onment around him.
The trees were growing before his very eyes, just like the buildings of the city below. Three thousand feet! Jake couldnt find Ruby anymore, she was too fast. The fact that he was alone, almost one kilometer above the ground didnt help him to get a grip on himself.
Somehow, he succeeded to snap out of his irrational fear. He remembered that he just had to tug at the strip when he would be close to one thousand feet. Then he would just have to enjoy the sight and relax until his landing.
Unfortunately, he was out of luck. When he went down under one thousand feet, he tugged at his parachutes trigger, but nothing happened. His panic then gladly resumed with greater intensity. As his fall continued, he scratched his head looking for a solution, almost pulling off a few strands of hair.
When Jake finally remembered that he still had a rescue parachute, he triggered it. However, he was already very close to the ground by then. The irony was that the rescue parachute didnt work either!
At this moment, he saw himself splattering on a bus like an overripe fruit falling off his tree.
Unconsciously, he averted his eyes at the last second, covering them with his hands. His heart skipped a beat and his breathing stopped. He really saw his entire life passing before his eyes as if he was truly about to die.
Nonetheless, the crushing sound he was expecting didnt come. When he reopened his eyes, he realized he was floating a meter above the bus he was supposed to smash onto. He was miraculously alive.
He couldnt help himself but burst into laughter, tiny tears in the corner of his eyes. He felt so much relief that it seemed unreal. He became aware that despite all his laziness he had never felt so happy and relaxed.
Then he heard some stifled laughs, rapidly becoming louder and louder.
”Pfffffft! Mwahahahahaha! I got you, right?! If you could see your face when you thought you were going to die! Hahaha, you made my day. I cant stop laughing! ”
Ruby was there behind him, curled up on the ground, spasming irregularly between two fit of laughter. Her face was flushed and she was huffing and puffing between her giggles. She had totally cracked up.
Realizing it was her plan from the start, Jake couldnt help but feel a deep shame. His face also reddened in consequence. She had totally seen through him and gave him a memorable lesson.
To be honest, Jake had enjoyed his first parachute jump. He now knew that even an illusion could feel real. He was eager to try again.
”All right, I admit my defeat. Now stop laughing stupidly like this. ”He said with an exasperated face.
A few minutes later, Ruby finally calmed down. In the end, she made him try many simulation games during this afternoon. There hadnt been any new customer after her, so he didnt have to be begged to keep playing with her.
Harry and Camille didnt bother them either, probably bogged enough with their own preoccupations.
From the several simulation games Ruby made him play, he soon realized that they were all related to high-speed and freedom. Rubys favorite was a Flying simulator. Not flying in the sense of piloting planes, but a real superman flying mode. You could basically fly at any speed around the Earth. Even Jake had a lot of fun looking for his own house.
They visited many historical monuments, flew above the oceans, even tried to go up to the moon. Curious, they also visited the nuked cities. It was obvious however that the game was lacking information about these areas. Except for some ashy sands, there was nothing else in these wastelands.
When finally came the time to close the VRGF center, Jake could sincerely declare that he had passed one of the best day from his whole life. And at work, on top of that!
He said goodbye to Ruby, wishing her a safe return to New London with her aunt. Jake knew he probably wouldnt see her again before a long time and surprisingly felt a little sad deep inside him. She was still one of the ugliest girl he had ever seen, but comparatively, her inner beauty was resplendent.
Even long after she left the VR center, Jake was still lost in his thoughts. He completely ignored the notification coming from the Coaching function, still wondering himself when they would meet again. Tomorrow? In a few years? The Oracle would never answer.
[First Mission: Take care of the next customer as if it was your soulmate]
[Mission accomplished. Perfect rating.]
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