*** Disclaimer: The following chapter contains some mild profanity ***
Though it only lasted an hour, the raid was intense. It had taken all of their combined skills to beat the Boss, and the Augmented Reality was so real that Matt could almost smell the blood from their fallen opponent.
Opening his character sheet, he frowned at the results.
Still only Level Two?! Damn it!
He eyed his fellow warrior @doomsday16’s Level 20 with envy.
How the hell did he achieve that level?!
DarkForce had only been released a few days ago, and Matt had downloaded it at midnight the instant it became available. He vividly remembered facing the wrath of his wife the next morning. She was pissed when she learned that not only had he spent $69.96 from their tight budget without asking her about it, but that he had been up all night trying to Level Up in the game.
“Dude!” he couldn’t resist, “How did you Level Up so quickly?”
A wry grin fell across @doomsday16’s virtual face as he shook the blood off of his sword before sheathing it.
“Seriously, man?” he could hear his armor clink as he walked over to join his friend in looting the Boss’s armory, “How did you do it?”
“Nothing really. Just playing at night.”
“You’re not fooling anyone.” Matt’s cynical facial expression was mirrored on his avatar’s, “Seriously. What’s your secret?”
@doomsday16 looked over his shoulder nervously, “Not here. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
Matt nodded in understanding. He gave him a knowing look, and reached up to his right temple and pressed firmly. After a brief moment of static, his eyes adjusted to the dim light of his backyard. It was nearing midnight, and no doubt his wife and kids were already asleep.
His breath turned into fog and his body started to shiver from the cold night air. No matter how many times he played, coming out of augmented reality was always a bit shocking to the system. The game creator CyberBolt had established several massive arenas in every major city in order to enhance user experience and also to lessen the risks of shock to bodily systems. But to play in these arenas was extremely costly. Although he was recently promoted to detective, his salary at the local police precinct was meager at best.
As he attempted the turn the doorknob of his patio door however, he was surprised to find it locked. With numb fingers he fumbled in his pockets for his keys, only to discover that he had left them inside.
“Tiffany must have locked up before she went to bed…” he mumbled to himself absently.
His stomach growled as he looked up at their bedroom window.
Shit. I promised her I’d come in before dark… I better not wake her.
He rubbed his hands together in an effort to warm them as he walked around the side of the yard. He wasn’t prepared for the sight he beheld when he opened the gate. Piled in the center of his driveway was a mountain of his clothes.
“What the hell?!”
In an instant his blood was boiling. He marched over to the front door and began pounding. After several minutes of making a scene of himself, he could hear Tiffany’s voice from the other side of the door.
“It’s over Matt.” she spoke sternly, “Take your clothes and go find yourself somewhere else to sleep tonight.”
“OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!” he bellowed, “YOU KNOW I HAVE A TEN HOUR SHIFT TOMORROW!”
“That’s not my concern.” she remained stoic, “I’ll leave the door unlocked tomorrow. I’m taking the kids to my mother’s in the morning.”
His eyes were wide in fury, “JUST OPEN THE DOOR! LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS!”
“I’m done talking.” he heard her sigh heavily, “I can’t listen to any more of your lame excuses and empty promises.”
Chapter 2 is coming next Saturday!
Augmented Insomnia is a prequel to The SciFan™ Universe Series, which takes place about 10 years prior to the first installment, Conquest, which is available on Amazon for only 99 cents and is soon coming to Audible! Check out this Book Trailer featuring a sample narration by bestselling narrator Andrea Emmes:
Here’s the blurb:
A primeval darkness threatens to destroy mankind…
The world’s largest gaming platform in the entire industry is led by a man with many secrets. The popular game DarkForce features the World of Zion which has been plagued by the destructive will of the Leviathan for centuries. What gamers don’t know is that the World of Zion actually exists, and the Leviathan has fed off of the souls of men and his fodder has become scarce. He now turns to Earth with an insatiable hunger. Only a woman from Earth who levels up to discover a divine inner power can challenge Earth’s Apocalyptic Fate.
You can follow him: