You are the THIEF OF MIND, you are 17 YEARS OLD, and you’re STILL UNCONSCIOUS.
You didn’t think you’d be able to THINK when you were unconscious, but you’ve been GETTING ANGRIER THAN EVER. WORSE than when you fight your FATHER. WORSE than when you get PUNISHED for fights at SCHOOL. EVEN WORSE than when you IMAGINE your friends GETTING HURT.
Your father NEVER taught you how to deal with ANGER; he always let you STEW in it. You can’t remember the last time you went to BED without being PISSED OFF at something. It’s no surprise that GETTING KNOCKED OUT by some depraved, psychotic, disgusting, evil mind-controlling TROLL makes you THIS MAD. In your stupor, you dream about how you’ll MAKE HER PAY.
That’s how MOST of your dreaming goes, anyway. The OTHER dreams are ones you’ve had BEFORE. You know, those ones about the SEER and what you’d LIKE TO SAY to her. Like to, but CAN’T. Maybe THIS TIME you’ll get to the END. You hope.
—DERSE INFORMATIOIN SYNCHRONIZING...—
He floats in the room of his tower, high above the paved streets and purple buildings. It’s been some time since he was properly able to see. He looks out the window, seeking out the tower across from his. It was still there, and he isn’t sure why he expected it to not be. He knows he has to not be in his room, has to be there with her. He leaps from the window and flies fast. He slips in through her window, pads to her bed, and looks down.
She’s asleep. Still asleep. Still slumbering somehow, curled in a tight ball in her silken pajamas. He hates those pajamas, but he doesn’t mind them so much on her. She breathes deeply, expressionless in the depth of real-world dreaming she’s reached. Swiftly he turns to walk away, but slowly does he turn back.
“Hey,” he whispers. He turns completely. “Amie, hey. So.” He swallows and starts to crouch down. “So you remember what Tanner said about dreams, right? And how I said I don’t dream? I...um.” He sinks onto his knees. “Amie, I lied. I’ve been awake up here a long time. But you’re still asleep.”
He flicks the thumb of one hand against the inside of his pointer finger. “But hey, don’t, um, don’t worry. I’m not really watching you sleep or anything. I just check on you sometimes, like right now.” He swallows again. “Amie.” Again. “I think you’re really pretty. I think you’d like this place. But...I wish you’d wake up so we could talk here.” He closes his eyes and opens them. “’Cause I really want to say something to you.”
There is hissing. It seeps in slowly from the window and travels in the air he breathes. He shoots to his feet, spinning and stepping closer to her bed as he goes. There are no shadows on Derse, but her face is still hidden in the bleakness of her hood and cowl. She’s there, somehow. Standing before him, standing tall, looking down at him again even though he’s taller than her. And she catches him in the Grip before he can even think to struggle.
His tongue is still his own, and he shouts, “No no no!” at her. She ignores him, and the whiteness of her fangs shines horribly in the dark. It stands out against all the royal violet. He screams, “Not you!” She chuckles as a snake might, all sharp puffs of exhalations between those gleaming teeth.
When she reaches out and takes hold of him shirt, he’s still floating. He can’t fly one way or the other to escape her, and she pulls him closer. For a horrible moment, he thinks she’ll kiss him with that black mouth of hers. She instead pulls him through the air toward the window. She steps up onto the sill and drags him out into the still, endless night. Her Grip caresses something inside his skull and he is left hanging from her hand. He cannot kick; he cannot flail. She has taken away his voice.
She smiles. He sees her mouth opening. He f₦∂₰ῴ!” ¶¤¤ -+//ºĦ≠≠
—FATAL READ ERROR—
Liam woke up slung over someone’s shoulder. At first, the sight of the ground below was befuddling. He recognized it: the deep, brilliant red stone of his planet. It was not the white of the Land of Snow and Crystals, and so he did not understand enough to think himself awake. He felt the jostle of walking, felt the difficulty of breathing with his body bent in half over a hard object. He blinked slowly.
He saw the gray skin of the bare feet that ferried him along.
“Ohhhh fuck no!”
He grabbed the shoulders under him, getting enough leverage to slam his knees against the person’s chest. The strike did nothing; he was lifted bodily by the back of his shirt for it. He flailed all the more at his new position, delivering wild kicks to the person’s stomach. The muscle he struck was so firm he stubbed his toes on each kick. He continued to whip his legs about.
“And I was worried you’d try to use the Mindgrip on me when you woke.”
He was dropped as unceremoniously as he had ever been, hitting the ground with a thud. When he opened his eyes, he could see his house, far taller than when he’d left, past legs clad in ragged-edged black jeans. As he looked up slowly, the person crouched down.
She was not the troll he hated. Her thick horns were much shorter, capped in nubs barely a hand span from her hair. Her hair was sleek and long, tied back neatly at her neck. There were no fangs outside her mouth, on her frowning black lips. In her yellow eyes were irises as bright red as the stone under their feet. She put the elbows of her bare arms on her knees, the short sleeves hemmed neatly. On her black shirt was a sigil he did not recognize, as though the numbers six and nine had been laid flat atop each other, dyed the same color as her eyes.
He stared, eyes narrowing as time passed. “Are...you contemptuousCavalier?”
“Mahima Virote, yes.” She sighed, flicking her eyes past his shoulder. “And Rapoto left you to be eaten.”
He started, clapping his hands along the length of his body.
“I got to you both before she could take control of any underlings and make them devour you. I did try to fight her, of course, but...” In her trailing off, she gestured to her temple. He nodded slowly.
“She absconded soon after I arrived, though.” With another sigh, she licked at her lips, and Liam noticed the small cuts on her lower lip. The tension had never left him entirely, but the sight of the bright red wounds made his shoulders vibrate in the rage that surged up his spine.
“She fucking cut you?” he shouted. He scrambled to his feet, turning toward the gates in the sky, but she reached out a hand almost idly and caught his wrist. She budged not a centimeter, never tightened her grip, but he was so abruptly halted that his feet skid out from beneath him. Once more, he hit the ground, and swore loudly for the pain in his rear. “What the hell, Virote?”
“You are being reckless,” she said quietly. “Neither of us have any idea where she’s gone to, and given her transcendence, I very much doubt that you’re going to have any chance of keeping up with her on a chase. In any case, we need to concentrate on getting you up your echeladder to battle your denizen.”
“Her—wait, her what?”
A pause. “Her what?”
She looked at him with a raised brow. “Have you bothered talking to your sprite at all?”
“Ninjasprite and me don’t waste time talking,” he said. “You’re the one who said I have to train my mind control stuff.”
She let go of his wrist to put a hand to her face. Massaging the bridge of her nose, she said, “Not at the expense of perpetuating ignorance.”
“Fuck you, I’m not ignorant.”
“Do you know what your purpose on this planet is?”
He scowled. “I’m here to get to be a badass and take care of my friends.”
“No, no, no,” she muttered. “Each player has a purpose to fulfill on their planet aside from their personal goals. You are here to defeat the denizen.”
“Look, I don’t give any shits about denizens or what this planet needs.” He pushed himself from the ground, shoving his hands into his pockets as he looked away. “All this place is good for is leveling up.”
“Even Rapoto knew to follow the game constructs and fought her denizen.”
He spun to face her, lips pulling back in a sneer. With a snarl, he brought his leg up and swung his foot at her face. Rolling her eyes, she lifted her hand with more than enough time to spare, catching his ankle. Before he could try to jerk away, she brought her other hand up to his knee and lifted him from the ground. There was no strain in her face or in her shoulders when she let go of his knee, grabbed his other foot, and held him, standing, over her head.
He pitched back and forth, arms wheeling. “Ho-holy shit! Let me down!”
She did not. She stood from her crouch, still holding him high. With a whimper-whine, he bent his knees to keep his balance, trying to pry her fingers open and away from his feet. It was akin to trying to bend steel with a plush toy.
“Every time you act like a petulant wriggler, I’m going to do this to you,” she said. “Do you understand?”
“Fuck, okay fine! Just let me down already!”
“Are you going to listen to me without throwing tantrums?”
“Jesus Christ, yes! Put me down!”
“All right.” She tossed him up slightly, ignored the way he let out a small shriek, and caught him beneath his arms before he hit the ground. She set him on his feet, blinking when he skipped backward. For a moment, he held out his hands as though he would draw his kusarigama. Mahima raised a brow; he dropped his hands.
“Okay,” he said. He shifted where he stood, flicking his thumbs against his other fingers. “Okay, so—what about this transcendence thing?”
“Devaki Rapoto is a god.”
“I thought you fuckin’ hated her.”
“Hatred does not change fact. In our session, Rapoto reached God Tier. She is, very literally, a god.”
Liam looked at her blankly, blinking slowly. “Is...that supposed to mean somethin’?”
Mahima sighed. “What did you think you were leveling up for?”
“To get stronger.”
“All right. There’s a limit to what a regular body can achieve. I am at the top of my echeladder. Thus, I cannot get any stronger or faster, and I cannot gain any more stamina as I am now. If I wanted to advance, I would need to transcend and reach God Tier.”
His blank look remained.
“Are you even trying to understand what I’m saying at this point?”
He sneered, hackles rising. “God dammit, I’m not retarded! I just don’t believe it!”
“You seem to be dealing wonderfully with the alien creature standing before you, as well as the entire concept of this apocalypse-inducing game.”
“Fuck off, Virote.” He put his hands in his pockets and looked at the ground. “Only dumbass babies believe in God.”
“Attempting to deny the reality of Rapoto’s godhood out of some contempt for a bizarre human belief system does not negate it. She is a god. I am trying to help you reach God Tier.”
Liam looked up. “Why the fuck would I be able to become some kinda fake-ass god?”
“This game of yours and our Sgrub are fundamentally the same. If Rapoto can become a god, there is nothing to stop you from transcending.”
Silence. When its long life was ended, it was because of his quiet voice and the question it carried. “So people can really become gods with this game?”
“Yes. I have no reason to lie to you.”
“Yeah,” he said slowly, “but I don’t really get why you’re helpin’ me when you’re a troll.”
“The term aside, I’ve told you why I’m doing this. She’s my kismesis. I want to see her fail. If your Seer survives, then I’ll have saved at least one life from her blades.”
“You sayin’ she’s killed before?”
She looked at him strangely. He struggled to not rub at his face to check for anything, but she spoke abruptly. “I’ve killed before. How do you think I’m still alive?”
“Wait, what the fuck. You’ve killed people?”
“It’s how I’ve avoided being culled. Did you think I would let someone kill me just for my blood when I was stronger than almost every other troll on Alternia? When I’m the strongest troll in existence?”
He frowned. “You’re throwin’ out a whole lotta weird noise at me. What’re you talkin’ about?”
Mahima opened her mouth, but paused. With her lips parted, he could see the fangs beyond them. She took a slow breath. “You humans don’t cull one another.”
“The hell does that mean?”
“It means to eliminate the weak and useless—or those of unacceptable standing or birth.” She crossed her arms, tilting her head slightly. “What color is your blood?”
He reeled slightly, head shaking. “The fuck?”
“Tell me what color your blood is.”
“Are you shitting me?” He pointed at the wound in his lip. “It’s red, jack-wagon.”
Her eyes widened. She stepped closer to him, moving slowly to keep him from rushing back. A quick snatch of his arm kept him completely where he was, and she pulled him close. She was considerably taller, and he stared up at her as she gazed at the wound. Her free hand rose up and touched his chin; he could feel the sharp tips of her nails near his lip.
“Oh fuck,” she whispered. Her eyes widened further. Her fingers twitched. “I—thought—I thought that only the people of Prospit and Derse had red blood. That I was still a complete aberration. Are—what other colors are there for humans?”
He ducked his head down and aside, getting away from her touch. “What the hell kinda question is that? Everyone has red blood, you fuckin’ spaz.”
“Red blood?” She shook him, and he yelped at the creaking of his shoulder in its joint. “The same shade as yours? As—as mine?”
“Jesus fucking Christ, yes! What the fuck else would it be?”
“What did you think I meant when I called Devaki the Grand Highblood?”
“That she was some sorta weird-ass royalty for you jack-wagons.”
“No, that’s not—no, she is, but—she has the highest color for land dwellers on the hemospectrum. That’s why she’s the Highblood.”
He blinked, mouth pulling into a frown. “You guys have some kinda system about your blood color?”
“What else would we use as a means to establish hierarchy?”
A long pause. “You guys are fuckin’ weird, okay?”
She grimaced, baring her fangs. They were many, but they did not shine as wickedly as the ones in his dream or stand out so proudly. With a convulsion, she pushed his arm away and shook her hands furiously in the air. “Don’t you—fucking understand? I am a mutant for trolls. Devaki has mocked me from the first day we met for it. She says I have candy swill running through my veins. And now you’re telling me that the world we—that your Earth—everyone has the exact same mutant blood in them?” Her brows dropped; her lips pulled back to reveal more of her fangs. “That was taken from me?”
Liam felt one of his legs drift backward. “Uh...Virote? Mahima?”
She reached out as though she would grab his shirt, but halted before her fingers touched him. She clenched her hands shut, and he saw beads of red slip between her fingers. Slowly, she let her hands return to her sides. “I...was denied that?”
“What the fuck are you talking about with this taken and denied shit?”
She closed her eyes tightly, tilting back her head. “And you don’t even—fucking know what that means.”
“Then fuckin’ school me already! What emo bullshit are you saying?”
“This game creates worlds, you complete idiot. Universes.” She took a deep breath. “We created yours. And now it’s gone.”
He opened his mouth, but he did not know if there had been sarcasm waiting to be born from his tongue. He stood in silence, mouth agape. In small increments, he managed to close it. He looked down; he twisted his heel on the ground and watched the back and forth swing of his sneaker. Eventually, he pulled one corner of his mouth into his cheek and exhaled through his nose.
“What the hell do you want me to say about it?” he asked.
“I mean, it’s not our fault.” He jerked one shoulder up in a shrug. “Do you want me to say sorry? ‘Cause I’m not the kind of asshole who says sorry when I don’t mean it. And I won’t mean it.”
“And what if I told you that victory being stolen from us was your fault?”
“Pretty sure you’re fuckin’ lying to me.”
“I do not lie.”
“Then how the hell did we fuck it up?”
“You—your Heir and Bard did something. Something that stole our Prince and Maid and threw us into the Veil. I still don’t know, but it happened.”
“I ain’t believin’ it.”
“Then how do you explain our being here?”
“Iunno. Tanner and Amie said somethin’ about you guys being glitches or whatever. Maybe that’s what you are.”
Her hand stopped just beside his cheek. He felt as though his heart had stopped, because he could imagine the spray of blood and bone that would have flown from his mouth. He knew his imagination was correct when she gave the lightest of taps to his chest and knocked him entirely from his feet. Coughing, wheezing from the pain he knew would settle in a vast bruise, he managed to open one eye.
Mahima crouched over his legs, eyes narrow and gleaming with a red sheen. Though the color made his breathing stutter even more, the diluted red tears that began to slide down her face made him stare.
“Are you going to deny my existence?” she asked. She reached down, stretching one finger out to touch the ground beside his ear. “Am I supposed to just accept that this tiny—” She tapped the ground, cracking it. “Soft—” Another tap. “Weak—” Tap. “Thing that I am responsible for creating has the gall to claim I’m just a glitch?”
She sneered, letting out a wicked chuckle. “Me? I’m the one who has the courage to own up to what I feel and do. I’m the one who sought out Devaki as a kismesis. I’m the one who made Vilmos admit that he pitied me more than anyone else there is by telling him I pitied him first. I’m the one who discovered what it means to be the Sylph of Blood—what it means to succeed. So unlike you, Liam Tiernan, Thief of Mind, I am not a coward.”
He wanted to swing his fist at her face. But in her furious eyes he saw what would happen: his strike would end with her bringing her head into it; his hand would shatter for it. He lay there, barely able to breathe from so many things he could not, would not name. It was impossible to swallow down the lump in his throat, and the pain of coughing it out nearly made him retch.
“Fuck you,” he hissed.
“That’s what Devaki’s for.”
“’M not a fuckin’ coward, you fuckin’ bitch.”
“Have you told your Seer that you’re flushed for her?”
“That’s none of your fucking business!”
“It’s the reason I contacted you in the first place,” Mahima said. “I thought that there was just the tiniest chance that you would want to be more than a coward if she was in danger.”
He opened both eyes, baring his teeth in return. “Don’t you dare threaten her!”
“I’m not the one threatening her. Devaki is. And you’re the one who’s not going to be able to help. All you’ve done is thrown tantrums when I try to make you do something.”
“Then don’t fuckin’ order me around!”
“Do you expect me to leave you to your own devices? You won’t even seek out what you’re supposed to do on this planet! What hope do you have of competing with a god when you won’t tell the girl you’re flushed for that she’s in danger?”
“Have you fuckin’ said anything to her?”
“How is that my job? I’m in this for my own selfish reasons, not for any affection for the Seer.”
“Her name is Amie Laurent!”
Mahima smiled, and it was the same cruel thing he had seen on the other troll’s face. “I wasn’t aware I was under any obligation to say the name of someone I don’t respect. Thief.”
The urge to punch her finally swelled over. He was beaten to the strike, though, by the flash of gold that heralded the appearance of his sprite. With a shout, Ninjasprite stabbed at her face. Her reaction was instantaneous: she rocked back onto her heels and pushed off. Liam felt the ground beneath him shatter and watched her speed backward. Though Ninjasprite gave chase and swung his sword at her neck when she landed, she was still faster and stepped away.
Each attack was swayed from, dodged immediately. He stabbed at her forehead; she leaned back to avoid it. He drew a dagger from his belt and swiped at her belly; she skipped to one side. Ninjasprite never slowed in his attacks, weaving around her and cutting off any retreat or real escape. Instead, he made her turn her back on Liam and kept her where she stood.
For a long moment, Liam did not move. He sat where he was, staring at the strife before him. Where Ninjasprite was without the need for air, Mahima did not exert herself enough to need deeper breathing. For however fast he was, she was twice as quick. There was always a great gap between blade and flesh; it had never been anything but a standstill. It was only when Liam noticed that she had put her hands behind her back, one holding the wrist of the other, that he reacted.
He took a deep breath despite the ache in his chest and sent out his mind. What he found was akin to soft clay. He only touched it at first, searching for hard points and faults. In the distance, Mahima paused. Though she made to turn toward him, Ninjasprite took a calculated swing at her neck and forced the return of her attention. Heart hammering, Liam continued to feel out the mind before him.
All the underlings had been the same: unguarded and perfectly malleable. It had taken him fourteen levels before he could truly force any imp to turn on its compatriots. Then, sitting at level twenty-three with the domination of an ogre under his belt, he was confident he knew the shape of a mind to be taken. Grimacing, putting both hands to his head, he reached to close his grip upon her.
Mahima’s hands were around his neck. He did not know when she had escaped Ninjasprite’s attacks. He stared up at her, eyes wide. When he sought her again, he found the clay replaced with stone covered in sharp spikes. He could not seize control of her hands.
“What do you think a God of Mind is capable of?”
His voice quavered when he said, “Huh?”
“By the time we planned our assault on the Black King, Devaki—Rapoto—was able to control all in our group. It was part of the plan. There are two trolls she won’t control, and the only one she can’t control is another God. Azriel Makram."
“She has no problems controlling others. You can’t even control a sentient being. If you can’t steal my will—if you can’t even outpace me in speed—then you’re not going to be able to combat her. I’ve told you this before.”
“Let me go.”
“Tell your sprite to get his sword away from my neck.”
He looked over her shoulder. Ninjasprite hovered there, sword held up to show the blade over her neck. The glowing eyes glared and flickered back and forth between Liam’s face and the back of Mahima’s head. When he swallowed, he could feel her nails in the hollow of his throat.
“It’s okay,” he muttered. “Do what she said.”
Resentment filled the sprite’s eyes, but he did as he was ordered. She let go of his neck. Slowly, she rose from her knees and stood. Just as slowly, she held out a hand.
He sneered. “Fu—”
“Before you completely condemn me, I apologize.”
Silence filled with suspicious staring.
“I am trying to impress upon you how seriously you need to take this. I am not trying to alienate you or make you as angry as you are currently.”
“Great way to make me fuckin’ understand.”
“Listen. You cannot underestimate any of us, least of all your counterpart player. She is the most dangerous among us.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. She’s got the Mindgrip and she’s a fuckin’ psycho. I get it already.”
“You do not understand it. You call her a psychopath because you’re angry that she beat you so thoroughly.”
“Hey fuck that noise, she—”
She waved his protest away. “I watched it on the Trollian viewports. It’s why I came to find you. But I need you to remember what I said about our hemospectrum—our varying blood colors. The higher you go, the greater the chance of you being wantonly violent. Highbloods are particularly susceptible, and the only reason she never went murderously mad is because of Makram and her moirail, Sitara Jalena.”
He stared at her, brows lowering. “You’re saying that she’s really a psycho? Like, certifiable?”
“If you humans certify mental statuses, then yes.” She paused, rolling her eyes. “Though many of us must hardly seem sane.”
He snorted. “Aside from bein’ a bitch, you seem pretty sane.”
“Your flattery is charming.”
“Okay, fine. She’s really a whacko. Is that why she’s goin’ after Amie?”
“I believe so. I admit I didn’t pay as much attention to her as I should have when we were trapped in the Veil, but she seemed...excited somehow by the time we were pulled here. And I fear that she’s fallen out of contact with her moirail.”
“Her moirail.” She sighed at the blank look she received. “It’s—your moirail is usually the person that keeps you from flying off the rails. It would seem absurd that a Highblood would have a lowly yellow-blood as their moirail, but Jalena has a psychic ability of her own. She’s able to calm down whoever she pleases, even to the point of incapacitating them. It keeps Rapoto from murdering thoughtlessly.”
“So...if she’s not around this chick Jalena...what happens?”
“There is a very good chance that she’s going to go on a rampage. And I think that your Seer is her main target.”
Every power in the world, all of gravity, all of the murky air of the Land of Blaze and Stone, every ounce of fear in his body dived into his throat. He could not think of any words, let alone create any noise to carry them.
Again, Mahima held out her hand. “We need to work. I’ll try to find Vilmos. I’ll try to contact Jalena—even Makram. But you’re the one with the strongest drive to stop her. I apologize for before. Will you work with me to stop her?”
Liam did not try to swallow past the black hole in his throat. He nodded slowly, looking up to her as he took her hand. She pulled him to his feet when his grip was sure, lifting him from the ground entirely for a moment. Somehow, he was able to clear his throat. In a breaking whisper, he said, “Lemme just...go message my friends. Really quick. Okay?”
“Go ahead. I’ll try to contact the others.”
He fidgeted, torn between cramming his hands in his pockets and looking away. In the end, he turned toward his house and ran to it. He knew Ninjasprite followed him inside, into his bedroom, but he ignored him. The computer was logged onto, and he pulled up Pesterchum. Every name he sought was dark and offline. He glanced at the message Vita had left him, but did not truly note the rage in it. A moment was given to scribble down the captchalogue code on a piece of paper, and he set to typing a reply.
—adeptTraducer [AT] began pestering tirelessGuardian [TG]—
AT: i know youre offline and shit
AT: but look
AT: that thing that fucked with Amie and Tanner
AT: i know what that thing is
AT: its not a glitch
AT: its somethin really bad ok
AT: look we really need to fuckin get together on this shit
AT: we need to
AT: you got trolled right
AT: i bet you have by now
AT: we need to not fight them ok
AT: theyre not all bad
AT: but one REALLY is
AT: so we need to work with them and save
AT: keep each other safe
AT: get back to me
—adeptTraducer [AT] ceased pestering tirelessGuardian [TG]—
He did not dismiss the window, but opened another.
—adeptTraducer [AT] began pestering gregariousAmbassador [GA]—
AT: Tanner seriously where the fuck are you man
AT: ok look
AT: you were right
AT: i was being a retard asshole
AT: i wasnt ready for that bitch
AT: and now im gettin schooled about it all
AT: if youre gettin trolled by anyone
AT: you need to listen to them
AT: they know a lotta stuff that we need to know
AT: and i think they’re really tryin to help us with this crazy bitch runnin around
AT: look just get back to me
AT: i have to go take care of a lotta shit right now
AT: gain a lotta levels
AT: you guys should too
AT: get back to me man
—adeptTraducer [AT] ceased pestering gregariousAmbassador [GA]—
The last window he opened sat untouched for a long time. He stared at the blinking line in the text box, letting his eyes drift up to the handle waiting for his message. He wondered if she was really waiting for something, for any word from them. From him. Many minutes passed waiting for her name to light up. Eventually, he swallowed and put his fingers to the keyboard.
—adeptTraducer [AT] began pestering aspiringCarver [AC]—
AT: can you tell me if youre ok
AT: after you said you got attacked an shit
AT: look ive been worried about you
AT: and the others
AT: i want you to be careful about who youre talkin to
AT: theres a
AT: theres some wicked ass trolls runnin around
AT: pretty sure theyre gunning for us
AT: really tryin to fuck us over
AT: and theres just a bunch of weird shit goin on with this game
AT: we need to stick together
AT: know how Tanner asked if we knew about our dreams
AT: i kinda lied
AT: theres this planet im on
AT: youre on it too
AT: i think we need to be careful up there too
AT: get back to me about everything
AT: ill explain about that planet thing
AT: stay safe
AT: and get back to me
—adeptTraducer [AT] ceased pestering aspiringCarver [AC]—
Liam took his hands from the keyboard. He stared at the three blinking lines, the three silent windows. He rubbed his face; he massaged his throat. A moment was passed flicking his thumbs against his fingers. Swiftly, he reached out both hands, took hold of his computer, and shoved it into his sylladex. Taking the code Vita had given him, picking up a pair of sunglasses, he went to the designix with his jaw set and his shoulders hunched.
Discover secrets in the Land of Snow and Crystals