Since I worked well past lunchtime, I grabbed a meal shake from the fridge, because those things are 'fresh' for years. This should keep me going till dinner. I hadn’t realized it due to the events of the past day or so, but I was fucking gross. I stank. I went to the bathroom and turned on the hot water. Nothing. Of course. No electricity, no shower. Maybe I could do one better. I grabbed the soap and conjured a constant stream of water from my palm and fingertips. Perfect. Within a few minutes, I was clean. I stepped out of the tub and banished the water there and on me. Towels are old school. I looked in the mirror; my tired face looked back at me. “Dude, gotta do something with the racoon eyes, and maybe some of these old acne scars can go too.” I poked around my face with my flesh magic for a bit. It was easier than I thought. The scars vanished, the current under the skin acne went away, and I tightened up the very beginnings of a double chin. If I can do that, what can I do with the rest of me? My desk job and pre-Ripple life choices had been less than kind to me over the past couple years. I parked my naked body in front of the full length mirror and started from the neck down. I removed some stretch marks and old scars, and I grew out my nails a bit from my hand and enchanted them to be much more durable. I used to bite my nails, but if they were as hard as stone, then that wouldn’t be a problem anymore. I shrank some of the desk job pudge away. Now for the hard part. I need more muscle.


  The current body I have is weak. It’s human. Offense has to start from the body. I went and got my pocket generator and held it in my hands, letting it flow full tilt. I lay down and began to work on my body, my flesh magic was more than happy to bend to my will. My body started to shake as exercise was simulated, muscle fibers snapping and regrowing, bone cells growing harder and more dense. After about an hour of almost vibrating out of my skin, I was exhausted and ravenous. It was like going to the gym and dieting hardcore for three years rolled into one yoga session. I needed to freaking shower again. The floor was covered in sweat and nastiness. I conjured water over everything and banished it. I could make a fortune as a maid. The fifteen steps to the kitchen was the longest hike of my life. I got to the counter, found the vitamins and downed a handful, slugging down some conjured water. I ate some canned soup from the pantry and four of the meal shakes. I was too tired for the rest of the day. I had even forgotten to plant the damn acorns.


  I woke up to screeching. Horrible, high-pitched, angry screeching, and I was naked on the couch. I fumbled around in the dark for my equipment. It wasn’t even the next day, but there wasn’t a clock to make me be specific. I could barely make out my things, but fear made me fast. In less than two minutes I had my stuff put on and weapons in my hands. My new fancy shield gauntlet was on as well. I had nothing prepared for the night; I hadn’t even wanted to consider what might be out there at this point. The screeching stopped. I conjured a handful of the flashbang pebbles and put them in my pocket. Being so used to making them made it a fast process. I conjured two more and held them in my left hand with my pistol in my right. My knife was in it’s sheath on my belt. I need light, a constant source. I quickly conjured a rod of crystal and shoved some energy into it, making it a makeshift glow rod. I walked through my house, just to make sure it was secure and that nothing had gotten in. I wanted to go to the windows to look outside, but I really didn’t want to attract any attention. I turned off my the glow rod and sat on the couch, waiting. After a few minutes, a faint scratching sound came from the windows on the side of the living room. I looked at the direction of the noise but still didn’t see anything. Now, my windows weren’t perfectly see through, but the star light should have illuminated a shadow. I sat there in silence, just waiting for the dawn to break. This is not a good start to my day.


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