Many Worlds Chapter 4

Upon closer inspection, the buildings of the city only looked medieval because they were made out of stone. However, they were quite well made, from what he saw, and looked much more modern up close.

Jules also corrected his initial thoughts about the gate. It wasn’t a laser gate, but rather a lightning portcullis. Where you’d expect crossing metal bars, there was electricity. Jules wondered if it were somehow solid, and stopped people from moving through. He decided not to test it. To his delight, someone else did. From what he could tell at the distance he was standing at, it had appeared quite solid. Also, it had enough kick to knock the player back three meters.

Jules looked at the guards on top of the wall. They seemed rather neutral about the whole affair. Although they didn’t open the gates or anything, they didn’t shoot their guns (maybe laser guns? Jules hoped they were laser guns) at any of the players milling about in front of the gates. The player who died from the gate eventually disappeared, theoretically to go through whatever respawn process there was.

Somebody tried to climb the wall. That was met with the first real response from the guards. Yelling, followed shortly by laser fire. Jules secretly laughed with joy, but he kept his outer appearance mostly neutral. Laser Guns! They were pretty cool. He felt a little bad for the dead guy though. Not very, though.

Eventually, everyone milling around the gate gave up getting in, and Jules moved closer. He waved to the guards. “Hello, I don’t suppose you’d let me in?” All he got was a glance in his direction when he waved. He sat down near the laser gate, in view of both it and the guards.

“So, do you speak English at all?” The guards ignored him. Since he was basically alone, he got bolder. “Hey! Down here!” He started shouting whatever came to mind. After a minute, he got a response. One of the guards said something that sounded like a rebuke. Jules stopped yelling. He confirmed they didn’t speak English, and he didn’t speak whatever they spoke. It didn’t sound like anything he’d heard, so he supposed the game creators made up at least one language. He immediately wondered how complete it was.

Jules wondered if the guards were allowed to shoot people who weren’t trying to get in. He made an attempt to find out. Additionally, he also tried to find out what they called the laser gate. He did this by pointing at it and asking “What do you call that?” repeatedly. Eventually, one of the guards pointed his gun at him and said something. Probably, “shut up”.

Jules kept pushing. Eventually the guard gave an exasperated sigh and said something to the other guard. Jules was guessing, but he thought it might have meant either “Why does that fool keep pointing at our laser gate?” or “You won’t mention I shot this guy if I get him to go away, right?” Jules repeated the part he thought might have been laser gate (or possibly fool). The guard vaguely gestured toward the gate, and might have said “Duh, it’s a laser gate,” to which Jules responded “laser gate” and the guard replied with the same.

Jules then pointed at the wall. “What do you call that?” The guard sighed. After a long while of prompting, Jules thought he knew the words for “laser gate” “wall” “guard” “laser gun” and either “foreigner” or “imbecile”. Jules turned to leave. “Bye bye!” he waved.

The guard responded with either “have a nice day” or “good riddance”. Jules didn’t even seriously consider the first one.

——-

Jules left the gate, not because he gave up on learning the language or new words, but because he was hungry. He was beginning to see the downside of realism. He hadn’t seen any other players around, and almost wondered what they were up to. Then he thought about his friends, and decided he needed to find out how to contact them… after he ate something.

Being the non-practical sort, Jules decided to eat random plants. He gave names to them, and sometimes revised former names. He considered hunting animals, but he seriously doubted he could catch any. Plus, he didn’t want to make the bet that they wouldn’t be venomous. The few things he’d seen looked weird.

Jules eventually stumbled upon some root vegetables of some kind. After washing them in a nearby stream, he ate the weird, lumpy things. They kind of looked like potatoes, but they seemed to be edible without cooking. That was good for Jules. They tasted alright too. They also appeared to not be poisonous, so that was a plus.

Eventually, hunger sated, he returned to the gate. The shift of guards had changed, and both of these were boring. That is, neither of them would respond to Jules’ prompts. He got tired and gave up. Speaking of tired, he would be tired at work tomorrow. He logged off.

2184-11-28 06:00 (Sunday)

——-

He wasn’t actually that tired at work, although he was disappointed that he had to work on a Sunday. That he wasn’t tired was definitely for the best, since he could have easily fallen asleep against a shelf of books if he were tired. The smell of books was very relaxing. That was the only benefit of physical books, as far as Jules was concerned. Other than that, they were just heavy and clumsy, plus there weren’t any search functions. He didn’t even know how people found what they were looking for. Not that there was much need for that in his section, since these were stories meant to be read, not mined for knowledge.

Jules spent most of the day going over the words he had learned in his head. He wished he could open the menu where he’d stored all that information inside the game. Sadly, he’d have to make do with his memory. He wondered if he could get a copy onto his computer somehow. He looked down at the wristband he was still wearing. It didn’t seem like it had any kind of ports to connect to anything, so it must connect to the game servers wirelessly. That would require some pretty powerful hardware, it was amazing it fit into something so small.

Then Jules got distracted by actually having to do his job. He spent the rest of the workday figuratively buried in books. They all fit in his pocket computer, after all, so it would have been extremely difficult to get buried.

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