Wade receives an email from Ogden Morrow inviting Wade to his 73rd birthday party, which will be “one of the most exclusive gatherings in the OASIS.” The invite features an anti-Sixer logo, and notes that the party will take place that night at the Distracted Globe, a zero-gravity dance club that Morrow owns on the planet Neonoir. The club is in a PvP zone governed by both magic and technology, making it highly dangerous. Neonoir is a cyberpunk-style world designed to resemble William Gibson’s 1984 science fiction novel Neuromancer.
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction closely associated with the work of the science fiction writer William Gibson, and particularly his debut novel Neuromancer. Cyberpunk combines advancements in artificial technology with lawlessness and social chaos. Most cyberpunk worlds are considered dystopias, rather than utopias.
Wade drives up to the club in a DeLoreon (a 1980s sports car) he acquired through completing a quest. The club is spherical, and the lack of gravity means that the dance “floor” is in its center. Art3mis approaches Wade wearing a “gunmetal blue dress” and looking beautiful. Morrow’s avatar, Og, appears in the DJ booth and waves to the crowd. Wade and Art3mis dance, and Art3mis transforms her legs into a mermaid’s tail. As they slow dance, Wade tells Art3mis that he is in love with her. Yet once again, Art3mis insists that he doesn’t actually know her. She says that their relationship has gotten “out of hand”; when Wade asks if she is breaking up with him, she replies that they were never together.
Wade and Art3mis may be in a magical zero-gravity club at a 73-year-old celebrity’s birthday party, but their attention nonetheless largely remains on their own romantic relationship. Clearly, the two of them have conflicting views on the nature of their relationship and whether it should go forward. Whereas Wade insists he is in love with Art3mis, her reply that he doesn’t know her and that they were never together implies that Wade is living inside a willful delusion.
Wade and Art3mis’ conversation is interrupted by a massive boom erupting overhead. Sixers descend on the club, shooting blaster pistols at the guests, some of whom fire back. Wade notices that the Sixers seem to be aiming for him and Art3mis. They both shoot back at the Sixers, wiping them out. Og then steps out of the DJ booth and vaporizes all the Sixers using red lightning. He puts on a track by Blondie and encourages the guests to return to partying. Wade sees Art3mis look at him, then leave.
The arrival of the Sixers serves as a reminder that there are far more serious issues at play than Wade and Art3mis’ relationship. While the immense power of Morrow’s avatar means that he wipes out the Sixers with ease, their presence at his birthday party shows that the gunters continue to be under serious threat.