8) I didn’t want those superhuman powers anyway.

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

I woke up still in some pain around 1pm. Since the dog was kind enough to let me sleep in I paid it back by striking first. Finger pokes from under the comforter let her gnaw on my fingers to her hearts content, without slobbering on them, while I worked out a plan for the day.

The {Pain Tolerance} skill and Pain resistance were the first question. There was still no help function no matter how I phrased things but after considering how the other issue happened I was able to figure a bit out. The other issue was what exactly happened to my body Saturday night.

If I thought of the paralysis and pain as my body being rebuilt with Heat resistance added to it then Pain resistance would be my body being rebuilt to either transmit less pain to my brain or somehow dampen it a bit if it was too strong.

And {Pain Tolerance} would be a mental ability skill. Presumably the ability to do ignore pain a bit and keep going.

Which for the first time pointed out something. That all the Skills were actually mental abilities not physical ones.

I hadn’t thought of it before because things like {Walking} had to be physical right? But when I thought of what {Walking} seemed to do, it was mainly my brain controlling how I walk better. I wasn’t able to magically walk up walls or blink forward each step. Or at least not so far. Instead the skill let my mind make each and every step be more perfect than I likely would do without intense concentration.

Which led to the idea that the limit of {Walking}, {Running}, {Sneaking}, and similar skills was based on my perception of my environment and physical fitness.

Since {Walking} was my highest skill I thought about raising that and working on a few others. But twenty-three Mental Stamina gave me a few possibilities without counting a rest period to refresh it.

One option would be to create two new skills using up twenty Mental Stamina, leaving me three as a poor buffer. Since if I accidentally leveled something I’d be left with zero while lying on the ground somewhere.

The second option was to level up a mix of things seven times leaving two points. Or level six and leave five for safety.

The final option was to create one new skill and level other skills four times, three if being cautious.

I decided upon a plan, got up and took the dog for an unusual pre-breakfast walk in the nice weather. She usually got a walk when I was heating up the stove for supper but since I wouldn’t be back until late that wasn’t an option.

After breakfast, a shower and other routine stuff I found an old backpack in a closet. Wiped off the dust, then tossed two boxes of granola bars and a water bottle in.

I decided to ignore the news for now. If I saw someone had the ability to teleport I’d spend the day bashing my head against rocks to try and forget.

With that pessimistic thought I left home and started the 45 minute walk to the college trails up top the escarpment north and a bit west of the city. I took the easier west road up instead of the north highway. The trails went for miles and were rated at different difficulty levels. The levels were easy, moderate and very difficult. For some reason no ‘difficult’ level trail was marked, only ‘very difficult’.

Going from the campus at the east side, they formed a mesh with the far west end anchored on a small creek and waterfall. While couldn’t really be easily summarized like that, most of the west trails were moderate, the east easy. The very difficult trail was a decent length trail in the middle.

{Walking} had reached Advanced 28.4% by the time I reached the campus at the top of the hill. Finding the entrance to the trails was easy from there.

I had decided to spend at least an hour or two testing how {Walking} responded to the easy and moderate trails. On the easy trails it was increasing about 1% every 15 minutes, which meant around 10 hours of walking the easy trails if that stayed constant before it reached 100%. It was hard to accurately judge though, since it could even the easy trail varied a bit.

The moderate trails were a lot more helpful to skill grinding. The tougher footing and elevation changes meant I paid more attention to walking. The result was averaging around 2.5% every 15 minutes.

{Walking} had reached 36.7% by the time I’d made those rough estimates and it was after 4pm. With over 60% to go that would have meant 6 hours of walking the moderate trails, lasting well after nightfall. Darkness might help the skills go up faster, or it might not, but snapping an ankle a mile or more from help would not be good.

So instead I headed to top of the very difficult section. It featured a lot of rock drops, roots above ground, and steep slopes in spots. If the trail was wet it could have been a nightmare. It wasn’t very long but as soon as I reached the bottom I turned and headed back up which was considerably harder.

Walking back and forth on one small trail was boring except that the difficulty of the trail meant it needed all of my attention. Whenever my mind wandered a bit too much I took a short granola bar break at the nearest rock outcropping.

The skill grinding for doing the trail was good though. It was at least 6-7% per 15 minutes on the downslope and 5% in the uphill direction. Walking uphill was more tiring but much easier to see where to place your feet.

It was getting fairly dark and closing in on 8pm when the skill up smacked my brain finally.

Through use of the skill {Walking} it has reached Master level.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 0.2%.

“Stats Window”

Mental Stamina: 20/24

After recovering mid trail I still had to walk to the end and move through the easier trails to get out of the trail system.

Watching the {Walking} skill it moved less than .4% during the 5 minutes it took to least the very difficult trail onto the moderate trail. That was a quarter, or maybe every worse, what it was before the skill level up.

The rest of the trails would clearly be useless to train {Walking} so I switched to training {Running} as I headed back to the campus.

The skill was still at Novice which almost anything raised quickly. Running the moderate and easy trail sections quickly raised it.

Through use of the skill {Running} it has reached Beginner level.
{Running} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 0.7%.

That left me with 17/25 Mental Stamina and a mounting headache.

Even though a middle aged guy looked a bit weird running along the wooded edge of the campus I did it anyway. I alternated walking and running as I passed through it and headed east along the road to the north highway.

The north highway was my final skill stop before heading home. The start of the highway was a climb up 300 feet through a long rock cut. There was no sidewalk along the highway but interestingly at the bottom was a rogue transport capture system. If a transport lost its breaks going down the hill it could slow in that lane.

The rock cut was the interesting part. Ignoring all the spikes of bloodlust and occasional honks from drivers I slowly started navigating along it. The goal wasn’t to climb up it since I didn’t want to drop 20 or more feet onto the paved edge of the highway. Instead I tried to move sideways and was rewarded with only a 3 foot drop onto my ass when the pain hit after 25 minutes.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Climbing} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 2.3%, has been created.

“Stats Window”

Mental Stamina: 7/26

Deciding to grind the {Climbing} skill while I was at a good spot I spent almost an hour moving up and down both sides of the highway. At first I had repeated the sections I first did, but that didn’t seem to raise it as fast as new untouched areas of the rock cut. I hadn’t really noticed that happening on the trail but I’d been pretty concentrated on footing.

A second thing I noticed was when the level up pain came.

Through use of the skill {Climbing} it has reached Beginner level.
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 1.3%.

When the {Climbing} skill was created I lost my grip and fell on my ass. Partly I lost my grip from the pain, and partly from surprise since I didn’t know what exact moment it would be created. However when the skill leveled up to Beginner I didn’t come close to losing my grip. I knew it was coming and the pain was less to be sure. However I noticed my hands and feet automatically adjusted during the shock.

Which reminded me that I’d lost my footing on the treadmill when {Running} was created but even on the moderately rough trails I didn’t stumble slightly when {Running} leveled. The skill itself seemed to save me even if I didn’t notice at the time.

After that revelation I was down to 4 out of 27 Mental Stamina, it was after 10pm, so I headed home at a walk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After I got home I started supper, took the dog out, finished supper, ate, and started browsing the news channels.

Without searching too deeply it I saw three interesting things. The first two were new people with superhuman powers. One was a faith healer in Boca Raton who was even able to heal people with gun shot wounds, though his ability didn’t work on himself. The other was a retired doctor who was suddenly able to alter her body part into different shapes. She was able to make her arms into legs, her neck 2 feet long and able to look behind easily, and other tricks.

The third was the most interesting since it caused an idea to click in my head. Scientists had identified a new variety of deep sea fish. Which reminded me I hadn’t tried to gain any kind of identify, or analyze type skill yet.

The word identify seemed simpler than analyze. With analyze you had to figure things out about something. Whereas identify was more about memorization and checklists. What type of leaves does the tree have, what color is the bark?

I wasn’t sure either skill exists but it was worth testing identify by memorizing varieties of plants and trees and going for a walk in the nearby woods sometime.

By the time I’d finished all that it was 3am. Which didn’t leave much energy for the one problem that nagged me during the day. Which was my lack of physical fitness. During the walking, running and even climbing my lack of endurance and strength had shown up. Being strong enough to lift 120lb dumbbells and put them back on the rack at work didn’t help pull myself up a cliff.

I decided to do some moderate weight, high rep, full body workouts to build some strength and a lot of muscle endurance over the next week. I still had no clue what stats existed other than Mental Stamina and Willpower, but some kind of strength and endurance stats seemed a safe bet.

Heading to bed I checked my skills just before letting the dog snuggle up and falling asleep.

“Skills Window”

{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 4.9%.
{Hiding} (Beginner, Active) EXP: 43.9%.
{Knife Fighting} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 28.6%.
{Running} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 7.7%.
{Russian} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.1%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 37.5%.
{Sneaking} (Beginner, Active) EXP: 38.3%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 2.8%.

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