Chapter 13) Now with more character!

Friday, September 11th, 2015

My cell’s alarm went off at 6:15. If the construction worker was going to drive by at the same time I had a good 30 minutes to prepare.

The pain was a dull ache throughout my body. Only when I touched the broken bone or tried to touch anything with left hand did it specifically ache, and even that drained into the general pain if left a bit.

First I needed a shower, so I went and cleaned up a bit of the blood and skin I missed cleaning last night out of the tub.

It was already awkward to shower one handed and being distracted made it tougher, but I started going through the windows I’d ignored last night.

“Stats window”

Agility 15/15
Hand-Eye 8/8
Intelligence 23/23
Luck 5/5
Mental Stamina 42/42
Physical Stamina 23/23
Strength 20/20
Vitality 18/18
Wisdom 18/18

Everything was much higher than when I could first see my stats window. I was pretty sure my Mental Stamina alone was over 4 times higher than the day I gained my power.

For all the good it did me yesterday.

“Skills Window”

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 1.5%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 7.9%.
{Dodging} (Novice, Active) EXP: 8.8%.
{Hiding} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 6.3%.
{Identification} (Novice, Active) EXP: 2.7%.
{Jumping} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 4.5%.
{Knife Fighting} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%.
{Memorization} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 43.7%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 8.6%.
{Running} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 12.5%.
{Russian} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.1%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Master, Passive) EXP: 2.1%.
{Sneaking} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 13.7%.
{Swimming} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 3.2%.
{Unarmed Throws} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.0%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 12.4%.

I now had 2 Master skills and 4 Advanced that were pretty far from leveling up. Most of my Novice and Beginner skills could be leveled with just an hour or two of work if need be. Intermediate and Advanced were the levels where the EXP started to slow down.

I still couldn’t see my EXP in {Regeneration} but I’d felt it level up twice over the hours of ‘training’ I did. It was a similar to how I felt when I gained Heat Resistance.

“Help Regeneration”

{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.

At Intermediate {Regeneration} I could see ahead to the Advanced rank. But even Advanced didn’t do what I needed since the bone was completely broken.

One plus though was that the wound where the bone had been poking out was scabbed over completely and most of the bruising was gone. Even if the bone was snapped below the skin, the injury looked like it had taken place days ago.

At the rate I was healing I had a near perfect alibi by Saturday. If I went into Emerg Saturday morning and explained I hurt myself days earlier and the pain wasn’t going away, they would likely X-ray and set it for me. With {Regeneration} likely to hit Advanced sometime in the next few days, even if I didn’t try to raise it, I’d get 16 times healing speed. I could take an 8 week cast off in 3-4 days.

I dried off and wrapped my left forearm and hand in the elastic bandages. There was nothing wrong with my hand but it would help remind me to not pick anything up with that hand.

It was close to 7am when I was done and still no warning from {Sense Bloodlust} so I started watching the morning news. I’d lost track of what was going on over the last few days and still had 5 hours until the quest was complete.

CNN was covering fighting people super powered people across the world. It took me a while to catchup but happily they like to repeat the basic information a lot. That helped in the first hour, buy by the second it was wasting my time so I started searching specifics on my cell.

Apparently ‘The Echo’ was what the media was calling the resonance. It had first appeared on Sunday, 7 days after I’d gotten my notification about the {Walking} skill.

Most people hadn’t noticed it since they didn’t live too close to another person with powers. And those that noticed it were generally peaceful or at least afraid of doing anything the police could charge them for. So during the first few days only minor isolated fights broke out that didn’t make the news because the people didn’t have flashy combat abilities. Having a power to be the world’s best pilot didn’t help block a punch to the face from a super powered poker player. A fight like that looked like a normal brawl.

By midweek people with flashy combat powers like super speed, or throwing ice balls, had started clashing and making headlines.

Likely the construction guy had gotten his house burned down on Sunday or he wouldn’t have attacked me Monday night. I couldn’t find a mention of it though on any of the local news websites. But then I wasn’t sure if they covered every fire.

There was however a brief blurb about me getting my ass kicked the day before. The police were looking for 2 men who had fought near the courthouse yesterday. One was identified but the police weren’t releasing his name until they had located and questioned him. They were asking for any witnesses to help identify the other person.

I decided right then and there to wait to go to the hospital on Sunday. The scab should mostly be healed then. I’d just need a story about falling at home and thinking the pain would go away or something when I went in. It might be good EXP for {Acting}.

By 10 I put on a light jacket to cover the bandages and checked out. It was still drizzling a bit so I didn’t look too out of place. Even if it had been sunny and warm I’d still likely wear it until I was home.

I stopped at the library on my way back, returned the book on martial arts, and picked up a book each on English, French and Japanese. From the math I’d been collecting, ever new skill gave me a guaranteed 1 Intelligence and 1 Mental Stamina. So having an {English} skill which should level fast would help grind a few more points.

If I could grind French up I could get a government job easier if I needed it. It would also help communicate in some of the smaller towns around my city that were mainly French. I lived in an 80% English city so my French had faded since learning it in school. The border to Quebec was only a 30 minute drive away so improving my French would help if I went that way.

Japanese was obviously for Anime and manga raws.

By noon I was home, unpacked, and had cleaned the dog’s food and water dish for when I picked her up in the afternoon. I had time to gain {English} from the book before the quest ended so I did.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {English} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

I watched the time close on 12:34, and precisely then I got the window popup I’d been waiting for.

Your quest ‘Escape Capture’ was successfully completed.
You have gained +1 to all basic stats.
You have gained 1000 EXP.

The window faded only to be replaced by another.

You have reached Level 1.
The Character Window has been unlocked.
The Basic Stats Window has been merged with the Character Window.
The Titles Window has been merged with the Character Window.

I assume that meant I started off at level 0 when I gained this power.

“Character Window”

Class None
Level 1
EXP 1925
Next Level EXP 2000
Title
Agility 15/16
Hand-Eye 8/9
Intelligence 23/25
Luck 5/6
Mental Stamina 27/44
Physical Stamina 23/24
Strength 20/21
Vitality 18/19
Wisdom 18/19
Titles available
Slightly Masochistic, Not So Slightly Masochistic, Moderately Masochistic

I’d tried to ignore the new titles I’d gained over the night from not taking pain pills while grinding up {Pain Tolerance} and Pain Resistance but there they were.

I decided to go into work a bit early so that I could pickup the dog earlier. I trained {Sneaking} continuously but it was going up fairly slowly. A few coworkers asked about my bandaged arm but a little bit of {Acting} and a story of scraping it badly during a fall let me off.

Skipped working out after the shift and headed straight to the pickup the dog. She was ecstatic to see me and way too full of energy so I took her on a nice long walk along the bike path and back to home.

A quick dinner, absorbing the skill {French}, and off to work again.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {French} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 50 EXP.

I hadn’t really wondered about my EXP level or my level either. With no real reference it was hard to start puzzling either out. Now that I saw I gained 50xp per new skill I wondered what I got for leveling up a skill.

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

Work was extremely boring. Other than some {Sneaking} and {Acting} grinding it passed without anything special.

I can’t quite describe my mood other than mentally exhausted from trying to raise {Regeneration} all the previous night.

I had absolutely no interest in grinding more skills since my head was killing me. No interest in watching the news. All I needed was to snuggle with the dog and get some sleep. Tomorrow I would try to make a plan for getting stronger, but for now I needed a break.

I checked my new window and skills one last time before bed.
“Character Window”

Class None
Level 1
EXP 1975
Next Level EXP 2000
Title
Agility 15/16
Hand-Eye 8/9
Intelligence 23/26
Luck 5/6
Mental Stamina 12/45
Physical Stamina 23/24
Strength 20/21
Vitality 18/19
Wisdom 18/19
Titles available
Slightly Masochistic, Not So Slightly Masochistic, Moderately Masochistic

“Skills Window”

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 38.3%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 7.9%.
{Dodging} (Novice, Active) EXP: 8.8%.
{English} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 60.7%.
{French} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0%.
{Hiding} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 9.1%.
{Identification} (Novice, Active) EXP: 3.2%.
{Jumping} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 4.5%.
{Knife Fighting} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%.
{Memorization} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 43.9%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 17.5%.
{Running} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 12.5%.
{Russian} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.1%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Master, Passive) EXP: 3.7%.
{Sneaking} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 19.4%.
{Swimming} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 3.2%.
{Unarmed Throws} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.0%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 12.8%.

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