The sound of screaming stopped rather quickly.
Greg just wasn't sure how long it took.
His grip loosened around the now-dented bat, the brushed aluminum stained with blood, hair and bits of grey matter that he did his best to ignore. He stood in front of the Merchant's body, a collection of red and pinkish-gray splattering both the filthy exterior of the dumpster and his all-black clothing.
Greg shuddered, a strange sense of calm overriding his growing nausea as he looked away from his handiwork.
|[Hysteria] negated by Gamer's Mind.
[Mindless Rage] negated by Gamer's Mind.
[Crippling Fear of Death] negated by Gamer's Mind.
Gamer's Mind? The words hovered in his field of vision, reminding him of what had just happened. That actually does something?
The Gamer's Mind skill had hung in his skill tab since he had first gotten his powers less than a week ago. He hadn't paid it much attention past the initial cursory glance, ignoring it much like he had Gamer's Body. He didn't really think much of either considering it was impossible to level them any further. If he had known…
Is this what this really does? He blinked, his chest rising slightly faster as his mind began to race with the implications. In the back of his mind, he felt the wave of calm wax slightly stronger in response. Masters me? My own powers Master me. It won't let me think certain ways? Shaking his head, Greg stepped backwards, the bat dropping from his fingers and clattering noisily against the wall before settling on top of a pile of garbage. That's… not terrible, right?
Greg hesitated, suddenly unsure of his own thoughts.
I mean, I don't mind… much. The words sounded right inside his head despite Greg's doubts, his mind wondering if that was him or just what his power wanted him to think. How… how would I even know? For a moment, Greg's eyes flickered from the menu back to the mutilated corpse slumped against a pile of torn garbage bags, a dumpster propping the body up.
All thoughts of whatever Master effect his power could be puppeting him with were washed away as a surge of nausea hit him, the urge to vomit wrestling with the subtle yet overpowering calm that both comforted and unsettled him. I killed someone.
Greg knew without a doubt that the Merchant was dead.
With a Capital D.
There was just no arguing the fact.
Even ignoring the fact that his head was little more than pulp, - and Greg was disconcerted by how easy it was for him to actually do just that - the former Merchant was drastically different in a way that told Greg all he needed to know.
Above his head… Greg shook his head as he stared at what he had done, a pit of revulsion forming in his stomach.
Above what remained of his head, the Merchant's corpse had no name, no level and no health meter, meaning that for all intents and purposes, it was just another item or background object like the dumpster the corpse was slumped against.
Unlike the rest of his friends still unconscious on the ground.
Greg let out a low gasp as the wave of calm rose against his swelling emotions. His vision moved to the item lying next to the merchant's body, the polished metal making it easy to spot. Greg took another step closer to it. "Ob- Obse…" Greg gulped, shuddering one more time.
|You have recovered from a K.O.
20% Base Health recovered
20% Base Mana recovered
20% Base Willpower recovered
-20% XP previously collected toward the next Level
|Through a special action, you have unlocked Perks!
Perks are power-up abilities, items or skills granted to the player upon performing a special action or bought by the player upon accruing enough Perk Points. 1 Perk point is gained every 5 levels and can be gained from special quests, fights and special achievements.
Not Quite Dead
People die when they are killed… usually.
Survive after your HP sinks below 0 and a harmful status effect is active.
10% Chance to recover with full health when HP drops to 0.
|First Blood II: Even Bloodier
8/15 Merchants defeated.
+ 250 XP, 500 XP (Permadeath Bonus)
+ .357 Bloody Magnum
|Through surviving a near-death experience, you have gained 2 VIT.
By unlocking a Perk before Level 5, you've gained 1 Perk Point.
Greg stumbled slightly as he read the description of that perk, leaning further back against the wall in a bid to keep himself standing as he tried to process the words. Zero HP? Near-death situation?
Had he been that close to dying? Greg had assumed dipping below zero was an immediate death sentence, whatever power that was Gamer's Body failing on his death. His continued existence proved that wrong, but still…
The fact that it said "survive" implied he had been far closer to dead than otherwise.
The thought hung in Greg's mind as he wrapped his arms around himself, the confirmation reminding him of the darkness that had subsumed his vision as he fell. "Holy… holy sh…" I almost died.
"HP?" His voice came out slightly shrill, not the simple cracking he was used to, tinged with a quiet terror.
Greg shook his head, letting out a sigh as he leaned further into the wall, hands twitching at his sides. The thought was terrifying in the worst ways, a step forward into a line of thinking Greg didn't want to pursue.
No. That… that doesn't make sense. I almost died? But I'm fine now. I'm… fine. He blinked, his breathing somewhat heavy despite his lack of exertion. Right?
|[Hysteria] negated by Gamer's Mind.
[Crippling Fear of Death] negated by Gamer's Mind.
Frenzied eyes relaxed instantly and twitching fingers stilled, a sudden shift that must have been almost as strange to see from the outside as it was to experience. "That is still…" Greg let out an annoyed breath, "really frickin' weird."
Pulling himself from the alleyway wall, Greg rolled his shoulders back, stretching languidly as he stared at the gun still lying on the floor. A tired expression crossed his face and he reached down at his side, picking up the bloody, gore-stained bat and walked over to the dumpster.
Lifting the bat with one hand, he gently touched the Merchant corpse with it, nudging the torso. After a moment, he stopped and simply stared at the body with an uncomfortable expression on his face. I did this.
Greg blinked slightly, raising an eyebrow. My first dead body. As if to confirm that this entire experience was real, Greg poked at the body again. I thought seeing a dead body would be more fun than this. He tilted his head, pulling the bat back from his curious prodding. Maybe that's only when you're not the one that makes it.
Greg stood up, casting another curious glance at the body before looking down at his bloodstained gloves and his own gore-covered body. Is this me? Or Is this The Gamer's Mind?
Greg wasn't sure he wanted to know right now. What was worse, really? Him naturally not caring about killing someone or his power making him not care?
"I'd say they're pretty even-steven," Greg remarked to himself, a bemused smile on his face behind the mask as he let out a bitter chuckle. Part of him couldn't help but feel relieved at the fact that he wasn't in tears right now. The only problem with that was the rest of him had to wonder if that wasn't also his power making him feel so grateful. "Both pretty messed up, really."
"Yeah." An unfamiliar voice sounded off, shocking Greg with both its depth and clarity, somehow sounding like it was just behind his back. "This is one messed-up situation you got here."
What the- Bat clenched tightly in both hands, Greg whipped around to the mouth of the alley to face whoever had just spoken. The teen's eyes went from narrowed to resigned as he cast a glance at the figure in front of him, his body visibly slumping even as he held his weapon up.
"Oh, fuck me. What now?"
|Greg Lucas Veder|
|Age: 15 (and three-quarters!)|
|Stat Points: 7|
|Perk Points: 1|
Nerd-Geek Hybrid: Your obsession with video gaming, computers, fantasy/sci-fi literature and 80’s/90’s pop culture has left you in the rare middle of two circles; the obsessive fandom-loving geek and the intelligent, knowledge seeking nerd. Sadly, your hobbies have left you with an aversion to physical exertion. (50% bonus to INT gains, -50% penalty to STR, SPD & VIT gains.)
Ambiguous Disorder: Ever since you were a little kid, you’ve always been a little bit off. Impulsive, obsessive, socially obtuse and emotionally needy, you’re a bit of a weirdo. It was easily written off as normal behavior when you were younger but now you’re fifteen. Yet, you still come off as someone over five years younger. Maybe Mom should have had you tested like Dad said? (-80% reduction to overall WIS, 90% reduction to overall CHA.)
Casanova Bloodline: As a Veder man, you have a great smile, natural charm and a confident approach to life that draws the ladies in like a moth to a flame. Your great cheekbones don’t hurt either. It’s how your dad got your mom to go out with him while dating at least three other girls and sleeping with two others, at least that’s what he always told you - even when you didn’t ask - all the time. (+9 CHA)