Flash Fiction Prompt- Location: This Illustration By Deviantart user Bejzar! | Object: Some glass beads. [Link to post.]
“This is one of the smaller markets,” Jake said. He guided Ms. Carlson, a prospective business partner, through the crowd of digital people.
“It feels so real,” Ms. Carlson said as strangers bumped her shoulders left and right. She inhaled deeply. “I smell meat cooking.” Jake stopped walking to turn and smile at her.
“You can eat it too. Like most games you’ll get a food buff,” he said. “But in the AlterNet you can also savor the flavor and texture.” Jake turned forward and kept leading Ms. Carlson through dense forest of people, pushing NPCs out of his way. Like trees, they only moved when you forced them to. He led her to a clearing. The booths were still manned, but the meandering crowd seemed to avoid the small area. Ms. Carlson found Jake stopped in front of a young purple headed girl’s booth.
The young girl seemed in charge of the booth. She sat on a high wooden stool overlooking a short wooden table. Barrels on the table held mounds of glass beads in different shapes and colors.
“Hi,” Jake said to the girl.
“Oh an adventurer! If you’re interested in some beads how about a trade? The goblin prince stole my lucky glass bead, if you bring it back to me, I’ll reward you handsomely.” Jake nodded, then turned to face Ms. Carlson.
“Now I’ll show you how combat and quests work,” Jake said. He waded through the crowd towards the exit.
[WP] “Welcome, we are so glad you are here. We’ve been expecting you.” “What, where am I?” [Link to post.]
“Welcome, we are so glad you are here. We’ve been expecting you.” The young pale boy greeted the blonde woman in a red dress. They stood outside in a field of swaying wheat.
“What, where am I?” The woman asked. She turned around to survey the field. It looked wrong somehow. The sky was a dark shade of purple, but bright sunlight illuminated the grains. She looked up and saw a golden sun high in the sky.
“This is the AlterNet.” A deeper male voice said behind the woman. She turned around and found Jake Wilson standing behind her, next to the pale boy. She met Jake only minutes before, but he looked different. Instead of the navy blue business suit he wore to their meeting, he was now dressed in an elegant black silk shirt with golden detailing. He also wore black silk slacks, and a black cloak. She could not see his shoes due to the wheat, but she imagined they were black as well. The boy’s outfit matched Jake’s, they almost looked like father and son.
“Mr. Wilson!” She stepped over to him, happy to see someone she recognized. She ran her fingers across the tops of the wheat spikes as she walked. “Is this the demonstration? It feels so real.” Jake nodded at her.
“It is real, Ms. Carlson. That’s real wheat you’re touching.” Ms. Carlson’s forehead crinkled as she thought through the situation.
“If I understood your invention correctly,” she paused to order her thoughts. “You’re saying my body is still back at InnerTech on an alternate Earth, but my consciousness is here?”
“Really, Jake? This was your first choice?” The pale boy said. “We could’ve looked for a smarter version of her at least.” The boy left Jake’s side and walked around Ms. Carlson eyeing her up and down.
“Yes, Oren, it was. Shut it.” Jake glared at the boy.
[We have company. Behave. -Jake] He Whispered the reprimand to Oren in secret, so that Ms. Carlson could not hear.
[Fine. -Oren] Jake felt the words in his ear. Ms. Carlson looked down at her own body, then back to Jake.
“Why are you wearing different clothes, but I’m still in the same ones?”
“Because you haven’t made a character yet,” Oren said. He extended his hand and offered her a small glowing red ball.
“Character? What do you mean?” Ms. Carlson did not accept the ball, and eyed Jake instead.
[Told you she’s dumb. -Oren] Jake felt the message in his ear. He ignored it.
“This whole world is like a game,” Jake said. He lifted his hand up in the air and it glowed with bright green light. He snapped his fingers and a green fireball shot upward from his hand. “So you’ve gotta make a character to play. I’m a wizard.” Ms. Carlson looked back to Oren.
“Are you a wizard too? You’re dressed like one.” She talked down to him in her friendliest voice.
[I’ll find you a smarter one. -Oren] The message tickled his inner ear.
[Please let me kill her. – Oren] Jake could not ignore that.
“I’m Oren,” Oren said. His hand still presenting the glowing red ball to the woman. She nodded at him.
“I heard your name, but what kind of character are you?” She asked. Oren stared at the woman, and his translucent grey eyes began to turn red. A red crown began to glow on his forehead. “I’m Oren,” he repeated. Jake intervened. He grabbed the red ball from Oren’s hand and stepped between them.
“Unlike you and me, Oren is actually here. He doesn’t need to make a character.” Jake held his hand out toward her, with the red ball of light resting on his palm. She reached her hand out to take it. The second she touched the ball, red energy enveloped her entire body like a cocoon. She could not be seen from outside.
“Told you she’s dumb. You didn’t give her any instructions, and now she won’t be able to figure out how to work it,” Oren said. He kicked at the wheat.
“Yes she will. If she can’t, then we need a redesign anyway. It’s supposed to be intuitive, remember? Let’s play something while we wait,” Jake said.