A grueling battle between a casual fisherman and a medium ranked fish was taking place for several minutes as Weise pulled and struggled with his catch. There were a few close calls as he thought the line would snap under the pressure, but eventually, he reeled in his prize.
He then unhooked it and threw it in a tub of water with the rest of his haul.
He was about to tally the score on what he expected to be his best outing yet, but the area suddenly turned dark as the world around him suddenly collapsed.
He was aware it took several minutes for the backup to power down the last safety system before diverting all remaining power to the backup lighting. Weise was disorientated from the sudden jerk of VR to IRL as it took him a few minutes to recognize the emergency lights.
If this was a normal power outage, then the pod would have enough power to sustain the safeties so the inhabitant wouldn’t have to undergo such a reality check.
This kind of situation is what pod users call a forced escape.
It took a minute for Weise to regain his bearings before hitting the escape button.
After getting out of the pod, Weise went to his picture lit desk and opened a drawer for a ‘shake and light’ flashlight. With a few shakes of it, a cone of light escaped from the business end; Illuminating the room. He then dug into the drawer again for a knife from his personal cutlery set. It was not much, but he had a thought while still in the pod. The power should not be out for this long. There are only two reasons why he can think of such a thing happening; the power went out due to a natural disaster that took out everything in the area, or there is an unintentional man-made power outage.
Weise stumbled to the door and had to force it open.
Once he was in the hall, several people gravitated to his light source.
“Professor, what’s going on?” (Intern)
Weise wasn’t sure either as he responded, “That’s not important right now. We need to get people to the stairs to evacuate the building as protocol dictates. These modern buildings have internal air circulation, so we will eventually run out of breathable air if the power does not come back on. The people with a light source will guide those without. Make sure you place a hand on someone else’s shoulder so you don’t get lost. As soon as we’re all in a line, we should conserve some of the power to the lights. A few will be on each side of the line helping stranglers or those that get separated.” (Weise)
It took a little over ten minutes for everyone to join up. Weise then led them down the hall and instructed everyone to look through the rooms for others. It took nearly an hour for them to look through all the rooms. A lot of people were injured, even one of his old associates from the original Sword Kingdom. He had a bloody forehead and unstable breathing when Weise first noticed him. However, shortly after that, he gasped for air once more before laying still.
Weise walked over to the body and covered it with a piece of cloth before moving forward.
It was much more crowded on the ground floor because of the several dozen people at the bottom of the stairs trying to push their way through. With so many lights ahead of them, panic set into those following Weise. Weise turned from saviour to obstacle in an instant as a woman pushed through and shoved him over the railing at the bottom of the stairs. The fall wasn’t very far, but it was sudden and unexpected, causing him to hit his head.
He was dizzy and disoriented as people started to jump over the railing.
He curled up into a ball to protect his important bits as they trampled him.
After a few minutes, he passed out from lack of air and the trauma.