Two blocks away i heard its insistent tones – the clatter of my running feet echoed between the closely spaced buildings: what a dump, and why the hell was i here in the first place? If i’m honest with you, i didn’t know – none of this made much sense, and it was all my own stupid fault. The words of the old guy in the dirty grey mac mocked me… “Hey babe, wanna make some easy lindens?”
This is what i get for my greed – a one-way SLurl to some dead end slum of a sim and a cryptic notecard – ‘Wait for the call’.
Well, i’d waited all right: three whole days in this damned hole; three days spent dodging roleplayers, vampires and slimeballs – and, believe me, i’d hated every damn minute!
i rounded a corner, and there it was! Praying it wouldn’t ring off before i reached it, i lunged for the receiver, collapsing against the booth, gasping for breath.
“Pete’s Bar, nine thirty SLT. Don’t be late!” – a click, then the purr of an empty line.
Well, that was just great i thought, as a new LM appeared in front of me – what do i do now? Already, i knew the answer: i’d come this far, there was no backing out now. It was seven-fifteen… a couple of hours to kill before hitting the road, may as well make it worthwhile. Pulling a decent-sized baseball bat from my inv, i smiled to myself – time to give those damn roleplayers a taste of their own medicine, i reckon!
Pete’s bar was pretty much the same as any other sleazy, run-down bar in sl: dirty, dark and devoid of customers, none of which was helping my own mood, which was plenty enough dirty and dark already. Better still, i had the distinct feeling i was being led on some stupid wild goose chase… was someone supposed to meet me here? Was i supposed to complete some pointless task before receiving further instructions?
Sighing, i clicked experimentally on the grimy bottles behind the bar. Seems like my luck was in for once, as a large tumbler of whiskey rezzed on the bar in front of me. Taking the heavy glass in my hand i took a swallow, grimacing as the liquor burned my throat, and slid from the bar stool – one thing was for sure, i wasn’t getting anywhere sat doing nothing. Mind you, the rest of the bar wasn’t so inspiring either. Peering through the grubby windows revealed pretty much what i’d expected – streets full of garbage; ramshackle buildings; faded neon signs promising sexy girls, together with a run-down clothing store, sporting a broken sign above the shop front, proclaiming it to be: ‘Hous of C rds’. Looking out at the gloomy world beyond the window i wondered why on earth people insisted on using such awful Windlight, before turning my attention back to the bar’s interior.
Now that was odd. A fresh glass of whiskey had appeared on a table in the corner – i was sure it hadn’t been there before. Warily, i made my way across, before sitting – i pondered the booze, sniffed it cautiously and sipped. It tasted ok.
Nursing the drink, my mind slowly registered what was right in front of my eyes… Dammit! How the hell had i missed something so blatantly obvious? The playing cards on the table had been telling me all along what to do.
i swore quietly, downed the drink, and headed out into the darkened streets in the direction of the ‘House of Cards’.
It was a dump – a trashy get-up, selling trashy clothing – normally the sort of place i’d never be seen dead in. Even so, there was a reason i was here, and i sure as hell wasn’t leaving until i’d found out what it was.
It didn’t take me long.
A door lying ajar at the rear of the store led to a darkened alley, where amongst the dumpsters and flies i found the sprawled body of my contact. i knew who he was: grasped tightly in his hand was a note with my name scrawled on it.
“If you’ve got this far, you should be congratulated! Just one more hop across the Grid and you’re home and dry… all the cash you could wish for, just waiting for you! Head for the map coordinates below and find the poseball – with it, you’ll find your final instructions, and – of course – the money.”
In the darkness, it was difficult to read the numbers written on the paper – it was a low-resolution texture and a damned nightmare to make any sense of, but eventually i thought i had it.
Calling up the map, i typed in what i had and hit ‘Teleport’
The landing zone was a good long walk from where i wanted to be – a walk infested with marauding zombies and badly constructed walkways. On several occasions i found myself falling through an unexpected phantom prim, leaving me unable to find a good spot to teleport back to… it took me most of my day to make my way across the sim. And then, when i’d almost given up hope of finding it, i saw the poseball!
Finally, i’d found what i’d been looking for. Sprinting towards it, the hovertext glowing above the ball gradually resolved into words… my final instructions, i could almost feel those lindens in my account.
Of, for crying out loud… i could barely believe what i was seeing. Honey, you have been a prize jerk! i could have kicked myself, if i’d had the right animation!
There, neatly floating in the air above the poseball were the words i’d dragged myself halfway across the Grid to find…
“Camp here for 90 minutes to receive L$5”
They call me ‘The Seeker’
I’ve been searching low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die
The Who – The Seeker