Chapter 2 - Paws menu
[Interface initialized, please choose interaction mode
If no interaction mode is chosen within 24 hours, the default will be used.
> Instinctive (default)
‘Uuuh…’ Staring at the words floating in front of me, my mind stopped in its tracks for what felt like the hundredth time today. Closing my mouth and shaking my head I collected myself, noticing that the words followed the movement of my head.
‘Alright, so, in another world, as a different species, game like menu stuck in my vision.’
Reincarnation in a game like world with skills and stuff it is I guess. I’m not sure if it makes it better or worse that I’ve read some. What does that say about me that words floating in my vision was what convinced me this was real? Anyways, this menu wants me to choose how I interact with the menu, I should probably do that...
‘Hmm, I understand the others, but what does haptic mean?’
The interface immediately reacted to the words: the first box faded away, and was quickly replaced by another.
[Haptic interaction mode chosen.
System fully initialized, menu available.]
‘Ah, wait, that wasn’t what I meant to do!’ I mind-yelled at the words. The new set of words disregarded my mental anguish, they too fading away after a short moment.
Shit, now what? Ok, think about this logically, how can someone interact with a system? I can tell it what to do, that’s the “vocal” option. I can think what I want to happen, that’s the apparently super sensitive mental option, I’m surprised it didn’t trigger from me just reading the text… Instinctive is slightly unclear, but I feel I can give a pretty solid guess. So then haptic would be... touch? Ooh, right, isn’t that a thing on touch screens when you type? Haptic feedback, or something? I’ll go with that for now.
Ok, having cleared that, the words had said something about a menu? How do I access that, this seems important. I’m guessing just thinking it won’t work, since I’m not in “Mental” mode. Feeling slightly silly, I tried to vocalize a clear ‘Menu’ in my mind, to no apparent effect. Well, then, I need to find something to touch, or maybe it’s gestural? Again feeling a bit silly, I swiped at the air in different ways, looking like i was swatting an invisible butterfly or something.
While my mind was stuck in thoughts, my instincts once again took it upon themselves to make sure I was as clean as could be. As I drew my tongue across my back, I noticed something white sitting on the shelf that hadn’t been there before, and turned to look at it. It quickly moved away, and my cat instincts instantly tried to lock onto the small moving target. I almost panicked as the small white thing started moving on top of me but quickly mastered myself as I realized what was going on.
‘There you are!’ I said to the small white thing which now sat still, hovering over my rump, just behind my tail.
I once again tried to move my head to look at it, but it moved to stay in the corner of my vision. Hmm… Trying something different, I instead moved my eyes to look down at the thing.
It seems the menu items themselves relative to my head, and not my vision as I had initially thought. The menu button had simply been hidden in the blurry edges of my vision. I straightened myself out from my curled up position and stood up. After studying the white box for a short moment, I hesitantly reached up with my paw and poked it. My pads pressed into a cool glassy surface and the box gave off a slight glow at my touch before disappearing. Another box appeared, this time in the center of my vision.
Alright! Now we’re talking! First, let’s check status, what are we working with here?
Subrace: Heran/Tross crossbreed
Health: Excellent (low regen.)
Stamina: High (low regen.)
Mana: None (no regen.)
Aided Climbing (I), level 1
Claw Swipe (I), level 1
Bite (I), level 1
Animal instincts: cat
Alright, no name, I’m 100% confirmed as a cat, though I have no idea what either Heran or Tross means. I’m assuming from context they are cat breeds, though that doesn’t help much. My stats don’t have any numbers attached, huh? And no mana? I guess cats don’t get magic? Hm, since hunger and thirst are listed as conditions, does that mean they affect my stats? It’s hard to tell without the numbers. I can probably get more info somehow…
I reached out with my paw and touched the “Minor hunger” text. The text glowed for a second, and then the windows switched around, now showing a smaller window.
[Low hunger, condition
Stamina and Health regeneration reduced by a low amount.
Ok, nice, I can get more in-depth information. I spent a couple minutes pawing through the different items in my status, trying each line of text one by one. After I while I had a better overview of what the different items meant. The Health stat was much more generic than it usually would be in a game, only showing my overall condition instead of being an absolute value.
Stamina and Mana seemed like they were more traditional, a resource that was emptied by doing specific things and could be replenished by some means. It seemed Stamina was linked to Skills and Mana to Spells, which made sense. Though both of those statements were prefixed by the word “usually”, with no further explanation. That was a bit concerning, I hope there’s not any blood magic or such in this world, that usually turns out bad… Hopefully it just means certain Skills and Spells require the other resource, or maybe some material resources? I let out a sigh, there was no point in thinking too much about this right now, I needed more information first.
Conditions were described as anything that temporarily affected my status in some way. Hunger and thirst simply reduced my regeneration slightly.
The skills seemed pretty straightforward. Each Skill had a field called Stamina consumption, Bite and Claw Swipe were described as “instant” and Aided Climbing as “continuous”. I noted that there was also a button in each Skill menu labeled “Assign to hotbar”, I assumed that was how I would activate them through the haptic interface.
‘Yeah, not doing that, my “arm” is already getting exhausted just doing this, no way I’m going to keep this on,’ I thought.
Finally, Traits were described as “permanent effects, such as scars or inherent abilities”. So basically things that wouldn’t just go away by eating something or getting healing, I surmised. Reading through the description for “animal instincts: cat” confirmed it as the culprit for my subconscious cat-like behaviour.
‘Aright, knowledge attained. Time to fix this stupid interface so I can do some experiments!’
Closing the status screen, I opened up the Options instead, and another window greeted me. There were a lot of options on the behaviour and appearance of the menu system, but I quickly found what I was looking for.
‘Haha!’ Pressing firmly on Mental, then Apply, The menu shifted slightly as the indicator of the currently selected mode changed, and the Apply and Back buttons disappeared.
‘Wait, how do I go back now?’
The menu shifted back to the options screen.
‘Right, sensitive mental interface, it was how I got into this menu mess in the first place.’
The menu went back to the initial screen.
‘Aargh, there has to be an option for sensitivity or something, right?’
The menu went to the options screen and then quickly into a submenu labeled “interface sensitivity” as I said the words.
‘Ah… right,’ I carefully thought, ‘well, that worked out. Let’s see… there.’
I did a mental throat clear, ‘I’m not going back by just thinking about the word “back”...’ I tested. Nothing happened. Yes! Ok, now to actually go back. I focused on the concept of moving back in the menu, and the menu immediately reacted by going back to the options screen. Satisfied with this, I quickly skimmed over the rest of the options. Not finding anything else I wanted to change I exited the menu completely.
‘With that out of the way, let’s try these skills out!’ I thought excitedly, this was going to be fun!
I faced the small sack next to me and focused on activating my “Swipe” skill. Instantly, I felt my paw being infused with power. A feeling similar to my instincts guided me in how to perform the action. Following the instructions my mind gave me my claws extended and I swiped at the bag. As my paw impacted with the bag I felt something hard inside and my eyes widened as I heard the distinct sound of glass hitting glass. Unhindered, my paw continued it’s motion, and time slowed as I saw the bag filled with glassware slide off the shelf and fall towards the hard floor below. My ears folded themselves against my head and I flinched as it hit the floor, the loud crash of glass breaking interrupting the serene silence of the room.
Afterwards, the silence was deafening, but it didn’t last for long. My ears swiveled on their own towards the door, picking up hurried footsteps coming closer. The person called out in a loud voice as they reached the door, fiddling with something metallic. Before I could react, the door opened and a wide shouldered man stepped into the room. I could see wariness and anger battling it out on his face as he surveyed the mess on the floor. Trying to make myself smaller, I pressed myself back towards the wall. This turned out to be a mistake. Seeing the movement, the man's eyes instantly swiveled up to meet mine. After a quick flash of confusion, anger won the battle over his facial muscles, and he turned towards me.
“mreo shoo...”, I said to no one in particular.