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A note from Egathentale

Here you go, guys. I decided to post this today for a bit of a teaser for tomorrow's actual chapter.

On a side-note, I still can't get over the pettiness of some voters here on Royal Road. As in, I was once again getting so close to top 5 on the rankings, and then, like clockwork, three 0.5 star votes drop and pushes The Simulacrum back into the 20s. So annoying...

But whatever. Let's just have fun and not think about silly stuff like this. Cheers, and see you all tomorrow.

“Where the hell is he?!” Bellowed the voice waking me from my dreams of stellar marvels.

It took me some time to reorient myself. I was still in the familiar not-new not-dark not-room. I tried to turn towards the source of the voice, but then I remembered I had no head to turn. Or body. Instead, the pitch-black space around me twisted around so that the incensed speaker was right in front of me.

It was The Man. It was a gruff, middle-aged man with a thick moustache. It was a dark, barren moon circling a purple gas giant around a pale blue star. It was both, but neither. It was weird.

Then he/it opened his/its mouth again and The Man came into focus, his features rapidly sharpening like I was looking at him through binoculars while adjusting the magnification.

“We need to find him! We are running out of time!”

“Calm down,” The strangely familiar ocean of ruby chided him before it took the form of a businesslike young woman. “If we rush things, he will just hide himself even deeper and then jump out to ruin everything when we least expect it. You know how he operates.”

“I... I’m not sure...” Whispered The Boy, his image only faintly overlapping with alien skies endlessly raining molten glass.

“What are you not sure about?” Growled The Man.

“I mean...” The Boy began, then hesitated for a moment. "I mean, he really isn’t acting like himself.”

“He has a point,” The Girl chimed in with a tinkling voice.

“True,” The Woman relented quickly. „But then what do you propose?”

There was a long moment of silence before The Boy let out a strained cough.

“M-Maybe we shouldn’t do anything? I mean, just watch for now?”

“And how is that going to keep him from ruining our hard work?” The Man grumbled as he crossed his arms. I tried to do the same, but I didn’t have any. Being disembodied sucks.

“It worked out this far,” The Girl chirped with a grin. "Didn’t we all agree that this was one of the better scenarios we put together in a while?”

“Yeah, but...” The Woman paused and relented in the same breath. “I suppose you are right. Maybe he is trying to turn a new leaf?”

“... Are you serious?” The Man spoke with an incredulous tone. “I thought this we made this scenario specifically to teach him a lesson. You know, because he is a prick and refused to change?”

“Maybe it worked?” The Woman stated with unusual uncertainty. “I mean, he got hit by the last layer of defenses, didn’t he? Maybe he reflected on his actions because of it.”

“Hehe, someone is unusually wishful today,” The Girl giggled, earning a scowl in return from The Woman, but before she could answer, The Man spoke up again.

“I will believe it when ******* turns his ******* inside out,” After saying that, he turned around (Or maybe the not-room turned around him?) and left.

“W-Wait! I’ll help to look for him!” The Boy exclaimed, and they both evaporated, for the lack of better words.

“Should we go too?” The Girl asked, but The Woman only shook her head.

“No, we have better things to do.”

Saying so, the two of them also sublimated away in short order, leaving me all alone. Speaking of which, I had a feeling I have something better to do other than listening to the vague discussions between... whatever these people were. After some thinking, I finally remembered. I was still sleeping, wasn’t I?

Not right now, but yet still. It was hard to explain, but I was somehow still aware, and when I tried to remember where I left my body, the dark not-room around me was subsequently replaced with an actual dark room. My room.

I was still lying on my bed, covered to my neck with blankets. According to the clock on the night-stand, it was just a little after 7 in the morning. It was usually around this time I took a shower before heading out. Not this time, of course, since as far as I could tell, I was currently not inside my body, and thus it had no one to drive it through its morning routine.

It was about time I returned, I surmised. I rested long enough, though I couldn’t tell exactly how long that was. Time was working weird in the not-dark not-rooms. However, I soon realized there was a minor problem: I had no idea how I should do that.

After a little thinking, I decided I would attempt the tried and tested ’spooky ghost’ method. I floated above my unconscious body (though again, it felt more like the room was moving under me instead) and then I slowly lowered myself until I overlapped with it. For the first couple of seconds nothing happened, but then I noticed a strange, white glow coming from my head. My body’s head, I mean, as ‘I’ still didn’t have one at the moment.

I tried to reach out towards it by reflex, and I could feel ’something’ reaching out, though it wasn’t really a hand or a leg. It was weird, but since everything was weird, I figured it must have been normal. Anyways, once I ’touched’ that glow, I suddenly felt a strong suction drawing me in, and then abruptly (and quite unceremoniously) the world around me went black again.

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Egathentale

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MDW @MDW ago

Here in RRL we think of the 0.5 star rating as badges of honor. It means you are good enough to attract the attention of the haters.

Congratulations, on a twisted kind of way. Wait until you get the 0,5 star reviews.

awesomedude2215 @awesomedude2215 ago

Ooh, I’m excited for volume 2! About the .5 ratings, nothing you can do about that, retards exist, just gotta make sure there are overwhelmingly more nice ratings than idiots(which there are!)

Aosika @Aosika ago

Thanks for the chap, sorry to hear about the 0.5s

oisnot @oisnot ago

Glad to see next volume coming now.

 

Everyone gets .5 star ratings, even the top ranked ones.

craxuan @craxuan ago

This is a pleasant surprise. A short prologue will at least stave the hunger for a little longer.

Agent374 @Agent374 ago

Thanks for the chapter!

ghostybones @ghostybones ago

Thats the rating system for you. The 0.5 and 5 star ratings is pretty useless. Wish they fixed the rating in this site.

    Egathentale
    Author

    Egathentale @Egathentale ago

    The thing that really annoys me is how much even a single 0.5 vote can affect the overall score. It is so disheartening to see my story slowly but steadily climbing over the rankings, getting into the 10s, then the single digits, with every dozen or so 5 star ratings raising it one step higher... and then a single 0.5 star throws it back by ten-to-twenty places.

      Beyogi @Beyogi ago

      Yeah it's annoying, but that's basically happening to any other author. It really just means your story is popular enough to attract the attention of assholes. But on the other hand it also means you've got a ton of positive readers.

      mananaysiempre @mananaysiempre ago

      Well, this basically means the site maintainers can’t do (robust) statistics, because the scenario you describe is exactly why one doesn’t use averages in one’s rating system. Not your fault, nor something to agonize over—just another Norman door.

      Hope this situation doesn’t disappoint you too much, because this fic is so good and... surprisingly satisfying that a couple of people not knowing statistics would be an extremely stupid thing for it, or its author, to be influenced by.

Hexos @Hexos ago

That's just how averages work. A possible solution would be to show medians instead of averages, or even show both. That way a reader can know if the work is divisive or actually bland.

The Bus Lurker @The Bus Lurker ago

It turns out, the mc is one of the beings known as the man, the woman, and the boy. The memories from his "past life" are the fake memories, and his belief in the tropes and judging people to be placeholders are fragment beliefs from his true existence. Which he lost as a result of the group of supernaturals he sees in his "dreams" for a man who NEVER sleeps.

Not_A_Hat @Not_A_Hat ago

The 0.5 star rating 'thing' is part of why I feel this site should use a thumbs up/down system instead. I'm guessing that most people either use 5 star or 0.5 star ratings, instead of giving each story a proper scale. As such, thumbs up/down would be just as effective for most people, and would feel a lot better for the authors.