The lunch with my friends went fine. They all said that the meatloaf I made was the best they ever tasted, and that they'd like to join my harem since I was a great provider. I wasn't sure what they meant until I looked up the word, and I could immediately tell it would cause problems. Offspring wasn't a possibilty for me since I wasn't really a human, and multiple offspring seemed to be the main point of a harem. Luckily, both Mikey and Ifrit needed to get back to work, and Nicole had agreed to an interview, so I decided to ignore the problem for now.
Instead, I decided to do a little more investigation into multiple brains. Some of the makeshift designs I made while dumping my excess weight had shown promise, so I wanted to do some more testing. The fact that it gave me an excuse to eat some more and regain some lost calories had nothing to do with my decision.
I went back to my apartment so I could work in privacy. One of the advantages of having my own apartment was that I could stock it with supplies, and I would need some of them now to work on the brains. The fact that I'd needed to dump my energy reserves had prompted me to buy multiple bags of sugar while I was shopping for meatloaf ingredients. It wasn't as good as my own calorie storage methods since I would need to absorb it first, but it was the best I could think of until I found a supply of speedster energy bars. Rattleback was so stingy with them.
I began my experiment by forming two brains, and running Human.exe on both at the same time. Thanks to what I learned from Nicole and the will-o-wisp, the hierarchy structure between my core and the two brains prevented the micro units from becoming confused about whether or not they were seperated, and both brains continued to function even when the thought processes reached 74.235323% divergence.
I was thinking of ways to use this to my advantage, when I noticed something odd. When I turned Human.exe off and on while the other brain was already running Human.exe, I noticed a small fraction of a second where I could watch Human.exe ‘unpack’ before its contents were used to run a human mind. I’d never before seen a glimpse into the black box that was Human.exe, so immediately I began experimenting with turning it off and on over and over, so that I could glimpse more and more of the inner workings of Human.exe.
This continued for a few hours, until I finally managed to see enough of the code to identify several functions of Human.exe that I had yet to access. I made a back-up copy of my memories and Human.exe in case anything went wrong, before attempting to activate one of the functions.
|Name: Tofu||Species: Soy Product||Class: Minion|
|Strength: 14||+2||Shapeshift: Take the shape and appearance of a creature/object. Your stats stay the same.|
|Dexterity: 20||+5||Omnivore Prime: You can eat anything. You gain the natural abilities of organisms you eat.|
|Constitution: 20||+5||Adorable: Your social faux pas are viewed as being cute/quirky instead of creepy.|
|Intelligence: 16||+3||Human.exe: You are treated as a human in all social situations.|
|Wisdom: 2||-4||Plot Armor: You are the main character, and cannot be reduced below 1hp during minor plot archs (psychological damage still applies as normal).|
I didn’t know what to make of it. It somewhat reminded me of the info pages in Gribblin Tamer, but modified to somewhat resemble me?
|New Quest: Investigate the Dark Alley|
I recognized quests at least. In Gribblin Tamer they usually gave a reward of some kind, so I decided to investigate. Small navigation markings appeared in my vision, similar to the ones my mask used to lead me to the safe room after the orientation job. It led me to a small alley a few blocks away, on the darkened ground floor where there were roads for cars, and where most lighting was provided artificially. When I entered the alley, a man popped out from a side door.
“Yo, what do you think you’re doing in my alley punk? If you wanna go through here you gotta pony up the toll small fry.”
| Thug lvl3
Numbers popped up for the thug in my vision which I found strange. Was this what I needed to investigate? Or did I need to fight him like in video games now?
I decided against it, instead pulling out my HH minion mask, prompting an apology from him and his subsequent retreat. Strangely that completed the quest, and before my eyes a soda packet materialized from thin air, and then dropped into my open hand. Then a second quest popped up.
It gave free resources! This was amazing! If the quests progressed like the ones in Gribblin Tamer, it was safe to assume the rewards would get better and better until perhaps I would start to receive rations like the speedster energy bars. I hurried to follow the markers to the next location…
...but as I stepped out of the alley I made a fatal mistake. The sidewalks were narrow at this level, and quite frankly poor protection for the civilians that travelled them. A horn bellowed, and I turned to view beaming headlights sandwiching a shiny chrome grill. In the dark conditions of the bottom level, and with the fiery flames that engulfed the cab, the grill of the truck looked like a predator’s teeth, smiling in victory.
|Flaming Truck-san lvl???|
And woke up under my bed with a start, slamming my head into the metal frame above me. I had been trying to simulate the ‘dreaming’ functions of Human.exe, which resulted in the surprisingly realistic hallucination. I didn’t like it. Supposedly most humans did this every night, but I couldn’t see the appeal. It wasn’t as efficient as just turning Human.exe off for a few hours, and the hallucination didn't make for good combat data. Quite frankly the memories it generated seemed like a waste of memory.
I went back to sleep.
(author's note: Happy April Fools day! Real chapter tomorrow.)