Subject 15: Ch 22

Subject 15: Legend of the Bai, book 2 by Chapel Orahamm, ring with green glow and tentacles against storm

“You want me to believe this djinn newb has never played in a gear before? At that level?” A built half-orc woman looked the party up and down.

“He works out on the regular. You run a gym, Marjorta. You know how this goes for Black Parrot patrons.” Ishan pulled a tankard of ail out of his inventory and set it in front of the woman.

“You’ve already maxed my friendship meter, Bostock. Fine. Let’s see what RedKing can do.” The woman slipped the tankard into her inventory and led Fane and the rest of the party out of the Black Parrot’s guild hall.

“Know how a nerve gear works?” Marjorta walked Fane into a forest a short distance outside of the town.

“Connected up to my nerve endings. It’s kinda in the name.” Fane studied his surroundings in an effort to orient to monsters he knew should start showing up with this kind of environment.

“Pretty much. So, if you work out, you can get some serious levels going. But if you’re a bodybuilder, you ain’t gonna have the same speed stat as a runner. You’ll max your strength on that. Some people can come in having high levels and be quadriplegic. Wanna know what they tend to class in?”

Fane nodded.

“Sorcery and necromancy. Your intelligence can also reflect in your levels. Now, you’re a bard class Lamp Sleeper. Means most of your distribution is spread across simple weapons, light armour, charisma, acrobatics, dex, and knowledge. What do you do, dance? You look built for it.”

“No, never danced. Not that I know of unless you count going to some bars. That’s not like knowing waltz or anything like that.” Fane shook his head.

“Well, the gear chose bard for a reason. Let’s find out why.” Marjorta pointed to the woods to their left. Out burst a series of four blue, firey wolves several times their size.

“Devil Lord Dogs! Oh crap, I’m out.” Shelly’s avatar vanished.

“Same, I’ll watch on an obs-screen. Marmar, tell me when to come back in.” Ishan ditched.

“Larimda, get your butt out of here. You might be close to my level, but remember, those are exponential levels. You will eat dirt in half a second.” Marjorta directed Ajay out and his character vanished with a frowning emoji left floating in the field.

“Wait, how am I supposed to draw a weapon again?” Fane panicked.

Ishan’s hand in the real world touched Fane’s lower back where he regularly kept his sheath. “Reach to your back. The glove will generate the weight.”

“Right. ‘K.” Fane did as he was told and mimicked how he would regularly draw a back blade. The weight generated and the disparity between reality and the game world shattered.

“I have range in this thing right?” he checked once the blade was in his hand.

“You do now. Larimda and I are on the outside of the room near the kitchen. Couch is behind you by a good twenty feet, so you’ve got room to work.” Ishan reassured him. “We’ve got your obs-screen pulled up on the projector, so we can see what you see on the wall.”

“Neat. Keep me from breaking a window.” Fane instructed and slipped his perception into the world of Carmadoon in full. Three quick jabs, a duck and sweep, a right hook and a knee into the jaw had three of the four Devil Lord Dogs evaporating into a glittering mist while Marjorta struggled with the last one.

“Newb. You’re a damn bard. Where’s the moral support?” The woman grouched.

“Go team go, ra ra ra!” He stepped in and snapped the wolf’s neck before it could tear off Marjorta’s arm. “That enough moral for you?”

“Kid. You know how to dance. That’s why the nerve gear chose bard.”

“I will promise up and down I don’t know how to dance. Taken some martial arts. I practice a bit of gymnastics as a form of stretching and I work out regularly. That’s all.” Fane tried to brush it off. A loud crash from behind had him spinning, crouching low. An army of goblins spilt through the trees.

“You’d be a monk if the nerve gear believed martial arts for a hot minute, punk.” Marjorta pulled a pair of long blades from her back to ready for the incoming hoard.

A spell came to mind that had sounded interesting. “Fall.” Fane whispered. Goblins evaporated in a fifteen-foot radius around him.

“Hey, Ajay, go turn the AC down. It got cold.” Ishan said outside of Fane’s range. “Woah, what’d he do?”

“Words of Power?” Ajay guessed. “Here, a jacket. Thermostat says it’s set to your preferred temp, but it’s reading twenty points under it. Don’t know what happened. Not like we get cold spells here. How’s he doing?”

Fane slipped forward through the evaporating goblin hoard toward a bone-crowned goblin king. “You two are weird when I’m in here. It feels kinda like I’ve got ghosts following me around. Anyways, how do I get the crown from this guy? It’s cool.”

“Some monsters drop stuff like that. Some don’t. You’ll just have to see.” Shelly chimed in.

“Drops? Oh, are those the things that keep making my inventory beep in my ear every time I walk through these creatures?” Fane crouched, activating sneak.

“Yeah. You’ve probably got some pretty cool stuff in there with all those high-level mobs you’re going through. You can sell off a bunch of it, or craft it and sell that stuff to buy some really epic things at the markets.” Ishan supplied.

“I’ll have you show me how to, oh, I have to be quiet here. It says he can detect me,” Fane whispered, crouching further.

Ishan and Ajay quieted, letting him concentrate. The movement coming out of the crouch caught them off guard. Using his hand on the floor he twisted, squarely planting a foot into the creature’s jaw. Pushing up, he vaulted into the air over the creature’s head and wrapped a rope across its throat. The goblin king broke into a shower of gold, dropping its crown. “Haha! My crown.” Fane proclaimed, holding the ornate bone crown up in victory.

“What’s it called?” Ishan asked.

“How do you check. Oh, here’s an arrow. Uh, Zero Blade Bone Crown of the Mystic King? That’s a mouth full, who the hell let development come up with these? It says it has a higher sneak skill to it, cloak of darkness, level 100?” Fane squatted onto his heels to activate hide and keep more creatures from chasing him for a minute.

“Put that thing on RK. That’ll seriously help.” Ishan demanded. “Hey, Marjorta, can we come back in?”

The half-orc woman’s body floated off in the end of the glade, flickering.

“Oops. Here, RK, take out your potion. Your other hand. Go pour it over Marjorta, and that should reconnect her mic and cure her avatar.” Ajay instructed.

“Gotcha.” Fane jumped frames and did as he was told, healing Marjorta.

“Alright, RedKing,” Marjorta dusted herself off when she regained character consciousness, “you’re in. You’ll manage without me there, clearly. Bostock, why’d you bring him in again?”

“I wanted see him take down the Three Hills Gold Dragon.” Ishan explained when his avatar popped back into the forest side of the glade.

“You’re wanting to open up the Wailing Winds section of the map?” Marjorta exclaimed.

“I think he can do it.” Ishan pressed.

“I mean, I’m not going to doubt he probably can, but he still can’t open his inventory successfully every time. You want to put him up against a raid boss, and he can’t pull a potion yet?”

“Alright, I see what you mean.” Ishan conceded.

“Get him a few more hours and maybe a couple dungeons before we do a raid. We’ll have a standing invite waiting for him, and we’ll get a raid back up. Sound good for you?”

“Yeah, I think we can make that happen. The alarm went off for midnight here.” Ajay shook Marjorta’s hand and logged out.

“Thank you for your help.” Fane shook her hand and waited for Ishan to explain how to log out to the apartment.

“RedKingsRightHand, you’re kinda epic in there,” Ishan smirked, a chuckle lifting the mood finally.

“That was fun. Thank you.”

“Yeah. I had fun. Even if I couldn’t show you my wicked wizarding spells, I’d say that was great fun.” Ishan pulled off his gloves and collapsed on the couch.

“As it is, Mr Orlov, and it was fun, so don’t get me wrong, but I can’t keep my eyes open. Just the mention of that alarm’s already got a list of to-dos a mile long going through my head and I need to get up in four hours to conduct make-up drills for the guys who missed today’s physical. Ajay’s here already, so I’m going to wish you a good night and head back for my room.” Fane set away the helmet, gloves, and booties into their home in the cabinet.

“Good night!” Ishan and Ajay waved.

Fane headed back to his room, a smile splashed across his face. I like that thing. A bit disorienting at first, but I can see why the guys on base kept telling me to try it.

Chapel Orahamm (C) 2022-2023. All Rights Reserved.

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