Spirit of the Gamer
Hey everyone! Now once in awhile a thing comes a long, a show, book or even a comic. It offers its reader this brand new spanking idea. The Gamer is one such thing. I read it from start to current and I crave more. The idea and the ideas it throws out appeals to me on so many levels. I highly recommend it, not for a reference for this story but for the fact the story is fantastic. Anyway more info at the end, just my thoughts and things. Nothing important and welcome to skip over it.
Nene turned the corner, her red rimmed eyes already scuttling over various corners, door frames and dark shadows of the hallway It was her second and last round of the building and she was looking forward to going home. Her small box sized flat was better than sticking around here. Sweeping her frame down a flight stairs with a bucket and her phone in hand. The building administrator charged her a 1000 yen a pop for a new pack of batteries for the torch they were supplied, she could always buy her own but why bother? The flashlight in her supply office drained batteries like she drained wine. Fast and annoyingly expensive.
Her phone wasn't as bright but it was rechargeable. It had apps for this kinda thing, it was a damn useful age she lived in. Small victories in this job meant another good meal for the month. While she stalked like a grizzled security guard she was far from it. In truth Nene was only a late time cleaner, hired to make the place look acceptable in the daylight. The darkness was creepy but she had cleaned in worse places and she was use to it. She had only turned the lights off 5 minutes before so it wasn't like anyone had time to sneak in. Standard procedure to her but the walkout was not fun. Being a cleaner was a low risk job usually. So she wasn't worried.
Not that meant she couldn't wallop a punk that had dared to break in with her bucket. It's happened before and it'll happen again, mark her words. Her light flashed over a set of double doors. She could search the room but Nene could see quite clearly through the glass windows of the door. Quiet, empty and clean. On her first round, she found the usual cans and gum under tables, plus a shoe. She wasn't surprised to be honest. Waving a yawn away she moved towards the stair. Time to go home.
"Thank God." she muttered. Her pseudo flashlight left the doors and vanished down the stairs. The doors she left behind stayed firmly closed.
The room was still. It's usual occupations were long retired home. All lights and electronics were turned off for the night. The windows only offered gentle lights of passing cars and street lamps which created long thin strips of lit carpet before it dissolved back into darkness. The stillness of the room had an eerie quality, of lack of life. Nothing larger than insects moved in the shadows. Within 12 hours the room would be lit up, filled with a modest amount of people and occupied once more. But the sun was some time away and the heavenly body of the moon shone her white light on the grounds. It was time.
From the ceiling a scratching sound bore in into the stillness dispelling the tranquil emptiness. In the far corner farthest from the entrance of the room, a maintenance panel lifted and disappeared into the blackness of the ceilings interior. For a few seconds nothing else moved. Then from the hole emerged a head.
In a bright room the head would be called average save for the blackness of his hair, paleness of skin and the distinct jaw that display one or more foreign parent. He would stand out from a crowd of dull looking office workers but in a public high school he would be a leaf among bushes if one ignored his clothes. The head, currently upside down, scanned the room, taking in the windows and a blinking red device attached to the rooms door.
The head vanished back into the crawl space inside, with enough room to walk crouched. A rope sloped its way down the air until it brushed the grey carpet. A person snaked his way down behind the rope and gingerly put one foot on the ground before freezing. Hearing no alarms or obvious security measures he straightened up. Baggy grey jogging pants sagged over filthy old trainers that had been rescued from the river. The t-shirt was much cleaner, if a size too big, pilfered from a spare collection he found in the next building over. A wrinkled black hoodie covered his body. The hood was drawn back simply because it wasn't needed and he couldn't see with it either.
The figure paused, looking over the shelves of the room. Books upon books sat, crisp and organised. All shapes and sizes, colours exploded near the fiction section but the white and black covers of non fiction section drew him. His finger reached out and stroked spines of books as he trailed past several topics before stopping. His eyes, blue of some shade or other, went back and forth before he snatched two books from the shelf.
Looking at them he tucked them into his oversized trousers. Turning back He grabbed the rope and pulled to make sure the pipe above wasn't going to break over him. He hopped and pulled with both hands and hung there before his hands burned and he dropped back down with a thump. The boy flipped and stood, looking at the door of the room.
No one came running from the shadows to grab him or arrest him. Taking a deep breath he turned back to the rope with a glare. He grabbed the rope and tried to hoist himself back up, he got one hand up before his other lost grip and he had to let go. Biting his tongue he fought back a curse as a ping noise suddenly echoed through the room. Then a box slid into view in front of the boy, glowing bright blue in the dark. It was rectangle and it was glowing softly. The boy twitched, having almost gotten used to the existence of the box. It was written in bright bold words for him to read with ease.
"A skill has been created through a special action!"
He looked blankly at the box. Another box with more words replaced the previous box. It was identical in almost every way.
"Use your strength to pull yourself higher, [Rope Climbing] has been created."
"[Rope Climbing] (Passive) Lv3 EXP 0.0%
Climb Ropes with more ease by 5%.
Can also include chains, vines and other rope climbable objects.
Every 5 STR will increase the skill by 1
Every 5 DEX will increase the skill by 1"
The boy stared the waved his had dismissing the screen. He reached out to the rope and held it for a few seconds then reached up, he pulled himself up with much greater distance than his previous attempts, he reached the top and pulled himself in. As he sat on the edge, a window pinged into existence.
"[Rope Climbing] has increased one level"
"Awesome" he said with a sigh and sealed the panel back into place before moving away towards the edge of the building.
My name was Conrad Stuart. Born 1990 in the United Kingdoms. I was suppose to be 24 and still currently in the UK. But I was not. There's also a good chance I will never be again.
In the simplest way possible. I died. In a house fire, I remembered from the smoke and wailing sirens but details are blurry, it was a chaotic way to die. You don't really get the life flashes before your eyes thing if you don't know you're going to die and the smoke usually kills way before any flames lick at you.
But why was I here? I can accept that I died but people go somewhere when they die. Everyone said so, it was a common hope from many ideas and people around the world. Japan wasn't where I expected to go, not in my top 100 list even. But I could handle it, maybe that's what happened to all spirits in the world. Who was I to criticise a system I was barely in for a day?
But the point stood that you remained dead. Not alive and not 15 and definitely not hungry.
I knew I was alive because I needed to eat, waste, sleep, breathe and dead people should not have these itches right?
This whole thing could be a coma dream I reckoned. I could have survived the fire. Lived, made it to a hospital and covered in burns with unrecoverable damage. I had to ponder if it was risky enough waking up then if my body decided I was better off here. I also pondered the idea of hell. But if Japan was hell then it was kinda underwhelming. The heat was a pain, the customs and people were weird but not hellish. That made me ponder the third option. I was alive. And I was in Japan. Logic says it wasn't possible but I'm sure I left that behind with my older cremated body.
Now if anyone says the only experience they have of Japan is through animé and video games, you can accept it and move on. Sad but not unreasonable. But if they say the only experience they need for Japan is from the same sources, you pity them. I woke up on a rooftop of an office building in the centre of Karakura Town. Alone. Slightly warm. Nothing hurt, or burned. Nothing set off alarm bells in my head despite not knowing where I was. Even my eyebrows seemed grown in and unburned.
The city was no metropolis that could take over Tokyo in population numbers, not even close, but the city had depth and everything seemed packed together so tightly I was amazed life could hustle and bustle on the streets without clogging. And it lived. From the rooftop I woke up in, the streets spoke with hundreds of thousands of voices. I was only 12 floors up I guessed, using a neighbouring build to equal myself to the ground, but the voices of crowds carried, cars hooted and beeped against the wave of life that rushed over roads.
I backed away, looking for landmarks, signs or anything to ground me onto a place on earth and not some alien hologram or demonic illusion . But as I glanced around, everything my eyes touched was in Japanese. I didn't know a split of the language. Not without offending someone. I wanted to scream or panic, nothing made sense. I need to find out where I was and how. But I felt an uneasy feeling of calmness over me. Then it appeared, right in front of my face. With a loud ping.
A blue box.
It scare me senseless and I landed hard on my backside. It hovered where it appeared. Slowly I stood and looked at it. It was a message box.
"[Rest outside without camping gear. HP and MP have been restored by 10%]"
I gawked at it unashamed. The words were at least in English. But the words themselves rocketed around inside my head. Questions powered their momentum. I knew the words. I had read The Gamer, a story about a boy whose live had became a video game. It was one a few thousand fantasy worlds I used to entertain myself. It was unfinished but it was making great progress and I enjoyed it. I also knew that the main character was bound and ruled by rules of video games. As broken and bendable as they were.
It was unmatchable if applied correctly but who knows where the comics would have taken it. I was diverting. I focused on the box when it faded out of sight. I swallowed hard. Could it be? I thought about various methods of defuncting its existence or... proving it. I cleared my throat.
"Status" I started again. My normal solid voice was gone. And in its place was the young quaky voice. I breathed. Ignore, deflect for now. Focus on the important thing. The thing, was a window. It was a staple clone of any RPG character status window. Name, title, job titles, empty for now and below that...
Level 1. I looked at it and breathed slowly. Instead of nitpicking I eyed the whole window.
Exp needed to level: 100%
Points to spend:3
No buffs activated
No conditions applied
No bonus granted
My tongue didn't seem glued to my mouth so I whistled as I looked down the Status window. I tapped the red x in the corner and the window closed. I spoke my next word with more hesitance, my memory of exact key words or phrase wasn't 100%.
Again a window popped into the air silently. No ping accompanied it, so no alerts for on purpose windows then. Only two skills existed. And they were exactly as I remembered. Gamer's Mind and Gamer's Body. The descriptions ran very much akin to what I could pull from my brain.
"[Gamer's Mind](Passive) LvMax
Allows the user to calmly and logically think things through. Allows for peaceful state of mind. Immunity to psychological status effect."
"[Gamer's Body](Passive) LvMax
Grants a body that allows for the user to live the real world like a game. Sleeping in a bed restores HP, MP and all status effects.
Hence waking up on a gravel roof only netted me 10% benefit. I also realised that I was not freaking out because of my shiny new passive. It basically stopped me from shaking in terror or acting enraged or any emotion that would dictate my actions. It kinda worried me. How much did it affect me? Could I be a developing psycho in the making? No emotions, no empathy. That was not good. The Main character didn't seem affected but him and I were two rather different people.
I thought of puppies in the cold and alone. Of funerals I had attended to. Of children born with death looming over them with all kinds of cancers or diseases. Yup, that sucks and made me feel really down. But any feeling is good. I wasn't a man-bot. Those worries could be set aside.
I need to know where I was and how to get get home if I could, if it was possible. I need space and 4 walls to let me think about what I should do about my... power. In the wrong hands a greater good philosophy made saints kill and sinners fly. Need time to think on that. This place offered me enough until someone spotted me.
I walked the edge of the roof, noticing I had only black sport shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt on, no shoes or socks. What I was wearing to bed before I died. On the last wall I had to examine I found two metal handles hooked on to the white concrete. A ladder. I peered over. My meagre 5 luck was holding out. I could've walked past this or been spotted by now. The ladder lead down to a generic black fire escape. The metal wasn't rusted but wasn't new. It covered each floor in a zigzag pattern, like a black scar running its way on the side of the building. I just wanted to climb down and scamper to the ground with more space. But I held back at the last second. 4 floors down, a window opened, white smoke breathed out. A cig break. I could have been caught. I waited, knowing the worker was there, seeing his button cuffs and white shirt. He didn't know that I was there. A few seconds passed before out of the blue. Another blue window popped up.
"A skill has been created through a special action"
I exhaled shakily as the window had taken me by surprise. Thinking logically was a good passive, but it didn't make you immune to jump scares. The smoker didn't hear me as he shut the window and if his boss was lucky, went back to work. I turned back to the notification. It had been replaced.
"Become one with the shadows, even if there are none. [Stealth] has been created"
[Stealth](Passive)Lv1 EXP 0.0%
With the intention of hiding from danger or people, the user can crouch and remain still for 6 seconds, allowing the user to become harder to see or spot. Effect increases in dark areas or naturally hard to see environments.
Increases hiding ability by 10%
Increase Lv to allow hiding faster and to be more effective.
[Stealth] will only block sound or sight of user from foes. Scents and non sight or magical methods of detecting will break through.
User cannot walk, crawl or run without breaking [Stealth].
I re-read it the skill again to make sure I got the information correct. An invisible clocking skill that wouldn't let me move but could hide me totally in daylight if I level it up. But only sights and sounds. I sighed, it wasn't the best ability to get right now. Most likely only worked when I could see someone and they couldn't see me and it was risky for me if they did. It might kick in when I slept. Good safety measure actually. But look at a bed and see a lump, doesn't matter if you can't see what makes the lump, logic makes you think someone is in the bed.
Looking back down I double checked all the windows I could see were closed, all small rectangles of dirty glass. None were budging, no people were opening or climbing out for them to have a quick fix of the nicotine variety. If I reached the bottom the ally ran straight on to a main street. Not the best place to be with no shoes but it was hot, I could pass as a travelling tourist, unprepared for the heat.
Another window popped up with a ping. I swatted at it in surprise, accidentally closed it before I could read it. I swallowed, please be a skill, I don't how to summon a message history or if there was one. What if it was a message about where I was or if it was trying to warn me I was dying or anything.
The menu popped open and I could see straight away my new stealth skill. It had an image of a man hiding behind a crate in shadows. The second however...
An eye stared back at me. I fought a grin, perhaps the most useful skill in the Gamer comic.
Allows the user to obtain information on the target. The higher the level the more information gathered.
I closed the window. I look around for something to lock on to. Nothing appeared. Turning back to the ladder I look at it.
A window popped open in front of me.
"A ladder. You climb it" I paused, looking straight down
"Observe" Another window.
"A building. You go inside it, not on top of it"
Maybe if I level it up maybe it will stop being so sarcastic, for the hell of it I cast my eyes of the city.
"Observe" Maybe I could get a translation or something.
"Karakura Town. Mild ghost class-hollow threat"
The name would have flown over my head, due to not hearing it out loud or thinking it was important enough to memorise it. Hollows. They didn't fly over me. I looked around again. I swallowed out of nervous habit.
Hollows, combined with term ghost. It meant white masks, black robes, swords, death, plots, corruption, manipulations on a dimensional scale. I was being dipped into the world of Bleach. I was unsurprisingly... okay with it. I breathed and I dealt with it. Gamer's Mind relaxed my stressed thoughts away, like a janitor in my mind, mopping up spills. But it also made me feel a little better.
Aizen, the big bad, as far as I had read... no wait, Quincy and crap started happening after him... But Aizen came first, strong as hell, tons of fucking magic, army of psychos, mind sharper than the sword he carried and a god marble adding finishing touches to his master plan. But what really made Aizen scary to the people of this world once they knew his ability? Hypnotism, the fact he can snare you and you won't know a thing. Aizen can make heaven, hell and limbo dance in front of you with a whim and make you question everything. And attack yourself in the worst ways possible. Normally.
But as the Gamer's Mind said.
"... Allows peaceful state of mind. Immunity to psychological status effect."
I was immune to Aizen's Shikai. Possibly. Perhaps. I hoed so, self delusion was no better.
"Observe level up!"
"Due to deep thinking and rational analysis of the enemy you have gained 1 wisdom"
I sat on the edge of the building, watching life go on. I smiled.
If his ability truly messed with the senses and the mind, I had the possibility to negate it. But even if it didn't, as long I was under his spell I would develop a skill to block it wouldn't I?
I could beat Aizen in that regard. If could learn Japanese in time.
Now to survive his swordsmanship, Kido, Hollow army, the two captain minions, his traps, his shikai (if it did affect me), his transformed forms, his Bankai and so on.
I am screwed 5 ways from Sunday. Not dead, just screwed.
End of chapter 1
Hope you guys liked, and any criticism feel free, I am going to need a lot to keep some abilities in line plus having you guys keep me in check with the OP warnings is gonna help! More stories like this is always good!
20/05/15 *minor fixes.
Much thanks to Ibilliss