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A note from MDW

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba

The war against the giant rats went on. After a few more days, I improved the design of my shock trap with twice the amount of LR44 batteries (can I even call them LR44? The shape is the same, but they pack much more energy...) and a capacitor array. That allowed for a slight increase in voltage and a boost in the Amps being pumped through the grid. Whose wires also had to be thickened to withstand the pulse without melting.

The new trap cost 50 Dungeon Mana but it was sturdier, due to my getting a rank in Engineering for improving my design. The Rank III benefit allowed me a discount on repair costs for contraptions I designed, 5% per rank.

I also gained a level. Now level 3, I spent my free points in Clarity, which had an effect on my Dungeon Mana regeneration.

 

Name: Skip May Neming Species: Dungeon Core / Plant
Main Class: Electronic Apple Orchard (Legendary) Level:  3
Sub-Class:
None (click to pick) Level:
N/A
Attributes Base Score   Efficiency Modified Score

Intelligence

26 (200%) 52

Wisdom

22 (200%) 44

Will

25 (220%) 55

Clarity

35 (220%) 77

Hardness

48 (220%) 105
Resources Base Current   Maximum

DM

130 189 230
(17 / day)

SP

130 201 201
Materialization 91 Armor:   10 (50%)
Traits Puzzle Dungeon Dungeon Automation Replicate Electronics
Sanctuary Orchard Dungeon Domain
Skills Engineering III
Perks Minor Levitation (2ft)
Traps Bb.gum Shock (18) Shock (50)

 

My Status had been updated with a few changes and new entries. I had forgotten I could pick a sub-Class. The list was quite extensive and contained a lot of crap. Class rarities went from (Common) to (Uncommon), (Rare), (Very Rare), (Epic), (Legendary), and unreachable (Mythic).

Sub-Classes only granted 5 Attribute points, the Perk progression was one every five levels, and that was regardless of rarity.

I decided that anything in the first three was crap. Pure and simple, go big or go home. I had no (Legendary) Classes unlocked. Oh. It's not that. The Sub-Class can only be at most one rarity lower than the main Class. I could only pick (Epic) and below.

I only had three (Epic) choices. I should be happy I had them but then again, I was a greedy bastard.

 

> Revival Botanist

> Biome Reconstructor

> Shelter Dungeon

 

I think I could see a theme going on there. The aliens who dumped this System on us were clearly hinting at something... And I totally ignored it because I meant business and Like hell I would let the fate of humanity hinge on my crystalline shriveled skin. Someone else fixes this crap. If the world was meant to be saved, then let it be saved by them. I honestly didn't have much faith. I just wanted to get back at the bastards who killed me. The Inferni.

So, the list of (Very Rare) Classes had a bit more options. About two hundred of them. Also, the rarity of the sub-Class didn't matter much. It didn't grant as many benefits as the main Class. A good synergy was more important than .rarity.

I finally found one that interested me.

 

> Architect of Destruction (Very Rare)

> The Architect of Destruction is specialized in designing and creating things that can hurt others, from siege engines to weapons of mass destruction. Everything created by the Architect of Destruction hurts more and causes more damage.

> Should you pick this Sub-Class, you will gain:

> +2 Intelligence, +2 Will, +1 Hardness per level.

> A Perk every 5 levels.

> The Class Skill, Implements of Demise.

 

The world went to shit I am buried under thousands of tons of garbage, waging war against giant mutated rats. Sign me in. Also, why is this Class only (Very Rare)??? Go figure.

 

> You chose Architect of Destruction (Very Rare) as a Sub-Class. Your Class level is zero. All Exp will be assigned to this Class until it matches your main level. Your effective level will be averaged between all your Classes.

> You gained the Skill, Implements of Demise. All weapons and traps you design and craft are more harmful.

> Rank I benefits: When designing a new project meant to cause harm, it deals 5% more damage per rank.

 

I'll take it. I'll fucking take it. More harmful stuff is exactly what I need! Who cares about saving the world or replanting a forest, when soul-sucking demons were on the loose. We are at war, baby! Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and all that jazz, then rebuild the ecosystem.

Now, let's see how deadlier can a shock trap be.

 

*


*

 

Not much. Not much at all. Five percent was worth nothing when the giant rats started getting smarter about entering my tunnel. I don't know if they have some racial genetic memory, if the rats that came to get killed were the dumb ones and I accidentally caused an evolution in ratdom by winnowing the dumb, or if they are telepathic, or if the ghosts of rat ancestors are guiding them. What I know is that the rats started jumping over the meshes, avoiding the traps.

A lot of rats invaded my tunnel at once, all of them jumping the traps like one of those speedrun montages with superimposed attempts, it was rather nice to see it but I was about to lose my bananas. In more than one sense.

With that many rats, what if they start to chew the walls of my sphere again? Damn, that would be bad. I started to panic. Would "Armor 10" protect me against rat bites? I don't know. Not in the mood to test it, either. Before the rats could reach the bananas, I did something drastic. Reclaim the bananas, biting the 50% loss on the invested Mana. Replicate a stone wall at the end, then suck the oxygen out of the tunnel.

It was unfair, probably. Since when Dungeons didn't need to offer a clear path to the Core? Probably since people didn't need to offer a clear path to their brains or hearts. No, seriously. Magic could permeate through rock, or the underground would be a dead magic zone. From what I understood about my new reality, a Dungeon wasn't a place, it was a creature. The Dungeon Core was the heart but the walls and tunnels and rooms were the body. The monsters and traps, the immune system.

A Dungeon was a living magical organism. A sentient one, too. Case in point, myself. These rats were germs. Or food. Food germs. Dungeon Probiotics ™. Oh, the notifications are in.

 

> For killing level 4 Giant Rat, you earned 195 Exp. You gained 2 Dungeon Mana.

[...] 17 similar notifications were suppressed.

> You gained a level in Architect of Destruction! You gained +2 Intelligence, +2 Will, and +1 Hardness.

> For killing level 5 Giant Rat, you earned 243 Exp. You gained 3 Dungeon Mana.

[...] 23 similar notifications were suppressed.

> You gained a level in Architect of Destruction! You gained +2 Intelligence, +2 Will, and +1 Hardness.

> You gained a level in Architect of Destruction! You gained +2 Intelligence, +2 Will, and +1 Hardness.

> Exp is now being allocated to all Classes equally.

> You gained a level! You gained +8 Intelligence, +4 Wisdom, +7 Will, +5 Clarity, and +7 Hardness. You have 10 Attribute Points.

> You gained the Perk, Telekinetic Button Pusher. You can effortlessly push any unattended buttons inside your Domain.

 

Hooray for mass murder! My first net positive rat incursion. I absorbed the bodies but didn't reset the Dungeon. I needed to plan. The ten extra points went into Clarity, to push my main Resource further.

 

Attributes Base Score   Efficiency Modified Score

Intelligence

40 (200%) 80

Wisdom

26 (200%) 52

Will

38 (220%) 83

Clarity

50 (220%) 110

Hardness

58 (220%) 127

 

My Status was looking good. Armor reached level 11. But this new Perk was very interesting. I could push buttons. Type in a keyboard. I needed to test it. The landfill was mostly for non-recyclable trash and very few electronics found their way in here. I still needed to find anything better than that old crappy FM radio.

So, I made a list of my priorities.

 

1 - Better rodent defenses.

2 - Expand

3 - Find more electronics.

4 - World Domination (perhaps)?

 

Item #4 was there just for shits and giggles, but what if? Convert the whole world into a Dungeon, turn the planet core into a reactor, and reach Kardashev level 1 all by myself. Then expand into the orbit, and swallow the sun. A Dungeon Star, then a Dungeon Galaxy.

If I ever reach that point, then, yes, I'll give humanity the fruit orchard the aliens wanted.

 

*


*

 

A bank of a hundred LR44 batteries, charging capacitors, a transformer that wasn't as ridiculous as the first one, then a massive copper coil. I made an electromagnet. It cost me 75 Dungeon Mana to create and it was rather expensive, but the magnet packed a huge punch.

I created the first one and tried it.

BOOM!

It generated an electromagnetic pulse, then blew up the capacitors through feedback. I was missing something. I needed... Oh, boy. How I miss not paying attention to physics in high school.

First, I needed a current-limiting resistor. Just a small but tough one to stop things from short-circuiting. And to stop the feedback, I needed... a diode.

Suddenly, my priorities shifted. I needed to find more electronics and to do that, I needed to expand. Then I could think about better rodent defenses.

All along my 150 feet tunnel, I started building shafts of stone. For some reason, the stone needed to be hollow to count as part of my Dungeon. The stone prongs poking out of my sphere, for example, didn't extend my Domain. The shafts were vertical and I even opened a small hole underneath them. Should any rat try their luck in one of them, the most probable thing that would happen was that it would fall down and die.

Also, why would any Dungeon build itself horizontally where it was convenient for people to invade? No. Add narrow shafts, and deep pits, and go 3-D. Make the guy discard his armor to climb up, and flood the Dungeon.

Oh, wait. Flood the Dungeon?

With what? Putrescible leachate? Eww. Water? It would soak the trash really well. Not that the trash above us is dry or anything. Cardboard, clothes, toilet paper, and all of the materials you can find up there are really good at retaining moisture.

I'm getting distracted. I need a diode. My kingdom for a diode. Focus and keep building those shafts. Tunneling through garbage, branching out, keeping the shafts a hundred feet from each other in a nice cubic pattern, making sure everything was inside my Domain.

I noticed I wasn't bothered by the taste, smell, or feel of the garbage anymore. Also, my DM regeneration was climbing. Months later, I reached 200 DM per day. I had... about six thousand feet of shafts forming fifteen incomplete cubes with sides a hundred feet long. I didn't need to waste shafts to cover all the sides of the cube. Curse those damn garbage collectors. They did a too-good job of sorting the trash that went into this landfill. I can't believe I hadn't found any electronics, not a single phone, computer, or anything.

Also, the rats seem to have forgotten about me. They were content walking up and down their tunnels in the endless crevice of garbage. I noticed some of them bringing fresh bread from the surface. Wait, if the rats are able to go back and forth from the surface and steal bread... no, that's not important.

What was important is that...

People on the surface are well enough to bake!

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About the author

MDW

Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.

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