one as the sword. It was quite the task but nothing amazing cam over night.

Cooper had decided that the sword itself was as perstine as it was going to get, he needed to work on finding the jewel now. As Cooper left and locked up the shop he started down the street trying to think of a place to start.

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#, as written by Seerow
"Username: Grimpill, Password: There can only be one more. activate Sersi program and ready to launch V.R. Cinq."

Various bits of hardware hummed to life in their strange lights. The whole living room seemed to be busy though no movement was detected it became something like a living breathing entity. Without warning a soft voice began whispering sweetly into James' ear as all the technology warmed up. Sersi as she was known was nothing but a basic voice command program. Though he primarily used it as a means to generate his recordings and manage the various programs running behind scenes. The days of switching through windows to observe everything was over, and Sersi was developed with this in mind.

"Sersi program online, how can I help?"
"Disable unimportant background programs. Launch V.R. 5 and run it with primary drivers."

It took a few minutes for the vocal patterns to obtain recognition, but in about a minutes time the program responded and did its tasks dutifully. It's only real shortcoming was the time spent processing a command. It was true that James could have done it faster and probably more efficiently, but he had dropped money on the Sersi unit, and was determined to use it.

The replacing of fantasy over reality was always a strange thing. The walls just melted away the sights and scents that were so familiar wafting in an artificial breeze. Colour was vibrant and whimsical. As his body was synced to the avatar he felt the pull and enhancement reaching through his senses. Hearing and sight were difficult to understand here in the game world. At least it was for him, as both were ratcheted up significantly that his race might feel as real as it seemed.

The forest emerged draping over the scene appearing from nothingness to cast the Dark Elf in its shadow. The trees were grand, mighty, and ancient their roots knowing countless millennia mostly undisturbed. Their secrets dark and wild, sheltering the strange things that dwelled within. The sounds were always the first sensation to settle in the chirps and croaks of creatures that scurried in the vastness. The feeling of the cool air that rushed from the undergrowth, that sort of fear that crept uncomfortably to ones back upon viewing it. The knowledge of what hunts there within, the understanding of the rules of nature.
Of course Ombra showed little fear, he was somewhat at home in Amalgar. He enjoyed the quiet of it, the easily tricked wanderers, and especially the possible client that needed an extra set of eyes to see them through. Life was good for the elf, and he was content to gather strength one gold coin at a time. Today wasn't likely to be any different but he did notice a lack of actual players round these parts. in time he wondered if he would be forced back into the city to make his money.

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Amalgar Forest.

"Your input has been appreciated." The player War Tiger responded still in the low-growl, as if reading lines from a book. Equally spaced words. The Neko's animated expressions only made it more obvious. His eyes darted only slightly to remember her features, her skin pattern -like a scan but otherwise remained still. Usually people would exchange names or IDs at this point of time, but he seemed unresponsive to the cue and continued memorizing her appearance .

Then another voice spoke, distracted, his head craned appropriately to the right.

"I need a Soul."

"You talk. You're a player." Oblivious to the fact that he was stating the obvious, he seemed otherwise unfazed that the gryphon was speaking, which was not common by any means. Monsters didn't usually speak unless they were intelligent, like rogue wizards or other sentient NPCs. Not to mention a gryphon being in a low-level area like the City of Fate.

"Your input has been appreciated." He repeated once more to Nightmare, taking out a copper coin from his pocket and closing it in her palm with his large right hand. Logically, Effort beget Reward. It was only mandatory.

Then he took two steps back and looked beyond the bridge, all the while still wearing the same stern expression. But it seemed like he had somewhere new to go now.

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Character Portrait: Rennet Asten Character Portrait: Karma Cooper Character Portrait: Lewis Caldecott
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Nightmare watched as Espik emerged herself in the water. A small smile formed as she watched the gryphon before her eyes moved onto the beast character. He was so...monotone, expressionless. It seemed odd to be so boring, however who was she to question it. Since most would find it odd that she was so childish compared to her age.
"I wonder what he needs a soul for.." She thought to herself before noticing him move. Her neko ears twitched as her eyes watched him closely. When he placed the coin in her hand, she simply looked at it.
"Your input has been appreciated."
Her head tilted to the side before she answered slowly, as if unsure. "Your welcome." No one was that kind, even if it was a small amount, people in the game hardly ever had courtesy. Her eyes stayed on her copper piece for a few more moments as she thought before her head jerked, eyes locked onto the beast man. "Would you like some help?" She asked, since he didn't look too experienced. "Those are both dangerous areas, so you might want to take someone with you."

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Espik watched the exchange between the neko and the beast man. It was sort of funny how they were so different. Nightmare was brazenly colored and sent off vibes of energeticness. The beast man was more rugged and had a simpler look and talked in a monotone. Was it that with the race that was composed of nekos and beast men the differences between the genders were always this different?

It seemed like the beast man, whatever his name was, was going off to the Almagar Forest. Nightmare wanted to come along too. Espik thought, why not?, and asked, "Would it be okay with you if I come too?"


The Almagar Forest was full of noises, both big ones and small ones. There was the soft sigh of the wind between the trees, near-constant and relaxing. There was the chirping of unseen crickets as the males called to their potential mates. A small creek babbled and burbled along happily. Birds of various sizes and colors sang, lending the cool air a light mood. Probably the strangest of all was the noises coming from the werewolf camp.

The NPCs attended a multitude of tasks, whether they be cleaning out pots and pans or roasting a carcass of dubious origin over a fire. Every so often one or two of them would run off and return with more wood which they added to the fire. Strangely enough the fire never grew bigger and the carcass never finished cooking, or at least it never burned. The game was programmed to have the NPCs sit around and do mundane work.

One werewolf, however, was puzzled at his companions' activities.

"Hello, my name is Fen Lupo," he said to a cook for the third time.

"Ah, welcome, Fen Lupo. You can talk to the leader over there," she said, nodding in the general direction of the werewolf leader.

"No, I want to talk to you. What's your name? Don't say, 'Welcome to the werewolf camp. What is your name, sir' again."

"Welcome to the werewolf camp. What is your name, sir?" the NPC werewolf innocently asked.

With a growl of frustration Fen gave up. What was wrong with his own people? Wasn't he a werewolf too? He deserved more respect than this annoying repetitiveness. He had been at it all morning to no avail. All he recieved were the same responses over and over again.

With a sigh he went over to the leader. Might as well try the last of the werewolves he had on his list. Respectfully he said, "Hello, sir. Why is everyone playing some sort of joke on me?" Fen didn't know that the werewolves had recieved very little programming and thus could respond in very few ways. He didn't even know they weren't truly alive. Luckily for him, the leader had a bit more thought put into its creation.

"Good day to you, visitor. Can you help us?" the leader asked.

"Um, maybe, if everyone stopped being so rude."

"How are they being rude?"

"They are totally ignoring my questions and mocking me."

"I have a quest for you."


"I need five Hibbleton Mushrooms."

"What if I said no?" Fen asked, still puzzled by the sudden change of subject.

"I need five Hibbleton Mushrooms." the werewolf leader said. With its limited thought capacity it was becoming annoyed by the uncoopertive character in front of it. The system that ran it treated Fen as a player for it didn't know what else to do to the glitched data that ran him.

"Fine. I'll get you the mushrooms." Fen agreed, exasperated.

He walked off into the forest, away from the werewolf camp. Hibbleton Mushrooms could be found occasionally by rotting logs or they were also dropped by goblins or Ents. He sighed and started looking for Hibbleton Mushrooms, which were a popular potion ingredient. The werewolfs probably wanted to make some sort of cure with them.

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Kyle Jance

Kyle looked up from his computer as the woman opened the door to his office. "Kyle, we have someone wanting to speak with you at the front." He blinked even as he rose from his seat. "Did they say what for?" the woman shook her head. "He's got an old computer with him, but he hasn't said, beyond that." He nodded and reached up to smooth out his lapel for a moment as he moved past her and into the hallway. The woman turned as she closed the door behind him, following his progress towards the front of the store.

Kyle spoke as he came around the corner, his business face already turned on, with the charm cranked up to 11. "Good evening, sir," he began, already taking his customer's form into his mind. He was tall, slightly taller than he was, but fairly thin and wiry. Tired, too, if the bags beneath his eyes were anything to judge by. "What can I do for you?" he gave a slight smile.

The man opened his mouth for a moment, but said nothing, at first. Instead, he decided that it would be a better idea to lift the console up and set it on the counter between them, probably due to it's weight. "I've had this system a few years, and I've never had a problem with it," he began, his eyes fixed on the console, rather than on Kyle. "but after I downloaded one of the games from your store's website... it just sort of... well, it's been having problems." Kyle nodded his head as the man looked up at him for the first time. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, sir." he reached out his hands, palms up, towards his console, which he could see was a computer from about six or seven years back. Old, certainly, but still in good condition. "May I?"

The man inclined his head. "Yeah, sure." He watched as Kyle began unhooking the store counter's computer monitor from the tower, and replacing the wires with those of the customer's. All the while, the man began speaking, again. "I downloaded it sometime last night, but when I went to run it, it wouldn't start. Then, allofasudden, the sound on my computer went out." Kyle paused to take the power cord and hand it to the woman. "Could you plug that in down below, Sam?" to which she nodded and took the cord down to where the power strip was set up, beneath the counter.

Already, the man's story wasn't adding up. It was uncommon for a downloadable program to alter system settings, unless it was specifically designed to do so, like troubleshooters did. It sounded, to him, like the sound card could be the issue. Nevertheless, he continued to plug the computer into the monitor and, after Sam had popped back up from beneath the counter, boot it up. As the computer's logo splayed across the screen, he looked back over at the man. He stood, silently watching, now, his mouth partially open as though anxiously waiting for something. Returning his attention back to the computer, Kyle noticed that the operating system had already loaded. The operating system was newer than the computer, itself, which means that it was likely that the man liked to upgrade his software often. His desktop was cleaner than most, and only housed a few programs and games, including one that he recognized.

"Bend" was a game that him and his employees had created, themselves, and sold copies of in the store, as well as on the website. When Kyle went to click on the game, however, the title screen didn't pop up. Instead, the computer struggled for a minute, trying to load it, before an error message popped up. He'd seen it a few times, in the past, and he nodded. "You say that the sound on your computer stopped working after this happened?" The man nodded "Yeah, I... you can open up the internet, there, and try searching a video or something, to see for yourself." Kyle looked up at the man and smiled slightly. "No, I believe you, sir... but you're sure you didn't do anything else after you downloaded the game that could have caused this?" The man's eyes narrowed, though only just, and he shook his head. "No... no, nothing. I'm certain that it must have been the game. Is there anything you can do? I mean, since it's your software."

Kyle looked at the man for a moment longer. "Sir, did you try and update your audio drivers, by any chance?"

The man blinked for a moment, and almost looked as though he was going to lie, but said, instead. "Well... yes, I read somewhere that... but how did you know that?"

Kyle smiled again, and began to gesture at the monitor, turning it slightly so that the man could see. "Just a guess. Unfortunately, updating the drivers won't stop you from getting these messages. What's basically happening is that the game can't run on the sound system your computer currently has installed. When you tried to update the driver, you accidentally downloaded a version that was for a later system, not yours. Since they weren't compatible, your sound stopped working." The man sighed and ran his fingers though his hair. "But how much is it going to cost to get this fixed..? I don't have the money to be able to leave it overnight with you guys and hope for the best." Kyle shook his head politely and moved his hand down towards the bottom of the screen. "Oh no, you shouldn't have to do that. See, the solution is a lot simpler than you might think. All you have to do is go into your settings and roll back your audio drivers to the last version, before you updated. That should automatically restore it to working order. After that, you'll need to find an upgrade for your actual sound system before dealing with the drivers."

The man scratched his head, but nodded after Kyle had stopped talking. "That makes sense. I'll do that as soon as I get home." The man looks up at Kyle, looking slightly embarrassed. "Thanks, man.. I thought I was going to have to shell out some serious money to fix this." Kyle nodded his head and grinned. "I kinda figured that's what had you worried. And no problem, I'm happy to help." As he spoke, Kyle shut down the computer and unplugged it from the monitor, then the wall.

After shaking the man's hand and wishing him luck, Kyle turned to Sam, who had been standing quietly to one side. "Well, that went well, I think... will you be alright closing, tonight?" Sam nodded and came over to the counter to begin re-plugging in the store's computer. "Yeah, sure, I got it. You can go, if you need to." Kyle inclined his head, already starting to unbutton the first few buttons of his shirt. "Alright, then. Thanks a lot, Sam." He began to walk around the counter and head towards the door. "Have a good night." Sam smiled and called back. "You too!"

The evening air was much nicer than it was closer to downtown Portland, and the sun was just now setting over the horizon, painting the clouds all different shades of red and orange. He'd always loved watching the sun set with his father, when he was a boy. Smiling to himself, Kyle made his way to his car, parked where it always was, at the back of the parking lot, unofficially dubbed "employee parking".

* * * * * * * * * *

The metallic bowl that sat on the table next to the front door shrieked as his keys slid along it's sides before settling at the bottom. After his jacket had been hung up on the coat rack, Kyle made his way towards his bedroom, kicking off his black dress shoes as he went. As he entered his room, a very energetic golden retriever pounced on him, which always seemed to surprise him, though it was a daily occurrence. As Kyle laughed and rubbed his faithful companion's head and back, he peered into the master bathroom to see that his bowl was empty. "Alright, alright, I'll top you off, boy, don't you worry." After taking care of Reddit's food and water situation, which then occupied all of the dog's attention, he turned to his Cinq.

Virtual Reality, for Kyle, was something of a second life. More than simply a different world to mess around in, or to exploit, however. There were different rules, for him, different places to go, and different things to do. There were new people, there, and fewer people who knew who he was. In fact... no one knew who he was.

When he went online, he was no longer Kyle Jance.

He was this mysterious entity...

...the ultimate unknown.

He was unreadable.

A legend.

A hero, to some, and the death knell, to others.

He was The_Game.

For Kyle, virtual reality had become an escape from it all, and the beginning of an entirely different persona. It didn't mater who he was, out here, in the real world. It didn't matter what he'd done, or who his parents were, or that he even HAD parents.

All that mattered was the game.
All that matters is The_Game.

Kyle sat down in his chair and picked up his headset, which fit his head like a glove. As he put it on, he happened to notice the picture of his father, which sat on top of the Cinq. He smiled, internally, as he thought of him. Setting those thoughts aside, for now, he picked up the controls and watched as the world around him began to fade.

He watched... as Kyle Jance began to fade.


Wind whipped around him as he traveled through the connection and into the main world, which was represented by a Star Wars-esque animation of him flying through a field of what appeared to be purple stars at high speeds. As the white dot in the distance began to expand rapidly, The_Game rotated in place as the ground rushed up to meet him. In a flurry, he drew his hookswords, one in either hand, and spun through the air in an intricate pattern, stirring up the dirt beneath his feet as his login animation concluded with him poised as though ready to strike, his face towards the ground. As he looked up and around, he could see that he was in the center of the City of Fate, which was where nearly everyone logged in, save for those few who had set the City of Turmoil as their spawn point. While The_Game certainly relished in the challenge of PvP, he recognized the wisdom of checking in town for any sales for potions, scrolls or enchantments whenever he could. As he took a few steps forward, he was greeted with the customary notification that had been granted access to his account information. Closing out of the window, he continued forward, well aware that tens of thousands of people around the globe were now seeing the world from his perspective.

As he peered around town, he could see that several players were busy interacting, nearby, some with NPCs, and some with other players. It was at this time that he also noticed several of the game's NPCs looking in -his- direction. Some waved to him excitedly, while others curtsied respectively, and still others simply inclined their heads or even gave him a stern look. He had, at one point or another, completed quests for every NPC in this city, more or less to their exact specifications... but the manner in which he had completed their tasks didn't bother him, overmuch. The fact of the matter was that the jobs had been done, and he had yet to receive any real penalty for doing a task in a less-than-orthodox manner, other than the occasional dirty look.

Not bothering to return any of the gestures, he instead focused his attention on a small cluster of players over by the river. Some kind of gathering, he surmised. Forming a party to take on tougher content, perhaps. One, a gryphon, by the looks of her, intrigued him somewhat, after he had determined that she was not, in actuality, an NPC mob. It was the first time he had seen a player build for themselves a character model like that. Of course, when he had first started, humans and elves had made up 80% of the server, which irked him, slightly, since he, too, was a human. Either way, it made little difference, now.

The Gryphon was near two other players, from what he could see. One was a Neko, which was basically a female Beastmaster, or Beast Man, while the other appeared to be a- oh, would you look at that? A Beast Man. The_Game watched for a few moments longer, but began to notice that more players were logging in around him, and more than a few were taking notice to his presence. Whenever he came online, more tended to follow, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. It was a good thing he had private messages and friend requests disabled, or he'd likely be overwhelmed with pop-ups right about now. Even so, he could hear several of them talking, even greeting him as they passed close-by. It was probably time to move on.

First things first, however; he needed to check the NPC stores for any new or on-sale items. Walking from the center of town towards several of the market stalls, he began to browse through their inventory, as the other players slowly began to create distance from him, their attempts at communication having failed. Meanwhile, the general and trade chat windows were likely blowing up as people became aware that The_Game had logged in, though these, too, were disabled, for him.

He looked back over at the group of people. Perhaps it was time he created a new character. Maybe later...

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He nodded, folding his arms.

"Let's make a party then." Bringing his hand up in front of him, he began to type some commands on a transparent white screen that appeared that read the words "COMMUNITY". This was an old-style interface from the earlier stages of beta, from when voice activated commands were still in testing, few players continued to use it.

Shortly after, a see-through screen materialized before Nightmare and Espik.

PLAYER: War Tiger wishes to create a party with you.


"This will let us keep track of one another, in case we get split up. As well see some of each other's statistics." It seemed like he knew what he was doing, despite his overview showing that he was more 'underleveled' than them. His critical resistance and magic defense stats, were less than average with little to no contribution from his armor. He also seemed to have alot of unused skill points left.

"I've put a some points into Health and Parrying, I can tank. Are any of you healers?" He asked, using common gaming jargon, tanking was the act of soaking up and migating damage for the party while the other members worked to bring down the enemy. Efficiency was his priority as usual. The menu only displayed the most basic of information, such as armor and hit points, he could not see their abilities or the details of their characters. It was something players had to communicate with each other.

Just then, a small crowd formed near the bridge. He could hear it. Momentarily distracted by the commotion, he looked up and glanced over his shoulder. "Hm." He mused then turned back to his screen, his expression remained unchanged.

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Nightmare smiled and nodded at the beast man. When the party request appeared, she clicked 'y' before glancing over to Espik, who looked as if she would be joining them. She held the smile before looking to see the beast man's name. 'War Tiger'

"Forming a party would be a good idea." She stated before looking to Espik. She began to wonder what the gryphon's class was but decided she would wait to see if she joined the party. If she did, Nightmare could find out.

"I have plenty of healing potions and stones, but I am no healer." She explained to him before giving a small chuckle. "I'm glad you tank, because I'm not suited for it." She added then looked down at the river beside them. Her reflection was moving from the wind hitting the water, making her body look very odd. "I am fast though and good when in shadowy areas." She told him before looking back up at him.

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There's nothing authentically good about the sunrise from Roberto's point of view. Last night he'd managed to complete his paper about the “Deviations between democratic governments from a socioeconomic perspective”. Bunch of BS, if he was really honest, but his professor dug that kind of generalized crap. Who could blame him? His faculty was just another whore fighting to stay on top while demand sank. Those kinds of papers could at least be published some times. Some of his colleagues had published a piece or two, but he still had a semester left and felt no special urge to worry about his final piece as of now.

As night turned to light, he left his late father's office, not without serving himself a glass of the cheaper scotch he'd bought to refill the space he'd been able to consume over the few past weeks. His dad hadn't been a huge drinker, but he loved movies and the tastefully arranged studies he admired some times in them. He grabbed a two blocks of ice for his glass out of a customized compartment within the cabinet, walked left the room and walked out to the garden. His family hadn't been extremely rich, but his father had left Roberto and his sixteen year-old sister, Anna, several small, but successful companies around Europe, Latin America and Africa. His walk became slower and slower as soon as he walked out his home. It was about 5:30 and the sun was already rising like a promise made under the influence of alcohol, god, he missed the winter, longer nights and bloody shorter days. He wore the same dirty jeans he always wore to work inside the house, his lucky jeans, one could imagine, but it was just that he liked the idea of not ever washing a certain piece of clothes he wore often. Tired and bored, he took a big sip of his glass, laid down on the semi-wet grass and watched the different tones of blue dance between the clouds.

Some time in the afternoon:

Roberto awoke to the smell of cigarettes. Not his brand, the cigarettes he was smelling were most likely Marlboro or Pall Mall. The kind of cigarette his sister started to smoke ever since their parents died and left her under his custody.

At first, Robert expected he to go wild or something, but it seemed as if his less than exemplary past had proven to be a sufficient deterrent for now. He'd been living in an apartment on his own when the whole thing happened. Within a day or two, he'd taken most of his stuff back to his parents' house and isolated Anna from the preoccupations expected after the death of a relative. The morning of the funeral, he went out to buy a pack of cigs, when Anna suddenly asked for a pack of her own. As her legal guardian, he should’ve said no, but as a big brother trying to help his little sis cope with the most horrible experience as of that point, he brought her a whole carton saying: “Do whatever you want with them just don't share them with under-aged friends and don't let anyone in school catch you.” Back then, it felt like he'd done the right thing. Their relationship had grown stronger in a rather short period of time. They'd watched several children movies from their childhood, but also visited the cinema a time or two to watch a new Disney flick.

Back to the garden, his sister was indeed sitting right next to him. If she was home, it probably already was late in the afternoon. Like always, Rob had missed more than half a day sleeping.
Roberto released an amused gasp and grinned. Anna grinned back, took a breath of the cig and then put the cigarette between his lips for him to take a breath too.

“What time is it?” Roberto asked and Ann took an overtly outdated Nokia cellphone and answered.

“Four in the afternoon.”

“Did you already eat something?”

“No, I'm starving. Wanna order out?”

“Wait...” Slowly, he stood up, his head felt fine, but his back was killing him. He couldn't help but give a small moan of pain while rising from the grass.

“I'll make something.” Roberto tried to cook for her as often as possible, almost every day after school, to say the least.

“How parental of you.” She said while walking next to him inside and giving him a pat in the back.

“Don't start, unless you want me to go all military school on you.” Anna chuckled.

Two hours later:
After Dinner, Roberto got a call from his Ex, Rose, proud owner of a PHD in Sociopathic Bitchdom. The two of them met often with all their mutual friends for drinks and to party. Ever since the break-up a few years back, they'd had an on and off affair depending on how drunk they were. Roberto was very far away from falling for her ever again, but he'd put his heart on a hiatus after the death of his parents. Besides, sex is sex, right?

“Hey Robby.” She said with a flirty undertone. She was probably still drunk, he thought.

“You know I hate it when you call me that.” He answered reprehensibility.

“I just called to tell you that we all missed you last night. We ended up at Mckinsey's until 4 and then I continued at my place with two cute and tall Swedish boys.” Height! Rose, knew pretty well Roberto used to feel bad about his 5'8 height. Lucky for him, he'd stopped caring about what she said or did a long time in the past. If not for anything else, he was thankful that she'd hardened him up so effectively. To answer, he gave a short laugh in a natural manly tone and said.

“Sounds like fun, but I still had to finish that paper.”

“How about going tonight for a drink? Just the two of us. For good ol' times sake.”
Roberto couldn't help but feel powerful. That was an open hook-up invitation, but only gave those when she extremely under-fed. He used to believe all her lies, believe she slept with guys every night, but he knew well-enough not even her was able to find something worth it every single night.

“Good old times? I'd love to, but my horoscope told me not to go near lakes, valleys or any other over-sized cavity.”

“Well, certain things are just made for real men.”

“Some of which are war, famine, torture and let's not forget living in the dirt.”
This time it was “Roberto 1: Rose 0”. He wasn't gonna lose his momentum, so he continued with.

“Just joking. The thing is I promised myself to stay home and play with this new VR system I got the chance to beta-test. I'll call you later, ok?” Roberto dropped the call and turned off his Cellphone before adjusting the headset and preparing to log in.

Username: HotlCali4nia

Password: *************************

"Welcome to the Realms of Destiny."

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The shops in town were mostly made up of mundane items, today. Come to think of it, it was pretty rare for a worthwhile piece to show up, seeing as there were always so many lowbies, here. Still, it never hurt to check. Incidentally, warp runes were on sale, today. They allowed fast travel to numerous zones for characters with the corresponding experience requirements. He would often use them to reach the City of Turmoil quickly, for those times when some serious PvP action was called for.

He picked up a few of the warp runes and looked them over before stuffing them into their bags. Even if he didn't use them right away, it made sense to get them while they were cheap. Looking back over towards the bridge, where the other players seemed to be gathered, he got a sudden idea. Perhaps it was time...for a stroll through memory lane.

After all, it would probably do him well to re-familiarize himself with the older zones before giving the new Legacy Armor a test run... Closing out of the shop interface, The_Game turned towards the players and began walking in their direction at a brisk pace. At a distance, he could tell already that they were all fairly harmless... at least to him. One even looked as though he'd just joined, today... and yet... something was definitely off. He just didn't seem like your typical newbie.

As The_Game reached the bridge, he stopped to slowly appraise the group, looking at each one, individually, the hollow voids that were the eyes of his metallic mask passing over them, one by one as he stood, eerily silent, the red leather wrappings of his hookswords protruding from behind his back. Then, suddenly, a strange voice emanated from beneath the mask. It began as a low rumble, with metallic reverberations as the words seemed to echo against something hollow. His tone was plain, and void of emotion or temperance. Something Kyle had cooked up for The_Game long ago, just to further shroud his character in mystery, as well as doubling as a way to avoid using his own voice.

"Stand... aside..."

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They had an almost complete party now, with Nightmare -now able to see her name, being the rogue who could dish out killing blows while unobserved. They would need to take down whatever it is ahead fast, not many players can stand toe to toe against an elite mob and specialized damagers were needed to shorten the encounter. There was no telling how she would go about it though, with the way the game was made. She did mention something about being good in shadows, he had read of abilities that could turn shaded areas into weapons but he didn't have the prerequisites for them, nor were they commonly used.

"We are almost done here." He nodded.

Espik's stats indicate her to be capable with some form of magic, but it would not hurt to have a magician-type around, they could often pull off more than their weight with abit of strategy. Regardless of abilities.

As he was finalizing the party request and their odds improved with each successful party member, a farmiliar pressence returned. Seeking something apparently, but there was no noteworthy destinations or NPCs where they were standing. The bridge was also built with space for more than two player avatars. Giving a glance to his surroundings, the player War Tiger made certain his conclusions.

"Stand... aside..." He finally heard the figure speak.

Area built to accomodate. Party not obstructing. Shown no interest in partying. Guarding NPCs not in sight. Reputation involved. Purpose concluded.

War Tiger backed away slowly from Nightmare, releasing his fingers from the interface screen as he began moving closer to the player.

Course of action ...

He whipped around, swinging his foot to trip and stretching out his right hand as it clenched unto nothing. Then, suddenly a crack in reality appeared in mid-air faster than the blink of an eye.

...Strike First. Item 206.

In the brief moments his hand passed through the tear, he pulled a large cutlass out from the distortion to swiftly stab at the intruder's neck.

The Pocket Dimension Box, a rare item that allowed the user to retrieve objects from his inventory much faster than any other player. Together with macro-bound commands, he could equip and use the items instantaneously without even having to withdraw them. This was one of the key reasons he had survived till now, he was practically carrying his whole bank with him.

Unlike other platforms, there were certainly more aspects to combat than stats in Virtual Reality and it was these things that relied on. For the brief moment he looked at the PKer's "face", his left hand crackled brightly behind him as he readied to pull yet another object. His expression of a cold, focused gaze under that badana. Along with purposeful movements, that was unusual to beastmen players who often tend to act their part and fight more savagely, it may have hinted that he was used to these things.

...Least to say, he knew who that was. Anytime now.

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Nightmare watched Espik for a moment before moving her eyes back onto War Tiger, who seemed to be studying the newly formed party. A smile was perched onto the nekos face as she too was observing the states of the others who she would be fighting along side.
It was odd that the gryphon character would be a caster, however she was rather happy that they had one with them. Even if they were a mage like character, they could normally preform some sort of buff- where their stats would be raised for a certain about of time. This would come in handy.
Her attention was taken when a gruff character came up and spoke. His voice was eerie and made her neko ears fold down. His presence made the hair on her neck stand up. She turned and looked at him, then the bridge. There was plenty of room to get by, so why would he say anything? Other that to start trouble possible...
Her eyes watched as War Tiger launched his attack, however she simply jumped back out of the way. She silently hoped that he didn't expect her to help. She never liked the idea of fighting other players unless it was for training purposes or possibly a tournament. Her green eyes watched the two figures and though she had no interest in battling, she was ready if someone was to strike at her.

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Ingame - City of Fate
This was the first time Roberto would use August. He had chosen to start at level 1 with this him. Level 1 and really nothing but the beginner's set. Also, he took quite a lot of time creating an extremely similar digital copy of himself. It was kind of obnoxious and vain at the same time, he thought. Was he overthinking things once again? Maybe.

Now that he was inside of the game, he tried to get used to the neuro-sync. It was really awe-inspiring. He was able to feel the temperature and the weight of his equipment. Still he still felt somewhat lighter than in his own body. It was annoying somehow, but he had to admit that this body was way fitter than his own. The masochistic branch of his mind couldn't help but feel amused by this slight ego-drop. It was his first time playing, so he looked around. He was standing on a rather large platform right at the center of a generic looking square. So this was the City of Fate... A few NPCs were talking to low-leveled characters like August. The buildings surrounding the square were mostly of European style. Some venders stood at every corner. Without much ado, he ignored the entire nooblet spectacle, took out a map from his pocket and went to the outskirts of the city. The streets were filled with NPCs and players. The designer had made a great job conveying a feeling of player-like movements to the NPC characters. You could barely see any differences between them and human gamers. When he reached the gate, there were several groups, talking to each other. Some of them sitting on the grounds outside of the city, resting and planning probably. he walked in a straight line out of the city and unto the fields surrounding it.

Ingame - Field of Souls
There were all kinds of creatures out there. August looked around for the weakest kill-able thing possible and found a baby piglet running around in circles close by. He wasn't sure how combat worked in this game, so he took out his sword and walked slowly closer to the piglet. It wasn't aggressive. That was good. Now he charged towards him and tried to do an horizontal frontal slash to see how the piglet reacted. At first, it just fell on it's back and couldn't go back to his feet due to the great disproportion between his limbs and his body. After going back up, his skin turned red and the piggy charged straight at him. It seemed the enemy AI had received a certain amount of delayed reaction time, since August had no problem avoiding the little piggy. It took one more slash, but the little piggy fell to the ground and vanished into smoke... leaving a single slice of bacon behind. August picked it up and ate it. It was obvious bacon had some kind of revitalizing effect on his the avatar's body. For the next fifteen minutes, August kept hunting baby pigs and collecting some bacon. It's always good to have extra resources in case harder mobs appear. After beating the living crap out of over two dozen piggies, a shining blue aura appeared on his right hand. Since he was already holding his rusty battle companion. He did a few practice slashes and, slowly, the blue light vanished from him. His body felt slightly quicker now, August noticed. That had probably been some kind of level-up. It didn't matter, but he was getting tired of fighting piglets.

A bit further away from the city, he noticed how some of the monsters had started to notice him. As he went further and further away from his starting point, the enemies became a little bit less of a joke and started looking somewhat menacing. Finally, he found a small goblin village made out of five or six primitive tents and what probably was designed to look like a barricade wall of bones, earth and trash. All around the village, goblin sentries with leather armors and spears covered it from intruders. Not wanting to grab the attention of the entire bunch. August stayed at a safe distance and screamed towards a single goblin.

“Hey, you!” The goblin was seemed slightly surprised and pointed at himself questioningly. The others didn't seem to give him much or any attention.

“Yeah, you!!! Would you mind answering a question?” The creature nodded. It was incredible how it was able to respond to him...

“Are you the ugliest goblin ever born or just the ugliest in your village?! Your face is so hideous that only a mother could love that!” The creature jumped several times in anger and stormed straight towards him. The little goblin was slow and somewhat clumsy, but his spear was sharp and deadly. Even if he was smaller, the difference in weapon range was something not to be ignored. Once it arrived, the little goblin tried a thrust attack directly at August. The goblin's movements had suddenly become much faster and secure, but August could still move away much faster than the goblin. He took a breath at a safe distance and thought:

That little shit faked his actual capabilities until he reached me. This AI is amazing!

The goblin held the spear with both hands, but stayed at a distance signalizing what probably was meant to be taunt. In this case, August was aware of the huge difference in attack and defense power between them. A single hit would probably suffice to send him back to the respawn point. He didn't planned on allowing that to happen. It took time, at first, he just orbited around the goblin, now and again testing a feint and hoping for an attack to avoid or counter. His feints received a reaction, but the goblin never once countered. It was plain unnatural, but any AI had it's limits unfortunately. Later he would have to report this to an admin. After something more than half an hour, he noticed how some stronger players were surrounding him, wondering what a low-leveled newbie was doing fighting that mob. They asked if August needed help, but he declined help with the least amount of effort possible. In order to end the fight, August had to either run away, die or.... well,.... attack, but how could he attack without being directly countered. Even if he managed a single hit, he still needed the attack leave enough room and time to back off without getting damage. That wouldn't be an easy task. His sword would probably break at some point so blocking and deflecting couldn't be his main option. It took some more time, his stamina was starting to go low. Even this avatar had it's limits at his level. Finally, he looked more carefully at his surroundings. The grass around where they were standing was pretty dry... he hadn't noticed that before. August grinned for a few seconds. The creature didn't react to his facial reactions. After surrounding him a few more times, he took some dry earth from the ground with his left hand. Then he stood still. The creature and him were facing each other seemingly motionless. Their battle had become a little show for those questing in that particular area. Suddenly, August gave a short grunt and the fighters rushed towards each other. He feigned lifting his sword, but instead he hurled the dirt in his left hand right towards the goblin's eyes. It was a risk, he wasn't sure, if that would work as well as he hoped. Fortunately,..... it did. The beast's thrust didn't even his shadow. Instead, the monster suffered several undefended hits to his back. It barely damaged him, but it actually did some kind of damage. It was a start,....but then again... The creature was now angry and it didn't wait for August to counter again. Thrust after thrust, the creature tried to pierce his weak armor, always barely missing. Was his mind starting to get tired or was his character the one being tired. He needed something more... a bigger weakness or more time, just a little more time.

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The beast-man was the first to react. Typical. Always charging out in front to join the fray, those beast-men. His movements, though... quite interesting.

First action; close distance. Basic. Predictable. Indicates lack of means for ranged attack, or an unwillingness to reveal them. Could be misdirection. Assume melee engagement to follow.

Second action; a sweep. Uncanny. Something he would do. Don't see that very often from a beast-man. Indicates a mixed approach, possible intent to disable, not kill. Could also be setting up for the killing blow. Assume the worst.

Third action; summon weapon. Intriguing. Using a unique item... what was it? Pocket Box? Dimension Box? Irrelevant. A Cutlass. Basic one-handed blade. Suitable to both slashing and thrusting. Position of body prior to sweep indicates that a slash is most likely. Predictable. Expect a thrust.

Fourth action; thrust. Told you so. An attempt to pierce the throat. Lacking precision. Unnecessary. Width of blade will cause numerous, potentially mortal wounds; severed or punctured windpipe, larynx, jugular. Human neck fragile. Smart to target it. Weakest point in armor, and on body.

Course of action; None...

The_Game remained motionless. The beast-man's left foot swept across the ground, towards the back of his opponent's left leg, at the pit of the knee... and it kept going. A slight distortion formed at the would-be point of impact as the computer removed collisions around both The_Game and the beast-man, allowing the attack to simply phase through his body without actually connecting. The City of Fate, as it turned out, was a non-PvP zone. The beast-man's thrust for The_Game's throat, similarly, failed to land, and the blade simply passed through the space that had been occupied by tendons, flesh and bone.

Silence rang out around them, deafening. For a moment, The_Game simply looked on towards the beast-man, the empty husks where eyes should be boring into him. Then, as The_Game began to lean forward, slowly, the metallic modulation returned.


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The interface to join a party popped up, sent by the beast man, whose user name was War Tiger. The name made sense, given his race and demeanor. Espik could imagine that in a battle the beast man's nearly placid appearance could become ferocious. Espik accepted the party invite. Tail lashing and wings twitching in anticipation, she assesed the two other people in her party. Nightmare was fast while War Tiger was a tank. Espik herself was a mage-melee hybrid of a sort; her skills were magical but her basic attacks were physical. Because of her high offenses and inability to wear most armors, she was what one would consider a 'squishy' character. This was part of the reason she relied so much on her Wind Charm skill.

"I have a healing ability," she responded to War Tiger's question.

Another character was approaching, one who looked like a veteran. He had an odd sense to him, unpredictable and dangerous. Espik's tail fluffed out and her fur stood on end, making her appear bigger.

"Stand... aside..." he ordered, voice lacking any inflection at all.

Something about this newcomer had riled up War Tiger for the beast man launched an impressive attack. It looked like he pulled items out of thin air. Espik stayed back, not wanting to get into any battling yet, but was ready to heal War Tiger if need be. Instead the beast man sailed through the empty looking person, who intoned a monotonous, "Owch..."

What was up with this new character? He definitely didn't seem like the kind of person to cross, but Espik didn't think that he was the sort of person anyone would get along with, either. At least this appeared to be a non-PvP area so no one would get killed.

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Nightmare's eyes followed each move until she noticed none of them were landing. A small smile crept onto her face as she remember the area was a non-pvp zone. She couldn't help but to laugh a little before giving a small sigh. "Well that was entertaining at least." She said to both of them before turning her eyes onto Espik. "Its good your have healing abilities. That will come in handy." She said, though her words were warm and polite compared to the joking manor she had used with the two men characters.

"If everyone will excuse me, I have to run and gather a few things." She stated before walking over towards one of the potion shops. She didn't need much, but she always liked being prepared before she went out on any sort of quest. Luckily, she had a good amount of money from selling all the things she found along missions.
After grabbing a few higher strength potions and charm scrolls, she decided to head over to the weapon shop, just encase they had something she liked. "Hello there, Nightmare!" She blacksmith greeted in an optimistic tone, which always seemed to make her laugh. "Ello, Mr. Blacksmith." She replied, just for the fun of it. Of coarse, he couldn't hear, but it was fun to play along sometimes.
She glazed at the selection he had, but nothing was of interest. "Well, see ya later." She said, waving to the NPC before heading back towards the group she had been with before.