What… a man was startled to suddenly see a light heading towards him, it was like being on a speeding train in a tunnel, and the end was so bright, and it was closing in fast. ”ahhh… ”
After god knows how long time in the tunnel and an endless line of notifications appearing in his peripheral vision, he suddenly found himself in a vast expanse of greenery. He looked around searching for any answers for his predicament, but there was no one to ask and nothing to get a clue from.
He stood there clueless for a minute turning his head around like a lost child when a puff of purple smoke exploded too close to him, what was worse was that it was upwind so it enveloped him entering his nose and throat making him cough profusely.
”Welcome adventurer! ” a high pitched voice sounded in his ear coming from the place where the smoke appeared. ”The world is happy to receive you in the Phoenix project. Rise and prosper in the wondrous and magnificent journey. Explore an endless world of opportunities and boundless growth. Become your greatest dream and experience unique sensations, and the world will reward you for overcoming hardships and gaining new experiences. This is your time adventurer. ”
He stood there dazed listening to what seems to be a female pixie too small to produce as much smoke as it did. ”w… Wh… What! ” he tried to speak but it was hard for him to remember how to talk for some reason.
”You may feel disorientated at first. You may experience nausea and vertigo when moving for the first time. Endure it and overcome it and the world will reward you appropriately. Goodluck adventurer! ”
The pixie said its last words and disappeared as it appeared, in a puff of smoke which made him cough again. He attempted to reflexively shoo the smoke away from himself but his hands weren responding.
-Quest initiated: Move around.
-Description: Figure out how to move and take your first step in the world to start your magnificent journey.
-Quest reward: (beginner flip-flops: something to wear on your feet instead of walking around with your bare foot.)
A few lines appeared in front of him pushing the previous long line up and taking their place at the end of the notification line. He had no idea what was happening or where he was. He was still dazed and unable to remember where he came from or how he got here.
After a second of reflection, he discovered that he didn remember anything from before that long tunnel. He doesn even remember his name or who he was. He started panicking and his heart raced, he felt sweat dripping on his face and back and his whole body trembled. His legs were unable to hold his weight and he fell to the ground.
The feeling of being imprisoned inside his own body was familiar to him somehow, and this fear of being unable to move or control himself subsided slowly as his hands moved to prevent himself from falling on his face instinctively. He then forgot the familiarity of being unable to move as if it was a distant dream and looked at his hands closing and opening them a few times to make sure he could control them.
When he calmed down a bit he tried to stand up on his weak legs. He was moving on instinct and his mind was still unable to form proper thoughts. When he finally stood up and walked forward the quest completion notification sounded in his ears startling him, it was the first time for him to notice the plop sound, this sound also felt familiar to him but he was unable to recall anything, let alone the origin of this sound.
-Congratulations! You completed your first quest and received your first reward.
-Achievement Reward: interface unlocked (interface: you can access your stats and manage your skills and personal informations.)
-Item received: (Beginner flip-flops: comfy to wear. What more could you ask for.)
A pair of navy blue flippers appeared in front of his eyes and fell to the ground arranging themselves with his feets. He stared at them for a second admiring their color and decorations, there was a bunny ear mark on them and a white dot on the heel area. He didn know what to do with them. The scene was familiar to him but no matter how hard he focused, he couldn remember anything.
He lifted his feet slightly and the slippers slipped on on their own as if they knew where they belonged, he felt a slight joy when he walked around in them. he remembers this joy, this feeling of having something new, when was the last time he felt this.
When his mind wandered for a second he had a sudden burst of memories coming back at him threatening to split his head apart. He remembered a fall, a thought about last moments of life, a girl. He couldn endure the pain and shock of remembering what happened to him, he collapsed.
”He doesn seem stable! Should we call it a day?! ” a woman in her late twenties said as she watched the readings of a life support system on the side of her busy monitor.
”The fact that he connected at all is a milestone in of itself, but we should hit the iron while its hot. Plus, whats the worst that gonna happen! Hes already been out for… What! Ten years now! We could be making him a favor by giving him some action! Must be boring as ** in there. ” a man in a white coat shrugged. he had a shaved head and a muscular body stretching the white elegant coat to its limit.
”Are you sure you are a doctor!! I mean… Should i look you up?! You seem suspicious! ”
”Yeah i get that a lot… Any way! Keep it up Ill go give his mother the good news… ”
”Wait! What! We haven succeeded yet! What if it didn work! ” she anxiously interrupted him standing in his way to prevent him from leaving the hospital room. When she realized how big he was she wasn convinced in the slightest that she would be able to stop him.
”Listen Hayley! If you knew this family… Hearing anything about him would make their day, not to mention a good news… They didn hear good news about him for more then 8 years… Even if it didn work, it would make them happier then ever just to know he is still in there. ” tears piled up in his eyes making him push her aside gently and rush out of the room before his tough guy act crumbles under his tears in front of her.
Outside the room down the long hall in the waiting room, a woman sat expressionlessly on her chair lost in her thoughts and unaware of her surroundings, when a familiar voice called on her.
”mrs D! Good news! He connected for about 10 minutes! ” Hearing those words pulled her out of the chair so energetically, she felt a happiness that haven visited her for a long time overcome her.
”Oh my god! Danny! Thats a wonderful news! Can i talk to him now! Is he playing? Did he remember the accident?! How is he now?! ” the womans tears couldn be stopped and her joy was unimaginable. She couldn wait to meet her son again after being in a coma for more than ten years.
They stopped waiting for him to wake up after a while. And even though he was completely unresponsive and his brain activity reports were declining for the past 5 years, his mother never stopped visiting him every single day. She eventually stopped talking finding nothing else to say, she would just sometimes hug his limb body for hours hoping she could hear or feel anything from him, even a difference in his heart beating would make her happy.
Now after all this time, when a computer programing company offered them a contract to test a new Virtual Reality technology, she felt that what they promised was too good to be true. They said if it worked properly, he would be able to live inside their VR world like any other gamer, and eventually she would be able to meet him and talk to him inside the VR.
She didn dare to hope that it would work, her heart wouldn be able to handle another failure, another disappointment, another attempt to bring him back not working for what ever reason. She prayed for him to be back so many times she started doing it unconsciously.
Being told that he had any kind of a response to anything felt like a long forgotten dream eventually coming true.
”Hold your horses mrs D! He was good for 10 minutes in there… He is not stable yet! You can come in and watch if you want! I have to warn you though… Its complicated in there. ” Dr Daniel Blitzer said with a face barely professional, he too was holding in his tears trying to maintain his image in front of the hospital staff, the nurses, his coworkers and even his patients families. What would they think if they saw him tearing up like this when delivering news to a patients family.
But who cares, his childhood friend is coming back, who cares about what anyone thinks about him, he never considered other peoples opinions about his personal choices. Why would he start caring now. He became a doctor despite everyones expectations of him, and won multiple bodybuilding competitions just to spite those who called him weak in his teens. He achieved so many things that when he looked back at them now, he couldn help but chuckle, because all of them were just to spite others, none of them were his dreams.
After calming her down and informing her about what they did so far and what devices she would see her son connected to in there, he finally opened the door under the expectant and anxious eyes of mrs Emilia Dareheart. She waltzed in unable to hold in her overflowing emotions. The thought of her son having hope of any kind of life was completely consuming her.
”Wait mrs D! ” dr Daniel couldn stop her, he forgot to tell her that her son was actually in a separate room connected to the room they were operating from. It was her first time entering a room in the 7th floor of the hospital since this place was reserved for special cases. Her son was always in the intensive care room on the 5th floor even though his condition was stable, she couldn leave his side every day until she makes sure that he is taking care off. She even requested a camera to be installed in his room so she could check on him whenever she leaves. And the nurses responsible for him were paid double what the hospital paid them just to take good care of him. She was always overprotective of him.
”where is he?! ”
”Yeah… I forgot to tell you… He is in the other room. Like i said, you can touch him but be careful not to shake him or make any kind of noise, the connection is unstable and his body condition is still fragile after the surgeries. ” Daniel said one last time before opening a door to their left, allowing her to enter the separate dark room filled with electronics and monitoring devices.
When Emilia saw her sons body, tears rushed out of her eyes and her heart skipped a few beats. He was connected with multiple wires throughout his body starting from his head that looked like a forest of plugs, down his neck having three thin wires and the rest of his body and spine. Despite all of that, she felt as if he looked better then ever.
She approached his bed side and held his left hand like she did for ten years now, this time however, she pulled her hand back before touching his hair, he had no hair any more, he had neural connector plugs instead of hair.
After a while of collapsing, he started to wake up and open his eyes when he felt warmth inside of him. It was unexplainable, like hugging someone and feeling them close. where am i?! this feeling of warmth finally cleared his head enough to form a proper thought. But it also flashed a few memories putting him in pain again, fortunately he didn faint this time.
He stood up slowly and recalled what happened here so far. What was that flying thing! when he wondered about the identity of the flying thing that spoke to him earlier, a name appeared in his head and with a few memories of his childhood, specifically a childrens cartoon which had a tiny person with golden skin and a green dress which would fly around with its transparent wings leaving pixie dust everywhere.
He found himself saying all of a sudden, surprising himself with his own voice. He remembered talking… To who…
Another cloud of purple sparkling smoke exploded near him and the same high pitched voice sounded in his ear. ”Did you call on me adventurer?! My name is Zoe! But you can call me pixie if you like, Im the only one left after all… ” she sighed slouching her shoulders.
He stared at her like a child after finishing coughing out her smoke from his lungs and throat. She looked nothing like the pixies from children shows, she looked more like an office worker with her purple suit and necktie, even though the suit was as decent as it could be, it didn hide her noticeable curves. But he didn think about that. ”What… Are… You?! ” he asked, listening again to the sound of his familiar voice.
”What! Isn it obvious?! Im a pixie! The last one there is! I just said that, didn i?! ” Zoe stumped the invisible ground underneath her feets in the cutest fit of anger ever. ”What did you expect?! Wings! How would i wear clothe if i fling them around all day?! I wouldn ruin this expensive suit just to display my wings. ” She folded her hands and raised her nose in absolute disagreement with the childish image he had about her race, she was proud of being a pixie but she wouldn try to convince every passerby that she is one.
”What is your name Adventurer? ” she asked after calming herself down and reminding herself that she had a job to do.
”N… Name…! ” he stuttered Trying to recall his own name, which wasn easy for him at all.
”Yeah! What should i call you!! You can choose a new name if you don want to use your real name, but nicknames must be unique and devoid of numbers or symbols, be realistic!. I can generate a few suggestions if you want. ”
”My name… Is… Odd…
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