Veins of Chrome

Posted under Episode 0, Story On By Chief

A jolt of electricity runs through your spinal cord as your cybernetic implants come back to life; You awaken in a pool of your own blood, bullet casings litter the floor like spilled popcorn on a movie theater.
Grunting, you rise, using a nearby wall for support and leaving a hand-shaped bloodstain over a street graffiti. Everything hurts like hell but, you're still alive, glad not to become another statistic in the city's rising murder rates. A quick scan reveals that you're the only one still in the realm of the living. Your entire fucking crew is dead—flatlined by lethal injections of high-speed lead, courtesy of the finest private soldiers money can buy.
There's no time to mourn. That will come later in the bottom of a bottle. Still clutching your wounds, you stumble out of that accursed alley into the neon-lit streets in search of vengeance. The first place you head to is the bar where all this began. If anyone has answers, then it must be Fat Freddy.
As you stagger up the front door, the beating of the music grows louder. After one glance at you, the bouncer steps to the side, his eyes betray fear at what he sees.
 "We don't want any trouble here," he says in a thick accent. "Please go somewhere else."
"I'm looking for someone," you say, reaching for your wallet.
The man draws himself up proudly and thrusts an armored gauntlet towards you.

> You grab the man's console arm and quickly type in 'Delete System32'.  The man falls to the ground and everyone in the bar stars at you.  You jump onto a table and say, "I'm looking for Fat Freddy."

Everyone stares at you. Then they stare at each other. Finally, the owner walks up behind the bar, scowling. "What do you want?" he asks.
You pull out your gun.

The owner's mouth is wide open in shock and you stick your gun right in it.  You tell the owner to tell you where Fat Freddy is hiding... or else.

The owner turns pale and points down a hallway. "He's in the basement!"
You nod grimly, holstering your weapon. The owner slaps some bills on the counter and tries to run away before you have a chance to ask him anything more.

You rush to the basement and find Freddy Kruger, who's gained a lot of weight recently.
 His face is red with rage as he looks at you. "Why are you so late? I've been waiting for hours! What happened to you?!"
"They killed me," you answer, leaning against a wall and gasping from your injuries.

> You say "I may have put a few pounds on but how about we see how many you've put on in your life."

Freddy laughs heartily as his fat belly shakes. "Oh, yes! Let's get started, shall we? Where should I start, huh? Should I begin when my father was arrested for dealing drugs or when I stole a million dollars worth of cocaine or maybe when I went to prison because of
 you?! Maybe you'd like to hear the whole tale of how I got shot in the back, stabbed in the kidneys and beaten to death by the police while handcuffed, you sick fuck!" He bellows.

You start to feel dizzy and pass out in the basement.  Fat Freddy meets you in the dream world.
 He's wearing a white lab coat, but it's torn in several places. There's a large scar across his left eye. He lifts you to a hospital bed and checks you over. "How're you feeling, kid?"

> You ask "Are you going to be my doctor Fat Freddy?"

"Yeah, but not like that," he says, smiling. "I'm just a friend. But, you're lucky to still be alive."
"Then why am I in a coma?"
 you say.
"Well, that's the thing," he answers, taking a seat next to your bed. "I know what caused it and now you're stuck in the middle of the plot.
 It's not a very pretty one. And, you're probably gonna die."
You look at the clock above your head: 3am. "So that's why you came to visit me.

You realize you are now in a dream within a dream.

"It's quite simple, really. The government has developed a virus which will kill off all the cybernetic implants in your brain. This includes everything from artificial eyes to implanted chips. They want to make sure no one can hack into their systems.

You realize that you are dreaming about your favorite TV show:
 The Matrix. You remember watching this movie in high school and finding the concept fascinating. You had a cyborg implant in your arm and were fascinated with the idea of being able to download your mind and body into a computer network.

You see Fat Freddy dressed like Morpheus and he has two different colored pills to offer:
 red and blue. He explains, "The red pill is the truth. The blue is the lie. Which would you choose?"
You think about the question for a moment. "The red, of course.
Morpheus replies, "Because the red pill gives you all of reality. You see exactly what is happening in front of you and you have control over your own destiny.
The blue pill, on the other hand, is more seductive.

You say, "I'll neither, I don't do drugs!"

You wake up and take the red pill.
You're told, "You have been injected with a powerful neurotoxin. The only antidote is the blue pill."
You ask, "What happens if I refuse?"

The scientist responds, "You won't survive long enough to find out. The toxin is lethal and the effects are irreversible. Your heart is already beginning to fail, you're suffering severe organ damage, and the poison is spreading throughout your body.
> You ask "Morpheus, how come you're being played by a different actor in the 4th Matrix film?"

He looks at you sadly and says, "I'm sorry. I'm afraid I can't tell you any more. I have orders."
You are in an underground medical facility. A woman named Dr. Smith examines you and tells you, "Your heart is failing.
> You say "You wake up and reappear in the hospital and Fat Freddy says the operation was a success."

She continues, "We've inserted a new heart and the procedure was successful. We've also removed the bullet from your shoulder, but unfortunately, we couldn't remove the shrapnel embedded in your kidney."

> You say "You wake up yet again and appear the basement of the bar with Fat Freddy eating a giant calzone.  You look down and see that your mortal wounds have appeared to healed."

"I'm glad you're feeling better," he says. "But I'm not going to be around forever.
I need someone to replace me when I retire. I'm going to train you to be my successor."
> You say "You accept and begin training as a Nightmare Dream Demon.  Freddy gives you a rigorous training schedule that consist of the following nightmare empowering activities:

*Sleep deprivation
*Psychological torture
*Physical pain.
You complete the program in four months, but you're still not ready.
Freddy says, "I'm going to give you a little something extra."

You ask, "What's that?"
"It's a cyborg implant that's been modified to interface directly with your brain.
You'll be able to download your mind into a computer network."
> You say "You realize that the Matrix is just a construct of Fat Freddy and is the biggest nightmare Freddy has ever been in."

"That's right. It's a nightmare where you are the main character. And now, you're stuck in it."
You realize that your body has been repaired and you are back in the dream.

> You say "You hear Fat Freddy's laugh in the distance.  You see Neo walk up to you and say, "I know kung fu."  You look into the sky and scream."

You wake up and find yourself in the real world.
You realize that your body has been restored and you are back in the real world. You notice a bright light shining into your eyes. You open your eyes and find yourself in the middle of a desert.