Helmost's translucent green eyes narrowed on the computer monitor. His last month in the Los Angeles Convention Center had mostly been filled by sneaking into the facility manager's office and using the desktop to peruse the Internet. Because of his browsing history, the FBI had been to the Convention Center three times, arresting just as many facility managers. All had denied that they'd ever been to http://www.dkvine.com.
"Fuck a pig!" Helmost squealed. "Our Friend, get in here! They're going to make a Diddy Kong Racing game for the Wii U! It's all here on this blog from a guy! A guy in the games industry!"
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7! All good children believe in Kevin!
Our Friend hovered into the small room. Over the last few years, he had immersed himself in a regular Donkey Kong's crash course on all things DK Vine. A little older and a little wiser, he found himself skeptical over the news, if for no other reason then since leaving his home universe and filling in for Our Friend Prime, who had evolved into U.S. President Barack Obama, the haunted digital camera found the idea of a new Diddy Kong Racing somewhat far-fetched.
"So soon after Mario Kart 8? Get real, Helmost!" Even though the Helmost that Our Friend had befriended in his days at the Harold Shipman Academy of Devilry was an alternate version from another dimension than his own, this one's mannerisms and behavior was predictably familiar. "You're always getting excited about something until it inevitably blows up in your face. Oh, you're going to exorcise the Nintendæmons from the bodies of famous Nintendo employees? Great! Except it got you stuck in Hell. You're going to escape from Hell? Go for it! Oh, but you fell in the River Styx and became a ghost stranded in Los Angeles."
Helmost wasn't keen on someone critiquing his life choices, even if it was his old college friend. "At least I'm not a recovering Pokémon fanatic whose soul is stuck in an outdated digital camera. Seriously man, upgrade to a GoPro already. Peter Jackson could hire you for his next movie. I'm sure he'll get the rights to the Silmarillion eventually!"
"Look," Our Friend curtly snapped. "I liked the Hobbit trilogy, okay? If you weren't such a damn Tolkien literalist..."
"I'm a Barrow-Wight! I mean a lot more to the Lord of the Rings saga than Kate from Lost!"
"Oh, go shove it in your Bombadil, Helmost."
"What's your problem with this Diddy Kong Racing Wii U rumour anyway? This could mean huge things for E3 2015! As DK Vine's sweetheart of an E3 mascot, knowing that we already have a rumour for next year's show is lubricating my old bones with anticipation. Aren't you excited for it?"
Our Friend rolled his camera lense. "You're falling into the classic DK Vine trap. You're letting the hype for something that probably won't pan out frame your mindset. Not only are you going to be disappointed, but you're going to help disappoint the entire DK Vine community."
"That's the joy of E3! It's gambling in human emotions. The prospect of utmost misery is almost as enticing as everyone getting what their heart desires!" Helmost was awash in delight as wicked fantasies of the DK Vine Forum dying of alcohol poisoning danced through his merry skull. "Now come on. I need you to film my discorperal spirit for one of these YouTube videos. I'm going to begin E3 2015 coverage right now!"
A long sigh let out of Our Friend's shutter as he turned towards the door. "I'm going to have to pass. Sorry, but I'm just... so burned out after this year's E3. I can't even start thinking about next year. Not yet. I'm out of here."
"Wait, where are you going? We were going to play Apples to Apples later!"
"Your ectoplasm made all of the cards sticky! Plus, you never pick my answers as the best, even when we're the only two playing! I hate Apples to Apples and I hate you!"
"GASP! YOU DON'T MEAN THAT!"
"I'm leaving this dump hole of a Convention Center and going back to Tahiti to get on with my life. You'll have to find another possessed camera to record your image from now on. If you can't, maybe it's time you left all this behind. You know, this silly DK Vine gig. I think it's time to just embrace who we really are: Me, a boozing, womanizing elderly old man stuck in a digital camera from the late 1990's. You, a hellspawn necromancer and part-time reaper."
"It's time for us to finally grow up, Helmost. Don't let Kevin Callahan tell you what your future holds."
Our Friend levitated down the long corridor with purpose, desperate to get out of the building and to LAX before his emotions got the better of him. Helmost started to give chase, but he knew it was to no avail: He had left his running shoes in Hell. Plus, while reuniting with his old buddy had started off great, it had quickly became apparent that they had drifted apart over the intervening years for a reason. Our Friend had outgrown the promise of DK Vine and the joys of E3, while Helmost had become a true believer. Ironic that it was Our Friend who had recommended Helmost to the DK Vine staff in the first place. He was sure to ruminate on that fact quite a bit over the upcoming months. The long, cold loneliness of the upcoming months.
Looking out the window of the Convention Center, he took one last look at Our Friend as he hailed a cab and left his life. As the weight of emotion caused tears to cloud his vision, a strange sight began to form through the watery haze: Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox division and Microsoft Studios. What could he be doing loitering on the sidewalk a month after E3? Almost as if he could read his mind, Phil looked up at the window, stared directly into Helmost's eyes... and smiled.
For the first time in his afterlife, a deep chill ran up Helmost's spine.