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Introduction
My texts (8)
My series (2)

PHQ-Nickname:
Unnamed0DV

Halfquake:
Home00|

Level:
7

Total kills:
17,360

Birthday:
September 22nd 1982

The Chronicals Of the Unnamed, Chapter 3

Mood:peaceful
Type:Story
Added:September 11th 2010, 01:21:46
Visits:1070
Series:[ The Chronicals of the Unnamed ]
Rating:Not rated yet.

Description:
Continued from Chapter 2

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*Chapter 3 =96 The Trip to Town*

* *

* *=93Hey!=94 I jumped at the sudden voice and looked up to see =
a man
fully suited in platemail walking over to me. =93What are you doing out her=
e?=94
The echoed voice ringing sounded somewhat harsh. He wore a small metal helm
that covered his entire face, his eyes peeking out between dark holes.

=93Uh=85=94 Was all I could manage as he closed the distance be=
tween
us and pulled me up.

=93Another refugee, huh? Where are you from boy?=94 He asked fi=
rmly,
light glistening off of his armor.

I thought for a second, knowing that I came from the real world=
,
but not knowing if he would even understand that, as I assumed he was an
NPC. I remembered that I would be able to choose where I was from, but for
some reason I couldn=92t remember the choice. =93I don=92t know=85=94 I sai=
d softly,
looking around at the landscape.

Behind me lay a dark forest, with a crude dirt road leading up
and into it, and in front of me was a large brick wall. Everything had the
same ultra realistic look that made me feel like I was actually inside the
most advanced CGI movie I had ever imagined. =93Well what=92s your name?=94=
The
guard asked, jarring my attention. I hesitated again as he pulled off his
helmet and sighed. =93You don=92t remember that either?=94

=93I don=92t have one.=94 I said finally. =93I=92m Unnamed.=94

=93Whatever=85=94 He just made a face at me holding the helmet =
in one
hand and rubbing his hair with the other. I noticed the sheath that held a
long sword attached to his waist, and he noticed my gaze. =93Yes, you will
need something to defend yourself, I=92m surprised you made it this far.=94=
He
said poking my ragged clothing that I just noticed for the first time. It
was a light fabric, possibly cotton, and was each a shade of worn out grey.

I wondered if I had a weapon of some sort, but the guard didn=
=92t
give me much time to check. =93Well I doubt you=92ve heard but the Lydan fa=
mily
has restricted youth from leaving the city limits.=94 He led me towards the
wall and through a small opening in it. =93These city limits.=94

I knew the technical reason for this, that all players were to
start in the city, but I wanted to hear the Desex reason. =93Why?=94

=93The war, orcs have made it past the barricades at the border=
s
of the kingdom and it isn=92t safe. The king also wants to train possible
recruits to help fight them off and take back our lands.=94 He responded.
=93There have been an unreasonably large number of miscreants finding their
way here lately, and the City has set up an escort program as none of you
seem to have any weapons.=94 He pointed to a small group of people dressed
pretty much exactly like me.

=93It=92s amazing to me that you made it here; more and more of
those beasts are breaking through every day.=94 He sighed putting the helme=
t
back on. =93You can wait here for the next escort.=94 He said finally retak=
ing
his position next to the opening in the wall. I tried to see how far it wen=
t
on each side, but it was no use, it made me think of the Great Wall of
China.

Another few guards patrolled the boundaries of it, and I turned
to look at the crowd of people, recognizing someone in it to look somewhat
like Chris did. =93Chris?=94 I half-asked walking up to him and he turned t=
o me
and smiled, recognizing me.

His tone wasn=92t any more assured, =93Steve?=94 I nodded looki=
ng him
up and down. He hadn=92t made many changes to himself; his hair was still
short and brown though a bit better groomed and his eyes were changed to an
almost grayish color. He had also gotten rid of his glasses like me. =93Thi=
s
is amazing.=94 He started running a circle around me, =93and so beautiful.=
=94

=93Where=92s Duncan?=94

=93You mean Damon.=94 I turned to my right as I felt a slight
buzzing on my left forearm to see the new Duncan. His long brown hair had
become slightly longer and was now an arcane dark shade of black. It again
seemed a little better kept, but I attributed it to the graphics. His brown
eyes were now red, and looking at him almost felt like he was looking at me
through a bad photo.

=93Nice=85=94 Was all I managed to say as the buzzing became mo=
re
prominent, =93what the hell=85=94

=93It=92s your console.=94 Chris chimed in. =93It=92s just the =
basic
introduction, go ahead and go through it.=94 He said walking over to Damon.

=93Thanks Chris=85=94 I said. =93Or did you pick a different na=
me?=94

=93No it=92s Chris.=94 He said turning back to me. =93And you?=
=94

=93I=92m Unnamed.=94

A lighthearted chuckle escaped his throat for possibly the first time ever.
=93Hah, cool man. I didn=92t know you could do that.=94

He turned back to his brother as I looked down to my arm. The
top of the forearm looked normal but as I turned it around I could see
underneath it was a small almost metal like substance where my skin would
have been. It was small, not taking up the entire width of my arm, and abou=
t
as long as my palm in length and was silver in color. In the center of it a
small icon that looked like a chat bubble was blinking.

I wasn=92t sure what to do but I felt the metal which felt just
like my skin, and as I grazed over the icon the metal compressed into itsel=
f
to form a small square in the center of where it was placed. The square the=
n
seemed to pop up off of my arm and float above it; greenish colors forming
above it to make a small square screen about double the size of my hand in
both directions.

It floated above my arm which I turned back around and moved
around, watching the screen follow wherever my arm went. As I looked at it
the voice I had head while making my character floated back into my head.
=91Hello again Unnamed.=92

=93Hello=85=94 I said oddly looking around.

=93You do not need to speak; I can hear your thoughts=94 came t=
he
response.

=91All the time?=92 I wondered.

=91No, just when the guide mode is activated on your console. I
have activated it now to introduce you to it and teach you the basics of ho=
w
to operate it.=92

=91Ok=85=92

I watched as icons appeared on the screen on the left side as
the voice spoke again. =91The console has several features, and they can be
examined either by touching the screen or by your thought=92

=91By thought?=92

=91Yes.=92 The top icon, which looked like a scroll of sorts be=
gan
to blink. =91The main page is where you can read updates to the game throug=
h
patch messages.=92

I watched the main screen fill up with type and I went ahead an=
d
read the message for today.



*August 12, 2005***

* -Three new classes added for higher levels.*

* -New build, with intense training you can now become even
more muscle bound if you so choose, with the big build your muscles will
grow beyond any normal recollection, with rumors of giants that used to be
men surfacing.*



=91Is that all there is?=92

=91Regarding the news on the main page? Yes, for now.=92 The se=
cond
icon down now began to blink, and this one was a person, presumably me. The
main screen changed now to show a small image of myself on the left side. A
small bar was under it in-between the stats I had chosen, Level 1 to the
left of it. My current class, Commoner was heading the next row of stats,
with skills directly under it, and Common the only one listed, in a sort of
box, with seven more empty boxes under it taking up the rest of the screen.
Underneath Common in the same box was another bar, with Level 1 to the left=
.

On top of the image of my character was a red bar with HP next
to it, and directly under that a label of AP, TP, and NP with a 0 next to
each set up in a box like fashion under the HP bar. Under that was ATK, wit=
h
a value of 1 next to it. =91This is the Character Information screen. You c=
an
open it by thinking about your character information, looks, class, level,
or experience. It is also the place where you set your experience gain.=92

=91Could you explain that?=92 I thought; very little informatio=
n on
experience being listed on the website the last time I had read it.

=91You gain experience in two ways, the first by simply using y=
our
skills. This can be either practicing, or use in battle. Battle experience
is a specific amount of experience dependant on the creature killed.=92

=91So if I use say swordsmanship in battle, I=92ll get double t=
he
experience?=92

=91That isn=92t what I meant. Experience gained by defeating
something will be distributed to your main level and any skills in
accordance to how you set it; experience you gain by using skills will only
go towards that skill. You will not be able to raise Swordsmanship by
practicing back flips for example.=92

=93How I set it?=94

=91Through the information screen,=92 I watched as the experien=
ce
bar flashed a few times, =91by touching the experience bar or thinking of
setting experience you will be able to change the amounts of experience tha=
t
is distributed between skills and your main level.=92

I watched the lower left portion of the screen changed as my
stats faded away and a small box with 100% written in it came in under the
experience bar. A 0% appeared to the right of Common, in the same sort of
box outline. =91You can choose to change the percentages at any time, but k=
eep
in mind your skill level cannot exceed twice your main level.=92

=91Is killing things the only way to get main level experience?=
=92

=91Mostly, though for those not taking the adventure roles ther=
e
are other ways. Jobs and tasks done for NPCs as well as quests are
distributed in the same way as combat experience, and once certain skills i=
s
maxed you can practice it to gain half the normal amount into your main
level.=92

=91Certain skills?=92

=91Non-combat skills, but you generally have to work a lot hard=
er
to gain even that half as you would when fighting.=92

=91Ok.=92

=91You can change the percentages again by thought which will
probably be the easiest, or you can use the keyboard and set the values by
touching each percentage.=92

=91The keyboard?=92

A long tab at the bottom of the screen not connected to the mai=
n
section started to blink now. =91By clicking this or thinking about the
keyboard you can bring out the keyboard. You can try it out now if you
wish.=92

I was confused as to what I was supposed to do just wondering
what kind of keyboard it was. On cue more green laser like colors began to
form out perpendicular to the silver square, a few inches away and under th=
e
screen. It followed my arm the same way the screen did, each keeping its
positions perfectly.

=91The keyboard is available whenever you want, though thought
will be a much easier way to control the console once you become used to
it.=92

=91Alright=85=92 I said to myself thinking I wanted 50% of expe=
rience
gain to go to Common skills. Instantly the 0 changed to a 50 next to Common
while the 100 under the main experience bar changed to 50. =91I didn=92t me=
an to
do that=85=92 I thought to CC, the numbers changing back.

I shook my head with a smile. =91Wow, I mean I did want that, b=
ut
I didn=92t realize how it worked.=92

=91It may take awhile to get used to it.=92 The now feminine vo=
ice
came as the numbers changed back to 50/50 again. =91When you are finished w=
ith
setting your experience you can click on the main bar or just think about
the original screen to go back.=92

I nodded as the third icon, which almost looked like a foot
began to flash and the main screen changed completely. It mostly became
blank, the same rectangle boxes lining up as on the information screen; the
top one again filled with Common, with level one to the left of a bar under
it.

=91This is your skill screen. You can see more in-depth
information on each skill as well as all your current subskills. You can ge=
t
here by the same ways as the other screens; by clicking on the icon which
will change dependant on your highest level skills, or by thinking of skill=
s
or subskills. You can again use your thoughts or press on a skill to see
it=92s information.=92

I went ahead and thought of the Common skill as the boxes under
it disappeared and the Common box extended down. The level 1 skill Dash was
listed and beyond that, a short description:



*Main stats: Dexterity, Agility. This skill includes all the
common skills you've brought with yourself from the real world. Just becaus=
e
you don't have a swordsmanship skill or hand to hand doesn't mean you can't
pick up a sword or swing your fist, you'll just be as good at it as you wer=
e
in real life. It will improve and add to your basic survival skills,
anything from running and jumping to basic social skills.*

* *

* Level 1 =96 Sprint: Poor. *

* A short burst of speed, beyond any amount of speed you
could normally acquire running.*

* *

CC spoke up before I even had the chance to think. =91Poor is t=
he
level of your sub-skill; through practice you will be able to master it,
able to run faster for longer periods of time.=92

=91Anything else?=92

=91No, this page is actually more of a formality, as when you
learn a skill or subskill you will know, and know what it does and how to d=
o
it.=92

=91I didn=92t know I could sprint=85=92

=91That is because you didn=92t learn it, you started with it. =
When
learning a new sub-skill or skill you will automatically be given the
information and ability to do that certain skill, and as you get better at
it you will be able to perform it better as well, normally and
automatically.=92

=91So what is this page for?=92

=91To provide the list of what you know incase you are ever
interested in their official names and descriptions, as well as let you kno=
w
when the next subskill for certain skills are.=92 I looked and noticed the
Next skill level: 3 on the opposite side of my current level. =91It is also
there just for the sake of being there.=92

=91What do you mean?=92

=91Think of it as documentation of the abilities you=92ve acqui=
red
throughout your career here.=92

=91Ok=85 So how do I use them?=92

=91By thought, you already know how to dash=85you just need to =
do
it. Go ahead and try.=92

I was slightly confused by CC=92s explanation, but regardless
lowered my arm as I went into a position almost like I was a track star
waiting for a gun to go off, though I didn=92t bend down as far.

I didn=92t know why I got into this position, I was mainly
thinking about sprinting, telling myself I was about to sprint now, and as =
I
pushed my back foot against the ground I suddenly felt an extreme flow of
energy stream through me as the fabric of The Game=92s reality stretched
inward like I was suddenly looking through binoculars.

Before realizing it I had ran five steps before the binocular
vision snapped back to normal and I ran a few steps at normal speed, dust
flying past me. I turned around astonished to see I had traveled at least
twenty feet all the way across to the other side of where everyone was
waiting. =93Whoa=85=94 I mumbled, not even feeling tired.

=91Certain skills such as sprint require preparation, which is =
why
you took that position before you were able to do it. Through time and
practice as well as leveling up your Common skill, you will be able to spee=
d
up and eventually do away with it, able to sprint longer distances just as
easily as you control your running speed now.=92

=91Cool.=92 I thought as I raised my arm again, looking at the
fourth blinking icon to the left, which looked like a small bag or backpack=
.
The whole main screen changed this time, another small replica of me
floating in the middle, with space on all sides, and on the bottom a row of
small blocks, all empty but the first which held a smaller icon of a
backpack.

=91This is your Item and Equipment screen.=92 CC explained.

=91I have to equip myself through a menu?=92

=91No, you will equip yourself as you would in the real world, =
but
you can come here to check the stats of each item you=92ve equipped. Go ahe=
ad
and think of your chest or shirt.=92

I did as I was told and watched as the center of my character=
=92s
image (which was wearing the same shirt I was) lit up and the empty space o=
n
both sides filled up. On the left side read:



*Worn Shirt*

* A simple shirt. It is old and worn, and offers no
protection.*

* *

It had a smaller picture of the shirt above the small text,
which I found rotated in any degree I imagined it to. On the right was a
listing of stats, some that I recognized from other games, and some I
didn=92t. The bottom half of the right was separated from the top and shade=
d
out, but I could see it was elemental resistances, again most of which I
could recognize from other games.

=91Each equipment item has its own stats. AP, is Armor Points, =
and
adds to your total Armor points which determine how much damage you take in
battle. HP is the item=92s Health Points, and work in the same way as your
Health Points do.

In battle when a piece of equipment is hit, it gets damaged, an=
d
determined by your total Armor Points, HP is lost. If a piece of equipment=
=92s
HP is reduced to 0, it breaks, and your lose whatever AP it provided, as
well as leaving whichever piece of your body it covered unprotected.=92

=91So wait, how much HP do these things usually have? Is it lik=
e
durability?=92

=91No, armor breaking will be a normal part of battle; it will =
be
the only way you can lose HP, assuming you are fully protected before going
into battle. Broken armor is automatically fixed when you exit combat; with
any HP lost rapidly regenerate.=92

=91Oh.=92

=91TP are Toughness Points, which usually aren=92t found on mos=
t
armor, but rather clothing, accessories and special armor made for the agil=
e
melee who cannot wear metal armor.

Like AP, TP determines your total Toughness Points. And while
you=92re AP will determine how much damage your armor takes when hit, your =
TP
will determine how much damage you yourself take.=92

=91So we have basically two type of armor?=92

=91Yes, AP is the armor you are wearing, and TP is your own
natural defenses=85think thick skinned. And unlike AP, the amount of TP giv=
en
to you will not be taken away if that equipment is broken.=92

=91Ok.=92

=91Most armor won=92t have much TP, and most characters will ha=
ve
low TP. Without armor a good direct hit in most parts of the body will most
likely severely damage you, and good shots with weapons, which would be mor=
e
of a worry against another player then creature at this point could probabl=
y
kill you.=92

=91Pvp?=92

=91Yes, there are no restrictions on whom or what you attack,
though while in town there are certain laws that are to be upheld.=92

=91Awesome.=92 I thought, thinking back to my old days of playi=
ng
Ultima Online. I was one of those, a person who hunted people more then the=
y
hunted monsters. It was just fun at the time and I never really though much
of it. Being a PK that is (Player Killer).

It was my mantra. I lived to take out all the frustration of th=
e
world onto poor unsuspecting bytes of characters I would never meet. I
wondered if I would go the same route in this game. =91Well that is a decis=
ion
only you can make.=92 CC interrupted my daydream. =91But some advice if I m=
ay.=92

=91Uh, sure.=92

=91While there are no penalties for killing other players
technically speaking, you can get yourself a reputation, and have a bounty
put on your head. Also there will be a point where you will no longer be
welcome inside the kingdom of Lydoria, depending on how nefarious you
become. This could be quite a hindrance for a low level character.=92

=91I understand.=92 I said, trying not to think about the decis=
ion
already made to become quite nefarious, bringing my attention to the values
of my lowly shirt. For HP, AP and TP, all were zero. Also 0 was CP and
IP.


=91CP is Charm Points, while IP are Intimidation Points.=92 CC
explained, ignoring my decision I=92m sure she heard. =91They are both rela=
ted
to how people perceive you, and are generally involved in social situations=
.


While CP is usually found more on clothes, charms and accessories, IP will
be found mostly on armor. CP would most likely be sought after by the
business man who would like to make good impressions, have a lot of
customers or even take advantage of every situation to make the most money;
while IP will allow knights the same advantages through an obviously more
direct approach.

Usually IP is exclusive to armor and CP exclusive to clothing, but certain
armors, especially that of say royalty, can include a high amount of both.
CP and IP combine to make up your total NP, or Nerve points, and this will
determine what you can do and what can be done to you.=92

=91So I have HP, AP, TP and NP?=92

=91Yes, you can also gain MP, but that is only in the magic classes and
requires a lot of work. You also have EP which is Endurance Points,
basically your stamina. Your max EP is always 100, though there may be
skills or equipment that can raise it further. The amount it decreases will
be determined by your stats. Some skills use a percentage of EP and it
always depletes over time; more so with physical activity. It can be
replenished with food or by sleeping.=92

=91Ok=85=92 I looked under the stat listing, but before the elemental resis=
ts
(which were all 0 as well) was weight: 0.07.

=91Everything in Desex weighs something, just as everything on Earth does. =
We
measure the weight in stones, and the number of stones you can carry depend=
s
on your strength.=92

CC made the only backpack available light up and I looked at it as more
laser like lights started popping out from the metal disk. A whole inside o=
f
a backpack, the same shape and look as the icon but appearing actual size
appeared a few inches in front of the screen and I could see through it to
see it was empty.

=91Your belt can hold 8 different backpacks, pouches, bags or pouches, whic=
h
never really have their own physical form. Besides this backpack you start
with, whether found or bought the empty bag will go in one of your bags you
have now, and will have to be moved to one of the empty boxes next to it to
be used.

Each bag has its own limits of how much can be put in, though again you wil=
l
not have to worry about that. You have one material pack that is located on
your belt; you can move it to either side or the center of you, or even you=
r
back as you wish.=92 I looked down and as if it just appeared noticed the
little pouch that hung on a small thread that ran across my pants.

It was small, couldn=92t have been bigger then both of my hands, and it loo=
ked
like it was made of leather, almost like one of the old pouches pirates use=
d
to carry gold in. A small string tied to the top closed it as I turned back
to the virtual image of the backpack.

=91This material one will serve as your gateway to your items. Through the
menu you can go through your bags and pick out whatever item you choose, an=
d
then with it chosen you can take it out of your pouch. When keeping an item=
,
placing it in the pouch will put it in any open space that you have left in
your available packs.=92

=91Wow.=92

=91You can try it out with that stick.=92 I looked down lowering my hands t=
o the
ground, and saw what CC was talking about. I took the few steps over to it
and picked it up.

=91I can just take anything?=92

=91Yes, every material in the world is as real and movable as it should be.=
=92 I
shrugged looking at it. =91To open your pouch you can just pull on the
string.=92 CC again explained before I had the chance to ask.

I did just that, pulling on the one end of the string which instantly
dematerialized as the bag opened. I was shocked at that, wondering what had
happened but I was quickly reassured. =91The string will return to code whe=
n
the bag opens, and when you are done you can simply think it closed and it
will reappear closing the bag.

The same coding type sequence will happen when putting something in the bag
or taking it out. Whatever item it is will lose its shape and return to cod=
e
when you put it in, and vice versa.=92

I didn=92t know what she meant but soon found out as I moved the stick towa=
rds
the bag and it felt as if it almost melted in my hand at first. I watched a=
s
it lost color and looked almost like static from a TV, shrinking down to th=
e
size of a maybe a donut.

It stayed in my hand as I paused and looked at it, the small blob of static
that seemed to sway and ripple as I moved my hand. I experimented further;
trying to move it up to get a better look but as soon as I started moving m=
y
arm back out I could see it start to expand again becoming the stick so I
just went ahead and moved it back down, dropping the blob into the pack and
thinking it closed.

The tie came right back and didn=92t seem to tie itself over the opening so
much as just overwrite the image of an open sack to a closed one. I raised
my arm looking at the image of the backpack which now had the same stick
standing up against one of its sides.

=91From here you can now examine items to find out their use, equip them if
you wish, or move them around between bags or in the same bag. Gravity does
not play any part within the bags; you can set up your items any way you
wish as long as it fits and you can carry the weight.=92

I looked at the stick as it filled out the center of the screen overlapping
my picture but not enough that I couldn=92t still see it. A picture of the
stick appeared on the left side again turn-able by my thought, while under
it was a very small description of the simple stick.

The right side was filled out much the same as the shirt, with the lower
half full of grayed out 0=92s next to various elemental symbols, and the to=
p a
small list of stats, surprisingly not all 0!



*AP: 01*

*HP: 15*

*DP: 03*

*Weight: 0.24*

* *

=91AP accounts for a weapon=92s Attack Points not Armor, and determines how=
much
damage you can do with that weapon. HP is the same as all other HP, and DP
is Deflection Points, and determines how well you can parry and block with
your sword, as well as how much HP will be lost during so.

Having a traditional weapon break will be a very difficult thing to do, as
even the crudest made have sufficiently high HP and DP given it=92s used in
accordance to its desired range, though unlucky hits directly onto the blad=
e
or hilt could cause some severe HP damage. Much like armor the points will
regenerate fairly quickly when outside of battle, and if broken will repair
automatically when battle is ended.=92

I watched as she made my characters picture overlap the stick=92s display a=
nd
highlighted my two hands. The right and left now filled up with six boxes,
three on each side.

=91You can equip up to three sets of weapons, and can be set up in any way,
2-handers, a sword and shield or dual wielding. This will come in handy if
you are in long battles and you don=92t want a weapon to break; or it has
already and you need to switch. Sets in standby will act as if they aren=92=
t
in battle, and will regenerate slowly, so it is advised to switch weapons i=
f
they are close to being broken.=92

=91Well how does that work? I thought we equipped everything materially?=92

=91You do, but that doesn=92t mean you can=92t do it through the menu as we=
ll.
Each weapon, shield or any other tools can be equipped through this menu an=
d
it will be automatically done for you, but weapons are different matter all
together.

Each weapon will have its own way of being put away, a dagger may have a
small sheath or just be placed in-between your belt, while a sword will hav=
e
a much more apparent sheath; on the side or on your back. Axes, pole arms
and most shields will be peaceable in the same manner to your back, but
putting them there does not require the actual act.

Thought will bring you to and from combat =91mode=92, your weapons material=
izing
in your hands or in their resting place, and as such you can switch between
different weapons and shields by the same thoughts that you used to take
them out. The weapons that show when you put them away will be the weapons
that you used last, so if you=92ve been switching weapons but like your
favorite sword display, remember to change back to that before exiting
battle.=92

=91Ok=85well I don=92t think I want to equip the stick=85how do I make it c=
ome out
of my pouch so I can get rid of it?=92

=91Just either think of it being in there as you open it, or touch the stic=
k
and choose materialize. You can also delete the item the same way if that i=
s
what you were going to do anyway, by touching it and choosing delete. This
cannot be done by thought as mistakes could occur.=92

I touched it to see the screen, three rectangular bubbles popping out next
to the stick (I touched the picture in the bag not on the screen)
overlapping the picture of the bag. The top said Equip, the middle said
Materialize and the bottom said Delete.

I figured I could get rid of it by thought, and waved my hands in front of
it, the bubbles disappearing as fast as they appeared and the backpack back
to the front. I did the same for this though; letting it shrink down back
into its square, and looked at the pouch on the right side of my waist and
imagined the stick being in there. I then pulled on the string and reached
in, pulling out the same glob of static goo that I had put in.

I pulled my arm away from the bag and watched as the goo expanded and took
again the form of the stick, the static quickly fading to dark brown and th=
e
composition of the stick once again made clear.

I felt it with my hands and swung it around a bit, and I noticed my right
hand had the stick equipped now on my console=92s screen. =91I don=92t need=
to do
anything special to equip something?=92

=91No, later on there are certain skills that you can use to equip somethin=
g
that will make it a more of a=85definite thing, but that is more for
protection then anything else.=92 I dropped the stick and watched the scree=
n
change, and smiled as CC spoke to me again. =91You are picking this up very
fast, why didn=92t you just push the button?=92

=91Cause I wanted to try.=92 I thought, letting my ego come over me. =91I=
=92ve
always been a fast learner with these things.=92

=91Yes well, I=92m sure you=92ll be experienced in these procedures in no t=
ime.=92

=91Is that it for the items?=92

=91It is the basics, anything else that you find you don=92t understand or =
need
help with or any questions you have about certain things can always be
answered at any time when you find them or think of them.=92

=91Ok=85=92 I looked to the final icon on the left of the screen, a small c=
hat
like bubble that you would see in comic books flashed as the screen changed
completely.

It was split into two halves, with a barley visible clear divider separatin=
g
them. The bottom looked much like a chat room would, without the list of
names. I saw the last few minutes of dialogue I had heard typed out in this
in plane white bold lettering. I could also see the name of the people who
said it, Damon and Chris=92 name=92s appearing to the right of their text,
though question marks took the place of the speak of people=92s names I did=
n=92t
know.

The top half looked much like the lower half in display, a black background
with plain white bold type, though at the very top there were tabs that I
assumed would change what I saw there, from left to right: Info, Friends,
Group and NPCs.

The information screen was displayed, with a slightly larger size word Info
above the little text that displayed a few values for things like Friends,
group members and acquaintances on the left side, while the right side was
blank except for the lower right corner where something that looked like a
high tech headphone earpiece seemed almost material.

It was as black as the background of the screen and I had a hard time
distinguishing it at first, but as I focused on it, it definitely seemed to
materialize inside the screen. It looked exactly as a small earpiece would
that would fit up snugly in the ear canal, and for a second I recognized a
part the big machine that brought me into this world in it, but that though=
t
quickly faded.

On the top (or at least what I thought was the top by the way it was
positioned) whatever material made up the object seemed to extend out,
though while still seemingly a part of the screen, and curve around the
outline of it around down to the bottom making a large C to the left side o=
f
it.

=91This is your social menu, here you can come and review things that you=
=92ve
talked about, communicate and send messages to friends who aren=92t with yo=
u
by means of thought, type or the communicator, as well as configure your
communicator with friends or groups. You can also keep track of any NPCs yo=
u
feel the need, remember directions, tasks, conversations or anything else
you feel the need.=92

=91What exactly is my communicator?=92

=91It is the ear piece you were looking at. It materializes when thought of
and is able to be taken from the screen and placed on either ear. The
earpiece will fit snugly in your ear and wrap around the outside of it like
a second skin. You will be able to hear normally with it in and besides a
slight feeling of it there you won=92t even notice it when not using it.

Connecting it with other people=92s communicators, an easy practice that
involves nothing more but touching them briefly with one another, will add
them to your communications list. From there you can add them to one of the
five channels of the communicator, and talk with them through it.

This can be private one on one talking, or many people, as well as group
chat for hunting. When using it no one but those who are connected and set
up to your current channel will be able to hear you if you choose to speak,
but like all things of the console the communicator will communicate your
thoughts.=92

=91How does it work?=92

=91When wearing it and set up to talk; this can be done through the info
menu=85=92 While CC was saying that I watched as the left half of the upper
screen started to fade in. Again a slightly larger sized font headed the
statistics, reading Connections. Underneath it appeared Available
Connections, Active Connections(and beneath that indented was channel 1
through 5), Grouped: No and Private Message, with what looked to be a blank
text box from a webpage that you=92d be able to click and type in next to i=
t.

All this led up to the place where the communicator was located, though
there was a substantial space between them, and underneath that just before
the divider appeared the number 1, with two large arrowhead type icons
appearing on each side. =91You just touch the communicator with your finger
and any thought or speak will go into the channel.=92

=91I thought it was activated by thought?=92

=91Not activated, the communicator has to be done by hand, this is to make
sure you are in complete knowledge of sending and receiving messages and
that you aren=92t just thinking to yourself.=92

=91Well wouldn=92t that be hard to do in battle?=92

=91Group chat has a special option that allows all speak and thought to be
automatically transferred to the channel during battle. This is set up in
the group tab, and each tab in the social menu can be changed by thought or
touch.=92

I looked at the friend tab and focused on that slightly as the top of the
screen changed, to a mostly black screen with the same font saying Friends
on the top, with Damon and Chris listed under it, a small red dot no bigger
then the capitalized first letter of each was glowing softly to the direct
left of each of them.

=91The red light means they haven=92t been connected to your communicator, =
so
you can only message them by type, though the type can be typed by thought.
You can do this through the info menu, by thinking of a friend=92s name in =
the
box, or by touching or thinking their name from this screen.

That will bring all type into the chat box on the lower screen to that
person, until you decide to stop or change the name. The same process is
done once connected to a friend, by touching their name or thinking of it i=
n
the box will allow you to place them in a channel. This will send a request
similar to the receiving of a private message and if the friend accepts the
channel is made and active until either one of you decide to leave it.

Group chat is done much the same, though when making a group you can make a
channel set up for it before you even have any members. Then when members d=
o
join, they can simply turn on the group channel, which will take up their
lowest unused channel number, to join and activate it. This requires no
connecting of communicators, though if you want to keep in contact with
anyone longer then grouping, without randomly running into them that is,
you=92ll have to at least friend them.=92

=91And NPCs?=92

=91You cannot ever private message or use your communicator to speak with
them, but the tab allows you to remember names and any information you may
need like where they live or any specific details you wish about them or an=
y
information you=92ve received from them.=92 As she said this the screen cha=
nged,
the NPC tab moving up.

The screen was blank with a rectangular box that looked much like the skill
one though much larger, taking up about a third of the top half of the
screen. The box itself was empty, and on top of it was another little fill
in text box like the one on the info menu, and to the left another small
chat bubble icon.

=91Any NPC you=92ve met enough to learn their name will appear in a list th=
at
you can see by pressing that chat bubble, or by thinking of the list of
NPCs, or just NPCs you=92ve met, or a certain NPC that you can=92t remember=
the
name of. If you know the name you can place it in the box directly the same
way as friends instead of picking it out from the list.

After adding a name or picking one out it will take up the box, you will se=
e
a picture of them, any details you=92ve seen or been told, and you can
customize what to keep or even add your own thoughts to it in the spaces
that appear under the box. You don=92t have any now available, but when you=
do
if you have any questions you can always ask.=92

=91Ok, that it?=92

=91Yes, you can try out your communicator though if you wish.=92

I had almost forgotten about it, if only just for a second and focused on
the info tab again to watch the screen change back. I looked at the
communicator, and again it began to materialize in the screen. The screen
itself seemed to get some debt to the point where the communicator almost
looked like a chocolate inside a hollow plastic precise mold in a box.

When I felt confident that it was actually physical I reached with my right
hand to the screen, my fingers going easily through it and around the
communicator. Once I felt it it seemed to instantly drop out of the screen
onto my hand, and I brought it closer to my face for further examination.

The other side looked much like the side I had already seen, with no
noticeable holes or any distinctions in it that would make me assume it was
any more then a slightly stretched out marble, and it felt almost like a
metallic plastic, seemingly both very firm and extremely flexible at the
same time.

I played around with the protruding strand of it, which felt the same way
though proved my theory of it being extremely flexible and elastic. I was
able to move it around any way I wanted to, everywhere from a strait line t=
o
curled up like a string.

Moving it was a total alien experience for me, I could almost feel a part o=
f
me moving as I did it, and it was like no substance I had ever thought of,
almost like hardened silly putty.

After my few seconds of astonishment I remade the original C like shape and
moved it to my right ear. I pushed the side in that I hadn=92t seen when
looking at it from the console, pulling the extension of it around the back
of my ear and as I pushed it in almost instantly forgot about it, as if
whatever material it was seeped into the back of my earlobe.

The earpiece itself had a distinct feeling, much like an earplug of the rea=
l
world would, though it appeared in my mind to be hollow. CC was right; soun=
d
was not cut off or distorted at all, and besides the weird detached feeling
of a hollow pressure on the opening of my ear canal I really couldn=92t tel=
l I
was wearing anything.

I reached up and touched it, half expecting to hear a beep or static or som=
e
other sort of confirmation ala old radio walkie talkie=92s, but there wasn=
=92t.
The only noticeable difference was my mind seemed a lot clearer, and all my
thoughts seemed to stop and die out. =91Hello?=92 I thought finally, oddly,=
and
heard it in my head in almost the same way that I hear CC.

=91Good job.=92 CC said to me in an ostensibly proud tone. =91You do learn =
fast.
While there is no one else connected to your channel, you can still talk
into it to practice. You heard yourself just as anyone else connected to th=
e
channel would hear you, and just as you would hear yourself or anyone else
speaking in the channel.=92

=91Does it always feel so weird? It was almost as if it wasn=92t my thought=
?=92

=91You should get used to it, like confirming type in a chat room to be you=
r
voice.=92 CC assured me, and I could understand that analogy.

=91You can change the channel you are in outside of the console as well, on
the back and bottom of your earlobe you will feel two smaller arrows on top
of one another, down moves it down one, up moves it up one. They will alway=
s
work, for example pushing up when in channel 1 will move it to channel 5.
When switching that way you will know which channel it is by imagery in you=
r
mind=92s eye, but can always check the console.=92

I nodded feeling behind my ear. It really felt like my ear would, and I
couldn=92t even notice the material of the earpiece anymore. The only thing
different was that there was indeed two arrows, which felt exactly as the
two arrows on the info screen looked except smaller, one up and one down in
where I assumed to be right next to my eardrum.

I pressed the down one just for the sake of doing it, and saw a 2 appear in
my minds eye, even though my eyes were open. It didn=92t appear over my wak=
ing
vision so much as under, as if for a moment my eyes weren=92t the only thin=
g I
could see out of and my consciousness shifted to two separate places at
once, like a dream you drift in and out of when you don=92t want to wake up=
.

This whole process was instant, and as quickly as I noticed it and began to
try and examine it further it was over. I went ahead and pushed the up
arrow, going back to one and repeating the same instant process again. This
time I expected it, and for that split second I definitively felt a shift i=
n
my consciousness, to where I almost fell back and up into a higher part of
my body, where I was seeing out my eyes, but also had them closed and saw
the crystal clear vision of the number one, that appeared brightly in my
center (or at least what I perceived to be the center of my closed eyes) of
view.

The process shocked me a bit at first, but it was over so quickly I had no
time to worry or even think about it; in fact it took several weeks of
experiencing this for me to even come up with the words to describe what I
felt just then. It reminded me of the talks I had with Chris out in the rea=
l
world when he was reading about out of body experiences, though in all
actuality, I was already out of my body when I was in my Game=92s body.

I lost no control over that body while this happened, and during those week=
s
of experimentation I tried doing it while moving several times, and while i=
n
that higher place, I was still able to control the body perfectly, even
though it could have just been a matter of my perspective, as time almost
seemed to freeze for that instant I saw the number.

=91You=92ll get used to that as well.=92 CC assured me as I dropped my hand=
and
looked back to the console=92s screen. It changed back to the main screen, =
the
updates again shown on most of it, though on the top right text began to
fade into view in the same bold white font to make out CC.

=91You can talk to me any time to ask me anything by pressing on CC.=92 She
explained.

=91So your name is actually CC?=92

=91I don=92t have a name in the traditional sense. You have begun to associ=
ate
and think of me as CC, as well as made my voice you hear appear feminine, s=
o
the button to activate me has taken the form of what you use to think about
me. If your perceptions of me ever changes in the future, the icon you touc=
h
may change to something completely different.

You can also activate me by thought, at any part of the console by thinking
of me, asking me a question or consciously making the effort for us to be
able to communicate.=92 I hesitated. =91This may sound harder than it actua=
lly
is, but there will be no mistakes of sending me thoughts you don=92t want t=
o
and I will never invade your personal thoughts without your knowledge. The
only way we can communicate is if you allow it.=92 She assured me. =91Even =
this
tutorial had to have been activated by you, though you may not have known
what you were allowing at the time.=92

=91=85so that=92s it?=92 I wondered, not really knowing what else to say. I=
t wasn=92t
that I didn=92t have any questions; just that there were so many of them I
couldn=92t think of any one in particular to ask.

=91Yes, any questions you have can always be brought to me at any time, tho=
ugh
a lot is just in learning and experiencing for yourself, which I can alread=
y
see you want to do.=92

=91Ok then.=92 I thought with a smile, dropping my arm as I turned my atten=
tion
to something else, quickly shaking my head while thinking of it to go away.
It did, the screen and keyboard fading just as quickly as they appeared and
the metal disk flying back down under my arm. I felt a strange sense of
detachment, a feeling I got used to when turning off CC; the closest
description that I am able to give it is the feeling of a presence of
something or someone leaving me. It wasn=92t a bad feeling so much as stran=
ge
and completely unknown, though I got used to those sorts of things in The
Game.

Alone with my thoughts again I unrestricted them, as if caution tape had
just been removed over my idle thought. A wave of excitement, wonder,
amazement, curiosity and pure euphoria (a feeling I had felt little of up
until that point in my life) came over me as I tried my best to examine eac=
h
thought that flew around in my head.

I raised my left arm again thinking of the console=92s screen and trying to
surprise Chris with a call on his communicator, but to my surprise the
screen opened on the social icon and the friend tab. My brow wrinkled as I
scratched the back of my head.

=91CC, why didn=92t it open at the main screen?=92 I asked, halfway through=
the
sentence feeling a sort of click in the back of my head, as if a lock had
been opened and the door that allowed CC into my brain was open once again.
I felt the slight presence of something else with me; a feeling that I have
come to filter out for the most part to be totally in control of my
character=92s body when conversing with CC, but was a very noticeable and
peculiar feeling during the first few weeks.

My thoughts seemed again to have the caution tape wrapped around it, I
wasn=92t as clear headed as when thinking into the communicator, but it
definitely was controlled. =91When you open the console by thought you can
think of what screen you want to see and it will open on that screen. It is
the same as thinking of the screen you want to go to when the console is
already open.=92

=91Ah ok, thanks.=92 I thought, trying consciously to shut her off while ke=
eping
the console open. I used the door feeling since that was the first thing
that came to me, and it has kept with me throughout the years. I imagined
and felt myself closing the door, feeling the presence of CC leaving throug=
h
it, and then sort of clicked it locked. I can=92t really explain how I did
this; it seemed almost natural to me even the first few times I did it, soo=
n
becoming second nature.

I focused on Chris=92 name and watched as two bubbles; much like the ones t=
hat
appeared when I examined items formed next to his name, and much like them
overlapping the original friends screen. They read Private Message and
Group, and I focused on Private Message, clicking it with my imagination as
it moved to the info screen with his name in the box. The space between tha=
t
and the channel number was quickly moved to another fill in box.

It had one in it, and I assumed it was to be the channel I would use to
connect to him with my communicator, but when I focused on it nothing
happened. I remembered that CC said that it would only work with the typing
until we connected, so I went ahead and thought about the word =91Hey=92 an=
d it
appeared on the lower half of the screen in what looked like the same littl=
e
space laid out to type into in chat rooms.

Not knowing exactly how to send it I just imagined hitting enter, as I was
imagining myself typing the word that made it appear so easily. This worked
a lot faster then I could have hoped; it appearing in the main chat part of
the screen, though in a bluish color instead of the usual white.

I didn=92t know if he had gotten it until he called me and I looked up away
from the console. He was looking down at an invisible space in front of his
arm, same as me, and it took me a second to realize that he wasn=92t actual=
ly
calling me, but it was a private message.

It sounded so clear and real that I couldn=92t tell the difference, and it =
in
fact took me some time to be able to distinguish it from real speak (as rea=
l
as speak is in The Game). It didn=92t sound like my thought or even an outs=
ide
thought like CC, but as if he was standing right next to me, almost a part
of me. It wasn=92t loud but it was clear, I heard it in my ears first befor=
e I
registered it in my brain and it didn=92t seem to be located as coming from
inside my head, like it did when I talked into the communicator.

=91Hey, get over here.=92 Is what he said, and after I got over my initial =
shock
I did just that, realizing for the second time just how far sprint had take=
n
me.

=93All done?=94 He asked as I stopped by him looking around the environment=
and
again trying to take it all in. It was more beautiful then I can ever
describe in words, and I=92d wonder why that was a lot of the time in the
future. In retrospect, to the best of my abilities to remember the real
world, The Game doesn=92t look all that much better. It certainly doesn=92t=
look
any more real, if that is a possibility, but I think the experience of
living in it made me notice its shiny crystal clear perfection at first.

Contrasted to that, in real life I never noticed anything, I drifted throug=
h
it in a haze on my way from one distraction to another, but I=92m sure if I
had taken the time things would have looked just as beautiful. Perhaps I
noticed it when I was a child, but my memories of those days are long gone.

This side of the wall differed greatly from the other; the ground was hard
and dry, a mix of orange and yellow of what I assumed could be dry sand or
some sort of stone. There were no trees to be seen, barring the few the
peeked out from the other side of the wall. The sun was high in the
cloudless sky, and I could somehow guess it was a few hours past noon, if i=
t
even went by noon anymore.

=93Hey! How much longer do we gotta wait?=94 Someone frustratingly yelled f=
rom
the crowd behind Chris.

The guard at the wall didn=92t move. =93They should be here soon.=94 He sai=
d
haphazardly as I walked towards him after signaling Chris to hold on a
minute.

=93How long does it take to get to the city from here?=94

=93About a day or two if you take the quickest route.=94 He responded. =93T=
hey
should be here soon I recommend you wait, the Golden Meadows aren=92t as sa=
fe
as the name may make it sound.=94

I nodded walking back to Chris. =93How long have you been here?=94

=93I dunno.=94 He said shrugging. =93Ten or fifteen minutes maybe before yo=
u
showed up, I was just finishing with my tutorial when you came.=94

The headpiece was the next thing I reached for, with a smile. For a moment =
I
wasn=92t sure how I was going to take it off since as far as I knew and fel=
t
it was now a part of my ear, but I was able to easily take a hold of it and
felt it materialize out of the back of my ear to the point where I could
grab it and gently pull it away. =93So you want to connect these things or
what?=94 I whispered, my smile widening to a smirk.

=93Yea.=94 He said returning my smile and mimicking my actions, though he s=
eemed
to have slightly more trouble figuring out how to take it off. I didn=92t s=
ee
the actual earpiece ever connected to his head until his hand was fully awa=
y
from it and it seemed to materialize there as he examined it and held it
out. =93How do we do it?=94

Thinking for a moment I couldn=92t help but let out a laugh. I had no idea.=
=93I
guess we just touch them.=94 He shrugged and we did just that, touching the
earpieces themselves to each other, each of us holding on to its extension.

Nothing seemed to happen, and I shrugged back at him opening up my console
to look at the main info screen of the Social icon. The available
connections had changed from 0 to 1, though active was still at 0. His name
was still in the text box, so I assumed anything I would type would go to
him and I quickly checked the friends tab to see the red light had changed
to green.

I moved back to the main tab and focused again on the number in the box
below it that said one. A green outline surrounded it as it faded out and a
few seconds later a smaller green dot appeared to the upper right of the
number one above the arrows. =91What does that mean CC?=92 I asked quickly.

=91It means the channel is active.=92

=91Ok.=92 I thought closing the door again and reaching up to touch the
earpiece. =91Can you hear me?=92 I thought, the sound of my thoughts coming=
out
in the same way as before, as if even though I was making them, they weren=
=92t
coming from me. I used CC=92s analogy and got used to it by imagining my
thoughts were being typed into the communicator then after being sent heard
by all in the channel much like type is read by all in a chat room.

=91Loud and clear.=92 He responded with a big smile on his face. Like mine =
the
thoughts appeared to come from within my head, though I didn=92t perceive
myself hearing it from either ear. It wasn=92t like thoughts in a chat room
either, but much like the private message kind, though of course originatin=
g
inside my head.

=91This is so amazing.=92 I thought still holding onto the earpiece and
surveying our surroundings again

=91It definitely is.=92 He responded as we heard the sound of a horse. It c=
ame
from behind him and I noticed them first, a group of guards clad in the sam=
e
type of armor as the one I had spoke to, two which rode horses and four
others who walked beside them.

Their armor; while all relatively the same each had their own different loo=
k
and size to them, while they all carried a different weapon. Four had
swords; one of the ones riding the horse had a hilt sticking up from behind
his back, the other having a different kind, presumably an axe, while one o=
f
the ones walking didn=92t seem to have any weapon at all.

The two on the horse each wore a helmet, though neither one similar to the
previous guard=92s can shaped one. The one on the left wore one that was
shaped like some sort of animal, horns coming out from each side of his
temple and small eyes in the shape of a lizard, long and only allowing a
portion of his real eyes to peek through. There was no nose piece, and as
the helmet kind of bumped out under the eye piece to form a sort of squared
section with bars that almost reminded me of Darth Vader, before it sunk
back in down to his neck.

The one on the right=92s was similar, though his horns weren=92t so much ho=
rns
as beams that came out of each side towards each other, combining to attach
a sickle like blade that made a C outward. The two beams connected to the
end of it, which started the curve up and curled downward at the top. He
didn=92t have much covering his face, a small metal piece coming down over =
the
top of his nose securing its position, while the back went down to about th=
e
mid of his neck before curling up a bit into an almost rectangular bowl.

Helmets seemed to be a privilege of only those on horses as the ones walkin=
g
besides them wore none, though one wore a small metal cap that looked much
like the right man=92s one without the blade on the top and a lot less
fancier. I could almost tell it was a weaker metal too; it was a little
rusty in some parts.

=93This all there is today?=94 The one whose face wasn=92t totally covered =
asked
the guard who had walked up behind me.

=93Yea.=94 The guard responded as I looked to him surprised at how quiet he
moved with all his armor.

=93Alright.=94 The same guard responded as we all formed into one big group=
. I
counted ten of us including Damon, Chris and myself. =93You all ready?=94

There were a few sounds of yes as most of us nodded and I heard the annoyed
voice from before scream out hell yeah. With that the Guard nodded turning
his horse around. =93Well let=92s go.=94

Damon lowered his arm as we started moving, obviously just finishing with
his tutorial as he turned to us. =93Jesus Christ guys, this is some sick
fucking shit huh?=94



There was little talk between us and the guards, each group of friends
seeming to do the same as us and walk closely together with close quiet
excited whispers or thoughts through their respective communicators. We wer=
e
going directly to town, and thanks to our small group of eager members we
kept a pretty fast past the entire trip, not stopping to rest at night.

It took us a day and a half to get there; apparently the guard had
underestimated, though if we had been going slowly or took any breaks it
probably would have taken close to three days to make it to Lydel.

The area outside the wall, which we learned was called the Dry Planes,
stretched on for about 20 miles and we headed east a bit starting on a
fairly developed road in the dirt where grass began to grow.

This we were told was the Lush fields, and in the distance to the west tree=
s
were noticeable, though no mention to them were made as we stayed mostly to
the road. We passed a few houses and I noticed some NPCs, who each had thei=
r
own look like the guards, appearing normal and each distinct in their own
way but each also looking quite similar. They were almost like extra=92s in=
a
movie, believable but not real.

The road was long and even though it went directly through the Lush Fields
it took us well into the night to reach the end of them. During the day our
travels were mostly uninterrupted, but at night a few times wild animals (a=
t
least from what I could assume and see in the dark) would wander in our
paths and we got to watch the guards fight.

It wasn=92t much of a sight in the dark, if it weren=92t for the torches he=
ld by
the guards on horseback we would have been in complete darkness, but each
time I definitely got a thrill being so close to battle. Most of the animal=
s
were small and doglike (I guessed wolves at the time) and went down quickly
enough under the skill of the guards.

A few hours before dawn the path hit a steep decline as we were told we wer=
e
entering The Gap. I noticed after the ground seemed to level somewhat I
caught myself gazing Eastward into the darkness. In the distance the ground
seemed to drop away into it, as if the edge of this world was there, or if
the graphics for that part hadn=92t been completed yet. I tried to look as =
far
as I could but couldn=92t see anymore then the darkness.

After heading westward a bit we again saw the edge of a forest, which we
were told was called Dosklur. It was the same one we had saw upon entering
the Lush Fields. The Gap wasn=92t that big, and strait through we were head=
ing
upwards into The Commonlands in slightly more time then it took to pass the
Dry Planes.

Dawn came and I could once again marvel at the beauty of this world as we
moved northwest through East Commons to Central Commons. There was a lot
more life here, both animal and plant. There was at least one tree in view
at all times, with bunches together and bushes and long grass growing
everywhere.

Animals were busy living their lives, bunnies and dogs and bulls and cows. =
I
even caught a glimpse of a bear drinking from a river and gladly it didn=92=
t
attack. By midday excitement was high and our pace quickened upon reaching
the Central Commonlands. The path turned fully northward again as we were
told we were close.

There were a few houses found throughout Central, some in bunches against
the road set up looking like shops, inns and the like. Guards were regularl=
y
seen patrolling the main road as well as others it branched off into, and i=
t
seemed like a relatively safe place.

=93We tend to think of the Commonlands as the safest place outside of the c=
ity
walls.=94 The guard without his face covered had told us. =93Besides the
occasional bear or wolf we keep it pretty well covered from Central all the
way east to Visim Beach. Westward is a different story, and you=92d be wise
not to venture there until rightly skilled.

Mutation has moved in from Setu Desert, even the more peaceful animals
becoming violent. Giant snakes mutated from the more harmless variety as
well as spiders in some of the forest areas. We=92re even getting reports o=
f
goblins and sights of members of the resistance, though I doubt that they
would dare to come this close to Lydel.=94

We were given food around sunset as most of our endurance was close to
empty. I loved the fact that we didn=92t have to sleep to recover our
strength, and I already had plans of hunting twenty four hours a day,
grinding as they say, to level up fast. Eating wasn=92t even the big hassle
that it was in real life, when choosing an item to eat you went through
almost the same process of putting an item in your pouch.



With the intention of eating it while you=92re moving it towards your mouth=
it
loses its form and becomes the same blob of static, though much smaller,
maybe the size of a cracker. You then put that in your mouth and ate it lik=
e
you would any food in real life. It isn=92t as bad as it sounds, the textur=
e
is quite easy to handle; being almost a total liquid going down without
needing to chew, though if you wish you can imagine it to have certain
textures and tastes that you want to imagine from foods from real life.

After swallowing your EP is restored; depending on the item and amount this
can also be done through the console by examining an item of food and
clicking on eat(it replaces the equip bubble of equipment), which will
instantly restore your EP dependant on the food and amount.

The guards were quite generous with their food, which was consisted entirel=
y
of an item called Slice of bread, which looked just like it sounds; a thin
slice of bread cut from a loaf. Each slice was able to be split up in
portions or taken whole, each portion restoring 10 EP, and each Slice
containing about three portions. The guards gave us more then enough to max
out our EP for the entire trip, as well as plenty of extras for our first
days in the city.

The moon was fully in view when the guards announced we were nearing Lydel.
I had been examining the moon, wondering if it was anything at all likes th=
e
real world=92s and whether or not it was even called the moon. This brought=
on
the thought of the sun and rotation of Desex in whatever galaxy we were
located in in The Game and how long days really were, or if they even used
the same calculation of time.

CC confirmed with me that The Game does use an Earth calendar, and time is
done in the same 24 hour 12 month way, and for that purpose Desex is in muc=
h
the same place as Earth is in relation to its sun. She didn=92t go into muc=
h
detail about the moon though, only saying that there has been no exploratio=
n
or research (or in actuality much interest as much of Desex is still
unexplored by man, including most of the middle continent Syllembia and all
of the lower one Drandel) and anything about it is unknown.

I could see in the distance the city, which stretched from west to east as
far as I could see. As we got closer I could only see less and less of the
actual scope of the city, but still didn=92t fully comprehend it. A wall mu=
ch
like the wall of Libau (as I would learn it is called) ran across the
majority of the city, high enough to hide out any buildings on the opposing
side. I saw at least four towers on each side spread out twenty or thirty
feet from each other that curved out of the main wall down to the ground,
and up further then the main wall into buildings that=92s shape reminded me=
of
a bird house.

There were entrances on either side along the wall (which whole top was a
walkway behind long and wide stone protectors shaped like arrow heads)
though I could see no way of entering them from outside the city.

The towers and the wall itself were made up of large thick stone, grey in
color and as I noticed getting closer seemed extremely strong and tough. Th=
e
road we took lead strait to the only opening in the wall I could see, which
was actually an old style draw bridge I had seen numerous times in movies
but never before in person.

Getting closer I noticed the sudden steep drop thirty or so feet into the
moat that led down across the Commonlands and the walls of the city. It was
about the length of the bridge itself across and like the wall I couldn=92t
see how long it stretched for, so I just assumed as long as the city.

The guards on foot made small talk with each other to my amazement as they
signaled guards on the upper walkway above the drawbridge to lower it. This
small walkway above was guarded even more then the opposing sides, with the
first towers on each side on opposing ends of the space the drawbridge
encompassed.

The whole process only took a few minutes, during which we were informed
that we wouldn=92t be able to leave the city walls during nightfall. There
wasn=92t much reaction to this, though I did get to hear the annoying voice
once more with some complaints. The guard promptly ignored him telling us
when we were adults or stronger we wouldn=92t be restricted. I later learne=
d
from CC that =93stronger=94 meant level 50, but NPCs didn=92t know what lev=
els
were and would only consider the strength brought on by them.

The guards took us to the registry building, which was attached to the east
guard building just past the entrance towers. Since we all had no parents w=
e
were assigned to housing that was apparently being given out to refugees
from the royal family. In actuality these were The Game=92s Instances zones=
.

The players apartment buildings is one of the very few places in all the
worlds of The Game to have been instanced, and it works quite simply like
any other Instancing that games have started to do in the era preceding The
Game. It was called lovingly enough, Olden homes.

This was found on the border of Central and Western Lydel, located in the
Central suburb of Auldengard, in the old district. The way it worked was we
were each assigned a house in a certain numbered instance, and upon enterin=
g
the homes; which were entered by way of an old wooden fence, you use a boar=
d
on the fence to think of a number, and after walking through it that=92s wh=
ere
you=92ll be.

It sounded easy enough, though it seemed a hassle to not have numbered
houses. I wasn=92t the only one who felt this way and for those people who
were assigned parents and lived out in the city, it must have been hell to
have people find you (or even find your house while still new to the layout
of the city) when you can just tell them which district you=92re in and hav=
e
them search door to door for your name. This was later changed so it wasn=
=92t
much of a big deal for too long.

Besides the free housing we were also each given one hundred copper coins.
These were found in a materialized even smaller satchel, easily able to fit
inside the palm of our hands. We could open it up and just see a bunch of
them and upon focusing on the bag the number 100 would appear, and upon
putting them away in our satchels, CC explained to us how it would be
displayed.

Money wasn=92t put in any bag per say, but automatically divided up into a
numeral value. Underneath the boxes where the bag icons were were icons of
the same coin, next to a silver and gold one. Silver and gold both had 0=92=
s,
while bronze was now at 100. She told me that one thousand bronze coins is
equal to one silver coin, while one thousand silver coins are equal to one
gold coin. Banks would be able to make the transfers, as well as hold any
money that I don=92t want to carry around with me, since it could be lost u=
pon
death.

It worked in the same way all items did, you thought of the amount of money
you wanted and a small pouch would materialize with that amount of money in
it (assuming you have that much available). You can also just think of mone=
y
and take out coins individually from the small pouch, but there is really n=
o
point to it.

We checked out our house after hazily stumbling around the large city, they
were small one room apartments that lined a back of an alley facing West
Lydel on the side of a much more fancier looking Inn and barley bigger then
a cheap hotel room, but at the same time somewhat cozy. There was no
bathroom, since we never had to do that anymore and the kitchen wasn=92t a
kitchen so much as just a few cabinets that would hold some items if we eve=
r
didn=92t have room in our bags.

There were no stoves since I wouldn=92t ever need to cook, in fact there we=
re
no appliances at all and I felt kind of weird without a computer or TV
screen to look at, but figured there was much better things to be doing. I
didn=92t plan on spending much time in that place as I wouldn=92t be sleepi=
ng
too much and that was the only real reason to have to use it (as I found ou=
t
later banks would be a much safer place to keep items then there).

It was long into night by the time we got there, so we didn=92t waste much
time. We were tired, not physically of course since we could just restore
our fatigue with a piece of bread, but mentally. The trip had worn us out
and the thoughts and talking and excitement had taken its toll, so we
decided not to do much of anything that night and just relax.

Damon had the bright idea of getting drunk, hyped up on the promises of no
hangovers, figuring it would be a good way to get used to spending our newl=
y
earned riches. Unenthusiastically we agreed, neither one of us really
wanting to drink, but too excited still to even think about sleeping.

We didn=92t really want to wander too far off and luckily for us there was =
a
bar right across the road from Olden Homes, comically named The Drunken
Horse. This was written sloppily with black paint on a wooden sign attached
to a pole resembling a small streetlamp in front of the building.

I feel the need to detract for a moment to explain my wording. I say road
now because I have become accustomed, but at that time I would have
described it as a street. In actuality there were no streets or sidewalks,
in fact there were no changes in the road from building entrance to the
other side. In certain parts of the city, mostly in Central, there were
extra space between rows of buildings to make room for horses, but in most
places the distance was about the length of a street, if not a little
smaller.

We crossed the road, which was not paved like the upper portions of the
city, but seemed to be made up of hardened rock, whitened and formed into
long blocks that made up a pretty decent walkway throughout most of the
city. Inside it was fairly crowded with people who seemed to have the same
idea as us.

The building had two floors, a shoddy looking staircase leading up to the
balcony on the western wall. The bar was on the opposite side of the room
with a few men behind taking orders or serving drinks. Waitresses and one
waiter moved throughout the place, carrying wooden trays of drinks and empt=
y
cups. They all wore the same attire, not really a uniform so much as simila=
r
colors and pieces. The men behind the bar wore half aprons across their
white pants.

It was filled with the sound of everyone talking with each other, and upon
entering reminded me of the blast of sound I usually received when entering
the school cafeteria from the quiet hallways, though maybe not to the same
intensity. The wooden walls seemed to absorb most of the sound in a way
instead of reflect and heighten and we were able to get a nice quiet spot
for us when a waitress came over.

A glass of ale was one copper, while a pitcher was 6; shots of hard alcohol=
,
of which they had many that I had recognized were 5 and they also had
specially made drinks, though they didn=92t seem to be too popular when any
taste could be made from a simple ale.

We each tossed in 2 copper to by a pitcher, and after a few minutes of
talking about what we should do tomorrow it arrived. This was the first tim=
e
I had drank and it is a little embarrassing to think my first drink wasn=92=
t
actually really alcohol, or a drink at all, but I enjoyed it all the same.

Unlike food the liquid didn=92t turn to static but we were able=
to
drink it normally just as in real life. It didn=92t have any taste like the
food and could be changed, though I mostly just kept it tasteless as I
usually drank water anyway.

After two cups I was beginning to feel a little different, my
limbs were feeling looser and I noticed I was smiling a lot more strongly a=
s
we talked about all the amazing things of The Game. Chris didn=92t drink as
much and was just starting on his second drink when Damon had finished his
fourth and we ordered another pitcher, though I could tell he was feeling i=
t
as well.

I wondered how the metabolism of this was, or if it even was
metabolized in the way I was thinking of in the real world. Each examinatio=
n
of the item, whether in the glass or pitcher displayed an alcohol content,
which I didn=92t really know anything about except that it determined the
strength.

Damon was fairly drunk by the time the second pitcher came and
he didn=92t seem to stop. If we were actually consuming alcohol I might hav=
e
worried he could have overdosed, but then again I wasn=92t too informed on
drug use so remained quiet. He became incoherent after the second pitcher,
me only finishing four and a half cups total. Chris finished three, which
had caused some mumbling and laughing to himself.

Chris and I left to wonder around the place, and even went
outside exploring the nearby city in the night. I enjoyed looking up at the
stars which like everything else here seemed so beautiful and full of depth=
.
We chased each other around, drunkenly playing with our sprinting abilities
and I even gained a level in common, which apparently leveled up faster the=
n
my main level, to which I was only about a third of the way through by the
time it happened.

I was curious to the skill I would get at level three, totally
forgetting that I was already told it was back flip and wanted to level it
again, though I eventually got tired of it.

We sat with our backs on the wall of the bar, Chris staring up
at the sky and seeming to go through my same amazement as me, lost in his
head. I couldn=92t believe that so much had changed. Last week my day
consisted of sitting on the computer, ironically enough reading about this
but that was only recently. I never could have imagined this possible if I
hadn=92t experienced it first hand, keeping my doubts up until the moment I
entered.

We eventually went back into the bar taking a few more drinks
and laughing as Damon danced around half asleep falling over people and
chairs. Eventually we were forced to leave but not before my inebriated min=
d
had some more odd thoughts.

We stayed pretty much to ourselves the entire night, not really because I
was scared=85my petty social phobias and shyness didn=92t seem all that
important anymore, but because I had no interest in them. I looked around
the room examining everyone, how they acted, what they laughed about and fo=
r
what reasons.

These were the same people who beat me up in school; they were here just as
something to do. These are the people who curse and laugh and make fun of
NPCs, who only ever thought of this as a fake existence and never really
stuck around for that long.

Anyone could easily notice these people, assuming they weren=92t one of the=
m;
they had insane blends of colored hairs, orange and purple with pink
highlights and green polka dots with silver glitter. Their eyes could be
anything from cat eyes to total white or blackness, and some took forms of
real life celebrities just for the hell of it. I=92m not saying that some o=
f
these odd choosers didn=92t stick around, but most didn=92t.

After Damon was thrown out we helped him back into our district (one) and
put him to bed. I found out from CC that when sleeping or being awake for
long enough the alcohol would wear off, much like the real world. This
happened suddenly as I would find out later, a complete shift in awareness
from drunk to completely sober. It is surprising but not at all unpleasant
and there are no lingering effects at all.

I asked a bit more about sleep and learned you can either set a time to
sleep, sleep until your EP is full, or just sleep naturally and wake up muc=
h
like you would in real life; normally after a certain amount of time. Of
course you could be woken up shorter then all of this, but the process of
going to sleep was as simple as setting it up in the console on the main
screen, which was located under the button to call CC, and then close your
eyes and think about sleeping. The transition was instantaneous and you
would even dream, though the process of it was more sentimental then
anything else.

Chris went to his room after we dropped off Duncan, he wanting to sleep it
off as well as he told me later he didn=92t particularly enjoy it. I didn=
=92t
mind it, but with all the other things available in The Game it paled in
comparison and I didn=92t drink much after that night.

Determined not to sleep, a decision I made most nights of my early career I
decided to try and finish leveling up my common to see what skill I would
get. I practiced it around town while exploring and eventually did just
that, though I had to level up my main level first before it would rise
before making my way back to the apartments to meet up with Chris.

I learned the skill exactly as CC said I would upon leveling, which is
automatically learnt in the same way the numbers of switching the
communicator are, I felt a sudden feeling to jump backwards. I did it, afte=
r
a small duck like one would do before starting to ski, and flipped around a
couple of feet behind me.

I was amazed at this, even though it probably wasn=92t the most graceful th=
ing
ever done, but it was the first time I had ever done something like that an=
d
it seemed to be at the time so natural to me that I had known how to do it
my entire life and not just learned it that second. Everything seemed to be
coming together.

I opened up my console to check my skills and focused on common. Sure enoug=
h
Back flip was listed as learned under sprint, with the same small obvious
description. I checked that my next skill would be at level 5. Before
closing it I noticed that the icon on the left highlighted was the characte=
r
information one, and that the boot had changed to a scroll.

=91CC.=92 I thought, as the presence of her was felt. =91What happened to t=
he
skills screen?=92

=91It was removed this morning.=92 CC responded calmly.

=91What?=92

=91It is stated in the patch notes on the main page.=92 She said. =91When y=
ou
sleep it will automatically be notified of new news messages on the main
page, but if you do not sleep then you have to check it every now and
again.=92

=91Oh ok=85=92 I thought, focusing on the main page.



*August 13, 2005***

*-Quests can now be shared. *

*-Console Changes:*

*The skills icon will be changed to the journal icon. Here you can review
quests you've been given as well as conversations with certain NPCs. The
skills screen will still be accessible now through thought or the Character
Information screen, by touching any of your skills. The journal section
takes over the old NPC tab that was located in the social section, among it=
s
other features, and the NPC tab will now be replaced with the Map Tab in
social.*

* *

=91About my leveling...=92

=91Yes?=92

=91I thought practicing skills didn=92t raise my main level?=92 I asked, a =
sober
brain realizing what I had learned and forgotten.

=91Common is the only skill that gives general experience; though after the
first few raises it will not even be noticeable. It also gives slightly mor=
e
experience to main level when its level is maxed to help with new players
who don=92t go the adventure route, or don=92t know how yet.=92 I didn=92t =
say
goodbye to CC, a process I felt weird with at first but neither her nor I
seemed to mind in the long run, as I closed the door in my mind happy with
the information I had gotten, making my way back to meet with Chris.

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<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D"">Chapter 3 =96 The Trip
to Town</b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D"">=A0</b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=
=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span></b>=93Hey!=94 I jumped at the sudden
voice and looked up to see a man fully suited in platemail walking over to =
me.
=93What are you doing out here?=94 The echoed voice ringing sounded somewha=
t harsh.
He wore a small metal helm that covered his entire face, his eyes peeking o=
ut
between dark holes.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Uh=85=94 Was
all I could manage as he closed the distance between us and pulled me up.</=
p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Another
refugee, huh? Where are you from boy?=94 He asked firmly, light glistening =
off of
his armor.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I thought for
a second, knowing that I came from the real world, but not knowing if he wo=
uld
even understand that, as I assumed he was an NPC. I remembered that I would=
be
able to choose where I was from, but for some reason I couldn=92t remember =
the
choice. =93I don=92t know=85=94 I said softly, looking around at the landsc=
ape. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>Behind me
lay a dark forest, with a crude dirt road leading up and into it, and in fr=
ont
of me was a large brick wall. Everything had the same ultra realistic look =
that
made me feel like I was actually inside the most advanced CGI movie I had e=
ver
imagined. =93Well what=92s your name?=94 The guard asked, jarring my attent=
ion. I
hesitated again as he pulled off his helmet and sighed. =93You don=92t reme=
mber
that either?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93I don=92t
have one.=94 I said finally. =93I=92m Unnamed.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Whatever=85=94
He just made a face at me holding the helmet in one hand and rubbing his ha=
ir
with the other. I noticed the sheath that held a long sword attached to his
waist, and he noticed my gaze. =93Yes, you will need something to defend yo=
urself,
I=92m surprised you made it this far.=94 He said poking my ragged clothing =
that I
just noticed for the first time. It was a light fabric, possibly cotton, an=
d was
each a shade of worn out grey.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I wondered
if I had a weapon of some sort, but the guard didn=92t give me much time to
check. =93Well I doubt you=92ve heard but the Lydan family has restricted y=
outh
from leaving the city limits.=94 He led me towards the wall and through a s=
mall
opening in it. =93These city limits.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I knew the
technical reason for this, that all players were to start in the city, but =
I
wanted to hear the Desex reason. =93Why?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93The war,
orcs have made it past the barricades at the borders of the kingdom and it
isn=92t safe. The king also wants to train possible recruits to help fight =
them
off and take back our lands.=94 He responded. =93There have been an unreaso=
nably
large number of miscreants finding their way here lately, and the City has =
set
up an escort program as none of you seem to have any weapons.=94 He pointed=
to a
small group of people dressed pretty much exactly like me.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93It=92s
amazing to me that you made it here; more and more of those beasts are brea=
king
through every day.=94 He sighed putting the helmet back on. =93You can wait=
here
for the next escort.=94 He said finally retaking his position next to the o=
pening
in the wall. I tried to see how far it went on each side, but it was no use=
, it
made me think of the Great Wall of China.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>Another few
guards patrolled the boundaries of it, and I turned to look at the crowd of
people, recognizing someone in it to look somewhat like Chris did. =93Chris=
?=94 I half-asked
walking up to him and he turned to me and smiled, recognizing me. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>His tone
wasn=92t any more assured, =93Steve?=94 I nodded looking him up and down. H=
e hadn=92t
made many changes to himself; his hair was still short and brown though a b=
it
better groomed and his eyes were changed to an almost grayish color. He had
also gotten rid of his glasses like me. =93This is amazing.=94 He started r=
unning a
circle around me, =93and so beautiful.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Where=92s Duncan?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93You mean
Damon.=94 I turned to my right as I felt a slight buzzing on my left forear=
m to
see the new Duncan. His long brown hair had become slightly longer and was =
now
an arcane dark shade of black. It again seemed a little better kept, but I
attributed it to the graphics. His brown eyes were now red, and looking at =
him
almost felt like he was looking at me through a bad photo.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Nice=85=94 Was
all I managed to say as the buzzing became more prominent, =93what the hell=
=85=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93It=92s your
console.=94 Chris chimed in. =93It=92s just the basic introduction, go ahea=
d and go
through it.=94 He said walking over to Damon.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Thanks Chris=85=94
I said. =93Or did you pick a different name?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93No it=92s
Chris.=94 He said turning back to me. =93And you?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93I=92m
Unnamed.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">A lighthearted chuckle=
escaped his
throat for possibly the first time ever. =93Hah, cool man. I didn=92t know =
you
could do that.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>He turned
back to his brother as I looked down to my arm. The top of the forearm look=
ed
normal but as I turned it around I could see underneath it was a small almo=
st
metal like substance where my skin would have been. It was small, not takin=
g up
the entire width of my arm, and about as long as my palm in length and was
silver in color. In the center of it a small icon that looked like a chat
bubble was blinking. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I wasn=92t
sure what to do but I felt the metal which felt just like my skin, and as I
grazed over the icon the metal compressed into itself to form a small squar=
e in
the center of where it was placed. The square then seemed to pop up off of =
my
arm and float above it; greenish colors forming above it to make a small sq=
uare
screen about double the size of my hand in both directions.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>It floated
above my arm which I turned back around and moved around, watching the scre=
en
follow wherever my arm went. As I looked at it the voice I had head while
making my character floated back into my head. =91Hello again Unnamed.=92</=
p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93Hello=85=94 I
said oddly looking around.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93You do not
need to speak; I can hear your thoughts=94 came the response. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91All the
time?=92 I wondered. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91No, just
when the guide mode is activated on your console. I have activated it now t=
o
introduce you to it and teach you the basics of how to operate it.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Ok=85=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I watched
as icons appeared on the screen on the left side as the voice spoke again. =
=91The
console has several features, and they can be examined either by touching t=
he
screen or by your thought=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91By
thought?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Yes.=92 The
top icon, which looked like a scroll of sorts began to blink. =91The main p=
age is
where you can read updates to the game through patch messages.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I watched
the main screen fill up with type and I went ahead and read the message for
today.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;">August 12, 2005</span>=
</b><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;"></span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;"><span=
style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span>-Three
new classes added for higher levels.</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;"><span=
style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span>-New
build, with intense training you can now become even more muscle bound if y=
ou
so choose, with the big build your muscles will grow beyond any normal
recollection, with rumors of giants that used to be men surfacing.</span></=
b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Is that all there i=
s?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Regarding
the news on the main page? Yes, for now.=92 The second icon down now began =
to
blink, and this one was a person, presumably me. The main screen changed no=
w to
show a small image of myself on the left side. A small bar was under it
in-between the stats I had chosen, Level 1 to the left of it. My current cl=
ass,
Commoner was heading the next row of stats, with skills directly under it, =
and
Common the only one listed, in a sort of box, with seven more empty boxes u=
nder
it taking up the rest of the screen. Underneath Common in the same box was
another bar, with Level 1 to the left.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>On top of
the image of my character was a red bar with HP next to it, and directly un=
der
that a label of AP, TP, and NP with a 0 next to each set up in a box like f=
ashion
under the HP bar. Under that was ATK, with a value of 1 next to it. =91This=
is
the Character Information screen. You can open it by thinking about your
character information, looks, class, level, or experience. It is also the p=
lace
where you set your experience gain.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Could you
explain that?=92 I thought; very little information on experience being lis=
ted on
the website the last time I had read it.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91You gain
experience in two ways, the first by simply using your skills. This can be
either practicing, or use in battle. Battle
experience is a specific amount of experience dependant on the creature
killed.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91So if I
use say swordsmanship in battle, I=92ll get double the experience?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91That isn=92t
what I meant. Experience gained by defeating something will be distributed =
to
your main level and any skills in accordance to how you set it; experience =
you
gain by using skills will only go towards that skill. You will not be able =
to
raise Swordsmanship by practicing back flips for example.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=93How I set
it?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Through
the information screen,=92 I watched as the experience bar flashed a few ti=
mes,
=91by touching the experience bar or thinking of setting experience you wil=
l be
able to change the amounts of experience that is distributed between skills=
and
your main level.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I watched
the lower left portion of the screen changed as my stats faded away and a s=
mall
box with 100% written in it came in under the experience bar. A 0% appeared=
to
the right of Common, in the same sort of box outline. =91You can choose to =
change
the percentages at any time, but keep in mind your skill level cannot excee=
d
twice your main level.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Is killing
things the only way to get main level experience?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Mostly,
though for those not taking the adventure roles there are other ways. Jobs =
and
tasks done for NPCs as well as quests are distributed in the same way as co=
mbat
experience, and once certain skills is maxed you can practice it to gain ha=
lf
the normal amount into your main level.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Certain
skills?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Non-combat
skills, but you generally have to work a lot harder to gain even that half =
as
you would when fighting.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Ok.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91You can
change the percentages again by thought which will probably be the easiest,=
or
you can use the keyboard and set the values by touching each percentage.=92=
</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91The
keyboard?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>A long tab
at the bottom of the screen not connected to the main section started to bl=
ink
now. =91By clicking this or thinking about the keyboard you can bring out t=
he
keyboard. You can try it out now if you wish.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I was
confused as to what I was supposed to do just wondering what kind of keyboa=
rd
it was. On cue more green laser like colors began to form out perpendicular=
to
the silver square, a few inches away and under the screen. It followed my a=
rm
the same way the screen did, each keeping its positions perfectly.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91The
keyboard is available whenever you want, though thought will be a much easi=
er
way to control the console once you become used to it.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Alright=85=92
I said to myself thinking I wanted 50% of experience gain to go to Common
skills. Instantly the 0 changed to a 50 next to Common while the 100 under =
the
main experience bar changed to 50. =91I didn=92t mean to do that=85=92 I th=
ought to CC,
the numbers changing back.<span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I shook my
head with a smile. =91Wow, I mean I did want that, but I didn=92t realize h=
ow it
worked.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91It may
take awhile to get used to it.=92 The now feminine voice came as the number=
s
changed back to 50/50 again. =91When you are finished with setting your
experience you can click on the main bar or just think about the original
screen to go back.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I nodded as
the third icon, which almost looked like a foot began to flash and the main
screen changed completely. It mostly became blank, the same rectangle boxes=
lining
up as on the information screen; the top one again filled with Common, with
level one to the left of a bar under it. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91This is
your skill screen. You can see more in-depth information on each skill as w=
ell
as all your current subskills. You can get here by the same ways as the oth=
er
screens; by clicking on the icon which will change dependant on your highes=
t
level skills, or by thinking of skills or subskills. You can again use your
thoughts or press on a skill to see it=92s information.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I went
ahead and thought of the Common skill as the boxes under it disappeared and=
the
Common box extended down. The level 1 skill Dash was listed and beyond that=
, a
short description:</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;">Main stats:
Dexterity, Agility. This skill includes all the common skills you've br=
ought
with yourself from the real world. Just because you don't have a swords=
manship
skill or hand to hand doesn't mean you can't pick up a sword or swi=
ng your
fist, you'll just be as good at it as you were in real life. It will im=
prove
and add to your basic survival skills, anything from running and jumping to=
basic
social skills.</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;">=A0</=
span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;"><span=
style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span>Level
1 =96 Sprint: Poor. </span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;"><span=
style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span>A
short burst of speed, beyond any amount of speed you could normally acquire
running.</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;">=A0</=
span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>CC spoke up
before I even had the chance to think. =91Poor is the level of your sub-ski=
ll;
through practice you will be able to master it, able to run faster for long=
er
periods of time.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Anything
else?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91No, this
page is actually more of a formality, as when you learn a skill or subskill=
you
will know, and know what it does and how to do it.=92<span style=3D""> </sp=
an></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91I didn=92t
know I could sprint=85=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91That is
because you didn=92t learn it, you started with it. When learning a new sub=
-skill
or skill you will automatically be given the information and ability to do =
that
certain skill, and as you get better at it you will be able to perform it
better as well, normally and automatically.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91So what is
this page for?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91To provide
the list of what you know incase you are ever interested in their official
names and descriptions, as well as let you know when the next subskill for
certain skills are.=92 I looked and noticed the Next skill level: 3 on the
opposite side of my current level. =91It is also there just for the sake of=
being
there.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91What do
you mean?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Think of
it as documentation of the abilities you=92ve acquired throughout your care=
er
here.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Ok=85 So how
do I use them?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91By
thought, you already know how to dash=85you just need to do it. Go ahead an=
d
try.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I was
slightly confused by CC=92s explanation, but regardless lowered my arm as I=
went
into a position almost like I was a track star waiting for a gun to go off,
though I didn=92t bend down as far.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I didn=92t
know why I got into this position, I was mainly thinking about sprinting,
telling myself I was about to sprint now, and as I pushed my back foot agai=
nst
the ground I suddenly felt an extreme flow of energy stream through me as t=
he
fabric of The Game=92s reality stretched inward like I was suddenly looking
through binoculars.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>Before
realizing it I had ran five steps before the binocular vision snapped back =
to
normal and I ran a few steps at normal speed, dust flying past me. I turned
around astonished to see I had traveled at least twenty feet all the way ac=
ross
to the other side of where everyone was waiting. =93Whoa=85=94 I mumbled, n=
ot even
feeling tired.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Certain
skills such as sprint require preparation, which is why you took that posit=
ion
before you were able to do it. Through time and practice as well as levelin=
g up
your Common skill, you will be able to speed up and eventually do away with=
it,
able to sprint longer distances just as easily as you control your running
speed now.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Cool.=92 I
thought as I raised my arm again, looking at the fourth blinking icon to th=
e
left, which looked like a small bag or backpack. The whole main screen chan=
ged
this time, another small replica of me floating in the middle, with space o=
n
all sides, and on the bottom a row of small blocks, all empty but the first
which held a smaller icon of a backpack.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91This is
your Item and Equipment screen.=92 CC explained.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91I have to
equip myself through a menu?=92<span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=
=A0 </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91No, you
will equip yourself as you would in the real world, but you can come here t=
o
check the stats of each item you=92ve equipped. Go ahead and think of your =
chest
or shirt.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I did as I
was told and watched as the center of my character=92s image (which was wea=
ring
the same shirt I was) lit up and the empty space on both sides filled up. O=
n
the left side read:</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal">=A0</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;">Worn Shirt</span></b><=
/p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;"><span=
style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span>A
simple shirt. It is old and worn, and offers no protection.</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b style=3D""><span style=3D"font-size: 10pt;">=A0</=
span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>It had a
smaller picture of the shirt above the small text, which I found rotated in=
any
degree I imagined it to. On the right was a listing of stats, some that I
recognized from other games, and some I didn=92t. The bottom half of the ri=
ght
was separated from the top and shaded out, but I could see it was elemental
resistances, again most of which I could recognize from other games.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Each
equipment item has its own stats. AP, is Armor Points, and adds to your tot=
al Armor
points which determine how much damage you take in battle. HP is the item=
=92s Health
Points, and work in the same way as your Health Points do. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>In battle
when a piece of equipment is hit, it gets damaged, and determined by your t=
otal
Armor Points, HP is lost. If a piece of equipment=92s HP is reduced to 0, i=
t
breaks, and your lose whatever AP it provided, as well as leaving whichever
piece of your body it covered unprotected.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91So wait,
how much HP do these things usually have? Is it like durability?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91No, armor
breaking will be a normal part of battle; it will be the only way you can l=
ose
HP, assuming you are fully protected before going into battle. Broken armor=
is
automatically fixed when you exit combat; with any HP lost rapidly regenera=
te.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Oh.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91TP are
Toughness Points, which usually aren=92t found on most armor, but rather
clothing, accessories and special armor made for the agile melee who cannot
wear metal armor.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>Like AP, TP
determines your total Toughness Points. And while you=92re AP will determin=
e how
much damage your armor takes when hit, your TP will determine how much dama=
ge
you yourself take.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91So we have
basically two type of armor?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Yes, AP is
the armor you are wearing, and TP is your own natural defenses=85think thic=
k
skinned. And unlike AP, the amount of TP given to you will not be taken awa=
y if
that equipment is broken.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Ok.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Most armor
won=92t have much TP, and most characters will have low TP. Without armor a=
good
direct hit in most parts of the body will most likely severely damage you, =
and
good shots with weapons, which would be more of a worry against another pla=
yer
then creature at this point could probably kill you.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Pvp?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Yes, there
are no restrictions on whom or what you attack, though while in town there =
are
certain laws that are to be upheld.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Awesome.=92
I thought, thinking back to my old days of playing Ultima Online. I was one=
of
those, a person who hunted people more then they hunted monsters. It was ju=
st
fun at the time and I never really though much of it. Being a PK that is (P=
layer
Killer). </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>It was my
mantra. I lived to take out all the frustration of the world onto poor
unsuspecting bytes of characters I would never meet. I wondered if I would =
go
the same route in this game. =91Well that is a decision only you can make.=
=92 CC interrupted
my daydream. =91But some advice if I may.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91Uh, sure.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91While
there are no penalties for killing other players technically speaking, you =
can
get yourself a reputation, and have a bounty put on your head. Also there w=
ill
be a point where you will no longer be welcome inside the kingdom of Lydori=
a,
depending on how nefarious you become. This could be quite a hindrance for =
a
low level character.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91I
understand.=92 I said, trying not to think about the decision already made =
to
become quite nefarious, bringing my attention to the values of my lowly shi=
rt.
For HP, AP and TP, all were zero. Also 0 was CP and IP.<span style=3D"">=A0=
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>=91CP is
Charm Points, while IP are Intimidation Points.=92 CC explained, ignoring m=
y
decision I=92m sure she heard. =91They are both related to how people perce=
ive you,
and are generally involved in social situations. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">While CP is usually fo=
und more on
clothes, charms and accessories, IP will be found mostly on armor. CP would
most likely be sought after by the business man who would like to make good
impressions, have a lot of customers or even take advantage of every situat=
ion
to make the most money; while IP will allow knights the same advantages thr=
ough
an obviously more direct approach.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Usually IP is exclusiv=
e to armor
and CP exclusive to clothing, but certain armors, especially that of say
royalty, can include a high amount of both. CP and IP combine to make up yo=
ur
total NP, or Nerve points, and this will determine what you can do and what=
can
be done to you.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91So I have HP, AP, T=
P and NP?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Yes, you can also g=
ain MP, but
that is only in the magic classes and requires a lot of work. You also have=
EP
which is Endurance Points, basically your stamina. Your max EP is always 10=
0,
though there may be skills or equipment that can raise it further. The amou=
nt
it decreases will be determined by your stats. Some skills use a percentage=
of
EP and it always depletes over time; more so with physical activity. It can=
be
replenished with food or by sleeping.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ok=85=92 I looked u=
nder the stat
listing, but before the elemental resists (which were all 0 as well) was
weight: 0.07.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Everything in Desex=
weighs
something, just as everything on Earth does. We measure the weight in stone=
s,
and the number of stones you can carry depends on your strength.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">CC made the only backp=
ack available
light up and I looked at it as more laser like lights started popping out f=
rom
the metal disk. A whole inside of a backpack, the same shape and look as th=
e
icon but appearing actual size appeared a few inches in front of the screen=
and
I could see through it to see it was empty.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Your belt can hold =
8 different
backpacks, pouches, bags or pouches, which never really have their own phys=
ical
form. Besides this backpack you start with, whether found or bought the emp=
ty
bag will go in one of your bags you have now, and will have to be moved to =
one
of the empty boxes next to it to be used. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Each bag has its own l=
imits of how
much can be put in, though again you will not have to worry about that. You
have one material pack that is located on your belt; you can move it to eit=
her
side or the center of you, or even your back as you wish.=92 I looked down =
and as
if it just appeared noticed the little pouch that hung on a small thread th=
at
ran across my pants.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It was small, couldn=
=92t have been
bigger then both of my hands, and it looked like it was made of leather, al=
most
like one of the old pouches pirates used to carry gold in. A small string t=
ied
to the top closed it as I turned back to the virtual image of the backpack.=
</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91This material one w=
ill serve as
your gateway to your items. Through the menu you can go through your bags a=
nd
pick out whatever item you choose, and then with it chosen you can take it =
out
of your pouch. When keeping an item, placing it in the pouch will put it in=
any
open space that you have left in your available packs.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Wow.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You can try it out =
with that
stick.=92 I looked down lowering my hands to the ground, and saw what CC wa=
s
talking about. I took the few steps over to it and picked it up. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91I can just take any=
thing?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Yes, every material=
in the world
is as real and movable as it should be.=92 I shrugged looking at it. =91To =
open
your pouch you can just pull on the string.=92 CC again explained before I =
had
the chance to ask.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I did just that, pulli=
ng on the one
end of the string which instantly dematerialized as the bag opened. I was
shocked at that, wondering what had happened but I was quickly reassured. =
=91The
string will return to code when the bag opens, and when you are done you ca=
n
simply think it closed and it will reappear closing the bag. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The same coding type s=
equence will
happen when putting something in the bag or taking it out. Whatever item it=
is
will lose its shape and return to code when you put it in, and vice versa.=
=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I didn=92t know what s=
he meant but
soon found out as I moved the stick towards the bag and it felt as if it al=
most
melted in my hand at first. I watched as it lost color and looked almost li=
ke
static from a TV, shrinking down to the size of a maybe a donut. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It stayed in my hand a=
s I paused
and looked at it, the small blob of static that seemed to sway and ripple a=
s I
moved my hand. I experimented further; trying to move it up to get a better
look but as soon as I started moving my arm back out I could see it start t=
o expand
again becoming the stick so I just went ahead and moved it back down, dropp=
ing
the blob into the pack and thinking it closed. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The tie came right bac=
k and didn=92t
seem to tie itself over the opening so much as just overwrite the image of =
an
open sack to a closed one. I raised my arm looking at the image of the back=
pack
which now had the same stick standing up against one of its sides.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91From here you can n=
ow examine
items to find out their use, equip them if you wish, or move them around
between bags or in the same bag. Gravity does not play any part within the
bags; you can set up your items any way you wish as long as it fits and you=
can
carry the weight.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I looked at the stick =
as it filled
out the center of the screen overlapping my picture but not enough that I
couldn=92t still see it. A picture of the stick appeared on the left side a=
gain turn-able
by my thought, while under it was a very small description of the simple st=
ick.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The right side was fil=
led out much
the same as the shirt, with the lower half full of grayed out 0=92s next to=
various
elemental symbols, and the top a small list of stats, surprisingly not all =
0!</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=A0</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">AP: 01</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">HP: 15</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">;DP: 03</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">Weight: 0.24</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">=A0</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91AP accounts for a w=
eapon=92s Attack
Points not Armor, and determines how much damage you can do with that weapo=
n.
HP is the same as all other HP, and DP is Deflection Points, and determines=
how
well you can parry and block with your sword, as well as how much HP will b=
e
lost during so.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Having a traditional w=
eapon break
will be a very difficult thing to do, as even the crudest made have suffici=
ently
high HP and DP given it=92s used in accordance to its desired range, though
unlucky hits directly onto the blade or hilt could cause some severe HP dam=
age.
Much like armor the points will regenerate fairly quickly when outside of
battle, and if broken will repair automatically when battle is ended.=92</p=
>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I watched as she made =
my characters
picture overlap the stick=92s display and highlighted my two hands. The rig=
ht and
left now filled up with six boxes, three on each side.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You can equip up to=
three sets of weapons,
and can be set up in any way, 2-handers, a sword and shield or dual wieldin=
g.
This will come in handy if you are in long battles and you don=92t want a w=
eapon
to break; or it has already and you need to switch. Sets in standby will ac=
t as
if they aren=92t in battle, and will regenerate slowly, so it is advised to
switch weapons if they are close to being broken.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Well how does that =
work? I thought
we equipped everything materially?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You do, but that do=
esn=92t mean you
can=92t do it through the menu as well. Each weapon, shield or any other to=
ols
can be equipped through this menu and it will be automatically done for you=
,
but weapons are different matter all together.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Each weapon will have =
its own way
of being put away, a dagger may have a small sheath or just be placed
in-between your belt, while a sword will have a much more apparent sheath; =
on
the side or on your back. Axes, pole arms and most shields will be peaceabl=
e in
the same manner to your back, but putting them there does not require the
actual act.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Thought will bring you=
to and from combat
=91mode=92, your weapons materializing in your hands or in their resting pl=
ace, and
as such you can switch between different weapons and shields by the same
thoughts that you used to take them out. The weapons that show when you put
them away will be the weapons that you used last, so if you=92ve been switc=
hing
weapons but like your favorite sword display, remember to change back to th=
at
before exiting battle.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ok=85well I don=92t=
think I want to
equip the stick=85how do I make it come out of my pouch so I can get rid of=
it?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Just either think o=
f it being in
there as you open it, or touch the stick and choose materialize. You can al=
so
delete the item the same way if that is what you were going to do anyway, b=
y
touching it and choosing delete. This cannot be done by thought as mistakes
could occur.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I touched it to see th=
e screen,
three rectangular bubbles popping out next to the stick (I touched the pict=
ure
in the bag not on the screen) overlapping the picture of the bag. The top s=
aid
Equip, the middle said Materialize and the bottom said Delete.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I figured I could get =
rid of it by
thought, and waved my hands in front of it, the bubbles disappearing as fas=
t as
they appeared and the backpack back to the front. I did the same for this
though; letting it shrink down back into its square, and looked at the pouc=
h on
the right side of my waist and imagined the stick being in there. I then pu=
lled
on the string and reached in, pulling out the same glob of static goo that =
I
had put in.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I pulled my arm away f=
rom the bag
and watched as the goo expanded and took again the form of the stick, the
static quickly fading to dark brown and the composition of the stick once a=
gain
made clear.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I felt it with my hand=
s and swung
it around a bit, and I noticed my right hand had the stick equipped now on =
my
console=92s screen. =91I don=92t need to do anything special to equip somet=
hing?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91No, later on there =
are certain
skills that you can use to equip something that will make it a more of
a=85definite thing, but that is more for protection then anything else.=92 =
I
dropped the stick and watched the screen change, and smiled as CC spoke to =
me
again. =91You are picking this up very fast, why didn=92t you just push the
button?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Cause I wanted to t=
ry.=92 I thought,
letting my ego come over me. =91I=92ve always been a fast learner with thes=
e
things.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Yes well, I=92m sur=
e you=92ll be
experienced in these procedures in no time.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Is that it for the =
items?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91It is the basics, a=
nything else
that you find you don=92t understand or need help with or any questions you=
have
about certain things can always be answered at any time when you find them =
or
think of them.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ok=85=92 I looked t=
o the final icon on
the left of the screen, a small chat like bubble that you would see in comi=
c
books flashed as the screen changed completely. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It was split into two =
halves, with
a barley visible clear divider separating them. The bottom looked much like=
a
chat room would, without the list of names. I saw the last few minutes of
dialogue I had heard typed out in this in plane white bold lettering. I cou=
ld
also see the name of the people who said it, Damon and Chris=92 name=92s ap=
pearing
to the right of their text, though question marks took the place of the spe=
ak
of people=92s names I didn=92t know.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The top half looked mu=
ch like the
lower half in display, a black background with plain white bold type, thoug=
h at
the very top there were tabs that I assumed would change what I saw there, =
from
left to right: Info, Friends, Group and NPCs.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The information screen=
was
displayed, with a slightly larger size word Info above the little text that
displayed a few values for things like Friends, group members and acquainta=
nces
on the left side, while the right side was blank except for the lower right
corner where something that looked like a high tech headphone earpiece seem=
ed
almost material.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It was as black as the=
background
of the screen and I had a hard time distinguishing it at first, but as I
focused on it, it definitely seemed to materialize inside the screen. It lo=
oked
exactly as a small earpiece would that would fit up snugly in the ear canal=
,
and for a second I recognized a part the big machine that brought me into t=
his
world in it, but that thought quickly faded. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">On the top (or at leas=
t what I
thought was the top by the way it was positioned) whatever material made up=
the
object seemed to extend out, though while still seemingly a part of the scr=
een,
and curve around the outline of it around down to the bottom making a large=
C
to the left side of it.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91This is your social=
menu, here you
can come and review things that you=92ve talked about, communicate and send
messages to friends who aren=92t with you by means of thought, type or the
communicator, as well as configure your communicator with friends or groups=
.
You can also keep track of any NPCs you feel the need, remember directions,
tasks, conversations or anything else you feel the need.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91What exactly is my =
communicator?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91It is the ear piece=
you were
looking at. It materializes when thought of and is able to be taken from th=
e
screen and placed on either ear. The earpiece will fit snugly in your ear a=
nd
wrap around the outside of it like a second skin. You will be able to hear
normally with it in and besides a slight feeling of it there you won=92t ev=
en
notice it when not using it.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Connecting it with oth=
er people=92s
communicators, an easy practice that involves nothing more but touching the=
m
briefly with one another, will add them to your communications list. From t=
here
you can add them to one of the five channels of the communicator, and talk =
with
them through it. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">This can be private on=
e on one
talking, or many people, as well as group chat for hunting. When using it n=
o
one but those who are connected and set up to your current channel will be =
able
to hear you if you choose to speak, but like all things of the console the
communicator will communicate your thoughts.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91How does it work?=
=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91When wearing it and=
set up to
talk; this can be done through the info menu=85=92 While CC was saying that=
I
watched as the left half of the upper screen started to fade in. Again a
slightly larger sized font headed the statistics, reading Connections.
Underneath it appeared Available Connections, Active Connections(and beneat=
h
that indented was channel 1 through 5), Grouped: No and Private Message, wi=
th
what looked to be a blank text box from a webpage that you=92d be able to c=
lick
and type in next to it.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">All this led up to the=
place where
the communicator was located, though there was a substantial space between
them, and underneath that just before the divider appeared the number 1, wi=
th
two large arrowhead type icons appearing on each side. =91You just touch th=
e
communicator with your finger and any thought or speak will go into the
channel.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91I thought it was ac=
tivated by
thought?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Not activated, the =
communicator
has to be done by hand, this is to make sure you are in complete knowledge =
of
sending and receiving messages and that you aren=92t just thinking to yours=
elf.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Well wouldn=92t tha=
t be hard to do
in battle?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Group chat has a sp=
ecial option
that allows all speak and thought to be automatically transferred to the
channel during battle. This is set up in the group tab, and each tab in the
social menu can be changed by thought or touch.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I looked at the friend=
tab and
focused on that slightly as the top of the screen changed, to a mostly blac=
k
screen with the same font saying Friends on the top, with Damon and Chris
listed under it, a small red dot no bigger then the capitalized first lette=
r of
each was glowing softly to the direct left of each of them.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91The red light means=
they haven=92t
been connected to your communicator, so you can only message them by type,
though the type can be typed by thought. You can do this through the info m=
enu,
by thinking of a friend=92s name in the box, or by touching or thinking the=
ir
name from this screen.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">That will bring all ty=
pe into the
chat box on the lower screen to that person, until you decide to stop or ch=
ange
the name. The same process is done once connected to a friend, by touching
their name or thinking of it in the box will allow you to place them in a
channel. This will send a request similar to the receiving of a private mes=
sage
and if the friend accepts the channel is made and active until either one o=
f
you decide to leave it.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Group chat is done muc=
h the same,
though when making a group you can make a channel set up for it before you =
even
have any members. Then when members do join, they can simply turn on the gr=
oup
channel, which will take up their lowest unused channel number, to join and
activate it. This requires no connecting of communicators, though if you wa=
nt
to keep in contact with anyone longer then grouping, without randomly runni=
ng
into them that is, you=92ll have to at least friend them.=92 </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91And NPCs?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You cannot ever pri=
vate message or
use your communicator to speak with them, but the tab allows you to remembe=
r
names and any information you may need like where they live or any specific
details you wish about them or any information you=92ve received from them.=
=92 As
she said this the screen changed, the NPC tab moving up.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The screen was blank w=
ith a
rectangular box that looked much like the skill one though much larger, tak=
ing
up about a third of the top half of the screen. The box itself was empty, a=
nd
on top of it was another little fill in text box like the one on the info m=
enu,
and to the left another small chat bubble icon.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Any NPC you=92ve me=
t enough to learn
their name will appear in a list that you can see by pressing that chat bub=
ble,
or by thinking of the list of NPCs, or just NPCs you=92ve met, or a certain=
NPC
that you can=92t remember the name of. If you know the name you can place i=
t in
the box directly the same way as friends instead of picking it out from the
list.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">After adding a name or=
picking one
out it will take up the box, you will see a picture of them, any details yo=
u=92ve
seen or been told, and you can customize what to keep or even add your own
thoughts to it in the spaces that appear under the box. You don=92t have an=
y now
available, but when you do if you have any questions you can always ask.=92=
</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ok, that it?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Yes, you can try ou=
t your
communicator though if you wish.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I had almost forgotten=
about it, if
only just for a second and focused on the info tab again to watch the scree=
n
change back. I looked at the communicator, and again it began to materializ=
e in
the screen. The screen itself seemed to get some debt to the point where th=
e
communicator almost looked like a chocolate inside a hollow plastic precise
mold in a box.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">When I felt confident =
that it was
actually physical I reached with my right hand to the screen, my fingers go=
ing
easily through it and around the communicator. Once I felt it it seemed to
instantly drop out of the screen onto my hand, and I brought it closer to m=
y
face for further examination.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The other side looked =
much like the
side I had already seen, with no noticeable holes or any distinctions in it
that would make me assume it was any more then a slightly stretched out mar=
ble,
and it felt almost like a metallic plastic, seemingly both very firm and
extremely flexible at the same time.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I played around with t=
he protruding
strand of it, which felt the same way though proved my theory of it being
extremely flexible and elastic. I was able to move it around any way I want=
ed
to, everywhere from a strait line to curled up like a string. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Moving it was a total =
alien
experience for me, I could almost feel a part of me moving as I did it, and=
it
was like no substance I had ever thought of, almost like hardened silly put=
ty. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">After my few seconds o=
f
astonishment I remade the original C like shape and moved it to my right ea=
r. I
pushed the side in that I hadn=92t seen when looking at it from the console=
,
pulling the extension of it around the back of my ear and as I pushed it in
almost instantly forgot about it, as if whatever material it was seeped int=
o
the back of my earlobe.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The earpiece itself ha=
d a distinct
feeling, much like an earplug of the real world would, though it appeared i=
n my
mind to be hollow. CC was right; sound was not cut off or distorted at all,=
and
besides the weird detached feeling of a hollow pressure on the opening of m=
y
ear canal I really couldn=92t tell I was wearing anything.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I reached up and touch=
ed it, half
expecting to hear a beep or static or some other sort of confirmation ala o=
ld
radio walkie talkie=92s, but there wasn=92t. The only noticeable difference=
was my
mind seemed a lot clearer, and all my thoughts seemed to stop and die out.
=91Hello?=92 I thought finally, oddly, and heard it in my head in almost th=
e same
way that I hear CC.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Good job.=92 CC sai=
d to me in an ostensibly
proud tone. =91You do learn fast. While there is no one else connected to y=
our
channel, you can still talk into it to practice. You heard yourself just as
anyone else connected to the channel would hear you, and just as you would =
hear
yourself or anyone else speaking in the channel.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Does it always feel=
so weird? It
was almost as if it wasn=92t my thought?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You should get used=
to it, like
confirming type in a chat room to be your voice.=92 CC assured me, and I co=
uld
understand that analogy.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You can change the =
channel you are
in outside of the console as well, on the back and bottom of your earlobe y=
ou
will feel two smaller arrows on top of one another, down moves it down one,=
up
moves it up one. They will always work, for example pushing up when in chan=
nel
1 will move it to channel 5. When switching that way you will know which
channel it is by imagery in your mind=92s eye, but can always check the con=
sole.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I nodded feeling behin=
d my ear. It
really felt like my ear would, and I couldn=92t even notice the material of=
the
earpiece anymore. The only thing different was that there was indeed two
arrows, which felt exactly as the two arrows on the info screen looked exce=
pt
smaller, one up and one down in where I assumed to be right next to my eard=
rum.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I pressed the down one=
just for the
sake of doing it, and saw a 2 appear in my minds eye, even though my eyes w=
ere
open. It didn=92t appear over my waking vision so much as under, as if for =
a
moment my eyes weren=92t the only thing I could see out of and my conscious=
ness
shifted to two separate places at once, like a dream you drift in and out o=
f
when you don=92t want to wake up.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">This whole process was=
instant, and
as quickly as I noticed it and began to try and examine it further it was o=
ver.
I went ahead and pushed the up arrow, going back to one and repeating the s=
ame
instant process again. This time I expected it, and for that split second I
definitively felt a shift in my consciousness, to where I almost fell back =
and
up into a higher part of my body, where I was seeing out my eyes, but also =
had
them closed and saw the crystal clear vision of the number one, that appear=
ed
brightly in my center (or at least what I perceived to be the center of my
closed eyes) of view.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The process shocked me=
a bit at
first, but it was over so quickly I had no time to worry or even think abou=
t
it; in fact it took several weeks of experiencing this for me to even come =
up
with the words to describe what I felt just then. It reminded me of the tal=
ks I
had with Chris out in the real world when he was reading about out of body
experiences, though in all actuality, I was already out of my body when I w=
as
in my Game=92s body.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I lost no control over=
that body
while this happened, and during those weeks of experimentation I tried doin=
g it
while moving several times, and while in that higher place, I was still abl=
e to
control the body perfectly, even though it could have just been a matter of=
my
perspective, as time almost seemed to freeze for that instant I saw the num=
ber.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You=92ll get used t=
o that as well.=92
CC assured me as I dropped my hand and looked back to the console=92s scree=
n. It
changed back to the main screen, the updates again shown on most of it, tho=
ugh
on the top right text began to fade into view in the same bold white font t=
o
make out CC.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91You can talk to me =
any time to ask
me anything by pressing on CC.=92 She explained. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91So your name is act=
ually CC?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91I don=92t have a na=
me in the
traditional sense. You have begun to associate and think of me as CC, as we=
ll
as made my voice you hear appear feminine, so the button to activate me has
taken the form of what you use to think about me. If your perceptions of me
ever changes in the future, the icon you touch may change to something
completely different.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">You can also activate =
me by
thought, at any part of the console by thinking of me, asking me a question=
or
consciously making the effort for us to be able to communicate.=92 I hesita=
ted.
=91This may sound harder than it actually is, but there will be no mistakes=
of
sending me thoughts you don=92t want to and I will never invade your person=
al
thoughts without your knowledge. The only way we can communicate is if you
allow it.=92 She assured me. =91Even this tutorial had to have been activat=
ed by
you, though you may not have known what you were allowing at the time.=92</=
p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91=85so that=92s it?=
=92 I wondered, not
really knowing what else to say. It wasn=92t that I didn=92t have any quest=
ions;
just that there were so many of them I couldn=92t think of any one in parti=
cular
to ask. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Yes, any questions =
you have can
always be brought to me at any time, though a lot is just in learning and
experiencing for yourself, which I can already see you want to do.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ok then.=92 I thoug=
ht with a smile,
dropping my arm as I turned my attention to something else, quickly shaking=
my
head while thinking of it to go away. It did, the screen and keyboard fadin=
g
just as quickly as they appeared and the metal disk flying back down under =
my
arm. I felt a strange sense of detachment, a feeling I got used to when tur=
ning
off CC; the closest description that I am able to give it is the feeling of=
a
presence of something or someone leaving me. It wasn=92t a bad feeling so m=
uch as
strange and completely unknown, though I got used to those sorts of things =
in
The Game.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Alone with my thoughts=
again I
unrestricted them, as if caution tape had just been removed over my idle
thought. A wave of excitement, wonder, amazement, curiosity and pure euphor=
ia
(a feeling I had felt little of up until that point in my life) came over m=
e as
I tried my best to examine each thought that flew around in my head.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I raised my left arm a=
gain thinking
of the console=92s screen and trying to surprise Chris with a call on his
communicator, but to my surprise the screen opened on the social icon and t=
he
friend tab. My brow wrinkled as I scratched the back of my head.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91CC, why didn=92t it=
open at the main
screen?=92 I asked, halfway through the sentence feeling a sort of click in=
the
back of my head, as if a lock had been opened and the door that allowed CC =
into
my brain was open once again. I felt the slight presence of something else =
with
me; a feeling that I have come to filter out for the most part to be totall=
y in
control of my character=92s body when conversing with CC, but was a very
noticeable and peculiar feeling during the first few weeks. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">My thoughts seemed aga=
in to have
the caution tape wrapped around it, I wasn=92t as clear headed as when thin=
king
into the communicator, but it definitely was controlled. =91When you open t=
he
console by thought you can think of what screen you want to see and it will
open on that screen. It is the same as thinking of the screen you want to g=
o to
when the console is already open.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ah ok, thanks.=92 I=
thought, trying
consciously to shut her off while keeping the console open. I used the door
feeling since that was the first thing that came to me, and it has kept wit=
h me
throughout the years. I imagined and felt myself closing the door, feeling =
the
presence of CC leaving through it, and then sort of clicked it locked. I ca=
n=92t
really explain how I did this; it seemed almost natural to me even the firs=
t
few times I did it, soon becoming second nature.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I focused on Chris=92 =
name and
watched as two bubbles; much like the ones that appeared when I examined it=
ems
formed next to his name, and much like them overlapping the original friend=
s
screen. They read Private Message and Group, and I focused on Private Messa=
ge,
clicking it with my imagination as it moved to the info screen with his nam=
e in
the box. The space between that and the channel number was quickly moved to=
another
fill in box.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It had one in it, and =
I assumed it
was to be the channel I would use to connect to him with my communicator, b=
ut
when I focused on it nothing happened. I remembered that CC said that it wo=
uld
only work with the typing until we connected, so I went ahead and thought a=
bout
the word =91Hey=92 and it appeared on the lower half of the screen in what =
looked
like the same little space laid out to type into in chat rooms.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Not knowing exactly ho=
w to send it
I just imagined hitting enter, as I was imagining myself typing the word th=
at
made it appear so easily. This worked a lot faster then I could have hoped;=
it
appearing in the main chat part of the screen, though in a bluish color ins=
tead
of the usual white.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I didn=92t know if he =
had gotten it
until he called me and I looked up away from the console. He was looking do=
wn
at an invisible space in front of his arm, same as me, and it took me a sec=
ond
to realize that he wasn=92t actually calling me, but it was a private messa=
ge.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It sounded so clear an=
d real that I
couldn=92t tell the difference, and it in fact took me some time to be able=
to
distinguish it from real speak (as real as speak is in The Game). It didn=
=92t
sound like my thought or even an outside thought like CC, but as if he was
standing right next to me, almost a part of me. It wasn=92t loud but it was
clear, I heard it in my ears first before I registered it in my brain and i=
t
didn=92t seem to be located as coming from inside my head, like it did when=
I
talked into the communicator.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Hey, get over here.=
=92 Is what he
said, and after I got over my initial shock I did just that, realizing for =
the
second time just how far sprint had taken me.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93All done?=94 He ask=
ed as I stopped
by him looking around the environment and again trying to take it all in. I=
t
was more beautiful then I can ever describe in words, and I=92d wonder why =
that
was a lot of the time in the future. In retrospect, to the best of my abili=
ties
to remember the real world, The Game doesn=92t look all that much better. I=
t
certainly doesn=92t look any more real, if that is a possibility, but I thi=
nk the
experience of living in it made me notice its shiny crystal clear perfectio=
n at
first.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Contrasted to that, in=
real life I
never noticed anything, I drifted through it in a haze on my way from one
distraction to another, but I=92m sure if I had taken the time things would=
have
looked just as beautiful. Perhaps I noticed it when I was a child, but my m=
emories
of those days are long gone.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">This side of the wall =
differed
greatly from the other; the ground was hard and dry, a mix of orange and ye=
llow
of what I assumed could be dry sand or some sort of stone. There were no tr=
ees
to be seen, barring the few the peeked out from the other side of the wall.=
The
sun was high in the cloudless sky, and I could somehow guess it was a few h=
ours
past noon, if it even went
by noon anymore.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93Hey! How much longe=
r do we gotta
wait?=94 Someone frustratingly yelled from the crowd behind Chris.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The guard at the wall =
didn=92t move.
=93They should be here soon.=94 He said haphazardly as I walked towards him=
after
signaling Chris to hold on a minute.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93How long does it ta=
ke to get to
the city from here?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93About a day or two =
if you take the
quickest route.=94 He responded. =93They should be here soon I recommend yo=
u wait,
the Golden Meadows aren=92t as safe as the name may make it sound.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I nodded walking back =
to Chris.
=93How long have you been here?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93I dunno.=94 He said=
shrugging. =93Ten
or fifteen minutes maybe before you showed up, I was just finishing with my
tutorial when you came.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The headpiece was the =
next thing I
reached for, with a smile. For a moment I wasn=92t sure how I was going to =
take
it off since as far as I knew and felt it was now a part of my ear, but I w=
as
able to easily take a hold of it and felt it materialize out of the back of=
my
ear to the point where I could grab it and gently pull it away. =93So you w=
ant to
connect these things or what?=94 I whispered, my smile widening to a smirk.=
</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93Yea.=94 He said ret=
urning my smile
and mimicking my actions, though he seemed to have slightly more trouble
figuring out how to take it off. I didn=92t see the actual earpiece ever
connected to his head until his hand was fully away from it and it seemed t=
o
materialize there as he examined it and held it out. =93How do we do it?=94=
</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Thinking for a moment =
I couldn=92t
help but let out a laugh. I had no idea. =93I guess we just touch them.=94 =
He
shrugged and we did just that, touching the earpieces themselves to each ot=
her,
each of us holding on to its extension.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style=3D"">=A0</=
span>Nothing seemed to happen, and I shrugged back
at him opening up my console to look at the main info screen of the Social
icon. The available connections had changed from 0 to 1, though active was
still at 0. His name was still in the text box, so I assumed anything I wou=
ld
type would go to him and I quickly checked the friends tab to see the red l=
ight
had changed to green.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I moved back to the ma=
in tab and
focused again on the number in the box below it that said one. A green outl=
ine
surrounded it as it faded out and a few seconds later a smaller green dot
appeared to the upper right of the number one above the arrows. =91What doe=
s that
mean CC?=92 I asked quickly.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91It means the channe=
l is active.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Ok.=92 I thought cl=
osing the door
again and reaching up to touch the earpiece. =91Can you hear me?=92 I thoug=
ht, the
sound of my thoughts coming out in the same way as before, as if even thoug=
h I
was making them, they weren=92t coming from me. I used CC=92s analogy and g=
ot used
to it by imagining my thoughts were being typed into the communicator then
after being sent heard by all in the channel much like type is read by all =
in a
chat room.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Loud and clear.=92 =
He responded with
a big smile on his face. Like mine the thoughts appeared to come from withi=
n my
head, though I didn=92t perceive myself hearing it from either ear. It wasn=
=92t
like thoughts in a chat room either, but much like the private message kind=
,
though of course originating inside my head.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91This is so amazing.=
=92 I thought
still holding onto the earpiece and surveying our surroundings again<span s=
tyle=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91It definitely is.=
=92 He responded as
we heard the sound of a horse. It came from behind him and I noticed them
first, a group of guards clad in the same type of armor as the one I had sp=
oke
to, two which rode horses and four others who walked beside them. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Their armor; while all=
relatively
the same each had their own different look and size to them, while they all
carried a different weapon. Four had swords; one of the ones riding the hor=
se
had a hilt sticking up from behind his back, the other having a different k=
ind,
presumably an axe, while one of the ones walking didn=92t seem to have any =
weapon
at all.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The two on the horse e=
ach wore a
helmet, though neither one similar to the previous guard=92s can shaped one=
. The
one on the left wore one that was shaped like some sort of animal, horns co=
ming
out from each side of his temple and small eyes in the shape of a lizard, l=
ong
and only allowing a portion of his real eyes to peek through. There was no =
nose
piece, and as the helmet kind of bumped out under the eye piece to form a s=
ort
of squared section with bars that almost reminded me of Darth Vader, before=
it
sunk back in down to his neck.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The one on the right=
=92s was similar,
though his horns weren=92t so much horns as beams that came out of each sid=
e
towards each other, combining to attach a sickle like blade that made a C
outward. The two beams connected to the end of it, which started the curve =
up
and curled downward at the top. He didn=92t have much covering his face, a =
small
metal piece coming down over the top of his nose securing its position, whi=
le
the back went down to about the mid of his neck before curling up a bit int=
o an
almost rectangular bowl.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Helmets seemed to be a=
privilege of
only those on horses as the ones walking besides them wore none, though one
wore a small metal cap that looked much like the right man=92s one without =
the
blade on the top and a lot less fancier. I could almost tell it was a weake=
r
metal too; it was a little rusty in some parts. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93This all there is t=
oday?=94 The one
whose face wasn=92t totally covered asked the guard who had walked up behin=
d me.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93Yea.=94 The guard r=
esponded as I
looked to him surprised at how quiet he moved with all his armor.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93Alright.=94 The sam=
e guard responded
as we all formed into one big group. I counted ten of us including Damon, C=
hris
and myself. =93You all ready?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">There were a few sound=
s of yes as
most of us nodded and I heard the annoyed voice from before scream out hell
yeah. With that the Guard nodded turning his horse around. =93Well let=92s =
go.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">;Damon lowered his arm =
as we started
moving, obviously just finishing with his tutorial as he turned to us. =93J=
esus
Christ guys, this is some sick fucking shit huh?=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=A0</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">There was little talk =
between us
and the guards, each group of friends seeming to do the same as us and walk
closely together with close quiet excited whispers or thoughts through thei=
r
respective communicators. We were going directly to town, and thanks to our
small group of eager members we kept a pretty fast past the entire trip, no=
t
stopping to rest at night.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It took us a day and a=
half to get there;
apparently the guard had underestimated, though if we had been going slowly=
or
took any breaks it probably would have taken close to three days to make it=
to
Lydel.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The area outside the w=
all, which we
learned was called the Dry Planes, stretched on for about 20 miles and we
headed east a bit starting on a fairly developed road in the dirt where gra=
ss
began to grow. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">This we were told was =
the Lush
fields, and in the distance to the west trees were noticeable, though no
mention to them were made as we stayed mostly to the road. We passed a few
houses and I noticed some NPCs, who each had their own look like the guards=
,
appearing normal and each distinct in their own way but each also looking q=
uite
similar. They were almost like extra=92s in a movie, believable but not rea=
l.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The road was long and =
even though
it went directly through the Lush Fields it took us well into the night to
reach the end of them. During the day our travels were mostly uninterrupted=
,
but at night a few times wild animals (at least from what I could assume an=
d
see in the dark) would wander in our paths and we got to watch the guards
fight. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It wasn=92t much of a =
sight in the
dark, if it weren=92t for the torches held by the guards on horseback we wo=
uld
have been in complete darkness, but each time I definitely got a thrill bei=
ng
so close to battle. Most of the animals were small and doglike (I guessed w=
olves
at the time) and went down quickly enough under the skill of the guards. </=
p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">A few hours before daw=
n the path
hit a steep decline as we were told we were entering The Gap. I noticed aft=
er
the ground seemed to level somewhat I caught myself gazing Eastward into th=
e
darkness. In the distance the ground seemed to drop away into it, as if the
edge of this world was there, or if the graphics for that part hadn=92t bee=
n
completed yet. I tried to look as far as I could but couldn=92t see anymore=
then
the darkness. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">After heading westward=
a bit we
again saw the edge of a forest, which we were told was called Dosklur. It w=
as
the same one we had saw upon entering the Lush Fields. The Gap wasn=92t tha=
t big,
and strait through we were heading upwards into The Commonlands in slightly
more time then it took to pass the Dry Planes.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">;Dawn came and I could =
once again
marvel at the beauty of this world as we moved northwest through East Commo=
ns
to Central Commons. There was a lot more life here, both animal and plant. =
There
was at least one tree in view at all times, with bunches together and bushe=
s
and long grass growing everywhere.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Animals were busy livi=
ng their
lives, bunnies and dogs and bulls and cows. I even caught a glimpse of a be=
ar drinking
from a river and gladly it didn=92t attack. By midday excitement was high a=
nd our pace quickened upon
reaching the Central Commonlands. The path
turned fully northward again as we were told we were close.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">There were a few house=
s found
throughout Central, some in bunches against the road set up looking like sh=
ops,
inns and the like. Guards were regularly seen patrolling the main road as w=
ell
as others it branched off into, and it seemed like a relatively safe place.=
</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=93We tend to think of=
the
Commonlands as the safest place outside of the city walls.=94 The guard wit=
hout
his face covered had told us. =93Besides the occasional bear or wolf we kee=
p it
pretty well covered from Central all the way east to Visim Beach.
Westward is a different story, and you=92d be wise not to venture there unt=
il
rightly skilled. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Mutation has moved in =
from Setu Desert,
even the more peaceful animals becoming violent. Giant snakes mutated from =
the
more harmless variety as well as spiders in some of the forest areas. We=92=
re
even getting reports of goblins and sights of members of the resistance, th=
ough
I doubt that they would dare to come this close to Lydel.=94</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">We were given food aro=
und sunset as
most of our endurance was close to empty. I loved the fact that we didn=92t=
have
to sleep to recover our strength, and I already had plans of hunting twenty
four hours a day, grinding as they say, to level up fast. Eating wasn=92t e=
ven
the big hassle that it was in real life, when choosing an item to eat you w=
ent
through almost the same process of putting an item in your pouch. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=A0</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">With the intention of =
eating it
while you=92re moving it towards your mouth it loses its form and becomes t=
he
same blob of static, though much smaller, maybe the size of a cracker. You =
then
put that in your mouth and ate it like you would any food in real life. It
isn=92t as bad as it sounds, the texture is quite easy to handle; being alm=
ost a
total liquid going down without needing to chew, though if you wish you can
imagine it to have certain textures and tastes that you want to imagine fro=
m
foods from real life. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">After swallowing your =
EP is
restored; depending on the item and amount this can also be done through th=
e
console by examining an item of food and clicking on eat(it replaces the eq=
uip
bubble of equipment), which will instantly restore your EP dependant on the
food and amount.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The guards were quite =
generous with
their food, which was consisted entirely of an item called Slice of bread,
which looked just like it sounds; a thin slice of bread cut from a loaf. Ea=
ch
slice was able to be split up in portions or taken whole, each portion
restoring 10 EP, and each Slice containing about three portions. The guards
gave us more then enough to max out our EP for the entire trip, as well as
plenty of extras for our first days in the city.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The moon was fully in =
view when the
guards announced we were nearing Lydel. I had been examining the moon,
wondering if it was anything at all likes the real world=92s and whether or=
not
it was even called the moon. This brought on the thought of the sun and
rotation of Desex in whatever galaxy we were located in in The Game and how
long days really were, or if they even used the same calculation of time.</=
p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">CC confirmed with me t=
hat The Game
does use an Earth calendar, and time is done in the same 24 hour 12 month w=
ay,
and for that purpose Desex is in much the same place as Earth is in relatio=
n to
its sun. She didn=92t go into much detail about the moon though, only sayin=
g that
there has been no exploration or research (or in actuality much interest as
much of Desex is still unexplored by man, including most of the middle cont=
inent
Syllembia and all of the lower one Drandel) and anything about it is unknow=
n.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I could see in the dis=
tance the
city, which stretched from west to east as far as I could see. As we got cl=
oser
I could only see less and less of the actual scope of the city, but still
didn=92t fully comprehend it. A wall much like the wall of Libau (as I woul=
d
learn it is called) ran across the majority of the city, high enough to hid=
e
out any buildings on the opposing side. I saw at least four towers on each =
side
spread out twenty or thirty feet from each other that curved out of the mai=
n
wall down to the ground, and up further then the main wall into buildings
that=92s shape reminded me of a bird house. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">There were entrances o=
n either side
along the wall (which whole top was a walkway behind long and wide stone
protectors shaped like arrow heads) though I could see no way of entering t=
hem
from outside the city.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The towers and the wal=
l itself were
made up of large thick stone, grey in color and as I noticed getting closer
seemed extremely strong and tough. The road we took lead strait to the only
opening in the wall I could see, which was actually an old style draw bridg=
e I
had seen numerous times in movies but never before in person.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Getting closer I notic=
ed the sudden
steep drop thirty or so feet into the moat that led down across the Commonl=
ands
and the walls of the city. It was about the length of the bridge itself acr=
oss and
like the wall I couldn=92t see how long it stretched for, so I just assumed=
as
long as the city.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The guards on foot mad=
e small talk
with each other to my amazement as they signaled guards on the upper walkwa=
y
above the drawbridge to lower it. This small walkway above was guarded even
more then the opposing sides, with the first towers on each side on opposin=
g
ends of the space the drawbridge encompassed.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The whole process only=
took a few
minutes, during which we were informed that we wouldn=92t be able to leave =
the
city walls during nightfall. There wasn=92t much reaction to this, though I=
did
get to hear the annoying voice once more with some complaints. The guard
promptly ignored him telling us when we were adults or stronger we wouldn=
=92t be
restricted. I later learned from CC that =93stronger=94 meant level 50, but=
NPCs
didn=92t know what levels were and would only consider the strength brought=
on by
them.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The guards took us to =
the registry
building, which was attached to the east guard building just past the entra=
nce
towers. Since we all had no parents we were assigned to housing that was
apparently being given out to refugees from the royal family. In actuality
these were The Game=92s Instances zones. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The players apartment =
buildings is
one of the very few places in all the worlds of The Game to have been
instanced, and it works quite simply like any other Instancing that games h=
ave
started to do in the era preceding The Game. It was called lovingly enough,
Olden homes. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">This was found on the =
border of
Central and Western Lydel, located in the
Central suburb of Auldengard, in the old district. The way it worked was we
were each assigned a house in a certain numbered instance, and upon enterin=
g
the homes; which were entered by way of an old wooden fence, you use a boar=
d on
the fence to think of a number, and after walking through it that=92s where
you=92ll be.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It sounded easy enough=
, though it
seemed a hassle to not have numbered houses. I wasn=92t the only one who fe=
lt
this way and for those people who were assigned parents and lived out in th=
e
city, it must have been hell to have people find you (or even find your hou=
se
while still new to the layout of the city) when you can just tell them whic=
h
district you=92re in and have them search door to door for your name. This =
was
later changed so it wasn=92t much of a big deal for too long.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Besides the free housi=
ng we were
also each given one hundred copper coins. These were found in a materialize=
d
even smaller satchel, easily able to fit inside the palm of our hands. We c=
ould
open it up and just see a bunch of them and upon focusing on the bag the nu=
mber
100 would appear, and upon putting them away in our satchels, CC explained =
to
us how it would be displayed.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Money wasn=92t put in =
any bag per
say, but automatically divided up into a numeral value. Underneath the boxe=
s
where the bag icons were were icons of the same coin, next to a silver and =
gold
one. Silver and gold both had 0=92s, while bronze was now at 100. She told =
me
that one thousand bronze coins is equal to one silver coin, while one thous=
and
silver coins are equal to one gold coin. Banks would be able to make the
transfers, as well as hold any money that I don=92t want to carry around wi=
th me,
since it could be lost upon death. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It worked in the same =
way all items
did, you thought of the amount of money you wanted and a small pouch would
materialize with that amount of money in it (assuming you have that much
available). You can also just think of money and take out coins individuall=
y
from the small pouch, but there is really no point to it.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">We checked out our hou=
se after
hazily stumbling around the large city, they were small one room apartments
that lined a back of an alley facing West Lydel on the side of a much more
fancier looking Inn and barley bigger then a cheap hotel room, but at the s=
ame
time somewhat cozy. There was no bathroom, since we never had to do that
anymore and the kitchen wasn=92t a kitchen so much as just a few cabinets t=
hat
would hold some items if we ever didn=92t have room in our bags.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">There were no stoves s=
ince I
wouldn=92t ever need to cook, in fact there were no appliances at all and I=
felt
kind of weird without a computer or TV screen to look at, but figured there=
was
much better things to be doing. I didn=92t plan on spending much time in th=
at
place as I wouldn=92t be sleeping too much and that was the only real reaso=
n to
have to use it (as I found out later banks would be a much safer place to k=
eep
items then there).</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It was long into night=
by the time
we got there, so we didn=92t waste much time. We were tired, not physically=
of
course since we could just restore our fatigue with a piece of bread, but
mentally. The trip had worn us out and the thoughts and talking and excitem=
ent
had taken its toll, so we decided not to do much of anything that night and
just relax.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">;Damon had the bright i=
dea of
getting drunk, hyped up on the promises of no hangovers, figuring it would =
be a
good way to get used to spending our newly earned riches. Unenthusiasticall=
y we
agreed, neither one of us really wanting to drink, but too excited still to
even think about sleeping.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">We didn=92t really wan=
t to wander too
far off and luckily for us there was a bar right across the road from Olden
Homes, comically named The Drunken Horse. This was written sloppily with bl=
ack
paint on a wooden sign attached to a pole resembling a small streetlamp in
front of the building.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I feel the need to det=
ract for a
moment to explain my wording. I say road now because I have become accustom=
ed,
but at that time I would have described it as a street. In actuality there =
were
no streets or sidewalks, in fact there were no changes in the road from
building entrance to the other side. In certain parts of the city, mostly i=
n
Central, there were extra space between rows of buildings to make room for
horses, but in most places the distance was about the length of a street, i=
f
not a little smaller.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">We crossed the road, w=
hich was not
paved like the upper portions of the city, but seemed to be made up of hard=
ened
rock, whitened and formed into long blocks that made up a pretty decent wal=
kway
throughout most of the city. Inside it was fairly crowded with people who
seemed to have the same idea as us. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">The building had two f=
loors, a
shoddy looking staircase leading up to the balcony on the western wall. The=
bar
was on the opposite side of the room with a few men behind taking orders or
serving drinks. Waitresses and one waiter moved throughout the place, carry=
ing
wooden trays of drinks and empty cups. They all wore the same attire, not
really a uniform so much as similar colors and pieces. The men behind the b=
ar
wore half aprons across their white pants.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">It was filled with the=
sound of
everyone talking with each other, and upon entering reminded me of the blas=
t of
sound I usually received when entering the school cafeteria from the quiet
hallways, though maybe not to the same intensity. The wooden walls seemed t=
o
absorb most of the sound in a way instead of reflect and heighten and we we=
re
able to get a nice quiet spot for us when a waitress came over.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">A glass of ale was one=
copper,
while a pitcher was 6; shots of hard alcohol, of which they had many that I=
had
recognized were 5 and they also had specially made drinks, though they didn=
=92t
seem to be too popular when any taste could be made from a simple ale.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">We each tossed in 2 co=
pper to by a
pitcher, and after a few minutes of talking about what we should do tomorro=
w it
arrived. This was the first time I had drank and it is a little embarrassin=
g to
think my first drink wasn=92t actually really alcohol, or a drink at all, b=
ut I
enjoyed it all the same. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>Unlike food
the liquid didn=92t turn to static but we were able to drink it normally ju=
st as
in real life. It didn=92t have any taste like the food and could be changed=
,
though I mostly just kept it tasteless as I usually drank water anyway.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>After two
cups I was beginning to feel a little different, my limbs were feeling loos=
er
and I noticed I was smiling a lot more strongly as we talked about all the
amazing things of The Game. Chris didn=92t drink as much and was just start=
ing on
his second drink when Damon had finished his fourth and we ordered another
pitcher, though I could tell he was feeling it as well.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I wondered
how the metabolism of this was, or if it even was metabolized in the way I =
was
thinking of in the real world. Each examination of the item, whether in the
glass or pitcher displayed an alcohol content, which I didn=92t really know
anything about except that it determined the strength. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>;Damon was
fairly drunk by the time the second pitcher came and he didn=92t seem to st=
op. If
we were actually consuming alcohol I might have worried he could have
overdosed, but then again I wasn=92t too informed on drug use so remained q=
uiet.
He became incoherent after the second pitcher, me only finishing four and a
half cups total. Chris finished three, which had caused some mumbling and
laughing to himself.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>Chris and I
left to wonder around the place, and even went outside exploring the nearby
city in the night. I enjoyed looking up at the stars which like everything =
else
here seemed so beautiful and full of depth. We chased each other around,
drunkenly playing with our sprinting abilities and I even gained a level in
common, which apparently leveled up faster then my main level, to which I w=
as
only about a third of the way through by the time it happened.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>I was
curious to the skill I would get at level three, totally forgetting that I =
was
already told it was back flip and wanted to level it again, though I eventu=
ally
got tired of it. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>We sat with
our backs on the wall of the bar, Chris staring up at the sky and seeming t=
o go
through my same amazement as me, lost in his head. I couldn=92t believe tha=
t so
much had changed. Last week my day consisted of sitting on the computer,
ironically enough reading about this but that was only recently. I never co=
uld
have imagined this possible if I hadn=92t experienced it first hand, keepin=
g my
doubts up until the moment I entered.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span style=3D"">=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0 <=
/span>We
eventually went back into the bar taking a few more drinks and laughing as
Damon danced around half asleep falling over people and chairs. Eventually =
we
were forced to leave but not before my inebriated mind had some more odd
thoughts. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">We stayed pretty much =
to ourselves
the entire night, not really because I was scared=85my petty social phobias=
and
shyness didn=92t seem all that important anymore, but because I had no inte=
rest
in them. I looked around the room examining everyone, how they acted, what =
they
laughed about and for what reasons. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">These were the same pe=
ople who beat
me up in school; they were here just as something to do. These are the peop=
le
who curse and laugh and make fun of NPCs, who only ever thought of this as =
a
fake existence and never really stuck around for that long. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Anyone could easily no=
tice these people,
assuming they weren=92t one of them; they had insane blends of colored hair=
s,
orange and purple with pink highlights and green polka dots with silver
glitter. Their eyes could be anything from cat eyes to total white or
blackness, and some took forms of real life celebrities just for the hell o=
f
it. I=92m not saying that some of these odd choosers didn=92t stick around,=
but
most didn=92t.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">After Damon was thrown=
out we
helped him back into our district (one) and put him to bed. I found out fro=
m CC
that when sleeping or being awake for long enough the alcohol would wear of=
f,
much like the real world. This happened suddenly as I would find out later,=
a
complete shift in awareness from drunk to completely sober. It is surprisin=
g
but not at all unpleasant and there are no lingering effects at all.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I asked a bit more abo=
ut sleep and
learned you can either set a time to sleep, sleep until your EP is full, or
just sleep naturally and wake up much like you would in real life; normally
after a certain amount of time. Of course you could be woken up shorter the=
n
all of this, but the process of going to sleep was as simple as setting it =
up
in the console on the main screen, which was located under the button to ca=
ll
CC, and then close your eyes and think about sleeping. The transition was
instantaneous and you would even dream, though the process of it was more
sentimental then anything else.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">Chris went to his room=
after we
dropped off Duncan, he wanting to sleep it off as well as he told me later =
he
didn=92t particularly enjoy it. I didn=92t mind it, but with all the other =
things
available in The Game it paled in comparison and I didn=92t drink much afte=
r that
night.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">;Determined not to slee=
p, a decision
I made most nights of my early career I decided to try and finish leveling =
up
my common to see what skill I would get. I practiced it around town while
exploring and eventually did just that, though I had to level up my main le=
vel
first before it would rise before making my way back to the apartments to m=
eet
up with Chris.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I learned the skill ex=
actly as CC
said I would upon leveling, which is automatically learnt in the same way t=
he
numbers of switching the communicator are, I felt a sudden feeling to jump
backwards. I did it, after a small duck like one would do before starting t=
o
ski, and flipped around a couple of feet behind me.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I was amazed at this, =
even though
it probably wasn=92t the most graceful thing ever done, but it was the firs=
t time
I had ever done something like that and it seemed to be at the time so natu=
ral
to me that I had known how to do it my entire life and not just learned it =
that
second. Everything seemed to be coming together.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">I opened up my console=
to check my
skills and focused on common. Sure enough Back flip was listed as learned u=
nder
sprint, with the same small obvious description. I checked that my next ski=
ll
would be at level 5. Before closing it I noticed that the icon on the left
highlighted was the character information one, and that the boot had change=
d to
a scroll.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91CC.=92 I thought, a=
s the presence of
her was felt. =91What happened to the skills screen?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91It was removed this=
morning.=92 CC
responded calmly. </p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91What?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91It is stated in the=
patch notes on
the main page.=92 She said. =91When you sleep it will automatically be noti=
fied of
new news messages on the main page, but if you do not sleep then you have t=
o
check it every now and again.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Oh ok=85=92 I thoug=
ht, focusing on the
main page.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=A0</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">August 13, 2005</span></b><b style=3D""><span styl=
e=3D"font-size: 10pt;"></span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">-Quests can now be shared. </span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">-Console Changes:</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">The skills icon will be changed to the
journal icon. Here you can review quests you've been given as well as c=
onversations
with certain NPCs. The skills screen will still be accessible now through
thought or the Character Information screen, by touching any of your skills=
.
The journal section takes over the old NPC tab that was located in the soci=
al
section, among its other features, and the NPC tab will now be replaced wit=
h
the Map Tab in social.</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;"><b style=3D""><span st=
yle=3D"font-size: 10pt;">=A0</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91About my leveling..=
.=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Yes?=92</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91I thought practicin=
g skills didn=92t
raise my main level?=92 I asked, a sober brain realizing what I had learned=
and
forgotten.</p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" style=3D"text-indent: 0.5in;">=91Common is the only =
skill that gives
general experience; though after the first few raises it will not even be
noticeable. It also gives slightly more experience to main level when its l=
evel
is maxed to help with new players who don=92t go the adventure route, or do=
n=92t
know how yet.=92 I didn=92t say goodbye to CC, a process I felt weird with =
at first
but neither her nor I seemed to mind in the long run, as I closed the door =
in
my mind happy with the information I had gotten, making my way back to meet
with Chris. </p>


--000e0cd32e6e3fb614048d92336a--

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