A/N: I finally got around to updating this story to it's full length with corrections and such fixed so it should read smoother. It took me two days but I went through each chapter and I hope it's a better read now than before. It is now identical to the Wattpad version. Enjoy!
It was a monster of a building. Twenty stories high and yet no one was allowed past the first two except for those in on business; not including employees. Vincent stood just outside the glass doors in the rain tightly holding onto his umbrella and gazing up the length of the Sentient Banking building. In his hand he held a phone, from which a voice was coming through. "Vincent? Hello? Is everything okay over there? Vincent?" His thumb swiped the red icon at the bottom of the screen, abruptly cutting off the frantic call. "Everything's fine."
Vincent withdrew from the judgmental gaze of the building and those inside with his head lowered in defeat. That morning he had received a letter from his employer. He had gone up to the building to confirm the letter's contents, but lost his nerve once the monstrous structure towered over him. It was practically sentient the way it looked down on him with that mightier-than-thou expression. That's why he couldn't go inside; the building had refused him entrance.
He passed by the bus, his usual mode for transportation, and kept walking. There were faster ways to get from one place to the other, but he never did trust the tube system. He lived outside the city district, far outside, but today he would walk. The rain wasn't letting up. He stared at the hem of his pants, which were now thoroughly soaked, as he walked. When he finally reached his house- a plain, but sizable one story home- he fumbled through his pockets for the house key as he walked up the driveway. An envelope fell out into a puddle as he pulled his hand back out with the key. He slid the key into the lock, hesitating to go any further. The rain fell silent as he leaned forward against the door and closed his eyes.
"It's over. It's all over now..." The soft hush of rain falling in the background slowly returned to it's original downpour and he turned the key in the lock. Closing the door behind him, Vincent took off his coat and tossed it carelessly toward the coat rack after putting the umbrella aside. Once properly stripped of his work attire and donning his usual t-shirt and sweats, he flopped down on the couch and sighed heavily. He stared at the ceiling absently until his eyes trailed off to the massive flat screen television across the room.
The television hung from the wall above a black cabinet and between two silver, five foot tall sub woofers. There was only one way to fix a bad morning: an inundated gaming session. Vincent sat up and took one of his six remotes from the glass coffee table and pressed a large green button in the middle of the remote. The space between the table and entertainment system opened and a platform was brought up, carrying a pair of boots, gloves, and a helmet. He turned the television on then quickly geared up.
The accessories synced with the TV and the floor began to glow a bright blue. A tiny woman about five inches tall was projected from the television. The tiny hologram was dressed in a thigh high dress with the shoulders and sides cut out and her hair styled in a lopsided bob. "Welcome back Master! I'm surprised to see you back home so early, Master."
"I got the day off."
"Oh, that's wonderful Master! What would you like to play today? Perhaps a relaxing game of VLife?"
"Not today Yua. Get me into Hoge's."
"Oh, violence then? Very well." She turned toward the television and touched the screen, bringing up the title screen of Hoge's Requiem III. "Have fun smashing in other player's faces! I know you'll do just great Master!" She vanished and he started into the sequence. Hours would be wasted away playing. Hours that cannot be brought back and, maybe at some point, he may have pause to think about that but for the time being it was game on.
It was early that morning that he had walked through the rain to face that monster of a building. Only thirty minutes later had he returned home to drown his anger in video games. He took a break every five hours for about ten to twenty minutes to rejuvenate then hopped back into the game. Dinner was take out that night, as it was every night. He was no chef by any means and cooking was just one of many pains about living alone.
During the last break for the night, about nine forty, Yua appeared from the paused game screen. "Master, it may be out of place for me to ask this of you, but, are you well Master?" Vincent looked up from the pizza box. The hologram seemed to blush. "I-I do not mean to intrude, Master! It is only that you seem upset about something and your score today was the highest yet and you used a character hindering emphasis augmentation technique. You never use CHEATs Master. I am only concerned for your well being."
"What's gotten into you today? Did mom call or something?"
"Master's mother did call in this afternoon. She said that you hung up suddenly this morning and she couldn't reach you at all but I know you've been here today just like every other day."
Vincent closed the pizza box and took it to the trash. "Don't let her get to you, she's always worried about something. Tell her I'm fine and to stop calling me so much. I can't get anything done if I'm on the phone with her all the time."
"Yes, Master." Yua flickered then vanished again, leaving Vincent staring into the empty trash can. With a sigh he tossed it in and closed the lid. The phone rang suddenly, filling the silence immediately. Vincent paid no mind as he got back into his gear and started his game up again. The game's soundtrack drowned out the message as he ran head first into another battle.
A loud banging on the door woke Vincent the next morning. He literally rolled out of bed and crawled to the window. Moving a silk curtain aside, he looked down the the drive way where several large trucks were lined up. "What the..." He put on some presentable clothes then went downstairs, grabbing the remote activate his hologram as he walked through the living room. "Any idea what's going on?" he asked the hologram.
"I have not the slightest idea, Master. You were not expecting guests this morning?"
"That sense of humor of yours needs work." He opened the door to a small crowd of men chattering among themselves. The one in front turned to him with a clipboard.
"Good morning sir," he said with a tip of his hat. "We got an order for this house to be cleared."
Vincent blinked. "What? You can't just come in here and take my things- I haven't gotten any kind of notice!"
"Well, the owner of this little community says he gave you one of these about a week ago." He handed Vincent an eviction notice. "He said you missed too many payments and there have been complaints from neighbors."
Vincent balled up the paper and threw it on the ground. "What complaints?!" Several of the men standing outside pushed past him and started to gather his things. "Wait, what the-? Hold on a second!"
"Sorry, if something's wrong you'll have to talk to him about it. We got a job to do so..."
Vincent walked back inside and the others outside moved in. Yua stared at the strangers busying themselves in the house in confusion. "Master, what's happening? Who are all these people? Why are they taking your things?"
"I'm being evicted Yua. These men are taking all of my possessions and there's nothing that can be done about it."
The hologram tilted her head in thought. After a moment she gasped. "Wait, I am going with Master, yes?"
"Of course, no one's taking you anywhere," he answered. "I'll be right back." He jogged upstairs and grabbed a drive from his coat pocket. The couch was being moved out when he came back down. Vincent shook his head as he plugged the drive into the side of the television. He downloaded a file to the drive then removed it. He slipped the drive into his pocket then went upstairs to pack.
He kept his thoughts to himself as he filled two travel bags and one large travel case. The fact that he was being evicted- a homebody who kept to himself- was ridiculous but he didn't have the strength to fight it. He never did. Once packed, he went downstairs to watch the rest of what he had left be taken out the front door. Maybe it was time for a change after all. He sighed as the last of his downstairs furniture was taken out.
It was late in the afternoon when all of his belongings were finally emptied from the house. Vincent walked through the shell of a house once more before taking what little he packed and walking out. He walked through the city for a while with all of his belongings for somewhere new to hide away. Oddly enough, it seems no one had room or just didn't want him living in their apartments. His reputation apparently proceeded him. What reputation was the question.
"This is ridiculous," he said with a sigh. He sat on a bench near the small park in the middle of city. "Everything I worked so hard for is gone." He looked at the travel bags piled next to him. "This is all I have now... Well, it'll be less work keeping things organized now." Being positive just wasn't his thing and it just sounded sad trying to be at that point.
An hour passed before he got up the courage to get up. There were no individual houses; they died out long ago when the population exploded. There were only condos, apartments or communities, most of which were gated. Out of the ten in the city, ten refused him. Vincent looked up at the sheer dome that protected the city. Outside of the dome was a wasteland, ghettos if you must know. Those who couldn't afford to live in the city lived there.
They were considered the lowest of the low. Vincent shuddered at the thought of the living conditions outside the city. He shook his head and started back toward one of the apartment complexes when there was a sudden overcast. It began to rain lightly. Vincent dropped his bags and closed his eyes. "I hate my life."