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Chapter 1: Induction

"It's Just a Game! Or is it?"

-Author's stand point-

"Ha! I win again!" Mark Warren slumped in his chair as his best friend William Zane shouted in glee after besting Mark 5 out of 5 games. They where playing Madden 2002 for the playstation 2. "Let's play again!"

"No" Mark sounded defeated but Will was not done yet. Will loved to play games he loved even more to win. Truth be told Will very seldom lost and NEVER lost to Mark.

"Then what do you want to play?" Will asked raising an eyebrow. Mark looked up 'What is Will playing at he knows that I don't like games I would rather be writing on my computer or parting!'

"Can't we go out tonight?" Mark asked hopefully.

"NO we whit out last night and you said that if I whit with you we could play games tonight!" Will steamed, annoyed. "Now pick a game!" Will started looking though his carrying case that holds all this PS2 games.

"Please Will!" Mark asked doing his best impression of a 5-year-olds puppy-dog-face.

"Oh man not again this is how we ended up going out last time!" Mark and Will have been friends since there 10th birthday, which was ruffle 5 years ago. Mark's mother works for Will's Father who owns a chain of stores that do real well for them selves.

"Come on Will we can't play games for the rest of are lives!" Will started packing up his games.

"We can go out as long as we drop by Eric's house I hear he has a new game." Mark could be herd groaning at the mentioning of the word game and Will just smiled.

The two could be found 3 hours latter walking with Eric to Kelly's house who Eric said borrowed his game. But Will and Mark both know better Eric just wants company when he goes to his girl-friend's house. Eric is truly afraid of Kelly's father so much so that he refuses to go over to her house unless he is surrounded by at lest 2 other friends.

"I don't see why we have to see this game any way Will." Mark looked over to Will then continued. "It's not like your dad won't buy you one if you ask."

"That's just it there IS only one!" Will stated and Eric literally glowed.

"I made it!" Eric beamed.

"Oh joy" Mark muttered.

"How do you play?" Will asked as they continued walking.

"How long till we get there?" Mark ruddily interrupted getting rather annoyed that he even agreed to come out to Eric's girl friends in the first place.

"We will be there in about ten more minuets" Eric responded after looking at his watch then turned his attention to Will explaining the 'Game' in as much detail as possible. Mark just tuned the two of them out.

Two hours latter Mark and Will where engaged in a two player game in which Mark was acutely wining. Eric had left Mark and Will alone with Kelly saying he had to pick up something before they could play the 'Game' Mark just rolled his eyes why Will simply asked Kelly if she had any games that they could play.

Thus Mark and Will where in a heated game of tetras Will never was any good at mind games but that never mattered because some how he still managed to beet Mark at them and that's all that mattered to Will.

-Mark's PoV-

'Oh shit if I don't do something I am going to win!' Mark started playing the game rather 'poorly' hoping the change in game play was not noticed by Will. 'I can't believe I got cot up in the game and almost beat him!' Mark looked over at Will who has his tong slightly sticking out between his lips his eyes piercing the screen of the TV almost as if he is willing the game to go 'his' way.

"Eric needs to get back soon." I absently dropped as Will scored another 100 points.

"What's your hurry?" I was doing even worse now not that a minded after all Will lit up every time he won.

"I don't really want to spend all day playing video games…" I trailed off as Will hollered after finally beating me I was beginning to think that game would last 'forever'.

Will was well on his way to beating me for the 6th time and me on my 8th fantasy, don't ask what they are about, when Eric FINALY showed up.

"About time!" Will got up from where he was sitting and whit over to Eric. "Now show us this new game before Mark gets stir crazy on me."

"Here put this on" Eric said as he handed Will and me bracelets with a wired colored glass in the center in the shape of an oval. They where silver and they clasped on when I clicked mine on I heard something lock.

"What are-" after Will put his on and the click was herd the bracelet on Eric's wrist unlocked and fell to the floor where he proceeded to stomp the shit out of it. "What are you doing man!" I changed my question.

"Look guys I am sorry and all but I had to I really had no other choose!" Eric started rambling.

"What are you on about?" Will asked looking over the bracelet on his wrist.

"Look you have one last day before the game starts I suggests you get everything you need done before then because you will NOT be back for quite some time." Eric continued.

"What are you talking about 'before the game starts'? And why do we have to get ready? And where will we be going?" I asked looking over to Eric who had gone white. He is looking at us as if it might be the last time he ever sees us again. "You OK Eric?"

"Yea Eric you OK you have gone a bit pale." Will asked finally looking up from inspecting his bracelet.

"Look Will I did not tell you everything about the game when we talked earlier." Eric stated. "Here" he thrust an envelope into both Will's hands and mine. "The rules are in there."

"Eric you're acting all strange what's up?" I tried again really starting to worry about his sanity.

"Yea Eric your acting all wired even for Eric!" Will echoed me.

"Look I got to go I get to go home now." At that Eric turned and bolted out the door.

"Good he is gone now I can take this dumb thing off." I started to try and take the bracelet off, but before I could get my hand on the bracelet Will put his hand on it instead.

"Come on Mark leave it on play the game with me?" sometimes I think he dose it on preppies I bet he KNOWS the hold he has over me. DAMN I HATE GAMES but oh do I ever love Will. "I mean it's only a game… is it not?"

"I hope I don't regret this." My hand drops to my side and Will flashes me a toothy smile that makes my hart do a little flip.

I was staying over at Will's house that night and had my cloths and toiletries with me but I was NOT taking the 'get ready to be gone a few days' worrying seriously I mean this is Eric we are talking about! Will on the other hand was completely the opposite he took it as testament and as soon as we got back to his house he started packing for a camping trip and I mean complete with tent!

"What are you doing?" I asked finding Will hoping around on one foot trying to get his hiking boots on as I came back from the shower wearing only gray gym shorts and a white T-shirt.

"Your not wearing that are you?" he asked looking me over I had to fight back the blush as I was being appraised by Will.

"To bed... yes I am" and with that I moved over the bed and sat down watching him pull the other boot on. "Your not wearing that are you?" I asked taking in his outfit which consisted of long sleeve sweeter blue jeans and one hiking boot.

"Yes! And I think you should change to lord knows where we may end up!" Will sat down after he finally got the other boot on.

"You're starting to sound like Eric." I lay down on the bed "turn out the light when you decide to sleep."

I promptly fell asleep and had one of the best dreams involving Will and a mountain yet but I don't kiss and tell so you will never know. I woke up with Will laying practically on me, well using me as a pillow at lest. I feared movement last thing I wanted to happen was for him to move. His head laying on my chest his breathing slow and steady the smell of his hair. 'Damn' now what am I going to do I managed to get myself all hot and bothered without even moving! At lest if he wakes up I can blame it on nature, being morning and all.

Will jerked awake the same time I felt a stinging sensation in my wrist with the bracelet on. I think he was filling it to and that is why he woke so abruptly. We where both siting in the bed holding are wrists looking at each other.

"Is this suppose to happen." I finally asked.

"I don't know... did you read the letter?" Will asked his eyes still wide from shock.

"No!" I looked down at my wrist 'man it stings!' "You are the one that took this all seriously did you read the letter?"

"No"

"Well someone should read that letter and soon!" I shouted getting scared.

"Where is it?" Will asked, as he looked though his bag he packed. "Here it is" coming up with the envelope. Will ripped open the envelope and then took out the letter I read the letter over Will's shoulder.


Dear William and Mark,

First I am going to say sorry again. I know I am a cowered and that is why I am writing this letter. I know I can write down all you need to know to live and I don't think I could tell you face to face that you might die. There I said it you might die! The game is hard but then again games that are easy are not worth playing. Most of the people playing this game do it because they want to very few are playing it against there will.

William, I know you would love to play this game and I know you will have the time of your life. I am glad I can bring the game to you I hope it is everything you ever hoped for. But keep in mind a lot of people will try and take advantage of you in the beginning I know because they did me. Don't believe anything anyone says and build up. Its best to try and remain invisible in the beginning don't draw unneeded attention to your self.

Mark, I am so sorry man! All I can say is there is a way out. After all I got out. They will not tell you the way out but I will tell you what I had to do to get out and it is different for everyone. I had to win the trust of a Grand Master Avatar and ask him for a challenge to be able to leave the game. The challenge was I was to get 10 people to take my place you and Will are 2 of the 10 I got the last 2. I am so sorry and I wish you luck on getting out.

Things you will need to know. When the game starts up you will fill a sting in your wrist. This is I am told the "awakening" of your Avatar. The Avatar is your persona in the Game. It is different for everyone. I know you both know about AD&D well the Avatars and Game system is loosely based on them rules. Your Avatar you get no say in it is built off your mind set. The Avatars all start at level 1. Will I got you the Race Avatar of a Human but Mark I double sinned you. I could not get 2 human avatars I only had one human and one Elf left. So Mark your Avatar will be Elf but that is not the bad part the Avatar is Dark Elf you know Drow I know how much you hate playing evil characters but man I could know give it to Will you know how bad he is!

When the Game starts you will both be assigned a guardian this is a BAD thing be very wiry of the guardian. Oh god mine tried to rap me the very first day! Of cores I was not ready and I did not know how to play the game and he had not taut me yet ether so I was easy pray for him he left me broken. I hope it dose not happen to ether of you but I plane on arming you just in case.

(The next 4 pages of the letter where detailed instructions on how to control the Avatar and how to use the character abilities.)

Now you know all I know about the Game I wish you luck, and Mark forgive me?

ExFriend,
Eric


"Wow what a game" Will said in awe as he put down the letter.

"We are in trouble now" I did NOT want to think what my mom would do if she found out. 'Wait just a damn minuet this has to be one big joke, that's it Will and Eric are playing a joke on me!'

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