Writers block? And Chapter 25

So despite finishing up most, but not all, of my pre-winter chores, reducing a lot of my chronic pain, and slowly having more free time…I’m still having trouble finishing chapter 25. I removed parts I didn’t like, tried to rewrite, but end up staring at the screen.

So, I’ve decided to release a few more paragraphs than the previous Preview post.

I’m going to try and break past the writing block by writing everything that comes into my head and hope that helps. Mostly it should be the ‘A Man Climbs’ book I’ve had in my head for 2 years now, but any short story or other idea that comes along will also be used to break this logjam.

Here’s the link, there’s not much new though:

Chapter 25 preview

I wasn’t able to finish the Chapter so about 1/3 to 1/2 of it is out as a preview. I’ve disabled comments on it since i’ll delete the preview when I’m fully done, but you can comment on here instead.


Also, as I mentioned I’m switching over to a slightly different system behind the scenes so that ate up a lot of time and will eat up more. The benefit should be faster loading times on the main page, less data usage on mobile, and better movement between chapters when finished.


Hi, after a long hiatus due to many small, a few big, and many more silly, issues I’m almost back. I just came down the a weak flu on Sunday and have to take Nilla to get her last stitches removed tomorrow then provided no new fun events I’ll be writing again regularly.

I’m also looking at testing a few new themes out along with working on a new cover image for the 46 Year Old Syndrome series.

And finally the way I post chapters will change. I’ll write a small post with a link to the chapter so that the front page isn’t so full of walls of text.

Thanks for your patience, it’s been 6 months of ups, downs, and sideways spins.


24) Streaking for the win.

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

I woke up a few times from the pain but managed to get back to sleep, and eventually got up at noon.

It was kind of hard to guess how developed my toes were. They looked not quite full grown but who the hell memorizes how big their toes are? I took a guess that they were 3/4 grown based on how the left ones compared to the right ones.

The other injuries, even the inch deep gouges, were long healed and fresh skin covered the previous deep wounds. Presumably the toes took longer because bone and nerves had to be regrown along with muscles, blood vessels and skin.

It had taken roughly 24 hours to regrow the toes to 3/4 size. That meant I should be able to go hunting around 8pm, after dark, with little or no issues.

The first question was should I try and train something even if it puts me back a few hours. The second was what should I train if I do.

Both questions were easy to answer. I had no particular need to rush out right away, and while the rocks were a good non-lethal long distance attack it would be best to have some kind of short ranged attack.

The {Throwing} skill was excellent since ammunition was everywhere and it was a lot easier to ditch than a weapon. But pulling back my arm to throw at close range left my body open, especially if I stood still to increase accuracy.

I still had no clue how to use my KI and MP but the fact that my power seemed to be responding to my intentions as my willpower and focus increased gave me some confidence. I couldn’t feel either my KI or M
P, but if I could clearly ‘communicate’ with my power I should get some result.

I took Nilla out and made breakfast as I pondered which made more sense to try for.

Magic seemed like it would be harder to focus on one intention. When I started to review all the different systems of magic I’d seen in games, novels, and manga, I was past 50 different types before I even got started. Just the paper RPG game novels I’d read as a kid had a dozen different systems alone.

KI seemed a bit easier to distinguish. While every Xianxia or similar system was different they usually had meridians and dantians.

While I couldn’t ‘look inside’ me like every cultivator seemed to, I did have KI and my power seemed extremely flexible.

So I sat at my desk, browsed a bit about meridians and dantians and wrote out by hand a fairly common system to clarify my intentions and focus my willpower. I pictured the dantian as storing power while meridians stretched out from it, like a combination of artieries and veins, to the surface of my skin. They would carry power from the dantian and distribute it to my body while also letting power from outside flow in.

That seemed a bit weird but was the clearest image I could make and clarity seemed much more important after the example of creating the Inventory Window and other things this last month.

By 1:30pm I had a rewritten it in short point form on a piece of notepaper along with a simple drawing of a human with meridians and a dantian at the stomach.

The next step was to sit crosslegged on my bed, settle Nilla so she wouldn’t distract me, then review my notes a few times.

Closing my eyes I started imagining absorbing energy from outside my body through lines running from the surface of my skin to my dantian. I imagined it filling the dantian then flowing back under control through my meridians to reinforce my muscles, tendons, and skin.

I slowly lost track of my surroundings as my willpower focused deeper on the task.


Due to your actions you have gained an Ability.
The ability {Super Ultra Mega Fantastically Weak KI Reinforcement} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.1%, has been created.

It wasn’t the first time I thought my power was sentient and fucking with me. After I’d gained {Night Vision} yesterday at least partly so that I could see how far along {Regeneration} was I now gained another ability.

I didn’t feel like commenting on the name but I was fairly happy I’d learned how to evolve skills. I’m pretty sure as my feelings about that name got stronger it would evolve to a more serious name.

I didn’t want to say the help with that name out loud so I put that aside for later. I still wasn’t able to seee inside myself or watch some weird energy flow around but I could feel a subtle energy inside. A quick experiment of imagining it flowing towards my hand seemed to have a response. The problem was that it was so weak I couldn’t quite be sure it wasn’t my imagination.

It was already a bit past 7pm, over 5 hours had flown by during the trance I sunk into.

I threw the hoodie and a load of other clothes into the washer. I wanted it cleaned so I could use it again tonight. It was a bit damaged but still the damage shouldn’t be noticeable at night.

My toes seemed a bit behind schedule but not much. After pulling out a measuring tape they seemed to be roughly 9/10ths of my right toes. 11pm seemed a reasonable new deadline.

As soon as 11pm came by I’d be able to go out and search for them while practicing skills.

“Help Skills Window”

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 60.3%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 18.5%.
{Decrease Mental Presence} (Grandmaster, Passive) EXP: 0.9%
{Dodging} (Novice, Active) EXP: 38.4%.
{Hiding} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 75.2%.
{Identification} (Novice, Active) EXP: 7.8%.
{Increase Mental Sensing} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 3.1%
{Jumping} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 61.2%.
{Knife Fighting} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 2.7%.
{Mapping} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 88.6%.
{Memorization} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 91.5%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Master, Passive) EXP: 72.8%.
{Running} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 99.9%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Master, Passive) EXP: 62.7%.
{Sneaking} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 51.4%.
{Swimming} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 76.3%.
{Throwing} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 98.2%
{Unarmed Throws} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.0%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 38.5%.
{Will Crafting} (Novice, Active) EXP: 86.3%

The obvious quick stat benefits would be from leveling up {Running}, {Mapping}, {Memorization}, {Throwing}, and {Will Crafting}. All 5 skills were close to leveling up and with a bit of planning I could likely level them within an hour after my toes were healed.

The next thing was my abilities. {Night Vision} should level just from using it while out walking. {KI Reinforcement} might be a bit tricky but it’s not like I had to call it’s name out loud to use it.

And last was my Resistances. I still had a ton of stuff for grinding Poison Resistance in my inventory space, along with lighters for Fire Resistance. I had plans for Light and Sleep, but Light would have to wait for the weekend. Sleep should be possible to unlock tonight if I stayed up late. Last was the thought that KI Resistance was within reach at least in theory. If I could get a firm understanding of {KI Reinforcement} then some kind of KI projection should be possible, and grinding a Resistance to it also possible.

The other skill I really wanted to grind was {Sense Bloodlust}. The range on that was very large and gave me a lot more safety when dealing with people without Resonance like police. Or when dealing with psychics or others who could reduce their Resonance range like I could.

To grind {Sense Bloodlust} fast at the Master level though I needed to be close to a few people with strong bloodlust directed at me, or near a large number of people with bloodlust in general.

I started trying to sort through ideas for that when I was interupted by a window.

A quest has been created.
Jailbreak ver 2!
You quest is to stop the Jailbreak between 1am and 4am Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015.
1500 EXP, +3 to all Basic Stats for stopping the jailbreak.
Possible death.
You cannot refuse this quest.

The rewards were definitely pumped up this time and the wording was slightly different. I had to assume the difficulty or danger of the quest was harder than previous ones too.

The thought popped into my head that being in jail was likely a perfect way to grind {Sense Bloodlust}. Not that I was going to allow that, but having a lot of people angry people around me would work.

That lead to thoughts of sports games. Being at a Blue Jay game or Maple Leafs game when they are losing in front of thousands and thousands of fans would likely grind {Sense Bloodlust} up to Demi-god level, fast.

The biggest games in town were the local team for the Ontario Hockey league. Next largest was likely University or College basketball or high school football.

A few minutes browsing the internet showed various university teams playing games, but more importantly the opening game for the hockey season was Wednesday night. It should be an opportunity to grind some Ice Resistance too if I dressed lightly.

I took Nilla out again and let her run around in dark along the driveway for a while while I sat on the pavement and played a bit of catch with her. I’d been concentrated so much on my RPG Growth power the last few weeks that while I took care of her basic needs I hadn’t played much with her. The last day and a half of recovering was the first really long time we’d spent together without grinding some skill or ability.

By the time we were done it was 11pm and I had time to eat, shower, and finish the laundry before heading out.


At 12am I examined my toes. They seemed full size and while the skin was slightly tender all the pain was gone.

I redressed in slightly warm but clean clothes with the hoodie last. Nilla’s food and water was topped up and then I was off.

Stepping outside felt good. {Night Vision} was activated immediately. I tried activating {KI Reinforcement} and imagining KI energy flowing through my feet into my toes. It was tough to be sure but it seemed to have activated.

Next was {Will Crafting} as I went down my front steps. I infused Fire Resistance into my hoodie, pants, and finally shoes. The result was immediate upon the {Will Crafting} on my pants.

Through use of the skill {Will Crafting} it has reached Beginner level.
{Will Crafting} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 7.2%.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 50 EXP.

The small windows over my clothes said +10% Fire Resistance for a cost of 1 Psi per min per piece of clothing. Which seemed fairly low but not something I’d quibble about.

I then opened my map and set out running for the mall. I was planning on searching an escape route this time. This time I wanted to take an almost direct route west along the rail line back to the bush near my place.


Forty-five minute later I was pretty much done mapping trails behind the mall after leveling up {Running}, {Mapping}, and {Memorization}, which were all close to leveling before. The stat gains were a welcome bonus after having to sacrifice stats the other night.

Along the eastern edge of the mall ran a railway line. The line ran northeast and also southwest across the highway into the woods. I’d used it weeks ago to train but now it was my planned escape path.

North of the railway line and mall, but south of the jail, was some light woods and several winding streets. A number of trails lead through people’s backyards to the mall, likely made by kids and others who didn’t care about trespassing and didn’t want to go the long way to the mall.

I had never walked the trails before so using {Memorization} and {Mapping} to plan a few routes ahead of time while I waited seemed wise. During the previous jailbreak quest I ended up escaping the long way around, and the other day’s escape straight into the lake was even worse.

Grabbing a pinecones off the ground to finish leveling {Throwing} as I walked was also a critical part of the plan. It was at 98.2% before I started throwing them at various targets like a particular branch or stump.

I wanted to test a theory that I’d gain EXP faster in the skill by picking less aerodynamic ammunition, and trying things like bank shots off one target onto another.

It was really hard to tell though since I hadn’t worked out an estimate of how fast normal throwing leveled. The idea seemed sound though, similar to how practicing bank shots improved a persons game in pool.

In the end I leveled up {Throwing} a bit after 1am. Leveling up so many skills in just over an hour gave me a light headache, nothing like the crippling pain that happened back when my Mental Stamina was extremely low.

“Help Throwing”

Novice – Throwing is 5% less tiring. Helps the Hand-Eye stat in improving accuracy.
Beginner – Throwing is 10% less tiring. Helps the Hand-Eye stat in improving accuracy.
Intermediate – Throwing is 15% less tiring. Helps the Hand-Eye stat in improving accuracy.
Advanced – Throwing is 20% less tiring. Helps the Hand-Eye stat in improving accuracy.
Master – Throwing is 25% less tiring. Helps the Hand-Eye stat in improving accuracy.
Grandmaster – Throwing is 30% less tiring. Helps the Hand-Eye stat in improving accuracy. Can slightly change trajectories in midair. Requires 20 Willpower to enforce upon the world.

The help for {Throwing} up to now had been terribly boring and predictable. But after reaching Master I could see the help on the Grandmaster level. And that seemed to be a very nice upgrade.

The image that immediately came to mind was someone jumping up to avoid a rock and me curving it slightly up to hit them in the nuts.

I was more than a bit angry and fed up with these people after days of their shit and tonight seemed a good night to work out some of that anger on them.

I headed towards the jail, crossing through a few people’s backyards as I tried to map at least one good route from the start of the trail to the street out front of the jail.


Around 1:15 I was a block from the jail and got my first surprise. The number of resonances I could sense from the jail was fine, but I could feel two others a bit to the east of the jail.

I slowly headed east until I was on the opposite side of the road from the coffee shop I’d previously visited. The coffee shop was set back about 75 feet from the road but with my improved {Night Vision} and the backlighting I could see Firebringer and another man sitting in a booth.

That was a pleasant surprise. I’d really wanted to find him before he found me and pay him back a bit. It might not be fair to blame someone being mind controlled for almost killing me but if I didn’t work off some of this hatred I’d definitely go squirrelly.

Neither seemed in a hurry to do anything, they were just sipping coffee and talking occasionally.

The first two questions that popped to mind were, could I find a good rock for Firebringer, and were they waiting on others to join them? It wasn’t until I started pondering those questions that what should be an obvious third question occurred to me. What was the power of the person with Firebringer?

He wasn’t someone I’d felt before. It was at least possible he was even stronger than Firebringer.

I’d thought on Firebringer’s power before and it seemed reasonable that he couldn’t use his power too close to himself. Even if he was immune to his own fireballs he shouldn’t be immune to things sent flying by the fireballs. For example if he blew up a car in the parking lot of the coffee shop he wasn’t likely immune to being cut by flying glass or metal.

The next step was a waiting game. I could likely throw a rock through the windows and hit one of them but despite my vicious mood there was too many negatives. The window pane could change the trajectory of the rock and let it hit someone else, or even the glass could cut other customers and staff. That didn’t even count that I’d be hurting the business for no reason, especially considering I liked their glazed cinnamon rolls.

Instead I moved into the shadows across the street and waited for them to come out while looking around for a decent rock, or four. Not too big, not too small, just right for Mr. Firebringer.

The pain should break the mind control like it did with the others. In theory I was saving him. I couldn’t make myself believe that, but it was going to be my excuse if I had to explain myself.


It was a long wait. I’d found some decent rocks, put on my gloves and even explored a few of the properties of the businesses on my side of the street to help plan getting away even better.

Police patrols were heavy in the area but they had no real chance of noticing me with my {Hiding} skill. I could feel the bloodlust of them prowling around the jail regularly. I imagined that even if they couldn’t see a quest they must know that someone was likely to try a second jailbreak and cleanup loose ends.

It was close to 3am when Firebringer picked up his phone and seemed to read something before typing a reply. Grabbing their coats they headed towards the exit to the parking lot between us.

Carefully looking both ways, I dashed across the main road to their side of the street while pulling the best two rocks from my pocket and moving into the shadow of a SUV.

They were out the door and a good 10 feet into the parking lot before I wound up and threw the first rock at Firebringer. At that point I was just outside the range he could feel me so the rock was a complete surprise.

The rock caught him square in the stomach. The second rock was on it’s way and a second later and hit the leg of the second man before he’d fully realized what had happened to his partner.

Quickly running at them I wanted one good kick with my KI enhanced foot on Firebringer then I’d let the police pick them up.

It wasn’t until I was standing above Firebringer and pulling my foot back to give him a kick that I felt the bloodlust spike, not disappear.

Firebringer was glaring at me from lying on his back and he was clearly not fuzzy from the mind control being broken. His partner had lost all bloodlust and was standing there confused with a complete lack of bloodlust.

I let fly with the kick to Firebringer a lot harder than I’d originally planned. The original plan was more of a token kick to deal with some of my feelings.

The kick I did was far more, my spike of adrenaline made me infuse all the KI I could into the kick at the last instant as I felt the fear he’d instilled, with the previous fireballs, into me.

I could feel and hear his leg crack when my foot hit his thigh. It spun him like he was breakdancing a backspin.

What happened next though shocked me. I was starting to worry that he would call down a strike on both of us. Instead glowing images started spawning around his head. A blue car, the house they were hiding in the other day, the jail, and what seemed like a youngish blonde girl. Each image was crisp and distinct despite being only a few inches tall.

A quick glance around showed images around the heads of a couple frozen thirty feet away, an older woman at the window of the coffee shop and everyone else I could see nearby with one exception. Firebringer’s partner was standing confused beside us but no images popped above his head.

It was immediately clear that whatever was happening was due to his power. As I was trying to figure out what that power was, Firebringer had stopped his spin and despite what must have been massive pain was reaching in my direction and screaming at me.

As the night was lit up by fireballs falling I turned and ran. The fact that he wasn’t mind controlled threw my entire plan to hell. I’d have to hold him down or even kill him to stop him and there was no way I was going to hold him until the police showed up.

The first strike exploded behind me, mostly missing me but it felt like 1 Fireball hit me. I felt the explosive blast and a strong push. I could feel the clothing I’d enchanted with {Will Crafting} pulling PSI energy from me to resist the flames.

The hoodie, shirt and pants damped down the fire damage to the point where my innate Fire Resistance was able to handle it, with only a bit of a burn.

The problem was apparent a few seconds later. The back of the hoodie, shirt and pants over my ass literally exploded into lint. Somehow resisting the fireball used up the durability of the clothing. Half of the back of my underwear was left but my pants were falling down and the hoodie and shirt were trying to slide down my arms.

Grabbing my pants I kept running.

I could hear the couple screaming in fear as I dashed between the parked cars. Another strike came down but missed by a wide margin. From the corner of my eye I caught the sight of a small car basically exploding as the fireballs ripped it to shreds. I was sure he’d missed so badly because he couldn’t see me any more from the ground.

Using {Dodge} and {Running} I was across the street and running through the back lot of a small engine repair business while more strikes came down far behind me.

It wasn’t until I was a block away that I felt somewhat safe. At the same time though I finally felt more resonances behind me.

It seemed like Firebringer had been coming outside to meet up with others. There was no way they could have reacted within 2 minutes otherwise. My timing was lucky as hell, if they had shown up and more of them were not mind controlled I could have been surrounded in that parking lot.

I felt the resonances starting to split up and head in my direction, but they had literally no chance of catching me.

I had an escape route, they barely had a clue which direction I’d left, they couldn’t sense me, and even if they could they wouldn’t be able to drive their cars through the trails.

There was no way they could carry out the jailbreak now. Not with how many cops were likely responding to the explosion a block away from the jail.

Another five minutes and I was streaking across the bypass at the railroad crossing south of the mall.

Ten minutes after that I was at the exit of the bush a few blocks from home.

From there the only exceptional thing that happened was {Night Vision} reaching Intermediate while sneaking through people’s backyards half naked.

It took close to an hour to cross 3 blocks since I had to wait for no nearby cars at each street I crossed.

At home I checked my burn, which was very light, changed clothes, and took Nilla out to poop.

I seemed to have gotten away safely. At 4:01am I got the quest reward.

Your quest ‘Jailbreak ver 2!’ was successfully completed.
You have gained +3 to all basic stats.
You have gained 1500 EXP.

That was followed up by a level up window which I waived away without reading. I really didn’t care about the level.

The most important issues were that some of the enemies were willing participants, not mind controlled, and thereby far, far more dangerous than I thought. I’d only found out the other day that they were likely being controlled and the control could be removed by pain, and now that helpful fact had been crushed along with my hopes to end this all fast.

The other issue was even more terrifying. What images popped up around my head and was Firebringer able to tell anyone about them. I didn’t clue into it in the heat of moment while trying not to die but I doubted I resisted having images of my life float above my head.

Browsing through the list of powers the only one that seemed to match was Light Mind.

There wasn’t too much I could do about it though. I packed a bag in case I needed to run, put my wallet in it in case I needed a hotel, and went to bed after a quick snack.

I felt more rational after having gotten some of my hate and stress out. And I was further ahead, there was no way either of the two would be attacking me anytime soon. I’d deal with whatever happened next as it came.

23) Calm before the steel-toe buttkicking

Monday, September 21st, 2015

A window was waiting for me when I woke.

Due to your actions you have gained a Resistance.
Infection Resistance has reached 3%.
You have gained 1 Physical Stamina.
You have gained 50 EXP.

I had slept for less than 2 hours when the pain, and the gross feeling of lying in wet clothes, woke me again. The biggest blessing from this power was the fact that it distributed the pain across my body instead of crippling pain in one spot, but even so I felt like I’d been beaten across every inch of my skin and my bones were cracked.

Careful of how I moved I threw the granola bar wrappers into the garbage by my bed and started stripping down to see the full extent.

My pants came off easily, but the hoodie was still partially stuck to my arm. Pulling it off was possible unlike the night before but skin came with it in spots.

Under the hoodie my left arm was cool but not frozen like it initially was. The cast was cracked in multiple spots and there was bruising up into my shoulder.

It was impossible for me to tell what happened inside my arm but I was fairly sure I had a lot of tissue and even bone damage from the Ice attack.

I’d avoided looking at my legs for the longest time, the brief glance I’d taken last night was enough to turn my stomach.

I was missing three toes on my left foot, burn craters going to the bone ran all the way up my calves to my knees. If the skin hadn’t regenerated while in the water I clearly would have been staring at bone instead of fresh skin. Large chunks of muscle were missing and the flesh on my right knee was gone down to the bone. I couldn’t feel any tension in my left Achilles tendon.

It was clearly impossible for a normal human to walk with that much muscle, and likely tendons, missing. The walk the previous night was a blur now but I could only assume my power held my body together enough to make it home.

The first step was clearly pain pills. I basically had 3 different things helping with the pain already, Pain Resistance, {Pain Tolerance}, and Obstinacy IV, but being clearheaded as possible was a priority.

Using the walls I pulled myself to the bathroom and sat on the toilet cover while I ate a couple ibuprofen.

Staring at the bottle I had an idea a bit late. I took a third pill and tried to concentrated my willpower on it.

A window popped up.

Temporary Pain Pill.
100% Pain Resistance for 1 hour.
-5 Psi/min to Creator

All I could do was laugh after I ate it. I took advantage of the pain relief to smear my legs with disinfectant, to help with infection, while I thought.

If I’d had unlimited time to grind all my skills then last night would have turned out far differently. Though if each of them had unlimited time to grind their powers up to maximum it might have gone far worse too.

They were also clearly trying to catch me, not kill me until the very end. If the guy with the Firebringer power had used that when I was crossing the open street between blocks I doubt I’d be alive now. Maybe I would have dodged some of it, but with others blocking me I would eventually have been burned to death far before I could get any kind of Fire Resistance built up.

Even the Ice Hand power could have killed if she’d frozen my head. It took hours for my resistance and {Regeneration} to get back even limited use after she touched it for a moment.

{Regeneration} had been stuck at Advanced level every since it healed my broken arm, but I was fairly sure rebuilding my body would bring it to Master level. The first question was would I need it to be Grandmaster level to heal everything or not.

“Help Regeneration”

Novice – Heals small scrapes, cuts and bruises at 2 times users normal rate.
Beginner – Heals cuts less than 1/4 inch deep, deep tissue bruising, small bone cracks, and 1st degree burns at 4 times users normal rate.
Intermediate – Heals serious cuts, bone cracks, and large 1st degree burns at 8 times users normal rate.
Advanced – Heals all stab wounds into muscle/skin, almost completely broken bones, and 2nd degree burns at 16 times users normal rate.
Master – Heals minor organ damage, resets and heals broken bones, 3rd degree burns at 32 times users normal rate.

The burns covering my legs were clearly 3rd degree burns in the deepest spots with 2nd and 1st degree burns along the edges.

The main question was, do toes count as minor organ damage or not. I had a bad feeling that they would take Grandmaster or even Demi-god level regeneration.

Unfortunately I couldn’t see the progress level of {Regeneration} since it was my only Ability. I needed to create another ability somehow and soon. If {Regeneration} stalls after healing everything but my toes I wouldn’t know with the way things stood.

The clear goal of the day was healing and gaining a new body based Ability somehow. Preferably one that would help if I ran into another situation like Sunday night.

The phrase ‘armies study how to win the last war’ came to mind but I wasn’t sure I could even guess at what future fights would be like. The variety of powers out there made things too uncertain.

I slide down the stairs on my butt and grabbed some more granola bars and a water jug before heading back upstairs to my bed. I grabbed a hair dryer as I passed the bathroom, plugged it in beside the bed and let it try to dry the large oblong wet spot on the comforter while I sat and ate. I wouldn’t bother with the sheets below the comforter.

Besides getting enough calories into myself to help {Regeneration} the next step was sorting out the aftermath.

“Resistances Window”

Panic 36%
Forced Mental States N/A
Insanity N/A
Sleep N/A
Poison 17%
Ice 42%
Electrical 0%
Fire 4%
Light N/A
Pain 59%
Magic N/A
Psi 24%

I’d gained a bit of Fire Resistance from the attack but not much since the damage was done so fast. But Ice, Pain, Panic, and Psi resistance had all went up a fair bit compared to Saturday. I never did get a chance to unlock Light or Sleep Resistance but Sunday night didn’t exactly go smoothly.

I’d hesitated to open up my Character window since it had taken a hit when I created the Inventory window but meh.

“Character Window”

Class Explorer Level 2
EXP 2550 Next Level EXP 3000
HP 197/220 MP 280/280
Physical Energy 310/310 Mental Energy 760/760
Psi 306/350 KI 190/190
HP Regen 3.52/min MP Regen 0.28/min
PE Regen 0.31/min ME Regen 0.76/min
Psi Regen 0.35/min KI Regen 0.19/min
Title: Obstinacy IV
Agility 14/14 Hand-Eye 12/12
Intelligence 35/35 Luck 2/4
Mental Stamina 70/76 Physical Stamina 27/31
Strength 19/19 Vitality 22/22
Wisdom 28/28 Willpower 23/23
Titles available:
Obstinacy IV, Polyglot I

I didn’t regret the 5 point cost to create an Inventory Window but I was definitely a bit weaker in most ways. There was two surprises though.

The first was that Willpower didn’t drop. I’d assumed it was based upon Wisdom since I’d noticed it went up a bit every full point in Wisdom. So I thought it would drop but apparently not.

The other was that I had 2/4 Luck. 4 was still more than I’d started with but I’d never seen Luck being used up like that.

Checking Skills was next to see where they were at.

“Skills Window”

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 60.3%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 18.5%.
{Decrease Mental Presence} (Grandmaster, Passive) EXP: 0.7%
{Dodging} (Novice, Active) EXP: 38.4%.
{Hiding} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 75.2%.
{Identification} (Novice, Active) EXP: 7.8%.
{Increase Mental Sensing} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 99.9%
{Jumping} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 61.2%.
{Knife Fighting} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 2.7%.
{Mapping} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 88.6%.
{Memorization} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 91.5%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Master, Passive) EXP: 70.3%.
{Running} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 99.9%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Master, Passive) EXP: 62.7%.
{Sneaking} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 51.4%.
{Swimming} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 76.3%.
{Throwing} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 98.2%
{Unarmed Throws} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.0%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 38.5%.
{Will Crafting} (Novice, Active) EXP: 26.7%

The shiny Grandmaster {Decrease Mental Presence} obviously drew my eyes first. But after that I scanned down the list and spotted the two skills at 99.9% which confused me.

I could understand one skill happening to stop at 99.9% but two seemed unlikely.

I wasted 20 minute of my pain free time trying to come up with a theory of why those would stop at 99.9%, especially {Running}. And the only theory I could come up with was that my power was reinforcing the power up of {Decrease Mental Presence} as a priority even over running. Since I couldn’t escape by just running away, I needed to lose the others.

I’d slowly been realizing that my ‘RPG Growth’ power wasn’t quite what I thought it was originally but I started to wonder if these powers were fundamentally different than people seemed to think they were even on the site.

My power seemed to draw from my mental state on how it developed. Presumably I had one major advantage over most of those with powers. I could see how my power responded to me while they just had feelings or guesses.

Why didn’t I gain a {Cooking} skill? Or for that matter a {Cleaning}, {Vacuuming} or even {Mopping} skill from work?

My guess was that my power had somewhat realized I didn’t want to develop in that direction. Now that my willpower, and perhaps intelligence, was higher it seemed to respond better. Thinking back even those titles were likely because my willpower and mental clarity were too low, leaving my power partially confused on why I was so happy as my skills went up. Normally my brain was all over the place with no clear direction.

Sorting through that used up most of my Psi energy and a lot of the hour the will crafted pill gave me. I decided to sleep while the pain was gone, recover PSI and then create another pill when I woke.


The familiar pain of a window woke me about 4 hours later at 11am.

Through use of the ability {Regeneration} it has reached Master level.
{Regeneration} (Master, Passive) EXP: 2.6%.

Checking my Character Window again gave me:
“Character Window”

Class Explorer Level 2
EXP 2550 Next Level EXP 3000
HP 198/220 MP 280/280
Physical Energy 310/310 Mental Energy 760/760
Psi 306/350 KI 190/190
HP Regen 7.04/min MP Regen 0.28/min
PE Regen 0.31/min ME Regen 0.76/min
Psi Regen 0.35/min KI Regen 0.19/min
Title: Obstinacy IV
Agility 14/14 Hand-Eye 12/12
Intelligence 35/35 Luck 3/4
Mental Stamina 76/76 Physical Stamina 31/31
Strength 19/19 Vitality 22/22
Wisdom 28/28 Willpower 23/23
Titles available:
Obstinacy IV, Polyglot I

My HP Regen had doubled, and my Luck had recovered a bit back to 3/4. My current hps had gone up slightly but obviously there was some cap caused by the wounds or it would have reached max in a few minutes.

I will crafted another pain free pill and took it.

First up was calling and telling my boss I needed Tuesday off, I told him I’d hurt my back again and while I could work I’d likely be crippled for days.

The call went fairly quick and he gave me until Friday to recover. I trusted him and could have told him the truth about everything but what he didn’t know, couldn’t be read from his mind. I felt like I was getting a bit more paranoid every day but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Next up was opening the door to let Nilla out to pee. She was more than capable of doing it now without supervision. I didn’t have to worry about her running off.

I took a brief shower, smeared more disinfectant while trying not to look at the fresh skin in the craters, and started cooking a ton of food. I wasn’t quite starving but the hunger never went away for long while I was regenerating.

There was no sign of the 3 toes growing back but already there was some tissue between my skin and bones. What had been bone barely covered with skin now had a slight amount of sponginess when I touched the wounds.

All the while I was pondering abilities like super strength or speed but I had the instinctive feeling that those were too powerful. That if I tried to create them my RPG Growth power would essentially halt any progress at all.

That ‘feeling’ opened up more questions. Could powers themselves be warped by their users? If someone had say an ‘Ultimate Ice Skating’ power could they warp it to be say the ‘Ultimate Hockey Player’ power?

It was a silly example but I felt there was a System behind all our powers. Trying to find out what rules it had might be easier for me than most even though I was far from having any good answers for my questions.

Thinking on the previous night though there was only one ability that easily came to mind. The ability to see in the dark. I’d stumbled a number of times when I couldn’t see the ground ahead. The combo of flawless balanced running from {Running} and instant memorization of the train ahead when I did have some light helped a lot, but couldn’t perfectly help in shadowed areas.

I could have run a lot faster if I hadn’t had to avoid shadowed areas. Normally when being chased those shadowy areas would have helped but not with Resonance guiding other power users.

What I needed next was a way to make it clear to my power or the System behind it what I wanted to do.

Sitting in a closet trying to read a book in the faint light coming through the crack above the door felt fairly childish. I’d blocked the bottom crack with a towel so only a small bit of light was coming into the closet.

Almost 20 minutes of straining my eyes, that could barely see I was even holding a book later, and the usual pain showed. Not terribly surprisingly the pain seemed mostly focused on my eyes until it slowly spread across my body.

Due to your actions you have gained an Ability.
The ability {Night Vision} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.2%, has been created.
You have unlocked the Ability window.

“Help Night Vision”

{Night Vision}
Novice – Allows the user’s eyes to collect 5% extra light.
Beginner – Allows the user’s eyes to collect 10% extra light.

“Ability Window”

{Night Vision} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.2%.
{Regeneration} (Master, Passive) EXP: 21.5%.

{Regeneration} seemed to be grinding fast even after reaching Master level. Perhaps because I mostly wasn’t using my other powers, even gaining {Night Vision} didn’t take long. Or because my injuries were so bad.

The three toes though didn’t seem to be growing back. The stubs of them seem to have just sealed over.

It was a bit before noon when the day’s plan seemed fairly clear. To avoid grinding most of my skills and try to concentrate my power and reach Grandmaster {Regeneration} as soon as possible. Toes are good to have.

At exactly 11:59 my cell alarm went off. I’d set it earlier so that I didn’t sleep in past the noon regional news. Today was the first day the courts were open since WannabeThor had been captured at the jail.

I logged into the new channel on my computer and started to watch. Even though the regional news covered a few cities the case was first on the show.

The summary of the appearance before a judge, the lawyer’s statement and the police was:
– WannabeThor’s name was Richard Mathews and he had a fractured jaw…
– He claimed to have confused memories of the previous 2 weeks, but couldn’t deny the two killings
– He had been reported missing by family a bit over a week ago

City police also reported during an interview that two people were found wandering the western part of the city with confused memories early in the morning. Both had powers and had been missing for days from roughly the same area as Richard Mathews.

I went and made another pain pill after that. I needed a clear head.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out that those 2 were likely the two I hit, Highblonde and the brunette with the Ice Hand power. The chance of two other people coming into town and wandering that area was low.

It could be two different ones of those chasing me, but all of them were still chasing me until 3am. I could occasionally feel them in the distance before I came out of the water and made my way home.

The things that the three of them had in common was they had confused memories, were missing a while, and I hurt them.

Sadly I actually considered for a moment whether I had the power to confuse people I hit but that seemed extremely unlikely since no skill or ability showed that. I’d wondered more than once when all that extra Intelligence stat would kick in.

Mind control was the next thing that came to mind. If someone had a mind control ability that would explain why they disappeared and perhaps why their memories are confused.

The question was if that was true, was it pain, or shock or something else about the fights that broken the control.

My evil inner child kind of liked the idea of hitting people with a rock from 300 feet to ‘save’ them. But without knowing what other factors were involved it was hard to go on a rampage and save people.

Not including that I could barely walk even with all my pain control. Walking too while overriding the pain would likely rip the healing areas to shreds too.

I browsed the list of powers again.
Atmospheric Pulse, Ice Hand, Variable Invisibility, High Speed, Healing Wind, Distant Viewer, Firebringer, Laser, Punishing Fist, Dominator, Lightning God, Poison Fiend, Shelter, Time’s Timer, Light Mind, Shadow Forger, Air’s Birth, Pathmaster, True Light, Meteor, Heart of Glass, Garden.

The obviously suspicious one was Dominator. I couldn’t quite rule out Light Mind and Heart of Glass though. Anything with Mind was suspicious, and Glass reminded me of how easily pain seemed to break people out of the control.


Hours went by with endless tail chasing speculation, brief naps, and steady healing, that was only broken when I felt 3 familiar Resonances off in the distance. It was a bit after my 6th meal of the day at 8pm. I’d first felt some strong bloodlust’s off in the distance but that wasn’t uncommon after I hit Master level in {Sense Bloodlust} so I wasn’t suspicious until they reached Resonance range.

It was Shockandrun, the Firebringer guy, and what I was pretty sure was the resonance for the Distant Viewer, moving along the waterfront to my west.

Moments after I felt them my {Increase Mental Sensing} leveled up.

Through use of the skill {Increase Mental Sensing} it has reached Advanced level.
The skill {Increase Mental Sensing} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 0.1%, has been created.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 10 EXP.

I’d been using 800 feet as the rough range of sensing Resonance even though I’d never been able to measure it. Advanced {Increase Mental Sensing} gave me an extra 40% range, which meant 1120 feet. A bit less than a quarter mile.

What was interesting, besides the fact that they didn’t go back to their jobs, was that the road along the waterfront only connected with the rest of the roads at certain spots due to the train tracks downtown.

For the first time I was able to estimate the full range of my {Sense Bloodlust} and it was apparently affected by the {Increase Mental Sensing} 40% too. That would make it’s range around 2240 feet. If I could learn to distinguish particular bloodlusts like I can with Resonances, I could identify people at even longer ranges.

So far I’d never really felt a special ‘fingerprint’ to the bloodlusts but that didn’t mean I couldn’t evolve my power slightly to do it.

There wasn’t much I could do about them searching for me other than stay hidden. If they did come along my side street I could hop the back fence into the neighbor’s yard and avoid their range but that was less than ideal, especially if it happened during daylight.

About my only other option was leaving the city. I wanted to avoid going to the police if at all possible. Even if the government didn’t seem to have any plans for people with powers yet, I didn’t want anyone knowing about me.

The backlash caused from the fighting all over the world was swiftly bringing hatred and jealousy out in the open from large sections of the population. Those that didn’t already think we were tools of Satan thought it was unfair and too many of the people with powers were acting badly. Even the pastor with the ability to heal in the US had been harassed with death threats.


A bit after 10pm I got the next window.

Through use of the ability {Regeneration} it has reached Grandmaster level.
{Regeneration} (Grandmaster, Passive) EXP: 0.1%.

It seemed incredibly fast for a Master skill to level up, but I was trying to avoid splitting my power. The extent of the injuries this time likely helped too.

The toes stubs felt itchy. The next pain pill was will crafted to ignore itchiness too even if it cost an extra .5 Psi/Min. I really didn’t watch to interrupt any healing, if it wasn’t just in my head.


At 11pm I was on meal #8, and I can’t count how many trips to the bathroom, when I sat down to watch the evening news to see if there were any more developments. The 6pm news was just a rehash of the noon show plus things I didn’t care about.

The police tactical unit had raided a house, around 7pm, on the west side of the city after interviewing the 3 people with powers. Backup from local and provincial police was involved. They didn’t find any of the other power users there. A dead body believed to be the owner of the house was found. They weren’t releasing details but a source had stated to a reporter that the person had been dead for several days.

I didn’t know what to think. Had they killed the owner of the house to get a base? What the hell is wrong with renting rooms at a motel? If they were living there after then there’s a ton of DNA and fingerprints there.

It didn’t make sense. All of the behavior seemed self-destructive in the end. Why kill the guy in the hospital and his police guard? Why try and kill or lightly electrocute Arsonboy, whichever it was they planned? Why kill what was likely a normal person instead of brainwashing him?

Again, thoughts and plans chased around my head for hours while I healed.

I still avoided learning any languages or other skills I could work on at home to concentrate on {Regeneration}. But I spent time browsing the Researcher’s site on powers. Nowhere did I find answers to my thoughts on how powers work though. I didn’t even find any of my personal questions. Just miscellaneous theories by people about aliens, gods, and time travel.

By the time I went to bed at 3am {Regeneration} was at 7%, the toes were a bit longer, and I’d decided that tomorrow, when I was fully healed, would be a good day to go hunting.

Last time I ran into them I had no plan and they could find me. My Psi resistance was up, my {Decrease Mental Presence} was leveled. They wouldn’t know I was there until I hit them.

City map

While I’m not exactly keeping where I live a deep secret I’d still prefer not to name it. But here’s a map of the areas used in the story for those interested. If you do recognize the city please don’t name it.

A quick note: The curved road just south of the University marking actually rises a couple hundred feet. The roughly top inch of the map is much higher than the rest of the city though it doesn’t show well in this pic.

 photo 8d71d91e-2326-4b34-9ddc-211a1d2af03f_zpssmaxseha.png

Edit: added police station and hardware store