I stifled a yawn in the middle of a movie as I watched from my desk. It was 2:00 PM, which meant that I only had twenty minutes until I was able to leave this sorry excuse for a school for the summer. Actually, I'm leaving it for good, I thought to myself.
I let in a little bit of a smile as I began daydreaming about leaving behind my enemies and hanging out with my friends. I did frown, though, because I remembered about transferring schools. My parents are a bit over the top and decided to send me to a private school, one of the top in the state. I am so lucky I was able to convince them not to send me to a boarding school or somewhere abroad. They are so annoying, sometimes I just want to run away from them. Like I do with all of my problems.
I looked over to my friend, Brooke, sitting across the room from me. It took her a little while, but she looked back and managed to motion that she was going to be on my bus home. She varied which bus she took, sometimes to go over another friends house and sometimes to switch between her mom and dad's houses. However, today was my lucky day for she was on my bus.
Tick, tock, tick, tock. I imagined the digital clock making such noises and yawned again. Only ten more minutes. I looked at the movie, which was nowhere near over considering my visual arts teacher only started this one at the beginning of class.
Tick, tock, tick, tock. Five more minutes until I'm officially in high school, I thought in anticipation. Five minutes to describe myself a little. Challenge accepted.
I am 14 years old, becoming a high schooler in five minutes, and I've never once had a boyfriend or a first kiss or any of that crap. My friends all think it is strange but it is quite normal to me. I have shoulder length brownish-black hair and honey brown eyes. I'm 4'10" and I am at the top of my class. That's the reason I was sent to private school since my parents can't actually afford that crap. I would consider myself chubby. I am freckled, head to toe, and have a big nose. Two more minutes? Hm. My best friend is Brooke, I am a complete and total game freak, and I think that is all.
RING! I ran out the door and sprinted to my homeroom. I gathered my stuff, somewhat messily, and ran to the bus. I was around the fifth person on there. That's around the time when the fire alarm went off and people started rushing out. Ah, pranks. I sat on the bus seat closest to the aisle so I could save room for Brooke. As soon as she got on, I moved to the window and that is when the conversation started.
"Hey, Anna," She said.
"Hey, Brooke, what's up?" I asked.
"Nothing much, I just started playing some new MMO," She tempted me. She knew exactly how to capture my attention.
"What MMO?" I replied, "Is it something I would know or is it really new?"
"It's really new," She answered, "And it is on the new game system, the VisSim."
"I just ordered mine, it should be here tomorrow," I told her.
Here is the thing about the VisSim; it is very much ahead of its time. It is basically a pair of glasses that you put on that changes the way your environment looks. To play a game, you have to scan the game's slip, which has a certain kind of image on it. The slip is still in a game box, though, to keep it safe. Also, since the goal of the VisSim is to get people more fit, they don't make games in which you stay home. You have to get dressed, go outside, turn on your game, then go participate in challenges in your neighborhood. I wouldn't advise getting the date sims though. Never very fun.
"Well the game is called Mages of the New Dawn, if you want to get it," She told me.
"Sweet! I think that is the one that came with mine," I began thinking on it, hoping that I was right.
"I already have a sort of team together," She said, "You can join us though, since teams can have up to five players."
"That's pretty cool," I mused, "But have you tried any other games?"
"I tried playing the new Call of Duty game on it," She shivered, "Never again."
"I'm not even gonna ask," I said as we reached my bus stop. "I'll call you when I get it, but bye!"
"Talk to you then," She said.
A day full of eating, sleeping, and impatience later, the UPS guy finally came with my package. I grabbed my phone as I cut open the package with a nice, handy knife. I dialed Brooke's number as I took out a block of Styrofoam containing the glasses and unveiled the game she talked about yesterday.
"Hello?" She answered, seeming to be wrapped up in something. That's when I heard other people talking frantically and some sort of weird sound and realized she must be playing the game.
"It's Anna," I said, "The game and my glasses came in."
"Oh, that's great," she was obviously more focused on the game, "Listen, we really need you because we ran into this tough monster, so if you could get set up that would be awesome!"
"Sure thing," I agreed, "Where can I meet you?"
"Just friend me by entering my name and it'll tell you where I am, ta ta!" She hung up.
It just dawned on me that I had no clue what the hell she was talking about. Brooke sure can be vague sometimes, what with her monsters and friending. I just really hoped that she was in town, not in an entirely different city. I put on my VisSim and turned it on, inputting things like my name (Anna Smith), sex (female), and birthday (May 13, 2000). As soon as I set my preferred color to blue, which was for popups and color of the lenses as viewed by non-players, I scanned the game slip.
I stepped outside and watched how fast my environment changed. The houses, roads, cars, and people all stayed, of course. However, the houses looked more like my neighbors' personalities. To my left, the house was covered in ivy that the game constructed, showing how that neighbor never leaves and it almost seems abandoned. To my right, the house was a horridly pink tent that looked almost like a tiny circus. A few kids and animals lived there and the mom was a super girly zookeeper, so I guess it made sense. I looked at my own house, which appeared to be a dark, gnarled tree. The game somehow knows how depressing living there can be.
The cars were transformed into carriages that were the same length as each car for safety reasons. The roads became cobblestone and the people just remained the same besides other players. I looked down and saw that I was wearing a pale blue-gray skirt that went a little bit above my knee and a white button down short sleeved shirt with a collar and that blue-gray color lining every end. The outfit seemed decent, so I went with it. Suddenly, a window popped up in front of me.
GO INSIDE AND PICK ANY OBJECT IN YOUR HOME
Fine then, I thought, but the capital letters aren't necessary. I went inside and scavenged through my stuff. I knew this would be some sort of important choice later, so I couldn't pick just anything. I finally was able to find my old violin. I was never any good, nor did I like playing it, but maybe it would be a good choice for the game.
IS THIS YOUR FINAL DECISION?
I picked yes on the holographic screen in front of me and I got a sudden rush of power as the area around me glowed that pale blue-gray. I exchanged my previous online outfit for a knee length strapless dress of the same color as the glowing with a choker that had a white bow on it. The dress had large white polka dots on it and was very flowy, to my liking. A silver necklace then appeared on my neck with a treble clef on it and white gloves with the same insignia were on my hands. I also came to be wearing a pair of small white heels with an open toe. It wasn't even hard to walk, though, because my actual self was still wearing red converse.
As my transformation and the glowing ended, I actually thought the outfit suited me quite well. I just thought my hair would look better curled. Whatever.
I touched the necklace now around my neck and another screen appeared in front of me.
ANNA DAVIS. MUSIC MAGE. LEVEL 1. 0 EXP. 0 FRIENDS. HEALTH: 100%
So choosing the violin chose what kind of mage I was? Great. I'm so screwed now. Another screen popped up after I closed my information.
WELCOME, ANNA, TO MAGES OF THE NEW DAWN. YOU HAVE BECOME A MAGIC WIZARD BY CHOOSING A CERTAIN ITEM. IN ORDER TO BEAT ENEMIES, YOU WILL NEED TO KEEP THAT ITEM ON YOU AT ALL TIMES. IF YOU FORGET IT WHILE IN THE PRESENCE OF AN ENEMY, THE ENEMY WILL STILL ATTACK AND YOUR HEALTH WILL BE DRAINED TO 0%. IF IT REACHES 0%, YOUR CONSOLE WILL TURN OFF FOR FIVE MINUTES AND YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO TURN IT BACK ON WITHIN THAT TIME. YOU WILL NOT NEED TO RE-SCAN YOUR SLIP FOR THE GAME WILL TURN RIGHT BACK ON. INCREASE YOUR LEVEL BY BEATING ENEMIES AND BOSSES. JOIN COMPETITIONS AND EARN MONEY. SOMETIMES AN ENEMY WILL DROP ITEMS. IF IT DOES, YOU CAN USE THE ITEM OR SELL IT TO A DIGITAL SHOPKEEPER IN THE MENU AND BUY NEW ITEMS. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, JUST OPEN THE HELP MENU. GOOD LUCK, MAGE.
That was a lot of unnecessary dialogue, I thought to myself. Well, maybe it was kinda useful. I touched my necklace again as the intro box closed and my info opened. I moved to the friends menu tab and entered the name Brooke Davis. I sent a friend request, which was accepted almost immediately followed by a frantic message saying "HURRY UP AND HELP US." I still didn't know who was in our team, besides her, but I still needed to help. I clicked the find location button in the menu and the menu was replaced by directions. Following the directions as I ran, with little breathing breaks every three minutes, brought me to our town park, which was a ridiculous twenty minutes away from my house. I saw her standing with three boys and one incredibly huge monster, resembling a dragon and a rank reading 10, and thought to myself, great.
I ran towards them and whipped out my violin. Hopefully I could figure out how to fight.