The final and best chapter of all!
A few minutes later, when the trio had disappeared into the long dark passage, the samurai girl walked up to the entrance. She smiled once more and looked around carefully to see if it was a carefully planned trap. She quickly slid into the dark passage and closed the door on her way in.
Rioku tripped over something on the floor. It caused her to fall, landing flat on her face. She felt very tired and clumsy. She was really starting to wonder what was happening to her in the real world. How long had it been since she had started this game? Was she gonna be stuck here forever? She thought all this while she was lying flat on the metallic floor of the hallway they were in. She saw a hand reach down to pull her up. She grabbed it and was about to say thank you to Vult when she noticed it was Zike.
“Thank you…” She looked up into Zike’s eyes. She hadn’t really talked to him that much since they had gotten into the game and it made her feel bad. ” I’m sorry that I haven’t spoke you that much since the beginning of this stupid game…”
“Nah… it’s my fault for making it seem like I wasn’t paying much attention to anything. I’ve just been…”
“Overwhelmed by the game’s current state?”
“Yeah. I just don’t know why it came to this… I shouldn’t have gotten you involved… this is horrible…” Zike looked down at his hands.
“What I would do to see my real hands at this point…”
“I know…” Rioku put her hands into his. “We should get moving…”
“Yeah, let’s go.”
Rioku and Zike started to walk on when they notice something wrong… it was too quiet…
“Vult?” Rioku asked with a little bit of a whimper in her voice.
No answer. He wasn’t there. She latched on to Zike’s arm as he turned around to see if Vult was just playing some kind of joke on them.
“Vult? Come out! This isn’t a very funny joke… Rioku’s scared right now…”
Still nothing answered. Rioku began to wonder if he was just a bit behind or if he was just taking another nap. She clutched on tighter to Zike’s arm. She buried her face in his long tunic’s sleeves. She heard a noise. It sounded like a whisper. She jumped a bit because it scared her and she quickly looked around. Nothing. She then began to walk along with Zike again.
“Hey, there’s a light up ahead! Maybe Vult walked by when we were talking…” Rioku and Zike moved on quietly to the door that was about a crack open enough so you could see light from the inside. They pushed it open slowly…
The light was a bit blinding after being in that dark hallway, but it was nice to be able to see everything again. Rioku adjusted her eyes to look around a bit and noticed that they were in some kind of big control room. She had let go of Zike’s arm a while back, letting him free to look at his surroundings and search around for what he was looking around. Rioku noticed there was still no Vult.
“Hey, look at this!” Zike pointed down at something on the ground. Rioku ran over and looked a bit surprised when she saw Vult’s dagger on the ground. She put a hand over her mouth and wondered… was he… gone?
“Rioku, I think he’s probably just fine. Right now, we have to finish our job.” He walked over to a monitor and typed some letters in it. It opened up a small window that had strange letters on it. Zike seemed to understand it and he selected one of the two buttons. It opened up another screen, this time one with green writing rewritten over the original. Something had been here.
“Zike? What does this all mean?” Rioku was very confused. Was this part of the glitches doing?
“It means that the system is failing.”
It was not Zike’s voice that had answered but a female voice. It had come from behind Rioku. Rioku slowly turned around with a bit of fear and turned to see Vult being held around the neck by a tall Asian female player. She wore a small black kimono and adorned a samurai style hat on her head. It was the samurai girl who had been following them before. She put Vult down and he crawled over to where his dagger was and put it back into its pouch.
“Who are you?” Rioku asked the newcomer.
“They call me Samurai. But that doesn’t matter. We don’t have much time.”
She pushed Rioku aside and walked over to the computer where Zike was standing. The yellowish atmosphere made her seem like a shadowy figure in the middle of the sun. Rioku stood over by Vult. She felt a bit safer. The woman spoke to Zike and was soon typing various things on the computer in front of her. Zike walked over.
“She says she’s a hacker and can fix the database. All she needs is 10 minutes.”
“Well, that’s good…” Rioku sighed.
Not too soon after Samurai arrived, the structure began to emit odd noises. It sounded like sparks flying and like a lot of people talking at once. The sound grew louder and louder until finally it stopped and drifted away…
” The glitch is inevitable.” Samurai kept typing as she spoke. “It was eventually going to happen one way or the other. I just hope that it doesn’t spread too far. This kind of glitch isn’t the friendliest. It takes the game over then with its major parts then it takes over players until it has full control. Then, it gets whatever it wants in the game. The reason we are trapped? I don’t know… the glitch must have protective forces for making players stay on.”
Everything was quiet again. They all looked around tiredly, excluding Samurai, who was busy typing. All of the sudden, Rioku heard a loud rumbling noise.
“Hey, did you guys hear that?”
Rioku stood up and put her head to the wall. She heard the same strange noise again. It was very odd. Samurai was still working on the computer a long ways after the 10 minutes she had said it would take. Vult and Zike were pretty out of it and Rioku decided she was going to find out what the noise was. She walked over to the door they had come from and started back down the hall.
Her sword was a bit shaky in her hands, but it was fit for a beginner like her, so she knew it wouldn’t be a problem using it. She turned her head left to right, gazing at her surroundings, making sure she found the source of the noise. It was getting louder so it meant she was getting closer to her destination.
A loud crash suddenly interrupted her walk and a big shadow appeared over her. A large and rather dangerous amount of concrete from the ceiling fell from above and almost crushed her. She had quickly dodged out of the way using her highly dexterous skills. She looked up the hole in the ceiling to see if the creator of the incident was still there. She spotted a shadow standing above her, looking down into her eyes with black, lifeless ones. An electric like noise came from the figure and it quickly jumped down from its perch above. It landed on the concrete block and started to run down the hall. It looked like an ordinary boy but it was starting to grow tentacles out of its back as it ran. Rioku was quite observant of this, for she grew horrified when the fifth tentacle popped out and was in a hurry to slice off a few of the new tentacles.
They quickly approached the control room once again, this time being greeted by an unsuspecting Zike and Vult. They jumped out of the way when the squid-boy thing ran in. Its tentacles slapped around knocking things over this way and that. It was a catastrophe. Rioku chucked her sword at the thing and it caught it in the leg. The thing quickly fell and released a slight sputter of green goo from its wound. Zike walked up to it and noticed it was growing. Samurai turned around.
“Oh, crap!” She then turned back to the computer terminal and started to type faster. Vult ran up and threw a few small throwing knives at the beastly figure. It was now an enormous blob of black and see through goo. The knives got sucked right into the thing. The three persistently guarded Samurai and tried many things so she could finish the process. Nothing seemed to be working… until Zike used a fire spell. It started to singe the now colossal beast’s outer shell. He smiled and winked at Rioku. She then checked to see if she had any magic. She had enough magic to create some serious damage. She quickly casted an inferno spell which released a swirl of fire and light and engulfed the monster.
It began to become smaller and so they kept using magic. It was hard. The monster kept throwing sludge at them and Rioku kept tripping over wires and Vult just couldn’t resist throwing knives at it. It was a bit messy, but they finally weakened it.
It stood there in its weak and repulsive form. Rioku approached it and smiled. She took out her sword and stabbed it in the middle. She stood triumphant when she thought it was finally over and she had gained victory.
It was far from over though. A hand reached out of the ground and grabbed at Vult and Zike while they weren’t looking. The hand missed Vult, but passed right through Zike. Rioku shrieked and looked at Zike. He fell to the ground. It was like the shadowy hand had stolen his soul or something. Rioku ran over and put his head on her lap.
“Zike!” she shook him, screaming at the same time.
“Zike!!!” She looked at him with wide eyes. Something was wrong. He was still awake… but his skin was becoming pale and was starting to bleed. “No!!!” Rioku screamed her lungs out. He was turning into one of those horrid creatures. What was he feeling right now? Was he in pain? She couldn’t bare the thought. She quickly stood up and ran a safe distance and watched as he got up and stood tall. He turned around. His eyes were bright red. He looked almost human. Almost.
“Rioku… why didn’t you save… me…” he started to walk over slowly, a look of sadness on his face. No… it wasn’t sadness. It was a smile of evil. He was trying to make her believe he was still here… in front of her.
“Rioku, don’t listen to him!” It was Vult. He was shouting from across the room. He ran at Zike and tried to kick him over. Vult went right through him. “Ugh…”
Rioku didn’t understand anymore… everything was falling apart… nothing seemed right. She was losing her mind. Zike was coming closer and was going to kill her. She knew it. Zike raised his sword. Vult fell down slowly. Samurai turned around. Rioku closed her eyes tight.
She opened her eyes.
The last thing she saw was Samurai’s smile…
Julia woke up in bed. She had had a terrible nightmare. She breathed heavily and looked around her room. Everything was okay. She had never gotten Final Online and had never gone into the game or anything. She gave a sigh of relief and smiled as she lay back down slowly into bed. She closed her eyes and knew that tomorrow was going to be the start of a new and wonderful day. She got comfortable again and pulled her covers up to her face. She then fell back into a now wonderful slumber and drifted off into dreamland.
Meanwhile, on her computer, a small screen flashed. The only words on,