When I last left, I was still in a quadrant that hosted the likes of Ron Paul’s political headquarters, a zoo, a brothel, and other gin joints. I also met a nice woman named Charlot Dickins on a rooftop.
I figured I’d explore this area a little more before I teleported to some other sector. Now, three days later, I’m logged in and who do I discover on that same rooftop? Charlot! I went up to her and expressed my amazement that she was still in the exact same location three days later. She said it was the only spot where she could build things.
OK, some nuances of Second Life still confuse me. I was under the impression you could build things almost anywhere, but I did not want to express my still-noobishness, so I simply asked her what she was trying to build. She said a foot. This looked to be true, because I glanced down and noticed she only had one foot. I didn’t feel like taking up too much of her time, so I wished her well again and flew off.
Down the road, I noticed a large gathering of people and veered off in that direction. What I found was a strange site. There seemed to be a lot of people painting on transparent canvases. Apparently, this was a spot where you could pay to alter your avatar. I was comfortable with the avatar I had. Plus, I’m broke, so I just watched them for a while like a creep.
Then, I noticed a mini-mall near and checked it out. It turns out it was a weapons depot. I didn’t even know you could have guns in Second Life. I was intrigued. Would you be able bust a cap in someone’s ass here? Since I recently learned you could pay real money to have avatars grind together awkwardly, I guess nothing should surprise me at this point. I’m guessing the weapons are just for show, like an accessory, because I haven’t been jacked for my torch the whole time I’ve been here.
As in real life, nothing sells guns like scantily clad women. The base price for most of the straps was around $600. I have $0, so no weaponry for poor Huygens today. But enough window shopping, it was time to move on.
A little ways down from the gun show was a German disco. I think it was German. Everyone was speaking German, at least. Aside from a few people getting funky, there were only two other dudes here. They struck me as the bouncer types. I didn’t really feel like dancing so I walked up to the bar. Maybe the water was free.
I took up camp to soak it all in. There was a “lean on bar” ball floating by the Heineken taps, so I walked up and enabled it and prepared for some sexy leaning.
It ended up looking like I was smoking Torchy.
I was trying to pay attention to the bouncers’ conversation. I noticed a lot of LOLs. I was starting to think they were making fun of me. Have they never smoked a torch before?
I opened up another tab and went to a German translation site and started feeding it the bits I could remember and see on the screen. I think they were talking about cars. One said that it was hard to get under a certain model or something. For some reason, I started to get a weird vibe, like they were talking about throwing me under a moving vehicle and the best way to do it.
I was not digging it here anyway, so I left. I felt like flying down the street to map out how large this sector was. After a few miles, I ran into someone hovering in the middle of the road, named Harold Nurmi.
Floating in the road is nothing unusual, but Harold struck me as odd for two reasons. The first thing was his outfit. He looked like he was in his underwear and was topped off with a newspaper sailor hat. The second thing was the object he was holding. It was a high-powered, silenced sniper rifle with laser sighting.
Our conversation went from pleasant to strange pretty quick. He said hello and asked what I was doing. I told him of my many adventures in Second Life, and he listened kindly. He then professed sadness about getting kicked out of an adjacent sector, where simulated combat took place. I told him I was sorry and asked him if that was a real gun. He said yes. I asked him to shoot me, for kicks. He said no. It would cause me to die and I would get logged off and have to sign back in. He said sometimes you might not even start back at the location you died.
So that’s how the gun thing worked? You could actually die here? I asked him what if he just shot me in the leg, would I still die or would I just limp around. He said I would die.
Harold said he had the total freedom to snipe anybody he wants, but the admins do get pissed if you go around and indiscriminately pop other citizens, especially when they complain about it. You might be banned from that sector or Second Life altogether. Other sectors had a “no weapons” policy which deactivated your guns, too.
What a fine line to walk, I thought. Having the power for extreme mischief but curbing the urge to use it. But alas, with no money, I would probably never know the temptation.
Harold said I should go over to the battleground to pay “those fuckers” back for kicking him out, because he was too good. At this point I was thinking how could someone so good dress like Harold did, but who am I to judge? I bet he was causing trouble and that’s why they kicked him out. But, seeing how he was the one holding the high-powered rifle, I was not going to share these thoughts.
I told Mr. Nurmi I had no money, no guns and didn’t even know where this battleground was. Then he said, “I’m going to give you the name of the land. And I’m going to give you some guns.”
I was amazed. As of yet, no one had offered me anything in Second Life, except a free t-shirt or two from a dispenser box. Now someone was offering me weapons? But then the dialog boxes popped up, letting me know he was indeed giving me guns. Three different kinds I think, plus the name of the battleground.
I didn’t know what to do. I told him I was at work and needed to log off and go home, which was true, and that I would have to enforce justice on his aggressors at a later point. I was nervous he might think I was just getting his loot and ditching him, which was also true, because I had no intention of carrying out Harold’s revenge.
It worked, though. He wished me well and said to carry on his mission when I get back on, but not knowing “the fuckers” side of the story, I will not follow a cause I know nothing about. I’m just hoping Harold isn’t around when I log back on to realize I just took his arsenal and cheesed it.
In any case, my interaction with Harold has certainly changed things. Oh sure, I’m still Huygens Sideways, lovable vagabond. But now I’m Huygens Sideways, lovable vagabond with some guns.
Tune in next time for…
Part Six: V.I.B.R.A.T.O.R.S.
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