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 Post subject: Meanwhile...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:35 am 
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**This story is not about Lighteria, but rather the player behind the character... or what's become of him at this point**

**Please note. This may not have quite as many one-liners as one might hope with my writing. Jai's back-story was never made to be comedic but rather somewhat somber. If you're looking to laugh, try my older quests, this one's made for personal exploration. So fuck off :D ...No really, read it. I want the attention.**


Jai Heartyre. He was a student at the local high school up until a few months ago when he collapsed at the desk of his computer, stricken with a mysterious coma. In his home town, a few residents balked and gossiped, a few sympathy cards were given to the parents (all of which have been thrown away by now), and an angry speech from the mayor about how kids need to stay away from drugs was made... when the story first reached the headlines. All in all it was an interesting phenomenon for the community as they'd never had something like this happen before, but life, as it often does, goes on.

After all, Jai never was a very popular kid, mostly his own fault for being shy, so there weren't too many saddened faces. The kids at the school were rattled for a day, but mostly out of curiosity and self-preservation. I mean, it was a fellow high school student! It could happen to anyone! It didn't of course, the rumors of an Outbreak were laughable and nothing happened afterwards. Pretty soon the stories of 'that guy in a coma' died down completely and the lunch room went back to talking about the upcoming tests and who would win the football match. ...The only person really heavily effected by it may have been Mr. Polanski, the school's English teacher, who had always taken a liking to Jai's creative writing assignments. Jai was always striving to write something nice, so it turned into one of those little joys that made the long, gruesome road to tenure a little more bearable when you're surrounded by hormone-crazed adolescents bitching about how the last assignment, as they always so eloquently put it, 'sucked balls'. He'd often commented that Jai should keep pursuing the field, both in notes on his papers and talks after class... The good teacher really did his best to encourage him, considering the lack of such from the boy's parents... But now with Jai gone, the writing assignments have been rating on a scale of crap to bearable... at least in his eyes. 'Such a shame Jai was in that accident', he tended to think while reading through another paper where your and you're are used interchangeably... 'oh well... two more years...'

You would assume the most grief stricken people would be Jai's parents. After all, they lost their only son to a strange coma! During the underwhelming media blitz, they were often visited by reporters who wanted to hear every juicy, heart-breaking detail of the now grief-stricken parents. Best human-interest story in years for THIS town. Of course the interviews tended to all come out vaguely the same... saddened and woeful parents... mother coming to the brink of tears at the mention of her child's name, etc. As one reported noted: "The outpouring of grief from the parents is pretty much exactly what you would expect from the parents."

"A bit TOO much for my tastes." was later edited out by the head of the paper who didn't want their staff to appear insensitive. Outside the interview setting though, even the casual observer would note that life has indeed moved on in the house. The outpouring of sympathy had gotten the mayor to fund the hospital treatment as the perfect PR hook so the loss wasn't really much of a burden. Heck, knowing Jai wasn't in the next room was a real boon to what had been a deadening sex life. No awkward breakfasts the next morning... no nagging for the kid to wake up and get his butt to school... Jai's father, in rare moments, would remark to himself about how much... WORK it was, caring for a child. But hey! It wasn't anything THEY'D done, not even the doctors could figure out why he wouldn't wake up. Guilt-free and now with GOBS of spare time the two of them have been seen going out to dinner more often. Though you could sometimes catch the mother sitting in Jai's bed, thinking for a few hours, and straightening the sheets when she leaves. Losses may be hard, but not seeing his room a mess was sure... easy.

Perhaps the people who were TRULY the most effected were the Johansons, the token 'rich family' living in the biggest house in town up on Ceder Hill. Jai had been their part-time maid (man-servant sounded too gay to Richard Johanson, the husband and big-time investor/businessman) and despite his lack of good small talk, Jai really did a good job keeping the house clean. Richard knew he'd picked a winner when he noticed Jai's attention to details during the interview... he HAD been considering a raise until the whole coma thing made it a moot point. You'll often see him smoking his pipe out the window of his office, remarking to his dog 'trump' about how these new servants are crap and always whining about something. Sometimes he'll sigh, say he misses 'that shy kid', and lets out a big puff of smoke before wiping his chair cushion with a handkerchief and starting his next batch of paperwork.

The hospital nurse has long-since given up on monitoring his heart rate. Even the head-doctor remarked it was FAR too sporadic, FAR too often to tell what was going on. Jai is only to be checked on if his heart rate exceeds a certain level... around what you'd expect someone to have a panic attack. That may SOUND callous, but trust me, if you'd spent a full damned week watching his heart rate jump from rapid to calm and back to rapid for no discernable reason and no permanent change in his condition you'd put some lax standards up too. There was that ONE time he flat-lined... But that only lasted a second and he was back to normal in an instant anyway. Baffling case, but damned tiring after a while.



But, as I mentioned, life goes on. All this is in the past. Present day brings a far more interesting take on things...

As is often the case when the server screws up, Lighteria... no Jai finds himself adrift in an endless static sea. For a moment, he hears the distant laughter of an innocent child echo past his ears...

My body feels weightless... like it's neither here nor there... ...I can't move... I feel like a piece of driftwood.

(#m~ ba*& #o^!, m* (&$t0e #oy. @ *#n^ &) +#-r #*l a#&u@ The #*t-i@% World.

What's this? I don't understand... ...What's going on? ...My body feels heavier now... ...I... I feel a heartbeat...

Jai's hand twitches a moment as his eyes begin to shift out of focus. His vision no longer completely clouded by static. For an instant his heart can be felt nearly beating out of control, his chest beginning to burn. Panicked, he gasps and inhales at the same time, filling his lungs and sending what feel like shockwaves through his head. He gasps out loudly, tiny sweat beads dripping from his brow, his breathing shallow. His eyes begin to focus lightly on the static in front of him again. This time though it seems... detached... and his head feels pressure on his ears. There's a few seconds where his body is numb but he quickly feels the pressure of the floor beneath his right side. The dulling pain in his side forces a groan as he reaches his hands towards his head, grasping the headphones of a VR visor and gently removing it from his head... purely by instinct. He lays the visor to the side, if just to be tidy.

"Ugghh... I must have passed out..." He groans out in a strangely soprano voice.

There's a silent pause as he lifts his hand to his throat and rubs it, a little confused... must be hearing things. His eyes trace back and forth a moment, taking in the surroundings. After a second, he gasps and sits bolt upright, eyes wide.

"This.. Oh my god! I'm.. I'm out of the game!!" He says to himself, short breathed and body trembling from the weight of the situation. "But how?! And what's with my voice?!" He quickly gets to his feet and looks around the room. He trembles in confusion, not recognizing a thing... the bed, the television, it's all alien to him. He stumbles around for a few seconds until he finally spots a large mirror by a makeup table. His knees buckle slightly from fear as he walks over towards it, slowly leaning in to mirror to look at himself.

"You've... ...got to be kidding me."

He lifts his hand slowly to his new cheek, rubbing it gently to make sure he's not dreaming.

"I'm... her?"

*Switching to ‘her’ instead of ‘his’ now that it’s no surprise. …lol suspense*

Her eyes widen a moment, looking over what apparently is Raven's real-life human body. Surprisingly enough, she looks somewhat like her game character... Long, dark hair flowing down to the small of her back, shimmering red eyes and a slightly pale appearance. ...The outfit though, was WAY different. She pats the tee-shirt gently, it was light blue and really quite comfortable, as were the loose-fitting pants with the tight belt.

"Hey, she wears ankle-high socks too." She remarks pleasantly for a second before shaking her head quickly, trying to snap out of casual observations and more towards seriousness.

What am I thinking?! Now is not the time to be admiring comfortable footwear! Something got ROYALY screwed up back there and I need to figure out what happened.

She swallows hard like one does when they're about to throw a foul shot, or diffuse a bomb... somewhere where you hold your breath to try and stop time, as she turns back to the computer. She kneels down to pick up the chair, apparently having toppled over when she blacked out.

That's an interesting question. Did SHE black out? Or did I black out? I mean, which one was in the body when we hit dirt?

Deciding that a manliness contest of 'who blacked out first' was just a little silly to have when you're stuck in a girl's body, Jai mentally moves on. Setting the chair upright, she glances a few quick sweeps over the desk, like you would if you were in a spy movie and you had to make sure nothing was out of the ordinary before the bad guy broke in and strapped you to a laser pendulum or some random death trap they put spies in rather than just f**king SHOOTING them then and there. I mean come on, an entire military complex full of armed men and it's like the only person who DOESN'T immediately pull out a gun and waste the dude is the super villain! You'd think he'd be the first to do that, considering that it's HIS brilliantly laid plans the dude is here to stop, right? I mean come ON, how hard is it to club the guy over the head, shrug and go back to doing evil? ...

....I have to focus more.

Shaking her head, she sits down and checks the monitor... on the desktop now for some reason. ...Pretty standard for someone who’s obviously a hacker. ...Got The World icon, E-mail icon, trash bin, computer files, preferred news channel, random folders, some... weird .exe that looks like her hacking program, actual computer programming programs, random junk... "...I can work with this." She remarks, picking up the VR visor from the ground and setting it on the desk as she brings up The World...

Oh cool! She's got one of those VR-Visor stands that keeps it all tidy. I wanted one of those but it seemed like a waste of.. ..FOCUS!!!

Welcome to The World!
Name: Raven
Password:

...
.......
....#@&^!!!!

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:08 am 
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Location: :noitacoL
Raven
INVALID PASSWORD
Dark
INVALID PASSWORD
Ebony
INVALID PASSWORD
Black
INVALID PASSWORD
Evil
INVALID PASSWORD
Fluffy Bunnies?
INVALID PASSWORD

Damn iiiiit, this isn't working. There's no way I can just guess her password... the only thing I know about her is her character name! It could be literally anything! Could be the name of her dead cat for all I know. ...

There's a moment of silence as the screen flickers lightly in the girl's deep red eyes. She blinks lightly, her eyelashes flickering lightly from the sunlight pouring through the nearby window. She cracks a smile. She starts to laugh. Not a funny laugh though, more of a forced, pained laugh.

Heh.. Just look at me... after who knows HOW long I've been trapped in the game, the first thing I do when I get out is try to LOG BACK IN. I think the irony meter broke and reassembled itself so it could break a second time from this. I've been trying to escape that damned game for what feels like months now and I finally get out... and... this happens.

The girl lets out a deep sigh, looking down at her body. She lightly brushes off a dust bunny from her jeans, her eyes fixed on it as it floats to her socks and disappears into the thick carpet fibers. After a second of watching, she lifts her hand in front of the screen, simply staring at her fingers and palm and how... different they are. Nails aren't painted at least, but the fingers are so slender and the palm doesn’t have any rough marks... it's very foreign to say the least.

This body feels so strange... It's a little like being in the game. I may have a body, and be in total control of it... but it's not mine. There's a clear detachment... at least mentally. ...Though I eventually got used to the game body. ...So much so it started to feel like my real one... just different, especially when I split. ...

Her hand drops to the side, head tilting back against the head rest of her chair, staring up at the ceiling thoughtfully.

My mind has been split half a dozen times or so since I first discovered my powers. I hope it's not effecting me in a bad way. It gets easier to control every time I use my powers though, it might just take practice... ...
...Then again, at this point it could be a non-issue if I don't find a way back into the game. I have to find a way to reverse this. ...If there is one.

......damn... that's something I never considered. What if I can't reverse this?
...How'd all this happen anyway? Last I remember was the admin trying to delete us. I tried to stop him... ...then the field started collapsing... damn... This might not be reversible. I mean... it took an admin's full powers, Raven's hacking and my own powers to crash the field and switch our minds. I don't think it's even possible to recreate something that crazy! And without recreating it... there's.. no way... ... ...No. I can't start giving up already. Raven may have an idea... she is a hacker after all. ...And then there's my friends... With everyone's crazy powers... it's got to be possible to crash a field! ...and... I know they'll help me if I need it. ...right?


The girl lets out a deep sigh, rubbing her shut eyes lightly as though she had a small headache.

...I can't think about that right now. It's all pointless if I can't log into her character and get back into The World. I've got to find her password somehow. ...Something in her personal files maybe...? Maybe her e-mail? There's got to be a clue around here somewhere, right?

Nodding to herself, the girl leans in towards the monitor, mouse cursor hovering over the Mailer icon.

...
...Do... I really have the right to do this? I'd hate to see someone going through MY mailer. It'd be a major breach of privacy... I'd be so embarrassed...

...Come to think of it, my mailer must be stuffed to the brim at this point. ... ...Geez... All this time and I never thought of how long I was away. I wonder what happened to me out here...? Do I even have a body to go back to? ...How did my parents take it? Did anyone care? ...I'm probably fired from my job by now. ...Well.. he probably heard about my condition anyway so it's not really 'fired'. ....I guess. ... ...So many questions...


Feeling a tear well up, she wipes her eye lightly and turns her head towards the window. With a sigh, she stares outside. In the pane a tree lightly raps against the window in the wind, the tops of a few houses and trees visible through the foliage.

...Where am I anyway? This IS the internet, she could live anywhere. ...I could be in another state.. heck, another country. ...Though she speaks English perfectly so it's likely I'm still in the states. ...But geez.. where? How DOES one find out what town you're in without looking like a space case?

For a moment, the girl glances around the room for anything that might provide a hint.

A few anime posters on the wall... no good. Dresser... ...I... I think I'd better avoid looking through that out of respect. ...Bookshelf...

Blinking, she gets up from her chair and walks towards the bookshelf, carefully kneeling down in front of it to inspect the titles of the books.

No witchcraft books. That's a good sign. ...Then again, I really shouldn't expect that kind of thing, it's narrow-minded of me to lump her into a stereotype. ...A few fantasy books... ...Hey, I read that one! Sarin the Wind Mage. Damn that was a good book. I loved how the main character was .. ... FOCUS. Books books... ...hmm... A lot of these are old children’s books. ...Wonder why she has these here...? Maybe her parents read them to her and kept them in her room for convenience and never bothered to move them afterwards...? ... ...Man, I don't remember my parents ever doing that for me... Bedtime was always kinda lonely and quiet... Only the stars to keep me company... ...Wrote my first poem looking out my bedroom window... ...It... was pretty sad...

She shakes her head slowly, looking at the floor, holding back a tear and her breath, gently shaking.

...I... I don't have time to screw around like this being sad... focus... focus... ...? Hmm? Wait... what's this?

The girl blinks, having spied a small cloth strap beneath the bookcase.

...If I hadn't stared at the floor, I wouldn't have seen that...

Quickly snapping out of it, she grabs the strap and pulls, a dark blue backpack sliding out from under the bookcase. There's just a half-second pause for recognition before she unzips the pack and digs in. No school books, as is to be expected in the summer time, but the trapper keeper is still stuffed inside, full of papers. Without hesitation, she opens the first folder and sifts through the papers.

Book notes... more book notes... grammar sheet... more notes... book report outline... This is definitely English class. ...Notes... notes... worksheet... another report... the syllabus!! Perfect!! This should have the school name and teacher...

...

..."Oh my god..."




11th Grade Advanced English
Mr. Polanski

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:52 am 
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"This is my town!!" The girl gasps out, staring out her bedroom window, hands clenching the sides. She'd gone to the window the second she discovered what town she was in, almost instinctively trying to see what she'd been away from for so long. A large.. what looked like oak tree blocked about half of the view with its branches, but the rest of the expanse was pretty clear. She scans the ground, noting the somewhat well-kept road, the sidewalks, the cars, the row of similar houses across the street, a few plastic child toys scattered on the opposite lawn, a nice car... no street signs in sight though.

Damn it! Aaah-!! I don't recognize this part of town!! These must be part of the suburbs on the north side or something... If there was a window in here that faced south I could see the business district... ...ARG! If I could get the street name I could get my bearings down, figure out where I am, and find my... way... home...

Shivering a little from a sudden wave of despair, she looks down at her body.

Home... like this? My parents wouldn't let a strange girl in the house unless she had a search warrant; the chances of me actually seeing my house again is slim to zip. ...

...Still... I'm here in town... I'm out of the game... ...I... I can't just ignore it. I have to go home... at least for a second... I have to know if my body's ok at least... how my parents are doing...


She blinks a moment and turns her head to the computer.

Wait... this is no time to sight see! Raven is still trapped in the game in my body! I can't go on a sightseeing tour! I have a responsibility to do everything I can to get things back to normal! ... ...right? I mean... I know she'd do the same for me... ...well... actually knowing her she wouldn't. ...But I'm bigger than that! ...Though that's no reason to make myself miserable... ...but my friends inside the game need me! ...then again they did fine on their own before... ...

Silently she wanders over to the desk and checks the wall-calendar hanging over her computer. The previous days have been marked off with a red marker, the same marker apparently used to make this large, bolded "Day Off" over Friday. Written in pen are times on previous days that look like work hours. Next Monday has a few time slots written as well. Glancing down to the computer clock and mousing over it reveals the day as Thursday, 4:30 PM.

Alright... considering she was just playing The World she's probably done with work for the day, so I don't have to worry about that. ...It's summer break so there's no school... ...Yeah, I've got some good leeway going for me right now. Plenty of time to explore before I'm thrown into anything I don't know about. ...As far as I know.

She grimmaces, looking at The World icon on the computer screen.

It may be impossible to figure out her password from here... I can't buy a new account and log in that way... that'd cost money and I don't know where she stashes it. ...Plus I'd never use her money without permission. ...
I.. I can't log in on MY name... That would cause some sort of trippy paradox... or I'd just get that 'The player is already logged in' error. ..Maybe log on to a friend's account? ... ...not that... I... had... any.. friends... ...
...Maybe one of HER friends will call! ...And I can ask them?

...
...Bah. This getting more pointless by the second. I'm not sure there's much I can do at this point to log back in. ...


She looks back to the window, getting a little misty eyed.

And I'm right here... in town... ...
...I'm sorry Raven. You'll understand soon enough, being in my spot. Right now, I think... I think I just have to forget the game... and see what's been going on here. I have to see my life again...


With that, the girl rises to her feet and heads slowly towards the door. Midway through turning the knob though, she stops and blinks, coming to a realization. Instantly, she turns around and rushes back to the backpack, rifling through the papers for a few seconds before picking one up and holding it aloft in victory. After a side glance to make sure no one was looking, she looks down and reads the top of the paper.

Kara. Ok, that's my name for right now. ...Boy I hope she doesn't have a nickname.

Replacing the homework, she gets back up and heads to the door, turning the knob and pushing the door. After realizing the door opens inward, she pulls on it and steps outside her room. For a moment she does nothing but take in the scenery. The hallway she finds herself in is kind of charming; there are pictures of landscaping along the wall, the doors are very pretty furnished wood. After counting, she finds there's 5 doors on this level of the house, what's behind them is a mystery... though there's one with what looks like a door knocker hanging about shoulder-height. She blinks with curiosity at it for a second before heading towards the stairwell leading down. She takes about five steps that way before she stops in her tracks, grimaces and whimpers, looking towards the door with the knocker on it. There's a brief pause before she grabs the door knob and barges in, shutting it behind her and fumbling around for the lock, clicking it shut. With a panicky look on her face she turns towards a long, full length mirror over a double sink to look at her troubled face. She whimpers again, speaking in a squeaky voice to herself, her legs kind of scrunching together to hold back. "How... do girls go to the bathroom?!"

Ten minutes later...

"...That was awkward." Kara mumbles to herself, shutting the door, the knocker lightly bopping the back of her head as she leaves the room. She flails a second in surprise and turns back to the door, grimacing and silently threatening the apparatus with her eyes that if it EVER did that again, she'd take a screwdriver and made sure it was the last door it ever-

"You ok there?" A female voice pipes up suddenly. Kara shrieks a little and whips around, turning to face the voice. The girl blinks a moment, staring back at a dark-eyed woman in.. what LOOKS like her mid 30s though it's hard to tell with the makeup. "Look like you've seen a ghost..." The woman laughs lightly. "Actually it looks more like that time you dissected a frog in biology class... You came home with such a confused and grossed out look." The woman smiles nostalgically and nods lightly to herself, looking back to Kara's face. In her head, she silently deduces that this is most likely her mother or that equivalent. "Really though Kara, what's wrong?"

"N-Nothing!" The girl manages to chirp out, trying to shake off the nervous feeling in her gut. "H-hey, listen. I think I'm gonna take a long walk... is that alright?"

"Well of course it is." The woman replies empathetically. "You don't need to ask me that, just be back before sun down of course."

"Of course!" Kara replies quickly, shuffling to the side to squeeze past the woman on the way to the stairs. "I'll be back soon!"

The woman tilts her head lightly, watching her daughter barrel down the stairs in an odd rush. For a moment she ponders why Kara was acting so much more reserved than usual, but she shrugs it off, attributing it to something she must have done on the computer. After all, she'd been spending a lot of time in that game and it was always changing SOME way. While she thinks of this, Kara frantically looks around for her shoes after realizing she was about to go out in socks. Luckily, they were near the door so it didn't look too strange for too long, plus they were sneakers! 'Lucky break' she thinks as she slips them on. It was going to be a long walk today and comfy shoes were a must. It isn't long before she's laced up and heading out the door. Outside she gets a closer look at the house from outside as she heads down the sidewalk to the nearest street sign.

This is kinda upscale compared to my house. These must be the suburbs near the hills. ...Man, these places sure look nice from outside. All sleek and well kept. Mostly two car garages...

She stops at the corner of her block, staring up at the street sign that says: '7th Avenue' and 'Walnut Drive'.

7th Avenue... The hospital's on 3rd and a bit east of here. Let's see... from the hospital.. the school is east... so MY house is... This way.

The girl points south east and nods, heading down the road at a casual pace. Slipping her hands in her pockets, she ignores the scenery for the time being, instead drifting into her thoughts, wondering what home will be like...

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:49 am 
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What was that old song about the long walk home? I think I finally understand the meaning behind it.

The girl brushes a strand of her hair back behind her right ear slowly, gazing down the road. With the street itself sloping downhill, it's easy to see a very long way down the road. The view for this area is one reason for the high property values actually, from a few of the highest points it's possible to look down and see the other end of town. From where Kara is walking though, the view is slightly obscured by both height and a few trees littering the yards in the street... still, the road looks to go on forever from where she's standing, just a long road fading into the trees and buildings. As she heads down the sidewalk, she's forced to shift around a warp in the walk, the product of a tree's roots forcing the walk tiles to jet up from the dirt, making a rather steep single tile. She glances to the tree afterwards, letting a passing thought on the strength of life flash through her head. She snaps out of it though as she hears a splash. She glances towards a backyard fence behind the house she's walking through, realizing it contains an outdoor pool... and a few kids from the sounds of the commotion. She sighs lightly at herself, wondering what it's like to have a pool, or even be invited to one for that matter. Hesitantly though, she forces the thoughts from her head, feeling to distracted as it is.

It's only been a few minutes since I left, but it feels like I've been walking home for hours. ...My pace is slow I guess, but I can't really concentrate on the walk. I can barely think straight. My gut hurts for some reason, like I'm doing something bad. Maybe I'm just worried that home has changed... or that my parents will shoo me off the property or something. ...It... feels like I'm defying fate, going back home in this body. ...Maybe it's guilt for leaving Raven trapped in the game for now. ...I... I honestly want to help her, but I just don't see any way I can get in right now! ...

...That's a lie. I have options. Making a new account is one. ...I could have checked her mail more thoroughly... tried a few more passwords... Maybe even tried a trial account... or an internet cafe patron who's playing now and could send a message. ...

Spend a little time for yourself, Jai.

...I don't know...

You always think you're not important compared to others. The world will wait while you take this time. It's important enough for you.

...I listen to my conscience too well, I think. ...But I'm right. I can't let myself throw away this chance and reality. I may never get another opportunity like this.


A brief wind picks her hair up lightly, making it waft to her right side. She looks up towards the street sign of the corner she'd walked to and nods, making a left.

I can hear the highway, I'm getting close. ...Kinda feels more like home with the occasional sound of cars passing by. ...Home...

Unconsciously, the girl rubs her arm, looking down at the street as she walks further, lost in thoughts of home.


Five Minutes Later...

Kara stands in front of a small, two story house. Light blue aluminum siding with paint scraping off, and a large glass window are the two most prominent features when you look straight at it. The window leads to what is essentially half the bottom floor, the living room. You can barely make out the large brown couch pressed against the wall of the room, pointed right at a small television. A bean bag chair and empty bottles on the floor appear only out of Jai's memory as he stares at the window. He side glances towards the right side of the house, particularly to the large canopy overreaching the driveway. The girl blinks, noticing there's no car parked there.

Are they not home...? The car's gone. ...

Looking around nervously, feeling like a thief in the night, she heads down the driveway towards the canopy. As she walks up to the side of the house a few discarded relics come into view. The old hibachi grill for one, the flat bike tire they swore they'd find a use for, the garbage can with its lid askew, a dirty basketball, a few random wires and hooks hanging from the wall... it looks like a garage only minus three other walls and ANYthing worth stealing. She walks up towards the side entrance of the house, seeing the tiny kitchen appear through the wire mesh and glass window of the door. Her eyes glance towards a small opening in the aluminum siding.

"...Hope this hasn't changed..." She says to herself, lifting her hand and lightly whacking the siding. The aluminum rattles and shakes, sounding like miniature thunder. Soon though, a faint *ching-kaching* sounds from the ground and Kara stoops down to pick up a small bronze key. She lets out a sigh of relief as she opens the screen door and slips the key into the door knob. The door opens with a chorus of squeaks of un-oiled metal and groans of old wood, letting her slip inside, the screen door slamming shut and latching lightly on its frame. Closing the door behind her with similar creaks, she looks towards the kitchen. Things definitely haven't changed here. The refrigerator is in the same spot, still rusty on the edges and probably full of Coors Light and leftover chicken. The paint on the walls is somewhat faded and the cupboards are all shut, along with a metal sink with slightly leaky faucets. The girl half smiles at the window, picturing mother busily washing dishes at the sink and complaining to father at the table about how he never helps. She laughs gently and steps past the table to the other side of the room, stopping momentarily to see only two chairs at the table now... along with two candles and a vase half full of flowers. She blinks, thinking it looks a bit odd, but not terribly strange. Instead, she moves on ahead into the living room.

So they put my chair away. That's pretty normal. I'd hate to see that every time I had dinner too... It's be like this constant reminder of sadness. I don't want my parents having that. ... ...Still, the table looked kinda romantic. I can't even remember the last time my folks were lovey-dovey. Kinda freaky. ...Probably just had a special anniversary and never straightened up afterwards.

With a shrug, Kara steps over a large, brown beanbag set a few feet in front of the television. The room had indeed changed since the last time Jai was here. The empty beer bottles are thankfully no more, the lamp isn't eternally sideways, the smell of old pizza is nearly gone... even the coffee table that had been literally buried in old issues of Glamour had been cleaned off and replaced with a few neatly piled magazines and cute little bowl of fake flowers. The couch was looking to be in better shape as well, with a blanket draped over the back and the pillows sewn up and placed neatly at the ends. The television was new, surprisingly. The set used to be rather old, now it was a sleek, new flat screen with a remote that has more buttons than the ocean has fish. The rug is straight for a change as well.

...Wow, they spruced up in here. ...I guess it was overdue... I mean, this place used to be like Dad's Man Cave... now it's actually kinda nice. Kinda weird.

Shaking her head lightly, the girl exits towards the back of the room, heading to the narrow staircase leading to the top floor. As she walks up, she envisions the door to her room just waiting there for her, like an old friend. The top floor is mostly hallway, one leading to the bathroom at the end and two doors leading to the two bedrooms of the house. The girl smiles, gripping the first of the doors and pushing her way into the room.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2007 5:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
Posts: 176
Location: :noitacoL
You know how sometimes, when you're not really looking at something, your eye catches a glimpse of something that isn't there? Like a shadow out of the corner of your eye that you could swear was a person or at least a moth. Well, a similar thing happens here. As the girl flings the door open she's greeted by a flash of light, the sun being just low enough to sneak into view at the top of the single window. With the light being that way, she's forced to squint into the blinding glow, the room developing a sort of golden hue from the light, as though the entire room had been painted varying shades of the same color, the floor, the bed, everything. Her gaze traces just below the window and to the left where the computer desk sits, still with the computer mind you. For just a brief instant the girl could swear that Jai was sitting right there at the computer, his back to her, sitting in the wooden chair and just typing like he would any other day. Her heart stops a moment as she tries to focus on the back of his head, but in the next instant her eyes shut quickly, like dust suddenly flew into her pupil. Her eyes open again, half way squinting at the same view, only this time Jai has his head turned towards her, a soft, sad expression on his face. In the next moment, the vision of Jai falling over into a heap on the floor flashes through her mind, she gasps and blinks one more time, staring at the desk.

With sunlight through the window lighting up the right side of the desk, little dust flecks sparkle in the beam, lightly floating onto the hardwood and the computer. The old wood chair though, is empty. Feeling a bit rattled, the girl rubs her arm gently to calm herself down, staring at the back of the headrest.

...
...Stress must be getting to me. ...That or she's wearing contacts.


Rubbing her eyes with her fingers a moment, the girl steps inside the room, shutting the door lightly behind her.

Wow... everything's the same. It's like I never even left.

The girl cracks a smile and heads towards the bed. With a graceful twist, she turns around and lets herself fall backwards onto the covers. She sighs contentedly, hearing the springs creak under her weight and the comforters puffing up beneath her. Shifting her feet a bit, she drags herself along the white sheets until she's completely on the bed, head resting on the flower-patterned pillow.

Aahh... that feels great. ...Sorta. Damn stubborn spring is still there too I guess. Thing freaking pokes my back. ...Guess that's why I usually sleep on my side. Still. The covers are still fluffy and the pillow's nice. Wow... I've totally forgotten what this felt like. Just staring up at the ceiling with nothing to do.

The girl's eyes glance over towards the light fixture in the middle of the ceiling. The fixture is actually just a large porcelain globe screwed onto the ceiling over the light bulb. Hanging off one of the screws is an small, old, silk Chinese lantern, minus any candle of course.

Got that at a yard sale if I remember right... Guy was really into Asian stuff. It looked so cool and spiritual... I knew it'd inspire me at some point, and damn if I didn't right a poem two days afterwards.

Glancing in front of him, he looks at the dresser sitting against the wall about a foot and a half from the end of the bed. On the left side sits a squat lamp with a clear glass base so you can see the inner workings of it, along with its particularly unattractive mauve lamp shade sitting like an ugly umbrella over the invisible man's wire storage cylinder. Also resting on the desk is a large half-length mirror. Never was much of a model of safety though... The mirror is only propped against the wall, the only reason it stays up is due to a little dab of playdoh at the base Jai had put there when he was young. And while the little crack in the lower left corner was annoying, it still did its job: showing you exactly what you would look like if you were slightly foggy and covered in streaks. The right side of the dresser is basically a large pile of school papers.

I should have recycled those by now... Come to think of it, I think I was going to do that when I logged out that day.

With a sigh, the girl shakes her head, looking towards the other end of the room with the closet. It's a single door embedded in the wall, left part way open because it can't close all the way. Most of the floor of the closet is littered with either socks or random toys Jai hadn't played with in years. The only other notable feature is the slightly off-color part of the wall a poster used to hang before Jai's father tore it down during a particularly caustic talk they had. Unconsciously, the girl rubs her cheek as a rip noise goes through her head.

...I never liked that poster anyway.
Did too.
Shut up.


With a groan, the girl flips over onto her belly and looks at her desk with the computer. The desk itself is good sized, which is nice. Both the tower and the printer lie to the left side of the computer, both of which look dated and breaking down and also covered with a tasteful layer of dust. The monitor looks to be made before the invention of transistors as well, but it still plugged into the computer and it's still reliable darn it. A few bits of stationary and random pencils dot the far right side of the desk near the single drawer. The girl notes the handle on the door is still half way falling off, she laughs lightly to herself, thinking it gives the deck character, even though Jai had cut his finger on the metal at least three times. The chair still sits there as well, hardwood, old and with only a pillow loosely tied on the bottom.

That pillow sure was lumpy... But still... covered the wood and was more comfy. It was the only spare pillow in the house. ...Not that we ever use the one on the rocking chair... or the one in the shed... Still. Did its job, just like everything else here. ...Here.

"In my room..." She muses lightly, looking over the room one more time, eyes misty and nostalgic. She smiles gently, watching the dust in the sunbeam settle gently down on the low-pile carpet that doesn't quite cover the whole room.

...


"...

...This place sucks." She suddenly says, getting up and sitting on the bed. She groans and rubs her back, already feeling sore from that damned spring. "Why the hell am I back here? Not one part of this room makes me miss it, except maybe my computer... and that's only because I've got all my stories on it." She mutters to herself and gets off the bed, growling lightly through her teeth. "All of this... I hated it! I went to the park to write most of the time anyway! All to get away from this place! Why did I come here!?" Almost exasperating, the girl drops to her knees and lifts the mattress up, grabbing a small book with a blue cover on it.

...My story book.

Shaking her head, she holds the book at her side and gets off the floor, staring down at the crumpled sheets.

This is all I wanted. This is all I was drawn to.

She sighs deeply and turns her head towards the computer.

...I can check my mail from her room, since my mail's on line. Guess I could try to log in...

Another sigh later, she sits down onto the chair, shifting uncomfortably on the pillow while she clicks the power on and waits for the machine to groan and come back to life. It takes about two minutes but it starts up like it always does. With a few swipes of the mouse, she manages to cajole the pointer towards The World icon. Without hesitating, she double clicks on it and slips the VR visor on her head.

Welcome to The World!
Name: Lighteria
Password: ********

ERROR: That character is already logged in.


No surprise there. DAMN it... If only I could get in... I could do something other than wait outside the game!

Lifting her hand to rub her chin, she starts to think of her options.

There must be something I can do from here though... Someone I can email... But who? ...My school friends would never believe it. ...Guess I can't really call them friends though, we only had the same classes and they never really talked to me much... Maybe because I avoided it so much... ...
...GAH! Focus Jai!! There's got to be a way to get the word out about this! I'm in a rare position here. ...But who would care enough? ...



To: MrPolanski@FPHS.edu
From: WriteLight@hotmail.com
Subject: It's me!

Sorry to bother you with this Mr. Polanski, but I'm not sure who else to write to this about! This is Jai Heartyre. ...I know, I know I'm supposed to be in a coma but I'm not! Not really... ...Ok, I guess I sort of am. But my mind isn't! Right now I'm stuck in The World! The game! I'm out for right now, but I may be going back in soon... I'm not sure when. But this needed to be known! Please, you're the only person I can trust!

-JaiH.

*SEND*

...I hope that wasn't too desperate sounding. ...Maybe I should mail the papers too? ...Nah, they don't allow direct e-mails... Plus they'd never believe it. Damn, who WOULD believe it? I'm not even sure Mr. Polanski will... ....Can't just give up hope though, right? It's better than nothing. ...

...Nothing...



To: toughcookie224@hotmail.com
From: WriteLight@hotmail.com
Subject: Mom...

I love you.
-Jai.

*SEND*



...

With a deep sigh, the girl shuts the computer down.

Not much else I can do at this point... I mean, not like I can't do this anywhere else. The only things I really needed here were my book and an attempt at logging back in. ...Maybe I should put a few of my stories onto a hard disk? ...Meh... It's all hand written anyway. Besides, not like they're in danger here.

With a sigh, the girl rises to her feet and stretches out. Her butt clenches lightly, having been uncomfortable the whole time she sat. This annoyance only prompts another sigh as she turns to leave the room. She flicks the door lightly open, muttering to herself. "Not much to come back too I guess... Still, not like I prefer the game." She starts heading downstairs slowly, hand casually guided by the wooden banister on the side of the steps.

"Probably should go before the parents come back." She mumbles. As her foot claps down onto a step a sudden slam can be heard through the house. Her face pales lightly as she hears voices coming from the front door. Her leg freezes in place, just an inch from being visible to the room below. She stops breathing as her ears perk up lightly.

"Hang up my coat, will ya honey?" A gruff voice calls out.

"Sure sure." A soft but flippant voice calls out.


........Crap.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:30 am 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
Posts: 176
Location: :noitacoL
There are times in life where the human body can react in unnatural ways to high stress situations. For example, had Jai not been in THIS situation he probably wouldn't have been able to force every joint, muscle, tendon and hair to stay perfectly still. His foot hovers mere inches from the wall's edge, the cut off from where the living room becomes visible. It is in this way, that Jai's parents only see the fading wall paper beyond the stairwell banister. That won't last for long though, Jai knows that they'll be moving to either the kitchen or the closet, both of which are in less than ideal locations for stealth. With time short, the girl twitchily retracts her leg and begins a silent creep back upstairs. As the voices of her parents ring through her ears like a warning siren, she scurries back towards her room, carefully avoiding the squeaky spots of the floor. His mind races, knowing he'll need some place to hide while still being able to hear what's going on down stairs. Fortunately, he knows just the spot. The girl quickly darts back into Jai's room and whips around, carefully shutting the door so there's little more than a click. With that done, she begins to scurry underneath the bed, crawling towards the far corner. As her stomach churns nervously, flashes of Jai's past begin running back towards him, as old and familiar as the wire frame under his bed, having run here dozens of times before...


Ten Years Prior...
"Mommy?" Jai calls out from the top of the staircase, decked out in blue feety pajamas. From there, the child stares into the kitchen, his expression filled with a mix of curiosity and a deep-rooted fear. There’s no need to ask though, his mother is scooping a few things off the table into her purse, a grim look on her face says all that’s needed. She says nothing to the boy, instead reaching across the table and grabbing her car keys. The keys scrape and clatter across the table, the boy swallowing nervously, watching his mother’s passing glance towards him. She looks towards the boy for a few moments, gripping the keys tighter in her hand the longer they stare at each other. The woman hesitates for a moment, a strange mix of apprehension and sympathy passing her eyes… For a moment, she looks as though she’ll run upstairs and hold the boy tightly, saying everything is fine.

Reality sets in though. Her wrist shakes and the wind shifts outside. Looking as though she was reminded of something, she heads towards the side door of the house, passing out of view, leaving Jai gripping the guard railing of the stairs, trembling lightly. Soon, the boy can only hear the loud slam of the wooden door and the weaker slam of the screen door soon after, the mother having exited the house. With fear welling up inside him, the boy swallows, soon listening to the faint sounds of a car engine start up in the driveway and quickly fading away. A heavy silence falls over the house for a few seconds as the boy stares at the empty spot on the kitchen floor where his mother was standing, his teeth starting to chatter as though he’s been frozen.

His heart skips a beat. His instincts suddenly kick in and he races into his room, slamming the door shut and pulling it tightly closed. His breath shortening, he races to his closet, bouncing a little so his hands can reach the big blanket on the top shelf. Almost tripping over the loose ends of the blanket, the boy drops to the floor and scrambles under his bed, the dangling covers brushing past his face as he crawls in, shuffling past the extra pillows and blankets kept underneath. Hitting the corner, the boy crumples up the blanket and covers himself in it, trying to appear as nothing more than another crumpled pile of cloth under his bed. With the childish disguise set, he bites his lip and shifts his head towards the floor so he can see it. Gently unlatching a metal grate in the floor, he looks down towards the corner of the living room through the vent shaft. Five minutes pass before the front door is heard. The lock clicks and the hinges barely have time to squeak as it’s opened and almost immediately slammed shut, the walls lightly shaking from the impact.

"God damned, mother %^!@ing !%@$!!%@" A harsh, gruff voice barks out, accompanied by the sudden crash of the coffee table being knocked into the wall, the magazines and coasters tumbling off like a rockslide of old trash. The young boy’s body shivers and he covers his ears to block out the noise. The clutter avalanche is soon replaced by shattering stomps. The wooden stairs creak and groan under the harsh footsteps, the sounds getting louder for the boy as the voice calls his name like you’d call for a dog who just knocked over the trash. Through the boy’s shakes, his mind starts forcing him to dream. He dreams of having magic powers. Like being able to just fade away and disappear into the sky where nothing can hurt him...
Just disappear…

*SLAM*


Present-Day Jai gasps as he hears the downstairs closet door shut. It’s not a startling slam by any means, but for him, ANY noise that manages to bring him out of his day dreams is startling. For the time being though, he shakes off the sick feeling in his gut and rests his head gently on his arm like a pillow, listening to the living room through the vent as his parents settle in for the evening.

"Dinner was great, honey. Thank you." A female voice calls out lightly. The girl blinks a few times, the thought of having gotten the wrong house passing his mind.

"My pleasure, sweet heart." A deeper voice calls back. Puzzled, Jai shakes his head and rubs his ear lightly, trying to clear up his hearing.

Must have the TV on loud...

"What do you wanna watch?" The deep voice calls again.

...

"Hit the news for now." A soft click is heard from the remote, the room filling with the low, monotone voice of a reporter. Through the vent though, the TV is too quiet to sound like anything other than a humming fan. The droning goes on for a few seconds before there's more talking as the couple settles down on the couch.

"Could you believe that couple we sat near?" The female voice says lightly, just enough to be heard over the reporter. The girl instinctively frowns, now fully recognizing his mother’s voice.

"Ugh. No.” The deep voice says back, Jai slowly connecting the voice to his father’s. “The whole damn night it was yak yak yakyakyak."

"You'd think they would have to chew at some point."

"I know! I wanted to slam that guy's face into his bean dip." They both laugh, Jai shutting his eyes lightly from the sudden loud sound.

"Oh you should have! The restaurant would have cheered!" Again they laugh. The girl shakes her head again, listening in. These people couldn't possibly be the same parents he'd left so long ago. They were... actually enjoying each other's company… That’s just plain unheard of for them. Clearly something is amiss with this couple. With that assumption in mind, Jai sets out in the mental struggle of figuring out what's happening in the living room. Perhaps they're practicing for a play? Perhaps they were in a long, long string of sessions in couples counseling? Perhaps they’re on REALLY good acid? All legitimate questions… in Jai's mind at least, so for the rest of the news he listens, listens and waits. Perhaps subtle clues in their voices would reveal something… or references to the change in behavior would crop up in the conversation. Some sort of clue...

Time passes though. A lot of time. Ultimately though, normal, daily life does not consist of casually revealing back stories; nor do deep, meaningful conversations crop up while watching the local news. Life simply doesn't work that way. It is in this way, the girl misses her curfew by a good margin as Jai's parents talk to each other about pretty much nothing as they sit there and watch television, like any other night. Eventually, just as Leno pops on, the couple gets to kissing and inaudible whispers which any rational person would assume are sweet nothings and vows of love. To Jai though, it sounds like the two of them trying to keep a secret hidden from him, as though they secretly know someone is listening in and are trying to make an elaborate plan to keep everything a secret. Soon though, the house goes dark and the couple happily walks upstairs together, the humming of the television having gone silent. The upstairs bathroom soon flickers to life as the couple readies for bed. Jai crawls out from under the bed as soon as he hears the shower and a blow dryer running at the same time. The bathroom noise is a perfect audio cover for the girl to slip downstairs into the kitchen and out the back door. Soon she’s running as fast as she can down the driveway and onto the sidewalk, trying desperately to get out of view of the bedroom windows and safe into the secrecy of the dark night.


Jai leaves his house this night without the answers he wanted. Nor does he gain a good understanding of how his life may change from this. Nothing he was hoping for had happened in that house, and as he runs through the darkness, he curses fate for having left him clueless.



It will, perhaps, be years before Jai's subconscious will allow him to recall the words said by his parents that night...



1 Hour, 13 Minutes Prior...
The girl’s eye twitches lightly, the lights from the television making the walls a little darker indicating a switch from the bright gloss of the newsroom to a reporter out in the field. The low hum changes to a lighter one, the parents not even whispering for the moment.

"Look at him..." Jai's father suddenly says, voice almost broken in a soft tone, words suddenly harder to say.

"My god...” His mother whispers, barely audible. “He's just about …Jai's age... Same hair, same eyes...” He voice cracks before she can list anything else. A second passes and the low, soothing hum of the television is suddenly cut out, leaving the living room in a dead silence. Not even a passing car or a random animal outside comes to break the still. Everything seems to just stop.

"...Aylie." His father says softly, her name almost sounding foreign to Jai’s ears even though he knows his mother’s name. He hears his father take a deep breath before he speaks again, his voice lulling as though he’s in a confession booth. "These past months with you have... have…” There’s a light shifting sound as he takes her hand. “Aylie, they’ve been wonderful."

The mother lets out a shaken breath, trying to grip the weight of what he said and reliving the past few months in her mind. Though Jai can’t see it, she smiles just a little back to him, silently nodding. "They have..."

There’s a light shuffle of fabric against the cushions as the father shifts on the couch to look straight at her. "Do… Do you miss him?" Another silence fills the room, Aylie hesitant to say anything. After a moment, the father takes a deep breath, his short breath forcing the words out of him. “Cause Aylie, I’ve tried. Honestly, I have.... But… I just can’t miss him.”

“I know…” The mother whispers gently, her face trained on the floor as she stares through it, her voice equally strained. “…I’ve sat on his bed for hours sometimes, just thinking of him.” Again, there’s silence as she collects her thoughts. “I thought I’d feel so much remorse, but every time I got up to straighten the bed I just… felt nothing. Like I’d just been waiting… waiting for a bad phase of my life to pass…” With a choke, she turns to him, gripping both his hands and looking up into his eyes almost pleadingly. "Evan, I never wanted to be a mother! That night at the lake front we... We just weren't careful…" She shakes her head, mind cycling through the days after. “Between everyone having a family and the pastor so adamant about life being precious… I just… I…”

“Shh, shh…” Even hushes, arms wrapping around her for comfort, his hand gently massaging her shoulder to calm her down. “I know, I know… It was hard… for both of us.” Gently, he shifts his hands to her shoulders and holds her lightly in front of him, a soft smile on his face catching her gaze. “But now… it’s done! You know we’re not to blame. …And now it… it’s back to us! Just… us.”

"...Like... we were given another chance. ...For us."

"...For us..."

...



"…Oh, honey, the weather’s on... The picnic tomorrow…."

“...Right, better check…” There’s a soft click and the dull hum of the television returns. After a moment, Evan whispers into her ear...

"I love you..."
"I love you too..."



And Jai falls into a dreamless sleep…

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:34 am 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
Posts: 176
Location: :noitacoL
The next morning brought an early light onto Kara's eye-shadowed face. She had fallen asleep in what Jai deemed to be the coziest pajamas the girl owns. With the sheets warm and the mattress soft and comfy, not to mention this new body being lighter and in slightly better shape, Jai found himself in probably the most restful sleep he's had in years. It's only because of that reason that the girl wakes up with a sigh. Part of her obviously didn't want to get out of bed, or wake up for that matter. Last nights dreams had been oddly peaceful... almost overly so. For a moment, her thoughts pass on how odd it is to be dreaming of flowers and lakesides instead of dungeons and hackers.

Must be the outside... My head has never felt clearer. Man, I wish I could stay out here.

Submitting to the morning, the girl yawns deep and long, slowly pulling herself upright in bed, back resting against the hardwood head board. She smiles and lightly shifts the pillows with her left hand, making her back comfy as she rests in the sitting position with her knees tucked lightly towards herself. Her eyes trail towards the window, where the first rays of the morning sun peek through the verdant branches of the tree in the front yard. The birds, as they often do, greet the sunlight with exuberant songs and chirps... one reason Kara woke up in the first place. She squints lightly towards the veil of leaves outside her window, trying to catch the movements of either a squirrel or a very large bird... hard to tell which with the sun in her eyes... Still, the presence of wildlife outside the window is, again, a new concept for Jai. His mornings in reality were met mostly with passing cars or the occasional paper boy making his morning rounds... In-game his mornings were often met with nothing more than the clamor of his fellows and the same, unchanging digital landscape. To him, mornings couldn't start much better than this.

What a view out there. I can see the hilltops and everything.

With a crack of her knuckles, she whips the covers off the bed and hops onto the floor. surging with energy. She stretches out lightly and walks over to the mirror, staring at her face for a few seconds before quickly grabbing a comb to brush out her hair.

Yikes. And I thought I had bad bed-hair as a boy. Better comb this out.
...

...Apart from my hair, what am I going to try and fix today? I should sign on-line at this point... check e-mails... try new passwords... anything really. ...But... ...There is ONE more place I want to see. ...I'm not sure I wanna get trapped in the game again before I...


She swallows, setting the comb down and staring silently at her reflection in the mirror.

I've probably abused this situation enough... I owe it to Rave... Kara to get her back into her body as soon as possible.

..Right?

...
Of course, she was... awfully cruel to me in-game. She didn't seem like she cared very much for me...
...No! What am I saying!? This has to be fixed! I have to do all I can, and I have to do it today!


Frowning with conviction, she turns away from the mirror and looks back out the window. She squints lightly, the sun starting to fully appear from over the hilltops, illuminating the entire neighborhood. She hears a few birds chirping nearby and a lone dog barking at the paper boy, who promptly tells the mutt to clam it. She looks down at herself for a moment and back to the window... she takes a deep breath...


"Where are you off to now Kara?" Kara's mother asks, watching her daughter quickly slip her shoes and a coat on.

"I... ...I'm gonna visit a sick f-friend in the hospital." She stutters out, not entirely comfortable seeing a middle-aged woman he doesn't know standing in front of him in a pink bathrobe and curlers.

"Oh no... who is it?" The mother asks, frowning in concern and holding her coffee cup a little lower to emphasize her care. The girl hesitates, wondering exactly how she can phrase this.

"...Just someone from school." She says meekly, tying the last knot on her shoe and darting out the door, leaving the mother scratching her head.


Twenty Minutes Later...

The walk to the hospital isn't quite as introspective as the walk to Jai's house had been. Perhaps it's guilt that keeps him from really enjoying the walk this morning... or maybe the traffic. Either way, there's little to note. Ultimately, Kara finds herself at the lobby of Saint Mary's Community Hospital. Note I say 'lobby' and not 'reception desk' where any normal person would be when visiting a friend in the hospital. No, you see Kara has elected to pace back and forth for a few minutes deciding on what exactly she's going to say to the receptionist.

...Oh boy, what if she asks how I know him?! What if Kara knows her?! What if blurt out that I'm him!? She'd think I'm insane! I gotta get everything straight.. gotta think of everything I'm gonna say... every question... every...

"Miss?" The receptionist calls, a confused but slightly amused expression on her face. Kara doesn't respond right away, not really used to responding to 'miss' by natural reaction. Instead, there's a few seconds of silence before she gasps as though she's been caught stealing something. Quickly, she turns around to face the receptionist with a worried smile.

"YES??" She says in an overly loud voice, too nervous to bother with volume control. She coughs a bit, trying to fake the outburst being a result of her throat.

"Can I help you?" The receptionist replies, obviously amused and trying not to openly chuckle. For a second, Kara's hand shakes from nervousness.

"Y-yes..." She stutters out, walking up to the desk. "I want.. to visit a friend... Jai Heartyre." Her voice cracks, saying his own name... it felt very strange. The receptionist doesn't notice the crack though... or at least don't pay attention. Instead the woman blinks and looks at the girl with surprise.

"The coma patient?" She remarks, turning towards the computer to look him up. "Why see him? His condition hasn't changed since he was brought in."

Oh thank gods, my body's still alive.

"I just... really need to see him." Kara chokes out, not really prepared to answer that and inadvertently speaking from the heart. The receptionist lifts an eye brow and half smiles.

"Oooooh, I see. Boyfriend?" Kara nearly falls over. "I understand. Go ahead, he's in 208." She nods towards the staircase, trying not to laugh at the girl's reaction.

"Ah!! I'm not-.. It's not-! ..." She pauses, weighing the need to argue about this. One second of thinking and Kara shakes her head, turning to go. "...Thanks."


The hushed laughter of the receptionist passes by the girl's ears as the door to the stairwell closes behind her. She grimaces, stomach churning a little from embarrassment.

Cripes... I hope she doesn't meet that woman later on. That'll be one awkward conversation. -! ...OH geez, I hope she doesn't think I'm spreading the rumor that we're-! ....GAH!! Badbadbadbad!!! No!

She shakes her head quickly, pushing the door to the second floor open as she tries composing herself. There's just a small pause for recognition as she looks up and down the hallways. It's funny, on TV there's always a doctor with a serious expression on his face gracefully striding down the hall to do something important... Here though, the halls are... pretty barren. There's a gurney parked outside a room, a few roll-away shelves filled with various medical supplies and a janitor's cart parked in the corner of the hallway. No doctors though, in fact no nurses either.

"...Creepy." She says to herself, noting room 201 and counting from there. Typical layout... odd numbers on one side, evens on the other. 208 is easy enough to find. I suppose then, the only reason it takes so long for the girl to enter the room is fear. In fact, she spends quite a long time simply standing in front of the door, hand on the doorknob, shaking visibly.

...Can... I really go through with this? My gods, this is like... the ultimate out of body experience. What i-

She quickly snaps out of her thoughts when a frantic beeping is heard in the room. She pales, gasps and bursts into the room...

The sun is just about at the perfect height for this time of day. The lone window in the room, covered in open plastic Venetian blinds, floods the entire room with light, the angle just about perfect for covering Jai's body with a glow from his pale skin. As is typical of a patient, he lies in bed wearing a hospital gown and a breathing mask over his face. Wires string from his arm and a heart monitor... is going crazy. Kara rushes to the boy's side, looking down with panic, seeing his own face contort subtly and his heart racing as though he's in battle.

She's fighting! She must be fighting in game! I have to-

*beeeeeeeeeep*

Her face goes pale as she looks towards the heart monitor. Her shoulders drop and she looks at the monitor, wide eyed and stunned.

Flat lining... Oh my gods... Is this what happens when I'm killed? ...Did she-?!

A surge of guilt and horror flashes through her system. Without hesitation she grips Jai's hand and looks at his paled face, nearly shouting at him.

"Hang in there Kara!! I'm coming for you! I swear it!" She calls out, voice pained and broken, hands shaking. The moment is short lived though. Kara is soon shoved out of the way by a worried doctor accompanied by three nurses.

As his body is swarmed, Jai makes a slow exit from the hospital.

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:55 pm 
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Well-Oiled Machine
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:59 am
Posts: 176
Location: :noitacoL
Now that I think about it, this may very well be the last time I see the outside world...

"We've got a pulse!"

"My god... he was flat lined for almost a minute..."

"...Ugh. I swear, this kid dies and resurrects practically every week!"


I think I'll miss the sunsets most of all.

"Is there something the matter sweetheart?"

"...Nothing... Just some weird prank e-mail... some jackass thinks he's real funny."


But this is not her burden. It's mine. I can't let her suffer in my place any more.

"What's up with Mr. Polanski today? He looked all serious and crap."

"I dunno. Maybe his car broke down or something."

"Why'd he keep looking at the computer then?"


This world moved on without me... They'll go on. But there's one girl who needs me. And there's one group of people... I'll fight for.

"Do you think Kara's been acting weird lately?"

"Hm? I hadn't really noticed..."

"Really? She's been much... friendlier I guess. It's weird but-.. Was that the front door?"


I'll fight as long as it takes... For us to see the sun rise over the real world again!

Kara slams the door to her room closed. Out of breath from running home, the girl kicks her shoes off and stumbles to the computer, stabbing the power switch with her finger and sitting down, a grim look spread on her face.

Enough tip-toeing around. I'm going through every e-mail, document and .txt file on this thing. There's a hint for her password somewhere and I aim to find it.

A single drop of sweat drops from the girl's brow... a side-effect of repressed fear. Even as she grips the mouse, roughly clicking the mailer and scanning the subject lines with a laser-like focus, she still feels fear. The enormity of possibly... no most likely never seeing the real world again weighs heavily on Jai's subconscious. But despite his misgivings, his gut stays clenched and his eyes focused. Fear will have to take a back seat along with rationality this time. Jai may be quiet, nervous and fearful... but if he's sure if he loses his ability to truly care for others, then he's lost far more than what he'd gain by staying in the real world. For now, there isn't a distinction, there isn't any moral question. He is himself right now. It is something he refuses to let go.

...Hm? There's no address on this one...

Quote:
From: ---
Subject: New Account

It's us. We noticed you were detected by an Admin the other day. As per the necessary precautions, we deleted your account and all traces of your computer from the daily logs, we've also taken the liberty to scramble your IP address since you seem to have delayed doing that for whatever reason.

We don't have to tell you that the field crash attracted a lot of unwanted attention from a lot of people. People who are more of a threat than the game admins, no less.

Normally our business would be concluded, but you've done very good work so far on this project. Because of your past performance we've decided to keep you under out employ for what we hope will be the remainder of our work. Do not allow our faith in you to be misplaced. Lay low. Do not make waves. This must stay an isolated incident.

Given that, we trust you will be able to carry yourself professionally as you have in the past, even after this incident. As such, please return to your work as soon as you feel the time is right, preferably by the end of next week.

Your new account information is as follows:
USER ID: Darklady82
Password: Nevermore


P.S. We also managed to keep your character name the same. You seemed to like it so much.



...whoa.

The girl slumps in her seat suddenly, eyes wide and a boggled expression on her face.

This is... unsettling. Though with her kind of hacks... I... guess it makes sense that she's not working alone. ...Still, why's she bugging me? I'm just a random user. Does she just torment me for kicks? ...Is her JOB to torment me? ...And why me? There's nothing special about me! And there are a ton of other people trapped in the game!... ...And that can't be it! I met her before that happened... So then why? ...

For just an instant, Lighteria's thoughts flash to the old stories of playground bullies picking on the people they secretly like. Little boys flicking the ears of girls they have a crush on... Little girls trying to sneak 'gross' kisses on boys they like...
...He snaps out of it.

...Gah! No! Stop thinking Jai! This is fantasy. It's childish... ...I... I can't mess around anymore. I have the access, I have to use it damn it!!

Swallowing down the last bit of fear back into his clenched belly, the young girl reaches out for the VR visor set neatly on the case. The case clicks gently as she lifts it off, reaching over her head. As it descends over her eyes, a repressed tear streams down her cheek.
And the world once again falls into static.


Welcome to The World!
USER ID: Darklady82
Password: Nevermore

Logging in...


...Did I just hear her voice...?


∆ Server
Root Town Mac Anu


Like any other player, Raven appears by the Chaos Gate. The Staff of the Dark Moon gripped tightly in her hands. To Jai though, everything is horribly strange, having been trapped in The World for so long, external control of the character is simply awkward. Regardless, his hands begin to dance along the keyboard, like riding a bike, typing comes back to him quickly. It doesn't take long for him to maneuver the wavemistress into a nearby alleyway and flick open a blank flashmail.

I can't get my own Member Address without being in a party or at least nearby. I have to find out where I am and how I can get there... I need someone who I KNOW will be on top of things... Someone I know I can trust...

...


FLASHMAIL
To: Nighthand
From: Raven
Subject: Something went very wrong!

Nighthand, I'm... not entirely sure how I can explain this, but this is Lighteria! Something went terribly wrong in the last field I went to and... there was a switch. ...I can explain the entire thing later, but I need to find the person in my body and somehow reverse this! Where is she?

END FLASHMAIL

Elsewhere... through well-founded anger and resentment, the marionette devil has been slain. Though the act was harsh, it brings a clear end to a very difficult journey the freedom fighters have made. As the group begins to relax and head back towards the exit the flashmail appears for Nighthand. After a few moments of pause, wherein Nighthand looks over... whatever is left of the twinblade's body, the response comes.

FLASHMAIL
To: Raven
From: Silverblade
Subject: Re: Something went very wrong!

Don't worry, the name change is nothing to worry about, Nighthand still resides in this body. She, and your body, had some misadventures with the orbs that compose your ability. The field is Lambda, Pulsating Light Trap Core. Now that we've defeated the boss, the path to the dungeon shouldn't be warded by traps anymore, so you should be clear to come down and get her.

END FLASHMAIL

"Thank you..." Raven whispers under her breath. With her path clear, the wavemistress turns to the gate once again, switching servers and porting to the dungeon as fast as she's able. Normally, Jai would be distracted by the remnants of battle in the new field, the strewn ashes, the paths of the forest, the sprung dungeon traps... This time though, whatever insight he has is pushed aside. He's mused enough for the past few days. For now, the only drama will come when he stands face to face with the remnants of the last battle...

...Holy crap.

Raven skids to a halt. In front of her lies a giant open cave... it looked to be a typical dungeon room at one point, all that's left now though is a giant crater. He can only guess what could have gone on in this room to cause such destruction. There's no worry though, as Nighthand would surely have mentioned any serious casualties. In any case, Jai is soon snapped from his contemplation by the ghostly voice of his kitten.

"Mew mew MEW mew?! (Is that YOU Lighteria?!)" The ghostly image of Kit speaks from the floor of the room. Raven looks down in surprise. As soon as she sees her kitten, a huge smile passes her face. Within an instant, the wavemistress leaps down to the bottom of the crater and goes to her knees, beaming with happiness.

"Kit! I'm so happy to see you again!! ..Wow, you look like you've been through hell..." Kit's ears lightly go back upon hearing Jai talk even more like a girl than usual. The voice explanation can wait though.

"Mew meow mew, mew. Mew mew meow mew? ...MEW meow mew mew? (Complete with a devil, actually. Mind passing me a rez? ...CAN you with that character?)" As soon as the kitten speaks, the wavemistress blinks in curiosity. Jai hadn't actually checked the spells Raven has beforehand. With the request made, his eyes begin tracing over a few in-game listings.

"...Actually... I think I can cast anything with this character." Raven says in that clear, girl's voice that still sends chills up Kit's spine. "Hang on, let me just scroll down..." Kit nods a few times as she watches Raven's eyes lightly glance back and forth over the lists invisible to Kit's eyes. After a somewhat unsettling minute, Raven's face brightens and looks back to Kit's. "Here we go! Rip Maen!" With a wave of her hand, Kit's ghost glows white, glowing feathers fluttering from her ghost as her form is restored. The kitten smiles as she returns whole again, spending the first second swiping a paw past her ear and the second jumping into Raven's arms.

"Mew! Meow meow mew mew meow. (Finally! I was worried I wouldn't get back to normal.)" Kit speaks out, breathing a sigh of relief into Raven's chest. The wavemistress laughs lightly and gives the kitten a tight hug, similarly relieved.

"I'm sorry I took so long Kit." She says through light laughter in her voice. "I had... a real adventure on the outside." Raven smiles distantly for a moment, before her eyes catch sight of the grayed out corpse lying half a room away. "...What happened to Raven?"

"Mew... (Oh...)" Kit suddenly trails off, looking back towards the corpse. "Mew mew meow mew mew mew meow mew. ...Mew meow meow mew mew. (She was killed after transforming into an aura like you do. ...I don't know why there's no ghost.)" Raven blinks down towards Kit in surprise.

"That's.... troublesome. Even I'M not sure what happens..." Somewhat miffed at the fact that his teammates never resurrected the body, the girl walks over towards the corpse, kneeling down carefully. "...Are you in there?" She asks lightly, brushing a few loose strands of hair from the body's eyes. As they come into view though, the girl gasps, seeing the eyes halfway open and full of nothing but static. "Raven...?" Slowly, the girl's hand cups the body's cheek, staring into its eyes. For just a second, Jai thinks he could see something within the static, but the feeling quickly passes. After all, resolution to this whole mess is only one spell away...

"Rip Maen" The girl says softly, her free hand waving lightly over the corpse. As the spell completes, the body glows white and color returns to normal. Now normally you would expect a dead person coming back to life to be either very grateful or at least somewhat listless... like waking up from a long sleep. This time though, it's more like waking up from a nightmare. Kara, in Lighteria's body gasps. His eyes widen and he sits bolt upright, screaming at the top of his lungs. Jai, in Raven's body also gasps and falls backwards, a little stunned at the reaction. For a few seconds nothing is said, the boy simply catches his short breath, looking pale and freaked out.



"...What in the bloody hell was THAT?!" Lighteria screams out, clutching his chest to apparently try and stop his heart from beating too fast. His body trembles lightly until his head jerks to the left, spying Raven. "...-Y..YOU!!"

"H-hi..." Raven says lightly, lifting her hand and giving him a wave with her fingers, clearly more than a tad nervous.

"What the hell was that?!" Lighteria starts shouting, turning towards the girl and gripping her collar. "Where was I just now?! What happened to my head?! How did you get here-!? ...How.. why..." Losing breath and loosing focus on rage, the boy starts trailing off and slowing his breathing.

"S-slow down! Please!" Raven says meekly, holding a hand lightly over her chest. Lighteria's eye twitches at the sight and slaps her hand down.

"I'm talking about that.. thing! It felt like my mind was everywhere!" Lighteria says, getting exasperated again, the digital body actually lightly convulsing at recalling the experience.

"O-oh... That." Raven replies with a distant tone. "It's... something I was able to do since I got trapped here... I think it's like an elemental aura thing... from what Kit tells me." Lighteria shakes his head, not satisfied with the answer.

"Well then what was that place?!" Lighteria asks, his voice becoming more frustrated.

"...What place?" Raven says, her eyes blinking.

"That... place!" Lighteria throws his arm past her chest lightly, trying to drive home the need to know. "Everything flashed suddenly... The room was gone and I was... in this..." His hands cycle over each other quickly as he tries to think of a good way to describe what he's thinking. "sea of static." Raven tilts her head.

"I'm... I'm not sure. I don't think I've ever died doing that before." There's a moment where you can detect a small degree of shame on Lighteria's face for having apparently managed to screw up worse than Jai.

"But there... and that... with the laughing..." Lighteria groans and rubs his temple, a headache quickly forming from the conversation. "Just... Never mind. We need to switch bodies again." He looks to Ravens' face and shudders involuntarily. "It's getting really creepy watching myself talk."

"Y-yeah..." Raven says, hanging her head lightly, feeling the weight of that statement. "Any ideas?"

"And why should he?" A small voice suddenly chimes in. The two players blink and look to the side and to the floor where Kit sits with a grim expression... for a cat.

"What... the hell does that mean?" Lighteria suddenly responds, brow furrowed and getting angry again.

"Light... Jai misses the real world you know. He could have stayed out there in your body and just left you here." Kit's whiskers twitch uncomfortably from talking in English too much. Lighteria simply fumes.

"That's just stupid! It's MY body! And he couldn't have lived my life!"

"...Actually it was kind of nice." Raven chimes in, very quietly. Kit and Lighteria look to her with polar opposite expressions. "Your mom's very kind... and your house is nice."

"...D-don't even say that!" There's a quick pause as the possibility of being trapped indefinitely sinks in. "You CAN'T do that!! YOU CAN'T!!"

"And why not?" Kit says suddenly, the fur on her chest sticking out a little in a brave but still dearly cute fashion. "No offense, but he could pull off a girl." Raven shrugs lightly, conceding the point. "And he would be able to live in the real world again!" She glares suddenly. "And the world would be minus a mean-spirited girl!"

"SHUT UP!!" Lighteria shouts, face reddening with rage and panic. "This can't- He can't-.. There's..." His breath shortens, not having a real argument. "This is stupid! You can't steal MY body! That's.. not fair!" His voice starts weakening, trying not to think of this actually being a possibility.

"You weren't very fair when you hurt him..."

"That's-! ...Not... Don't bring that-!" His voice is cut short suddenly. Raven's finger gently pressed over his lips.

"It's ok." Raven says softly, a gentle smile across her face. As she lowers her finger, she leans down and picks Kit from the floor, giving her a soft hug. "Thank you for defending me Kit. But I made up my mind before I logged back in." Kit looks up and sighs gently.

"Mew meow mew mew meow... (You let people walk over you Lighteria...)" The kitten says sadly, leaving Lighteria blinking in confusion.

"I know." He says with a smile, setting the kitten down on the floor again. "But I don't mind." Hearing that, the kitten sighs and lies down by her side, starting to get dejected. "The matter might be academic though... do you know how we can switch again Raven?" Lighteria blinks a moment in realization and grimaces.

"...I hadn't.. thought about that." He says, almost coughing it out. "Logically, we just need to recreate the conditions of the reversal and it'll just happen..."

"Crash a field?" Kit chimes in, Lighteria taken slightly aback.

"It's-!" He grimaces and shakes his head. "...It's POSSIBLE. ...We just need a good plan... or a lot of power..." He crosses his arms, looking down at the ground in thought. "I could have him use an unstable hack.. that'd get the admins here... He could put that shield back up...."

"It wasn't just the shield." Raven interjects. "I was... channeling my powers as well." Lighteria blinks a few times, taking a few seconds to realize what that means.

"I... I can't control your... 'powers'. That'd never work."

"Maybe not..." Raven says with a hint of sadness. Lighteria's eyes widen subtly with despair. It takes a few seconds for Raven to regain a smile on her face. "...But maybe there's an easier way."

"Easier?" Lighteria asks, eyebrow raised.

"Well... it's just a theory." Raven admits, her thumbs lightly twiddling. "But I can... possess things and people with the aura. If you split and possessed your body... Our minds might.... find their way back." She looks up, smiling and hopeful but Lighteria shakes his head, heavily skeptical.

"Iiii don't think so." He says slowly. "Even if that could work, there's no way I can control the aura. I couldn't do a THING last time I was in it!"

"Oh but it's not THAT hard!" Raven states, slowly getting up. "You just need some guidance..." She motions for Lighteria to stand, which he does... at his own pace. "It's all about emotions. If you feel something very strongly, then the aura will feel it and react that way."

"I... really don't do control." Lighteria mutters out, looking to the side.

"Oh come on... You just need to think really hard and really FEEL it. Just try to think of being really close to your body."

"...It won't work. I'm not nearly as attached to that character as you are to this one. For god sakes it's just a game avvy!"

Lighteria looks away, an obstinante expression on his face and his arms crossed, sure of his conclusion. Raven tilts her head softly, watching his face, thoughts streaming through Jai's head.

"Well... You just have to feel close then." She says plainly. Before Lighteria can react, Raven steps towards him and reaches out with both arms. With a quick motion, the girl pulls him against her tightly, arms squeezing around his back, their cheeks lightly touching.

"W-what the hell-?!" Lighteria manages to stutter out, face revealing his shock and mild repulsion. The girl holds him tightly to her though, eyes shut.

"Please..." She says softly. "You have strong emotions... You just need to let yourself get close... Just for right now."

Lighteria shakes lightly in her arms, both resisting the grip and her words.

"I know you can Kara... Please, just trust me... Let me in..." She whispers, her hand gently massaging his shoulder.

...Now it's hard to say what exactly was the cause of what happens next. Maybe the massage finally manages to calm the angry girl down... or maybe its the first time she's ever felt someone else's heartbeat against hers. Whatever the reason, the gaze on Lighteria's face finally manages to soften for the first time since the switch. His shoulders relax and his arms slide around the girl's back. His eyes shut, the girl inside beginning to feel Lighteria's body loosing focus and form. As Raven holds the boy's body tighter, he lets out a long, deep breath, one so relaxing that it allows his body and mind to momentarily slip away from him. Lighteria's body shimmers and glows, his entire body slipping away. Raven smiles as she feels her arms pass through his back, over a hundred orbs of maroon light gently flowing outwards from where he was held.

"That's it Kara... Just come to me..." She says quietly, several of the orbs already harmlessly passing into her body. From the floor, Kit looks on in awe, every single light point slowly converging onto the girl, guided by Kara's will. Though the process takes a few minutes, eventually the final orb is guided into Raven's torso, lead lightly by her hand.

"Perfect." Raven says softly, taking a deep breath and falling softly to one knee. "I think... this is..." She can't finish though, the hack beginning to realize the discrepancy by itself, Raven's character is quickly overwhelmed. With sparks of energy flying from her body, the girl too bursts into a hundred points of light... this time the orbs a familiar light pink. Kit gasps, taking a few steps backwards as she watches the mass of maroon and pink orbs swarm in the air, each of them zipping around frantically to find their likeness. Like a laser light show gone completely insane, the orbs race around each other in wild circles, the two colors performing a crude, nigh-random pattern of organization. Though it takes a solid five minutes, the colors do eventually begin to form two distinct swarms of singular colors. As they do, they converge upon each other, filling the space with a blinding light. Kit shuts her eyes tightly and looks away as currents of power bolt off of the two reforming bodies. By the time she's able to open her eyes towards the sight, all that's left are Lighteria and Raven, standing in front of each other with similarly shocked expressions.

"Did it work?!" Kit asks anxiously. There's no answer right away. Instead she watches Lighteria as he blinks in confusion and starts patting his chest to make sure he's whole.

"...W-Why do I have an ice cream taste in my mouth?" He asks meekly, hand rubbing his stomach. Kit beams and leaps forward, climbing up his leg to leap in his arms.

"You're back!" The kitten says happily, clutching his shirt and purring happily. Lighteria blinks and laughs with her, holding her up lightly with his arms.

"...My... feet hurt." Raven suddenly pipes in, looking down bluntly. "Were you doing a lot of running or something?"

"A- a little..." Lighteria says meekly, a bit embarrassed that she's asking questions about his actions now. Raven lifts an eyebrow at him and halfway glares.

"I've been meaning to ask... You didn't.... mess around... with me... did you?" Her face tightens, awaiting the answer. Lighteria doesn't say much right away though.

"....Mess... around?" He says lightly, blinking a few times. There's a pause as Kit mews into his ear a little. "....OH!!" His face flushes red. "Oh I... no... I! . ...I, well... I had to go to the bathroom once... " He admits weakly. Raven physically shudders in her seat, shaking her head and weighing his actions.

"That's-!" Her teeth lightly grit. "...Acceptable." Her head turns away, repressing any embarrassment. There's only a moment of silence before Lighteria pipes up though.

"...You didn't do anything bad with me, did you?" He asks curiously. Raven looks over and blinks, seemingly nervous.

"I may have... ticked a few people off." She states bluntly. "But that's it." She quickly avoids his gaze, lightly swallowing as Lighteria merely nods, looking to the floor.

"O-ok then..."

"..."

"..."

At the same instant, Raven turns her head back to his as Lighteria's gaze lifts from the floor hers. In moments like this, with two people simply looking to each other's eyes, important things can happen. Soldiers can fire upon another human being, rivals can come to a mutual understanding, lovers can discover they truly care for another... These tow have certainly had enough happen between them for something special to happen... ...But nothing does. Raven's heart skips a beat, every part of her being suddenly needing confirmation of the real world. Before anything else is said, her hand whip to her head and the VR visor is ripped unceremoniously off her head, her avatar fading from the dungeon room... Lighteria watches in silence as she fades away, his shoulders dropping just slightly, secretly having hoped she'd say something else. Regardless, the field and dungeon are empty once again... there is little more to do other than gate out and head home. Kit, will have to mention their new home as they reach the chaos gate.

....In the mean time, in a house in the suburbs, a young girl with long, black hair finds herself standing in front of her computer, panting lightly. Her comfy chair has fallen to the floor along with a fancy VR visor lying next to it, its cord only slightly taut. The girl, with beads of sweat dripping down her face, rushes to her mirror and looks at herself, patting her face a few times to make sure everything is in tact. As she watches herself moving her own body once more, her breathing calms down and her shoulders un-tense. A smile passes by her face as she stands up, gently patting her hips. With everything in order, the girl suddenly finds herself laughing... though she has no idea why. She'll later settle for the fit of laughter being from simply the joy of getting her body back, but for now she simply hauls off for no reason and laughs a loud, joyous laugh.

She'll soon fix her chair and check her email.
And Lighteria will soon return to the Freedom Fighters.




And ultimately...

...Nothing will change.



The End.



((*Possession reaches Level 2!*))

_________________
Lv. 37 Twin Blade (180 SP)
Weapon: Rashou (Thunder Coil- 30, Suvi Lei- 20, Mumyn Lei- 30) (Life Drain)
Armor: Holy Tree Mail (Juk Kruz- 20) - Scarab Earring (La Repth- 20, Rip Maen- 40) - Time Sandals (Ap Do- 15) - Forest Gloves (Juk Kruz- 20)
GP: 14384

Wish list (In order of priority): Angel halo accessory, chibi angel wings, Bone Armor, Professional

Lighteria: "Obsessively updating my profile since Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:10 pm"


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