Virtual Rescue

Prompt: Virtual Rescue – Someone you know gets sucked into a video game of your choice and becomes trapped inside. You must become part of the game and save him/her! But what will you encounter to do so? How will you enter the game?

This prompt idea was particularly fun for me. I did not come up with it but I had gotten a few ideas after watching Sword Art Online for the first time, a week or so prior. I had this grand idea to write about getting trapped inside World of Warcraft, but the amount of detail I was aiming for put me way over the word limit and I decided to change last minute to a simpler game: Asteroids. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like the most interesting of games to get trapped inside and I think my journal-entry-style writing made that perfectly clear. It’s certainly not my best writing, but it was a fun side-trip from what I am used to. Oh and yeah, there’s a few f-bombs in there.

Fucking Asteroids

I’ve done the unimaginable. The revolution of virtual gaming is finally here and it all beings with a classic. It wasn’t Norman’s first choice. He had encouraged me to try the device on World of Warcraft first. “Think of the vast landscapes and the creatures!” I remember replying with a defiant attitude, “Exactly. I don’t think the world is ready for fantastical creatures and dark quests. You remember the brutal wipes in Icecrown Citadel. Can you truly imagine facing the Lich King in the flesh?” He had given me a wry look, and I remember the smile that crept upon my lips as we both relished in the irony of my question. It was too late to go back, because I had already programmed the device to tune in with a few specific games to start. I wasn’t ready to expand to encompass the massive multiplayer games just yet. Maybe I should have listened to Norman; at least in World of Warcraft there was substance to the world, warmth from the sun, an inn to sleep… hell I would even take a job right now. Anything else would be better than this. It began November 3rd of this year in 2025, when I let Norman serve as the very first beta-tester for my virtual gaming device. I watched with uncontainable enthusiasm as he prompted the ship to maneuver fluidly across a demo test monitor. He ran a few rounds, spinning and flying aimlessly across the screen until a stray asteroid caught him off guard and then disappeared behind a red explosion. The last thing I saw was a miniature, avatar of Norman hurtling across the empty black space and into oblivion. He never came back.

Star Date: November 4, 2025

Testing, testing… Is this thing working? *loud jostling echoes from the speakers* There we are, I think that does it. Hello, whoever you are. If you are hearing this I need help. There must have been a malfunction, or possibly a stray code in the programming. Either way… I’ve messed up, and I am stuck here in this virtual plain. I came here to find my husband, but I am afraid I was too late; now he is gone and I am alone, trapped within this insignificant realm of nothingness.

Star Date: November 5, 2025

I have had time to contemplate and perhaps nothingness is harsh. There is something else in this realm besides myself, if you count the ship in which I now reside- and probably the only thing keeping me alive in this world- but the asteroids definitely do not count. Thankfully there was enough coding room to add supplement virtual details such as a captain’s deck and living quarters on the ship. It is like you might imagine the U.S.S. Enterprise to appear on the inside, except it isn’t really. On a side note, I have never been so long without the sun. The dark seems to go on forever, only blemished by the occasional asteroid hurtling through deep space, but it’s serene and beautiful in a way… How do I turn this thing off? *the speakers buzz with static then falls silent*

Star Date: November 7, 2025

I wouldn’t normally panic over a fluke accident, a small mistake- no actually this was a big mistake. I shouldn’t under acknowledge the disaster I’ve found myself in. It is true, I am at a loss. I cannot access the coding from within the game, but the bigger issue is that I cannot seem to disconnect. I spent the past several nights trying to reconfigure the mainframe, all the while playing the game to survive. I am unsure what would happen if the ship were to get hit and explode with the current state of issues in the connection software. I can’t be sure that I will materialize back on the other side- Normal didn’t. I could try-

Star Date: November 10, 2025

*speakers buzz erratically* I took my first hit today. The lower bay was hit with a glancing blow and I’ve had to initiate repairs on the lower level systems. I count myself lucky this time, but there’s something wrong with the rear thrusters. I really don’t want to go out there, but what choice do I have?

Star Date: December 1, 2025

This feels like inception- a game within a game- a total mind-fuck. Today I encountered a close call with two hostile asteroids. The first was small and slow, but precisely on a collision course with my ship. I destroyed the first one quickly; the fragmented remains shattered across the blackened sky in a million pieces that seemed to sparkle with light. I called her Aurora, the little sister. The second took me by surprise and hurtled swiftly like a bird in the wind. When I destroyed the beast it crumbled violently in unpredictable patterns and narrowly missed my vessel. I called him Angore, the older brother.

Star Date: December 25, 2025

After keeping it together this long, I am loathe to admit that I awoke in tears. Nostalgia hit me hard, probably because today had always been a treasured day for me. I lived for Christmas, and there was absolutely nothing magical or festive here in this realm. The worst part, now that I think of it, is that I have no one to share it with and the one person in the whole world I missed most was long gone. I love you, Norman. *there’s a quiet sniffle masked by a static buzz*

Star Date: January 1, 2026

New Years Resolution… I’m going to blow up every fucking asteroid in the world!

Star Date: February 28, 2026

Aha! I did it, three thousand bombshells! Take that pixels!

Star Date: June 11, 2026- I think?

I’m not sure what day it is. My tallies are all jumbled now and I am running out of wall space in the control room believe it or not. I may have to take down my favorite band posters and that family portrait of- oh wait, I don’t have any.

Star Date: Who the fuck cares?

I guess you could say I’ve given up hope. By now… you know, I’m not even sure. I could speculate all day, but this is exhausting. Enough is enough, you know? Sure you do. I’ve been keeping my eyes on space for several hours now. Not a thing in sight. I think I’m actually sort of bored now. *speaker emits a low rumble* wait a second… what the hell? What is that? Norman! Norman is that really you? You’re- No wait! come back, it’s me! Come back! Nooo!

Star Date: Done here.

Fucking asteroids…

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