|Frances was always searching for a way to earn an income, not having a job. She played many roleplaying games, including one named Royal Empire. One day she met with John and the two began making contact after he heard Frances was interested in earning an income. He offered her to join his company telling her she could earn a lot of money. They soon began a business relationship. Frances was given videos to listen to and found them very interesting. In one, John and a guy named Brad was telling how he joined the company. In telling about himself, he mentioned liking to play roleplaying games. This peaked Frances' interest and so later when she happened to be playing a space game she found a few character names similar to Brads. She therefore asked on an out of character channel if any of the players knew about the company that John owned. She did not immediately get a reply and did not think much of it. Awhile later she was on a landing pad with some drones and began playing around with them. She asked the drones which of them wanted to marry her and was surprised when one said, "I want to". She continued having fun with this drone and soon a starship landed where she was having fun. This as she learned later was Brad. The two began playing together, doing different game activities together and finally ended up marrying in the game. However both knew their love had grown beyond the game and talked about it. They began contacting each other out of game and their love for each other began to grow.|
closer than imagined
| 1 evening, when the game was down for repairs, frances emailed brad asking if he'd like to talk for a while.
"sure", brad had replied. "with the game down, I have nothing better to do, so"
she wrote back... so, where are you from?
brad replied almost at once, " i'm from austin, texas. what about you?"
frances quickly typed back to him that she was also from austin
"amazing," brad had written. " fancy being in the same state"
"I know!" frances smiled to herself as she wrote back.
" do you use skype?" was brad's next question
"I do!" frances told him. " my skype username is frances1989"
soon they had aded each other to skype, and were talking
but I want to talk to him!
| over dinner that night, frances and her family talked about the usual things. the state of the world, how their days had been, even plans for tomorrow.
" so," asked joseph, france's father, " what did you do today?"
"oh I spoke to brad" francis beamed at him. " brad is lovely, I think I may even be in love!"
her mother, carol, looked up from her food.
" in love?. you've known him for what, maybe 2 weeks. how can you be in love.".
"I just am" said francis. " he seems such a nice, genuin, down to earth guy!".
"maybe," said joseph, " but you have to remember he's a lot older than you, and he actually has a job. what do you do?. sit in front of your computer all day playing space RPG's."
"but I want a job too," francis interupted. " he might be able to help me find 1".
joseph sighed. "I really don't want you talking to him, he's just a bit old for you is all. anyway, you should be out their looking for work, or at least hanging out with friends. when was the last time you attended a social event... last january?"
"but I want to talk to him," said francis. " and he wants to talk to me. "
"I don't really see any harm in it" carol said. " after all, he might be able to teach her some interview skills, work behaviours, that sort of thing".
" yeah, I suppose". joseph was thinking. turning to frances he asked her, " where is he from?"
"austin," she said. "actually not far from us."
"see?" carol smiled. " she's even making friends with people in her own state".
"perhaps when I get to know him a bit better, I can invite him over" frances said hopefully
" give him a chance, girl" said joseph. " you just met him"
another journal entry
| upstairs in her room, frances checked skype for brad.
he was offline
she checked the mud, too.
he was offline
she frowned at the computer screen, turned the computer off, stood up and went to get her journal from her bedside table
she started writing " today, I talked to brad again. I found out he was from austin texas, not far from me. I even aded him to skype. my father's not sure I should be talking to him, rather I should be out looking for work. but my mother thinks it might be positive, and I think she's happy I am making friends. I love him".
she smiled at what she'd just written, then placed her journal back on the bedside table, switched off her light, and went to sleep.
next morning, she was awakened by the sound of a barking dog.
" darn dogs," frances thought as she tried to get back to sleep.
she looked at her watch, and saw that it was only 3 A.M.
" I wonder," frances smiled to herself, " if brad is online?"
quietly, so as not to wake her parents, frances climbed out of her bed, and switched on her computer
the screen lit up the room. since it was still dark outside, the screen provided the only light
she signed in to skype, and sure enough, brad was online.
frances heart skipped a beat as she clicked on his name, and waited for him to answer the call.
" frances?" came a tired voice.
" brad!", frances smiled. " how are you?".
" A little surprised to hear from you at 3 in the morning," brad said. " you?".
" I can't sleep, their's a barking dog outside my window and it's keeping me awake."
brad laughed. " you too?. their's a dog outside my window too and he too is barking!."
frances laughed to herself.
" so," asked brad, " what do you have planned for the day?."
" speaking to you, of course", said frances. " I spoke to my parents yesterday though, my dad's not sure I should be talking to you. he wants me to find work, but you know, stuff what he thinks" frances laughed again
"and what about your mom?" brad questioned.
" she thinks it's a good thing i'm making friends in my own area. she likes the idea.".
" my parents like the sound of you" said brad. " I made you out to be a really inteligent hard working girl!, so if you ever meet with them, promise me you'll tell them you have an important job like a lawyer or something".
they both laughed
" you lied to your parents", said frances. " goodness knows what they'd think of me if they knew the truth", she giggled.
" frances," brad said seriously. " I can't spend today talking to you i'm afraid, I actually have stuff to do for my company".
her face fell
"I wish I worked for a big company like you"
" you do, remember?. you're a lawyer". brad laughed. "I have to go frances, but we can talk later this evening".
" okay," frances ended the call and smiled.
that call had only made her love him even more
| frances spent the day playing on the space game, but it wasn't fun without brad- in fact it was pretty boring.
she flew her ship, did some activities, and even socialised with another group of pilots, but she really missed brad and couldn't wait to talk to him that evening
slowly but surely, the hours ticked away, and soon the time came for brad to sign in to skype.
"hi frances," said brad. " did you have a good day?."
"oh not really," frances frowned. " I spent the day playing my space game, I ttried to enjoy it, but I really missed you."
brad smiled. "I missed you too, but I got everything I needed done at the company, i'm now all yours. hey frances?."
" yes?." frances asked
" do you have a cell phone?. it might help to text sometimes when we're not near our computers, or we just want a break from using our voices" he laughed.
she gave him her cell number, and he gave her hers
" another way to contact you", frances grinned
suddenly, her bedroom door opened and in walked joseph.
quickly, frances hung up the call.
" hey frances," joseph said standing next to her. " what were you doing?."
"oh, speaking to brad, what else?"
" well, you should come downstairs and spend some time with the family. brad will be their when you get back, I worry about you frances, you're not so sociable anymore."
" will be down in a minit," she said
she picked up her cell phone, and texted brad, " family need me, be back soon. love you."
| once downstairs, joseph told her to sit at the kitchen table
across from her, she could see carol's face. it looked quite grim.
" it's brad we want to talk to you about," joseph began. " he's um, well, how can I say it, not telling you the entire truth."
" what do you mean?" frances asked him
in response, joseph handed her a page out of a newspaper
the headline read
bradley lawson takes down another website
below that, was a picture of brad and the story of how he hacked the site.
frances face went pale.
" now you understand why we didn't want you to talk to him" joseph said. " that kid clearly isn't very employable."
frances looked from joseph to the artickle, then to carol.
" joseph's right, i'm sorry frances. we don't want you speaking to brad."
"carol you were supportive last night, you even said it was good for me too.." she trailed off
" you don't want to be friends with a computer hacker. tomorrow, we're going to find you a job,."
" yes. " frances nodded as she started back up the stairs.
when she reached her room, she sat on the bed and cried.
she cried herself to sleep, in fact
the job centre
| next morning carol and joseph drove frances to the job centre
she sat in the back, her phone in her hand. she was thinking about last night's events and how best to approach it all with brad.
their was a long line of people at the job centre, and when it finally was their turn, joseph addressed the man behind the counter.
" my daughter frances is looking for a job," he said.
" whatt kind of job?" the man asked, " what you just said is a little vague."
" she likes computers," said joseph. " so maybe something like a technitian, or someone who teaches technology at a university."
the man looked through the listings
" we don't really have anything here," he said. " the closest we have is a company that is looking for someone to develop new video games for them."
" oh well, i'm not doing that" frances suddenly said. "I don't have any experience with video games, it would be pointless."
" you could learn," joseph saidd as he smiled at the man behind the desk
" so are you going to take it?" he asked
" I don't want to do it," said frances. " you can't make me work for a company that I have no interest in."
" actually I can," said joseph, and with that, he asked the man to contact the company about a possible interview.
frances stood their simmering
" my dad," she thought. " why can't he just live his life, and allow me to live mine?"
| when frances got on the game that evening, she was shocked to discover that someone had left her a letter.
please can we meet up.
I need to talk about brad
frances quickly typed a message to chat to see if rose was online
she was, and they agreed to meet at rose's apartment.
on arrival at the apartment, rose offered her tea and cake, then sat down on the sofa.
"so," she asked, " what is going on between you and brad?"
"how do you know brad." frances asked.
"because, he is my partner in and out of game. we have been for years."
frances gulped. she knew in her heart that she was brad's wife in game, and brad had eyes for no one else, or at least that's what she hoped.
" he isn't, he's mine" frances said. "he's been mine ever since I married him 4 months ago.".
"well, he's with me" said rose, and showed frances the engagement ring to prove it.
"I don't care what happens away from the game," said frances, "if you're together out of game, that's fine. but as far as the game goes, me and him, we're a thing."
frances showed rose her engagement ring, too
"I don't want you near him" said rose. "he's mine."
with that, she produced a gun and flashed it at frances
"or i'll have to use this," she said.
frances took her leave of the apartment and returned to her ship.
was brad really with someone else?. was he really cheating on her with another pilot?. she just had to find out
flying to the nearest post office, she wrote a letter to brad asking to meet with him to discuss their future together.
she checked the list of online players. brad wasn't 1 of them.
"frances?" yelled her dad. " frances?. that video game company called."
sighing, she signed off the game and rushed downstairs.
" yes dad?. what did they say.".
" your interview for your new job is next tuesday, I hope you will be dressed smartly for it."
glancing down at her night clothes, he aded " and not like that."
"yes dad," frances said as she stomped back upstairs
brad and rose
| brad was well aware of the conversation rose had just had with frances, at this current moment, rose was in brad's bedroom. they were watching final destination on dvd
" that was great," said brad. " I like your style.".
"thanks "said roose, " I'm am a bit of an expert in scaring people."
she leaned across an gave brad a little kiss on the cheek.
" I have an idea," said brad grinning. " what if it's not just scaring?. what if we actually kill frances, out of game, in real life, then we can be together forever, and she wouldn't bother us.".
"really?, " said rose, " you would kill to be with me?"
" too right I would," said brad. " anyway frances has no job, she spends all day and all night on that dam game. what would anyone care if she wasn't here?."
rose sort of smiled, as she gave brad another kiss on the cheek.
"you're a geniusz," said rose. " I love you."
"I love you too," said brad, returning the kiss, and then turning off the movie. "ffrances lives in the same area as me," he continued. " it should be easy enough to find her, wouldn't you say, rose?".
"yes," said rose. "I think it would. we just have to come up with a plan."
brad scratched his head
"yeah, i'll have to work on that" he eventually admitted. "I'm not really sure frances is ready to meet me yet."
rose smiled again, but said nothing.
" you have a plan, rose?" asked brad, noticing her smile
"no," said rose. " i'm just thinking."
"rose!" called brad's mother, " time to go home. say goodbye to brad."
brad and rose shared a look, then rose ran downstairs, leaving brad once again in his room.
he thought about calling frances, to see how she was. he'd not rang her today, and he imagined that she'd be quite worried.
he knew he had to act normal, so that frances wouldn't get a clue to what was going on
reaching for his mobile, he turned it on, and dialed frances's number.
brad and frances (dialogue)
| "hi frances", exclaimed brad, as the phone was answered.
"heey brad," said frances. " where have you been today?. i didn't see you on the game or anything.".
"busy with work," replied brad. "it's been really busy lately. oh yes, I don't have much time for the game at all."
"actually," said rances, "I was on the game today, and I met this pilot called rose. very interesting girl."
" oh, tell me about her," said brad. " is she new?."
"you tell me," said frances. " she seemed to know you, very well in fact."
brad paused. he has no idea what he was going to say next
"oh," he finally said. " that rose. she works for my company, but it was her day off today, she must have decided to play the game."
"don't give me that," said frances. "I know what's going on."
" what do you think is going on?" asked brad
"I think," said frances, " you're cheating on me with rose. rose showed me an engagement ring, and said you were together, both in and out of the game."
" well, um, we were..." he said slowly, " I broke up with her though. she didn't like it, and is trying to get back with me. but I only have eyes for you, frances, I promise."
"then explain the gun?" frances asked.
" gun?, what gun" said brad.
"rose threatened me with a gun if I cone bear you," frances said. "she loves you, and you love her."
"nonsense," said brad. " i'll have a word with rose. anyway, changing the subject, I hear you got an interview."
"yeah," said frances. " an interview for a video games company, I don't want to do that job, but my dad insists!."
" you'll like it," said brad. " you love computers, so I don't see why you wouldn't."
"good luck with the interview," he aded. "you'll have to let me know how it goes.".
"I think it will all go fine," said frances. " I just wish I had a better job."
"i'm going to grab some food," brad said. "speak to you in a while?."
| the interview for thee games company was just what franses expected it to be.
a small, dark room, consisting of 1 small table and a couple of chairs.
across from her sat the interviewer clair.
frances didn't like clair, at all. she reminded her of miss trunchbull from the movie matilda, and she was determined not to work for her.
also round the table sat mum and dad. frances didn't know why they were here, because they wern't exactly saying anything to help her with the interview.
it didn't take long for frances to get bored of clair's questions.
20 questions in and she was still being asked more and more things.
eventually, after 45 questions, clair turned to the parents and asked them to comment on how they thought frances had done.
carol, who was eager to just leave the dull interview room, said
" if she gets it, she gets it. if not, well she did okay, but I understand you have a lot of people to interview."
jjoseph, who was absolutely determined that frances got the job, started to tell clair all about video games frances had created, and how her last one was a bestseller
frances looked at joseph in shock. she'd never created a video game, she'd never even had an idea for a game.
she started to tell clair that joseph was getting her confused with someone else, but it was no use.
clair just smiled and said that it was okay to be shy about good work you had done, and told her that their's a strong possibility she'd get the jo.
"can we we leave now?" asked carol, " i'm getting a bit fed up in this room, it's so hot and so small."
"just a minit," said clair, " I have a few more things to say."
"I want," she aded, "frances to come back with a copy of her game. her best seller?. I want to check it out for myself, and showi t to some of my staff. what did you say the name was?."
"revolution," said joseph, before frances could say that it actually didn't exist. "the game's called revolutionn, and we'd be happy to bring it with us next time."
on the way home, frances questioned joseph about what he'd done.
" you know I don't have a game called revolution" frances said, " you know I don't have any game at all."
"I know," said joseph. "I do know that, but I have an idea, and that video game company won't suspect a thing.".
"I don't know why you're trying so hard, dad" said frances. "I don't want the job."
joseph just smiled and continued driving
Brad finally strikes gold.
| Brad was sitting by his window when he heard a car drive past, as he looked out of the window he got a glimpse of Francis sitting in the back, quickly he ran out of the house and jumped into his own car which he'd just bought after a very massive job had gone well, his hacking really did urn him good money and it was a job that was well payed. He and Rose might get there chance quicker than they thought. He followed them making sure that he kept a couple of cars between them and him. When he finally saw them turn into the drive way he made a note of the address went back home and called Rose.
"Hello Brad, I've missed you today."
"I know where she lives rose, saw her today coming out of a silly interview so I followed her home, we need to think about what we want to do and how. She's such a stupid girl and I have a feeling that we'll not have much problem getting to her."
| "was she alone?" asked rose, excitement in her voice
" well, no." said brad. " her family were driving her back from the interview".
" with her parents their all the time, it's going to be hard to get to her" she said.
" ah not if we go at night," said brad. " not if we sneak out, go to her address, and break her bedroom window."
" her parents will know something's wrong when they hear a great big smash" said rose. " no, we need to think of something else."
both were silent as they tried to think of an alternative plan
" I know," said brad. " we need to get my parent's and her parents alone somewhere. I could.... well, set something up."
" like a date?" asked rose. " I'm pretty sure that won't work, in fact I know it won't, your parents are married."
" no not like a date" said brad, " more like a trip out. send them off somewhere, something they both enjoy. what about computers?"
" maybe," she said. " but I still think they will get suspicious if we don't invite frances."
" then we will," said brad. " I'll look online tonight for some sort of computer exibition, ring frances and tell her that she is invited to come along, with her parents to..."
" rose," he said. " the star wars exibition on saturday. it's near here, I'm going to see if I can get tickets."
" okay," said rose. " so we invite frances and her parents to this exibition, then what?"
" don't be daft" said brad, " we'll just tell our parents we are going to look at the exibition. ask for some money to buy things, try not to sound too suspicious."
"and then, " he aded. " we get our chance."
" you're going to kill frances in the middle of a crowded exibition. that's very risky brad.". rose was starting to doubt him.
" we'll find somewhere private. the toilets. behind a tree, I don't know. just somewhere." brad sounded anoyed. " rose are you in or not. you're starting to sound like you might be backing out."
back to square 1
| unfortunately for brad, he was unable to get tickets to the starwars exibition
he informed rose on friday evening. he thought she'd be upset with him or annoyed, but she just said " what ever."
brad sighed. " rose," he said, " I'll ask you again. are you in or out?."
" I...... I...." rose tried to find her words. " maybe just uhh do it yourself?. listen brad, I'm not sure I can go through with this. I'm better than that."
" fine," brad said angrily, and hung up on her.
not far away frances was at home online playing the mud. she had realised brad wasn't online, nor was rose- but that was okay, she was in the middle of a very important mition.
2 other people from the mud had asked her to come on a space exploration with them, and not having brad to talk too, she had agreed. now she was far away from brad's apartment having the time of her life collecting artifacts from space
brad wasn't having the time of his life, brad was annoyed because his partner in crime rose had just deserted him
as he sat their thinking, he also wondered what must have been going through rose's mind
just a couple of days ago she was up for all this
and now she wasn't