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(Virtual Room inside NERV HQ)

“Oh, holy crap. They actually did it!”

Isaac wasn’t sure who it was that said those words, but he agreed with them completely. What they had just watched on the feeds was incredible. Even watching it from the control room, with the benefit of being able to play with the time dilation to speed up and slow down the replay, it was amazing to see something thought to be impossible done before his virtual eyes. And so effortlessly, too!

He shook his head, centered himself, and, getting back into ‘professional mode’, said, “All right, we need to get ahead of this. Work with the main AI to find a way to carefully manage how this might get out into the game world. We’ll have to try and put something together to keep the players from rioting when they find out about this. If it goes bad, people will freak out. Suggestions?”

“Distract them with something shiny?”

Isaac laughed, and said, “That’ll only work for a little while, and you know it. But get something together, Ted, so we can have it ready to roll if we need more time on things. Anyone else? We don’t have to work miracles, just something that will keep people from burning the place down until things settle. We want this to have a chance to work itself out without the players swarming all over things doing like they do.”

“What about a new Gateway? Nuevo Edo has ships of their own, now, including some civilian ships that are up to current spec. Could have some good, old-fashioned corruption or bribery to get a couple addresses off the stele.”

“Hah, this is Nuevo Edo. The gender imbalance is still way out of whack, and people in power are almost entirely female. So why not have a reverse honeypot? Get some sexy seducer out there to sleep his way to the information, like a scifi James Bond?”

Isaac grinned as the other game masters spitballed ideas. “Now, THAT is an interesting idea. Have a ‘tall dark and hansome’ type go and seduce someone to get a gate address. I can dig it, and it will play well with the player base. What gateway would we use?”

“THX-1138 is a good choice. There’s a nice, existing power base for people to play against, so that whoever goes there won’t immediately be able to take everything over, like the Black Stars did when they started exploring. Might be a decent place to send people, anyways, especially since they’ve been working on that project…”

Isaac frowned. THX-1138 wasn’t a bad choice, per se, but did they really want the players out there so soon? “No, not that one. We were going to introduce THX-1138 in the next expansion pack. We need something a little more self-contained.”

“What about the Basilisk system? The station there is pretty isolated, but the Navy usually has some cruisers on patrol there to help ward off pirates. They could learn a few things about wormhole physics, too.”

“OK, sure, that’s a possible. How did they explain humans being in that area for longer than they’ve been in space?”

“Gravitic lensing through a wormhole caused all kinds of time craziness. Essentially sent them back before the Apollo program started.”

“Hmm. That’s what the AI came up with? Little thin, but it’ll do when people get there. Think we can have that worked out for the next big update?”

“Sure, Isaac. Everything’s in the game already. Just gotta get an explorer to the right place at the right time, and boom, people get new stuff.”

“Hey, guys, you been watching the feeds?” Isaac looked up as Morgan appeared in the virtual room, and headed over to where his people were figuring out how to keep things running. “Isn’t it crazy?”

Isaac nodded. “Oh, yeah, we’ve been working on things down here for the last few hours, trying to think of ways to manage the potential fallout. The player base is going to go nuts when this hits the public nets, I’m sure. Right now, we’re working to try and control the information so it comes out in the best light possible.”

Morgan frowned. “Are you kidding? There’s no way you can try and keep a lid on this! The footage is GOING to get out. Trying to run some kind of cover-up job is just going to make things look bad on us, like we were helping someone cheat or had something else to hide. The whole thing played out in game, and we know no one was hacking the system, so let’s just put it out there, as cinematically as possible, and let people hype themselves up for our product. This is the best free PR we’ve had in months!”

Isaac frowned. “Are you sure? It has the potential to completely destabilize the game. Everyone will be rushing for it once this comes out. I don’t even want to think what the effect will be on the ‘locals’. They’re already getting swept along by the players doing crazy shit. This is going to make it worse unless we handle it carefully!”

“Carefully? How in the hell can you talk about carefully? Come on, this is the biggest story in the game right now, even if people aren’t aware of it yet. You can’t just try and sweep it under the rug! Hell, you wouldn’t be able to, anyways, since Mollen was in the mix, and his stream will be going live soon.”

Isaac blinked, and said, “What are you talking about? Mollen wasn’t even there!”

“What? The Black Stars were right in the middle of everything going on in Coldana! Hell, their Marines dropped on a swarm of X’thari warriors and saved a bunch of people in the enclaves. And that isn’t even considering what his ships did to the Harvester!”

Isaac breathed a sigh. “Oh, you’re talking about Coldana. Yeah, we ran the numbers once they had made their plans, and it was obvious the Harvester was going down. The only question was on the casualty numbers. That’s all well and good. Actually, we can use that as the distraction we were hoping for.” He looked to the side, “Ted! Use Coldana for the distraction. That’ll keep the players running around for ages! Susan, keep working on the Basilisk idea. We won’t implement unless we need to.”

Morgan just stared at him, dumbfounded. “Wait, if you guys haven’t been watching the battle at Coldana, what have you been doing?”

Isaac grinned his most shit-eating of grins, “Well, you see…”

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A note from Mirikon

Be sure to read my published works!

 

Frozen Soul series (Sci-Fi Supervillain story):

Frozen Soul - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B071R125QT

Tales of the Void Traveler - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B06ZZ52G37

Memoirs of a Supervillain - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B07R9NWS8J

 

Rules-Free VRMMO Life (Dark Fantasy GameLit):

Volume 1 - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B071VPRNDB

Omnibus 1 - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B0774T354X

Complete 1-20 - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B07R5CHNNP

 

Into the Black (Sci-Fi GameLit):

Book I - Game Start https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B071LT5WGL

Omnibus I - Books 1-4 https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B077X2KR7Y

 

City of Champions Online (Superhero GameLit):

Issue I - Origin Stories https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B075SHXQS1

 

Lewd Dungeon (Dungeon Core GameLit):

Book 1 - Welcome to the Apocalypse https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B07BB34DHF

Omnibus 1 - Books 1-4 https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B07FBPF6HR

 

SCI Stories (Dark Supervillain story):

Book 1 - https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B07RL93VQN

 

The Kalipshae Affair (A First Contact Short Story): https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B0739V6R6T


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Comments(46)
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Tsaimath ago

I wonder, is this the same grin a Pen&Paper-DM has, right after rolling behind the DM-Screen and getting ...interesting results?

Salzar ago

That was a evil cliff. I did not expect the twist!

beanender ago

It is amusing to see two people have a conversation, and both be speeking about differnt things. But the cliff. It hurts. Either way awesom chapter.

J Country ago

Thanks for the chapter!

Aphelion ago

thanks for the chapter

that an evil cliffhanger right there Very Happy

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gemroth ago

Interesting forshadowing is interesting.

stads ago

nice chapter thx for writing it

will be interesting to see what coup player made thats not black star

Tateo13 ago

that bait and switch.

Endless Paving ago

Oh, what a twist! Somethi g that isn’t all about the MC for once.

Harb ago

Suprise cliff & like the Basilisk Station reference that got slipped in there!

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