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The Forbidden Domain - Part 3

The man sat there quietly for a moment and Mr. Bordelon nodded in understand, “This new town is probably confusing for you. You are probably more used to the city then a small town like this. Basically everything is within walking distance and I’m sure that you will get used to it soon enough. However, I can have my daughter give you a tour of the town.” Mr Bordelon stood up and moved the the doorway, “You stay here while I go and find her.”

A few minutes later her returned, followed by a young woman who was probably around the man’s age. Her brown hair went down a little past her shoulders and where was wearing a thick, long sleeved shirt which must have been quiet warm for this time of year.

“This is my daughter, please say hello.” Said Mr Bordelon.

“Hello, it is nice to meet you.” Said the woman, “My name is Valarie Bordelon. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

                                                                                                    

The light melodies of Valarie’s theme song floated through the air of Lyle Clarke’s apartment while the credits rolled across the screen of his computer. It was very late at night and he had finished his second play through of The Forbidden Domain. This playthrough had been even longer than the first one, mostly because he had reached one of the standard good endings. It had been a long journey full of emotions as Lyle struggled to guide the story to a satisfying conclusion.

As the music finished playing and the game returned to the main screen Lyle used that moment to stand and stretch. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was four o’clock in the morning. It was now Sunday which meant that he would need to return to work tomorrow. He looked longingly at the screen, he had hoped to be able to play some more but he would need to do all the things needed for him to return to work.

He needed to avoid pulling another all nighter if he would need to prepare his sleep cycle for work. Even with the draw of the game he knew that work needed to remaining a priority, the other option involved moving back into his parent’s house and since they did not approve of his hobbies that would be an issue.

A few minutes later he had retired to his bed. He would be able to play a little bit more once he woke up but he would have to wait for the next weekend for the next serious binge. Still he would probably be able to play through most of Yiskah’s story line during that time. After that he could plan his strategy for doing the combined ending.

The next morning came soon enough. It was a little before noon when he sat back down at his computer. He placed his hands over his keyboard and was startled when a small electric shock shot through him. There was a loud buzzing ding from his computer and error messages popped up all over about unresponsive application.

He swore and shook his hand force closing everything. He thought that maybe leaving his computer on all night was probably not the smartest idea. The computer finished shutting down and he let the machine cool off for a few minutes before he started back up the machine. It was still a little strange, he had left him computer on for days at a time before and nothing bad had happened. He thought it could be because he left it on the main menu of The Forbidden Domain. Or maybe it was just computers being odd.

The computer booted up normally and he launched The Forbidden Domain. He checked his save files to make sure that everything was good however he didn’t notice anything wrong. He decided to start up a new save, this time supporting Yiskah, and within a few minutes he had forgotten about it all the problems.

Much later he checked the time and reminded himself that he would need to go to bed. He had been progressing fairly quickly this time because he already had a good idea of the flow of the game. Again the text was different but that was not surprising. This time he closed the game and powered off his computer to make sure nothing wrong would happen. He would have to leave soon after he woke up in the morning.

The laid down in his bed on the other side of the room and began dozing off to sleep.

“Traitor” said the strained and creepy voice of Valarie and she stood over the Man. She raised her left hand, the runes on her arm were glowing and it crackled in strange black energy. The brought down the arm down on the man. Then with a clatter Lyle woke up in fright. The room was dark but the barest inkling of light were coming through the window. Nobody else was there with him. That dream of Valarie had seemed so real, like she was really in the room with him.

He mopped his sweating brow and pulled himself out of his bed. He doubted he would be able to sleep much after that. He took a few steps from his bed and toward the bathroom before he noticed the strange glow. It was coming from his computer desk. He moved closer to it before he recognized the source of the light. It was the figure of Valarie. She had somehow fallen off the slightly higher shelve and landed next to his computer. Her left arm which was covered in those runes was slightly glowing.

It freaked him out for just a moment before he remembered that her arm was glow in the dark. Nothing was strange her. He walked over to the desk and picked her up. The model was quite sturdy so there had been no damage to the figure, for which he was glad. He placed the figure back on the shelf next to the figure of Yiskah. She seemed to have moved slightly too. Lyle furrowed his brow slightly, had there been a small earthquake during the night? They were sometimes small tremors around here but they were quite rare.

He breathed a sigh of relief that everything was alright. If there was a tremor that would have had explained his bad dream. With everything sorted out in his mind he continued toward the bathroom. It was early but it might make a good impression with his boss if he came in early today. Or at least help offset the fact that he was likely to be a little late for the rest of the week.

                                                                                                    

I remember the first thought which make me question things. It was ‘This guy is a jerk’. At the time I didn’t really understand why I thought that. It was the first time we had meet after all, or at least it was the first time that I actually remember meeting him. Those thoughts however quickly vanished from my mind as my life swiftly spiraled out of control and he was the only one who remained by my side. He comforted me when I was lonely and reassured me when I was worried.

I truly feel in love with him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. We stood there at the end of everything, after having save the world from the terrible dangers that had threatened it. There had been many sacrifices along the way, including the person who had once been my best friend. However together the two of use had survived and won.

With the dawning of the new day I told him, “I love you.” And we kissed for the very first time. Then my life shattered and all my dreams burned up in flames.

I woke up. It was the morning in the day that I had first met him. I expected to just be a dream and my memories would quickly fade but they did not. They remained, clear as ever. Maybe it had all been an illusion, some trap to make me waver in my mission. Then I heard his voice again, those same words that I had heard last time.

“Could you help me? I seemed to have become lost.” Those are the words I will always remember. I turned to him. I wanted to ask him what happened, why the flow of time had been reversed. But when I looked him in the eyes I saw nothing. He did not recognize me. That tore my heart in two. I wanted to tell him the truth, to have him believe me, but I was afraid of what might happen. What if I drove him away?

So I responded the way I did the last time. Maybe, just maybe, I could remember everything that I did and we could be together again. Then, when he trusted me once more I could tell him about what happened, about his missing memories, and we could find a solution to this new problem, just like we had before.

How naive I was…

                                                                                                    

Lyle was disappointed, not with The Forbidden Domain, but with work. Because of the length of the game it was difficult to progress with the amount of time that he was spending at work. He had tried requesting more time off but his boss would have none of that. He had already taken a full week off and he was not going to accept any more days off for quiet a while. Lyle wasn’t surprised, just disappointed. He wouldn’t be the first one to unlock any of the special endings at this rate. He had been keeping a watch on the Starlight Studio fan sites on his phone while work was quiet but so far progress on discovering the route to any secret endings had been slow.

Starlight Studio like having some of the ending take lots of work and story learning before being able to be seen. Some of them even required you to have already beaten the game multiple times before the dialog choices would even show up as options. Starlight Studio was the master of making it notoriously difficult to find these endings, which made it all the more rewarding when those endings were actually found.

He had been able to finish his playthrough supporting Yiskah but it had taken him much longer then he had thought. Work kept him busy and limited how long he could play at night. Plus the winter season was approaching so the store that he worked at had been getting busier and busier and Lyle had been forced to work longer hours than normal. In fact yesterday he had only been able to play for five hours before having to collapse in exhaustion and because of that he had been a little bit late for work today.

When Lyle returned from work he quickly returned to his computer. The current route that he was working on primarily involved Valarie. She was certain to the story, probably even more so than Yiskah. Her cursed power was what drove everything that happened. Lyle thought that if he understood her route a lot better he could find the method of fusing the two paths to lead to one of the secret endings.

The time though things were radically different. He must have triggered some flag for Yiskah along they way because her role in the story was even more prominent then it was last time and she seemed to be more jealous then the first time he did Valarie’s arc. There were a couple of times he interacted with her to get more information about Valarie and her connection so that must have been the trigger. He remembered a couple of similar things from his very first playthrough, the one that ended tragically. Trying to work both sides of the story seemed to be the cause of most of the bad endings according to message boards he frequented.