This is Chapter 2 of my fanfiction
Title: Virtually a Princess
Rating: Still E for everyone:)
Summary: AU After hooking in to a new virtual reality helmet that Sokka invented himself with the help of his online gaming friends, Katara is plunged into a game that starts to seep into the real world. Soon a rogue hacker invades the system, and Sokka disappears. Now Katara must find a way to seperate the reality from the fiction and find a way rescue her brother with the help of her allies from the game world. ~Zutara~
Author's Note: Opening Narration is taken from my short story Reaching Heaven. The version of Reaching Heaven that is in the game is warped a little to make allowances for the game world and things are added as necessary. I haven’t posted the original Reaching Heaven anywhere, but if anyone is –actually- interested, I’ll send them a copy… or upload it somewhere.
Note: Many of the spell names will likely be the same as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts spells. This’ll make them more recognizable at least to those who have played these games. I’ll make sure I explain what they do, though, if it is one of the crazier spell names.
That said, I hope you enjoy.
--Virtually a Princess--
+Level 2: The First Boss+
Opening Narration of Reaching Heaven
In the Kingdom of the Heavens found on the distant moon, the Gods and Goddesses had built for themselves a sprawling utopia, and all in the Heavens was overseen by the Royal Family. The Heavens were certainly calm and beautiful, but it, too, knows death as humans know it. Even the creatures of Heaven must pass on into the next stage of existence. With the death of one of the mightiest of the Heavenly Kings, a single girl-child named Kaguya was left to rule. Though she was beautiful, kind-hearted, and well-loved by the people, she was a still young and withdrawn, not yet equal to ruling a kingdom.
When a wicked woman rose and accused the princess of the treachery, the little princess was much too weak to speak out. The wicked woman took the throne for herself, and she sentenced Kaguya to pitiful life on Earth. Only the Five Knights of Heaven remained loyal to Kaguya: Mamouru, The Protector; Sai, The Scholar; Hakuturi, The Monk; Mikoto, The Hunter; and Akka, The Magician. These exalted warriors dedicated their lives to return their fallen princess to her rightful home. Few methods exist for those on Earth to transcend into Heaven, and these methods could only be attained by the most skillful and passionate. Kaguya’s followers were ardent and eventually found the means to return to Heaven.
While they toiled at their task, the wicked Empress tried to tempt Kaguya into committing a sin worthy of execution. The most punishable offense in the Kingdom of Heaven was for one of Heaven to fall for a human of Earth. The Empress, therefore, sent many handsome men to tempt Kaguya’s heart. The princess was intelligent, however, and would not see any of them. All of the men flocking to her door attracted the High Emperor Kirin’s attention, and he wanted to glimpse her beauty for himself. When Kirin finally managed to meet Kaguya, the two fell in love at first sight. The Empress wanted to strike out against Kaguya, but as everyone knows, the Emperor is a God on Earth. The Empress could not punish Kaguya for loving a God; instead, the Empress spirited away both Kaguya and the Emperor, sealing them both within crystal pillars deep within the Earth.
For years, the princess and her love were trapped beneath the Earth, but the Five Knights of Heaven have located the two lovers’ prison. They plan to unlock their mistress so that they may finally return her to Heaven…
Sokka hit the cave wall hard.
"Geez, Katara, that hurt! What was that for?!"
Katara huffed and jerked her face away defiantly. Her cheeks were still burning red from an encounter that shouldn’t have taken place with a total stranger. She really couldn’t care less that it was just a game. As she was opening her mouth to tell her brother as much, another voice broke in.
"Ooh, looks like Sugar Queen’s leaving ya, Sparky. Too bad. You guys were the perfect couple."
Katara would have recognized that sarcastic voice anywhere. She turned and saw pretty, althetic girl flop on to the ground. The girl looked like an elfin huntress with her green sash cinching her sleeveless yellow tunic at the waist. She wore a loose pair of green shorts and small leather shoes. The shoes were promptly ripped off and thrown to the ground. Her rich black hair was pulled back into an elegant bun, and when she lifted her head, Katara got a good look of her porcelain complexion and her flashing green eyes.
The noble, elfin face broke into a large grin. "Finally," she said, exultant, "A game where I can feel the ground!" After tossing her weapon of choice- a bow and arrow set- onto the ground next to her, she threw herself back onto the dirt floor and just lay there.
Katara had asked her once why she chose a bow so often.
The girl had leveled a sad but sardonic gaze on her. "It’s one of the things I can’t do in real life. You know, on account of being blind." Toph had been an elf type character then too, and the image of the young elf walking into the forest with her quiver of arrows swinging to and fro still stuck in Katara’s mind.
Virtual reality had progressed to a simple "hooking in." Images were transferred directly into the player’s mind, skipping the eyes entirely. Katara thought about how hard it must have been for Toph to adapt from relying on her connection to the earth to relying on virtual sense of eyesight. Of course, in-game, Toph didn’t mention her blindness often, save the occasional sarcastic remark.
"Guys! What are we waiting for? I’m getting bored!" came a high pouty voice to Katara’s right.
Katara turned to look at their other gaming partner and realized that this was obviously The White Mage. The girl wore a Final Fantasy white mage cloak that fit rather snugly and fell about to her knees. The white hood was thrown back, but the large pink triangles that decorated the hems were very visible from where Katara stood. The long trailing sleeves were loose, and the cuffs were a deep pink. The cloak was fastened tight by two ribbons, one of which was a cute pink ribbon tied into bow at the collar. The other was a white ribbon that cinched the robe just below the girl’s breasts. A pair of cute pink Capri pants peeked out at the bottom of the cloak, and her feet were adorned with adorable pink shoes. A large staff was strapped to her back. Her light brown hair was cut short and framed her face. Her countenance greatly resembled that of a child’s doll, pretty eyes and small, cute features. She bounded over to Sokka, her cute smile already lighting up her face.
Katara could already see Sokka’s glazed expression painting his character’s noble face, and suddenly she knew why he had let this girl in on his big secret game. She watched the two for a moment, sickly fascinated by her brother’s total lack of grace around females.
Katara was distracted as a large crash resounded through the room as something large hit the emerald double doors.
"Okay, guys, make sure your characters are healed. We got few minutes before it breaches the door," Sokka shouted, distractedly, before The White Mage recaptured his attention.
Kirin approached her, and she stiffened, embarrassed. Thankfully, he looked just as awkward and embarrassed as she felt.
"Um… could you heal my character?" He shifted from one foot to the other. "You’re one of the party’s two healers, so…"
"Who’s the other healer?" she asked, interested.
He jerked his head toward Sokka and The White Mage, and she understood immediately why he asked her first.
"Sure," she said. "But I don’t know how much MP I have. Or how to use my magic. Sokka didn’t explain the finer points of the game."
Kirin stretched his hand towards her chest, and Katara, unsure of what he was doing, took a step back as she protectively brought an arm across her chest. He pulled his hand back quickly, and a blush stained his cheeks.
"Your necklace," he said gruffly. "Tap it and you can see your HP and MP levels. If you tap it twice quickly, you can see the abilities you have."
"Oh!" Katara said in surprise. "Really?" She tapped her crescent moon necklace, and a set of bars and numbers appeared in the air near her. The numbers were low, as expected at the beginning of a game. She would have to level up her character soon. She tapped twice and looked over her abilities. She had a few healing spells, a few strange spells she assumed were attack spells, dagger attacks, and lastly, waterbending. She tapped the necklace again, and the information disappeared.
‘Waterbending?’ she thought to herself. ‘But I can waterbend in real life. What’s the point of that?’ She would have to ask Sokka about that. Actually, it’d be a good excuse to pull him away from his girlfriend.
Another loud crash resounded through the room, and her companion cleared his throat.
"Oh, right! Sorry." She stretched out her hand, palm facing the boy, and thought ‘Cure.’ As this thought went through her head, a white light radiated from her hands, wrapping around him. A short jingling tune accompanied the healing wind swirling around the Emperor.
When it subsided, he muttered a thank you, and began to rummage in a pouch at his side. He pulled out a small glowing orb of glass which he placed in her hands.
"It’s ether for when your magic gets low. Just press the center button, and it’ll become a vial," he said. "I don’t need it. My character doesn’t use magic." He turned away, muttering another quiet ‘Thank you.’
"Wait, what’s your real name, Emperor?" Katara said, smiling in a friendly way. The quicker the embarrassed tension evaporated the better.
This only seemed to redden his cheeks again. "You can call me Axel."
She pursed her lips. That wasn’t his real name, and they both knew it. Well, while he was here, she was going to get some information from him. She nodded towards Mamouru where he stood in his red and blue armor talking to Aang.
"What about him?"
He raised his eyebrows a little, but he said, "His name’s Jet."
Jet. She stored that name away and turned her eyes towards her brother and the cutesy girl. "What about the flirt? What’s her name?"
‘Axel’ seemed taken back for a moment, but he followed her gaze. "Oh, her," he said, a frown creasing his features. "She says her name’s Tennin. I don’t think that’s her real name though."
"Well, Axel isn’t your real name either, so it’s fair, right?"
He just huffed and walked away, presumably to brood.
A sickening crack resonated through the room, and she turned to see the emerald doors fracturing. The creature would get through soon.
"Group up, guys," Sokka shouted and his attention was finally turned away from the cute mage. Katara joined them at the door, feeling that she finally had a little bit of a grasp of the things Sokka had conveniently left out.
The doors finally shattered, shards of emeralds raining down upon the group. Katara shook her head wryly. Sokka certainly had a flare for the cinematic.
The creature that stood there was unlike any she’d seen. In overall features, the creature looked like a large badger-mole, but its large eyes were a burning red, its fangs bared and dripping with saliva. It seemed bulkier and hairier than the typical badger-mole, almost like it was demonic.
"Okay, first boss: the Demon Badger-Mole. Let’s get it!" Sokka said, excitement in his voice. He loved boss fights.
Katara laughed loudly at her brother as she looked at the ‘Demon Badger-Mole.’ He’d never been very good at creative names.
The others shot her a quick, confused look as they pulled out their weapons. Sokka and Axel were unsheathing blades while Jet produced two strange hooked weapons she had never seen. Toph had her bow in her hand, and Aang was brandishing a thin staff. Tennin had a white mage staff, but she was putting on a pair of fighting gloves. This probably meant that her physical attacks were hand-to-hand.
According to her character ability sheet, Katara should have a dagger on her person somewhere. Her boot, she realized, was the most likely place. Sokka loved hidden weapons, and when they had watched the Silent Hill movie, he had raved about how cool the main girl had looked with a knife in her boot. Of course, the knife had fallen out of her boot, but Sokka was mostly concerned with coolness factor anyway.
Sure enough, she produced a dagger from her boot just as the battle was starting. As the battle started, the floating life and magic bars appeared automatically, probably so the healers would know when to heal. It was a quick battle, and with two healers, keeping the others alive wasn’t overly difficult, though Katara had been forced to use the ether to replenish her magic. Silently, she’d thanked Axel for his help.
When the battle was over, however, there was a low quick buzz in her ears, and a familiar robotic voice said, ‘Cut scene initiating.’
There was a swirl of color around her.
"Watch out, Princess!" Jet’s voice shouted.
A red and black blur collided with her, and she realized she was in Axel’s arms again. She only barely caught sight of the miniature explosion that took place where her character had just been. Wrapped in the Emperor’s arms, she realized that the Five Knights of Heaven had arranged themselves in front of her and her rescuer.
Why was she always being rescued?! Katara would take this up with Sokka, too.
A cold laughing echoed through the cave, and Axel’s arms tightened around her.
"So you’ve escaped, my pretty doll. And you were so cute in your little emerald case. Don’t get too confident, little one," the cold voice said. "You’ll never see the Heavens again."
"I recognize that voice," Axel breathed in her ear. "But who…?"
Five large spherical lights appeared around the Five Knights, and Katara heard herself gasp. The lights began to expand and seemed to take human form. Suddenly, the light creatures each attacked a different knight, and the knights each jerked away trying to distance themselves from their attackers. The light creatures withdrew as quickly as they attacked, however, and stood on the alter at the front of the room. Although they hovered in a humanoid shape, their forms never solidified, but they each held something in their incorporeal hands.
"The treasures! They’ve stolen them!" came Aang’s innocent voice.
"The treasures…?" Katara asked.
"Mikoto told me about them," Axel’s voice was soft and quiet, as if imparting a secret, and his breath was warm on her neck. "The five treasures are supposed to get you to back to Heaven."
She felt her eyes widen as she watched the Five Knights rush at the creatures. The creatures faded, taking the treasures with them.
"If you ever hope to get to Heaven again, little doll, you must defeat my minions and take back your treasures." A hollow laughed rang through the cave.
Katara felt something akin to rage bubble in her heart. She wrenched free from Axel’s arms and took up a proud stance, shoulders back and head high. Brandishing a fist in the air, she shouted, "I am no doll, you False Empress! I shall fight my way back to heaven, and I shall show the power of the true Royal Family of Heaven."
Maybe she wouldn’t have to throttle her brother for giving her a weak character after all.
"Very well." Another hollow laugh. "One of us shall lay dead before this battle is complete."
Jet’s character, obeying his patching chip, approached Katara. "The Princess is getting more courageous," he said, smiling a teasing smile.
Katara’s character was shy and fell back against Axel, as if for support. She felt a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She knew her character was blushing, and she was embarrassed by it. Toph appeared behind Jet, a cocky expression on her face.
"I have no doubt that the Princess shall become the greatest Empress the Heavens will ever see."
Katara ducked her head shyly one last time before she started to regain control of her character once more.
--End Level 2--
For those who don’t know Final Fantasy very well, I’m including a link to the Final Fantasy 9 version of the white mage outfit that I based ‘Tennin’s’ outfit on. It’s rather cute.
And also, for those who haven’t played Kingdom Hearts 2, I’m including a link to a picture of Axel, the flame elemental warrior whose name Zuko is using. Even though this is based on virtual reality games, I’m operating under the assumption that Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy are such classic games that even gamers of the future will have played them. Maybe Square Enix made virtual reality versions of these games? (I hope I live to see this day lol.)
Fighting Axel with Flames