On a day like any other, the blue skies filled with clouds give off a sense of calmness and stability.
The streets are busy with cars going and the honking noise coming from all directions. The same could be said about the people, going back and forth on the sideways and creating the illusion of a crowd in the eyes of onlookers.
In the midst of all the people passing by, there's a young man with long pink hair and deep purple eyes that match his eyebrows. He's wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, grey jeans, and black running shoes.
His expression is a very stale one, as he seems to be dead inside with his purple eyes holding no life to them. He continues to walk with one destination in mind: Booba software.
Booba software is a big gaming company that has recently developed the first full emersion dive VR capsules that now allow gamers to enter video games with a digital body. This technology is going to start a whole new era for the gaming industry, and this young man with pink hair is lucky enough to be one of the beta testers of the first game.
He kept walking for quite a while before coming to a stop right in front of a big building with the icon being a cartoonish character with his eyes coming forward.
"It's hard to believe someone actually named and branded a company over a meme, and still got this much success."(Pink haired young man)
The Pink haired young man said as soon as he reached the front entrance of the building, then proceeded to enter the building, and once inside was met with four people smiling and welcoming him, then one of them approached him and asked.
"Hello sir, good afternoon. We have been waiting for your arrival. I'm Seraf Joel and I'll be in charge of guiding you to the capsules, don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions, also, If you don't mind, could you please tell me your name?"(Booba soft. worker)
The man had a big smile on his face as he said this with his rather strong and greasy voice, the aura around him made it obvious he's being paid to act this way, which isn't something uncommon.
"Good afternoon, No problem, I'm Niel Kross."(Pink haired young man)
The young man with pink hair said introducing himself, his voice is soft but firm, a little high pitched for a man but not high pitched enough for a woman which almost made him sound like a child.
"Oh! You're mister Niel?... That being the case please follow me."(Seraf)
Seraf says with a surprised expression before shaking his head and going back to his big smile, then he turns around to show the way and proceeds to walk towards the elevator.
"Is it that surprising that I'm here?"(Niel)
He asks seeing Seraf's reaction after hearing his name, as he follows Seraf through the classy reception room of their company.
"Hum... No sir, it's just we didn't expect you who lives the farthest, would be the first one to arrive."(Seraf)
Saying this with the same big smile, Seraf then entered the elevator as it opened.
Niel followed and entered the elevator right after, then said nothing else, having received his answer.
The elevator's door closed and Seraf pressed on the 16th floor out of 25.
Some awkward tension built up as none of them tried to talk to each other, making the ride seem even longer than it already is.
The situation did not change until the elevator opened its doors on the 16th floor.
After that, Niel followed Seraf until they reached a room with 14 capsules, 13 of them lined up and another one at the end of the room. The last one seems to have been added much later than the first 13 as if it wasn't initially planned.
"Mister Kross, this is the capsule room, where later on you and the other 13 will be testing Project Origo, mostly known as Origo online."(Seraf)
He said with the same enthusiasm his smile transmits, and at this point, it's hard to tell if he actually cares about the game or if he's just trying to keep his work.
"How is it?"(Niel)
He asked seeing the enthusiasm demonstrated by Seraf.
Confused by the sudden question Seraf could only ask in return.
"The game, Origo online."(Niel)
He said understanding Seraf's confusion.
"Oh! It's amazing! I myself don't know that much, but from what I heard the present has unrealistic expectations for the game, they say he describes and talks about things in the game like if he was there before..."(Seraf)
He happily explained what he knew of the situation to Niel.
"So, everything considered, the technology we have right now can't handle everything that's planned for the game, but even so, what we have is already more than most MMORPGs do."(Seraf)
Finishing his simple explanation Seraf bowed as if he had just performed in front of a huge audience.
Seeing this Niel, started suspecting that maybe this really is his personality and not just an act to keep his job.
"That's cool and all, but can you give me any specifics?"(Niel)
Niel said after hearing Seraf's explanation.
"No can do man, I definitely lose my job."(Seraf)
"If that's the case forget I even asked, just wanted to get a little heads up."(Niel)
"No problem, if I was in your shoes I'd also be curious. After all, it's not every day you get to be part of a project that will change the whole concept of gaming."(Seraf)
"Believe me, I'm well aware of that. If I wasn't I wouldn't be here."(Niel)
Both of them keep talking to one another for the rest of the time since the others weren't here yet.
After about half an hour of Niel and Seraf talking about video games and how much they changed the others finally arrived.
".... That's why I believe retro is never going to love its place in the gaming world."(Niel)
"I mean, you do have a point, but at this stage are there really that many people still playing retro games?"(Seraf)
Just as Niel was about to answer Seraf's question a voice interrupted their little chat.
"As all of you can see, this is the capsule room where all of you will for the first time experience the marvels of the digital world."
The one saying this was a man in the same uniform as Seraf with a smile that is almost on par with his, and this person came followed by a group of 13 young people, 5 girls and 8 boys who are curiously looking around the room.
"Hey look, there are two other people here."
One of the boys with black hair and green eyes said as he looked at Niel and Seraf.
"Seraf, so what have you been doing here in the capsule room?"
The man who seems to be Seraf's co-worker asked.
"Oh... I was just.... Hum... "(Seraf)
"You weren't slacking off, were you? Cause that would be against the regulations."
"No! I was just... just..."(Seraf)
"He was just explaining to me how the whole digitalization process worked since I had some doubts about its safety."(Niel)
Just as Seraf struggled to explain himself, Niel entered the conversation and immediately covered up for him, after all, he was the reason why Seraf got distracted.
"Is that so?"
The man asked not fully convinced.
It seems whoever this man is, he's Seraf's superior or so it seems that way from Niel's perspective.
"Any whom, your mister Kross correct?"
The man asked Niel.
"I guess I am."(Niel)
He said so with a small smile that felt somewhat imposing, the words from his mouth make him seem like he's making fun of the man for even asking the question.
The man didn't take whatever intentions Niel had at heart and just continued.
"So, moving on. All of you can now enter any of the 13 capsules especially prepared and made for the best experience possible, as for you... Mister Kross, the last capsule at the edge of the room will be the one you'll use."
"Oh, so what you're saying is that there's a difference between the capsules they will use and the one I'll use?"(Niel)
As soon as the man finishes speaking Niel says very calmly now not carrying a smile, but instead a very serious and calm expression.
"N-NO! I've never said such a thing! Also you can't just take someone else's place like that!"
"But you implied it, if there really are no differences I'm sure my dear beta test team members wouldn't mind changing places, right?"(Niel)
While the man was having a hard time trying to come up with an answer for Niel one of the 13 spoke.
"I don't see a problem with that, seeing there are no differences but I also believe there's no reason for you to be this rude, even if you just like us, earned the right to be here. You only got to be here because of a luck game that was played after the actual selection, so what makes you think you deserve the same standards or treatment as us?"
A young man with glasses and vivid red hair said as he looked at Niel with his head high.
"No, no, you misunderstood me. As you should know monkeys don't want to stand on the same tree as gorillas but they want the same bananas... Haha, I'm joking. Anyway you do you, I'll do me."(Niel)
Niel says with no sherd of care in his being, his words sound confident, unbothered and some people could even argue he sounded very sarcastic.
Nobody said anything as Niel walked away towards his capsule, with not a single care for what they might say or think, and Seraf just followed him as he felt awkward to stand next to them after what Just happened.
"Niel?!... Hum... Don't you think you went a little overboard there?"(Seraf)
He whispered to Niel as they walked towards the capsule.
"Nope, I think that was just enough."(Niel)
"Just enough for what?"(Seraf)
"Just enough to piss all of them off."(Niel)
Saying this Niel showed a small smile then went back to his monotone expression.
"You... Are you a troll or something?"(Seraf)
"No, I just don't like when people bluntly lie to me or when they just throw their high horse crap at me."(Niel)
"How are you so casual when you got on the bad side of the content manager?"(Seraf)
"Oh, so that's his position... Not gonna lie I thought he was higher, if that's all then I have no reasons to worry."(Niel)
"What?! You take things too easy!!"(Seraf)
"You remind me of people in school or college, during tests, saying I shouldn't be so relaxed."(Niel)
"Yup, you're a damn troll alright!"(Seraf)
"So much for being trying to relax."(Niel)
"This isn't!... You know what? I give up, you do you. Now let me help you with the capsule."(Seraf)
"That would be very helpful thank you."(Niel)
Seraf then started helping Niel get all set up the capsule.
Niel went inside and Seraf was programming it to start up.
"Good luck man."(Seraf)
Seraf left the room and so did the other man, now inside the room are only the capsules and the people inside of them.
The capsules started glowing and then a mechanical voice started talking to them.
[You have been invited to the world of Origo, are you willing to abandon your current life to life and possibly due as a hero in another world?]
[Yes] or [No]
"This beginning message is a little weird, but I guess it's pretty interesting in terms of emersion."(Niel)
Just as Niel was about to press yes, something unexpected happened as a circle with multiple unknown symbols appeared on the floor and started to glow brighter as its light engulfed everything inside the capsule room.