120 Boundless Origins - Cobra
Cobra took off his Virtua Helmet sharply and clutched it tightly. Nowadays, nothing scared him more than having to leave the digital world to re-enter the real one, despite the relatively short amount of time he had been in Boundless.
Cobra slowly rose from his luxurious King-size bed, the canopy that hung over it shielding his eyes from the sunlight that bled through his stylish ceiling that had a circular slab of marble in the center.
His room was carpeted from end to end, it's size easily dwarfing most studio apartments. Cobra could even use his room to do a daily job or play a small football game with friends.
He had bookcases, tables, coffee tables, sofas, three TVs and a computer with triple monitors.
Cobra's room was even better than a high class presidential suite in most upper-tier hotels, which most normal people could only dream of. Yet his face showed no satisfaction from living in such a space, only chagrin.
Cobra entered his bathroom, which had a huge Jacuzzi, a tub and two showers. The amount of space in there was amazing, not to mention the extremely wide variety of toiletries he could choose from.
He entered the Jacuzzi and set it to 'warm'. Cobra bathed in the mild waters as he curled his body up into a ball.
His usually tied hair was let free, and it was quite long, as it reached his lower back. It seeped into the water and floated lightly on the surface, adding a certain charm to the already gorgeous fellow.
Cobra was handsome, whether you were into guys or not. He had that symmetrical perfection that simply left one feeling like they were seeing something good. It was the type of handsomeness that could stop a baby from crying or make an animal feel trusting of him.
His body was extremely lean and toned. He was a type of slim macho that wasn't bony, so he just barely passed the scale of what was appealing.
With his oval, droopy eyes and his thin pink lips, Cobra would make men and women alike feel something stirring. He wasn't as confusing as Vano, who could totally seduce you without you realizing that his 'sheathe' was actually a 'sword'.
Cobra cleaned himself up and left the bath.
Since he woke up, he had not made a sound, nor had he even smiled.
He came out of his bathroom naked to find three young female maids placing his attire for the day down on his bed. When they saw the naked Cobra exit, they did not blush but their eyes ogled his form with hunger.
However, etiquette had to be observed, so they maintained gentle and subservient expressions, only using their peripheral vision to check out his package down there.
They all bowed and greeted Cobra.
"We greet the Young Master!"
Cobra simply nodded and waved them away, to which they obeyed with obvious reluctance.
Cobra wore the clothes that had been laid out for him. It was a turtleneck long-sleeved shirt that was black in color. Along with it were thigh-length red shorts that displayed a healthy amount of his smooth legs.
Coupled with his grey and blue slides, Cobra could challenge Draco to a battle of fuckboy fashion mastery.
Cobra exited his large room and walked along a well-furnished and slightly narrow hallway that was air-conditioned from beginning to end, just like his own room.
One could only feel trepidation at the electricity bill these fellows racked up…
Eventually, he came to a large living room where he saw an older gentleman and a middle-aged woman seated together while chatting lightly and with smiles.
When they saw him, their eyes brightened.
"Haha! Come now, my good son! Come and sit beside us and chat, what do you think?"
Cobra's father had a distinct British accent as he waved to his son. His face was full of wrinkles and smile lines, his thick grey mustache twitching as he smiled widely.
His eyes were a coppery color and his skin was a healthy light tan. His hair was grey and slicked back with a very good gel, as it made it glisten in the light.
He wore a light grey long-sleeved shirt with a blue vest over it. His trousers were tight-fitting and were a deep black in color, contrasting with his light blue loafers.
Despite being of the older generation, it was clear that Cobra's father was fashionable. His shirt and trousers weren't the usual baggy type but tailored and fit his well-built frame.
For an older man, he had no paunch or any flab. He was fit and strong, looking like one of those older men in fitness magazines. He also wore a nice silver Rolex that was at least $30,000.
His wife was around his age, also retaining quite the youthful figure despite her age. She wore a long red dress that was comprised of a Victorian-era corset, which outlined her good figure and full breasts.
Apart from her brooch and necklace, she also had quite a bit of jewelry on her body. Her face was oval and slightly think, with soft round eyes and a small nose. Her auburn hair was neatly done into a crown braid and one could see a few wrinkles on her face, but most of them were smile lines.
She also smiled lovingly at her son and laughed when she saw his embarrassed expression. Her bright blue eyes sparkled mischievously.
For that matter. Cobra dropped all his coldness and became really gentle.
"Yes, Father. Hello Mother."
He greeted them both with a light bow before sitting opposite them.
"How are you, Astarte? I heard from Darian that you've been spending all your time in this popular new game called… Boundless?" His father, Franklin, asked him this with a slight frown.
It wasn't that he disapproved or anything, he just found it strange that Astarte would be so immersed into a mere game.
"Well Father, the thing is that this game is really special. It's frankly, revolutionary."
Cobra smiled when he was referred to by his true name, but he felt even more excited to share his growing love for Boundless with his parents.
"Oh? You seem to like it so much, Astarte. Tell us more about it." His mother, Freya, asked with a raised brow.
"Well, it features FIVR - Fully Immersive Virtual Reality. This is a field of technology where there is an electrical and biological connection between the brain and the Virtual World in question."
"This allows the user to feel as close to being in reality in the virtual world as possible. You would feel, see, hear and taste just like you would in the real world, without being able to disturb your real body's surroundings."
"Previous games mostly had between 10% to 40% Full Immersion, which seemed immensely impressive at the time, according to research. However, this new game breaks boundaries since the Immersion rate is 100%!"
Cobra leaned forward and spoke with an excited tone.
"It means you would feel everything! It is no different from being in the real world!"
His parents' eyes widened as questions formed in their minds, but Cobra didn't allow them to start.
"Most older FIVR games - just like most technology nowadays days - rely on an Artificial Intelligence to automate the management of the games in question, but most of them were very stale and limited, according to research."
"However, this AI in charge of Boundless is so unique and through that, some have begun to speculate that it is… alive!"
"What?!" Franklin and Freya shouted out in fear, but Cobra still plowed on.
"And that is just another side aspect. The biggest allure… the biggest draw of Boundless that is almost unspeakable to consider…"
Cobra's voice became lower and lower, and his parents couldn't help but lean in with anticipation and expectation.
"There is time dilation in the Virtual World. One hour out here is four hours in there."
Cobra dropped this bombshell with a light smile. He didn't need to spell the true meanings and consequences of such things to his parents, they were not blockheads.
The expression on Franklin and Freya's faces morphed so many times within a minute that it was quite comical to see.
Eventually, the air around them became cold as their faces became sharp. The genial atmosphere around them disappeared and the once kindly old couple became like predators.
"Astarte, what is your assessment?"
Cobra smiled and nodded to his parents, seeming pleased with their personality shift.
"I have investigated deeply through the Cartel, but their information gathering is truly limited. I would prefer to work with the Espio Group, but it is too hard to infiltrate their ranks compared to the Cartel."
"What I have discovered though, is that the studio behind the game is a shell company at best. They have no workers in their main office and none of their equipment is located there. They do have a lab in the business district, but the first fixer to take on the job reported that the job was impossible."
Franklin scoffed. "What limits a common fixer, might not limit us."
"I agree, father. However, the files state that this particular fixer… was a Control master."
Cobra's expression was strange here because he only knew one Control master in his life that might be the fixer, but he dared no share Draco's details just yet.
He harbored no ill will and greatly respected him and his terrifying soulmate, but he would have to be objective about certain things when it came to business and his family.
Franklin and Freya almost shouted out when they heard Cobra state that the fixer was a Control master. If such a person reported such a case to be impossible to complete, then just who could complete it?
Draco knew that doing this would change the timeline greatly, as many fixers who were supposed to die would survive, but he didn't want anyone disturbing the AI or GloryGore labs just yet.
Freya took a deep breath. "Well done, Astarte. Keep us updated at all times and if you need anything let us know."
Cobra smiled. "Yes, Mother. I'll be taking my leave now."
Franklin and Freya lost their edge as they became genial again as if their previous dangerous selves were naught but a mirage, a thing of the mind.
"Mhm. Go on, son."
Cobra exited the room and sighed lightly.
He was thankful for his parents' continued support in everything he did. Some parts of his upbringing under them were rough and harsher than other kids, but it had helped forge him into the person he was now.
As the only male heir of their family, he was the inheritor to everything. His place in this family was second only to his parents, and even they deferred to him at times, which made him feel even more fulfilled and respectful to them.
Cobra's life was idyllic in some aspects and harsh in others, but it was overall pretty great.
Except for one thing…
"Oh? Is that my little Astarte?"
A silky smooth feminine voiced echoed down the narrow hallways that were suddenly conspicuously absent.
Cobra froze when he heard that voice, his heart beginning to beat erratically as fear and panic assailed him.
He turned around to see a slightly older woman who looked to be in her late twenties walked down the hall towards him, her thick and wide hips swaying left and right like the pendulum of a father clock.
She was amazing visually. She looked remarkably similar to Freya, only that her crown braid was reddish-gold and her eyes were a copper color like Franklin. She was about as tall as Cobra if not slightly taller, and her breasts spilled out of her tight one-piece dress.
It's low neckline and extremely short hemline barely made it such that she was covered. She was dangerously close to being naked with how much skin she displayed, which would set one's inner fire alight.
Her skin was extremely creamy and lush, telling one of intense skincare throughout her life.
Then again, like her parents, she only drank 1st Grade NuSmoothies, so she would age slightly slower than the average folk due to the lack of impurities in her daily uptake.
Her breasts were round and at least a D-cup, which looked extremely soft from where Cobra was standing. Her backside was quite pronounced, though not as much as Rina, Maria or Zaine.
Draco and Rambunctious would rate it as A- grade at best.
She wore black opera gloves and fishnet stockings, which added to her mature and sophisticated sensual appeal.
Her face was oval like her mothers, and her soft red lips were curled into a vicious and smug smirk.
Cobra took a step back in fear when he saw her.
His legs began to tremble as she came ever closer, her eyes narrowing as a bright beam of light shot out of them.
"My sweet Astarte, why do you avoid me nowadays? You're always in that strange game of yours all the time. Do you hate me?"
She stood before Cobra with a sharp glint in her eyes, her voice lowering slightly in volume.
"N-No… I… I just…"
Cobra stuttered as he spoke, his mind roiling in fear as he thought up ways to escape.
She got closer to him, bringing the scent of her perfume which smelled slightly like a fresh apricot.
"Astarte, I heard that your game is quite popular and boasts some great features. Would you mind if I joined you?"
She asked with a thoughtful tone.
"NO!" Cobra screamed without thinking.
His sister froze for a second before her face became harsh and malicious. "It seems like you have begun to forget yourself, Astarte. You are in dire need of… reeducation."
Cobra screamed as he tried to flee, but he was quickly overtaken by his big sister, as she flipped agilely in the air before him. She cut off his path of escape in one move, causing him to fall on his ass in fear.
Truthfully, Cobra was much stronger than her. However, his prowess was stifled by his innate and instinctual fear, which had been carefully cultivated by her all his life until she was sure he could never break free of her hold.
His sister, Bella, grabbed Cobra by his collar and dragged his handsome face near her beautiful countenance, her voice low and dangerous as she spoke.
"Astarte, it seems like I haven't trained you well enough all this time. Since you want to spend so much time in that game of yours, I will have to fit a lot of…'loving' into the schedule when you come out."
Bella licked her lips as her body began to flush and her excitement and arousal rose.
"Don't worry my sweet little brother, Big Sister will be gentle as always."
Cobra felt his heart turn to dead ashes.
It wasn't that Cobra was uninterested in women, but rather that the trauma and abuse he had suffered from his sick and twisted older sister had made him distrust and dislike females in general. Rather finding romantic interest in men.
As she continued to spew her nonsense, Cobra's mind traveled to his time in Boundless, when he was genuinely happy and free with his new guildmates and those four idiots.
He thought back to the training and teachings the Lady Boss had imparted on him, as well as her confidence in his prowess. Since they were both assassins, she had focused on him a lot.
He thought back to the time he had been trained on how to maximize his skills in the game world of Boundless by Draco, the pinnacle of power and skill in Cobra's mind.
Suddenly, he trembled.
In his mind's eye, he saw both Draco and Riveting Night standing together on a platform above him. They looked down on him from there, their eyes callous and disappointed as they gazed at the weak and pathetic him.
"I had higher hopes for you, Cobra. You were destined to stand by my side as an equal, yet you force yourself to be a worm under the foot of someone weaker than you."
Riveting Night also spoke a few sharp words.
"I am also ashamed to admit that you were trained by me. Such a weak and cowardly mind is not meant to be among the First Members of Umbra. Don't ever let me see you again."
Cobra's heart fell.
It was among the members of Umbra that he truly felt like he fit in. His parents were great to him, but they would scorn him if they knew of his sister's superiority over him.
They only treated him well because he was the heir apparent and seemed competent, but only he knew the suffering he was going through.
With Umbra, he didn't have to put on a fake face. He could be himself, especially around his fellow Generals.
But in order to reach his maximum potential, this absurd weakness of his was intolerable. He would have to shed it like the weight it was if he wanted to soar to the heavens.
With red eyes, Cobra took a breath as he bit his tongue hard enough to draw blood.
He reached out to the Draco and Riveting Night in his mindscape, shouting out with all his might.
"Wait! I deserve to be part of Umbra! I will conquer all my fears! I will break all the shackles that hold me back! Just wait! Wait for me!"
His voice was desperate but resolute, like a man going to face his final battle without full certainty but with maximum bravery.
Cobra noticed that they had disappeared from his mind's eye. As he wondered where they went, he felt two different hands on each of his shoulders, as Draco and Riveting Night stood beside him.
"Welcome back, Cobra. This is the real you."
"Go forth and deal with your obstacles. We have a world to conquer in Boundless."
The two dissipated into smoke as Cobra's unfocused eyes became sharp.
Bella, who still held him up with a face of desire, would never have expected her domesticated little brother to punch her right in the face with all his force.
She flew back and crashed into a small table with a vase on top near one of the columns of the hallway, blood spurting out of her mouth.
Bella clutched her bruised cheek in shock, as she stared at the cold and enraged Cobra.
Her seductive and suppressive tone was gone. Instead, it was the voice of someone who was scared and heartbroken.
"Do not approach me ever again you degenerate. I despise you."
Cobra spat those words out with all the pent up hatred and indignation he kept inside, all his life as he turned away to return to his room.
Now that he made the decision to overcome this self-imposed obstacle, he felt free and light. He moved along the hallway with a confident and powerful gait, his mind long cast into the digital world where he belonged.
Cobra did not have the Void of Perfection, so he failed to notice that his sister's shock had disappeared, being replaced by an intoxicated expression as she gazed at his back.
Beneath her, one could see a clear puddle begin to form as her skin flushed red.