Becoming A Virus
When I regained consciousness there was a floating blue screen in front of me:
Choose your starting race: Karma Points Available: 5,000
1. Virus 3,000 pts (Highest Potential for Evolution, all races & variants available)
2. Slime 1,500 pts (All Monster Race Evolutions available)
3. Goblin 250 pts (Limited to Goblin/Orc Race evolutions)
4. Minotaur 500 pts (Limited to Ogre/Giant race evolutions)
5. Fungus 1,500 pts (All plant races and variants available)
That no good lying Overbeing. He is the one responsible for my death. A rage like no other I had ever felt in my life started to take over my thoughts. Revenge! I must get revenge! He was obviously scared of me or my potential, but had manipulated my emotions and situation to his advantage. I do not care how long it takes, I will see him again on my own terms and deal with his manipulations of my life. I mean it wasn’t the greatest life ever, but it was mine, and he had no right to kill me just on the chance I might upset his little Overbeing position of power. All he has done is to make sure that I now have him as my ultimate goal.
Enough, I need to remain calm. I have to pick a race that will allow me to advance my agenda and eventually pay the Overbeing back for his trickery. I look over the list another time. It looks like I will be in a world that has races and beings different from my own. It also seems that the Overbeing has limited my choices to races that I am not familiar with. This may be in a bid to make sure I do not survive and move on quickly. I do not even know why I retained my memories at this point and I have no guarantee that another reincarnation will allow me to keep them. So if I want to get revenge it will have to be in this reincarnation cycle.
That rules out Numbers 3 and 4 of the list. Anything that has the world limited in it probably is not going to get me to a point where I can have my revenge. Let’s see, that leaves either virus, slime, or fungus. It seems that the lower something is on the evolutionary tree the more potential it has. I think I have to eliminate fungus. While it sounds good, I honestly do not know if this new world will have plant races that allow movement or great upgrades. I mean if I pick it will my ultimate evolution be a redwood tree or something? Better play it safe and eliminate it as a choice. The slime seems perfect but once again I am limited in my knowledge of the new world. It is obviously able to become anything from choice 3 or 4, but that might a limitation. I do not know what monster races are available. It may be a trap like the plant races. What if there is no monster race powerful enough to get the revenge I need. That just leaves me with one choice, virus.
With virus it says that all races and variants are possible. That means if I am careful and figure out some of the most powerful races in this new world I could easily follow the evolutionary tree to become them. There is even a possibility that I could evolve into something from another world because it does say all races and variants. If I remember my game knowledge correctly variants usually have special abilities the normal type of organisms does not have. The last point to solidify my decision is the cost of the virus reincarnation. It is 3,000 pts. That is twice that of the next choice. This indicates that it is probably more powerful in the long run even if it starts out simple.
Speaking of Karma Points just what the heck are they? I mean it is obvious enough that you can have good Karm and bad Karma, but how is it assigned or determined and is it worth anything besides my initial choice. Hold on the Overbeing did say that there was limited interaction with the game screens. Maybe if I think a command I can check on stuff before I make my final decision. Alright, Help. Nothing, how about Karma Help? Nope still nothing. There must be something that can help me out. Let’s try Karma List.
1. Good Life – 500 points
2. Sacrifice – 500 points
3. Outside Interference – 4,000 points
Total Karma available for reincarnation 5,000 points
Wow, that actually worked. It must be a function of the use of the word Karma and a specific reference. Let’s try, Karma Evolution.
Karma Evolution Points are locked until Reincarnation Race is selected.
Ok, well at least I know that it works. Maybe this means that I can guide my evolution through the use of Karma points. I wonder if the Overbeing knew that I would have these options? It seems like I would not even have enough Karma points to consider the better reincarnation races if he did not interfere with my life. His interference may just be the key to his downfall. If I can figure out how to keep accumulating Karma points then every time I evolve I can guide the evolution towards what I need to become stronger. This has possibilities. Enough thinking, time to take the plunge.
I choose Option 1 Virus as my starting race.
Virus Race Selected Karma Points: 2,000
Available options for virus race:
1. Absorption - 200 pts
2. Hidden – 250 pts
3. Chemical Resistance - 100 pts
4. Magic Resistance – 250 pts
5. Adaptable – 500 pts
6. Heat Resistance – 100 pts
7. Cold Resistance – 100 pts
8. Airborne – 200 pts
9. Waterborne – 100 pts
10. Predator – 500 pts
It looks like I can add several options to my race. One of the interesting things is that the options confirm that the world I am going to has magic or at least the potential for it. I thought that it might when I saw what would be considered fantasy creatures in my choices for races, but confirmation is nice to have. Going with point logic I should definitely get both Adaptable and Predator as options. 500 points is a lot so they must be good choices. Being adaptable is always a good thing and I would definitely rather be the predator instead of the prey. That would leave me with another 1,000 Karma points to spend.
I definitely want all of the resistances that are available. Anything that will help me survive until I can get a better read on the situation has to be helpful. So if I add Chemical Resistance, Magical Resistance, Heat Resistance, and Cold resistance that will leave me with 450 points of Karma left to spend. Now the choices get harder. I think I will take absorption for 200 Karma points, that just sounds like something a microbe needs. Finally, my last choice will be Airborne for another 200 points. This will leave me with a balance of 50 Karma Points in case something comes up that I can use it for in the future. A lot of people may have gone for Hidden, but I figure with my resistances I have that covered. I also decided that if I remember my high school biology that Airborne diseases are the most devastating and hardest to stop so selecting that as the method of transport seemed to make sense.
I mentally confirm my choices and have my consciousness start to fade into black once again. I regain my sense of self and feel a floating sensation. It almost feels as if I am surrounded by water on all sides. This is weird, I can “feel” my surroundings and somehow interpret the sensation but I cannot “see” anything. I assume that I have been “reborn” as virus and that I have probably been placed is some organism. Hmm, my next step should probably be to find a cell to infect and start the process of making more of me. That just sounds weird when I think it aloud. Wait, can you even think aloud? Wow without my normal senses my attention is everywhere.
I concentrate as best I can on the feeling I have of my surroundings. I want to see if I focus if I can perhaps at least identify objects around me. I may not know what kind of cell they might be but if I can at least recognize shapes or sizes I might have a better guess on which one to attack. After some time, really I have no idea how long without senses the passage of time is hard to measure, I start to “Sense” with greater clarity the objects around me. Floating in the same liquid as me are round or oval objects and the sides of the container we are floating in seems to be made of large rectangles. Occasionally I sense bizarrely shaped objects move past me very quickly and disrupt the liquid I am floating in.
Ok think Mark, remember your high school biology. I never thought that a class I had taken so long ago might be what saves or helps me in my life. Smaller round things floating in a liquid, but still larger than me, probably some type of blood cell floating in the plasma. The large rectangles are probably the cells that make up the walls of the blood vessels we are floating through, and finally the oddly shaped quick moving shapes are most likely other microbes such as bacteria that can move around and not just float along like a virus. If my guesses are correct I should be able to choose between these three types of targets for my first invasion of a cell.
All things considered for my first attack I think I will try for other microbes. While there are a lot more of the floating red blood cells and the walls are everywhere surrounding us, I do not want to trigger an immune system response. I should be able to take over and use other microbes without having this hosts body react negatively. This should allow me to experiment and develop without causing my host to become sick or die. This is especially important right now as I have no idea who or what I am in and how I can spread to another organism. I mean I am not even sure what is going to happen when I finally am able to invade a cell. Now it is just a waiting game. As soon as a passing microbe runs into me I will try and attach and attack.
After a long time or at least what I think is a long time I “feel” one of the oddly shaped organisms brush against me. I immediately concentrate on sticking to it. My focus is rewarded and I can sense that I have been welded to the passing microbe. I am being carried along with it as it maneuvers around the blood stream. Ok, phase one is complete now how do I attack. Think Mark, alright if my memory serves the virus drills into a cell and releases its genetic information in essence hijacking the cell it is infecting and then uses it to reproduce.
I start to focus on the concept of drilling and release into the microbe I am attached to. After some time I can discern something is different. It feels like my mind or consciousness is transferring into some new vessel. This could be it. I really hope this is me transferring into the microbe and not something else. In just a little more time I “feel” myself completely slip out of my old self and enter into a new environment. I get the impression of confinement and not being as free as before, but before I can do more than just experience the new sensations I see another blue box appear.
Available Options for Infection of Bacteria A:
1. Reproduction and dispersal of new viral units
3. Absorption of traits
Huh, all the choices are pretty straight forward. For safety’s sake I should probably reproduce and disperse new viruses that way it is not just my lone virus. In fact, how would that even work? Do I have direct control over all newly created viruses? Well there is only one way to find out. I mentally select choice 1 reproduction and dispersal of new viral units.
New viral units will be ready to disperse in 12 hours
Would you like to designate roles of new units at this time?
Interesting, so I can decide how my new viruses will act when they are released. That probably means that my main consciousness will travel with the genetic package I currently have and the others will act more like autonomous units. However, I still do not know what the end game is. I do not understand how I can evolve. Worrying about it won’t help, I will just have to figure this out as I go along. I mentally answer the blue screen with, YES I WOULD LIKE TO DESIGNATE ROLES OF NEW UNITS.
Available Options for Viral Unit Designations:
Reproduce and disperse new viral units with similar cells 0%
Attack new cells and reproduce and disperse viral units 0%
Hibernate inside similar cells 0%
Infect and absorb new traits from similar cells 0%
That is different. I only have a few options and it seems I can use a set percentage of whatever new viral units are produced to perform certain objectives. I do not know if it is perpetual or if I will have to select it each time new viral units are made. Let’s see I think a nice balance between Options 1, 3, and 4 will be my best bet. I still want to avoid the hosts cells at least until I spread out and have more viruses as back up. I am assuming that if my central consciousness is destroyed that I will switch over to another one of the viruses. I do not know if this is true, but since the only way of testing it is to die I think that I will wait on that particular experiment.