(Updated as of March’22) Prelude

“With that, the dragon and her mother disappeared into nothingness.”

Amy stared stone-cold into the water, her body lightly touching the surfaces of the bathtub. She was barely floating. She looked up at the digital clock on her wall:


7 more minutes left. She was not one to waste a second or two. And so, she closed her eyes and slipped entirely into the water, anxious to feel some sort of weightlessness. Yet, like an amniotic sac of fluid that carried a child to her mother, all that came to her mind were the day’s flashbacks of her mother’s avatar in Sosi Blackbox of the metaverse. In her age 30 form, her alluring presence evoked every floral note and beautiful blooms. Scents. Not something Amy liked in the metaverse. They were disarming to her. She remembered the anxious-inducing hug; the change of mood when her mother realized she was working for Sosi Pharma; the theatrical burst of flames.

It was the 25th trial. The 25th time Amy was with her mother in the metaverse. And yet, no progress on understanding the red orb. She had no clue what she should do. She thought of her mother’s cold, frail comatose body in Sosi Lab, and she felt time behaving like the merciless night tides washing away a ship from shore to the disappearing horizon.

She had to steel herself. How could she convince her mother to speak of the reb orb? Or as her mother called it, the flaming pearl. And then, Amy remembered her mother jumping onto a fire-spitting dragon’s neck and staring down at her with angry tears.

“Send my body back to the hospital! I will not have anything to do with Sosi!”

With that, the dragon and her mother disappeared into nothingness.

Short of air, Amy pushed herself out of the tub and struggled like a fish out of water.

She did not feel so strong, and she did not know what to do.

Next Chapter

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