Gaming the System

(In which Greg Veder's super nerdy gamer dreams come true)

It was still there, to his frustration.

Mocking him as it hung there, ignoring gravity.

It wasn't the first one, either.

One had been there when he woke up.

It remained there when he took a shower.

It didn't vanish when he brushed his teeth, either. Even after spitting a mouthful of water at it, it didn't magically disappear, the frothy spray passing through it and splashing all over his mirror and back onto his face. Oddly enough, it did seem to jump back when he tried to lick it. Greg wasn't sure whether to take that as an insult or not.

It did finally disappear when he prodded it with his toothbrush, so that was something.

Even now, as he sat at the kitchen table, all this new one did was hover in the air a few inches over his mother's blonde head of hair, mocking him and generally being an annoying distraction from his Frosted Flakes.

Susan Veder


Lv 9

Odds that I'm hallucinating? Greg paused to think about it, raising a spoon of his favorite cereal to his mouth as he continued to stare at the semi-translucent words hanging in the air across the table from him. Words floating in the air that Mom can't see makes me wanna say yes but...

Greg thought back to the blue screen that had greeted him in his bed when he woke up.

[You have slept in your own bed. 100% HP and MP recovered.

"Home Sweet Home" Bonus applied. 15% chance of recovering from [Debilitating] wounds upon waking up.]

Okay, that one had been super weird too. But at the very least, it had the decency to vanish when he poked it.

Greg wrinkled his nose, slightly annoyed. Already tried poking the one above Mom's head when she sat down. All that got me was a weird look and a bunch of questions.

Although in hindsight, maybe trying to excuse his actions by telling his mother he was "looking for lice in her hair...uh... like a monkey!" was not the best idea he'd ever had. No Mom, I didn't get in your medicine cabinet again.

It's like she thinks I'm five or something. With a mental shrug, Greg glanced around the kitchen, not noticing anything out of the ordinary apart from some terrible wall art someone had gifted his Mom with recently. Okay, no dancing technicolor elephants. I might not have lost all my SAN points just yet.

So, if I'm not crazy, Greg's gaze flicked back to the glowing blue lettering, then how do I explain you? Unless this is some cosmic prank or something...

After a moment, Greg blinked, dropping the spoon back into the bowl as his eyes widened. This a prank, isn't it? Of course, that makes perfect sense. I'm being pranked… by a cape! His eyes widened further as he pieced together the game-like quality of the pop-ups and which cape would - or could - go to that extent for a prank. Holy crap, it has to be Uber & Leet. It's Uber & Leet!

Blue eyes lit up with barely-repressed glee as Greg forced himself not to let out a happy squeal. As a long-time watcher of their web show and periodical editor of their PHO wiki page, Greg was naturally a huge fan of the gaming and pop-culture themed cape duo. Oh my God, this is the best day ever!

After taking several excited breaths, Greg managed to calm himself down, eyes lowering somewhat as his mouth curled upwards into a self-congratulatory grin. "Okay, come on out, guys!" Greg shouted out. "Joke's over! Love the idea, by the way."

"Greg, sweetheart, who are you talking to?"

Greg snapped back to reality, suddenly aware that this might not be a prank at all and that his mom was still in the kitchen, sitting right in front of him.

"...Uhh, nothing, Mom. Just practicing for Drama club."

"Wait," His mother frowned slightly, a few strands of blonde hair falling into her face as she cocked her head to the side to fix him with a curious stare. "You're in Drama?"


Blue eyes narrowed suspiciously, pinning him to his seat.

"I-I mean, no... Wait, Drama, yes! I m-meant, yes! Yes!" Greg mentally slapped himself as he finished stumbling through the sentence, his mom's expression already flashing between confused, annoyed and suspicious. The worst combination.

Raising his arms in a weak shrug, he gave his mom a sheepish expression and tried again. ""

"Greg Lucas Veder," his mom paused, her eyes still pinning him to his seat with the glare all moms seemed to perfect, "what have I said about lies in this house?"

"Aww, M-mom, it's not…" his voice already cracking as he tried to explain away the weirdness of the last thirty seconds.

"I swear to God, Gregory" Mom didn't let him finish, finger raised and pointing right in his nose. "If you lie again, no games for a week."

Greg sunk down in his seat, a groan on his lips.

Crap on a cracker.

A/N: I started a new fic. Haha! Instead of finishing up the promised last chapter of my current fic, I decided to be a raging dick and write something new. Ain't I a stinker? In all honesty, though, I'm working on that chapter. It's just longer than I expected. Anywho, I'm trying something new. I've always wanted to write a Gamer Fic and Greg is enough of a blank slate that I feel like I can work with what I've got and make something great. I think I've just been getting tired of my old fic. I set a lofty goal and wanted to write a doorstopper of a fic with heavy arcs, escalation and SERIOUS BUSINESS.

However, I forgot how much work that requires and I'm also kind of a lazy fuck when I get tired of doing something. Anyway, I'll be updating this sporadically. Have fun reading it.