Many Worlds Chapter 47
Jules found one very interesting thing he could manipulate with his ability. Human attributes were measured by the system controlling the “game”. Therefore, they were data that could in theory be manipulated. Of course, these were simplifications of other attributes that composed the whole body. However, the mass of an object was also somewhat of a simplification. After all, most objects weren’t entirely the same throughout. Though the total mass might be 1 kg, some parts might be more or less dense than others. When Jules tried manipulating attributes, he was surprised that it worked. Of course, as with all uses of Manipulate Data, the effects were quite temporary. This of course depended on the amount he increased things by. He could maintain an increase of 10 for about an hour, if not doing much else. It was a slight but constant drain on his mind. Alternatively, he could increase an attribute by around 50 at maximum, but he could only maintain that for less than a minute, and then he would be completely drained. He thought of increasing his intelligence to increase the power of his telekinesis. However, this didn’t work to much effect. He had to split his concentration between the increase and the actual work, which negated most or all of the benefit at the cost of significant effort. With some experimental help from his friends, he determined that within a range of about 5 meters, he could apply a similar increase to their attributes for a similar amount of time, though it was slightly less. However, if they were further away it made the difficulty much harder, whether they were there the whole time or moved away. Using his abilities on more than one person cut the duration by more than the number of people. For example, Jules could increase something by 10 on himself for an hour, but if he included Robert, Douglas, and Isaac, then it would last for about 10 minutes.
Shortly after the landshift, many new people poured into Many Worlds. A second batch of wristbands had been released. Fortunately for the new players, they appeared in relatively safe areas near the cities, and some players took it upon themselves to help them out. Inside the cities, the new players were in awe at the destruction, though the more impressive changes were outside the cities. They just had no reference for what the terrain was like before, so it wasn’t as jarring. Fortunately there were plentiful safe “quests” for them in the form of cleaning up the cities, so they would be able to get some basic levels and money with no danger. It was a rather strange introduction for them, however. Still, it did give them a sense that large, world changing events could happen.
Though most of the cities were peaceful, not everywhere was safe. Two cities were still in danger, but forces were being arranged to help take them back from the monsters now occupying the area. At least some forces had already arrived. Since there were a much larger number of cities than just the two that were in danger, adventurers weren’t necessary in the operations. Since there were only a limited number of troop transports, they had the lowest priority. However, each city ended up sending over one or two transports with adventurers, as part of the last group.
Both Jules’ and Mary’s groups ended up on the transports from Fesmoilia. Both groups had shown significant contribution, so they were allowed to go. Fesmoilia was closer to the city of Artien, a city located on a stable island. The city would experience massive tsunamis during a landshift, but was usually less likely to experience large hordes of monsters. However, this time, there had been many more than usual. Perhaps a group of sea monsters had taken up residence nearby, or perhaps it had occurred during an unfortunate time in migratory patterns, but regardless there had been more. Fortunately, the attacks were limited to those monsters that could survive on land as well as in the sea, and a smaller amount of flying creatures. Otherwise, the situation would be much worse.
As it was, when the last batch of reinforcements from Fesmoilia arrived in Artien, the troops had secured a corner of the island. They were slowly advancing around the perimeter. The plan was to occupy half, or at least one side of the island, and push monsters away from there. Some of the monsters were just idling, and would flee when attacked. Jules saw there were giant turtles, as well as some creatures he couldn’t recognize. However, they all shared some of the traits he had come to associate with undersea creatures. Large teeth, some jaggedly arranged like sharks, but all very sharp. Strange eyes, either in their placement, size, or number. Very few creatures had anything resembling arms or legs, the turtles being the exception, but many were tentacled like squid and octopus. They used these limbs to pull themselves along the ground, but they were not as clumsy and slow as he might have thought.
Jules took the opportunity to experiment with decreasing the effectiveness of enemies. The results were somewhat disappointing. The range at which he could have a similar effect fell off much more quickly. Jules felt as if they were resisting his effects. If he could move closer and perhaps touch them, he thought he could have a significant effect. However, this was a terrible idea. Not only were the monsters dangerous by themselves, he would have to cross the line of fire. Jules thought that perhaps it would be more useful to try in smaller engagements.
The operation proceeded rather smoothly, with the monsters steadily being pushed back around one side of the island, though only outside the city. These monsters were less interested in claiming the land as their territory, so they were easily driven off. There were relatively few engagements, or it would have been much harder. The turtles in particular were almost undamageable, even with armor penetrating rounds. However, they were also not extremely aggressive, so they were rather easily dealt with. Some octopus like creatures shot gouts of ink. Unlike in the water, this did not create a cloud of obscured vision, but it could still cover people, getting in their eyes and on their equipment, hindering them. It was also somewhat corrosive, and dangerous to get on bare skin. Jules did what he could to deflect such things near where he was. After a few hours, a half circle around the outside of the city had been cleared. From here, they would push into the city in an attempt to drive out the monsters, or kill them if necessary.