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[i][b]My Diary: March 3rd, 2008[/b]

I remember that day like it was yesterday. And even though there are many things that led to this point, that day was where it really started. I woke to the scent of cleaning chemicals and to the sight of golden maple leaves. The organized row of Japanese maples outside the window were as predictably organized as everything else in the room.

At first, I didn't know why I was there. I lay in bed for several minutes, staring at the sterile ceiling above. And finally, vague memories returned to me. I remembered that I was in the study at home and that I'd collapsed. Initially I did not know why this was so. But I soon discovered some answers.[/i]

[color=#808080]Tomoko lay back with her hands crossed behind her head. Her shoulder-length black hair framed her face neatly and her expression was not one of pain. Even she was somewhat confused as to why she was at the hospital. But it was not in her nature to panic and she thought it best to remain calm and wait for the doctor.

Her patience was soon rewarded; the metallic doorknob in the corner emitted a soft click as a hand on the opposite side of the door carefully turned it. As the door opened, a short man in a white coat and a taller, older woman entered. The woman was wearing a pink hat and matching pink gloves. She approached Tomoko's bed and sat by it, patting Tomoko's arm with a gloved hand as she did so. The doctor stood at the end of the bed and peered down at a small clipboard in his hand.

Tomoko turned her head slowly and looked over the woman sitting by her. It wasn't her mother, whom she had originally hoped to see. Rather, it was her aunt -- "Auntie Masako", as she was known. Auntie Masako was a relatively wealthy woman. Her husband had died in 1998 and left her with a small fortune. Auntie Masako had never completely gotten over this loss and as a result, she was often quite cold toward the younger members of her family. As much as Tomoko and her cousins complained about this to their parents, the response was always something akin to "always be nice to Auntie Masako and remember that she misses your uncle very much". Of course, this response was generally met with a collective eye roll from the children in the family.

Considering Auntie Masako's slightly distant relationship with her nieces and nephews, Tomoko found it particularly surprising to find her here at the hospital. But she didn't question it. She knew better than to question Auntie Masako. Besides, she was confused enough about her very presence in the hospital, let alone the presence of her aunt.

Auntie Masako glanced at Tomoko momentarily and smiled briefly. Once again, she stroked Tomoko's arm. But it was a sharp, insincere motion. Not genuine by any stretch -- or at least, it didn't feel that way. This made Tomoko feel a little uncomfortable.

"Miss Kazama, my name is Dr. Takeda," said the man in the white coat with a warm smile. Dr. Takeda took the clipboard and clipped it onto the edge of the bed. He clasped one hand in the other, thoughtfully.

Tomoko nodded slowly and forced a smile. "Hello doctor," she said quietly. "Please tell me why I am here."

"Of course, Miss Kazama." Dr. Takeda pulled up a chair and sat close by Auntie Masako (which made her look a little uncomfortable herself, Tomoko thought). Dr. Takeda leaned forward a little and smiled. He spoke softly.

"Miss Kazama, you were brought here by ambulance," Dr. Takeda paused for a moment, "at three AM, if I'm not mistaken." Tomoko nodded slowly.

"Right. Well, you were unconscious. At first we thought you had suffered an asthma attack, because your breathing was irregular and your airways were tightened. But you have no medical history of asthma." Dr. Takeda stopped for a moment, as if expecting Tomoko to respond.

"Are you saying that you don't know what is wrong with her?" asked Auntie Masako, in a distinctly irritated tone.

Dr. Takeda nodded. "Yes, I apologize. We have run numerous tests on Miss Kazama and discovered nothing. Her unconscious state made us believe that she might have slipped into a coma but once again, we could not determine the cause."

Auntie Masako's face tightened ever so slightly. "This is not acceptable, doctor. Her mother will be very worried," she said.

"I understand that, madam. But Tomoko seems fine at this moment. She's conscious, which is obviously the most important thing for now. We haven't noticed any physical problems and I feel confident in recommending that she be taken home. At least she'll be in a more comfortable environment. If her parents have concerns about her, they can always return her to us here. Of course, we will need to check up on her in one week's time." Dr. Takeda stood up and smiled once more.

At the same moment, Auntie Masako rose from her chair. "If you will excuse me, I need to freshen up before we leave. I'll be driving Miss Kazama home," she said sharply. And with that, Auntie Masako left the room.

Tomoko sat up carefully. "Sorry," she said softly, peering at the doctor through her long dark fringe.


"About Auntie. She's like that with everyone."

"Oh. It's nothing to worry about, Miss Kazama. But I do have something to ask you."

Tomoko raised her head a little and looked at the doctor directly. "Yes?"

Dr. Takeda paused momentarily, as if searching for the correct words. "Do you play 'The World'?" he asked.

Tomoko's gaze immediately moved from the doctor to the maple trees outside. "Why?" she asked softly.

The doctor sat down by her bed and spoke in a soft, deliberate tone. "Miss Kazama, I am sure that you are aware of the incident that occurred on March 1st? That was the day you arrived here, along with countless other patients. You suffered similar symptoms to several other people here. All of you are gamers, aren't you?"

"So what if we are?" Tomoko's tone hardened slightly. Clearly, Dr. Takeda had struck a nerve.

"Miss Kazama, The World can be dangerous. I don't know why. And I don't have a way of proving it. But it seems to affect people, especially when they are feeling the effects of fatigue."

Tomoko finally turned to face the doctor again. Her expression had changed. It no longer featured a subtle smile, but rather, it now featured large frightened eyes. "So what am I supposed to do, doctor? Just stop playing? It's not that easy. I have friends on there. I can't just leave them," said Tomoko. Tears began to well in her eyes, but she blinked them away.

Dr. Takeda nodded. "I understand. And I know that nothing I say will stop you from playing. But please don't play it when you're tired, Tomoko. It might not let you wake."[/color]

[i]Those words stayed with me for countless weeks after. And I was definitely much more careful about my playing habits and the time I spent online.

But nevertheless, The World was a second home to me. Perhaps even more of a comfortable home than my real life house. It was an escape, more than anything. And Azure Sea was the pinnacle of that experience; the soft blue sky, the deep blue sea and the majestic white buildings of Azure City. How could any person possibly favor their real life over The World?

At least, this is what I thought in the beginning. My experiences after that time in hospital have changed my thinking a great deal. After that conversation, Auntie Masako drove me home. She didn't talk to me at all on the way back, which led me to believe that perhaps she was blaming me for causing discomfort for my mother.

When I returned home, my mother was practicing calligraphy in the courtyard. It's one of her favourite pasttimes. I did not want to disturb her. And I simply snuck into my room as quietly as I could. It was late evening by this time and my computer was sitting right in front of me. It was too tempting. I booted up the game and that is where my adventure started.[/i]
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[b][i] 03/03/03
it's starting again. The teasing. All because of the stupid essay. I don't know how I manange to write so much!! I really don't. Okay cool off Dani. It's nothing, it's just a piece of paper. They can't do anyhting to you for it.

Here I go again, writing down my own thoughts. It's no wonder no one pays me any attention. Still I suspose it's better than nothing at all. And I've still got the World. No one here realises I'm on there. None of them! Maybe one day I'll tell them. Maybe[/b][/i]

Dani, looked up as a lad by the name of Kurt walked across the room. Dani hated Kurt and he hated her. But they were working on the same project together and she had to put up with his company. Well actually the term working 'together' wasn't strickly speaking true. Dani was doing all of the work, while Kurt got to brag about it. "Well, how much more do [i]we[/i] need to do?" he asked sneering at her.

"Nearly done. Just need the conclusion written and those images you were suspossed to get and that's it" said Dani, resting her hand on her diary, she didn't want him to see it. "Ah there might be a problem with that ya see..." started Justin before Dani interupted, "Fine I'll get those images and write up the conclusion". Kurt grinned, the sort of grin that all lads display when they know they have the upper hand. "Okay, I'll see you tomorrow then" he said before storking off to see his friends.

Dani sighed, she had the conclusion done and the images would take no time to find. But it annoyed her when he did that. She picked up her dairy again.

[b][i]Little does he relise that I am his nemisis in the World. He'll be online tonight, so Hood is gonna have some fun with the likes of him. If any of them ever learned they would never believe. Still let them believe what they want. Who can say what will happen in a world of a thousand possibilities?!?![/b][/i]

Dani picked her stuff up and headed for her next lesson. Her mind already scheming for her revenge as Hood
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[i]The Mountain Cougar's paw swept forward, a blur of tan, barely differing from the wheat stalks. Arano was then thrust horizontally backwards from the force of the blow, his armor blocking the blunt of the attack. He groaned, his face ablaze with pain, as the large cat ran forward again.

Arano's eyes snapped open, just as he realized his first mistake. He had been too preoccupied by trying to keep the beast in his view that he forgot to draw his weapon at the right moment. Now, he was atleast thirty yards back, and the Cougar was closing the gap quickly.

With the speed of lightning, Arano rolled to the side, taking Deloz Fury off of it's Magic Holdster, something he himself fasioned, from his back. The cat landed bare inches away from him, in a flying leap, snarling. The Desert Wind then acted with all the grace of a Pike, jumping clear over the Cougar as it turned to try and bite him.

The beast turned, only to have it's shoulder stabbed deeply by the blade of the Scythe. As the cat shook ferociously, Arano bucked the handle of his weapon, just at the right moment as he pulled out.

The confirming crack told him the bone had been sliced right through, and collapsed inward. Now, the Cougar was somewhat defenseless. But it still crawled forward, hissing and howling, trying to get it's fangs into Arano's flesh.

With a deadly flash of hatred rearing in his eyes, Arano spun around, his Scythe out, and let the Magic in his body free. A bolt-like line of electronic-blue mana flew from the blade, following him as he spun around, at the same speed, only several feet outwards.The bolt shot through the neck of the Mountain Cougar, and disappeared as Arano rounded a full three-hundred and sixty degree turn. All within less than half of a second.

The Cougar did not move, only darkened in color and slowly melted away. It was not a liquid melting, but more like it sunk into the ground below. Crushed wheat stalks lay battered where the two fought, and now the animal was disappearing into them. Such was the way bodies were dispossed of.

Arano swung his Scythe around to his back, let go, and felt the weapon snap onto his armor, as if pulled by a gigantic magnet. He turned north, and continued on his way, exactly like before, except with a few bruises and cuts now.[/i]
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[color=indigo]The small cubicle was cluttered and disorganized. Papers and books littered spilled off of the desktop and onto the floor and into the open filing cabinet. A pyramid of soda and juice bottles leans against one of the cubicle walls. Red lights from the phone system cast an urgent glow, resembling the glare that police and ambulance lights cast on busy roadsides.

Charlie Schafer reclines lazily in his desk chair. Oblivious of the telephone screaming at his desk, he stares anxiously at a well lit computer screen. A silly grin creeps across his face and his eyes dance with excitement. His enthusiasm is so immense that he fails to notice his boss, Chick Haering, walk up behind him.

?Charlie, what are you slobbering over?obviously not the phone lines?? Charlie barely responds to his boss?s growl. Leaning forward slightly, he disconnects his phone line and returns to his computer screen. ?You?re lucky that we?re related,? Chick continued, ?or you would have been out on your *** long ago.?

Charlie chucked slightly, ?Chick, you are lucky I am so damn good at my job, or you guys would never be able to turn a profit?plus it?s after six, those morons should know better than to call after six.?

Chick looked surly for a moment and then broke into a fit of laughter. Charlie shook his shaggy head and joined in. His voice was musical, and his laugh sounded incredibly kind and light-hearted.

?So what were you so preoccupied with a moment ago?? Chick asked.

?The world,? Charlie answered cryptically. Chick gazed at Charlie quizzically, he knew that his nephew was a tad bit eccentric, but he didn?t realize he was full blown nuts.

?The world? What the heck is that supposed to mean??

?The world is the world. You know, the MMORPG that is so popular?they have a new expansion pack called ?Azure Sea?. I finally saved but enough money to buy the whole package and gain access. I?m logging on for the first time tonight?it is almost like beginning life all over??
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[i]Sometimes it's quiet... You can hear small things. But sometimes it's not... And you can't...[/i]

Kelly looked down at what she'd just written and pushed her glasses up her nose with a knuckle. What was that supposed to mean? She sighed. She probably wouldn't ever find out. Standing from the chair she walked past her brother, Jason, who was channel surfing as per usual.
"You going to talk to your [i]online[/i] friends?"
"So what if I am?"
Jason looked up at her for what was perhaps the first time that evening. That's how [i]close[/i] they were now. Their mother hadn't been seen all night... and their father...
"Maybe you should be getting some [i]real[/i] friends?"
"I have real friends, thank you very much."
"No, you have "polygon things that pretend to be people"."
"There are people at the other end of them."
Jason snorted before turning back to the TV, having found something that appealled to him.
Kelly paused, waiting for Jason to continue. But he didn't. So she moved off towards the family PC. She leaned down to press the button on the CD drive, her hair falling over her should as she did so. She'd done this so many times before, but somehow she felt this was going to be a little more special. Besides... This time she wasn't going to play a girl character. She smiled slightly to herself and murmured, "This should be interesting."
"What did you say?!"
"None of your business!"
She sighed and picked up the headset. Then, before she put it on, another set of words came to her. She scribbled them down, wondering curiously as she did so.

[i]What [/i]really[i] happens to the world that we leave behind...?[/i]
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[I]Robin stepped cautiously over the bodies sprawled in the hall. The lure of drugs had been particularly strong today... Or was it yesterday? She shrugged and continued out the door. Pausing she returned inside to make the necessary corrections to her smudged makeup.

Robin walked through the alleys towards her apartment, hopping fences and skirting gang hangouts. Her muscles were tense and she fingered the switch blade in her pocket. She didn't want to have to use it tonight. As if on cue, a pale arm reached from the shadows and dragged her into the doorway. She was slammed into the wall and a mouth tasting of cheap whisky was pressed to hers.

Robin?s eyes widened in panic and scratched, punched and pinched at the muscled body pressed to hers. The man slammed her into the wall again and she felt her head crack loudly against it. She moaned in pain against the mouth. Robin shuddered in disgust as she felt his tongue force it's way past her lips, moving like some demented giant slug.

Robin abandoned caution to the wind and brought her knee up as hard as she could into his crotch. Shoving him back, she broke away as he doubled over. Sprinting for all she was worth, Robin flew past startled passerby and into the double doors of her apartment building. She didn't stop until she had locked her door.

She sagged down against the door and shivered uncontrollably. Drawing her knees up to her chest, she pressed her face into them and began to cry. Wracking sobs shook her body as she cursed the city and all within it's boundaries.

The tears subsided and she looked up, greeted by the softly glowing computer screen. She nodded to herself and got up, moving jerkily to the chair. The World would help her forget this one... It always did. And it would be nice to see her friends. She brightened. She had just finished downloading Azure Sea. Perhaps she would meet some new people... [/I]
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[color=indigo]It took him four hours, but Charlie had finally set up his skin. It was a grueling process, but he was able to create a skin that was a near perfect replica of him. The three small changes he made were basically a necessity to prepare for the world. He modified his clothes, creating a more heroic garb of suede and wool. Because his character was a Heavy Axe, the most physical of the Worlds characters, he had to add enough strength to his upper body to swing the gigantic metal blade that would be strapped to his back.

With his skin completed and the ?Azure Sea? software set up in his computer he was ready to dive into the world for the first time. With a few quick keystrokes he was logged in. A sensation not unlike falling asleep overtook Charlie. Blackness intertwined with electricity, as he spiraled into oblivion. After a moment, Charlie began to panic?what if something had gone wrong, had he been sucked into oblivion?

That was when he ?awoke? to the world for the first time. He felt his hands and his hair, gently brushing his destroyed suede jacket. It was unbelievable, he felt real.

Glancing at his surroundings he realized how colorful everything was and how clean. His nostrils flared, and the sweet scent of food and soot from the surrounding town enveloped him.

?First time, huh?? a voice spoke. Charlie spun around quickly. Leaning on a post was a thin man that had the face of an elephant. ?So, you chose to be a Heavy Axe. That is an odd choice for a first timer. Usually they choose to be light warriors or knights, it allows for the best balance of power.?

?I have no desire to be a light warrior, I wanted to be strong, to create an outlet for all of my pent up aggression,? Charlie replied honestly. The stranger laughed, causing his trunk to wave around spastically.

?I?m Coran,? said the stranger, ?I just thought I?d let you know that the practice area for newbies is in the field just north of here. You?ll want to get acquainted to handling your weapon and using your characters enhanced attributes.?

Charlie looked puzzled, ?My character doesn?t have any attributes, and I only upped the strength enough to wield my own blade. I just wanted the game to be an extension of life.?

Coran, the elephant like man, smiled. ?Well then, you are one step ahead most of the newbies then. You realize that this game has no beginning or end, your fate is up to you. What is your name, newbie??

?My name??Charlie paused, ?my name is Lucius Chord.?
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[B]Current Web Site: [url]www.blogger.com[/url] |Current time: 07:54 am |Current date: March 3rd 2008[/B]

[U][CENTER] Leo's Pastlife Reminders[/CENTER][/U]

[SIZE=1][I] Something very strange has happened to me at present. I cannot recall anything to cause it, nor can I remember anything before this incident, but my parents insisted it occurred.

This morning, I awoke to find my teary eyed mother weeping on my bed, while my father was surprisingly still at home, as he generally never avoided work. Obviously, I asked my mother what was wrong, and she stated that I had been asleep for four days and that no doctor could explain what was happening. I couldn't believe it at the time, but still my mother would not let me avoid the fact.

I really do not understand. I cannot remember my last session of 'The World' and my mother said I had been found with my head placed onto the keyboard. I had stopped breathing. My mother said that she found my computer monitor flickering with messages in dialogue boxes that constantly repeated to say, ''Has it happened yet, Jet?'' I'm not going to tell her who 'Jet' is as I'd be banned from playing 'The World' forever, but still, I am worried that it'll happen again. This, however, does not stop me from playing it, it's like a sanctuary to me. One thing puzzles to me though, I keep hearing a constant beeping and fuzzing whenever I wander near my computer, although it is very faint. It was made to me clear though...[/I][/SIZE]

[I][CENTER]Four Days Ago[/CENTER][/I]

[COLOR=seagreen] After school had finished, Leo picked up his bag and stuffed it full of the assignmenets that were given to him, immediately, he charged out of the school to try and get home without people noticing him. This was Leo's usual routine, ever since the 'incident'. Leo would either be stopped to be questioned of his stabability, or he'd be blamed for the loss of his closest friend, of which he was with on the day the 'incident' occurred.

But, Leo always manages to shrug it off whenever he thinks of 'The World', his sanctuary. Leo ran home, putting off his mind of the weight he was caryring on his shoulders. The sky was grey, and the trees were swaying quite aggressively from the invisible winds. This gave Leo the excuse to not be stopped on this day. Even though Leo has always had many friends, he's been beginning to look forward to the day of which he moves to the bustling city of Hong Kong. As soon as Leo's journey to his house was made to the front door, his mother caught him in her sights as he tried to sneak past him.

''Leo,'' called his mother with a soft tone but yet a masterly pitch, ''Leo... in four days, we're leaving England.''

''I gathered,''said Leo in a sarcastic voice while he hung his head down not to make eye contact with his mother. He then shrugged his bags off onto the nearest kitchen appliance.

''Look, I know you're upset about leaving, but it's a whole new adventure,'' Leo's mother placed her hands on her hips and leant against one of the kitchen surfaces, ''you understand don't you?''

''I guess,'' Leo tried to wander upstairs into his room while trying to make any noise at all, while his mother began to fiddle with the microwave.

As soon as Leo made it to the living room, Leo's younger sister, Kelly, entered and leaped onto Leo.

''Hello Kelly,'' Leo said angrily while trying to push her off of his hip.

''Hey Leo...erm, did you get me anything? Like, at school?''Kelly stated with a squeaky voice, while trying to put on her cutest look on her face.

Kelly adored Leo, unfortunately, the feeling was not mutual which led to confusion in Kelly's heart. Even though Leo tried his best to be with Kelly, ever since the loss of one of his friends, Leo has kept himself to himself.

''No Kelly, okay? I didn't get you anything.'' Leo pushed Kelly off, stood up and wandered off upstairs to his bedroom.

''Aww, that's because you don't care about me at all!'' Kelly, although not crying, she stormed off into the back garden.

Leo made his way onto the soft carpet that made him feel more secure, and immediately stepped into his room while slamming the door. He sat himself on his bed, and took off his navy blue jacket which situated an anime character of whom he was a fan of. Upon entering, Leo heard his mother shout up the stairs at her highest tone.

''Leo, do not get addicted to that game you're playing. It changes your mood a bit, and your father doesn't like it.''

Leo ignored his mother of which he heard the few footsteps, that represented how many steps she climbed. Leo began to feel a warmth in his heart, and pressed the power button onto his computer. As everything booted up, Leo bought out the disc that booted 'The World' and placed it into the C Drive...[/COLOR]

[SIZE=1][I]And that's all I remember. I don't think my father is worried that much as he had to check out at work for his final pay-cheque.

So this is my last day in England, to whoever is reading, I am actually relieved that I leave tonight. I can't wait to leave this school and head over to my International School in the city of Hong Kong. I guess I'll be playing 'The World' once I have set up my computer system in Hong Kong. I wonder if you get a better connection over there.

I'll write when I can, here's to a 'new adventure' as my mother would put it.[/I][/SIZE]

[B][CENTER]Log off as Leo|Continue Online Session[/CENTER][/B]
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[font=gothic][color=crimson][I]Living in a world where people created their own world at will had several advantages. To a troubled person like Flynn, they were even more myriad than normal. To a person who found it easier to relate to the books he read than the people he spoke to, also like Flynn, they were even more myriad. Finally earning enough money to put HECS out of the immediate problem zone, and purchase himself a copy of this Azure Sea fiasco that had apparently become so popular, was a blessing really. He'd read all the good books a few too many times already...

It hadn't taken him long to create his character. After all, he'd had several templates that he'd been using for years. Lacroix, Rali and Ciiahn were probably too arrogant for this kind of thing, but Kattarin had never objected to getting her hands dirty. So he decided to go with her. He'd had them all perfected years ago, so he wasn't in the least bit uncertain about what he wanted. Still, playing a female in VR was likely to be more of a challenge than in text. Nothing he couldn't handle... At last, he entered the world he'd been dreaming about for years.[/I]

"Another first timer"

[I]Kattarin spun abruptly, kasurigama spinning into a guard cycle.[/I]

"Now that's very bad form, attacking another person without provocation."

Kattarin: So, I imagine, would be sneaking up on people.

[I]The man chuckled, unconcerned. He was big, very big. Probably a Heavy Axe.[/I]

"You basically appeared in front of me. It certainly wasn't my fault. The newbie training area is over there, I'll escort you, introduce you around and what not."

Kattarin: I'd thank you, but to put things bluntly, I don't trust you.

"A good commodity, one rare in newcomers. They learn soon enough.[/font][/color]
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Jesse put his briefcase on the table. It had been a long day. He tought in one of those inner city schools and though he loved teaching and enjoyed most of his students a few of them were making it very difficult for him. He had his life/health threatened and been propositioned for sexual favors for better grades. Of course he didn't bend or break. But he was wearing thin.

He sat in his computer desk and looked at teh black screen reaching out with the slightest touch the screen saver flicked off and the blue background appeared with hordes of anime characters covering it.. he smiled at the screen and grabbed his headset. putting it on his head he relaxed and leaned back in the chair and moving the mouse over a small button saying "Enter the Azure Sea" and double clicking. the screen flickered blaack again and he closed his eyes letting himself enter The World.
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[COLOR=blue][I]John sat down at his desk and booted up his PC. He watched as the Altimit(tm) logo came up to show that his OS was loading.

"You'd think that with all this progress, we'd have instant loading operating systems by now." he thought.

Soon, John's desktop came up. He was about to check his e-mail when a NetTalk(tm) instant messenger window interrupted him.[/I][/COLOR]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: hi, Johann. what's up?[/B][/COLOR]

[COLOR=blue][I]John decided to type a reply. His e-mail could wait.[/I][/COLOR]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: not much, just checking my email. how about you?[/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: well, my parents got me this new game called, Azure Sea. have u heard about it? it's an expansion of The World.[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: i've heard a little bit about it...isn't it that popular VR MMORPG?[/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: yep, that's the one. :D[/COLOR]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: so...what's it like? is it fun?[/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: i don't know, i haven't started it yet. i was going to wait for u. do u have it?[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: oh...i don't have it...:( but i can get it if u don't mind waiting.[/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: i don't mind. i'll wait. :)[/COLOR][/B]

[COLOR=blue][I]John turned off his monitor and ran outside. He hopped on his skateboard and rode to the store.

A little while later, he came back with a new game and new equipment in his hands. He rushed up the stairs as fast as he could and turned the monitor back on.[/I][/COLOR]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: Cara, are u still there?[/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: ya, i'm still here. did u get it?[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: yeah, i got it. i'm about to install it right now.[/B]

[B][COLOR=darkblue]Mr.Talented32: hi guys. do u have that MMORPG, Azure Sea?[/COLOR][/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: hi Justin. ya, i have it. so does, Johann. he just bought it.[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: like Cara said, i just bought it. r u going to play, Justin?[/B]

[B][COLOR=darkblue]Mr.Talented32: ya, of course. oh, and guys. let's all be wave masters, ok?[/COLOR][/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: ok. gotcha.[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: roger.[/B]

[B][COLOR=darkblue]Mr.Talented32: one last thing before we start. Johann, u use the name, Perviz, for your character. and Cara, u use the name, Parizade.[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: how come?[/B]

[B][COLOR=darkblue]Mr.Talented32: because it's from a story that i read. i'll explain later. see ya.[/COLOR][/B]

[B][COLOR=pink]DanceCaraDance1145: bye Justin. bye Johann, see u in the game.[/COLOR][/B]

[B]Herr HarfeMeister56: bye. see u in the game too.[/B]

[COLOR=blue][I]John logged off of NetTalk and ran the installation for Azure Sea.[/I][/COLOR]
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[i]Bronze bucked and waved a cheerful hello to the new arrival, the entrance to Puchiguso Pete's Farm appearing quite suddenly, the long wheat stalks backing away. It was a huge, barn-like structure around back, where Arano had walked up to. It sat upon a small hill, not any higher than twenty feet above sea level, and had about a six square kilometer grazing pen at the very farthest. Arano climbed up on the fence, facing inwards, and watched the Puchigusos graze dimly.

After a while, a female farmhand came out, dressed in blue overalls and wore a grey shirt underneath, with the letters "PPF" neatly printed in black on it. She had tough boots on, and smelled faintly of feed and stale hay. Her nametag said "Irkoto".[/i]

[b]Irkoto:[/b] "Weeelllll, if it isn't Mister Sourpants, Arano."

[i]Arano gazed her way, eyes pinched shut, with a childish, toothy grin plastered on his face.[/i]

[b]Arano:[/b] "Ah, Irkoto, nice to see you, too. I just decided to come by and see how everything was going."

[b]Irkoto:[/b] "Ah, well, it's all fine here. We had someone bring in a wild Baby Dragon the other day, and it's just a HANDFUL! I tell you, this thing just won't settle down! It nips at the other animals, it hisses whenever you bring it some feed, and by golly, it's made a mess of it's pen!"

[i]Arano chuckled softly, turning back to the grazing field. He noticed the lack of shadow, and assumed it was somewhere between "noon and one in the afternoon".[/i]

[b]Arano:[/b] "Well, aren't you glad I didn't bring one in like I planned on doing?"

[b]Irkoto:[/b] "Very. Well, say, do you wanna come in for some tea or coffee?"

[b]Arano:[/b] "You know, now that you ask, some iced tea would be just great right about now."

[i]He literally jumped back over onto the ground from the other side of the fence, and walked beside Irkoto, as she continued her story about the troubles animals caused, into the Aid Breakroom, near the main reception area.[/i]
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[color=indigo]Charlie, now known as Lucius Cord, walked slowly through the busy town, making his way to the newbie training ground. He was so enthralled by his surroundings that he nearly bumped into a dozen different people. Everything was clean and every one had such a beautiful appearance. Knights walked by in glittering suits of armor. A beautiful female heavy axe sauntered by entirely naked except for small piece of deer skin covering her crotch. Lucius even noticed a wave rider that resembled a half man, half dragon.

After walking for several minutes Lucius arrived at a large open field the size of several football fields. He knew instantly that this had to be the newbie training ground. He saw people everywhere, some barely able to walk, due to their incredible new mass. Some soared out of control through the air, confused by their new strength.

Turning towards the North side of the field Lucius noticed several people saying odd phrases really loud. One young knight yelled ?Sword of destruction? in a loud timbre. All of a sudden, his sword flurried in an intricate design, carving patterns into the air. It looked unnatural and uncannily painful.

?So that is what a PCC looks like,? Lucius thought. PCC or ?program combo command? is a verbal command code that causes a skin to move instinctively through the world. The only problem with PCC?s is that a skin cannot stop it in the middle; therefore, if an opponent evades the attack, the skin is vulnerable. Charlie did not add any PCC?s to his character, he wanted Lucius to grow and learn throughout the game.

Standing at the southern edge of the field, Lucius began awkwardly swinging the giant blade. Its weight was not nearly as heavy as he expected, but he attributed that to the enhanced strength he added to his skin. He felt light and strong, and more importantly, he felt at home.
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[size=1][center][b]|| 100% complete, Azure Sea design process beginning ||[/center][/b]

[color=crimson]"Ah good, now I can design my new character.." thought Sammy to himself as the warm glow of the computer moniter turned blue; the design screen for Azure Sea.

Three mugs of coffee, two sandwiches and four hours later, his character design was complete. He sighed and felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Very proud of himself, he leaned back on his computer chair and gazed at his new sprite that he'd be using in Azure Sea.


"Excellent!" he grinned and hit the return button on his keyboard.[/color]

[center][b]|| Please type in a username and password ||[/b][/center]

[color=crimson]"Username..? I'm no good at thinking them up!"

Sammy got up from his chair and wandered exhaustedly from his room to the stairs, where he looked desperately around for hints that he could use as a username. Sighing again he continued down the stairs, he glanced into the living room where his mother was sat watching the news on TV. As he walked into the kitchen he caught sound of the words "coma" and "The World". He stood still for a second, then shook his head and went into his kitchen.

Back upstairs, he sipped a tall glass of cool orange juice as he thought what he could use as a username. When he put the drink onto his desk, the ice clinked against the side of the glass. He looked at the glass..

"Maybe c- no.. no.. that's stupid."

He started to tap on his keyboard impatiently as he sat idley staring at the screen. He glanced to where he was tapping on the keyboard, near the 'delete' button..

"Woah.. better not get too close to that... wait, that's it, Delete!"

He hurridly typed in his new username and password (one that he used for a lot of other online things too). He then filled in the registration form and waited for confirmation.[/color]

[center][b]|| Welcome new [u]Azure Sea[/u] Member! ||[/b]
- [b]Username:[/b] Delete -
- [b]Password:[/b] ******* -
- [b]Address:[/b] Not speicified -
- [b]Age:[/b] Not specified -
- [b]Sex:[/b] Male -

[b]|| Please ensure that headset is not taken off without logging out of Azure Sea, enjoy your session! ||[/b][/center]

[color=crimson]Sammy fished around under his desk for his headset, plugged it into the back of his computer and put it on. A sharp beep sounded before everything went black and he felt as if he had just fallen asleep, but could still hear the whirr of his computer and the outside noises.

"Weird." He thought as the welcome screen for Azure Screen popped up in front of his eyes..[/size][/color]
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[font=gothic][color=crimson][I]For someone who had trained for a good five years with this kind of weapon, this was going harder than she expected. Kattarin found that performing actions through focused mental processes rather than muscle memory was a lot harder than it looked. When she got it right though, it surpassed everything she'd acheived physically. The newbies around her seemed to meet with similar success, so she doubted it was anything special.

She spun the kasurigama through her hands, changing grip with a strange ease. Physical dexterity was no match for mental manipulation, thoughts moving faster than fingers ever could. Her muscles slowly adapted, and from where she had planted her feet, she started throwing in other motions, things she'd known physically. Why Flynn thought so much in character was something he didn't even understand, by the way... Each time, Kattarin found it easier to pick something up.

She very much doubted though, that this would be all she'd need. You could only hit things so many times. There were situations where she might actually need to interact with other beings, most of which could probably kick her *** if they felt like it. Satisfied with her physical status, she left the field, nearly running into a Heavy Axe on the southern edge. She nodded to him in apology, and walked off, moving into a bustling street.[/font][/color][/I]
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[I][CENTER]Two days after the flight journey to Hong Kong[/CENTER][/I]

[SIZE=1][COLOR=darkblue]Leo awoke to new surroundings. The scent of a different country and culture altogether always affected Leo. Bustling in his covers, Leo stared at the empty room which made his 'reality sanctuary'. Being in Hong Kong made Leo feel nervous, while excited at the same time.

Leo felt incredibly jet-lagged from the flight to a different side of the world, and headed down stairs. This was a change for Leo, as he always seemed to want to seclude himself from his family. Heading down the cramped stairs, Leo came to the empty lounge which contained many Cardboard boxes.

''Hello dear,'' Leo's mother called. Following this, she entered the living room.

''Hi mum. Erm, can I go out today?'' Leo asked with a more cheerful tone, while he picked up his NINTENDO wallet and checked how much Hong Kong Dollars was in it. To his surprise, he had alot more than he had previously. ''Mum? What's all this?''

Leo's mother smiled at Leo's surprise and answered his question.

''Well, I thought you deserved it. I mean, you've been very brave about the whole move, and to be honest, I'm still nervous.'' Leo's mother stared at the Chinese blossoms in the garden.

Leo's family had moved into Leo's grandparents' home. They were always obsessed with Far Eastern culture, and they finally managed to move to a large home in Hong Kong.

''Well thanks,'' Leo saw an advertisement for 'Azure Sea' on his television. ''Erm, actually, I'll stay in.''

Leo charged up into his bedroom and slammed the door, while leaving his mother whom was cooking breakfast, bedazzled by his change in mood.

''Okay, now I have my own space. I'm going to actually play as my character. So far, I've only made my character's skin and hardly entered the Log In screen.''

Leo booted up his plasma screened monitor, and inserted the disc that booted 'Azure Sea'. After clicking on a shortcut that was contained by his monitor screen, Leo placed on a headset and entered the world of Azure Sea.[/COLOR]

[B][CENTER]||Welcome to Azure Sea. Log in.||[[/B]

[B]User Name:[/B]Jet

[B]Passcode:[/B] ****[/CENTER]

[B][CENTER]||Log in successful. Enjoy.||[/CENTER][/B]

[COLOR=darkblue]Everything went dark and it seemed Leo had entered a trance. This was until he had entered a world where he was of another life, the virtual life of 'Jet'.

Jet was surrounded by a neon yellow light that seemed to be infested by blue and red particles, he then appeared onto a very large grass land. Walking from the teleportation device, Jet's spiked hair swayed from the cool breezes that flourished this land.

Jet began to think, as he was not prepared for anything to come. So, Jet waited by the teleportation device for anyone else to log in. Jet always thrived on being with someone, much like his user, Leo. However, Jet drew his sword and started to practice in his diamond white armour. The blade he was holding, created a blended-red aura whenever it was swung. Hence, Jet awaited someone to arrive.

''Someone must arrive here sometime. Perhaps there is a newbie part to this grassland.''[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[color=#808080]Shizuko opened her eyes and was met by endless fields of green. They were covered in yellow flowers. And they looked like a green canvas that had been dabbed with the tip of a yellow brush over and over again. This was a pleasant sight, one that made Shizuko feel at home.

The field was relatively busy on that particular day. Groups of players were getting together for sparring practice, whilst others were clumsily trading items and learning how to ride Puchiguso. The sight made Shizuko smile; Summer Grove was a place for newbies, generally. It was completely free of monsters. And it was common to see experienced players entering the fields and hoodwinking newer players out of their player credits.

One player, however, was not as clumsy as the others. An adult Light Warrior character, adorned with a suit of snowy white armor. He was practicing in the field by himself, seemingly oblivious to those around him. Shizuko, on the other hand, was almost the polar opposite. A slender asian woman with long dark hair, wound tightly around a pair of elaborately decorated chopsticks; soft red and black face highlights and a red satin Chinese dress, punctuated by small black dragons curled up in little balls. Shizuko was a lovingly crafted character and looked as though she may break at any moment -- were she not made of polygons and painted textures, she just might. Shizuko did indeed look the opposite of the armored character, who's squared jawline and dynamic crystal hair made him appear unique amongst a field of characters who were, generally, of mediocre aesthetic quality. There was a very clear difference between characters created by truly skilled artists and programmers, compared to those taken from mass fan sites and the like.

To an outside observer, Shizuko would never have been seen as a likely partner for the armored man. But she found him interesting and noticed that despite his lower experience points, he was clearly skilled with weaponry. Perhaps he'd played The World for a long while and only just downloaded Azure Sea? That thought snuck its way into Shizuko's mind and seemed logical enough.

Shizuko's red high heels carried her across the field with an air of dainty elegance and carefully measured confidence. As she approached the male character, he did not acknowledge her. Shizuko stood still and her head tilted to one side, as if expecting acknowledgement.

Sure enough, the armored character paused and turned his head in her direction. Shizuko half expected him to continue practicing, but instead, he smiled warmly and sheathed his weapon. The armored man approached and held out a polygonal hand.

"Hello, I'm Jet," he said cheerfully. Shizuko bowed politely and realized two different things immediately; this player must be from the west and thus, she should have known to return his hand shake; and secondly, Shizuko had no idea how to speak English. Thankfully, the other player had thoughtfully engaged his translation program so that his words could be heard in her own native language. Shizuko hastily engaged her own translation system...and held out her hand. Jet shook it vigorously and continued to smile.

"Hello, my name is Shizuko." Shizuko blushed (or at least, she knew she must have been blushing in reality, because it clearly wouldn't have been evident on her player model).

Jet smiled once more and sat down on a nearby rock. He looked up at Shizuko, who was standing still with her hands crossed in front of her.

"Nice. Your experience points, that is," said Jet. "I've been playing The World ever since it was released, but I only just downloaded AS. I haven't made a party yet though."

Shizuko nodded. "Yes, my party is always changing. I have not stayed in one party for more than a week. So I'm hopeless!"

Jet laughed and shook his head. He seemed to be comfortable with Shizuko already, which surprised her. Most players found her somewhat intimidating; most likely due to the intricate crafting behind her player model. Perhaps players assumed that a skilled modeler was also a skilled player. Though Shizuko knew this not to be true, through her own experiences.

Shizuko sat down next to Jet and in doing so, she was careful not to exhibit too much obvious enthusiasm. It's how she played the game and was sometimes the source of amusement for her school friends. Of course, Shizuko shrugged this off as "jealousy" or something of the sort. Regardless, Shizuko was finding herself in good company with Jet. She noticed that he was looking over his sword and scrolling through his inventory. He seemed to be very prudent, even at this early stage. The training and the thorough double-checking were both qualities that Shizuko admired in other players. So, it was time to broach the subject;

"Excuse me," prompted Shizuko softly, "but would you be interested in creating a party? We would only need one more player for a basic party. Without a party of three, we can't move into Pebble Cove, The Church or any of the Net Slums."

Jet hastily closed his inventory menu. "So, you're interested in fighting some tough baddies, eh?"

Shizuko nodded. "Yes. I heard that there is a special key item to be found on high level monsters."

"Oh? What does it do?" asked Jet.

"I do not know. I think it may open a new level or give us some kind of hack. But I have not heard specifics; I just saw a thread about it on the BBS."

"Oh, I see. I don't visit the BBS much."

Shizuko grinned at this comment. "You should! It is full of useful information."

"Yeah, I'll look into it now," said Jet with a decisive nod of his head. "So? Any idea who we can bring into our party?"

Shizuko looked around the fields. All of the players she saw contained low experience points. "It's no good," she said, "I don't know if we can find anyone at the moment."

Jet stood up and waved his sword. "Well in that case, we might as well move toward the outer edges of the grove. The better players tend to hang around out there."

"See those hills nearby?" asked Shizuko, pointing northward.

"Yes," said Jet.

"I think we can find some mid level monsters up there. If we walk around there a little, we may find someone. At least we can gain some items that way too."

Jet sheathed his sword and gestured for Shizuko to follow. The pair began walking across the field to the [b]Northern Hills[/b]. Shizuko hoped that they'd stumble across another player; she didn't want to be embarassed on her first day with Jet.[/color]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=darkblue]As Jet had finally found a partner, he began to settle into the environment of [I]Azure Sea[/I]. As soon as Jet had met Shizuko, he was mesmerised by the beauty of the polygonal sculpture that was made as a skin. Every now and again, Jet would look back at the beautiful structure of Shizuko, hoping in mind that she wouldn't become terribly embarrassed.

As the two journeyed to the North, Jet enjoyed the walk through the fields that consisted of yellow flowers and a lush of green in every area of the fields. Groups of new players huddled together in which they opened little protocols that consisted information on how to survive in 'The World'. Jet looked back to find beams appearing every now and again with new players logging into the world.

Jet noticed that he had drifted further away from Shizuko and turned around, in this motion, Jet squinted as the bright sun shone own upon his forhead, illuminating his hair. Shizuko carried on in her elegant pace while her hair did not even drift due to the tightness of the binds on her hair. Shizuko looked up at the tall stature of Jet and smiled as she carried on without gesturing for him to follow. Jet stared at Shizuko's movements and smiled as he ran up to her.

Following her, was probably his best bet, as his large steps overtook hers easily. He tightened the brace on his shoulder cap and fiddled with a yellow flower that seemed so real. He then placed it into his inventory bag, this was followed by a message.[/COLOR]

[B][CENTER]||Yellow Candorin acquired!||[/CENTER][/B]

[COLOR=darkblue]Fascinated, Jet caught up and slowed his pace so that he was walking directly next to Shizuko.

''It's beautiful here,'' Jet said with a soft pitched voice. He looked at Shizuko who smiled and stroked her hair softly. Even though the two carried on walking onto their destination, Jet searched in his satchel and held out the Yellow Candorin as if to give it to Shizuko.

''Oh yes, Summer Grove is always beautiful. It never changes.'' Shizuko gently pulled the flower away from Jet's soft grasp and stared at it in glee. ''Perhaps I could teach you of the world of [I]Azure Sea[/I].''

''Yes, I'd appreciate it very much. Is it difficult in the [B]Northern Hills[/B]?''Jet asked with a very concerned voice, he then frowned while clenching his fist at the thought of the creatures they may encounter.

''Hmm, you should be able to handle the beasts there. I have a stockful of items if we get in trouble, but don't worry, I have trained there many times.'' Shizuko had noticed Jet's concerned face and smiled.

''I am very glad I met you. You seem very wise, not only are you beautifully crafted, but you seem to be a very gifted combatant.'' Jet began to become less tense and then sighed as they neared a hilled land.

''Thankyou very much. You are very handsomely created, perhaps you have had practice before?'' Shizuko halted and curiously circled the figure of Jet while examining him.

''Oh yes, I've practiced crafting skins for a long time.'' Jet began to move his hands as if to design a clay structure which then disappears.

''Ah, that would explain things.'' Shizuko halted and glanced up and down at the sheathed weapon that was laid on Jet's back. ''Do you have a name for it?''

''Ah yes, my sword? Well, I've always been fond of the name, [I]Kantojen[/I].'' Jet proudly took [I]Kantojen[/I] out of its sheath and began to stab the air.

''Kantojen? Peculiar for a Western user. But I am fond of the name too.'' Shizuko tidied up her dress and lifted it to make room for her heels to be level with the fields. ''Shall we continue?''

''Yes, let us carry on. It appears we are nearing our destination, being the [B]Northern Hills[/B]''.

Jet and Shizuko moved on swiftly, leaving the newbie infested fields and entered a grassland that was raised on a slope that began on the edge of [B]Summer Grove[/B]. Shizuko, stopped elegantly and then began to exercise her wrists by gently moving them. Jet however, began to feel very tense and immediately moved his hand to the sheath of Kantojen. However, he did not move it from its polygonal counterpart, as he stared at the approaching gnome that was equipped with a staff.

''Prepare yourself Jet, this begins your adventure.'' Shizuko said with an incredibly soothing voice.[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[color=indigo]For three days Charlie trained his character, Lucius, in the grove. He spent all of his free time logged into ?Azure Sea?. He was barely sleeping, and at work he looked horribly disheveled. His co-workers were not worried, however, Charlie was still turning a huge profit for the company, and he seemed happier then ever.

And he was happy. For so long Charlie?s life had lacked excitement, and he, in turn, lacked motivation. ?Azure Sea? had created him a doorway to a new life, one of constant adventure and limitless possibilities.

Lucius was advancing in leaps and bounds. After nearly thirty hours of intense training, Lucius was able to adequately wield his huge blade. Lucius also experimented on minor gymnastic moves that Charlie would never have dared to try in the real world. In no time he was doing handsprings, back flips, and cartwheels with cat-like confidence.

On the fourth day Lucius decided he was ready to test his skill against some low level monsters. He left the newbie training grove and headed westward through town. He had heard from other players that the hilled western grove was a good place to train. The Will-O-Wasps and Grangmier were solid low-level creatures that provided players with a fair amount of experience and a small amount of credits.

The outskirts of town drifted away and Lucius found himself in a small field surrounded on all sides by large, grassy hills. He walked uneasily through the thick grass glancing nervously to the left and right. Out of the corner of his eye he caught some movement in the brush. He turned, faced the rustling grass, his huge blade poised readily in front of him. A Grangmier burst from the brush, launching its tiger-like body at Lucius?s exposed head. Reflexes took over, and Lucius dove onto the ground, shielding his face. The angry Grangmier flew through the air, missing his target, yet landing softly on his feet.

Lucius glared at the ground. ?You are not a coward, you are not a coward,? he mumbled. The words empowered him. He returned to his feet, staring angrily at his feline opponent. ?I will not be a coward!? Lucius roared, ?Not in this world, this is my last chance to dream!? In a sudden burst of rage Lucius sliced the Grangmier in two.

Following the momentum of his cut, Lucius bolted off through the Grove, hacking every beast he saw in two. Once, Lucius ran through a battle between a young knight and a Will-O-Wisp. Unable to stop his blow, he sliced through the beast, sending it to data heaven.

?Hey,? yelled the young knight, ?that was my battle!?

?Sorry,? muttered Lucius. He turned, embarrassed, and sprinted back towards the town.
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Robin had logged in over thirteen hours ago and was now mildly aquainted with the surrounding area. She hoped Rayne would stay together better than her last from. Rayne had been in the training areas of the "Newbie zone" for the last hour, encountering low level monsters and testing her abilities.

Rayne sheathed her sword and rubbed the back of her head. She should move on soon, considering that the monsters in this area had ceased to be challenging. She placed her hands on her hips and closed her eyes. A crashing sound came from behind her and she fluidly turned to face the possible threat. A light warrior collided violently with her and in her supprise, knocked her over. She shook her head and glared up at the person.

Rayne: Excuse me... Where are you going in such a rush that you need to bowl people over?

The male charecter looked down and shrugged apoligeticly.

??: I'm sorry, I didn't see you there... You blend in rather well...

He gestured to her black clothes and smiled.

??: My name is Socrates. And you?

Socrates offered her a hand and she accepted it and rose gracefully.

Rayne: My name is Rayne. But, do tell me, where were you going?

Socrates: No where really, but would you like to join me for a drink? It's the least I can do.

Rayne nodded and turned with him as they walked into the town. It was beautiful an complex, the colors brilliant and the textures pleasing to the eye. He guided her to a respectable looking tavern and they sat down at a table.

After ordering drinks and food, Socrates leaned forward, eager to talk to somone it seemed. He opened his mouth then closed it again as a new figure approached them.
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[color=royalblue]Celestine gazed awkwardly at the rolling hills ahead. With her jaw half-open, and eyes sparkling with curiosity, it seemed obvious that it was her first time in The World. Her eyes lingered to the cloudless sky, with tints from saphhire blue, to deep azure. Strangely, there were no birds in the sky. Celestine shrugged. Her eyes still fixed on the sky, she took a step back into the shade, rubbing elbows with a few boys running outside with their new virtual pets and trades. It was getting annoying, with all these people crowded into one section. As she took another step, Celestine tripped, and stumbled into a group, knocking another girl nearly off her feet. Suddenly, the girl shoved back.

"Hey! Watch it!" The girl exclaimed, regaining her balance.

"...Sorry." Celestine replied, taking a step away from the girl.

Celestine flushed red as she walked away from the group. When she looked back to the group, she could hear them murmuring, eyeing her coldly. So far, she wasn't starting off quite as well as she hoped. Her eyes narrowed, as she stared off towards the hills. She could see a few others heading for them as well, so she decided to herself. Celestine felt uncomfortable by herself, seeing other people in parties of three, or more.

The hills were growing larger and larger, as the clamor began to fade behind her. She had been walking for about half an hour, and she could bearly see the rim of Summer Grove. The hills looked closer, but the plain seemed to last forever. Many people sped past her on Puchiguso, and a few other sky runners sprinted across the field. Just then, Celestine grinned, and decided to run too. She was also a sky runner, and it gave her an advantage in speed. As she began running, she began to feel awkward again, running by herself. Celestine slowed down back to a walk. Perhaps it would be better to save her energy. Just in case.[/color]
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[font=gothic][color=crimson][I]The sudden flood of people from the city out to the hills probably meant that it was the right thing to do, so Kattarin shrugged and went along with it. The vast field was being traversed by countless people, in some kind of chaotic dance that moved to a tune Kattarin certainly couldn't hear. In this situation, the best thing to do was ye olde Zen navigation. Find someone who looked like they knew where they were going, and follow them.

Unfortuantely, everyone seemed as confused as she did. Kattarin picked up her pace slightly, if only not to seem completely ignorant. Speed made people think you had a purpose. When nothing seemed to happen, and slight landmarks she didn't yet know enough to recognise seemed no closer, she swore in slight frustration and stopped.[/I]

"Don't get it either?"

[I]This time, Kattarin made sure to turn around very slowly.[/I]

Kattarin: I swear, more people have crept up on me in the few hours I've been here than in the rest of my natural life.

[I]The girl, a slender, long haired Sky Runner, laughed in appreciation. With a slight inclination of the head, the two started walking, gaining confidence in numbers.[/I]

Kattarin: Kattarin Telecantar


[I]The dots on the horizon seemed closer immediately.[/font][/color][/I]
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[color=royalblue]"Where are you from? In real life." Celestine asked.

"Brisbane, Australia." Kattarin replied simply. "You?"

"Seoul, Korea. We're on Spring Break right now."

Kattarin nodded, and the two continued walking. By the time the sun had begun to set, they could see where the grassy plain met abruptly at a dirt path, blanketed with dust and pebbles. The ground began to tremble as a large party of twelve stampeded their way to the hills from behind them. The two jolted back, as the party swept past them, kicking up clouds of dust in their tails. Kattarin's eyes narrowed to a death stare, tightening her fists as she stepped back over to Celestine. Celestine's eyes remained wide and bewildered, after almost being crushed.

"That's the fourth time that's happened today. I'm starting to wonder if I'll even reach those hills alive."[/color]
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Ralvenar sat in silence, in a place that he had crafted, and was now tediously familiar to him. He had made this small trench months ago, at the tip of a ravine that overlooked a path to Puchiguso Pete's. He has positioned the trench quite close to the nearest village, adequately named "Puchiguso Way". It was at about the half-way point between Azure City and Pete's Farm, but it was quite a way off to the West. Ralvenar knew from experience that newbies who weren't actually strong enough to get to Pete's would go this way, logic telling them that it would be the safest route. Ralvenar waited here, because he knew otherwise.

This was Ralvenar's main source of income. He would wait for a small party of newbies, or a single, brave one to pass. He would fake an ambush, proving to the players that they could be killed quite easily, and then offer them protection to Pete's. After the scare he gave them, most were very willing to accept.

However, the last few hours had been pretty quiet. Only one person has passed, about an hour ago, a large Knight with a Scythe to match his physique. Ralvenar knew this man could easily make it to the farm, and an ambush to a knight that walked so confidently, would only risk a fight. On such a trecherous path, he knew that neither player would want that.

Although Ralvenar had walked this path many times, he had never actually been into the Farm itself. Each time he had been employed as an escort, he would take them to the Farm's boundaries, take his fee, and leave. Often, the newbies would attempt to cheat him and skip the fee, which only resulted in them spending several days recovering at Puchiguso Pete's, stripped now of all their money instead of just the required fee. This had earned Ralvenar quite a few enemies, but that was something he had to deal with.

Ralvenar was starting to wonder if it was finally time for him to commit himself to a party. Throughout his time in Azure Sea he had been a loner, quite the contrary to his real life, because, for some reason, he felt it difficult to approach anyone within the game, it made him feel almost false. This was something he would have to overcome if he wished to progress further within Azure Sea.
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[I]John appeared in the town. He looked at his staff and clothes, they were just how he wanted them. He then touched the cloth on his face and his hat, they felt so real! He almost doubted that there was a John Mueller of Grand Rapids, MI.[/I]
"I'd bet I would even get hurt if I poked myself in the eye!" [I]He said.[/I]
[I]Before he could test out his theory however, someone started to materialize in front of him. It was a female Wave Master wearing a pink dress and a white coat. She smiled and pushed some blue hair out of her face, revealing bright green eyes.[/I]
"Justin? Is that you?"
[I]The girl frowned at him and folded her arms.[/I]
"Justin! What are you talking about? I'm Cara! How could you mistake me for Justin?!" [I]She yelled as she waved her staff back and forth.[/I]
[I]John held his arms in front of his face defensively.[/I]
"Okay, okay! I'm sorry! I just thought Justin might have chosen a female character, it was a simple mistake!"
[I]Cara set her staff back down and smiled.[/I]
"Alright, I forgive you, Johann. Or should I say, Perviz? Anyways, you can put your arms down now."
[I]John did as she said.[/I]
"But while we play this game, don't call me by my real name. Call me Parizade. It's who I am now. By the way, do you know why Justin told us to use these names?" [I]She asked.[/I]
[I]He shook his head.[/I]
"I have no idea, he hasn't told me yet," [I]he replied.[/I]
[I]Parizade tapped her foot impatiently.[/I]
"It's just like him to keep us in the dark like this, isn't? I bet the
names he gave us are something silly and his is a good one."
[I]Perviz shrugged his shoulders.[/I]
"It could be. Who knows? We'll just have to wait until he gets here to find out."
"Yeah...I guess you're right."
[I]The two Wave Masters stood and waited for their friend. After a little while, Perviz tried to strike up another conversation.[/I]
"So what's with the get up, Parizade? That hat, coat, and dress? Why did you choose that?" [I]He asked.[/I]
"Because I liked it I guess. Pink and white are my favorite colors anyways. How about you? What's with the assassin look? Don't you think it's a little strange for a magic user?"
"Yeah, I guess so, I didn't think about that at the time. I just chose it because it looked mysterious. sort of like an..."
"...An assassin. Yes I know. I wonder what look Justin chose for his character?"
[I]She thought out loud.[/I]
[I]As Perviz was about to say something in reply, a long black-haired Wave Master appeared in front of them. His shirt had no sleeves, leaving a large number of tattoos on both of his arms visible.[/I]
"Hi, Perviz, Parizade. How are you doing?" [I]He smirked.[/I]
"Hi Justin. What took..."
"Ah-ah! Don't forget, my name is Bahman here."
"Alright then, Bahman..." [I]Parizade continued.[/I]
"What took you so long to get here? And what are these names you gave us and where did they come from?"
[I]Bahman looked up at the sky as if in deep thought.[/I]
"Well, for your first question...I had trouble with the installation and my dad wanted me to take out the garbage before I played," [I]he replied.[/I]
"And the second question?" [I]Perviz rushed him.[/I]
"Well for the second...for the second question, you'll have to wait. I'm itching for a fight right now."
[I]Bahman walked up to the Chaos Gate and Parizade and Perviz sighed and followed him. They watched as he thought of a code to enter.[/I]
"Now let's see here...I'll try this one, Strange Wandering Whirlwind."
[I]Before he entered the last word, a small Light Warrior walked up behind them. She looked as if she were only 11 or 12 years old.[/I]
"No, no, no. Silly newbies!"
[I]All three of them jumped back in surprise.[/I]
"Where'd you come from?" [I]Perviz asked.[/I]
"I've been watching you this whole time. You must be the newest of the new if you're just going to jump into that area. I haven't been playing that long and even I know to look before I leap. If you want an easier area, try Pleasant Summer Grove. Trust me on this one."
[I]The girl smiled, swung her sword onto her shoulder and turned around to walk away.[/I]
"What are you saying? You think I can't take care of myself in a fight? I'll show you!" [I]Bahman snarled.[/I]
[I]He tried to attack the girl but Perviz and Parizade held him back.[/I]
"Wait, don't leave yet. We don't even know your name," [I]Parizade said.[/I]
[I]The little girl turned around again.[/I]
"My name's Eggy. It's nice to meet you. Here's my e-mail address in case you want to reach me later. Who knows, I might give you my member address next time we meet. See ya later."
[I]Eggy walked away and disappeared, leaving them to try the code she gave them.[/I]
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