The War for Earth 4.1

Khersath was the cleanest city Alan had ever been in. It was also the quietest.

It was odd, standing here on an alien planet galaxies away, when he had boarded the Titan a day earlier in-game, headed back to Earth. Khersath certainly didn’t look alien. If anything it looked gamelike. An old game, with the same skyscraper apartment copied and pasted thousands of times until the sky was filled with nothing but grey skyscrapers. They were all uniform, like they had been spat out by the same 3D printer. A single design, a single mold.

There were more security checkpoints than Alan had expected, one when he landed, one every eight blocks in the city. The checkpoints were simple metal arcs manned by an Enforcer that performed non-intrusive scans, but from these scans the Enforcers knew more about what Alan carried than he did. It was technology the TSA dreamed of.

Alan arrived at the apartment building in Khersath that supposedly held a large number of the Black Rose guild, taken there by an autonomous shuttle. No one came out to greet him.

The only thing that set apart this particular building from all the others was that the tablet Alan had been given marked it with a green dot. Alan had seen a few players using a tablet in-game, and found that the real life one provided by his guild wasn’t much different.

It was a light device that fit in the palm of his hand, but could display small holograms. It functioned like a miniature Eve, providing a map and translation software in addition to a button that, when pushed, would summon the nearest Enforcer patrol. They were supposed to show up in a minute, anywhere on Khersath. The tablet had a constant globalnet connection, and wouldn’t need to be recharged in Alan’s lifetime.

To Alan’s surprise, he found that he could even link to the simple device. The connection was weak, but it was there in his mind, demonstrating that at least part of what the Chief Administrator had told him was true. He was changing.

Alan checked his schedule. It would take another few hours for his capsule to be set up and installed. With nothing else to do but browse the globalnet, Alan decided to explore the city. He knew there was at least one landmark that existed, the Administrative Center.

As he walked down the empty streets Alan realized why the city was so clean and quiet: no one went outside. Besides the occasional overhead shuttle, he didn’t see another soul; everyone was inside, playing the Game. Alan could already feel the desire to return, to connect. His body felt weak, his mind slow, like he was hung over and just woke up. The feeling wasn’t going away either. Alan supposed he was addicted to the Game. So what?

Alan approached the Administrative Center; the Black Rose building was close, maybe an hour’s walk away. A few other figures began appearing, all headed in the same direction. Inwards and onwards.

Alan was stopped by an Enforcer at one of the entrances. He tried to reach out and form a connection to the Enforcer, but he couldn’t detect anything in front of him. The Enforcer was like a blank space. They held him up with a laser rifle. Alan was suddenly aware that he wore no armor here, only a simple flightsuit.

“What business do you have here?” the Enforcer asked.

“I just arrived on Khersath, I wanted to sightsee a bit,” Alan said.

The Enforcer paused, then pulled a pair of glasses out of a compartment, handing them to Alan.

“If you wish to see sights, look into the Game, Player. This place is for business only,” the Enforcer said. They didn’t let Alan into the Administrative Center.

Alan put the glasses on, the lenses flickered. A stream of images filled his vision, lines of players flowing past, spaceships flying overhead, hawkers selling wares. Alan lifted the glasses up. He saw an empty public square, maybe 50 beings walking around at most. The glasses showed Alan what was happening in the Game, here at this very spot, but sped up four times due to the time difference. They didn’t have any wires on them. Alan wondered how they worked.

There was a loud roar to Alan’s right as a large reptilian thing was dragged out of the Administrative Center by an Enforcer and shoved into a shuttle that flew off. A long line of beings were escorted out and into shuttles by another squad of enforcers. They made sounds, unintelligible to Alan’s ears. He looked down at his tablet, and activated its translation feature. It took a moment for the yelling to be translated, appearing in his head:

You cannot do this, it wasn’t my fault, unban me!

This is disgraceful, if I can’t get back the Empire will fall, do you understand? No, you don’t you stupid machines. I demand to talk to a Chief Administrator. They will hear me out.

The capsule just kicked me out, it wouldn’t let me back in. The capsule is defective, the Game bugged! Let me back in.

The truth will get out, it always does. Where are your master’s now? Where are your-

“Blarblrghll.”

Alan took half a step back. A large slug-like alien had somehow snuck up right next to him.

“Blar ghlll dar bghar.” The slug waved two antennae up and down.

Alan looked down at his tablet, it took it a second to find the language the alien spoke and download it:

Disgraceful. Those players have no grace.

“Um, right,” Alan said.

Another series of grunts and antennae waving.

I can’t understand your moon-language, turn on the two-way translation.

Alan did so, a series of runes appearing on the screen, facing the slug creature.

Those players have no grace. No hope. But you, I can see you still have hope. 50,000 credits. New character. New capsule. Untraceable. Play as new race. Human. Good deal, very good.

“Thanks, but I’m good,” Alan said, glancing at an Enforcer a few feet away.

Your loss. The slug ambled away.

Alan began walking  out of the square surrounding the Administrative Center, but an Enforcer stopped him and herded him into a shuttle. Alan was flown back to his room, where he waited for a robot to finish installing his capsule.

***

“And what is the plan?” Alan asked. He was back in-game, aboard the Haxlardian ship Titan, sitting in the luxury suite with Kitana, Thiago, and  Aphrodite, who had been studying at another academy.

“The plan is simple. Easy. We,” Thiago pointed at Aphrodite and himself, “are merchants. You,” he pointed at Alan and Kitana, “will protect us as we do business at the various trading hubs. You will be bodyguards. No more, no less. In case you’ve forgotten, most places in the Game don’t just let you hop around teleporting everywhere.”

“But how will that help us win the war?” Alan asked.

“That doesn’t concern you,” Thiago said.

“I’m not going to travel around with you, doing nothing but look intimidating,” Alan said. “I’d get no experience that way.”

“Yes you will, though it won’t be much. I am in charge of this mission, and you will listen to my commands,” Thiago said. “No surprises, no risks. Besides, what could you possibly do that would change the course of an entire war?”

Alan leaned back in his chair. “I could probably sneak into wherever the AI that oversees the UWG military operations is kept and hack into it. Maybe disable it. Or I could find wherever they’re keeping the nukes, maybe activate a couple.”

“I think you’re overestimating yourself,” Thiago said, arms crossed.

“Are you? Overestimating yourself, that is,” Aphrodite said.

Eve, what are the odds? Alan asked.

Roughly 30% with a high margin of error. Us escaping unscathed is roughly impossible, Eve sent. She had finished recompiling, and though there was a slight increase to her processing speed, not much seemed to have changed.

“I don’t know,” Alan said. “I’d give myself a one in three chance, maybe.”

“Maybe you’re much more talented than I think you are, maybe I’m misusing your talents,” Thiago said. “But no going on your own secret mission. No nuking anyone or anything.  This is a war for the control of Earth, to defend it against the alien invasions that will come afterwards. Both sides are keeping damage to infrastructure to a minimum. Besides, nukes aren’t particularly effective against shields. Their use would only mean that the winners of the war would need to buy a bunch of expensive, radiation scrubbing robots.”

“You can’t win a war without breaking a few eggs,” Alan said, prompted by Lambda.

Thiago scoffed, turning to Kitana. “Speak some sense into Alan, he clearly won’t listen to me.”

Kitana looked up from her tablet. “Listen to orders,” she said to Alan. She turned to Thiago. “But I’m with him if things get boring. Sitting around guarding cargo isn’t my idea of a good time.”

“It’s work, work that needs to be done,” Thiago said, throwing his hands in the air.

“Look, I’ll follow orders,” Alan said, “I just want to know why I’m following orders. I need to know there’s some game plan, a path to victory. I can’t perform to the best of my ability if I don’t know why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

“Fine,” Thiago said. “This information is confidential, if you breathe a word of it to anyone it’s your head, not mine. We are going around the trading hubs gathering information from Legion of Man spies, maybe doing a bit of the legwork ourselves. Hell, I’ll even look into extra tasks for you two to help sate your bloodthirst.

“But our primary goal is information gathering, not disrupting United World Government operations. We will then return to the Legion of Man main base on Mars, to discuss a plan of action with their leaders. Once we’re on Mars you can be their problem, not mine.”

“Information gathering? I can work with that,” Alan said. “So what are we selling? As a guard I need to know what I’m guarding.”

“Materials for power armor and laser rifles, a bunch of assorted items that the UWG requested. You saw me talking to Ace and Daisy, they were the ones that hooked me up with this deal,” Thiago said. “I’ve also brought an assortment of stims.”

“Stims? Aren’t they supposed to be highly addictive?” Alan asked.

“They’re also expensive, and can increase an average soldier’s fighting potential nearly five-fold,” Thiago said. “I’ll let you try a free sample if you want.”

“Thanks, I’m good,” Alan said. Based on Eve’s research stimulated combat drugs worked similar to his Machine Lord implants, thus using both could cause unintended side-effects.

“Your loss,” Thiago said. “So we’re clear then? You are guards, you keep to yourself and hide your user info at all times. If anyone asks too many questions, let me know, I have a few counterfeit ID’s, but I’m not sure how well they’ll work with the Game and all. And no sneaking off to secret missions or underground fight clubs without conferring with me first. Understood?”

“Yes sir,” Alan said. Kitana nodded.

“Good. We can discuss specifics when we near Earth,” Thiago said.

Alan left the suite with Kitana, they began walking down the hallway back to their rooms.

Ask Kitana if she trusts Thiago, Lambda sent.

“Do you trust Thiago?” Alan asked.

“I trust my sword,” Kitana replied.

Try to be less blunt and obvious in conversation, Lambda sent. Though I suppose being direct with Kitana is the best option. That conversation with Thiago was interesting.

It was? Alan asked. All I got from it is that we’re expected to follow orders.

Oh, I don’t mean in terms of information gained. I just mean in terms of team dynamics. I suggest we plant a few bugs on Thiago, Lambda sent.

And how do we do that? Alan asked.

Simple, hack into his armor and communication devices, change a few settings, leave a few software bugs, and you’re set. If you want to perform a more complicated attack. like a man-in-the-middle attack, where you can actually alter the communication between Thiago and whoever he talks to, that requires specialized software. But to just listen in is simple as apple pie, Lambda sent.

Alright, Alan sent.

Of course, whatever data we acquire will be encrypted, but the key to the encryption should be found on whatever communication device he uses, Lambda continued. Besides, between Eve and I I’m sure we could break the encryption in a matter of days.

What if I wanted to view past messages Thiago sent and received? Alan asked.

That is more complicated, Lambda sent. To hack into message and player logs requires hacking into the Game itself, which is a big no-no. Players used to directly access capsules in real life to do that work, but if you were caught red handed by the Enforcers you’d get banned from the Game, and probably lose the hand.

Okay, let’s stay away from that, Alan sent.

If you do successfully hack into a real life capsule you can cause some serious havoc, Lambda sent. Depending on the level of the hack, you could hold a player’s account hostage, make them spend ability points/credits or even turn them into a zombie-bot under your control. When you upgrade your capsule you need to be careful, make sure there aren’t any backdoors or potential Trojan horses.

Great, now I’ll constantly worry about my capsule’s safety, Alan sent.

On the top floor of Khersath? You’ll be fine. I’d be more worried about your Earth friends, Lambda sent.

Let’s just focus on planting the listening bugs for now, Alan sent.

I suggest planting bugs on Aphrodite and Kitana as well, Eve sent.

Yes, better safe than sorry, Lambda sent.

***

Alan stepped out of Thiago’s suite, advanced invisibility activated. Planting the bugs had been laughably easy, Lambda and Eve doing the work in the Cyberworld as Alan directed them. Gaining access to the suite had only required hacking into the Titan’s network, which was defended by a small laser shield and a few Haxlard soldier programs. Lambda and Eve took them apart.

Alan also didn’t need to go far to plant a few bugs on Aphrodite; apparently she and Thiago were a thing. Planting a bug on Kitana proved more difficult, as she wore no power armor that Alan could hack into. Instead, he had to leave a single bug on her tablet. He felt slightly guilty, spying on his guildmate.

As Alan began walking back to his room he received a message:

Pharaoh: Meet me in the bridge.

Alan sprinted back to his rooms, deactivated his armor’s invisibility, then walked to the bridge. It was best to keep up appearances.

Two Haxlards which Alan now knew were Crimson Guards stood by the entrance to the bridge. They let Alan in.

Pharaoh looked down at a 3D star map that Alan now knew represented the Haxlard region of space, with Earth at its edge. Eve continued to teach him galactic geography, but it was difficult for Alan to wrap his head around spatial coordinates that used three dimensions. He got lost without a GPS, and apparently distances couldn’t be measured with simple Euclidean, straight-line measurements due to various factors. Space travel was complicated.

“Blessed be the Three. Welcome back aboard, Alan. You’re back sooner than I expected,” Pharaoh said.

“Sooner than I expected too,” Alan said, walking up to the command table and the star map it held.

“I called you here to ask that you not hack into the Titan’s systems. My ship is precious to me, almost as precious as the Three,” Pharaoh said, looking up from the table. Due to the mask Pharaoh wore Alan could not read his facial expression.

Alan prepared an excuse, but Lambda sent, Never lie to an Ultihaxlard. Acknowledge his request.

“I understand,” Alan said.

“Good. I trust my old AI has been helpful. A new one has been installed, but it just isn’t the same. Not that I’d ever question the Three’s orders,” Pharaoh said.

“The Three had you give me the ship’s AI?” Alan asked.

From Eve’s lessons, the Three were Haxlard gods. Unlike most gods, they seemed to be real, with physical presences. Most suspected they were a few of the original players of the Game, grown so strong that they were able to cultivate an entire race of beings. They were rarely seen, never outside of Haxlardian space, but were purported to be as powerful as the strongest of Predecessors, maybe even stronger.

“The Three, give a command to one as low as I? I wish to be so blessed,” Pharaoh said. “No, it was one of their agents who gave the order. But the Three’s wishes are not the concern of outsiders. This War for Earth, however, is. Many are unsettled by this new development, for when my brethren and I held discussions with the United World Government we were under the impression we were dealing with the de facto human government.

“Apparently not. We do not care who wins the war, only that they maintain close ties to the Haxlard Empire, and the Three. I ask that you extend these sentiments to the leaders of whichever faction you represent. And, should you discover information that your leaders have no desire to keep to the treaty they signed, and throw in with, say, the Empire, you will be greatly compensated.”

A quest appeared:

[A Diplomatic Envoy:

Get word to the Legion of Man or United World Government leaders of the Haxlard’s wish for closer ties.

Penalty for failure: Decreased Haxlard reputation.

Reward: Increased Haxlard reputation and 250k credits.

Bonus: Discover if either side is supported by the Empire. 10m+ credits for hard evidence.]

“Can’t you talk to them yourself?” Alan asked.

“No, for the United World Government has stopped all contact with Haxlardian envoys, while the Legion of Man ignored us from the start,” Pharaoh said. “Payments by the United World Government continue to be deferred, citing the ongoing war for the reason for deferment. Due to the nature of the war, now that it has reached a standstill, it does make one wonder.”

Odd, Lambda sent. They should have at least left the lines of communication open. Otherwise the Haxlards were bound to assume something fishy was going on.

“I understand,” Alan said. “I’ll try to deliver your message, find out what’s going on.”

“Good, good,” Pharaoh said. “Thus far we have been most helpful to Earth and its people, helping bring your civilization out of the stone age. Any foolish idea of rebellion will only result in Earth being sent back to the stone age; no faction within the Game can withstand the might of the Haxlard Empire.

“I hope you have a pleasant journey. I am sending one of my personal guard to help keep you safe, please bring them with you if you ever need to go anywhere on the ship. They will also check in on you periodically to ensure your safety.”

Thank him for his kindness, and bless the Three, Lambda sent.

“Thank you, blessed be the Three,” Alan sent. Pharaoh nodded.

Alan exited the bridge, escorted back to his room by a Crimson Guard. It looked like there would be no more late night escapades.

 

51 comments on “The War for Earth 4.1

  1. Ephemerality says:

    Hello everyone, sorry for the delay. Recent events caused me to reanalyze my plans for this arc, as I found that I had Alan performing acts uncomfortably close to what might be considered acts of terror. I understand that this is a work of fiction, with no relation to real events, but I couldn’t help but think about how the narrative was being told. Instead, after a bit of deliberation I’ve re-planned a decent portion of this arc, and I think it’s better for it.

    Also, a shout out to all of my patrons! (https://www.patreon.com/thegam3?ty=h) $13 away from two chapters guaranteed a week, though technically this goal has already been met including Paypal donations🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zeo Lothryn says:

      It would have been interesting to see him doing that, not realizing until way later. Maybe he was told by his A.I or talked to someone from the other side who didn’t know he was the one who did it. Just an opinion.

      Also thanks for continuing to give us great works of literature!

      Like

    • Adevna says:

      I understand your concerns, but a war that can only be won by any means, must be won by any means. Terrorists can never win a war. The need to frighten a population is evidence enough of that. Like children throwing a tantrum, every action is merely a cry for attention. It’s a tactic that’s far more likely to backfire.

      Guerrilla tactics can seem like terrorism, and they do often strike fear into enemies, but that is merely a byproduct of the over-arching strategy of taking everything your enemy possesses and using it against them; including their food, weapons, and fear.

      A writer should keep his audience in mind, but only to the point that it wouldn’t make the story suffer for it. Do what you think is best for -your- story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ermenegildo says:

      I agree with Adevna, besides usually to win a war or destabilize a regime such act are needed.

      Especially in a classic war (country vs country) act of terror often are helpful to destroy enemy lines of supply or chain of command.

      p.s. Obviously by act of terror, at least in a war, i mean bombing of military bases or sabotaging strategical buildings not the senseless slaughter of civilians

      Like

      • aaaaa says:

        in war such act of terror are normal
        do you ever heared about dresden bombing in the ww2, the city has been burned to ground by the allied force with more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices
        at least 25000 civil has been killed in the process

        what about the war on “terror” lead by usa , the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million, and that Western wars have killed four million Muslims since 1990

        Like

    • Gauntlet-KI says:

      can you release what you were going to do for the ark before you revised it? that is after you release this ark of course. We want to know what you were thinking, insight man insight.

      Like

    • Stu says:

      It’s good that you reconsidered that. I wouldn’t judge an author on how he writes his story not the content but it does make it hard to connect to the MC if he was once and still is good but then starts committing terrorist acts against unarmed and innocent civilians. I would personally have problems with that. If it were against the military it would be different of course, I wouldn’t consider those terrorist acts.

      Like

    • Gauntlet-KI says:

      If lets say, I’m on Eastern Standard time. What day should I expect them to come out? Friday Morning or Saturday Morning?

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Which eastern standard time?

        Like

      • Anonymous says:

        As long as its East of the time zone the author is using and in North America, it doesn’t matter. I was trying to figure out some pattern to the releases, but I will have to ignore it till I get an email update.

        Like

    • Kyle L. says:

      Loving the book so far.

      At this point though I am wondering why if nothing else muscle memory has not started to happen? Specifically with blades as not only has Kitana given him at least basic lessons all the fighting he has done so far while directed by his AI were the correct types of movement and the correct forms used to attack. I get the more mental abilities not really have that type of learning curve but I would have thought that it would at least started to rub off. Also So far as the story is going I have noticed that many of the more powerful instructors are telling him the same thing. That he relies on the AI to much and it would be beneficial to learn the skills Him self. i was wondering about that. As I have not seen what you would call instructors in these different disciplines are they available and the MC is just not taking advantage of it? or is this more of time constraint kind of thing?

      Like

  2. S_Sensations says:

    many thanks for the chapter🙂

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    thanks for the chapter

    Like

  4. Oak says:

    thanks for the chapter,
    I’m really liking how versatile hacking is when it comes to information gathering, sabotage and such, both in and out of combat, especially now that he has two AI’s and his divide mind to assist in multitasking.

    Like

  5. Manny says:

    Thanks for the chapter. You made the error of using ‘should of’. You seem to make this error a lot. Other than that, the chapter was great.

    Like

  6. guest4321 says:

    Thanks for the chapter. Haven’t much from Eve lately, it makes me wonder what the Eve-Lambda relationship dynamic is like. do they get into arguments? Lambda is obviously more social savvy, but Eve is more direct goal oriented. I’ve noticed a distinct lack of nagging over his deficiencies since her voice disappeared. Both a good thing, and a bad thing as he is no longer consciously seeking to get stronger all the time

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      that reason is because of A.I. fornication. You know Lambda thinks she is hot. Eve probably just has a big o Predecessor man meat that preventing the talking.

      Like

  7. Sean says:

    I bet the empire is supporting the legion of man. I am getting the feeling that this arc is going to be a lot like the Cold War, the empire and the Haldrax seem to be waging a proxy war for Earth. Alan should have some good times. Whatever you do I hope that Alan can cause some havoc for the Earth government.

    I would love to see some more of real life and maybe Alan interacting with some of his guildmates or Kitana in RL.

    Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the chapter and continue the story as you will IT IS FICTION! If some1 connects it to real world they should not read it. And I love op mc so its good if he hacks earths all def and wins war alone but well for plot it might be better if its not that easy/simple🙂. By the way I loved the second AI it fully makes up his main weakness. PS: Blessed be The Three!

    Like

  9. Lednacek says:

    took me a while to realize that he moved his body to a different planet and wasnt in the game anymore. When will Alan realize that He should focus on the real life body also. Kitana gained skills in Game because she had them in real life. The predecessor are also S-rank because they are probably extremely strong in their real life form too. He should get some dna implants into his real body.

    Like

    • Adevna says:

      I like that idea. It works both ways, but should be like 10 times as powerful if he has it done in the real world. Probably 100 times as dangerous though.

      Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    BLESSED BE THE THREE

    Like

  11. oblivious says:

    This honestly seems more interesting than the role I was sort of imagining for Alan in the war. Seems inconsistent with the quest to ‘win by any means necessary,’ though.

    It seems like Alan reached Khersath really fast. It took him a month in-game during the tutorial. But it sounds like he reached it irl in around two in-game months. I guess it’s not unreasonable if we assume his irl trip was direct, and his in-game trip was not direct, though.

    The thing about Pharaoh giving up the Titan AI on orders kind of sounds like a retcon, given his earlier statement that the AI was becoming intolerable. Seems like very unsubtle manipulation by the Administrators, too. It does introduce the merger as a potential source of Eve’s compromise, but I suspect it’s a red herring.

    I was also kind of suspecting Pharaoh to be a Machine Lord and or Revenant given how quickly he looked up what an ant was, but that seems unlikely now. Its not clear that Haxlards are capable of mixed allegiance.

    The two points above create an interesting situation where the Haxlards know Alan is a Machine Lord meant to help give Earth a fighting chance, but no Earth faction knows it.

    I was curious whether Lambda could be used as a hacking unit or if he would need to be kept too hidden, but I guess he can be.

    It strikes me that Thiago’s mission sounds more like spying on the Legion of Man than anything else. It’s also interesting that the Haxlards seem fine with the Legion of Man winning, considering that it’s supposed to get Earth off the hook for their debt.

    Like

    • Adevna says:

      The Haxlards are supposedly funding the Legion of Man, no matter what peons like Pharaoh say to Alan about the topic. Pharaoh is also just a pawn of higher people and probably has very little personally at stake in whatever happens to Earth. Nothing that happens to Earth will, apparently, have a great impact on the overall standing of the Haxlardians, who have yet to be defeated by another faction. Any actions they may take are cursory in their game of power, costing them little while granting potential gains.

      Like

    • Dave Stewart says:

      I agree its a red herring as Eve has been buggy from the start, picking his upgrades without asking and seemingly removing the erase A.I button from his menu in the first chapter, as i would bet that it wasnt removed during an update as Lamda thought

      Like

      • Gauntlet-KI says:

        So you think that the administrators also led Alan to find the A.I program that was corrupted at the start and either chose an upgrade that removed the “erase A.I. button” or that she deleted the removed A.I button from the beginning. or do you think that when combining with the haxlords A.I. it then removed the delete A.I. button? If the issue is not the remove A.I. button then it could be that the administrators want a A.I. sleeper agent to do some inside work. or it could be that someone is using moving the administrators hands to do things that the administrators think they have planned themselves. Further and Futher Down the Rabbit Hole We Go.

        Like

  12. S_Sensations says:

    The timing for getting to Khersath with his real body seems off as mentioned previously. It took him a month of travel in game time on a direct flight, and making the assumption the ships in real life aren’t more impressive then those in the game, it should have taken him a month in real life too. Or around 120 days Game time. depending on how the 3rd arc is edited it seems like only 50-60 days have passed in game since he started on the trip.

    May the Bunny Lords, with the fastest of hearts and fluffiest of tails, bless thee.

    Like

    • Josef says:

      There are Warp Gates iRL…
      Idk in These Not exist ingame. …?

      term limit of the academy: 100 standard days, each of which was equal to about 25 Earth hours

      Like

  13. Josef says:

    I guess the Empire is playing both sides to destabalice the situation faster… and blamming everything on the Haxlords. …

    Like

    • Gauntlet-KI says:

      yes yes
      1) Haxlords are being payed by UEG and The Haxlords are paying the legion of man to have the UEG go into debt faster
      2) Haxlords are being payed by UEG and the Empire is paying the legion of man to have the UEG destroyed so the Haxlords loss control
      3) Haxlords are being payed by UEG and the (Enter Faction) is paying the legion of man to have the UEG destroyed so the Haxlords loss controlThe

      n) Haxlonds controled by the Three Bunny Lords are being payed by UEG and the Legion of Man has joined a guild that opposes the “Bunny Lords, blessing be upon them” and Is attacking to thwart the claim the Bunny Lords have on that area of space.

      Like

  14. aaaaa says:

    after reading this chapter i have some points for discussion
    -why the Haxlords city is being secured (and probably controlled) by the enforcer troops, they are one of the top power in the univers, they should not let an another faction minotor their terrority, it’s a matter of pride, do you ever think usa will accept the aid of UN troops to protect their borders

    – how Pharaoh know that alan hacked into his ship?

    Like

    • NotAnApron says:

      >why the Haxlords city is being secured by the enforcer troops
      Do you mean … Khersath? Because that’s not a Haxlard city. I don’t think we’ve been told /exactly/ where it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s in the guild-collective’s territory.

      Beyond that, the Administrators hold the control points on Khersath. Or at least the control point for the upper levels, which is where Alan is. And near as we’ve been told the Enforcers and the Administrators are essentially the same organization.

      Which isn’t to say that out-of-game Haxlord cities /wouldn’t/ be crawling with Enforcers. They would be. The whole reason people play the Game is that the Enforcers have approximately a bajillion guns, and nobody else has any actual guns, and the Enforcers have everyone at gun point, so no one can make any actual guns or fight any real wars.

      >how Pharaoh know that alan hacked into his ship?
      We weren’t told. Presumably he they’re paranoid because they looked him up and found that he was training Hacking at the Academy. Or he left evidence.

      Like

  15. Loon says:

    Let’s just KEEP focusing on planting the listening bugs for now, Alan sent.

    Like

  16. Anonymous says:

    Given that he now has approximately 1 month of training time (or boredom) as the merchant convoy heads to Earth’s Solar System, which skills/techniques would be best for him to train in during this interval? He still seems to be missing basic stuff like endurance, running & sprinting. He could also get acrobatics (basic) up as that is synergistic with enhanced movements. But can he train those things on the ship? or would he be able to train them within his mind?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      1. If energy efficiency skill can effect his cognitive energy use, then I would say that he needs to get that improved.
      2. Acrobatics & Sneak & Enhanced Movement, they seem to be upgraded together. Very nice to have for infiltration.
      3. Hide Presence needs to be learned, if he sneaks into an area with a high level player then he will be found even if his sneak and acrobat is mastered.
      4. Knife Fighting & Knife Mastery & Enhanced Control & Sword Fighting & Energy Melee Weapons, they seem to be upgraded together. Since he got two nice blades, it would be very nice to upgrade the skill toward meeting the requirements of the soul steel blade.
      5. Power Armor skill. If he uses it all the time, he needs to know how to use it.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      The question is, does he prioritize shoring up his weaknesses, or does he improve upon his strengths.

      Like

  17. illinois1 says:

    I was a little confused by the sudden transition to the real world. Dull for being an alien world. Alan’s first time off the planet. keeping everyone in capsules seems like either their are a lot of problems or a lot of A.I. control. As for the war for Earth a poor strategist removes variables. Stronger strategists increases variables to overcome and confuse opponents. The best play both sides to achieve their goals.

    I think if the haxalard could prove anything Alan wouldn’t just be followed. Whether or not Eve or Lambda have agenda’s, Lambda definitely is suppressing Eve good or bad? We’ll see. How soon they get an upgraded capsule or other resources will show how much power the ai weild.

    Like

    • NotAnApron says:

      It was a bit confusing at first, but it clicked when I saw “Enforcer”.
      It probably would have been smoother if “Enforcer” came up in the first paragraph,
      or maybe even the first sentence.

      That aside, I liked the transition.

      Like

  18. Gauntlet-KI says:

    So he can now hack Mind to Machine in real life?! holy hell. I wonder what his IRL mind defences are like. If a pair of glasses can connect to the gam3, i wonder if he can connect to the game now without a capsule (maybe after a IRL divided mind).

    Like

  19. Mark says:

    Thank author for realizing the slight darker route of the game. I am personally ok with it. It’s mild compared to other ones that is of similiar genre. In truth I would like to see more exploration, sniping, hacking in cyber space and less terror like activities ie bombing. We do live in real world would not want FBI to wander into my place lol.

    Like

  20. Elphane says:

    Just so you know, chapter 4.1 doesn’t show up on the index for me.

    Like

  21. eaa says:

    Do not waste time Just Promise help Real Earth. They have technology to help us abaut Rain forrest, Ozon holes, polar melting, global warming, Hunger, Wars,… %30 of World govermant and Legion of man will change side with them…

    Like

  22. Ephemerality says:

    Someday chapters will come out when planned. Today is not that day.

    Also, a reminder that patreon goals/extra chapters go into effect the month after a goal is met due to how patreon works😛 (I’ll still get out two chapters a week for the foreseeable future)

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for letting us know, as I live in Denmark (9hrs ahead of you) I’d been eagerly refreshing your page waiting for the new chapter all day:)

      Like

  23. Gauntlet-KI says:

    “To Alan’s surprise, he found that he could even link to the simple device. The connection was weak, but it was there in his mind, demonstrating that at least part of what the Chief Administrator had told him was true. He was changing.” Insane!, that means that we are getting legit wizards too. Mad Merlin must be able to do some really cool stuff IRL at the moment.

    “simple devives”, do you think he could hack to those VR gam3 glasses? I want to know if Cyberspace IRL is different than the cyberspace in the gam3.

    Like

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