With one swift movement, his pulsing blade slashed across the oponent's chest, ripping deep into flesh.
Red burned the air.
"Congratulations." a voice came. "You have completed Zombie Slayers 2.0. You will now return to the home screen. Again, congratulations, and thank you for playing."
"YES!" Lucas jumped in the air, fists raised high in victory. "Let's go!"
"Hey," came a knock on the door, "Keep it down in there, will you?"
"Cmon Lexi. Stop being sensitive. Those karaoke parties you host, now,that'sloud."
A grunt came from behind the door, and Lucas could practically feel her roll her eyes.
Shoving off from his desk, he tore his eyes away from the computer screen. He blinked. Pain pooled behind his eyelids from the hours long strain of playing Zombie Slayers. He stood up.
A glance at the clock was enough to make his mind heavy. It was currently 8 on a Saturday morning, and he had begun playing nearly twelve hours before at 10:00 the night before. Suddenly low on adrenaline, he felt ready to fall over and sleep for a week. Stumbling over to his bed, he collapsed and did just that.
"Mom, it's too early -" Lucas flipped over and plugged his ears with a pillow.
A stiffled moan came from underneath the pillow.
"Fine! Fine, I'm up, ok? Just make it stop, cmon please -"
His phone buzzed on the nightstand.
Lucas sat frozen before slapping a hand over his face. He grabbed it hastily off the nightstand.
"Hey Luke, where have you been? I just boosted your character on Zombie Slayers 2. It times out in an hour. I've been trying to reach you all morning - are you alive?"
Lucas blinked. His best friend, Marc, talked at the speed of light, and this early in the morning, he couldn't keep up.
"Dude," Lucas groaned, "Why on earth are you calling so early? It's Saturday."
"Luke, it's two in the afternoon. Are you sure you're ok? Should I come over?"
"No, no, I'm fine, really." He glanced at the clock. It was 2:16.
"But really, are you likeok? First not responding to any of my calls, then ignoring the character boost on your favorite game. You're not sick, right? Are you sick?"
"Marc.I'm fine, really. I just... overslept."
"No, it's fine, I totally get it. I only got up an hour ago to be honest."
"Thanks, man. Hey, I'll call you back in an hour or so, ok? I'm gonna grab a snack. I'm starved."
"For sure, Luke. Catch you round."
The second that Marc hung up, Lucas fell back into the bed. His phone buzzed again instantly.
"Marc," he winced, "Again?"
But it wasn't Marc calling. NewsNow flashed across the lock screen with a breaking story.
Normally, Lucas completely ignored the news. Most of it was just over-confident, self-obsessed, and mildly wacko conspiracy theorists. But this story was different.
"EpicReality Releases Brand New VR Game By Reagen Joseph."
Lucas squinted at the screen. Reagen Joseph. Who was he? EpicReality never released games by small creators. They only used the biggest names in the industry. Why this exception?
His blood chilled. This was huge. This wasn't just any game. It couldn't be. This was something amazing.
It seemed that every news station out there had some take on the new VR game. News reporers were hyped up on the excitement, dragging more and more followers along with them.
"Genius Reagen Joseph Creates Recordbreaking Videogame."
"EpicReality's Newest Favorite: The VR Game That Will Leave You Breathless."
"Arcadia - The Game That Brings The Future To Today."
Arcadia. Hmm.Lucas mused.
A small message popped up on his phone fromSmarts, the local game shop.
"We Have What You Want!ArcadiaFor Sale Now!"
Lucas's eyes lit up.
A hour later, he was seated back in his bedroom with a controller resting in his hands. He stared blankly at the screen in front of his face. Picking up his VR glasses, he placed them over his eyes and secured them firmly in place. He picked up his controller again.
The screen flashed green. A huge play button appeared on the screen. One word was sprawled above it, pulsing.
For some strange reason, Lucas felt his breath slightly catch in his throat. There was a strange... sensation about this.
Ignore it. His mind breathed. He pushed the feeling aside. He raised his finger above the button. A pause followed.
His finger came down hard on the button.
The green halo on the screen immediately transformed.
It now rippled in little waves. Waves that were colored with red. Blood red.
The VR glasses begun to shake violently. A man in black armor rasied a stained sword. The sword came down.
All he saw was black.
Merci pour la lecture!
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