Accountability 1.5

Acc 1.4                                                                     Acc 1.6
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Gold mine! This is just what I was looking for. I’ve never heard of the teleport skill tree, but I can already imagine the possibilities. Gleefully I shout “Teleport!” at the top of my lungs, activating the imprinting sequence.  I feel fire forcing its way through my veins, looking at my arms, I see it burns blue, and is going against the flow of blood. In blissful agony I feel myself torn in half by the fire forcing its way out of my body and all of a sudden I’m a foot away, still coated in blue fire. Laughing weakly I fall to the ground; listless as the flame burns out. This was one of the worst imprintings I’ve ever heard of; most are generally harmless, but I’m not really that surprised considering the rarity of the skill and the possibilities this it holds.

Since the release of VR any world that has had paranormal effects has also had a limited Artificial Intelligence to help refine the data packets. Naturally in the case of [Skills] this means that every time a human being obtains one the ease of knowledge assimilation and the ability to use it improves. It is successively easier each time to the point where most skill imprinting is hardly even noticeable now due to the AI’s constant refinements. This was actually the first time I’ve ever even felt it.

Blinking away my tears I reach forward toward the stars and clench my fist. This was going to be a good run. Maybe the reset hadn’t been a complete loss I thought with a pang.

*******

When  Robbie was twenty he had  already lived as much as men thrice his age. Being an Advancer meant that he lived the majority of his life in constant virtual reality, where the Artificial Intelligences taught him everything he needed to know about the world, it’s state, and his place in it.

PEAT or Primary Education Assistance Teacher was a standardized  educational AI which insured this process went well for Advancer children.  Peat took the form of a small animal unique to each child. Gone were the days of overstuffed classrooms with overtaxed teachers, and instead each child felt they had one on one tutorship, as they were unable to see or interact with other childrens PEAT module. Many of the PEAT lessons were conducted in common VR games; for the children in Robbie’s group the game their PEATs favored most was Fuzion. It had an emphasis on the creation of unique skills and items through a special fusion process. You gained the chance to fuse something every other level and the possibilities were endless with the AI adapting to the user if needed.

They were being educated to become engineers, programmers, or inventors, and while they were not forced to be employed in those fields upon reaching their 21st birthday and graduating nearly no one refused, as they had been chosen to take these courses due to their aptitude and personalities. Who wouldn’t want to do something they excel in.

The true beauty in the system; aside from this, was that as they grew in knowledge, identity, and understanding PEATs took a more and more background role. This trend continued until their 21st birthday when they finally just; disappear.

I smile while thinking back about those days. How small those troubles seem now.

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Accountability 1.4

Acc 1.3                                                                                                    Acc 1.5

After gathering a dozen more hides I  take them out of my inventory and slowly scrape them clean. I then wash the hides in a nearby creek to remove the last vestiges of gore from them before I start the drying process. I had hoped that I would have generated the tanning skill by now, as without it they could take up to a week to dry, but that’s just another bad stroke of luck. Sighing I gather fallen branches and cook the rabbits themselves on a freshly built fire.

Using my knife to first cut the rabbits in half; I then spear the halves and roast them over the fire one at a time. After what seems like an acceptable period of time has passed I take them off and lay them in a pile on a large rock. They end up a bit charred, but I never learned how to cook so that’s not surprising. I just hope they end up being edible.

I nibble on one piece and grimace. It was edible… barely; like a dish from a very shady restaurant.

I continued to eat everything I could. What remained I left in a pile about 30 feet south of my campfire. I use this to bait my trap for the night.

*****
The lv 3 wolves never stood a chance. Lured by the scent of the cooked hare four wolves emerged from the depths of the forest, baring their teeth at me as they approached. For my part I didn’t have to act afraid; I was terrified.

I’ve done this before but never without geomancy. This was practically luck and blind hope that the trap doesn’t go off while I’m still within range.

I slowly back up the hill. Ceding the meat to the wolves; who, at this point in time, seem content to leave me alone while they reap the benefits of my labor.

Smiling wickedly now; I reach out toward a giant pile of rocks held in place by a great log and take out long sticks stabbed into the ground in front of it. Using one of the larger ones to pry the log up it starts to tumble down the hill, followed closely by the rocks it had been holding back. The wolves quickly disappeared under the onslaught as I was struck by several messages.

Retreat

Planning

level up

wpid-sketch260112219.png

Fuzion Accessible

“And here is where the game begins!” I scream in ecstasy. I go into my skill menu and select the fusion icon. My skills all begin to glow and I evaluate my options. I was going to combine [Education] with skinning in the hopes of getting tanning, but the new skills intrigue me. I’ve never seen retreat before, as it requires agility to be one of the highest stats, and as a result is normally restricted to primarily rogue characters.

On a whimsy I select adventuring and retreat. It feels interesting since I’m sure no one generally bothers to focus on fleeing, when the penalty for death is just a forced log out and an exp penalty. I receive a prompt asking me if I’m sure. I hesitate for a few moments before I select yes. You only get the chance to fuse a skill every other level so this will have a huge impact on how I develop in this game and despite myself I start grinning. How interesting.

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Acountability 1.3

Acc 1.2                                                                                              Acc 1.4

“So why will I need a dagger little one?’
“Because mama was taken by the bad men with furry faces;” I wince, it sounds like gnolls, the weakest are a minimum of level 13. “and I’m not little! Mama said I was a big girl now and not to cry. My name is Flora.” I almost take a step back, surprised by the npc’s forcefullness.

“I’ve got to go prepare, goodbye Flora” I smile at her; thinking that it never hurts to be a little cordial. She tugs at my pants as I turn around to leave.

“Thank you”

I wave to her as I leave the room and inspect the dagger.

Dagger

I grin despite myself. It has been awhile since I’ve engaged in close combat with anything. My previous incarnation was a geomancer who specialized in manipulating the terrain into impassable barriers and hazards. Whistling I approach the group of npc villagers again.

“Hello again. I don’t suppose you have need for a hunter.”

“a Hunter yes, but not a drunk like you.” Spits a burly villager with a squashed flat nose. ” You’re scum for giving a sweet little girl like Flora false hope.”

I bristle at that. “Listen here I’m an adventurer…”

“Adventurer, bah everyone knows they dissapear when they sleep, but you just laid there for almost a day you drunk bastard.” Shocked by his boldness I stand there speechless. “Now get out of here before I throw you to the wolves at night.”

I leave the village in low spirits. If no one will acknowledge me as an adventurer I’ll be stuck wearing this beginners tunic for way too long.

The only way for me to get around this is to either save enough money from hunting monsters so that I can purchase some new armor from the next town over, or for me to make it myself.

I make my decision based on the first monster I see. It’s a Snow White wolf. It’s sleek coat has a single long since healed. I’m not strong enough to slay it now, but I will be soon enough. I back track closer to the village in search of easier prey.

Eventually I spot a hare basking in the sun. I equip the pitted dagger and take a deep breath. As i attempt to creep closer I startle it; I’m far louder then I realize, probably due to the lack of muffling from the geomancy i usually rely on and the heavy thud from my beginner boots.

I lunge at the hare and it’s eyes sparkle as it dodges with a hop to the right. I carry past the rabbit and pain blossoms in my side while 7 hp shaves off my healthbar. Clutching the pitted dagger a little harder, I finish turning around in a crouched position; leg sweeping in a semi circle.

I stab at the hare and feel my weapon connect leaving a deep red gash in its side. A glowing red 4 appears in the corner of my vision.

Last Resort

The hare tries to bite me but I grab its back and stab it again. This time through the neck. It criticals for 10 damage and the rabbit dies.

I start to skin it with the knife; badly botching the edges. By the time I finish I gain a new skill.

Skinning

Looks like this will take awhile….

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Accountability 1.2

Acc 1.1                                                                                                           Acc 1.3

A sinking feeling of despair filled me as I realized the ramifications of that message. It shouldn’t be possible. As a requirememt for the Koffins to be sold the UN forced several concessions which would limit its potential harm. That included cell tower access so that warnings could be passed on to police and first responders, tamper-proof circuits which would insure the systems’ fidelity, and an emergency mechanical shut off switch which monitored the individual inside. Upon losing consciousness it should automatically sever connection to the Koffin. For someone or something to bypass those safety precautions is simply inconceivable. It’s something that’s never happened, and the Koffin has upheld this reputation for over thirty years.

I’m from the advancer generation, so I’ve never known a life without the Koffin, I know I’m in no immediate danger as I’ve had a nutrient hatch installed in my stomach for a direct connection, but… well all of this was alarming to say the least. Breathing in slowly I attempted to contact a gm.

Error Message

Oh thank god. It must just be a communication error between his koffin and the administrative server. The police should arrive any moment to release me. After all one safety feature failing is already nearly impossible. But two?

With that conclusion the tension drained from me; and I began to relax. It would be a shame to let this opportunity to try out what may be the only unknown class just pass me by. After all, this is the sort of thing sense-dramas are made of.

I Grinned as I opened up my character menu while I walked toward the group. I tried to contain my excitement about what skills I might have available to work with, the base classes start with 6 or 7, but who knows with this one.

Skills
What the hell is this!? Not a single one is usable, this isn’t an unknown class, its’ a god damn dropped one!

Calming myself I greeted the people in front of me. Everyone froze as I walked up to them “Can one of you please contact the GM for me. My Koffin seems to be malfunctioning, I can’t contact him or log out.”

A young girl in a gentle green dress cut just above her ankles answered me. Her blonde hair tied into a ponytail bounced with her energy. “I knew it! You’re an adventurer! I told them you were special! I don’t know what your Koffin is, but mama might. Do you want to meet her?” The young girl asked.

Sounds like a quest to me. “Sure I do.” I said with a large fake smile plastered across my face. No use turning down experience while I wait. The system should have started to sort through the message already, and it will contact the necessary individuals for me to get this situation under control. I’m led past the group who gawk at me; seemingly they must have had difficulty resolving my many mysterious parameters, no matter how advanced the npc, it isn’t a real AI after all.

We entered one of the adobe houses I noticed earlier and the little girl led me to a room near the back of the simple house. As she opened the room I saw that it was bare except for a small dresser and bed. I stepped back; slightly uncomfortable. “Here.” The young girl said after she rooted around in the dresser for a moment. She pulled out a large dagger that looked pitted from use. “You’ll need this to get to her.”

Quest

Accept Decline

I bit my lip as I clicked accept. None of this was making any sense, but I don’t dislike it. Pushing boundaries was what Fuzion was all about.

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Accountability 1.1

Synopsis                                                                                                         Acc 1.2

Hello and thank you for choosing to read Fuzion Life. This serial starts a little suddenly so for context its suggested you read the (rather short) synopsis. -KnightSavant

Robbie panted heavily, leaning against the wall in front of him. He needed to go. NOW.

Crashing into the alley came four young men aged in their twenties, dressed in top of the line black striped suits. “Damnit Robbie! Just wait!” they gasped. As if he had been waiting for their signal Robbie bolted, scattering trash as he fled.

“I can’t do it! I can’t marry that bitch!” Only one of the groomsmen managed to keep pace with Robbie, it was his best friend Jason.

“Come on Robbie,” Jason panted, “She didn’t realize what Fuzion meant to you! We can start over again! You were getting lost on your path anyway… maybe with a new start you can find something better.” They exited the labyrinth of alleys and burst into downtown

“I just ca….”

****************************************************************

Blackness greeted me as I came to. All of my nerves were on fire like someone had beaten me to within an inch of my life, but I managed to sit up; I grit my teeth through the pain. As I rubbed away at my eyes, my vision slowly returned to me, as a sea of browns and yellows coalesced into houses made of mud and straw. A group of people  who stood a distance away gave me wry glances and chuckled to themselves. I looked down at my hands and saw the healthy tanned look, and the lack of rash from my too tight engagement ring. That shitty little band cost me a month’s pay and never did fit right. I frowned and tried to remember; how the hell did I end up in Fuzion? I don’t even have an avatar right now; Emma took care of that. “Status” I muttered without exhaling or moving any obvious portions of my mouth. This is a technique known as sub-vocalization and the base requirement for  chant-less casting, a powerful tool in any higher level mage’s bag of tricks.

Robbie Lv 1

Where the hell did the fame come from? A hundred fame isn’t something to write off, since most early quests only award 3 or 4. For that matter, what was this class Unknown business? You shouldn’t be able to materialize before finishing character creation. Too many questions, and every answer I got seemed to raise a few more. System menu, Log Out I sub-vocalized.

Error Message2

Error Message3

Oh crap.

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