HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 155

“Hey, slow down!” Angela said.

Talon chased after Galahad, sliding down the side of the cliff as a huge green dragon rose from the forest below. They fought the beast for nearly an hour and eventually whittled its health down to zero. Galahad struck the final blow, plunging his sword into the dragon’s heart.

“Good job,” Angela said. “Those guys are really tough.”

“Thanks,” Tommy said.

They looted the body. Angela let Tommy keep the best stuff, being the newbie. She checked her map; the battle had brought them far south and it would take them quite a while to get back up the mountain.

“What do you want to do next?” Angela asked.

“Dad says I have to go to bed,” Tommy replied.

“Oh, okay,” Angela said. “I had a lot of fun tonight. I hope we get to play again soon.”

“Me too,” Tommy said, and Galahad blinked out of existence.

Angela headed south. A minute later, her phone buzzed.

“Thanks,” a message from Harry said. “It’s nice seeing him passionate about something for a change.”

“Glad I could help,” she replied with a smiley face.

She continued playing for a while longer before she, too, had to go to bed.


Angela spent the next few evenings adventuring across Akkraemyth with Tommy. Occasionally they would meet up with her guild, The Servants of Gloom, or Leigh, but for the most part it was just the two of them.

Over time, Tommy started venturing into more dangerous areas of the game, facing enemies far too difficult for his character’s level. He was getting reckless; despite Angela’s best efforts, Galahad died more and more frequently.

She kept trying to engage Tommy in conversation, but he remained as taciturn as ever. She was starting to wonder if the game might be doing more harm than good for the kid. But Harry seemed pleased, so she tried not to worry too much.