His eyes slowly opened, vision blurry and unfocused. Throbbing pain seemed to be streaming from the back of his skull down through his back. "Ugh... god... it feel.. it feels like I drank way.. urp.. much." His hand instinctively went to his mouth, trying to prevent his stomach from up-heaving its nonexistent contents. A few breaths passed and the pain seemed to subside just as quickly as it came on. His hand came up to his eyes, rubbing at them, trying to get his vision back, only to reveal the white plaster of a ceiling.
"Ceiling? Wasn't I in the woods?" Confused he looked to his right finding... a wall coated in blue paint. Then to the left, a small, open room. There was a night stand beside the rather comfortable bed he was laid in, beyond that a dresser, with a rather outdated looking television on top. He guided his sight in a circle from that point taking in a coat rack, a chair with some clothes haphazardly thrown atop, and finally a large oak door.
"Definitely not my place." Trying to sit up brought an ache from his side forcing him to look down at the covers hiding his body. When he pulled back those covers he found his stomach bound in white wraps, shirt missing, triggering a flood of memories. "Car wreck... giant fucking wolf.. no worg... and weird blue screens." A pause. He considered saying it, but knew that the minute he did he would either get the confirmation he was insane and had dreamed it all up or... that he wasn't. He was not quite sure which was worse.
His lips puckered and he blew out a slow stream of breath before giving a shake of his head. "Fuck it. Show Status." There it was. Like an ominous message from beyond. A giant blue screen.
Looking over the screen just brought more questions than it did answers. Why was his name labeled the way it was? Why did he only have Stamina, Fatigue, and Mana? "Guess I should change my name first." Hitting the Edit next to his name let out a satisfying click noise, followed by a holographic keyboard appearing where he could easily access it. "Convenient." A few moments later and the weird mess his name had been was replaced by his actual name. James Harbor.
He did not waste anytime clicking around on the screen, trying to get his other [Stats] to popup information, only for nothing to happen. "Looks like I gotta go through the WIKI or figure this out on my own." The last thing that caught his eye were the notifications at that bottom of the screen. He was just getting ready to click on it when he heard the sound of a door knob turning.
Looking up from the screen he was greeted with the sight of a rather large brown haired, mature woman, dressed in a turtle neck sweater and jeans. She was holding what looked to be a metal tray with a bowl and a towel, looking at him through a set of thick rimmed glasses. They sat there staring at one another, until the woman finally cleared her throat. Her voice was soft, for some reason she reminded him of a librarian with the way she almost whispered, "You're finally awake. You gave us quite a scare you know. Im Alison, my father and I took you away from that horrible wreck."
His brows furrowed at what was said, Took me away? Shouldn't they have just called an ambulance? Seeing the confusion on his face, Alison set the tray down on the night stand and settled on the edge of the bed, sinking it in a little, oblivious to personal space. "You look confused. I am assuming you're wondering why we brought you here? The town.... well.. the town is a mess." Her voice had faltered near the end, causing her to look away from James, hands pulling at the hem of her sweater almost on instinct. "The world is a mess... riots all over the place... at least that was the last we heard... cell phones.. television.. none of it seems to be working anymore since this morning."
When she looked back at him James could see the worry on her face, even despite the almost quivering smile she had put on, trying her best to brave what was obviously an abhorrent situation. "O...oh.." Unsure of what to say he turned inwards. Doesn't surprise me much people can be horrible when things go south... explains why I am here and not in a hospital though. Cellphones and television don't work? Alison, for her part, was fidgeting, her eyes seemingly drawn down. "Um.. well. I'll leave the bowl and rag.. I need to go finish dinner.. you're welcome to join us if you feel up to it." Another weak smile, and she was gone through the door before he got a chance to ask any questions, closing it on the way.
Nice enough... brought some stranger into their house when all of this is going on. He sighed and shook his head, hands coming up and slapping his cheeks."Focus. You need to figure this shit out." His status screen was brought back into focus, and his finger pressed down on notifications only for the flood to begin again in earnest.
|ANNOUNCEMENT June 20th 24:00:00|
[ AUDIO PLAYBACK BEGINS ]
GREETINGS BEINGS OF EARTH!
It seems some of you are mistaken in how this situation is going to work. There is no choice in the matter, [Mana] will be distributed through your planet, and you really should start working together in order to have a game plan for when the week ends. We are not allowed to interfere more than we already are.
Lets take a look at our running tally shall we?
Your planet has been expanded by roughly 25% of its previous size. In addition numerous locations known as [Dungeons] have been spread through new and old areas. [Dungeons] are places where large amounts of [Mana] has been focused, each [Dungeon] uses this [Mana] to spawn all manner of things from [Monsters] and [Items] up to an including entire cities. This was unexpected, and thanks to its timely arrival we believe the spawns outside of these areas will not be as intense.
However, that does not mean you are safe, just within the last 24 hour period your species has experienced a catastrophic loss of life, numbering at 1.5 billion. We implore you to focus on the task at hand and interact with the [System], it very well may save you from oblivion.
A new broadcast will be sent at the same time next cycle.
[ AUDIO PLAYBACK ENDS ]
─ Signed Hirax, Lead Administrator 0001 of UV-Quadrant 356
He left the message sitting there after the audio playback had concluded. A low whistle was let free from his lips. "One and a half. Thats a lot... more than I expected. Guess people really aren't taking this too well. Makes Alison's reaction more commendable." He went back up to the previous paragraph, re-reading the details about [Dungeons]. "Was the place that worg was supposed to be at a dungeon?" That thought had him looking around the notifications screen, pulling at it in every direction, trying to re-access the old notice. It did not take long to find that he could go forward and backward in the queue by swiping up and down. Swiping down until he got to the first notification he received he committed the timestamp to memory before going on to the third notification telling him he had been cleared of wrong doing.
"Almost an hour before the world wide announcement went out, that means the [System] and monsters were in place, or being placed before they even said anything." It may have just been his paranoia but the more he thought about it, the more he felt like this situation was intentional. "Saying anything will just make shit worse. Plus if they did take out the cellphones, gotta assume the internet does not work anymore either." His voice didn't sound too convinced of his own words.
Swiping up he skipped past the System Notices in order to get to the warning from yesterday. Spatial Storage. "It caused a blackout, hope its worth it." Another click brought up the details for the [Trait].
|TRAIT Spatial Storage|
A subset of [Spatial Magic], this [Trait] replaces the default [Inventory System]. The [User] is able to instinctively access a dimension created for them by the [System].
Unlike the [Inventory System] this [Trait] allows the [User] to theoretically store anything. This is limited by a weight limit per item, a stored [Mana] cost for [System] upkeep, and a maximum amount of [Mana] that can be stored at a time. These limitations can be improved via [Upgrades].
Further functionality and details must be accessed after [Evolving] the [Trait].
WARNING: Removing [Mana] for functions currently in use could result in catastrophic failure, loss of dimension contents, and potentially death.
|Current Functionality||2lb Max Weight | 1 [Mana] = 1 Cubic Foot | [Mana] Limit - 10|
|Upgrade Requirements||1 [Skill] Point / Token|
After clicking it felt like second nature, as if he had always had the [Trait]. His hand moved up on its own, reaching out in front of him and then disappeared from view. It felt. Numb. Like he couldn't feel his fingers anymore. Retracting it and wiggling his fingers seemed to cause no ill effect. Reaching over to the right he picked up the towel from the tray and pushed both it, and his hand back into the space in front of him. Letting go and retracting his hand the towel stayed. "Interesting. Im not sure how they impart the knowledge, but it definitely makes this easier." A thought later and the towel appeared at the edge of his range, about two feet from his body on top of the bed only to disappear once more, then a grin ripped through his lips. "Oh I can do plenty with this. Need more mana though."
Now far more eager, he brought his status back up and flicked past the trait notification, more windows of rewards flooding his vision.
Multiple Notices and Rewards have been condensed for convenience.[You are the first System User to kill a Monster!]
[Acquired: [Trait] - First Blood, +1 Stat Point, Bronze Chest]
[WARNING: Spatial Storage cant hold Bronze Chest, reward Stored temporarily, claim in 48hours or it will disappear]
[You are the first System User to kill a Boss Monster twenty levels higher than you solo!]
[Acquired [Trait] - Boss Slayer V, [Trait] - Buffer Zone V]
[Acquired [Title] - Indomitable]
[WARNING: [Title] - Indomitable requires HP Regneration, Willpower, Constitution to be unlocked.]
[Acquired Random Skill - Arcane Duplication]
[WARNING: [Skill] - Arcane Duplication - Requires Mana Manipulation V and Mana Sense V]
[Acquired Random Items - Mondura, Sin of the First, Gold Chest]
[Acquired 16 [Stat] Points]
[You are the first System User to acquire ten Levels!]
[Acquired [Trait] - Fastest Learner]
[Access to [Store] and [Dungeons] unlocked. ]
Suddenly it felt as if his brain had just been rocked around in its case once again. "Woah..." His head flopped back onto the pillow and his eyes, slightly crossed stared at the white ceiling. He sat this way for several minutes digesting the information that had just been forced on him.
It was the growl and sudden pain in his stomach that brought him back to reality. "Guess it has been two days. I'll have to go through this better after I eat. I should still have enough time to retrieve the Bronze Chest."
Slipping out of the bed, he splashed some of the still luke warm water on his face, retrieved the towel from his Spatial Storage and dried off. The towel was tossed on the tray, his attention shifting to the chair in the room. The clothes there were not his, but looked like they would fit well enough, if a bit baggy. A pair of gray sweat pants, and a black t-shirt. It took him a minute or so to get dressed and leave the room, pausing in the hallways as the sound of distant conversation hit his ears.