*Thuck! Thuck! Thuck!*
I love that sound… I don’t know why. Of course, I kinda hated it at first. The sound the arrow makes when it sticks into the target is pretty much the same regardless of what ring you hit, but it just sounds much more satisfying when you get a bullseye.
“Hah~, wow… Good job Mike.” Ana said that, but obviously it was just me talking to myself. I handed the bow over to her and she easily got two bullseyes on each target, before letting out a sigh and grumbling: “First lions, then an elephant, now zebras… What the fuck are they doing anyway? Starting a zoo?”
I snickered, muttering: “At least they have the courtesy to clean up the mountains of shit, but ugh… I really wanna go outside.”
Yes, I started talking to myself. Not that I ever really stopped though. I mean, I always talked to myself, even before I had more than one voice. It’s just that I started doing it more often, the longer I was ‘alone’. Keep in mind that I literally never lived by myself before. The closest I got was when my parents went to Buffalo for a few days in order to see my brother. Aside from that, I generally saw them each at least a few times every day. And I knew that they were there, even when they were sleeping and I was on a totally different schedule.
For fuck’s sake, even when I was alone, I could still talk to Midnight sometimes. He would meow back and cry for food or whatever. Solitude is weird. Because I’m not ‘really’ isolated, if you think about it. I could easily pick up a phone and call my parents, or one of my friends… Okay, I don’t have the numbers of any of my friends saved on my phone, but that’s beside the point. I talk to people on Facenovel once or twice a day. It’s just not really the same.
There was another reason though. Aside from subconsciously trying to sate my loneliness. And that was well, acting. Yep, acting like I’m two different people. At the very least, it was actually much stranger if Ana and Michael never talked to each other, right? ‘We’ are supposed to be a married couple, hopefully happily married at the very least, maybe we’ll even have a kid together sooner or later. In that event, I… I’ll need to play the part of a mother and a father, probably. Well, aside from that, maybe I just like the sound of my own voice?
“Hah~, whatever, let’s go work out! I wanna break my record today. It’s been like… Holy shit, ten fucking years!” I put the bow away after getting a few more bullseyes and headed downstairs with Ana following behind. By that, I mean I put the bow in its case, which is something I bought and forgot to mention. I also took my gloves off and put them in there.
“Hahah~, holy shit, that record is older than me!” At least according to Infinity, Ana was only about 7 years old or so… I was originally worried about her rapidly aging at first, but after three months of training, both my bodies actually looked ‘younger’ in a sense. Probably because we were both pretty ripped after all the working out.
Unlike when I was a teenager, I decided to avoid getting purely bulky. Not that I wasn’t strong back then, but due to the sheer size of my biceps and other muscles, I lost a lot of dexterity and flexibility. Sometimes my hands would have trouble when I was playing guitar or just using a keyboard.
Anyway, once I was in the basement, I went over to the flat bench and laid down. Although the gym had lots of weight machines, they didn’t require you to use your stabilizing muscles as much. So the actual effect was a bit different. Generally you should be able to lift more on a machine than on free weights.
“I’m already up to three hundred. If you still can’t do two-eighty, it’ll be kinda pathetic.” Ana sneered down at me, after she took off a few weights and put some lighter ones on.
I couldn’t help grumbling, “Well you’re a fucking superhuman lab experiment, while I’m just a normal… Er, well, maybe not a normal human, but definitely closer to average. Plus my hands are still kinda fucked up. Hopefully I won’t break my hands…”
Once I finally stopped hesitating, I pushed up with all my strength. By the way, there are various different techniques and stuff that I’ve seen people use. Some tall guys could cheat by pushing off the ground with their legs or using them for leverage somehow. I don’t really know how it worked, but I knew dudes that could bench over 315 when they only weighed 150 pounds. I didn’t do anything fancy like that. Just used the normal method of pushing up, slowly letting the silver bar reach down to my chest, then quickly extending fully again.
I held it there for a moment, before my spotter Ana, pulled the bar back and helped me put it on the rack again. That was it. Just a single rep. But my hands really fucking hurt. Especially my right hand, on that ‘lumpy’ bone that was connected to my pinky knuckle. It was a little reddish and actually started swelling for a few minutes after that.
“Shit… Damn it Infinity, are you sure this is really okay?” Even though I complained, I knew that no one would answer. They rarely spoke to me anymore. Maybe they were bored? Or had some other shit to deal with, so I wasn’t as high of a priority.
I think that was part of the problem with the whole loneliness thing. They were definitely recording me or something, but it didn’t really feel like I was being ‘watched’ very often. For that matter, I stopped getting paid a few days ago.
[∞: Monetary incentivization has been deemed no longer necessary. For now, you will receive a monthly stipend of 3000 USD until the next phase of testing begins.]
Probably not a coincidence that my bank balance reached 50,000 earlier that day. I’ve been working out a lot lately and getting stronger every day, with both my bodies. So as you can imagine, I made a fuck ton of money just from constantly breaking various records.
For example, Ana can do a thousand sit-ups in a row now. Michael can only do about 500 or so though. That has a lot to do with the differences in weight, build, flexibility and maybe even ‘age’. Either way, I stopped trying to push myself further than that, because it was way too time consuming. Instead, using weights to do sit-ups is much more efficient. Pull ups are the same way. At a certain point, you can keep going for so long that it’s a waste of time.
Bench press and other similar workouts are different though. You just keep increasing the weight while only doing 10 or 20 reps. At least that’s how I do it. For every 10 pounds I increased the weight for bench-press, I would get about 25 dollars. With two bodies, and the sheer number of different exercises to do, making that much money in a few months wasn’t too strange. Not to mention all the creampies every day…
I doubt that Infinity Incorporated is lacking funds, since they’re now just gonna pay me 3k a month to just exist. It’s probably just like they said. I kinda lost interest in money. For that matter, I gave my cousin a thousand dollars last month for her birthday! My parents would get upset if I gave them money randomly, so I sent my brother a few thousand instead.
It’s funny really. I’m not a fucking millionaire or even what most people would consider wealthy. But I have very few expenses and make a decent amount from doing what I’m willing to do for free.
Today is June 15th. Honestly, aside from breaking my old bench press record, it was a pretty normal day. ‘Was’… At least until an hour ago, shortly after a ship came by to pick up those zebras.
[∞: Hurricane Jebediah has reached Category 5 and will be approaching Puerta De La Muerte in approximately two days. If you wish to leave the island, this is your last chance.]
Of course, I immediately asked: “What the fuck do you mean, ‘last chance’?!”
[∞: Category 5 hurricanes are extremely dangerous. The Bahamas have already been devastated by Jebediah… You may not have been watching any ‘news’ programs, but we know for certain that you have posted at least 29 comical Jebediah memes on Facenovel thus far. Numerous people have also warned you repeatedly to evacuate as well. Is there a problem with your memory functions? You should have reported to us much earlier if something so serious occurred.]
I smiled wryly with both faces and Ana replied, “No it’s just… I mean, you made it sound so ominous. Anyway, are you saying that I need to evacuate? I figured this fancy high-tech island would have like… A magical storm barrier or something. At the very least, I’m on a high hill, have backup power and umm, hopefully the structural integrity is strong enough to withstand a Cat 5, right?”