Once I left virtual reality, my clock showed that it was well into the early morning hours. A growl originating from my stomach along with a dull ache in my body informs me that I need to stretch and eat something. I was in virtual reality for quite some time after all.
My hand immediately went to my lips, even now I could still feel the kiss.
It has been months since I started playing End Online. As a result I have grown used to the condition of my body, but there are still moments where a bitterness settles in my stomach, just like now.
I try to move my legs over the edge of my bed without physically picking them and swivelling them over. I don’t feel any trauma pain when I relearn just how impossible it is for me to use them, but it is emotionally crushing every time I make the attempt without thinking and fail.
I gradually shuffle across to the edge of my bed where my wheelchair is, no matter how many times I do this it never gets any easier.
Maybe that is why I enjoy the virtual world so much, one piece of equipment on my head and for a monthly subscription I can have my legs back. I have Fen who always keeps me company, despite the spiteful and sour side to her she was the first and only person to come to my side.
Verde and Prince Charming seemed to have ulterior motives, removing them from my personal list of comrades, but that is more often the case with other players. Always in it for themselves, not that I’m much different.
Rolling myself to the kitchen I pass Joelle and Shari’s room, a painful knot in my stomach forming about them being gone.
‘I understand that things are difficult right now, maybe I was a little lacking in money and my capability to look after you, but how can they just take you away like that?’
There was no more government bodies that provided funding to those in need, but they surely can’t simply take the girls away, not when I am of age to be considered an adult. The more I think about it the more something seems not quite right.
‘As a matter of fact, they should NOT be able to simply take them away like that, I will have to find out exactly what has happened.’
While reheating some leftover food from the fridge I vow that in twelve months I shall have them back here.
The following morning my alarm makes an odd sound, it lets off a vaguely familiar jingle of bells.
My eyes fly open, rays of sunshine falling across my bed through the partially open curtains. I turn off my alarm clock and move into the wheel chair, rolling myself over to the window.
‘How could I have forgotten!’ Looking out the window I see a fresh blanket of snow covering everything all the road and every roof.
Magic really does exist, for the yearly snow to come down at the very last moment, on Christmas Day. I think about going outside, but considering my wheelchair would probably get bogged in the snow it may not be such a good idea. I will have to go outside for food shopping soon enough anyway, but I will with hold for a while.
I also didn’t have my ‘White Wolf Winter Cloak’ on me so the thought of venturing in the icy air without it made me was to stay inside even more.
I may as well go back into the game now, the apple sales have helped a lot, but my bank is still on a slow decline so I need to somehow make more money.
Placing the VL on my head I entered End Online on Christmas day.
All of our Development team here at Idea Imagine Corp would like to thank all the players for their efforts in playing End Online. In order to commemorate your hard word work, we have released the first of our planned updates to liven up your gaming experience. You will notice along the top of your vision as well as having your health points you also have some extra bars. These are for you satiety levels, both hunger and thirst. They will naturally decrease slowly over time, faster if you are doing physical activities or... well, we will let you figure out the rest for yourselves! In light of the Christmas Spirit however we have commissioned Santa to come to end online and leave plenty of little gifts in your inventories to help you adapt to the update. Only available to those who log in today! We hope a Merry Christmas. -Idea Imagine Corp
The moment I log on this lengthy message appears in front of me! It is certainly a Christmas surprise!
I take a minute to take in the information about the satiety levels, I wonder if one becoming zero leads to instant death or your health deteriorating? Remembering the rumours about there being an update to fix the endless stamina players have this must be it.
Not only will you get tired and exhausted the lower your health with, but low satiety levels will also leave you with less energy and slower movements.
Dismissing the message, I take notice of Fen is sitting next to me, back at full size so looking down on me.
“I take it this means I will have to feed you too now? Or can you hunt yourself?” I ask Fen who happily wags her tail at me.
‘Of course, I have to feed you don’t I.’
Wondering what this gift was that is supposedly in my inventory I open it and inspect the goods I have stored there. Blinking twice at the new items that were not there when I logged off.
Extra Fluffy Santa Hat A fluffy Santa Hat that is a replica part of a piece of Santa's costume. Offers no defensive bonus's but it does look really nice when you wear it. Don't forget to show everyone your Christmas spirit! Everyone is wearing one. Requirements: - Level 1 Defence: 0 Durability: 30/20 Abilities: - Immune to Santa's Naughty List
Spiral Designed Candy Cane A sweet candy cane made with a spiral pattern through it. Will restore a minor amount of health and hunger. Consuming too many at once however will cause your thirst to rapidly decline. Requirements: - Level 1 Item Type: Food Health Recovery: 10HP Recovery Time: 15sec Hunger Restoration: 5% Weight: 0.1 lbs
There were fifty candy canes in my inventory and a few other various sweets. Idea Imagine Corp gave us plenty of food that would cause thirst and not a drop of water! Is this how they teach us to adapt to the situation?
Fen started nudging me, in a playful mood. Smiling back at her I removed the Santa hat from my inventory and beckoning her to bring her face closer, stuck it over one of her large ears.
She pulled her head back but it was too late, with the hat crookedly sitting on her head.
I gave a laugh at the sight, not a short laugh at a humorous situation, but an honest laugh from my heart at seeing Fen shaking her head with the Christmas hat on. She doesn’t try very hard to take it off, it seems she quite enjoys having it on.
She gets very playful with me, jumping up and down around me, occasionally sending a swipe of her paw to knock me around. I play fight back with her trying to catch her paws that come my way but she is incredibly quick, almost more so than when we trained together.
For an hour we had our bout, before I was mentally exhausted with trying to keep up with her speed and had to stop, a good thirty percent of my hunger had dropped and twenty percent of my thirst level too.
I pull out a couple of the candy cane’s from my inventory and share them between Fen and myself.
“Incredible! They taste exactly like the real thing!” I exclaim in pure amazement.
It’s strange Fen being a wolf considering how much she seem to be enjoying the sugar filled lollies, hopefully she isn’t going to have too much energy left over afterwards and want to play again.
“It’s nice to see you enjoying them Fen, but we will need to find some proper food later. By the way, I’ve been wondering for a while. What do you do when I log off, do you just wander around or?”
The wolf’s tail flicks back and forth, playing coy with my question as if she was refusing to answer. I give out a sigh, although I still have a warm smile painted on my face.
“Anyway Fen, I have to go for a bit to get some actual food. I will be back shortly.”
Opening the menu I press the log out button and move out to my locker. I was about to leave there as well when I heard a knock in the kitchen.
Walking over to inspect the odd noise, I spot a little white wolf, looking exactly like Fen, only 1/10th the size. The noise came from the wolf walking into a wall thanks to the Santa hat on its head sinking down and blinding it.
“Fen! what are you doing here??”
The wolf stops moving, turning towards my voice and slowly begins to back up, walking into the wall now behind it. The Santa hat falling back on its head letting it see again under the fluffy rim of the hat.
“Have you seriously been logging out into my VL every time I leave End Online?! Is that even possible?!”
Fen just looks up at me, no noise or movement. The Santa hat falling forward again, covering her eyes.