“Get down!” a familiar voice shouted, a black cloaked figure lunging into the midst of the crickets with you and striking the one on your back, defeating it in an instant.
You crouched as your saviour threw a few flash bombs and obliterated the remaining crickets, standing in front of you, with their back to you as they looked left and right to make sure you were safe.
Hesitantly you looked up, your heart sinking into your shoes when you recognized the back of Migata’s outfit.
“M-Migata, I’m sorry, I just wanted to do some tr—,”
“What the hell are you thinking?!” The voice of Hansu barked as Migata’s body spun around.
You shrieked with surprise and fear when you saw that the person inhabiting Migata’s RFO body was a black shadowy mist… with the voice of your assistant.
“HANSU?!” you screamed, crawling backwards along the ground a bit to get away from the demonic looking figure, “why are you in Migata’s clothes?! Did you dive with his headset?! Why don’t you have a face or limbs or anything, you look creepy as fuck!”
“Listen,” the shadowy cloak said to you, “I turned up to the lab early and you were already in the game. BY YOURSELF! Do you know how dangerous it is in here on your own?! What if you met… them?”
“Dont call me that in here. What if they hear you!” he snapped.
“Call me Greystreak,” he said sternly.
“That does actually sound like a name though?” you replied suspiciously, “wait?! Do you play? It’s that your Username?!”
“That’s beside the point,” he snapped, “Im here to take you back out of the game and you are FORBIDDEN to dive on your own. The end.”
“Han—, I mean..Greystreak, listen,” you said, standing up and dusting yourself off, “I just want to improve my skills. If anything was going to go wrong I’d just log out.”
“No. You know the danger you’re in. You can’t—,”
“I don’t want to be useless anymore!” you shouted, “I’m finally free in here! I can be anyone I want to be. I am in charge of myself. I have the control! For years I’ve been pushed into what everyone else wanted me to be but not any more. No. I’m happy here. If I die so be it. The real world sucks anyway.”
Your body shook with anger and you balled your fists up, scowling strongly up at the shadowy figure that was Hansu as he quietly stood there, the swirling mist still twisting around inside Migata’s clothes.
Finally he let out a resigned sigh.
“I’ll be your body guard,” he grumbled, “I’m not leaving until you want to but you’re not diving solo again.”
You softened and nodded, letting your balled up fists loosen and fall to your side.
“What are you doing anyway? Getting jumped by a gang of crickets?” Hansu asked.
“I’m trying to hone my skills,” you said with a dejected sigh, “I thought I was getting better… wel.. I want to get better before this next mission because I was a completely useless burden at all last mission so THAT has to change.”
“So you’re fighting crickets?”
“Can you not come in here and kick me while I’m down. I’m doing my best,” you grunted with annoyance, looking away then turning and slowly walking towards the town in the distance.
“Ok. So what are you doing now?” Hansu asked as he followed on behind you.
“I’m going to find something else to fight. How did you find me anyway?”
“I have your headgear number logged onto the computer and it said you were on level 2 so I grabbed Mirio’s headset and dived in,” he replied.
“Well,” you said a little shyly, “can you please not tell him what I’m doing. I want to surprise him by being really good when we head for level 46.”
“He’s going to be astounded by the amount of crickets you can summon,” Hansu teased.
“Shut up or I’m logging you out and blocking you from coming back in,” you threatened over your shoulder.
“You can’t do that and you know you can’t,” Hansu replied with smug confidence, “I’m calling your bluff right now.”
You made a Tch’ noise with your teeth and rolled your eyes, looking for the next monster to attack.
In the distance you saw a group of very large grasshoppers and you told Hansu to stay back so that you could fight them alone.
“Ok” you thought, raising your head confidently as you walked over, “don’t get distracted by the fact that Hansu is watching, remember to stay light on your feet and do the jumping summersault attack you tried once before.”
Hansu hung back as you approached the group and while your back was to him he pulled out some more flash bombs just in case you needed his assistance, hiding them in the crook of the cloak so you wouldn’t see them.
You circled the group of grasshoppers until one lifted its head and eyed you off.
Slowly you stepped back and it followed a little way, being coaxed out from the rest of the group.
“That’s it…come out here…” you thought encouragingly.
It started to move towards you a little faster and as soon as it was well clear of the rest of the group you called for your whips.
“Move!” you shouted, those familiar shining items appearing in the palms of your hands and making you feel powerful.
You jumped, doinga one handed summersault over the grasshopper as you struck it across its back then the minute you landed you called for
‘move’ again and pivoted to strike it across the side, adding one more ‘move’ attack by jumping straight up and spinning to bring both whips down one after the other on top of the grasshopper.
From where Hansu was standing all he saw was a flurry of blue sparkling light as you moved lightly around the grasshopper and defeated it in an instant.
To say he was surprised would have been an understatement. He had never seen you fight in game before and the only mental image he did have of you, was you being mobbed by crickets.
“How long has she been practicing? A few hours? It showed 4 hours on the computer when I got there. She’s picked this up very quickly.”
As he watched, two more grasshoppers came at you and you calmly yet swiftly dealt with them too- having learned not to go into the centre of them but to move backwards and keep a clear exit should you need to make a break for it.