|4th January 2004, 04:12 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2004
I wrote this about a year ago. Now, as I look back on it, I think my skills as a writer have increased much more. My writing is in no way professional - I'm in high school.
The plot was heavily inspired by the anime .hack//SIGN and the novel Caverns of Socrates. I think the subject of the story holds a lot of potential for a serious novel. But, this story is an extremely amateur attempt at writing SF. Nevertheless, please critique away!
Everyone played the game. If you didn't, you were an outcast of society. The game revolved around a fantasy world called Erinae. Players placed the software disk into the CD-ROM drive and put on their suit. Each suit had a helmet which rested on the players' head, gloves with wires connected to the helmet, and a chest set strapped around the players' chest which was also connected to the helmet. On top of helmet was a wireless transmitter that signaled the players' command to the computer.
Akio quickly sprinted up the hardwood stairs of his apartment. He has just gotten the new expansion pack which included new quests, heroes, and items for players to attain on their quests. He had finally saved up enough money and was able to pick one up at Jyounouchi's Game Shop. Akio finally reached the top of the stairs, sprinted to his white computer, and popped open the CD-ROM drive. Fiercely, he tore open the decorated game box and placed the CD-ROM gently into drive. A few prompts came up on his flat screen monitor which he quickly proceeded through. Before Akio could play, however, he had to warm up his suit. Finally, the suit was warmed up. A gentle humming noise sounded throughout the Akio's bedroom. Before Akio put the suit on he decided to browse the message boards which were crowded with topic threads like usual. He took a few moments to see if anything intrigued him. One topic, which was titled "Legend of Nikua Spoilers", immediately grabbed his attention. He clicked the thread with his optical laser mouse and waited for the thread came up. "I just got the Legend of Nikua expansion," read the thread, "it includes three new races - the Droll (a Dwarf and Troll breed), the Beuorgise (a Human and Ogre breed), and the Titan. Also, it includes numerous more items. My favorites are Inuysa Judgment, Angelic Prophecy, and Attack of Attrition. I suggest that all of you buy the expansion right now! It makes the game amazing." Akio exited the thread and looked for more interesting threads. There were none. It was to time to play the game.
Akio got up from his black, swivel chair and picked up his suit. It was still humming. A beat could be sensed throughout the room in result of the humming. Akio gently grabbed the helmet part of the suit as if he was holding a young infant and placed it on his head. Next, he took the chest set carefully put it on over the helmet and connected the wires. Finally, he took the gloves, connected them first, and then put them on his large hands.
The helmet covered the eyes with clear plastic so that the player could move around reality. Akio, with his suit on, sat down in his leather swivel chair. The last preparation task was to plug the final chord at the top of the helmet into the computer monitor. He did so. Suddenly, the clear plastic in Akio's helmet became fogged and his bedroom disappeared. Blue beams of light started shining throughout the space Akio was in. It was like he was traveling at the speed of light. Abruptly, a feminine voice echoed,
"Welcome SDNess. The last time you played was Tuesday, April 16 at 9:15 PM. What is your password?"
"Orion," answered Akio quickly as if he had something important to do.
"Process complete -- You may now enter the Erinae Server Transport Station. Thank you for coming and enjoy your gaming experience."
Immediately after the voice finished speaking, Akio's body transformed. He looked down as his feet, legs, abdomen, stomach, and chest split into thousands of particles. The particles dissolved. His head did not split up and dissolve. Instead, his ears elongated and hair lightened to brown. The rest of his body changed sequentially. Akio's clothes were changed the traditional Elvin attire which consisted of knee high, leather boots, green silk pants, a gray long-sleeve shirt, and a navy blue cloak. A curved sword hung at his left side.
The blue beams of light that surrounded Akio disappeared and he landed in the middle of a busy medieval market place. There were five exits. Each exit lead to one of the Erinae servers; Dellteria, Giya, Latrane, Qwegya, and Suden. Each server had its own warp gate. Akio only played on Delleteria because it had the best anti-hacking software installed. Most of the other servers had outdated software and its players suffered from frequent hacking attacks. Akio moved progressed through the busy market to the Dellteria warp gate. Unexpectedly, a bearded human character ran right into Akio and knocked him on the group. His faced smacked on the hard marble ground and saliva oozed from his mouth. Other players in the market turned around in response to the action. The bearded human, however, did not stop to help Akio. Instead, he sped on into the mass of people. A gray gargoyle came over to help Akio.
"Are you alright?" asked the Gargoyle sincerely. "Uh…yeah…thanks," responded Akio as the Gargoyle helped him from the ground.
"What was that all about?""I'm not sure. He just ran right into me. Thanks for helping me though. My name is SDNess. What's yours?""Giran," answered the gargoyle as if he were a person of importance.
"Oh. Well, I have to get going, but maybe we will play some quests together some time."
"That would be great! Bye."
Akio quickly forgot about the bearded man and went to check the weapon shops. He went to his favorite weapon broker, Merny's Weapon and Magic Shop. Merny and Akio had become good friends throughout Akio's time playing the game. Once, Akio arrived at the shop he immediately went in so that he could find a good deal. A white piece of parchment grabbed his attention instantly. It was if the paper physically pulled him. "The following players are wanted by the administration: Clone111, Koba9Z, and GryX," read the paper, "Reward is nine hundred gyrupee."
After, Akio had fully read the paper, he continued on into the shop.
“Welcome SDNess! What can I do for you today?" said Merny easily showing that he was in need of a customer.
"Hey Merny, what new weapons do you have today?"
"I was just sold a Juyi dagger for seventy nine gyrupee. Would you like to see it?"
"Sure. I've never seen one," answered Akio as Merny brought out the dagger.
"It’s very old and malleable so watch out. I wouldn't sell it as a weapon. It could probably fall under the art artifact category."
"I like it," said Akio while he examined the shimmering blade, "I'm probably going on a quest soon and I don't have enough gyrupees to pay for it. Make sure you don't sell it before I come back."
"You can take it now. Just make sure you come back to pay me."
Akio left Merny's Shop and trotted make into the market square. Suddenly, an Elvin wizard shouted to Akio.
"There you are, Nessie!" shouted Mentat joyfully.
”Hey, Mentat! Why haven’t you contacted me?"
"There has been some freaky stuff going on in game," said Mentat as if he was extremely excited.
"Huh? I haven't seen anything on the message boards, “responded Akio who was showing that he was confused.
"Obviously. There hasn't been any information on the boards about this stuff. The administration is really trying to keep everything about it under wraps."
"Oh, I see. So aren't you going to tell me what it is that is actually happening," pushed Akio clearly indicating that he wanted to know.
"Many people have been disappearing in game. Also, many characters are reporting to have been attacked by other characters equipped with hacks. These hacks are serious man. The hacks don't just hurt the in game character because in most cases the characters' real body is hurt. It's really freaking me out."
"Wow. This is serious. How did you find out this stuff?"
"Hah, I've got my in game contacts - the connections. I know that the admins are trying to track the characters and their movements and behaviors in game. I think they have a couple of suspects too, but I'm not exactly sure. The problem is that only the top admins are allowed to access the information of players. It’s illegal if anyone else does."
"Well, there's nothing we can do. We will just have to leave it up to the admins," said Akio as if he didn't care what happened in Erinae.
"That's true, but it still freaks me out. I'll keep you updated on the upcoming information."
"Okay. Do you want to try a quest?" questioned Akio tauntingly.
"-- We will make it a quick one, come on."
"Alright, but it has to be very quick."
"It will be. Relax. I always thought you were the one concerned on improving your characters stats," taunted Akio.
Akio and Mentat headed for the Dellteria warp gate. As soon as the two warriors reached the gate, they got on the circular transport pad and waited. After, a couple of seconds their bodies vaporized from the market place. Akio and Mentat's feet gently fell to the ground. An eminent mountain towered above them. Snow covered the peak. An articulately built stone temple rested at the base of the mountain.
Akio and Mentat sprinted into the stone temple. There were four stages to the temple. At the end of the fourth stage an artifact could be found. Gyrupees, ammunition like arrows, magic, or health tablets usually lay in the remains of the dead foes. Akio noticed a weird figure to his right. Akio stopped and his legs stiffened. A small, black orb floated amongst the green, coniferous trees. Could the black orb be a hack? Akio didn't know, but sped on to catch Mentat.
A swarm of twenty zubbat came from all corners of the room. There were five zubbat per corner. Mentat and Akio easily defeat the zubbat by standing back to back in the center of the room. Each of the warriors took on ten zubbat each. Mentat's health and magic had depleted. This was because Mentat had an insufficient amount of armor and his only weapon used magic. They continued to the next room. A passage opened in the stone wall adjacent to them. They stared into darkness.
“Let’s go!” urged Akio bravely, but the fear was palpable in his voice.
Akio and Mentat reluctantly stepped forward into the dark room. Torches lit from each corner of the new room. Suddenly, a mass of gnomes and sprites appeared. The gnomes wore little cotton cloths and were armed with small axes. The sprites on the other hand, hovered above the ground fueling their magic. A high shrill sounded from the mass of foes. Mentat and Akio glanced at each other. Mentat stayed at the room entrance powering up his magic as Akio unsheathed his sword and attacked one of the sprites. His curved sword ricocheted violently off the sprite and a light blue field formed around all of the other sprites and gnomes.
“They have defense!” Akio cried.
“Hmmm…I’m not sure how to beat them…let me power up my Adrion’s Charmise spell,” advised Mentat as a large energy ball formed around his hands.
“Yeah, here we go!”
Mentat released the massive energy ball from his hands. The gnomes and sprites took their attention away from Akio and looked in horror at the giant ball.
“Attack their backs! It’s their weak spot!”
Akio gripped his sword and took a forceful blow at the back of each enemy. Each of the gnomes and sprites vaporized and a little bit of magic power lay in the remains.
“Nice work. Can I have the magic power?”
“Yeah, but let’s get going.”
They walked into the next chamber and confronted a massive dragon. The dragon had green scales and was able to breath fire. It wasted no time. A massive swirling inferno of fire came rushing at Akio. There was nothing he could do. “No!” screamed Mentat. The flame disappeared, surprisingly, in front of Akio’s face. The dragon let out a ferocious roar. It was extremely mad. Suddenly, the dragon split into thousands of particles and vaporized.
“What happened?” asked Mentat dumbfounded.
“I don’t know. We didn’t even touch it.”
|4th January 2004, 04:14 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2004
A mysterious sound came from the space where the dragon had been. It sounded like the cry of a lungaa wolf of the frigid north. The cry stopped. “Hahahaha!” cackled a hidden figure’s voice.
The black orb formed again. It was massive. The orb looked as if it contained black water because of the ripples that formed from the air currents. A figure formed inside the orb and it slowly moved out of the orb. The bearded man who had run into Akio earlier that day slid out.
“Haha. Hello, SDNess and Mentat,” said the man evilly.
“Wh…who are you,” replied Mentat who was regretting his decision to come.
“I am known as Clone111.”
Mentat and Akio were silent.
“Hand over all of your items, weapons, magic, and health tablets NOW!”
“No,” said Akio defiantly.
“Then pay the price!”
The bearded man leapt into the air. He moved extremely quick and was hard to keep an eye on. It was as if the man could disappear and reappear to a different location a couple of yards a way.
“He’s too quick for me! I can’t handle him! He is definitely hacking.
“Heheh,” chortled the man.
He jumped to amazingly high height and unsheathed a small dagger that had been in his lower boot. Akio reached for a pouch on his belt that had health tablets. It wasn’t there! Where had it gone? Had the bearded man stolen it at the market place? Akio’s hands shook violently. Where was his sword? He glanced to his side and saw the blade shine in the firelight. But it was to far away. He had dropped the blade with out realizing when the black orb reappeared. The juyi dagger! Akio reached into his left pocket and put his hand on the ancient artifact. He was ready to draw it even if it could break. Akio glanced at the spot where the man had been, but he only saw a stone wall. He looked up, “Ahhh,” Akio cried as the man attacked him from above. Everything went black.
Akio woke up lying on his apartment floor. His game suit was unconnected from the monitor, but it was still on his body. What had happened? Akio got up slowly from the carpeted floor for his head hurt. Akio noticed a vague music theme in the background. It was to the game. Akio remembered. Mentat and he had been hacked. What if his character wasn’t there anymore? Akio quickly tried to log back in to the game, but he kept getting “Access Denied” or “Invalid Username”. Akio was furious. He had spent two years of hard work building up his character, SDNess.
Later in the day, Akio sat at the window of his apartment. He watched the hovering automobiles speed throughout the highway. All of the people in the cars were concerned on some object of the game whether it was gaining experience points or attaining new items. The game was everything. What purpose did the game have? It didn’t offer any reward in reality. Akio was tired of the game, but for he had to play. Akio was addicted.
“Should I keep playing?” murmured Akio to himself.
After Akio had made his decision he left the window and decided to get something to eat.
|5th January 2004, 11:49 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Knivesout no more
Join Date: Nov 2003
Blog Entries: 11
I quite liked this, and I'll try and tell you why.
First of all, you're taking something you know - the world of online gaming - and building from there. That's a good decision, and I think it has payed off. Secondly, I like your straightforward narration - I've always felt it's better to keep is simple and get your point across than to try and play around with a fancy style you may not be able to carry through. You could do with some editing, but I leave that to you. It would be interesting to see how you take the story through, if there is more to it.
Gaming seems like a very natural arena for SF stories, come to think of it - sort of a post-cyberpunk subgenre?
|6th January 2004, 06:06 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2004
Heh, thanks. That was some goood motivation.
|6th January 2004, 06:44 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Knivesout no more
Join Date: Nov 2003
Blog Entries: 11
Cool! I'm glad you find my feedback encouraging. If you want return the favour, and have the time, there should be a couple of odds and ends of mine posted somewhere here.
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