The wind was cold upon his skin and the sounds of the city, distant. The city slowly changed into a silhouette as the sun set. A nurse , with a name tag with the name "Sarah" written in red pen, slowly and quietly opened the roof access door behind him, just as carefully closing it behind her then sat down beside him. "This breeze feels nice, huh Tod?" Sarah asked. Still gazing at the silhouette of the city, Tod nodded. They sat silently for a couple of minutes, then Sarah stood up. "We should get inside, your time allowed outside is almost up anyway." Tod slowly stood up, and followed her inside. Sarah led Tod to his hospital room, and hooked up the life support systems as Tod laid down. "Call me if you need something." Sarah said as she left the room.
The door creaked shut, then it was dead silent. Tod looked over at a small bedside table and opened the laptop his parents got him for one of his birthdays, he couldn't remember which. He saw that he had a email, he clicked on the small desktop icon and in large bold letters read "CROSSED HAS BEEN RELEASED!" In the email was a link to the game's website and another to buy the game. Curious about the game, Tod clicked on the link that lead to the website. He watched the trailer for it and was amazed by how good it looked. Tod vaguely remembered seeing it before, he must have signed up for a email reminder for when it came out. It said that it is a VR game, Tod looked at his VR headset resting on the table. Tod looked at the price of the game, the average $60, then opened a new tab to check his bank account. Due to almost always staying in one spot, Tod has a lot of time to kill each day. He self-taught himself how to code and makes bit of money making small indie games. He was happy to see he has enough to buy the game. A few hours later the game finished downloading.
Tod started up the game, put on his VR headset and laid back, waiting for the game to launch. He watched the small hospital room that has become his home fade away into nothingness. The game's logo flew in and he was taken to the character creator. As with most VR games with custom characters, his real life appearance was set as a base to work off of. He stared at the body that was in front of him for a bit, bald, pale, almost skin and bones. Seeing what he looked like, trapped in this hospital, made him a bit disheartened. He shook his head, pushing away his sadness. "Most people use their real appearance, I might as well too." Tod said to himself. "But, a few changes wouldn't hurt." He gave his character short pure white hair, changed his eye color from a pale almost lifeless green to a deep ruby red and gave the body a bit of muscle and a healthy, peachy color. He pressed the finish button at the bottom of the customization list and then was given a list of classes to choose from.
He eventually chose the reaper class, as he liked the skills that it starts with. Lastly he was asked to name his character, Tod chose the name "Shadow Reaper" as it fit with his class. Before he knew it he was transported to the main city of the game. What seemed like millions of people from around the world were talking, trading and battling each other. He was standing in a large city square, merchants selling a large variety of things covered the outer edges and center of the square. Stone paths led to the four gates out of the city, many bland-looking houses on either side of the paths. A large royal blue flag, displaying a white dragon, waved in the gentle breeze on a pole near each of the gates. A large castle was visible on the horizon. Tod looked down at himself. He was clad in cheap-looking leather armor, so poorly crafted that even the breeze damaged it. Tod felt something on his back, he grabbed a wooden handle that was above his right shoulder. He held out a very weak looking scythe. The blade looked as if it would break in one swing, and the handle would snap if he gripped it too hard.
A small group of three people noticed Tod and begin walking towards him, they wave to him with friendly smiles on their faces. The largest of the three was clad in heavy-looking armor, with a large axe strapped to his back. He was bald with large brown eyes. The other two looked like twins, both wearing white mage robes and each holding a wooden staff. The one on the right of the big guy had long black hair that ended at his shoulders and purple eyes. The other on the big guy's left had short black hair and grey eyes. "Hey, you new?" the largest guy, who Tod assumed is the leader, asked. "Y...ya." Tod nervously replied. The group chuckled a bit, "Maybe we could help you get started?" the leader asked. "Re...really?" Tod stuttered, "That would be great!" The leader opened a menu and taped some buttons that float in front of him, then a small pop up appeared in front of Tod.
Alpha king has challenged you to a battle
"Go ahead, accept it. I'll show you how to fight." Alpha king said, his tone slightly intimidating. Tod hesitantly taped the accept button.
Suddenly a circular light barrier separated Tod and Alpha king from the other players. Alpha King started laughing, "I love you new players, so stupid, so trusting, so much fun to crush." Without warning a siren went off and a robotic voice kept repeating "New challenger approaching!" "Damn! That stupid kid got here faster than I thought" Alpha King muttered to himself. Tod looked around for this new person, but couldn't find them. Alpha king also looked around, weapon draw and ready to strike, but he was caught off guard when a person with a spear dropped in front of him, and disarmed him. Alpha king's axe slid in front of Tod's feet. The mysterious person hovered their spear right in front of Alpha king's face, his eyes full of shock. Without hesitation they stabbed Alpha king, he fell to the ground and his body shattered into pieces. The light barrier faded as the stranger strapped their spear to their back and turns to face Tod. A young looking boy, had to be around 15, stood before him. His deep ocean blue eye partly covered by his short, light grey hair. He was clad in steel-plated armor that seemed to glow a faint green. A dragon, like the one on that flag Tod saw before, decorated the chest plate. He smiled at Tod. "You must be a new player, if AK was fighting you. I can't count how many people have quit thanks to him, the jerk." The stranger said. Tod tried to say thank you but couldn't speak, the words stuck in his throat. "You okay over there? Are you shy?" The boy asked. Tod stood still, trying to say something, anything, but couldn't. "How about I introduce myself, I'm Gunner." The boy said in a friendly tone.
Gunner pointed above himself, "Gunner" was displayed as well as his level, 36. "Now you introduce yourself." Gunner said in a warm, friendly voice. "I- I'm Tod." Tod stuttered. "I MEAN SHADOW REAPER!" Tod blurted out, realizing that he said his real name. "Wow, you really are the shy type aren't you?" Gunner said, barely holding back from laughing. "Well, since you told me your real name guess I'll tell you mine. Name's Norbert." Norbert gave Tod a big smile. "Now, how about I teach you how to play. The actual tutorial in this game sucks. Of course I understand if you don't want my help, considering what just happened to you and all, but if you want some tips I'd be glad to help."
"No! I mean yes! I mean... I would like some tips, I feel I can trust you." Tod blurted out, feeling embarrassed. Norbert bit his right index finger, trying not to laugh. "Okay" he replied, dropping his hand to his side. "I know a good play to grind some levels, follow me." Norbert turned around and headed to one of the city gates. Tod quickly followed close behind him. "Hey, Tod right?" Norbert asked. "That's right." Tod quickly replied. "Cool, Tod I feel like we're gonna be great friends. Norbert stated. "Not that I'm forcing you to be friends or anything." He quickly blurted out, remembering how shy Tod is. "No no, I'd really like to be friends... Norbert? Did I get that right?" Tod replied. "Yep, that you did bud." Norbert chuckled as they walked through the city gates.
Chapter 1 end.