[ADV] Shards of Memory

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[ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by UmbraSight » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:13 am

“Yeah, my studies are going well,” Mai said as she slipped her key into her apartment’s simple lock and used her shoulder to press the door open. The door relented easily enough. Not exactly the most comforting thought that a mild kick would probably knock her door in but she was close to campus, in her price range, and the neighborhood was safe enough. The most heinous crime she could remember was someone stealing a bike once.

Her mother’s smooth voice drifted through her ear as Mai slipped her book bag and placed it upon her kitchen table amongst a litter of half-written papers, pencils, and two other textbooks before she closed and locked her door. Her mother was, once more, reminding her of the importance of her studies. The same lecture Mai had heard several times following her announcement that she would be moving to a different city for university.

“I know, I know, I’m a week or so ahead in my reading and I have a schedule worked out.” Mai said, pulling her tie loose and popping the first two buttons of her undershirt as she walked into her cramped bedroom. She listened to her mother talk as she slipped her uniform’s jacket off and tossed it onto the back of her desk’s solitary chair. She fell back onto her bed and looked up at her ceiling.

“No, no, my professor called class off today. He had some family emergency going on. I'm just happy to have a break.” Mai hummed. Her mother spoke again. “I said don't worry, I'm not going to let it interfere with my studies, my grades didn't slip during the alpha test, and I'm not going to let them slip now.” Mai said, on the other side she could hear her mother sigh before give finally relent. Mai smiled.

“I'll call you back after my shift tonight” she said, “love you.” She said, waiting long enough for her mother to answer before she disconnected the call and tossed her phone onto her pillow. For a moment or two Mai remained motionless before finally sitting up and slipping off her bed. She stepped over to her desk and picked up the NeuvoLink’s headset before returning to the bed and sitting down. It wasn't exactly the most elegant looking piece of technology, a gray helmet with a glass eyeshield and some slowly blinking lights on the side. One for internet connection, the other for a full battery charge.

The slim console the headset was connected to hummed to life from its position next to her bed as Mai slipped it over her head, and laid down. She had loaded Shards of Memory last night, as well as slotted in the upgrade chip which had come with the game. Something which helped SoM play correctly, according to the manual.

Mai checked the time on her bedside clock, she had a few hours yet, due to her canceled class to play a bit. She would set an alarm once she was in the game so she wouldn't miss her shift at work. So, she tapped the side of helmet, and remained still as the machine whirred to life.

Her rust-colored eyes flicked between lines of green text which crawled along the eyeshield. She could feel a mild buzzing of her skin on the back of her neck as the helmet connected to her nerves, and she felt a breath escape her lips as her eyes slid closed.

She had read once that most people experience the disconnection of body and mind differently. That one brief second when the connection to one's body is severed and just before the NeuvoLink flooded the mind of a litany of false data. For Mai she always found it felt a bit like the floor under her feet had just dropped away, or bed in her case, and she was simply falling. It always made for a slightly disorienting moment when the machine finally took over and she found herself suddenly standing, looking up at the sky as the NeuvoLink name and branding burned across a field of stars, followed by ‘product of Aegis Technologies.’ Both lingered in the sky for several moments before fading away.

With a rising musical hum, the words “Welcome, Aki!” Appeared directly in front of her, and underneath was a list of available options. Mai tapped the topmost one, ‘Play’ and a list of loaded game came up. Again, she tapped the first option of a very short list, ‘Shards of Memory.’ With another musical note, the field of stars which surrounded her went black.

And, after a moment, the game booted up.

The opening cinematic for SoM was fairly simplistic, an old worn book creaked open with the drifting smells of ancient paper to a page otherwise blank except for three options;


predictably, Mai chose the first one. The book closed with a decisive slap and a character creation menu took its place. Mai didn't spend long putting her appearance together, much like the alpha her avatar generally looked very much similar to her, but several inches taller. She spent longer on the second screen, which gave her a list of rewards from the alpha test. One of three armor sets, she chose “the Traveler” as well two different pouches. One for a quest she could vaguely remember, and another from a mini game she had an easier time recalling. A perfect bullseye with a knife at the furthest distance, a moment of dumb luck she doubted she could ever replicate. The last screen was one to select starting equipment out of a list of weak starting weapons. She tapped on “basic rapier” and “worn leather vest.”

And, with that done, the words “Greetings Traveler” flashed across her eyeline and once more she had the disorienting feeling of falling.

This time when Aki opened her eyes, she found herself standing in an expansive courtyard, and the sounds of a thousand excited voices chattering with one another. With a smile Aki flicked her right wrist to call up her player menu, and tapped on the “equip” icon, and began sorting through her rewards from the test.
//… under her weight the floorboards gave, and she fell into the dark...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Post by SuXeSoN » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:26 am

Haru Iragaki stared through the glass window to his side as the Maths teacher droned on and on about how the Quotient Rule worked. Maths was one of his strong subjects, he had already went through the whole worksheet he was given and was free to do other work if he pleases. However, school and work wasn't on his mind, no, it was Shards of Memories, very recently launched. Hiro had left the dorm earlier than even he did so he could be one of the first few in line for the game, Haru wasn't sure when he would be back with the game, but he will know.

The daydreamer closed his eyes, imagining himself getting swept away as the NervoLink does to one upon starting up a game. He was imagining the character creation screen, how would he set up his character? "182 centimeters.. 67 kilograms.. Lean build... Navy blue hair.. Azure eyes..." Haru muttered quietly to himself as he imagined himself creating his own avatar. "Dual Wielding.." For sure, while it was cumbersome to be limited with only 2 or 3 other skills when you dual-wield, it was definitely one of the more fun skills to battle with. In contrast, he hates using bulky, awkward, over-sized 2 handed weapons. Though, he would admit, they are still pretty badass, even more so when someone made a Speed Build in the Beta. However, nothing is going to change his mind from using dual-wielded weapons. Now this is the question... What weapon?

Before he could decide, the class representitive stood up to direct the class in thanking and wishing farewell to the teacher. It then became break. Not 30 seconds in, Haru felt the vibration of his phone in his pocket, there was certainly no other person that would call him now.. Except for Hiro. Upon pulling the phone out, he found out that he was right, pleasantly so. This means only one thing. "Moshi Moshi?" Haru accepted the call and spoke. "I got it, I'm now loading it into the system. Shouldn't take long since it's updating from the Beta."
"Gotcha, I'll head over now."
"Don't you want to finish school first?"
"You're the one who skipped the entire day?"
"Touché.. I'll seeya then."
"Mm.. Cya."
Haru then ended the call. Only two periods of Biology and Social Studies are left.. He can afford to ditch class. But first, he has to make it discreet. He picked up his already packed bag, and walked up to the class representative, who was getting ready for Bio already. Surely, no better person can be class representative, being so organized. "Excuse me but.. My tummy is not feeling very well today.. I think I should go and get some rest." "By rest you mean running off to play that newly released Shards of Memory?" The class representative is a sharp one. "Don't worry, I got you covered.. Have fun. I'll text you if we have homework." Haru bowed, "That's greatly appreciated." "Wipe that smile off your face.. You don't want to leave the school suspiciously happy."

The young school boy managed to return to his dorm without being questioned. And by the absence of a certain pair of shoes at the front, the dorm-mother is away too. Perfect. Whatever he did next was in a rush, he barely put his own shoes in order as he rushed upstairs into Hiro's room. He slammed the door open. "Holy shit dude!" Hiro exclaimed as he sat up from the bed in fright. "I thought you were the dorm mother, angry at me for skipping school again!"
"Sorry bout that.. So is the loading done?"
"Not yet.. Should be above 80% by now though."
Haru picked up the NervoLink on the desk and put it on to see that it was actually already done. "Hey, it's done." He said as he pulled it off, "Mind if I play first? You have notes to copy." "yeah, yeah.. Don't expect me to come to school tomorrow." Hiro said as he sat up from the bed, and started digging into his bag. Haru sat on the bed as soon as it was free, took a deep breath, before lying down, and wore the headset. Haru tapped it to turn it on. "Let's go.." There was a prickling at the back of his neck as the machine connected with his spine. For some reason, the feeling was sharper than usual, but it soon faded as it always did, along with the rest of his senses. The real world no longer existed. There was only him, and the text "Play" in front of him. Haru, standing in the darkness, reached out to press it. Then the login menu came along, he typed out his ID and Password, before selecting "OK" "Welcome, Rugaki.." Before the empty space was no more.

The logos of the developer and publisher companies came up, before the opening menu of SoM came to life. It was the same as ever, an ancient book being opened with the smell of old paper going smoothly into Haru's nose. What a soothing sensation.. He selected <Start>, and he got into the character creation menu. A mirror showing his avatar in front of him and shelves to the side displayed the options he could use to alter his appearance. He made himself taller, bulkier, and changed his own hair to navy blue. Apart from that, he looked almost identical to his real-life appearance. After confirming his avatar's appearance, there was a selection screen to choose from for participating in the Beta. He analysed every single set and piece, before deciding that the <Archean Set> would benefit h the most. He selected that. But before going into the game, he was given an extra item for "Being Awarded 'Rapid Striker' in Trials of Glass." He basically was fast enough to hit a dummy a few hundred times within a minute. While he did see several who were more impressive than him, he won a medal anyways. "Glass Flacon of Aetir.. 6/6.. Cool." He'll have a glass at the inn sometime. After confirmation of the reward, he now had to pick his starting weapon and armor. He picked the <Basic Katana> and <Worn Leather Chestplate>. That was the last time he had to do something before he suddenly became very sleepy, he was going to enter the actual game. He let the sleep overtake him..

Soon afterward, Rugaki had awoken in the courtyard of the starting town, with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of players chattering and mingling among each other, perhaps he'll meet some of those he met in the Beta here. Rugaki could only hope that they don't change their name. Ahh.. But first, he had to set his skills, stats, and wear the set. While it took him a while to choose what he wanted to dual-wield his Eastern Family with, he went with the Dagger Family over the Scimitar Family, wondering what fun skills and combos are in store for him. He wore his Archean Set, feeling lighter on his feet already, before diving into the crowd to search for familiar faces. And he found one, this one he met in the Trials of Glass, a fellow medal winner, and quite an impressive one. Yumi the short-haired blonde was in her equipment screen sorting out a few of her things. Rugaki wonder how would he greet her for a moment.. Perhaps his Archean Cloak's Sneak Boost would be useful...
Last edited by SuXeSoN on Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by Chryslon » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:06 am

"hey, can u lemme in? It's cold out here :cry:"

"Tf? What are you talking about?"

"back door looser"

" :roll: I'm in the washroom, give me a moment."

"Since when was it acceptable to come to someone's homestead uninvited?" Zen grumbled, setting down his phone and rinsing off the remaining glops of acne cream on his face. The warm water was quite the blessing, especially seeing as he had spent his day freezing in bed with a slight fever. "And even worse, she comes through the back door. The nerve of that girl..." Eyes shut, for fear of any leftover residue slipping into them, he groped about for a washcloth, eventually grasping tight onto the fabric and yanking it from its hanger. "...Although, that did sound a bit too grumpy-gramps for me." The young boy chuckled at the thought, throwing the washcloth to the side and daintly making his way down the carpeted hallway to the back door.

However, he couldn't see anyone through the glass window, and began to question the legitimacy of his friend's texts.

"I'm at the back door. Wya? I don't see you"

A few moments passed as he waited for a reply. He stood perfectly still, eyes fixated on the touchscreen, until a loud THUD brought him back to reality, with a little added jump as well. Fractions of a second later, his phone buzzed in his hand.

"in ur bedroom lmao"

"In my bedroom...?"


"Aw, what the f-!"

Zen dashed up the stairs, praying to every deity he could think of that his klutz of a friend hadn't crushed the NeuvoGear he so closely treasured. "Get the hell out of my room, you manic little-!"

Upon entered the room, he found himself in a head-on collision with a head of silky black hair, roughly shoulder length, with a few split ends here and there. But however soft her hair may have been, it wouldn't change that fact that he just headbutted her at what seemed like hyperspeed to him. The two fell over, clutching their heads and groaning in agony. For a minute or so, there was no comprehensive speech, only grumbles and moans. Until finally...

"What the heck, Zen!? I literally sent you a text saying I would be up in your room! You didn't have to freak out about it!" A pair of stormy grey eyes shot him infuriated looks, quite contrary to the previous mood of their conversation through text. A dark red blush coated the girls cheeks, and her eyes appeared to be watering up. A jet black romper was the only meek form of coverage that she had, other than a pair of moose slippers.

"Oh, don't you start with me right now! I can't even use a face scrub without someone breaking and entering into my bedroom! What's up with that!?" Zen rose to his feet, his hands balled into fists. Despite the tone of his voice, he made his way over to the girl and offered her a hand up, which she took without a moment's hesitation. His form of outerwear was just as informal; a pair of white and blue plaid pajama pants and a white v-neck with holes galore made up his "I'm not planning on leaving the house today" attire. "Aisa, you can't come over unexpected like this! I'll get in an assload of trouble..."

"Yeah yeah, big deal. Hey!" She released her grip from his hand and prodded him rather roughly in the chest with her index digit. "You got SoM AND a NeuvoGear, and didn't even bother to tell me?! I wanna have a shot at it!"

"You came over to my house to leech off of me and play my video games!?" Zen cried, still quite upset over having his skin-cleansing session interrupted.

"Don't make me sound like a parasite! I'm your friend!" She retorted.

"You're not even wearing actually clothes!"

"I can see like seventy percent of your chest through the holes in that shirt! Don't reprimand my clothes!"

Needless to say, Zen and Aisa had been friends for some time, since the beginning of high school. The two were rather close, but the consistant use of Zen as an outlet for dumb stunts, like their current situation, caused him to sometimes have a bit of an issue with her being around. Aisa was a little bit higher up on the social hierarchy than Zen; She was a goddess when is came to makeup, both applying and modeling, and generally had a natural clique with most of the more popular girls at school. This sometimes created a bit of distance between the two of them, and could sometimes be the catalyst for arguments. They had a tendency to bicker over minor issues or dumb, petty matters, and would yell and accuse each other until they both ran out of breath.

This time was not an exception.

Eventually the two of them stood on opposite sides of the room, gasping for air and glaring into the others eyes. Zen was the first to break the stare. "Look...Sorry I ran into you..." He sighed, rubbing his eyes.

"No...I probably shouldn't have snuck in through the window...It's my bad." Aisa replied, her gaze slowly dropping to the slippers on her feet.

Zen made his way over to his bedside, then shot his friend a dazzling grin, green eyes flashing. "Forget about it, you're right. Let's get this sucker hooked up and good to go.


Roughly half an hour of construction passed, with the two making little room for small talk, being largely absorbed into configuring the NuevoGear for use. Not having to attendschool was a blessing for Zen, to some extent. He had a lot more free time, but at the high price of having to spend that freetime by himself. He didn't say it, but he was glad to have Aisa's company. Time seemed to fly by as they worked together, and before he knew it, Zen found himself laying down on his bed, holding the headgear over his head with an eager (and slightly envious) Aisa at his side.

"Set an alarm or something for fifteen minutes. Once that time is up, we'll switch off, and it'll be your turn." Zen declared, lowering the headgear onto his face, and booting up the console.

"Okay, fifteen minutes. Good luck!"

Zen could hardly believe what he was seeing. He hadn't used a next-gen console before, much less a virtual reality headset one. Various brand names and logos appeared before him, none of which were familiar, and brought him to the title screen. A rather crisp animation of some ancient looking text opening fascinated Zen, but it was the scent of musty pages and old papers that came as a shocker to him. He couldn't even imagine how his mother and father had managed to pay for such a high-end piece of equipment. Of the various options provided on the menu, the young man's immediate selection was "<Start>", and he was promptly brought to the character creation screen.

His character was almost an exact replica of himself, minus the addition of a bright layer of snow white hair, and a little bit of additional height. Remarkably, he managed to find the exact color of his eyes, and completed the creation of his character.

Username...? Hmmm...I suppose I just stick with my real name. Not that it could be a security issue or something; I doubt I'm the only Zen in Japan.

With a blinding flash of white light, Zen was a bit frightened that the machine had malfunctioned and electrocuted him, and that he'd be seeing the pearly gates of heaven in a short moment. But, as things came to focus, he found himself in a massive crowd of people, all of whom looked different, dressed different, sounded different and...

"Woah...This is really happening."
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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by AstrayNanashi » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:56 am

Merciless cold wind gusts flew into the room from the opened double windows, creating a chill yet uncomfortable mood for the two people inside. A woman in her mid-twenties' laid asleep on a futon set spread on a side, diagonal to the source of the wind. Her body was covered up to the neck in order to avoid the cold. Besides the futon, a small desk and chair decorated the guest room. The door opened slowly before a blonde man stepped inside, immediately closing in to inspect the sleeping woman. He kneeled besides her, placing his palm on her forehead for a mere couple of seconds then standing back up. The man's eyes fixated on the window, which he proceeded to close shut. He raised an eyebrow at a buzzing feeling coming from his pocket, his right hand traveled to the source and immediately pulled out his phone. Glancing at the lightened touch screen to identify the person calling him, he walked out of the room and closed the door before answering said call.

"Eikichi desu."

"Eikichi-san, there has been complaints from the new group, they're asking to see you."

"Me? That's why I left Ozawa in charge, let him deal with them."

"He has, but at this rate, we'll have riots again. They're saying that you're slacking offー"

"Slacking off?!" He turned around, opened the door slightly and inspected inside, closing it once he saw that the woman was still asleep. "Wait a second."

Eikichi walked away from the room across the hall, stopping in front of his own bedroom's door. He held the pommel and turned, pushed the door open and entered the room before closing it behind him.

"Listen, I don't care about their complaints. They haven't been here for a single month, yet want to tell me when to show up? I can't be there this week." He walked towards the bed, sitting on the edge while pressing the phone against his ear.

"I've heard they don't wanna follow a 'softie.'"

"Softー? Where do they get this from?"

"One of our men saw you taking a woman into your house, and you haven't come out ever since..."

"So it's all about that?" He pressed his index and thumb against his nose bridge, taking a deep breath. "Listen, she's my sister, she's sick. The rest of our family is busy and I was the only one close with the resources to take her in, so I'm taking care of her."

"I thought your sister was not here?"

"I have another sisー Why are you even asking so many questions? Just calm them down, I don't care how. You and Ozawa. Don't let me down, or else."

"Alright, boss..."

He pressed his thumb against the phone screen, hanging up the call then dropping the device besides him. Eikichi took a deep breath, rubbing a hand across his face. It was a hard time for him, having to look after his sick sister just when a group of young new members joined his Family. He wasn't in favor of letting them in, but his trusted men convinced him otherwise. They were loyal and hardworking at first, but became lousy and a bother after he stopped showing up in meetings to take care of his sister. He ended up bringing her to his own house to keep a closer eye on her, and he also brought most of her things along as well. Clothes were the mayority of the items, the other thing was her recently obtained video game console, the NeuvoLink.

In fact, this console rested besides his bed along with the head gear. This gadget piqued his attention the previous day, when Eikichi and his sister spoke of her hobbies and this new immersive technology. He was never a fan of virtual worlds, he preferred the real one a lot more for many reasons, though he was curious about why does she spend so much time in these things. Yes, his sister was a game addict, one of the few likes they didn't exactly share.

Eikichi took the headset and inspected it, turning it around a few couple of times before looking at the console itself. He read the manual a couple of hours ago and did everything as instructed, also informed himself of extra things such as the supposedly safe neural connection. He proceeded to turn the console on, then slip the headset onto his head before pressing on the side, activating the latter. The whirring sound didn't make it a thrilling experience, it didn't feel exactly familiar. Remembering recommendations he found at online boards, he laid on the bed during the seconds that it took to boot up the device. He could almost feel his pupils dilatating as the headset initiated the connection to his nerves, and disconnecting his mind from the real world.

After a brief disorienting moment, he found himself standing and looking up into the sky. The machine's logo had appeared, then 'Product of Aegis Technology,' clearly the developers' signature. It was an odd feeling, to be suddenly standing while he was just laying on his bed. However, he was surprised by a small rectangle that appeared in front of him with the text "Insert Username" on top. He recognized it as the registration screen, although a very simplistic one. He pondered for a moment, then reached out to the empty field and his mind did the rest. 「一路」"Ichiro" was inputted into the field. With a nod, the screen disappeared and was replaced by a welcome message. A couple of options could be devised, though he selected the first one which was 'Play', then the only game available, 'Shards of Memory.'

He was surrounded by black, like a regular load screen, except he was in it. The game's opening animation played after a few seconds, an old book opening in front of him. A creaking sound accompanied by the faint smell of yellow pages--As some would say-- invaded Eikichi's senses, soon to be met with another option menu. Out of the three options, he chose the first one again, "Start." The book closed quite rapidly and he was taken to a different screen, one to create his in-game appearance. Now this was interesting. He chose his same body dimensions, he was happy with them, but changed his aesthetics. His hair was now longer, pulled back, and also a jet black shade. His eyes remained the same, nothing much there. The other change was his overall face features, he made himself look younger, perhaps someone in their early 20's.

Once he was done with his appearance set up, an extra menu appeared letting him choose a started equipment set. He chose "Basic Mace" and "Rusted Chainmail," a 'medium armor' according to the description. One last confirmation, and a screen with the words "Welcome Traveler" appeared before he was abruptly taken to another plane.

Once there, his eyes took a few moments to adjust to the light, blinking a few times to help the process. He raised his hands and moved his fingers, rubbing them against each other. It felt so real, he couldn't believe this was a game. Now that he was here, it wouldn't hurt to explore a bit before going back to the real world.
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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by Diamantine » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:13 am

"The answer is ninety-two! Uranium has ninety-two protons!" Natalie announced. There was a moment of silence from the crowd.

Then the sound of a bell ringing and glare of colorful lights suddenly burst into life.

"That answer is correct! Congratulations Miss Martenson, you have won our quiz show!" the game show host announced, and the crowd went wild.

Natalie gasped and tears ran down her face. Six months of trying to get on the show and not only was she part of it, she had aced it!
She walked over and collected her prize, the first copy of Shards Of Memory owned by a westerner! What an honor! Many millions of Japanese residents would be watching this and she felt excited and humbled at the same time.

Natalie had heard so much about this game. Paired with the headset, Aegis Technologies NuevoLink, it could "turn your thoughts into light, and light into the greatest experience" or however the slogan went. Arriving back at the house she was staying at, she decided to try it out.
Hanging a "do not disturb" sign on the front of her door she put on the headpiece and sat on her bed. Pressing the small button on the side, she waited. For a moment there was nothing unusual, but suddenly it felt like her whole body had gone numb and her vision was blurry.
It was a very disorienting moment for her, no words existed to fully explain what she felt in those few moments. It seemed to switch her between emotions, for a minute she felt sad, then scared, then happy, then angry. Almost like the machine were scanning her brainwaves for these patterns.
When it was finally done, she opened her eyes and found herself in a room, a character selection menu no doubt. A sign above said in English:

Player language recommendation: English (default setting for this device) Amazing! It was even able to discern that her native language was English, remarkable for a Japanese company, she half expected to have to find language settings and manually switch them to English, which would not be easy with her limited skills in the Japanese language.
When it came to making her character, Natalie mostly kept it thame as her, same colored eyes, hair, skin type... She did in the end decide to make her avatar a little more... buxom, shall we say. Who knows, maybe charisma will come in handy, and besides, what harm could it do?
Lastly, the player name. "Short and sweet, with no numbers." she whispered to herself, quoting a forum user about good usernames. She started by typing out her name, "Natalie". After a little deliberation, she shortened it to Nat and went from there. An idea came into her mind, and she tapped the "Z" key. "Natz... Hmm, I like it!" Hitting the Done button, it was time to enter the game. She held her breath and waited.

The next thing she noticed was she was sitting on a grassy hill, and was it ever intense! Everything from the grass to the wind felt real! After watching what looked like a cutscene, she opened her inventory to see how much space she had. She was surprised to see she had something called a "Mystery Box" on her person, probably some kind of random item pack. Inside were three different items. The first was a red ribbon made of silk and had two silk roses sewn onto it. A perfect hair ribbon! Next was an absolutely gorgeous red dress, Natalie wasn't sure if it were meant to come with the ribbon or if it was just chance she had gotten the two together. Either way, the dress looked beautiful and comfortable. The third item was a stack of five ingots of a reddish orange metal, almost like copper but more orange. The items were called Ardite Ingots, and it seemed she had gotten lucky, with it only having a point five per cent drop rate. These might be useful for weapons.
From here on, this was where Natalie Martenson disappeared, and Natz would have her time to shine.

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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by SixxSage » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:32 pm

"Oh man, another hard day at work!" Junji walked out of Sticklers as he untied his tie and through his coat over his shoulder. He's been a bartender there for about a year now and, even though he loved his job, always seemed to end his shift tired and hungry. Shibuya's streets were busy even this late at night. The sidewalks were filled with young couples enjoying their night together and drunks who seemed to have been drinking way to early to make it to the next morning. It seemed every billboard was advertising Shards of Memory, the brand new MMO that was releasing tonight. He smiled to himself thinking about it. Sakura, God bless her heart, managed to get in a pre-order for it just for him. Why she didn't keep such a treasure for herself he will never know but after he got done playing it tonight he had to treat her to something just as special. To make sure his playing experience wasn't interrupted he even took the next day off to fully enjoy the experience.

It didn't take long for the young man to find his way to his apartment. The room was cluttered but Junji knew where everything was. It was his mess after all and he knew where each and every thing went. Even though he was excited to try out SoM he made sure not to neglect his nightly rituals. Bathing, eating, and changing clothes were all a part of that ritual including making sure his door was locked. He knew that crimes were low in his neck of the woods but he didn't like the idea of someone coming into his home and taking whatever they wanted. He'd even heard of some people hiring body guards just for the sake of playing this game, something that seemed like it might be a legitimate concern but not one he was concerned about.

After eating a meal of instant ramen he settled into his bed and placed the NeuvoLink on his head. The machine whirred to life and a screen was illuminated in front of his eyes. The start up screen introduced the company's logo and thanked him for his purchase of the machine and then brought him to a screen where he could choose a game to play. There was only one option, Shards of Memory. Though it took a little while to download the files in about ten minutes he was under the effects of the console. It felt like the world around him was melting, almost like he was in one of those sensory deprivation pools you always hear about.

"Welcome, player, to Shards of Memory." These were the first words Junji heard when he entered the game. He had to admit, he was thoroughly impressed even with the opening animation. He had no desire to edit the game through the "Options" menu and simply hovered over the "Start" option using his eyes. He was then taken to a character creation screen that, to his surprise, was extremely detailed. Though he didn't exactly know his fine measurement such as his ears and nose he did make an effort to make an avatar that resembled himself. Even with his best efforts something about the avatar was...off. He looked a bit burlier and his hair wasn't exactly correct but that was something he could live with. When it came time to enter an in-game name he simply entered "JuneBug", the handle he always used for any other game. Why change it now? Besides, it would make it easier to find the rest of his mates when they eventually got the game for themselves as well.

After everything was said and done Junji's eyes and ears were greeted to a sprawling atmosphere. New players and NPC's filled the town square where, he guessed, every new player begins. "Holy crap...." Amazed was an understatement to the wonder that he felt. Unable to contain his excitement the man ran down the nearest alley, eager to explore this new world.

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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by Taiska » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:00 pm

The rush of battle...

The taste of victory... The feeling of pushing your skill to the absolute max. This is what she absolutely lived for. Ayumi looked down at her hands, and the Great Hammer held within them. A testament to the trials and tribulations that she had gone through to obtain her current status. Her hands were calloused and torn, while her hair was short but ragged and she didn't care. This was her place, this was her fantasy, a world where she could do whatever she wanted... But then, why did it feel so empty?


Ever so slowly, the noise began to draw her out of the world of SoM, eventually leaving her staring at a blaring alarm clock. 6:20 a.m. The clock read, as she slowly let out a drawn out sigh, looking back down at her hands. They were so very different from the hands that she had become so accustomed to in that short period of time. She yearned every day to return to the wonderful world, and soon her wish would be granted. As she gently tapped the top of her alarm clock with the tips of her fingers. Quickly, she tossed her feet over the bed and quickly hopped off onto the cold wooden floor. The smell of breakfast wafted up through the house, inticing her to proceed with her morning routine. Swiftly, she tossed on her school attire and headed into the bathroom to brush her teeth. After that was done, she headed down the oak stairs into the living room, where the scrumptious aroma only got stronger. With haste, she ran to see what her mother had prepared for her on this morning. When she reached the kitchen, the smell became more pronounced and the smell of eggs filled her nostrils. As she sat down at the dining table, her mother laid the delicious meal out in front of her. Ayumi's pupils dilated as they stared at the delicious omlete that her mother had made her. She put her hands together and smiled greatly. "I tadaki mas!" With that said, she started to quickly dig-in to the delicious meal. After she was done, she said her thanks and began her walk to school.

As Ayumi began walking down the sidewalk toward her highschool, she became lost in thought about the game release that she was missing out on. She knew that she couldn't miss her classes, but... The sweet call of Shards of Memory is a strong one. Oh school, once you are over I can finally get to playing the game I have been waiting for! She walked on, daydreaming of monsters to be slain, dungeons to be explored and Loot to be collected. She was so distracted in fact, that she didn't see her friend approaching from the distance, shouting her name. Ayumi turned and smiled, greeting them, not wanting them to know that she almost didn't acknowledge her. The pair began to converse about the past night's homework, exchanging explanations on the different subjects.

After a brisk walk, they finally reach the school and take their seats in their respected classes. "Alright class-" Class passed in a blur, maybe it was the fact that they were reviewing for a test, going over certain sections to make sure that it will be fresh in your mind. However, Ayumi didn't really care, she could study on her own, she just needed to know what the test was on. Once she heard that information, she tuned him out, and went back to daydreaming. Soon, homework was passed in, and soon after that, the bell rang for lunch. She was glad that the day was going so fast, most of her classes would be like the first one, so nothing much would be going on. Ayumi strolled outside underneath an old tree, and opened up her Bento box, eating the delicious contents within. After she had finished eating, she knew that she a had a little free time before class, but she figured she'd just lie down and close her eyes, thinking about that wonderful game. About ten minutes later, she decided to go ahead and start heading to class, arriving a little bit earlier than the crowd. The class passed about the same as the first, nothing completely special about it that day.

After class was over, she had already told her gymnastics team that she wouldn't be there today because she wasn't feeling well. However this wasn't the case, obviously, and she just wanted to play SoM sooner. Her stroll back to her house was a short one, just a couple of blocks back and she would be able to let the built up tension loose and melt into the fantasy world. The thought of this increased the pace of her steps significantly, almost breaking out into a full sprint. Her house was finally in view as she slowed down her pace a little, her breathing increased a small amount by the small run. As she walked into the front door, she announced to her mother that the team had concluded early today. She just laughed softly, probably knowing the real reason that she didn't go to practice. Quickly, Ayumi dashed up the stairs and into her bedroom, picking up the NuevoLink headset in her hands. Small lights flashed on the side of the device, letting her know that it was fully charged, and that it was connected to the internet. Last night, she had pre-installed SoM and installed the new firmware onto the NuevoLink. Slowly, she slid the headset on and laid down in her bed. Ayumi closed her eyes for a couple of moments before turning on the device. She had never really gotten used to when the device takes control of her nerves, and honestly found it a little unpleasant. However, that didn't stop her from tapping the side of the headset. Slowly, green text floated across the glass, already having Ayumi's registered account on it. Within a few moments a slight buzzing could be felt, as she gritted her teeth, waiting for the moment. Suddenly, she was falling...

Ayumi hated heights, and falling was one of the most terrifying things in the world to her, but at least the experience was over now. She stood on a black field, staring up at the constellations spelling out: NuevoLink Product of Aegis Technologies. A familiar musical number chimed as the words "Welcome Yumi!" Appeared on her screen. She clicked the play button, and watched as the screen faded to black once more.

The opening cutscene brought back a lot of memories of the game, as the old book opened up in front of her, the options laid out. Enthusiastically, she tapped the start button, and the book slammed closed. Soon after that, a small mirror appeared letting her alter her apearance. A small grin formed across her face, as she changed the color of her hair from white, to black, her eyes to brown and her height to 170cm. With a sharp nod, she accepted the changes. The second screen gave her a list of rewards for participating in the Beta test. Looking most of them over, she decided to go with the Reaver's set. She also got a small revival crystal for completing a vague quest, and a falcon phial with three golden rings hugging it. She had won three golden medals during the Trials of Glass event, one of which being a gymnastics medal, another being some sort of tossing event, and the last a 10 km run. The last screen was just starting equipment, so she quickly picked "Basic Great Hammer" and "Thin Iron Plate".

Soon, she spawned in, a flurry of pixels announcing a new entree. Excitedly, she began to equip the items that she had just received.
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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by UmbraSight » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:03 pm

It wasn't her favorite track from the new album but, Fuyu had to admit, it was a good song to dance to. The song had that particular background beat that one could feel in their legs and the sway of their hips. She moved her way through her routine, allowing muscle memory to pilot her body as her mind worked through the lyrics and timing. She could hear her own voice in the air, in a strange abstract way. She could feel her lips moving, her vocal cords buzzing in her throat, but it felt something she wasn't fully a part of. Her body knew its proper motions, her lips knew the words, so, personal thought came and went in quick little comments over automatic movements.

’Next step left’

’Breathe here, no chance next stanza.’

’Roll back onto right heel, keep left toe pointed down.’

And, the music ended.

Fuyu remained still for a moment, her chest rising and falling as she gulped down air. With a sharp exhalation and a grin to her instructor sitting in the corner, she raised her hand and scraped her sweat soaked bangs away from her eyes. Her instructor matched her grin with a toothy one of his own as Fuyu slid a sweatband around her left wrist across her forehead.

“Well, how’d it look?” Fuyu asked. Her instructor looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding slowly.

“Your opening and closing is near perfect, but you keep clipping portions of the middle short. You can hear it in the song rather than see it in the dance. You shorten words you usually don't, and your lifts dine reach as high.” The man drew in a long breath. “That said, if you keep up your current rate of progression then you will be more than ready next weekend.”

“Harusomi-San will be happy to hear that.” Fuyu said, pulling the collar of her loose shirt away from where sweat had glued it to her skin. Her instructor laughed.

“I'd pay to see that man smile. I've never met anyone more dour than him.”

“I've seen him smile, at the office Christmas party.” Fuyu said, with a conspiratorial note to her voice, and her instructor raised a brow.

“Really? You should have taken a picture.”

“I was too shocked, didn't even think of it.” Fuyu said with an easy shrug of her shoulders. Her green eyes slid to the clock on the wall. “Want another rundown of the performance, or will that be all for today?” Her instructor looked back over his shoulder.

“Unfortunately I have another appointment at two, so that will be it for today. Thank you for your hard work today Hisara-San.” The man said with a nod of his head.

“And thank you Azama-San.” Fuyu said back, with a more formal bow of her head. Then, with a smile she walked to the door, pausing only for a moment to pick up a half-finished bottle of water before she left.


It was amazing the amount of difference a shower and a change of clothes could make. She had arrived back at her apartment drained, not wanting to - but willing to put Shards off for another day, but a long warm shower and fresh clothing had given her a second spurt of energy. Barefoot, she walked into her bedroom, stopping only for a moment to scoop up the NeuvoLink headgear from its resting place of the seat of a wooden chair on her way to the bed. She ran her free hand through her hair as she sat down in her bed.

Some dampness lingered, but it felt close enough to dry that Fuyu doubted it would be an issue. After a quick check to be certain that the cord would reach, Fuyu slipped the headset on and laid down. She reached up and pressed the button on the side of the machine, and felt the familiar prickling along the skin on the back of her neck, before a feeling of ice crept across her mind.


It had taken longer than the first time, but by the one she had finished with character creation Fuyu had recreated her avatar from the beta. A rather plain and serious looking woman with black hair and dark brown eyes, perhaps more suited for life in an office than in a fantasy MMO, but it was what Fuyu wanted, just to be another face in the crowd.

What fun was stress relief if people could recognize you?

A little more time was spent checking out her rewards from the two tests - Fuyu chose the Lawbringer and Sentinel set - as well as a few other odds and ends, a pouch from a quest she barely remembered, and a Flacon of Aetir from the Trials of Glass. She hadn't medaled or anything fancy, the one trail she had happened to join was set up for AGI builds which she didn't have. A worn iron spear and battered leather coat later and Hisa found herself in a familiar setting following a dazzling flash of lights.

The only space which had remained the same during the two tests had been the starting town of Grimoire, and it seemed that the main game was no different. The main plaza of Grimoire was an expansive space, ringed by grand trees and gurgling fountains of crystalline water. The only real difference was the centerpiece of the plaza, the book which rested upon the pedestal was larger than it had been in the tests. A minor little change which drifted out of conscious thought about as soon as it had found its way into her mind.

Instead, Hisa took a moment to equip her spear, coat, and Lawbringer set. All she needed was to pick up a sword, so with a bounce in her step and a hum on her lips from song she had sung years ago, Hisa started towards the market district.


November 27th, 2027, 12:57 PM. Merchant District, Grimoire.

The clouds far above rumbled. A low, dissatisfied grumble as sparks of light skittered between ash-gray clouds. A damp wind slithered through Grimoire’s streets, carrying with it the scent of damp earth and the coolness of a nearing rain. Aki watched the skies above, attempting to decide what it was she wished to do next. Her shopping was done, almost half of her one-hundred Lor starting funds lost to three weak potions, ten bronze throwing knives and two rolls of coarse black bread. The bread wasn't exactly a necessary expense, but she had always found it a good idea to carry some food items.

She was ready to start the process of hunting down a quest or two, there were always a few monster hunting or item collecting quests around a town for pocket change, but the threatening rain gave her a second thought or two. Grimoire was a large town, perhaps if she stick close rather than going out into the field she could find something fun to do. Aki’s gaze lowered to the other milling players along the market street, those who had also head this way to prepare themselves for a day’s worth of adventuring. With a sigh, and a stretch of her arms above her head, Aki stepped out onto the street.

First, go to the gate and poke her head into a door or two as she goes, from there she could decide what she wanted to do next.
//… under her weight the floorboards gave, and she fell into the dark...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by SuXeSoN » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:03 pm

Rugaki grinned mischievously as he pulled the hood of his <Archean Cloak> over his head. The boy feel eyes watching him, wary of him. It seems that they smell a thief, yet Rugaki is no thief, not most of the time at least. Since he doesn't have the Hiding Skill, this was going to be the best he was going to do. Plus, who cares if everyone saw him in broad daylight? He wasn't really going to commit a crime of any sorts. No, this was just going to be a.. Greeting, to put it lightly. The boy's blue eyes scanned across the crowd again, seeing that his target was still at the same place. Yumi is currently looking into her inventory, completely oblivious of the environment around her. This was the perfect opportunity. Rugaki dove deeper into the crowd, trying his best to avoid bumping into people, he didn't want any trouble after all. This was just going to be a bit of a prank, that's all. It's going to be a nice change of pace as Haru didn't usually do this kind of stuff.

The young boy crept closer and closer to the silver-haired girl, the latter still seemingly oblivious of the former's intent. His <Archean Boots> were doing their job. Before he knew it, Rugaki was within's arms distance behind Yumi, and he was ready to make his move. With the help of his <Archean Mask> AGI increase, he strafed in 180 degrees, coming up to Yumi's front, still crouched. Before the poor girl could react, Rugaki sprung his fist upwards, punching through the equipment interface Yumi was looking at. Halting a few inches away from Yumi's nose. Then he froze, still partially crouching so he had to look up to Yumi to see her face. Rugaki's expression was hidden under his mask, which only had 3 holes for the eyes and nose. Everything about him is completely still. One could have described his stiffness and intensity a bit eerie. Exactly 4 seconds passed before the stiffness faded, "Sorry to startle you Yumi." Rugaki said as he stood up, his outstretched hand taking his mask and his hood off as he did so. Revealing a familiar face to Yumi at last, he was almost unchanged from the Beta. His height and build may have changed slightly, but people would remember faces more right? "Remember me? We've met a few times in the Beta, a few dungeon runs here and there.. We were both in the Trials of Glass too."

Rugaki then accessed his inventory, un-equipping his <Archean Mask>, causing it to dissipate away into blue voxels in his hand. In it's place, his <Glass Flacon of Aetir> materialized in his hands. He raised it to show it to the girl before him, smiling as he did so. "You must have one too right?" Of course she does. Yumi participated in more event than he did. Winning not only one, but 3 medals for herself. Or was it more than that? He wasn't sure. Nevertheless, she was a good, skillful player to have by your side. Especially because she's a tank, the <Reaver's Set> she's wearing only reinforces that idea. Rugaki did remember reading about the aggro-boost. "We should share a drink together sometime.." The young boy made an offhand suggestion. It was a bit awkward for himself as he doesn't like the idea of drinking alcohol one bit. But surely, Yumi must have the common sense to tell that he didn't mean it that way. He placed his Aetir back into the inventory. His free hands crossed each other. With a tilt of his head, he asked. "So, do ya wanna party up?.. Playing alone isn't as fun." What he said was true. The reason he liked VRMMOs, or just MMOs in general, was because of the community aspect. Being in a Clan or Guild, or just playing with a familiar group of friends makes it much more worthwhile.
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Re: [ADV] Shards of Memory

Post by AstrayNanashi » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:19 pm

The amount of color in the area almost made one forget this was not real, at least in the orthodox definition of the word. For some reason, the colors seemed opaque-- A reason he found out once he looked up. Gray clouds were forming on top of everyone's heads, threatening to flood them in water at any moment. It added up with the smell of moist dirt and slight wind gusts, which made it feel like it really was about to rain. Perhaps the game was programmed to be like this for now, or it had it's own weather, but he discarded the possibility of rain for now. And even if it did rained, he wouldn't have to worry about getting sick.

A second look to his surroundings made Ichiro notice how many people had been logging in and immediately commenced gearing themselves up, which brought to mind the word "Inventory." He hasn't played many videogames, but he did play a few share in his teen years. Action and some RPGs, this seemed like a combination of both. Now the real question was, how to access he inventory? Through the menu, that was clear, but how would he open this menu? He rubbed a hand across his face and stopped down at the chin, holding it between both index and thumb. Rust-colored eyes darted across the plaza as he thought, yet nothing seemed logic. He decided to wander for a while, standing there wouldn't accomplish anything.

His character didn't hold any equipment other than the starting clothes, a pair of brown trousers, a plain shirt and light brown boots as foot wear. The more he walked around the place, the more he thought about expanding his experience in this game. He was planning to stay for about an hour, just in case his sister needed something if she woke up within that time. Meanwhile, it'd be good if he enjoyed everything the game could offer in the starting town. Ichiro glanced around the streets, looking at a few shops in the way, he seemed to be away from the initial plaza right now.

With each person that passed, the fact that he didn't know how to do things other than move bothered even more. Some of them even had different extra equipment, perhaps something they bought or obtained somehow. Ichiro stopped in his tracks, taking a deep breath before he raised a hand to his face's height. A few movements of fingers were made, he was still getting accustomed to the idea of being inside a game. His eyes shifted down to his exposed wrist, showing clear skin with little to no imperfection, which caused him to frown slightly. The game hadn't registered his body paintings, his tattoos, but perhaps it's for the best. Maybe he would've been able to recreate them, but it would be a waste of time for a game he might not play again.

A long sigh escaped his lips, then his arm dropped to the side. His stroll continued for a bit before coming to a stop once again, noticing a person by themselves near a shop. This was a woman, she had a serious look on her face. Plain dark hair, decorated with a white ribbon. A similar white cloth-- A cape, hanging on one shoulder and a spear on the other. Ichiro hesitated for a moment, but he made up his mind and decided to ask this woman for help. He reached out to her and tapped the female's shoulder softly, speaking out loud enough for her to listen. "Hey, mind if I intrude for a minute? I'm kinda new in this." Once he finished his sentence, he pulled his extended hand behind his neck and rubbed the area. He was in an awkward position, if his men saw him like this they would surely burst in laughter.
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