Chapter 16) I R Copyman!

Monday, September 14th, 2015

I woke up less than 3 hours after finally falling asleep to two anticipated windows and a bunch of surprises, including one window I ignored.

Through use of the skill {Pain Tolerance} it has reached Master level.
{Pain Tolerance} (Master, Passive) EXP: 12.2%.
You have gained 1 Physical Stamina.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 0.25 Willpower.
You have gained 5 EXP.

That was somewhat expected and very welcome.

Through use of the skill {Regeneration} it has reached Advanced level.
{Regeneration} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 3.1%.

Which was even more welcome. It had been days since it went up last. As it faded the first surprise popped up.

You have reached 2 Healing Rate.
A bonus of +1 has been applied to your Vitality.
You can now see all advanced stats.
The Advanced Stats Window has been merged with the Character Window.

As soon that faded I opened the Character window.

Class Explorer Level 0
EXP 10 Next Level EXP 1000
HP 190/200 MP 230/235
Physical Energy 240/250 Mental Energy 530/540
Psi 280/280 KI 210/210
HP Regen 3.0/min MP Regen 0.24/min
PE Regen 0.25/min ME Regen 0.54/min
Psi Regen 0.28/min KI Regen 0.21/min
Agility 16/16 Hand-Eye 10/10
Intelligence 28/28 Luck 6/6
Mental Stamina 53/54 Physical Stamina 24/25
Strength 21/21 Vitality 19/20
Wisdom 23/23.5 Willpower 20.5/20.75
Titles available:
Slightly Masochistic, Not So Slightly Masochistic, Moderately Masochistic, Seriously Masochistic

… I had Mental energy, Magic points, Psionic points and KI? The other ones I could kind of accept but how the hell did I use those? It wasn’t hard to link various stats to each other but it still was fairly confusing.

That wasn’t the most confusing thing of the morning though. The most confusing thing was the weird feeling I had that was getting stronger and stronger as though someone was poking me on the forehead harder and harder while telling me to close my eyes.

It was impossible to resist after a couple minutes so I closed my eyes only to see the Earth floating in space instead of darkness. As I watched thousands of red lights lit up all over the world.

Suddenly I felt as though a cold hand grabbed me and painfully squeezed me while dragging my viewpoint was downward until I floated hundreds of miles above Ontario. The view reminded me of a population map, the type that show a light for each unit of population, since most of the lights in Ontario were clustered along the south border. I could easily pick out Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa and my city.

My viewpoint was drawn closer and closer until I was floating a few miles above my city. There were 4 red dots on the city, all at the center. Moments after I thought of that the number 4 was put on the top right corner of my vision, moving around as I looked around.

The pain from the invisible hand crushing me was growing until I was opening my mouth to scream at whoever was doing that to me.

Before I could say anything though my body was launched like a rocket upwards. The number blurred through 10’s, 100’s, 1000’s, 10000’s as I flew higher. I was stopped as though I had hit a wall when the whole Earth was visible. All the lights were visible, even through the planet, for a moment while the counter was at 729385, when the view ended and I found myself back in bed.

Thoughts of stats and the other things in my Character window were gone from my head.

Cold foreign facts sat in my mind. I was absolutely sure the counter was how many people had a power. There were 3 others in a 30 mile radius with a power. And I could see that view whenever I wanted.

My first thought was that we weren’t killing each other fast enough for whatever was behind these powers. A week ago exactly we gained the resonance or ‘The Echo’ as the media called it. Now the one or ones responsible had upped ante.

Would there be even more knowledge like the city blocks where people were located next Monday? Names and faces the Monday after that?

Pondering that I got up and started getting ready to search. I needed to find those 3 and get ready if they were all hostile. I already knew the construction worker was and I doubted he was ready to listen to me. He seemed the type to kill first and ask questions never.

One question that occurred to me while eating was, did this new map come from whoever gave us these powers, or was it from one of those who gained a power?

A quick browse of the news didn’t answer the question but it did show that many people were reporting that they could see the map when they woke up.


I decided to start my search just northeast of where I searched the other day. From there I would zigzag along a path that searched most of the northeast and east parts of the city. That would be around 3 square miles of blocks, but it was spread across a much wider area.

I left home and started the search around 10:30am. I decided to pickup a new jogging top on the way since the hood on the last one didn’t hurt to have when I was in front of witnesses.

After spending more money I was on my way to search with a mix of running and walking.

The long search gave me lots of time to think about the windows I had first thing in the morning.

{Pain Tolerance} was helping a lot and so was Pain Resistance. Pain Resistance was at 31%.

“Help Pain Tolerance”

{Pain Tolerance}
Novice – Allows the user to tolerate minor pain by compartmentalizing the pain into one section of the brain.
Beginner – Allows the user to tolerate lesser pain and ignore minor pain if need be.
Intermediate – Allows the user to tolerate moderate pain and ignore lesser pain if need be.
Advanced – Allows the user to tolerate serious pain and ignore moderate pain if need be.
Master – Allows the user to tolerate critical pain and ignore serious pain if need be.
Grandmaster – Allows the user to tolerate any pain, ignores all but deadly pain, and reduces pain felt by allies by a rank. Requires 20 Willpower to enforce upon the world.

Grandmaster level seemed like it would be incredibly useful when I reached that. However since I was healing at 16 times with Advanced {Regeneration} my arm should be totally healed after another day or two. The way I’d read it {Regeneration} could quickly heal the bone as soon as it had started to fuse together and could count as not completely broken.

I double checked with help.

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.

Browsing windows kept me somewhat busy but it was a fairly boring search overall.


Just after 1pm I was hungry but had finished the search. I’d had to cover well over 15 miles by looping around different sections of streets. I didn’t find any Resonance though. I’d pushed myself with regularly running until I was a bit out of breath but didn’t get any Vitality or Physical Stamina out of it which was fairly disappointing. And a bit confusing.

One plus was {Mapping} leveled up from Novice to Beginner and then Intermediate from plotting a route on my cell, memorizing it and then executing the route. The speed slowed down a lot after reaching Intermediate though.

I headed back home to eat while going over my gains. 10 EXP, 2 Intelligence, 1 Wisdom, 0.25 Willpower, and 2 Mental Stamina in total.


At home I downloaded some free Spanish audio lessons while I took the dog out and cooked a fast late lunch. I wanted to have something to listen to while I searched the south end of the city during the afternoon. I decided to try and see if that would be enough to gain the {Spanish} language skill. I had borrowed the skill book but it was a lot less painful to gain it without the book.

The south part of the city was fairly narrow at first as it followed the lake and then slowly widened as the side streets got longer. I decided to follow the main road south and search the side roads on my way back north.

Putting on the audio lessons, I started my run.

Less than 15 minutes later I felt it. I had passed a strip mall, a number of restaurants, businesses and a few houses before I reached the main mall of the south end side.

I slowly started to circle the mall. It was made up of stores along the front and a few that could only be reached through a hallway inside. I wasn’t in a hurry to meet them since I preferred to locate them first if possible. If they were still I could triangulate them to some extent.

About 5 minutes into circling I was fairly sure the person was in the pet store that faced the parking lot and I’d finally got the {Spanish} notification.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Spanish} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 2.4%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 50 EXP.

I’d expected that, the pleasant part was the following window.

By learning 5 languages to the Novice level you have gained a new title.
Title “Polyglot I” has been gained.
Title “Polyglot” has the effect of speeding language comprehension by 5%.

Saying “Equip Polygot I” worked the first time. I might have been getting better at guessing, or the system might be more flexible. It was hard to tell.

A few minutes afterwards I’d made a complete circle around the mall and was 100% sure the person with a power was in the pet store. What was interesting was the bloodlust I was sensing from that store. It wasn’t surprising they had noticed me circling.

It was a bit hard to understand at first. If I compared the construction workers bloodlust as a giant spotlight hurting me everywhere, the multiple bloodlust pains were more like pen lights in comparison.

Standing at the far edge of the parking lot I had to make a decision. Go in, wait for them to come out, or leave entirely.

Going in felt stupid, waiting felt like I was a stalker, and leaving entirely just put things off. While waiting was likely the most prudent thing I had a bad feeling if I spent too long doing it I would get another title I’d be ashamed of.

I slowly walked towards the outside entrance to the pet store. There was another entrance inside the mall to it, but the hallways in there were bound to have security cameras.

When I was within about 30 feet of the door I could see a woman standing visible behind the glass. The Resonance was coming from her. What was strange though was there was no bloodlust at all.

I raised both hands to show they were empty and then waved at her with my right. In theory that was to show I wasn’t dangerous. In practice almost every movie I saw that in someone was about to pull a dirty trick, hopefully she never had that realization. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to say when I realized she wasn’t hostile.

When I got a bit closer and the reflection off the glass wasn’t as overpowering I could tell she was a brunette, maybe mid 20’s to late 20’s, fairly cute and almost my height.

She stepped back to let me open the door and I stepped in. Up close I could see her name tag read Janice.

“Hello, are you here to-” she said before I cut her off while I glanced around the store. The sources of the bloodlust was pretty obvious now that I was inside.

“Wait, let me say something first. I can tell you aren’t thinking of attacking me, and I am not interested in attacking you. It is freaking me out to feel so much bloodlust from puppies, kittens, and baby rabbits though. Can you do something to calm them down?”

“What do you mean calm them, they are just sitting in their cages,” she asked while looking confused.

“Take a look, each of them is eyeing me. I assume it’s part of your power. If not then at least some would be asleep or playing or something.”

She studied them for a bit while I stayed still. I had a weird tingling in my hands. Figuring it was from adrenaline I tried calming myself too with some slightly deep breaths but it wasn’t going away. The bloodlust though was slowly decreasing until it was fairly mild and the animals started behaving more normally.

“Thanks. Having a power to control animals is pretty cool.”

“No, I don’t have a power to control them. Actually I know I have something since I felt the Echo a few times like the TV news mentioned but I can’t control the animals. They seem to listen a lot more when I ask them to do something but still do what they want.”

“You can’t feel them or anything?”

“No, the only thing new I can feel is the Echo off people like you,” she said.

It kind of reminded me of a novel I read as a kid. There was an easy experiment to find out though. I don’t why but the tingling in my hands was still getting stronger not weaker. It felt familiar but I couldn’t quite place it.

“Did you say anything out loud to them when you felt me come close?”

“No, I was scared since I’d watched a lot of fighting on the news but I don’t really talk to myself or pets unless I want them to do something. I’ve never wanted to grow into the crazy cat lady role of talking to them, instead I prefer to quietly cuddle and play with them.”

She was clearly feeling a lot more comfortable with me now that we were talking about the animals. I had my doubts about her being the quiet type even if she thought she was.

“Try an experiment. Face away from them, towards me, and in your head ask them to roll over. Don’t say it out loud.”

She face me, closed her eyes for some reason and seemed to try it.

Past her I could see about half the animals roll over. A quarter just laid down. The rest were all cats that seemed to be ignoring her.

“Projective telepathy with animals. Most times telepathy is mentioned they talk about reading minds, but that’s only incoming thoughts. Talking to another person or animal’s mind is projecting. They can obviously refuse, or not understand, but can’t ignore you since you are sending it directly to their head.” The tingling in my hand was so bad now that I felt like it was vibrating.

“So I can talk to them but not hear them,” she asked.

“Maybe someday you can hear them, I don’t know. That’s likely why they were sending bloodlust out, they felt you being scared and wanted to protect you.”

She was saying something but I tuned her out, I had figured out what the tingling was. It was the same feeling as when I was in the library running my hands over books to try and find skill books.

“Can I touch your head? I promise it won’t hurt or do anything bad to you. My power seems to be to make things like a computer RPG game. I think if I try I can identify your ability,” I said out of nowhere to her. I was pretty sure if someone had come up to me with that line I’d be more scared but she surprised me and accepted right away. But then I knew she was fairly trusting or she would have run away when I first showed up.

I was a bit afraid of her future. She likely had a string of bad boyfriends bossing her around, and with people with powers out there it might be worse.

I carefully reached out and put my palm on the top of her head while asking her to try giving the animals. Normally it took 20 minutes to get a skill book to work but apparently people were different.

Would you like to copy the power ‘Projective Telepathy-Mammals’?

“Your power is Projective Telepathy with Mammals. Which is why the snake and spider pets didn’t show bloodlust I guess. It’s asking me if I want to copy it. Do you mind?”

“I won’t lose it,” she asked.

“The wording is usually very accurate, it will only copy not steal,” I replied.


Again she was way too trusting. I’d met a few people that in my life but very few were adults.

I said “Copy” before blacking out yet again.


When I woke I was alone in the store’s backroom sitting on the floor against the wall. Apparently she had dragged me there. Likely a small benefit of moving heavy feedbags around. I ached a bit in my right arm, I think I must have fell on it. Happily after a bit that would spread across my body and dampen. The brutal headache though, I had no real hope it would disappear until I slept and woke. A window was waiting for me.

Due to your actions you have gained a Power.
The power ‘Projective Telepathy – Mammals’ has been created.
You have unlocked the Powers Window.

“Powers Window”

RPG Growth
Projective Telepathy – Mammals

“Help RPG Growth”

The RPG Growth power allows you to focus and slowly grow your power using a RPG interface.

So it wasn’t that the world was an RPG world, more that my power let me interface with it that way so I could pick which things to grow first.

Janice must have heard me talking out loud, she came through the doorway as I was thinking about the implications of all that.

“I tried it out a few times afterwards while I waited for you to wake up. The dogs listened to me whenever I asked them to do anything, or at least most of them. One seemed a bit confused. Were you able to copy my power?”

“Yeah, let me try one more experiment. Sit down and let me touch you again please.”

This time it didn’t even seem to occur to her to think about it. Way, way too trusting of strange men in the back of her store.

“Copy Regeneration”

Would you like to copy the ability {Regeneration}?

Without giving her a chance to question what I was up to I said yes.

And blacked out again.


It was past 7pm when I woke the next time. I was exhausted but convinced it was worth it. Just taking powers without offering anything in return would have led to a slippery slope. And she seemed the type who could use {Regeneration} a lot.

I gave her my cell number and first name but nothing else while I called a cab. I was pretty much done for the day since my head was pounding.

At home I dragged the dog out, explained if she peed fast she would get a treat, got her the treat, a granola bar for me, and then went to bed. It wasn’t even 8pm but I couldn’t imagine getting anything else done until I’d slept at least 8-10 hours

Just before sleeping I checked my Character Window.

Class Explorer Level 0
EXP 70 Next Level EXP 1000
HP 190/200 MP 230/245
Physical Energy 240/250 Mental Energy 30/570
Psi 280/300 KI 210/210
HP Regen 3.2/min MP Regen 0.25/min
PE Regen 0.25/min ME Regen 0.57/min
Psi Regen 0.3/min KI Regen 0.21/min
Agility 16/16 Hand-Eye 10/10
Intelligence 28/30 Luck 6/6
Mental Stamina 1/57 Physical Stamina 24/25
Strength 21/21 Vitality 19/20
Wisdom 23/24.5 Willpower 20.5/21
Titles available:
Slightly Masochistic, Not So Slightly Masochistic, Moderately Masochistic, Seriously Masochistic, Polyglot I

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