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XC - Xel City


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       Prologue

Location: NexTech HQ, Xel City branch...

"No.", Executive Director of Operations Edwin Michael chimed quite plainly as he swept through the office to the elevator, running on a tight schedule. He would need to catch a flight to another city to visit another branch where other servers were stored to check their status and speak with the programmers and security teams managing them.

"No?!", Lydia Reese,  Senior Software Analyst shouted, making haste after her boss, fuming through the office space and drawing the attention of the programmers around them. 

"That's what I said, Miss Reese.", Edwin replied as he stopped at the elevator to press the button to go down. The button illuminated and he stood, patiently, looking at the floor counter rather than the woman pestering him, "Alter forms are to be kept for rare events and low-chance drops from high-level encounters. It keeps the players interested and makes them a commodity, which in turn makes us more money.".

"Out software has been he cause of fatalities, Director!", Lydia hissed, "We can't let the informaiton on what's happening in game get out to our players, but they need to be able to fight! Keeping a digital item almost completely unavailable except for premium subscribers is signing their death certificates!".

"The Alter form enchantment item is made to make players almost unstoppable. Balance issues would draw more attention and arouse more suspicion of the circulating rumors. It could be taken as a distraction.", Edwin pushed his glasses up on his nose, "Besides. Out of over one-hundred million players, a few casualties isn't a heavy toll. After all, nothing has actually been connected to our hardware. Just a few cases of flashing images inducing seizures, a common risk.".

Lydia took a deep, deep breath. The director knew exactly what was going on, but he was treating the fiction spun by NexTech as fact and it deeply disturbed her. She stood there, shivering with fury, her blood boiling that he could be so cold towards something that was the fault of the hubris in their own programming. 

"... A contest.", Lydia finally spoke up, quietly.

"A what, Miss Reese?", Edwin asked, looking over his shoulder.

"A contest. In the arena.", Lydia repeated with specification.

"A player-versus-player contest?", Edwin asked, "The colosseum is still under development and is not ready to host a contest.".

"Our game was clearly not ready to host players.", Lydia chided, her eyes narrowing behind her glasses.

"The answer is no, Miss Reese.", Edwin said as the elevator chimed and the doors slid open. He stepped inside and said, "Don't do anything rash while I'm away. This is your only warning. Seeking your own justice will not only get you fired, it could get you arrested or worse.". 

Lydia stared down Edwin as the doors slid closed and she glanced up at the floor counter, watching the numbers descend before she spun around and said, "Team, let's get ready to host an event!".

(Continued in Alteria Colosseum)

Edited by TheSourestPatch
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