Haru came into her house dragging a giant box, while her small white kitty, who looked like a cotton ball, was running around excited to know what was on it.
"Haru!" Exclaimed her mother while watching the size of the box.
"Yes, Mother?" Haru asked with the sweetest voice she could find inside her.
Haru was addicted to shopping, everyday there was a new package in front of her door, from the things she found the foolest, like the trendy lipstick or the android-mouse to entertain Miku, her cat. The state of the art videogame console which included the most advanced virtual reality set ever created.
"What the hell did you buy now?" Asked Haru’s mother, looking at her sideways, while she was focused on an online cooking course.
"Is the GVR 155 Platinum" Answered Haru feeling a chill through her body by just seeing that it was on her hands.
"Don’t make a mess, C3P0 is under maintenance" Her mother snorted while she went back to her online class.
"Yes, I know…"
C3P0 was the service android they had for their service, that was the curious name her father gave him, he was such a fan from the Star Wars saga. Since she was a little girl, he taught her everything she knew about this world, so she grew up hoping to visit space someday, and even though commercial flights to the moon were more accessible by the day, Haru preferred to get lost in the virtual world.
Haru finished unpacking every piece that came with the box, she spent hours building the complex system, while cursing his father for taking C3P0 to maintenance. If he was there she would already be enjoying the magic of virtual reality. It was dawn, and finally she was finished installing it in the space she had destined for it in her room.
She saw how her wrist lighted up with an incoming call.
"Haru, what is going on? We are waiting for you. The HACK TEAM is ready." Celeste said in the group video call.
"Why are you sweating?" Asked Alika.
"Are you building it by yourself?" Keisha placed her hands on her face astonished. "Where’s CPO?"
"C-3-P-0, is under maintenance. Yes, I had to build it all myself."
"What’s going on with C-3-P-0? Does it have a soul and become a rebel?" Asked Celeste making everyone in the room laugh, except for Haru.
"I don’t find it funny. He has a fault in his solar panels, he’s an old model, they’re seeing if they can modify him a bit."
"Why not get a new one?" Asked Keisha antipathecally.
"Because we love him, he is our android. He is part of the family. And that’s my last word on the topic." Concluded Haru rolling her eyes.
"We can see you."
"Is everyone ready? I am about to boot in this precise moment."
Everyone started screaming with excitement while the system was booting.
"There’s a one terabyte system update and 500 GB from the game, It is supposed to be done in 15 minutes. I will be back, I’m telling my mom I will be online for the next couple of hours, you get ready for the adventure."
:･ﾟ✵ :･ﾟ✧ :･ﾟ✵ *:･ﾟ✧:･ﾟ✵ :･ﾟ✧:･ﾟ
Haru played with Miku a bit, helped her mother with her online course and checked the new neon-colored shadow kit that was just delivered for her and the update was not over yet. Everyone was pushing her on the groupchat, no one was understanding why it was taking so long.
"I can see an additional patch XS324, I am waiting for it to be done so I can login." She sent a video message to show how much it was supposed to last.
They created a new video call, feeling odd for what was happening.
"That is really strange, I cannot see that patch." Said Alika.
"I can’t see it either." Replied Keisha while checking her updates.
"Me either" Celeste concluded. "Are you sure you got the latest model?"
"Of course, we all got it from the same link, even though we are in different parts of the world, it is the same model." Replied Haru angrily.
She was about to burst in anger and tell them she was done with the whole thing when suddenly a sign blinking on the screen showed Ready to Play.
“It has been installed!” Exclaimed Haru excited, adjusting the unit’s chair.
“We’ll wait for you at the Venture room. Please don’t join a different server!” Celeste said while ending the video call.
“Don’t treat me like an idiot, it’s not my fault the patch took forever installing!”
Unfortunately, for Haru, they signed off before they could hear her, maybe for the best, there is nothing worse than starting a new adventure with your friends fighting.
:･ﾟ✵ :･ﾟ✧ :･ﾟ✵ *:･ﾟ✧:･ﾟ✵ :･ﾟ✧:･ﾟ
Finally, after some time putting on the accessories, she imported her previous settings from her previous avatar. She was logged in in a heartbeat onto Venture’s server. It was set like a village from an underwater planet. The colors were wonderful. The colors from the corals were vibrant and hypnotizing.
She started walking to the local pub, it was set as the gathering point with her friends. There were all kinds of avatars, it was incredible the possibilities there were for the user to create an unreal version of yourself.
The HACK Team, as they were used to be called, because of their name’s initials, agreed on using purple haired girls for all their avatars, wearing white dresses and neon-green makeup.
Haru was asian, Keisha was arab, Celeste a latina and Alika african, that is why they liked to represent themselves and their race on their avatars.
The three girls were sitting down at the pub’s underwater-themed bar waiting for the last member of the team to join.
“Haru!” Exclaimed Celeste hugging her strongly.
The virtual reality system, thanks to its nanotechnology, allowed the player to feel absolutely everything, even smelling scents, the only thing that did not inflict was pain. You could feel everything as if it were real.
“I am so happy to see you girls!” Said Haru while hugging Keisha and Alika.
They have never met in person before, but they were friends since they went to an international online-kindergarten school when they were just about four or five years old.
A guy with a giant avatar pushed Haru, making her fall to the ground.
“Hey! mind your space disgusting fatty.” Said Celeste flapping him her middle finger.
“Are you looking for trouble, little girl?” Asked while pushing her.
“Chill out, just go your way.” Said Alika calmly while getting closer to Haru, who was still laying on the ground.
The guy just kept walking cursing with a closed mouth.
“What’s going on with you Haru?” Asked Keisha worried seeing Haru’s painful face.
“It hurts a lot. It should not hurt.”
:･ﾟ✵ :･ﾟ✧ :･ﾟ✵ *:･ﾟ✧:･ﾟ✵ :･ﾟ✧:･ﾟ
The girls just stayed there watching the big guy walk by the group looking at them with contempt, so they decided just to get away from there.
In this particular video game, there was the possibility of starting games for a big amount of points, doing smaller quests for less points, or going for missions to get reliques and game currency to help the player acquire items to make the bigger quests easier. Version number five of the game was online just for some days, it was the first time the girls were logged so they were getting used to the interface.
“Do you have any quests yet?” Asked Celeste opening up her information menu, swiping three fingers up to the air.
The other girls just copied her, but they were not expecting to see an special mission that showed up for Haru, it was a sky-blue colored notification, so bright it was shadowing the other quests.
“What is that Haru?” Asked Alika while checking Haru’s menu with curiosity.
“It is better for us to leave this place, I feel observed.” Whispered Keisha pulling her friends back to a deserted coral reef.
“This is strange, which language is this?”
Celeste leaned on Haru’s shoulder to see what the instructions stated.
“It looks like antique Japanese” Said Haru focusing her eyes not knowing if to get into that area or not. The sign stated clearly “Special Secret Mission”.
“Do you understand it? “ Asked Alika suspiciously. “Open it!”
“Yes, my father taught me Antique Japanese.” Whispered Haru worried.
Over the years the languages had been unified, most of them had been lost or mixed. It was not common for the new generations to learn the ancient languages, but Haru's grandfather made it his mind that his son will never forget all the Japanese traditions, and in turn, he did the same with Haru.
“Open it! I think they gave you a different unit than ours. That's why you had that heavy patch you had to download and install.” Celeste said, leaning on a coral, crossing her arms as she looked at the girls with a bored face.
“I said no! It is the same model, but I find all of this really weird to be honest!” Replied Haru exasperated.
Haru sat down on a rock where tiny fish were coming in and out, she stared at them for a second, trying to dilute time. She did not want to open that notification, she had not seen anyone talking about it online.
“Hey! Why are you doubting it so much?” Asked Keisha while pressing the button on Haru’s quest, but It felt like it was burning her finger.
That was impossible, only each player could open their own notifications, if someone else tried to it simply would not work.
“That burned! Is this new device supposed to inflict pain?” Asked Keisha looking at her finger slowly, while moving it closer to her face, like it was happening in real life.
“I am going to accept it, stop pressuring me!” Snorted Haru closing her eyes while opening the notification.
“Haru!” The other three girls screamed watching Haru opening her eyes.
Thank you for reading!