Anaishe was in a daze the whole trip. Smoke was wafting in from outside, while the blood and gore on Michael’s armor was also very potent. She gagged and dry heaved a few times, but ultimately couldn’t vomit any more.
“Mom, are you feeling okay? I used some magical techniques to make you heal faster, but you might have reopened some internal injuries from all the running around lately…”
Matt parked the humvee among a bunch of shipping containers in the docks of the outer harbor. The whole place was covered with snow and seemingly abandoned in all the chaos, thus, it was the perfect area to hide. They had tried to leave the city a few times, but all of the main highways were blocked by either the National Guard, huge pile-ups or angry mobs.
“Wow, I’m not sure if I’ve ever said this before Kid, but I really fucking hate cold weather.” Michael was standing outside of the vehicle, holding his groin-armor in his hand, while urinating on a shipping container.
“I-I’m fine Matty… Just feeling a little lost is all…” Anaishe sighed, looking out the window at the inner harbor. A few of the tallest buildings were spewing out flames, while there were gunboats patrolling the water in order to prevent the people in Canton and Fells Point from using their ships to escape. She murmured “It really does look like the end of the world…”
There were a few jets flying by every now and then, dropping bombs on buildings that were filled with ‘gangsters’. Of course, the collateral damage was staggering, but it definitely provided the shock and awe effect that was required to subdue a rebellion.
Michael put his groin armor back on and snickered, “As bad as it might seem… It could definitely be much worse. And it’ll probably get way worse too, hehehe~! Anyway, what does it even matter if all of this is just a Virtual Reality game? Why don’t you just put your mom in a card, so we don’t need to babysit her through this shit?”
Matt frowned, grumbling “Don’t you think I would’ve done that already if I could? I need to become Ranked first… But even then, it won’t be instant. It’s gonna take days, maybe a week. We need to survive for a week Mike.”
“You’re going to put me in a card?” Anaishe asked, “What does that mean Matty?”
“He’s gonna put you in card… It means what it fuckin means. You’ll be trapped in card, just like me. On the positive side of things though, you’ll be immortal and you can travel to other virtual worlds… Right Matt?” Michael walked over to the humvee and got into the front passenger seat.
“Mom, I know this might sound weird but…” Matt was sitting in the back seat, next to his mother and staring directly into her eyes as she asked “Are you a Player?”
“Matty, do you really think that I’m a whore?” Anaishe glared at him, “I’ve only been with two other men since your father left us… I hardly think that makes me a ‘Player’…”
“That, is not what I was talking about Mom. Come on…” Matt sighed, turning towards the skull-faced knight and grumbling “Mike, this isn’t just a ‘game’ to us. We’re alive and this is our world.”
“Calm your non-existent tits!” Michael lifted up the top half of his helmet, revealing his pale face. Then he inquired “Did any of you bring food or drinks with ya? Because, I’m fucking starving and dehydrated.”
“No Mike, we didn’t have time to grab any snacks while we were fleeing for our lives!” After shouting at the armored man, he turned towards the window to his left and whispered “System, I’m not sure if I asked this before, but is it possible to open a pack of cards while I have cards in play? Or will they all get sent to the graveyard?”
[Opening a pack of cards will shuffle your deck. However, there are many cards that have similar effects. There are also cards which can remove cards from your graveyard prematurely or remove them from the field, directly to your hand. I would suggest that you choose the “Arcana’s Games” pack soon. You are currently in dire need of Spells that can enhance your ability to generate Mana and reduce the time it takes to draw new cards.]
“Thanks for the advice.”
Michael pointed towards the inner harbor and asked “Hey Matt, do you think that old submarine still works? Ya know, the one that’s just sitting over there? Like, maybe we could steal it and fuck off somewhere?”
Matthew sighed, rebuking “Mike, do you even know how to drive a submarine? Aside from that, it takes like dozens of people to crew those things and more importantly, I doubt that they even keep that piece of shit fueled up.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right…” The smirking man turned towards the bridge in the distance, suggesting “Okay then, how about we steal an APC? I know the National Guard has plenty of them.”
“That’d be great, except for the fact that they have giant machine guns and automatic grenade launchers…” Matt stared at him, wondering “Do you think you’ll be able to get close enough to do anything against that?”
“Good point. Alright, then how about we just head on over to Dundalk? I mean, how many people are actually in the National Guard anyway? Sooner or later, they’ll have to pull out of Baltimore and it’ll probably turn into a full-blown anarchy. Do you guys know anyone in Dundalk? It’s fine if you don’t, ‘cause we have enough firepower to ‘buy’ whichever one of those houses you guys want.” Michael looked out the window, towards southeastern part of the city.
“I don’t know anyone in Dundalk…” Anaishe murmured, “But I have a friend who lives in Edgemere, on the water. They might let us stay with them.”
Michael smirked, “If they don’t, we can always kill their neighbors and move in next door, hehehe~…”
“Open up or I’ll break your motherfucking door down!” Michael was wearing his skull-faced pitch-black armor and standing on the doorstep of a large red-brick house. He knocked a few more times, scratching and denting the metal door with the back of his left gauntlet.
They had managed to make it through Dundalk and to the northeastern tip of Edgemere, without actually encountering any soldiers or gangsters. After parking the humvee in the three-car garage that was off the the side of the house. Matt pulled down the garage door, while Michael started banging on the front door of the red-bricked house.
“Stop that!” Anaishe shouted the armored man, who was actually a few inches shorter than her, then she walked over to the door and used one of the keys on her keychain to unlock it directly.
After the three of them walked inside, Matt said “Wait, this house looks familiar… Haven’t we cleaned this place before? I thought John and Daria moved though. Why does your key still work?”
She closed the door and locked it, then casually explained “They still kept this place as a vacation home. I’m sure they won’t mind if we lay low here for a few days, assuming that we don’t wreck the place.”
“Okay, that’s great and all…” Michael stomped into the living room, nearly breaking the hardwood floor under his footsteps. He started lighting some candles, as he shouted “But do either of you know how to take this fucking armor off?! I’m like three minutes from having a full blown panic attack if I can’t take this shit off!”
Edgemere is a real place in Baltimore, but it sounds like a fucking fantasy world city…