Mae woke with a start. She had just finished going through another of her strange dreams. After the incident with the cult, her dreams continued, but without the presence of any large, spiritual animals at the end. This one ended differently, though. Mae had wandered around and found the musicians as usual, but the song they played was an eerie jumble of nothing. There was no song, just noise. Once all the musicians had been found, she made her way back to the start of the dream. Mae had expected to be forced to wait there until she woke up, but instead, she was met with the tall, shadowy outline of what looked like a goat. The landscape faded into shapes, then darkness. Clutching her head, Mae attempted to block out the sound of the song becoming louder. She eventually collapsed and woke up.
After calming down and processing her dream for a bit, Mae got up and got dressed. Upon opening her laptop, she found messages from all her friends, except Angus, who usually only left an away message. That wasn't on her mind, though, as she also had a message from an anonymous user. Their profile pic was some sort of green slime creature. She honestly thought it was adorable. Mae(MB) opened the chat, slightly scared that it would be some sort of hacker or maybe even one of those strange, "not for children", sites from before Angus fixed her computer.
GT: Message me back AS SOON as you get up, it's very important.
MB: Who are you?
GT: That's not important right now, what's important is getting you and your friends out before you're all dead.
MB: What? Why would we die?
Mae immediately wondered if this stranger knew about the cult or if this had anything to do with them.
GT: You don't have enough time left for me to explain what's going on. You just need to trust me and download these files.
Attached were two files, both labeled with, "SBURB".
GT: You also need to send these to anyone who you want to survive. You only have about three and a half hours left, so you need to hurry.
Mae was skeptical of this person who said she would die if she didn't download these very suspicious files, but she couldn't shake the feeling that this may have something to do with the black goat or the cult, so she decided, against her better judgment, to download them.
GT: Good. Now we can get started.
MB: Wait. How did you know I downloaded the files?
GT: That's also gonna have to be saved for later. Your main priority now should be assembling your group that you want to keep alive.
MB: Shouldn't I send it to everyone, then?
GT: You don't have time for that, but anyone in the houses of whoever you send these files to will have a chance at survival.
MB: What's this file supposed to do anyways?
GT: It's a game called, "SBURB". It's complicated to start, so leave it alone for now and go gather up your group. We can create a group chat and I'll walk you through how to enter the game.
MB: Okay, but one last thing. What's your name?
GT: It's John. Now go. Time is running out.
Mae copied the files onto a USB and made her way downstairs. Getting ready took about 30 minutes. It was 5 o'clock Before Mae was ready to leave. The game started in 3 hours. That meant that both of her parents would be home when it did. As she threw her winter coat on, her mother called to her,
"Mae, honey, are you leaving already?"
"Yeah, sorry. I've got things I need to do.", Mae replied hurriedly.
"Okay, sweetie, just be careful. Spring may be coming but winters still got some snow left to give us as well as some very slippery sidewalks."
"I will, mom."
Mae was sprinting down the sidewalk. As she ran, she thought about who to bring. Gregg, Bea, and Angus, of course, but who else? Germ was another obvious pick. He probably wouldn't be too hard to convince. She was glad his parents got him a PC for longest night. She would also bring Lori in as well. She was too young to die now. At that moment, she saw Selmers and thought that she would bring her in, too. She stopped, breathing heavily.
"Hey, Selmers." Mae managed to fit in between breaths.
"Hey, Mae. Whatcha up to?", she said in her normal calm voice.
"Do you have a computer or laptop?", Mae asked, paying no mind to the question she had just been asked.
"Can I come in?", Mae requested.
"Uh, okay.", Selmers responded, somewhat confused.
They went inside and Selmers brought out her laptop.
"So, what do you want with my laptop? I know you have your own." Selmers inquired.
"Okay, so, hear me out. Some guy messaged me this morning and told me to play this game and to play it with anyone who I want alive after the end of the world which is supposed to happen in about three hours and I want you with me." Mae explained.
Selmers, after pondering for a second, said, "Alright, I'll do it. You've been right about this stuff before so I guess I'll trust you on this one."
"Thanks, Selmers. Uh, can I get your contact info so all of us can chat later to figure out how this game works?", Mae asked while copying the files onto Selmers' laptop.
"Sure." Selmers wrote down her contact info on a piece of paper and gave it to Mae.
"Thanks, I should get going. I still have more people to convince to join this crazy-sounding game." Mae said as she made her way out.
"Okay, see you soon.", Selmers yelled as Mae started to sprint again down the street.
That was one person down, but there were still many more people to convince and she had already used up 15 minutes of her time recruiting Selmers. Mae arrived next at the apartment that she now knew Lori resided in. They had continued to hang out after the incident and eventually, Lori was comfortable enough to invite Mae to her house. Her parents weren't exactly happy but they never said anything about it. Mae rang the bell to Lori's apartment, which, luckily for Mae, actually had a button. It was Lori who answered, "W-who is it?"
"Hey, kid. It's me, Mae."
"Oh, Okay. What do you need?", Lori questioned
"I need to talk to you about something. Can I come in?", asked Mae
"O-okay. My house is pretty m-messy though. I hope you d-don't mind."
"It can't be as bad as my room.", Mae jokingly replied.
"Ha. Alright. See you when you get up here, then."
A satisfying click was heard at the end of the conversation and Mae got in the elevator. She pondered what to say, how to explain what was going on when she wasn't even sure herself. This train of thought was interrupted by a ding as the elevator opened up. Mae went up to Lori's door and knocked. Once again, she was met with Lori.
"Uh, c-come on in.", Lori stuttered. She was still getting used to acting normal with people at her house, but it was better than when Mae first visited her.
"This isn't that messy.", Mae lied. Lori's house was quite the sight to behold. She wondered when the last time this house was dusted was. Cobwebs could be seen in all corners of the room. Garbage was strewn about the floor. It was no wonder Lori was nervous when people visited. She never told her any of this, though, out of fear of triggering Lori's anxiety or something.
The two girls went to Lori's room, where it was much better kept than the rest of the house. "So, what did you want to talk about?", Lori asked, seemingly less nervous now that they had entered her room.
Mae then repeated the exact words she said to Selmers because it was all she could think to do at the moment.
"W-wait, what!", Lori began to hyperventilate. Mae immediately knew that she had screwed up. Selmers was an adult and was much more laid back than Lori. She should have taken it more slowly.
"W-wait, what do y-you mean we're going t-to d-d-die?!", Lori was freaking out. Mae was at a loss for words. She decided to hug Lori to try to calm her down.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have tried to unload all of that onto you that fast."
"W-what about my dad? Will he b-be okay?", Lori pleaded. Mae was afraid of the answer to the next question she would ask, but she had to know.
"Where will your dad be in three hours?", Mae questioned fearfully.
"M-my dad i-is away for w-work. ", Mae immediately felt a pain in her stomach, "He w-won't be b-back until this w-weekend." Mae froze, tears beginning to form as she knew she would be forced to tell Lori of her father's inevitable death.
"Lori. I'm sorry but your dad isn't going to…", Mae's voice trailed off. She couldn't bring herself to finish but Lori didn't need to hear the rest of the sentence to immediately be reduced to wails and sobs as she clutched onto Mae, unable to accept that she would never see her father again.
Mae was letting Lori cry into her for a couple minutes when a thought popped into her head, "What made you believe me so fast? You never questioned me when I told you that the world was ending and that the only way to survive was to play a computer game that some random guy sent me."
"I-I'm not sure. You j-just sounded so g-genuine and h-honest. Y-you were never o-one to l-lie about what y-you b-believe, no m-matter how c-crazy." Lori was shaking but she could speak, which was a good sign.
After a couple more minutes of hugging and crying, Lori said solemnly, "How do we start the game?"
"You mean you're in?", Mae asked, slightly shocked.
"Y-Yeah. Even if I d-don't know if I'm r-ready, I have p-people I n-need to be there f-for, like y-you."
"Wow. That's a pretty cool reason for accepting.", Mae responded, "Are you sure you're ready for this?"
"D-do I really have a choice?", Lori retorted.
Mae paused for a moment before saying, "Okay.", as she took out the USB and copied the files into Lori's computer. She already had Lori's contact info so she didn't need to ask for it this time.
"Don't do anything yet, I'll add you into a group chat with the rest of us who are going and we can go from there.", Mae explained.
"Okay. See you later.", Lori said in an almost monotone voice as Mae made her way out.
Mae felt bad for leaving so suddenly but she was running out of time. Comforting Lori alone took up about 15 minutes and in total the exchange lasted about 30 minutes. This left Mae with 2 hours and 15 minutes before whatever world-ending event that was about to take place. As she passed by the Party Barn, Mae looked longingly inside at their instruments. She knew that she would never play there again. Everything familiar to her was about to be lost forever. Would she experience the same levels of mental deterioration she had at college? She shook her head, trying to clear her head and focus on the more pressing task of saving her friends.
After some more running, Mae had arrived at the Ol' Pickaxe. The door flew open as Mae stumbled inside. Bea, however, did not seem surprised.
"It's about time you made it.", Bea said somewhat sarcastically.
"Did you know I would be here?", Mae questioned.
"Yeah, John told me you would come here to ask me about SBURB."
"Why would he tell me to give SBURB to people if he was just going to do it himself?"
"Well, he told me you were taking too long."
"But I still have, like, 2 hours!", Mae was confused. She was making good progress, yet apparently, she was taking too long?
"Look, Mae. I don't know why he did it either and wondering about it will only waste time. I'm in and Gregg and Germ are as well but Angus is still skeptical about it. You should try to convince him to join. I haven't exactly gotten through to him."
"Okay, fine. I'll start a group chat for all of us when I get home. Bye.", Mae waved at Bea as she left and started running again. As she passed the Video Outpost "Too", she saw that it was closed for renovations. She went to Gregg an Angus' apartment building. She decided to forego electrocuting herself again and just went to their door and knocked. Angus answered and he sighed a bit.
"Are you here about SBURB?", Angus asked, slightly annoyed.
"Of course!", Mae exclaimed, "Bea told me you're on the fence about it so I came to try and convince you."
Angus invited Mae to sit on their couch and Mae happily obliged. "I know it's probably true. This person seems to know a lot about us and our lives, even things that no one but us should know. Bea was convinced after he started bringing up details about her dead mom and Gregg after he brought up the sheep incident. He knows about my abusive parents and about how Gregg and I ended up in a relationship. I know what he's saying is true but the cult incident and now this have started to really bring my beliefs into question. I'm not sure if I'm ready to accept that."
Mae paused, trying to think of a response, but she had nothing to say to that. They sat there for a few minutes of silence until Angus broke it.
"I'll do it. I need to be there for Gregg, even if it means giving up on my view of the world and forcing myself to find it again."
Mae simply nodded and exited the apartment, leaving Angus to contemplate their situation and what it would mean for all of them. Mae ran home, now having everyone she could think of when she suddenly remembered Bombshell. After the cult had been destroyed, Mae decided to start hanging out with Bea more. Eventually, Bea took her to one of her college parties where she met Bombshell(Bs), a very tough looking and confident girl. By the end of the party, they had exchanged contact info and they began talking regularly. They even hung out a few times. Mae didn't want to lose that friendship so after she got home she messaged her.
MB: Heeeey, Bombshell!
Bs: Hey. What's up?
MB: Can you download this for me. It contains a game that supposedly should save us from the impending apocalypse, at least that's what some guy told me. You can be the eighth person and we'll have a fun time… Maybe.
Bs: You're fun, you know that, Brrrrowski?
MB: I'm serious!
Bs: Okay, calm down, I'll download it.
MB: Thank you. I'm making a group chat for all of us so we can get started. Time is running out.
Mae went and made a group chat. She invited everyone who she had recruited as well as John. John(GT) was the first to join followed by Gregg(GL) soon after.
GT: Are you ready, Mae?
MB: I think so?
GL: This is gonna be so cool!
MB: How can you say that? The world is ending. Your dreams of Bright Harbor will never come true now. Aren't you even a little sad?
GT: If all goes well, you all should be able to start a new life in a new universe. All of the shit you've had to deal with in Possum Springs will be a distant memory.
MB: And what if it doesn't go well?
GT: It'll probably be a horrible and painful death followed by living eternally as a ghost.
GL: That sounds like fun! We could go around and haunt people!
GT: That's not how ghosts actually work, which sucks because you could pull some great pranks with that.
Lori(LM) and Bea(BS) then joined the chat.
BS: Okay, I'm here. Who else are we waiting for?
MB: Let's see, there's Angus, Germ, Selmers, Bombshell, and Lori.
LM: I'm here!
MB: So, we're missing 4 people
GT: Alright, we still have about 1 hour and 10 minutes left. We should start working out the order of entry.
MB: Aw, man, this already sounds too complicated.
GT: If you can't make it through this then you will not understand anything about this game. It is so damn complicated.
BS: Mae, the world is about to end, could you please try to act somewhat mature for 1 hour?
MB: Fiiiiiine. Just start explaining it already.
Angus(AD) entered the chat
AD: Hi, guys.
GL: Hey, Cap'n!
GT: Alright, good, you'll be here for the explanation on how to enter the game.
AD: I'm ready when you are.
GT: Okay. The first thing I should point out is that everyone received 2 files. One contains a server file and a client file. Everyone will act as someone's server as well as a different person's client. A server manipulates a client's house through their computer and builds the house up. We need to decide the cycle of who will become the client of who.
LM: I don't know if I can handle having control of someone's whole house! Why does this have to happen? I'm not ready for this.
MB: Lori, calm down. How about you be my server so that if something goes wrong, it'll be to someone you can trust not to get mad?
LM: I'd like that, thank you, but who's gonna be my server?
MB: Angus, would you mind being her server? I trust you more than anyone not to lead her in the wrong direction.
AD: That's fine.
GL: Can I be your server, cap'n?
AD: That's also fine. I'm not sure how many others would trust you with their house
GL: Ouch, my feelings. How could you say such a thing?
AD: I'm just teasing you, bug.
GL: Well your tease broke my heart. I don't know if it can ever be fixed.
At that moment, Germ(GW), Selmers(SF), and Bombshell(Bs) all joined
SF: How's it going?
GT: Good, everyone is here. If the newcomers could read our earlier conversation then we can really get started.
Bs: Hey, Borowski, do ya wanna be my server player?
MB: Really? Are you sure? I might make a mess of things like I usually do.
Bs: Yeah. You're a tough person, Mae. I want someone like you to be my server player.
MB: Wow. Okay. Thanks.
Bs: No prob. Hey, Selms, we bears should stick together. Let me be your server player.
SF: Uh, sure. I wouldn't mind that.
AD: I'm a bear.
Bs: Yeah, but you already have a client and server player. Guess you should have waited, huh, big guy?
AD: I'm fine with my server and client players. I was just wondering.
GT: That just leaves Bea and Germ.
BS: I don't really trust a guy that just happens to own explosives, no matter how useful they may be, to be my server so Selmers will be my server, I will be Germ's, and Germ will be Gregg's.
GW: I'm fine with that.
GT: Alright, so here's the last chance to make changes to the order before we start. Any complaints need to come now.
GT: Any questions?
GT: Okay then so everyone start up both applications and connect to your server and client players.
After a few minutes of fidgeting with the programs, everyone had been set.
GT: Okay, we still have 45 minutes before our time is up. We're making progress, but there is still a lot to be done. Now, if everyone could find the phernalia registry tab on their computer, you should find a variety of items. Find a space in your client player's home and place the cruxtruder down. Now would be a good time for everyone to choose a strife specibus, which is basically what weapon type you'll be using.
MB: I'll take the club specibus. I can always trust my bat to carry me through in a fight.
GL: Oh, cool! They got a dual knives specibus! Gimme!
LM: I have a machete that would fit into the short sword specibus.
SF: I keep a rifle in my house in case of intruders or my ex… jk, just intruders.
Bs: Alright! This will give me a chance to use my badass greatsword!
MB: You have a greatsword just lying around?
Bs: Yeah, I'm kind of a nerd but hey, that nerdiness is paying off.
BS: All I really have in terms of weaponry are some kitchen knives.
GT: That's fine. You can still probably do some cool things with that, especially with that lighter.
AD: I don't really have much in terms of weaponry, either.
GT: gimme a sec
GT: Good news. Your class is mage so you can wield magic as soon as you enter the game. Just find something you'd like to channel it through. Any random set of stick-like objects should work.
AD: I guess these cooking spoons will work for now.
GT: Don't worry. It gets better. My friend, Rose, started with knitting needles and made some really cool wands out of them.
AD: Okay, thanks.
GW: How easy is it to make explosives in this game?
GT: Really easy once you get going.
GW: I'll use those, then.
BS: This is exactly why I didn't want to have you as my server player.
GW: Yes, but now you have to fix any damage I do to the house with my explosives 😊
As this conversation drew on, everyone placed down their cruxtruder, a machine with a cylinder on top with a strange circular pattern on it, as well as their alchemiters, which were large circular pads with the same symbol found on the cruxtruder, and totem lathes, which appeared to have a space for you to place something as well as a card slot, as they were all free.
GT: Alright. I think we're finally ready to enter the game. We'll start with Lori as she is the youngest here so it would be best if she got the easiest cruxite artifact.
MB: What the hell is a cruxite artifact?
GT: We'll get to that soon. First, Lori needs to hit the top of her cruxtruder with a heavy object.
LM: If my dad was here, he would freak out at the noise this will make.
BS: Shit! My dad is gonna be pissed if I wake him up with this.
GT: You haven't told your dad yet?
GT: You should get your dad acquainted with the situation. He needs to be ready to defend himself once you enter the medium (AKA the game world)
BS: My dad isn't capable of defending himself! He can barely get off the couch!
MB: My parents aren't exactly capable of fighting, either.
GT: Oh, I didn't realize your parents were so different from ours. Ours were great fighters, some even more than us, at least before we climbed our echeladders a decent amount (which is like leveling up), and they still all died except for Jane's dad.
MB: I thought you said anyone in our houses would have a chance at survival?!
GT: Chance was the keyword in that statement. Look, most of our parents/guardians died going off and trying to fight the final boss or something. If you can clear your house of the initial enemies and then build some sort of defenses, they should have a much better chance of survival.
GL: I just realized something. If the world is ending, should I just leave work and return home? Our apartment probably has better supplies than the Snack Falcon.
GT: No. Everyone needs to have a separate building or else the game won't work. You still have some time left to go gather supplies, especially since you're the second to last person to enter, but you must have a different residence than Angus.
LM: Alright I released this glowing ball thing and I got a cylinder from the cruxtruder. I tried taking this card with holes in it that I found in my inventory, which we have now, and I put it into the totem lathe, which carved my cylinder into something. What do I do with it?
GT: Great! That saved me some explaining. Now go to the alchemiter and place the dowel on it. Don't do anything yet, though. We need to prototype your kernel sprite (the glowing ball).
GT: Alright, everyone listen. When you have a kernel sprite, you can put any object into it and it will take the appearance of said object. The enemies in your world, as well as the final boss, will gain powers based on what you put in before the game. You absolutely MUST prototype pre-medium or your session will be void. You can throw the remains of dead relatives or pets in if you wish. You would get to see them again once we enter the Medium and it would probably be nice to have someone you know guiding you. You can prototype a kernel sprite twice but the second prototyping should be saved for later so you don't give the enemies more power than necessary. This second prototyping could also act as a backup in case any of your parents die.
LM: What should I put in?
GT: Anything worthless and non-threatening, like a tissue, although, if you think your mom may not survive the initial entry into the medium, you could always prototype her first. I doubt the enemies would gain a significant boost from that and you could potentially save your mother from a painful death, but it's your choice.
LM: I can prototype my mom into the kernel sprite! brb.
GL: Alright I gathered up some cool stuff to alchemize with so my weapons aren't complete trash so I should be good.
GT: If Lori's gone, then I guess Mae could start her process. It's only the order that we summon our kernel sprite that decides the order of artifacts.
MB: Sounds good.
Everyone had finished preparing their cruxite dowel and people were deciding what to prototype their kernel sprite with. Mae had asked her parents if they still had grandpa's ashes and they said yes. They didn't get the chance to ask why she wanted his ashes or about the glowing ball following Mae around before Mae ran upstairs. She found the ashes in their usual place in the crawlspace. Luckily, Mae's dad hadn't accidentally thrown them out along with the boxes. Mae took them and put them in the kernel sprite. She could see the face of her grandpa in the ball but it wouldn't fully develop until she had entered the medium.
Bea had decided to use her mother's corpse like Lori. She was close enough to the cemetery. She could make it. She would get to see her mother again. They could catch up on all the time they had missed together. She drove past the speed limit unconsciously. She barely snapped out of her train of thought before she hit the gate leading into the cemetery and was able to stop just in time. She took a shovel out of her car and rushed to the grave as fast as her legs could take her. She reached the tombstone of her mother and dug furiously. Within a few minutes, she was face to face with the coffin. Without a second thought, she threw open the casket and dragged out the corpse of her deceased mother. She had just made it back to the car and was about to drive off when she noticed the grave keeper running after her. She drove away, knowing that the cops wouldn't make it to her house before she had entered the game.
Angus had considered his options in terms of prototyping. He didn't really have any family or pets to revive. He decided on a tissue like John had recommended. It would cause the least trouble for him and his team. Selmers and Bombshell did the same, not having anyone they wanted to bring, either.
Germ had thrown his copy of Werewolf: Shred the Gnar 3 into his kernel sprite, much to everyone's dismay. Germ didn't really care, though. He wanted his favorite skateboarding werewolf as his all-knowing guide to the world of SBURB. Lori found the ashes of her dead mom and threw them in. She was happy to have at least one parent with her for her session.
Gregg was the last one to prototype his kernel sprite. It went horribly wrong. He was about to throw a cup at it so his team wouldn't be too burdened by his prototyping, but as he was about to do the deed, someone walked into the Snack Falcon.
"Hello, Gregg.", said the figure in a voice that made Gregg's heart skip a beat. It wasn't naturally frightening or anything. What scared him was who he knew the voice belonged to. Turning around, he was met with a cloaked and masked figure. He recognized immediately that it was Eide from the caves. He drew his knives from his totally awesome dual knives specibus (like, seriously, dual knives are so cool).
"I wouldn't recommend trying to stab me.", advised Eide, "I am one with the black goat now. He saved me from the cave in and gave me my arm back. We want revenge on those who dared to oppose us. That plan was made incredibly easy once we realized you were attempting to start SBURB. We couldn't allow you to leave this universe, at least not without taking us with you. I'll force you to take me with you if I have to."
"You're not coming with us. You killed Casey. I'll never forgive you for that. I don't care what powers you have. You'll have to kill me before I'll let you join our session.", Gregg's voice was filled with a calm but powerful rage that would make most people afraid to ever speak with him again. Eide was not most people.
"Or, I could do this.", he said, snapping his fingers and appearing instantly behind Gregg, and before Gregg could react, he touched the kernel sprite.
GT: FUCK! NO!
MB: What happened?
GT: Eide was just at the Snack Falcon!
AD: Is Gregg okay?!
GT: He's fine but Eide fucking prototyped himself into Gregg's kernel sprite. He can teleport and god knows what else thanks to the black goat.
MB: Does that mean all of the enemies in our session will have his powers?
GT: Yes. All of the enemies now have the power of an eldritch god. Fucking great! Look, the same thing happened to our session when Jade's god dog prototyped itself into her kernel sprite. The difference here is that Eide isn't going to help you. He'll probably use his powers to screw with you, unlike Bec who was still loyal to Jade.
BS: Well, how the hell do we stop it?
GT: The enemies can never be changed back, but you could possibly get rid of eidesprite by prototyping it with someone with conflicting personalities. The kernel sprite would be unstable and probably explode itself.
BS: But we don't know what his personality is. All we know is that he's evil.
GT: Then, the best you can do is hope he doesn't immediately kill you.
BS: Great! Sounds fun!
AD: We should just focus on getting into the game and we can move on from there. The end of the world is still coming and we only have, like, 15 minutes left.
LM: I'm back. My mom is prototyped and omg a lot happened while I was gone.
GT: Okay, we can start the final step now. If you could all alchemize your artifacts now, we can get you all into the medium.
Everyone made their artifacts and were very confused with what they received.
GL: What am I supposed to do with this?
MB: Yeah. I'm confused.
GT: I can't tell you what to do from here. All I can tell you is that each object has a task associated with it. Said task increases in difficulty as you move down the chain. Lori was given the easiest one and Angus has the hardest one.
Everyone began to think about what their task would be. Lori received a necklace. She thought to put it on and was sent to the medium. Mae had a ball and tee. She hit the ball with her bat and she, too, made it in. Bombshell was given a bottle and shot glass. She poured the bottle into the shot glass and drank it. It had no taste and in fact, she couldn't feel the liquid at all, but she made it in. Selmers was given a microphone. After thinking of possibilities, she read one of her poems into the mic. That was it. She was in. Bea was given a pack of cigarettes and she began smoking one. All she felt was the strange material of the cigarette on her lips but it continued to burn. Once it had run out, she was teleported to the medium. Germ was given a safe. Before long, he had rigged the safe with explosives and detonated. Despite the magical nature of the safe, it opened and he found himself in the medium. Gregg got two cups. He was at a loss. He decided to put them on his ears while he thought about it. After thinking for a bit, he looked up to see that he had made it to the medium.
That left Angus. There were only 5 minutes left and he was given a phone. He placed the phone to his ear and heard, "Are you ready?" It was such a simple question but Angus couldn't find an answer. He thought about everything this game meant for him. It was the end of his entire world. Everything he thought he knew was being opposed. He was scared. He wasn't ready. He sat there, plagued by thoughts of this game when he received a message on his laptop. It was from Gregg. It read, "What's taking so long? Please hurry. The meteor is almost there. I need you here. I can't do this without you." It was those last two sentences that made Angus realize why he had to be ready. He had someone to be there for. Finally, he said, "Yes.", into the phone and the apartment disappeared just as the meteor was touching it.
Everyone was in the medium, now. Their SBURB session could finally begin. Their journey would be a long one, filled with trials and tribulations that they could never have imagined. For the moment, though, they could still be glad that everyone made it in alive. They were prepared to face the worst as long as they had each other.