0.1 - Reunited

0.1 - Reunited

“I could use that cash,” was the text Kai sent me this morning. We had been discussing the upcoming tournament in Liberty and Strife. It’s virtual reality, but it’s still a fight to the death. From time to time, they have these in game events and this is just the latest. Some are cool, but this one I’ve got no interest in. Fighting to the death for money just doesn’t excite me. Still, I log into the game when I get home from work, loading into my virtual loft.

It’s just a game, but the comforts it provides are just incredible and the things others create are just as good as the real world. People have filmed entire movies in this world, and I love to watch them. I head upstairs to lay across my bed and watch movies projected on the ceiling, a comfort that I just can’t get in the real world. I spot Kai laying in my bed snoring as some cartoon featuring tigers fighting giant monsters plays on the ceiling up above. He’s used a trench coat made of some kind of leather like material and seems unbothered by my appearance.

“Kai, why are you in my bed,” I ask repeatedly poking him in the cheek.

“Don’t act like it’s the first time,” he groans.

“It is the first time that I know of,” I respond then pause, “do you just let yourself in and sleep here? You don’t even need to sleep, it’s a game.”

“You gave me a key, what else would I use it for?”

“Not sleeping in my bed.”

Kai grabs my arm and yanks me onto the bed with him, “we can share the bed and watch a movie together,” he holds me tight.

“You’re a weird guy,” I manage to fight free of Kai as the doorbell rings.

“I never go any further than you let me,” he shrugs before looking away when I make eye contact.

The doorbell rings again, “I’ve got to get that.”

I could have just opened my menu and allowed access but Kai holding me hostage on a bed isn’t something I find enjoyable. I open the door to Daamin, the third part of our little crew and the one person who doesn’t have a character model based on himself. Today Daamin is dark skinned bald man wearing a checkered scarf around his neck over some kind of military gear with a brown leather jacket and carrying a red helmet that doesn’t seem to have a place to see out of.

“What took you so long to answer,” Daamin makes his way in. No manners on him.

“Kai was being weird,” I respond.

“You could have stopped me if you didn’t like it,” Kai shouts down from the bedroom loft.

“I did stop you,” I shout back.

“Wow, you bicker like an old married couple. I mean, you’re both old but did you get married,” Daamin asks with a light shove to my shoulder.

“You’re in my home, I could kill you right now and you wouldn’t even be able to fight back,” I stare into his eyes.

“My next avatar, is going to be bigger than you, and then you won’t be so tough.”

Kai flips down from the loft in dramatic fashion wearing knee high white boots, baby blue tights complete with cargo pockets and just a matching blue bulletproof vest. “Why are you dressed like you’re about fight a war against Smurfs,” I ask.

“Same reason Daamin is dressed like a pirate with a motorcycle fetish,” Kai responds.

“I’m actually dressed like Red Hood during a mission in,” Daamin starts but Kai stops him.

“We’ve got a death match to win, and I don’t need your nerd talk weighing me down.”

“But Red Hood is the best robin.”

“Is Red Hood going to help one of us become an instant millionaire?”

I cut in, “it’s in game money. You’d just blow it on luxury game items.”

Kai nods, “yes but I sell those items for real money and money is as important as breathing or water.”

“I’m not participating,” Daamin makes his way toward my kitchen.

“Why not? You’re the best fighter by a mile,” Kai asks.

“Three reasons. One, there are currently over ten thousand people signed up for this. The odds of winning are incredibly low. Especially for a mele fighter like myself. Two, the gangs and corps are already planning strategies on how to work together. There’re some rumors about an invincible duo of momma bear and poppa bear. I’m just not up for getting jumped. Third, I just don’t feel like it.” Daamin finishes his speech and takes a sandwich from my fridge.

“You two realize you don’t live here right,” I ask as Daamin bites down on the sandwich.

“Yeah,” Daamin says taking a seat on the couch. “But you treat your virtual home like a real home. You buy food, you get the best furniture, you clean even when you don’t have to.”

Kai nods, “your virtual home is better than my real home.”

“My virtual home is better than my real home I argue.”

“Which is why you should let me move in here and be your roommate.”

“Sorry, only one bed.”

“It’s a king size and I don’t mind sharing a bed with you.”

“Gross,” Daamin says with a mouth full of my sandwich.

A system notification pops informing us the event is about to begin and we all wait as Kai and Daamin stare each other down. Daamin thinking Kai is too afraid and Kai sure that Daamin is lying.

“Bye,” Kai makes a few motions on his menu and vanishes from the room.

“You going to go get him? You know you’re a dynamic duo; he can’t survive without you,” Daamin laughs.

I sigh, “yeah, I’m going to get him,” I open up my menu and join the event.

“Good luck,” Daamin waves goodbye as if he’s not going to join as soon as I vanish from my apartment.



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