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Your name is Thijs Bos. It’s pretty weird, or so most people think. These same people also have a lot of difficulty pronouncing it. You do not think it is weird at all, then again, you are Dutch.

When you are not getting drunk in some bar, you are either listening to rock/metal, because everyone knows that really is the only right kind of music, or you are playing video games. Although these could occur while being drunk too. You praise yourself for your guitar skills, which really are not that good.

Being very scientific you are seen as the nerd of the family. You especially do not get along with your sister, who is essentially your opposite. This does not bother you because you know who has the better taste anyway.

You decide this will be a good moment to grab another beer.

Thankfully you have beer in your room, which means you don’t have to go downstairs and deal with the other people living here. Right now the only other one here is your sister, which is bad enough already.

Your room is a bit of a chaos otherwise, but since you’re a student, this is not weird at all. In one corner you have your xbox and tv with a lot of wires connection one to the other and the entire thing to power. Your desk is covered with school books and other crap and there are a shitload of clothes all over the ground.

You’ve also got an electric guitar in your room, a Master Chief toy with your xbox and your BB-gun for your RifleKind Strife Specibus. True, it’s a pretty weak rifle, but it’s all you could legally get your hands on.

After grabbing your beer, you get back to your laptop, currently on your bed. When you get there, you notice something’s different. A new site has popped up: skaianet. Normally, you would simply click it away, but this can’t be a coincidence. It has the SBURB-logo all over the place and shows a map of the world otherwise.

The map is covered with different coloured dots. Various shades of blue, green and yellow, and only one shade of red, namely, well, red. There aren’t many red dots yet, but the ‘Time’ label above what looks like a legend showing the change of colours and the word ‘Impact’ written on the red part give you the feeling that a lot of those dots will turn red eventually. There is also a list of numbers you can scroll through, though you have no idea what those mean.

This is really kind of weird and, oh, she’s bugging you.

-- drunknIrish [DI] began pestering annoyingDutchie [AD] at 19:30 --

DI: Hey.
AD: hi
AD: sorry things are really weird right now

DI: I know.
DI: That’s why I’m here.

AD: okay
AD: whats going on

DI: You’re looking at a map of the world, right?
AD: yeah
AD: with dots

DI: Those stand for meteors.
AD: what?
DI: Pretty much.
DI: Please don’t panic.
DI: This is important.

AD: thats a joke, right?
AD: because
AD: thats a shit load of meteors

DI: It’s not a joke.
DI: That would be one of my worst ones ever.
DI: And yeah, yeah it is.
DI: Please just trust me okay?

AD: okay
AD: I trust you

DI: Thanks.
AD: what is going on?
AD: where did these come from?

DI: You know the game?
AD: the one i just lost?
DI: Shut up.
AD: sorry
AD: sburb?

DI: Yeah, that has a lot to do with it.
AD: what?
DI: It’ll make sense eventually.
AD: cant it make sense now?
DI: I don’t have two hours and you wouldn’t believe me anyway.
AD: yeah i would
DI: Haha.
DI: Yeah, you probably would.
DI: But it’d be too late to matter, by then.

AD: that sounds really bad
DI: It doesn’t really matter, though.
DI: Listen.
DI: I’m sure you know nobody else saw this coming.

AD: yeah
AD: someone wouldve said something

DI: Exactly, so the two of us are now the only ones.
DI: You’re going to have to try to be calm when explaining this to people.

AD: what?
AD: I have to tell people?
AD: that were getting meteor rain?
AD: and i have to stay calm!?

DI: Yes.
AD: were about to die!
AD: there are just so many dots!

DI: We are not going to die.
DI: Got it?

AD: this has to be a joke.
AD: please tell me its a joke

DI: It’s not.
DI: I can promise you that.

AD: youre not helping
AD: whats going on?
AD: who do i tell?

DI: A whole lot.
DI: And I don’t have time now to explain any of it.
DI: Just look at the colors of the meteors and that’ll tell you how much time you’ve got left.
DI: I’m really sorry for not being able to tell you anything

AD: Im not getting calm
AD: cant you tell me anything?

DI: We are not going to die.
DI: We are going to survive.
DI: And we have work to do.

AD: you’re still not helping!
DI: Just take a couple of minutes to calm down.
DI: And get ready for the game.
DI: It’s important.

AD: who do i tell?
DI: To start with.

AD: why him?
AD: why not a scientist
AD: or the goverment

DI: Because they’re not important.
DI: He is.
DI: We all are.

AD: this makes no sense!
DI: Please, Thijs, just do it.
DI: We need you in this.

-- drunknIrish [DI] ceased pestering annoyingDutchie [AD] at 19:46 --

Okay, so you are very much freaking out right now. None of this makes any sense and she won’t even tell you what’s going on! What are you supposed to do now? Everyone’s about to die and she tells you the most important one to inform of it is your friend? Sure he’s your friend and all, but you could save more people by calling up the government or something.

Although, they wouldn’t believe you if they didn’t already know about it, since you’re not respected, or hell, even known. Your friends would believe you, though, especially if you told them she told you. This begs the question of why she doesn’t tell them herself.

Ugh, this is too much to deal with and you haven’t had nearly enough to drink, you gulp down the rest of the beer in one go and then go to grab a new one. Not before you turn on some music, though. You make sure it’s the good stuff, too. That means it’s loud.

Before you can grab a new bottle of beer, you hear a knock on the door. Oh God. Not her. Not now.

(The following conversation is translated to English for convenience.)

“Thijs? I know you’re there,” your sister says. Really, how would she know how that you were in there? It’s not like you could’ve slipped past her and left the music on in the few seconds it took for her to get here. “Can you turn that music down? Like, to the point where it doesn’t hurt my ears enough to have to go to the hospital?”
“You can go downstairs,” you yell back. “I’m pretty sure that’ll save your ears.”
“You have headphones! Learn how to use them!” She has a point, but headphones don’t allow you to move around.
“Fine, I’ll turn it down.”
“Thank you!” she says brightly.

You turn down your awesome music of awesome but she hasn’t left yet.
“What are you going to do tonight?” she asks. “Can I come in? Easier to talk and things.”
“Yeah, sure.”
Your sister enters your room. Some of your ‘friends’ on-line have described her as really good looking and if you find out how they managed to get their hands on a picture of her you are going to do something horrible to someone. The details to that plan can come later.
“Man it’s such a mess in here,” she looks around and after a while decided to sit down on your bed. “You really should clean this place.”
“Meh.” Yes, that pretty much sums up your feelings on having to clean things.
“Anyway, what are your plans?”
“Playing a game and telling people the world’s about to end, apparently.”
She stares at you in disbelief.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“That’s not funny.”
“I know.”

You sit in quiet for a while. “It’s not a joke, is it?” she asks.
“Okay,” she says. “Now what?”
“I have no idea.” Neither of you know what to say, until you realise something. “You’re pretty cool with this. Why?”
“I don’t know. I guess I figured your mad science-y ways would end the world some day.”
“My what now? What makes you think I have anything to do with this?”
“You don’t?”
“Why would you think that?”
“You just seem the type for it.”
“Shut up.”

You are definitely not the mad scientist type. You’re the science type. There is a difference. Besides, you’ve already got a friend with mad scientist ambitions and one of those per friend group is quite enough. Not like that friend would ever go through with it. The guy never goes through with anything. Which is probably a good thing for the universe.

“Thijs?” Your sister is standing at the window now. How did she get there without you noticing? Her voice sounds worried, at any rate. “This isn’t good.”
You look past her and see a dark sky. Or at least what used to be one. You don’t even have to guess at what the bright, moving dots are. You gulp down the entire bottle of beer in one go.
“What did she tell you to do?” your sister asks, her voice far more serious than you’ve ever heard her.
“What did she tell you?”
“Who are you talking about?”
“You know who I’m talking about,” she says. “I’m not stupid.”
She’s talking about her, then.
“She told me to talk to ES.”
“Then what are you waiting for? I’m going to call mom and dad, let them know what’s happening.”
Before you can say anything to her, she’s already rushed past you downstairs.

Well, time to brace yourself and get this over with. It’s not like you can deny it now.

AD: hey, ES
AD: important things are happening

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

AD: Meteors. Lots of them

The conversation continues predictably. Mainly because you’ve already had it.

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.

And then you wait. You hope she tells him the same thing she told you and doesn’t make you look like an idiot. That would totally be something she would do, even though she was completely serious when she talked to you. Somehow you hope that’s true, that you’re simply going crazy, instead of the thing that’s actually happening.

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.

You do so. Unfortunately, this gives you time to think. You don’t want to think right now. You need to talk to someone. Anyone. Anyone but her.

Well, he’s on-line and he’s in about the same timezone as you are! God do you hate those things.

-- annoyingDutchie [AD] began pestering robotVagabond [RV] at 20:13 --

AD: hey.
RV: One person at a time please

AD: who else is talking to you?
RV: Okay nevermind DI says I should talk to you now
RV: What’s up?

AD: what were you talking to her about?
RV: I don’t know
RV: She told me you’d tell me
RV: So yeah

AD: yeah...
AD: i’m not sure how to tell you this...

RV: If this is going to be awkward I’m leaving
AD: what?
RV: Doesn’t matter
RV: Now what’s wrong?

AD: we’re about to get hit by a meteor shower.
RV: That doesn’t sound good
AD: it isn’t!
RV: Okay
RV: You probably wouldn’t be telling me this if there wasn’t anything we can do
RV: So what can we do, exactly?

AD: play the game.
RV: That had better not be a joke
RV: Because I’m going to hunt you down if it is

AD: I’m talking about sburb.
RV: Ah
AD: you still lost it though
RV: Yeah, fuck you too