Many Worlds Chapter 3

Jules moved his arm away from his face, now that there was no longer a bright light blinding him. He supposed he’d entered the game. It seemed there really wasn’t a character creation process. Weird.

He looked around.

Blue star, maybe. Purple sky. Rugged terrain, also stained slightly purple by the light. Normal gravity. At least, normal as far as he could tell. The colors were strange, but the air… the air was strange in a different way. It wasn’t like the processed air in buildings, or the polluted air he was used to outside. Instead, it was… fresh. It was a novel feeling. He wasn’t sure if this was a perfect simulation of fresh air, but he really liked it.

In addition to the terrain, Jules also saw other players looking around. If they looked at him, he waved vaguely, but didn’t start any conversations. Where all the players were appearing was a large… platform, of sorts. That is, it was a “respawn point”. It had glowy stuff and pedestals around it, and something like a barrier. Fancy.

Theoretically, he should be able to activate a waypoint to the nearest city. As he thought about that, he saw one. It was weird, seeing such a thing not on a monitor. Well, before he headed that way, he wanted to check his stats.

The stats were surprisingly simplistic overall. Basic RPG stats, mostly. Physical and Mental categories each had four attributes, affecting Power, Finesse, Durability, and Quantity. Quantity was theoretically HP and MP, health and mental energy. Pretty normal, except there were two luck stats. He had heard the system was more complex than ten statistics could represent, but perhaps the information was hidden.

Physical Mental Fortune
Power Strength: 78 Intelligence: 127 Luck: 99
Finesse Dexterity: 86 Wisdom: 131
Durability Toughness: 93 Willpower: 134
Quantity Constitution: 88 Focus: 118 Quantum Flux: 123

He was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised, to see below average physical attributes. He grinned to see above-average mental attributes. Since, theoretically, the attributes reflected the real person somewhat, he was happy the game confirmed he was smart.

His luck was exactly a 99, which was basically average. The other luck stat, Quantum Flux, was at 123. From the description, that meant he would get better good luck, and worse bad luck. It wasn’t too far off of normal to be bothered about it, though.

Then, he checked out his classes. Everyone had a (theoretically) unique secondary class, as well as starting as a level 0 adventurer. The adventurer class, it was said, got a decent amount of everything as they leveled up, but didn’t specialize in anything and couldn’t get some of the more unique skills or abilities. Well, basically what one would expect from a starter class. He could change class later.

Then, Jules Verne looked at his secondary class. All he had was “Information” as the name of the class and one ability: View Data.

That was a class? That sounded terrible, and useless. Well, he might as well try it. He spoke (unnecessarily) the name of his skill, intending to affect a rock he’d picked up. An information screen popped into his view behind it. It said, quite plainly:

Rock
Object
This is a rock.

That was all.

The rock got thrown pretty far, as he vented his frustration. “Of course I get a useless secondary class. Why wouldn’t I?”

He checked his inventory.

Space Adventurer’s Outfit (Worn)
Space Canteen (Full)
Space Combat Knife

None of the items actually said “Space”. He just added that in his head, because this was a sci-fi game. Everything has to be “Space” or “Laser”. Also, the inventory showed him where each item was carried on his person. The canteen wasn’t in a weird alternate space pretending to be a backpack.

Jules sighed at his meagre, but expected, equipment. He thought he might as well head to town.

Normally, an MMORPG should start you in town, but it seemed this one decided to throw expected rules out the window.

The first thing he noticed on his trek was that the world was big. Sure, games liked to advertise how big they were, but generally you could see the whole thing if you stood on the right mountain, or even a large hill. Maybe it just felt bigger because he was walking it himself though.

Well, walking may have been a poor way to phrase it. First, he started running, since in games that was the quickest way to get around. Characters never seemed to get really tired, either. He soon learned this was not true in this game. Maybe the characters were actually just exhausted all the time with no way to communicate it. Jules got tired just as quickly as he would running in real life. That is, before he finished going over the nearest hill. He could have gone further, but he didn’t want to actually exhaust himself and collapse on the ground in this strange area. He thought he would, too.

In addition to attempting to run, he also climbed over things. Nothing was a really hard climb, but most games wouldn’t allow you to get over those normally, unless you could do something like a double jump. Climbing always seemed to be one of those things that were ignored. Well, that may have been because it would be easy to go off the edge of the world that way. However, it would have been very odd if he couldn’t move his body as he imagined in a virtual reality game. Fortunately, they held to realism.

Then he got tired enough to take a break. While he was sitting on a rock, because walking slowly was no way to take a break, he used his View Data skill on things nearby.

There was a reddish, gnarled, thorny plant that had no leaves.

Shrub
Plant
This is a shrub.

Great help, that.

There was a blue-violet flower that was growing directly out of a rock.

Flower
Plant
This is a flower.

Great, what detail. But was it edible? Poisonous? Used for dyes? As his thoughts lingered on this, he noticed a change in the window.

Name Unknown
Type Plant (Flower)
Description Blue-Violet flower
Edible ??
Poisonous ??
Used in Dyes ??

While not helpful in the slightest, the change in the menu told him something. He’d have to acquire at least some of the data on his own. It seemed like a pretty useless ability, except that it might remember things for him.

Just to experiment, he checked a rock next.

Name Unknown
Type Mineral (Rock)
Description Purplish rock
Edible ??
Poisonous ??
Used in Dyes ??

He held his face in his hands. He didn’t need that kind of information for everything. He fiddled with some (mental) settings, and thought he managed to convince the game he didn’t care about whether or not rocks were edible (or poisonous). He did manage to make it show the weight. At first, the value was blank, but after picking up the rock and testing its weight, he got it to display that it was 10 N (approximately, apparently). By virtue of just being the way things worked, that was about a kilogram, but Jules was aware that kilograms didn’t actually measure weight, which would be relevant if gravity was different.

He sighed. This skill still hadn’t come up with any information he hadn’t figured out or guessed on his own. It might not even be accurate. Time to walk on.

Despite the apparent lack of any gamelike features, Jules Verne was rather enjoying his time in Many Worlds. It was like an exotic nature hike, except he didn’t have to take a long ride to get there, and it wasn’t polluted. He wished he had some snacks though. Since it was a game, he figured it wouldn’t hurt to eat some random flowers. Because why not.

The general result of that experiment was “bleh”. Most of them didn’t taste any good at all. The blue-violet ones, however, had petals that tasted faintly of citrus. He couldn’t think of any blue citrus, so he decided to just call them citrus flowers, until he found out their actual name. Assuming the game designers bothered to name the random flowers that were around.

Just as the walking and climbing and such was starting to get extremely old, Jules crossed one last rise. There, he was struck by the sight of a city. It was definitely a city. That said, it was completely unexpected. Strange architecture built of many differently colored rocks. Around that, a wall. Actually, instead of a city, it looked more like a castle surrounded by a medieval village. If medieval villages had access to purple and blue rocks, bright green wood, or laser gates. Well, at least the gate shouted out science fiction, if not the rest. Jules thought he saw one or two others, probably new players as well, heading towards the gate.

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