Many Worlds Chapter 41
Over the next few days, attacks grew significantly more frequent. Jules realized why the shifts became shorter, since people couldn’t handle that much sustained mental stress. Perhaps playing a game on a screen, one could continue for hours of simulated combat just fine, but real combat was stressful. There were more groups of monsters coming, and even though they still hadn’t made it up the walls, they seemed to get closer every time.
Then there was the stench. That wasn’t something that could be relayed except through virtual reality, or true reality. Bodies unfortunately didn’t just despawn, and it wasn’t safe to go out into the field to try to bury them, and also not practical. Thus, Jules found himself wearing a contraption similar to the gas mask he wore outside when he was on Earth. It was unpleasant, but much better than the smell. Jules couldn’t wait for it to go back to smelling like, flowers, however. Even though some flowers actually didn’t smell that great.
It was at this point that most adventurers would have quit helping, if it weren’t for the rewards. There were certainly some who couldn’t or didn’t enter Many Worlds, but a large number of people participated whenever they could. Jules didn’t think it was particularly fun anymore, but on the other hand, that was true of some games he had played large amounts of. It wasn’t necessarily fun to have to repeatedly kill monsters, but the fun came with the rewards at the end.
As the numbers of monsters increased, Jules saw some new types that he hadn’t before. There were some strange lizards with six legs that spat giant globules of something acidic. It might have also been a bit poisonous, but that didn’t matter when it could melt through bones, at least human and uesmethi bones. It was here that Jules took up a more important role than shooting monsters with a silly little pistol. He, as well as anyone else who had significant skill in telekinesis, got assigned to deflect these acidic attacks. Obviously, deflecting them to the side or up was a terrible idea, since that would just let them somewhere else into the city. Instead, he deflected it back. They globules had a fairly large mass and thus momentum, so mostly he pushed them back and down, and they lost enough momentum to not make it to the walls- or at least not to the people on top. Jules thought Uaqilius would be proud with how his telekinesis had developed. There were some others with enough telekinetic power. Jules really only managed to do it because of the enhancements of the wristbands, and improved learning speed. Thus, even though he could do as well or better than those who had spent years instead of months learning, it wasn’t like he was necessarily better than them. Other players had learned telekinesis as well, but not many from Fesmoilia, and they hadn’t had as early of a start as Jules. He’d been lucky to have had the fees waived, instead of needing to earn money before he could be taught.
Jules sighed, looking at the battle. Although nobody in the squads near Jules had died yet, some had been injured. They were rotated out for treatment, and though they would still be able to participate in later combat, it was obviously getting more dangerous. Jules couldn’t even describe how many different kinds of monsters he’d seen. He didn’t have time to do much else than watch for specific targets, deflecting the acid globules, and occasionally various other projectiles. He saw Isaac taking a position at the edge of the wall, gunning down monsters that would climb up even the electrified walls. Douglas seemed to watch for monsters that tried to leap up onto the walls, and he would shoot them out of the air. Not that his laser weaponry actually stopped their momentum in any way, but they would often arrive on the wall dead. Most of these monsters were smaller and less well armored, generally making up for it in agility. However, that also meant they were at their weakest when they had jumped in the air, where they could no longer maneuver. Robert… seemed to wander around the walls, looking at various turrets. Jules later found out he was checking to see if they had any problems. Asking, technically. The turrets were AI controlled, but Robert somehow managed to get information such as failing parts that the AI couldn’t possibly provide. This allowed them to be repaired before they failed, possibly at a critical moment. Though Robert didn’t shoot much of anything, he was constantly busy and possibly one of the most important, if least obvious, contributors.
When the end of Jules’ shift came, he was happy to leave and go back to Earth. However, he didn’t sleep. He couldn’t sleep, in fact. He had thought about taking time off from work, but there was no point. He couldn’t stay on Uesmeth, because he would get tired and be useless. So, he worked, all the while worried about what was happening, yet unable to do anything about it. Therefore, he trained telekinesis. He wasn’t sure if that thought was an actual logical conclusion, but it was the one he came to. Instead of moving around his section, placing books, he would move them from where they were to their distant locations entirely with telekinesis. Sometimes, this was very hard. Distance was one of the biggest factors in difficulty, and though Jules just had one section, it easily stretched beyond his “comfortable” distance of ten meters for moving a book. In fact, that was the distance at which he could barely pick one up. However, over the course of the day, he managed to slightly increase what he could do, but he was tired. Fortunately, the mental tiredness, if not the stress of constant activity, would go away when he traversed to Uesmeth. Jules couldn’t even think of it as entering a game anymore, even though that was the accepted terminology for what was happening. This went on for several days, before finally, the day of the landshift itself came. All of the minor tremblings had been leading up to that moment. Upon entering the game, Jules realized just how minor the things he thought had been real earthquakes really had been.
//End Chapter 41