- Author: Blake Severson
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Divine Genesis, Book 1
Copyright © 2021 Blake Severson
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The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
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Final Stat Sheet
The Gaming Center
Atlas Remere stood on his toes and peered over the crowd. The line into Gaia Corporation’s newest gaming center stretched over a hundred yards. With a heavy sigh, he dropped back down. I’ll have to wait forever to get in, he sulked.
Gaia Corporation made a name for themselves with the most innovative Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online games in the last decade. Their last game, Destiny Fall, still boasted a record number of players with its haptic feedback system and patented Full Motion suit. It was the first true VRMMO to allow one-for-one movement in a suspended mobility system.
Atlas turned to face his best friend, Keenan.
“You know what you want to play as yet?” Atlas asked in excitement.
“Not sure. They’ve been so vague on the game details it’s hard to decide. We don’t even know how the combat system works yet. Gaia told us a handful of the races but even they said it wasn’t the full list.”
“But just think about it! A true full immersion VRMMO with no more suits. They even made it sword and sorcery style gameplay. It can’t get much better than that!” Atlas rattled on, the anticipation killing him.
“I’ll have to reserve judgment until we hear more,” Keenan told him cautiously.
Atlas heard a commotion and glanced to the front of the line. The center doors opened and people moved forward, visibly excited as they quickly shuffled through.
Atlas and Keenan followed the line and edged forward. He kept expecting the line to stop as the building filled, but he couldn’t have been more wrong. The line never stopped its flow and before long, they stood at the doors of the colossal structure.
The sleek lines and bright silver metal shone in the sunlight as they passed the enormous glass doors and walked into an amphitheater style entryway. Fine works of art hung from the ceiling in displays of crystal. It took Atlas a few minutes for them to resolve in his mind.
“Keenan, those are crystal sculptures of some of the greatest champions in Destiny Fall,” he blurted as he grabbed his friend’s shoulder.
He spun him and pointed at the figure of a large orc hanging from the ceiling near the entry, “That’s Farr Drot. The number one player and highest ranking orc chief in the entire game. I heard he killed an entire tribe of humans by himself in a legendary quest.”
“Ooh, ooh, and that one’s Darlana Windstrider. She led the coup of the elven city of Gladenspring last fall,” Atlas squeaked.
“Geez,” Keenan whispered as he pushed Atlas’ hand from his shoulder, “Don’t nerd out so hard in front of people. There are actually ladies here. You know I was never a big fan of Destiny Fall, anyway.”
Atlas stared into his friend’s brown eyes and stuck his tongue out, but fought to calm himself. He managed some success but still bounced around as they continued through the room. Every statue in the area resembled something from gaming history, and every picture on the walls shone with vivid scenes of historic battles in his favorite VRMMO games.
The two filtered through with the crowd when Atlas noticed the line split as everyone approached. Eight massive freight elevators sat at the end of the hall. Each looked to hold well over a hundred people at once. The attendant at the front of the line addressed them as soon as they approached.
“You, the one with the short brown hair, to elevator four. You, with the long dreads, elevator six.”
“But sir, we want to go to the same place so we can play together,” Atlas said.
“That’s not how this game works. Everyone spawns in a unique location. Even if you sit side by side in pods, you still may be on the other side of the world in the game. No matter what, you’ll have to search for your friend,” the man said as he motioned for them to continue forward.
Atlas turned to Keenan and shook his head, “Oh well, we’ll find each other in game. Good luck, man.”
They bumped fists and then walked to their assigned elevators. Atlas looked around at the eager faces, and his hesitation about leaving Keenan quickly faded. The building excitement from those around him was infectious, and he found himself with the familiar flash of eagerness again.
It took another fifteen minutes for the elevator to fill to capacity, then the operator motioned for everyone to back away from the entrance. Large steel doors slid closed with an eerie silence and the elevator hopped before descending. The trip down felt like an eternity. Atlas couldn’t begin to guess how far they’d traveled beneath the surface.
Their elevator came to a halt, and the doors swung open to reveal an auditorium with rows of seating. A raised platform with a podium stood at the front, along with two men in white lab coats that waited for their arrival. Everyone neatly filed into the room and grabbed the closest chair. The elevator doors clicked shut and all the attendants sat waiting.
A man in a lab coat approached the podium. He stood a little under six feet tall and had short black hair, streaked with gray. His walk was a little stiff, like he had hip problems, but he trudged his way