The Empire 6.3

Aurora activated a communication device, connecting to Thrag who was maintaining his position overhead. “Are you watching this?”

“The moon-sized beauty that’s about to tear through those fleets like a destroyer rips apart a shuttle? You bet I am. Shall I prepare the ship for a mass evacuation?” Thrag asked.

“No,” Aurora said.

The Weaver fired off massive ion cannons at the approaching fleets. Each shot reminded Alan of the death star’s laser, except instead of causing a planet to explode the pale white beams disabled a third of the massive capital ships.

A swarm of destroyer class drones the size of skyscrapers emerged from the Weaver, which  looked like a blurry moon on the feed. It was distorting the camera recording the battle so that its surface remained shrouded in grey static. The drones were backed up by the Haxlardian fleet, and together they charged forwards.

The remains of the fleet that had been valiantly ready to defend Khersath only moments earlier scattered in every direction possible, turning weapons on friends and foes alike. It was a giant clusterfuck, trillions of credits disappearing before Alan’s eyes.

Why are they firing on the ships without power? Alan sent.

Ships are settling old grudges, trying to make sure they aren’t the last ones out, or are making sure the scraps the Weaver recovers don’t allow for more powerful drones to be made, Lambda sent.

“Aurora, I know you don’t want to leave your mother behind, but there’s no way we’re surviving whatever the hell that is,” Thrag said. “Khersath is a single planet. Retreat is the best option possible.”

“No area, no faction will be safe. If anything, it may prove most prudent to retreat into the Abyss Labyrinth rather than open space,” Aurora replied. She pointed to two other screens, showing the Empire and Alliance each dealing with one of the Three as well, bolstered by Haxlardian forces.

The Shepherd, in charge of the developing deadly viruses and a massive army of biological, mutant hounds, had been reported to have attacked the Alliance. Waves of planets were reporting millions of sick and infected, wildlife gone insane.

The Smith, a legendary craftsmen backed up by legions of Ultihaxlards named the Black Guard was making short work of the Empire’s defenses. It only took a handful of the Black Guard, wearing the strongest power armor in existence, wielding weapons that were said to have begun to rival soulsteel, to take over any major fortification.

All the meanwhile the Weaver moved closer, its drone fleet absorbing carcasses of ships as new drones appeared, chasing down retreating ships. Streams of ships were abandoning Khersath, heading in the direction opposite of the Weaver’s approach.

The stream ended, the source either destroyed or deciding the broadcast not worth the risk.

“Girl, I’m not going to let Thrasha become the Weaver’s afternoon snack,” Thrag said. “You were left in charge of the base, but I have command of the fleet, and I’m getting out of here with or without you.”

Aurora paused, and then said, “Leave, you won’t be of much help anyways. Try to stay in a nearby system if possible. We might need you to bail us out.”

Thrag grunted. “The Haxlards will be sure to set up a blockade once they gain control of the airspace, but I’ll see what I can do. Good luck and good hunting.”

Tell him to leave Khersath perpendicular to the Weaver’s approach, not opposite like the rest of the fools, Lambda sent.

Alan relayed Lambda’s advice.

“Why?” Thrag asked.

Alan thought for a moment, and then realized the answer for himself. “We see the Weaver, its drones, and the Haxlardian fleet. But where are the Weaver’s autonomous ships? Its capital class fleet?”

“You’re right; they’re likely laying in ambush in space. This will be trickier than I thought, but if I wasn’t good at getting away they wouldn’t call me-”

“Leave,” Aurora said. She shut off the connection.

Alan maintained awareness of the Black Rose base’s sensors, and detected Thrag’s ship, Thrasha, departing Khersath. That eliminated one route of escape.

“At the current rate of progress, when do you suppose the Weaver will reach us, Alan?” Sidestep  asked.

Eve? Alan began to ask. But no, Eve was gone. In her place was the hollow, empty shell of an AI that was a calculator. Alan struggled through the calculations himself, making haphazard guesses and assumptions. Between three hours and two days? Does that sound right Lambda?

Sure, somewhere around there, Lambda replied. He was focused on the feeds displaying battles across the Game. Many were being cut off, one by one.

“Maybe a few hours, maybe a few days,” Alan said.

“That’s the best you can do? I could have told you that,” Sidestep said.

“Like I said earlier, I lost an AI, and that has significantly damaged my abilities in certain respects,” Alan said.

“Are you no longer able to maintain the cyber-security and surveillance systems?” Aurora asked.

“No, as I’ve stated in an earlier report I am able to maintain a constant strand of consciousness in Cyberspace, ensuring that the base’s systems are safe on that front, while also monitoring the cameras set up by Phantom,” Alan said. “I do need to save energy and sleep though, so it’ll be up to the automated systems at points. If there’s nothing else, I’ll return to the command center.”

“You are dismissed. Sidestep accompany Alan to ensure his safety,” Aurora said.

“As you wish,” Sidestep said.

Sidestep followed Alan, and they made their way to the Black Rose base’s command post, the Council’s meeting room. Lambda dubbed it the throne room. As a security measure the elevators had been temporarily disabled, which meant navigating underground passages filled with traps that had to be avoided or reset as they passed by. Sidestep could avoid most with a simple step. Alan didn’t have that luxury.

They passed by a few patrols of guild members on the way there. The Black Rose guild’s methods of ensuring the entire base was safe and secure were odd. Semi-random patrols of scouts were sent out, players often setting their own schedule, but alerted by an automated system if a particular area had gone a while without scanning.

The key areas of the base had rotating guards. Many locations also had guards resting inside. A pair of Phantom’s Specialists stood guard in the long dark hallway just outside the command center, never needing to rest.

Alan still couldn’t figure out how many androids Phantom possessed, or how the hell he was bypassing the in-game restrictions on how many robots you could control. Theoretically Machine Commander would have allowed Alan to control up to an S-class drone, perhaps 10 A-class androids, but Enigma alone should have required at least half of Phantom’s allowance. Perhaps a few of the androids were players, but each time Alan scanned them with his bionic eye they checked out as robots.

Meetings weren’t held in the command center because it controlled the base’s defenses, thus only essential personnel that had gained a great deal of trust were allowed in. That was limited to current sitting members of the Council and their chosen protégés. Given that most of the Council was in the Abyss Labyrinth and Thrag had just left, that only left Aurora, Sidestep, and Alan.

Once inside Alan activated divided mind, splitting off half of his mind to ensure the base’s Cyberspace was kept secure. In Cyberspace the Black Rose Guild was like a miniature version of itself, a 3x3x3 cube of square buildings, with the control point at the center. Most rooms controlled a key part of the facility, from defenses to power to even plumbing.

Each corner of the cube was a defense point that contributed to a large, powerful shield with two million energy. The corners of the cube also contained squadrons of five B-rank units. Alan took a glance at their stats:

[Elite Power Armor Marine, Rank B Program.

 

Heavy armor infantry combat program.

Cost: 1000 Energy.

Upkeep: 200 Energy.

Attack: 400 damage/sec. (Ranged.)

Defense: 50 armor.

Health: 500 hp.

Shields: 1000 energy. (10 energy/sec regen.)

Movement: 5.]

With data Phantom had left it would take another week for Alan to finish researching these units himself. The units that defended the base were maintained by the base’s own data core, kept safe in the command center beneath the floor.

Now all Alan had to do was figure out how to survive against a massive self-replicating machine army supported by another army that outclassed, outgunned, and out-leveled them in every possible way.

***

Sidestep rested his feet on the table that the Council met at, looking over the map of the Black Rose base Aurora had brought up on the console. Alan observed as well, not having sufficient permissions to ever see a full map of the base until now.

It turned out the base was a 10x10x10 cube underground, with many of the rooms capable of movement, reconfiguration like a rubik’s cube. Entire rows, columns, and faces of the cube could turn, in addition to individual rooms being able to be shunted about. Due to the control over gravity, the rooms could even move without the inhabitant’s realization.

Only a quarter of the rooms seemed to serve any actual use, while another quarter of the spaces in the cube were empty, allowing for easier transformations of the base and movement of elevators. There were nine static locations in the base: eight power generators located in corners of a 5x5x5 cube within the larger cube, and then a 2x2x2 cube at the center of the larger with a question mark in it. The control room was located beneath this central cube.

“So, what’s in the inner vault?” Sidestep asked, pointing at the question mark in the center.

“I don’t know, my mother did not grant me permissions to enter the space or know what it contained,” Aurora answered.

“Since we’re now in charge or whatever, we should know,” Sidestep said. “Why not check it out?”

“There are contingencies in place, defense I don’t have access past. Ignore that room,” Aurora said.

“But it’s at the center of the base, so obviously it’s important,” Sidestep said.

“Get your feet off the table,” Aurora said. “Remember what I said about respect.”

Sidestep shrugged, taking his feet of the table. He turned to Alan, “So, figured out anything helpful?”

Alan said, “The good news is the Haxlards are trying to convert where possible, rather than outright kill. They’re taking the time to comb through all the ships they’ve disabled, so we have time before they have complete control of the airspace around Khersath. The bad news is the Weaver has started sending scouting drones. We’re still screwed, outclassed in every measurable way even if we miraculously combined forces with the rest of the planet.”

“That’s your plan? Wait to get fucked? C’mon man, I expect more from you,” Sidestep said.

“My instructions were to hold out as long as possible,” Aurora said.

I might be able to help with that, Lambda sent, outlining a plan of defense to Alan.

“Okay, my AI just provided a plan that I’m uploading now,” Alan said.

“Only use autonomous defenses? Give up the entirety of our surface levels? This seems more like surrender than a plan,” Sidestep said.

“No, I can see how this might work,” Aurora said. “We create the illusion that we evacuated. The Weaver is sending out scouting drones to try and find the pockets of strongest resistance. The main city blocks full of players are better targets than an empty guild base full of traps.”

“Am I the only one that wants to maybe, I don’t know, try to beat this Extinction Event?” Sidestep asked.

“We have zero chance to defeat the Weaver, but good odds to earn a decent number of survival points,” Alan said. “We have 1000 guild members here, average level 1500. We’re going to run out of personnel far before we run out of ammo or food. Plus, each surviving player is another survival point for the guild every second. We do need to ensure the safety of the power generators, but if we can guarantee two are under our control at all times we should be good to go.

“The possibility for the reconfiguration of the base is meant just for such a scenario. We can hopefully kill off any initial scouts with the automatic defenses of the base, but then when the Haxlards breach the defenses we can ensure that they never locate any areas with players.”

“We hide,” Sidestep said.

“Yes, we hide and survive until another day,” Alan said.

“One problem with that plan,” Sidestep said.

“What’s that?” Alan asked.

Sidestep pointed at a screen.

The Haxlard fleet just broke off from the Weaver, leaving the fleeing ships, Lambda sent. All major guilds in the Private Quadrant are being targeted. A capital-class ship is headed straight for us.

74 comments on “The Empire 6.3

  1. Ephemerality says:

    A few important changes I think I should remind people of/let people know:

    Alan was only given the option of being able to buy 0.1% of Black Rose Guild, he was not given a stake in the guild for free.

    Phantom never disabled the eye-cam and death switch.

    Details on becoming a Major Player:

    [Major Player:
    There are multiple pathways to greatness.

    Option 1: Reach level 5000.
    Option 2: Control a zone, faction, or government with a population with a sum of a million levels or greater for a year. (Average level of a thousand or higher.) Alternatively, control a zone, faction, or government with a population with a sum of ten million levels or greater for a year. (Average level of a hundred or higher.)
    Option 3: Achieve a net worth of 10 billion credits or greater.
    Option 4: Complete a beta-ranked quest or higher.
    Option 5: Eliminate a Major Threat.

    Reward: Reduced player limitations. Increased longevity. Permission to reproduce. Control of a D-rank resource in real life.
    Time Limit: Unlimited.
    Note: All options and promotions to Major Player are subject to Administrator discretion.]

    I know the past two chapters are on the shorter side, but I think people prefer regular updates. People also suggested I create a discord. Are other people interested in that idea?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bunnybacon says:

      I like the discord idea so long as you get someone/people to manage it outside of yourself. I would love to write some fan fiction and see what others have to write to. The main appeal, for me, is the setting that you have put together and I would love the chance to talk about it with other people outside of the comment area. The problem is that it takes away from your time, which I doubt anyone really wants you to do, moderating instead of project stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Definitely get someone to moderate for you if you make one. I think your fans would enjoy talking, theorizing, and sharing their excitement, for all things related to The Gam3.

        This works fine too, if it’s going to be a hassle.

        Like

    • Anonymous says:

      For the discord….

      Okay but honestly there should be a channel that you and only you pop into and post on at least once a week. Post a chapter… link in that channel. Stub your toe and can’t work for a month at least post a bit in that channel.

      Like

    • Pizzalad3 says:

      So glad you are back. Oh by the way I started to write a fan fiction about the Gam3 on royal road. I thought you are back and it it inspired me to at least try to write again.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      >Reward: … Control of a D-rank resource in real life.

      If even major players can only get rank D resources in real life, then there’s no way Alan is allowed to have the rank A Machine Lord implant he will be getting in exchange for Eve. Is it just another illegal thing Alan is doing, like hiding his old rank B capsule in chapter 6.1?

      Like

      • TDM says:

        He wouldn’t be able to do it, but keep in mind that it was installed INTO him by the Admins. So, it isn’t him having access so much as the Admins having access to the implant and the capsule. (And I’m sure that there was likely cost to them subverting any prohibitions, which were factored into their decision to do it for him.)

        Like

      • Malcolm says:

        Two different things, an apple can have an rating og A, but one do not have to be an major player or grater to get 1 D ranked apple. I can guarantee you that what the queat ia talkibg abaout is something like an asteroide or an island.

        Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Discord I think is a great idea, if just for updates when you aren’t able to post chapters. or just to hang out, though I do warn you, that the more you talk with fans, the more they will influence your story, which generally isn’t the best outcome. That being said, I would love a platform with which you could easily reach all of us. Best of luck.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      So glad your back! Discord sounds unnecessary since you have this website … maybe add a news section or just use the posts as needed for those updates. For all that, weekly updates sounds stressful! IMO deadlines like that suck! If your having fun with a particular arc and want to share that much – great! But feeling the need to pump something out so consistently has notoriously led to less quality and personal enjoyment.

      Thanks for the awesome story m8!

      Like

  2. Luc says:

    I think any way of us getting updates would be amazing. A discord would allow for easier communication, but equally the comments section of this website is pretty good.
    Very good chapter btw I’m so happy you’ve started writing again

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope that this indicates that you’re really back, I’d join if you created a discord server.

    Like

  4. Reader says:

    Discord a waste of your resources in my opinion, creating and writing should be your priority unless you need to interface with us fans ,,,,glad you are back in The Gam3!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. oblivious says:

    Finally time to hijack a capital ship? I’d think that a devoted drone class could control more drones than one Machine Lord skill. This arc is called “The Empire,” so either they escape or this event ends quickly.

    Eliminating a Major Threat or completing a beta-ranked quest both sound really hard. It’s hard to say how difficult it would be to become a Major Player through leadership, without a better idea of how much of a population tends to be Players. Seems like leadership should be a common method, though. Alan could probably reach the level or wealth requirements. Wealth in particular shouldn’t be that hard – each marginal level is harder to earn, but each marginal credit is probably easier to earn.

    When has there ever been mention of restricted reproduction?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless I’m overlooking something obvious, humanoid person in the game is either a player or an android. Since non-administrator androids seem to be far and few between, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that most any population is basically entirely players.

      Like

      • oblivious says:

        I mean in real life. Like, if planet Epsilon has been in the game for 500 years with middling success, how many residents of Epsilon have a Game account? If there’s a few billion Players on the planet, then the government could just say “you’re not allowed to join our faction until you reach level 90,” and then the leader of the government would be a Major Player even if the planet was some backwater. It seems like the cheapest pods are only a few tens of thousands of credits, so there ought to be a lot of Players on established planets.

        I guess an established planet doesn’t have newbie protection, though. So in this case the challenging part might actually be fending off other factions. That would make the leadership path a lot more challenging than I was initially thinking.

        Like

      • sllious says:

        Also, like with Earth, there is no one leader of the planet. Also, they have to have a minimum average of level 100. If you have 7 billion people with level 10-12, you would need a large portion over 1000, and at that time they may have moved on to another faction.

        Like

  6. Pizzalad3 says:

    Please update regularly. I miss you so much. Well the story mostly. But your welfare is more important because you must write I such at writing and it pretty hard.

    Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the chapter 🙂

    I don’t think you should restrict yourself to shorter or longer chapters. If you’re in the flow of writing then there’s no need to break it off and I think it may be counterproductive to force yourself into those patterns.

    I think rather you need a way to let people gauge how close the next chapter is as communication is really the greater issue. For that reason alone Discord is probably a good idea, even if it’s not something I particularly use myself, but it means that there is a controllable window of access between yourself and your readers and you can get the general drift of what people are thinking.

    And as other people have said you probably want someone else to mod for you.

    Like

  8. TypoJanitor says:

    >Tell him to leave Khersath perpendicular to the Weaver’s approach, not opposite like the rest of the fools, Lambda sent.

    Perpendicularity is a concept from 2D geometry; “orthogonal” is the correct term for a 3D space battle. That said, I don’t know what the best way to word the sentense is. “Leave Khersath orthogonnaly to the Weaver’s approach” doesn’t sound right, and “leave Khersath in a direction that is orthogonal to the Weaver’s approach” is a bit wordy. “Tell him to use a flight path that is orthogonal to the Weaver’s approach” might be an improvement, especially if you can find a better phrase than “flight path”.

    Another thing to consider is reader comprehension. As a math major I have a strong personal preference for “orthogonal”, but if most people don’t know that term, then maybe “perpendicular” is actually better. I hope that the meaning can be infered from the context “not opposite,” but I’m not qualified to make that sort of judgement call.

    Like

    • DaRansal says:

      Perpendicular is still valid here. While it is in 3d space, those fleeing opposite have created a line, and with adding Thag’s pathway it becomes a plane, in which his vector is still perpendicular. Orthogonal is also correct, but most people are not even aware that the word exists. Authors sometimes have to write for their audience, and perpendicular is much more common and easily springs to mind the idea that was intended to be conveyed. College writing classes do sometimes take off points if it feels like you grabbed a synonym just to ‘smarten up’ your writing.

      Like

      • TypoJanitor says:

        Sure, it may be obvious that Lambda meant for Thrag to flee in a direction such that it and the direction of the Weaver’s approach are perpendicular in whatever plane the two directions lie in, but the term “orthogonal” is still better because that infered meaning is exactly equivalent to orthogonality in three-space.

        I 100% agree with the sentiment of your second criticism; I acknowledge that it’s OK for an author to make a grammatical, or in this case geometric, mistake if that’s what flows better for the typical reader. That’s actually the exact point I was trying to make with the second half of my previous comment: just because “orthogonal” is the mathematically correct term doesn’t mean it’s preferable to “perpendicular” when addressing a nontechnical audience. A few couple of related subpoints that I should have made more clear in my prior comment are:
        A: I don’t know what sort of people read The Gam3, maybe they’re all really nerdy like me and know what “orthogonal” means, or maybe they aren’t
        B: I think that enough of the meaning of “orthogonal” can be gleaned from context for it to not really matter if some people have never seen the word before, but maybe it just seems that way to me because I already know what it means

        The real point I’ve been trying to make is that I think “orthogonal” is the better, more precise, term for this situation, but there are still good reasons for Cosimo to keep it the way it is.

        Like

      • DaRansal says:

        Now keep in mind, I was not saying ‘straight up you are wrong’, I was discussing the word choice with you. I know, the internet tends to be the lowest common denominator, but I assure you, I was here for the discussion and not to reduce myself to a whiny toddler like most trolls are.

        I will note that I had to look up orthogonal, and I am an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy genres.

        Perpendicular is not wrong, as orthogonal is defined as ‘of and dealing with perpendiculars’… I would say that if it were 15 people all told to take separate perpendicular routes, I would give it to you.. fair call. But in this case, it is three points and three points sit on a plane, in which case perpendicular comes back into play. it is not ‘wrong’ or a ‘mistake’ to call it perpendicular.. just like its not wrong to call something a rectangle if it is a square. Both terms are accurate, but a square is a very specific rectangle, and the the big nit pick you have is that this perpendicular is in space, so therefore should be called orthogonal.

        Tangential point, fleeing perfectly perpendicular is a bad idea. Doing that could bring Thrag into a weapons range twice as fast as those fleeing exactly opposite the direction of the enemy. He should take aim at another 30-45 degrees away from the incoming aggressor so that the relative speeds are closer to 66/75% instead of 50 to insure that the relatively low level ship can outpace the relatively higher level weapon ranges. (I think my relative speeds are accurate, but I did not try to do the math, and assuming equivalent speeds on the part of ships involved)

        Orthogonal is very much a correct term, but so is perpendicular. If we were dealing with multiple ships fleeing in a perpendicular manner, I would totally agree without reservation (other than its a new word for me, and likely most, and would need an explanation) that orthogonal was correct. However, in this case we are dealing with 1 ray, with a single perpendicular ray. (enemy -> fleeing->escape & thrag->90* offset route). It is okay to call it perpendicular, and gives the idea pretty solidly. (again, orthogonal is not an incorrect term for this).

        Like

      • VonRidel says:

        Just say “right angle” or throw in some “vector” reference. It’s all good

        Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    If he could somehow unlock some of the prison cells, Alan may be able to do quite a bit of damage to the Weaver. especially if he free’s the strongest progenitors.

    Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dischord would be cool so we can all pool our abilities as readers for spell and grammar checking while throwing ideas and stuff out there if needed. We’re here because we really like your work, as long as you’ll have us. We’ll support ya : )

    Like

  11. Jay says:

    Hey, you’re back. Glad I checked.

    If this doesn’t somehow end with Alan, Aurora, Sidestep and, what, two other players going to Abyss level 2 to get away from the Haxlards, I’ll be very surprised.

    Like

    • TDM says:

      Thanks for your reminders. Questions, which I have that I’d love to hear anyone respond to…

      (1) I’m wondering if/why/how Alan never notified the guild that he had spyware & kill-switch installed in his head. One would think that the guild would simply order Phantom to remove it from Alan; if their installation were public knowledge the guild members wouldn’t stand for it and Phantom likely wouldn’t kill Alan, lest he ruin his reputation. (I know I would never join a guild that would allow senior members to put spyware and kill switches into other members, head… lest it be my turn next.) One would think that removing the kill-switch, or overwriting it’s control, would be Alan’s, and Lamba’s, TOP priority aside from preventing immediate death by the Haxlards.

      (2) If Alan dies, and is resurrected with survival points, will he be resurrected with the kill-switch (I’m assuming the game would treat it as a disability, like a gaping chest wound)?

      (2b) If the system removes the kill-switch, what about his hardware upgrades and AIs (which may or may not be integral to his Machine-Lord class); would he keep the Class A implant?

      (3) And finally, why are they not collecting everything from their vault and diving into the Labrynthine Prison?! (They would easily be able to hide their indefinitely, assuming they could survive.) What is so special about the their “base” that they’ve decided to face suicidal odds and fight it out?!!! Why were the contents of the vault not evacuated once Kershath became the likely target of an invasion?

      Like

      • Grudge says:

        I was actually wondering why Alan didn’t lead with, “You’re asking me to trust you/the guild and yet nearly the first thing that was done to me was a kill switch put inside my head. It’s hard to trust an orgniziation that does that first thing. Trust is a two way street.” He could then gage her reaction, does she know he has a kill switch or not. Then he could talk about Eve.

        Like

      • Anonymous says:

        I think chapter 2.8 answers most of your questions about the kill-switch:

        >… I’ll be able to install the standard kill switch as well-” (Phantom)
        >
        >“The what!?” Alan exclaimed.
        >
        >“Well, in our line of work it’s best to have some easy way to get out of capture, so we don’t divulge any information. Trust me, you don’t want to get captured by an enemy faction without a kill switch. It will simply let you just restart at your respawn point quickly and easily.” Phantom calmly explained.
        >
        >“Now, that may be, but I’m not sure if I like the sound of this, as it sounds like you’ll be able to activate it at will.”
        >
        >“Yes, well, if you’re knocked unconscious during a mission, I’ll need to activate it, won’t I?”
        >
        >“So, wait, you’ll be coming along with me on missions?”
        >
        >“No, weren’t you listening earlier? I’ll be following along through the cybernetic eye implant. I’ll be what I suppose you’d call your handler for most missions. Also, even if I were to betray you, which I promise I won’t, you could immediately afterward disable the implant while at your Home Base. I wouldn’t be able to kill you over and over again, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

        So the kill-switch isn’t actually a bad thing; it’s basically a get-out-of-jail-free card for Alan so he can get sent back to spawn if he’s even in a bad spot, like being tortured. Also note that Phantom said Alan could *disable* the implant if Alan were to die; i.e. the implant wouldn’t disappear if Alan died. BTW, the kill switch is part of the cybernetic eye; other than Phantom, it’s unlikely that anybody Alan has met would be able to remove the kill switch without also removing the cybernetic eye.

        >(3) And finally, why are they not collecting everything from their vault and diving into the Labrynthine Prison?!

        First of all, I don’t think the Abyss Labyrinth would actually be all that good a place to hide. It’s probably only a slightly harder to find someone that’s hiding at a random spot in the Labyrinth than someone that’s hiding at a random spot on the surface (“slightly” meaning less than a factor of ten). Since their base probably far better defended than whatever mobile defenses they have, I think it would be a mistake for them to hide in the labyrinth. Also, there’s probably too much stuff in the vault for them to move it anyways.

        Like

      • Grudge says:

        Good points, I guess it just has been too long since I read that part of the story…..

        Like

      • TDM says:

        Good recap. Thanks! I guess that time will tell if Alan trusts the master-hacker when he says “you could immediately afterward disable the implant while at your Home Base. I wouldn’t be able to kill you over and over again, if that’s what you’re worried about.” Personally, given that Phantom was the first to leave the guild and run away, also given that Alan is contemplating betraying the guild, I wouldn’t be so trusting. Replacing the eye implant, or at least removing it and confirming that it isn’t transmitting-reviving, would be VERY high on my to-do list. (Or would have been up until the killer robots started swarming towards me.)
        … side note… is there a new chapter on the horizon? How frequently will Cosimo be putting out chapters?

        Like

  12. Jaba says:

    Cool stuff. great read. still a bit off by the cold rational Alans calculus, oh it’s more beneficial to betray the guild well do that, oh its more beneficial to retreat will do that.. no he should stand against all odds, win impossible battles while being the underdog.. etc.. Comes out as a bit of a shady, cowardly, sneaky, not coll guy.. hope he’ll start thinking outside of the box and winning this war soon. not just dumbly reacting to the stimulus

    Like

    • TDM says:

      Assuming that there was a “right” in this situation, I’d agree. But, we don’t really know who is in the “right” here. Plus, Phantom (senior guild member) put a kill switch in his head, and the other senior guild members abandoned the junior members to “di…. I mean, “fight valiantly for the guild”. So, if Alan wants to play both sides, until he finds something to stand for (like getting powerful enough to protect Earth), then I’m all for him being wishy-washy for now.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree

        Like

      • Jaba says:

        Well. This could be a possibility, considering, he’ll become this earth defender.. but that is the problem, you either are that guy or your not. Now! not tomorrow, not some time in the future now.
        He should create his own master plan to defend earth and implement it, or some crucial part of it..
        F.e. having him guard the labyrinths entrance for a month without doing anything was just to say the least boring..

        Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Betraying a bunch of alians for tons of money and longevity is ok. Any sane person would do it and it’ll be out of character no to fo it for him.

      Like

  13. I don’t really see the point of a Discord server, people can just poster come and see her, just like they can post on Discord. I don’t really see what the difference would be.

    Like

  14. noname says:

    Thanks for the chapter :).

    The on disadvantage with a Discord server would be that the discussion would be more fragmented (some here some in the Discord server …).

    Like

  15. Anonymous says:

    Reward: Control of a D-rank resource in real life.
    The resource could be people there have a D combat rank.

    Like

  16. Wyrme says:

    A discord sounds like a great idea if you can get someone to manage it for you.

    Like

  17. oyindaa says:

    Lovely.
    I’m really enjoying your writing

    Like

  18. Anonymous says:

    *Raises pom poms in preparation of next chapter release* Waits patiently…

    Like

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ephemerality regular updates ha.

    Like

  20. dan.p says:

    You make a great story, but you are a rubish communicator. We all have our own shit going on, but your aspirations and your motivation are divorced, so please stop alienating your readers by hoping to come back and not actually doing it.

    I dont know why you make this story, love of writing, dreams of riches, or fun, but you should figure that out and write if thats what you want to do.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      yes Mr. Yap should listen to you needing your free fix…in fact, how dare any artist not keep up with your demands…how dare they! Also, how dare Mr. Yap be relatively introverted and not want to communicate more with the likes of you! Just how dare he not live up to the demands of giving more of himself, waaaaaa, waaaaaaa!

      Like

  21. Anonymous says:

    It look like that Ephemerality quit writing to play WoW.

    Like

  22. Cody. says:

    What he’ll on about breading limit? Since when and why that would make no sense as world is. Also has he had machine lord chip installed in real world one he made deal with losing eve over? As not said anything about it being done?

    Also think discord thing very bad idea and not unnecessary as that’s covered hear, and all would do is course agro and arguments most likely, may even slow releases down more.

    Come on MC and lone leveling up and conquering enemies and taking cool new thing’s and abilitys like gone marro needed extra.

    Like

  23. Anonymous says:

    Sigh here we go again.
    On one hand, yes the anonymous knights insulting anyone who questions the lack of schedule have a point, this is free.
    On the other, compare this to any other of the webserials out there. Even when late, they never drop their projects for weeks with no communication. It’s the consideration for his readers that people are upset about more than the lack of updates. One that he has said he will address multiple times but with just empty promises. If he could post multiple times about WOW or being on a cast or the release of his ebook, surely a single line with an ETA or Taking a break wouldnt be too hard right?

    Like

  24. Anonymous says:

    I guess that we will have to wait 8 months for the next 2 chapters.

    Like

  25. Jay says:

    As someone who owns the first two books, I’m going to complain that the third book, the paid-for version, is so massively delayed.

    There, I’m not complaining about something free. Stop posting here entirely if you must, but release the next book so I can buy it.

    Blah blah snowflake, blah blah triggered.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Snow/Jay/Triggered. I purchased previous books! Therefore I am on this free website demanding my free stuff now, I need it NOW YAP gimme, gimme, WAAA WAAAA, I am telling MOMMY if you do NOT!

      Like

  26. Ephemerality says:

    I understand people’s issues with delays and upset that I’ve probably spent more time playing WoW than writing in the last week. The main reason Book 3 has been delayed is I’m not sure of the direction I want to go with the story and am still a bit uncertain about a few details. Probably overthinking things as usual, but I do think in the long run the series will be better off.

    Currently, the next chapter is delayed as there’s a health issue I’ve put off dealing with and am going to the doctor for. Probably too much information but I’m getting a flexible sigmoidoscopy to help determine the issue. I guess people wanted to know what’s up, so there. Also, try to keep things civil in the comments.

    Like

    • christ saint says:

      To be honest thats literally all i wanted i was pissed when the chapter didn’t come out and there was no response i thought u were back to your old antics but this is so refreshing now that i know what going on all the anxiety is lifted off thats all it takes to pacify your fans, if you cant get the chapter out have some consideration and notify us i guarantee the responses you get wont even be half as toxic as they usually are

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Ephemerality i think that you need to plan a little more. Like have a time line for events that you would like to have as well as old ones. Alan still need his implant in real life. Maybe planning what you wan’t to happen in each chapter as a guild so you know that to wright about.

      Like

    • noname says:

      You absolutely don’t have to do this, but just this comment about what’s going on was super nice :). Get better soon and also enjoy BfA 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks for explaining Cosimo 🙂 Hope you feel better!

      Like

    • Cody. says:

      Did he have machine lord chip installed in real world one made deal to exchange eve for?? As you said nothing about it in book if did wear?? For instance what’s it do? What changes it make in game and real world? Like hear a bit about installment please missing all that into our confusing…

      Like

  27. Darwin says:

    I’ve not read the old threads so this may have been suggested before but would it make more sense to write the next five or so chapters and keep them offline.

    Once they’re actually written then you release 6.4 while actually writing 6.9. It still gives time to rework if needed but means that one chapter can still get released a week which keeps everyone happy and allows time for life or other things to happen.

    Personally I’d always keep a few chapters in my back pocket (if I could actually write of course)

    Like

  28. Anonymous says:

    I will just check back this time next year. Treat this like Berserk. Once a year check ups

    Like

  29. Anonymous says:

    I hope we will get a super large chapter this time.

    Like

  30. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Cosimo need so ideas to help him start wright again.

    Like

  31. Anonymous says:

    “I know the past two chapters are on the shorter side, but I think people prefer regular updates.”
    Sounds about right.
    In all seriousness, it’s very easy to buckle to the pressure or get taken by a flight of fancy, maybe you need to announce an official break, set a deadline to get a bank of chapters set up and reappear in x amount of time with your story planned out and an emergency bank of stories like other writers do. On one hand the naysayers and whatnot probably just suck the enjoyment out of this and the other the suckups probably just feed into your drive for perfection. Do what you need to do, keep your promises to yourself and fulfill them yourself before making them to others. You aren’t beholden to all of us unless you make yourself so with false promises and excuses. Hope you find your inspiration again!

    Like

  32. Ephemerality says:

    Next chapter will be up Wednesday at midnight PST. The schedule for new chapters will be Wednesday’s and Friday’s at around midnight PST until the end of book three.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Interesting info on the “major players.”

    I imagine “breeding” in reality is allowed as normal, since the enforcers don’t have many laws. The reason it might be restricted to major players in the game would be the resources needed to inseminate with alien DNA and other complications, and probably an auto-join for the youngster when they come of age. It is an oddity worth further exploration

    I have no idea what a D ranked “Resource” would be, but I imagine it’s more similar to a mine or industrial factory than an item. an A-rank capsule probably doesn’t count as a resource.

    I’m surprised by the credit ability, and the only way I can justify it is to think someone with that much buying power can influence real-world events enough that they have to be given major-player status.

    Like

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