Book One saw Jade and Phoenix cast into their avatar's bodies and into Level One of the fantasy game world of 80AD. Now, instead of going home, they find themselves in Level Two - a hostile, frozen wilderness. They have no idea where they are or how fulfil their next quest - to steal the legendary Hammer of Thor...and everyone knows stealing things from Gods is hazardous to your health...
Jade opened her eyes to an uneasy world of greys and blacks; of unidentifiable shapes and soft, sighing sounds. She lay on her stomach, awkwardly sprawled on something cold, slippery and hard. Her right knee ached like she’d knocked it and her right hand stung.
“Hello?” Her voice seemed muffled. Something cold and wet feathered across her cheek. She touched her face with numb fingers and shivered. “Phoenix?” The darkness eased somewhat. Perhaps her eyes were adjusting. Around her patches of light and shadow shifted and swam. It was difficult to tell where the ground ended and the rest of the world began.
She gathered her feet beneath her and staggered upright. Shaking, she pulled the hood of her cloak up and tucked her fingers into her armpits to warm them. Her backpack slipped off her shoulder, dragging at her arm. As she took an uncertain step, her foot kicked something long and wooden: her quarterstaff. Snatching it up, she tried to feel more secure.
Was she alone here? Wherever this was, it certainly wasn’t home. She tried to hold back a rising sense of betrayal. She’d been so certain that finishing Level One would catapult her home again. It hadn’t. This wasn’t her England. In fact, it probably wasn’t England at all.
A wolf howled: distant; mournful; eerie. Definitely not England. Sharp, fitful breezes stung her eyes. Jade blinked and scrubbed a hand over her face, trying to hold back bitter tears of disappointment. She just wanted to go home.
For the hundredth time in the last five days, she wished she’d never turned her father’s computer on; never been drawn into this bizarre digital world; wished that she was home again in her warm house with her six annoying sisters. She missed her father; her own, warm, comfortable bed - and hot showers!
Roaming the 80AD world sounded awesome - when she was watching her avatar on a flat screen from the comfort of her father’s study. Living it was a whole different thing. Her scared thirteen year old mind was trapped inside the digital body and memories of a seventeen year old half-elf in a strange time and place. She’d been nuts to think living the adventures she’d always read about in books would be romantic and exciting. Right now, the most awesome thing she could think of to see would be the giant golden arches of a MacDonalds restaurant - or her very own bathroom.
The ground crunched as she stamped her feet to warm them. More cold, fluffy stuff fell on her face and Jade at last realised what it was: snow. A wolf howled again, closer; a primeval sound that echoed strangely and made the hairs on the back of her neck rise up. Dark forms around her resolved into trees. She was in a snowy, dark forest somewhere. Well, that didn’t help much. How could it be snowing at night when it had been a clear spring dawn in the ancient Britain they had just left?
The last thing she remembered was jumping through the portal from Stonehenge in a desperate attempt to escape a horde of Roman soldiers and their ambitious governor, Agricola. She’d thought the portal was going to get her home, but it must have brought her to Level Two of the game, instead. If that was right, then home was still a long way off – four more Levels, in fact.
So, if she was on Level Two, where were Phoenix and the others?
Free Books in the Series:
Book 1: 80AD - The Jewel of Asgard
Book 2: 80AD - The Hammer of Thor
Book 3: 80AD - The Tekhen of Anuket
Book 4: 80AD - The Sudarshana
Book 5: 80AD - The Yu Dragon