By Ben Lamb (BGlamb), Onrpg writer
Problems with log-on again. Black screen. Try again in a few minutes.
That’s better. Low resolution, hard to make things out. Software still booting up, processor chugging away. Movement jerky as I head towards the kitchen. I start the timer on the kettle while I review my quest list for the day.
I check the chest in my bedroom. Not expecting heavy combat today, so I select a formal suit of light armour and my standard set of trinkets.
I go AFK while I travel, turning over my day’s objectives in my head. The NPC at the desk checks my profile and buzzes me through, giving me slightly odd looks. I stop by the vendor to pick up a Coffee (+2 int, +3sta) and some more ammunition for my Stapler Of Plenty.
First things first, a Search and Destroy mission. I find all the required Informutations quickly and easily, and as I cleanse them I feel my Administration skill rise by 4 points. I cross the task off my list but gained little experience. Onwards to more worthwhile pursuits.
I summon Vista, but before I can begin my next quest I am attacked by a particularly vicious Bug. I try my best to fend it off but I am forced to phone IT and get them to send up a Mage to assist. I stand back while he casts various spells to destroy it, gaining substantial experience just by watching. Before he leaves he casts several defensive buffs on Vista, in case of further attacks.
I notice the Cooldown on my coffee has finished, so I down another one and check my mailbox. I find the following message:
Re: Floor Plan
I’ve attached the latest copy of the office plan. Can’t think what you would need it for though. What you doing with it?
Aha! I look at the attached scroll. Finally my dungeon map is complete. Nothing marked on it yet though, just the basic layout. From here I should be able to deduce the position of the final boss. Yes, there on the fourth floor. That’s by far the largest and best-guarded office in the entire building.
It’s coming clearer now. I’ve been feeling how close I am to the next level for days now, this might be what I need to tip me over the edge. I check my gear. Hmm, I should have brought better armour. Never mind. Too late for that now. I load up my stapler, down another potion and head for the lift.
As I reach the doors, I pass the Mage who helped me earlier. He nods his head to me.
“NEXT LEVEL!”, I yelp.
Oops, caps-lock on. He backs away, startled and leaves me to catch the lift alone. I take it up to the fourth floor, praying to catch the Boss without too many minions.
I engage stealth mode as I start to prowl along the corridors. Once or twice I catch people staring, as if they can see me, but they don’t engage combat so I must be imagining things. My mind has been feeling slightly fuzzy all day. I take another potion from a dispenser and continue towards the final door.
I sneak in through the door into the Boss’ inner sanctum but before I can make my final preparations he starts to speak. He can see me! Damn!
“Err…Hello, can I he….”
“RARF!” I quickly use my Bark ability to cut off his dire incantations. He is stunned for several seconds but I can see him mustering another spell. Using my Bestial Roar I charge at him and aim to land a powerful blow with the Stapler.
He Dodges the first blow and somehow Parries the second. His unarmed skill is higher than I had first assumed. At this point he unleashed some kind of Demonic Shriek. I cannot instantly tell what this ability does, so I err on the side of caution and back away slightly.
Moments later, several low level mobs move in from behind me. Drat, some kind of summoning spell. My only chance is to finish this quickly. I make a desperate dash for the boss, leaping the desk using Tackle. I get a Critical with my Stapler, causing Bleeding damage for several seconds, but before I can do much more damage the mobs manage to Ensnare me.
“Hlp! Quck BOss wounedd!!1” I yell for assistance, typos spitting from my mouth, spraying my captors.
But nobody comes to my aid. I can’t believe I was so careless to get caught by such a huge mob of minions. This is hopeless now. One of them brings down a heavy blow to the back of my head.
I log out.