Saturday, July 11, 2054. 6:45 pm.
Walking through the hallway, Angel and Alex walked casually while Angel took the lead. Angel entered first through the door, swinging his metal cross with his left hand and whistling his merry tune. Alex reached over towards his Alive gear and turned off the image displaying a layout of the building on his gear.
The group of people clustered together turned around slowly, their eyes full of fear. They wore everyday casual clothes and stood huddled around, pressed back to a corner in a rundown apartment. Most of them scooted back against the wall, afraid of what would happen next. The enemy’s presence was overbearing to them. They were like monsters looming over them in the darkness, ready to kill. Angel stopped. With a casual smile, he grinned at them and bowed gracefully. His cross came to a full circle and rested in his hand.
“Shit,” said an older man in the group of huddled people. No words could describe his terror but that one word.
One of the men came forward. “We didn’t come here to pick a fight with you.” The man said, his voice shaky, trying to reconcile with Angel. His hands raised up over his head. “Please, we do not mean any harm.”
“Are you sure,” Angel cracked an evil grin. His eyes gleamed with such ferocity that they could burn a living soul.
“I-I-I,” the man stuttered, his fear overwhelming him; he instinctively reached behind.
In that split moment, Alex rushed forward with his katana in hand. With a flick of his wrist, the man crumpled onto the ground. A gun fell next to his body. The others stood speechless, their eyes filled with terror from what they saw in front of them. Death was knocking on their door, waiting patiently for them to fall into darkness.
Angel motioned Alex with his head towards a man in the far back and mouthed “him.” Then, with blinding steps that looked almost inhumane, Alex sprinted forward. His katana swinging in quick inhumane succession and moving with such ferocity that it could be seen as a sword dance. They fell like flies before they could do anything. Only one was left alive. The elderly man was huddled in the corner covering his head in complete fear.
“I’ll take it from here.” Angel stepped in, pushing down Alex’s sword.
Alex turned around and walked over to the open window. Putting back his katana in his sheathe, he sat on the windowsill, his right leg perched on the window. His arm was wrapped around his katana with its black and red designs. His head slouched over as if sleeping, and the moonlight cast its light upon him, making him look like he was glowing.
“You’ve been a very naughty boy.” Angel tutted and waved his fingers, scolding him like a child. “Who are you working for?”
“I’m not working for anybody. We’re just following the o-orders sent through the mail by Yami Hikari company. That’s it. I swear..” The elderly man stuttered, trying to control his shaking body.
“Really now? You expected me to believe that you blindly followed orders from a company you barely have any association too. What preposterous lies are you spouting.”
“I-it’s the truth!” the elderly man squealed in fright.
“Then show me.” Angel held out his hands towards the elderly man. He motioned him to give it to him.
The elderly man rustled around his pants pocket, quickly looking for his mail. “G-g-give me a second. I-it was here.” He stuttered and pulled out his pocket inside out. A white envelope slipped out of his pocket and fluttered onto the floor.
Reaching over, Angel picked it up by the edge. Written elegantly in solid black was a sentence.
Take the package to the specified location on your Alive gear.
“This is it?” Angel asked, a bit confused at what he was reading. “Why would you follow a random message on this paper?”
“Money.” The elderly man started rubbing his two fingers together.
“Ah yes. Money. That is a driving factor. Especially when you’re dirt poor. I’m assuming you did it for your family? How much is your family making?” Angel crumpled up the paper and threw it at the elderly man. “I’m guessing they are scraping through rock bottom.”
The elderly man cringed and held up his hands, trying to block the throw, but was late with his reactions. “What does it matter to you? You’re not part of the game. We had done nothing wrong to get killed like this.”
“Oh, but you have.” Once again, Angel clucked their tongue and waved his finger. “Haven’t you realized that you have failed and disobeyed the higher-ups? The moment you signed up, there was no way out. If you wanted to leave, it meant death, but sadly for you guys, you ran away. For what piece of paper will give you pocket change?”
“We weren’t running away; we were just trying to gain extra money. There’s no harm in that.” The elderly man stated in an exasperated voice.
“But you’re wrong.” Angel took a step toward the elderly man, and the man flinched in fear. “The moment you did not answer your calls for a day meant death. Have you forgotten the organization does not like to be kept waiting? Every minute counts for the possible events to be changed. No time must be squandered. You had three chances in three different forms. Especially the last one when your left hand should have been in pain. A heated pain from the chip brand in your hand. Why did you ignore it? unless…” In a quick, fluid motion, he pulled out a knife and slammed it downwards into the man’s left hand. It perfectly landed in the middle of the elderly man’s hand and on the ground. Blood seeped through the ground, and the elderly man screamed in pain.
“Nothing,” Angel stated with disgust. The whimpering of the elderly man’s voice filled the room.” So you think you could have gotten away just because you removed it?”
“S-s-sir,” The elderly man stated with gasping breaths in-between his pain. “Please. Forgive me. I was going to come back after I finished this mission.”
“Lies.” Angel hissed. “The moment you took the chip out of your hand, you were not going to stay with us anymore. Don’t worry, the person you installed it in is dead.” Angel’s eyes sparkled with the evil intention that meant more harm than good. His voice cut through like a knife. “Oh, I forgot to inform you. Your family also falls under the duration of your sins.”
“Please. Please! Spare them!” The elderly man cried out. Tears dropped like large bullets that covered his face.
“You gave up that right long ago.”
“You are monsters!” The man yelled in horror.
Angel chuckled, “I’ve heard that a lot, but who is the real monster? You who sold your family the moment you signed them over to us or me?”
The elderly man became speechless.
“Truly, people state it’s a devil’s contract. What would you give up for your cause? But as a human, we want everything, don’t you agree?”
“No-o-o, I didn’t give up anything. Nobody told me.”
Angel barked out laughing, “You jest. Do you think I’ll really believe such a lie? You knew when you had signed it. There were no fabrications.”
“No. I-I-I only did it for my family!”
Angel sighed. “This is getting us nowhere. I’ll just end this here.”
“Please-” The elderly man struggled on the floor, trying to pull the dagger out of his hand. But Angel left his feet on top of it, not letting it budge.
“Blackstar.” Angel’s voice called out. “Why don’t you join in?” Angel’s voice became sweet as nectar, trying to convince Alex. He grinned deviously from ear to ear. Then, like a snake coaxing Eve, Angel did the same. “You’ll enjoy it.”
Alex slowly opened his eyes and looked up. “I’ll pass.” He said and closed his eyes again. He wasn’t too keen on joining something that did not require his help. He did not find joy in doing such things.
“Really? But this is the best part.” Angel whined. “Fine.” He sighed.
Angel struck like a snake and snapped the man’s neck cleanly. A horrible, gut-wrenching sound of bone against bone could be heard. He peeled off his dirtied white gloves that had small red spots. “Disgusting prate. To dirty my white gloves,” He viciously kicked the dead man on the floor.
“The definition of fun differs from person to person. The fun you have is not in my dictionary.” Alex coldly stated.
“It seems our gracious BlackStar is in a foul mood. Did something happen? Maybe you failed on your mission?” Angel poked fun at Alex.
“No.” Alex opened his eyes and turned towards Angel. His left leg fell to the side of the window sill, swinging back and forth. “My mission is not over. I’m just on temporary leave from the game. The servers have booted off all players, and until it’s back on, I’ll be doing something else.”
Angel covered his mouth and chuckled. “To see BlackStar so irritated over a game, especially since your mission has dragged on so long. Are you sure you’re not losing your touch?” Alex coldly stared back.
“I get it. I get it.” Angel laughed and stopped. He wiped his tears. “I’m just joking around. Either way, this piece of trash is not worth my art.”
Alex got off the windowsill and began to walk out of the room. His foot hit against a small dark blue pouch. He stopped and looked down at the pouch lying on the floor.
Leaning over, he picked up the pouch and untied the knots. Turning it over, five pure white crystal rocks fell out into his palms. They were the size of small round pebbles with rune-like designs etched into them. A soft glow illuminated the crystals as they reflected the moonlight. His Alive gear booted up automatically, and a message appeared.
Would you like to finish the quest? A reward will be given upon the completion of the quest. Depending on the difficulty level, money or items would be given as a reward for completing the quest. Also, a possible clue to activating the seed that you have.
Yes or no?
Alex couldn’t help but be curious about why these people would play this quest. Especially enough to die for. Was it really worth their time and commitment? But what got his attention the most was a clue towards the seed. “Yes.”
A special quest has been initiated.
The message faded, and static appeared, making it difficult to see. Then, another message appeared before him.
Is your life worth fighting for?
“Blackstar, let’s go,” Angel called out.
Snapping him, Alex put the crystal rocks in his pocket and turned around. He quietly followed behind Angel and left the room.