Many Worlds Chapter 50
Jules wasn’t sure what to do with his down time, since he would normally enter Many Worlds, but he was dead right now. At this time two months ago, he would have gone to sleep, but that wasn’t something he did any more. Jules could easily work himself into a mentally exhausted state, but that wouldn’t make him the right kind of tired. He would just be tired and still awake.
So, for the first few hours, Jules read a book. He held his screen above him with telekinesis as he read, because he always felt like he could use more practice. It was hard to keep it perfectly steady, but he managed to read it anyway. In fact, he read faster than he was used to. It had been a long time since he had read a book for leisure, and with significantly enhanced mental stats, he read faster. Some people took their time while reading things for fun, but Jules was in the camp that consumed media as quickly as he could. It was no less enjoyable to him, but some people enjoyed things differently.
After that, Jules went out to wander the streets. It wasn’t the kind of thing he would normally do. However, he wanted to get a good look at the city he lived in. For that, however, he still needed his breathing filter. That was the first thing. Once outside, he could barely make out the shadows of the solar panels. Some people might have thought that with solar panels covering so much, they would be the only source of energy, but that was untrue. Jules knew that underneath the city was a nuclear power plant. That might have worried some people, but it wasn’t as bad as people might think. There had been a catastrophic failure with another one perhaps twenty years before, but nobody had noticed, except for those involved with the power grid of course. From what Jules had heard, it had actually been the worst possible scenario, with everything going wrong, but yet it went unnoticed on the surface, except for some slight power fluctuations. It was buried deep enough that no radiation would reach the surface, and the explosion had at most caused a slight shake on the surface.
However, his reason for being outside wasn’t to think about that, but rather to compare Earth and Uesmeth. Earth had much more usable land, but all of it was occupied. On Uesmeth, they occupied what land they could, but the landquakes prevented some of that, and monsters forced the rest too build in certain ways. This also kept the population down somewhat, but Jules didn’t think that was a good thing. Instead, it would be better for people to learn to restrain themselves, but that was obviously not an easy thing.
On Uesmeth, buildings didn’t reach as high as on Earth, not because they didn’t have the technology, but because tall buildings were harder to make resistant to earthquakes, especially ones that were guaranteed to happen and extremely violent. Likewise, there was only so much lateral distance they could cover. Jules hadn’t seen any farmland, so he had asked. The answer was that they had significant underground complexes for producing food, power, and other necessities. Although it was somewhat inconvenient, these underground areas could only be accessed through the central keeps. Surrounding them were fortifications that were even more sturdy than the walls on the surface. Otherwise, burrowing monsters might enter the areas even outside the time of landshifts. However, the city still relied on everything on the surface to function, homes, businesses, and less vital but still important resource production.
Jules couldn’t actually praise the Uesmethi or criticize humans. Both built to the limits of what their world would support, but unfortunately for the humans this meant the world was the one that had suffered. On Uesmeth, after reaching the limit, the world would continue to be as always, but the citizens couldn’t withstand the pressure. If they tried to build further outside the cities, it would just inevitably cause more deaths. Thus, they had reached a balance with their planet, though only because there was a wall that halted their progress. Meanwhile, humans on Earth had found themselves on the top of a slope, and just barely managed to not go over the tipping point. Eventually, Jules returned home. He couldn’t necessarily say one planet was better than the other… but he did like fresh air.
During work the next day, Jules practiced a new way to use his abilities. He wasn’t sure if there was any practical benefit, but it was interesting. He focused on two factors. First, he could sense the location of objects around him with an application of telekinesis. Second, he could request data on specific objects he could see. The second factor actually applied to things he could sense in any way, but it was limited by how much he could sense them. For example, if there was a loud sound, he wouldn’t know what type of creature made it unless he had seen one, but could have some kind of measure of how loud it was.
In this case, with his senses he could make out that there were bookshelves with books on them. Specifically, he could tell that behind himself. However, if asked how many books there were, he would take some time, or even to specifically recognize a single book and not just a mass of “books”. Even then, he would have to limit the area he was sensing. Still, he managed to use his Request Data ability to get some useful information. He could tell at least what a section of books was. Jules would then take a book, telekinetically move it behind him onto the shelf… then turn to look at it, and fix its location. The shelves were sparse enough that it wasn’t a problem to place it among other books, but it would often end up out of order slightly, since he was just guessing at exact placement. Though he wasn’t sure of the exact application, Jules felt like it was useful training for his abilities. At least, it was something like a form of exercise, and it was interesting. Then, while he was doing this, someone stepped into his section. “Umm… hello?” the voice called out. Jules tensed up, but he already had a book flying through the air.