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RP: Neshaten [Division 5] - Cirillo's Day Off at the Arcade

Aria

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RP Date
Late YE40 (Dec)
RP Location
Nesha Prime - Neshaten
Cirillo stepped out of the bookstore and into the busy market street with a new collection of military essays under his arm. That didn't really work out, Cirillo thought with a sigh. His mom prodded him in her previous phone call to find something fun to talk about, anything really. Once again he was chastised for being a workaholic and not giving any time to himself. He tried to look at fiction books at the store, but he just got turned off from each book after a few pages.

Why should I care about what this person does? Reading this doesn't benefit me in any way. Good for them. In the end, he just found another book he thought would be useful to study for work, then left. He was about to walk back to his apartment when he stopped, realizing the problem still wasn't solved. I just got to find something not work related, get through it, and report back. Simple. A large movie theater flashed bright lights in an attempt to draw customers, but a two hour film was a lot of time to spend slogging through something. Next to it, however, he noticed an arcade with just slightly less obnoxious advertising. "I could play a couple games and call it a day," he muttered to himself as he walked through the entry doors.

As the soldier wandered through the rows of arcade cabinets blasting idle racket and catchy music, he couldn't help but feel lost as to what to do. At the end of the aisle, he spotted a shooting game with a controller made to feel like an actual gun. It might be too close to work, but small steps, Cirillo thought as an excuse. He put his book down on the floor, leaning it against the cabinet. He grabbed the plastic gun and was immediately taken back at how cheap and light it felt. This thing would break if bumped into wrong, let alone survive in combat! Cirillo pushed that thought aside, as it clearly didn't matter in an arcade. The gun seemed to be very bare-bones, with just a trigger and a button on the bottom presumably to simulate loading a new magazine into the pistol. After putting a few coins into the machine and pressing the start button, "Time Disaster!" blared over the speakers before the screen faded out, and a very badly acted cutscene began.

"So, we're some special forces team who are the only ones capable of stopping this mad bio-scientist from destroying the world?" Cirillo muttered to himself, trying to wrap his head around this awful plot. "Why just us? Our guns are the same as everyone else, and we don't have super powers. Give us more backup if the whole world is at stake!" Cirillo stopped himself and decided he'd just have to not think about these things if he wanted to enjoy this.

In the first area, his team kicked down the front door to the lab. Greeted by enemy soldiers in waiting, Cirillo fired at the closest one and was pleasantly surprised as the pistol's slide shot back and reset like the real thing. Four more shots dispatched the other guards in quick succession. He slammed the bottom of the gun to reload, then watched the game move his character forward. I've got no control over positioning, that's rough. My character really likes to stand in the open. Looks like there's a foot pedal though for taking cover, there's that at least.

Cirillo blazed through the intro, keeping tabs on his computer partner who kept overextending and needing help. Something clicked inside of him however. The rush of sprinting up stairs, dispatching dozens of enemies single-handedly in an excessive stunt that would get him demoted for reckless endangerment again. Having a squad to protect and countless lives to save. His earlier pessimism faded as he eagerly anticipated the run-in with the mastermind.

Before long and without lost health, his character busted down the final door to the inner laboratory, just in time to see a scientist inject himself with a strangely bright purple concoction. His veins enlarged and pulsed violently. New limbs ripped through his lab coat and swelled, tearing the rest of the fabric away. His shoulders thrust forward, enveloping his neck and head into a single protected unit. His mouth enlarged with two giant fangs dripping with bright green saliva that melted the floor below him.

"It's like some kind of fucked up flesh spider," Cirillo muttered in bewilderment. As soon as the game gave him control, he unloaded his magazine into the excuse for a spider's head, but it didn't seem fazed. He slammed another magazine in and kept firing, but one of the limbs swiped at him and sent him flying.

"Um, his head is protected in his carapace now, but his stomach should still be human and vulnerable," Cirillo heard behind him.

"Roger," Cirillo barked as his character turned around just in time to see another limb threatening to crush his head. He ducked, watching the leg float through the air above him, exposing the spider's weakpoint. With several well-placed rounds, the bullets tore through the stomach and felled the flesh beast.

"Thank you for that," Cirillo said, looking back at the person behind him. A shorter blond Daur with perked ears watched, bouncing on his heels.

"No problem!" they responded with a big grin. "Would you mind if I play with you? It'll let me hop in as player two without resetting the game."

"Sure, I'd feel safer with a human watching my six rather than this AI," Cirillo replied, motioning to the second gun. The newcomer happily jogged over and fumbled with some coins. The first couple missed the slot and fell to the ground, but went in on the next attempt. Maybe I shouldn't be trusting this guy with a gun, Cirillo worried.

On the next level, Cirillo could clear rooms of enemies just as the newcomer would hit his first target. Cirillo peered over and sighed at the pitiful posture of his partner.

"Back straight, soldier!" he barked, causing the younger Daur to jump slightly before stiffening up into a rigid rod. "Too stiff!" he continued, causing the newcomer to look over in confusion.

"Which one is it...?"

"Your posture should be proper but loose. If you're slouching or too tight, your muscles will get tired, and you'll lose efficiency. The more effort it is to hold your gun, the harder it is to keep it aiming straight."

"G-got it!"

"And why do you keep shooting off the screen? There could be civies over there!"

"The game lets you reload that way..."

"Apart from just plain bad practice, it's forcing you to re-aim after each reload. If you use the magazine slot, you'll stay on target."

"Yes sir!!"

Cirillo couldn't fault the boy's enthusiasm, he seemed to be taking Cirillo's advice to heart. "You shouldn't rely on the game telling you to reload! Count your shots!"

"Yes sir!!"

"Make your shots count as well! Reloading during an exchange of fire leaves you vulnerable!"

"Yes sir!!!"

***

After an hour of playing and a handful of coins later, especially for the newcomer, they blasted the five-story tall snake monster to hell with rocket launchers and watched the credits roll.

"Oh man, I've never even seen anyone beat that game before! That last boss was ridiculously hard, but you just traded shot for shot without breaking a sweat! You definitely carried us through, how many times have you played?"

"I-I don't play games much, I just picked this one at random today," Cirillo responded awkwardly.

"You did all that your first time!?" the hyper Daur nearly shouted, turning some heads. "Are you like a pro or something!?"

"I'm a cop on my day off, that's all. Division of Public Safety." Well, Division 5 now, but I'm not going to mention that to a stranger.

"It's nice to meet you, sir! I never thought I'd run into someone like you at an arcade! My name's Vezio, how about you?"

"Cirillo."

"I'm a college student, an engineering student actually. Your military book caught my eye first actually, then I saw just how smooth and collected you were when playing! I'm too clumsy to be a soldier, so instead I thought I'd study how to make better weapons and armor to equip people like you," Vezio rambled on, his words running against one another in his excited flurry of sounds. "If you have time, I'd love to hear your opinion on the current state of equipment and the like. Maybe we could grab coffee?"

Things were going a bit too fast for Cirillo, whose mind attempted to run tactics through the current social situation, resulting in just confusion. But military topics he should be able to handle.

"Sure, I think I'd enjoy that. Just the public stuff of course."

"Of course, of course!" Vezio nodded enthusiastically before running to the door.

That kid's got too much energy for a clutz.
 
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