Story A Day, Day 4 – Restart

Cropped header image by Aronkloth under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

“It was a beautiful area. It’s a shame we have to reset it.”

The three of them sat around the banks overlooking a lake, green grass below, forest all around, and blue sky above; they appeared as two young ordinary-looking women and a young ordinary-looking man, all dressed in plain clothes.

One of the women spoke, in response to one of the other women sitting opposite her. “You don’t have to be so dramatic about it, Magus. There’s a good chance we’ll get another lake here anyway. And it’s not like there’ll be better in the next restart of this area, right?”

A groan came from the other two of them, and one put his hands to his face and fell backwards onto his back.

“That’s what you said about what used to be the Fiji Islands!” he said from behind his hands, still lying down in mock exasperation.

The other one chimed in. “And do I really have to mention-”

“Ah!”

Magus pointed her finger towards her, quick as a flash, and spoke with mock disapproval.

“We don’t talk about Jupiter, Ko. Nothing ever happened.”

Ko raised her hands slowly in surrender.

“Nothing ever happened. I’m the student here, after all.”

Magus opened her mouth as if to change the subject but was interrupted by the sight of something moving in the corner of her eye; an object moving from the left to the right, emerging slowly from the forest on the other side of the lake. By now, Pyre had sat up and was also staring at the object; it was another person, talking a slow, scenic walk through the forest path.

“He best hope he makes it out of here before the reset. I don’t know what he’s doing here because I’m fairly sure I sealed the area.”
“Huh, that’s weird. Guess we’ll deal with it later. Maybe he’ll turn back once he realises he’s moved outside his world.” Magus replied.

Ko simply watched with her usual pleasant but patient expression, waiting for them to turn their attention away from the walker; they did after a minute of watching the person disappear back into the forest. Magus and Pyre turned back to realise that she was already looking at them both. Realising that she forgot what she was about to say, her expression dropped briefly, giving Magus enough time to talk.

“So anyway, I hear they were debating resetting London last week,” she said, “And the frontrunner for pulling it off is Ash, I hear.”

“London?!” Pyre almost shouted.

“What’s wrong with London?” Ko said.

“Get this”, Magus replied, “I heard that they said they think they’ve got a scenario where it does better than it does now. I was walking past the concourse when I heard it.”

For a brief moment, the three of them looked between each other in awe.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.”

“Problem, Pyre?”

“How are they going to reform the rivers? When they reset the zero, they’re going to have to connect all that over again.”

Magus shrugged dramatically.

“I don’t know how either, but apparently Ash does. I think he’s been working with them on the simulations. I’ve been meaning to ask him on it for a while, but I kind of don’t want to. He’s scary for one, and his other form’s really disorienting. The last time I saw him in human form I had to switch right away to stop myself falling over in confusion.

Another flash of movement in Magus’ eye, closer this time; the walker wasn’t going away, and it was getting more and more likely that he’d discover them. They disappeared before Magus could look properly, but it was starting to worry her. The other two noticed and looked over their shoulders for a brief moment, looking back when they didn’t see anything. The worry on Magus was clear for all to see. Before anyone could react, the walker emerged from another break in the forest further along the shore and was facing their direction, standing static; he’d noticed them.

They gazed back with a mix of surprise, wariness and curiosity. He wasn’t moving an inch, and it was starting to unnerve them.

Ko leaned in to Pyre.

“Do you want to start up the reset now?” She whispered.

“No, hang on. He has to be here for something.”

Magus stood up and took a brief look at the both of them.

“I’m going to see who he is. Both of you stay here. I think he might have figured out what’s going on.”

She disappeared into the forest, leaving the both of them to continue their staredown with the mystery man.

“Oh, no. This is bad. I think I might have an idea of who he is.”

“Pyre?”

“I think he might be a Delver. They’re the only ones who have tried to turn back resets, and I haven’t seen news of any for years. But if anybody’s here to stop us, it has to be them.”

He slowly turned his gaze towards Magus, out of view. He slowly reached into the inside of his jacket to take something else.

“Oh, no, Magus. He’s a Delver alright.”

“Ko, get up. We’re going to get her out of there.”

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