2 Off Schedule

'Is there some sort of higher being watching over us? And if so, are they like us, or do they take on some sort of indecipherable form, something a human couldn't comprehend easily, let alone explain. . .'

Zack's mind had begun wandering aimlessly to ward off the boredom. Having arrived later than usual, Zack was forced to stand amongst a crowd of similarly bored strangers.

'Probably not, all things considered the world is extremely mundane despite the various religions dotted around the world. Things once considered mysterious and inexplicable are now a footnote in elementary school books, much like how the weather works, or-'

Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted when a train's bell rang out, his eyes losing the unfocused glaze they had gained over the past twenty minutes, and he looked to the west gate, only to realize the sound was coming from the east gate.

Having discerned the bell's origin, Zack let out an annoyed sigh before looking straight ahead blankly, staring at the back of someone else's head and shifting his weight from his right foot to his left foot, returning to his train of thought from before.

'Then again, we're all specks in the grand scheme of things, even the elites of the world can't hold a candle to the vastness of the universe. So perhaps there is some higher existence watching everything, or even several higher existences. . .'

As the train zipped by through the east gate, several people groaned, and Zack adjusted the shoulder strap to his leather satchel, untangling his ponytail from it when he had switched it from his left shoulder to his right one.

"Yeesh, I knew they said the train was going to be off schedule but what in tarnation could be taking it so long!?" said an elderly man to Zack's left.

"I know right? It's never this late," said the young man accompanying him.

And thus another thirty minutes passed by as Zack continued to ponder on the nature of the world aimlessly, occasionally looking to the vending machines by the fourth floor's entrance as he considered getting something to drink, eventually opting to wait.

Suddenly, another bell rang out from the distance.

"Fucking finally!" Zack exclaimed, startling a few of the people around him, earning him a handful of annoyed glances as well as the disapproving glare of a middle aged mother.

"Oh shi- sorry about that. . ." he said, scratching at his beard as he nervously chuckled, his eyes passing over the concerned young girl holding her mom's hand as he looked towards the west gate, watching as the train quickly came in, only slowing to a stop when its entire length was within the fourth floor.

Through the windows, Zack watched as the passengers exited onto the central platform. Soon after, the doors facing the central platform closed and the ones facing the southern side of the fourth floor opened up.

Getting on the train along with the crowd around him, Zack was quick to find a seat and let his legs finally rest. Having sat down in a comfortable position, he took his phone out of his satchel and plugged it into the USB port on the side of the arm rest.

Seeing the one percent on the screen appear, he set his phone down on his lap and looked out the window towards the people on the central platform either waiting for the next train to arrive, or heading to the lower floor.

His attention was then stolen by the shapely behind of a woman wearing black yoga pants. He stared with an unrivaled poker face, the noise around him drowned out as he continued staring.

'By God that's the finest ass I've seen in quite some time, I wonder what her face looks like. . .'

"Ahem, can I see your ticket sir?" said the train attendant for the second time.

Zack still hadn't taken notice of the man, until he felt a firm tap on his shoulder. He turned to him and saw the attendant's annoyed expression.

Without having to be asked, he pulled out his ticket and handed it over.

"Sorry for not hearing you, somebody caught my eye."

The middle aged man raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything until after having verified the ticket. "Alright, you're all set young man. I have to wonder who could catch someone's attention like that though."

Without missing a beat, Zack pointed towards the woman he was staring at, and the attendant looked through the window.

"Understandable. Anyway, enjoy the ride young man." The train attendant then handed the student class ticket back and moved to the next passenger.

Zack then looked back to see that the woman had turned towards the east gate, revealing her huge bust. . . And her drop dead gorgeous face!

Her jawline was well defined, pairing nicely with the delicate oval shape of her head. Her facial features were the perfect blend of soft and sharp, creating what Zack would consider the epitome of refined elegance.

'Yeesh, talk about overkill, I'd let someone shoot me for a chance with her. . .'

He then turned to his phone after having seen enough, and saw that it had been charged by fourteen percent. Deciding that was good enough, he turned it on and checked the time.

[7:34 P.M.]

A handful of notifications from games he hadn't played in a while along with various social media notifications about current events appeared as he opened up the notifications beneath the time and date.

He scrolled through them, nothing piquing his interest as he scrolled, until he saw a text message notification from his friend Ivan.

[El Tres Amigos: Ivan]

[Bro this game is fuckin dope, hurry up and join us!]

[Sent At 6:06 P.M.]

He tapped the notification and responded.

[Sorry man, had a bit of a problem to deal with and my phone died. I would hop on when I get home but I need to get some food first.]

[Sent At 7:35 P.M.]

He then took out one of his wireless earbuds and put them in, selecting a song from his playlist and then staring out the window as the train left Tower 2B. The city was bathed in the orange hue of sunset, and Zack couldn't help but feel relaxed as he gazed over the cityscape.

Soon enough he'd be back at home, and he'd have the next month to leisurely work on his research paper about the benefits Immersive Virtual Reality could have for businesses.

Being a business management major, he couldn't wait to apply this new technology to the bland and sociopath infested world of pristine black suits and ties.

But of course, Zack was far more excited about logging into Conquest Carnival. The thought of having thrilling battles and death defying adventures occupied his mind entirely as he stared out the window.

Though, his thoughts were soon interrupted.


[El Tres Amigos: Nick]

[Sucks to hear about the problem, but at least it's been dealt with! Anyways, check out this fight we had in the game!]

[Sent At 7:46 P.M.]

He tapped on the notification, opening the group chat to see a video pop into view. Before he could press play though, another train attendant caught his attention.

"Hello sir, would you care for anything to eat or drink?" she said while handing him a small pamphlet.

Without looking he said, "Yeah, can I have a bag of salt and vinegar chips and a bottle of grape soda?"

She nodded, taking back the pamphlet and handing him what he requested.

After handing her two bills, she moved on to the person behind him.

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Zack then opened the bottle and took a short swig before starting the video.

"Alright testing, testing, one two three. Alright, audio sounds good. So to give a bit of context, I'm testing out the berserker class and Ivan is testing the elemental sorcerer class in a Private Training Arena. Now then, watch and be amazed!"

Rather than walk away like Zack expected, Nick put down his battle axe and grabbed his left arm by the elbow and then broke it, screaming loudly before he fell to the ground, outside of the camera's view.

Zack's eyes widened when he saw that, his left eyebrow raised in confusion.

Nick then stood back up while laughing, and Zack couldn't help but laugh to himself as well.

"I bet I got you good there! Anyway, now for the fight!" Nick then ran away from the camera, his broken arm flopping around lifelessly until he stopped and faced Ivan, who had a book floating at his side.

"Training Arena, code 7-0-7-0, engage friendly formal battle mode!"

A flash of green light appeared around Nick as his arm returned to normal, the perspective changing from Ivan's point of view to Nick's point of view as a counter counted down to zero.

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