Another Day in the Retirement of Me

"Bingo!" Katy exclaimed, slapping her pieces down on the board.

"For the hundredth time," Stacey said in a clearly forced tone of sanity, "We’re playing scrabble."

Katy blinked down at the board, "Oh, right. Scrabble!" She exclaimed

"What kind of a stupid game doesn’t have dragons anyway?" Rachel, sitting on the other side of the table murmured.

Just then the door to the small game room opened and in stepped a person who clearly did not belong there. For one thing, she was young, no older than fifteen probably, she also probably had never worked a day of her life and that did not bring one to retirement very quickly at all. She paled visibly as Rachel shot her a glare and Katy and Stacey tried to control their amused expressions.

"Hi, I… I’m back." Sonita said meekly, walking over to the table.

Rachel snorted slightly, feeling the top of her cane with feigned absent-mindedness, "At least you can’t possibly scare the game pieces away."

"I already said I was sorry!" Sonita exclaimed self-righteously.

"Yeah, whatever." The old woman replied with a bored motion, "If you want to be here so much, have a seat."

Sonita nodded and timidly slid into an empty chair at the table. She looked down at the scrabble board and was appalled to see such words as sword, saboteur, orcs, and EXP—she wasn’t sure what that last one meant, but it couldn’t be good. Old ladies were getting less and less sweet all the time.

Breaking her eyes away from the game board, Sonita noticed Rachel glaring at her once again. Caught off guard, she was about to say something but was cut off when the old woman spoke first, "Can you keep a secret?"

"I—what?" Sonita asked.

"A secret—you know when you don’t tell people about something. Can you keep a secret?" Rachel repeated with poorly concealed impatience.

"I know what a secret is." Sonita said dryly, then added: "Yes, why?"

Rachel nodded to the other two old ladies and the three of them promptly set to motion. It might have been impressive the way they positioned themselves around the room in a military like setup… It might have if they had moved at a rate even slightly exceeding that of an injured snail.

As it was, Katy wheeled herself over to one door, stopping to pant after every motion, Stacey quietly made her way to another substantially faster and Rachel crossed the short distance to the television managing to hit everything even conceivably in her path with her cane—several times.

"All clear over here." Stacey commented after a quick peak out the doors.

Rachel looked at Katy at the other door who was straining to look through the window. Finally giving that up, she jumped from her chair and poked her head out the door as well, "Clear over here, too." She reported, resuming her seat.

Rachel nodded and, bending over, extracted something from the cabinet below the TV. Having found what she needed, the old woman started fiddling around behind the TV. Sonita watched all this in growing confusion wondering what a couple of old ladies could possibly want to keep secret—not to mention what Rachel was doing to the television.

Shortly, Rachel removed herself from the mess of wires that was behind the TV and gleefully positioned herself back in front of it, dragging a nearby chair over so she could sit down. Stacey was already seated nearby and Katy was just finishing the apparently laboring process of wheeling herself over to the other two. Sonita wandered over as well, dragging along her own chair to sit by them.

Rachel grinned in anticipation, flipping a switch on the box which Sonita assumed had been pulled out of the cabinet.

"What is it?" Sonita asked as an image of floating boxes suddenly appeared on the screen.

The three old women turned to her in shock. Rachel blinked dumbly before recovering herself, "You’ve never seen a Playstation before?" She questioned abhorrently.

"Sure I have," Sonita said, "They’re about this big and—"

"Ha!" Rachel cut her off, "That’s not a real Playstation. That’s a… A… Crappers, I can’t think of a witty remark to that." She shrugged her disappointment off a moment later, "Anyway, it’s not a Playstation. This is a Playstation." She proudly extended her hand to motion towards the largish box sitting on the floor.

"Technically, it’s a Playstation 2." Stacey added.

"All hail the Playstation 2." Katy said, her voice mockingly humble.

"That’s a Playstation 2?" Sonita asked skeptically, "Looks more like an overgrown paperwei—"

Before she could even finish the sentence, Rachel’s cane came down hard on her head. "Ow!"

Rachel was frowning at her deeply, "Yes, this is a Playstation 2 and we will not insult the Playstation 2. It has brought much amusement over the years."

"Jeez, sorry." Sonita mumbled, "How does it work, anyway?"

Rachel smiled, in good humors once again, she pulled something more out of the cabinet and handed something to Stacey and Katy while keeping one for herself. "I shall show you." Rachel said by way of answer, putting a large disc into the box.

After what seemed like a long time to Sonita, the screen changed, and after an even longer time a menu came up: New – Continue. A flash of light clicked on the Continue option and the screen changed once more—this time to a Loading… screen.

A few moments later—made long by the growing anticipation of the room’s occupants—the screen changed again revealing three characters, each in it’s own corner of the screen (the extra corner remaining black). The characters flashed their swords (lance or really big, heavy looking hammer as the case may be) experimentally before starting off in a random direction that Sonita was sure held some importance.

A few short seconds later the characters began to meet opposition as random enemy characters appeared from nowhere (or someplace they were conveniently positioned nearby) and began an aggressive onset of the three playable characters. The old women didn’t care though, merely sliced through the enemy characters with their weapons; sending them to the ground only to disappear after a brief, graphic display of blood and gore.

Sonita blinked and wasn’t sure whether to be impressed or horrified.

"Hahaha! I defeated an officer!" Rachel declared haughtily moments later.

Sonita watched—entranced or appalled—as the three characters made their way through the map, finally coming to the boss. After a short cinematic (surrounded, of course, by long loading times) the characters rushed forward fearlessly to attack the enemy.

All was going well until Stacey suddenly started wheezing.

Rachel barely glanced up, "You okay, Stace?"

She was only answered by wheezing and shrugged, "It may not be a yes, but at least it’s not a no. Let’s take him down, Pip!"

Katy nodded, pressing buttons on her control frantically. Sonita eyed Stacey warily, wondering if she should run for help. As luck—or anti-luck—would have it, that’s exactly when a nurse decided to peek her nosey little face into the room.

She gasped at the sight. One old woman sat in front of the TV hyperventilating while the two on either side of her laughed maniacally, viscously assaulting their controllers, and slightly behind all three sat a very nervous looking teen.

The young woman stormed over to the four, Sonita turned in surprise, but neither Rachel nor Katy took their eyes from the screen, and Stacey was too busy wheezing to notice.

"Rachel!" The woman’s voice held vast authority, and the two old women still actively participating in the game froze—Rachel subtly pressing the PAUSE button on the controller to stop the game. "I’m surprised at you!" The nurse continued. She paused thoughtfully for a moment before continuing, "Well, not really surprised," She amended, "But still! You know you’re not supposed to be playing these games! Just look at what it’s done to Stacey!"

Rachel meekly allowed her eyes to turn to her still wheezing friend. Recovering herself, the old woman shrugged, "She would’ve worked through it eventually."

"Or fainted like last time." Katy added.

Rachel scowled, "Yes, very conveniently hitting the power button as she fell off her chair, too, thereby nullifying all our progress."

The nurse rolled her eyes, "Katy, up!" She ordered, I need to get Stacey out of here." Grudgingly, Katy rose from her chair. Sonita helped the nurse move Stacey into the wheelchair and she started out the room, "Come on, you two are coming as well."

With a few more grumbles, the remaining two old women followed the nurse from the room. Sonita blinked after them, still momentarily stunned. She shrugged and turned to put the Playstation back where she had seen Rachel get it from.

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