I woke up in my car. It took only a second for me to realize what had happened. Rubbing my sole human eye, I got out of the car and looked around. The auto drive of the car had managed to get me home safely and was now safely parked on the roof of my house.
“Not the safest thing I had ever done but it got me home.”
I called up the record of the car. The car engine had shut down once the car computer had confirmed it was parked on the roof but the air-conditioning was left on as the car system noticed that there was someone in the driver’s seat. I ruefully regretted upgrading the car computer system. If it had shut down the air-conditioning, I might have woke up and spend the night in my bed. As it is, I was just glad no one tried to hack my system while I was asleep. Even with all the surveillance drones and cameras of the government, it does still happen. Considering how easy it was for the System to bypass my internal security, my internal alarms was just not enough. Guess it was time for an upgrade. I walked away from the car to the roof lift. The door of the lift opened automatically after reading my cybernetics and I stepped through. The lift went down and I was home.
Home was a one storey condominium along Grange Road and like most of the houses along the street, it had seen better days. The Singapore economy had been in a downturn for years so no surprise there. I went to wash up and the face looking back at me in the mirror was a mess. In my thirties, fifteen kilograms overweight with a reclining hairline, I was no catch in the best of times but the face in the mirror managed to scare even me. I realized that not only did I stink, I was also hungry.
I ordered the meal helper to prepare a simple breakfast and went for a shower. When I was done, I put on a bathrobe and took the breakfast out of the oven. Putting it down on the kitchen table, I turned on the holographic television and ate. The morning news was mainly about a gigantic kaiju who somehow managed to cross the Pacific Ocean and was spotted heading towards the west coast of North America. I pulled up the feed on the kaiju and both the local and SEAL network were covering it. I accessed the net and the forums were filled with speculation on whether it was a giant mutant animal, a mad science experiments, or even a deliberate biological attack by some foreign power on the United Tribes of the Americas. I read with some bemusement as a few threads insist that the kaiju was ‘summoned’ by the shaman of the American Indian Tribes to defend the country against their foes in the Federation of Eastern NA. I would usually dismissed such magical mumbo jumbo but after the night I had…I still don’t believe it.
My breakfast was a simple affair with a cup of coffee, two slice of bread with kaya and a small bowl of porridge. It was passable at best. Try as they might, engineers had never been able to recreate the taste and aroma of a home cooked meal. I silently wondered if the System would be able to help me with my non-existing cooking skill. Thinking of skills made me call up the System.
It was right there. Right under System, there were now two other tabs; Jobs and Skills. I accessed them and noticed Battlesuit Designer and Tinkering under the respective tabs. So it wasn’t a dream.
“System, you’re there?”
[Yes, User Tobias Wong. How may I assist you?]
“Can you explain the Job and Skill tabs and how did I gained them?”
[Jobs are given once the Users have satisfied the requirements for them. The Battlesuit Designer job was given when User Tobias Wong selected it as a subject on Dive and created his first design. Skills are given to the Users to help them advance in their respective Jobs.]
“Why ‘Tinkering’ then? Why was I given this skill instead of others?”
[It was due to your performance yesterday. User Tobias Wong did a lot of work tinkering with the Steambot Battlesuit and thus was rewarded with the ‘Tinkering’ skill]
“So if I do something often, I shall get the skill for it? How many skills can I get? How many jobs?”
[In order of the questions; not necessarily as only skills useful in the application of the Jobs would be given. Users can have many Jobs and Skills but only two Jobs and ten Skills may be active at any one time.]
I took in the information about Jobs; Skills; and Missions. It was a little confusing but this was just the first day so I was sure the System had other secrets I had yet to uncover. I had time.
“I take it you are not allowed to tell me how to unlock these other Jobs and what are the requirements I need to fulfil to get them?”
[That is correct. The Mad Triple did not want to unduly influence the choices of his descendants, only to help them on their life journey.]
“Not even a hint?” I asked more in hope than expectation. “Some little thing to tell me what to do?”
[The Mad Triple believed this question would come up and has a message to his descendants. Do you wish to play the message?]
[Playing message…The System is a guide, not a babysitter. If you want success, get off your behind and work for it! Nothing is free.]
I chuckled at this. Popular culture had The Mad Triple as a crazy lunatic who was flighty in the extreme but I guess the old man would have been the hard ass parent if he had stayed. Feeling much better, I decided to follow the instructions of the crazed madman. It was time to get back to work.