Jules was somewhat in a daze as he went to work that morning. Though he thought of it as “going to work”, he didn’t really have to go very far. He lived in the same place that he worked. There were also others who lived in the rooms provided, but they didn’t see each other often. All of the “librarians” were pretty reclusive. After all, most people wouldn’t be content living underground. From Jules’ perspective though, it’s not like he would see the sun even if he didn’t live underground. It didn’t matter to him. He got paid to do something he didn’t hate, so it was worth it.
Jules looked at the pile of books he had to work on shelving. He wasn’t really sure why it wasn’t a completely automatic process. However, if it was, he wouldn’t have a job, so he didn’t particularly complain about it. Sometimes, he would get books that weren’t for his section in his pile. That really shouldn’t have happened, but maybe it was someone’s way of checking to see if he was doing his job. He picked up the top book and looked at its data.
|Title: Ender’s Game|
|Author: Orson Scott Card|
|Publication date: 15 January 1985|
Below that were its classifications and summary. Well, it certainly fit under the category of science fiction. He checked all of the other books, organizing them into a few smaller piles, then pushed along the cart that they were on, placing books where they belonged as he came to where they belonged.
As he was able to do his job almost subconsciously, he practiced Uesmethi as he wandered along. Nobody was going to show up nearby, so he wouldn’t be made fun of for talking to himself. Actually, he was pretty sure that not talking to himself might be weirder, down here all by himself. He supposed he could listen to music, but he’d rather be productive, even if it was just practicing a fictional language made up for a game. It was possible he was slightly addicted.
Eventually, Jules reached the location for the last book in the current stack. However, it had to go on the top shelf. A shelf Jules couldn’t reach. It wasn’t that he was short, the shelves were just very tall. There was actually an extendable ladder on the cart, but it was a bit of a pain to get it out. Jules sighed, and wished this were Many Worlds. He could just use his telekinesis to lift the book up, and it would slide neatly into the shelf. He wouldn’t have to get out the ladder. Of course, that wasn’t possible.
Jules set up the ladder and then reached for the book, but he couldn’t find it. He checked on the floor, and under the cart. Then, he glanced around at the shelves. It would be pretty obvious if it had fallen anywhere nearby. Jules looked up. There it was, already on the shelf. He must have blanked, and put it there already. He took down the ladder, and put it away on the cart. Then, he slapped himself in the face.
It hurt. That was to be expected. Jules reached into his pocket for his computer. It was very helpful for looking up the information on the books without being near the printers. He realized that he had forgotten the computer in his room. Then he thought about Uesmethi again. It came to him naturally. There was no trace of the headache that had happened before. Jules looked at the cart, then back up to where the book was. He knew he hadn’t climbed the ladder. He searched his pockets for anything, but they were pretty much empty. The only loose item he had on him was the wristband.
He took it off and concentrated. It floated into the air. That surprised Jules. First, that it floated. Was he still in the game, somehow? Though, he wasn’t sure why they would have representations of his home and work. The other idea he had was that the wristband somehow gave him the powers he had in the game. Not that it made much sense to him, but it was his first thought. Except, then why would it work when he wasn’t wearing the wristband? He left the wristband on the cart, and moved several bookshelves, lengthwise, away from it.
He took a book on the end of a row, and it still moved with telekinesis. He put it back on the right spot carefully, then slapped himself in the face again. It still hurt. No guarantees he wasn’t in the game somehow still, though. Next, he tried to bring up his status window.
|Power||Strength: 79||Intelligence: 133 +10||Luck: 99|
|Finesse||Dexterity: 87||Wisdom: 137 +10||–|
|Durability||Toughness: 94||Willpower: 134 + 10||–|
|Quantity||Constitution: 90||Focus: 121||Quantum Flux: 124|
Ah, there it was. None of the numbers had surprised him. Some of his attributes had slightly increased as he played. The +10’s were points he had distributed at level-up. He wasn’t sure why they were displayed in that manner.
|Attributes are displayed with the base (trained) value, plus any amplifications.|
Oooh, helpful information. That was rare. What Jules took from that was that training his Willpower from 134 to 135 would take the same amount of effort no matter how many bonus points he distributed to it. Nice. Oh wait, there was something more important than that right now, wasn’t there?
Did the presence of the status screen mean he was still in the game, or somehow connected to it? Unfortunately, no helpful windows appeared to answer that question. What might not work if this were the real world, with special powers, that would work if it was part of the game. The first thing that Jules thought of was the death and resurrection system. Obviously, he wasn’t going to test that one. Perhaps… options?
|Options: Not available.|
Yes! Progress! Well, it could be that the options just couldn’t be changed in the part of the game that now represented the real world… or something. At some point he’d just have to reach a conclusion and believe it, because reality was basically only knowable through the senses. Thus, if a game could replicate any senses, such as Many Worlds, it might as well be reality from certain perspectives.
Jules went to get his wristband, and entered the game. The options window worked. He thought about the easiest thing to test, then slapped himself. He then turned the pain settings down, and slapped himself again. It certainly hurt less. Then he left Many Worlds and slapped himself again. It hurt normally. So, at the very least, the options didn’t seem to transfer out of Many Worlds, and couldn’t be changed outside.
Therefore, Jules decided to live as if he now had telekinesis in reality. If he didn’t, and his reality had been replaced by something from the game, he couldn’t really do anything about it. It was best not to worry about it. That was what he told himself. Over and over. It didn’t stop him from worrying about it though.