“It’s not my fault if the matchstick midget gets himself killed, Aldric.”
“Did you know his character was set to follow yours?”
She winced a little at Aldric’s tone. He was only trying to help but his time would be better spent getting Shortios to fall in line. His “skills” in gold farming were crap. They were still way short of paying back their guildies and now weren’t even on speaking terms. That may have been a tiny bit her fault but what had the garden ornament expected? His character set to blindly follow hers while he was out of the room was just too good an opportunity to pass up!
“I MAY have heard him say something about that.”
“That’s a yes, you knew. So switching to your flying mount and leading his character off a cliff was intentional. You two are supposed to be learning how to get along!”
Rolling her eyes she put her mic on mute so she could snicker over the video recording she had taken of Shortios walking off the cliff while her character safely hovered over him on her eagle mount. That had been so worth it. Especially after what Shortios had done the previous night. Deciding Aldric was forgetting a few important facts she took her mic off of mute.
“I think you’re forgetting that he started it with that portal trick.”
It had been Shortios’ way of getting back at her for letting him die in the troll raid. At first she had thought he was actually making an effort to be civil by offering to make a portal for them back to the main city of Keldurith. Oh, he made a portal to the city alright. A hundred feet ABOVE the city. Her character had fallen to a watery death in the moat around Keldurith. That incident she considered to be the official declaration of war.
“Matthias already talked to him about that, it won’t happen again. He thought you’d let the trolls get him on purpose-”
“I DID let them get him on purpose after he fell asleep again. There was no way I could keep us both alive. I had a blast though. Even took a screen shot of his corpse, wanna see? It’s the new wallpaper for my desktop.”
Aldric’s groan was funny as hell and she didn’t even bother putting her mic on mute to hide her snicker this time. They had to realize by now that forcing them together wasn’t going to end hostilities. All it was doing was giving them more chances to mess with each other. Nothing had really changed and as far as she was concerned until Shortios pulled his head out of his ass nothing would change.
“There has to be some way for you guys to see eye to eye.”
“With or without eye gouging?”
Alric’s sigh had her snickering again, it felt so good to be getting back at the ankle biter and she wasn’t going to let any of the officers ruin her fun. She’d quest with the sparking speedbump but that didn’t mean she had to sit back and take his shit. If Matthias or anyone else had a problem with it they could go frak themselves.
“I think what we need to do is get away from the game for a bit.”
“Huh? What do you mean get away from the game? Like, a chat room or something?”
She was officially confused. None of her guildmates ever talked about getting away from the game. What the hell would they do? She knew a few of them lived in the same city, like her and Aldric, but meeting up in real life had never even entered into anyone’s mind as far as she knew.
“I know it’s a weird request but everything you and Shortios complain about is game related. Maybe if you guys get away from the game you’ll be able to connect as actual people and work out your ingame differences better.”
“THE FUCK?! No way am I meeting up with that asshat! Don’t tell me he lives here too?!”
She had a sudden urge to start boarding up her windows. The fireball belcher lived in her city?! Why hadn’t anyone told her?! Glancing out her window she almost expected to see a dark cloaked midget by her mailbox holding a molotov cocktail ready to torch her house. This just moved into the neighborhood of creepy.
“Half the guild lives in this city Brynthyl. I was just thinking that if you guys met up and realized you’re both actual people you’d treat each other better. The anonymity of the internet can really bring out the worst in people sometimes.”
“No I don’t want to meet Shortios in person! That sounds like the worst idea in the history of forever! I’ll meet up with you if you want and talk things out but him, no way.”
He couldn’t be serious about her meeting up with Shortios. That would be beyond ridiculous. He should stay on his side of the internet and she’d stay on hers. Hadn’t everything they’d seen so far proven that they weren’t meant to be around each other? She shuddered at the thought of the two of them in the same room together.
“Fine. You don’t have to meet him but I still think you guys should talk this out away from the game.”
“I’ll take that into consideration and try it right after my lobotomy. Where did you want to meet up? I’d like to be back in time to do my daily quest routine.”
Aldric gave her the directions to some bar he was a regular at and told her to be there at seven. She almost didn’t go but it was Aldric and he’d always been a good friend so she forced herself up and out the door. Trudging over to the bus stop she pulled out her phone and dialed up Lani, needing to vent to someone.
“Hey there geekette, you calling because your internet went out again and you need to borrow mine?”
That had her blushing. It had only happened once but Lani still gave her shit about it whenever she called during “gaming hours” as Lani called them. It was still embarrassing but she had been in the middle of a raid when her internet connection had gone out. What the hell was she supposed to do? Leave the guild to die in a dungeon?
“That only happened once and I brought you cookies as a thank you. When are you going to let that go?”
“When you go out on your own without me dragging you out of the house begging me to let you bring your laptop along.”
“Ha ha, very funny. I’m doing that right now so you can drop it.”
“You’re kidding. Right? No? Oh my god! Good for you! Where are you going? I’d ask if you were going on a date but I know better.”
The hell? She could date if she wanted to! She knew lots of guys! The majority of gamers were guys so if she wanted to it would be ridiculously easy to get a date. Who didn’t want someone who was into the same things you were?
“It’s not a date but I am meeting a guy. One of the officers from my guild.”
“Is he cute?”
“How the hell would I know? I’ve only ever talked to him online. It’s not like we do video chats.”
“Come on! You guys get along right? This could lead to something more! What are you wearing?”
Okay, Lani was reading way too much into this. This was just meeting with a friend to talk about the magic missile hemorrhoid. After this she could go back to her computer and get something productive done.
“I WAS going to vent about the newest development in my mage problem but if you can’t be serious I’m just going to hang up.”
“Come on now, I’m just happy that you’re getting out of the house. Tell me you’re not wearing one of your usual geek shirts.”
“Hanging up now! Good bye!”
That had been a waste of time and she was now more irritable than she had been before leaving the house. Thank you, Lani. Looking around she kept an eye out for her stop while considering her outfit. Jeans and a navy blue fitted top that read “I’m only here because my server is down”. It was one of her favorites and she had figured it would convey to Aldric how much she appreciated being dragged away from her computer.
Hopping off the bus she headed over to Fitzhugh’s Pub. This was where Aldric hung out? Fishing out her ID for the doorman she was waved through and right into a crowd. Apparently tonight was karaoke and it was bumping. Weaving between the people cheering on some guy singing a bad rendition of Don’t Fear the Reaper she reached the bar. Waving her hand she got the attention of the bartender.
“What’ll it be?”
“Killian’s if you have it. I’m looking for my friend Al, he said to ask at the bar for him?”
The bartender grinned at her before getting her drink, handing her a mug and note after taking her cash. He pointed her over to a booth where a blond sporting wireframe glasses sat brooding. Funny, she wouldn’t have thought Aldric would be a brooder. Her bullshit senses were tingling badly as she approached the booth and heard the blond muttering.
“Of all the places to meet up to talk about the sparkle bandaid why would he choose this one?”
The FUCK?! He’d set her up? If that was who she thought it was then a certain Paladin was going to die. Remembering the note the bartender had also given her, probably a bit late, she opened it.
Brynthyl, sorry for the trick but you and Shortios need to work your problems out. Stop being jerks and get to know each other as human beings and not game avatars.
That got several people turning to look at her including the one she really didn’t want to know she was there. By the look on his face Shortios recognized her voice too. Great, this was just perfect. What the hell was she supposed to do now?