Chapter 20) Don’t let anyone see your butt at the city jail or … it will hurt

Friday, September 18th, 2015

I woke, fairly refresh, at 11:40 when my cell alarm went off. The dog was calmly waiting for me while lying on my pants. She had dragged them over to beside my head. I took that as her attempt at being subtle in wanting to go outside.

After taking her outside I started breakfast while trying to plan the day. I had a 2 hour shift, then a few hours to do my shopping and eat supper, then work again until 12:30 AM, and the jailbreak quest started at 3 AM.

There really wasn’t much time to train and I was still lacking one piece of information. Was the jailbreak from the police jail, or the city jail? That wasn’t a particularly hard question to answer but I needed to go slightly out of my way to check while heading shopping.

The police station was about 3 blocks north of the direct route from work to the main mall. And the city jail was about 4 blocks northeast of the mall. Since I could detect the resonance from a bit more than a block currently I didn’t even have to come into view to tell which one had a person with a power in it.

I was hoping the jailbreak was at the police station though. It was closer to home and I really didn’t know the area around the city jail at all. I’d went near the city jail while searching the other day for the construction worker but that didn’t gain me anything more than basic knowledge of the area. In contrast I knew every lane way and street around the station, including a lot of good hiding spots.

Putting aside speculations I still had almost 2 hours to browse the site I found the previous day. First up was committing to memory all the powers of those in my province, Ontario, in the second section of the web site. There was around 1400 people with powers in the province, many of them listed as being near small towns I didn’t know. Adding on that I knew most of the names of the small towns near me but not all them, then I could roughly sort which powers were near me.

I wasn’t sure that helped a lot but knowing more never hurt. Apparently the powers weren’t updated regularly so some of them might be dead or have moved. Just adding 1400 power names and locations to a database once likely took a lot of time, updating it regularly was likely too much to ask when they still hadn’t finished adding in all of North America much less other continents.

I wasn’t really interested in the first section’s news stories of fighting or ‘superhero’ groups forming in general. I did want to search for local or regional events but that could wait a bit.

The most interesting section was the FAQ in the third section, the science/research section. It was created by Researcher, one of the two owners of the site, based on what people knew or strongly guessed.

It still took over an hour of skimming of reading the FAQ and some expansions of questions in separate links to get an overview.

The first interesting thing was that not only was each power unique but most seemed to be linked to something in the person’s past. A made up example was used.

Take 4 different people with fire related powers. Two had their houses burned down as children, one of them with serious burns. A third was a childhood fan of a hero who could turn to flame. The fourth was an arsonist who became fascinated with fire at 19, a late age for an arsonist.

The one who had his house burn down but, escaped safely, became a firefighter and recently gained the power to dampen flames, but not start them or anything else.

The one who was burned as a child gained an ability to be immune to fire but nothing else.

The third gained a power to cover himself safely in flame and is mostly immune to other fires.

The arsonist gained a power to create fire, and change it’s color, but isn’t even slightly immune to flame.

The FAQ went on to state that each power seemed to be wish fulfillment but not consciously so. Each person they interviewed wanted the power badly, or was fascinated by it, at some point in their life.

Because of that there were quite a few dark powers related to assassination, rape, theft, mind reading, stalking, peeping, etc..

On the positive side there were many people who had wanted their parents to get over a disease, or injuries, so there were a lot of variations on healing powers out there.

There were psychics, martial artists, magic users, and many more that were impossible to understand with current science.

Finally, everyone’s power started weak and slowly grew stronger the more they used it. What was interesting was that fighting each other seemed to raise it much faster than normal. Which gave me a theory on how my Quest and Level stuff actually worked. One I don’t want to write until I’ve finished the Quest tonight, since I should level if I’m successful, and had a bit to brood on it.

Beyond that most of what I saw made sense from my experience. RPG Growth was likely picked for me based on all the games, thousands of novels, and daydreams over the years. Which lead to one question the web site couldn’t guess at answering.

How did we get the power? Everyone that had contacted Researcher and Psychicchick that had any kind of detective or psychic skills was unable to find any clues or hints on it. Maybe someone who hadn’t found the web site had a clue but hadn’t released it. The two of them, plus their volunteers, had browsed dozens of theories given out by various people with powers in interviews but nothing stood out as useful.

Most people with a power were no more reliable at guessing than my coworkers who had guessed God, Satan, aliens, the CIA, vaccinations, and growth hormones in animal feed so far. Plenty of religions, special interest groups, random celebrities were talking out their asses on TV at how they had the absolute answer. Which made me even less interested in the news media section of the site.

I’d run out of time so I grabbed the 4 books to return to the library and headed off to work.

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Work was boring and over fast. I thought of doing at least one set of the strength raising circuit but time was tight.

If I hadn’t been running late I could have dropped the library books off on the way to work, but running late hadn’t changed upon getting a power.

On the way home I dropped off the 4 books, picked up Hindi, Italian, Korean and Portuguese, dropped those 4 at home and headed to the mall.

I picked a route that passed about a block away from the police station and sure enough the police weren’t kind enough to jail the fire guy near me. I still didn’t know his name since I didn’t read up after they released the two names so I’ll call him Arsonboy from now on. That leaves Asshat as my nickname for the construction worker.

I really didn’t like how they had disrupted my life. It had already gotten complicated and painful enough with just gaining the power.

Passing the station I kept heading northeast past the mall. Just under two blocks I felt the Resonance from the direction of the City Jail. Considering how much I had decreased my presence I decided to walk past it and up a side street.

What was interesting was the Resonance felt a bit distinct. I hadn’t noticed in any of the previous adrenaline filled interactions with the two but after being near Crystal for hours I could feel that each Resonance was somewhat unique. I couldn’t compare it to how distinct someone looked or sounded but it did feel different somehow. It was worth considering later if I could tell people apart from a distance or not.

The jail was at the roughly southeast corner of an irregular shaped block. The north and west sides had a row of trees with houses beyond, the east side was a minor side street, and the south side was a main street running roughly west to north north east.

It was fenced in, maybe 100 beds and I’d guessed would count as a low security prison serving mainly the regional courthouse. I didn’t think Arsonboy would have any trouble burning his way out through a wall and the wire fence if he wasn’t being watched.

The problem for me was all the cameras. There would be dead spots created by buildings nearby but if I wanted to be close to react to the jailbreak then I’d risk being filmed even with {Hiding} helping mark things.

As I walked by {Hiding} was showing me dead or low coverage areas. But that didn’t mean that he would break out in my direction. If I was on the east behind a building there’s no reason he couldn’t break out to the northwest through the trees into the residential area.

I turned down the side street leading north away from the mall. I wasn’t particularly slow, or acting weird, but I was memorizing everything I saw to make it easier that night. The street turned a bit farther in so I wasn’t in view of the jail anymore. At that point I circled and headed to the mall. The side trip had taken a good thirty minutes of my limited time.

I hit the mall, grabbed a few things I needed like latex gloves, and paper towel, then I hit the grocery store. A freezers worth of frozen dinners, chicken burgers, hamburgers, and various other items were quickly picked up and I was on my way home in a cab.

I dumped it all in the fridge and freezer, took the dog for a quick walk, ate a frozen dinner, and was off to work again. I’d barely worked in everything I’d needed.

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Work went smooth. People were discussing Arsonboy vs. Asshat and other stuff so it was hard not to throw in a few nasty remarks about the two. But resisting temptation is a virtue or something.

I was off like a shot to home at 12:45 AM and Home by 1 AM. I had 2 hours to grab a snack, prepare a plan and be in place.

My skill set was fairly limited though so there wasn’t much to plan.

“Skills Window”

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 58.2%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 7.9%.
{Decrease Mental Presence} (Master, Passive) EXP: 46.0%
{Dodging} (Novice, Active) EXP: 8.8%.
{Hiding} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 43.7%.
{Identification} (Novice, Active) EXP: 7.6%.
{Increase Mental Sensing} (Beginner, Active) EXP: 32.9%
{Jumping} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 4.7%.
{Knife Fighting} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 2.7%.
{Mapping} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 40.6%.
{Memorization} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 91.4%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Master, Passive) EXP: 26.2%.
{Running} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 78.3%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Master, Passive) EXP: 48.5%.
{Sneaking} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 36.8%.
{Swimming} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 3.2%.
{Throwing} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 94.4%
{Unarmed Throws} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.0%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 34.8%.
{Will Crafting} (Novice, Active) EXP: 17.3%

My only distance attack was {Throwing} but it was at a level where I was very accurate and if I was careful it couldn’t be traced back to me.

The one regret I had was that I had a ton of Magic, KI and Psi but no abilities that used them other than talking to mammals. At no point had I suddenly felt KI rushing from my dantian or magic aching to be released so I still had no feeling or clue how to use them.

I grabbed a few latex gloves, a couple sheets of paper towel, switched to some darker clothes, which was hard due to my mostly light colored clothing buying habits, and headed out.

I had one last stop along the bypass. I searched along the ditch for decent rocks. Each one that seemed about half an egg’s size and roughly round I picked up with gloves and put on one sheet of paper towel. I used that to wrap it them.

It was almost impossible for me to eliminate any DNA off the rocks, even if I was wearing gloves some hair or something might fall. But making it harder to find never hurt, and the less there was the more likely it would scrape off if the rock hit the ground or something. Wearing gloves was a bit risky though so I brought several pairs. The first pair I stored in a zip pocket on my jacket so I wouldn’t lose them.

By the time I got to my Resonance range it was a quarter to 2am. I still had a bit over an hour so I headed east of the jail to a coffee shop that was roughly outside my sensing range. Grabbing a couple donuts I sat outside at the outer limit of my Resonance range. I wanted to grind {Increase Mental Sensing} a bit and try an experiment.

There was no reason that {Increase Mental Sensing} had to be an Active skill when {Decrease Mental Presence} was a Passive. Since skills were some kind of mental construct in my head I should be able to change them it seemed. Since my skill was RPG Growth then shouldn’t I be able to grow the skill any way I wanted?

I wasn’t sure if I was trying to convince myself that or really believed it. But I felt strongly that my frame of mind interacted with my power to create skills.

I decided to go with the same mental image I’d used for {Decrease Mental Presence}. My mind was represented by a mostly sunken rock whereas Arsonboy was a big rock at the edge of view making large ring shaped waves. That wasn’t too much different than when I first got {Increase Mental Sensing}. That time I imagined myself at the edge of the pool with my hand in the water feeling the waves.

This time I just calmly pictured the waves washing up and occasionally over my rock. I didn’t have a hand to reach out and do anything. Instead I passively just felt the Resonance waves coming in. Slowly the waves seemed more defined, sharper. They didn’t grow larger, but I could feel them better.

Weirdly I felt like the waves then suddenly grew much larger. Pulling back my mental viewpoint I looked towards my rock icon for Arsonboy’s presence only to see two other rocks creating massive waves as they rushed towards us. The extra practice from sensing them must have put me over the limit since I suddenly saw the blue window and felt the pain.

Due to your actions you have evolved a skill and it has reached Intermediate level.
The skill {Increase Mental Sensing} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 0.7%, has been created.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

The pain from the skill leveling woke me from the trance I’d been in. A quick, entirely reflexive, check of my stats showed I was down 13 Mental Stamina, the cost was the same as creating a skill plus leveling one.

I couldn’t see who the two new Resonances belonged too from where I was almost two blocks east of the jail though.

I checked my cell, and was surprised to see it was 3:57 AM. I’d been in that trance for roughly two hours.

First things first, I moved into some shadows, pulled on a pair of gloves and started running to my preferred hiding spot a 150 feet northeast of the jail. There was a good shadow there that let me see most of the north and east side of the jail.

I got there as two people stepped out of a dark green car on the side street east of the jail. It wasn’t particularly easy to see them from my angle without stepping out, but they didn’t seem at all worried about the cameras. One seemed thin, tall, and blonde, the other a bit older and even taller with dark hair. I couldn’t make out their faces from the angle other than they seemed white…maybe. They had parked at a really bad spot from my point of view.

They simply stood beside the car doing nothing in full view. That wasn’t exactly suspicious and there was only occasional cars along the road south of them. But neither looked at anything other than the jail.

A few minutes went by when one of the doors facing them started to glow a bit around the handle. It wasn’t hard to guess what that was. Moments later a piercing alarm was going off as the door was flung open.

I grabbed a few rocks with my left, picked a favorite with my right and got ready to bean me some escaping convict points. Picturing it as a game helped release a bit of the stress of coldly targeting a person. A rock could kill if I was unlucky.

By the time I was setup and ready to throw, Arsonboy was already at the fence and starting to melt it nearest to the two waiting men. I was going to try and hit him in the leg or stomach as soon as the fence was melted. I wasn’t sure if I could throw at the other two. They hadn’t ever done anything to me and even if they were helping him I wasn’t sure what to do. Maybe try and damage the car windows so they would easily be spotted/stopped by the police?

The tall blonde guy stepped away from his taller friend and towards the fence just as Arsonboy was about to break through. As Arsonboy grabbed the fence to try and push and shake the melted parts to the ground, the blonde held up a hand to the sky. Lights started going around the top of the building, lighting up the yard.

The hand slowly seemed to glow at first. Then small sparks came off like one of those lightning generators you see at a science exhibit. Arsonboy was busy with more melting and glances at the building where the alarm was peeling so he didn’t notice. So far no one had come out of the building.

A guy slowly charging lightning. Another dumber guy holding a metal fence. And a third guy ready to do who knows what. It wasn’t a complex scenario to figure out what was happening next even if I had no clue why.

The first rock was fired and took WannabeThor on the side of the jaw. I’d been aiming at the side of his upper chest facing me but I didn’t regret it.

The second rock missed Arsonboy when he turned to face a shout from the building’s exit he came from. The third hit him in the ass and knocked him sprawling.

The taller dark haired guy was already reacting even though the three rocks took less than four seconds to throw. A massive shock wave blasted out from him in all directions. Even if I’d thrown a rock it wouldn’t have gotten close.

What was weird was he didn’t seem to care that the shock wave flipped his car one way and tossed his blonde friend into the base of the fence because of the angles. He was off and running south away from me with continuous shock waves blasting out. When he reached the edge of the main road he cracked a hydro pole in half just by running near it.

Looking at the prison, the guards rushing out, the 2 men on the ground, it was clearly time for me to go. I was off like lightning to the northeast away from town. It was a few blocks to the base of the ski hill and running up the woods along it as sirens wailed in the background.

It was more than worth taking the long way around even if it meant it might be two hours before I got home.

Along the way I got the notification I’d expected.

Your quest Jailbreak! was successfully completed.
You have gained +1 to all basic stats.
You have gained 500 EXP.

Followed by a second window.

You have reached Level 2.

The windows seemed to confirm my theory on how the quests and levels worked but I decided to try and do some internet searches to confirm my theory the next day.

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It took until almost 6:30 AM before I was home. I’d circled north, then northwest to near the college, then came back home. It was likely overkill, and I was exhausted, but being safe was worth every minute.

I took the dog out, and slept the instant my head hit the pillow.

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