HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 148

“You know, if there’s anything you want to talk about, I’m a really good listener,” Angela said. “I mean, I know we just met and all, but…”

The kid wasn’t even listening. Angela sighed. She moved to her computer desk and logged into Akkraemyth. If she was going to be ignored, she would at least have a little fun in the process.

Talon spawned in Sal Mordra and wandered the streets of the city. It was nighttime in game so the vampires were out in force, drinking the blood of various NPCs they came across. Talon reached the city limits and ventured into the burned-out forest that sprawled beneath the shadow of the Daemonspine Mountains. She battled a swarm of dryads on her way south.

As Talon stepped out of the woods into the Aldermord Desert, Angela noticed that Tommy was standing behind her, watching the game.

“Do you play?” Angela asked.

“No,” Tommy replied.

“Do you… want to?” she asked.

He hesitated a moment, then said, “Okay.”

She quit to the main menu and stood. He climbed into her chair and she walked him through character creation. He ended up with an auburn-haired human paladin named Galahad, after a character in one of his comics.

Galahad spawned in a church in the northern city of Sal Boreus. Under Angela’s guidance, he procured a two-handed sword infused with the power of earth and a helmet enchanted with a bonus to healing spells. He headed out into the tundra surrounding the city and hunted some frost spiders for experience points.

Tommy got the hang of the game quickly and soon moved on to fighting wendigo and ice trolls. By noon, he’d acquired a full set of enchanted plate mail and an even more powerful sword. Angela ordered a pizza for lunch and they ate on the couch.

“That game got me through some hard times,” she said as she finished off her first slice. “I mean, I know escapism isn’t the healthiest way to face your problems, but it helped me clear my head, so I guess that’s something. You know?”

He nodded, staring down at his food.