Chapter Three: Voice Trouble
“C’mon, you banshee. Don’t fade on me!” I shouted into my microphone as I played Berryout 3. In game, I was trying to help this really annoying chick do ‘research’ for her book. But what she did, basically, was sit on her behind all day in her stupid shop as she sent my character out on dangerous missions that she was too lazy to do. This game was rather old—but I had gotten a bunch of requests to do this game. I suppose they just wanted to hear all the new swear words I’d make up…but, hey, it was worth it. Berryout was my favorite game series. I was planning to do it eventually on my channel, but I suppose sooner makes me happier, as well.
“Do you see this, people? Berryout Man is just trying to irritate the flip out of me. Too bad those guys didn’t have a shotgun. Maybe if they did, they could shotgun rain Berryout Man so he won’t be as stupid when he respawns.” Yes, yes, I was well aware of how this looks—I’m playing a game, by myself, and yet I talk to myself like there are other people around. Well, I suppose there will be other people around, eventually, once I upload this, but at the moment, it was just me and the game. I have a few hours of gameplay on all the games I upload, so if I skip a day of recording I still have a lot of film to upload.
I sound like such a loser. But, hey, it pays the bills. I do not question it.
“OH NO, NOT THIS AGAIN,” I stated as some raiders came around a corner. “Forget this, I don’t have enough ammo. BOOK IT,” I turned the character around and tried sprinting away from the raiders. I continued this for some time, swearing, attempting to do things but I faded each time, and attempting to explain that I was up all night and can’t think straight to the viewers. Emerald Mist Amulet (seriously, she won’t allow me to call her anything else. If I do, she won’t respond until I say either ‘Princess,’ or her full name. It’s so irritating) was doing who knows what in the apartment last night. I think there was a mouse or something, and she was using her hunting ‘skills’ to catch it. She wasn’t very graceful – from the way things were sounding, if I had to make an educated guess, I would have to say that she had no clue how to hunt anything. Well, at least it beats having a cat around.
“What in the name of water are you doing?”Emerald asked as she came out of her room. I looked from her to the clock—and what do you know. It was seven at night. Oh how quickly time flies by. I must’ve been recording for at least two hours now. I rubbed my eyes and made a mental note to remind myself to cut Emerald’s voice out of the recording when I go to edit it. I doubted that the highness herself would like to make a guest appearance in my videos. “Why do you keep fading over and over again…?”
“Because Berryout Man sucks.”
“I think you are the one who ‘sucks’, Firefly.” She stated, and I just rolled my eyes as I dodged a raider.
“Oh, bite me,” I stated without thinking, I glanced at her, the shock on her face was apparent—before she got this look in her eye, and I could tell that I was in trouble. Her expression changed from shock to disgust, almost as if she had never been requested to do such a absurd thing before. This wasn’t exactly a great impression to leave her with on her third day here.
“I could arrange that,” She stated before going back into her room and slamming the door. I’m sure that the door slamming could be heard with the mic.
“Mee-oww to you, too, Princess,” I rolled my eyes again. “Somebody didn’t get their beauty sleep.”
Several days passed since then, and I soon learned about all how Emerald has been living under a rock her whole life. You would not believe how helpless that girl is. When she needed her dress washed – I swear, that’s the only thing she wore, except for my shirt when her dress was being washed – I told her to use the washing machine and she stared at me until I pointed her in the direction. When she went over there, she took one look at it before asking me what it was. The girl really has been living under a rock. She didn’t know what real music was until I started playing some for her. She frowned and went, “This is not music,” as soon as somebody started singing.
Apparently the music she’s used to is single instruments—piano, harp, other older types of music instruments that they used to have in the olden days. She didn’t know how to work the shower, either. Thank berry she knew how to clean herself, though, because there was no way in heck I was doing that for her. By now, I was convinced that those markings on her face are tattooed there – they refused to come off, no matter how many times she took a shower. I don’t think she minded, though, she liked it.
It was the start of her second week here when the reports started up.
They were subtle news and radio reports, at first. They all said pretty much the same thing—that there was something up with the vampberries. Usually, if we heard anything about the vampberries, it was either that they attacked another mortal, or some hunting group got together and tried to take on a group of vampberries, only to end up vampberries themselves or faded. They never let the mortals know something was going on with their community, let alone that there were some issues going on within their hierarchy leadership. I instantly knew that they were referring to Emerald’s disappearance when the radio reports started. Only the news reporters didn’t know that. The vampberries were becoming desperate. Usually they always held a strong front. That they were showing cracks that they weren’t flawless…it just proved that they had exhausted all of their other options. Maybe to the point of the extreme where they would enlist in the help of mortals.
But…the question was….why did they want her back so badly?
“What are you watching?” Emerald asked. I jerked forward, fumbling for the TV remote and I shut the TV off before I turned towards her. She was leaning against the door to the bathroom.
“Just some news, Mera.” I responded. I have been calling her Mera a lot lately. Since she started living with me, I had been trying to come up with a nickname that I could call her, because calling her ‘Princess’ and/or saying her real name got extremely old extremely fast. Once, when I was saying her name, it came out as Mera instead of Emerald. Honestly, once the name was out of my mouth, I realized that, to me, she looked more like a Mera then an Emerald. Ever since then, I’ve been calling her Mera whether she likes it or not. So far, she hated it.
She frowned at me, wrinkling her nose. “I prefer Emerald Mist Amulet.”
“We don’t always get what we want, Princess.” I replied.
Oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no… I yanked at my hair, pulling it down. This wasn’t good at all. I logged onto BerryTube to upload some more videos—today’s stack of videos—and my “Berryout Walkthrough Part 25” had the most views I’ve ever received – almost a million. I clicked on it, almost astonished that it, out of everything else got the most views. I began by reading the top two comments:
“What in the name of water are you DOING?” – Best line. Evar
Which was immediately followed by the second top comment:
“Oh, bite me,”
“I can arrange that,”
THAT WAS FLIPPING LMFAO.
Oh no. I continued to scroll through the rest of the comments. Most of them consisted of “Who was that chick?”, and “Maybe she’s Firefly’s girlfriend…?” or even, “That chick is @#$^&%$ funny. Like, what is air? You need to have her in more of your videos, bro. She’s a pure genius”. After a while, all of the comments started blending together; they were pretty much all saying the same thing. But I removed Mera’s voice while editing, didn’t I? I questioned myself. Unable to believe it, I watched through the entire video, and it seemed all the more real when I heard it myself…Mera’s voice asking me what in the name of water I was doing.
I must have forgotten to edit her voice out. How could I have been so stupid?
I slammed my head back down on the keyboard. I had gone four years without even picking up another razor – but the itch to pick one up now was almost too overwhelming to resist. I needed it. I needed to punish myself. My head shot back up. I didn’t own any razors…but I had a few knifes in the kitchen that would work just nicely…
“…Firefly?” A voice asked, and I jumped, turning towards it. Mera was standing by me, looking quite confused.
“Are you alright…?” she asked, uncertain. “I heard your heart rate pick up…”
“I’m just peachy, Emerald,” I stated as I lifted my head up to look at her. How could you be so irresponsible, so stupid, Firefly? How could you? My guilt was became so overwhelming, and before I knew what I was doing, I confessed my sin to her. “I forgot to edit your voice out of the recording.”
“Er…what recording?” She asked, and I realized that I never told her what I do for a living.
“I do game walkthroughs and put them on BerryTube—a site where you can upload basically anything you want—and the day you walked in and asked me about something in the name of water, I was recording. I meant to edit your voice out so you wouldn’t get caught by your little royal buddies. The video with your voice in it has almost one million views…er, beyond one million, now.” I said, sitting up more.
“…Why would you want to upload anything to a site? I mean…what is a site?” She asked, and I sighed out of frustration before I started laughing hysterically. Once I noticed her biting her lip, I instantly stopped laughing, realizing that she was being completely serious. She didn’t like it when I laughed at her when she didn’t understand something. “Sorry. I’ll explain that later. But you might get caught because of me.”
She looked at me for a few more minutes before she slowly started shaking her head. “No, I doubt it. If I have never heard of this…’site’ before, I doubt any of the royals—my parents, the guards, Crimson included—know about it, either. My kind…my kind does not use ‘modern’ technology often. Nobody outside of the palace walls has ever heard my voice or seen my face, so, even if a vampberry were to view your…video,” she said, pronouncing video carefully to make sure she did it right, “they would not see me, correct? They would not recognize my voice, so, therefore, I think I am safe.” I suddenly flash back to the moment in the alleyway in Briocheport – the look on the blue vampberry’s face. He didn’t recognize her because of her facial features…he recognized her due to the markings. It suddenly made perfect sense. “But…could you explain this ‘site’ to me more?”
After I explained BerryTube—and the internet—to the best of my knowledge, I told her that I make money off of the videos. I get paid for every hundred views. She seemed to understand this, and the concept that with more views, I get more money.
“I do not understand why you think that would be a bad thing,” She giggled. “I am technically helping you make more money—”
“Oh my berry. That’s it,” I stated, jumping up as I interrupted her. She tilted her head at me.
“What do you mean, ‘that’s it’?” She quoted, her noise crinkling as she used the contraction.
“You, Emerald Mist, are pretty much broke. And, you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, which could actually benefit us. Before you figure out what you want to do, you need money to pay for whatever it is you want to do. I have an idea. Why don’t you do some videos with me? For every video you make with me, we’ll split the profit from it. What do you say?”
She seemed to consider this for a few moments, before smiling – showing off her fangs – and nodding enthusiastically. “Yeah, I like that idea. I appreciate the offer,”
I stuck my hand out, and when she stared at it, I grabbed her hand and shook it. “You and I have a deal, then, Mera,”
She frowned. She hated it when I called her that. “It is Emerald Mist Amulet.” She hissed at me. It took all my willpower not to laugh, or even smirk.
“That’s too long, sister. Mera it is.”