Many Worlds Chapter 60
Almost all of the structures near the cities had been discovered by adventurers, or even a few natives, simply by looking at them. However, the ones further away from the cities were not that easy to get to, so only one or two of them had been discovered by adventurers. The rest were discovered by satellite. Normally it would have been hard to spot, but they had a very distinctive look, so as long as any part of them was visible, computers had been able to pick it out.
Since this was a huge and sudden change occurring on their planet, Jules might have thought that the Uesmethi would have wanted to take over all of the structures themselves and control them. Maybe that was just his knowledge about the human government speaking, though. However, the Uesmethi hadn’t wanted to take things over and hog it for themselves, not the government as a whole, nor the cities. They were very open and cooperative. Maybe that was a requirement to survive on their planet as long as they had. They also seemed capable of accepting massive change with relatively little fuss. Three million humans had all showed up one day, and they only kept them out of the cities because they were surprised and unsure. A few cities had actually just let people in and directly tried to communicate, instead of waiting for the other side to initiate communication. After they found out that the humans were helpful, they took to them very quickly. Certainly, their physical similarities were probably helpful, but Jules assumed that humans had that similar-but-still-alien look he thought the Uesmethi had. Though humans were helpful partly through duress- humans literally could not harm them without being seemingly wiped out of existence, sometimes before anything happened, they really were mostly helpful.
Of course, Jules had to admit that there was one more reason for the Uesmethi to not create total claims and lockdowns on the structures, besides just their general culture. They weren’t sure if any of the structures had danger inside. The adventurers were semi-immortal and willing to explore them. Another thing that they might not have realized at first was that the adventurers were literally the only way to open them as well. That said, Jules thought that the Uesmethi acted in the manner they did not solely or even mostly because of what they could get from the adventurers, but just because that was the way they were.
Jules was glad that he had a computer now. It was a tablet style. It was relatively cheap, but quite useful. Especially for its GPS abilities. Though, since GPS was the name for the human system, it wasn’t technically called that, but it was basically the same thing. It told him where he was in relation to where he wanted to be. That said, it wasn’t like the group could just walk straight there. They did have terrain to worry about.
Fortunately, John was pretty good at navigating. He was good at finding relatively gentle slopes when they had to traverse up and down hills. He also found good places to cross the rivers- really streams, if they were being honest, that they had to go past. Real rivers would have required more time for water to build up on higher ground, usually through snow. However, since much of the higher ground had recently been lower ground, the only flows of water were from recent rains.
As they walked along, Jules was quite surprised. It seemed strange to think that less than two weeks ago all of this had changed. It still looked unsettled, but besides trees, he found that many of the plants were already growing in what would likely be their new habitats. Animals that had died in the landshift had already had their corpses picked clean. However, there were surprisingly few of those. That made some amount of sense, though, because if a landshift were going to wipe them out, it would have happened a long time ago.
As they got further from the city, they ran into a few more monsters. However, with the two groups combined, and the fact that they had quite decent equipment and levels, nothing had been too dangerous yet. John was also an excellent scout, with his ability to extend his hearing out into the distance, so they were never successfully ambushed.
One thing that Jules hadn’t thought about much was what they would eat. They had brought food, of course. They had food for about twice the amount of time they expected to need, preserved in various ways. However, they also ate some monsters that they killed. Mostly the ones that blurred the line between animal and monster. Of course, Jules first examined the meat to see if it was safe to eat. Some of it was strange, some of it didn’t taste good, but some of it was surprisingly interesting. However, Jules was happy to try it all. It made it feel more like a game again, where they were doing things for fun instead of just because they needed to. Not that Jules and his friends hadn’t been having fun with many of their activities, but this expedition heightened their adventurous, exploratory spirit.
The group also had a few tents, though they weren’t necessary. After all, they didn’t have to sleep here. However, they did try it once. After all, camping was a luxury back on Earth, since there weren’t many places that had anything like nature left. Jules decided it wasn’t for him, but he did actually manage to sleep. Hiking for most of the day made him quite tired.
The tents were also useful as meeting locations. Not everyone could always log on at exactly the same time, so those who got on earlier might wander around and explore a bit, though never alone. They didn’t want to die, because it would be unpleasant and they would also be sent back to near the city. Unless there were respawn points out in the wilderness they didn’t know about, and they weren’t sure on the requirements to activate them if they hadn’t been found. Nobody had experimented that much with them, for obvious reasons. Going from city to city seemed to set them to the new locations, but there were large expanses in between. So far, everyone seemed to have respawned near the cities, but there could have been more. Though, Jules supposed they would have been found by satellite. On the other hand, nobody had asked about them. The Uesmethi might have assumed that the adventurers knew where they all were, or they might not have looked for them in specific.