The sky was grey like the skin of the corpse bleeding out beside me. I rested against a petrified tree stubbornly remaining upright like the tombstones marking the death of someone important. Clutched in my right hand was a bloody pickaxe and a box that fell from the sky in my left. In the distance, The People's City flashed with colorful lights no matter the time of day. I turned my back on the mine I was stationed at and the corpse of the foreman. Blood dribbled slowly from the wound on my shoulder.
When I picked up the box, and he swung his pickaxe at me. What else could I do but defend myself? The box could help me get away from this place; it was the last thing I needed to make my escape plan work. There were legends that people used to visit distant worlds with their minds leaving their bodies behind.
If the foreman was discovered, they would find me before I could leave. There were plenty of hills and watery bottoms outside the city. We were on the side of one with rot and the animals that lived below. A corpse, even freshly dead, wouldn't last a day there. So I put my pickax down and dragged the foreman by his collar the slope and kicked him down.
"You weren't a bad boss, but you shouldn't have swung at me," I said as the man rolled down into the dark of the bottom below.
The sounds of the bottom's wildlife invoked the pants-shitting fear that only real monsters could unleash. A cold chill ran up my spine, and I knew I couldn't stay much longer. Someone would look for the foreman and see the blood. So, I turned over the dirt as best I could and then got out of there after retrieving my pickaxe.
I made my way to the only home I've ever known. Out in the forest of petrified trees, there were rows of pods. They were where we were born, where we were told our purpose, and where we were told how lucky we are to live under the protection of The People's City. Or that's what they were supposed to do. Mine never worked quite right, but there was free electricity to work with, so why not make some changes.
The city dumped their junk near the mine, and some of it still worked. The stuff that worked told me about the internet and games.
I couldn't resist learning more after finding out that games were doors to other worlds. There was so much to learn and tons of arguments from centuries ago. I had to look back through ages of tech and work my way up while others zoned out in their pods. My busted pod worked perfectly to hide my identity and let me study up on things. I tried to run my first game, but my processor was busted and couldn't do the job.
From then on, I used my pod and a connected device to study up on what I needed to game. I scavenged the headset, hard drive, and some old nanite solution, but not a single processor I found was strong enough. They needed to have crystal bits inside them like the thing I had in my hand. Those weren't junked ever. I wouldn't have gotten another chance to get one, so the foreman had to die when he swung at me.
My preparations went smoothly. I injected myself with a massive dose of a blue-tinged solution full of nanites. That was the most important part of my transition. I had been injecting them every day for years until I could see lines of them under my shirt.
I made it to my pod, put my hand on the scanner, something no other pod bothered with, and the door slid open. The box fit right into place, and I used the hand nanite forger to fit the ends of the box together. When I connected the processor to my rig, I felt something puncture my chest. I stared down as blood poured down my dingy orange pants.
My strength left me as I stumbled into the pod. Something else hit my back, and I spat blood on my seat. The pod door closed as I managed to sit down. Something hot began to cut through my door, and I was bleeding out and burning. I needed to get to the other world. I quickly turned on the system and put the helmet on. I felt my body freeze up suddenly, and my mind was transported to the purgatory between worlds.
In the world between, I felt no pain, but something told me I had to move quickly. Several worlds appeared before me, each more fantastic and colorful than the last. They were truly heavenly realms compared to the dull grey world that was this one. Each of them had shapely creatures I had never laid eyes upon in the most ancient of text. I believe they were called waifus pure manifestations of love and hope.
There was one that stood out more than the others. I knew it as Waifu Wornderland. The highest heaven I could find. I spent years finding every mod built over the centuries turning the game into a world-spanning galaxies. Then, finally, I reached out and selected it just as pain blasted through my chest, and I knew I wasn't breathing.
Despite that, I continued to reach even as my original body died; I knew there would be a new perfect body for me on the other side.
In those early days, I didn't understand what I was doing or the significance of the nanites. Then, the next thing I knew, I woke up in a warm bed with a prompt floating above my head.
What is your name?
I stared down at the soft fabric that hugged warmly to the skin, felt the softness of the mattress, and stared at the yellow light creeping in through my window. My mind froze up as I stared in absolute wonder at the sun shining through the window.
The prompt flashed again, and I thought about it. This was a new world and a new life. I could choose any name I liked; this was heaven. I wanted something that meant new for my new life. Once I thought about it, I felt a list of names appear in my head. They were there on a crystal-clear screen in place of my mind's eye. Of the names, only one stood out to me.
"Zoran, my name will be Zoran." I said before a busty person walked in. From what I could tell, she wasn't a waifu, and there were no indications of her being one.
"Zoran, my baby boy." The woman cheered and hugged me. I almost punched her before her massive mummeries pressed against my face. Then, all I could think about was how soft they felt.
"Today is the day you go to the great Professor Cacao's lab to get your first Waifu and start your journey. Don't feel nervous; all young men dream of having their own harem. With a little skill, you'll do just fine. Don't be a stranger and throw me some of your winnings." I opened my mouth. "I'm only joking; your father's child support will continue until I die, court order. So you better go Tyrone will be coming over soon, and he doesn't like seeing you." I opened my mouth and closed it. Was that from the mods?
I decided to take that lesson to heart and only love Waifus. My clothes were a vibrant red that reminded me a little of the foreman's blood. I ransacked my room, but all I found was a tube with strange lips at the end of it and a bottle of waifu lube. Fortunately, my clothes had a backpack bigger on the inside than the outside. This was heaven, so what else could I expect and it hardly weighed a thing.
The second I stepped out of my room, I froze, seeing a large dark-skinned man in a white T-shirt and bright purple shorts. Several chains of precious metals hung from his neck, and resting between his fingers were brass knuckles. Our eyes met, his brown staring holes into my blue. "Where are you going, little man," I opened my mouth to answer, but he held his hand up. "If it isn't to the liquor store to pick me up some merlot, you'll catch five across the face. Don't even think of going to the lab, or I'll find you and make a meat sandwich with your waifu and mother. You'll watch like the good little cuck; I know you are."
I blinked; it hadn't been long since I killed a man for the first time for swinging at me. Then, my eyes locked on a letter opener sitting on a table. It wasn't as sharp as I would like, but it would do the job.
How could something like this guy exist in heaven?
The answer I came upon was obvious, he's a demon. Obviously, he's trying to steer me off the path of heaven with threats. I sized the man up and didn't like my chances. He weighed a good 100 or more pounds than me. I tried to go around him, but he shoved a hand in my way. Then he hit me.
My head rocked to the side, and I tasted blood. This was my first clue that even though this was another world, it wasn't quite heaven. I spat blood on the ground.
"What are you going to do? Call the cops? Do you think they'll come to arrest me?"
"I'll buy your merlot," I said.
The man smiled. "That's a good cuck." The man said.
I don't know when I knew he had to die. Perhaps it was the second our eyes met, and he stood in the way of my waifus. He didn't turn around even after I grabbed the letter opener. It was heavy with a good firm grip but not as solid as my pickaxe had been. Nevertheless, there was some decoration and flourish to it.
The knife was 7inches and an inch wide. I held the blade overhanded and pressed my other hand against the handle. Tyrone made it clear that he would be an obstacle in my path to a waifu and had to die. Before I could lunge, my mother stepped out of the bathroom and glared down the hall.
"I'll buy you some merlots; let my son go on his adventure. You said you would take me out tonight anyway."
Tyrone seemed to mull it over before shrugging. "Fine, I'll let the little cuck have his fun. But his winnings are mine. So I quickly hid the knife." Tyrone pointed his sausage-like fingers at me. "Do you hear that? I don't care what waifus you have; you better pay me half your winnings."
"It's only fair, Zoran. Think of it as paying me back for raising you. I'll have a contract drawn up when you get back." Mother said.
There was no coming back, and Tyrone needed to die. "Look out for my gang; they'll help you find your way back here to sign," Tyrone said.
My situation was suddenly much more difficult.