Within the Games: Part Eight
“Alright... here I go.” AAA was holding up his mallet and was ready to hit the Cyber-Port 2000. Right when he was about to destroy the machine, he heard Marine cry.
“WAHHHH!!!!” Marine cried.
“Marine! What’s wrong?”
“Uh... nothing! Nothing! Continue...” Marine whimpered.
“Marine... this was why it was hard for me to destroy the Cyber-Port 2000 before... I didn’t know what you would think about it. I knew that you would be upset, I just knew it...”
“AAA, don’t worry about me... I’m fine. In fact, I’ll do it!” Marine was trying to hold back her tears, showing AAA she was alright, but in her heart she was still upset.
“Marine! Are you sure?”
“Yeah... yeah, I’m sure.”
“But I thought this was your dream! What would make you the happiest Zafara alive!”
“I already am the happiest Zafara alive! I have a home, great friends, and I have great games to play in the Game Room to make me happy! I met you; that was a plus! Oh sure, this thing was fun, but it is dangerous! And what if other people figure out about this thing? What will happen then, huh? You tell me!” she yelled.
Marine knew that. She knew she was telling the truth. She just knew it.
AAA was very surprised about what Marine said.
He was thinking about how he told her about why he couldn’t tell anyone about the Cyber-Port 2000. Someone could disappear. Someone else could take it the wrong way. And what he said about being on the Neopian Times the next morning.
“You mean... you mean you’re willing to ruin your dream for everyone’s safety?” AAA asked.
“Well, I mean it’s not like I’m going to die for everyone. I mean, you can get a dream from anywhere! It’ll be sad for me, but I can do it. I don’t want anything cheesy, I just want to get this DONE.”
“Yeah, but... but...”
“Nothing mushy, AAA. I’m a tom-boy, remember? Now hand me the mallet, AAA.”
“HAND ME THE MALLET. NOW.”
She took the mallet from his hands. She was ready to take the duty to destroy the machine, even though her eyes were still watery and she said that it would. She held it above her head and closed her eyes. She swung the mallet and...
She made a dent in the machine.
Tears were flying off of her eyes as she was doing it. She knew she had to be done, but it was so hard to say goodbye to such an amazing dream even if it was turned into a tragic nightmare. But she was strong. She was determined. She was brave. Even though she couldn’t believe what she was doing, she knew that it was the right thing to do.
Marine did it again, and again, and yet again. Until...
She opened her eyes. She found AAA’s mouth agape, and the Cyber-Port 2000 ruined.
Marine dropped the mallet and ran out of the office, crying. She knew what she did, she just couldn’t believe that she ruined her own fantasy of playing within the game. She still couldn’t get over it. No one ruined her dream, but she ruined her own. Her OWN dream. Who has ever heard of that?
“MARINE! MARINE, WAIT!” AAA shouted as he ran after Marine.
Marine ran out of the Game Room and ran to a log under a tree. She sat on it and cried even more. Marine didn’t know to be happy or sad, but the power of sadness outstripped the happiness within her.
“Marine!” AAA found her sitting on that log, weeping.
“Marine... you did it! You destroyed the machine!”
“Yeah, *sniffle*, I guess I... I did.”
“Marine, I know this is hard to let go, but just remember all the fun times both you and I had... together.”
Marine remembered playing Shenkuu Warrior 2, flying through the sky with nothing but a grappling hook. She remembered playing Destruct-O-Match with AAA and watching her best friend Margo play and realize that she did like video games. She even remembered playing Faerie Racers with AAA... when she broke her arm by running into a tree.
Marine looked down at her broken arm that she got from Faerie Racers. Marine looked up to AAA.
“Yeah... the Cyber-Port 2000 was pretty fun for a while...”
“Just put this behind you, and remember all the good times we had with that blasted machine. As for your arm, everyone’s broke their arm at least once in their life!”
“You’re right, AAA. I have to realize that I did the right thing... and I should put this sadness behind me. After all, like I said before, I can find a new dream! They never die out on you, right?”
“That’s right. The two of us should keep moving forward. And like I said before, the past has happened!”
Marine smiled. She got up and headed for home.
“Well, AAA, I've got to go. I have to pick up Margo at the post office. She’s probably still in deep shock from what happened today,” said Marine with a smile.
“Bye, AAA! I guess I’ll see you tomorrow!”
She walked off to her home.
She turned around.
“Yes, AAA?” she shouted.
“Do... do you...?”
“Do I what?”
“Do you may be want to come back tomorrow? If you don’t want to, I can totally understand.”
“Sure! Of course I’ll come tomorrow! The Cyber-Port 2000 can’t ruin my loving for gaming! This time, we can play video games the old fashioned way!”
“Hahaha! Yeah, nothing wrong with the old fashioned way for anything!”
And so Marine and AAA walked back to their homes, putting the past behind them, and waiting with hope for the next day to come.
One day after Marine destroyed the Cyber-Port 2000, Marine was at home playing Mystery Island Kacheekers with her friend Margo.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I WIN AGAIN!” Margo shouted in victory.
“Alright, Margo. I’ll go with the deal. The loser has to go get the Neopian Times,” said Marine with a deep sigh.
She got up from her seat and walked outside to get the Neopian Times from their doorstep. She picked up the newspaper with her good hand. When she stepped back inside, she gave the paper to Margo.
“Now, let’s see what’s going on today in Neopia,” Margo said.
She opened up the paper and read the front page. As she was reading it, her eyes were starting to get wider and wider.
“Oh my gosh....”she whispered softly.
“What is it?”
“You know your friend AAA?”
“Yes. What about him?”
“He made the front page!”
“See for yourself!”
She showed Marine the picture of AAA with the ruined Cyber-Port 2000. He had the usual serious look on his face, but his eyes looked sad.
“What’s the article about?” Marine asked.
“Let me read it to you. Ahem,” Margo replied as she began to start reading the article.
“AAA, a Blumaroo gamer who made the Game Room famous with new game challenges and the Daily Dare, was discovered to be working on a machine called the Cyber-Port 2000, a device with which you could be teleported to any game you choose. We figured out this information thanks to our new news reporter Jeffery St. John.”
There was a picture of Jeffery St. John in the middle of the article.
“Hey! That’s the Wocky that watched you to make sure you played a game a couple of days ago!” remarked Marine to Margo.
“He was a reporter? I would have never guessed!” said Margo.
“Anyway,” Marine said, “continue.”
“ ‘This was a strange invention for AAA to create,’ said Jeffery. ‘I witnessed the work of the contraption myself when I saw a Kacheek named Margo be zapped into the famous game Destruct-O-Match. I told her that I had to go home, but I secretly snuck behind her.’ However, once the news team finally found the Cyber-Port 2000, the machine was destroyed. The screen was cracked, the microphone’s neck was bent, and there were holes and dents all over the body of the machine. But why? We asked the creator AAA this question. This was his reply: ‘I wanted to ruin this invention because my friend Marine the Zafara experienced danger because of this machine. She broke her arm by running into a tree when we were playing Faerie Racers. In fact, she was the one who first tested the machine and she was also the one who destroyed the machine altogether.’ He explained how the machine was dangerous and could leave you trapped in the world of cyberspace, at the point where you would disappear from existence, so it was actually a good thing that this machine was destroyed. He also requested to say a message to Marine if she was going to read the Neopian Times this morning: ‘Marine, you really are the bravest Neopian I know. You had such a great attitude and were ready for anything that evil contraption dished out. I’m sorry for your arm and I hope it gets better. Well, like I said, we should just remember all the fun times we had, and anticipate the adventure that awaits us tomorrow.’”