How can tomorrow even exist for us if you won't fight for yourself today?

Tempest Crossing

The Grand Challenge - Chapter 8 (Ejected)

It all comes tumbling down.


Writhing in immense pain , I knew we only had one option and were quickly squandering it with the limited amount of energy we still had left. Hobbling as quickly as Anim’s body would allowed, we made our way closer to the scent of the ocean while avoiding the rattling earth behind us. Moments later, the spot we had crash landed in erupted in a BOOM, and the pile of garbage with our imprint flew into the air with a violent eruption, and pieces of the pile started to crash land everywhere around us.




As Anim’s body frantically hobbled away from the eruption site, we were just meters away from a giant refrigerator landing ontop of us. In utter shock of how close we were to being flattened, I suddenly stopped and while Anim’s body jerked to a painful halt.

“What are you doing? We can’t afford to be wasting time with what ifs - and I’m running on fumes now as it is.”

Anim’s words snapped me out of my stupor, but doubt had slowly started to crawl into my mind and made me hesitate in responding to Anim’s plea.

“Please. I don’t want to die here anymore.”

The sudden steel in her voice took me aback from the original vulnerable avatar that had been contemplating giving up just moments ago. The doubt creeping into my mind halted its advance, and our intentions resynced and we continued to shuffle our way to the scent of the ocean. Trying to ignore the pain stabbing into various part of my virtual body, I began to ask:

(Anim, how do you think that monster is able to find us? I’m not really sure about the rules of this world yet, but it doesn’t seem like it has an exact read on where to find us, just a general idea…)

Anim’s body began breathing a bit more rapidly as we were reaching the limit of her endurance, as she shook her head in disconfirmation.

“Not… sure… but we… are different… from everything else in this area… maybe… “

Uttering short sentences between between her gasps for air, I finished what I believed to be her sentiment.

(Do you think… it’s tracking us because we were disrupting whatever environment was here before us? )

Anim nodded as her fast limp began to slow down to a walking pace. At the same time, we felt the ground rumbling from behind us, and knew that we were running out of time.

But it didn’t matter, because we got to where I had hoped we would end up. The seemingly never ending horizons of the landfill finally seemed to break into a murky gray but uniform stretch of land. Land wasn’t quite the right word, because we were at the-

“Ocean…”, Anim quietly muttered to herself.

As we collected our view from the top of the edge of the landfill, I synced my movements to Anim and we slid from the top of our hill to the edge of the cliff. Her avatar then peered over the edge, and a slight smile emerged in my mind.

(Alright, I have a plan, but it’s all our nothing, and the piece I needed just arrived now.)

Anim stood still as she awaited my unraveling of the plan.

(Alright, so here goes. We stand at the edge of the cliff and wait for the monster to arrive. It seems to attack on sight, so my plan is… we dodge out of the way at the last second with all the energy we have left, and the monster will overshoot its attack and fall into the ocean.)

Stillness filled the air for what seemed like an eternity, until Anim finally processed what I said in full and replied curtly.


A few more moments drew by as the rumbling behind us grew louder and more fierce.

"”What??? Are you kidding me??? This is your entire plan???? What if we weren’t on a cliff??? What then, huh???”

To be fair, I hadn’t really had a plan from the get-go. There was too little information from the start, so I was just planning to wing whatever happen to present itself.

(Listen… we didn’t have a lot of options to begin with, and I doubt we could’ve taken this monster head-on even if we weren’t injured. But sometimes immense strength can be the downfall of strong foes. I’m not sure if this is going to work, but you’re just going to have to trust me in this. Trust us that the monster isn’t smart enough to see through silly plan, and that we are going to make it past this battle. I have the upmost faith that you can make it through, but do you trust me?)

Anim paused again, and in between her pants of pain and exhausted, shook her head in disbelief and resignation.

“Yeah, it looks like we never had had that many options anyway. Well, if this is the end, so be it… “

Anim then begins to look at the sky at something distant, and saids quietly under her breath,

“Sorry, Dad, it looks like I won’t be seeing you again like I promised. “

Just as Anim finished her sentiment, both our attentions quickly snapped to the top of the hill we came from as the final moment approached. The junk monster had finally reached our location, and slowly turned its amorphous body toward us to confirm what it had been searching for.


The monster began shrieking to announce its entrance and our soon-to-be exit, and began to wind up both its giant arms into fists above its head. Without another second of delay, it began dropping its balled-up fists towards us for double ground slam, and I uttered one word to Anim.


With my willpower and Anim’s determination, we kicked off the good foot we were favoring from the painful trek over here, and leapt with all our strength to the side. As the giant fists rapidly approached us, I began to wonder if this was really the right choice, if we had jumped too late, if we even had enough strength to get out of the way, when suddenly-


The two giant fits slammed into the ground right next to us, and the monster was still standing at the top of the cliff.

(Damn it, I guess we weren’t as lucky as we needed to be.)

Suddenly, something I did not expect happened.

The ground next to us began to crack as the impact of the two giant fists began to dislodge the edge of the cliff.

The monster began to try and bring its fists back to its body, but the suddenly dropping of the ends of its arms over the cliff took the upper part of its body with it, and it began to tumble over the cliff. The whole ordeal happened to quickly as Anim and I quietly watched the ocean devoured the monster below its surface.

The once rumbling air now sat completely still, until Anim finally decided to pipe up.

“We did it… we did it, Vit. We won!”

A feeling of immense relief flowed over my body, and a small feeling of triumph began to well inside of me as well. I did it, I finally did something right in my life, I was finally able to help someone else…

The afterglow of the victory only lasted for a moment, as some unearthly noise began to spawn above us. Looking above, what was once the lower half of the junk monster began to reform, and the small monster appeared once again, albeit a quarter of its size.

“You have to be kidding me….”, Anim said aloud as we both look upwards in disbelief.

The monster then began to create the form of its arm once again into a giant balled fist, but only one as it wasn’t big enough to conjure both. And instead of sending the fist towards us, it slammed the edge of the hill it was standing on, and the pile of junk that it formed it was coming loose.

It was a trash avalanche.

(Anim, we have to move, now!)

Anim tried to move her body, but jumping out of the way of the first attack drained all the energy her avatar had left, and we barely moved from the spot from landed in.

“I’m sorry… I guess this is far as we both go, huh?”

These were the last words Anim was able to utter as the wave of trash finally slammed over us and send us sailing over the cliff into murky grey water below.



This can’t be it, this can’t be the end. We were so close to succeeding when all the odds were stacked against it. I wasn’t just shocked, I was upset, I was angry. For what felt like the first time in my life, I felt like I had been cheated by the system. Something like this should never be allowed to happen, and my will began to rebel against the fate that awaited Anim. As my frustration and defiance of the inevitable began to surge, the door began to open just a tad. And for just a brief second, a wave of green washed over my vision, and what felt like our falling slowed down just a tad. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep us from the end in sight, and Anim’s body crashed into the ocean’s surface as cold water began to wash over us, and my vision suddenly blackened.



Dialogue & Discussion