Speculation

 
 

Ac1d dashes into a house of mud. The little village set at the foothills of towering mountains looks like it’s been ripped from Afghanistan. Thin waterfalls run down the side of mountains inspired by mist drenched Thai islands. Two players drop from the top of a nearby butte, land on the house Ac1d is in with a double thud. Their footsteps echo.

“Aw man, this is no good. Think you can make it back to me?” Panda asks.
”D’know. Hang on.” Ac1d drops a viper rod in the middle of the house, crouches, readies an arrow. Come on, just peak. Just peak your dumb fa— He let’s the arrow fly as a player appears at the front door. The arrow hits center mass. There’s a shattering honeycomb effect. The viper rod spits poison. “Shit, he’s got a shield.”
”Man, this is going to be rough. They have shields on their planet, all kitted out of their minds, and we’ve got dick all.” Panda grumbles.

How can he even the odds? Two players. Have to assume they both have shields. The one he hit was a Verity. A close range semi-support Hero with decent damage output. Her ability is a pillar of light that forces enemies within 10 meters to look at it for five seconds. Her ult. causes that same pillar to emit a blinding light that silences all ability use for its duration. Ac1d being stuck in the house is about the best case scenario for the Verity. If she can plant her pillar in the house’s center he’ll be forced to stare at it while she and her partner gun him down. Then again, there’s only one way in and out of the house and the pillar does not prevent normal weapon use. No telling what the other Hero is though.

Sure as shit the Verity shows her face again, for a half second, long enough to drop her pillar smack-dab center of the mud hut. Ac1d let’s an arrow fly, but misses. The viper rod does not, but its poison only eats through shields, and not fast. Although that’s hardly why Ac1d likes the ability. The Verity activates her ult. Panda groans in Ac1d’s ear, but Ac1d chuckles. True, he can’t see his screen, but he can see his mini-map just fine.

Forced to stare at the pillar of light in this context ends up being no issue at all. He begins firing arrows straight into the light, towards the door. One, two, three. One blip vanishes. Panda starts laughing. Another blip appears, the viper rod hitting the second player with poison. Ac1d continues shooting. The second blip blinks out.

“I can’t believe that actually worked.” Ac1d chuckles. Loots the two players. “Finally got a shield. Hell yeah. Oh, dude, this one has…I’m going to come rez you, you’ll want this Banal.”
”Ah hell yeah, that’s my jam. Kitted?”
”Looked like it, I’m on my way to you.”

—x—

LBR forums.

Subject: Resonance and What it Means in LBR

BoneDry: I think the Resonance is like memory. Think about it. Lancer got taken out, but we all remember him. Some of us liked him, some of us hated him, but we all know who he was. And so does the game. I think the Resonance trees are, like, I don’t know, growing out of his memories? Or are his memories? What do you guys think?

DontPlaytheFiddle: Uwotm8…A game doesn’t have memories.

Nogglenog: A game doesn’t have memories? What about your saves? uwotmatey?

Snikshizz: @BoneDry, I’ve wondered something similar. It seems obvious we’re collecting pieces of Lancer, but why? What for? And why do the “trees” show him? He’s not the only Hero removed. Don’t forget they took out Slinger and Orphiel. Makes me fear for my beloved Deus-Ex.

Globlo: @Snikshizz, “…seems obvious…” I think you’re jumping to conclusions.

BoneDry: @Snikshizz, any ideas on why its only Lancer we see in the trees?

Snikshizz: @BoneDry. Maybe because Lancer was the one we thought about the most? The one most talked about? The Hero most in our collective thoughts?

KingLordEarl: What if its nothing and Linear is just fucking with us?

Nogglenog: @KingLordEarl. it’s* yourewelcome.jpg

ReetR33t: @Nogglenog you’re*

Nogglenog: actually no, in this case it is in fact “youre” because characters like apostrophes aren’t allowed to be saved in an image name.

ReetR33t: @Nogglenog. thisishowIknowyou’reretarded.gif.webm.jpg.png.csv.pdf

—x—

“Just us and them, bro. We got this.” Panda breathes heavy into the mic. More of the planet falls away, a message comes through saying the next destabilization is expected in three minutes. “Kind of neat how it’s not an exact thing.”
”Yeah, better than a closing circle. That never made sense to me anyways. Some kind of electric storm? One game does it and they all do the exact same thing, kind of stupid.”
”There was that game, Darwin Project, it was kind of similar to this in how sections of the map went away.”
”Oh, yeah,” Ac1d says. “Never played that.”

The two of them are running through city ruins, like downtown L.A. after “The Big One.” Nothing on their mini-maps, no shots fired, no sign of the last team. Ac1d drops a viper rod each time the ability comes off cool down, but even they aren’t finding anything.

“Fucking campers, man.”
”How much Resonance did you find?” Ac1d asks.
”Just what we got off that tree thing. Why? You? Did you find more?”
”Five pieces from one of those guys I killed back in that hut.”

They continue searching for the other team as the planet falls apart around them. Half the city crumbles away. A lake drains into the void of space. Ac1d’s shield shatters, the shield rod that dangles at his side emits gas and a bright glow. He ducks behind cover, presses a key and his Hero begins shaking the rod to cool it down.

“You see where that came from?”
”No,” Ac1d says. “Two seconds for my shield.” Another shot cracks the quiet. “I think it’s coming from 330.”
”I’ll pea—Shit.” Panda is hit, shield goes hot, a grenade lands next to he and Ac1d.
Ac1d cancels his shield shake, moves out of the grenade’s way and is shot. You Placed 2nd appears on screen. “Welp. Not too bad for our first game of the day.” A moment later the winning teams loots he and Panda.

Back in the lobby Panda sees he doesn’t have any of the Resonance he collected. “I guess you’ve got to win to keep it.”
”The Resonance? Yeah, I guess so. I wondered why the game didn’t end right when we got killed. That’s interesting. You know what it’s for yet?”
”No. I’m on the forums now. People are talking about it. No one knows though. People are annoyed you lose it if you die.”
”Kind of hard to be all that upset when we don’t even know what it’s for.”
”Yeah, but if only the winning team gets it then you’d got to figure it’s worth something.”
”True. Guess we’ll have to win to find out.”
”Guess so.”
”Another one?” Panda asks.
”Sure.”
”You good with threes? Goldantuan just got on.”
”Ugh, alright.” Ac1d groans.
”I know he’s kind of annoying, but he’s good.”
”Kind of annoying?”
”One game”
”Fine.” Ac1d agrees.