It was somewhat easier to be casual about going out to fight monsters if you had the assurance that you wouldn’t die, permanently anyway. This is what Jules thought upon seeing Mary’s comrades, and upon realizing their relative lack of defensive equipment. Of course, armor is also very expensive, and does little good if you don’t have a weapon. In addition, if you can kill the enemy before they get to you, like with a gun, then your lack of defenses matters little.
Only one of Mary’s companions was armored. He was a relatively large man by the name of Ray, and he had managed to obtain a chestplate that resembled that of the town guards, though perhaps a bit less new. As they went over combat roles, he also showed that his left arm had a small energy shield, which could be used like a buckler. In his right hand he could use a laser pistol he had, or a “gravity hammer”, which may or may not have had anything to do with gravity, but hit hard. He would support Mary in melee combat, if it came to that. Otherwise, she would have been left to fight anything that got up close alone.
John didn’t have any armor, but he did have something that looked somewhat like a sniper rifle, though it apparently was of the laser variety. He was much skinnier than Ray, but nearly as tall. His role was to act as the scout, and of course he wasn’t a bad shot with his rifle.
The final member of the group was another woman, by the name of Ursula. She also had no armor, and wielded an assault rifle- the projectile kind. Obviously, her role was to contribute in making the enemies dead faster.
Jules himself would mostly be just an additional gun, once combat started, but he would also be able to help beforehand by identifying the properties of new enemies they saw, at least somewhat. Some knowledge would be better than what they could get just from vision, and it wasn’t a problem to have more people in the group. Although their share of any profits might theoretically go down, they weren’t a greedy bunch, and by the equipment that Ray had on, it was obvious that they had contributed to effectiveness more than just a “fair split”. Plus, it was likely that Jules would be able to increase efficiency, so it would have been foolish to just think that any money would just be split among more people. Most importantly, Mary’s three companions still believed that this world was just a game, and having more people around would be more fun. Jules wasn’t going to correct their ideas about that, because this world could still be reasonably treated as a game, and it wouldn’t be bad for them.
Their goal at this time was to scout out the area around some caves, and kill any dangerous creatures that came out. It wasn’t likely that there would be many yet, because the landshift was still far away, but such beasts still wandered out occasionally. Fesmoilia didn’t have the manpower to spare to partake in such activities, but adventurers would do it relatively cheaply, so it was still worth sponsoring, in this case by the city itself. There would still be a small amount of payment if no enemies were found, but more could be made if any were eliminated, especially if they had any valuable parts. Though, what could be brought back easily was somewhat limited, since they didn’t have an unexplained inventory like in a real game. They did, however, have a pair of foldable sleds, in case they needed to drag back an entire valuable carcass.
When John pulled out a paper map, Jules wondered if there were any gps on this planet. He hadn’t asked about satellites, but they could exist. It might be expensive to purchase such devices, or perhaps it was just lower priority. At least, a pocket computer was less necessary to surviving a fight than a weapon or armor.
Could Jules view a map with his abilities? Maps were, after all, a form of data. After concentration on the idea, he discovered he could create them, but only on the level that actual maps would be. He couldn’t keep a real image of the area, or view places he had visited. It would be a different sort of ability, if he could do that. In addition, he had to spend some energy and effort on creating the map as he traveled, and it wouldn’t automatically be correct. Still, it gave him something to do as they moved along, and it let him practice his abilities. Mental exercise was always useful.
As they walked along and entered a forested area, Jules thought that the trees must be very sturdy, or grow very fast. After all, with changes to the land occurring frequently, it would be hard for trees to thrive. The trees were a bit thinner than what he was used to, but still were quite sturdy. The conclusion was still “some of both”, however Jules thought it probably relied more on their ability to grow quickly, because they might be moved to an area where they weren’t suited to live. Jules wasn’t sure how far things might move in a landshift, but at most it should shift what soil was around a tree, if it could remain standing. It probably wouldn’t be enough to move something into a significantly different latitude, though weather patterns could change if mountains rose or fell. This planet must have been very hard to survive on before the cities were built, but now it was in an unusual state where it wasn’t hard to survive, but almost impossible to expand, even though there were bountiful amounts of space. Unlike Earth, where the planet was quite stable in general, but all the space had now been occupied. Jules thought about if it was possible for humans to inhabit any of the unused areas on Uesmeth, as they approached the first cave.