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Reloading...

Reloading... Heroes in the Face of Danger

Posted Thu, May 17, 2012 by B. de la Durantaye

RELOADING...

I grew up in a small town of about 2,000 people. There were no shopping malls or movie complexes. All we had to keep us entertained was ourselves. During our teen years my friends and I would stay up all night wandering the town and talking high school philosphy. It was a simple, cheap, but effective way to keep our minds busy while we waited for graduation and to 'get out into the real world.'

Even for our old town, established around a train station built in 1870, the post office building was one of the more archaic buildings, still having a long-left-unused town armory attached. Along the side of the building was an alcove that led into a set of stairs that crawled deep under the building into a set of maintenance alleys and storage rooms. This very spot was where myself and my friend Charlie found ourselves on one particularly ludicrous evening.

We perched ourselves upon the steps of the building, just beside the alcove leading beneath the building, and I sparked up a cigarette in teen rebellion while Charlie pulled out a banana from his pack which I could only assume was left over from his lunch that day. Charlie soon went into a spiel of self and social analysis while he attentively began to peel the banana.

Then... a rustle.

Charlie snapped back as the sound came from the alcove. My ears seemed to twitch as the noise interrupted Charlie's lecture. We both looked at each other, alarmed, but unsure if we actually heard anything.

"Did you hear that?" Charlie whispered at me.

"Yeah..." I whispered back. We both looked at each other silently for a moment longer, then, the unmistakable sound of brushing against pavement came from below. We both lept to our feet.

"Dude, someone's down there," Charlie said with unnerve in his voice. We both peered into the dark tunnel. The darkness was like a thin film over our eyes as we strained to make out shapes in the blackness below. "Go check it out man," he urged.

I began to doubt our friendship. Charlie either had immense respect for me, believing I could combat any challenge and defeat whatever evil lurked below, or he figured I would slow down anything that was down there just long enough for him to get away. I believed the latter.

I irresolutely reached for my lighter, hand a little unsteady, pulled it up in front of  myself and crept forward. I could feel Charlie over my shoulder as he lingered behind me.

I tried to cut through the dark with the light from the little fire in my hand but the flame itself caused my irises to close further, making the alley seem even more dark than before.  I took another step down into the tunnel as Charlie stood at the top of the stairs.

"I can't see crap," I whispered back at him. We both fell silent again as we tried to strain our sight even further.

Suddenly, from the darkness lept a small but quick shape, darting directly towards us with an agile swish. I nearly fell backward as the small creature rushed towards the stairwell. I heard a shriek from behind me and a light colored blur flew over my left shoulder and into the darkness. The tiny creature ran up the stairs, out onto the street. I felt relief and my body let go of the tension as I recognized the shape.

"It was just a squirrel," I said directly.

"Yeah," Charlie replied, sighing.

"Good then. Let's head out." We turned around and began to walk towards the old train station. We didn't speak for a few minutes. Then I broke the silence.

"Dude, did you shriek like a girl and throw a banana at that squirrel?" I asked.

"Shut up." Charlie responded.

We may have faced no real danger that night but the fright had been very real as Charlie's plunging produce pointed out. When you get wrapped up in the moment and your imagination takes over the threat can seem very real. Check out Sardu's preview of The Savage Coast for some similar fun in Funcom's upcoming MMO, The Secret World.

Just a word of caution and keep fresh fruit away from the computer while you play.

- Benjamin J. de la Durantaye
@BdelaDurantaye
bdeladurantaye


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