“POLO?” Butterfli3 called again.
“This is an absolute train wreck.” You said with a bewildered laugh as random voices were yelling things in the dense bush.
“Where are you, underpants?!” O/N hollered.
“I prefer captain?” Came the reply.
“Irrelevant.” O/N shouted again, “I just need to know where you are so I can find you.”
“I’m umm, left?” The newcomer called.
“My left or yours?” O/N called back.
“Oh for crying out loud.” You deadpanned.
“HELLO?” Butterfli3 cried.
“We’re getting nowhere with this,” you said in a dead tone as you looked at Migata, “let’s find butterfli3 first THEN we’ll find the other two. It’s like being a nurse on the dementia ward. They’re happily confused so let’s leave them for a second.”
“Gotcha.” Migata said with a chuckle then raised his hand to his mouth to call out again. “Stay where you are, Butterfli3! We’re coming to you.”
He took your hand in his and started bush bashing through the thick leaves in the direction that Butterfli3’s voice had come from.
The other two were still trying to find each other when you and Migata found Butterfli3 and you asked if he was ok before trying to find the other two.
“O/N?” You called loudly.
“Wait… U/N?” O/N called back, “not gonna lie, I forgot you guys were here momentarily, I’m still trying to find my underpants.”
“Captain.” Came the reply.
“Oh hey!” You heard O/N say cheerily, “guys, I found underpants!”
“Listen, I don’t know who you are but, WAIT. Oh my god? You’re the O/N!” You heard captain underpants say with surprise. “Oh wow! Wait, ok, hang on, so if you’re here is Butterfli3 here too?”
Just then you, Migata, and Butterfli3 parted the leaves and stepped out, smiling happily at having been reunited with everyone.
“Oh my god, I’m in the presence of the RFO god team!” The new player spluttered, making erratic hand movements before bowing awkwardly, “sorry, I don’t know what to do, I’m so awkward.”
“Ok firstly: Don’t bow.” O/N said quickly, “secondly: just continue to be awkward because that’s me in a nutshell so it’s nice to have company.”
“And thirdly: what are you doing down here?” She asked with a laugh, “we got teleported but that was on purpose… last thing we were expecting was to find another person down here.”
“Ok, so I have a REALLY weird story.” Captain underpants said with a sheepish laugh. “I was grinding—“
“Yep! Know what that means now.” O/N interrupted proudly, “sorry go on…”
“Uh, and this pterodactyl just appeared out of nowhere and snatched me… like… wig snatched me.”
“Yep. All sounds pretty normal so far.” O/N said casually.
Captain underpants just looked at her.
“Riiiiight.” He hummed, “ok, so THEN, this ancient leather flappy bird took me to it’s nest and it was FILLED with other players!”
“Yep.” O/N said, waving her hand for him to continue.
“Ok? And there was a force field around the nest so we couldn’t get out.”
“But I got out.”
“Without having to commit aliven’t?” O/N asked.
“Uh, yeah… I used this potion thing that was glitching and I drank it and it let me out so I jumped out and ran down the branch then climbed down to here.” He said, “I’ve been eating random berries and stuff to stay alive but I’m running low on health… as you can see.” He said, pointing to his stats in the corner of his avatar.
“God.” O/N whispered with a shudder, “just the mention of berries gives me PTSD. Here…” She offered, opening her inventory and pulling out a potion for captain. “Drink this, it’ll get your health up.”
“Oh thanks!” The player replied gratefully, taking it and drinking it immediately. “Umm so what are you guys doing down here then? Are you taking on the pterodactyl?”
“Pants?” O/N corrected. “Yep, we are, because we’re amazing.”
“You’re the weird, talkative one of the group, aren’t you.” Captain underpants suddenly said and you, Migata, and Butterfli3 all chuckled.
“There’s always gotta be one live wire.” Migata said with a thumbs up.
“Oh my god, Migata spoke to me.” Captain underpants hummed in a low enamored tone.
“He’s also a live wire.” Butterfli3 said, pointing to Migata.
“Ohgodnowbutterfli3spoketomethisisntreal.” The poor star struck player rambled, humming it in a monotone tune.
“She’s the only normal one.” O/N said, pointing at you.
“Umm… I’m just… a… nobody…” you said in a broken sentence, the words feeing foreign as they rolled off your tongue. “Nobody… I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before… I’ve always been somebody, I’ve alway been known…”
The chatter of the group continued in the background as you zoned out for a second, hit hard by the reality that in this game you really were a nobody and, as a matter of fact, should the higher up’s in your work see it it, you would be reduced to a nobody in the real world too.
Your heart sank and your neutral expression softened, sadness creeping in.
Migata still had a hold of your hand and could feel a shift in your mood and he looked down at you from the corner of his eye.
“Is she ok? She seems really sad all of a sudden. No one said anytime hurtful? I wonder why the sudden change.” He thought as he squeezed your hand slightly to get your attention.
At first you were so lost in your own thoughts that you didn’t feel his gentle squeeze but you felt the next one and looked up at him quickly.
“You ok?” He whispered softly.
“Yep. Sorry.” You lied, “I’m fine.”
He gave you a gentle smile and turned his attention back to the chatting group.
“Well this has been a pleasure.” He said, “but we should keep going if we want to get to the bottom of this mystery.”
“True.” O/N said sharply as she smacked a soft fist down into the palm of her hand. “Let’s take pants down!”
“Uh?” Captain underpants hummed with confusion. “Could you word it differently??”
“Nope.” O/N replied with a giant stupid grin on her face.
“Ok umm, well, I’m afraid I won’t be of much use so I’ll be going but—,”
“Hey wait. We didn’t even ask you about the potion that you drank!” O/N said, “that might help us figure out what’s going on if we can link the two.”
“Good thinking.” Migata praised.
“See, I do get good thoughts every now and again.” O/N said with a chuckle.
“You get them all the time.” Butterfli3 said softly.