A GLITCHWORLD FAN FICTION
by: Your Mom
“Wham bam thank you ma’am!” Cade shouted as he fragged another green alien that looked like it was a cross between a lizard man and a praying mantis. Well, at least it had the face and arms of a praying mantis, the rest of it was like a bi-pedal lizard. Turns out reptile men were real and they were coming for your jewels. The Lizard-Manti had a thing for attacking players in the balls. Cade was an athletic young man with black hair and a five o’clock shadow and lucky for him he had a very special, very unique C.U.N.T. (Containment Unit for Neutralizing Trauma) (power armor). Cade’s C.U.N.T. was a dull blue and gray, perfectly matching his long rifle. It didn’t have much girth but it was all
about usefulness. His rifle was equipped with a mode that made it roll either a perfect 10-10, 6-9, or in some rare cases a 4-2. It was rare for Cade to roll bad he was a master when it came to sniping and long range. He had once been one of the elite players in t’he VR game ‘Jump on Monsters 2, Galaxy’s Highest Point’ having earned him a whooping million subscribers in less than five hours when he defeated the planet eating gelatinous cube. A feat many deemed impossible. Training for this moment for months with real air soft, martial arts also helped gave Cade the advantage. Cade knew one thing from his sources inside Prestige Gaming and that was that real world skills could help give players the advantage.
It was mid-afternoon. After fragging three more lizard-manti Cade tea-bagged the last one and turned to the camera beside him. Cade was a YouStreamIt pro. Only thing was… he wasn’t actually suppose to be here at all. Cade’s views had been down. Way down. Down the drain down. And since Prestige Gaming had invited only the best YouStreamIt players to attend their opening ceremonies alongside media, family members, and pro players Cade knew the only way he was going to survive the next couple of months was to live stream the new AR game from his own channel. Fast and agile, Cade’s CUNT was lightweight, and thanks to a prototype version of the nanites Prestige Gaming used to show players the augmented reality there was zero delay in his attacks. Light on his feet Cade moved from one part of the play space in ‘Galaxies Unknown’ to the next.
“This is amazing,” Cade said holding out a peace sign in front of his floating camera. He currently had 100,000 viewers watching him make mince meat out of his alien foes.
“Slow down,” Lillian, aka Lily’s voice came through Cade’s comm. Lily was a petite red head with short hair and a high charisma. She was also the reason Cade was here. A friend he was lucky to have. Lily worked on the inside of Prestige Gaming, mostly helping outfit noobs with their suits and explaining T.I.T.S to them. T.I.T.S was the tutorial, another thing Cade had sidestepped on his way inside the game. Lily of course had known Cade for years. In college Cade read a book called ‘A Hipster’s Guide to Online Fracking,’ and tried to pick Lily up at a pool hall. He failed miserable three times before he finally started acting like himself and the two hooked up late that night. The two eventually became close friends.
Lily went on to graduate college with a degree in coding while Cade quit school to start his streaming career. They tried several times to make a go at having a relationship but things didn’t quite work out. Regardless the two stayed close friends. Neither were sure if they had made the right decision but neither were exactly unhappy with the paths they had chosen. The two continued to try
and make it happen again and again but their timing never seemed to work out. Lily started at Prestige Gaming about six months ago, about the same time that Cade started to lose viewers.
Not that he was using her or anything but when he found out about Prestige Gaming’s new AR program and Dungeon worlds he begged her to get him in. She was happy to help. Of course everyone knew about the Dungeon worlds. They were the biggest thing on the net in years. Prisoners battling through epic AR worlds, worlds created by nanites, worlds that weren’t just VR but real.
Reality streaming to the extreme and everyone including Cade and Lily knew it was the future of gaming.
Being an expert at hacking Lily found gaining access to Prestige Gaming’s BRA network a piece of cake. Cade was invisible. A ghost in the game. Now, all he had to do was have a good time and when he was ready to leave Lily would ghost him back into the network as a PARK GUEST.
“Why? I’m having a blast!” Cade shouted sliding his rifle around him like he was swinging a guitar on stage. He couldn’t hear it but his stream had a metal soundtrack playing in the background. It made fraggin that much better.
“Something is going on. They told us to stop outfitting noobs. I think there is something weird going on with the nannies,” Lily said, worry in her voice.
“I doubt it. Today is their big media day. They wouldn’t let anything go wrong,” Cade assured her.
“I’m worried about the CEO using A.N.A.L,” Lily said whispering then remembering Cade didn’t know what that was added, “Access Network Administrative Lookup, he might find you and send security your way if he does.”
“I’m not worried about A.N.A.L, whatever he throws at me, I can take it,” Cade gave another thumbs up to his YouStreamIt audience only to grin a moment later when he realized what he had said live on camera. “I’m not worried about getting caught, whatever happens I’m a pro,” Cade added as quickly as he could. Somehow his viewer count continued to rise. Of course Cade also remembered he was running dynamic ads based off words he said. As quickly as his views rose they dropped when streamers realized there was in fact no anal.
Lily burst into a chuckle before getting serious, “Seriously, they just called an emergency meeting. I’m trying to get my hands on the L.ABIA now, something is seriously wrong with the dungeon worlds. They are telling us we might need to evacuate.”
“Impossible, you know how many billions of dollars it took to make this place a reality,” Cade said before reaching down and grabbing a small box from one of the dead Lizard-Manti. The box contained a Xeer Corporation hover bike that once Cade activated materialized in front of him. This was of course just a string of nanites covering a very large drone but to Cade it looked completely real.
“Those are from ‘Cyberpunk Alleys’, you shouldn’t have access to that right now,” Lily said watching Cade jump over the top of his new hover cycle.
“I don’t care what world this is from, this is awesome,” Cade rejoiced. As he started off across the surface of the alien world inside ‘Galaxies Unknown’ as city began to rise around him from the rocky surface below. Mountains reformed into tall black buildings fused together by bridges as the light from the sky above turned to night. Cade cold still see several dozen alien freighters floating in the sky above him as he moved across the vast expanse that was changing around him. One of the alien freighters was being attacked by a giant whale, a space whale with tentacles instead of teeth. The whale, furious that the ships were in its territory let out a loud moan. Glass shattered around Cade as he dodged pieces of debris falling around him.
“Cade, seriously, pull yourself together. You are acting like an idiot. Galaxies and Cyberpunk are not suppose to be crossing over,” Lily shouted to the surprise of her co-workers. They were being gathered inside the cafeteria. Several of the doors were surrounded by Prestige Gaming security personnel and she was feeling more and more unnerved.
“Ma’am, we’re going to have to ask you to disconnect from the network. The nanites are malfunctioning. We’ve had spikes all over the park,” one of the security personnel said.
“I can’t. I have a friend in there. I’m talking to him now,” Lily responded.
“Any and all players are currently being evacuated to safety. Several dozen prisoners have escaped from from the bottom levels and we have a team closing in on them. Don’t worry. Your friend will be just fine,” the security personnel told her motioning with their hand that it was time for her to turn her game pad off.
“I have to go. They said SECURITY is rescuing ALL players now. Keep your head in the game and remember your way out,” Lily said trying her best to emphasize to Cade that he really was in danger.
Cade was silent. As he listened to Lillian’s plea for him to GTFO he saw the alien freighter begin to crash on the city in front of him. He could see a group of players fighting with a giant kaiju sized crab from Swashbuckle Isles and knew…100% he was fucked. This wasn’t a game anymore, it was a fucking apocalypse.
Cade had been smart. Along with the tight body suit that accented his crouch he had brought with him bug out bag. He knew what he was doing was a risk, that it was possible Prestige Gaming might accidentally find his stream and try to put a stop to him. Luckily, he hadn’t signed any NDAs or anything like that and the most they could do was charge him with trespassing. His equipment was
all off the books. The suit, a prototype, silver and yellow, similar to the ones sold on the black market for cosplay, the nannies he injected himself with, they would be gone within a few days. But that was a problem. With the nanites running through his system he had no way to turn them off. Cade had no way to see what the nanites were really doing. Still, it was better than wearing the bulky helmet. Moving as quick as he could Cade steered left and drifted around a falling piece of alien freighter. He wasn’t sure if it would actually hurt him or scatter into a million tiny particles if it hit him but he wasn’t about to take any chances. He needed to get out. His only escape was a backdoor used by
employees that sat beside the labyrinth. If prisoners were escaping there was a good chance security would be guarding it.
“Think Cade, think,” he said trying to focus. He pulled his hover cycle over to hide in a back alley while everyone else dealt with the giant crab-creature. Three games had merged into one. That wasn’t suppose to happen, and definitely not at random. Lily had been right. The nanites were spiking at random, replicating themselves and expanding the world around him. If Prestige Gaming couldn’t control the program they created there was a good chance they would blow the whole place to hell. Cade knew it was only a matter of time as he looked up and saw the sky shifting between stars, blue sky, and a red sunset.
“This is not a joke,” Cade said turning into his camera, “call the authorities, the news, let them know something is seriously wrong with Prestige Gaming.” He bowed his head and started looking through his bag. It was the only thing that was real around him that didn’t look like something else. He took out a small Prestige Gaming game pad. It was a gift Lily had given him for his birthday three weeks before. It also had her employee login inside and allowed him to hack into LABIA. On his small game pad Cade could see just how right Lily had been. Everything that could go wrong was.
“I’ve got to get out of here,” Cade said afraid for his life more than ever. An alien ship had just flown over him scanning the ground with a blue emitter that he knew detected him. “Lily, if you are seeing this I want you to know I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get you into this mess. I was so happy when you found a way for me to play I just… I lost sense of myself.”
Cade went on to spill his feelings live on his stream as his views continued to rise and fall. It was obvious that people were wondering when he was going to be done talking and just move on to trying to escape. Pulling up his B.O.O.B.S (Biosphere Orbital Observation Broadcast), a map, on his game pad Cade could see one other way out. Near the T.I.T.S was a small hatch that led down into a
sewer. The plumbing ran outside of the massive Prestige Gaming complex.
“Shit, this is the way,” Cade said shrugging. Using his game pad he marked a path he could follow. Accessing the nanites in his bloodstream was easy. Lily had shown him how just the day before. It was suppose to give him an advantage over others. After all it was the reason he had such a cool C.U.N.T. Using it to escape now, it was a blessing in disguise. The other advantage Cade had was the
nanites themselves. The prototype nanites Cade injected himself were not connected to the ones currently going haywire which meant if he had to he could turn his C.U.N.T inside out and into other weapons or tools. His rifle too was independent of the system.
Knowing this the first thing Cade did was make himself a grappling hook before putting the game pad back in his bag and grabbing a protein bar for the road ahead. All the fraggin had made Cade hungry.
Cade took off down the path that would steer him free form this augmented hell. Followed by three alien ships that looked like mechanical beetles. They fired shards of red lasers that turned into crystalline structures at Cade blocking his path and causing him to crash his hover cycle into the side of a comic book shop. This game had everything. The hover cycle exploded like something out of
a Michael Bay movie as Cade rolled across the ground, lifted his rifle in his hands and fired a charged shot at one of the alien ships. Boom Boom Bang Bang. Cade rolled a 6-9. Success.
The ship crashed to the ground exploding into a orange goo that reminded Cade of the movie Tremors, a classic film that was never ever remade an spawned 15 sequels.
As the second ship flew back around for another pass Cade equipped his grappling hook and fired at the base of it. Cling. Clank. The grappling hook made contact and pulled Cade off the ground pulling him closer to the bottom of the alien vessel as he activated the grappling hooks hook shot ability. As the alien ship flew up into the air Cade could feel the air around him thinning the higher they climbed. For a moment he felt like he was going to lose his shit but he reminded himself, this is not a game.
Cade knew the alien craft was some kind of drone with a basic AI but that didn’t change the fact that everything happened looked real to him. The city below was small surrounded by a maze of walls. He could see other players, some huddled in large groups, fighting against minotaurs, dragons, and mechs. When his grappling hook had pulled him within several feet of the drone Cade
opened fire. The damage from his gun was as real as any weapon. At first he fired a 4-2 and the drone spun around with on it. Luckily the grappling hook was attached at his wrist. Still, that didn’t change the fact that it yanked his shoulder out of socket. Level 2 annoyance.
Firing again Cade fired a 10-10. Success.
Charged particles that deactivated any nanites they touched spreading them apart like a boulder falling into a lake.
The nanites rippled outward as the spot the grappling hook had attached itself too became obsolete and Cade found himself falling.
Lucky for Cade his C.U.N.T was loose. Small fibers spread themselves through the air and Cade looked like he had wings. He was like a Falcon, like a superhero, gliding through the air towards his exit point.
Cade landed pretty far from where he wanted to be. He had lost his bug out
bag and game pad along with it. Popping his shoulder back into place he looked
up and marveled at a huge blue sun that shined bright overhead the alien
landscape. Enormous statues were scattered around Cade as he admired them. It
was like he had landed in some distant world’s alien stonehenge. Not far off he
could see pyramids of dusky charcoal stone rising hundreds of feet in the air.
Again, Cade admired the world around him, wondering just how many nanites
the park had and how they were able to replicate so much detail into everything.
Floating just above him Cade also noticed several dozen dark blue jellyfish. He
wasn’t sure if they were suppose to be some kind of alien or if somehow it was
another glitch. Either way he wasn’t for sticking around and finding out.
Walking forward Cade saw a small purple one eyed alien sitting in front of what looked like a wrecked drop ship. A notification let him know that it was an escort mission waiting to be claimed.
“I don’t have time for this,” Cade said arming his rifle. He pointed it at the
little purple one eyed alien and stopped. He couldn’t pull the trigger. Despite
knowing it was all fake, that everything had gone to shit. The small purple
creature in front of him looked at him with a glossy eye. It looked like it was
ready to cry.
“I can’t,” Cade reiterated, though that only made the small purple one eyed alien look sadder. “Seriously, I don’t have time for an escort mission.”
The small purple one eyed alien stood up. Its neck rising from the ground like an alpaca revealing a large mouth with several rows of sharp teeth hiding where its stomach should have been.
“Frag,” Cade said firing from his rifle and rolling a perfect 10-10, “I told you I hate escort missions.” The not-so-little-anymore purple one eyed monster blew apart like a gusher splattering across the rocks and drawing the attention of several Necrolites. Cade took cover inside the drop ship while at the same time trying to see if there was anything useful he could scavenge. There was nothing. The drop ship had already been picked clean.
“Necrolites, shit,” Cade said noticing the aliens in black armor moving in the shadows around him. Necrolite Bishops to be exact. Each with the power of mini-boss.
Hiding from their site Cade activated the black out feature on his C.U.N.T and disappeared into the shadows alongside his new enemy. Unfortunately, the YouSteamIt camera that had been following him the whole time did not black out and was shinning like a blue sapphire in the light of the alien sun. The Necrolites immediately noticed and Cade fired a shot from his rifle from behind the sliding dysfunctional door of the silver drop ship.
Cade rolled a 4-2 and cursed.
The Necrolites fired at him. Level 2 impacts rocked Cade’s armor like a bad Saturday night. Firing again he managed a 6-9 and 10-10 taking out two of the four Necrolite Bishops coming for him. One of the Necrolites fired and the camera that had been following Cade blew apart. The real metal shattered cutting Cade across his face. The nanites notified him that he had received a level 1 abrasion. The second fired again at Cade as he ran for cover away from the drop ship. He ducked down and dug in behind the rock as the ground around him began to tremble.
Several giant worms erupted from the ground. The Necrolites let out a scream as the worms expanded and fell over them smashing them to pieces. About a dozen more Necrolites appeared as the head of the worms opened up and began spraying the area with slime. Sticking everything in their path to the ground like a web.
Cade aimed down the sight of his rifle praying for a 10-10 when he fired a 4-2. One of the worms turned towards him and he found himself stuck in sticky web. Just as he thought it was all over the ground trembled around him again and a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex made of metal and gears appeared from behind him. It looked like a steampunk T-Rex. And riding onto of it was Lily with a larger than life sword and hunting rifle in her hand. She fired on the Necorlites and jumped down as the gears inside the T-Rex spun and steam came bellowing out of its body. It charged the worms grabbing them from the side and ripping them apart. A moment later it was raining blood. Both the worms and the T-Rex fell. Lily ran over to Cade and with her giant sword cut away at the sticky icky webbing that covered his body.
“How did you?” Cade asked with a giant smile on his face. Both Cade and Lily, covered in blood and guts, embraced.
Distracted the last of the Necrolites closed in on them before a figure not far from them fired from atop a hillside.
The Necrolites dropped.
“Thanks for helping me frag these guys!” Cade shouted giving them the thumbs up. Lily smiled and waved. They could see three mysterious figures standing in the distance. They looked like they were about to take on a cleric.
“Was that Meredith and Derek?” Lily asked.
“I don’t know who they are,” Cade answered.
“Just some hot guy whose T.I.T.S. I helped and a lucky gal,” Lily smiled almost blushing.
“Of course you’d say that,” Cade said slinging his rifle over his back.
It took Cade and Lily three hours to reach the sewers. Crawling under Access Zero they could hear gunshots and screaming above.
Emerging from Prestige Gaming plumbing they found themselves outside the facility that housed the Prestige gaming cafeteria and art gallery.
To no ones surprise but there own both Cade and Lily looked up and saw an alien freighter from ‘Galaxies Unknown’ floating above them in the night sky. Lily looked up, disappointed, shocked, and then looked over at Cade, smiling, bewildered staring at her. The look in his eyes was all she ever wanted, and now, with his YouStreamIt camera gone, Cade, realized he didn’t care about the views
at all. Millions of people were probably already aware what was happening on the Prestige Gaming complex. It was the size of a state. They both knew crawling through the sewers and escaping out in front of the offices was a long shot.
What mattered now, what mattered always was that they had one another. It
had only taken a gaming apocalypse to show them what they had been missing
“Down to frag?” Cade smiled.
“Always,” Lily smiled back biting her lip.
About Stephen Landry
Two dogs, a cat, and a dragon.
Stephen Landry’s writing includes sci-fi, fantasy, horror, LitRPG, and postapocalyptic fiction. Inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki, Jeff Vandermeer, classic science fiction, LitRPG, dungeon core, video games, movies, and anime.
Stephen’s work is usually filled with unbelievable monsters and characters.
Stephen is also an award-winning graphic designer, producer, and musician whose goal is to encourage and inspire others through storytelling.
Create. Inspire. Evolve.