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Like most businesses, the Flash Corporation was there to make money. They are not a charity and everything on Dive required Dive Points. Called DP for short, it was the digital currency of Dive and you need to use real-life credits to get it. To prevent people from flooding the platform with bad and nonsensical designs, and to further gouge on wannabe designers, Flash Corporation imposed an activation fee for each of their 'Designer Subject'. This meant that if you pay the activation fee for 'Mech Design', Dive would allow you to design your own mech and put it on sale on Dive. You however would not be allowed to create designs in any other Subjects without paying the activation fee of that Subject. Not only that, you also need to pay DP to use the parts found on the platform. Due to how realistic Dive was, almost all the parts found on the platform could be made in real-life and there were more than a few small companies existing solely due to the Dive designer platform. Using the robust design platform of Dive, small time designers create new exotic parts for other designers. These small time parts makers were on the bottom heap of the Dive, scrapping through week-by-week usually by doing cheap modified copies of more successful models. I do not want to be one of them. I am my father's son and he was never known to be an unambitious man.

I selected 'Battlesuits' and the screen showed me an image of the ABS-5. The fifth edition of the Advanced Battle Suit series, the ABS-5 was currently the Battlesuit of choice for most Special Forces in the Solar System. A full-body suit that protected it's wearer with TK-Medium Armor, it was equipped with Kelvin Lasers on both hands, an EM should cannon, and a jet propulsion system on both feet for limited flight. The energy core in the chest piece could last forty-eight hours without a recharge and could be easily taken off and replaced if damaged. It could also be modified in a variety of ways like adding an air tank and gravity soles for short term usage in space, or adding an extra shoulder cannon for more firepower.

Twenty meters tall mechs may be the tanks of the modern era; space ships may get you to other planets; but the Battlesuit was the versatile muscle everyone needs to have. Armies, security firms, police, rebels, pirates, gangsters; everyone uses the Battlesuit in one way or another and ever since I first saw a group of local SEAL soldiers flying through the air in their Red Lions Batlesuits, I was in love with them. It was the Subject I was most interested in. I confirmed 'Battlesuits' as my choice and Dive requested an activation fee of either 10,000 DP or 5,000 credits. Just as I was about to confirm my credit details, the System decided to give me a helping hand.

[Batlesuits selected. First time activation is free. System will transfer 5,000 credits to Dive upon confirmation by User Tobias Wong.]

"Wait; what? It's free?" I shouted as he finished reading the message. My mind swirled. If activation is free…

[First time activation would be paid for by the System. Any subsequent activation of Subjects on Dive must be paid for by User Tobias Wong.]

I was stunned and not just by the message. After a moment, I whispered to the empty air. "System, do you have voice recognition?"

[Yes]

Now I was more than a little afraid. This System in my cybernetics was speaking to me; only that was impossible. I knew my body well. Although I was classified as a 'Cyborg' in public records, the only enhancements I had was my right eye and a bionic left arm. Both were just Grade 1 enhancements, the second lowest Grade of technological enhancement there was. There was no way an AI could have room to operate in my system. However the System must be an AI. If the System was not an AI, there was no way it could speak to me. Only it couldn't be an AI. My cybernetics can't handle one! Cyborgs were not known for our subtlety. It was time for me to play up to the trope.

"System, are you an AI?"

[No]

"What are you then?"

[The System is a guide invented by the supervillain, The Mad Triple, for his descendants. It was created using a combination of various sciences, magical spells and cultivation techniques.]

"That's impossible. There is no such thing as magic and cultivation."

[An impossibility made possible by The Mad Triple, only the 104th person in recorded history to be credit as a Master in more than five Fields of Science and only the third person to have gained Mastery in at least one field of science, magic and cultivation.]

"Those are myths, hoaxes and scams for the idiotic. They are not real. There is no such thing as magic and cultivation!"

[The existence of the System state otherwise.]

I was stumped. The System was telling me something that's impossible. It had to be wrong. I refused to believe in such nonsense as magic and cultivation.

"What do you mean by "a combination of various sciences, magical spells and cultivation techniques? How were you made?"

[Unknown. The System does not have information of its creation, only that it is a library of knowledge exclusively available to the descendents of The Mad Triple.]

As I expected! Could my father found a way to store an AI programming even in simple Grade 1 cybernetics? Seems impossible but that's far more likely than magic and cultivation. This magic and cultivation nonsense must be his way of camouflaging his inventions and enhancing his name. Even in this age of science there are idiots who would blindly follow someone if they thought that person had mystical powers. I knew my father was a killer, smuggler, pirate, thief, hacker, and arguably freedom-fighter, so being a cult leader wasn't out of the question for him. Then a scary thing came to my mind.

"It is impossible but more importantly; should you be writing my father's name, even his codename? Big Brother is always listening. Even in the Dive, they would have ways."

[It is not possible for them to listen in. The System is not in the Dive. The System was designed to be imprinted into it's users upon acceptance of the System. The Dive was only needed to activate the System.]

The fear within me grew. "System…are you saying you are inside me?"

[Yes. This System is imprinted into your DNA. Only you can see this version of the System.]

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Ghostman

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