The Games We Play
The inside of the Dome explains the name itself, for even though the warehouse itself is square, the inside is decidedly not. Someone has, and don’t ask me how, because I have got no idea, managed to weld a dome under the roof. This ensures that the windows covered, and that the Dome itself is shrouded in darkness.
I stare straight ahead. Or well, mostly darkness. Plotted out in a web in front of me, is a labyrinth, with diodes on the upper walls. You can’t play lasertag in utter darkness after all. I heft my ‘gun’; a converted air-gun. Though calling it lasertag might be stretching things beyond credulity. Old air-guns converted with laser-pointers. Riot gear, bought at an discount, with sensors that doesn’t work half the time. And the smell!
Even without supernatural senses, the smell of sweat and armpits is cloying. Now judging from my words, you might draw the conclusion that I don’t like the Dome. You couldn’t be more wrong. The Dome is crude. The Dome is simple. And I love every second of the challenge it offers.
I send a mental call to Verde. You awake? / I am now./ He reads my surface-thoughts quickly. I have to say, all this inane, useless chatter that neurotypicals have? Me and Verde don’t have that. Sometimes it freaks me out of how fast I have become accommodated to a presence in my head, other days I have to say that it sure is convenient.
I charge through the various pathways of the labyrinth, determined to win, planning to win. Let’s see…. there are five ‘centers’ in the labyrinth, to which all roads lead. My best odds are… yes that one…
Nevena trudges through the labyrinth, unconcerned about getting ambushed. She doesn’t see the world in the normal spectra; she sees things in terms of heat, in orange and blue and everything emits heat to one degree or other. Except the undead, but she is pretty sure Rune isn’t undead.
She stops at one of the five designated centers of the labyrinth; built like an 1950’s living room, with a couch, and old-looking television and a mat. A trail of orange foot-prints ends beneath the couch. She smiles to herself. Easy as pie.
” I have”, she starts quietly, “-got you now”, she ends on a louder note. She crouches under couch and fires the laserrifle. Nothing. “Where did he go”, she asks nobody in particular. They’re the only ones in the Dome. Those were his foot-prints. Did he sprout wi- She looks up, right in time as a light on her ‘armor’ flares green, orange and the final red.
A young man balances on the walls of the labyrint. She can make out a certain shit-eating grin. “I’ll get you, Fallowfell! Just you wait!”
I run through the labyrint, carefully tracking her movements by hearing.
Tap.Tap. /Left, go left then right./
I go left, then right, then left again in a wide s-movement.
Tap.Tap. The sounds are just around the corner. /She is just around the corner./ I can hear, you know.Verde flashes a picture of a baboon picking its ass before my eyes. I roll my eyes; mature Verde, real mature./ Eyes on the game./ I am not the one trying distract others, mm yes?
I throw myself around the edge of corner and stop. Four identical Nevena’s are staring back at me./Now this is interesting./ They fire as one, and my light quickly goes red. I just stare.
Three of the Nevena’s dissipate into thin air; there really is no other word to describe their vanishing act. She gives me a smile full of teeth. “I guess you’re not the only one with a trick or two up their sleeve”, she mocks, before sauntering back into the labyrinth.
What did she just do to me? /I am not entirely sure. Lamia’s gifts didn’t lie with illusions, they were more… straight-forward./ But if you had to guess? / Something to do with wavelengths of energy. The air rippled when her… her clones disappeared, like a mirage in the middle of a desert./
Seriously. Kai has his Jesus-routine. Greyscale can turn into a dragon. Now Nevena can create mirage-clones of herself. And here I am, with claws and a single eye. The world isn’t fair, I lament.
Nevena jumps atop the walls of the labyrinth. The score between her and Rune is 1-1, but she is determined to win this one. Grandmother would kick her ass if she lost to a mere boy. Besides, there something to be said for self-respect.
She kackles like a old witch in a Disney-movie. He’ll never see me coming.
I bounce atop the walls. Nevena might have gotten the better of me in our last fracas, but I’ll get her. /You are so certain of yourself./ I have a plan.
After all; it’s only logical. People will look to the left, to the right, and what’s in front of them. Rarerly do they look up.
Verde gives me a suffering sigh. /Rune, if you expect people, be it supernaturals or humans, to behave according to logic– then you’re going to be in for a surprise./ Oh shush.
Nevena and Rune encounter each other atop of the center of the labyrinth, each thinking the same thing. How did he/she figure it out!
They stare at one another in that way that only infatuated teenagers and pandas do.
Rune breaks the stalemate first and crosses the Rubicon. “So shall we count this as a draw then?”
“Could you live with a draw?” Counters Nevena. Her words seems to say; I can’t.
Rune considers the question. “I don’t think so”, he eventually quip.
They stare at each other, once more, like confused ursulines. Nevena raises three fingers; Rune nods.
Two fingers. The tension increases, the prelude to lightning.
A single finger. The tension builds and soars, like an orchestra before the crescendo.
They shoot each other at the same time.