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Chapter 11

Bugs Can Be Cool Too

As soon as I make my selection I feel a powerful suction force start emanating from my current body. I can feel everything surrounding me, becoming part of me and rearranging itself into my new body. Each cell that is being used has one of my viruses inside of it. I suddenly feel very cramped and I stretch my new body to its maximum which causes me to emerge from what I can only describe as my Blood Wolf cocoon.

The poor Blood Wolf that I have been living in for hundreds of generations is now just an empty bloody skin. It looks like the process of me becoming something new used the material that was closest to complete the transformation. Unfortunately for the Blood Wolf that was him, or her, or I guess now it. I twist my head back and forth to get a good look at my new body. Then it hits me, I have a head and eyes. YES!!!

It has been a long time coming. As I check this new body out I see what I would call a praying mantis is my primary body shape. That is if a praying mantis grew to around one meter tall, and about a meter and a half long. On top of that I was a shimmering black color. The shimmering seemed to subtly encompass all of the colors of man in it. Right I am now in the body of an Elemental Mantis. What else is different. I am sitting on four back legs like a regular praying mantis. I do not know if I have compound eyes or not. I see everything fine and it seems to be similar to the sight I had as a human in my last life.

I reach up to fell my head and stop in shock and stare at my hands/arms. I have hands and a giant scythe blade. What? They are not what I would consider real hands, but they should act like them just the same. At my wrist joint my arm splits. Underneath is a proto-hand that has 2 “fingers” across from each other on a palm like structure for a total of 4 of these fingers on each hand. There is no thumb, but every finger appendage I can feel, and as I wiggle them I realize I have great control over them. They will work as good as my hands used to or even better.

Even stranger is on the outside part of my arm where the wrist joint is I see a large scythe arching another 35 or 40 cm’s past my wrist. Basically my hands are underneath to manipulate, and I have a single large seemingly very sharp built in sword/scythe made of chiton as a built in weapon. It sort of reminds me of the Marvel character Wolverine, but with a couple major differences. There is only the single blade, and it is more of a blade and not a claw, and I cannot retract them at all.

After I get done staring and testing out my hands and wrist blades I feel my head and find out I still have the iconic triangular shape of the mantis head. Alright this is just to freaky. I need to look and see what my status says now. Status.

Due to obtaining a body of sufficient size, inventory and other features of the game screen are now available. Status Screen has been altered for multicellular lifeform use.

What? Wait what features are you talking about? There is a different screen for single cell organisms? Brain overwhelm. Status.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Mantis form)

Level: 17

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 85

Strength: 5 Agility: 5 Intelligence: 5 (17)

Wisdom: 5 (7) Constitution: 5 (23) Perception: 5

MP: 1,700 HP: 230

MP/Regen: 70% per hour HP/Regen: 23% per hour

Skills:

1. Observe Level 3 – 21%

Bonuses:

Greater Resist All +5 Con Many Bodies One Mind +10 Int

Basic Tactics + 2 Wis Photosynthesis + 3 Con

Mana Manipulation + 2 Int Adamantium Defense +10 Con

Strengthen + 0 Str Flexibility + 0 Agi

Devour + 0 Per Miasma Poison Immunity

Ok that is a lot of information to sort through. Let’s figure some of this out. 85 unassigned stat points and 17 levels mean that I get 5 stat points per level. That was easy enough. Observe seems to be a skill which is different than a trait, but it can still be leveled. I might as well use it to help with the other stuff. Observe Strength, Agility, Intelligence, Wisdom, Constitution, and Perception.

Strength: Measure of a person’s overall ability to carry, move, and do damage with melee weapons.

Agility: Measure of a person’s overall coordination, ability to dodge, and perform precision tasks (projectile weaponry or lock picking)

Intelligence: Measure of a person’s overall ability to learn new information. (Affects Mana Pool)

Wisdom: Measure of a person’s overall ability to comprehend and recall information. (Affects Mana Regeneration)

Constitution: Measure of a person’s overall hardiness and health. (Affects Health Pool and Health Pool Regeneration)

Perception: Measure of a person’s overall ability to understand subtle clues and spot hidden objects.

Alright that cleared up a few things. I understand why you need a different body from a virus for these stats to kick in and start affecting you to. I mean I was probably using some of them as a virus, but strength or agility? Not really necessary as a tiny virus. Observe HP, MP, HP/Regen, and MP/Regen.

HP: Abbreviation for Health Pool. Total measure of how healthy your body is. If it is reduced to 0 you die. Targeting weak spots on an organism’s body affects their health pool at an advanced rate. Calculated by multiplying 10 by an organism’s constitution.

MP: Abbreviation for Mana Pool. Total measure of how much mana you have stored in your body. If it is reduced to 0 you will slip into a coma until 25% of your Mana is regenerated. Calculated by multiplying your intelligence by 10 and then multiplying that total by the number of affinities you have.

HP/Regen: The speed at which your health pool will refill. Health will not start returning until all strenuous activities are stopped such as combat. Calculated by multiplying constitution times 1%.

MP/Regen: The speed at which your mana pool will refill. Mana will not start returning until all strenuous activities are stopped such as combat. Calculated by multiplying wisdom times the number of affinities an organism has.

Well my getting every affinity has definitely paid off there. I probably have a mana pool and regeneration rate of people 10-20 times my level. That should definitely work to my advantage. One last thing to check. Observe Bonuses.

Bonuses: Bonuses are given to a person’s stats for inborn talents or traits. The amount of the bonus reflects both the level of the trait and how rare it is.

Yay for being a virus. I absorbed so many traits and they are paying off amazingly now. HP of 230 for first level. I mean I have not even placed my unused stat points yet and I already have hit points 5 times higher than a normal person. All of this will help keep me alive and reach the point where I can become powerful enough to take my revenge. I need to place my points and then take another look. How to distribute them? This should be a good spread to start with. Please place 20 points into strength, 20 points into agility, 10 points into intelligence, 15 points into wisdom, 10 points into constitution, and 10 points into perception. Status.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Mantis form)

Level: 17

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 0

Strength: 25 Agility: 25 Intelligence: 15 (27)

Wisdom: 20 (22) Constitution: 15 (33) Perception: 15

MP: 2,700 HP: 330

MP/Regen: 220% per hour HP/Regen: 33% per hour

Skills:

1. Observe Level 3 – 21%

Bonuses:

Greater Resist All +5 Con Many Bodies One Mind +10 Int

Basic Tactics + 2 Wis Photosynthesis + 3 Con

Mana Manipulation + 2 Int Adamantium Defense +10 Con

Strengthen + 0 Str Flexibility + 0 Agi

Devour + 0 Per Miasma Poison Immunity

That should be a good spread of points. I will be on par for any melee fighter of my level. That means my magic will take them by surprise with how powerful it is. Or it could work the other way around. They could see my magic and think I am weak in close combat and then I can surprise them with my strength. I like it.

Now that all that is taken care of I need to secure the necessities for survival. Shelter first, then water, and last but not least food. It is said that a person can only last 3 hours without proper shelter in bad weather, 3 days without water, but can live for up to 3 weeks without food. While I am not sure that human wisdom exactly matches my situation now as I am an Elemental mantis, it still holds a kernel of truth. For the first time I truly look around at my surroundings and take this new landscape and planet in.

I see a yellow sun, the sky is still blue, maybe a shade or two darker, but that could just be how my Elemental Mantis form perceives it. Plants are growing all around me. I seem to be on some sort of game trail, which would make sense since I appeared out of a Blood Wolf. The plants look similar to the Earth species that I remember, but subtly different. I do not know if it is color, leaf shape, or something else. I was not really much of a plant person in my other life so I have a hard time pinning down the difference. All I know is that it is just a little off from my memories.

From the vegetation and moisture, I would guess I am in the subtropics of this planet. Big trees and some understory help confirm this fact. I need to be able to see more of the area. If only I could climb one of these trees. Wait a minute, I am not a human anymore. Mantises climb things all of the time. I run over to the nearest large tree and start to climb. I am about half way up the trunk when I realized I did not even have to think about what to do. Thank goodness for instincts. I mean I have never walked on four legs or climbed with them for that matter. I just thought about what I wanted and the body responded.

Come to think of it, I really did not even need to climb, I could have just flown up with my mana wings. Eh, I have already started climbing I might as well finish. I continue scurrying, yep scurrying, that would probably be the best world for bug movement up a tree, until I reach the canopy of the tree and try and get a good look around. There are still a lot of tree around, over there. That tree seems taller than the rest. I bounce from branch to branch until I get to the new tree and climb up several more meters so I can finally get a look at the surrounding area.

It is beautiful. I have not seen a wilderness this pristine ever on Earth except in National Geographic pictures. In the distance I can see a chain of mountains with a couple smoking volcanoes. Clockwise from the volcanoes I see a large expanse of water I am guessing about 75-100 kilometers away. It could be a large lake or an offshoot of a sea or ocean. Huh, I can see pretty good as a mantis. Continuing clockwise opposite of the volcanoes is the continuing forest as far as I can see. To the left of the volcanoes is still more forest.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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