SDC V1, Chapter 15: Open-Minded

I accepted my situation because I was open-minded. I didn’t prescribe to the Mainstream Faith. By that, I didn’t mean the Media, because even back in 2019, almost nobody still trusted that bullshit. No, I’m talking about those people who believe so strongly in whatever the mainstream science and history ‘experts’ told them, that they would think you’re an idiot for considering it possible that the Pyramids weren’t created by a bunch of random human slaves.

I’m open to new and old ideas. Lives are saved through vaccinations, but not every vaccination is necessary or healthy. Just like you shouldn’t get surgery for every goddamn thing, because the surgery itself is extremely dangerous. It’s like playing Russian Roulette. I’ve heard of so many people dying from just the anesthesia. I even remember my parents knowing a guy that died from a fucking colonoscopy!

How would those bastards even survive if they experienced what I had? If they suddenly needed to adapt to a new style of life that was so far outside the norm, that I couldn’t find a single article about it anywhere. The closest thing I saw was a friend of mine, Peter, wrote some kinda fantasy story about a guy who reincarnates into the body of two twins. Spoiler Alert: They fuck a lot. There were also a few hentai manga with similar concepts, but they were mostly situations where the guy and girl switch bodies or the girl is being mind-controlled.

There were a lot of possibilities. The most likely scenario was that even if someone made a Facenovel post or wrote a short article about their unbelievable experiences, it wasn’t popular enough for me to find on the first page of the search. Even if the aliens or government scientists that created Ana gave a fuck about secrecy, they probably didn’t worry about anyone believing a crazy story like mine.

Speaking of stories… My first course of action after getting bored with ‘research’, was to return to my usual routine. Binge Reading, mostly. There was a Chinese webnovel that I hadn’t read in a while, which was currently at around two-thousand chapters translated. And I was only about a hundred and fifty chapters into the story when I last read it. Yep, that’s a whole eighteen-fifty chapters I needed to read in order to get caught up.

“I really need to buy a second computer… For that matter, I really need to replace this rickety old desk… And buy a second office chair… Hell, I gotta buy one to replace the old chair too.”

As I complained, I stared at the empty space to the left of my dusty black desk. There was a black seven-string electric guitar resting on its stand, which I would finally need to move somewhere else. Looking upwards a bit, I saw the ‘window’, though it was actually just a heavy wooden block that was painted white. On the other side, it was painted black though. I basically didn’t lift that thing up unless it was warm outside, or my room would become even colder than usual.

The actual window was beyond that barrier, so it would be relatively difficult for people to break into my room. I mean, I had quite a few little latches on the sides of the wooden thing, so it wasn’t just dangling there.

“Ugh, I gotta do my dailies…” Then I groaned and started up the game ‘The Gates of Sidhe’. It wasn’t the first MMORPG, but definitely one of the most popular. Even after fourteen years, and seven expansions, it was still going strong. Everyone complained about everything, but at least, it was possible to buy gametime with ingame currency, so I didn’t have to pay actual money to play it anymore. Arguably though, the amount of time and effort I spent grinding that Gold was probably worth way more than fifteen dollars. Still, it’s hard to have a normal-paying job when you never leave the house… And you’re a webnovel author.

The first quest was about… “Fucking A, not the goddamn chicken quest again!” It was pretty simple really. After saving the world like, forty different times if you count all the Raids, apparently Farmer Jay was important enough that I needed to stop saving the world again… And go to his shitty mud-hut to play a stupid mini-game where I click on eggs as the chickens plop them out. It should have taken about fifteen seconds, but that one white hen on the far left was notoriously broken. Sometimes it just wouldn’t lay any eggs, and then you’d need to exit out of the mini-game and restart the quest all over again.

While I was flying to another zone with the NPC mount, since even after half a year, flying in the new zones was still unavailable, I decided to do some light reading. Before I knew it, I had already read ten chapters and it had been half an hour. I got logged out of the game, so I had to relog and then catch some fish for a mentally handicapped mermaid. Killed what I assumed were her relatives a little bit further down the stream because, well it was the closest daily quest.

Even though I call them daily quests, they were actually ‘world quests’ which were basically the same thing, but more random. Even so, after the first week of the expansion, I was already getting sick of the repetition. Hence why I quit back then, yet here I was again, forcing myself to do stupid menial tasks for what were probably the dumbest and most useless NPCs in the game. I didn’t even need the actual rewards, since that gear stopped scaling to my item level forever ago. All I really got was a bit of Gold, but more importantly, Reputation. Like with most games like that, the Reputation had different levels that you needed to grind and then you get various rewards. What I wanted, was a single motherfucking stupid horse that didn’t even really look any better than the other hundred horses I had, but it was considered a unique mount.

Honestly, instead of ‘The Gates of Sidhe’, they should’ve called it ‘OCD Simulator Pro’. Since they probably catered the game to people like me, who couldn’t control their need to collect various meaningless virtual pets and mounts. I was the same way with the MOBA I played afterwards.

MOBA stood for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, I think. I’m not sure about other games, but the one I was mildly addicted to, had a feature where you leveled up the various Paragons. They were the characters from games like The Gates of Sidhe, and that company’s other Intellectual Properties. Anyway, every time you leveled up one of the Paragons, it’d give you a loot box, which gave you random things. Sometimes you could get really expensive Paragons, or Appearances, while usually… It was just trash or some currency. Still, that gambling aspect was one of the reasons I liked it.

Anyway, the actual content of the game was pretty similar to others in the genre. You level up the characters from one to a maximum of fifty, throughout the course of the match, every time. It was less repetitive than others, since you could chose different traits for that specific Paragon every time and power up certain moves by using them to challenging or tedious things in the match. Honestly, the main appeal to most people, was that it wasn’t only simple five-versus-five fight. It was possible to five in groups of two, four, six, eight, ten and the highest was twelve. But there were also weird game types where there were more than two teams, even one that was basically a free-for-all, with ten Players, each having their own lanes, towers and other stuff.

My overall level was around five-hundred. There were at least a hundred Paragons, so I had leveled each of them to around level-five already, and I really hadn’t been playing the game that long. It was yet another time-wasting OCD stimulator.

The daily I made appear by logging on, was “Play 5 Matches as an Elf Paragon”. It was a pretty easy one, since The Gates of Sidhe was mostly about elves. Since every match took about five to thirty minutes, I would usually run upstairs and piss real fast while the match was ‘starting’. For example, it took about thirty seconds to find Players for a five-versus-five against AI, up to three minutes if I picked a match with more Players involved. Then it would take another minute or two just for all the Players to load and the match to start. By the time I came back, the match would usually have started for at least a few seconds.

However, with two bodies, things were different. Michael had to piss more, so I sent him upstairs, while I continued using Ana to play the game. I picked a character called Andrea, who was essentially one of the strongest Paragons in the game from my perspective at least. Her specialty was cross-map arrow-attacks, while her normal attack range was one of the longest as well. Although her regular attacks were with a shortbow, her main ability was to set up a ballista and then all five of her normal spells would be able to reach an absurd range. Of course, her weaknesses were also pretty profound: She couldn’t move while her ballista was set up, and she was super squishy.

Still, I would always just hide behind the walls and turrets of the land, then bombard the enemy team or their buildings. She was definitely one of the most loved and hated characters in the game. Although she was technically a half-elf, half-human, she still counted towards the daily quest. The main reason I chose her and not a more difficult Paragon, was because the moment I came upstairs, my mother asked “Michael… Can you do the dishes? Daddy’s sleeping and I need to go paint…”

Yes, my mother often called my father Daddy and my father called her Mommy, when they were talking to me. It sounds weird when I write it down, but it’s kinda natural when you grow up in that environment.

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