Chapter 8 - System Emergency Boot


A note from rykov00

Finally some LITRPG elements are coming into play. It will still be some time before it's heavily leveraged, but it's now out in the open. In case it wasn't clear from the previous chapters, this isn't really an OP MC story. More of a Swiss Family Robinson in a magic induced apocalypse with monsters. Reviews, favorites, and comments always welcome. Hope you enjoy the chapter!

A quick round of hugs went around the room as the two families reunited. The Johnson’s were actually planning on trying to make it to Jason’s house when the giant crystal thing came down. “After that, those wolves started wandering around and we weren’t sure we could make it.” Matt finished.


Jason nodded “Yeah, if we didn’t have the drop on them and the elevation from the tree, I don’t think that would have ended well for us.” quickly moving on he continued, “In anycase, we do need to make it back, and we probably have a window if that pack was the only one patrolling this area. If we go the way we came, it was pretty clear. Sam, are you ready to go?” Jason asked Elly’s mom, who had been busy carrying bags to the foyer.


“Yes, we were already packed, in fact, all our camping gear was ready to go since we were about to head out. I just wanted to grab some sewing supplies in case we’d need them.” Samantha noted.


Jason tested his leg, and the patch job they managed to do after arriving seemed to hold up remarkably well. The last thing he wanted to do was leave a trail of blood back to his house for those things to follow. “I think I’m as good as I’m going to get” he said putting a little more weight on his calf. Honestly, in total, he was in much better shape than he expected, and he had a sneaky suspicion that something else was going on related recent events. He’d had far lighter injuries that had put him in much worse shape prior to today. He shrugged, nothing to do about it now, and he wasn’t going to complain about being able to walk.


Everyone grabbed as much as they could and made their way out the door. They moved quickly, with Jason explaining in bits and pieces everything they had learned to date. Samantha added that the monsters seemed to spawn randomly, even in some people’s houses, until the Sky Crystals came. At that point, the random spawning stopped and everything seemed to be centered around the lake. Jason tucked that factoid away for later as he imagined it fit into the larger puzzle that was today.


Elly and Liz were catching up themselves with Mark trying to butt in where he could. The Batwing Ducks, as Elly called them, had formed out of thin air in their living room. Fortunately for the the Johnson’s, they were in the garage when it happened, and saw the monsters appear. Elly’s dad grabbed the Zombie kit, conveniently designed to have easy access to weapons even in its stored state, and properly armed they were able to kill the things. Apparently they didn’t move well on the ground, but she said the ones flying around outside were terrifyingly fast and agile. Liz grabbed Elly’s hand comfortingly, “It’s okay, we got this, we’ll be fine now. You know my house is a fortress, and Dad’s been preparing for something like this forever. We’re okay now”


Elly smiled for the first time all day, tearing up and letting a bit of relief wash through her. “Thanks Liz, I needed that. I’m glad you’re safe too, those wolves were terrifying.”


Liz nodded in agreement. She had thought she was a goner for sure when she fell from the tree, and then when her dad jumped in to save her, she thought her dad was a goner. It was a lot of close calls for a day, and she really hoped nothing else jumped them on their way back.


Liz kept scanning the street for threats but the trip back was thankfully without incident. Liz knocked on the heavy steel door, using a code their family agreed on ages ago, and heard a series of locks being undone. She stepped into the splash room and saw that her mom had moved in a bunch of equipment and set up a small lab. After everyone walked in, Mary stopped fiddling with her equipment and hugs were given all around. “I’m so glad you’re all safe.” she said, and time seemed to pause as everyone just enjoyed the feeling of being surrounded by friends and family. A crash from something outside interrupted the moment all too soon and everyone moved into the living room to catch up on the latest.


Information was exchanged and everyone brought up to speed. Mary had new data to add to their knowledge base as well. While everyone was out, she had been experimenting with the meat of the Fuuzer, trying to determine its properties. “As far as I can tell, it’s pretty similar to your average cow, and should be edible. Good news if supplies run low, especially since the things seem to pop out of thin air periodically. If we could figure out how and when these things spawn in, and make sure the meat is 100% safe, this could effectively end world hunger!” she excitedly claimed trying in inject some optimism into the otherwise dire discussion.


The room didn’t seem as excited over this news as Mary was, as none of them really wanted to consider what a caterpillar tasted like. They knew Jason probably had a year’s worth of food stockpiled so they’d have time to sort it out. In the meantime, Haley handed out some sandwiches she made and a pile of extras was placed in the middle of the coffee table. A sundae bar was also setup on the kitchen island. Refrigeration was out, so they might as well enjoy things while they could.


Everyone knew they were on a tight schedule to setup the school rescue, so the meal was eaten quickly. Conversation flowed around mundane topics as Haley and the Johnson’s caught up on the latest goings on in their lives prior to today, and care was taken to avoid the apocalyptic elephant in the room. Liz and Elly played with Barry, getting him to perform a series of ever increasingly complex tricks for bites of lunch meat. All too soon the meal was finished and everyone gathered round the coffee table in the living room again to plan out the school trip.


“So, as we discussed, we’re going to do a school run to check for survivors. Mark made the great suggestion to swing by the Carlson’s who have a few horses and a carriage that we could use in case there are some injured kids. Hopefully it will be a moot point and we won’t need it, but in a worst case scenario, we can help some wounded to safety. With Mary set up here we can deal with more serious injuries than the school nurse could typically deal with. Also, we also have to consider the likely reality that this house may be the best fortified structure in the area, and people may want to shelter here. I didn’t want to bring it up before because we had other things to worry about, but we’ll have to decide on who to invite to stay with us and how many we’ll try and support. We can sleep 8 families comfortably here, and could probably squeeze in 4 more if we get really friendly. That means if everyone out there who boarded up their house wants in, we’ll have to turn people away. We need some criteria to decide on who stays and who goes, and that’s going to ruffle some feathers. We may find that monsters are not half as bad as pissed off parents looking for a safe place for their kids.” Jason bluntly stated.


Sam gave the room a stern look, “I don’t know about anyone else, but if we find someone who needs help, I’m going to help them. Even if we can’t fit people in here, we can work together and find other places. We can’t forget how to be human and kind, even if things don’t get back to normal. Especially if things don’t get back to normal.”


The room shuffled about uncomfortably under Sam’s strong words. Not all of them felt they could be as generous, but they did understand that how they acted in the next few days would say a lot about how this new world would end up.


“Something to think about.” Jason nodded, accepting the statement for what it was. “In anycase, we still have to make it school and back. Right now, it sounds like Matt, Mary, Elly, and Haley will hold the fort. That means Sam, the kids, and I will try to make it to the school and back. We know the Carlson’s have three horses and a colt, plus the carriage which only needs a single horse. If the Carlson’s are home and well, we’ll escort them back here and then head to the school. Otherwise, assuming all the animals are sound, we’ll stop by, drop off the foal, and head in. Anyone have anything else to add?”


“Jason, can you really go out there again? You look like you’ve been through a blender.” Mary commented, bringing up an issue that no one else felt comfortable addressing.


“I know it looks bad, but honestly, everything seems to be working fine. I even got full range in my shoulder back” Jason plainly stated, rotating his arm around to demonstrate his point. “I have no idea why I’m still able to walk either, but even my leg isn’t so bad considering I had two wolves gnawing on me. Plus, there is no way in hell our kids are going out there without me covering their backs, regardless of how much training they’ve had.” Jason said with finality.


The room was silent and no one had anything else to say. As the selected group prepared to leave tearful hugs were given between those who were staying and those heading out into the chaos. A round of final gear checks were made and everyone had moved down to the front door. It was only three miles to the school, but who knew what they’d encounter on the way. The away team packed enough food and water to survive the night, just in case, and they stood, about to head out, when it happened. Top the top left of everyone’s vision, a message was displayed.

System Emergency Boot Activated


System emergency startup enabled

Automated Administrator Message:

All, if this message is being sent, the Mana Wave has impacted the Earth earlier than our predictions and before the full system could be implemented. We, the Administrators, are most likely struggling to try and get things in place to help improve humanity’s odds for survival. If you have observed Crystals falling from the sky, the emergency measures we put in place have succeeded. System interactions are limited in emergency mode. Crystal Fall protocol is only possible after Ability, Skill, and Stat systems are online. The Warning System will be enabled next. Full details will be available as soon as the system has properly initialized. Good luck to all survivors.

The message faded as people finished reading all the text. It resembled the interface on a popular AR game that had come out earlier that year. “This looks just like the interface to Alterworld Adventures” Mark said in awe and the other kids mumbled their agreements. For a moment, everyone just looked around at with confused looks on their faces, confirming that everyone had seen the same thing. As the next message appeared, the confused looks faded and were replaced by concern.


The new message read:


System Warning

Mana Storm Approaching

Suggested Actions

Shelter in place

Estimated Arrival



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