Jai held his hand out for me, and I took it to stumble up to stand. Still wobbly. Naylar scrabbled for something in her bag and held out a bottle, I could only presume it was water, but when I opened it, no it wasn’t.
“It will help the fatigue.”
“Sticking to the terms we know, sure.”
I pulled the top, and put it to my lips. It Tasted sweet, but salty at the same time. I could only swallow and hope it really would do something for me.
The outer edges of my vision pulsed, and energy pulsed through me. Naylar grinned, I’m actually surprised it would take effect, that’s really good, it means that you do have some base nanites, just not what you should have to be in the field.
I guessed as much as that, because of the way the filing system worked and I could see some things already.
What’s in this?”
“If I told you that, I think I’d have to kill you myself.
Jai laughed and tugged the bottle from me, taking a good gulp himself. From my POV I could see the effect on him, his eyes glazed and his face flushed. He then passed it to the others, “we need to keep going, now that they’re out of the way it should be easier, but she’s weak.”
I knew he meant Denn, I turned to look at her and noticed how her shoulders slumped, her breathing was laboured. “Is it far? Maybe we a couple of us should run ahead get some supplies for her?”
Jai nodded to Rai, “Take him, he can run if nothing else…”
I knew what he was going to say. I’d make good bait for anything that went for Rei. I was expendable no matter what. I won’t deny it fucking stung.
Rei motioned for me to follow him and we set off at a really fast paced sprint. “How far?” I panted out.
“Just a couple of minutes, keep the pace and we’ll be back to them within thirty, with more basic aid, she’ll have more of a chance now. thanks.”
I wasn’t sure he should be thanking me just yet. We hadn’t even got to their base.
Rei was quick, I tried my best to match him but I was flagging again already. I forced myself through the pain barrier that was trying to consume me, and when we got to the building I took a deep breath in, this was huge. The metal structure to the towers reached high into the sky with crystal clarity.
“You go in, I’ll make sure nothing follows,” he said.
“I don’t know what I’m looking for.”
A tiny pop up appeared with an arrow on it. “Follow that, it will take you to the main lab, and locate a trauma bag for you to bring back that’s all we need. Nothing else, okay. Don’t get distracted.”
I nodded and once he opened the door for me, I ran in. The corridors were grey boring, but the arrow was steady ahead, easy to weave too, and I made great timing.
But as I turned the corner and into the room where the arrow was, there was another thing. I raised the gun and fired, but it was too quick. It lunged for me and I ran for it. Dodging to and fro I managed to get it away from the room. I didn’t know where the hell I was going to run, but I was just about managing to keep ahead of it. The classic in one door out another would have to work, but I didn’t know the base, or anything about it.
Then I saw something else flag up, a diff arrow as I was running, one in and one out of a room. Did my Internal know what I was trying to do?
I followed it and ran through the room, quick to slam the door at my end, and then rush around to slam the one it had just followed me in.
I gasped out loudly as the trick had worked. That thing had some horrible gnashing fangs and god only knows what was dripping form its mouth. I made a rush back to the first arrow and quickly located the bag I needed returning at as breakneck speed as I could muster.
Rei took one look at me, “stay here, you’re too weak to make it back, we’ll return. Please don’t touch anything.”
He sped off without even a look back. I was alone…
This alien world and its noises around me were weird. I wanted to run back with him, but he was right I wasn’t panting like a little bitch, my heart was about to burst free I was sure. Some kind of heart attack was coming my way for sure.
I moved to go back into the building, his words resonated inside my mind as I wandered a little slower through the corridors.
What was in the rooms did get my attention. But I had to honour my word, right?
I made my way back to where I’d got the med bag. Maybe I’d be able to figure out what she’d need when they got her here.
The room actually had quite a decent amount of tech, I’d never studied med equipment that well at school, just as much as I’d never paid attention to our history. I signed. Why had I been such an idiot?
I moved to the computer system and placed my hands over the keys, before I knew it, I was typing.
The base itself had simple security, not hard to break into. And I studied the schematics for a while, seeing the room where the critter was that I trapped, I was sure I could hear it banging on the door from here, would it get out? I hoped not.
The inside code within the system piqued my interest too. Still pretty simple, this now started to grate on my nerves, why was everything so basic.
There was a little ping at the corner of my screen.
Trix Party chat
Rei - We’re almost to the door, coming in hot. Get the med table up and running.
Jai - Follow my instructions, you can do this okay.
I stood and made my way over to the operating table, it seemed simple enough, I tried to lie to myself. But then I wasn’t one for believing anything that came out of my mouth.
“Okay” I said, “go for it.”
“Left side there’s a control panel, you want to enter the codes, 44785, ARCX.”
I complied and the table lit up, a shield extended outwards and then fluxed in, I could then see it pulse in and out.
“What colour is it?”
“We need it green, type in the commands 4271, followed by JAI Trix team.”
So, Trix was Jai’s last name? It felt familiar somehow, I couldn’t pin point the why.
There was something that I wanted to say, but as it juddered before me, it turned green and I felt relieved. I could hear something coming my way, and hoped to high hell it wasn’t that thing out there.
“Guys there was a critter in here, just an FYI”
“Some grey spitting critter, I trapped it in a room, just be careful.”
We’re almost to you!
I then heard their voices as there was an explosion. That damned critter I knew it.
I ran for the door and towards where the two of them were going to meet, I had to do something else to protect those who had protected me, but what this gun was nothing. I saw that same thing I did on the way in, the weapon on the table. I ran in and grabbed it.
It just looked like any kind of gun that they had, just different, still had a pointy end and a scope. I rushed away and met them in the next area trying to take it out, it was battling them with its vomit type spit and they had no way of getting through to where they needed.
I took aim with the weapon, waited as I heard something click, the dial on the side went from green to yellows, then turned red, “Oh shit.” I really didn’t know what this was, but as the pulse of light shot forwards, it took my arm with it. I mean the whole thing just ripped from my grip. The critter exploded before me, but I screamed out in agony.
Rei was beside me in a minute. “Fuckin newbies!” He said. And quickly wrapped the end of my arm into a gauze, “Get Denn to the table, I’ll deal with this.”
I watched as they ran off, and he then pushed me back to the med bay. Denn was on the table and they were looking after her I felt a needle or something in my arm and then I relaxed, I wasn’t unconscious right, I wasn’t dead that was a good thing.
Then I noticed what my arm was actually made of. I was flash and blood of a sort, but there was also mechanical circuitry in here. There were wires, running with the veins and there were plastic and I could see lights as they pulsed in an out.
“What are we?” I asked looking into Rei’s brown eyes.
They paled before me, and I wanted to curl up and die. Not even human, monster beyond being a monster, half hybrid creature and AI? This wasn’t fair at all.
“Most can’t take the truth, they don’t learn it for the first year, they get used to playing the game.”
My vision fogged more than before, and there were silvery lines of something around me.
Basic nanites incoming now, I have to give you a transfusion along with the jab. This might feel totally weird, they might not like those already in your system.”
I watched as he pulled open the side of his own arm, just like you would a robot, there was blood of course, he couldn’t not break some capillaries and stuff, but it stopped bleeding in a few seconds. Then when he had the arm open he gently tugged at one of his veins. If I wasn’t squeamish before I sure was now.
“Hold still you might not feel it, but you won’t want to see it.”
“I might not want to see it, but I won’t look away.”
That was when he pierced my arm with his finger nail alone, there was no pain, no. But when he opened it up and exposed the inner parts of my own body some more, he tugged a vein out and I watched as the two of them fused together, I mean not with mechanical connections or anything else aiding it, but the wrapped around each other and I could see his blood passing through into me. I turned away then as I did feel sick.
It will pass he said. “Hold on.”
“I tried, I gagged, “Hold onto them, don’t let yourself fight them.”
Deep inside me a fire raged, and then things started to settle. “There we go,” Rei said. “These should really help kick you off, you’ve got some good programming in there already, I can see it, just like Denn did. You just needed to be given base level so you can start to progress in here, and learn more about you and the body you have.”
“What is it I have?”
“I’m not going to take all the fun out of it for you, you need to discover that for yourself.”
“Am I actually any good to you guys, bar just being smart?”
Rei smiled then from ear to ear. “It will take us some time, but yeah, I really think you’ll fit in well. You’ve got some really heavy alignments started out already.”
That gave me a boost of confidence, “I looked back to the table where Denn was. “Will she be okay?”
“Yes, she will be, with a little more time.” That means we get to level you to basics and beyond. Her recovery will have to align with your time here now.”
“It’s not instant.”
“Not that instant no, if you were respawned sure. But for us to heal major wound in the field it takes time, not as much as a true injury, I think the scale is about 4-1.”
I looked to where my hand had been ripped off. “What about this then?”
“Yeah that’s going to affect you for a while, most we can do is get you an over prosthetic from one of the lower labs. But…”
I didn’t like the sound of that. There was always going to be a but in here I guessed.
“But, it’s like a hidden monster trap.”
Jai came over. “We’re going to be here a while, so it’s something I’ll consider while he’s learning.”
Consider, that shocked me. I mean what good was I without a hand, I couldn’t program shit.
Jai nodded away from us and Rei disconnected his vein and put mine back then he got up to move away so they could talk. I couldn’t hear anything this time and manage to just stare at what was going on now instead.
Could I really see the nanites starting to work, to regrow my hand? I wasn’t sure, but to me, it looked like it.
I decided to check out my real stats now and to see what the baseline was.
Name Kyle Ranz
Rank Basic 1
Special Traits Awarded 2
As I hovered over the Special Traits more information from it scrolled by.
Healer - Internal AI chip X Class – Crystaline and Silver metal chip, with integrated healer nanites. Level 1 acquired - Master Trix opened the healing vaults of information for you to learn self-healing.
Metal absorption – Can absorb any metals into the body using base mana for transformation. – Level 0 – Requires a Master to teach base skill before absorption can commence.
Stat Points - 2
Quick Points -
What were Quick Points?
These seemed new… at least in terminology. I clicked over the button and it expanded.
Awarded Quick Points to allocate to a familiar of your choosing. Wow, I’d been given some already, why I wasn’t sure when, or why?
But, my mind jumped. I could get a pet? That was super cool, I wondered what I could have, where I’d find it. The fact alone made me grin, I’d wanted a pet in real life forever. Now I had the chance.
I now actually had stat points to use, but I had no idea where or what to put them in.
All my basics, were just that, really basic, like 1 and 0’s, all but one… Intelligence. Well at least that was something. I might be able to outsmart things, right?
Strength – 1
Dexterity – 0
Constitution - 1
Intelligence – 4
Wisdom - 1
Charisma – 0
I rolled my eyes, I wondered how quick I could get past the first few levels now that everything was going to be working for me. That deepened on my class surely.
So, I looked for Class type or something that gave it away.
Mmm, Rei had said it was interesting. I wanted to know more, I’d always played a healer or anything with ranged weapons. But mmm there it was.
Barbarian? Tank? I wasn’t quite sure.
What? I’d no experience of mele or fighting. Not one game had I played and done this… I wasn’t sure how to build this character up at all, or to make the most of anything this game was going to offer me.
There were some really interesting descriptions here that gave me details about my body at least.
Body type – Model 7812 A Class
Structural integrity – Camite Silver integration – Level 8
Skin Strength – Level 10
Blood Capacity – Level 4
Healing Speed – Above Basic due to custom build Level 0 + 1
I didn’t know what they would mean other than perhaps I wasn’t quite the basic standard as they weren’t all 0’s like I thought they might be. Maybe I had a better chance out in the battlefield to withstand some blows. That’s probably why the first critters cut to the bone hadn’t actually taken my arm off then.
I carried on reading.
There was a lot more to this than met the eye.