The story so far:
He gave his twisted grin and said “Hello people of Free Life, and your Majesty of Free Life. You might remember me as the one who had you poisoned. I escaped for jail a month before you got out of the hospital. When I heard you were out and about again, I just had to play with you a little!
“I bet you haven't guessed that I was the one who snapped the the ghosts of Free Life out of the shock from being ripped from their body's when they died did you? Pretty good of a thing for me to do right? But when you play the villain, everything you give comes with a price! I can control the ghosts and every new ghost that is made will also fall under my control! And when I say that, I'm telling you that the ghosts of Free Life can rip your mind and soul from your bodies and make you one of them. I'd tell you how it works but that's no fun!
“Now, you might be wondering what you can do to stop me from harming anyone, correct?” his grin grew even more twisted and disgusting. “you could pass ownership of everything you have to me then kill yourself. If you do that, I'll think about stopping this.” He said sweetly “You have but one day free Life time to make your choice. In the mean time, all ghosts will back off. If things go south, then let the fun begin!
“Can the hero beat the villain once again? Lets find out!” With that, his sickening smirk grew as big as it could as he started to laugh just before he signed off and the screens dissolved away.
I thought to myself for a second to try and sort out what I now know. Once I had a good enough idea I looked back down to my still open mini screen and said “Are you still on the line Brian?”
“Can you figure out where the General is?”
“Er... ya, give me a second.” He said a second but because of all the mayhem with the programs and the network, it took him an hour to get a lock. It wasn't even a good one either. “He's in... London... somewhere close to Big Ben I think... I can't really tell.”
“Right, thats good enough for me.”
“Ah! But the AHF base in London seems to have crashed along with a few others around the world. You'll have to go for the closest one still working, which is in Brighton.”
“I can work with that.”
“He's going to be protected by the ghosts, do you have a plan?”
“I have an idea. You wouldn't happen to have made anything in case the ghosts became dangerous would you?” I questioned.
“You do know me well don't you? Come find me downstairs. I'm in my office.”
“Right. Down in a second.”
Hanging up, Soren, Anna, and I jogged our way down the four flights of stairs to the basement. We went down one hallway, then turned right down another and at the end of that one we reached Brian's tech lab and office. I knocked on the office door then the three of us stepped in.
“There you are” Brian said. “Here, I'll show you what we're talking about.” Putting all his fingertips on his open mini screen, he suddenly spread them apart like representing an explosion. As he did so, images and information tagged to them shot out and around the room. “The only thing we know that affects them, is light. We shine light on them, they disappear, and once they're gone they aren't dangerous anymore. Right?”
“True... but does it actually get rid of them? Or is it temporary. If it is temporary, how long do we have?”
“Not a clue. These weapons are untested, but from what I can gather, I'd say it is temporary and it only lasts until the light dies away.”
“That isn't a lot of time...”
“I can set them so the light is prolonged to a certain amount of time... but I don't think I can have it go any longer then eight seconds before it disrupts the area around it which would cause a lot more trouble then we need... it could even hinder us... what kind of affect it would have is unknown.”
“Perfect.... What if you did it as a pulse?”
“Ah! Thats a good idea...! but as you can see here, everything I have is a one time use only, its no good for a pulse.”
“Could you write a program that could make an entire area or multiple areas pulse with light then?”
Brian seemed to think about it for a moment with his arms crossed and his brow furrowed, then said “It would take time. Even if the whole system wasn't a total mess right now. If Senta was here right now, I could have it ready in twelve hours if we go none stop but without her... I don't think I can make it as a back up plan to give you more time like you're thinking.”
“I still want you to try. This is all you have to fight with though?”
“Yes, well... there wasn't a lot I could do in the short amount of time I had and I had a lot to do all at once. You'll have to make due with a bullet upgrade and specialized flash grenades. Also, because the light will be extremely intense some specialized shades for those eyes of yours. Digital or not, that light will blind you. Maybe not permanently, but long enough to screw you over. Make sure to wear them and don't take them off.” Brian warned
“Great, can we have them now?” Anna asked.
We all turned and looked at her.
“What?!” she said awkwardly.
“You thought you were going with me!?” I questioned. Without waiting for an answer I said “No bloody way! You stay here until this is over!”
“You want me to stay here and sit on my ****?! You really plan to leave me behind with Soren?!”
“Actually I'm going with him for once. Since he just got out, Paul still needs to be watched and even though I suck in the field-”
“He can still follow my lead, He knows how to work the weapons, and he knows what to look for if I start acting strange.” I finished.
“I can use a gun...! and I know what to look for as well!” Anna whined.
“But you can't follow my lead. Even if you might know better then to fool around or something, you're likely to argue with me, like right now... besides what am I gonna do if you get turned into a ghost?”
“More like what are the others going to do to you.” Brian corrected.
“They'll kill him I'd bet... specially Jane. She might not like Anna much but, even if its in a bad way, they are really close.” Soren said.
“We are not close!” Anna Snapped.
“None the less, You stay here.” I directed.
“Why not go chat with Shawna? She's around as well, most likely grumbling because she can't go join in on some real action because she needs to do paper work for me.” Soren suggested.
“I don't want to sit around! Let me help!” Anna demanded.
“No.” I stated.
She fought for a bit longer before finally leaving in a huff to go find Sean... er, I mean Shawna. Still trying to get used to that... Shawna had us believing us her name was Sean and that she was a boy at one point, but thats part of my back-story adventure I mentioned earlier that I'm saving for later.
Anyway, finally after about eight pages, Soren and I finally get our bullet upgrade, our grenades, and our new shades, we made sure our bikes were in top condition, and Brian made sure we remembered how to switch the regular bullets with our light bullets. -we had to tap the butt of the grip/stalk.- Once we were fully prepared, we went to the AHF base listing and teleported to Brighton.
At the Brighton base, they greeted me excitedly although still panicked by the sudden message of impending destruction. I quickly explained to them what I was doing there and then I instructed them to make sure no one goes to London and if they had enough willing agents, to go in and get everyone there out then have everyone stay in as much light as possible. Brighton's head complied and sent a group of agents in to collect everyone they could. As well as this, they called all the bases surrounding London, told them the situation, and gave them the same instructions.
Thirteen hours after the General had sent out his message, London had finally been cleared as best it could be. I was given a report explaining that it was almost impossible too get anywhere near the inner part of the city because of the amazing number of Free Life ghosts.
Once the last of the people were out, Soren and I peeled our motorbikes -in the form of stickers- from the inside of our jackets then pressed on them. We let them slip from our hands and as they fell to the ground they started to expand and gain shape. A second later, they were ready to ride. We got on, started the engines, and headed out.
Another hour an a half and we made it into London then we started for the centre of the city. It wasn't before long that we spotted our first ghost. They looked just like regular Free Life players but it was obvious they weren't. Not only does any part of them disappear when hit by light and stop them from moving but they sort of... glitch every now and then and you can see digital codes through them.
Once we saw the first one we both pulled out a hand gun each and made sure it was set to the light bullets. As we rode along the amount of ghosts increased faster and faster. At first they didn't take any notice in us but, again, the farther we went the more they started to look to us. Soren looked like he might pull the trigger any moment because of his nerves. Like I've pointed out before, Soren wasn't used to being in the field. I didn't bother to tell him to relax despite that though. It hardly ever works for anyone. Instead I said “So how do you think we should go about looking for the General?”
“Wha? oh... um, just go for the building the ghosts seem to be protecting most. I suppose...”
“Okay.... Well, first we still need to get Big Ben in sight.” I said. Then, because of the amount of ghosts on the rodes I said “I don't know about you, Soren, but I think the rodes are getting a little to crowded. We'll do roof hopping from here.”
“Yes, we jump from one roof to the other. Don't worry, I have a program to make it easy to do.”
“A program? You mean like one of those special items Brian makes for the AHF?”
“Right. This ones called Jump Plus.”
“Alright... I hope there are less ghosts up there.” Soren worried.
“So do I.”
The two of us pulled over to the nearest building, pushed on the centre of the handle bars and the bikes collapsed back into stickers, and we stuck them back onto the inside of our jackets. Quickly moving inside, we climbed the stairs -The elevator was blocked off- and made are way to the roof.
Looking out over the streets we could see it was still getting thicker with ghosts as it went north on the streets.
I opened my mini screen and went for the speciality item button and looked through the assortment of tools I had stashed inside. I clicked on the image for Jump Plus after a few scrolls down. A page came up to give me all the info on the item and at the bottom of the page, there was a button that read Use.
Hitting the button, the mini screen vanished and the item started to take form. A moment later, I was holding a pair of runners with small wings -manly wings... that is.... dammit... - on them.
“What's with the wings?” Soren asked.
“Shut up... I don't know.” I grumbled.
Setting the shoes down I went back into my mini screen for another item. This time I chose an item that looked like a camera. With the camera, I took a picture of the shoes then hit another button on the screen displaying the picture that read Copy. With that, it started to take the shape of the shoes.
“There, A pair for each of us.”
“You really want me to put these on? Its not a joke?”
“Just do it!” I snapped.
“Alright, alright... but we need to talk to Brian about these shoes.”
“Senta gave them to me as a gift... she'd be mad if I had them modified.”
“Come on lets get going. Just run and jump to the next building. Be careful not to over jump though. We don't know what happens when you die in the game right now...”
“Right... Its possible that if I die here then my body dies out there and I become a ghost...”
“Yes... but you really should have left that unsaid...” I sighed to myself then said “Once this is over Free Life's going to have a world of troubles I'll have to help deal with and I'll have to give interviews and such about it all and make sure people aren't scared to use it again... All I ever wanted was to relax without a care in the world... how the hell did I become some kind of digital crime fighter...?”
“What about me?! I'm not even a field agent! I don't belong out here playing Batman and Robin with you!”
We both paused for a moment, sighed with frustration, then took a stand on the south part of the roof and prepared to jump.
We started running forward to the next building going north, then when we got to the ledge we jumped up onto it, then jump again from there and for what seemed like hours, we were flying threw the air, up, up, and up to the next building that towered over the one we were on. Looking down and around, we could see the alleyway bellow as it slowly became thinner and thinner well ghosts disappeared and reappeared as clouds started to gather in the skies above.
The sensation this gave was terrifying, exiting, and freeing. It made you feel like you could do anything but almost made you forget everything. There was nothing as beautiful as that moment.
But like all things, the moment came to an end and my feet landed onto the next roof. With the better view we looked about to see where we going. Once we had a general idea of where Big Ben was we started to move that way, and enjoying every moment we got to sail threw the air... right up until the roofs started to get crowded with ghosts that is.
As more and more clouds started to gather the ghosts were able to move around more and more. There is also the fact that Soren and I were getting closer and closer to our target. So they would start to go after us.
We continued on with our guns drown again Soren still with one handgun well I had two out. It wasn't much longer before we couldn't avoid them so finally we started shooting at them just before we landed on the next building. Stunning them with the sudden, blinding, white light and making them vanish from sight. It took nine straight shots just to get from one side of the roof to the other from both of us by the time we were five blocks from Big Ben.
“Is this for real?!” Soren cried as we flew to the next building. “There are so many of them! Why is this?!”
“I don't no, but we'll have to find a way to deal with it later, for now keep moving!”
Four blocks away. The ghosts finally attack us by jumping toward us well we were still in mid-air. Soren and I both started to freak out. At this rate we were going to die, but then I got an idea!
Reaching inside of my jacket, I pulled out a disk. Quickly putting it between my hands, then pulling them apart, the disk expanded into one of the flash grenades Brian gave us. Pulling the pin, I tossed it up behind us and a second or two later, its blinding light shined out from behind us.
The light made it hard to tell where our landing was but it not only cleared the ghosts jumping at us but it cleared many of the ones still on the roof.
After that one we had to continue using the flash grenades. We managed to get halfway through the second block from Big Ben before we ran out of them though. Unlike the light bullets, they were limited.
Just before, as we were using the last ones, Soren asked “Do you think they'll just kill us flat out?”
“Most likely, but I hope not...” I answered.
“In the chance they do keep us alive, do we have a plan?”
“Maybe... I need to call Brian.”
A few roof tops later, I felt the hands made of damaged data grabbing at me from all around as we started to fall down to the next building.
Down on the roof, I noticed I wasn't being torn from my body, I looked around at the ghosts holding me. Soren was doing the same.
“Why aren't you killing us? Isn't that what the General want you to do?” I asked.
“No.... He wants us to wait. And stop any threat that approaches” a man holding my left arm answered.
“So is he in Big Ben?” I asked.
He didn't respond.
“I'll take that as a yes. How is it you kill a player?”
“We have to cover the persons entire body.” he answered.
“I see.... I came here to give the General my answer. Could you bring me to him? I don't want to be late getting there you know?”
The ghosts seemed to think about it for a few moments, then they said “Fine. But we will remove all weapons first.” and so they took our guns and searched our clothes for more. Once they were satisfied, they tied our hands then brought us down to street level and walked us to the large clock tower. We were then brought inside and to the top where we finally found the General sitting on a chair beside the inside of one of the four big clock faces. The ghosts pushed us to our knees, then left the room.
For a moment the General looked mildly surprised, but in no time at all his hideous grin stretched across is face and said “What a pleasant surprise! You know you didn't have to come all the way right, Mr. Freed? But thank you. One question though, is it just the two of you? Or did you bring friends?”
“We're alone.” I answered.
“Well, I can believe that... actually what surprises me most is that you have someone with you this time. I thought you worked solo?”
“It's because we don't feel that I should be in hear to much yet.”
“Of course! I get it now. Anyways, you came to give me an answer, no? what is it?”
“My answer is-”
“Master General, intruders have suddenly appeared in the basement!” another ghost, who just ran in, reported.
“Really? Well stop them! If it becomes too difficult, kill them!”
“Yes, sir!” he finished then ran back out.
“I thought you said you came alone?” the General said looking back to us.
“We did. No one else should be coming....” Soren said sounding confused.
“Is that so...? who is it then?!”
Just then we could now hear noise coming from below and getting louder as it moved up until finally, ghosts started to spill into the room to avoid the attackers which soon after, burst threw the door themselves with a loud *bang* and a bright flash of light. I could hear the two voices growling as they came in. they sounded like they belonged to girls.
The light started to dim and guns started firing. The General dived to the left behind some parts of the clock just in time, well his chair quickly became filled with holes and the clock face was broken.
“Looks like you needed me after all” one of the voices said as she hit me on the head lightly then began to untie me.
“Shut up! Shawna didn't like being left behind anymore then I did so we stole some of Brian's equipment and followed after.”
“How did you make it all the way hear!?” Soren questioned as Shawna handed me a gun well still firing light bullets to keep the ghosts at bay and Anna now started on him.
“Threw the sewer. Then we cut our way into Big Ben from the bottom. What were you thinking being so flashy, jumping around on the rooftops anyway? You two are smarter then that aren't you?”
“Oh, shut it!” we both snapped. Suddenly ghosts jumped out from a blind spot and knocked over Shawna, allowing the ghosts to swarm us and pin us to the floor.
“Now that was a close one! You almost had me there! Anymore interruptions I should be wary of?” the General asked as he came out from his hiding spot.
“Just one. Before we were caught I manage to call our Tech guy, Brian. He said Senta was back and they would be done any minute.”
“What? Done what!?”
“Wouldn't be any fun if I told you now would it?”
The General paused for a moment then grinned and said “No, I suppose not!” with a laugh. Then he quickly went silent and said In a low voice “kill them all.”
With that, the ghosts started to push down on us and cover our bodies, but before every inch was covered, light suddenly shined out of nowhere and covered everything. The ghosts vanished and finally we could move again. All four of us got up and Soren was handed a gun. We quickly switched to the Hunter bullets and as the light slowly dimmed back just before the next pulse, we took aim at the confused General looking all around the large room for the source of light and fired.
* * *
After this, the ghosts seemed to come out from under a spell and quickly went back to being friendly. For the time being we sectioned them off for everyones safety just so we didn't have any accidents happening. Brian sorted out Free Life well having it shut down for a week after evacuating the worlds population then started developing two programs one that would terminate a ghost of Free Life so that they could move on and the other was to send them to a new land mass we were going to make for them to live on without causing trouble for the living players when they were made. The Generals ghost that was made because he did end up dying well Free Life was closed off was planned to be first to be terminated. This was of course agreed upon by not only law officials but governments around the world.
On a lighter note the day became a world holiday known as “Ghost In Light” day, celebrating our making it threw that day and honouring the heroes that saved them all. Soren was now enjoying this side of being a hero well I was now trying my best not to step outside for fear of the media even after I had given a live interview, I was still being swarmed. I could swear some of those reporters were camping out nearby to try and catch me.... I just wanted some peace and quiet but instead I get people following me around. I even got a new nickname. King Free Life. They could have at least been more imaginative right?