BCJ, Chapter 56: More Shopping

I’ve always had an affinity for string instruments. Maybe that’s why I’m surprisingly talented? Or maybe I just expected a much higher learning curve? I mean, back when I was a kid, I once tried to use my uncle’s composite bow… I couldn’t even draw it back all the way. Of course, that was before I went through ‘puberty’ and my initial body-building phase, so I was younger than thirteen at least.

Anyway, I didn’t really understand how to adjust the draw weight at all after putting the pieces together. But it felt like about 60-70 pounds. At least in the initial stage, when you first start pulling the string back. However, the cams make it much easier to pull past a certain point. In other words, you still need to put forth a lot of effort and be strong enough to pull the string.

“Agh, my fingers!” And within moments, I regretted not buying the fucking mechanical release! At the very least, I should’ve bought some damn gloves! I had to use pretty much all my fingers to pull on the string, and even then, I could only fire one arrow haphazardly before even reaching a full draw.

On the positive side, even without the full strength of the bow, I could still hit the target from across the room. It would’ve been pretty bad if I missed and broke a window. Though I had a feeling that the windows were probably really durable.

So… Yeah, I didn’t even bother trying to push through the pain or some such bullshit. I just put the bow on top of the target and immediately gave up. Well, I wasn’t really giving up completely. I just went onto the sketchy Infinity Network and ordered some pairs of gloves, some for mixed martial arts, and others for protecting my fingers.

“Well, while I’m at it…” With the attitude of a hopeless shopaholic, I ended up spending over two thousand dollars on various shit that I needed or just wanted. For example: Food. Yeah, in case I forgot to mention this, I went that whole month without buying anything at all. So I almost ran out of pasta, canned goods, pasta sauce, and pretty much everything else.

Fortunately, canned goods, dried pasta, instant rice and other similar things are reasonably priced. For groceries and toiletries, I wound up spending three hundred dollars, but I bought enough to last me at least a month. I was two people after all.

Fresh vegetables and meat were super overpriced but… Just like in most supermarkets, frozen was always a much safer, cheaper and more reliable option. I had to hold myself back from going too crazy when I saw all the different things I could choose from. Especially my greatest weakness: Seafood! I fucking love sushi, sashimi, muscles, oysters, basically everything, including seaweed. As long as it’s not poisonous or dangerous, I’m willing to try even some weirder things, but my one main rule is: It has to be dead for me to eat it.

I like yogurt and cheese, but I don’t consider the colonies of bacteria, yeast or other microorganisms’ lives. So long as they’re not going to hurt me.

Anyway, 20 dollars for a pound of pre-cooked frozen jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, is kinda pricey… But it wasn’t unreasonable. So I clicked ‘Add to Cart’. And then I saw frozen raw cuttlefish for 7 dollars a pound, 8 dollars a pound for cooked frozen large mussels in garlic sauce, 20 dollars a pound for cooked bluefin crab meat, 30 dollars a pound for cooked alaskan crab legs… The more I saw, the more tempted I was to just buy everything and anything.

Of course, I also had to consider how much food I could eat in a reasonable amount of time. Frozen things could be stored for quite a while, especially with my fancy fucking freezer, but I figured that I could always order things as my needs changed. In the end, I spend 200 dollars on assorted frozen seafood. Then another 100 dollars on frozen raw steaks, chicken livers, beef livers and a bunch of sweedish meatballs that came with their own gravy and lingonberry jam. 100 dollars for vegetables and fruit. 50 dollars on ice cream and other similar products. 50 more for boxes of ready-made ‘Chinese Food’ meals, like kung pao chicken, general tso’s chicken, shrimp lo mein…

Fortunately, my freezer was totally empty and really large. Otherwise I would’ve had to spend half an hour just trying to cram everything inside when my orders were delivered… 

Rather than the food, it’s probably more important to talk about the other things I bought. So far, I only had a bow and a pistol, along with some arrows and bullets. However, there were a ton of different weapons for sale and while many of them were super expensive or totally unnecessary, I wanted some variety at least.

Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure 9mm pistol ammunition is one of the most common in the world. At the very least, it was pretty damn popular. Why? No fucking clue. All I know is that the standard FMJ 9mm rounds cost about 150 dollars for a box of 1000. Which was what I bought, along with the most generic looking semi-automatic 9mm pistol that I could find. In the description it mentioned that it was a fairly standard model that US police officers tend to use. Only cost a little more than 500 dollars.

In most games, you want at least 1 of each kind of weapon to handle various situations: Shotgun for close range combat, sniper rifle for super long range, assault rifle for mid range, pistols are usually stupidly weak for balancing reasons, while everyone can just easily use Light Machine Guns like an action movie hero. Realistically, a normal human can’t even carry the weight of half those weapons, much less the thousands of rounds of ammunition the characters seem to possess.

Seriously, in a lot of regular modes of RPGs, you can carry around a nearly infinite amount of ammo. Including .50 caliber sniper rifle rounds, which is 115 to 120 grams. If you aren’t familiar with KG, 1000 grams is about 2.2 pounds. In other words, aside from being really large and awkward to carry, 10 fifty-cal rifle rounds would be over 2 pounds, even without considering the weight of a magazine that size. As for the cost? They were selling the guns on there for like 5 to 10 thousand, depending on various factors, while the bullets are a few dollars a piece or up to a hundred, depending on whether they’re incendiary or whatever.

Speaking of which, I’ve always been a firm supporter of the Second Amendment. But the fact that the other people on this island might have fucking RPGs and armor-peircing .50 caliber rounds is a little disconcerting. I mean, even if they aren’t deliberately trying to hurt me, they might be testing out their new toy and accidentally hit my house with a god-damn rocket!

At least I don’t live in a city anymore… Back in the olden days, everyone was able to buy a simple rifle or pistol, but they also learned how to use them as children. Once upon a time, there were actually shooting classes in school, where the kids would learn firearm safety, marksmanship and other similar shit. It was a time where people might accidentally shoot each other, but one of the kids wouldn’t be able to go on a murderous rampage with 50 other guns pointed right back at him.

And don’t underestimate .22’s and other ‘low-caliber’ rounds. Especially when it comes to rifles. The typical rifle round utilizes much more gunpowder than a pistol round of the same caliber. The cartridge itself is much bigger, while the bullet might be the same size. This causes the bullet to travel much faster, and deal more damage… For the most part.

The moral of the story is that in reality, you can’t really quantify how much ‘damage’ a weapon will do with much accuracy. Especially to a living organism that moves, breathes, has other health issues and a lot of vital organs. Some people survive getting shot directly in the face or the back of the head, multiple times, without much injury. Other people die from a ricochet bullet to the foot. You never know what might happen.

Hence why I didn’t go crazy on my shopping spree and only picked some guns that I thought would be the best for ‘learning’. Mainly because their ammo was cheap. From what I could tell, 5.56×45 NATO rounds, .223 and .22 Long Rifle were the best options for practice purposes. Low recoil, pretty much as cheap as you can go, and well, that’s all that really mattered.

Supposedly bolt-action rifles are more accurate or some such bullshit. Especially in video games. However, in reality, it really doesn’t matter. It’s more of a myth. Maybe at absurd ranges, a bolt-action might be more accurate, but as a beginner, I wisely chose a semi-auto.

There were more famous brands, which cost much more money, but I chose an ‘ICR-19’. Infinity Corporation Rifle, where 19 is I guess, referring to the specific design ect. They had ‘assault rifles’, which really only meant that there was a select-fire mode: Semi-auto, burst fire and full-auto. A plain semi-auto was much cheaper though. And ultimately, a semi-auto can shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger. Any more than that, and you’re just burning ammo anyway.

Of course, when you’re in a situation where just the action of pulling the trigger more than once could end in your death, full-auto and burst-fire are obviously very important. I was hopeful that I wouldn’t need to worry about that for the time being though.

Anyway, my IFR-19 is jet black, kinda heavy, I picked a medium-length barrel, it’s mostly metal… The stock is solid and rubberish, maybe coated in rubber? Just like the pistol-grip. The first half of the barrel is covered by a round, circular thingy that I guess, allows you to hold onto it under certain circumstances? While the other half is directly exposed to the air, allowing it to cool more easily. Although it came with iron sights already installed, there’s room for a scope and other attachments. I just didn’t bother with that for now.

Between the rifle itself, the five 20-round magazines and the 1000 rounds of 5.56 NATO ammunition, I spent 800 dollars. 

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