I must provide an update to my personal logs on just how advanced Earth is. In getting through the morning routine to groom myself, Francis has introduced me to so many new items of interest that I can hardly comprehend it.
He has shown me the wonders of the “shower room,” a place where, once you move some metal devices, hot water will pour out in a steady stream. No need to find a fresh body of water or to heat your bath with a fire underneath or even to use cleansing skills—this shower can clean you off with extreme ease. I must have stayed in that shower for thirty minutes, just because I was so happy to feel so warm.
There are also two magic electrical devices of intense utility I used. One is known as the “washing machine,” which, as the name suggests, washes things. But unlike the shower which washes people, the washing machine washes clothing items. In this case, I removed my clothing and armor, replaced that with a fresh outfit provided by Francis, and tossed my dirty items in the machine. Then, after they became fresh and washed, I threw them into the “dryer,” which is a shorthand for “drying machine” I believe. Somehow, through Earth’s vast magical enterprise, this machine takes wet things and removes the water. After just an hour’s time across these two devices, my clothes that were dirty and grimy became like brand-new. I shall adorn them tomorrow with great pride.
I have also been introduced to something known as a “clock.” It is in fact one of the most valuable pieces of technology I have ever seen, and one that is so commonplace on Earth that the Bacall household has dozens of them littered throughout the home. They are like sundials in that they tell the time. But unlike sundials, they work no matter where you are and do so with exact precision. You can know the exact minute, even the exact second that you currently reside in. On Mystix I had heard of cities with large towers whose bells struck every hour, but never something so exact, and certainly never something so ubiquitous it appeared en masse in a single humble home.
I groomed myself with an electrical hair drying device, a toothbrush that has a special teeth-cleaning sauce, and a cream that, when lathered across my face, makes my skin soft and shiny. I feel like a whole new man! It’s incredible!
After being utterly pampered in the life of luxury during my early morning grooming, I put on the outfit Francis gave me—an oversized shirt with a picture of a funny-looking man along with a pair of blue trousers with strange-feeling fabric and an incredibly tight waistline—and then I head downstairs to eat breakfast.
Waiting for me at the kitchen table are Francis and his two parents, sitting in front of plates filled with various meats and vegetables and fruits. I hope I haven’t left them impatient by my grooming.
“Earth life is so wonderful,” I say.
“Looking real handsome in that Cowboy Jack shirt,” Francis’s mother says. “Oh, Francis, you remember when you won that shirt? That was such a nice day. You’ve lost so much weight since then, too.”
“You tried so hard at that game! But that boy really whooped you good, didn’t he?”
“What do you mean?” I ask, sitting down in front of my empty plate.
“Grab what you want,” Francis’s father tells me. I nod and take the entire plate of sausages. He gives me a disconcerted look, but I’m not sure why.
“Francis used to be so obsessed with his little Cowboy Jack video game,” his mother says. “He got so good at shooting the targets and doing the duels that he went to a big tournament when he was, oh, thirteen I think. It was so adorable.”
“That was... ugh, Mom, it’s so embarrassing.”
“And cute,” she adds. “You got to the semi-final round, the top four people playing the game, and then when you got beat you cried so hard the game people took you backstage and gave you a second free T-shirt just to calm you down.”
“Yeah, an XXXL size that I never could have even worn...”
“They thought I’d be a big man just because my son was a bit fat,” his father says. “They didn’t know I was a skinny fellow myself.”
Francis gives his father an angry glare.
“And so that oversized shirt is what I wear now?”
“No, you’re wearing the first one they gave me...” Francis says.
“You used to fit in this?” I ask. “At age thirteen?”
He nods slowly, his cheeks flushed red.
“My, you must have been a valiant warrior back then. I would like to have seen those days.”
He continues to blush, but he looks a little bit less upset now. I will admit I feigned ignorance in this situation to make him feel better. He seems extremely embarrassed by being overweight, and I want him not to feel upset about something like that. So pretending that I don’t understand the situation is probably the best way to move past this.
“Well... Cowboy Jack is still a really great game,” Francis says apparently to himself.
“I know not what a ‘Cowboy’ is, but I did know a few interesting women named Jac back on Mystix,” I say. “I had some really good time with the Jacs, actually.” I gulp down a few sausages, which are good, but not an unfamiliar enough food to elicit anything like a Destiny Point gain.
I continue: “Each of the Jacs were members of different races, one elf, one human, one hexen, one mermaid, one beaver, all controlled by a core Jac personality, a sphere of glowing energy known as a golem. Normally golems take inanimate objects to form a body, but this one instead took the minds of many sentient beings and used them as puppets of sort. However, their original selves were not erased fully, and so each Jac was actually a separate woman in a way. They were very fun ladies. We went on a nice adventure together, fighting the Resurrected Dragon God who had come to the mortal plane to fight us for his boredom. We defeated him, but it came at the cost of the elf and hexen Jacs. It was a tragic time.”
The entire table goes silent for about a minute.
“I really don’t understand these damn video games,” Francis’s father says.
“Oh, Arthur, be a little bit more understanding,” his wife says. “Your son and his, uh, new friend, are just interested in different stuff than we were.”
“We didn’t have time to be interested in this useless crap,” he says. “We were in medical school. Our son is just sitting at home playing video games all day and inviting over strange pink-haired men.”
“I’m right here, Dad...” Francis says.
“Listen, it’s perfectly fine that you’ve got a nice hobby, he tells him, “but one day you’ll have to bring home the bacon, Francis.”
“I made eight thousand dollars this month...” Francis mumbles. It does not appear that either of his parents heard him, or at least they have not acknowledged that fact.
“Y’know, you’d be a lot better off if you followed Delta. She’s got a college degree. She’s working at a nice company. She’s married. You know her dad told me they’re thinking about having a kid? What a nice couple.”
“Wait, Delta wants kids? She’s sure never told ME that!”
“Honey, she probably doesn’t want to embarrass you for how little you’ve progressed in life,” Francis’s mother says.
“I am doing just fine!” he shouts.
“Fine is subjective,” his father says. “Your mother and I are fine because we are eye doctors with considerable income who help people’s lives. You having a lot of fun shouting at a camera at two in the morning isn’t the same kind of fine.”
“I just wanted to have a nice family breakfast...”
I decide to sit here and eat without speaking a word. This is not a conversation I am meant to be in, and even though I am present, I am much better off pretending to be a ghost.
The scrambled eggs are quite good, however.
Soon, after breakfast is finished and the dishes have been washed (with a dish washing machine, even?!), there is a faint beeping sound from outside the house. It sounds a lot like the annoying alarm that woke me up this morning, but only beeps one time.
“There’s our girl,” Francis’s mother says.
“Sometimes I feel like you love Delta more than you love me...” Francis looks absolutely defeated. “C’mon, Eryk. Let’s go outside and start our trip.”
“Our trip for Destiny Points!”
“Oh, are you doing another adventure thing like when that Pokey Go thing was real popular?”
“No, Mom, this is...” He sighs and stops speaking.
“I am quite excited,” I say. “We shall have an adventure like no other.”
“You better keep Francis in line,” his father says. “If he ends up like Taylor, I’m gonna blame you and personally come and kick your ass.”
“I do not fully understand, but I will accept your threat as promise,” I tell him. “I shall do my best.”
We leave the house and find a white car idling on the road in front of the yard. Inside, Delta is waiting.
Francis yells, “Shotgun,” and hops in the front seat. I take the back and sit next to large cube.
“What is this?” I ask.
“A cooler,” Delta says. “Lots of water. We’ll need it. Trust me.”
“Man, nice rental,” Francis says. “So much leather everywhere... it even smells fancy.”
“I’m just happy Julie uses the bus,” Delta says, very little emotion coming from her voice. “I can return this car when we’re done for today.”
“Yeah, it’s a good thing San Fransisco has good public transportation.” Francis nods in agreement with himself. “If we lived in most cities in America, a car is so necessary that a wreck like yours would ruin a family for weeks, especially if the insurance parts don’t come out favorably. Here, though, there’s enough buses and trains that you can get where you need to go without having to worry too much. I’m really glad for that. Maybe one day the rest of America will have public transportation that isn’t terrible.”
“I’m not quite sure why you are saying any of this,” Delta says.
“I as well do not understand,” I say. “Are we going to begin our journey?”
“Yep,” Delta says. “Buckle up.”
We obviously do, after what happened last time we drove.
And now... the adventure for Destiny Points begins!
I look at my Life Points:
The sundial is flowing, and my Life Points tick away. May we accomplish great things today in our discoveries.