tagSci-Fi & FantasyAnother Life Online Ch. 01

Another Life Online Ch. 01

byPureEvil88©

Disclaimer: Please note that all graphic displays of sexual activities only take place amongst individuals who are at least eighteen years old.

Certain elements of this story mostly in relation to the game elements were inspired by two Japanese manga titled "Only Sense Online" and "Toaru Ossan no VRMMO Katsudouki" along with some other elements from a few different anime and the tabletop game "Dungeons & Dragons."

This story is a work of fiction. Any similarities between characters or events to persons living or dead in your world is purely coincidental. Only those who have agreed to the above have the privilege of partaking in this story.


*****

I would like to thank my readers and everyone who has left a comment or sent me a message. Your support is much appreciated.

Shout out to all of my patrons and a special shout out to Teufel my loyal Pride Demon who named Arianne.

Now without further ado, please enjoy.

*****

My name is Archibald Schwarz and I'm going to tell you the story of how a videogame helped change my life. Looking back everything was set into motion during the lunch date with my best friend Arianne Martel. Just calling her my best friend would be an understatement. She's actually the only friend I've ever had. My life would be much worse if she wasn't in it because I'd have no physical interaction with the outside world.

The Day it all Started-Monday, March 9th, 2161

"Hey Arch." Ari says while enjoying the soup I made. "What's the name of that game you've been so excited about again?"

"Another Life Online." I reply after taking a sip of my own soup. "Judging by the reviews from the beta testers the biggest thing that sets it apart from other virtual reality massively multiplayer online role playing games or VRMMORPGs for short, is the amount of freedom the player has within the game world. Most of the game is controlled by an advanced virtual intelligence or VI, that adapts to whatever the players do which includes; assigning attributes to player made items or effects to player made spells while still maintaining a relative balance."

"It's interesting that they'd allow so much freedom." She says looking at me with her deep blue eyes, while brushing a few loose strands of her dark auburn hair behind an ear. "It might come around to bite them though. Some people can be really creative and might find a way to develop something game breaking."

"I imagine they've implement coding to prevent such an occurrence." I say returning her look with my own emerald green eyes. "Even if they haven't, assuming the item or spell ruins game balance, the developers will more than likely patch the game in order to restore said balance."

"Yeah that makes sense." She says after eating another spoonful of soup. "I'm guessing you've already got your character all planned out. Don't you?"

"Pretty much." I say after enjoying a spoonful of my soup. It might not be something worth serving in a high class restaurant, but I'd like to think I'm a decent cook. "My build is meant for solo play and as such it's essentially a jack of all trades. I'm planning to be strictly player vs environment or PvE. According to my research it's possible to turn off player vs player or PvP combat which I'm gonna do."

"If you can't even interact with someone's virtual avatar how are we ever gonna get you to interact with the outside world?" She asks while giving me her usual caring smile. "I know it's hard given what happened and your perfect recall, but you can't stay locked away inside this house for the rest of your life."

"I'm trying, but every time I so much as think about going outside the events of that night come to the forefront of my mind no matter how hard I try to suppress them." I say with a sigh.

Shortly after founding Schwarz Cybersecurity my parents were driving me over to Ari's parents' house so we could have a big celebration. However, during the trip we got into an accident. A distracted driver traveling way too fast crashed into the front passenger side of our car. My mom was killed instantly before she even got a chance to scream whereas a piece of the broken windshield was impaled in my dad's neck causing him to die while choking on his own blood. The sound of him gargling on blood and the screams of onlookers still haunt my dreams. I was sitting in the middle of the back seat so I was unfortunately given an unobstructed view of the carnage. My mom's horribly mangled body and the blood gushing out of my dad's neck. No matter how much I wish otherwise those sights will never leave my memory.

"Sometimes I wish my parents never went so far to try and give me a bright future. While the medications did their job of enhancing my mind and body, having such a high IQ makes it more difficult to deal with emotions. Not to mention the perfect recall that had seemed like a blessing became a curse after what happened. If not for you I probably would've shut down and become an emotionless robot."

For those of you that don't know IQ is short for intelligence quotient which is a measure of an individual's intellect with a numerical value. People with high IQs generally have low EQs which is short for emotional quotient. An EQ is a term for how well a person can recognize emotions in themselves and others.

"I'll always be there for you." She says with that smile that can make even the darkest day a little brighter. "You'd think the person with the tenth highest IQ in the world would've figured that out by now."

"I know. Despite the fact that logic would dictate that I'm a lost cause you've never given up on me." I say as my mood brightens up. "I'm hoping that this game, which reviews said was almost completely life-like, will help me get used to the thought of being outside. Also by interacting with NPCs I'll be able to work my way up to talking with other players. You and I both know the memories that haunt me aren't going anywhere, but hopefully I'll be able to overcome my agoraphobia."

"I'm sure you will." She says while going back to the soup. "Just look at everything you've accomplished. At age ten you got a master's degree in computer science. Two years later you founded a cyber security company that is now worth billions. Since then you've gotten three more master's degrees and two PhDs. Hell, without you, full immersion virtual reality technology wouldn't even exist."

"That last part isn't entirely true. All I did was fund their project. Anyone could've done that." I say between spoonfuls of soup. "The technology they developed is well beyond my understanding. Those two make me look like an idiot."

Benjamin Graves and Edward Billings the second and third smartest people in the world respectively. When I heard about what they were trying to accomplish I knew if anyone could pull it off it'd be them. When I heard that they were looking for someone to fund them I immediately agreed in exchange for ten percent of the profits. In all honesty the money what motivates me to fund them, but at the same time I'm not stupid. If they could pull it off I knew they'd easily make billions off of the technology. In case you're wondering their IQs are 236 and 242 respectively.

Marcus Belmont who is the smartest person in the world has an astounding 300 IQ. That guy makes the brightest minds in the world look like children playing with crayons. There are a few rumors about him. The biggest being that he's over 150 years old due to pictures taken way back in 2018 of his great, great grandfather who could pass for his identical twin. People say with the vast wealth he made after starting his company he had scientists find a way to stop his body from aging and has been posing as his own children and grandchildren to avoid suspicion.

"Maybe they could've found someone else to fund them, but in the end none of them decided to fund the project." She says finishing the last of her soup. "They probably wrote it off as two people who were trying to accomplish the impossible."

"You on the other hand believed in them and helped to make their dream and the dreams of gamers worldwide a reality." Ari says while giving me one of her beautiful smiles.

"You do make a valid point." I say surrendering to her logic.

"Why did they decide to make a virtual reality system anyway?" She asks with a slight tilt of her head.

"Their biggest motivation was to see if it was possible. Something most scientists enjoy doing. Pushing the limits of what is deemed possible. A hundred years ago people didn't think it was possible to travel faster than light and now we've got probes doing just that being sent to distant planets." I say with a smile on my face. Human evolution has always fascinated me. Given enough time and resources I believe mankind can accomplish almost anything. "They also said that they wanted their technology to help in hospitals and such. By using their technology all of a person's senses are transferred into a virtual landscape while any stimuli in the real world is negated. That way it's possible to perform surgeries without the use of anesthesia which can cause complications. Also people in the hospice ward don't have to suffer as much because they spend most of their time in a virtual world. If you want I'll buy you a VR headset and immersion suit. I know you prefer the classics, but you might be able to find a VR game that you'll enjoy."

"No thanks, I'm fine." She says just like usual, not wanting me to spend a lot of money on her.

"You should let me spoil you more. I can buy you almost anything you could ask for, but you won't let me." I say with a sigh. What's the point of having all this money if I can't spend it on the people that are most important to me? "I was pretty much forced to strong arm you into accepting your birthday present."

"You bought me a brand new Chevrolet Aerovette." She says with a sigh. "Those things go for around 250,000 credits. Not to mention I didn't have a flying car license."

"I knew you wouldn't have trouble getting your license and besides you and I both know that I don't care about the money." I say finishing my soup. "I'd give up every last credit to my name for the ability to leave this house without being forced to relive that night. Medical science has come far, but we still don't fully understand the human brain or how to cure the common cold."

"Yeah I don't think there will ever be a cure for the common cold." She says while getting up to take her dishes to the sink. "By the way that Wii U that you rebuilt for me is starting to act up a little. Would you mind taking a look at it?"

"Of course." I say without needing to think about it. "Seriously though, it'd be easier to just play those old games on an emulator."

"Speaking of old games I bought a couple you might like." I say while giving her my best mischievous smile.

"Oh yeah which ones?" She asks while I put my dishes into the sink.

"Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD." I say bringing a huge smile to her face. "It definitely wasn't easy, but I know how much you love those games."

"You are the best." She says while throwing her arms around me and kissing my cheek. Naturally this action causes her moderately sized breast to be squashed between us. "I've been looking everywhere to find them. How much were they so I can pay you back?"

"Don't worry about it." I say as she breaks the hug. "You do so much for me. Finding a couple of working classic video games is the least I can do."

"Thank you so much." She says while we walk to the living room. "I know it would be easier and less expensive to just download them, but I prefer having a physical copy of the games. Just like how some people prefer physical copies of novels instead of digital ones."

"I understand even if it is illogical." I say while walking down the hall. "So, what do you want to watch?"

We ended up watching a rather generic romance movie. The basis of the plot has been done many times before, but Ari enjoyed it so that's all that mattered. Once the movie was done she thanked me for dinner and left.

"It's finally time." I say to my pet cat Zelda. She was a gift from Ari to keep me company.

Thought it best to wait until after having dinner with Ari to start playing the game because it's highly probable that the starting town was flooded with players this morning. ALO is one of the most hyped up games ever after all. The pre-order sales broke records. I personally pre-ordered the ultimate edition which includes the full game, five extra starting skills, a helper fairy, the expansion pass, a month of premium membership and a ring that increases experience gained by ten percent. All the premium membership actually does in this game is give you a reward whenever you log in based on what day of the week it is and gives you access to premium member only cosmetic items.

After entering my bedroom I strip out of my clothes and put on the immersion suit. For those of you that haven't used a VR system, the immersion suit covers you from the neck down with a special unit that encases the genitalia designed to deal with any bodily fluids that might be released while your mind is in a virtual world. However the main purpose of the suit is to render the users body completely immobile while the system is in use. During testing with the prototype VR helmet the subjects body would react to what was happening in the virtual landscape. In some tests the bodies would react violently which could cause the user injury or damage the system so they designed the suit.

Once I got the suit zipped up, I don the helmet and lie down on my bed. After turning on the helmet I get comfortable while the retina scanner does its job. Once that's done I put on the mouthpiece and breathe in the gas that's released. From what Ben and Ed told me this gas puts you into a sleep like state while allowing the helmet to interact with your neural activity thus transporting your consciousness into a virtual environment.

Once my mind has entered the loading program I find myself within my own personal virtual mindscape. This mindscape is a virtual projection of an environment of your own design. Mine is a complete recreation of my house. The place where I am most comfortable. Using mental commands I boot up ALO. A few moments later a voice echoes within my head as the world becomes a white void once again.

"You are verified to be over 18 would you like to allow adult content?" The robotic sounding voice asks.

"Of course." I reply.

"Confirmation received. Setting use of adult content to positive." The voice says in the same robotic monotone. "Avatar creation initiated. Please choose your race. If you have any questions about the features of a particular race feel free to ask and I will inform you of their abilities."

"Race human." I say without bothering to look over the choices.

During my research of this game I read up on all the races that were available in the beta. There might have been new races added for the full release, but more than likely human would still be my preference. While they don't get any cool racial skills or stat bonuses like some other races. They do get two additional starting skills and a ten percent increase in skill experience gained which will be really helpful for my build.

"Race confirmed." The voice says. "Please assign your avatar a name."

"Arc." I say using my usual gaming name. Growing up I never cared for the nickname Archie so instead I was called Arch. So as I'm sure you can guess my gaming name is based on my nickname."

"Greeting Arc." The voice says a little more cheerfully than before. "Now proceeding to stat and skill allocation. Players are given one stat point every level. Stat points can be spent to increase any one of your six stats at a one to one basis. The six stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Mind, Spirit and Luck. You are given an additional ten stat points upon creation of your avatar granting a total of eleven that you can now spend. All stats except Luck can be increased naturally by doing an activity related to that particular stat. Every avatar is given ten free skills to start them off that can be chosen from the list of basic skills. Due to pre-ordering the ultimate edition of Another Life Online and choosing human as your race you will be allowed seventeen free basic skills."

"All stat points into Luck and my chosen skills are; Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Crossbow Mastery, Enchanting, Hawk Eyes, Magic Knowledge, Magic Power, Magic Talent, Perception, Physical Boost, Stealth, Taming, Tailoring, Unarmed Combat Mastery, Weapon Knowledge, and Woodworking." I say not bothering to look over the list. While I know it would've been smarter to look it over. The creators more than likely decided to add new skills to the full release, but I just want to get into the game as soon as possible. One of the first things I'll need to do in game is increase my stats so my first stop will be the training area. From what I read while inside you have an increased stat and skill growth rate, but you can't increase a stat beyond fifteen or a skill beyond level five.

"Now proceeding to avatar appearance customization." The voice says before a perfect 3D replica of me appears before my eyes.

By using a full body scan and sending the data to the game it is able to duplicate your exact appearance afterwards you can change it however you want. In the case of nonhuman races your appearance is automatically adjusted to suit that of your chosen race while still maintaining as much of your real appearance as possible. Honestly I'm quite happy with the way I look.

I'm six foot four, have short brown hair with blonde highlights. In case you're wondering I've got an automatic home salon to keep my hair how I like it. I'm a perfectionist and it bothers me if my hair isn't just right. I've got clear blue eyes, an athletic physique and an eight inch long penis with a five point eight inch girth. I owe everything I am to the medication my parents made me take as a child. Without them I'd probably be just an average guy.

"Do you wish to modify your avatar?" The voice asks.

"No." I say deciding to stick with my real appearance. Hopefully seeing myself in an environment outside my home will help me overcome my agoraphobia.

I notice that on my character sheet there is now a symbol that looks like a silhouette profile of a person's face in a red circle with a line through it.

"What is this symbol for." I ask while pointing at the symbol.

"That is to inform other players that you have not altered your avatar." The voice informs me. "It is a system put into place to prevent players from adopting the appearance of someone else to manipulate those who know that individual or to ruin their reputation. That symbol will be shown over your head to other players beside your avatar's name. Do you have any further questions or do you wish to proceed to the game settings?"

"No more questions let's proceed." I say. A few moments later a list of various settings pops up in front of me. "Switch game mode to PvE only, everything else is fine."

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byPureEvil88© 6 comments/ 2269 views/ 20 favorites

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