“Now…” you said, leaning forward and resting your elbows on the table, “who goes first?”
Tamajiki looked at Praetorian.
“What do you know about BB?” he asked directly.
“I hadn’t heard of them when I was approached to join. I, originally, was part of a smaller team of guards who did protection work for different people. We were on route one day when a band of thieves attacked. The man who approached me after I have fended off the thieves was part of BB and he said he could see potential in me, much like how I saw potential in you, Tamajiki- or Butterfli3.”
“So… he explained about the contracting system, to get me leveled up quickly and it sounded good to me. It was all very straightforward and once I had gotten to a high enough guard level he uncontracted me to an initiation ceremony for those who want to become part of the BB guild.”
“An initiation ceremony? That sounds a little… medieval? Doesn’t it?” you cut in.
He nodded. “It was quite a formal event and judging by the powerful people around me I knew this guild was serious.”
“Did you get initiated by the head of the BB?” Tamajiki asked, a small glimmer of hope dancing through his words.
“Unfortunately, no. As I said before, no one has met the person at the top,” Praetorian replied.
“So you weren’t just covering for the head of BB then,” Tamajiki nodded in confirmation.
“I heard the same thing too…” you added in.
“So,” Praetorian asked, changing subjects, “may I ask what this is all about?”
“Well, this initially started with us,” Tamajiki looked at you, “finding a shipwreck off the coast of our honeymoon island.”
“A ship? Belonging to the BB?” Praetorian asked.
You and Tamajiki nodded.
“Ahhh, they’re still looking for that… which level was this?” he asked.
“36,” Tamajiki replied, “can I ask, though, what was it doing on that level?”
“There are worm holes in the ocean that BB have mapped out and can get from one level to another via the sea, much like the building that connects multiple levels through underground passageways,” he divulged.
“Ok but is this actually part of the game or are these being planted by BB?” you asked suspiciously.
“The legends say they were created by the leader of BB. He has the power to warp things in game,” Praetorian said.
“It’s him,” you deadpanned immediately, “it’s definitely him! This is all fitting together. That bastard lied to us!”
“I’m sorry? Who is this?” Praetorian asked, “who are you talking about?”
“A while back we had a run in with a player who used to be a coder for Rapid Fate Online but he didn’t like that people were playing the game differently to how he wanted them to. Instead of striving to clear all the levels, some players were just messing around and having fun so he was creating glitches in game where higher leveled monsters were being let loose on lower levels and slaughtering people there,” Tamajiki said.
“Mmmmm,” Praetorian replied thoughtfully, “this does seem to be connected, because whenever the high priests—,”
“I’m sorry? High priests?” You cut in, “is this an in game class, or are the higher ups in BB calling themselves high priests?”
“They claim they have been divinely appointed by the leader as high priests to deliver messages to the subordinates…”Praetorian said.
“I fucking called it,” you growled, “it’s Anarchy_Lord.”
“Please, continue,” Tamajiki said to Praetorian, reaching out to pat your hand sympathetically.
“They read from parchment,” he said, “their instructions are always written out and it looks like it’s coded but they are able to read it. I did hear that a voice tells them what to say…”
“It’s him! It’s totally him,” you said again, “and there’s not physical leader, I bet. He’s probably playing from outside the game, dictating into it as like… I don’t know… a voice that speaks from a cloud or some other ‘godly’ like presentation…” you said, waving your hand flippantly.
“What did you say?” Praetorian asked you with surprise, “a speaking cloud?”
“Yeah probably,” you replied with a smirk.
“I… I know this sounds crazy but I seriously think you’re onto something… I have heard whispers about a blue cloud formation… but that’s all I know.”
“Call me an oracle, because I know all!” you said with delight, jumping up so you could do a fist pump into the air.
Tamajiki still had so many question but was also amused at how excited you were getting about all of this.
“Ok… let’s think rationally,” he said calmly, mainly meaning for you to stop dancing around like a fool and sit down so they could continue to talk.
“This anarchy person sounds like bad news,” Praetorian said, rubbing his chin, “I’ve seen the bad side of the contracting system, such as how your previous master was treating you.”
Tamajiki nodded. “Yes, I’ve been intending to pay him a visit in my other avatar to see his reaction.”
Praetorian chuckled deeply, “I can tell you right now his pants will change colour to brown.”
“And what about that asshole who hit you with a bat when we were trying to get contracted!” you cut in, “I’d like to go back and give him a good whack over the back of his head and see how he likes it!”
“There have been a number of untoward things happen to us,” Tamajiki said, “but the buying and selling, plus mistreatment and abuse to actual players in here, is what makes me want to see him behind bars. Glitching monsters is one thing. But to delete log out buttons to prevent people escaping is another.”
“I’m sorry, what?” Praetorian asked with surprise.
“Yeah. My log out button disappeared when they had me in the cage,” you said, with almost a pout on your face.
“I see that we need to deal with this person swiftly,” Praetorian said. “I know I still bear the emblem of BB but please consider me an ally now. This needs to stop.”
Tamajiki nodded and stood up with his hand outstretched towards Praetorian for a handshake- which the burly guy instantly returned.
“This might require the help of people on the outside to track Anarchy_Lord down so that he can be properly detained, but for now we need to try and find out where he operates from, in game, and try to stop anything else happening.
“First of all, let me do this,” Praetorian said, swiping his menu open and cancelling the contract with Tamajiki, “you’re now no longer bound to me and so they can’t track you, as they are able to track me through my emblem so would assume you’d be with me.”