Friends with a Zero

[OT] Sunday Free Write – Canada Day Edition [Link to post.]

“Are you sure about the umbrella? I lost hard,” Dirge asked Glory. The green haired woman refused to claim her prize from Dirge. She dismissed the thought with a wave of her hand and a smile.

“It’s not worth the shelf space, but thanks. And, uh…” Glory looked Dirge in the eyes. “I’m sorry for acting like a bitch. All the Uniques that’ve come through my shop have been less than friendly, and I guess I began to assume all Uniques were. Though, I probably didn’t help your opinion of Zeroes,” she said. “Sorry.”

“Sorry enough to give me the bell?” Dirge asked. She grinned playfully while casting a glance at the silver and black bell on the table of instruments. Glory eyed the bell and took a step towards it.

“You didn’t lose as bad as I thought you would, you’re pretty good. Maybe…” she reached for the bell’s black leather hand strap. Dirge’s eyes widened; she subconsciously brought her hands up in front of her chest like a child waiting to be handed a gift. She wanted it in her hands as soon as possible. “Fat chance, kid.” Glory burst into laughter and pulled her hand away. Glory tapped Dirge on the shoulder. “But I’ll rematch you for it any time, and you can keep using that umbrella as a bet.” Dirge pouted slightly.

“Zeroes suck,” she said, then winked at Glory. “But, you’re awesome. I expected to skate all over you.”

“I’m not even the best me, I’ve met some that are way better,” Glory said. She walked out of the back room back to the front of her shop. “C’mon let’s grab a bite, my treat,” she added as she left the room. Dirge caught up and kept pace with her as Glory led her out of the shop.

“Wow, you’ve met other yous? What’s that even like?” Dirge asked.

“Fun! Usually. Some of me are bitches.”

“Some?” Dirge nudged Glory in the side.

“Yeah, some. I’m one of some,” she pushed Dirge back with a laugh. “Whenever a new me logs into the AlterNet all of us are notified, it’s like that for all Zeroes. And because we’re all pretty much the same soul, we can Whisper to each-other cross-server,” Glory said. They walked a couple of blocks through the town, then Glory walked through a waist-high gate. The gate surrounded a large open-air plaza filled with tables. Orcs, humans, fauns, and more sat around tables and strolled through the plaza stopping at the various food stands. Dirge enjoyed the delicious smells and the murmur of the crowd as she followed Glory, but then realized the Angel said something that she did not understand.

“What do you mean you whisper to each other?” Glory halted in her tracks and burst into laughter. Dirge stopped walking and watched the plaza while her new friend finished laughing at whatever was funny. She noticed a pair of mermaids swimming through the air out of the plaza, and her mind drifted to Dread. “I wonder why Dread doesn’t do that,” she thought. Glory’s laughter ended, and she turned toward Dirge. The girl’s quietness concerned the green-haired woman.

“Hey, sorry. I didn’t mean to make fun of you.” Glory rested a hand on Dirge’s shoulder, but the girl looked up at her with a confused look.

“OH!” Dirge grinned and gave the woman a light shove. “You were laughing at me? I didn’t know, sorry. I’ve never really hung out in town like this, there are so many players.” Her eyes found something new and interesting every few seconds. Glory decided to sit down at a nearby table, and Dirge sat across from her.

“They’re all Zeroes too,” she said.

“Really?” The information surprised Dirge. She looked through the crowd trying to find some indicator. “How can you tell?” Glory smiled at her.

“Zeroes get some special abilities to help even things out against Uniques. One of them lets us identify Uniques on sight.” Glory winked an eye at Dirge.

“So when you asked if I was Unique, you already knew? How much does it tell you?” Dirge asked.

“Like most things here, it’s a skill that gets improved. I only knew you were a Celestial, but not which one. If I keep leveling it, eventually it’ll tell me everything about a Unique,” Glory replied. “But, let’s go back to Whispering; that’s important for communication in the AlterNet. The reason I laughed is because you’re max level and don’t know how to Whisper.” Dirge shrugged.

“Never needed anyone to play with,” Dirge replied. She decided against mentioning the instant levels granted by Mundo. She feared Glory might get jealous about another easy button for Uniques.

“Okay, I need to add you,” Glory said. The moment she stopped speaking a flat, translucent menu appeared in the air in front of Dirge.

“Friend Request: Glory” the text hovered above a picture of the green-haired angel woman. Dirge touched the “Accept” button on the menu and it disappeared.

“Okay, close your eyes. It’s easier to pick up that way,” Glory said. She adjusted herself in her seat to face Dirge directly and stared into the girl’s orange eyes. Dirge nodded and her eyelids shut. “Three,” Glory began counting. “Two. One.”

[This is a whisper. -Glory] Dirge somehow sensed and knew the words at the same time. She felt a tickling, tingling on her forearm in the shape of letters, and her mind was able to read it like she would subtitles in a movie.

“Whooaaa,” Dirge said. Her eyelids flew open. “That’s awesome!” Dirge said. Glory smiled and pointed back at Dirge’s forearm. The girl looked at her pale skin hoping to see the message but found it blank.

[You can see it too. -Glory] the text appeared on her arm in small glowing purple letters for a second, then the light faded and left her arm blank again.  

“You gotta teach me how!” Dirge said. She grabbed Glory’s hands to beg her. She felt another message, this time the tingles concentrated in her left ear.

[I learned something awesome! – Dread]


Previous Dirge & Dread chapter: Bearly Immovable

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