|Volume||One Rainy Day in May|
|Starts||May 10, 2014 (13:14:32)|
|Ends||May 10, 2014 (13:31:13)|
|Previous chapter||Veinte Pesos|
Chapter Quote Edit
"I haunted all the Sand." - Emily Dickinson
The chapter opens up on May 10, 2014 at 13:14:32 in Los Angeles, California. Anwar has brought Xanther to Sementera, the game company he works at. It is the last place they will visit before they finally pick up the big surprise for Xanther. They take to the elevator to the top floor so they can reach Anwar's office. When they arrive, they are greeted by some of Anwar's co-workers. Xanther recognizes a few of them such as Ehtisham, Glasgow, and Talbot, but there are many other developers she has yet to meet there as well.
Xanther enters a bathroom and becomes unsettled when she sees her reflection in a broken mirror. She starts to feel as if she will have another seizure but she calms down when she starts receiving text messages from some of her friends. Her friends Kle, Cogs, Josh, and Mayumi are all asking her about what the big surprise is. She tells them she still doesn't know. Afterwards, she continues to distract herself by opening the social media app Parcel Thoughts. The contents of the app seem to be broken up into different sections, referred to as "spheres." Xanther describes the Solosphere as "contained," "known," and "safe." The Solosphere could possibly be the user's own profile page. She then went to the Amicasphere, which she describes as "semi-permeable" where the activity feeds of her friends can be seen. Overall, she still calls this sphere safe. She scrolls through all the recent posts made by her friends. After this sphere comes the Noosphere, described by Xanther as the section seen by "friends of friends of friends." This seems to be the most public section, and Xanther says it is the least safe sphere.
Still browsing through Parcel Thoughts, Xanther spots a photo that terribly frightens her. It is on an account that seems to enjoy posting gruesome content, as well as edited photos of people to make them look gory as well. Xanther refers to this sort of activity as the "Horrosphere." She sees an edited photo of her. She is with her friends Bayard, Kle, and Mayumi. The four of them are depicted as being bloody, wounded, and disfigured. When she looks at the username for the account that posted this picture, the username is "A Thick Oil // for a// Raw Stove." She knows this account belongs to Dendish.
Xanther puts her phone away and returns to the game developers. She approaches Anwar and decides to ask him what the big surprise is. After some convincing, Anwar tells her that they are on their way to get her a dog. She becomes overjoyed and sends Astair a text to let her know Anwar has told her secret. She also thanks both of her parents for the gift. Talbot hands Anwar an envelope with a check in it. Xanther asks if Mefisto is also around, but Ehtisham tells her that he isn't. Anwar lets Xanther play some of the games developed by Sementera, such as TrOUT. She is still confused as to what a game engine is, despite asking Anwar earlier, so Glasgow attempts to answer all of her remaining questions on the subject.
Anwar loads up the pet project he has been working on. It is a game he calls "Paradise Open." When the title screen is supposed to fade away, a glitch occurs that causes the game to freeze. They closed the program and re-launched it to try again. The game is still largely unfinished and has some bugs in the coding that Anwar has not figured out how to fix yet.
Eventually the group stops trying to play the game and they resume talking casually. Xanther sits by herself for a while, but she starts overhearing a conversation between Talbot and Glasgow. They are talking about Mefisto. She isn't able to fully understand what they are saying, but they talk briefly about malware and Mefisto being in trouble. Afterwards, they stop talking about Mefisto and start talking about someone named Realic. Talbot asks if Mefisto knew Realic, but Glasgow says he didn't. Realic was writing about something, but Xanther is still struggling to fully hear them so she is unsure of what they are saying by this point. Glasgow mentions Realic supposedly "finding house," or he mentions something along those lines. Talbot asks where Realic is today. Glasgow explains that Realic was recently killed in Chinatown by being ran over by someone. The accident was so bad that it left Realic in pieces. The killer was likely someone who, although Xanther can't clearly make it out perfectly, went by a nickname that sounds like "Wreck-Loose." It is actually Recluse. Glasgow says it was done as a message.
The chapter ends on May 10, 2014 at 13:31:13.