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Chapter 0: Prologue
Date Published: August 19th, 2014
Destiny, a place where one's path may alter reality. A world filled with mystery and monsters. A place where a single mistake may cause a nation to crumble. A place where reality and fantasy combines. A life you can choose for yourself. A world with limitless possibilities. Would you join us on this journey? The journey to determine our destiny.
"Woahh!! Mom!!! Dad!! Your game is on TV!"
"Oh it's finally time for it to be released." Said Scarlett.
"Hopefully everyone enjoys the game we made with our blood and sweat, honey." Smiled Shiro.
"Shiyi, dinner is ready!"
As soon as Shiyi came downstairs, the phone started to rang.
"Mom! I got it! Hello, who may am I speaking to?"
"Hi Shiyi it's me, Uncle Richard. May I speak to either your mom or dad?"
"Okay. Lemme get them for you."
Shiyi went straight towards his mother and gave her the phone. After he gave his mom the phone, he went straight to the kitchen to grab his breakfast. While eating in the living room watching cartoons, Shiyi noticed his parents privately discussing among themselves. Trying to eavesdrop, Shiyi deliberately lowered the volume to hear what his parents had to say.
"Richard said he wanted this data card. He said it was an urgent matter that needs to be attended to a.s.a.p"
"Well someone needs to take Shiyi to school, so we both can't leave. We might as well drop Shiyi off at school then head over to Richard together, Scarlett."
"Alright. Since its urgent I'll call Richard and tell him."
"Hurry and finish your breakfast Shiyi. We have an urgent meeting to attend this morning."
As soon as Shiyi finished his breakfast, he gathered his homework and waited at the door for his parents. He knew his parents were always busy, but he still love the precious moments they spend together. Although they weren't always there for him due of work, Shiyi took a lot of extracurricular activities after school so he didn't have to wait for his parents every day. He knew his parents try to provide him with a better life and soon that life is going to happen with the success of their latest video game, Destiny.
Due to technological advances in recent years, video games were getting closer and closer to reality. It was all due to Doctor Richard Smith. Dr. Smith was a genius of his time. At the age of 15, he had graduated MIT with a degree in computer, software, robotics and electrical engineering. With a lot of knowledge in engineering, he had acquire the necessary skill set to create the first of its kind virtual reality console called VRC (Virtual Reality Capsule). Due to the popularity of VRC, he had acquired a contract with one of the biggest company in the world, Software Enterprise. There he met and got acquainted with Shiro and Scarlett Lee. Mr. and Mrs. Lee were graphic and video game designers and with their help, he can create a world unlike any other.
With the help of Dr. Smith's software, they were able to design and create a world with unimaginable possibilities. At the age of 24, Dr. Smith created the first of its kind Artificial Intelligence called Ark. He believed that by naming it Ark, it can give the sense of leading users to a whole new world; one that no one had ever seen before. Because Ark was an A.I, it opened up possibilities due to monsters and NPC's acting as if they were alive. Because it gave NPC's a mind of its own, it gave a sense of realism and made the users questioned the definition of being alive.
"Is your seatbelt on Shiyi?"
As Shiro started the car and began driving Shiyi to school, Shiyi started asking his parents to buy him the VRC. With their connection it was possible to get one for free, but they had denied Shiyi to buy one because he was too young and they were afraid there might be side effects from using the VRC a lot. As Shiro started to make a left turn towards Shiyi's School, he heard a screeching sound.
POOONK! THUD!! THUD!! THUD!!
The big black SUV started twirling sideways from the middle of the road towards a fire hydrant. As the event was unfolding, Shiyi got hit from flying debris.
Water started spewing everywhere after the SUV took out the fire hydrant. As all of this was happening Shiyi can hear his parents screaming and telling him to stay down. Shiyi also heard a lot of voices yelling and screaming but started falling in and out of consciousness. Each moment he opened his eyes, time was being fast forward.
"Shiyi, stay under this blanket. Whatever you do don't come out, no matter what."
Shiyi nodded while falling out of consciousness. As his dad slowly lifted him and took him to sidewalk, he went and found Shiyi's favorite blanket and covered him with it. Shiro then headed towards the SUV again to help Scarlett out of the car. As his father was heading towards his mother, Shiyi saw some men through the small openings of the cloth approaching the SUV. It was a group of eight men and they were all wearing mask. Around their waist were high powered assault rifles with 20 cases of magazines. Moving as though they were acting out a scene in a movie, they headed towards Shiro and Scarlett. As they were inches away from Shiro, a tall muscular man protruded his neck into the vehicle. With one hand on the rifle and another on Shiro's shirt, the muscular man pulled Shiro with enough force to dislocate Shiro's shoulder.
Agony and pain were all you can see on Shiro's face. As Shiro flew fifteen yards, he started crawling towards his beloved. With one arm, he tried to pull himself up. As he push his arm against the ground, he slowly got up. With blood pouring down his head, he headed towards Scarlett again. Shiro only had one goal, and that is to move his wife somewhere safe. As he got a yard closer to the crash site, the muscular man turned around and watch Shiro try to save his wife.
"One.....feet....at..a...time.....*cough* *cough*. Almost....there.....just..a....little..furth"
Gunshots were fired. Shiro slowly fell towards the ground. Gasping and coughing up blood still didn't stop Shiro. While only thinking of his family, Shiro crawled towards his destination. As he got crawled closer and closer to Scarlett, he left a trail of blood from his busted kneecaps.
Shiro suddenly lost the sense of feeling in his arms. His blood splattered everywhere. With no limbs left to carry him towards his beloved wife, he started using his head to move inches by inches. Slowly but surely he will reach his wife one way or another.
"AHAHAHA look at this guy go." Said one of the mask individuals.
Suddenly a small statured man in a mask walked towards Shiro. He picked up Shiro's head and slowly whispered something in Shiro's ears. As he was whispering it, Shiro face started distorting. His face was filled with shock, as if he knew who they were and what their goal was. Suddenly the small statured individual threw Shiro's face towards to cement causing a few of his teeth to fly out. As he slowly got up he turned around with a big humongous smirked behind his mask.
Watching the scene slowly, Scarlett was unable to comprehend what just happened. One second ago a strange man pulled her out of her car, then the next she witness her husbands head blown off. As she slowly tried to comprehend what he had just gone through, she screamed and cried at the same time. As this scene was unfolding, the small statured man walked towards Scarlett.
Suddenly, he slapped Scarlett's face trying to get her attention.
"Where is the data drive?"
*Sniff* *sniff* "Shiro!!! SHIROOOO!!"
The gun from the small mask man smashed into Scarlett's body.
"Where IS IT?!!"
Sniffing and gasping for air, Scarlett slowly lifted her face to look towards the mask individual.
"I'll never tell you where it is. NEVER!!"
"If that is the way you want it so be it."
As the Scarlett's body slowly fell forward, Shiyi watched with endless amount of tears. His parent's bodies fell like logs one after the other. Unable to defend themselves, the masked man kept firing at these dead bodies until they were satisfied. As he watched them defiling his parents corpse words couldn't come out of his mouth. Neither words nor sounds were able to leave Shiyi's mouth.
As the scene unfold, many innocent bystanders were running and jumping out of their vehicles. As they were running, more and more were gunned down as if they were trying cattle. Believing they might be next, the bystanders ran as if their life depended on it. What unfolded was a mass hysteria. As people ran pass Shiyi, the lonely boy looked towards his parents lying in a bloody pool. Although they were fifteen yards away from each other, they seemed as close as ever.
"Do you see the data card?" a masked man asked his partner.
"No, I don't see it anywhere."
"Shit, we were contracted to take it by force. Where is it?"
"I don't know, I looked everywhere."
"Fuck, we have to leave. The cops are coming."
As multiple sirens got louder and louder, the masked individuals disappeared as fast as they had appeared. When the cops arrived, there were a total of thirty bodies lying everywhere. Because it was mass murdered, the cops believed it was a gang shooting. As the main targets Mr. and Mrs. Lee were gunned down, they took twenty-eight more lives to make it look random.
When the cops had arrived, they were baffled by the amount of chaos. The event looked like an old picture from the Vietnam War. Bodies were located all over the intersection. As they slowly got out from the car, one of the officer noticed a hand underneath a small sedan.
"Hey!! Over here!! There is a body over here." yelled an officer.
"Is he breathing?" asked a paramedic.
"Yes, looks like it. Although he has a broken arm and ribs, it seems as if he avoided the gunshots. Hey can you hear me?"
Shiyi looked at the officer hazily. Then his eyelids felt as heavy as an elephant. Unable to keep his eyes open, Shiyi slowly closed his eyes.
"That is one lucky kid."
"Yeah, I agree with you. Somehow he avoided the gunshots."
Suddenly the officer felt a small but noticeable tremor. With no clue as to what's happening, the tremor started to felt like an earthquake. Shaking wildly, he looked at the paramedic. Somehow he knew he was the only one shaking with the young boy. As if he had confirmed what was happening with the paramedics shock face, he slowly put the young boy down.
"Oh no! His BP is rising. I think he is going into analeptic shock. Someone get a stroller over here. Hurry!"
"What is that sound? Where am I?"
Shiyi slowly opened his eyes. As he opened them, bright sunlight illuminated his room. It seems as if he had just awoken from a long nap because everything appeared fuzzy. As his eyes slowly adjusting to the light, he noticed he was in a room he wasn't familiar with. There were strange machines everywhere he looked. Wires were extruding out of every nook and canny and every electrical outlet looks like it was being used. As he was slowly looking around the room he was in, he felt something around his mouth. He slowly stuck his hand out and reached towards it. As he reached towards the clear white face mask, he carefully grabbed the objects long tube and tried to take it off. Knowing there was a tube stuck down his throat, he removed it cautiously. As soon as he was about to take it out his mouth, he felt like puking. As it came off, he started gasping for air.
*cough* *cough* *cough* *GUARGHHHH**cough**cough*
As soon as he puked over his bed, he slowly started breathing again. As he slowly got used to breathing, he started looking around the room and noticed he was the only one in here. All alone in a big white room with random machines left and right will make any ten years old scared.
"Mom...Dad" cried Shiyi, "Where are you? Mom.....Dad...don't leave me alone in here....where are you guys?"
As Shiyi cried out, he started to take off the wires that were attached to his arms.
Shiyi then slowly got off his bed. As if he had no strength in his legs, he fell. As soon as he fell, Shiyi knocked over all the machines with him creating loud noises.
Nurses started running towards the scene immediately believing something terrible had happen. As they got closer and closer to the scene, they saw Shiyi crying out for his parents. Shiyi was throwing things while crawling as if he knew where he was going. While looking out for the other patients, four male nurses were called to hold Shiyi down. In order to stop Shiyi completely the nurses had to inject him with anesthesia. Slowly but surely Shiyi was falling in and out of consciousness again. Although it took a couple of minutes, Shiyi finally became unconscious. With Shiyi sleeping soundly, the nurses tried to contact Shiyi's guardian.
"Hi, is this the guardian of Shiyi Lee?"
"Yes who may I be speaking to?"
"Hi, I'm a nurse at Saint Josephs and it seems like Shiyi has awoken out of his coma. Because he had caused a mess, we had to inject him with anesthesia to stop the rampage. I think it would be better if he sees a familiar face when he wakes up this time. I just wanted to inform you about the situation at the hospital."
"Okay, thank you. I'll be there in a few minutes."
As Shiyi slowly woke up again, he saw the same familiar scene. Unlike last time, there were no tube inside his throat. He was also used to the light illuminating his room. As he got up and out of his bed again, he crashed once more. Hearing the loud crashing noise a man around six foot two ran inside. He was a tall semi muscular man and he looked towards Shiyi with a warm heartfelt smiled. With his gentle eyes staring at Shiyi, he got closer to help Shiyi rise from the cold hard floor. Shiyi looked up at him and stared.
"Who are you mister?”
"You don't remember me? Well it has been awhile since I saw you last. Hi, Shiyi. I am Uncle Richard."
"Stop Lying! Uncle Richard is not that old. He doesn't look like you!!"
"Shiyi, it is me. Look at me closely."
As Shiyi got closer, he was touching and feeling Smith's face. The color of his hair changed from a bright blonde to a grayish blonde. He also had more wrinkles on his face. While touching his bushy beard to his glasses Shiyi tries to see if they were the same person. As Shiyi moved his hands around, he could see how it resembles his Uncle Richard. Then Shiyi stared into Smith's eyes for a while as if reconfirming it was his Uncle Richard. Suddenly he jumped onto Smith's arm.
"Uncle Richard!! I missed you. You never come around the house anymore. If you're here mom and dad should be here too."
"Tell me where mom and dad are Uncle Richard. Come on, I know they are here. Where are they Uncle Richard?"
"Shiyi I have something to tell you."
"What? What is it? Is it about the new game you guys released? Mom and Dad wouldn't tell me anything so I don't know much about it." Smiled Shiyi, "Are they buying me a VRC right now? If they are, I can't wait to play it. That video game must be so awesome."
"Shiyi....your parents...they...are dead."
"I hope mommy and daddy lets me play your new game. I think it might be the best game ever. Hopefully I can play and get my character to be super strong. Then I can show both mommy and daddy how much I improved."
"SHIYI!!!LISTEN TO ME!!" yelled Richard as he slams his palm onto a nearby table.
Startled by the sudden loud noise, Shiyi quieted down and sat back on his bed. He then look sternly at Richard's eyes as he tried to listen closely to what his uncle was about to say.
"Shiyi, listen to me closely. Your parents......they didn't survive the car accident...they didn't make it, son."
Listening closely, Shiyi looked at his uncle's face. Unable to accept reality, Shiyi barked back at him.
"LIAR!! MOMMY AND DADDY ARE NOT DEAD!!!DON'T LIE TO ME!!!"
"No son. They died during the accident."
"LIAR!!! I HATE LIARS!!! I DON'T LIKE YOU ANYMORE UNCLE RICHARD!!!
Tears strolled down Shiyi's face as if it were a river. Stomping and throwing things, Shiyi tried to deny the fact that his parents passed away. As he cried louder and louder, Richard could do nothing but stared at him.
"DADDY AND MOMMY DIDN'T DIE!!! THEY PROMISED TO TAKE ME TO THE MOVIES ON SATURDAY!! THEY ALSO PROMISED TO TAKE ME TO THE BEACH!! STOP LYING TO ME UNCLE RICHARD!!! STOP LYING!"
Richard tried to cheer up Shiyi, but it didn't work. Shiyi kept talking back towards his Uncle.
"Mommy and daddy loves me. They will never leave me alone. They promised if I were a good boy we can all go somewhere together as a family. Stop lying...stop. They said as long as I get good grade and be a good boy I can get whatever I want."
"Don't worry Shiyi. Uncle Richard can give you whatever you want. Just stop Crying."
"All I want is my mommy and daddy. I don't want you Uncle Richard. Wahhh....wahhh...mommy..daddy...where are you? You promised me. Wahhhh..wahhhh..... I was a good boy. Where are you? Wahhh....wahhh. I miss my mommy and daddy. Where are they?"
Shiyi's tears seemed like they can never stop. Although Shiyi was only ten years old, it felt like the world was on his shoulder. The thought of losing not one, but both of his parents to an accident caused Shiyi to break. Richard stared at the young child in front of him, looking at him with empathy. Making him more resolute to take Shiyi home with him and to provide him with a new life.
It's been two months since Shiyi was released from the hospital. Although Richard wasn't related to Shiyi, he was given full custody due to Mr. and Mrs. Lee's will. Seeing as though they knew Richard would love their child as his own, they trusted Richard the task of raising Shiyi.
As he drove Shiyi towards his new home, it was like there was another child in front of him. Shiyi was quiet, staring off into the blue sky as clouds ran past them. As he got closer towards the house, Shiyi saw a two story house with an oak tree out front. The yard was as massive as thirty acres. There was a pond in the middle of the yard with ducks and animals swimming about with not a care in the world. As Shiyi went inside, he could see the spacious living room. The stairs were made of beautiful wooden sculptures leading up towards the upper floor.
"Shiyi, your new room is upstairs. It's the second door to the right."
As Shiyi went up to look at his new room, he walked dazedly.
Richard started to love Shiyi as his own son. Due tasks as simple as feeding him and giving him a shower, to ones as difficult as finding a school for Shiyi. Within a month or so Shiyi had gotten used to living with Richard and started to attend school. One rainy day, Shiyi never arrived at school. Concerned, the school contacted Richard about what had happened. Richard explained that he had dropped off Shiyi personally and was confused at where he was at the moment. The school told Richard he never came to first period and they were concerned. As soon as Richard heard what had happen, He drove home as fast as possible.
Arriving twenty minutes after the phone call, Richard searched the whole house. With no luck, Shiyi wasn't inside the big house. Richard then drove to Shiyi's school started combing the streets. As if he were searching for a needle in a haystack, Shiyi was nowhere to be located. Horrified, Richard started driving erratically while searching. He was searching for eight hours, but yet he hadn't found a clue as to where Shiyi had went. Hopeless, he drove to Shiyi's old house to see if he miraculously made it.
While driving he saw a figure of a ten year old boy walking, dragging his backpack on the sidewalk. Richard had a feeling it was Shiyi so he slowed down. He suddenly felt relief because he knew who the boy was from the clothes he wore. It was none other than Shiyi walking towards his own old home. As he looked up again Shiyi was dragging his backpack towards the middle of the street. Suddenly it got brighter around Shiyi. He could see Shiyi's figure completely. As he look up towards the road the car wasn't stopping. It was headed towards Shiyi at an alarmingly fast rate.
Richard got out of his car and ran towards Shiyi. The car felt like it was speeding faster as it flew at a ridiculous speed. Richard ran with all his might hoping to be there a minute, no a few seconds earlier, to save Shiyi.
"SHIYI!!! RUN!! DON'T STAND THERE RUN!"
Appearing as though Shiyi hadn't heard his voice, Richard bit his lips and ran even faster. The car was coming closer and closer. With only a few minutes left, Richard was only a yard behind Shiyi.
Suddenly Richard dived as if his life depended on it, while the car ran towards Shiyi. As if time were in slow motion, Richard slowly reached his arms towards Shiyi and the vehicle came closer and closer to him. With his own life flashing before his eyes, Richard only had one regret and that regret was not raising Shiyi properly. Richard then closed his eyes and started tensing up his body waiting for impact.
Scared witless Richard was afraid to open his eyes. As he slowly open his eyes, he looked at the child in front of him. While reconfirming he wasn't hurt and still alive he grabbed Shiyi and looked at Shiyi straight in the eyes. Lifelessly, Shiyi stared at him with no soul. His eyes seems as if he is just a walking dead. Angrily, Richard suddenly slapped Shiyi.
"What are you doing out here, huh? Were you trying to go back home where no one will welcome you? Do you still believe your parents are alive or were you trying to kill yourself? ANSWER ME!! SHIYI ANSWER ME!!"
Shiyi stared at Richard and watched tears stream down his wrinkled eyes and frisky beard.
"Don't you know how much I love you? I adopted you so you can live peacefully, but you returned that favor with a suicide? Just because your parents aren't on earth right now, does not give you the right to kill yourself. I tried hard to be a substitute father for you, but you never responded. How am I supposed to raise you like this?"
Shiyi's eyes started flickering with light again. After realizing how far Richard was willingly to go for him. Jumping in front of danger to try to save him, an orphan less child from danger, Shiyi slowly walked towards the crying thirty year old and gave him a hug. Silently but surely, Richard knew Shiyi understood him. As the father and child embrace each other tightly under the beautiful bright sunlight, one can feel they are finally a family.