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Homesick

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Your name is Peter Vanderheijden. That is very obviously a Dutch name because you are Dutch. This fact often baffles anyone you meet on-line, since you are pretty good at speaking English. This amuses you.

You have quite a wide variety of interests. The more significant ones among those are: writing, reading, roleplaying, listening to music and dancing.

You take pride in being somewhat weird in a way that others can appreciate and this is why the handle you use with your chat client is eccentricStyle.

You decide that is entirely enough self-referencing nonsense and stop doing so immediately.

Before this rather odd interruption to your already quite peculiar train of thoughts, you were about to install a game. This game had been highly anticipated by a group of your associates, and when you learned the entire point was to play together, you quickly got everyone else in on the action.

Currently, your parents and brother are away for some reason that has completely slipped your mind. That happens sometimes. You never let that bother you, however. You called one of your friends over, since he actually lives nearby, and presume he is currently underway. This is because he told you he was. Those things don’t slip your mind that often.

To get the game started, you are currently talking to another friend, who does not live at all nearby. In fact, there is an entire ocean and a significant landmass separating you. The only reason this is weird is because you are not a big fan of time zones. There is not much you can do about that, though.

Her handle, which is exactly the word you’re going to keep using for that, just FYI, is unorthodoxCreation. You think she’s pretty cool.

-- unorthodoxCreation [UC] began pestering eccentricStyle [ES] at 20:03 --

UC: hi ES!!
ES: And a good whatever-the-hell-it-is-over-there as well.
UC: That would be afternoon. xD
ES: Right, that. So, what’s up?
ES: The ceiling.

UC: the ceiling
UC: damnit! XD
UC: Anyway, pretty excited about this whole thing.

ES: Same here. I’m waiting for IP to get here so we can get this show on the road.
UC: why?
ES: You should know by now that I don’t do anything without him.
UC: Yeah, I know, but why isn’t he just playing it at his house?
ES: He hasn’t got the game yet, so he’s coming over here to watch.
ES: Also because we damn well feel like it.

UC: One of these days, you’re going to have to come up with an actual reason for something.
ES: Nope.
UC: xD
UC: Just get back to me when you’re ready, okay?
UC: I’m going to deal with my sister
UC: again

ES: Will do.
ES: And good luck, I suppose.

UC: thanks!

-- unorthodoxCreation [UC] ceased pestering eccentricStyle [ES] at 20:05 --

While waiting for IP, you get up from your chair behind (or in front of, depending on your view of things) your computer. You are now in your living room because that is where your computer is. It is not in your own room because you could not ignore the nice place that had already been used for a previous computer. This has the unfortunate side-effect of being within the reach of your parents whenever they need something.

But they are not here, meaning you’re in charge. Also, you’re thirsty. You look at the pool table standing in the middle of the room. It has gone unused for quite some time, but you sometimes use the cue to practice your battle-staff skills. You often end up hitting the ceiling while doing so.

You take a bit of a running start so you can slide to the kitchen. It is fun to do and looks pretty cool when viewed from the kitchen, but there is nobody to see you do it except for the fishes in the aquarium and your bird. Your bird’s name is Petey. That was the name of all your previous birds as well. Your family has given up on trying to be creative with names for birds. Other than the aquarium, there is nothing unusual about your kitchen. There is something unusual about your living room, though, and that’s the bed standing there.

That bed is your dad’s. He can’t go upstairs because he’s crippled and your family hasn’t managed to get the contracts straightened out to fix your house so he can go upstairs. It has taken way too long and this is probably where your parents have gone off to this time as well. At 8 pm. This seems a bit unbelievable, but you reason they are getting desperate by now.

You hear the sound of someone messaging you on Pesterchum, your chat client, and wonder briefly who it might be. Then you stop wondering and go find out, because it’s faster that way.

It’s AD, a friend of yours who lives in the same country as you, but still not very close. You have met up once, though. He has his streaks of idiocy and his streaks of genius. You never know which one he’ll have at any particular point in time. It all depends on how much he’s been drinking.

-- annoyingDutchie [AD] began pestering eccentricStyle [ES] at 20:07 --

AD: hey, ES
AD: important things are happening

ES: Hiya.
ES: And what might that be?

AD: Meteors. Lots of them
ES: Right, have you been drinking again?
AD: no
AD: I mean, yes, but not enough to make that kind of shit up

ES: And why is this important news?
AD: because theyre meteors, of course.
AD: and they’re close to earth, ready for impact

ES: ...
ES: What?

AD: earth’s about to get bombarded.
ES: I got that part, but how in the seven levels of hell did we miss that?
ES: We, as in, the human race.
ES: We have telescopes pointed at every single object in our solar system.
ES: Where did these come from?

AD: no one knows. They just popped up all of a sudden.
ES: Right.
ES: Are you sure you haven’t been drinking too much?

AD: damnit ES, I’m serious here
ES: Then someone at NASA is playing an awful prank.
AD: no, look, she saw it coming. This is real.
ES: She did?
ES: Well, that changes things.

AD: yeah
AD: yeah it does
AD: what’re you doing, anyway?

ES: Waiting for IP to get SBURB installed, so I can play with the rest of you.
AD: oh, yeah, the game. She also said that was important.
AD: I don’t know what that means, though
AD: she was really vague

ES: As usual.
ES: I’ll talk to her, see if I can find out something more.

You are not entirely sure what’s going on, but then, you are entirely sure the conversation about to transpire won’t fix that completely either.

-- eccentricStyle [ES] began pestering drunknIrish [DI] at 20:09 --

DI: Hey.
ES: Waiting for me, I see?
DI: In a way, yeah.
ES: AD was complaining you were being vague again.
ES: I told him to stop, because it wasn’t going to help anyway.

DI: Haha.
DI: Yeah, pretty much.

ES: So what’s the deal?
DI: With the meteors?
ES: I could make a sarcastic comment now, but yes, the meteors.
DI: Thanks.
DI: Yeah, the meteors.
DI: Err, not sure how to explain this to you.
DI: Still, you are going to be the first to notice it, kind of.

ES: Notice what?
DI: Listen, the important part is that you have to get that game started up.
ES: Because this is somehow significant?
DI: Yeah, pretty much.
DI: You’ll find out why eventually.

ES: That is unsurprisingly not very reassuring.
DI: Sorry!
DI: I can’t really tell you much more, yet.

ES: Well, thanks for at least making AD sound less insane.
DI: Now it’s just me, right?
ES: Heh.
ES: That’s nothing new, though.

DI: True enough.
DI: There is one thing I can tell you.
DI: Don’t wait for IP. He’ll be there on time.
DI: And I’m pretty sure he knows that too.

ES: That’s... cryptic.
DI: Yes, yes it is.
ES: But fine, let’s get this show on the road.
DI: You do that.
DI: It’ll be a while until I come into play.

ES: So you’re going to be bugging RV, then?
DI: Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one.
ES: I’m just messing with you, anyway, I have things to do.
ES: Places to be.
ES: People to kill.
ES: Governments to overthrow.
ES: You know, the usual.

DI: See ya.

-- eccentricStyle [ES] ceased pestering drunknIrish [DI] at 20:11 –

ES: You were right.
AD: what?
ES: She was vague.
AD: told you so
AD: anything new?

ES: Yeah, looks like I have to get started early, so no time to talk.
AD: alright, I’m grabbing another beer anyways.

-- annoyingDutchie [AD] ceased pestering eccentricStyle [ES] at 20:12 –

That changes things. DI always knew what was going on, somehow. You and AD have tested this quite often, and eventually just stopped bothering with it, since she was right anyway. So if she said you had hurry up, then you had to hurry up. You take the SBURB disc out of the SBURB box and put it in your SBURB disc-drive. Well, no, you don’t have a special disc drive for the game, but it sounded funny in your head.

Petey is making his bird noises. You know he is, because he is always making his bird noises. You can’t hear him though, because you have headphones. Hooray for headphones. They might also be why you can’t hear a certain individual come in and tap you on the shoulder. You rocket into the sky, much to the recent arrival’s amusement.
“Hey Peter.”
“Goddamnit! Would you not do that next time?”
You’re only pretending to be angry, naturally. The guy standing in front of you is Lesley Didden, which is totally a guy’s name. He’s your best friend and has been for quite a while. Everyone knows you would not start anything without at least informing him of it. Your on-line friends know him as indifferentPragmatist.
“Anyway, hi,” you say, now completely cheerful again.
Lesley has not even flinched at your outburst, because he is totally used to it. “You okay?” he asks.
“Partially, we have to play a game and there’s meteors coming.”
“Well, yeah, the last part is pretty obvious.”
“How do mean? I just found out about it a couple of minutes ago.”
“Some of us go outside.”
“What?” You look out of the window, seeing the dark sky full with bright dots and no, they weren’t stars either. These were moving. “Oh, right.” How did you miss that, exactly?

At this point one might wonder why two Dutchies are holding their conversation in English. The answer is obvious: because you damn well feel like it. Also because English is cooler than Dutch, in your not-quite-humble opinion.
“Already started without me?”
Oh right, the Beta’s installed. The screen shows a rather dull message:

SBURB version 0.0.1
© SKAIANET SYSTEMS INCORPORATED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
SBURB client is running.
Waiting for server to establish connection...

“Huh, well, that’s pretty boring for something that’s supposed to save our lives.”
“What gave you that idea?” Lesley asks, of course, unaware of the fact that you are aware of the fact that he’s aware of more fact than he thinks you are aware of.
“There’s meteors coming and this thing is significant, what the hell else is it going to do?”
“You’ve been talking to DI?”
“Yes, and now I have to get back to UC, so we can-“ He interrupts you.
“Get this show on the road, yes.”
You grumble something unintelligible, before opening a chat with UC.

-- eccentricStyle [ES] began pestering unorthodoxCreation [UC] at 20:16 --

ES: I got the game installed.
ES: UC?
ES: ...
ES: Well crap.

“Looks like she’s not answering.” You relay the recently obtained information to your companion.
“In for a sparring match while we wait?”
You pause for a second to let that sink in. “You want to fight? Now?”
“Yeah, I think we’re supposed to.”
“I’m starting to think you’re related to DI. And not in a good way.”
“God I hope not. Are you up to it or not?”
How is that even a question? “Of course!”

The two of you go outside, under a sky now lit by far more than just stars. The scenery is far more fitting for an epic duel, although there are more practical reasons. Outside has much more room for your fighting style, which basically amounts to: jump all over the place to make sure you don’t get hit. You take your simple Battle-Staff out of your Strife Specibus which has not been mentioned up to this point but will no doubt be mentioned far more often at later times. Lesley does the same with his Sabre and you prepare for battle.

As said, your battle strategy is relying on your auto-parries and counter-attacks, as your normal attacks kind of suck. As such, you are mostly extremely annoying to anyone who opposes you. Unfortunately for you, Lesley is strong. As in, really strong and, even worse, he’s used to you. This means you have to be clever, confusing. Confusing to him, not to yourself, that would be entirely too weird.

None of this is actually going through your mind at the moment, though. Caught up in the battle, there is very little actually going through your mind. You are acting purely on instincts here, which you would realise to be a pretty bad idea, if not for... well, you know.

Your battle-staff twirls around, attempting a strike every once in a while, but mostly used for defence. Not to block, that would be stupid, against a blade, you might as well dual-wield clubs and cut out the middle-man. Still, this is pretty much just stalling and Lesley decides he has had enough of that bullshit. He lashes out with his sabre in a move that you are easily able to dodge and you make a follow-up strike against his legs. It hits. That is the extent to which it does something though, since Lesley doesn’t even flinch.

He tries to smack you with his fist, but finds that path blocked by the other end of your battle-staff as you take your distance again. It is time for something more interesting. You bend your staff back as far as your strength allows, which is not much, but still. You take an aggressive step forward and then lean back in order for his blade to not cut your throat and let go of the higher end of your staff. It hits him right in the face. Lesley stumbles back a bit before regaining his composure.

Uh-oh.

He does not look pleased. You instantly snap out of ‘battle-mode’ and into ‘get-the-hell-out-of-here-mode’ and run into your backyard. What a beautiful backyard it is all of a sudden, with the three chickens present having your watched your battle entirely with what you assume to have been great interest. Lesley is running after you, his sabre raised.
“Hey!” you yell, in a desperate attempt to have him stop. “Maybe... maybe we should check on UC!”
“Yeah, sure.”
You almost fall over your own feet, due to the sudden mood change, but somehow still make it look like you meant to do that.

Obviously this battle went haywire because you did not have your mp-3 player. Music makes you focus, music makes you bad-ass. Music can make you anything and you have a song for every occasion. Well, almost every occasion. You search through your Sylladex, your inventory management system, which you have put in your trademarked Pocket modus.

Come on, it has to be in there somewhere. Your pencil-sharpener, your eraser, your pen. Hmm, you seem to have misplaced your pencil somewhere. Oh, there it is, your mp-3 player. You will no doubt forget what pocket you put it in, but at least you’re certain you have it. For now. Yes, this was mostly pointless. You go back inside to check up on UC.