“You know. I once traveled through forests like this. I loved hiking when I was younger.” Save said; she parted a branch to get a better view of the pathway. The Wind blew gently through the trees, causing a gentle whistling noise to follow. Save stopped and took it all in; she smiled. It was quite a peaceful day; at least, when one was not fighting for their lives.

“I see. If you do not mind me asking, why did you start playing this game? The real world can be as pretty as this, if not more. It does not even cost as much!” He stepped over a thickly rooted branch, kicking a piece of the metal platform away. The Piece flew to the side, embedding into a nearby tree.

“There are things I can do here, that are impossible in the real world. That is the truth of my situation now.” Her voice was somber as she spoke; sounding as if she was depressed. “I sought something I could not have – and technology provided a way to get it,” she said, smiling widely as she turned around.

“I see – I happen to feel the same. I am just glad that this came about in my lifetime.” Shift said; Save glanced back, interrupting him with a wave of her hand.

“It looks like we have arrived at the entry point.” She said as she approached a clearing, she stopped as she saw a player appear above the entry point. He looked injured; his carbon plating armor was shredded, burned and nearly useless. His face was cut by what appeared to be claws, and his back showed visible bullet holes; data flowed from the outlines of the wounds. In his hand was the remains of a sword; it looked melted. Looking closer, Shift noticed it was a heat blade; a weapon designed to withstand intense heat.

“Hello sir – Are you okay?” Shift said. The man glanced up with his one good eye. He nearly lost his balance, catching himself on his knee. They approached.

“I am fine. Just – do not go inside that ruins. There is something in there, It is not normal,” the man struggled to stand. He rubbed the massive gash on his thigh. It looked like a claw tore clean through.

“Why – what did you see” Shift asked, glancing over the man’s wounds. They were deep, severing some of the digital ‘nerves’ that connect the mind to the proxy. It must have been painful, he thought. The man scowled, pushing himself to his feet finally.

“I just – do not know! I – “ The man tried to speak, but his signal was breaking up. “It attacked me from behind – It changed. I gotta – go and recover –” the man uttered, he disconnected mid-sentence. Save watched as the man disappeared; she was visibly concerned.

Shift glanced at her and shook his head. “I marked down his name, we can check on him later. Anyway, we have a schedule to keep.” She reluctantly agreed and entered the entry point; she vanished from sight.

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