To All the World...

"To all the world, to all my friends… I love you all, but I must depart." -Megadeth's chorus of "A tout le Monde", roughly translated.

Level 1-1 - Welcome to the Mortal Realm

The words "Game Over" flickered upon the bedroom television screen. Facing it was the agitated teenager, Lucas Steele, seventeen and everything you'd expect a gaming teen to be - well… almost. He didn't have glasses, an overbite and a wiry physique. He was lean and tall, with a crew-cut hairstyle. He was relatively handsome, and would be more than likely successful in finding a relationship, had he ever left his room to socialize. He played sports rarely, but you'd guess he was a basketball player from his build. He had a smooth face, no facial hair at all, and the most crystal-looking amber eyes you'd ever see - it nearly matched his hair color.

You'd normally find Lucas in his room, every inch of wall-space covered in promotional posters for video games he had played, beaten, restarted and beaten again: Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Prince of Persia, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and among the posters, a stray movie poster for Lord of the Rings - the second movie. He would be on his bed, unmade, of course, with socks and pants cluttering his floor amongst notebooks, empty bags of chips and almost-empty boxes of Cheez-its. A water bottle sat by his bed, as well as a small container of prescription medicine - sleeping pills, to deal with his insomnia.

Lucas was normally a nice boy - kind, thoughtful, and courageous - when the local bullies would gang up on a younger student, he would be the one to step in and even the odds. The young, weak, and the faculty all looked up to him in high-school… but he be would never say more than a few words, along the lines of, "Be careful" or "Glad you're alright". You could say he had a lot of friends - though he didn't realize it most of the time. He knew of a select few, at the very least…

Lucas's best friend often played second player along side him, swearing and cheering at every aspect of the game they were involved in. Though, Lucas's best friend never stayed too long - his parents thought bad of it… you see, this gaming buddy would be alone with him in his room for great periods of time… a big deal, considering the best friend was a woman. Megan was only a few months older than Lucas, but was very much like him in many ways - lean build, gaming enthusiast… though she was into a few things Lucas couldn't care less about - she had a ocean blue hair color, for starters… she dyed her hair so often, it was unknown what her actual hair color was… That and she wore contacts - for show, not for vision. Her eyes were a very dark shade of blue as well. She also was very big into tattoos, many tribal and celtic drawings across her arms and back - they were ornate and graceful, reflecting her personality well. She would be alongside Lucas almost every day, playing whatever game he was with a sort of rivalry - though all in good fun. Lucas very much enjoyed her company, and never truly noticed how stunning she was. He saw her only as a best friend and gaming rival… Perhaps something that Megan regretted as she worked on their friendship.

Aside from Megan, there were two other friends of note: Andrew and Taylor. Taylor was a very strange person, but highly original and crafty - his role model was MacGyver… the notorious good guy who could craft everything out of anything. Taylor had managed to successfully disintegrate a doorknob using soda-pop, batteries and a few pieces of paper, so school legend goes. And Andrew… he was a giant. He was chosen as one of the front four on the defensive line to the high-school football team near instantaneously: for being only sixteen, he was a six-foot-two two-hundred-ten pound beast, His size and strength only matched by his kindness, sincerity and love for books.

All four were together, this day… with the flickering Game Over still trying to convince Lucas that through the screen was the best place to leave his controller. For a game Lucas absolutely loved… he was no good at it. He hastily opened his console and shoved Soul Calibur IV back in it's case.

"Look at it this way-" Andrew peered from over his book (The Art of War, by Sun Tsu) and spoke consolingly, brushing long dirty-blond bangs from his eyes to look at his listener attentively, "It's something you can always come back to, Lucas… no one said you had to beat it on your first day of having it."

Lucas sighed and laid back on his bed, letting himself fall limp and he let out a sigh of dissatisfaction, "Why do they keep changing all the great mechanics from sequel to sequel…" he stared at the game over screen once again by moving his head only, gazing at it in somewhat disgust, "-just when I was getting used to that Raphael guy, too."

Megan shrugged, shifting her gaze from the television to Lucas. "I think Cervantes was okay…" She knew this wouldn't help Lucas feel any more positive about the game…

The four kept silent for a while, taking an intermission from the gameplay - Andrew tended to his book, eagerly reading every next page, hoping to finish it, read it again and start in on the Tao Te Ching. For a football goliath, Lucas thought often, the guy really liked his philosophy.

A loud clap echoed from outside, making the group jump and stagger over to the window with whatever haste they could muster. Though they couldn't see anything, they all knew what the sound was, though Taylor spoke the unanimous realization, "Another gunshot… I really hate this part of town."

The slums of their city weren't really designed to house the rich - it was out of sheer dumb luck the Steele household hadn't been burglarized yet… but anything Lucas's father could do to save money, he did. Megan sat back down, watching the three boys stay at the window, eagerly looking for the point of origin, "Any idea when you're going to move in with your mom, Luke?"

Lucas slumped back and shrugged. His mother and father were divorced, but his father re-married. The step-mother looked like a stereotypical druggie wh….. well, there really isn't any nice way to describe her, we'll leave it at that. What Greg Steele, Lucas's father, ever saw in her was beyond his son and his friends. His mother was a bit of an… herbalist as well… but more so in the medicinal qualities, and the peace-talking and kind… In short, Hippie. Lucas turned out alright, considering his heritage.

The four gathered around the television screen again and Lucas popped in a new game - something to pass the time until his friends had to go. He swore that so long as he could take his friends with him, any world would be better than the one he was in now.

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