Chapter 11 - What Remains In The End

The city's street lamps and traffic lights eventually went back on. Maybe there's a generator in the city for those. It can't be the power plant, that thing's completely destroyed. Traffic resumed and we drove back to the shopping mall.

"So uhh, your car's still in the parking lot, by the way." Valerie told me while we got out of the truck.

"Oh right, my car..." I had almost forgotten that I left it parked in the mall.

"With the power outage, the street lights could still malfunction. Best to play it safe and drive it home during the day." Ryan added.

"Yo guys… That was INSANE! Is this real life? Did all those people in Perfect World just die?! Was Pit .exe really-" My friend paused.

"He's gotta be dead now, all of them… Damn, he finally got to fly by himself then he died in the fire!..." Said my friend.

"Pit always wanted to fly, didn't he…" I took one more glace in the direction of the power plant and sighed.

"That might've been their first and last time breaking free from their games, but they defeated their 'bad guys' and got their revenge. Maybe their souls can rest now, if they have souls..." Said Ryan.

The sky above us was pitch black, but the stars were shining brighter than ever. Was this because half the city lights were out? Or could it be that the corrupted game characters became stars themselves? In the distance, we could see that the scorched power plant has been extinguished.

"... Well, we can stay in the game store till morning. Most places are without power, but I've kept a backup generator for this very moment." Valerie said proudly.

"Gosh, Valerie. Did you prepare for an alien invasion too?" Said my friend, jokingly.

"Aliens already live among us, they have no plans on invasion." Valerie replied.

"Woah, really? They are!?" My friend said in shock.

"Haha! No, I was kidding. Don't believe everything you hear, it could get you into some serious shit one day." Valerie said sternly and blankly.

We started walking through the mall, all the store's lights were off. Then we arrived at the game store with its lights on, Valerie opened the locked doors. After moving the large cabinet to enter the secret room, we sat down at a table and cracked open some drinks.

Sharing laughs and conversations as if we're old friends reunited, it's strange to think we only met Valerie and Ryan yesterday. And I haven't seen my friend in so long. It still feels like I just played that used game and stumbled upon its horrors, but that was 7 years ago. Life goes on, but memories and experiences we hold close stay with us throughout our lives.

Soon enough, it was morning. We used cell phones and the computers to tell time since there were no windows to let in sunlight. Valerie went on the Dark Web again.

"Hey check this out, those web pages are gone!" Valerie turned around in her chair to tell us.

The Tor Browser had "Perfect World" in the search, everything below was just related searches that had nothing to do with the organization. There will be no more mysterious video games terrorizing it's players. At least not from Perfect World.

"Man, Pit .exe deleted EVERYTHING. Heheh, he'd make a good cyber criminal if he wasn't an AI." Said Ryan.

My cell phone got a notification from the local news app. I opened the article.

UNEXPLAINED AND SUSPICIOUS EXPLOSION AT ELECTRICAL POWER PLANT!

At about 2:12 AM this morning, the city's Electrical Power Plant suffered a massive explosion. The city will be without power until backup generators are installed. Though buildings with Solar Power and other renewable energy sources should be up and running.

Instead of just collapsing, the Power Plant sunk into the ground. Investigators find that there was architecture and an organization beneath it. They have reason to believe it was an illegal underground technical facility.

There were various burnt video games among the computers and devices. Recently there's been an incident of a young boy's death, supposedly caused by playing an abnormal video game. Our investigators speculate this facility was involved, but there is no confirmation. For some reason, all the working hard drives they dug up had no data. An estimate of 300 dead bodies are down there, and there are no known survivors.

"Heheh, 'no known survivors'. They have no idea... Let's keep it that way, so we don't get interrogated." Valerie said.

"Yeah that would suck. They won't believe us if we said the .exe's caused the explosion!" Said my friend.

"Oh definitely, they'll think we're crazy… Well the sun should be up by now. You can leave anytime. I assume you have responsibilities of your own?" Valerie asked.

"Actually I do. I'm not sure if there's work with the power outage, but I could also use a shower." I said.

"Me too, but first we should get some grub from anywhere with a working stove." Said Ryan.

"Good idea, I drank some sodas but I should eat some actual food…" Said my friend.

"How 'bout you three go on ahead, I gotta do something in this room. Afterwards, I'll call Ryan to ask where you went and I'll meet you there. Sounds good?" Valerie asked.

"Sounds like a plan, Val... Do you two like Spicy Buffalo Wings? I know this great place but we'll have to see if they're open." Said Ryan.

"I see you have good tastes, my dude!" My friend said, and I went along with them.

We arrived at the Buffalo Wings restaurant, luckily it was open. A lot of other places were closed. Eventually Valerie called Ryan, walked over, and we all ate spicy wings together at a table by the window.

A usual day at work and reading that newspaper article lead to an unbelievable adventure. We probably saved a lot of people from that evil organization and made two new friends. We also witnessed the .exe's in action, and we saw Pit .exe… They're gone, and so is Perfect World...

Valerie was staring out the window for a long time. I was about to ask what she's looking at, but I decided to look myself.

There were two pigeons outside the window. Pigeons are all over the city, common birds you see everyday...

"Do you like birds?" I asked Valerie.

"Kind of… Is it just me, or do they seem 'familiar' to you?" She asked.

The two pigeons both had red eyes. One was an all-grey pigeon, clean feathers and somehow it looked a bit angry. The other was a white pigeon, but it was dirty and it's feathers were all messy. It seemed to be happy when I looked at it. The white one walked closer, staring back at me with fluffed up feathers.

Ryan and my friend faced the window as well. None of us spoke, we just watched the two birds on the other side of the glass.

After a while, the grey one tapped the white one with its beak. The white one pulled a clean feather off it's back and placed it on the windowsill. They both flew away together, and then I realized what Valerie meant! Those birds WERE familiar! I wish I had noticed sooner!

Valerie smiled at the sight of those birds flying towards the sky.

"Heheh, those birds… Reminds me of-… Nah, that's impossible…" My friend said.

"After what just happened last night, who knows? Maybe it was?" Said Ryan.

"Ehh, they were alive because of codes and software. They had Artificial Intelligence, but I don't think they were really 'alive'..." I said, but without confidence.

I continued to watch the birds until they vanished into the clear blue sky. Then I looked down to the windowsill, the feather wasn't there anymore...

Outside the window, somehow, was a Kid Icarus Uprising 3DS game cartridge. Nobody walked over and left it there, it wasn't there before, and the feather wasn't even on the ground.

I'd have to be imagining this or just hallucinating, maybe I'm more tired than I thought, there's no way that just happened...

"Right?"

END

(Author's Note: My apologies, I took a longer time to finish the last chapters. Honestly I don't know if I enjoy it as much as before. I'm picking up new hobbies and fanfic writing takes a lot of time, it may not be my thing.

But I got a few explanations of the story that I couldn't explain in-story.

When Perfect World's Leader had only 3 bullets - That's because if Valerie disagreed to work for them, he'd force her anyways. They'd probably torture her until she does or kill her another way. But they didn't plan to kill Valerie, despite threatening to kill all 4 of them. He loaded the gun in the other room while getting a knife to cut Valerie's ropes off the chair.

Valerie falling from the shattered glass elevator - It would've been the two protagonists, but I changed it to Valerie because if she programmed Pit .exe with a command like "kill all Perfect World Affiliates", she'd be one of them, as a former worker. It's also possible that Pit .exe shattered the glass elevator on purpose to speak with her in the 'void'. Otherwise he'd die without ever meeting his creator. And I basically made the opposite of the cannon KIU ch. 5 scene where Dark Pit attacks Pandora straight away, lol.

Now this is the very end, I hope I don't make a 4th. This fanfic revealed the true antagonists and everything's back to normal, except for the KIU game on the window. They probably take it home and play it as a normal game. I had an idea that Valerie makes a game thing with an interactive talking Pit so he'll never be lonely talking to all the store customers, but I thought "no, their souls will transfer to birds instead."

Thank you all for reading this fanfic to its end! I had a lot of fun in the process but I guess I'll say I'm taking a break from it. See you in the next story!)