Gaming Life (A Short Story)

Gaming Life

An attractive woman in her mid 30s is skiing in the alps on a beautiful day. She looks over lovingly at a man skiing beside her… and he beams back at her.  As she is distracted by him, she cuts an edge and falls. Her temple cracks hard on a rock everything goes black.

a pin of light spreads into a cone… she sees a tunnel of light… winged angels descend on her…

they hold her arms and gently she is lifted weightlessly towards a bright light.  As clouds begin to disperse, she finds herself surrounded by familiar people…

“Mom? Dad? Grandpa?… uncle Sparts?” she says groggily.

“dear… ” says her mother with a glowing look of pride, joy, and tears in her eyes “…you” she pauses and beams with happiness “you have to go back… it’s not your time.  I am here and always with you, I am so proud of you and the life you are living.”

“mom no… i want to stay with you.”

“Susan” her father says “you have such an incredible life… a family who love you and needs you, it’s not your time yet.  Cherish this life with all of your heart, find happiness in every moment you can” Mother nervously looks up at him

“i know Daddy… I’ll go…i love you, and I miss you all so much” she says.   The angels lift her weightless form away as she reaches for her mom and begins to descend back into the tunnel of light

“live a happy life… love with all your soul” says mom as she begins to drift from sight

“and she could use a few more orgasms honestly” says her father in a somewhat inappropriate tone to her mother.

As a puzzled look falls across Susan’s face she is carried down by an angel who shakes his head with a look of warning and disapproval at the father. As the angels turn Susan away the Angel with the disapproving look tosses a small, yellow, weighted flag, pulled from the back of his belt at her father’s feet.

Her mother responds with an angry look, and pulling her arm out of the crux of his inner elbow she stomps a foot angrily, “what the hell Kevin!”

Susan’s mother fades off in white smoke while she is carried through the clouds and Susan opens her eyes in the snow, her head throbbing and dripping blood… her worried husband is huddled over her…

From her family’s point of view Susan’s life is now being viewed in first person as if through an open window so three dimensional they could reach into it.  They observe her waking through her eyes from her perspective.  Her vision has just made a curved 3D television screen hovering in the heavenly world she just left… time starts moving like time lapse photography through the screen of Susan’s eyes.   Her mother, grandfather, and uncle stand around the screen… all 3 of them glaring at Kevin from the other side of this window into Susan’s high speed life.  Ski patrol is tending to her and strapping her to a board with a helicopter overhead… the brightness of this heavenly scene begins to  darken and contrast picks up as white background smoke is sucked away into dark vents in the floor.  The scenery around the group has faded to reveal a white glowing pit in an enormous arcade-like stadium.

They stand in a large purple carpeted circle surrounding a white glowing pit with a purple metal railing around it.  These circles repeat, going off in an expanse, reminiscent of a huge indoor stadium,  with several large white circular shafts in the floor surrounded by railings. Sections divide quadrants of different colors.  The expanse seems to go on for miles.  Each ring with several winged humanoids wearing the colors of their ring, standing around the railings. Surrounding the white shafts are arrays of curved screens suspended from the warehouse height ceiling, including the one featuring Susan’s life, which is now moving in ultra high speed.  With the smoke cleared it becomes apparent that the screen hangs from mobile crane-like scaffolding designed to move the screens around weightless like a steady-cam rig or crane.

The 4 people that were once Susan’s parents, though they clearly remain the same individuals with similar features, all begin to flicker and change.  Longer faces and larger eyes, with broader cheekbones than what would make them appear human… as a digital holographic facade around them begins to pixelate and vanish, they quickly age backwards. We see they are wearing mechanical lightweight armor that appears to be like that of a motor-cross rider… their white… feathered wings, resting behind them.

“holy shit Kevin” says the teen who was just called Mom by Susan

“What!?” Susan’s Dad, now a brown haired 20 something  responds

“You know what ass-hat, you just got the squad a warning foul” says old grandpa quietly with less anger than Mom.  He is now a man of about 30 years of age, in excellent shape with short sandy hair.  He is clearly the oldest in the group.  A thin blond stands silently outside the three observing.  Grandpa reaches over Kevin’s shoulder and pushes a button on the holographic display beside the screen… All four standing at the purple railing are between age 18 and 30, in matching purple color gear, looking into the large white glowing  pit with massive amounts of machinery and electronics dipping into the center from the ceiling. The screens hanging all around the pit all displaying high speed movement in the first person.

“you want to get scores this round wiped for our squad, keep saying shit like that, you fucking idiot” says the woman who was mom, as she pushes hard past Kevin bumping into him to get around the railing and start walking angrily away from him. The group follows her and walk a short way around the pit, they pass another screen/window into the world, and on their way following, they pass another person in purple gear who the blond once called “uncle sparty” gives a friendly pat on the shoulder to.  Sparty is now an attractive spindly yet strong 18 year old.

“Stacy”… Kevin says, then pauses and looks at the woman known to Susan as Mom who stops storming away… “look… in this round i was pretty open with her about sex and had a good sense of humor, I can defend the comment with the Angels if I had to, it was just a warning… I can argue it’s something I would have said as her dad… I think we can get away with it if anyone disputes the warning with the Angels and asks for a full foul… that’s IF someone calls the Near Death Experience for review… they didn’t immediately foul Susan out when I said it, they would have thrown a red if the Angel on sight believed it was a full infraction… It was just a warning, which honestly, considering her only pleasure is a 2 week fucking vacation a year right now… wouldn’t have been a bad loss if we can play her again this round… just let me do my thing”

“Fuck that Kevin, you know how bad this round has sucked for us… We can’t afford the loss of time XP alone from a DQ life ending event at 36… You just took a huge risk in a round where i spent 7 years slowly dying of cancer… not much pleasure points earned there, plus it SUCKED for me”

“sucked for me too… I was your husband”…

“wow… just… wow”… mocks Stacy, angry and annoyed

“hey I was supportive. I’m the reason we pulled happiness points for a lot of those years… and pleasure points from orgasm too. I spanked it constantly like a Bonobo chimp when you were sick!!! and… even when you were bald and miserable we had a ton of sex still… did I not cheer you up a lot?” argues Kevin

“I know Kev…” she relaxes and pauses to think, she places a hand on his on the shoulder and relaxes with a sigh.   It is clear they are long time, close friends. “but seriously this skirting the razor edge with obvious rule breaks thing you do, you are pushing limits… That could have cost us a major penalty for a 4th wall breach during an NDE… you KNOW how hard they can come down on a team for that shit, especially if Susan starts to question the game itself now through re-cognition?… you still might have ended Susan’s life back there with that comment, if she remembers it clearly in reinsertion and causes a dramatic spike in orgasm pleasure acting on it, we could go for Angelic review, and your yellow could end up with a full foul”

“She won’t cause a spike above NDE standards, not enough to cause a review.  Susan’s a natural pro, I know her cognition rating is high but she has never cogged out of a game” Kevin assures her.

“Kevin we boosted her cognition really high, remember?  She could become aware and foul out! It’s SUSAN man… her cognition retention is off the charts, I was worried she would join a spiritual cult this round. She was the squad leader when we planned the rotation.  I know you weren’t remembering her insertion tuning when you made that comment.   Worst case if they red flag you in review and we get a full round DQ and they could even pull the squad.  We could also lose you for years for the penalty and can’t sync lives for another round… you know we need you in there now no matter how this ends… We are in the tech storm.   So apocalypse, singularity, AI overrunning mankind, maybe we go into overtime… but honestly right now no matter how this goes… we need you in play. Was it worth that risk? … It might take us 30 real time minutes to reinsert if they fouled her out and if that had happens… centuries of e-time Kev…” she shakes her head. “forget it… we were lucky to afford the near death experience with pooling our XP this round or Susan would have had a long drawn out bullshit boring life… and you just about blew it… if we do get points taken for your comment or DQ’d as a squad and reset for this entire round for a full 4th wall breach… Shit… we wouldn’t even have time for tribunal to defend lost points before finals in this game… and the Satanists could push into our seat against the Abrahamaics.”… She huffs… and looks up into Kevin’s eyes.  Her face softens, and she shakes her head and sighs “look I’m sorry I got upset.  Maybe i’m overreacting.  You know this round was total bullshit for me. I peaked early, lived carefully and then died hard… and gutted all of it it out, I’m probably over reacting”.

“You think?” Says Kevin with a smirk, and a little playful tap on her shoulder pad with his fist

“Don’t Push it” she says, as grandpa shakes his head behind her

“here it comes” he says

“Stacy” says Kevin “at least you have never burned at the stake… last time I play that century”, the whole group sighs and shakes their heads as Kevin begins a soap box rant…

“if Christian strategy teams are in the game… at all… no way… I still can’t figure out how Coach Jesus got magic yanked from the game entirely with the crap he pulled this game, total bullshit even when they crucified him and DQ his entire team was benched for 340 e-years they still pulled out of that nose dive and used that troll Constantine to crank up the strategy again, I can’t believe they managed to bring Christianity back so strong and practically destroy the Philosophers, and now they are seated first in the finals?? Fuck… that… shit… I am not playing ‘safe'” he air quotes gestures “in a game where that kind of fuckery should have the entire score of the last 2000 years chucked for them… that should have been more than a red flag, the entire team should have forced a full score tally timecard split and reset to 0 on that… and as a result magic got shut down because they managed to purchase a resurrection hack and THEN had EP to spare to shut magic off? we need some points back on the board, if those fuckers can get magic pulled from the round and fuck up my game and get off with just a DQ and 350 year team penalty and ONE fucking RED flagged player? Fuck that… you can’t get me not to skate the edge of fair play, not when it’s the semis, and not when those guys are still in first”.

“yeah we know Kevin, you sat out the dark ages this game… because you were burned last year, I remember” says young grandpa now a 30 year old named Chris, speaking up finally “and please… enough whining about the magic shit and what Jesus managed to do… He ran a team that pulled enough XP to buy a resurrection hack and end magic in one move, he played it brilliantly and redded out on purpose to do it… yes… the RED was fair play because it was strategy and he’s out… their COACH, one of the best who has ever played the game,  is benched for 2127 e-years. and so he won’t get back in the game even IF this is the longest overtime in history… Give them credit, Constantine’s play in 340 was fair, and also brilliant… and took out the entire Philosopher team for 1700 eyears, pushing back tech.  I don’t see it challenged even if you tried, we could learn from it… the game is way better without magic for our strategy anyway, it’s hard to run Hedonist if people believe in a God they can talk to.   If it wasn’t for your whining about your skills with magic, I would opt that we try to end Magic as fast as we can so the Abrahamaics can’t even get their strategy off the ground.” Chris finishes his summation and continues to observe panels and grab and read small holographic display tablets beside first person windows.

“says you Chris… no Christians, no hedonistic counter, no deliberate heathens falling of their team and scoring for us, and half our game doesn’t work” Kevin is looking at him while pulling down a clear plastic pad and adjusting holographic sliders on it “and those dicks (gesturing over the wall behind them to a yellow section) can get away with loophole cheats using fouls to their favor… then they short avatar recurrence time to ¼ the hertz rate of what we run, and not tip their game strategy from the IQ hit because they can autopilot half their decisions, since their whole strategy is never changing their coded belief structure no matter what other teams pull… It’s close to running illegal bots, which I still think should be considered for review in a bot-free league, they are practically scoring EP with NPCs. They can split avatar us 4 to 1, and boost births 400%… and have 2 of those compete with one of us sometimes,  shit once I’ve seen them take North America with a battalion of 20 squads, and then go 12 avatars per team member… breeding like that for like 400 years…”

“you know that never works, and their fear and animal aggression ends up off the charts when it’s automated, they split into factions and kill each other… the system is designed to make that shit not work for long… their net gain was no where near what we did in the renaissance, and not to mention all the selfish acts auto-piloted avatars do that deplete happiness for their entire team” – says Chris

“yeah, like the pedophiles” – laughs Stacey… “let’s not forget how many lives they fuck up for their team, and send points our way with that!”

“I know” Kevin shakes his head and pauses in thought… and reluctantly replies “as always they were miserable, sick, insane, stupid, ugly, fat, and burned themselves out of the game and had to do a full team reset and then most of them ended up stealing births in China with that reset, and with that size in that century in that country… they spent lives as split worker drones causing happiness in others through production of goods, not a fun way to play the game at all… hoping for occasional affection and by sheer volume stayed in it… they should have just thrown in the towel and backed out the game, but that’s not Jesus’ style… He will keep playing his team even when it’s clear they are done. I know they lost bad, but… they almost pulled it off that game”

“yeah and the whole team was so burnt by the end of the round most of their best pro players stopped playing with the team… remember?” said Chris

“plus” injects Stacy “that’s playing for numbers only Kevin… and you know it… if and when I lose my love for this game or pro-play really starts to be a pay day for me, sure… i’ll sell out and try split avatars to maybe 4 and run 78 IQ lives getting ‘stoked’ about team sports like sportsball and cricket for entertainment points… and when I recog after each round I have to go shower to wash off the moronic shit I did… then like those guys, I’ll get railed on by spectators and real gamers for playing like shit the way the Christian strategy teams do, their observer scores are so low it’s not even worth being a pro player for them, I mean, their team doesn’t earn personal sponsors at all… but until this becomes a fucking job… and the only thing I care about is winning the final humanity rounds, i’m playing the game to play it… and I’m doing it on a team that encourages one to one cog to avatar play… one avatar per insertion, that’s the game I want.  To learn what I CAN DO… with all of my focus, not just to rack up bodies and pleasure points with orgasms and drugs but to really learn about myself, plus… you know when you split avatars it practically divides all your joy scores anyway, and you retain a lot less of your core self going in since you have to put a lot of free will functions on autopilot.  You have to have mad skill not to overlap trains of thought and skitz out, you also have to constantly re-evaluate your auto levels as you go which takes a copilot like Chris out here instead of in the game… if not you can end up with one avatar in an insane asylum miserable while you choose to pilot a primary you enjoy without even knowing what you did until the one living life dies, and then you end up with your primary out of the game, and stuck in a timeout on diazepam kept alive until your 80s by nurses and doctors… no thanks!”

“and that pleasure divide is including orgasms…” says Chris ” “which is why Coach Prince says very clearly we shouldn’t split unless we have a really good reason to, or we are forced to do it… when we do split, we do maternal twin if we can to handle the hertz drift… which means cranking cognition and risking high spirituality which could help or hurt us based on the direction that goes.   We have beat those ‘redneck’ ” he air quotes “idiots, playing our way with our strategies and you know it Kevin”… Chris trails off pulling a screen down as Stacey smirks at Kevin for Chris coming down on him.  Chris notices her smug gesture and turns to her, “Don’t go all noble lifer on us either Stacy” Chris laughs “you still tank your IQ based on the hot-ass body you like to run into your early 60s.. we know you play for this team for a reason, you are starting to sound like a hippie tree hugger or a philosopher, not a hedonist”… Chris finishes.

“Chris…” she says with with her back straight and head held high “I have found, a very good balance of tits, ass and brains for this century… thank you very much” Kevin coughs into his hand… “after all…” she turns and squints at him “you sir… ate it up last round. You both know I do well as a free spirit” she flips her hair back comically and the group chuckles at the gesture.

“well…” injects the blond boy formerly called Uncle Spats  “I know I’m a noob to pro play who played through torture in the dark ages this game…” he has been following the conversation from the back since the conversation began… “I went back in after an NDE during torture this game… without needing a 4th wall breach to push me back in the game… Kevin I don’t want to overstep but I’m with Stacey and Chris on this one, it was too much of a risk for how close we are to making the finals”…

“noob… you get burned alive once… you see how it goes okay.   I’ve been tortured plenty… trust me, even with cognition cranked as low as I can allow it, my natural cog squeezes through and I struggle to not get caught up with the inquisition and crusade crap even born Christian in the dark ages… I end up stuck playing as a closet atheist… in those years, even with magic still in, i end up a heretic magic user!? which doesn’t help the team much at all when they strap me to a post. To top it off I have a shit life and end up burning at the stake or tortured to death pretty much every time, and it sucks hot wet monkey vagina to exit game like that”… Kevin replies looking between Stacey grandpa and the noob, “I do think it wouldn’t hurt to quad avatar the dark ages, at least for me… dumb me down a bit so I can maximize EP without getting slaughtered… but coach Prince doesn’t want me to so I sit out and tune the squad” says Kevin Without looking up from the panel he is messing with.

Chris raises a finger… “drowned while being eaten by an alligator… after being shot… and burned on a boat, in battle on the way into the water… during the last week of my tour in Vietnam… THIS GAME.  I went back in very close behind that… You were 3 years old when I exited, 19 when I went back in, and I still found the squad and took your daughter’s cherry in 14 years thank you very much” Chris says to Kevin

“they didn’t tell us that entire thing” Says Stacey with an odd look, and Kevin looks back at Chris with a look of Holy Shit on his face… “yeah not the kind of thing usually reported to a mourning 3 year old daughter Stacey and I’ve been playing long enough to know that’s not even the worst way to go for a Quick death… ” slapping a pad into Kevin’s hand Chris says “you need to learn to stop complaining, navigate the Christian team in the years before tech, and the only way you do that is fail and fail until your cog finds a way to play when they run shit, and with magic active, they tend to… you need to practice and start contributing in that round without dumbing out your IQ or your reality cognition so you can be docile and take more of yourself into the game man… you lower cognition you lower your natural skill and rely on stats, tuning, and instinct… it’s just not going to work! You could end up with all four avatars racking up points for the Christians instead of us and your EP for purchases is useless if we aren’t scoring points from your avatars.  You need to learn to tough it out and play their game for a while, even without magic to save you, you can learn to be less…” he gestures at Kevin waving up and down his body “…you.  I haven’t played a game in years where magic survives to technical age, it just doesn’t happen anymore in this league, no one wants it in the tech age”.

“yeah… damn… I know… And really? You got Shot, drowned, eaten and burned in one death? Which part sucked the worst”?

“I think the all of it at once part” said Chris smiling and tapping the screen he pushed into Kevin’s chest earlier.

“that had to blow hard…” Kevin replies looking somewhat guilty and disgusted at himself… his teammate Chris with his hands on his hips shaking his head slightly. Kevin breathes out heavily and finally looks at the clear panel in his hands… “oh shit… Chris… it worked” Kevin says – as Chris tips a finger at an imaginary hat towards Kevin with a sly eye raised smirk.

looking at the screen for Susan, Kevin pulls down a smaller screen from the side.  Years have passed in Susan’s life and you see as one of the scores next to “pleasure” is glowing bright as a line graph has a noticeable spike in it, marked with a vertical red dotted line with the words “NDE” at the start.  In the screen her and her husband are in the throws of sex (at high speed), in time lapse the group watches the couple going about their day then having sex and going about their day and clothes come off again…  The noob grabs the screen and with a rotating hand gesture like turning a dial he slows time down and we see a pornographic scene of Susan and her husband as the pleasure score is boosting in a side panel. Stacey slaps his hand…

“go watch another squad if you want to see that stuff, we all have to hang out tonight. That spike is what we need to worry about” Stacy says with a disapproving look.

The group looks at Kevin

“look, the spike came after the NDE warning yes… but spikes are normal after an NDE, there is a chance they will just think it’s a renewed sense of joy for life that made those two start fucking like bunnies again, it’s not a big enough spike to cause another team to challenge the NDE…” he pauses… “after a near death experience spike… even with the warning, they don’t always check the NDE interaction for faults unless it falls way out of normal ranges and guys… seriously… if the squad get another life out of it this round, it’s worth it”…

“we just did”. says the blond Nube pointing at a large readout of statistics and graphs floating above the screen

“aaaahhhhh??? what did i fucking tell you”… Kevin rejoices clapping his hands

“Kevin… if they question the NDE you know someone is calling foul… we will get dinged no matter what happens”…

“not dinged a full fucking life, you know those two were done with kids before that NDE… so… it worked” he makes a small bowing gesture… then lights up bouncing on his toes like a boxer before a round “who are we sending in?”, he switches to rubbing his plastic armored gloved hands together and rocking side to side with his legs apart as though he’s stretching his thighs.

the group looks around at each other “Susan is squad leader and she’s in play, Chris is ranking…” says the noob “What’s the rest of the squad up to?” Chris asks

pulling a screen down Kevin says “apart from Todd and Susan” he looks up raising an eyebrow “who are late 30s… and married young… but didn’t have kids until now you fuckers…” he growls flipping a quick comical bird down the pit at them… “we have mike leading the score averaging 47ppd… he’s 17 years of age at the moment… has a fake ID hitting club scene doing well, he hasn’t touched hard drugs, gets laid constantly, mostly with members of our teams but… haha… check this” he leans over to Chris and shows him the screen “he’s fucked a few members of Christian team too, and he’s good in bed while they all sucked, so no points for them, he almost completely banked those interactions for us… hope young girls are enough for now, we tanked his virility this round too so no kids for him”…

“Probably good, we don’t want to end up with a challenge birth on a christian team” says Stacy “who else is playing well this life?… dude we don’t have time for this shit”… says Chris and grabs the pad back… “We should have started figuring this out 10 minutes ago, let’s get our heads back in this game guys”

“I say Stacey and Kevin are out” says the blond noob… a statement received with disapproving looks by both of them, he looks at them both and says “look… you guys know this is my first championship, but… you also wouldn’t have me in your squad if I didn’t kill it with external sim strategy in the minors it’s why I’m good as an Hedonist… if I go this round… I will always fucking die young doing my thrill seeking shit I can’t deny that… and we won’t sync the squad age for 3 cycles if that happens… So I am not advocating you guys throw me in either… just listen… we can’t reset the squad and go in together for a couple lives even if we skip me… I’ll go in late in this round rack up tons of points in my childhood, and you guys pull my plug with an act of God reset… if you can… make it a quick car accident… lighting strike… try to a quick one if you can… but you know me, if all we can afford with XP is acts of god like me getting impaled by a shower curtain, or suffocating under my own television set, just do it to pull me out so we can resync the squad age and own a round”.

“what if we can’t AoG you because you’re miserable?” asks Stacy “you know where your total happiness index has to be for an AoG” she continues…

“seriously guys” the noob interrupts “have you ever… ever… ever not been able to pull my plug? remember I’m a newbie, I’m still enjoying this game way too much even though I suck at longevity, and my natural responses aren’t great yet, and even though… yeah… whoever births me will have to recover from the tragedy of my death, and keep points up after, I still net a ton of points on the board every life” says the noob, I still net out high on this squad

“I’ll give you that” says Stacy

The noob continues “alright, so l was reading up on this theoretical strategy run in some lab sim games, of pushing Freudian offspring hard for agnostic and atheistic teams in the 2nd early millennium, and since Chris was her first love tragically ripped away for our last act of god partial squad reset…”

“haha… holy shit we haven’t all been out together today since the Donnor Party migration… that Tornado… haha…” interrupts Kevin. The noob stops to stare at him with a puzzled look “Shit, you weren’t there, holy hell… you missed the tornado and had a sudden stroke on the other side of the planet… okay so around 80% of our battalion, i mean a ton of us are playing the 1800s together roughly synced, on a Journey through the western frontier by wagon with a few squads from other teams… we are all starving, sick, you get the idea… trying to get to California (you know what that strategic push is like, so worth it if the team makes it, but the push sucks)… the whole team was so miserable we weren’t doing shit for the score… netting squat… and it was clear we weren’t going to make it.” Kevin shakes his head “We made history on that one… we starting eating each other man.. So when Kat gets eaten… and when she recogged back up, she pulled 60% of the team out of that mess with a single act of god move… a single fucking tornado… She managed to steer it right down the center of the row of wagons and took all of us in her squad, like 17 or 18 other squads from our team, minimal casualties from the Christian squad… i haven’t seen a Torado pilot move with precision like that ever…. people still talk about it even IN the game today (mostly the eating each other… and the vanishing part… but they still study it in school), We were worried the Angel’s would consider tanking tornados since Kat behind the controls is OP as hell, they only minimally corrected the pilot program…. Since it resulted in a rewrite of a feature we might make permanent program mythology this round, haha… that was a hilarious way to out the game, seriously I was flying around, watching a horse fly by and then instant death! I turned just in time to take a tree to the face…. that was actually pretty awesome, the most painless death I’ve had all game (I might have even enjoyed it a little, it’s hard to remember what you felt emotionally when you full cog back into reality, but it was like getting off an in-game roller coaster, the rush was fantastic), but we THEN with a full reset bonus quickly swing the whole squad to a California birth siege from new Christian arrivals they couldn’t fill because of their southern expansion and European focus… I bet Prince recognizes Kat swung the state and half North America with that one move… we managed to steal a shit ton of births from the Catholics who had just lost faith in the crossing.   No one wanted to jump into atheist parents in their squads and they were already so desynced from over-division of avatars, they argued half their births to still birth but we managed to steal most of those before they even knew what hit ‘em. Being born Hedonsitic to Christian parents who lost their faith… power play of the millenium today, That move is what put us in the finals, we pushed up the tech boom… fuck we alone took over the entire state of California…” said Kevin “and fucked the Christians even harder, (physically and for points)… i can’t believe you hadn’t heard about it… did you even check our back play logs while you are waiting for rebirth?”

“not really… i kinda enjoy watching the Satanist’s a little when I spectate on a break, puts me more in the mood for the lives I run”…

“fuck… that explains a couple things”… Says Chris “…okay back to this birth guys?” says the noob “we have like 30 seconds until we’re still born or someone steals the birth from us…. still birth will fuck Susan’s life and no one good is waiting to compete with us to steal the life, if we lose the submatch and they steal and she ends up with a Christian kid with high cognition as a result of a near death experience where she saw angels and talked to mom and dad, we could lose her to them for the round… so listen…” he pauses… “Let’s play this one as Freud theory as we can… after we pulled Chris with an A.O.G. for that sub reset while we ran you three, Susan based most of her sexuality on him popping her cherry… so Freudian strategy models show us that if we throw Chris in as her son now… some residual sexual attachment boost could be good for her intimacy with him, and that (if you buy into Freud strategy) will get him a very strong healthy sex drive as an adult, plus this late in marriage… Susan can’t have someone that reminds her of her parents, too depressing for her… we know I’m great with swords and bows and shit but suck sweaty balls at this century… one fucking line of blow, or a skateboard for a birthday present, and I’m dead before 30… so it’s gotta be Chris who goes”

“you sure we want to play a boy? right now? we could genderbend Chris send him in as a tomboyish slut…” says Kevin

“what are you kidding me?” says the noob “we play primarily for thrills, and bank massive on sexual pleasure output for the squad given AND received, we could crank up his LIBIDO if we send him male and bisexual in the early millennium he’s fucking gold for a solid life… plus a female is outside the Freud model” says the Noob

“what about bullies though if you make him bi?” asks Stacey

the noob responds fast “fuuuuck bullies we are past the 90s the squad is playing a north American liberal west coast city you’ve seen what this round has done for us with how coach Prince went in strong in the 80s, then his little protégés like “lady gaga” all self Avatar name subbed, they got crazy famous… huge pleasure numbers… and set us up for 30 solid years of orgasm play… those two stole this entire final round for us if and only if we follow their lead and play as a team”

“but what if Chris could avatar maternal female twins? Two birthers back in, only 17 years younger than Mike, he might get a crack at them both and lock in a team guaranteed rebirth” asked Kevin

“We tanked his virility” says Stacy

“twin girls I could do? sure…” says Chris “I wouldn’t even have to make ‘em dumb. I have split to 4 before and been successful… two I have enough Xp to spend this round to make them hot and multi-orgasmic… i can pull a 120 minimum IQ at 40 hertz per second sample/reaction time each… and jump between them without any residual psychic strain”… says Chris “damn” admires the noob “that, is insane, I can barely handle 20hz without driving one insane”… “too late we talked too long to double down even to identicals… shit”… The noob says even though he was almost swayed by Chris’ ability to pilot twins.

“come on guys we play for happiness… and longevity.. not orgasms alone and coach says play singles whenever we can, risking a split isn’t worth it anyway unless it’s maternal and we would have had to do that at conception”… says Stacy “honestly I’m a little offended to be listening to this…”

“you… offended… you???” says Kevin “The turbo slut genderbender surfer bro twins in California in our last match?… Stacy i GOT THE IDEA from you…” Kevin turns back

Stacy continues “guys… i know it’s Hedonist team strategy, but orgasms are not the ONLY place points come from and you know it… they come… from pleasure given and received, all pleasure… happiness, kindness, love is a perfectly good strategy”

“pfftt… always risking betrayal, seriously Sta…” says Kevin

“and” Stacy interjects cutting him off “my surfers were happy as fuuuuuck” she presses her fingers to her mouth like smoking a joint and pretends to balance on a surf board “i can’t help it if they also got laid all the time”…

“yeah that’s why you made their talent levels high enough to play guitar and sing like a boy band… for the hap-penis” Kevin says gesturing to his crotch.

“Just don’t go there again…” Stacy said “Coach prince locked in the strategy for THIS round because we are head to head with the Mormons for locking in the finals against the Abrahamaics and muslims and christians are dominating numbers but not happiness… we can’t compete on love and babies with them though… For the seat in the finals he didn’t set up the entire 80s for rampant free anonymous sex, so we could end up accidentally making potentially schizophrenic fuck doll Barbies… I know he set it up… so we can get laid and win doing what we do best. but it’s not ALL sex”

Kevin says “I know the rules… i know the team strategy, I’m not breaking ranks… I just”

She cuts him off again “I just don’t like playing purely for team points, I would rather play to win as long as we are still playing to play … it’s a hack bullshit way to jack up our pleasure index… and… fuck we are out of time… just send Chris… as a male… alright?” the team pauses… she rolls her eyes…”bisexual male!?” says Stacy hurriedly

The team splits, and jumps into action… Chris runs and grabs a helmet off the wall. And slaps the center of his chest armor… His suit lights up from his chest out with bright purple light rails between the cracks and patterns in his armor.  A pod resembling a standing cockpit lowers into view on a large metal crane arm and lines up behind him. Kevin and the Noob begin to helps strapping him in as Stacey pulls a pad off the side of the pod, and begins to manipulate a user interface on the clear glass screen. They help Chris into a harness as he climbs in to a suspended large metal open pod, he has to adjust shoulders as he climbs in to slip his wings through bars. Kevin presses a button over his head and his wings are closed down gently from above and trapped behind him comfortably… Chris ruffles his wings slightly as he wiggles back into his semi standing upright yet supported position. Kevin flips his hand up a screen and Chris is lifted and fully suspended off the floor.  Chris pulls down his helmet visor, now looking like a fighter pilot ready for takeoff … he looks to his gloves flipping switches on the back of each one at a time and his fingertips light up.  He reaches forward and presses a button on his console in front of him, 2 small foot pedals rise up from below him, attached to his chair… he locks his boots to the small pads one boot at a time, like clicking ski boots into ski rails.  The glowing arrays in his suit and his entire face shield shift color from purple to white.

Two Angel’s fly in, descending from different directions, as a purple light begins to turn at the top of the cockpit.  An Angel lands on top, another flies in front of him and landing on a platform a few feet in front of them he approaches Chris’ pod. A repeating loud sound like a fire alarm begins to mechanically chime… The Angel above Chris on his cockpit shouts something only he can hear, and Chris gives a thumbs up in response.

“Chris we didn’t reset your avatar attributes and aesthetics” Shouts Stacy over the commotion, wind, steam and noise… “you don’t want the same set you had in the 90s do you?”

“just give me a bigger cock, take the points off my IQ or something… KEEP my physique… increase libido 50%…”

The angel on the platform in front of Chris makes a sign for “time” by tapping his index finger on his wrist

“look just give me a millennial tune up… nice facial hair or something… fuck it… i trust you guys… i was practically a porn star last round, popped Sue’s cherry, died in the early 90s… let’s see if i can spray half the team with bodily fluid before i kick it this time around” he laughs… Kevin nudges Stacy with his shoulder and even she smirks a bit.

“we need insertions too” says Stacy “and we have no breeders on the floor at the moment, the three of us could go through prime before you kick it Chris if we give you more heart and virility and less libido you could end up a strong breeder and get me, Kev and the Noob in for a quick run and maybe we could all sync without losing primetime!?”…

“10 second warning” says an angel who swoops in above watching his wrist watch… landing on a platform… “9 seconds until still birth or steal challenge, 8, 7 ”

Chris looks down… then nods at Stacy and gives a “hang loose” sign with his thumb up and pinky extended he shakes his hand at her.  She smiles big and slides a finger quickly along a screen to boost his empathy…

“plugging him in” Kevin shouts at the angel above the pod.   He slams a control panel button hard, which lights up red.   He jumps from the small ladder on the side of cockpit as it ascends over the tunnel with angels flying one either side of it.  They descend into the tunnel while Stacy continues to slide bars a little on the clear plastic screen in her hands “I hope I didn’t just give him a giant cock and make him too virile, we might not have enough squad members to avoid running split life multiples if he has more kids than we have players out of the game… Split twins is one thing, but split aged?  That makes peter-pan complex adults, and kids who think they know it all” she shakes her head ”that can get strange as shit…” the sound of Chris’ ascent begins to die down as she reflects on the memory “I once was a math prodigy in college by age 8, and another time lost my virginity at age 11… “ she looks at Kevin ”on purpose…” she pauses in the memories and leans on the bars looking down into the pit “both of those fucked up prime of life point pleasure scoring” Stacy says reminiscing.

“fucking Mormons” says Kevin leaning back against the observatory metal barred railing next to Stacy on his elbows facing away from the pit and nodding over the wall at a white team.

“what about them”? asks Stacy laughing and looking up at him in awe of the totally disjointed train of thought “I just remember the days when birth score used to be competitive in this game, even if Chris has 11 kids… we wouldn’t be close to a Mormon squad this round in numbers” he shakes his head looking down.

Stacy looks at him with a raised eyebrow look “why you always got ’ta doubt our strategy Kevin… we win… a lot”

“yeah… I guess…” he looks her up and down and grins “plus orgasms are a lot more fun”. Kevin leans and nudges her…

“eh, gross… Kev… I still have ‘wifey feels’ clinging to me…” she mocks him shivering them off of her like shaking water off of her while pulling off cobwebs “don’t joke about shit like that until I’ve had a life as your sister or something to wash it off…”

The noob checks a screen above… and shakes his head and tosses the tablet back up which appears to float back up the the screen on a tractor beam.  The act of aggression drawing attention of both his teammates nearby “Dave sucks… can we afford an NDE at some point so we can sub him out… even I would rack up way more points than him… he went emo on us” he gestures at the screen mockingly “and has spent almost a decade in a bedroom listening to depressing music alone being miserable… fuck!… if we can get a lifelong amnesia substitution, even with no residual memory we can recover this life for some points… I swear if he offs himself again he’s out of the squad, where is our EP? can we do it?” he asks… Stacy checks the underside of a screen embedded in her forearm, shows him and shakes her head… Kevin stops to look up “oh great… and Chris went in breach birth, haha, poor guy got a bumpy start”…

” after drowning while shot burned and being eaten by an aligator, then offed in an act of god car accident less than 20 minutes later real-time… I think a breach birth will be like a literal breath of fresh air.  He’s had a rough couple runs” laughs the Noob kid… “was it a penalty for the late entry? or maybe they actually caught your ‘more orgasms’ comment Kev… even if the Angels couldn’t call an infraction they can still decide to fuck with us”.

“how’s Kat doing?” asks Kevin

Stacy pulls another monitor down to reveal a girl that looks like a punky witchcraft hippie in her early 20s “oh shit… shit…. yes yes yes”… says Stacey “that is my bitch!!!!”

“what!?” Kevin looks up having been leaning over eyeing Chris’ pod in the tunnel

“do you see what she is doing”… she grabs the holographic dial to the side of Kat’s screen and slows time down for Kat’s window “she’s going to Peru to do an Ayahuasca trip with a Shaman!!!!! Vision quest BABY!!!!” she lets go of the floating holographic dial and time speeds up, Stacy runs back to a wall and grabs a headset off of it

“so?” says the Noob behind Stacy and Kevin…

Stacy replies turning a dial on the headset which lights up purple “it’s a legal hack this round man! A legal cheat! The only magic still in the game…  We might get to spirit guide this round if the Ayuhuasca hack holds for good, we could chat with her through her subconscious for the rest of her life, if we can get a spotter to run point on other teams we could even make her a psychic…”

“isn’t that a breach of magic getting cut?” asks the noob

“No it’s totally off the magical codeline, it’s self induced not scored into abilities… this is just a channel to her subconscious, she can’t show it to anyone or prove its real… no fireworks in the real world, nothing anyone can actively witness… haha… we could try to start a new age hedonistic religion or make just her famous.  Or just super slutty…”

“coach would love the latter” says Kevin with a chuckle

“I have dibs on running it…” says Stacy, as Kevin looks to her and opens his mouth to speak she cuts him off “Kevin… you would blow it with violations and get us completely shut off and you know it…” she looks over at the noob… “and noobie I love ya… but you obviously haven’t read every single spirit guiding strategy and haven’t done much interfacing with Kat. I’m Kat’s best fucking friend in the real and in the game usually, I know what she will respond to within the spirit guidelines and rules so I’m taking it… holy shit we haven’t gotten to channel into the game together in forever!!! Eeeekk… so excited… talk about serious extra points I can fucking guide her to. We will make this bitch famous!!! … Maybe swing this round for the whole team and end up in the finals, convert half these Abrahamaics late in the 21st… stop them from blowing up the planet and go into OT”.

She cracks her knuckles and slips on a headset and slows the scene down by turning a dial… “come on bitch.. drink that tea and don’t die”… she looks at the noob “ever wonder why time seems to slow way down when you trip hard enough to talk to god?” she pushes her hand into the screen and colors and patterns flow… the gang can see Kat’s hands reaching up for the swirls from her pod in the pit…

Kevin looks up at a big holographic board – “who does it look like we will be up against for top score this round?” asks the noob “evangelical squad of the abrahamaic christian batallion for sure”… says the noob “fuck… those guys are good at spreading misery for everyone but themselves… such a dick way to play…”

“seriously how can those guys be having any fun playing that way at all?” asks Kevin.

Stacy inserts her wisdom “it’s not so much happiness… between their no condoms and no birth control shit, their damn reproduction score is just below mormons… it’s more their way of trolling everyone else and making them miserable that keeps them in it, and as Kevin pointed out… they are pretty much in control of the board for the second half of play without a major fuck up.”

“fuck that…” says Kevin “I’m happy with this team, those are the cocksuckers that burned me alive in the quarters last year… I swear if I ever find coach Constantine I’m gonna kick that kid in the nads so hard he will spend his entire next life feeling a dull ache in his nuts”.

“save it for Hitler mmmkay?” says Stacy

“dude… Hitler is in the game now… his avatar name got retired due to fame, he changed his name this round to Donald Trump” the noob responds “no shit… I should have seen that one”… Says Kevin

Stacy waves them for silence… “Kat… i am your animal spirit” says Stacy selecting a cat from a holographic panel and pushing it into the scene.

“you are doing animal sprit? come on, that’s so fucking 70s native American vision quest, it won’t play in Peru” says Kevin

She covers her mic “bitch this is KAT… i got this…” then to herself as she loosens up “get ready to meet your maker girlfriend”… cracks her knuckles and shakes her wings “i will take you to speak with gooooddddd” Stacy says holding her headset mic to her mouth

Kevin leans on the railing and turns to the noob

“Noob, what’s your name?”

“Avatar or Real?”

“Both?” says Kevin

“my real is Devin… but in game… Spartacus”

“Fuuuuck… that was you?”

“yeah…haha Angels retired my avatar name in Rome this game. I managed to run as Sparty from there, kinda goofy but it feels close enough to me”

“Epic fucking round man… holy hell… you pissed off a lot of religious that round… haha…. Damn… welcome to the squad Devin, I’m impressed”

“don’t forget I also started a lot of orgies with a couple hundred of our squad involved… haha, but thanks Kevin… yeah dude… swords… for some reason that’s just my shit, which reminds me, did you check in on Shona and Simon? Those two were like my right and left hand in that whole rebellion, and she was his wife.  She’s pretty handy with a sword herself” says Devin

Kevin walks to a screen away from Stacy “Yeah, as always… married and fucking every damn day…”

“They are married in the real too right? You don’t see that much…”

“Yeah man… but they are major points for us man… check their scores… still heading up this round. Somehow they always find each other no matter what… we can birth them on opposite sides of the earth and as long as it’s a 20 year gap or less, they end up together.  For years I thought it was some kind of hack they had managed, but they got investigated for it and Angels found no code behind it at all… sometimes that’s just the way souls are” says Kevin

The End

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