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degreelessness: chapter two

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was what kept running through chester’s head. also: he had just stumbled upon a computer area map, which is a two-dimensional sprite, 28 x 27 pixels, with four frames of looping animation. it was lying flat (having no volume, of course) on top of a corpse, a woman, mid-twenties, he guessed, pretty, long brown hair clumped with gray matter, eyes glazed, skin chalk-white. a suicide, gun still against her head, left temple. the body was next to a pillar at the top of a long gray series of stairs that once led to the main entrance of a courthouse, chester supposed, and was positioned in such a way that the gore from the exit wound should have splattered all over it, but the whole area was strangely clean, pristine, even. in fact, there was no blood to be found anywhere except the body itself. chester found this curious scene oddly moving, and sat down next to the girl to examine his find.

the map unveiled the whole city to him in a haze of green, including the roads leading out. an intriguing prospect. chester, what with constantly blacking out and all those blank spots in his memory, couldn’t even remember what the world was like outside his familiar sprawling ruins, but he figured it couldn’t get much worse, and started walking, making sure to take the girl’s pistol before he left.

speaking of blackouts. once when chester had been exploring the industrial zone of the city, he had happened to enter some sewer tunnels, and ended up pretty goddamn lost amid mile after mile of green wall and green sludge. eventually he made it to a teleport (by now he’d encountered several of the contraptions, as they were bizarrely peppered around the city), and, preparing himself for the waves of nausea that would follow even though he couldn’t recall the last time he had eaten, in fact, couldn’t recall eating anything ever, dove in.

when he came to, his head was throbbing. it felt like someone had transmitted words directly into his brain. worse, he was weaponless. this definitely wasn’t the average teleport. looking around, he found himself in a small non-descript room with walls of rough-hewn and vivid blue stone, empty except for yet another anonymous corpse that looked like someone he might have known, but was probably just someone he’d shot. the over-proportioned metal door directly in front of him seemed to be the only exit. when he pressed the ‘space’ key while ramming himself into it, it opened vertically, despite having a door handle (which was actually just part of its texture), and revealed another blue room. but this one had people who weren’t reanimated corpses in it. chester was, understandably, REALLY FUCKING HAPPY about this. until they started shooting at him. he had to kill the first one with his bare hands. punched right through the bastard’s throat. arterial fluid went everywhere, chester was screaming, the un-undead (though now he was in the process of becoming simply dead) fucker was trying to scream but it just wasn’t working, chester’s goddamn fist was stuck inside the bastard’s neck for a second until he used his foot against the guy’s chest for leverage, and then he grabbed the fucking machine gun that wasn’t actually available in the game and at this point it’s getting kind of far-fetched and I’m thinking that the people who complained about trouble with immersion in the first chapter are really going to have a problem with this one and he started firing like fucking crazy, bullets tearing through flesh and these crazy bastards screaming in german that somehow chester understood, and he thought ‘when the fuck did I learn german?’ and soon they were all dead but one and chester got the gun out of the bastard’s hands and finally got a good look at these people and suddenly the fact that they were yelling ‘schutstaffel’ made a whole lot more sense and he noticed that he was in nazi fucking germany. what the fuck was he doing in nazi germany? how the fuck did that even make sense? chester needed some answers, and fast. he tried to interrogate the bastard, but the fuck just kept repeating himself until he finally died from blood-loss, moaning ‘mein leiben’, which chester thought constituted the most retarded last words ever, so he kept on killing the sons of bitches until he found an elevator that, confusing him greatly, led back to a suburban area of the city.

the city. and now he was on his way out of it. whenever he tired of walking (and it’s not like he was in any rush), he stopped to rest and, if he felt like it, read some more Valis, the title of which is, by the way, an acronym for ‘Vast Active Living Intelligent System’. soon enough, he was finished (he liked it, especially the idea of having a film inside the book, but thought that the character of Eric Lampton was too obviously based on David Bowie, who, incidentally, he had shot and re-killed when he found him with a group of zombies fighting over the remains of a stray cat), and started on the next book to come out of his pack: The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley. after a couple of days (there seemed to be no night anymore: earth basked in the rays of permanent daylight) of walking, he began to see what looked like a huge tower in the distance. he thought this was pretty interesting. from so far away, it was impossible to make out any details, but it was definitely a tower, and, if chester had any doubts about his immortality, he would have found it fairly goddamn menacing.

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You know man...degreelessness has to be my favorite of all fanfics. These are fucking epic. You've done an amazing job with chapter two...i mean...fucking brilliant man.

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I do believe this would be your best yet. I particularly enjoy the address to the readers of chapter one. Clever indeed. I like also how you still treat Chester as a computer manifestation. And in the Wolfenstein level too. Good Form then.

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