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"I --- you --- think--- Ally, but we aint gon wait for him to get better," James paused, just at the edge of the stairs, able to hear their conversation clearly now, but not close enough to alert them to his presence, an older voice continued, "We're too close to town, need to move somewhere safe, those Leonard boys have caused all kinds of racket. Sheriff cant keep em in check, last I heard they had tried to drag some poor girl off and shot the dumb-ass when he tried to reason with them. Hes laid up in Marlene's with a hole in his leg. Should've just put a bullet in their skulls."

There was a pause, before a familiar feminine voice, though, not as composed retorted. "Daddy! He just had a car wreck, hes not in any kind of condition to be doing strenuous activity, you know that! You're the one that said it! And Greg is at least trying his best! You know hes old! No one else is even trying!"

James had to muffle a chuckle to avoid detection. Alison sounded completely different from the calm mature woman he had seen in his room. She sounded almost like a child having a tantrum, that did not seem to deter her father though, as in his anger his speech just seemed to get more erratic. "He'll have to, he ain't got no choice. We need to get out of here, and he can either come with us or stay here for all I care but you're getting the hell away from this mess. Town ain't my problem, ain't your problem, hell if that boy so much as looks at you wrong he ain't gon' be no problem either I'll fill 'im with buckshot."

Soft crying and someone rummaging around indicated the end of their discussion and James took that as his cue to come down the steps. Pressing down on them, he made sure there was enough noise to alert them of his presence. Just as he reached the bottom his eyes were locked by an older man, more a mixture of Santa Claus and a Biker than an overbearing father. He had a thick wild white unkempt beard on his face easily reaching his waist. Head almost bald save for a few random tufts of white here and there, obviously having seen better days. The mans eyes were fierce, almost crazy, like he was daring James to do something, anything, so he could be rid of the boy.

Seeing that James did not take the bait the old man let out a gruff snort and went back to rummaging through a large crate in front of him, filled with all manner of items, clearly incensed and hunting for something. In contrast to the slightly overweight, yet intimidating man his daughter was rubbing at her face and looking away from him, trying her best to hide that she had been crying. She was seated in a simple chair next to a couch and a small table. He could only assume this was their living room

"Ahah! Thought you could hide you bastards!" Alison's father had just exclaimed aloud while holding a box of what looked to be decking screws aloft, as if it were the holy grail. Eccentric. Maybe that was the best word for him. The man then tossed the box into a huge rucksack behind him, only to immediately disappear into the crate again. The distraction had proved to be long enough for Alison to sort herself and put a weak, but genuine smile on her face. "Its nice to see you up and about. Come come, dinner is ready, I'll get you a plate in the kitchen." She got up from her seat and walked through a door way behind the table, disappearing into a tiled room with a fridge in view.

James followed her obediently, seeing no reason to refuse a meal given it was why he had come down in the first place. When he entered he found a chair pulled out for him, and the sounds of someone tapping metal cutlery on porcelain. It did not take long for Alison to come back and set the plate in front of him, fork and knife included before going to the fridge. "Fruit punch ok?" A nod from him, and a few seconds later he now had a decent sized glass of punch to go along with what looked to be a breaded chicken, carrots, and mac n' cheese. "I know its not much but please, dig in." Her smile seemed far brighter this time around which got a small one from him in turn.

"Thanks." Fork and knife were scooped up and he immediately began to devour what had been put in front of him. He had underestimated the hunger he felt yet Alison for her part seemed to be happy that he was eating in such a manner. She was content to watch for a moment, her thoughts the driver in forcing her smile to slip to a frown. "Soo... listen. Me and Daddy need to leave soon. The issue in town is a lot worse than I may have been saying..." Her statement seemed to hang in the air, as if refusing to finish itself. Then her eyes focused back on his now still face.

"He's not going to take no for an answer, and I don't know what your situation is.. but if you want, I am sure I could get him to let you tag along." As she continued the one sided conversation James glanced back up at her face. Seeing the small traces of fear seemed to draw out an idea. First setting down his knife and fork, he then took a big gulp of punch, wiped his mouth onto fore-arm which then ended up on the sweats he was wearing. His voice followed steady, calm, no hint of emotion, a simple statement slipping from his lips, "Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean for all you know I could be some kind of serial killer." His eyes were latched to hers, almost searching her soul.

Alison's own shot open, as if she had never considered the possibility, mouth gaping as if about to scream, hands tense. "Wait wait calm down." Before she could alert the old bear in the living room he raised his hand up stifling another laugh at her expense. "I couldn't help it. You're way to trusting you know? People can be pieces of shit."

Alison glared at him as if her world had just been turned upside down. She abruptly shifted in her seat sideways so she no longer had to face him."You're as a bad as daddy! He says the same things! I shouldn't be so trusting! People will try to take advantage of me! Humph!" And there went the calm demeanor, right back into child throwing a tantrum she even crossed her arms. This proved to be too much for James as he immediately began cackling loudly like a hyena.

"Aren't you like thirty? Why're you acting like that?" He bellowed out in between laughing, only to not realize it when he got a swift crack in the face. "Im twenty-nine thank you very much!", and just like that she was gone, leaving him rubbing his reddened cheek. "Shit. Went too far... ah well." He finished his meal, and the punch, before putting the dishes into the sink and heading back into the living room. The old man was still there, throwing random bits and bobs every which way from his crate. He didn't even acknowledge that James had entered the room. Alison was no where to be seen, getting him to rub the back of his neck lamely.Should give her some time to cool off.

Walking past the old man he headed up the stairs intent on going through his list of goodies now that he had taken care of his hunger and thirst. He entered the room had come from previously closing the door behind him, flopping restless on the bed. "Guess I should start with the Bronze Chest before it goes poof." He pulled up his status, then notifications, and finally clicked on the Bronze Chest title in the warning. He heard a click, and then nothing for a few seconds. A few seconds more passed and he was getting ready to begin clicking on other areas of the warning when a bright light began to materialize on the floor in front of him. It was roughly two feet away, taking the shape of chest that would not look out of place in an RPG.

Rubbing his hands together in glee he reached forward, pulling at the lid, which only served to lift the chest some from the floor. Confused, he glanced down the sides and to the front, seeing a latch dead center holding both sides closed. A flick of his wrist and a renewed push later the chest was open before him. Inside were several things. A leather pouch in the top left corner, what looked to be a dagger in a sheath in front of it, and finally a pair of black metal arm-guards taking up most of the remaining space in the center.

The pouch was pulled out first, the sound of metal jingling together and a hefty weight gave him a clue to its purpose. That purpose was confirmed after bringing it up to about chest height, prompting the screen to fill his vision once more.

ITEM Novice Coin Pouch

This pouch is often one of the first things a Novice adventurer acquires in their travels. Provided solely by the System it is magic in nature and capable of holding a vast amount of coin far beyond its size.

The bag also acts as a coin exchange, letting the [User] transfer [Copper], [Silver], [Gold], or [Platinum] to any other coin type up to the current capacity.

Rarity [Common]
Contains 2 Gold Coins
Capacity 10 Gold Coins
Upgrade Requirements 1 [Item Upgrade] Token

Should be useful as I remember seeing access to some kind of store. I don't think I need coins right now though. The bag seemed to disappear from his hands, deposited into his Spatial Storage. The dagger was the next item he picked up. Sheath and handle pulled away from one another revealing a dull gray metal.

ITEM Novice Dagger

A simple dagger made by a beginner blacksmith. Sturdy, but not too sharp.

Rarity [Common]
Durability 57/70
Damage 10-15 [Slashing] | 15-20 [Piercing]

I don't have health to compare it too but I at least have something to defend myself with. Starting to pull open the straps on the back of the sheath, he paused, and looked down to his attire."Yea, maybe not yet." The dagger, just like the bag disappeared into his storage, attention focused back on the arm guards.

ITEM Arm-guards of the Raven

A set of black, steel, arm-guards intended to help the user blend in better with their surroundings.

Rarity [Uncommon]
Durability 100/100
Damage Reduction -15 [Slashing], [Piercing] to covered area.
Special When the user is not moving +1 Lvl to [Stealth]

No stealth, but they'll let me take a blade strike at least. Hell, it makes the dagger I have almost useless. He opted to actually put the arm-guards on, strapping them in snug so they didn't slip around. The way the straps were setup made it self-explanatory. As he finished putting them on, the chest faded into particles leaving him sitting there staring where it had been. "Ah right! I've got a gold one too." A gold chest, far smaller than the bronze one had been appeared in its place. A push of a button and a click later revealed it to be a ring box, holding a single ring. Picking the ring up and bringing it up to his face revealed the screen.

ITEM Ring of the Mana Beast [INERT]

A deep blue ring made from the molten scales of a beast that feeds on [Mana]. The ring has had numerous owners, and each one of them seems to succumb to fate, never to be heard from again.

Rarity [Rare] | [Unique]
Durability ---/---
Special +20 [Mana]

"That doesn't sound like a bad omen or anything at all, nope..." He snorted, flicking the ring into the air, watching as it dematerialized into his storage, just as the ring box faded away. "Guess I should look into my stats, that title said I needed to unlock a few to access it, and yesterday the system let me unlock them with stat points. Well. The system unlocked it, forcefully."

All of the item screens were swiped away and his status was brought back front and center. He began clicking on it, trying to get a reaction, and to his surprise when he clicked on a spot with dashes a list was brought up.

Known [Stats] Current Points: 66
Health Points [HP]
The measure of a [Users] vitality. If it reaches zero they are forced into an unconscious state. Taking damage equal to half of the users [HP] will kill the [User]. IE: A [User] has 100 [HP], sustains 100 [HP] worth of damage. They enter an unconscious state. They take a further 50 [HP] worth of damage, and perish.
Source: Default Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point
Health Regeneration [HP/s]
The measure of a [Users] ability to regenerate. A rare [Stat] that increases the functions of a [Users] body, improving recovery speed at the cost of 1 [Stat] point per 0.1 second increase.
Source: [Title] - Indomitable Unlock Cost: +10 Stat Points
Strength [STR]
The measure of a [Users] muscle. This [Stat] increases ability to push, pull, lift, strike. It allow a [User] to not only lift heavy objects but also run, jump, climb faster.
Source: Default Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point
Constitution [CON]
The measure of a [Users] vigor. This [Stat] lets a [User] run longer, shrug off superficial damage, lower risk of disease, even hold their breath longer. Increases [Users] [HP] at a cost of 1 [Stat] point per 10 [HP]
Source: Default Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point
Dexterity [DEX]
The measure of a [Users] finesse. This [Stat] allows a user to work all of their movements to a finner degree, from delicate clock work, to smooth fluid swings of a sword.
Source: Default Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point
Intelligence [INT]
The measure of a [Users] thoughts. This [Stat] allows a user to not only think faster and analyze data easier, but also increases the [Users] mana point at a rate of 1 [Stat] point to 5 [Mana] points.
Source: Default Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point
Wisdom [WIS]
The measure of a [Users] application. This [Stat] allows a user to more easily apply their thoughts and experiences to planning and actions, as well as how easy it is to draw upon those thoughts and experiences. Wisdom is also rumored to be tied vaguely to the regeneration of [Mana].
Source: Default Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point
Willpower [WP]
The measure of a [Users] will. A high Willpower allows a user to shrug off [Fear], [Confusion], and other mind based attacks. It also can let a user fight far longer than they would normally, achieve amazing feats, all at the cost of their own body.
Source: [Title] - Indomitable Unlock Cost: +1 Stat Point

Looking over the list, he tilted his head in thought, considering what he wanted to do before throwing that out and just going down the list clicking every one of them to unlock them. A bright light, similar to the one that came from the chests swarmed his body, illuminating him. There was no pain this time, only the uncomfortable feeling of his body moving outside of his control, skin crawling. When it stopped he was left breathing deeply, looking down at his hands which had a bit more definition to them. Licking lips he spoke aloud, "Show Status."

STATUS TITLES SKILLS NOTIFICATIONS WIKI
Name James Harbor
Race Human
Age 19
Level 10 Status Points 49
 
Resource Pools
Stamina 100% Fatigue 95%
Health 65/72 Mana 5/6
HP/s 0.15 --- ---
 
Stat Points
Strength 1 Constitution 1
Dexterity 1 Intelligence 1
Wisdom 1 Willpower 1

Indomitable seemed to be doing its job now the he had unlocked all of the stats for it, giving him a boost to his regeneration and his health pool. "Man, these stats are low but I feel great, the pain from my ribs is completely gone, my head feels clear, and my body hasnt felt like this since I was a kid." Jumping to his feet, he bounced himself back and forth a few times, throwing out a few quick jabs before pausing and looking down at his fists. A smile rippled across his lips. "Wonder what happens if I crank them up even more? I know I need mana for two of the skills I got, but I think I can sacrifice a few more for other things." His fingers pressed at Intelligence. Nothing. He then pressed at the number, causing it to increase by one with a minus next to it. A button labeled confirmed appeared at the bottom of the screen. "Simple enough."

9 points immediately went into both Intelligence and Wisdom, followed by 4 in Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity. He put 9 into Willpower, and the last 10 were dumped into Health Regeneration. Clicking confirm caused him to be engulfed by an even brighter light, to the point it washed out his surroundings and leaked into the hallway and out of the window of the room.

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Scith

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G3cko @G3cko ago

Thank you for adding what I so far would consider quality writing to this website. Keep it up!

Also, daddy's gonna be diededed. I'm calling it.

obran
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obran @obran ago

Don’t know how I feel about the colored text for dialogue but I do like the tabs on the tables. Thanks for an old fashioned apocalypse fiction