Many Worlds Chapter 32
After taking more than a week to train themselves, Jules and the group felt they were ready to try heading out for combat again. This extra time was significant, since they had entered Many Worlds for only a month before that. However, the understanding that it was real changed their viewpoints. It was still fantastical in nature, so it didn’t exactly feel real. However, as time passed, their minds started to understand, and everyone took it more seriously. It was an interesting challenge, trying to figure out why and how the technology for Many Worlds existed, and why it had been released posing as a game. That said, even knowing it was real, it wasn’t not fun. Seeing things that nobody had believed possible (or at least, achievable in the near future) happen in front of them greatly pleased Jules and the rest.
There was still the fear of dying again. That was a feeling none of them could handle. However, they were also clearly still alive. They could easily trust that they would not stay dead. Perhaps they never even really die, but had their bodies removed before their actual death. That, however, was perhaps getting into technical definitions of “death”, and might also transfer over into thoughts about consciousness and the soul. After all, when they were in Many Worlds, their minds weren’t in their original bodies. Was it dead? It were still breathing, certainly, but they also weren’t there occupying it, so it may not have been them at all. That, however, was a thought experiment for another time. Tomorrow, they would return to hunting.
Jules didn’t actually sleep anymore, but he thought he would give it a try. He lay on his bed, realizing that the sheets hadn’t been changed for a long time, but then again they also hadn’t been used. They were a little bit dusty however. Jules wasn’t tired. He hadn’t been tired from length of time awake more than once or twice in the past month. He had however, become mentally exhausted from training telekinesis, as well as using his Data Manipulation ability. Because of that, however, he felt like he had forgotten how to sleep. He held his arm up in the air and looked at the wristband on it. He didn’t even really notice it anymore, it was just part of his life now. As for whether that was a good thing… Well, Jules certainly found it more worthwhile than just the aimless living he had been doing before.
Jules was bored. He sat up, planning to begin some telekinesis practice. However, before that could occur, he got a message box.
|A quest is available!
Reward: Experience, money
View Details? Yes/No
Jules looked around, just to make sure he was in the real world. It was definitely his room. Likewise, the screen definitely wasn’t a hallucination. Quests… in the real world? This didn’t bode well. On the other hand… it wouldn’t hurt to see what kind of quest it was.
|Apprehend the criminal Colwyn Milligan.
Details: Colwyn Milligan has unlocked wristband functionality, and is using his newfound abilities to commit crimes. Charges: Robbery, vandalism.
Apprehend Colwyn or retrieve the wristband. Deliver to secure location.
Reward: Experience, money
Jules just stared in numb shock at the quest window. Several questions came to his mind. Most specifically was why. Assuming the charges were true, Jules understood why they would want the person apprehended. However, Jules was also under the assumption that the government, with their large numbers of people in black suits, controlled Many Worlds. There was absolutely no way the wristbands didn’t track their locations. In fact, Jules remembered hearing stories about people getting back lost wristbands upon request.
Jules was also unsure about what moderate difficulty meant, and the whole thing felt fishy. The only thing that kept him considering it was that the experience reward was enough for 5 levels, and the money was about a month’s wages. Still, Jules wondered why. There should be no reason to get a player of Many Worlds to deal with this kind of problem, though Jules could see why he would be a candidate if they did need that for some reason. He had an unlocked wristband, after all. However, this quest did provide one interesting point of information. Others had managed to unlock their wristbands. This was the first confirmation Jules actually had of that.
However, without the why, Jules didn’t plan to get involved in this situation. There wasn’t really a way to find out the information he wanted… except, of course, that maybe there was. Jules even had an ability that was titled Request Data. At the very least, it wouldn’t hurt to try. Probably.
Jules used his ability on the quest window in general, but there was no reaction. Upon using it considering the name Colwyn Milligan, he actually got a status window, which was interesting, but also not what he wanted. Jules concentrated, and thought about “why”- why would this be necessary at all- and attempted to use his ability. A few moments passed, with nothing happening. Then…
“Man, you’re so nosy. Why do you have to think about things all the time, this isn’t making my job any easier.” Jules recognized this voice. It was the voice he had heard when he first got the wristband, and the one that was involved with trying to convince him not to unlock the wristband.
“Don’t you sleep?” Jules asked. It was midnight, after all, and the person behind the voice had responded after only a few seconds.
“Don’t you?” the voice retorted.
Jules really couldn’t say anything to that point. “Seriously, why is this not being done by government people? I know they’re connected to Many Worlds. Arresting criminals should be their job.”
No sound came for a time. Then, the voice spoke again, “I require that you swear to secrecy.”
“Nope, not interested.”
“Well, that’s fine, I can get someone else for this quest.”
“I seriously doubt it, there can’t be that many candidates. Otherwise you wouldn’t have responded to me at all.”
“I hate dealing with smart people. It’s frustrating.”
“More than you hate dealing with dumb people? I bet you see a lot of them.”
“They’re differently frustrating.” The voice paused. “Well, you’re not the type to blab information about for no reason. However, you’ll have to accept that I can’t tell you everything.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“Both. I will give you this piece of information: I physically cannot give information on this criminal to any official law enforcement agencies. Thus, I require your help.”
“Well, okay, but there’s nothing stopping you from telling me?”
“Can’t I just call the cops or something and tell them about this guy for you?”
“There is nothing physically stopping you. However, I request that you do not. There may be further incidents, and if you take that course of action, I will not be able to contact you with such information in the future.”
“So, there’s something preventing you from telling this information to members of the government, but you can tell me… but only if I don’t tell members of the government.” Jules paused. “How literally true is that? Also, is Many Worlds not connected to the government?”
“I would literally be incapable of contacting you with such information again. Also, it isn’t entirely a secret that the government is the distributor and manager of Many Worlds.”
“What if I just sent them an anonymous tip?”
“I would still have the same restrictions.”
“How is it, being an AI?”
The voice sighed. “I hate people with intuitive abilities on that level just as much as I hate traditionally smart people. You’re completely convinced of this fact with almost no evidence.”