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“It has long been theorized that monsters, both mundane and magical, have access to the system. The true question arises when one considers it's applicability. Do the creatures grow stronger as a function of increasing class levels? Or perhaps, their use of it is simply instinctual; focusing purely on evolutionary paths.

 

Regardless of the reason, there is an obvious factor which is commonly missed. By path or class, their power must surely exist for a reason."

 

--Theodore Cherzak, Archmage. Musings on Monsters, AC 1743


 

Oh gods, everything hurts.

 

Awake and confused, I try to figure out what happened.

 

Wait, am I... thinking?

 

Confusion doubles, as I peruse through memory. Concepts and meaning leap to the front of my thoughts as I examine my recent history. There is a clear break between Then and Now.

 

Wait, Then and Now? That's... that's TIME! Ha! I figured out time. Look at me!

 

Anywho, Before was easy... eat, poop, hide, sleep. Generally in that order. The hardest I had to think was in which order to do it. Now? Now, I have options. I can consider things. I lift my claws and wave them back and forth.

 

Look out World! Crab on the loose!

 

A wave of pain brings me back to the present. I lower my claws to find the source and notice fine cracks throughout my shell.

 

Maybe less moving until I feel better. Now, what happened?

 

I consider my recent past. I was sleeping in the sand, waiting for night when my hidey hole was dug up. A giant demon... no... creature... no... human appeared. I wiggle my eye stalks back and forth trying to get my thoughts straight. All of these concepts keep flooding into my mind when I try to figure something out. I put that aside for the moment and go back to my musings.

 

I was scared, waiting for a good time to run away, when a gentle blue light let me know that the human was a [Friend]. Then another human gave me another light which let me kind of figure out what my friend wanted. We played games and as it got dark, my friend gave me my biggest gift yet. A ton of pretty lights flooded into me, and right after that the

 

**[̷A̸B̶O̴M̴I̶N̶A̵T̵I̶O̸N̴]**̶ ̴ appeared.

 

Anger rips through my awareness as I'm snapped out of my reverie. Red fury ripples through my carapace and I snap my claws to prepare for battle; pincers raising to strike my foe.

 

Whoa.

 

I lower my claws.

 

What was that?

 

I was just a regular beach crab before. I don't think I had the mental capacity to be angry. Yet just the memory of the

 

[[̸̦͊́́C̷̰̃Ȍ̷̗̻Ŗ̴̱̭̈̑̅R̷̠͛̑U̵͕͐͑P̷̟̘̓̏Ṯ̷͔͂I̶̳̯̊͠͝O̸̟̾N̷̡͙̉͋]̵̽͊f infuriated me.

 

I'm... I'm just going to leave that be for the moment, try not to think about the

 

[̷̪̙̾̍Ḩ̶͇̟͉̙̜̜̀̐̈́̏̈́̀͜Ē̸̛̞̥̩̭̰̜͋̆̍͒͗̓͜Ṙ̸̯̊͐̌̈́̔͐E̸͖̜͑̓T̸̪̦̏̊̈́̿͐͆͝͝Í̸̤͕̲͚̀̆̋͝͠Ç̶̨̜̠̘̺̯͑]̷̱̟̼͔͚͕̿̈́̓̌͆̈.̷̡̛̲̫̥̥͚͉̅̒̿̄ ̸̯̹̩̙̞͎͔̥̌͐́͋͠

 

I stop, completely motionless and take a deep breath, in.. and out. Think of the waves Crabby. Think of a cool hole in the sand, fresh seaweed upon the floor.

Yeah, going to have to work on that. So, when the... thing... appeared, my friend had to run away. There was a huge wind that caught me and flung me into the air. The bright lights captured me and then I woke up here.

 

I close and open my claws

 

Hmm, what now?

 

***

 

I'm so caught up in my thoughts that the consideration of "Now" jerks me back to the present. Where am I? Am I safe? Ignoring the pain and cracks in my body, I quickly burrow into the soft sand of the floor. I can feel my shell changing colors, hiding me from sight. Under the ground, fully hidden, I extend my eye stalks; rotating them to assess the situation. It appears to be clear.

 

I'm pretty sure I'm still by the ocean. The air tastes of salt, and I can hear gentle waves lapping at a shore. It's dark, but there's a source of light a few feet away. A small pool of water moves with the sound of the tide, light refracting from the surface. Surrounding me, volcanic rock comprises the entirety of the little cave. There's enough room for just about two or three Sir Crabby's. Safety assured, I wriggle out of the sand. I can feel the grains agitating my wounds and I want to be able to flee if needed.

 

Okay, cave... check.

Claws? *Snip, snip* Check.

Scuttle? *Scampers left and right* Check.

Blinking light at the corner of my vision?

 

Wait, blinking light?

 

'ding'

 

**************************************

Welcome!! Sir Crabby to the World of Arthos!!

Through time, power, or luck, you've achieved Sapience!

You now have access to the [System].

Say (or think) "Status" to get started!

*************************************

 

This... this seems familiar. Not the reading, or the thinking portion of it, but the 'feel' of the blue box hanging in front of my eyes. Mentally shrugging, I think "Status."

 

***

Character Screen

Name:

Sir Crabby McCrabbington I

Age:  

8 Months

Level:

1

Class:

-

Race:

Crab (Mundane)

Title:

-

Health:

50/20

H-Regen:

0.02/sec

Mana:

110/10  

M-Regen:

0.12/sec

Stamina:

67/90

S-Regen:

0.04/sec

Basic Stats

Strength:

2

Wisdom:

2 (̴+̶1̶0̶)̶

Vitality:

5 (-3)  

Intelligence:

1 (+̶1̷0̸)̷

Dexterity:

7   

Charisma:

2 (̸+̶1̷0̸)̶

 

 

 

More...

 

This... this is all about me! The Crab who figured out time! The Crab who will now!... hey what's that "More" button do?

Current Effects:

Name: 

Effect:  

Removal Time:

Cracked shell: (-2 VIT) [25 min]
E̴r̸i̵c̸a̶'̶s̵ ̷F̵r̵i̵e̵n̷d̶:̸ ̵ +̶1̷0̸ ̴C̵H̷A̷)̷ [̸∞̷]̴
W̶i̵s̴d̶o̵m̷'̵s̴ ̴P̸r̵u̶d̴e̴n̶c̷e̷:̶ (̶+̶1̷0̸ ̸W̷I̸S̵,̵ ̷+̶1̷0̸I̸N̸T̵)̷ [̶∞̶]̷
More...

Ooh! Another Screen!

Skills:

Scuttle I: Lvl 5

Pinch I: Lvl 1
Natural Camoflage I: Lvl 7

As I quickly browse the windows, a final message appears:

 

"Think 'Next' for Class Selection!"

***

 

I go through the information, trying to figure everything out. Thankfully, I get a vague sense of all the unclear definitions and relationships, faint whispers of meaning in the back of my mind. Maximum health is equal to 10 times VIT, check. Maximum mana is the base INT times 10, okay. Stamina is... unclear. Maybe, DEX plus current VIT times 10? How do the regenerations work?

 

My brain revs into overtime as I crunch numbers. Okay, health regen is current VIT times .01... mana regen is current WIS times .01 as well. Stamina regen is... maybe current VIT plus STR times .01? Sure, I'll go with that. I have health regeneration, so time remaining on my cracked shell is equal to my health returning to full.

 

My current effects are... well... that doesn't seem right. I pause, wondering why the text is all messed up. Shrugging, I think 'Next.'

 

I wasn't ready.

 

**Critical Error**

**Critical Error Found: 10**

**Error: Sapience - *Age* Invalid Value**

**Error: Sapience - *Level* Invalid Value**

**Error: Sapience - *Null* Class**

**Error: Sapience - *Null* Title**

**Error: Sapience - *Mundane* Race Classification**

**Error: Sapience - *Corruption* WIS - Invalid Value**

**Error: Sapience - *Corruption* INT- Invalid Value**

**Error: Sapience - *Corruption* CHA exceeds *Crab: Mundane* Race Limit**

**Error: Effects - *Corruption* Erica's Friend**

**Error: Effects - *Corruption* Wisdom's Prudence**

 

**Critical Error Threshold Met: Activating Purge Protocol**

 

**Error: Purge Protocol - *Mundane* Race Classification - Invalid Target**

 

**Critical Error Found: 11 - Unable to resolve**

 

**Standby for Error Escalation Procedures**

 

I managed to think, "oh shi..." before a blinding light fell from the heavens.

 

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A note from Boe Hagen

Woo! I hope everyone enjoys! This is my first time writing a novel, so I'm pretty excited. I have it all plotted out already so I know where I'm going with it. I breezed through the calculation formulas. I know some people enjoy that kind of thing, but I don't expect to write detailed technical analysis. Looking forward to any feedback!

Here's Sir Crabby:

 

 


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About the author

Boe Hagen

Bio: “Let's plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will -- it's only action that can make a man.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

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Comments(37)
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Soncikuro ago

Thanks for the story!

Okay, cave... check.

Claws? *Snip, snip* Check.

Scuttle? *Scampers left and right* Check.

The actions were so cute. Snip snip. Scampering left and right. Hehe.

Osamaru Ta ago

.... you had me really intrested from the prolog... but lost me right out of the gate.... eww, present tense. First person present tense to boot.

There's a reason it's rarely used in narratives. It's a terrible choice for most people and only fits a certain type of story.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're a bad writer. The Prolog shows you've got talent.

But I couldn't even read 5 paragraphs I present tense.

Well, good luck!!

Un pwasson volant ago

Age:  

8 Months

I did a bit of reading out of simple curiosity, this means Sir Crabby hasn't yet reached sexual maturity. It usually is reached at 1 year old, out of their 3 years of lifespan.

Edit suggestion:

Natural Camouflage I: Lvl 7

Daniel Z ago

Edit suggestions:

The true question arises when one considers it's applicability.

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