Nobody was surprised when young Chris Boyle began spending most of each day playing a new computer roleplaying game. Weak, awkward, and practically abandoned by latchkey parents, Chris had long sought immersion in such fantasy worlds. People did think it a little odd that, despite the time Chris seemed to invest in the game, none of the usual symptoms of intense game use (paleness, weight gain, pizzaface outbreaks) seemed to appear.

Quite the opposite in fact.

Rumors that Chris had beaten up perennial tormentor Daryl Dupine were confirmed by the appearance of the latter some days later with a shiner and assorted other bruises. At Track and Field Day (AKA Let The Gym Teachers Earn Their Keep For Once Day), Chris astonished with first-place finishes in track, shot-put, and weight lifting despite having no prior affinity for those events and no time in between playing games on a laptop to develop them. At the end of the school year, people had no more answers; even steroid use required a modicum of exercise to work, and school photos confirmed that Chris was significantly taller and more muscular than was explainable.

It wasn’t until just after school ended and Chris came into the town square riding a dragon, wielding a flaming sword and sporting engraved full plate armor that the situated became at least marginally clearer.

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