“A popup window?... Wait no, more importantly, did she say dead!?”
Seeing a lot of people stare at her as if she took their favorite piece of food from them Silia giggled. "So what, did everyone think this was some fantastic little dream. That was super real with a smoking hot angel to bless your dreams?"
Everyone in the group started looking side to side at the people around them. It dawned on them that they each had roughly the same thought.
" Ms. Silia?" growled a bear.
"Yes, what is it hairy?" replied Silia with a smirk.
"You said we are dead. Then why is it that I can not remember myself dying?" The question caught Jake's attention. Not only because it came from a creature that resembled a bear that stood like a man. But because it was what he had wanted to ask. He was too frozen in thought to speak up. He remembered that he woke up from a nightmare. Yet, with all the weird stuff happening since waking up, Jake forgot what he dreamed. If he died, he would hate not knowing how and why he passed.
"Oh me oh my, what a wonderful question. Well, let us see what is it again... Ah yes, the reason you don't remember is that... Drum roll, please! Because I do not know. The thing is no one knows why we forget about our death. Though some speculate different reasons, none have proven to be right. But, don't worry sooner or later something will trigger and all your nightmares will come true. You will cry, piss or vomit at the scenes. Soo... For now be thankful you don't have to see it."
With a satisfied grin, Silia dropped the bomb on the group in such an annoying way. Almost everyone wanted to smack the shard nuggets out of her.
Though shortly after the aggravation left, a lot of people started to bawl. Some started to stare out into the void, while others acted as if it did not matter. They could give no shard nuggets whether they were dead or live.
For Jake, he felt a piece of his heartbreak ever so slightly. Tears threatened to flood out of his eye sockets that had somewhat sunken into his skin.
Thoughts of his family and friends flashed in his mind, what were they doing?
While the group of saddened people wallowed in their self-pity. A giant airship soon docked near them. The ship was something of an exquisite masterpiece. Crafted from a type of wood that glowed with a light sheen of gold that sparkled in the sky. Along with beautiful carvings of animals and other creatures that lined its body.
Large silver sails hung from their mast's while they glittered as if there were stars sewn in them. The Mast's themselves grew from the deck of the ship like a massive tree trunk. With glowing runes carved into the wood. The area around the rudder came gold and green dust that puffed out. It hinted at the possibility of an engine of some sorts in the lower deck.
While everyone was still distracted, Silia boarded the vessel. Turning back to the group Silia purred. "Hey darlings, I know that you have some personal issues to work through, but I am on a tight schedule. So, please board the ship in a calm and orderly fashion."
No one uttered a sound of complaint or any other sound while boarding the craft. Most just hung their heads down as they gazed at their feet.
Jake snapped out of his sulk when Silia ordered them to board. Not because he was over the trauma of dying but because to him it still felt unreal.
Plus, Jake needed answers. He was stuck here for eternity. Would he reunite with his family when they die? Was there a way back?
These plus many other questions crowded his mind and distracted him from his pain. If he had not realized he had died, he probably would have been stoked to be flying on a ship.
The group had flown for what felt like half a day around an enormous city filled with all sorts of sights. There was so much to see that hardly anyone could remember them all in one trip. Jake did not believe you could even visit the whole city in even a year.
Packed along the main street stood every store you could imagine and some you could not even fathom. There were beautiful signs that glittered and lured the wandering shopper to them.
Though, the smells that came from the food stalls were Jake's favorite part of the city. More than a hundred times did a breeze pass his nose carrying the scent of some delicious food. The smells caused the mind to float in bliss and the stomach to growl.
Jake was mindful of his location or else he would have followed his stomach and fallen off the ship.
Yet, what made the city a wonder was the inhabitants. Jake was somewhat prepared for the variety in races from the group he was a part of. He had already seen a bearman, along with more common fantasy races.
Even with the vast variety from the group, it still did not prepare Jake for the multitude of races. More than some races were a total mystery to Jake for he could not for the life of him figure out what they were.
Near a food stall that sold some type of meat on a stick, there was a creature for lack of a better word. This thing looked like an odd mix between a giant, ogre and a spider. When it turned around and stuffed the ten meat sticks in its massive jaws. The ugly and bizarre creature almost caused Jake to hurl, "how could something like this exist." Thought Jake when he saw the beast.
Its face was dark green with many creepy eyes that never blinked. It had no nose and its mouth was filled with a multitude of jagged teeth with two fangs hanging from the top jaw. The thing did not have ears that Jake could see nor any hair ontop its head. As for the body, it had four legs that jutted out from a thick torso. This creature was a nightmare brought to life.
Jake felt like it was more of a creature meant for the wild than a normal citizen and yet it was.
Other than sightseeing, the group listened to Silia as she introduced the city. During the trip, one guy brought up the question about the popup window and what it was all about.
Silia stopped to think about what the guy was talking about before a light seemed to dawn on her.
“Ah yes. Silly me, I almost forgot. Listen up! Ok, I am only going to explain this once... What you saw is what we call the P.I.S. which stands for the personal identification system. This will be your lifelong buddy while here in AfterWorld.”
The system allowed one to pull up a status window which would show all the details about the host. There were other actions that P.I.S performed, but Silia told us to learn them later.
"How do we use it?" asked a dwarf that had a long scruffy beard that almost touched the ground. Since he was a dwarf, it was not too long but still impressive for his size.
“Good question... okay, newbies I want you all to think in your mind abbracadoobrack alikazoom.”
Everyone looked excited to try out this ability. Soon, many unfocused gazes sprang up among the group. Unable to quench his own curiosity the boy spoke in his mind. “Abbracadoobrack alikazoom!”
The boy stood there as he stared into the open air while it dawned on him and the rest that they had been duped. This lady was a clown disguised as an angel.
With a hundred pairs of eyes glaring at her, Silia calmed her self down and took a deep breath. Once she regained her composer after her giggle fit she gave the group the right command.
With the correct command which was pretty simple, the group along with the boy stared at a light blue screen that hovered in front of their faces.
||Home World: Earth
|Age: 16 Years
||Soul Gems: 0
||Soul Energy: 100/100
Looking at the status window, Jake was kind of confused. Some of the info made sense, such as his personal info or the bits about race and class and so on.
Though soul gems, soul energy, and the hidden status caused some confusion.
What purpose did they serve? Thinking up to here, Jake had a chill run up his body as a bad feeling passed through him.
"Now listen I won't go into much detail about your menus info, that's for you to find out on your own. I will let you know some information free of charge. First, don't worry about the hidden status for now. For most, it won't ever matter to you, as for the window itself do not fret little darlings no one but yourself can see them. Well for the most part at least. Anyways for the most important detail soul gems and soul energy."
Feeling his chest tighten a little, Jake leaned forward unconsciously to listen better.
"So why oh why do these two matters so much. Well as all of you know by now you are dead and part of the soul society, what that means is that you are now immortal... Kidding though you lost your mortal body and ended up here this is not the final death. I pray none of you will see it for a long time."
Apparently, from her information Jake now had a soul body, this was like the mortal body from when he was alive. It needed food and water, you still would grow tired and need rest. Unfortunately, the bodies waste production was still active so bathrooms were still needed.
But what sucked was that you could still get injured you could bleed, break bones and get sunburned. To Jake it sounded like a crappy deal he was dead but could still die and was just like a normal human.
Though, as he listened he did find that there were some differences between bodies. Such as the ability to heal faster, wounds treated could heal many times faster than with a mortal body. Along with the fact that with time your stats could increase over time. Though, she felt bored on that subject and told us to figure out the other parts on our own.
Spending more time with Silia, Jake could see what the jello was talking about. She definitely was not sweet on the inside. She was pretty much an annoying clown that liked to play dress up as an angle.
"Anywho like I said you can surely die, and there are a few ways for that to happen. When that happens little ones... Let's just say you won't be seeing pretty ole' me no you just will disappear. Now, how you ask does this pertain to soul energy and gems?" Pausing her speech to make sure she had an avid audience. Which she did, though it seemed everyone was in agreement that she was a pain in the ass. No one wanted to miss out on important info that could mean life or death.
"Good everyone seems eager to know. Well, it's quite simple really darlings... Your new found bodies run on soul energy so if you have a hundred points and then they go bye bye. Then poof no more little darling! That's why you need the gems so remember to make sure every month you take one of these."
Dropping the proverbial bomb like it was nothing. Silia did not even lose stride or stop to ask if there were questions. She continued while she pulled out a strange yet beautiful gem that seemed to pulse like a heart. It's shape looked more like a crystal and it glowed with a soft red hue. Inside of the crystal there seemed to be little stars that swirled within. They caused little motions in the glow which made the gem a bit more stunning to look at.
"This little bugger right here is what will keep your bodies ticking. The soul gem is what makes your soul body different than a mortal. In theory, as long as no one kills you with these you all can live forever. You won't grow old or die as long as you keep your soul energy from hitting zero. Again, this is not including causes of death like murder. But since you're in soul form you will not be getting sick so don't worry about that. Well, there are some exceptions to that rule but you all are smart so discover those yourselves."
With her speech over, she watched as the crowd soaked in her words. All different types of emotions passed through the crowd, some that seemed odd to others.
While others were asking questions Jake fell silent while he looked at his soul energy. Only a few hours had passed but even so, the points were dwindling. "A single month, sheesh this is taking the phrase, 'Living month by month.' to a scary degree." thought Jake as he listened to questions and answer echo around him.
The day had finally ended for them as tour came to and end. Silia finished her part by bringing the group to a part of the city that had lots of different lodgings.
A noticeably larger building stood out to the group among the many buildings. Off to the side read [Temporary Boarding Inn] painted on a sign.
Leaving us in the care of an elderly looking man who ran the inn. Silia left in a hurry though she did gift everyone with their first soul gem. After the dust settled from her quick escape the old man advised the group.
"Remember young ones wait till the end of the month to use those."
With that, he turned and disappeared inside without further instructions.
As Jake laid on his cot in a huge room with all the other males from his group and a lot of others. Jake replayed the day and ran over the important info that he learned. Later in the night, he tried to recall his dream and his death but to no avail so he turned to his next goal.
"I need a job, I already died once... I can't let that happen again!" mumbled Jake to himself.
Losing one life was already too much for him. He hated that he could not have experienced more before dying.
But fate or luck gave him a second chance at living a fulfilling life, this one he planned to not lose.
Falling to sleep his dreams revisited Jake as he tossed in turned.
While the new arrivals slept dark shadows crept out among them.