The War for Earth 4.9

By the time they reached the spaceport Lambda had managed to place listening bugs back on everyone in the car.

How exactly do your bugs work, anyways? Alan asked.

Ownership of an item in-game creates a direct line between the Player and the item. Thus, if you are able to hack into the item you can manipulate that line to allow you to listen in on the messaging system, if you know the right tricks. The item does have to be on one’s person. It’s how listening devices were designed to work in the game, otherwise people could always send in-game messages and no one would ever be able to listen in, Lambda sent.

Then can’t I track the signal that the bugs on my weapons and armor use to find the person controlling them? Or hack into them and bug them back? Alan sent.

You can, but shouldn’t now. Both actions risk detection. Remember your eyes glow like a ghost when actively scanning and bugs are designed to immediately alert their controller if anything odd happens, like someone hacking in. I feel as though our next step should be to develop a signal jamming program, so the cries of alarm go unheard… Yeesh I sound a bit grim, don’t I?

I suppose, sent Alan.

They arrived at the spaceport. It looked very similar to an airport, except in addition to runways, a security checkpoint, terminals, and a food court, there were what appeared to be massive missile silos that held rocket powered shuttles.

Outdated tech, only good for a trip to the moon, Lambda sent.  

Everyone got out of the car once they arrived. The spaceport was not crowded, Alan had only seen a single departure of an ordinary passenger plane in the half hour it had taken to drive along the coastal road.

They made their way through security and were on their way to a shuttle before too long.

The terminals for the spaceport were spaced much further apart than an airport’s, a full city block between each. Luckily there were only a few. The stores and food courts were unmanned, operated by in-game machinery. As they reached the terminal a shuttle landed. It looked familiar.

“A gift from our Haxlard friends,” Icewolf said.

“Before we went radio silent, I assume,” Alan said.

“Is that what Pharaoh told you? The Haxlards started making unreasonable demands, and ceased to do business with us until their demands were met,” Icewolf said.

“Conversion,” Alan guessed.

“Who told you that?” Icewolf stopped and turned sharply, staring at Alan.

Alan shrugged. The information had been in the Black Rose guild database, taught to him by Eve. Any humanoid being could, with a pledge to the Three and an unknown process, be converted to a Haxlard. By all accounts the person would remain sound of mind and be entirely the same psychologically, but would gain increased base stats and a place within the Haxlard caste system. It was unknown if the converts only put on a mask or if they were changed at a biological and/or mechanical level as well. The converts would also unerringly serve the Three and never be able to revert to their old race.

Alan really wanted to see what was beneath Haxlard masks, but in-game their bodies would always disappear once their mask was touched.

“Is that’s what’s in store for us then, either we end up religious nut jobs or empire slaves?” Merlin asked.

“Historically, all new sentient civilizations found and introduced to the Game that were present in Haxlard space were either converted or forced to move to another solar system,” Alan said. “However, Earth is a special case, as it is further out than any previously found sentient planet, at the edges of the boundary between the Haxlards and the Empire.

“The Empire, on the other hand, has also subjugated or removed every newfound species in its space. Everyone enters the Empire as servants, but many liken it to a guild apprenticeship, many servants hold much more power than free citizens of the Empire. Every governor in Empire space is the Emperor’s servant, for instance.

“Each new servant to the Empire is auctioned off at the start of their service, and if you wish you may purchase yourself and earn yourself freedom and citizenship. Prices plummet when an entire new planet joins, a few thousand credits for an able bodied worker. You serve your master until you pay off your purchasing price. There are accounts of many cruel masters, but the Empire frown upon most of these acts. And if you catch the Emperor’s eye you’ll be treated better than royalty.”

“You’ve done your research,” Icewolf said.

Eve had, but Alan didn’t mention that. She’d even suggested trying to gain the Emperor’s attention, but Alan had no interest in becoming someone’s servant, no matter how nice the furnishing.

The passenger boarding bridge finished connecting to the arrived shuttle. Alan heard movement, there were passengers getting off.

A ten man squad of bulked out soldiers with military buzz cuts and heavy power armor stepped out, lugging large trunks behind them. One soldier was flanked by two robotic canines, one with what appeared to be a massive laser cannon on its back, the other a Gatling gun.

Another soldier was wearing armor so thick and wide that he appeared to be wearing giant silver-grey marshmallows on all his limbs.

A third soldier had two missile launchers mounted on their back in addition to a jetpack. Their loadout seemed to model a certain famous space bounty hunter.

“Damn, it’s nice to be back.”

“Home sweet home.”

“I dunno, did you look outside as we were landing? We’re going to have to travel around in cars, can you imagine?”

“Shouldn’t we have a welcome party? Who are these folks?”

“Stow it.” The soldier in front raised their fist. They had no special equipment, only a UWG symbol emblazoned on their chest, a beautiful blue Earth with heavens light shining down from above.

“Who are you?” the soldier asked Alan’s party.

“We’re the next passengers,” Icewolf said. “I’m to take these recruits to Khersath for further training.”

“Where’d you get that armor?” the soldier asked Alan.

Lambda sent a suggestion.

“It was my tutorial reward, sir,” Alan said.

“Really now? You must’ve done awfully well. How about I take it off your hands, I doubt you have the abilities to wield it effectively as you are now. I’ll give you a fair price, a few hundred thousand credits.”

“Thanks, but I’m good. I’m going to train to learn how to use it,” Alan said, surprised the soldier recognized his armor.

“Items mean nothing if you don’t have the power to hold onto them. And right now, it seems to me that you don’t have that power.” The soldier looked over everyone. “What are your levels?”

“Look, sir, I assure you I can keep my recruits safe,” Icewolf said. He revealed his level. it was only 536.

The soldier revealed his level. 1359. Alan swallowed. Kitana gripped the hilt of her sword, a smile at the edges of her mouth.

Icewolf looked around. “We’re all friends here, citizens of Earth. God bless this forsaken world if we begin to fight amongst ourselves.”

“C’mon captain, I’m hungry,” another soldier said. “There’s pizza. There’s nachos. There’s sushi. And I’m starving.”

“Fine. Thirty minutes of R&R,” the captain said. He turned to Alan. “Have a safe journey.”

“Bless you sir,” Icewolf said.

“Don’t bless us; bless the enemies that we meet in our path.”

The soldiers unloaded their gear from the shuttle, then charged toward the food court like a horde of stampeding bulls.

Alan noted a tick sized bot leap off one of the dogs and onto his armor. Once the shuttle began takeoff he hacked into it and disabled it. It was a tracking device according to Lambda.

Only when the shuttle was up in the air, leaving Earth behind did Icewolf relax.

“That’s what I was worried about, those were part of the UWG’s main forces, they’ve been recalled in light of the recent terrorist attacks,” he said.

“The legion has no idea what abilities or special forces they might bring back so they’re bringing everyone in from the dark.”

“And this UWG shuttle will take us to Mars?” Arthur asked.

“Well, that’s where I was hoping that Alan could help. Can you take over the shuttle systems?” Icewolf said.

Alan sighed, and closed his eyes.

“Not from here,” Alan said. “Kitana, cut through the doors to the cockpit. If anyone’s in there disable them.” He activated his armor’s invisibility. Icewolf frowned.

I think he was hoping to see you hacking in-action, Lambda sent.

Kitana nodded. Her sword glowed brightly, then cut through the cockpit doors. There was no physical pilot.

Alan connected to the system, Lambda took down the shields and defending Haxlard AI. A few minutes later and Alan was in control. He changed the shuttle’s course to coordinates on Mars Icewolf gave him. Alan added a few codes that he was given to the ship’s identification system as well. This way Legion of Man turrets wouldn’t shoot them out of the sky.

Probably.

I’ve found something interesting, Lambda sent. He was rooting through the shuttle’s systems. Looks like the ship has some weird dead man’s switch. Not sure who it’s tied to, but if the right signal was broadcast it’d just shut down.

Interesting, Alan sent. Let’s keep this to ourselves for now.

Agreed. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the tech the UWG got from the Haxlards had some neat party tricks like this, Lambda sent.

“We’re on our way to the Mar’s now. What’s it like?” Alan asked.

“When I left it was mining posts, construction jobs and military bases,” Icewolf said. “The UWG in their infinite wisdom didn’t want to foot the bill for a full terraform so unless you have an oxygen tank or converter I would suggest not going outside the domes. I need to send a few messages.”

No one else seemed talkative; everyone took out their pads and worked on them.

Alan studied his as he went through the messages everyone else was sending and receiving with Lambda.

Merlin and Arthur mostly seemed concerned with keeping up appearances back in London, sending notes that they had fallen ill, or were going on a business trip. As Merlin had hinted earlier Arthur did seem to be messaging a large number of women, but the messages didn’t seem romantic in nature.

Icewolf was messaging contacts and getting updates but used code phrases and code words that Lambda couldn’t decipher yet. He did seem angry at someone, but Alan had no idea who or why.

Kitana had a single exchange with Icewolf. She asked: When?  Icewolf replied: When the mission is complete.

They reached Mars with little fanfare. It was dusty and stormy outside, thus Alan couldn’t get a good view of anything but red sand with the shuttles camera’s. They were directed by the Legion of Man to land at a settlement named Red Dragon City.

The city was enclosed in a large dome of transparent, glass-like metal. One of maybe three they flew by. Within were towering skyscrapers and a dusty haze that rose to the apex of the structure, slowly filtered out through some complex ventilation system. Four large cannons that looked like observatories defended the dome.

An enclosed, cylindrical walkway extended from where they were directed to at the base of the dome. As they exited the shuttle and were on the walkway Alan felt gravity weaken. It felt like he was walking on clouds.

I can adjust the armor to normalize your senses, Lambda sent.

It’s fine, Alan sent.

“Whoa,” Merlin said as he stepped onto the walkway. He leaped into the air, and with a single bound covered quite a distance. He grinned. “Watch this.”

Merlin leapt up, his palms flat facing the ground. Two miniature explosions erupted from his hands. Merlin was propelled up, straight into the ceiling. His head banged against the wall.

Arthur started laughing. “Nice, with a bit more practice you might become a real wingman, but without the wings!”

“Stop playing around, we’re here on serious business,” Icewolf said.

“Chill bro, I was just experimenting,” Merlin said.

“And if your experiment depressurized the room, opening a hole in this walkway and let all the air escape so we all died?” Icewolf asked.

We’d be fine for a few minutes, Lambda sent. Revenant power armor is nice like that, it’s adaptable, at least before the energy runs out.

“Relax, the exit is right up ahead; I’m sure someone would rescue us if something happened,” Arthur said. “You worry more than Thiago.”

“Now I know why Thiago handed you two over to me,” Icewolf muttered to himself.

They reached the end of the walkway, which was behind a closed metal door. Icewolf sent a code to someone and the door opened.

Everyone stepped through. There was an odd barrier that felt bubble-like, once Alan was through he felt gravity return to normal.

Within a small waiting room stood DaLong, flanked by two Asian soldiers in army uniforms, not power armor. They held automatic weapons. DaLong wore a black leather jacket and jeans. He had gained a small scar on the ridge of his nose.

“DaLong,” Icewolf said. He bowed.

“Icewolf,” DaLong said. He didn’t bow. “Here are your orders.”

Alan’s quests updated:

[War for Earth Updated:

For capturing a UWG shuttle you have gained 50 war contribution points.

25 War Contribution Points (UWG)

5050 War Contribution Points (LOM)]

[Black Rose Mission Updated:

Sub-quest:

Develop a plan to capture the UWG warship.

Time limit: 2 weeks

Point of contact: DaLong]

The two soldiers entered the walkway to the shuttle, the metal door closed behind them.

“I was expecting a to speak with a general,” Icewolf said. “And wasn’t this place a small miners town with only a few buildings and a bar or two?”

“Things change,” DaLong said. “Where’s Thiago?”

“He died,” Kitana said.

“Too bad,” DaLong said.

“That’s it? We’re supposed to develop a plan?” Merlin asked.

“Yes. Here is the relevant information the Legion of Man has gathered,” DaLong said. He held out a data chip.

Alan took it. Lambda scanned it.

“Blueprints,” Alan said. “Though a few key systems are missing. Also layouts of refueling stations, a possible schedule, and resources at our disposal. I’ll analyze this for a bit.”

He sent everyone a summary of the data for now, the key points Lambda sent him, minus a few details.

“Follow me, I’ll show you to your quarters. They were provided by the Elders, the council that run this city,” DaLong said.

Everyone followed DaLong out of the waiting room into a building that could have been an ordinary office building. They stepped out of the building and into the city.

What surprised Alan was the sheer number of people. The streets and sidewalks were a sea of people, largely of East Asian descent. On the main roads moved wave after wave of bicyclists. Alan saw no cars or motorized vehicles.

“How did these changes come about?” Icewolf asked, looking around.

“People follow the work,” DaLong said. “Most here are day laborers, with the hope they’ll gain some special skill or ability, maybe make a big find. Then they’ll be able to do more than provide for their families, perhaps join the Legion of Man fighting forces or move off planet.”

“Day laborers? But what of the Tutorial rewards?” Alan asked.

“Most do not progress as far as we did, or even experience such an elite Tutorial. These are working class people,” DaLong said. “They fight a few thugs in a simulation room, take a few written tests, and that is it. As their reward they take credits, to spend on capsules to help get friends and family into the Game. They do not bet it on classes or powers that might be worthless.”

As they walked down the street the sea of people parted. Most seemed to recognize DaLong, bowing to him, calling him Brother Long. Alan found it odd, as DaLong had been nothing but cold and abrasive in the short time he had spent with him during the Tutorial, but greeted these admirers with warm respect.

Alan noted a high number of martial arts dojo’s with practicing students lining the streets. He caught glimpses of young men and women practicing punches, kicks and holds. They sparred as if their life depended on it. Perhaps it did.

A roundhouse kick will do little versus a laser gun or even a pistol. Someone should tell these people they’re wasting their time, Lambda sent. Either you are born with psionic abilities, or you aren’t. They don’t blossom out of willpower even though that might be more fair.

Alan relayed Lambda’s thoughts.

DaLong shrugged. “It keeps them busy, and their bodies strong. How can that be a bad thing? And there are a few that awaken their qi, your psionic energy.”

“You seem to have quite a few admirers,” Merlin said. He winked at a cute girl that had bowed to DaLong. She ignored him. “How’d that happen?

“There were a few bullies that wanted to be gangsters. I didn’t like them. They were put in their place,” DaLong said.

Kitana nodded in approval. DaLong was probably her type, Alan thought to himself.

“So you’re a de facto leader of the youth here?” Icewolf asked.

“You might say that,” DaLong said.

“We should talk later,” Icewolf said.

“What’s the average level of the people here?” Alan asked.

“50, maybe 75,” DaLong said.

“That seems low,” Alan said. He knocked away someone’s hand. They had reached out to feel his power armor. “I thought the median level in the Game was in the thousands.”

“The weak do not show their level,” DaLong sneered. “Why show anyone how easy they are to rob? Everyone hides their level to protect themselves, like all of us. The only ones who wear it openly are public figures and gladiators, so that gamblers can place accurate bets.”

Looks like I’ve been making more than a few bad assumptions, Alan thought to himself.

They won’t be the last, Lambda sent.

“And here are your quarters,” DaLong said. He stopped before a bunkhouse that was little more than a shack. They were near the edge of the dome. It had been a few mile walk. Lambda estimated the dome to have a five mile radius.

“Inside you’ll find working water and appliances, let me know if you there are any problems or need a capsule, there is an Administrative Center downtown. They arrived as soon as the population hit 100,000,” DaLong said. “You will need to purchase your own amenities if you desire more than gel paste.”

He looked at Arthur and Merlin. “Try not to cause too much trouble while you’re here.

“Kitana, you will be staying in other quarters. The elders do not approve of unmarried women and men sharing the same living space. Please follow me.”

Kitana departed with DaLong, who headed towards the center of the city.

Alan entered the bunkhouse, it was little more than a barn with a kitchen and bathroom tacked on. There were five bunk beds all in the same center room. The building was, however, bug free.

“So,” Icewolf said, elongating the vowel. “I should probably explain a few things right about now.”

“Yeah, like why we’re in this shite hole,” Merlin said.

“Well, as you’ve likely figured out, I may not be as high up in the Legion of Man ladder as I may have lead you to believe,” Icewolf said. “I defected from the UWG about the same time all of you entered the Game. For some odd reason, it seems the Legion of Man still don’t trust me all that much. Or maybe all their operations are like this, like splinter cells. All we can do for now is prepare a plan. Alan?”

Delay until Eve is revived, Lambda sent.

“I still need a week to recover from the hack,” Alan said. “Until then let’s just try to gather more information here, maybe procure better quarters and earn a better standing with these Elders.”

Icewolf smiled like a wolf. “Sounds like a plan to me.”

69 comments on “The War for Earth 4.9

  1. Ephemerality says:

    Sorry for the delay, I’m feeling better though I still haven’t fully recovered. I do however understand the concern that some have expressed in the comments about chapter delays.

    This week I’m going to try something new. For a few days I’m going to post whatever I have finished at the end of the day. While sick I had a while to just think, so hopefully this will work out okay. We’ll see.

    Edit: Based on comments no one wants to see partial chapters so I guess I won’t be updating daily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      While I won’t mind seeing your progress, most of the gripe was about your scheduling. If you promise chapters, you can’t skip. If the pace is too fast for you, you need to promise less, less chapters on a more consistent timetable, is preferable to more chapters that lack quality or miss the deadline. You make schedule. You write the Chapters. Just keep promises.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Freeze says:

      Never rush your writing, it reads better when it flows freely from your mind to the page, when you start rushing and trying to squeeze out pages that is when the quality of the work diminishes and I for one would not want to diminish this wonderful story that you are kind enough to share with us🙂

      People are by nature impatient, but for quality we are more than willing to wait🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miles says:

        People love to say that, but I find writing quality actually improves for a lot of writers when they keep up the pace and don’t skip deadlines.

        Then again, maybe those who do that are just better writers because they have more experience at it.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Miles says:

      For me, the wait was much less painful when I discovered that the https://thegam3.com/feed/ trick works. Now I don’t have to check back, the updates just come to my RSS feed when they’re ready.

      Like

    • Ant says:

      Personally I think it was a good idea to post what you have on the deadlines you set. So some people won’t want it whilst others do… Even if they aren’t as vocal about it. It is worth trying out for a few weeks to see what kind of feed back or responses you get. I think quite a few people are upset with you not following through with the promises you made to fund your dream. So even if you don’t give out full chapters you will keep to your promises to the fans who are funding you.

      Like

  2. John says:

    ZOMG YES, I was like ohh he’s sick, no wonder, oh well, back to main page and I see this…
    It’s like i just went on a shopping splurg and got my next fix… Yay! Hope you are better and your water fix didn’t cost much and your internet never dies again…🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is everyone answering every answer very evasively on purpose? That stuck out in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting developments, keep up the great work!

    Also, could you provide a character sheet/status of Alan + AIs every now and then? Also possibly a list of current quests and their progress so far?

    I totally forgot what the Rogue class quest Alan is all about etc.

    Thanks!

    Like

  5. 1010101010101111000110101001 says:

    It is 0200 here and I REALLY need to get to sleep… No regrets

    Like

  6. S_Sensations says:

    Thanks for the chapter!

    Like

  7. Oak says:

    Thanks for the chapter

    Like

  8. simdimdim says:

    Who’s that DaLong guy (from the tutorial) is he form the Elite version of the story?

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the chapter! I also like your idea of posting what you have written even if it is not a full chapter it will hopefully give your fans the fix they need🙂
    One thing about this chapter is I think it could be cool to have Alan and team kick the elite soldiers asses, they steal the shuttle anyway why not make them have to high tail it out of the space port before being discovered?…. Well I like it when Alan kicks as!

    Like

  10. Bob says:

    “camera’s”, “Mar’s”

    Thanks for the chapter

    Like

  11. sirspecular says:

    Just a small mistake that I’ve just read : Lambda says that there’s a “dead man switch” in the shuttle programming, when the proper term is “kill switch” (a dead man switch is designed to activate when it’s holder dies, not when a signal is broadcast).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gauntlet-KI says:

      True it caught my attention as well.

      Like

      • Ghrbevg says:

        Actually it wasnt a mistake. If you read carefully, Lambda says he is not sure who it is tied to, which shows it is in fact, a deadmans switch. They were just lucky that whoever it was tied to wasnt there, but i’m betting it was one of the soldiers they just ran into.

        Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    IIRC Pharaoh said to Alan that the Legion of Man never officially talked to the Haxlards. Yet Icewolf is well aware of the reason for the breakdown of talks (conversion to mindlessly obedient drones) between the Haxlards and the UWG. A connection he shouldn’t be aware of unless he still has ties with the UWG. Lambda should pick up on that.

    Like

    • Highblast21 says:

      Well if you read the very late parts in the chapter, he did say he defected from UWG by time Alan and co. started the tutorial in the game

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, but the UWG was still on talking terms to the Haxlards then. They didn’t break off communications til after he defected.

        Like

  13. Gauntlet-KI says:

    lol so they are in a oriental farming colony; wherever there is in-game money that people will pay for, you will have oriental farmers.

    Like

  14. Highblast21 says:

    The way i see it, china has started migrating its populace in the game. It won’t be long before we can see chinaware items in the game.

    Like

  15. Blank says:

    It kinda feels like Alan is out of the know at some times, but I feel like thats going to change soon with the bugs he has on everyone.

    Also, is anyone else getting bad vibes from icewolf? from the earlier chapters I had the impression of a chill laid back dude, but now he seems so serious and deceitful.

    Like

  16. sirspecular says:

    Anyone else thinking that there’s a thing between Kitana and Icewolf ? Their intercepted messages makes me think that Kitana was asking when they were going to have a sexy time together. It could be something else but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the messages intercepted are private.

    Like

    • vonridel says:

      The comment of “When?” and Icewolf’s reply of “When the mission’s over.” came across to me of the timing of a betrayal. Alan may be in danger of getting wacked by Kitana.

      Like

      • Jari Sundell says:

        Or she might have just asked when she could get to fight those high-level UWG guys that she was drooling over at the gate.

        Like

      • Gene says:

        I think she might be addicted to that druv Alan used. In arc 1 she talked about how there were no colors and everything is gray, same alan said when the drugs word off. She is prolly looking for a fix. Could be wrong and they have it going on and she wants some. But she seems too single minded towards aggression for me to 100% think that.

        Like

  17. Dustin Boyed says:

    I felt like I was going crazy waiting for the story to continue. I am glad you are feeling better. Anyone who gives you crap about being sick and not writing can…I’ll leave that blank.

    I like the character developent and progression of the story. I like how Alan seems to be recalling more of his leasons from Eve and he is growing as a chacter but it still feels like he is to dependant on his AI, which I’m sure will get better as he progresses through the game and training.

    The inter character relationships are coming along nicely. I like that Alan is an average guy. I do hope he starts to grow in this aspect as well and develope some more relationships with this (team)

    All in all another great addition to the story! Keep up the hard work and your health as well.

    Like

  18. Arc says:

    I would really prefer full chapters when they’re done, whether that’s a week or a month. The story is great but there’s a marked decline in quality from the first two arcs to the third and fourth.

    Maybe schedule some break times for yourself and also build up a bit of a buffer? Quality should be priority though.

    Like

  19. oblivious says:

    Personally I don’t want to read WIP chapters, but I can always not read those updates. Maybe the process will help you achieve your goals, idk. I’d suggest not sending those posts to people who have subscribed to the blog through rss or email.

    Now we’re reminded that Icewolf and Kitana are physically beside each other in the real world. Maybe Kitana’s mentor is Icewolf’s direct superior in the legion. Given the consequences, I don’t think Kitana will betray the guild (and by extension the legion). Maybe the legion has told her more than they’ve been willing to tell Alan.

    Like

  20. Ghrbevg says:

    I doubt that they would tell Kitana more than Alan. After all, she is basically just a soldier on steroids. Alan however, is Phantoms squire, and needs all the information to make a viable plan, so he should be privy to more sensitive info than Kitana. And with how old and powerful the guild is, I’m sure they would know that information is more useful to Alan than it is to Kitana.

    Like

  21. S_Sensations says:

    My 2 cents…i would prefer well structured chapters released, that match the arc outline you have written, released when you can. The quality of your writing is excellent and I would hate to see that drop. In regards to the complaints, unless they have actually sponsored you on Patreon, they are just impatient for their fix. Ignore them. Or don’t. They could be a viable model for you to study addiction, adding more depth to the story. However, for those who have sponsored you, you need to keep in mind the ability to deliver. It harks back to the question of over-promising and under-delivering vs under-promising and over-delivering. Over promising just tends to piss people off.

    If you do feel the need to release daily, before the chapters are ready, possibly create another tab at the top of the page titled “Daily Dump”, and have your daily writing in there. that way you can bring a chapter together when its ready and release as you have been doing as well. The risk with this is that things which maybe should have stayed hidden, foreshadowing and such, will become much more evident.

    And onto the story….does the Salami Slicer count as a planted bug which he lost? or as a permanent change to the Wall Street financial markets code? Even though the market has closed (for now) under the pretense it was destroyed (Lambda was involved. It may not be a pretense), how much did he make🙂 and did he lose the ability to make a continual stream of income off of it?

    How did DaLong who was seemingly below Thiago during the tutorial suddenly end up many steps above? Thiago was under Icewolf, who is well under DaLong. That deserves a side story (short story. no more then 200k words😛 ) at some point in the future (and boo to those who want just the main story to continue).

    Some thoughts on the Machine Champion skill. Personally I liked Alan not having any psionic powers. It was a weakness, and i believe he should always maintain some areas of weakness. In the Black Rose guild opening speech the guild master said that they had assassinated ‘Gods’ (maybe the 3?). That suggests that everyone/thing should maintain weaknesses. Except predecessors. But they still lost the war….anyway. I digress. With the increase in base attributes that getting the Machine Champion gives, it would be more in line with the Machine type class, that the degree of improvement to each attribute is based upon the processing power he supplies. This would mean that he would get a small bump across all attributes from having the skill, and also get blueprints for pillars (or some other structure type) that he can build in Cyberspace for C and maintain with Cybernetic energy. The more he builds the structures up, the more his underlying base attributes would increase. As he would also be able to use some Psionic skills at that point, learning Soul Steel manipulation and enhancing his implant from Machine Lord to Machine Champion (with a change in class? who knows) may also be a possibility. This could be done by the removal of psionically incompatible metals and replacement with Soul Steel, assuming the other underlying properties of the metal are the same. He may need to go on a scavenger hunt across the 300 billion planets in the Galaxy to find other compatible metals (like the one Red Tyrants armor is made out of) to fully change the implant.

    In regards to the stim, when Alan was discussing it with Lambda, Lambda indicated that not all predecessors are beserks, or have that skill. Selling the information to the Red Tyrant about the stim catalyzing that skill may be a good earning opportunity for Alan. Alan should also start buying all rank C and above stims to see if they are made out of, or based upon predecessor blood. He could potentially learn a lot of blood based skills that way. If he doesn’t die. But hey, if he could learn regeneration, or blood regeneration he would take the gamble.

    Like

    • Highblast21 says:

      But contrasting pred blood will burn up his blood essence, as stated in earlier chapter and given that blood essence regenerates like 1 per 1.5 years that too high of a gamble, unless of course, as you have stated he (by some lucky form of RNG or xianxia MC luck, which by the way is on most occurrences not on his side) would acquire blood regeneration. Another note is that the game has issues with having both machine lord impact and pred bio implants, and assuming he would try using all c crank stims the withdrawal would be drastic and this is not fallout where a addiction can be cured by simple chems

      Like

    • grownkidd says:

      Holy crap dude awesome deduction and I thought something like that but you forgot that he doesn’t have psionic energy anymore but computational energy I believe that he still wouldn’t be able to learn psionic abilities only psionic-like making him still very susceptible to psionic based attacks although manipulating the soulsteel to create a better machine lord implant or change it all together might lessen impact also don’t forget about the two blueprints he got from the abyss labyrinth that he gave to Phantom, it was stated that it may be apart of technological psionic stuff so another potential power up there that would sync very well with the machine champion skill, although there is a very real chance for him to choose machine empath since he chose to be a hacker.

      Like

    • vonridel says:

      I think rank in game with the UWG and LoM will not be necessarily based on rank or ability in the game. People in authority are more likely to have been placed in those positions because of their real world allegiance and standing, while their in-game characters may still be undeveloped.

      Like

    • Arc says:

      Psionic abilities seem like a cop out. Getting machine overlord again would be amusing if it stacked. Alan definitely needs to upgrade his pod though… I’m expecting machine empath when the time comes. It seems most inline with his current development path of hacking the game itself. Extra processing speed can only be good.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        There should be a rank up skill beyond machine overlord. Maybe Machine Baron. Basic allows 3-4, intermediate 5-6, advanced 7-8 and master 9-10 AI’s. Or maybe this just falls into wish fulfillment.

        Like

    • Dustin Boyed says:

      This right here. Well written and gets to the point. I like the questions you ask!

      Like

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s refreshing to to be relieved of Eves back seat driving.

    Like

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mining. Makes a cool metaphor for the next mission. It sound like the people here need training, money, and skills. Since there are probably monsters in the local mines. The group should definitely use this as an opportunity to train up some help for the ship op. . A Mine quest exploration anyone? A weak ass Level nine training center built in a mine?

    Like

  24. S_Sensations says:

    If you haven’t voted recently, please vote on Top Web Fiction site

    http://topwebfiction.com/vote.php?for=the-gam3

    Like

  25. vonridel says:

    Where is Thiago’s respawn point? How far out of this is he?

    Alan was just given most of the blueprints to a capital ship. And, he may be about to hack that same ship and take it over (gaining access to all of its systems). Have to wonder about the opportunity to get hold of a very valuable bit of data. If not in the game, maybe in using the bluepri ts for a cyberspace version of a capital ship. Excessive greed driving my imagination here.

    Like

  26. Anonymous says:

    You use their a lot when you are talking about a single person. For example when they meet the passengers of the shuttle. Something like the lead Soldier (single person) raises their(multiple persons) fist(single fist, if it is theirs it should be fists, if it is a single Soldier it should be his/her fist.).

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      In some english speaking areas, it is gramatically correct to use ‘they’ as 3rd person singular, when talking about a personality which may or may not have a specified gender. I personally think it is the most natural pronoun to use for a 3rd person singular when gender is unspecified, since it was commonly used as such when I was learning English

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous says:

        Ok, never knew that, it feels very unnatural to me. Though my mother language is not English. It might be something to consider wether you want to use a marginal (I assume) use of english while you cater a larger international audiance.

        Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh I really like your stories. Keep up the good work. And don’t kind anyone complaining about update schedules. Writing is a creatieve process, it can’t always be strapped down to a deadline.

        Like

  27. Ephemerality says:

    Based upon people’s comments no one wants a 2000 word partial chapter so I guess I’ll just keep working and try to hit 4k for tomorrow.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe if you are having weeks where you are having trouble getting chapters out you could release something else? Maybe not background information but maybe current stats for characters and certain skill/skill trees you have invented for The Gam3 but not introduced just yet.

      Other authors take much longer to release chapters, keep going man this series is wonderful.

      Like

    • Like one of the commenters said, you should have a page for the work you finish at the end of the day, so the people that want to read what you have done can read it, and those that don’t can wait until you finish the chapter. Just my thoughts

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and now its Friday, and there’s still no post. It is better for you to say “Based upon people’s comments no one wants a 2000 word partial chapter so I guess I’ll just keep working and try to hit 4k for ‘next time.'” Than it is for you to continue to make promises you don’t keep. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”

      Like

  28. fafafa says:

    what if the UWG warship have a kill switch too?

    Like

  29. Tokenup says:

    Y does everyone seem so hung up on Alan not relying on Eve or Lambda? I mean isn’t that what machine lords do?

    Like

    • Ghrbevg says:

      We are all afriad of a skynet outcome. Theoretically it wouldnt happen because the administrators would stop them from controllong a players body, but of the player unknowingly grants permission, they might not be able to interfere. Many of us think its only a matter of time before one of his AI’s starts disobeying Alan and doing things he didnt command.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        which sounds like fun. Not only from a reader viewpoint, but it will allow Ephemerality to explore those issues in depth, and from a very different viewpoint to what has been described previously in the literature.

        Like

      • Tokenup says:

        I haven’t read anything that makes me think anAI could interact with a human nervous system. I could be wrong though. Anyway…

        Like

    • Vincent says:

      Because it’s been repeatedly pointed as out being stupid by his mentors. AIs are predictable and can’t adapt to unexpected circumstances. It also prevents him from truly learning skills and prevents him from mastering skills.

      Like

  30. Jatron says:

    A bit of a kip I have with Kitana is that she is quite stereotypical. It’d be nice if she’d that she doesn’t need someone strong because she’s already strong enough. Keeping up wit her or not being afraid of her being her reqs for a romantic partner would be interesting.

    Like

  31. Droma says:

    I would also prefer finished chapters instead of partial ones. You rewrite parts of the story you don’t like so that the overall story improves. If you posted partially complete chapters you may feel you’re stuck with that material and not rewrite it to improve it which would be a bad thing.

    As another poster mentioned if you can’t release a chapter you can always release things about the world or character stats instead as long as it wouldn’t distract you from writing.

    Like

  32. Anonymous says:

    Those of you who keep talking about what girl Alan should be with obviously didn’t pay enough attention to Pokemon. YOU GOTTA CATCH THEM ALL

    Like

  33. Alex Pineda says:

    I’m assuming that you don’t include details like the kill switch on the shuttle just for flavor. This leads me to a theory: if all space-capable vehicles are gifts from the Haxlards (like the shuttle), and they all have this kill switch, this would then include the UWG capital ship.

    If there IS a kill switch on the capital ship, then Alan and Lambda (+ Eve is she’s rebuilt by then) can hack it, use it, then disable the ship that way. Crazy talk?

    Like

  34. Marimochan says:

    This is weird. I was lookig for your site in google, even in RR. The index page in RR doesn’t have your website. I’ve only found it after reading(it was in your comment in a chapter. I think you should post it in the index of RR. Hell, even google is not pointing me to this website. Anyways, nice story, keep it up!

    Like

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