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The whiteness of the room hurts my eyes when I finally open them. I try to talk, but all I can do is open and shut my mouth. I try to move my hand, and instead one side of my face twitches.

“You might be invulnerable to damage, but you can still be flummoxed by status effects. Good to know.”

Somebody is smoking near me and says those words. I do not know what that means. Wait! I think I remember that person.

I try to say hello.

“Hyurp?” The words won’t come out the way I want.

“Oh shit. Are you okay? It’s me, Rhynn! You’re Zavyyn. Do you remember that fellow over there?”

This guy is quite striking, visually. A mohawk with braids, I bet he could go on a kid’s lunchbox. I try to follow where he is pointing, but it feels like I am looking a million miles away and very close to myself at the same time. I vomit.

Mister Mohawk rolls me over roughly. I cough as some of the vomit is caught in my throat. Mister Mohawk pounds me on the back, and I gag until something is dislodged from my throat. I am on my hands and knees now, and I feel like I should stand up. I try but fall back down. Why won’t my legs and hands work?

“What’s wrong with him?” That’s a new voice, a pleasant tenor! Sing a song for me, Mister Tenor! Oh, I remember something about music, let’s sing a song!

My voice is wrong. It sounds bad. Maybe there was some other way for me to listen to music?

“I think he’s got a concussion. He already had memory issues, hopefully this didn’t make it worse. Fuck, I should have considered that.”

Don’t beat yourself up, Mister Mohawk, whatever is wrong can’t be that bad!

“He needs some decent combat headgear. Shit, if he’s in Twilight we shouldn’t be allowing him into combat at all.”

My vision and brain experience some lightning surges. Hey, I’m screaming. I wonder when that started? I see a computer, I know that computer, I remember that computer. I see a room, it’s so cold, so big. There are glass closets? Chambers? Each one has a shadow in it, and the room extends into infinity. And a song is playing in my ears, it is so loud. I roll around and see Mister Mohawk with his hands over his ears. He’s screaming at me

“Turn it off!”

Oh, look at that big rectangle. I think I can mess with it. Haha, there’s new music. I see a big red X. Oh, no more music. Mister Mohawk is picking me up whoops I am sitting on my bottom now. My head is floppy. Something stinks!

“Is he going to be okay? I don’t think I’ve seen a player get a concussion like this before.”

Mister Clown, where did you come from? You sound like Mister Tenor!

“I’m going to try curing status effects and see if that helps. Keep his head up, I want to make sure this goes into his brain.”

Mister Mohawk, how did you braid your fingers like that? Oooh, you’re glowing, that’s pretty!

The light fades from my eyes. Rhynn stares at me, anxiety plain across his face. I feel hands on my neck, holding my head in place. I’m covered in vomit, and my eyes burn from it.

“What the fuck just happened?” My voice is hoarse, my throat aches. It feels as though I was asleep for a long time.

“I cast a spell. I’m sorry. I thought you could handle it since you don’t take damage. I forgot it could cause status effects since people usually just die when I cast it. I’m sorry.” Rhynn is kneeling in front of me.

Hands come off my neck, and Podlihob comes into view.

“You alright, Zav? You had a really bad turn there.” Podlihob pushes his mask to the side.

“Don’t look so scared, I’m still here!”

I try to sound chipper. Maybe I succeed? Hard to tell since my voice is so strained from the pain.

“Is it okay if I try standing?” I can sit up unaided, so I should go for broke and stand. “I’d really like to shower.”

My friends help me up, and with my arms around each of their necks, we go back to the locker room. I sit on a bench and quietly disrobe. There are laundry appliances in the locker room, and Podlihob puts my clothes into one of those while Rhynn helps me to a stall. I try to close the curtain, and Rhynn stays my hand.

“You sure you’re okay?”

“It’d be better if I could get some privacy for a minute. I feel fine.”

The curtain closes.

I sink to a crouch and hug myself, hot water streaming over me. I turn my face up into the water with my eyes closed and let the filth drip off my chin and down my neck. There’s a soap dispenser on the wall of the stall. I get a few squirts and work it into a lather on the crown of my head, and then let the shower rinse it all over my body. I do that a few more times, working my way down. When I get to my stomach, a wave of nausea hits me, and I crouch again, trying to steady my breathing and get rid of the taste in my mouth. My saliva is too sweet. I hate it. After a couple minutes, I get it under control.

“Can I get a towel?” I ask as I turn off the water. An incredibly soft and fluffy towel is thrust through the curtain to me.

“Thanks.” I towel myself dry, starting again at my head and working my way down. There’s another wave of nausea, but not as severe as before. See, I’m already doing better.

With the towel wrapped around my body, I come out and sit back down on the bench. Rhynn hands me a bottle of water and says

“Small sips. Don’t drink too much of it.”

Podlihob brings over my clothes. They’re already clean and dry. Are the appliances fast, or was I in the shower a long time? I can’t tell.

“Thank you,” I say after a sip of water.

“We’re heading back to my place. You need to take it easy the rest of the night. You think you can walk?”

I stand up and take a step.

“I think I’m okay. Just feeling a little barfy sometimes.”

We leave the locker room. As we walk, I begin to feel better. This wasn’t even a big deal. I’m fine! Why are these two guys acting like something is wrong? It just pisses me off so much!

By the time we are outside, my breathing is ragged, and I am livid.

“Are you okay?” Podlihob asks.

“Yeah I’m fine and I’d be better if you guys could recognize that! It’s fine!” I scream, and then Rhynn is in front of me, and a bolt of light strikes me.

The anger fades from me, and the nausea recedes.

“Why am I so angry? I don’t know why I’m angry.” Am I crying?

We get into Rhynn’s car, and I guess I space out because suddenly we are in his apartment. I am sitting on the couch in a daze. A stone slab on the wall opposite the couch displays a show about people in a cooking competition. One of the judges is very mean. That judge should not be so mean. I do not like the mean judges.

“We need to get him status-effect immunity equipment. You know anybody with an Angel Ribbon?” That sounds like Rhynn. Rhynn, I am trying to watch this cooking competition! That orc lady made a dish that is two desserts at once, and we need to respect that!

“I used to have one before I reincarnated. I can spend some character points to get it out of my life bank. You sure we shouldn’t take him to a hospital? He’s acting weird.” Podlihob, you’re weird. You’re a handsome brooding guy, which is a boring stereotype and I rate you zero out of ten! That mean judge just said her dessert is uninspired and he’s calling her cooking pedantic. I think he’s using the wrong word and I wish bad things on him because of that.

“If he’s in Twilight, a hospital won’t be able to do anything. My status cure works on him some, so it may not be Twilight. I’ll keep blasting him with it every once in a while. Go ahead and get that ribbon. He needs it. We can do some dungeon runs later to farm you more points. We’ll probably want to take him with us and see if we can get him a level. His level may be why the status effect is messing with him so badly.”

Hey my eyes are closed and I think I can sleep.

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