Author Note; Site crashed when fixing a bug. I had to reload. Sorry…
I got up from my sleeping off my stress and troubles, not too much later than before. But I still hurt. I don’t get a full HP bar like in the RPG video games. I’m still as wounded from before, though holding together.
Now that I understand what I’m working against, I began to build better and stronger. I began to budget my time carefully.
I checked my status.
Race; Administrator class (Censored)
Job class; Undetermined
Health regen; 10 per day
Mana regen; 50 (hourly)
Con ** NA **
Skills; Survival, Mana Sensing, [Censored], Summoned Danger Sense projected illusion,
Traits; Memories have been censored
My red health bar in the system status screen has taken a lot of hits from the giant hornet attack. And these things are much bigger than the non-monster version also, which further intimated me with fear spiking up into my brain.
And wow, if I’m interpreting this right, just getting hit once is very serious without having a town nearby to rest in! I will be 65 health total tomorrow by this time if my health regen rate is only +10 health per day!
This is crazy hard mode! Just one of the hits from those giant giant hornets had taken double the amount I can heal in a day! And that last skirmish there were 3 of them?!
Man…this is rough.
I am going to have to have the illusion projection girl work for me, trying to be my bait kit or I’ll die! Given that she really is an illusion projection…somehow I guess that’s OK.
I went through the wreckage of parts of the landing pod rocket carrier attached to the other capsule.
With so many parts, I found several good pieces while trying to stay calm.
With these I’ll sharpen them against the rocks to make knives. Some of them will become spear points also. And arrow heads.
I’m realizing a bit more about myself too.
I’m smart, not just because my stats say so but because I realized that I’m somewhat eeducated.
I began to think of ways to survive.
And I still can’t get to the damaged pocket slot that’s supposed to have a laser gun that I could have used. And if that’s damaged its possible also that the gear inside is also damaged since the whole panel has such a degree of damage.
So my situation is truly desperate.
When I tried to feel out other nearby danger sources also, it seems that the entire meadow is SURROUNDED by monsters that aren’t quite at sensing me range, but could be at any time easily. This must be why I was advised to not leave this area until I can build strength. It could also be worse the farther out I go.
OK…time to find food. The brook itself is clear and clean so I’m not worried about water. It is so beautiful and I can tell the water is pure and good. It has the right smell and taste to it. It also didn’t make me sick when sipping a bit of it.
But food will be much trickier because if I go near the edges of the meadow (prison), I’ll be detected by monsters.
I could move boulders and wreckage parts over to the brook and then dam up all but one spot in order to net fish through it!
I spent a lot of time working on it. Before I even knew it, 3 hours had passed.
By then I’d also used part of the blanket from the pod I’d traveled in, in order to do the actual fish netting!
I now have several fish! Yes!
Why is it, I also have an idea how to gut and clean the fish also? Instinctively I knew what to do on those. And it made me curious how it was like that.
Using the knives and the summoned ‘danger sense girl’ program, I also had enough courage to go to the edge of the clearing to gather firewood.
I keep looking over my shoulder and looking at my danger sense compass girl. She gives me nods and seems worried also, while encouraging me. But she still looks like she’s hiding some hidden anger at me, for whatever reason. But she is doing her job right, so I trust her. (I didn’t initially trust her however, but I’d spot checked her when she could have had her guard down and she didn’t get lazy on the job. So her trust was earned.)
This was terrifying at first, because I wondered what else was in the woods. And technically a lot of stuff could be in the woods!
The two nearby targets that ‘Guide Girl’ had picked up earlier have continued to hover around the same area of the map; which is a different wooded meadow further down. Something else had caught their interest and they’d run off; no idea what, but I doubt I’m the only ‘prey’ here.
I am in no hurry to go down that way.
This actually isn’t hard to do, it just takes a LOT of grass and time to do.
The Guide Girl was surprised when I figured out how to make a rope and lasso out of woven grass from the clearing. She’s just been watching me much of the time, and sometimes admiring nature and looking around. But she doesn’t and can’t help me also.
“What will you do now?” Guide Girl asked.
“Can you try to do a big pulse of your detection skill to send out a ping to try to get a far off signal, and include life sign clusters? I’m hoping there will be a town nearby,” I said.
“If I do too strong of a signal it can bring stuff here,” she warned.
“So do a signal that echoes of other signals but that isn’t strong,” I said.
“Oh… that might actually work,” she thought aloud with a hand holding her chin. “Curious how you thought of it.”
“I’m curious too,” I said.
By 5 PM, I’d crafted my first spear.
But it looks terrible. In fact…
The spearhead fell off.
But thinking about it, its not surprising. It just means I have to try again, and again, and work out the kinks.
Guide Girl started laughing at me.
“What? How dare you…” I began to chase her while she laughed.
Wait, wasn’t she an AI program? How is it she’s laughing at me now?
I began to get worried around 7:31 PM.
I cooked my own fish and destroyed the evidence of the fire.
But then I realized how stupid and unguarded that was.
I could have had the fire seen by someone from being this far up the mountain! The smell of the meat being roasted isn’t good either.
I decided to sleep in the sleeping pod of the lander. I can do that with the door shut even, but with a piece of metal wedged into the panel to keep it from locking shut, but still remain mostly closed and safe. I can also use that rope piece tied to the outer parts of the panel and loop it around to hold it shut from the inside, if anything else is nearby. And that will protect me from mosquitoes, bugs, and from the cold.
But there’s always a chance something may come close. And technically this is a world of monsters. I’d seen a few glimpses of some of them already.
But you can’t heal without rest. And getting tired will prevent me from being able to function well.
I began working on breakfast.
“Guide Girl, I’m going to call you Lucy from now on,” I told her.
“W-what?! But I’m a temporary program! I don’t want to be tied to you forever! Damn it! You have no right to name me! Crap, crap, crap! My boss is supposed to give me another project soon! Nooo!” she said frustrated.
“What?! What are you talking about? You have a boss? What’s this boss thing you have you work for?” I demanded.
“Ah. Oops. Shit. I shouldn’t have said that. Forget I said that,” she said.
She looks flustered now.
I looked closer at her.
She’s hiding something.
“But you said…”
She interrupted me. “Shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up! I said nothing! Shit, you’ll get me fired!” she then turned as if facing and arguing with someone next to her.
But I couldn’t see her talking to anyone. And then I realized she was talking to someone, arguing with someone I couldn’t see, but that it was muted so that I couldn’t hear what she was saying.
Something really strange is going on here. It was almost like her real body is somewhere else, even though she was supposed to be a projection?! What the hell is going on here?!
This is raising some really serious questions about who and what I am here.
But if I ask her now she’ll have her guard up.
A ping in the status screen system tells me its registered the name change of my guide to ‘Lucy’.
My wounds are healing a bit. But not quickly.
I fought another skirmish of (1) giant hornet at 11:21 AM.
I’m quite thankful that it was only 1 of them and not three. And I used ‘Illusion bot Lucy’ also bait the damage from them.
This time I managed to kill it with no damage. But I’m getting worried.
But will she always be able to bait them?
I’m thinking smarter monsters might see through the trick. So I’m going to have to figure out how to adapt and create more skills. My health regeneration does +10 per day, which is pretty good. But one hit from a giant hornet is over 20 damage at the minimum!
And so if there are multiple giant hornets I’m screwed! Even with only one hornet if I don’t dodge everything somehow I’m doomed.
I worked out securing pieces of cabling and some other parts with the idea to build more weapons. But I’m not even sure how to do that yet.
What else can I do to improve my situation?
Guide Girl sometimes acts really bored. But oddly enough her program isn’t ending. She’s just following me around.
This is confusing because I’d thought the magitek programs would only run a certain time period limited to around combat.
But she’s not like that. And I’m starting to think that she’s not really an AI program at all, but was posing as one. Instead she’s some kind of monitor.
Is she spying on me then?
She says she’s here to protect and watch over me. But she doesn’t actually protect me and doesn’t want to, saying she can’t interfere. She’s being more careful now and I’ve had no signs that she’s talking to someone else again.
And often when I try to talk to her, she’ll say she’s busy or not now. One time she said something about having to finish her spread sheet…whatever that means. And sometimes I think she’s afraid to talk to me, in case she slips up or says something she shouldn’t.
I also put up pieces of wreckage around a visual shield, so that nobody should be able to see me if I do a cooking fire tonight. This was one of my big worries.
Hopefully nobody noticed…I hope.
Things continued to not be easy. A few days passed while I stayed here. I have everything I need so there’s no reason to go far. I can use the sleeper pod of the landing craft to sleep in at night to stay warm, even though its pretty cramped and small. (Its like sleeping in a sleek black coffin.)
I continued to hunt and fish in the book. But I don’t stray from the meadow.
The brook seems to have no end to the amount of fish in it.
Every day now there’s at least one giant hornet that comes up to scout this area. And this is why I haven’t gone out of my way to go that way. Plus, I noticed right away that the giant two foot long hornets always come from the same spot, further down the mountain.
I did one more tutorial, and basically it unlocked ‘officially’ the ‘skills’ tab on my status screen with the status screen magic. The tutorial basically taught me about skills and even gave me the names of some of them, which led me to try to experiment with them.
But its tricky.
If I continue to do this, I will have to unlock the magitek crystal set next. But the tutorial says the strength of the magitek crystal set depends on my own stats and awareness. In other words, the earlier I unlock it the weaker it will be! So there’s incentive to wait to unlock it during my first month here.
It should be that if my stats are higher then the magitek set should be more powerful also.
I discovered a few things.
Time passed by fairly quickly.
By day 5 I’d killed 6 other hornets after day one. This means on day 3 there were two of them, that came within the same hour. I was really lucky that I didn’t have to face them together. I’ve managed to heal up half the damage I took from the first fight, but the hornets continue to come non-stop at least once per day. On most of these days since after day one, there was usually only one hornet mob that would come up this way.
I used a few make shift distractions, and simple traps to avoid getting damaged. But my traps broke each time. And I also used guide girl as a distraction to avoid damage too. That helps sometimes. So its a miracle I’m still alive.
It also seems that every day around afternoon the hornets send a patrol this way! So I have to remain alert!
I’d been lucky that I’d gotten a chance to spawn up in an area that was quite remote and hard to reach. This helped me with defense and not much trying to get here, but hurt me in that there’s not a lot of starting resources here.
I’d also created a digging tool, something simple and hard to use out of some metal bits and wood tied together with wiring from the capsule. Its hard to use. I dug a shelter pit slowly…which I’m trying to enlarge.
My intention is to use the pit to hide my fires, and to also have some shelter from the wind, from which I can also put a camouflage lean to over.
On day four it gave me the [evade] skill from dodging the hornets. I had to do it a number of times, enough to have it down well, before it would give me the skill. But mys tats aren’t really a dodge build, so this is really not a good increase in my survival odds yet.
I also achieved the [smash] skill from attacking them also.
I know there’s a [defend] skill but I haven’t gotten it yet. I know there’s some range skills also but I don’t have a working bow and arrow yet. I’ve crafted several sharpened sticks into spears and I’m trying to practice throwing with them, but so far I haven’t gained anything from them. And its taken a lot of work, just to try to figure out how to make the body of the spear’s wood, be straight, and turn out just right in the crafting. (Very difficult).
I have managed to figure out how to craft spear heads from chipping rocks using metal pieces. I even have a few spears made from metal bits from the landing craft also. But the problem with those is that the metal is too durable to break on my own. I don’t have the tools for it either, so I had to only use stuff that’s already about the size and shape of a spear head and that was limited to only 2 pieces.
So it seems like its not that easy to gain a skill. I have to be really good at it and pursue it vigorously over time. Lots of work involved.
I collect firewood in the day and in the early morning especially before it gets too hot.
There’s other issues also.
‘Guide Girl’ is trying to not talk to me as much as possible but won’t tell me why. I think she’s pouting, and its obvious she’s annoyed. I haven’t offended her, and I wonder if maybe ‘her boss’ or whoever it is on the other end of the connection told her to be that way. She still is forced to the ‘decoy illusion’ magic skill for me, because the program has made her be that way now.
I think she’s afraid of revealing more secrets about this place.
Obviously there’s a mystery there.
Isn’t my system weird though?
She almost acts like some kind of telepathic projection office employee?
But how can that be?
A few days ago on day 3, I’d discovered there is a full on huge hornet’s nest with dozens of hornets about a mile down from me into the valley. This is why they keep patrolling and exploring this way. It also means, I think that they send out patrols all over the place not just here.
This was discovered using the [Detection Pulse] skill that I’d invented by shooting mana from me into Guide Girl.
I also know that [Detection Pulse] costs 20 mana now.
I’m hoping I can reduce the cost with some practice.
I’m now researching how to do other skills, though Guide Girl is ridiculously tight lipped and won’t give me feedback about such things. Again she won’t tell me why.
But on Day 4 I discovered there’s a giant ant monster also! This thing is about three feet long and with huge jaws, black, and long legged. It had wandered over here from down in the valley also. Originally it had come with a patrol of 4 ants.
An ambush from the giant hornets forced a skirmish between the two groups, restultin a single survivor ant with losses on both sides. Then that one ant wandered off towards where I am, where this one ant came up to near my position.
I received -42 health from a single, but killed it. (I’m quite alarmed that I took this much damage from it when it was already about 40% wounded!) This means these giant ants are ridiculously dangerous! The ants are much stronger than the giant hornets in raw combat damage from someone confined to the ground! This explains why the giant hornets fought them with numbers also.
I’m getting worried.
I can’t risk fighting the ants. And my wounds aren’t good, though I have an efficient healing system in my body.
I gave myself first aid, but its an awful wound.
I can’t wait too long to get into using my magitek crystal set and unlocking it.
But I want to be stronger and have more skills first also.
But the giant ants are so strong. If it weren’t for the giant hornets being a natural enemy of them, I would have been toast already.
And who knows what else is out there!
On day 5, I believe I created a new strategy to fight the ants using fire and pine pitch.
I’d spent time harvesting the pine pitch from the tall pines in my area. And then I’d coated the spear points into it.
This is so I can ignite the spears if one of those giant ants come and then use them to stab into its body while retaining some reach. I would then fall back onto the metal rod I’ve equipped, and sort of retreat while fighting. They also don’t like fire.
But fire is tricky also because I don’t want to burn down the meadow I’m living in.
I can’t make armor yet, as I don’t have the right tools.
And it would take a lot of mentoring and experience to gain a skill like that even if I did want to do that route also.
You’d need charcoal, a forge, and all kinds of hammer, tongs, and…
Wait, why do I know that anyway?
I can’t say I know specifically from experience, but the ideas are in my mind on what you’d need.
“You shouldn’t do that,” Guide Girl finally spoke today when she saw me trying to unlock and break open all the censored spots on my status screen sheet.
I have about 3 or 4 different [censored] tags on my status screen.
‘When did those show up?’ I thought.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“I can’t say…” she looked away.
“Can you tell me why?” I asked.
She’d also firmly folded her arms and is acting sort of defiant. She seems like she’s worried she’ll give away a signal either way and doesn’t trust me.
Is this even the same girl as before, I wondered. Lately, she hasn’t been as angry. And I’m pretty sure her personality is different. Plus, she slipped up and didn’t answer to Lucy that one time.
I went back to the wreckage of the rocket body that was attached to my sleeper pod, and I’ve been trying to pull out pieces of anything sharp that can be shaped into an axe.
That’s my one big disadvantage here.
I need an axe more than anything!
Axes are used to build stuff.
Like cabins. Or tools. Or anything really.
Without the right tools, I can’t build.
You can use them for hunting, woodworking, cabin building, scraping sinew and bits of material off the back of animal hides.
So I’m stuck?
The past few days I’d experimented with trying to use mana also.
But when I do I’m getting error messages on my status screen in the form of pop ups.
This includes meditation. And als I was trying to do a form of ‘cultivation’ to harness energy as much as I could around and in me.
[Error! Your skills and abilities have been censored by the system!]
“What?! What does this mean?” I wondered.
Guide Girl cringed and began looking the other way.
“What do you know about this?” I asked.
She frowned. “I can’t help you. You have to do this on your own power.”
Then she wouldn’t reply when I pressed further. (I was still polite despite being very frustrated.) And yeah, now I’m really sure that’s not Lucy, because Lucy would have thrown a fit and argued with me. She’s been replaced even though her holographic projection thing looks the same.
She keeps asking me to fire her, so she doesn’t have to be my bait also.
Something isn’t right here. A program that isn’t self aware shouldn’t want to be fired.