Chapter 10) Working smarter not harder isn’t laziness right?

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

I woke up early, for me anyway, around 11 AM and started getting ready for my afternoon shift. Did the usual routine of letting the dog run in circles in the yard, breakfast, shower, etc.

I headed to work while trying to sort things out.

The attack last night was pretty scary then but after thinking about last night, and this morning, it seemed fairly stupid. Whoever the guy was it seemed his power was either super strength or some kind of limited control over gravity or inertia. He ran like a normal person might run on a low gravity planet, all leaps and bounds. Actually the rock going through several windshields made it likely it was super strength or inertia control so I tentatively crossed off gravity control.

Either power didn’t seem to give him any ability at distance attacks since his accuracy was low. So it was either he was stupid, didn’t realize he sucked at throwing, was surprised to meet me, or figured out I noticed him and attacked early.

I could never rule out stupidity but planning around that seemed a quick path to the mortuary.

Arriving at work I kept sorting out ideas as I went through the shift.

I doubted he could see at night, a block away, that my eyes had slightly moved from straight in front to see him. I knew I didn’t give off any killing intent since I just barely noticed him before the attack.

That left him being surprised or not realizing he sucked at targeting a block away. I honestly thought anyone with any kind of preplanning would have realized they couldn’t hit someone a block away without practice. And if he was prepared he wouldn’t have had to pick random rocks off the ground.

Being surprised made the most sense but left the question I’d avoided so far. How had he suddenly realized a block away that I had a power. I refused to believe he randomly attacked people or even I would have heard something about it despite not following local news closely. Which left that weird resonance feeling I had from him.

I had felt something strange I couldn’t quite describe from him but it was mostly drowned out in the {Sense Bloodlust} feedback. If he had suddenly felt that and knew that it meant another person with a power then things made sense. He was surprised, attacked haphazardly, and then ran when it looked like I was closing on him.

It took a while to sort out all that and rule out ideas so I was finished my shift before I got any further.

Deciding to do at least one round of strengthening I started to do it while trying to picture things from my attackers view.

As best I could it seemed like ‘I was walking along, felt the jogger ahead had a power, decided to test him out/kill off rival, threw some rocks that missed but stirred up a lot of noise, and the jogger started…’.

Trying to picture it only led to new questions. Why did he attack? And how did I appear to him? I doubted I could figure exactly why he attacked without more information. But while doing my sets I started figuring out how I appeared.

So far everyone I’d seen on news seemed to have one power. And if I think about it I could call my ability something like ‘RPG reality’ or something chuunibyou like ‘The dark truth of the world comes forth’. To my attacker though I likely seemed to be hiding in shadows since that’s the only skill I used as I move forward.

I felt the pain as it moved from my specific muscles to all over my body and absently quit right in the middle of a set and left the gym to head to the library.

I sincerely doubted I could fight strength to strength anytime soon even if there were no absolute limits on my strength. Likely his power is still growing also. The key seemed like it would be to avoid fighting until I have a lot more skills, or try and fight on my terms.

In the meantime there was two things I needed from the library. One was a book that would give me the {Acting} skill. If I’d had that I wouldn’t have had to be worried the night before about police stopping me. I had no confidence in my ability to act calm when my adrenaline was so high right after seeing the monstrous damage those thrown rocks did.

The second was some kind of skill to do throws. Not throwing rocks but using the opponents strength against him to grab and throw him when he attacked. It seemed suicidal to try and throw what was likely a younger and much, much, stronger man but trading punches would likely end with his fist coming out the back of my skull as he punched all the way through.

I reached the library, found the book on acting I’d noted down before, and took it upstairs to the reading area. It was a bit quieter than the other day with no one near so I closed my eyes and tried to learn the skill.

After about 10 minutes a much heavier pain than normal hit, along with the expected window.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%, has been created.

The window faded slowly and I was about to check how much Mental Stamina I had left when a second window popped up.

You have reached 20 Intelligence.
Due to your reaching 20 Intelligence you have unlocked the Basic Help feature.
Due to your reaching two stats above 20 you have fully unlocked your Basic Stats window.

I tried to sort out what that meant. I couldn’t say I felt much smarter after the window popped up. More like I was slightly dazed. But Basic Help and Basic Stats seemed useful. First things first though.

“Stats Window”

Agility 13/13
Hand-Eye 8/8
Intelligence 20/20
Luck 4/4
Mental Stamina: 16/32
Physical Stamina 19/19
Strength 16/16
Vitality 15/15
Wisdom 14.5/14.5

Ignoring all the new stuff for a minute I concentrated on Mental Stamina. It seemed that trying to absorb skills from a book gave 0.0% in the skill, and cost 50% more for 15 Mental Stamina. Was it because I wasn’t actually using the skill when it was created? That seemed a bit difficult.

I had to give up the idea of learning some type of unarmed throwing from one of the books for a bit though. Another skill from a book would leave me at 1 Mental Stamina and I still had the evening shift at work soon. With supper and walking the dog I had no time to take a decent nap before the shift.

So when I reached home I just grabbed the dog and sat on the couch to figure out what the stats meant. They seemed fairly obvious from all the games I had played but I decided to try activating the new help feature out while figuring out the stats.

“Help Agility”

Agility – A measure of how well your body moves.

A remarkably useless description. From that description it could mean it is raised by doing obstacle courses or even by doing Yoga poses.

I quickly ran through the others.

Hand-Eye – A measure of how well your hands fine motor control and coordination.

Intelligence – A measure of how fast you comprehend new information.

Luck – A measure of how well you bend random chance in your favor.

Mental Stamina – A measure of how well your mind deals with rearrangement.

Physical Stamina – A measure of how well your body can move for periods of time.

Wisdom – A measure of how well you weigh multiple options.

Vitality – A measure of how well your body resists diseases and other abnormal states.

None of the descriptions were very surprising except the stat he had previously, Mental Stamina. “A measure of how well your mind deals with rearrangement” sounded fairly scary but gave a clue to something.

From that description it seemed like my mind was being rearranged or maybe even partitioned to make new skills. The pain was likely from that. Which when I thought of it didn’t make sense. Brains don’t really have nerve endings for pain I thought. Headaches are actually pains from around the outside of the brain. It didn’t make sense, but lacking sense didn’t make the pain from the newly gained {Acting} go away so I had to give up on understanding that for now. Maybe a higher level of help would explain it.

Next was testing help on my skills.

“Help Acting”

Novice – Creates and enacts a character with a few basic facts but little emotion.
Beginner – Creates and enacts a character with a few basic facts and very basic emotions.

It worked after all. But I only had the skill to Novice 0.0% EXP. It was a bit surprising it showed what the next level did.

Obviously the next step was to check my highest skill.

“Help Walking”

Novice – Never missteps, and is 5% less tiring, on simple surfaces like concrete.
Beginner – Never missteps, and is 10% less tiring, on simple trails.
Intermediate – Never missteps, and is 15% less tiring, on simple wet flat surfaces such as flooring or concrete.
Advanced – Never missteps, and is 20% less tiring, on surfaces with less than 6″ level changes such as tree root covered trails.
Master – Never missteps, and is 25% less tiring, on slippery surfaces such as ice.
Grandmaster – Never missteps, and is 30% less tiring, on surfaces that are at least partially solid like Marsh land. Requires 20 Willpower to enforce upon the world.

The last line obviously stood out in the window. It mentioned a new level of skill I hadn’t seen before and a requirement for a stat, Willpower, that wasn’t in the Basic Stats window.

“Help Willpower”


I quickly browsed through the other skills but all the low level ones were roughly what I expected. The only one that was interesting was {Sense Bloodlust}

{Sense Bloodlust}
Novice – Detects hidden hostility within 50 feet, open hostility within 100 feet. Sharp pain all over the side facing the hostile person.
Beginner – Detects hidden hostility within 100 feet, open hostility within 200 feet. Sharp pain all over the side facing the hostile person.
Intermediate – Detects hidden hostility within 200 feet, open hostility within 400 feet. Sharp pain all over the side facing the hostile person.
Advanced – Detects hidden hostility within 400 feet, open hostility within 800 feet. Pain is felt where the hostile person eyes are focusing.
Master – Detects hidden hostility within 800 feet, open hostility within 1600 feet. Pain is felt where the hostile person is currently attacking towards. Can detect feints.

The mention of hidden hostility and being able to detect feints stood out. The utility of detecting all feints was obvious in any fight. But the hidden hostility ability might be useful at any time to avoid ambushes. It also might explain how I was originally still able to detect the hostile husband through the walls occasionally when I gained the skill.

If I could walk down the street and detect enemies in buildings a block around me that was incredibly useful.

After a bit it was time for work, so I practiced {Sneaking} as I went to work.

Work was fairly uneventful except for two things. One was for an unusual night workout for the Urinal Bard who decided to sing off-key for 10 minutes at the one of the urinals.

The other was for {Sneaking} to hit Intermediate.

Through use of the skill {Sneaking} it has reached Intermediate level.
{Sneaking} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 0.9%.
You have gained 0.5 Agility.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

It seemed that I could now see how the Basic stats increased as I gained skills. Seeing the gains made some sense and I looked forward to understanding how the other skills raised stats.


I got home around 1am and started browsing the net. Dozens of new powers were being reported by the different news outlets. There were way too many to try and sort out myself even though I had a few hours.

After a few hours of browsing and thinking I had a flash of brilliance. Find a website that’s tracking the powers in detail, or encourage someone to do it. It would be helpful if a number of them turned out to be hostile or had powers I might be able imitate.

I had found long lists of potential skills from RPG games and elsewhere. But if someone’s power gave me an idea for a new skill I was more than glad to take it.

If someone tracked it all, and published it online, then I could work smarter and not harder by just reading summaries instead of hundreds of web pages of information.

With a last check of my skills I went to bed a bit early thinking I’d be able to sleep in.

“Skills Window”

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 0.0%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 4.9%.
{Hiding} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 14.3%.
{Knife Fighting} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%.
{Memorization} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 6.7%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 45.3%.
{Running} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 5.3%.
{Russian} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.1%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 12.6%.
{Sneaking} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 11.8%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 5.8%.

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