HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 2

She put her groceries away and spent a few minutes washing her hands afterwards, trying to scrub the nicotine from her fingers. But, of course, there was no nicotine. It was all in her head; she knew that.

Didn’t make it any easier, though.

Eventually she gave up and climbed into bed. She tossed and turned for a while before finally drifting off into someone else’s dreams.


Angela awoke searching her nightstand for a pack of cigarettes that didn’t exist. She closed her eyes and took deep breaths until she regained her senses. She climbed out of bed and staggered to the bathroom.

A shower and a change of clothes later, she pulled up a chair in front of her computer with a cup of coffee. She put on her headset and logged into her employer’s virtual call center program. She already had several people on hold, waiting to speak with someone.

She spent the next eight hours providing customer service to callers ranging from mildly annoyed to frothing-at-the-mouth. It was exhausting work, but at least she didn’t have to look any of them in the eye.

The urge for a smoke resurfaced occasionally throughout the day, rendering her irritable and short-tempered. She almost snapped at one caller who was particularly rude to her, but she just barely managed to keep it together.

After work, she loaded up Akkraemyth: Shattered Land and killed some time raiding dungeons as Talon, a level-seventy necromancer with long white hair and armor made of bones. Eventually, she ran into a few members of her guild, The Servants of Gloom, and joined them on a quest to the peaks of the Daemonspine Mountains.

The Servants were a small group of online friends, only a half-dozen members in all; a girl from the Philippines, a guy from Sweden, one from New York, a couple from Montreal. Angela liked being able to socialize with people without any expectation of meeting in person.