The Final Level

The LiveNet is somewhere where everyone is free. A free-for-all virtual internet that gives you access to everywhere in your dreams. The original game is fun, but oh so easy. So, the hackers (or Modders) take information from the LiveNet and modify it- turning it into their own reality that anyone can play. Hazel is a hardcore female gamer. She's been playing on the LiveNet for 4 years. You're only allowed to get the LiveNet Suit when you're 12 and at least 5'2. At 16, she's been through every LiveNet level and most of the Mods. She finds a new mod- Shockdream- that looks interesting. Her 2 only friends in the LiveNet go with her. They realize that it's a difficult mod; one of the hardest they've been through. At the final level, they see thousands of people. They're stuck and they can't escape the mod. And Hazel is the only one who can help everyone escape.

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3. Welcome To My Home

You might live on a great earth. In fact, you probably do. All I can tell you is to cherish it. Don't let it fall to ruins, like mine.

 

The Earth has been in complete catastrophe as long as I can remember. I got an old history book recently, and it says that we got overpopulated. That was the start of this mess. We reached over 15 billion, all cramped on this little earth. The earth obviously became full of drought and famine, which led to the wars. They were, of course, over the remaining food and water. That decreased the population by 75%, partially because of the famous White House Bomb that blew up most of the upper states. There was three more major nuclear bombs in the USA, one in California, one in Florida, and one in Michigan. It was complete fallout all over the world.

The wars eventually ended after there wasn't anyone left to fight them, so the worlds nations turned to their own scattered resources. In Ireland they relied on technology, where the LiveNet was created. It was a complete turning point in technology. The few remaining scientists use the LiveNet for research and experiments. The kids, like me, use it for gaming.

On the LiveNet, there are 6 main sectors.

The first sector, the Mall, is where you buy things for your character and hang out with friends and eat food.

The second sector, the Games, is pretty much where everyone goes. There are over 1000 games that you can play, but they're for noobs, mostly.

The third , fourth, and fifth sectors are for research and online schooling for grades 1-6 only. Boring stuff. Plus, none of the kids just looking for fun could enter.

The sixth sector is a weird one, but many peoples favorite - the Free-For-All. You basically got to show off your weapons and you can kill anyone inside that sector. They just get sent back to the Entrance.

Anyways, that's all boring stuff. The statistics and stuff that you learn in school. The real exciting stuff comes later.

 

 

 

I walked into my small alleyway in what used to be downtown Nashville. The stores, bars, and all that stuff is abandoned now. I'd rather sleep inside somewhere, but they were all taken by gangs. The gangs around my alleyway were okay with me, so long as I stayed out of their way. It was fine by me. I couldn't complain.

Yeah, the earth sucks. Everything sucks, really. But you learn to live with it.

I unraveled my sleeping mat with my Suit in it. I couldn't risk anyone seeing it. The Suits were practically gold in this part of Nashville. I went to the back of the alleyway and found my hiding place- a hole in the side of a building I could squeeze into. I climbed into the hole and made my way directly to the right, Suit in hand. I made it to my secret room. 

It was untouched by the bombs and uninhabited by any gang. The pale white room was perfect for me to experience the LiveNet at its fullest, and in secrecy. 

The awkward part was that,for best experience, you couldn't wear clothes. I stripped my torn-up t-shirt and jeans and discarded them onto the floor. I had the luxury of having underwear, so I shrugged them off too. 

I stepped into the familiar violet Suit and found my helmet, gloves, and goggles behind some rubble in the room. I couldn't risk anyone finding those. I slipped them on and sat down in the single, wooden chair in the room. I reached up and pressed the power button. The familiar process followed, the earbuds, the prick above the ear, the sudden warmness of the Suit. It was home to me. 

I entered into the Games sector and spawned in the mega center. I closed my eyes and looked on my Friends page. Over the years, I had made a considerable amount of friends. Some might even go as far as to call me famous.

But my two best friends were Alex and Jay. Their screen names were Sandy-man (Alex claims it's after some old ghost story they used to tell about the Sandman) and Jayergy (he's big on energy conservation). My screen name had nothing to do with my name at all, it was Amydia. My moms name was Amy, but she died when I was 13. We had been noobs at the very beginning of the game, and been close friends ever since.

Thankfully, they were both playing a Dungeons & Dragons based game that I could easily teleport to. I clicked on teleport and felt the suit adjust to the new environment. They were apparently by some water, based on the sounds and feeling of the suit before the landscape popped up.

Oh great. They were doing a PVP against each other. No one really was supposed to be able to spawn in a PVP current game, but the firewalls were easy to get by and I easily stepped onto the sandy terrain. The boys were screaming at each other , just having a little fun.

"Boys, boys, boys. What have I said about fighting?" I asked in a mock scolding mother voice. They both turned around, slightly taken aback.

I had made both Alex and Jay send pictures of themselves to me, so I could compare them to their avatars. Jay's was spot on, his Hispanic avatar mirrored his real- life self. Alex's differed slightly. He had green eyes and tanner skin in the game, unlike his brown eyes and pale skin in real life.

Mine was pretty close too. In the game, I had less grime covering me, and blue dip-dyed hair. I still had golden eyes, pale skin, a single , blonde braid dancing across my back.

"Hey hey hey," said Alex as he took his helmet off, revealing his sandy hair and green eyes. "What's up girl?"

"Nothin much. Found any new mods ? " I asked.

Oh right, mods.

Mods are modifications of any of the thousands of games in the Game sector that people can post to www.livenetmods.xxx on the main internet server. You could just pull it up while you were inside the suit, click on any Free mod, and presto. You're inside the mod. After beating all the games in this sector twice, mods were a godsend.

"Yeah a few actually. You might've single-played one or two, but I've got a List of some. Look on my private lists "Ex.1737 I think. Maybe 1738. " he said. I closed my eyes and looked it up.

"Yep. 1737. I haven't played ShockDream , or SkyLimit either. Lemme look up on ShockDream..." I said. "Yep. Looks cool. I have to go soon, but maybe tomorrow we can play. " I said as I slid my eyes open to reveal Jay standing way too close for comfort.

I shrieked and pushed him away as he clutched his stomach laughing. I saw Alex smirking and he high-fived Jay.

"Whatever. Y'all finish your PVP and I'll wait in the Mall, CYOC section. " I said as I thought about going back to the menu.

The menu was simply 6 doors. All lined up in the middle of space. I took a step towards the Mall door, the first one, and a platform caught my foot as usual. I had always thought that that was so cool. I walked over to the mall door and opened it, and it sent me into the portal to the mall.

I stepped into the mall and teleported to the CYOC section, or Customize Your Own Character. I met at our usual spot, a small breach in the code that led to a huge back-room filled with Armor, weapons, different downloadable hairstyles and all that stuff. No one knew where it was, just like the room my real body was in right now.

Alex and Jay appeared 15 minutes later, laughing and joking. We sat down on the far wall and talked some more. It fell into silence after a while.

"Well, I better go. I'll be on sometime tomorrow, not sure when. I'll try to message you, but don't count on it. See ya!" I said as I stood up.

"Bye best friend!" Alex said as he stood up and hugged me. I laughed, rolled my eyes and hugged him back. He was super sweet.

"Oh I see how it is," Jay said as he stood up and hugged me too.

"Boys.." I muttered under my breath as I reached up and hit the power button that I knew was on my head.

The world around me dissolved into pixels, the last image I saw was Alex smiling at me and Jay reaching over to punch his arm playfully.

I really did love those two. They were like my brothers... Except closer. Alex was obviously the sweetheart, but he could be playful too. Jay was super fun, but very rowdy.

I took off my helmet , goggles, and gloves as I stood up from the chair. I had spent a good hour and a half inside the LiveNet. I took off my suit and put on my clothes and re-hid the helmet, gloves, and goggles. On the other side of the room was my food compartment. I grabbed a can of soup and took a single drink of water and ate my soup. I mostly got my food from stealing from the gangs around me.

I headed out of my hiding spot and dashed over to my sleeping mat, clutching my Suit tightly. I put it inside a vacant box and shut the box. I then laid down on my mat and looked up at the stars.

Maybe if I hadn't looked at the ShockDream list of Alex's then I wouldn't have ended up in that mess. But, I had no idea just what I was getting into.

 

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