Though I had conquered my personal demons and demolished the sinister Sevens, my journey was far from over. Hell, I still wasn’t exactly sure what my goal was. Tennis Kings, pearls… they were all meaningless symbols as this point. In my quest to save a kingdom of seemingly well-to-do WASPy-looking tennis zombies, I had stumbled upon a much more personal mission – a mission to fulfill the prophecy and become the greatest tennis warrior on neo-pangaea. I had really gone up my own ass.
In my travels, I had noted that there was a desert to the south of France. If video games and anime have taught me anything, it’s that walking through a desolate wasteland by yourself is a surefire way to become good at anything. The path was clear.
I had heard the legends of how bad Spain’s economy had gotten, but this was taking austerity measures to extremes. The trek through the desert was long and arduous. I had to pause to refresh my Jack and Coke no less than 3 times. At times, I began to wonder if I was hallucinating.
It had to be a mirage. There was simply no way I had been challenged to tennis match by a cat man in a bald cap. Illusion or not, this horrifying chimera was an obstacle. And obstacles were for killing.
Strangely enough, the tennis courts which emerged from the sands of the Iberian wastes were made of CLAY. I have no idea why “a” Tennis King was so upset about the fact that all his tennis courts had been seized, when clearly the entire ecosystem of his kingdom had been utterly destroyed by whatever apocalyptic event had formed the Franco–Chicago–Nippon landmass. While playing on clay proved challenging, my “C” level gear allowed me safe passage through the sandy seas of illusion. “C.” It must stand for “clay.”
Before long, the desert gave way to a forest, and within that forest, an isolated town.
By my estimation, I had just crossed the tattered remnants of Spain, and I was roughly on the same longitude as Chicago… ahh, screw it. There was no sense in guessing any more. I was just going to go with my gut. And my gut told me this was the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Not by a long shot. Clearly the architects of this world were not concerned with the impact its design might have on grade school geography scores. The forest had been none other than the legendary Sherwood. England! The birthplace of tennis! Surely my legend would grow to phenomenal heights! It was time to march on London-town.
Oof. Wimbledon? More like Wimbledon’t. There wasn’t much left of London. It was as if giant giant blancmanges from the planet Skyron had run roughshod over the entirety of the U.K. I was now accustomed to this though. Every major metropolis had been reduced to a shadow of its former-self in this surprisingly cheerful sports-themed dystopia. Regardless, it was time to fraternize with the limeys. Fortunately there were only three of them, and one of them, a Sevens clone, had met me at the door.
I assumed this was a metaphor for the maze of personal torment we must all navigate on the path to greatness.
Ah, at least whatever destroyed London had left some semblance of an economy intact. “B” level gear! And having fought my way across the desert, I now had enough tennis bitcoins to pay for it! “B.” It had to stand for “Björn.” Lacking any semblance of the dramatic importance of this development, I convinced myself that I had acquired the gear of the legendary tennis warrior Björn Borg. That was it. Yep.
With that, I tightened my headband, pulled up my short shorts, and began my search for THE MAZE.
NEXT TIME: SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS!