Time has passed,
Things have come and gone,
Iíve been here far too long.
So many have tried to save the day,
Some have died,
Others just have faded away.
I feel alone now,
I feel like itís vain:
My staying here is driving me insane.
- Kevin Keene, 10.30.99
††††††††††† Kevin Keene sighed as he looked at the computer monitor in front of him. It was blank as always. No one ever came on anymore, not after the Post-War Plague. He frowned and undid his ponytail. His hair had, in the past few years, grown out considerably beyond where it had been when he entered Videoland over ten years ago Ė nearly down to the bottom of his back. He picked up a clear crystal and blew his warmed breath onto it, causing it to fog up. He cleaned it with his shirt and set it back down, a small smile on his face as he looked lovingly into it.
††††††††††† Suddenly the computer monitor grabbed his attention. A bright green text had appeared on the black background.
Hello, Captain N.
Kevin nearly leaped back out of his chair as he read the words. He would never have expected someone to come online again, not to mention know that it was he that was on.
Kevin began to type back to whomever had written the greeting.
Kevin: Hello yourself! I would never have expected someone to come online anymore, not to mention know me!
Dragin: Much of what one expects is not what one will experience.
Kevin shrugged and continued typing.
Kevin: I guess so. So, why are you here, anyway?
Dragin: I am here because I am. I have no better place to be and I wish to be here.
Kevin: Can you stop it with the cryptics? Where in the video worlds are you?
Dragin: I am far beyond Videolandís boundaries.
Kevin: I said stop being cryptic! Where are you?
Dragin: I will stop being cryptic but then also I will stop being here.
Kevin: Okay, you can keep being cryptic if you have to. Just donít go. I hadnít talked to anybody else in so long before you contacted me.
Dragin: I am beyond where you will have ever been before...
Dragin is attempting to send you Beyond∞.MAP: Accept? Y/n
Dragin: ...and may ever be. Follow the yellow brick road, Captain N. Follow the yellow brick road.
File Beyond∞.MAP has been received.
Kevin: Who are you?
Dragin has logged off VideoNet.
Kevin sighed and opened up the file. As it opened he thought back to before the war had begun. The memories hurt him, though, and soon he stopped thinking of them. The file had finished opening and Kevin soon realized what he had been sent. It was indeed what the fileís type indicated: It was indeed a map.