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Katerina Sadek 

My eyes open- my lenses seem full and blurry with a dark purple haze. Slowly blinking, I began to wonder where I was and what I could see.   A chilling breeze hits me like a gush of fresh peppermint air does after your daily skeletal cleansing.   

The pit in my stomach deepens. That empty feeling of sudden danger and helplessness overcomes me. I stand coldly on a balcony overlooking the subway beneath.  

I realize I am wearing a torn black hoodie with a chunky leather belt carrying all sorts of weapons.    

Who the hell am I? Kim Possible or something?   

Blink.  I put my lens into focus, and suddenly a loading screen materializes in front of me.  A robotic female voice echoes in the quiet.  "Level 1, The Subway".  Blink, it disappears.  

I shake my head.  There is no way in hell that this could be happening.  

When I eventually compose myself and my vision clears up, I can drink in the purple-lit city.  But this is not an ordinary city. It is a system full of complex pixelation, morse code, square blocks, and bold neon lights covered by a wash of gloomy grey that transcends across the rainy night sky.  It surrounds me.  

I am not on earth.  

I am in a combat survival game.  

"Uh-oh.  You seem dazed," I try to tell myself.  I can't focus. "Am I really in a game?" I wonder.  I stare blankly at a wall, frozen.  Deep intense music starts playing. As if something catastrophic is going to suddenly happen. “Am I in Jumanji?" That awful empty feeling intensifies.  


Peering over the edge, I see- oh, shit.  Two guys are going at each other in the middle of the subway entrance as if they have nothing better to do.  

It’s like looking is a risk you’d take just to save your life. Wait – how is looking keeping me alive? It’s a sign of inevitable doom that awaits you. Bang! A blazing gun roar echoes in the street.  

At this moment, I knew I was no longer who I used to be.  

I teleport my way to the crime. Why? I have no idea. Maybe I could help or something.  

A man lay before me, wounded and bleeding out.  That blood looks too real.   

“Someone, help me!”  I yell, hoping someone will hear me. Anyone.  

And someone did.  

"Enemy detected,” the robotic female voice says while revealing the silhouette of this creature. I pause – everything stands still.   

Yep, this indeed was the catastrophic event that was about to unveil, I think.


“3, 2, 1! Begin combat!” The voice booms.     

Here goes nothing, I think nervously. I pick up a gun, my grip tightening onto this small handheld gun. Please don't let me drop it.  

I aim, shoot, fire – and miss.  


“Try again,” I tell myself. I aim, shoot, fire, and miss. Again.  


If this were the moment to die, this moment would be it.  

This was indeed my new life mission. To save the world.  

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