Apoc Now=======Chapter 20
Few more Q&A for y’all.
- All Seeing Eye and All Seeing Eye Type: Are they the same?
All Seeing Eye is an Ability.
All Seeing Eye Type is a Physical Modification and a direct upgrade to the previous ability.
Immortality = Don’t age. That’s all.
Regular People can have 2 Physical Modifications at a max. Immortality does not count against this.
Duplication = One can create a Doppleganger, not duplicate things.
You can Unequip Physical Modifications/Abilities and put them in the System Auction, but you cannot trade them.
Everything won via the Lottery does not take into account limited slots. Though they DO add to the number of limited slots.
Last Note: Long chapters starting now.
David opened his door, looking out at the person who knocked.
“You all set?” Shin asked, looking at David inquiringly. Shin was wearing a pair of black jeans and a dark green sweater, his blond hair sticking up everywhere. David smiled,
“Yeah, mostly, one sec.” David grabbed the pouch of Orbs from his room and jogged back over, shutting the door behind him.
“Let’s get outta here. Is Stacy here yet?” David walked over to the elevator with Shin.
“Not yet, but she called and said she’d be here in a minute or two. We still using your parents Toyota?” Shin watched as David tapped the elevator button. Nothing happened.
David tapped it a few times, trying to force it to work before giving up. He shrugged and looked at Shin,
“It worked yesterday. And yeah, we’re still using our van. I checked with my parents a few days ago and they’re fine with it. My dad doesn’t have work today, and they’ll be fine for a few hours.” David started walking towards the stairs, annoyed that the elevator had stopped working. Many of the small things David had taken for granted before S-Day began had stopped functioning, limiting the choices he had. While the vast majority were just small things, like pedestrian traffic lights or elevators, they accumulated into larger annoyances.
“Here I’ll warp us.” Shin grabbed David’s hand before he could say anything. A moment later, the world shifted and blurred. Instantaneously David found himself on the ground floor of his apartment complex, inside a short hallway. David glared at Shin slightly.
“Well, I suppose that works. Let’s go wait in the lot.” David and Shin exited the apartment building, moving in to the small attached parking lot. They sat there for about fifteen minutes, talking. David told Shin about the A.I. Modification he bought, showing off his new accuracy. With his A.I. Mod, David found it much easier for him to control his Orbs. He felt like he was able to move nearly 200 hundred of the Orbs at once, independently. He hadn’t had time to fully practice, but felt like it would be much easier to use them in combat.
Stacy quickly arrived, rolling up in a small blue Prius. She waved to David and Shin as she parked, sliding in to one of the available spots. The parking lot was rather empty, not many cars inside of it.
Stacy popped out of her Prius. She was wearing a small blue sports shirt with a pair of matching yoga pants. She looked as if she was about to go the gym. She gave them a smile as she walked over.
“Y’all boys ready to check this place out?” Confidence and excitement filled her eyes as she spoke. She looked as if she hoped the government testing site was really a malicious plan to ensnare them, where she would be forced to fight her way out. David eyed her sideways before responding.
“Yeah, let’s go.” He checked the time on his iPhone, seeing it read 7:47 AM. “We have nearly 2 hours before we have to be there, but it’s about an hour drive and I don’t trust that we’ll have clear roads.”
The trio set off, piling into a large green Toyota Sequoia. Shin sat in the front with David while Stacy moved to the back. David thought he heard her whispering to herself as he hopped in.
David put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot, making his way to the north of the city. David’s apartment complex was to the southwest of Austin, not in the city proper. Thanks to this, the area around him was largely undamaged, with very little debris or rubble in the way. There were several abandoned cars on the sides of the road, but the majority of the way was clear. Clean up crews had already cleared the vast majority of roads near in Austin of debris, allowing for travel.
David drove around the city, passing through the suburbs and outskirts via the highway. He encountered very little traffic. As they drove, they went by several large refugee camps. Many people’s homes had been destroyed during the S-Day chaos, and the government had yet to repair all of the danger areas. Therefore, several camps had been created to help people survive.
David had drive for around 45 minutes when a flash of blue light appeared in his vision, highlighting a section of the road well ahead of him. He stared at the stretch of road, slowing down. Large cracks were visible in the road, and there was a lone sign set well ahead of the spot, knocked over. He mentally asked Terry what was the matter. Shin looked at David questioningly.
After reviewing my database, this section of road has been listed as a danger zone, though the reasons for this were not specified. It would be wise to reroute. I have plotted a corrected route for you, it should appear in your vision.
A small blue line suddenly shot forward and turned off the road, leading northward. David watched as it continued off into the distance, headed towards the government test site. He closed off the map application he had been using for directions, trusting in his A.I. Mod. David told Shin and Stacy what he had seen and why he was moving off.
As he pulled off the road, he noticed that several large signs had been tossed off of the road. These signs indicated danger and looked like they had been placed to stop cars from continuing down the road.
David finished pulling off the highway and on to an access road, moving away from the highlighted area. As he drove past it, he saw a truck zoom down the highway, ignoring the large cracks in the road. Before David could say anything, the truck plunged into the danger zone, easily going over a hundred miles an hour.
Immediately, it disappeared. David gaped, looking at the danger zone. Shin had been watching the area as well and had seen the truck disappear. He yelled out,
“What the fuck?” Stacy turned, looking at what they were staring at but not seeing anything. She asked,
“What? What happened?!”
“The truck… It disappeared… The fuck is this shit.” Shin muttered, shaking his head.
They stared at the area as they passed, quickly moving on. David asked Terry if she could look for information about danger zones and was told she would be on the prowl.
They drove for another 30 minutes, slowed down by small amounts of traffic that built up due to wrecked on the roads. Eventually, they arrived in the north area of Austin, and were around 15 minutes away from their destination.
The trio talked about what their plan was if things went south, planning an escape route. Mainly, they just relied on Shin to warp them out, avoiding anything really dangerous. David handed both Shin and Stacy 5 Unbound Life Orbs each, making sure they bound them. Shin now had 7 Life Orbs, Stacy had 6. They stuffed the Orbs in their pockets, not wanting to advertise David’s ability.
Soon they arrived at the testing site. David pulled into the locale, looking around.
The Department of Supers test site was located on a large piece of property that looked completely different then it had on Google Maps. A large modern looking building was set up in the front of the property. David counted off 5 stories as he looked at the modern glass-windowed building, feeling like he was about to walk into an office building. The trio parked their car in a small parking lot in front of the building and got out. They saw a few other people parking and walking towards the building. They joined the small crowd of people, walking in with them.
The inside of the building opened with a huge lobby. An information desk could be seen off to the left, with several government workers helping people with questions. A small crowd of about fifteen people had formed at the end of the hall, looking as if they were waiting on something. David and his friends joined the small crowd, waiting for it to be time.
A few minutes passed by with nothing happening. David checked his phone, seeing that it was nearing 10 AM. He talked with Shin as they waited.
At precisely 10 AM, a man wearing a suit and tie walked out. He had dark brown hair and green eyes. He looked to be in his late 30’s, a tired look in his eyes. He walked up to the group with a smile and said,
“Welcome! I am Kyle Martin, in charge of the Texas Department of Supers recruitment site. I understand that many of you have traveled a very long distance to arrive here, so please follow me and we will begin promptly.” The man turned around, gesturing for the crowd of now around 20 people to follow. David exchanged glances with Shin and Stacy, following the man. As the man led them down a hallway breaking off of the lobby, he spun a pen between his fingers, manipulating it deftly.
After around 30 seconds of walking, they arrived in a large gymnasium like room. It was very spacious and looked like it could comfortable hold a couple hundred people. The man turned around as they all walked in, waiting patiently. When everyone had filed in, he began to talk,
“Again, my name is Kyle Martin, y’all can call me Kyle. I would guess that many of y’all have questions and I’ll do my best to answer some of the more common ones right now. The Department of Supers is the American governments official response to the S-Day outbreak. Supers have fastly becoming a normal part of our world. In order to welcome this new era, the Department of Supers was formed.” He paused for a moment, making sure everyone had heard. The man continued speaking,
“Various groups of Supers have formed across the globe. The entire world experienced S-Day, not just America, and thus our enemies have been given Super powers as well as our allies. We have had information that several terrorist bands of Supers have formed, with the sole purpose of destroying America. As such, our mission here in the Department of Supers is to protect America from enemy Supers and ensure the safety and freedom of our great nation. While joining is optional, the government would implore you to help defend our nation. You will be greatly compensated, with salaries that correspond to the Class of hero you rank in. The minimum class, Class D, are paid an average of $50,000 a year. The highest class, Class S, the earnings you may are near limitless.”
As he spoke, the crowd around David began perking up. David began thinking furiously, taking in what the man said. He sent a mental request to Terry, asking her to confirm what he said.
Yes, he is speaking the truth. Al Qaeda, ISIS, and several other terrorist organizations have recruited Supers or gained large numbers of points by force. While there are little to no available Physical Modifications/Abilities that can be purchased due to maxed out slots, many of the Weapons and Armors are not limited. These organizations are rapidly becoming a large threat. After consideration, this Department of Supers has indeed been formed to combat these forces, though this is not the sole reason. I would predict that there are several more underlying reasons to the formation of this group, including political activities, keeping up with other nations military forces, and more.
Terry conveyed all of this in an instant to David, their communications passing through his mental connection extremely fast.
The crowd around David looked like they were more concerned with the amount they would be paid. When they heard the large salaries afforded to Supers, many of them began smiling. After S-Day, the value of the U.S. Dollar had skyrocketed as the nation returned to normal. The government had proven that it could survive instability, and people placed their trust in the government as chaos devolved. The situation was similar in Europe as well as the value of the Euro increased.
Earning money, however, had become much more difficult after S-Day. A majority of jobs became available, but pay had decreased as the dollar came to be worth more. The Federal Government had lowered the Federal minimum wage to a mere $4 an hour to combat deflation.
With the cheaper minimum wage and increased value of the dollar, the amount people were paid for their work was lowered across the board. Therefore, to fine a job that paid, at a minimum, $50,000, was seen as a huge break for these Supers.
Many of the people that had become a Super were ordinary citizens that were randomly gifted a large number of points. Most of these citizens didn’t want to join violent gangs or take over the world, they just wanted stability and safety. When offered a well paid job and the knowledge that they would be protecting their families and nation from attack, many were greatly enticed.
The recruiter continued speaking,
“Today, we have set up a small test to help us place you in the correct category. We have a few of our current Supers in the Department here with us today.” The man suddenly made a hand motion, and three men walked in from a door on the opposite side of the large room.
The group that walked in were all dressed very differently. In the lead of the trio was a kid that looked like he was barely 18 or 19. He was wearing saggy jeans with several chains looping out of his pockets. He wore a Death Metal shirt and had dark dyed hair. Shin and the kid seemed to make an instant connection, nodding to each other.
The man to the right of the punk looking kid couldn’t look more different. He was wearing a suit and tie, with a small briefcase in his hand. He looked like a salaryman that worked in an office, preparing for his day. The third person standing to the left of the punk was a handsome, blonde kid, also young. He looked maybe 20 or 21. He was wearing an open vest with no shirt, displaying his well toned and tan body. He had on a pair of swim trunks and looked like he had just walked off of a beach.
The sheer juxtaposition of the group shocked David slightly.
The recruiter introduced the Supers.
“These are three of our Class A Supers. The young gentleman in the front goes by Dredd, and has the Lightning Body Type Physical Modification. The man to his right goes by the name Brief and has the Herculean Strength Physical Modification. The young man to the left goes by Surf and has the Werewolf Physical Modification. These three are some of the strongest Supers in our Department, and will be here to analyze your abilities and help us coordinate which class to place you in.”
The recruiter looked among the recruits calmly, seeing a few worried looks. He said aloud,
“Now, understand that the reason we split you into separate Classes is to help us coordinate our defense. By having separate levels of strength split up, we are able to dispatch the exact amount of force needed to solve a situation as soon as possible. You are able to change your Class level if you can show a sufficient level of power or capability to move yourself up a rank.”
Several of the people in the crowd nodded, understanding what the man said. Shin was making hand signals at the punk looking Super nicknamed Dredd. Dredd was responding, trying to act covert. David stared at the two, shaking his head. Of course Shin would find a like soul already, he thought, hiding a smile.
“Perfect! Then, without further adieu, lets begin!” The recruiter quickly split the crowd into three lines, spreading them out in the large gymnasium. David, Shin, and Stacy were all split into a separate line. David gave them an encouraging smile as he walked behind the person in front of him. He was second in line.
David watched as the person in front of him, a middle-aged man with a slight limp, walked up to the Super that was testing him. David had gotten the businessman looking Super, the one nicknamed Brief, as his tester. Brief and the middle-aged testee exchanged a few words, talking too quietly for David to hear. A soft whirring sound sounded out and suddenly the words the two men were saying popped up as text in front of him.
I have applied the words their lips are forming and translated them into text for you.
David sent her a mental thanks, reading what the two were saying.
“Hi, you can call me Brief.” The Department Super had said, offering him a warm smile.
“Hello.” The middle-aged man had responded. "I am Jackson McDaniel, you can call me Jack.”
Brief had nodded, looking at him calmly.
“What is your power, Jack?”
Jack shook for a moment before replying nervously,
“I have the Iron Body Type Physical Mod. I can transform my entire body into a tough durable iron.” The middle-aged man suddenly transformed, his skin taking on a visible dark grey sheen.
David sent a mental request, asking Terry for information on his ability. She responded:
Iron Body Type – 1050 points
A lesser version of the Steel Body Type, this gives the user greatly increased defensive abilities, allowing him to change the physical makeup of his body to an iron substance. For more information, please use the Information Gatherer Ability.
A smile appeared on Briefs face as he said
“Excellent! That’s a very useful power. There’s no need for you to continue testing. Once our Information Gatherers verify what you have said, you will be promoted to the group that all Iron Body Types start at, Class C Supers. If you wish to join a higher rank, you can spar against me later on and we can adjust your rank accordingly.” Brief clapped the man on the back heartily, nodding over at the recruiter. The well-dressed recruiter walked over, taking down the middle-aged mans information with a smile. The middle-aged man began smiling with relief, happy to have been accepted so easily.
David tore his eyes off the man as the Super called David forward. Brief smiled at David encouragingly as he walked up.
“What is your power, young man?” He waited patiently for David to respond.
David replied, “I have two powers. I am a Life Orb Master, and I have the ability Energy Expand/Store.” David decided to keep his A.I. Mod a secret if he could, not wanting to give away all of his advantages.
Brief looked at him in a surprised manner. People with a Physical Modification and an ability were extremely rare, and he had heard of neither power. Brief paused for a moment before saying,
“Ah one moment. I’m not familiar with either power, I’ll check them real quick.” He pulled out a small tablet from his briefcase, scrolling through the list. Suddenly his eyes bulged as he looked down at what he was reading and then back up at David.
“An 8,000+ point Physical Mod?!” He said, staring at David as if he was a monster.
“Uh yeah, that’s me haha.” David replied.
“Ahem, forgive me. From what I can see, it appears to be a very useful ability. You can create Life Orbs that act as a respawn correct?” David nodded, confirming what Brief said.
“You Expand/Store Energy ability gives you access to a low level transformation power, with the ability to upgrade your transformation as you reach exponentially higher amounts of stored energy. The standard transformation is a Class D transformation, putting you at roughly twice your normal strength. Correct?” David nodded again, wondering how they had accumulated all of this information so quickly. He himself had taken hours to search and find information when he was researching powers.
“Hmm, I see, I see. Combat wise, your ability to transform and die over and over without consequence places you in our upper echelons. However, your physical combat potential is just too low. Several of the higher class of Supers could kill you over and over as you respawn, camping your spot till you die. As such, I think it would be best if you were introduced as a Class B Super.” Brief nodded his head confidently, giving David a smile. Brief motioned again and the Recruiter walked over, a smile on his face. David walked over with the recruiter as Brief called up the next person in line, standing on the opposite side of the large room.
The recruiter quickly walked over what being a Class B Super meant. David would have unlimited access to the resources of the Department of Supers, allowed to draw on all types of System Weaponry and Armor. He would be allotted full access to the training halls and free classes in several different colleges. As a Class B Super, his family would be afforded basic protection and allowed to move into a government-protected neighborhood. He would also earn a $250,000 salary, with bonuses available depending on various circumstances.
From his viewpoint, David could find nothing bad about joining the Department of Supers. His family would be well protected, living in a safer area then they currently were. He would have access to powerful weapons and armor for free, get paid a large salary, and most importantly in his opinion, join a large network of Supers and begin to gain contacts.
David knew that he could make as much money as he needed already, his ability to create Unbound Life Orbs solving that problem. However, he hadn’t found a way for him to make connections with other Supers and form his own group. He considered using the System Auction Forums, but felt like physically meeting other Supers would be much more effective. He knew that the world was not nearly as secure as people thought, and the more powerful a group he was part of, the safer he and his family would be.
The recruiter gave David a small card with a number on it, telling him that he had three days to consider his decision. He was under no obligation to join and the decision was entirely his. As David was pondering his choices and waiting for Shin and Stacy to finish, a small commotion suddenly broke out.
David turned to see the punk looking Super staring at Shin in shock. Shin had a sheepish smile on his face, looking rather surprised as well. The recruiter hurriedly walked over, talking quietly to the punk looking Super. David tried to see their lips and read what they said but couldn’t, the angle he was standing at was too off.
The two of them quickly finished talking and looked at Shin, shock filling the recruiters eyes as well. The recruiter walked up to Shin and began to talk excitedly, handing him a small card. He shook his hand and walked off, glancing back at Shin several times. Shin looked around stupefied before walking over to where David was standing, on the other side of the gymnasium. All the surrounding people stared at Shin as well, confused.
Shin ambled up to David, walking with a swagger. He smiled as he asked,
“What Class did you get put in?”
“Class B. What about you?”
Shin smiled, a boyish grin covering his face,
Name: David Care Points: 590 Race: Human Lottery Slots: 5
Class: Life Orb Master/A.I. Mod Energy Stored: 666.5 hours
Abilities: Life Orb Designate, Life Orb Create, Store/Expand Energy
Stored Inventory: Glock 17 Gen4 Handgun
Life Orbs: 47