But in a way, I was in a game that had a set boundary specifically tied to the time limit. This made it hard, as I could not do ‘anything’ as there simply was not enough time in this singular day. Was it even possible to pull off whatever Proud thought needed to be done? So my options were not limitless, as there was a practical distance I could travel before my ‘time was up’ so to say.
‘Time was up…’
With those thoughts, a huge wave of experiences came flooding over me. My eyes started watering and I fell backwards. My eyes zoomed outwards as I fell out of my body. The simple act of me sitting in my room faded away to nothingness as so much blanketed my mind.
This was not the fourth; this was not even the tenth, even a hundred would be low! I had been though thousands. All the experiences came flooding back. All the cycles lived, and then died.
“Shit…” I said, holding my head as I rolled down to the floor, my mind hurting so bad with this new awakening.
First were endless denials out of me, the ‘no way this is happening’ of thinking each cycle literally was new, and I had just been dreaming. Hell, even the last couple of times I thought it was just a dream and I had already been looping thousands of times.
I could see why Proud made a comment about annoyance or something along those lines. It was frustrating seeing myself constantly deny what was actually happening. I was trying to ignore the important events like the guy at the fence, the android girl at the spaceport, and the whole bar scene or talking with Proud. Even though little things like my banter with the android girl, or me gunning that guy down rather skillfully were a bit beyond my normal ability. With grim realization it was probably hundreds of repetitions that had improved me.
My hand found something, maybe the leg of a desk, and I held on tightly like a sick child. Even my most recent memories I was not sure had actually recently occurred. I talked about winning against that guy, but if I had looped so often, I never would have got shot, or avoided it all together. Thinking about it this way, I felt that there actually was a far deeper well of combat prowess inside me than I currently appreciated. Honed over thousands of random battles.
The more my head swam, the more I realized how far down the line I was in regards to loops. The denials lasted forever, but gave way to sadness before darkness.
When I started realizing I was looping, it was perfect to learn about people. There were women I could get close with and my loneliness faded away for the cycle. I had met a lot of girls and felt so close to many of them. But each reset I was greeted with words that cut into my heart deeper and deeper each time hearing them: ‘who are you?’
Nothing that I had done with them remained. No clever date, no laughs we shared, no talks about our past. I would remember vague things about them, but no one else perceived the loop, I was just as unknown the hundredth time talking to them, as the first. The closeness I thought I had with them was an illusion. It was only in my mind. That sent me down a dark road as I no longer had this to comfort me given the end I experience without fail.
The terror of dying every cycle started grinding on me until the desperation reached a breaking point. I started trying to kill myself out of this nightmare, thinking that this simply wasn’t real. If it was, I would rather be dead than be trapped in this fearful world where nothing I did mattered. And it ended in absolute pain every single time.
Sitting here huddled on the floor, crying while this multitude of memories flooding back was not fun. I wondered if every time was like this. Probably.
The desperate loops were short lived, and then it became rampant hedonism and dark experiences. When I realized I would indeed be reborn each cycle anew my curiosity took a dark turn. How many people could I kill before I was stopped? How many girls could I get within a single cycle knowing the perfect things to say to them from thousands of scripted conversations I had tried?