It had been two months, more or less, since the game’s creator revealed that the people playing were trapped. Many a person had already fallen foul to bosses, common enemies, traps, and even other players. But, the populace of the game’s world pressed on, knowing that to not do so would mean death anyway. It was a grim, desperate existence, but not without its charm. Whatever charm was there, however, was lost beneath a sea of much and filth, both player-generated and a result of the situation. It had brought out the best in people, and the worst in them. And sometimes, it was hard to tell just what was being brought out. There were rumours of a player, affectionately referred to as “the Berserker.” Some say he was seven feet tall, and swung about a warhammer like child’s toy. Some said he was not a player at all, but an invincible whirlwind of CPU controlled virtual steel. Whatever he was, one thing was certain: he had no regard for his own life. The Berserker had gained a reputation for exclusively taking missions most would consider suicidal, even with a team. And he cleared them on his own. The word about town was that he was in the area, but obviously, a group of thieving little toerags didn’t get the memo… “So, what do we do with her?” “Well, numb nuts, we make her fork over whatever cash she’s got, and we take it from her. Simple enough?” “Yes, but what about afterwards? Do we kill her? Leave her for the dogs? Something else?” A third player snickered, and held his dagger up, saying, “maybe we should toy with her a bit, do something entertaining with her.” The three looked towards the lone player, having managed to back her up against a cave wall. Fighting all three would be suicide – they were well-equipped, and they seemed to have quite bit of experience behind them. However, suicidal missions were one player’s speciality. It was a wonder how they didn’t hear the clanking of heavy metal armour behind them.