And I advise that you hold your eyes back
Cause our vorpal blades 'bout to go snicker snack
And the wind's gonna blow hard to die
That I can't tell you what's gonna try and hide
The cold wind blew feverishly against her, cold blasts of arctic air whipping her long blond hair around her, trying to blow her body away to some other place. The wind had never been that harsh, or cold, in the seven years she'd lived in North Dakota, but then again, she'd never have to walk to her home in the seven years she'd lived here.
Her car had been in the shop after her breaks had decided to take their December vacation and almost kill her, leaving her with a horrible limp in her leg for an entire week from stretching the muscle to much. She could walk, but it hurt horribly, and that's why she was depending on her car being fixed today so she wouldn't have to walk the whole two hours to her little house in the woods. But to her everlasting luck, the shop told her it wouldn't be done until Monday. And it was Friday.
Of course, that wasn't much of a problem for her. At the ripe age of nineteen, she still had to up to date Xbox 360 and PS3 (which had cost her a penny and more) video game consoles at her house, being a rabid video game lover herself. She didn't play them all the time, she wasn't that much of a video game lover, but when situations like this popped up she couldn't resist wasting a day or two playing fabulous games, and this weekend looked like a gold mine.
But it didn't make this long walk any better for Rebecca Sanderson.
Wind rushed past her in another burst, and she shivered under her thin black raincoat. It never blew this hard in North Dakota, nor this cold. It was so unnatural, and it gave her the creeps. However, before she could dwell on this thought further, suddenly out of the blue her leg gave way in a horrible pinch of pain, and she almost crashed to the ground if it were not for her quick reflexes, and she quickly balanced herself again. When she tried to take another step, another, less severe streak of pain hit her, and she winced. What had gotten into her? She had been fine just a fine few minutes ago, and now...this?
I can't walk home. Not like this.
No, this leg would not make it home. She'd either have to sit down on a non-existing log until she felt she could walk, or try and find a non-existing cell phone signal and call for help. Seeing as she was in the middle of a wide grassy plain with trees surrounding her in the distance on all sides, help wasn't going to waltz it's way to her. This was the middle of nowhere, and help never shows up in those cheesy horror movies where the girl gets mysteriously stranded in the middle of nowhere and has to fight mutant cannibals or something like that.
So, seeing as she had no options, Rebecca continued to grudgingly walk, each step shooting fresh pain into her leg and up through her body.
She didn't know how long time passed she walked across that empty grassy plain, a fading dirt road her only direction and trees surrounding her with icy wind blasting her face and just making this whole thing miserable, but eventually she came across a sight she'd never think she'd see out here.
A building. With lights on.
A small flicker of hope bloomed in her chest, but she quickly calmed it down. Hopefully, if anybody lived there, they had some pain relievers, or a bed she could sleep in, or a working phone. Or the lights could just be her desperate imagination, and there really was nobody inside, and she'd spend whatever little time she had left with her leg investigating an empty house. When another gust of wind hit her, Rebecca decided that, real or not, she was going to have to try.
So she limped as fast as she could to the building, which looked quite old with wooden window's and old, yellow stone cemented together. Hopefully, if she found a elderly couple, that'd make convincing a thousand times easier, but that depended on if there were any at all. If there was not, she'd just find a place to rest then.
When she arrived at the old double door that she assumed was the entrance, she took a deep breath, summoning all her courage, and pushed it open, the searing pain in her leg reminding her the necessity of the situation.
And she did not expect what she saw.
The inside was nothing like the outside. Yes, the walls were still made of stone, but small electric lights provided a dim light to the room. Before her was a sleek black desk, an attractive young Hispanic woman dressed in a black fur coat standing behind a window, totally contrasting the rest of the room. To her left was a rack of...weapons? Guns, God, hundreds of guns, pistols, knives, swords, all slanted on the rack. And...and was that a wrench?
What in the hell is this place? Some sort of demented bar?
Stepping in carefully, she closed the door behind her and took in the whole scene before slowly walking up to the lady behind the window, and jumped when she heard the snarl of two angry black pit bulls who were hiding next to the desk unseen, making no move to harm her must almost as if warning her. What sort of place needed two angry guard dogs to protect it? Was there some evil army of whatever coming to burn the place down? Obviously no happy little old couple lived here, because she could hear the faint mutter of numerous voices, though she could make out what they said.
The woman at the desk didn't notice Rebecca until she had walked right up to the her and asked, in a quiet voice, "Hello?"
The lady didn't speak, instead, she gave her a quick look over, and then an expecting look and glanced down at a small wooden bowl filled with all sorts of odd things sitting on the counter. Old dollar bills, gold coins, small quarters and a glowing ball of light? Who...paid? with a glowing ball of light?
Realizing that she to was supposed to pay for whatever what was going on here, Rebecca quickly checked herself and silently cursed. No wallet. Damn. Another bolt of pain in her leg made her quickly look up and smile in a sheepish, "I'm sorry" way to the lady and said "Look, I'm sorry, but I left my wallet in my house. I just need some pain relive..." she trailed off at the unimpressed look on the lady's face that clearly said 'Really?'
Rebecca sighed. This was going to be difficult. "Look, my house is two more miles down the lane, okay? I hurt my leg and I can't walk down there, so if you have any-" She was cut off by a sharp manicured finger held in front of her, and the lady began typing on an unseen computer, the sharp 'snap' of the nails hitting the keyboard ringing around the room. Glancing around behind the mirror, Rebecca saw that the walls and border around the desk were covered with pictures of smiling people she never met, newspaper clippings she couldn't read, and thoughts of this place being a high quality secret bar seemed to make more sense.
And jeez, that have such a nice hospitality system here. She thought bitterly.
"Name?" the lady asked in a sharp, annoyed, I-hate-you-for-being-here voice.
"Rebecca Sanderson." she said slowly, for she had noticed that to the left of the desk, there was a small wooden door leading into what she could guess was the bar, and where the source of the voices where coming from. She couldn't see beyond a small ray of golden light, as the door wasn't open that much, but she swore if she squinted really hard she could see the faint outline of-
Rebecca noticed the typing had stopped, and she looked back at the dark woman, and found to her surprise that the snappy Hispanic lady was looking wide eyed at Rebecca as though she was a walking corpse. Bewildered, Rebecca snapped, "What?" only to have the lady quickly pull out a small silver walkie-talkie and rapidly muttered something, and Rebecca only caught the words "there", "alert" and..."gamer"?
What are these guy's problems?
"Sit down, please, and don't touch anything." the woman snapped at Rebecca, before whirling around and walking out through a back door, leaving her all alone.
For a minute Rebecca simply stood there and tried to take in what ridiculousness just happened, and then shook her head and sat down on a bench, careful to avoid the pit bulls and gently lowered her sore and throbbing leg. They were probably trying to see if they could let her in without money, or something like that. What she really needed now was painkillers, because now with no snappy lady distracting her, her leg was really starting to become a problem. Had she sprained it?
Her eyes went back to the weapon rack. There were just so many. Rifles, shotguns, M16s, swords, daggers, grenades, all these things, and what for? A war? A battle? If this place really was a bar, than what did drinking men need with such heavy artillery? Some she swore she recognized, and that wrench, the silver one tucked away in the corner, that looked exactly like the one Ratchet carried around in Ratchet and Clank. And one of those pistols looked like one from...no, it couldn't be.
A loud shout from her right jolted Rebecca out of her train of thought, and she glanced back at the little door. The temptation to look was horribly itching. Suspects, new thoughts were taking place. The more she looked at the weapons, the more she realized that they looked so much like ones from...from...Just say it... video games. God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, Gears of War, all those weapons just looked so real. Did people cosplay here? Were the people...
No. It's just cosplay. Don't even think about it. It'll break you.
But that little door, if she had just a peek, reassurance of what this place really was, she'd be okay. A creak of the door, a small little glimpse, and she would be satisfied. It wouldn't hurt anybody to look, and she'd be in and out before anybody knew. Then the rube woman would come back with some pain relievers and nobody would ever know.
So, with a firm resolve, she stood up, and carefully tip toed around the pit bulls, ignoring the low snarls, and crept towards the door. The voices became louder, clearer. She couldn't tell when one was male and one was female, but she still couldn't hear out exactly what they were saying. The curiosity was maddening.
The door was right in front of her, small beams of light dotting her body, the tiny opening in the door beckoning her. Eyes straining, she quietly, slowly, carefully, with the most grace she'd ever use in her life, she slowly eased open the door by a small millimeter, her breath held in a tense breath, the only sound was the rapid beat of her heart hammering against her rib cage.
For a moment, she could see only blurry figures. Then her eyes adjusted to the surprisingly harsh lighting, and she could see one figure clearly.
He was talking to a pink-haired girl whose back was to her, and he was wearing the same garb he wore when he was in the desert in his third game, with bandana, dirt and all, as if he had walked straight out of the game and into this crazy, crazy place. His brown hair was messy, unkept, but she knew who he was all the same, and the answer almost made her burst open the door right then and there.
Nathan Drake was standing outside the door talking to a pink haired girl and drinking a bottle of beer while leaning on a counter. . From the famous Uncharted series. Ex-ex-boyfriend of Elena Fisher and ex-boyfriend of Chloe. Sidekick: Sully (she had never bothered to learn his true name). Self proclaimed descendant of Sir Francis Drake. Professional tomb robber only rivaled by Lara Croft. Mother killed by suicide, father sent him to an orphanage. Right there. A video game character that was real.
No, no, no, no, no...
To Rebecca's unrelenting shock, he stopped talking and, seemingly able to sense someone was looking at him, flicked his eyes around until he looked right at her. Rebecca. His baby blue eyes gaped at her, and her's gaped at him. No way. He was looking at her. A fictional person was looking at her. Nathan Drake, not a cosplay wannabe, was looking at her.
She couldn't breathe. She couldn't do anything, glued to that door. She could only stare at him, as years crawled by them...
This isn't possible, this isn't real, your dreaming, no, no, no,...
He was fake. Made from the thoughts and ideas of real people. How on Earth and Heaven and God forbid hell could he be here? This bended and hurled every single law of reality, space, and time out the window and crushed it to powder before taking a whizz on it. Everything she knew was gone, wiped away. The possibility that made up characters could become real from thoughts...no. It just couldn't happen.
Part of her urged her to push the door all the way open, but she knew that something...bad would happen when she did. Some feeling she never had, some alien feeling screamed out in her stomach that it wouldn't do her any good at all to see if anybody else was in that room because a part of her, deep, deep down knew who else was in that room. The reality was already too real, and she just couldn't take a reminder.
And she might have actually done it if it wasn't for a strong hand that grabbed her arm and whirled her around, the other arm shutting the door all the way behind her and cutting Mr. Drake from her.
A young man with cinnamon-Nathan Drake doesn't like cinnamon according to the Fourth Labyrinth- skin and raven black hair with deep chocolate amber eyes held her fast, but he could have been a vampire about to drink her blood for all she cared. All that she could see, think and hear was Nathan Drake standing there, looking at her like she was a alien from another planet. And then names and images flashed across the vision of this cinnamon boy. Marcus Fenix, Sonic, Soap, Shepard, Crash, Ratchet, Clank, Sly, Lightning, Nero, Snake...
The man started to lead her away from the door, past the glass desk and to the back door that the dark skinned lady had exited, holding her shoulders and gently pushing her limp body along, but she saw none of this.
Dragonborn, Ulfric, Link, Zelda, Sack Boy, Ezio, Altair, Terra, Daniel, Master Chief, Cortana, Cole, Dom, Dante...
Now she was in a cream colored hallway, dim lights showing her the seemingly unending floor. She stared blankly ahead, only able to see the horrible and yet wonderful names and pictures darting past her so fast she could barley read them.
Nathan Drake looked at me. Nathan Drake LOOKED at me. HE LOOKED AT ME. NATHAN DRAKE FROM THE UNCHARTED SERIES LOOKED AT ME-
Her vision dimmed, her legs became a mass of jelly, her mind's power box had a short circuit, and Rebecca collapsed.
"She'll be alright though?"
"Yeah. One of the army boys turned out to be a medic. Said she just had a concussion, no big damage. Though just imagine what's going on in her head...God. She should have friggin listened and stayed put. Then we wouldn't be in this mess and I could keep talking to Shepard."
"Damn. I didn't know I scare the living crap outta people."
"Finally wake up and smell the roses? Ha! No, she's just had her concept of reality tweaked a bit."
"Alright, maybe a little. But she'll get used to it."
"What, you expect her to stay quiet about this when she goes home?"
"Which is why she's going to work for us. Me, to be exact."
"Are you crazy? You can't keep her here against her own will!"
"Yes, I am, and no, I'm not going to force he to stay here. If she wants to be Miss Mary Sue, sure, fine, I'll let her see for herself. Like I said, her concept has been changed. She'll never be able to live in the normal world again now that she's gotten a good look at you. So, it's either sit tight with what she knows until the day she dies, or work here. I don't really care. I know she'll stay here either way."
"Not much for caring, huh?"
"Caring wastes time. Time I don't have. Also, you do realize Miss Peekaboo is awake, right?"
"Yep. She's been listening to us this whole time. Lucky for you, I am a expert at fixing things like this."
Rebecca, lost in the dark, deep depths of her sub-consciousness, heard these words as sharp and clear as if she was awake.
There, in her mind, she had been...dwelling. Sitting down and trying to understand what had happened to her in the only place where the risk of insanity was very low. No matter how hard she had tried, she couldn't wrap her mind around the image of a shocked Nathan Drake. Excuse after excuse rattled around her brain, but none made sense. Nothing could explain why Nathan Drake was in a...bar...in North Dakota on planet Earth.
But then she had heard those words-"Wake up."- and she found herself actually waking up as simple and slow as any sane, normal person would.
'Don't be surprised.' some far, dying part of her mind whispered, and Rebecca frantically tried to locate it, but it was gone as fast as it was there.
When she opened her eyes, she at first saw only the cream color of the ceiling. Turning her head, she found a small, brown haired girl glaring at her with water-colored eyes. This stranger wore a shirt with purple and black swirled together, which made her already pale skin as white as snow, and her hair was cut short to the point it barley passed her ears. Altogether, the girl looked horribly young, like she was thirteen, but Rebecca had a feeling this girl was a lot more than that.
Blinking her eyes, Rebecca discovered to her everlasting suprise that instead of the expected rise and shine headache that usually followed awakening before one was ready, her head was perfectly, clearly fine, as if she had woken from a nice nap. The clothing she wore before she collapsed was still on her, and someone had placed her on a soft bed with linen sheets.
"You, missy, have been a pain in my arse all night." the girl suddenly snapped at Rebecca.
"What...what did I...do?" she muttered, pushing herself up with her elbow after a long pause.
"You peeked. You went and peeked through the one friggin door you were never supposed to peek in. All you had to do was sit down like a good girl and you could have been home right now petting your dog or whatever you have at home. But instead you just had to be the curiosity cat and give me such a headache that I actually had to use painkillers. Do you know how long it had been since I have had to use a painkiller?" the girl replied, crossing her arms.
"I have no idea." She sat up to a sitting position, her wits suddenly returning to her, and she decided she didn't like this girl at all.
"No, you don't. So here you are, with things in your head that I can't erase, and I have to jump a million friggin flaming hoops so I can make sure that you don't end up in a asylum by the end of this week because I am just that nice of a guy. And I don't like you either."
Rebecca stared at the rude, snappy girl- 'Is everyone here rude and snappy?' - and had no idea what she was talking about.
The girl sighed. "Let me dumb it down for you. You saw Mr. Drake through the door, am I correct?"
Rebecca nodded, the memory fresh in her mind.
"I'll take that as a yes. Anyway, you were not supposed to see that. Actually, I have no idea how you even found this place, but never mind that. The problem is that you, and believe me when I say I am so, so sad, cannot leave here with that pretty picture in your head."
The bluntness of the phrase hit Rebecca like a shockwave, freezing everything. Can't leave? What does she mean can't leave? What about my friends, my family? My house?
"Don't you dare start freaking out on me and blacking out again or so help me God I will erase every single memory in your head. Your personal life is being taken care of as we speak and by tommorrow morning everyone will think you went fishing and drowned, so don't worry about that."
For a moment Rebecca could do nothing, think nothing. It was almost like Nathan all over again. The calmness of the horrifying statement almost destroyed all of Rebecca's sanity. The girl sighed. "I know you can hear me, but it's kinda freaky talking to a statue. Snap out of it." and Rebecca found her frozen mind suddenly working again, and she whispered, "Drowned?"
For a moment, she swore the stranger's eyes flicker (sadness, anger?) for a moment, but it dissapered. "Yes, drowned. Ba bye, rest in peace, etc. But we have to make sure the world thinks your dead so that I could say what I am about to say."
"Why can't I just go home?" she wimpered.
"What do you think? I'm not stupid. You go home and the first thing your going to do is call your best friend and tell her what you saw, then your mom, then your dad, etc. Your family would think you lost your marbles, and boom: Rebecca Sanderson, patient 304 in the County Asylum." the girl stated cooly.
And to her shock, Rebecca saw that the stranger had said exactly what Rebecca knew she would have done. A experience like that...she couldn't, wouldn't keep it to herself. It was to big, to shocking. She would probably pick up her phone and call someone. Her parents, maybe not, but defintly her friends. And then...
"What...were you going to ask me?" Rebecca said slowly.
The girl smirked. "Finally. I was worried you'd go, "Take me home you mean nasty witch!" and make this a hundred times harder. Now, I am going to offer you a deal that I haven't offered someone in a very long time, so listen. I hate repeating myself." She paused. "Would...you like to...work here?"
Rebecca shot her eyes up, her attention yanked to the young girl sitting in front of her. Had she just said work?
"Yes, work. I'm pretty sure you've figured out by now that this isn't some bar in the middle of nowhere, and we get full daily. Right now I have a eighty five year old man working the counter and a bipolar woman working the front desk. We need the people. So, deal?"
She was to shocked, to overwhelmed to think about it. According to this girl, she was dead to the world. She had seen things she would never be able to un-see again, her mind was in tattered pieces, and she was just to tired. Life couldn't ever be the same for her if she went home.
So, she nodded her head.
"Great. Follow me."
The girl stood up, Rebecca following her suit in a dizzy trance, and the pair walked out of the small room. The girl was at least a foot smaller than Rebecca, but she walked as though she was the tallest person in the world, her short hair bobbing with each step. Soon they arrived at a new door, sleek and black (and with no cracks to peek through, she thought bitterly), and Rebecca could hear the voices again, louder. This time, she could tell who they belonged to, and this didn't scare her a bit.
The girl put her hand on the handle, turning to her. "I'm going to open this door, and you are not going to scream. You are not going to faint, and you are not going to gasp or make any noises with your mouth, though I highly doubt that since it's your first time. Do not make eye contact with anybody for more than five seconds and whatever you do, do not say their names or where they come from or I will burn you. You're going to follow me and we are going to visit a certain man who owes us both an apology. Understand?"
Not able to say anything, the new Rebecca Sanderson simply bobbed her head in agreement.
The girl smirked. "Oh, yes, and since I am your new boss, you can call me Lohce."
And then with one fluid snap of the wrist, she opened the door.