52 Fictions Project: To The Gate – Prologue

The frigid conditions were a firm reminder of the reality the siblings had found themselves in, though they had gotten there by there own free will. As they scanned the crowd that surrounded them they noticed many fake swords, wand, and fantasy styled cosplay. This brought a small smile to the brother for a moment before he finally noticed his sister, though a jacket was zipped snugly around her torso she seemed to shiver uncontrollably. As if by habit the brother swung his backpack around with ease, unveiling the content of the bag to be that of a blanket and a few snacks.

“It won’t be that cold” The brother was chuckling at his sarcastic tone of a voice as he glanced at his sisters reaction, daggers that could slice through steel shown back at him. “Isn’t that what you said?” Even with the sharp objects ready to gut him it had not effected him enough to cease.

“Just g-give me that b-blanket.” Her shivering had gotten out of hand, instead of teasing her as he usually would have he decided to give in. The blanket draped over her like a cultist outfit, the make shift hood hiding her raven colored hair. Somehow she had managed to create a costume, the hermit mage that lived in a swamp didn’t seem like a character that matched.

“Hopefully that helps.” The feeling of displacement had crept it’s way into his mind, at least without the blanket involved they were two plain looking nineteen year old. Now with the blanket in between he felt as if he were a third wheel in a sense. She blended with the crowd of fantasy crazed high schoolers, sighing for a moment he had finally realized they were old within this crowd. Though near the front were some gentlemen that looked to be in their mid thirties, they were ancient among the crowd. They also had the most impressive outfit out of the cosplayers, that could have been due to the fact that they held the money to buy such things.

The line had finally started to move causing the excitement that was flickering to explode in a brilliant flame within them. Smiles were seen on everyone’s faces as they moved their way through the line. As he looked at her for a moment she smiled at him from under the blanket. Poster that advertised the product were in abundance, they conveyed a helmet that appeared to suction to your head, as well as a visor that covered your eyes. As the two passed the windows of the store the girl finally caught a glimpse of how silly she appeared, this caused her to snort quietly.

She could have been the weirdest person in the world and no one here would give a damn, as the brother looked around at the crowd periodically he always caught glimpse of gawkers. As if they had never seen a girl before, or maybe they were amazed that she liked games like this. Finally making it inside the store the man behind the counter greeted them with fake enthusiasm. He wanted to go play the game himself, both could tell.

“Hello there can you please give me your names for the pre order.” The employee said it in a way that was hard to decide if it was a command or question. He shrugged it off quickly regaining the little composure he had lost.

“Shane and Emily Cambridge.” The transaction went by in stages, the end result was all that matter. Boxes in hand they walked out the store leaving a trail of envious stares from fellow gamers failing to show up earlier. Walking to the car Shane somehow convinced Emily to drive home, he admitted he was tired and couldn’t concentrate. Though she agreed she could see easily that he wanted nothing more than to dissect the box once they made it into the car.

The road home was rough, anticipation grew at an exponential rate as he held the game in his hand. The first ever virtual reality fantasy game, they were minutes away from meeting the world of Atrela.

There were three televisions within the house and each was set to the same exact news channel, this caused the voice of the broadcaster to echo. An eerie vibe flowed through the house as this happened, Shane wanted to go shut off the rest, but their mother and father were using them. He looked over at Emily who sat sprawled out on the couch with a bag of generic potato chips at her side. Understanding why this news had caught the houses attention was an easy task, it had to deal with something they were all involved in.

“Another three comatose victims have been admitted into hospitals, authorities say that the only clue that they have now is every victim is a player of Atrela. A virtual reality game that was released last year, other than that there are no connection though.” The news had been like that for quite some time, ever since the games release the player population has been multiplying at an alarming rate. The comatose victims started showing up after the first month, the connection to the game hadn’t been loosely found till six months and a few hundred coma’s later.

“Could this all be just a strange coincident, or is Atrela really behind this?”

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