With a few mental commands (it was still a little unnerving controlling everything with my thoughts instead of my fingers) I selected mixer and then the full random option. I was expecting an image to form on the screen so that I could make a few tweaks to it before entering, but instead the options screen was replaced with a new one. This had a revolving circular bar in the center of it, with the words "Loading..." below and the FOG symbol above.
After just a few seconds of anticipation and trepidation, the screen faded to black and a cool female voice announced, "Welcome. You are now about to enter the Ether. The destination you have selected as your starting location, Epic City, is know for being the hub of the online world and a way station for travel between all of the other realms, as well as containing Lancelot's temple. Please enjoy your stay." Then the strange feeling of weightlessness that I had been experiencing since I plugged in the game disappeared.
Immediately the screen in front of me, which had formerly been a blank black, filled with information. The left side contained a completed character profile, which initially drew my attention as I wanted to know who I had accidentally become. But then I saw the right side.
It was a blur of information.
There were half a dozen different ancient looking symbols with things like "Join the Order of the Dragon" or "Ares and the Warmongers Need You" beneath them. A multitude of quest adverts were scattered around, from the mundane ones like "Pillage the Wastes of Hrothgar for a Cut of the Profits" to more cryptic ones like "Need Help Urgently in the Darkling Cave, Will Reward Handsomely." Right smack in the middle was a box reading, "Need help finding a friend or a location? Use the M.A.P. to find them quickly."
Of course this message board wasn't stagnant. The ads and requests were constantly shifting and changing, and soon the overstimulation was too much. I instinctively turned my head to avoid it, which obviously was ineffective as the screen was inside my head. However, the action caused me completely forget about it for awhile.
Because I felt my real head turn against a silk pillow.
I opened my eyes in panic, and wasn't reassured by the strange room around me. It was difficult at first to make out the details, as the room was lit only by a red candle glowing dimly from atop a dresser, but my eyes slowly adjusted. Not that there was much to see.
Wherever I was, it was certainly a new player's room, as it was furnished with a the barebones essentials. Along with the cabinet I mentioned earlier and the bed I was laying on, there was a coat peg on the wall with a purple cloak hanging from it and a mirror attached to the wooden door in the opposite corner of the room. Unfortunately the angle made it so I couldn't see my reflection from where I was. The walls, floor and ceiling were all a dark grey stone.
I quickly rolled off the bed and to my feet since the straw mattress was uncomfortable. (I suppose I hadn't noticed it earlier because I was distracted with the screen.) Before I even took a step towards the mirror I knew something was, different. Then I saw my in game reflection for the first time, and a terrifyingly girlish scream escaped my lips.
I honestly couldn't help it. Yes, I know that this was really just a video game, but there is something strange about suddenly finding yourself in the body of girl without having consciously chosen to do so. And what a girl, too.
She was clad only in dark purple, thigh high boots with a slight heel, matching gloves that came past the elbow, and a sexy strapless dress that lifted her ample bosom into the perfect shape. It was augmented by a thin, black belt around her waist which had a skull emblem on it, and the skirt was very unusual. In the front it came just barely low enough for decency, but fell down further near the back till it was nearly touching the ground.
Her skin was strange, slightly silvery in both color and sheen, but it looked good with her fuchsia hair. It was cut about at mid neck and styled so her bangs swept over her right eye. What could be seen of her face showed a big, bright, blue eye, a cocky smile, and a countenance that, in general, was impish and mischievous.
Subconsciously I stepped forward and put my hand out, and that's when it all came back to me. I wasn't seeing some girl in the mirror, I was seeing my own reflection. It was my hair sweeping over my left eye, my gloved hand the was raised, and my high-heeled shoe that had stepped forward. It was disorienting, because the body I was in felt completely real to me, and completely natural. I had to keep reminding myself that this was just a game, a very well detailed game to be sure, but none of it was real.
Eager to know more, needing to know more, I closed my eyes and was rewarded with the screen from before, but now my attention was on the left half. Skimming over the appearance portions, which I already knew about, I focused primarily on the new stuff.
NAME: Daphne Hekphathe
GENDER: (All female Race)
CLASS: Sorcerous Lv 1 Ex. 0
"¢Magical Memorization (For Magic Users Only)- 0/4
Mind For Magic- Player can memorize twice as many spells
Monster Seduction- Non-Player monsters sometimes controllable, activation %=Skill Stat
The Hexane are an all female race of dark magic users. They are not, however, evil. Instead they have a neutral disposition, equally willing to aid either side if it benefits them. Daphne, of the noble clan of Helphathe, delights in using her magic for "harmless" tricks. She has few true friends, but for those few who have earned it she will defend with her life.
ITEMS: Lesser Cloak of Resistance, Hat of Crafty Thinking, Witch's Pouch w/ Accessories, Beginner's Tome of Dark Magic
CURRENT LOCATION: Epic City, Dark Tower, Beginner's Room 16B**
There was nothing that could be done. It looked like I was stuck as Daphne Hekphathe, at least for the duration of my first time here. Of course, I could try exiting out and starting with a new character, but that would waste even more time and Suzy was already waiting for me. And besides, there was no guaranty a second try would get me something better.
Resolving to play the hand fate had dealt me, at lest for now, I set about finding the items that my profile said I should have. The cloak was easy, as I had already seen it earlier, and it was soon tied around my neck. The location of the other things baffled me for a short while, but then I realized they couldn't be anywhere but in the dresser. Upon opening the top drawer I was rewarded with the sight of a stereotypical witch hat, which I put on, a medium sized pouch that fastened to my belt nicely, and an old looking leather tome that I had to carry.
As content as I could be with my current lot in life, I opened the door and set out to find Suzy.