With critical papers in hand, Festia Hightree stepped between the islands of carpet in the sea of glass. At 288.6 years old and counting, she was not as spry as she used to be. But as she was used to being in her twenties and VIVID was technically a dream, that didn't slow her down much. Not much was still some, and that quickly proved frustrating.
Aunt Belopa's almost eighty, and she can move faster than this. Though she's also not suffocating to death constantly. Why did Jannit have to pick a baseline human character? And then not take any adaptation abilities? I could have developed complete suffocation immunity by lunchtime! Not that I got any lunch. No last meal, no final song, and no human contact of any sort!
Festia wasn't sure which she regretted most: the reading room's lack of a snack bar, or a phonograph.
Cultists would have raided or broken either one.
The tricky part of the exercise was over. Now all that was left was to run as quickly as she could keep up.
If I'd put another point into Muscle... no, keeping that low was the right choice. Though Mind isn't doing me many favours either. Why did I think I would have any chance of throwing a flagpole? It's steel, not whatever lightweight composite they use in the real world.
The onset of dizziness signaled the final usable minute of this life. Festia had made good time, and was only a stone's throw away from the pole. Although the papers were inside a capped metal tube — the museum used them for storage — she knew her throwing skills were not up to the task of throwing them into the fallen flagpole. Not even when she wasn't dizzy. Instead, she staggered forward and knelt beside the end of the pole. She gently shoved the tube inside.
"Oh Sandoti, keeper of lore. I ask that this piece of history may some day be found, and be used to seek vengeance on those who destroyed this town, desecrated your altar, and felled this landmark."
There was no response or sign, but Festia didn't expect one. She would have to hope that she had done enough. All that was left for her to do was wait. For the next minute, she would have to do that while paralysed in a very uncomfortable position.
"Well ALI, I'm minutes from my last death."
You have approximately ten minutes remaining in your current VIVID session. That period of time is sufficient to experience character death two more times in current conditions.
"True, but I'm not trying for a high score. I'd like to cheat death one final time before I go. And I really don't want to spend my final minutes lying in a pile of beanbags and cushions waiting for the end. Or running through hallways. Or looking at anything in my museum or what's left of my town. I've had enough of this place and I don't want to die here. Again, I mean.
Do you wish to unlink your respawn tether?
"Nah, I don't want to end up in a random city. That's what happened to my kid. That's not my kind of poetic. I've got a better idea. Something that's my choice. Hey, sorry I didn't chat with you in the previous cycle. I had a lot on my mind."
There are over one hundred million active VIVID users at present.
"Right, of course. You probably hardly notice that I'm here."
Your presence is significant.
"You probably say that to everyone. Or maybe just the nice ones."
Your presence is particularly significant, as is your niceness quotient.
"Aww, well you're not so bad yourself."
Well, this is it. Me, waiting for the death message one last time. I hope Mora and Lume do alright without me. And the baby I never got to meet. I wonder what happens to me after this? Do I just stop existing? Do I even really exist now? And what about Jannit? Is any of that afterlife stuff true? Is it like VIVID? If Jannit has an afterlife, what about me? Am I Jannit? Or... will I see Jannit in the afterlife? If my memories were archived, could I exist again? No, of course not, that would be someone else thinking they're me. But am I someone else thinking I'm Jannit? Is anyone really the same person as they were the day before? Is that even a sensible question? Why didn't someone figure all this out before inventing this technology? And who—
|You are Dead|
Well, here goes nothing.