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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

After spending 3 weeks virtual time (3 days real time), Chris meets an unusual Candidate, with a cryptic motive for tracking him down...

Chapter 2 (v.1) - GHOST Victoria

Submitted: December 08, 2018

Reads: 81

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Submitted: December 08, 2018



"There are one-hundred-sixty-eight hours in a week, and twenty-four hours in a day; inside the virtual world, one day equals around one week, so that means that each day is around seven hours long; passing time inside the virtual world has just passed the three-day marker in reality--that's seventy-two hours real time, and around five-hundred-four in-world hours, with a seven-hour cycle...damn this is making my head spin..."


Chris ignored the call coming in on his statwatch, and stared blankly at the Trebuchet-fonted nametag appearing above the figure up ahead on the path, reading over the inscription "GHOST Victoria" several times; he'd not seen anyone in his neck of the woods for weeks, possibly since he'd been hiding out in the cabin since their first full day following his log in. He assumed from the name that this was a female Candidate, and from what he could make out, she was wearing a black, hooded jacket with khaki cargo pants. Her hair appeared black, hanging neatly in a single braid draped over her right shoulder, and her hands were buried in the front pockets of her jacket as she slowly began walking down the path towards him. Chris wasn't sure what to expect as his heart instinctively began to race; the rumors of the violent outbreaks, Candidates killing other Candidates in cold blood to take their supplies--a few of them had full-on weapons, including guns and swords, and some had chosen tools such as axes, scythes or machetes, which could also be brandished as weapons too. 


Chris chose the pocketknife and the lighter, since both were inconspicuous and had multiple uses; he had used the serrated portion of his knife to saw down smaller saplings and built weapons for himself, including a bo staff and a pair of eskrima sticks, which he kept hidden in the cabin during the daylight hours, and devoted his time to hunting the virtual game--mainly deer--that would tread through his sector of forestland unaware. Chris learned quickly how to apply the knowledge he'd read in books on scavenging and scouting, which became part of an app on his statwatch called the "Personnel Manual", which was literally a fully-detailed encyclopedia of any information, skills, or literature written out in a readable holographic pamphlet for every Candidate. No two Personnel Manuals were the same, since everyone had different interests, reading tastes and hobbies; Chris relied on his for hunting advice, brushing up on martial arts techniques from his past, and other small survival techniques. He couldn't help but compare his situation to video games he'd played growing up, remembering how he'd beat Metal Gear Solid as a kid, and how the main character, an infiltration expert named Solid Snake, was inserted into a hostile environment with nothing at all, and had to learn how to acquire weapons and gear on-site in order to survive. Chris wasn't surprised when large portions of the game's instruction manual wound up in his Personnel Manual on his statwatch.


However, as the Candidate known as GHOST Victoria approached him, he tensed a little, not sure if running back towards the cabin was safe, or engaging in a scuffle.


If there was a chance she hadn't seen the cabin, Chris didn't want to alert her to its presence, yet there was also a possibility that she was armed, or had something in her Personnel Manual that might give her an edge over him. Before he knew it, she was standing about 20 feet away from him, and stopped; her bright blue eyes pierced into his forehead, and Chris took a slight step back.

"It took long enough to find you, GhostEyes," she calmly addressed with a clear, Russian accent, keeping her hands in her pockets.

"You found me, but what do you want?" Chris retorted, trying his best to sound cold and intimidating like Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid.

The girl laughed at him and rolled her eyes, taking her hands out of her pocket as she strolled up to him confidently. Chris noticed she was taking her time getting closer to him, as if she was trying to get him to lower his guard, but he stayed where he was, curious of her next move.

"You can relax, tough guy--I even tried to call you to tell you I just wanted to talk; you remember me from the assembly, right? I asked the question about WorldOS being another version of WorldRunnerOS," she answered, comfortably. Chris nodded at her, and paced back and forth for a second, trying his best to recall her name, but his efforts came up blank.

"I don't remember your name, or the accent, but I do remember your question--that was three weeks ago?" Chris confessed, rocking back on his heels as the girl nodded at him slowly.

"Just call me Victoria, and I will call you GhostEyes as arranged; why haven't you tried to contact me yet?" the girl questioned quickly.


"You were supposed to sync up with me the moment we entered the system."

"I was?"

"Did you get disoriented from the entry process? If so, it's okay--newbies to full-dives usually do."

"Newbie? Hey--what are you getting at?! I don't even know you!"

"Hold on...wait..."

Victoria paced around for a second, wearing a sharp expression of confusion as she mumbled to herself indistinctly and then stopped with a sharp handclap. Chris shot her a confused-and-annoyed expression, and sat down on the dirt of the path.

"Okay, here's an I.D. challenge for you; what is the slogan of YukiTex Industries?" Victoria asked calmly, leaning into Chris' face as he sat down. Chris was thrown off by the unusual question, but his mind began to work backwards, recalling things his parents would say in regards to their contracted work with YukiTex Industries not long ago. He knew that their public slogan "The Way of the Future" wasn't the original slogan chosen, besides, if it were that easy, there was a chance that Victoria knew something deeper than the publicized mainstream jargon.


Chris had to dig deeper.


He closed his eyes and exhaled, taking his mind back to one of the many times his parents were about to leave for work at YukiTex Industries within the last year; his father mumbled something about YukiTex putting their name on everything they do, and then Chris' eyes shot open as he recalled the last words his mother had spoken shortly before they left.


"If they owned 'the land of the free', YukiTex would spell it F-R-E-Y instead," Chris whispered out. Victoria nodded slowly, smiling at him as she sat beside him on the dirt trail, and crossed her legs comfortably.


"Now, agent, it's time to get started; Gear Hunters Operations Specialist Team members Victoria, and Eyes are now active," Victoria whispered into her statwatch, which immediately opened a black command-prompt window in front of them, floating above the ground.


"Good to see you both; time to get to work," a radio-low-pass male voice donning a British accent spoke back.

© Copyright 2020 Ghost Fox the Harbinger. All rights reserved.


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