"Alright, so maybe you were telling the truth. This time," Starlequin muttered as he passed by Ryven's terminal on the way out of the office. "Still doesn't mean you're not hiding something yourself." With his parting shot Star exited the room and slammed open the stairwell door, his anger threatening to overtake his senses. Aadreal. Conniving little...ugh! Damn traitor. Weakling. Letting herself be blinded by simple greed. And how many others were there still hiding among them, calculating the worth of their lives with the same cold precision with which they ran their OSs?
He stepped out onto the roof, still wet from the rain earlier, and sighed as he glanced up at the cleared night sky. At least the stars were out. Stargazing always seemed to calm his soul, and after the news that Sasha had been picked off by those bastards he definitely needed a little peace. Digging through his back pocket, Star brought out his crumpled softpack of smokes; a grimace crossed his face as he realized he was down to his last one. He sealed his lips around the thin unfiltered roll of paradise and drew it from its cradle, tossed the empty pack off the roof and sparked his trusty Zippo to flaming life. As he inhaled the first glorious puffs of heat and smoke, he studied the intricate etchings on the lighter.
A family heirloom, handed down to Star from his grandfather. The old man who had been his inspiration for so long, and who had been the reason he'd gotten interested in computer science in the first place. The cancer had appeared so suddenly, spread like wildfire and taken his grandda practically in an eyeblink. Star still grieved for the man. So when, as a young man, he learned of the idea of virtual reality and what could be done with it...well, it seemed like fate, offering him a way to bring the old man back. Maybe not completely, of course, but in every way that mattered. Starlequin had thrown himself into his studies, his work, and now. Now it had led him here. To this project. This project that would probably be the...ha...'virtual' death of him, as it had been for so many now.
And all because of greed.
Star's calm dissolved the more he thought about their situation, and he stormed back downstairs and swept into the office without even extinguishing his cigarette. To hell with the electronics, the delicate circuits and the expensive equipment. It was time to start getting some answers.
"Luna! You've got some explaining to do..."