Vol 1: Chapter 1-1.
Zheng Zha (Zheng) always felt that he was dead in reality. Go to work, come home, eat meals, go to bed and wake up; he didn’t know where the meaning of his life lay. It was definitely not in that face of his fat supervisor, not in that white collar woman’s body that he met in the bar, and not in this steel and concrete forest – the modern city.
Zheng felt he was rotting. Going to rot from the age of 24 til the end of his life, then become a part of the earth and leave behind a name. No, not even a name, since no one would remember him. No one would remember a little white collar. Whether he lived as a truly graceful person or just pretended to be one, he was just a tiny piece of this world.
He wanted to change something. He wanted to have his meaning.
‘Want to know the meaning of life? Want to live… a real life?’
When he turned on his computer at work today, a message popped up. This was obviously some newbie hacker seeking attention. It would force you to download a virus, whichever option you choose. Zheng laughed at it and was about to close it. Yet, his heart skipped a beat when his hand touched the mouse. He paused.
‘Want to know the meaning of life? Want to live… a real life?’
Zheng felt a little lost. An indescribable force attracted him to put his finger on the mouse. Then he clicked on the YES button and lost consciousness.
The moment he woke up, Zheng jumped up from the ground. He looked around in panic. The disparity of the vision of his office and the current environment caused a chaos in his head, but after a few seconds he woke up from the confusion.
“Not bad, you have the best quality of the bunch this time.” A cold voice said.
Zheng turned his head around and saw a black haired guy sneering at him. This person was around 24 or 25, had a very common face, but the few scars on his face made him looked horrifying.
Black haired guy held a cigarette in his hand and took a deep smoke. His sight then looked past Zheng. That was when Zheng realized there were five people lying beside him. Three men and two women. Other than that, there were over ten westerners in this concealed room.
This was the compartment of a train and the train was moving very fast. The feelings of coldness and shaking were coming from the train.
“Where is this place? Who are you? Why am I here?”, Zheng asked these people. Furthermore, due to the presence of westerners, he repeated it in English.
The westerners looked at him for a moment then turned their heads away. Only the black haired guy said to him, “Think carefully, it should have inserted everything into your head.”
Think carefully? Zheng tried to recall everything. He only remembered when he saw the pop-up on the screen ‘Want to know the meaning of life? Want to live… a real life?’, and clicked YES, before he fell unconscious.
Wait… Zheng felt there was something in his head, something about survival and life.
This was a game. Whoever created this game was not known. Maybe it was God, maybe it was the Devil, or maybe they were aliens or humans from the future. Now he had became a player of this game, or maybe part of this game.
A game that brought together those who were lost in life but have yet to become a rotten person. When they chose this game they would be transported to various scenes in horror movies.
“It is Resident Evil 1 this time. Your luck isn’t bad, newbies. Getting such an easy horror movie on the first time. Even when you die it will be an easy death.” The black haired guy took his last smoke then crushed the cigarette in his hand.
“Are you saying only our consciousness came inside the computer? Just like in novels? And when we complete this game our consciousness will go back to our bodies?” A chubby dude next to Zheng asked.
Black Haired took out a gun, a desert eagle. While handling the gun he said, “I don’t know if it’s consciousness or not, but you will feel pain, you will get injured, and you will die. And you were wrong, when you finish this movie, you will go to the next one. Maybe you have seen that movie or maybe not. Every time, God will bring in new members to replace those that died in the last movie. Every movie consists of seven to twenty people. In other words this is a very easy movie, we only have seven people here.”
Chubby Dude said with a sneer, “How do you know those who died didn’t go back to their body? Perhaps they chose to die willingly.”
Black Haired raised his head suddenly, as though he had became a panther in this moment. He bent his knees and in a split second he’s already on top of the chubby dude. His desert eagle stuffed inside the chubby dude’s mouth.
“Then would you want to try and die? Can you imagine that unending terror? I lived through three movies. The first one was Nightmare on Elm Street 1. There were 15 newbies in that movie and two experienced survivors. But do you want to know the ending? They all died in their dreams. Me and another person were the only ones that survived. Do you want to know how it feels to get killed by a stupid dream? Imagine everything around you becomes slithering rotten meat. You watch as a pair of scissors slowly cut through every bit of your body in a gruesome factory. Can you imagine the pain? You piece of shit! Do you want to die?”
Black Haired was shouting like a madman. His intent to kill was so vivid and obvious in his eyes. The chubby dude was scared and unable to move. And with a gun in his mouth, he couldn’t even plead.
Zheng and the other four people persuaded them to break apart. Black Haired walked back to his seat and said, “Dying in an horror movie is a real death. Furthermore, when you die here you will be tortured by the devils in these movies. So if you don’t have determination to live, I advise you to kill yourself now.”
A girl with glasses said, “Then we don’t have a way to return to our bodies?”
Black Haired said with a sneer, “I have been saying it’s not your consciousness that came into the computer. Do you think humans have the technology to create this game? No, this is the work of God, we are nothing more than bugs in his eyes. We are thrown here to struggle just to entertain him. Both our bodies and consciousnesses have been brought to this world, and can’t go back. At least I don’t think we can go back.”
The glasses girl had a sense of calmness. She thought for a moment and said, “By your tone, it seems like there’s still a way to go back?”
Black Haired took a look at her and said, “The quality of this time’s newbies isn’t bad. You’re right, there is hope to go back.”
Everyone stared at him. “Every time you finish a mission–that is you lived through a movie–you will obtain 1000 points. You can exchange these points for a lot of things, such as the right to live in a movie for 100 days.” Black Haired said.
A middle aged guy said, “Who would want to live in a horror movie? That’s asking to die.”
Black Haired remained quiet. Glasses Girl said, “No, I think I understand what he meant. There are many genres of horror movies, sci-fi like Resident Evil, where everything can be explained with science. You just have to go outside of where the main events are happening, then the rest of the world is normal.
Black Haired snapped his finger, “Bingo. You can indeed live in another part of this world normally for those days. Think about it, after experiencing a couple of life and death trials, the chance to live normally in this world is a blessing.”
Zheng’s body shivered. He thought he understood the meaning of this world a bit. Yes, the reason he was feeling rotten was because his life was boring. Once you experienced life and death, then the mundane life would become what you wish for.
Black Haired continued, “Other than exchanging for time, there are many other things. Such as this desert eagle with unlimited ammunition. It only took 100 points, that’s 10 days of time. You can also use points to improve yourself, including intelligence, mental capacity, reaction time, cell vitality, muscle density, and immunization strength. In other words, if you survive through this movie, you can double your strength. If you lived through a hundred movies, you can become a super human.”
Glasses Girl asked calmly, “Let’s get back to the point, how many points does it take to get back to our world?”
“50000 points.” Black Haired took out another cigarette. “If you don’t use any points, you just have to live through fifty movies. Then you can go back.”
Suddenly, everyone quieted down. According to this guy, if you don’t use your points, it would be impossible to live through fifty movies.
“Of course, 1000 points is the base reward of every movie. You can do side quests in movies to earn points. Like when I explained everything to you, according to God’s rule, explaining to newbies will reward 100 points. You should’ve noticed that special watch on your hand.” He waved his left hand. There was a black metal watch.
Everyone looked at their own left wrist. There were a few lines of info on this watch. A timer that was counting down from 3 hours 7 minutes. A counter for zombies, hunters, newbies…
“You will get one point for every ten zombies you kill, 100 point for every hunter, and 1000 points for every newbie…” He looked at everyone with a wicked face. Only Zheng and the glasses girl looked back calmly at him.
“Of course that’s negative 1000. Okay, if you have any other questions hurry up and ask. This movie is about to begin.”
Glasses Girl looked at Zheng, then continued, “I have three more questions. I saw Resident Evil, the ending is the T-virus from the lab spreading throughout Racoon City. Then if we drive this car and leave the city, wouldn’t that let us survive easily?”
Black Haired nodded and replied, “Take a look at your watch, there’s a name on the upper left side, read it.”
“One.” Everyone read it out, then they noticed one of the westerners had a faint glow on him, then slowly faded away.
“This is the leader of the mercenaries in this movie. This movie belongs to a specified location genre. The plot only happens in the lab. In this kind of movie, you are not allowed to leave the plot area or stay too far away from the cast. If you stay further than 300 feet from One, then bang, you will have nothing left. Understand? Of course when One is dead in the movie this restriction will be moved to another cast.” Black Haired explained.
Zheng then asked, “Who is this God that you have been mentioning?”
“God is the thing that manages our entrance to movies. It gives us points and you also exchange things through it. God is a ball of light. I don’t really know what it is either.”
Glasses Girl nodded and said, “One last question. This number, what does it mean?” She pointed to the timer counting down.
“This is the time that you must stay in this movie. Once the timer is over you will go to where God is and get your reward. There you will also wait for the next movie.”
The train started to slow down. Black haired guy finished his cigarette and took out his desert eagle, “Okay, the plot is starting. The cast will be able to hear our conversations now. Remember, if they hear anything not belonging to this world or spoilers, 10 points will be deducted for every sentence. Well, newbies, try your best to survive.”
1. Nightmare of Elm Street (1984) is a film about Freddy Krueger, a child murderer that was burned alive by the parents of his victim. Now he kills their children in dreams as a living nightmare. Original Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCVh4lBfW-c Plot Summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nightmare_on_Elm_Street#Plot
2, Resident Evil (2002) is a film that follows the amnesiac heroine Alice and a band of commandos as they attempt to contain the outbreak of the T-virus, a virus that it turning everyone into zombies, in a secret underground facility. Original Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6uDnd_v5Bw Plot Summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil_(film)#Plot