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Jump To It (Jumpchain/Multiverse)

Jump -2- Drunken Game (Monopoly)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
3800
Fast Track [100 CP] – Ah, here we are! Once every five turns, you can simply hop over to the nearest Railroad, and you can buy it if nobody owns it yet! This will almost certainly make it easier to acquire transportation! (P)
Riding The Gravy Train [900 CP, requires Fast Track] – Not only can you now hop a Railroad once every two turns, but if it isn't yours, it becomes yours when you get there! (P)
Go Already [200 CP] – You heard me! With this, you can return to Go and collect $200 whenever you roll double sixes on the dice! Isn't that simply grand? Lucky, aren't you? (P)
Cash Advance [300 CP] – Well, now! Those three extra $500 bills you're starting with seem useful! (P)
The Landlord's Game [400 CP] – Any other player will now sell you any property they have, regardless of strategy, provided you offer 1.5 times its value. Useful, isn't it? I dare say this would work wherever you went... (P)
Home Field Advantage [500 CP] – My word, you've already got Park Place in your pocket? Who knows, perhaps you'll have a nice place to yourself wherever you go from here as well... (P)
Savings and Loan [500 CP] – It seems the other players trust you enough to let you act as the Bank! This also means you'll be more trusted with money wherever you go – only gross misspending will break that sort of trust. (P)
Winning When You Lose [700 CP] – Well, now! It appears you can even collect revenue whilst incarcerated! This is a useful trick regardless of where you are! (P)
Section 2: Drawbacks
Ah, unfortunately, this sort of thing comes at a price. I'm afraid if you want any bonuses, you'll need to make the game a bit harder. You can scale this difficulty as much as you want, but be warned...
Embarassment [+100 CP] – I understand that this is your least favorite piece you have to play as, but compared to everything else, this can't be that bad, can it? (P)
Irritable [+100 CP] – It seems you simply don't suffer fools as well anymore, nor do you take well to waiting. Surely this won't drive you to forfeit... will it? (P)
Annoyance [+100 CP] – Dear me, one of these players is quite irritating. (P)
Ankle-Biter [+100 CP, requires Annoyance] – Oh. That's why. Such a cacophonous youth, isn't he? (P)
Just Make It Stop [+200 CP, requires Ankle-Biter] – Aha! This game is fun for the whole family, inattentive older sibling, complaining younger sibling, and forgetful great-uncle alike! Oh. Oh, this isn't very fun for you at all, is it? (P)
Only The Dead Can Know Peace From This [+300 CP, requires Just Make It Stop] – Oh. Oh my. That aunt of yours seems... overly enamored with the hound piece. That might explain the costume she's wearing... and was your older sibling always that rotund, wearing that unfashionable and ungentlemanly headgear, and covered in the debris of snack foods? This is... somewhat uncomfortable, isn't it? (P)
More Of Them [+200 CP] – It seems you have more company... two more players, in fact. (P)
Too Many Cooks Spoil The Soup [+300 CP, requires More Of Them] – Oh. Oh dear. Three more players, and they don't seem happy. (P)
Go Directly To Jail [+200 CP] – Oh, dear. The law has its sights on you! You're now twice as likely to land on Go To Jail or receive the Go To Jail card from the Chance pile! (P)
Do Not Pass Go [+300 CP, requires Go Directly To Jail] – Well, now. It seems you end up in Jail after every five turns spent out of it due to one made-up charge or another! This is bothersome... (P)
Drunkards and Draughts [+300 CP] – Why in the world did you think it was a good idea for everyone to play this game whilst inebriated? That was when I made some of my worst decisions! (P)
Shrewd Fellows [+300 CP] – Ah, I do say, these opponents of yours seem to have some business savvy to them! You'll need to do a bit more if you want to win! (P)
Strictly Business [+400 CP, requires Shrewd Fellows] – Oh, my! Playing against professional economists and trained financiers? Daring, aren't you? I like it! (P)
Trust Buster [+800 CP, requires Strictly Business] – Ah, you've chosen quite the difficult climb to victory! Your three opponents shall be selected from the greatest tycoons in all of history! I hope you've prepared yourself well, because they'll certainly show no mercy! (By default, these are J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie. These can be switched out for others, or added to with the “More of Them” Drawback.) (P)
Amnesia [JC Freebie] -- You seem to be playing with a little less than a full deck, for some reason. Dunno why you're here, or how you even got here? Screw it, just play the game and enjoy yourself. You'll get your memories back at the end of the jump.
Just to note, the '(P)' was just my way to letting me know which items I had purchased so I didn't overspend with various nonsense.

I was pissed. Absolutely pissed, soaked from my toes all the way up to my nose, a happy warmth that suffused every inch of my body. Stonkered, sloshed, sallied forth unto the breach of happily deadened sensation.

I was drunk, to put it mildly. Although I couldn’t remember when I had started drinking, or even where. Last thing I could remember I had been bumming it in my apartment, watching random videos on youtube as I gave my cat unwanted attention. Hey, if she didn’t want to be petted, she wouldn’t be so adorable.

Apparently I had decided at some point to go out for a bit of a throwback. Don’t know why, I had work in the morning. Welp, there was no way I wasn’t going to be hung over once I woke up, so I might as well just call in sick. When I eventually found my phone.

No idea where it was, actually. Must have left it in my car.

Where I was however, was just as much of a mystery. A dingy room that was remarkably well lit, given that I only saw one light hanging from the ceiling above.

A group of people joined me in this room, crowding around a cardboard placemat set upon the table we were sitting around. I must have been drunker than I thought, I could have sworn half the people in the room were my relatives. Hadn’t seen them for years, and for good reason.

Aunt Bev was a total hardass, and her kids were absolute monsters. Mouths that never shut the hell up, and willing to kick the shin of anyone closest in order to get what they wanted. Seeing as each and every one of them looked just as drunk as me, It was quite unlikely that these people were actually my relatives.

In the past if she had so much as smelled a bit of bourbon on my collar, she had taken to screeching her head off at me in that horrible shrill voice of hers. Imagine a yowling cat, mix it with a mile long piece of metal being dragged along a similarly lengthed piece of metal, and you might come close to the levels of damage that shrew has caused to my eardrums. Part of why I refused to come to family get togethers anymore.

And if someone had been so foolish to brandish a trace of that ‘tainted devil bile’ near her precious monster brats, she might have very well skinned them alive and salted the remains right then and there.

I must have been farther along than I thought, surely. No way they could be here, drinking alongside me bottle for bottle.

Three other guys sat there that my ale muddled mind sleepily informed me looked kinda like dead guys. My familiarity with historical figures was already lacking, and my current brain pickling wasn’t helping the matter any. J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie. All famous property owning people, if my memory was correct. Not that I could very well remember what they were famous for, exactly. I buy a house, no one goes and lauds the tale of my daring do to the masses. And more importantly, all of them were suuuuper long dead due to growing up in the eighteen hundreds.

Cosplayers, perhaps? No odder than my family lookalikes, honestly. They nailed the old style clothing, as far as I was considered. Old man suits, at the very least.

The game we were all huddled around was slightly humorous given the cosplayers attire, I guess. Monopoly. The game of tedium and boredom, endless hours of making a right turn, giving my opponent whatever feeble traces of monetary gain I had managed to scrounge together, and landing my ass in jail every few turns or so.

Fun times.

Why the hell was I here, stuck in this stuffy room with a bunch of mewling children, familial lookalikes, and outdated cosplayers playing a game I oft called the bane of my childhood?

Screw it, who cares. Thinking hurts right now.

“More beer!” I yelled to no one in particular. I didn’t really expect an answer, thinking back on it. I was just so toasted that my brain to mouth filter was in a perpetual state of detachment. “No I’m not,” I disagreed with my internal thoughts petulantly, a couple of the kiddie brats nodding in agreement as they each nursed their own drinks.

One turn in, and I was already cheating judiciously. Since they had apparently been stupid enough to appoint me banker, I had immediately snagged Park Place when no one was looking. Adding an extra few five hundreds to my stacks was even easier, hiding them by stacking them under the bills I already had at the start of the game.

What? Of course I’m cheating. Stupid aunt Bev took the Doggo piece. I got saddled with the dumb iron. Who the heck wants to be the stupid iron? Nobody! It's their own fault for sticking me with the worst piece. I would've accepted the boot over the iron, but one of the brats refused to trade me.

First turn I got snake eyes. One of the lowest properties added to my stock, useless until I get the monopoly and upgrade to hotels. Houses won't cut it. Doubles meant I went again, so I flubbed my dice roll, making it land so I progressed to the first railroad.

Even in my alcohol addled mind, I knew getting all the railroads was my number one priority. People land on these damn things more and more as the game goes on, it's basically a monopoly stretched across each side of the board if you can get them all.

One of the brats didn’t even make it to their second turn, throwing up off to the side and falling asleep curled up on their sweater to the laughter of the rest of us. Even the not aunt Bev lady. Ugh, same shrill annoying laugh. Maybe she knew aunt Bev and was trying to crib her style? Unlikely as it was, that woman stole her style from the forties.

The three cosplayers each gobbled up the properties they landed on, much to my chagrin. We all doused our gullets further and carried on.

If any of them had been even a bit more sober, they might have realized I tended to go straight to GO every time I rolled double sixes. Even when they did catch me going more turns than I was supposed to, that just meant I went to jail for a bit.

Convincing them I still collected rent whilst a visitor of the lax constabulary was a thing of cake, and further convincing that they themselves didn’t benefit from my made up rule even more so. In short order all four railroads were mine after a pitifully short amount of turns.

The second kid dropped like a stone as well soon enough. Not aunt Bev didn’t seem to be too concerned, making doe eyes at the poor dog piece as I looked on in disgust. Poor Doggo piece. Could have been mine, but the fat cow got you instead. Stupid iron.

Properties were being bought left and right by my competitors, but I had a plan. One benefit of drinking as much as I usually do is that my tolerance far outstrips the casual teetotaler. Thankfully, these scrubs looked to be trying to match me drink for drink. Just my kinda advantage.

Screw you liver, you’re gonna win me monopoly tonight!~

Probably better things to do with my time… Oh well.

“You,” I drawled, leaning forward towards ‘Morgan’ as I took another swig of my ale. “You know what man? You should totally Broadway me selling give, ya know?”

Maybe I was slightly more drunk than I thought. That didn’t come out quite right.

“But then you’ll have a mono… a mono… a monomonomonpopo,” he drunkenly whined, slurring his words.

“Yeeeeaaaaaaaah,” I admitted, clinking my mug against his to distract him, “But it’s not like Im’ma sell you the place place, ya know? How bout dis… Uhm,” I slurred, mug halfway to my lips. “I sells the… nononono, you sell me walk… Boardwalk. I'll give ya sssssix hundred. That's more than you paid for it, ya know? And you know yer gonna needs it, what with ol whiskers stretch of stuff you’re coming up on...” I gestured towards one of our other opponents, the man laughing wildly from such a recrimination. Don’t think the guy was doing quite hot with all that wetness ‘pon his stache.

I found that if an opponent was distracted enough, offering the bare minimum of the original price plus half was usually enough to stun them into selling. Part was the intoxication, part was base human greed. Offering more than what someone paid always ignited a primal layer of ‘I wants gimmie gimmie gimmie’.

Before long, one monopoly became two, then three. The Railroads were mine, the dark blues, and the oranges. Gravy.

Groovy?

Dammit, now I’m hungry.

I found myself in and out of Jail almost constantly, thankfully sometimes and regretfully others. Making sure that they always paid me while I was stuck in the clink, and that no one ever paid them while they faced similar straights was almost too easy.

A slow but steady trickle of money made its way to my proverbial pockets, paying the way for a stack of houses upon my purchased and purloined properties. Then, finally. The first hotel.

Aunt Bev had stopped playing ages ago, curled up on the floor whispering sweet nothings to the poor Doggo piece. Worry not my poor pewter pooch, I shall rescue you from your horrid fate… After I finish cleaning the board of these other losers.

It was little more than a lark to bounce around my opponents properties, popping a space further than I should have or just hopping straight to one of my railroad spaces if I was about to land in a dangerous place.

I have no idea how much time passed, but soon enough my mug stood empty. My fellow players pockets shared much the same fate, my ever growing control of the board leaving them with no choice but to continuously siphon dollar upon dollar into my waiting greedy maw.

“Good game, my… my.. friiieeendly fellows,” I stated less than graciously as I peered woozily at my two remaining opponents. That Andrew fellow had fallen to the drink as well, using the well padded lady as a pillow. More his loss.

Wait… We didn’t even make a bet on the game! What a waste of my time!

With this thought on my mind, I was slow to realize the world melting around me in great blooms of color and shape.

“The hell was in my drink?” I opined, peering into the bottom of my swiftly disintegrating mug.

The void once more slowly came into focus around me, a creeping sense of awareness beating back the quickly disappearing buzz I had been holding tightly to the entire night. Not even knowing why the idea of being sober scared me so deeply, a promise of knowledge I no longer wanted.

“Well that looked like fun,” Jumpchan remarked, bouncing in place as she regarded me closely. “Wasn’t sure what the amnesia drawback would mean for the game, but you managed to make it reasonably entertaining. When you stole that last red card right out of Andrews hand, I almost lost it! He was just sitting there, staring at his empty hand, the poor bastard!” she laughed, rough laughter petering off into the void around us.

The last vestiges of drunkenness vanished from my suddenly clear mind, memories I had wished gone crashing into me like an endless sea of waves.

Collapsing to the ground in shock, my memories of the past jump playing front and center as crystal clear as if I had just experienced them, I wept until I had no more tears left to give.

Authors Notes:
New story! Jumpchain! Happiness and sunshine all around!

I have a couple other chapters to post, but I'd still have to wait for the thirty second pause period regardless.
 
Jump -1- GET ME OFF THIS FREAKING PLANET!!! (Subnautica)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
Subnautica

Engineer (JC Freebie)

You’re the guy responsible for fixing and maintaining your ship. Good news – plenty of time to put that engineering degree to work. Bad news – you’re starting from scratch. (P)

Okay, I’ll be honest. The last lucky contestant picked Drop In. They died. A lot. After three hundred and seventy two years of lacking progress, that contestant was disqualified due to disinterest. So you get Engineer for free! Lucky you!~

Location

Where did your pod land? You may roll a biome or pay CP to choose.

Safe Shallows : Teeming with life both plant and animal, this biome is very shallow and – you guessed it – the safest place on the planet. As long as you can swim, it’s pretty easy to survive here. Keep in mind that it’s surrounded by stalker territory.

Lucky you!~ Jumpchan is eschewing the need to roll or use your precious CP this time around, you get to start in the Safe Shallows.~

Perks

Just Keep Swimming (50 CP – First Purchase Free for Drop-in, Engineer, Marine)

It would be a short, sad gauntlet if I didn’t make sure you could actually swim. The first purchase gives you basic competency; the second makes you Michael Phelps. (Two Purchases)(P)

Super Lungs (100 CP – Discount Drop-In)

Suspiciously efficient genes approximately double the time you can hold your breath. Useful in any situation underwater, especially if you dislike being weighed down by bulky air tanks. You no longer suffer from nitrogen embolisms. (P)

Manifold Destiny (100CP – Free Engineer)

You’ve got one job, and you’re pretty good at it. The things you build have extra hull integrity, giving you more leeway when constructing habitats. Vehicles you construct have more advanced armor, making them harder to hurt without sacrificing acceleration. (P)

In a [Underwater] Cave, with a box of [Titanium wreckage] (100 CP – Free Scientist)

Most people would say that doing science underwater is a bad idea, but not you. Whatever experiments you run in the future will be easily waterproofed, so if your habitat loses integrity you won’t lose months of work. You also gain a basic education in this centuries’ school system, which is a lot better than it sounds if you consider the tech level. (P)

Shielded Turbines (200 CP – Discount Engineer)

You know how to close systems efficiently, protecting them from foreign matter. No longer will fish gum up your intake valves, or weeds tangle your propellers. Also makes your vehicles much quieter, which is handy in Reaper territory. (P)

Strap on a Booster (300 CP – Discount Engineer)

Vanilla blueprints are lame. The AI refuses alterations to the basic design, so you’ve mastered the ability to modify any vehicle you make with extra bits and pieces that didn’t come out of a kit. Seamoth mounted propulsion cannons? Sure! Gravimetric fish scoop on the front end of your Cyclops? Why not! Just make sure the batteries don’t overload. (P)

Tim Taylor Technology (400CP – Discount Engineer)

Power systems like nuclear reactors and solar plants produce double their normal output without straining the circuitry. Tools and habitat fixtures may be put into overdrive, increasing effect at the expense of efficiency. While in a vehicle, you may redline the engine, doubling its speed for sixty seconds. Overdrives and redlines drain power very quickly, and will damage components if overused. (P)

Life or Death (400 CP – Discount Scientist)

They laughed when you studied the life sciences, but you’ll show them! You are now an expert chemist and virologist, capable of whipping up dangerous mixtures on command. Toxic warheads, advanced medkits, and poisons capable of killing Leviathans are now in your mind’s eye. You’ll need access to various chemical sources, but I’m sure you’ll find what you need if you keep your scanner out. (P)

Master Builder (600 CP – Discount Engineer)

Your PDA gains immediate access to all the blueprints available in Subnautica, as well as a few that can’t normally be found. These unique structures are: Ultrasonic Fencing, which ward away hostile wildlife; Hydrogen balloons and a submersible dock for when the hurricanes sweep through; Hydrogen-Fusion plants, which produces extreme energy from seawater; and finally, a robotics bay where you can manufacture automated scavenger bots. (P)

Jumpchan Luuuuuuurves you!~ (JC Freebie)

Congratulations! You may or may not be our first benefactee, so you get a one jump temporary perk. Upon death, you will respawn back in your escape pod on the first day. Don’t you feel lucky?

Items

Rocket Blueprints (Free to Everyone)

A long, complex set of blueprints on your PDA. With it, you’ll be able to construct a vehicle capable of conveying you to your next jump. This will take a significant amount of resources to finish, but it can easily be fabricated by any constructor. Taking any other vehicle off planet will count as choosing to stay. (P)

Skinsuit (Free to everyone)

It’s not armored, but its climate controlled, and it comes with an air tank compatible helmet. Utilizes a small subspace inventory for the convenience of the wearer. The gloves grant extra traction, making it easy to grip slippery things like slimy fish scales. Skin-tight. (P)

PDA (Free to Everyone)

Loaded with an emergency intelligence and more data capacity than you could ever used, this is a survivor’s second most powerful tool (after his or her brain.) The AI may get a bit . . . quirky . . . over long deployments. Your version is basically indestructible. Contains basic construction blueprints. (P)

Pod (Free to everyone)

This emergency life pod has inflatable skids along the bottom to help keep it on the surface of the water, as well as a hatch on both the bottom and top. It also comes with a radio receiver, six solar-charging batteries, and a universal fabricator. The storage container has enough food and water for about a week. A nano-med kit is synthesized and added to storage once a day. (P)

Habitat Constructor 50 CP (Free to Engineers)

As long as the materials are present in your subspace inventory, the Habitat Constructor is capable of creating robust outposts and domiciles. Due to complex structural requirements, the constructor is unable to build anything that isn’t anchored to the ground. (P)

Hazardous Environment Suit (200 CP – Discount Marine)

Meant for space combat, this suit is nonetheless effective underwater. Due to the weight of the armor, it has been modified with a jetpack and buoyancy devices to increase mobility. Blunt impacts and piercing attacks will do almost nothing, though due to the flexibility anything big enough to get its jaws all the way around you is going to crush you like a tin can. Radiation shielding is light, but present. (P)

Habitat (JC Freebie) (Discount Engineer)

Maybe you’re just not that big on building your own stuff, or maybe you don’t want to hunt down the resources. Either way, you now have a small underwater base near where you started. It has solar panels, a storage area, a bed, a hydroponics bay, and an empty multipurpose room for whatever you want to put inside. (P)

Jumpchan admittedly feels kinda bad about saddling you with a Gauntlet right off the bat. Have a free Habitat. You would have gotten a discount on it anyway.

Vehicles

All vehicles bought here cost you no resources and, if destroyed, respawn after three days.

Seamoth (JC Freebie)

It’s fast, safe, and reliable. The Seamoth has one seat and is highly customizable, provided you have somewhere to modify it. It runs on power cells and will warn you if you approach maximum safe depth. Comes with sonar and an electrified hull.

Seriously, you just looked so pathetic I had to cut you some slack. Try not to get blood on the seats, that stuff’s a bitch to get out.

Drawbacks (You may take up to 1600 CP)

Bad Soil +200

I hope you like fish, because the dirt here is terrible for farming, and all the plants that survive keep getting weird alien diseases. Strangely, this only applies to plants you grow in captivity.

Carar +400

Remember how you can get off the planet by building a rocket? Not anymore. Now, there’s another goal. You have lost your immunity and are infected with a deadly alien pathogen known as Carar, which will debilitate you within five weeks and kill you within ten. If you try to leave while infected, the quarantine platform will blast you out of the sky. You’ll have to find a cure – maybe something around here has evolved an immunity.

The Most Dangerous Predator +400

More people will be coming. That’s an inevitability. This sector is like the Bermuda triangle for spaceships. The problem is that now, whoever crashes next will most definitely not be friendly, and will be better armed than you are. Prepare to compete for limited resources against vicious pirates with only your wits and whatever you can scrounge up. Thankfully their guns are ineffective underwater, and their ship exploded much like yours did. At least they drop wreckage. One will come every two months.

Clipping +600

OH DEAR GOD THEY’RE COMING OUT OF THE WALLS! There seems to be some sort of issue with this world’s . . . everything. Creatures are able to move right through walls, the terrain, and even (in a limited fashion) fly for short periods of time, acting like air is water. Maybe that’s why you find old ruins on top of mountains. This can range from frustrating when you’re trying to catch food to incredibly dangerous when a Reaper Leviathan casually swims out of the ground underneath your base. You could swear they’re just spawning down there.

Gauntlet Rewards

First off, you get a nice, tropical island attached to your warehouse. The nearby ocean is massive, but it eventually loops back to your island. There are plants but no animals, and you can find resources if you dig in the right places. Any boats, submersibles, or habitats you bought or constructed during the gauntlet can be found underwater. There’s a teleportation gate underwater and it leads to an aquatic location somewhere in your jump. You can leave it open if you want, but make sure to keep it guarded.

Second, you gain the favor of marine life everywhere. Skittish fish will be friendly, intelligent fish will be helpful, and predatory fish will be ambivalent. Supernatural entities with major ties to water are affected, though results may vary.

Third, water no longer obstructs your view or your movements, and you can swim as fast as you can run. You are the fastest (natural) creature in the ocean. You can always tell how far you are from the sea.

Finally, you get a free T-shirt that reads “I Survived Subnautica!”. You will gain an alternate version for each gauntlet you complete in the future.



I stared into the void, scratching at my sides as I pondered my current position. I had been relaxing on my bed, and then I was… here.

“Hello?” I called out, turning to and fro as I tried to spy some sort of visible landmark. Nothing more than the featureless flat ground that trailed off into the abyss. A soft shapeless field that stretched out farther than I could see.

A soft rustling sound went off behind me. I whirled around, searching for the source but to no avail. Nothing on the ground, nothing in the air before me, nothing in the blank sky above.

“Helloooo?” I trilled, trying to buoy my spirits with a bit of levity. Walking forward a few paces did little to add anything new to what I saw around me, which in turn had continued being nothing more than a big ‘ol blob of nothing as far as I could see. Nothing to my left, nothing to my right. Nothing in front of me, nothing behind me. This place had less going for it than an auto insurance themed park.

“Hello,” a voice stated in a deep sultry tone. This in itself wouldn’t have been much of a problem. Voices mean people. People mean someone to talk to! Except for one small thing. The voice had come from directly behind me, an area I had just been looking at seconds prior.

I might have shrieked like a small child as I recoiled. I might very well have swung ineffectually at the would be ninja as I retreated in my haste, and I might have also tripped on my own damned feet and landed on my ass.

The very picture of poise and grace, I am.

The woman standing before me took all this in stride, watching my ungainly flailing with a crooked mouth and a smile alight in the corners of her eyes. Her appearance triggered a vestige of memory deep in my mind, a character from a cartoon I hadn’t seen in over a decade.

Her voice had been instantly recognizable regardless, an audible dichotomy averse to her physical appearance.

Doctor Girlfriend. A woman with perfectly fair features, raven black hair in a neat bob, and a killer physique that only exists in animation. ‘She’s not bad, she's just drawn that way,’ indeed. Seeing as she had been naught more than a cartoon the last time I checked, this was actually somewhat of a brain boggler.

Now, don’t mistake me when I say that she was ‘Dr Girlfriend’. I am not saying that she was some cosplayer dressing as the character, filling out her costume in a realistic manner. I am not saying that this was a hologram of a cartoon being projected before me, lines and colours arching in unfamiliar ways to confuse the brain.

This was not an actor filling the role of a cartoon character by being a passable lookalike. No sireebob.

This was ink brought to life, the person standing before looking to all and sundry as if she had been what the cartoon had been based on. The artist taking inspiration from a real life example. My mind tried to rationalize this, bending backwards as it tried to lie to itself and to me.

“Who,” I managed to get out before the lady started speaking once again.

“The name is Jumpchan, darling,” she ground out in a voice more befitting an NFL testosterone laden quarterback who smoked his way through four packs of cigarettes a day.

“Why,” I tried once more to voice a question, only to be cut off again as if she knew the question I had been trying to ask before I even thought of it.

“Because I thought she looked cute,” she replied in an even tone. “The voice was a bit hard to get used to, but it's growing on me, don’t you think?” She paused as if expecting a response, but I waited a few seconds in case she was just waiting to cut me off again.

“Pooh, you’re no fun, hon,” she whined, tilting her head to the side. “Well, whatever. Anyway, I realize this might come as a bit of a shock, but you died. And now you’re here!”

I stared at her for a few seconds, Unwilling to immediately discount her words as pure fallacy. I didn’t do drugs, and I hadn’t been drinking tonight. The chance that I was imagining this entire scenario was already a far fetched one, regardless of the strangeness of it.

“...-” I didn’t even manage to form the words this time before she interrupted me again.

“Brain aneurysm, hon. There one second, and the next you were a drooling clump of flesh on the floor. Don’t worry about your cat though, your roommate came home over the weekend and found the you sized mass of what used to be, well, you. Fat tears of sadness all around, mothers wailing to doctors about ‘how could this possibly happen’ and all the other standard silliness.”

She stared at me intently as I tried to process everything she had said. I had died? From a brain aneurysm? The likelihood of that happening was astronomical! To just be going about ones normal day and then keel over from practically nothing…

“You can’t,” she stated, before I could even voice my desire to go home. “You’re dead there. Finite. Passed on, one with the hereafter, six feet under. Your body is pushing up daisies, savvy?” she ended on a roguish grin.

“Why are you telling me this?” I ground out before she could cut me off again. “Why even bother? If what you’re saying is true, if you’re some sort of… end of life specter that's taking me to my eternal rest or whatever the hell happens to me then why? Why bother with talking to me at all? Why not just get it over with?”

She laughed, a deep bassy thing that echoed off the nonexistent floors and petered out into the unfathomable abyss.

“Oh, I’m not here for that,” she chided me, a sardonic expression alight upon her face. “What an absolute waste. I have better things to do than hold up the undead and mock them on their way from the land of the living. Really hon, I hope you’ll get to know me a little bit better than that from now on…”

The way she stated that put me on edge. As if she were some sort of strange, unsympathetic creature looking down on me from up on high.

“No, now, what I’m here for is much simpler. You see, I have a little game I want to play with you.”

An entity with unknown powers or alignment approaches you and says they want to play a game. They don’t elaborate on what the game is, and you’re currently standing in some sort of dimensional space you can’t run away from them. You may proceed to collapse to the ground, gibberish and crying at your earliest convenience.

“See, I have all these wonderful worlds I could possibly send you to,” she continued, seemingly unaware of my internal freak out, “and they’ll be such a blast to trample around in!~ The catch is as thus,” she preempted me, giving me a knowing look, “You can only spend ten years in each world -currently-, at the end you have to continue on to the next world. I mean, you could stay if you wanted to… But don’t you want to go hoooome?~”

I stared at her for several seconds, trying to figure out whatever backwards scheme was cooking behind her placid eyes.

“Of course I do,” I started, before stopping suddenly. I had been expecting her to interrupt me again, and when she didn’t I just ended up pausing like a fool. Which, given the grin on her face and the slight twinkle dancing through her eyes was exactly what she had wanted. “Of course I do,” I repeated, “But what you’re claiming sounds fishy. What worlds? Why ten years? Why not just send me back immediately, if you’re truly capable of doing so? Can I even say no?” I realized with a jolt, a sentiment which was only worsened by a sly smile that crept across her face.

“Not really,” she confirmed. “Of course, you could just stand here for a while and hope I get bored,” she spread her arms, gesturing to the nothingness surrounding us, “but I would wager that I have a greater breadth of patience than you,” she drawled. After a few seconds she continued. “As for the other two, there's already this little system in place. Not easy to get ahold of, but I am fairly amazing. Hold the applause.”

I did as she instructed, refusing to grant her any amount of praise. Either verbal or physical.

“It’s called ‘jumpchain’. An infinite akashic record of lists, all pertaining to alternate worlds travelable by sapient beings. When traveling to these worlds via these records, you’ll be able to access untold powers you never could have even dreamed up on your wildest benders by spending the provided currency you’ll get each jump.”

“Currency?” For once, It was me interrupting. It felt weird. Not that I didn't like it.

“Choice points, coin points, cashew points, chance points, cat points, it really just boils down to ‘CP’. Each with their own cheesy little way of referring to the dish, if they feel so inclined,” she explained.

She elegantly waved her hands in the air, motes of light dancing from her fingertips as an arcade cabinet flashed into being beside us and thumped to the ‘ground’ with a hollow thunk.

“There’ll be more jump options going forward, but I figured I’d go easy on you and not bog you down with mountains of choice right off the bat,” she declared, gesturing towards the cabinets screen.

“What is,” I asked, leaning forward so I could see the screen better. With a start, I realized I recognized the name laid out on the top of the game station as well as the faint decals that decorated it's sides. “Subnautica? Wait, no, I don’t want this one, can I choose a different one?” I asked, turning back towards her.

Only, she was no longer there. Whirling back and forth -even at one point looking behind the game cabinet- I furiously searched for her, to no avail. She was gone, leaving me in this empty space of mind breaking loneliness and madness.

I turned back to the arcade cabinet.

Subnautica. A survival almost horror game. That would have been fine. A few jumpscares, having to forage for my food for ten years, whatever, no big. My dad had taken me camping all the time when I was a kid, I could survive without Internet or a guide if need be. Not very well, but it was only for ten years.

The kicker was the ‘sub’ part of the games title. The game took place mostly in the middle of the ocean. Swimming to and from the meager bits of comfort you could manage, gathering resources to get off the planet due to… something.

I had never played the game myself. I had only ever seen a few different lets play videos on it that managed to drift into my recommended list on youtube. Not a complete and total understanding, to be sure.

“I can’t swim,” I whined into the void around me, the protest that had been forefront of my reason for not wanting to go to this stupid world in the first place. I lived smack dab in the middle of the United States, as far away from any ocean as my parents could possibly have managed. After I grew up, I never saw any reason to even so much as leave town.

Sure, I could dog paddle. Anyone could dog paddle. But that wasn’t real swimming. That wasn’t the level of swimming that would be needed in this kind of environment.

“Maybe I could just... wait it out,” I started, before recalling an impossibly important detail about the game. Some sort of infection, a disease that the player encounters upon waking up on the watery planetoid. An inescapable, incurable -by available human sciences- malady that revolved around why you were on the planet in the first place.

Some sort of race of alien jackasses had quarantined the planet due to said disease, and shot down any ship trying to get close to it. Cause, you know, you can’t just put up signs or something. That is waaaay too much work. Made it so you couldn’t just leave the planet either, shooting down any attempts to leave unless you managed to cure yourself beforehand.

I sidled up to the cabinet, using the arcade joystick to scan downward through the provided ‘pages’.

“Wait,” I stuttered, jamming the stick upwards to take me back to the top of the page. “Where are my points? Choice points? Do I not…” I stopped, staring at the description at the top of the document. “Gauntlet? I don’t get any?” I hissed incredulously. “Then what's the friggin point of it in the first place?!? Wait, no, that doesn’t make any sense. Why even tell me if I don’t get to buy anything? Do I have to earn them?”

I pored through the text, going over every bit of information I could. Perks, Backgrounds, origins… Apparently I was starting as an engineer? For free? Again, why? I wasn’t sure I liked the subtext of how she referred to me as ‘pathetic’. Like a child staring down at an overturned turtle.

All of it cost the ‘points’, none of it stated any way to gain more. No special ‘quests’ to undertake, no chores to complete, no way to buy them-

“Huh,” I let out, staring at the final section that stood in stark reflection to the work that had come before it.

Drawbacks. A series of differing disadvantages to tack on to your ‘run’ for a smattering of points. Some of them were rather minimal, others bordered on bat shit insane. Thalassophobia? Who the hell would risk being stuck in this madness with a fear of the ocean? Screw the high cost it would gain me, the hell I would be damning myself to wasn’t worth the risk.

That was bad enough at a max cost drawback. But some of the other ones were traps hidden in the guise of mediocrity. Silence? Sure, being deaf sucks. Being deaf on a planet where every single animal would love to creep up on you and eat you? Absolute insanity. Not something to take unless you had supernatural powers that would make such a thing moot.

Going back to the top to re-read the doc brought additional discomfort. According to this, other jumps had powers too. Specifically, that in this jump -gauntlets in general- ‘perks’ from other jumps weren’t allowed. So even that was designed to screw over any participants. Willing or otherwise.

Batteries Not Included? Oh yeah, sure. Batteries that drain almost immediately. Riiiiight, that sounds like fun. Just what I want when trying to do anything on a death world. No power for flashlights, no power for subs, no power for anything.

Test Your Metal? There were few things I remembered about the game, but one thing I knew was that you needed titanium. A shiiiiitton of it. Most of the metal available for building stuff in the game came from wreckage of the fallen Aurora. Taking that out of the picture? It really would take you years to build most of the stuff you needed in order to escape the planet.

I carefully measured my options, only selecting the point givers I thought I could possibly handle.

Bad Soil sounded bad, and it truly deserved the title of ‘drawback’. Not being able to grow plants? That sucked. But I could get by eating nothing but fish. And it did say that anything grown on the islands was free game. Fish food at the start, I could cope with that. Wasn’t like I was going to be here long. This jump was based off a video game, there were probably people speed running it in less than five hours.

I remembered seeing a perk that would give me all the blueprints right off the bat, so it should be easy, right?

Carar was dangerous. The disease of the game, it alluded to the fact that I’d have had an immunity to the bug without the drawback… But I would have to go down into the depths of terrifying darkness and lava strewn caverns to get the materials to build the rocket anyway. Might as well add curing myself to the list since I’d be in the area anyway.

The Most Dangerous Predator sounded bad on the surface, but at the face of it? I didn’t plan on being here any longer than I had to. Two months was way too long, I wouldn’t be here by then, relaxing on a luxurious rocket ride away from the watery world.

Clipping. It was bad. There was no guarantee that the animals would follow their easily movements and patterns from the game to go along with their blatant disregard for proper collision detection. But I could hope.

That was the full sixteen hundred worth of points I could take. Not the best ones surely, but they were what I had.

Two perks in the list immediately caught my eye. Just Keep Swimming and super lungs. One to make it so I could actually truck my way around the environment, the other to make sure I’d never have to contend with the bends. There was an awful lot of diving, from what I remember. The extra JKS made it so I could actually swim, and not just trundle around.

A few things around the list were marked as free due to ‘jumpchan’ benefits or something. Whatever, screw the depreciating text added to each of them, free stuff is free stuff. Engineer, getting the easy location instead of having to pay for it or hope for Lady Luck to be kind…

A free mini sub. Nice.

Having to pick first from the Engineer list, I eventually made all the purchases I could. Scrounging out every last of my CP I scrolled to the bottom, the arcade cabinets joystick clacking away as I continued to jam it downwards.

~<Start>?~​

“I really don’t want to,” I groaned, looking around for an exit from this choice. I was alone, left adrift in this featureless place. No escape.

My hand drifted over the only button placed upon the otherwise flat board of the cabinet.

“Please don’t eat my soul,” I squeaked out, slamming my hand down on the button.


[Log,1- Day, 4][Attempt,1]

Oh hey, apparently this thing comes with a built in notepad? Nice. I never knew how freaking boring being alone on a deserted alien could be. Having no one but the piecemeal ‘A.i’ on this thing to talk to? Yeah, I’ve started to talk to myself. Already talked to myself, but whatever. Now it's worse.

I have a fish that likes to swim around my pod thingy. I can tell which one it is by the distinct red markings it has on only one side. I’ve taken to calling him Melvin. Melvin is everything a cat would be if it was a fish. Aloof, and never willing to sit still for pets and cuddles.

I miss my cat. Mitzy would have hated this place. Water everywhere.

There's supposedly islands somewhere around here, but I haven’t seen them yet. Nothing but endless ocean. Jumpchan started me out in the shallows, and everything gets deeper no matter which direction you go. Might be able to go out and search for them, but I want to try and keep somewhat close to the pod and habitat for the time being.

Fish for breakfast, fish for lunch, fish for dinner! It has quickly become quite droll. I’m trying to mix it up with different kinds of fish, but they all come out of the fabber tasting remarkably similar. Adding kelp has helped with the flavor, and there are supposed to be salt deposits around somewhere.

I never played the game. I only watched a few videos of someone play it on YouTube. I know the basics of it, but not the specifics. I know I have to go out and find some sort of telepathic whale eventually, but not much more than that.

[Log, 2- Day, 15][Attempt,1]

Oh, I guess I lied. Just yesterday the giant ship I came in exploded. I remember that you have to go and get something from the remains, maybe blueprints or something? Thanks to one of my perks I already have all the blueprints attainable in the game and more. So that's something to be thankful for.

[Log, 3- Day, 1][Attempt, 2]

I died.

I got a crashfish to the face. It blew up and killed me.

I… I don’t even know what to say, honestly. Should I be mad? Sad? Indignant? It was a flash of momentary pain, and then waking up in my escape pod once more on the first day. If it’s that much of a non event then I don’t know what I was worried about.

Everything I collected over the past few days was gone. Every single scrap of metal, every piece of plant life and all the fish I had stockpiled. Gone. Aaaagggghhhhhhhhh.

My hoarding mentality hates me right now. I want all the shinies!

At least my mini sub is back again. I accidentally crashed it into the reef and got it stuck last time. I might have also drained its batteries to nothing trying to force it out of the mess of kelp.

[Log, 5- Day, 2][Attempt, 3]

I have been… ignoring my in jump memories. Maybe out of fear of them replacing me, subsuming me… making me into someone I wasn’t before. It wasn’t really substantiated, it was just a bit of irrational nonsense.

What predicated this was the aforementioned giant ship. Tons of free scrap metal just waiting for the taking, as well as any other bits and bobs that I could have then used to jumpstart my way off this planet. I could have cobbled together a prawn suit from the wrecked junk there, strapped it to my minisubs hood and floated it all back home.


Mighta been nice.

I was stubborn. I was resolute in the belief that I knew better than some made up personalities deeply ingrained self belief and opinion. Devin the Engineers memory was screaming away in the back of my head, echoes of instinct trying to warn me about the danger I was obliviously sailing off into.

Radiation poisoning. Hell, look at the stupid date, I died again. I’ve never felt so… wrong. Helpless, sick, something just intrinsically wrong with my body and nothing I could do about it except lay back and die.

My engineer memories knew of the dangers of radiation poisoning. They knew that there would be pockets of radiation surrounding the ship, and that I’d need to fab a radiation suit to get past them. Because I stubbornly ignored that… I only hurt myself with my own stupidity.

No more. I sat down yesterday after having gotten over the shock of waking up again, and just thought. Sat, and thought. Tried to remember each and every bit of information my life here had experienced. Wringing each and every bit of usefulness out of the me that I wasn’t.

The Devin of this world -not literally THIS world in particular, obviously- had been a high school dropout, working at his dad's autoshop as he slowly built up every bit of information he could in his chosen craft. Fixing piddly little go karts slowly built up to the point where he was literally cobbling together fusion reactors in his backyard shed.

After that, he had been picked up and fined for such a blatant illegal act as creating what was basically a bomb out of household materials. Shuffled off into the system and on his way to a lengthy stay at a nearby penitentiary. Picked up by the trans government Alterras’ HR department. Apparently they liked the idea of picking up someone with a decent amount of mechanical know how under their belt, and had the habit of making their own path when given the option.

Critical thinking, they called it. Sure, they had their little sheep on staff that followed all the rules, safe and sundry that they were. Safe that they were, the majority had little in the way of imaginative out of the box thinking. Each were useful in their own right, a cog to be slotted into the industrial machine. Worth the medley of pennies they each were paid.

They picked up people like Devin from time to time. Someone with the willingness to take the less than moral path if you waved enough benjamins in front of their face. Local Devin apparently also had a bit of an interest in chemicals, probably due to my scientist tree perk. ‘Life or Death’. A bit on the nose, but quite astute. He had been a bit of an amoral bastard, at that. Mixing certain chemical cocktails into his crew mates drinks for an easy lay, these were memories I would rather do without.

If he had been a real person before I came into this world, then I would consider it a justice to have erased his taint from the face of the galaxy. If I hadn’t come into being and effectively erased him by Jumpchans fiat, I think him dying in a blaze of fire after being blasted out of the atmosphere of this planet would have been a blessing onto women everywhere.

Easy come, easy go. The fruits of his labor are now mine to do with what I will.

One such fruit being the knowledge that before I make my way to the wreck of the Aurora, I need to construct a radiation suit. Well, suit, gloves and helmet. For some reason they’re all detachable pieces. What absolute lunacy.

[Log, 6- Day, 4][Attempt, 3]

Apparently Hera (I finally named my minisub. I know it's actually called a seamoth, which is honestly so laaaaame) keeps her upgrades between my… Uh, hmm. How best to say this. Best to just go dry and glib, I guess. My death. Anyway! The depth module Mk1 for Hera that I made during the last run was still in her when I checked today.

Kinda sad it took me this long to notice, but I guess it just slipped my mind.

So upgrades stayed. Why? None of the random junk I had stashed in her subspace inventory pods came back with me, so why the specific module?

Nothing in the habitat came back either. Guess I should talk about that too, huh?

I didn’t buy it, but apparently Jumpchan gave it to me for free. A single large domed bubble piece moored in the shallows a few meters from where my escape pod drifted. If it wasn’t for the rubber covered chain leading from the bottom of said pod to my humble home, the softly floating pod most definitely would have floated off into the vast unknowable ocean by now.

A single bit of solar panels hung out on the top of the habitat, giving it the bare minimum of power to start off. I had never needed any more than that so far, so I hadn’t built anything else.

The room was large enough that I could slot a bed right in the center, facing the hatch. If ever something happened in the middle of the night, I wanted the room clear for me to quickly make my way outside. A water filtration unit, a fabber stuck on the wall alongside a couple lockers and a battery charger rounded off the room.

All amenities and comforts which were lost upon the reset. Back to the room, lonely solar panel, and nothing else.

[Log, 9- Day, 7][Attempt, 3]

I finally made the giant sub! Hell yes, after so many days puttering around in Hera it is so ungodly liberating to sail around in a bigger tub!

After duplicating the lockers, battery charger and fabber, I was ready to set out into deeper waters. I had a rough idea of where I needed to go in order to pick up the materials needed to make my rad suit. … Rad suit. Geez, for some reason I really don't like that. It offends me deeply to consider this goofy black suit ‘rad’. It may protect me from radiation, but it is ugly as sin.

[Log, 10- Day, 1][Attempt 4]

Stalkers suck ass. Like to bite it too. Blood attracts more stalkers. A lovely round of pain, gore and unwanted physical attention.

I saw something else in the darkness. After they swarmed. Something huge, and glowing. Glowing bright blue, off in the distance.

I have no idea what's really on this god forsaken planet, and that scares me.

[Log, 11- Day, 1][Attempt 4]

The habitat upgrades persist through the resets!

I added more foundation and an extra room last time around, and it was still there when I woke up again. It wasn’t absolute and all encompassing however. What stayed and what was reset seems completely random. The room stayed. The bed and any other basically ‘cosmetic’ furniture vanished. While the water filtration unit is still there, the humble fabricator that hung on the wall beside it has been absconded with by the quite rude resets. Lockers I had installed in my new ‘inventory’ room remained, even if their contents were gone.

There is no escape from the grind of collecting materials.

[Log, 12- Day, 2][Attempt 4]

I finally caved and made a moonpool. Indoor to outdoor swimming pool, is what it basically is. Moored Hera in there, and figured out there were upgrade thingies I can slot into her. Wonder if they’ll loop around? Kinda hope I don’t have an opportunity to find out...

[Log, 17- Day, 1][Attempt 5]

Back on log 12, I wondered if upgrades to Hera would carry around.

They do.

[Log, 23- Day, 5][Attempt 5]

Having to remake all my upgraded tanks and stuff every time is annoying to the extreme. I found an island. Was surrounded by a giant cloud of fog on the horizon looking at it from afar. Now that I think about it, there were two fog collections that I could see…

[Log, 24- Day, 5][Attempt 5]

They’re both islands. I saw a giant sod off sea serpent on the way in, it clamped onto Hera and dragged her off into the depths. I managed to get a scan of it before it disappeared…

I don’t think I’m getting back off the island the same way I came in.

[Log, 24- Day, 1][Attempt 6]

Clipping. I forgot about it. The stupid monster flies through the ground. And then through the air. The highest peak of the mountain, hiding amongst the time worn ruins of habitat that had once held other castaways to this dreadful planet… I was not safe. I found magnetite ore there though… I’m going to have to go back…

[Log, 26- Day, 2][Attempt 6]

I think I’m on to something. Thanks to the one perk I chose in order to concoct various chemicals, I think I may be able to cludge together a specialty torpedo for use on Hera. The next time I see that damned Reaper Leviathan, I’m gonna shoot it right in its stupid face with a payload of custom made repellent.

[Log, 30- Day, 4][Attempt 6]

I’ve just been going around these past two days collecting as much random materials as I can. I enhanced the subspace inventory pockets on Hera, but I’d still been running out of space every half hour or so. My solution?

The sub trucks!

It was technically a separate vehicle blueprint altogether, but I managed to configure it so the extra carriage modules could be attached to Hera in a long train. Each car uses up a hefty amount of supplies, but it’s been worth it. Now a jaunt out that would have seen me returning in under a half hour lasts for at least a few hours.

Plus, with my sub looking like it’s some sort of giant serpent, the stalkers are avoiding me when I come back to the creepvine fields.

Oh wait… Ha! The stalkers hang around the creeps! I can’t believe it took me this long to get that…

God I think I’m lonely.

I think I’ll keep one of the truck cars in the moonpool when I’m not using it, just in case. If I reset again I want to see if it’ll stay.

[Log, 33- Day, 6][Attempt 6]

I think I’m ready. I’m all stocked up on my repellent torpedos, I got the full ten train of cars hitched up to Hera. That damned Reaper won’t know what hit its serpentine ass.

[Log, 34- Day, 1][Attempt 7]

I think I missed a protein strand somewhere.

What was supposed to be a repellent turned out to be a massively effective attractant. The thing reacted like I had just doused the entire area with pheromones of a lithe and willing mate.

There are many ways I imagined dying. Being crushed to death as a giant sea serpent amorously smashes itself and your submersible against the underwater cliffs of Island 2 was not one of them.

Still, this failure was but a possible step towards unwitting success. After all, they had been trying to create a new type of plastic when they accidentally made margarine.

I had been trying to make a repellent. I think I made a lure. Sure, enticing monsters away from me by making them think there's a possible mate nearby could end disastrously but I liked to think the glass was half full.

[Log, 38- Day, 3][Attempt 7]

I added a scanner room to the habitat. It susses out materials in range, I just have to send out lil camera bots to boost said range. Seeing them got my grey matter all a whirring, if I’m right I should be able to make a few modifications to the little buggers. Adding collection arms to the drones should make it so I never even need to step out of my bedroom to bring in all the fat loot!

The connection signal is spotty the farther it goes, however. I’ve been detecting some strange magnetic activity near the heat geysers that has been messing with the ping. I think that area might be the entrance into the subterranean lava fields. That's where I need to go in the ‘end game’, I’m sure of it.

[Log, 39- Day, 4][Attempt 7]

The reaper reacted quite violently to my lure once it was proven there was nothing for it to bang in its nearby vicinity. Thankfully I was nowhere nearby when releasing my concocted payload, but poor cambot #3 will be missed. Ask ye not of #1 and #2. They were an abomination towards the natural order, and will not be missed.

Still, preliminary tests suggest that the lure would be perfect as distraction chaff if I ever find myself being chased by one of the bastard reapers. Drop it behind me as I’m boosting my ass off, set it on a five to ten second delay…

Hopefully it should result in a satisfactory result.

[Log, 42- Day, 9][Attempt 7]

I can’t believe I didn’t check these damn coordinates sooner. The radio spat out a message today, tell me of a location of another downed pod. I had never even given it a second thought, as far as I remembered the only thing the pods had been good for were unknown blueprints.

No matter how fast you hauled ass for them in game, their passengers would already be gone due to game mechanics. But supposedly they landed as almost exactly the same time as me, so if I looked I might very well find something of note. Maybe they’re still around?

[Log, 43- Day, 9][Attempt 7]

I was too late. Pod five was the closest to me that I was able to get to, so I started up Hera and set out.

The pod was already in disrepair when I got there, damage my engineering background told me was due to a malfunctioning conduit overloading and blowing out an entire subsystem. The resulting feedback went and blew out a hole in the side of the pod the size of a manhole cover.

It hadn’t happened until hours after landing. Long after they had relaxed and assumed they were in the clear. I would have liked to be positive and say that they survived their explosive decompression, and they very well might have. For a few minutes, maybe an hour.

The few bones I could see sticking out of the sand, fleshy bits still clinging to them told of their final fate.

Stalkers. Fucking stalkers.

[Log, 48- Day, 13][Attempt 7]

Every single pod I’ve managed to find were similarly exposed to the elements. Cheap construction designed to use the least amount of materials. I could very well sneeze on these things and they’d dissemble themselves out of mortal fear.

It's a miracle mine managed to make it to the surface relatively unscathed. I don’t know if that's due to game mechanics, or Jumpchan covering my ass for me.

Anyway. I have an idea. Hopefully I’ll never get a chance to make it…

The habitat persists.

If I add more rooms on it, daisy chain the series of corridors right over to where the pods eventually landed? I may be able to save these people before they get turned into fishy poop.

I can’t do it to for every pod. Some of them are just too far. I have no desire to make this a death march as I repeat my deaths over and over again. I want this time to be the last, capped off by my rocket soaring off into the heavens.

[Log, 59- Day, 25][Attempt 7]

I managed to make a line from my escape pod to Island #2. The big shooty gun island. A few days ago, another ship reached the planet. An ill conceived rescue operation, stymied by alien bastards that didn’t bother to label their damn backyards.

Yellowed pustules have started emerging from my skin. I feel faint and sick half the time, and the other half I just feel tired. If this is barely halfway through the disease before its end… I don’t want to know how bad it gets.

The planet is under quarantine. No one in, no one out. The aliens, wherever they might have faffed off to didn’t want to risk this thing getting off the planet.

They enforced this with several anti air installations dotted around the planet, if my guess was right. No use of having a single gun on a planet that constantly turns, if you’re hoping to target people coming from every direction.

Anyway, the Sunbeam was coming to save my ass. Then it got blown up into little itty bitty bits. Another thing to add to the list if I end up looping further.


I could maybe fab an antenna station, set it up on the summit of Island #2? Boost the signal and I might be able to warn them to stay the hell away.

I went into the Big Building Shooty Thing, trying to figure out a way to shut it down. At the end of the facility was a console that stabbed me through the wrist with a giant friggin needle. Easily the width of a knitting needle, it had left a giant hole in my arm that bled profusely.

If it weren’t for the medpacks the fabber could make, I might very well have bled to death. God damn aliens.

I couldn’t shut the thing down with the sickness still in my blood. And even when I managed that, if my first visit was any indication then it was just going to get me stabbed again. Lovely.

The BBST was going to have to wait.

[Log, 60- Day, 25][Attempt 7]

The habitat was built too close to the island. The damn Reaper starting wrecking my hard work earlier today. Almost fifty meters of habitat modules broken and thrashed. The entire damn thing flooded, I’ve started putting bulkheads every few hundred meters so that I don’t have to deal with this shit again.

[Log, 62- Day, 1][Attempt 8]

I went into the lava zone. I needed nickel for further depth module upgrades.

The goddamn warpers. They are these god ugly abominations, half mechanical creatures that have the ability to teleport living matter. Even straight out of Hera. Stupid friggin fishy bastards.

Even though I can remember the sensation vividly… It's hard to describe it. To put it to words… It felt like I had been turned inside out, then shoddily put back together. Based on the blood I spewed into the screen of my rebreather, I’m not so unsure that wasn’t exactly what happened.

I hightailed it out of there like the bats of hell were on my tail. Screw that, I’d come back with a Cyclops. I need to think up a proper name for her too.

I went to sleep, exhausted after a long and stressful day. Held together with medpacks and wishful thoughts.

I woke up wet, terrified and hurting from being teleported out of my warm and comfortable bed. The bastard thing had followed me home, gotten me with my guard down.

I thought being torn apart by monsterous fish was the worst way to die. Radiation poisoning had also been near the top of my list.

Nothing held a candle to drowning.

I’ve been having… Hallucinations. For lack of a better word, any way. Telepathic messages from a magic fish? It wants me to come to it. I’m not sure I should. I don’t remember enough about Subnautica to know if it's a good or bad thing. All I know is… it's deep. It's damned deep.

[Log, 63- Day, 1][Attempt 8]

It worked. My lifeline to the closest pod, pod five.

I almost wish it hadn’t.

Jared Pattsos is a self absorbed, irksome prick of a man with entirely too much self aggrandizing pride. He was also bloody useless.

A VIP who was traveling along on the Aurora for reasons I couldn’t understand, -despite the fact that he regaled me with as much for several long minutes detailing just how important he was- he had no practical abilities.

He couldn’t fix up any of the tech I had lying around, he couldn't go out and fish even with the grav traps, he was unwilling to do much more than sit around in my bedroom and complain about shit. I showed him how to use the drones to collect shit, and you know what he said? That he was ‘above’ that kind of menial labor!

What a bloody knob! We are literally stranded on a death world you useless pillock, get off your ass and do something useful!

Yeah I know you can hear me from over there!

I’m making a personal log detailing why you’re such a useless ass, you useless ass!

I don’t care what kind of useless ass doctorate you have, you’re still a gormless fool!

[Log, 65- Day, 3][Attempt 8]

We’ve had some difficulties. Jared is sulking in my room, having constructed a fabbed bulkhead door in place of the normal one. Dumbass doesn’t realize I can just deconstruct it just as easily as he made it in the first place. The tool is wasting my resources, building random junk to make the habitat more ‘homey’.

Gathering titanium from scrap and deposits as fast as I can, I started making a line towards pod seven.

Jared of course raised a stink about that, wasting ‘precious Alterra resources’ on a ‘fools gambit’ was something he complained about constantly. He didn’t even know that the pod was ruptured yet, he was just averse to spending money.

I think he might have been an accountant. No idea how that gets you a doctorate.

[Log, 69- Day, 8][Attempt 8]

I finished the tunnel to pod seven. Already gone, fish with pointy teeth stained red.


Jared has been holding it over my head constantly, as if him being right about something I already knew automatically wins him any argument he deigns to bring up.

Found a PDA in the abandoned pod. If I reset again, I really hope this ‘Sally’ person is as useful as she sounds…

But I don’t want to die again…

[Log, 71- Day, 12][Attempt 8]

I have a plan I think will work… I deconstructed about a hundred meters of habitat from Pod seven. Sorry Jared, but you have been nothing but a pain. I’ll save you on the final one… Or maybe I can foist you off on one of the other survivors…

Used the materials to start another line towards Island #1.

I’ve concocted a bit of… well, a concoction. The various plants on this god forsaken planet aren’t only useful for making batteries and the like…

If I got this right, it should just be as easy as going to sleep…

[Log, 72- Day, 1][Attempt 9]

It woooo~ooorked~

Blessed, thankful silence!

With the tunnel destroyed towards pod five, I won’t be seeing him for a long time. Hopefully.

[Log, 73- Day, 3][Attempt 9]

Sally is a friggin godsend. She’s a no nonsense hardass bitch who was born with a wrench in her hand. Unfortunately, this also resulted in her not believing me when I told her ‘time loops’ as an explanation for how the hell I already had habitat modules built out to where she landed.

We made another seamoth -she’s refusing to name hers for some reason-, made ourselves a couple of radiation suits -still refuse to call them rad- and set out for the Aurora.

We’ve been here a couple hours, making patch jobs on anything we can get our hands on. It’s slow going, and I'm not sure we’re making much of a dent.

[Log, 73- Day, 4][Attempt 9]

We managed to stop the reactor from blowing. Small mercies, I guess? It's absolutely wonderful having someone working beside me that can do more than complain about how the ‘water will ruin their hair’. Friggin Jared. Definitely leaving him for last.

[Log, 76- Day, 7][Attempt 9]

Sally wasn’t a slouch when it comes to collecting supplies… but she was too used to working in a closed environment. No situational awareness, not that she’d have had use of it before.

She actually managed to kill three stalkers before they overtook her. I… I need a minute.

[Log, 77- Day, 13][Attempt 9]

Okay. I think… I think I’m okay now. I… I could have saved her. Next time, I will. I need muscle, I can’t be everywhere at once. I have the locations of pods three, ten, six, twelve and eighteen. I’ll go check them out, give them a looksee. If one of them has a person of interest on them over the others… I’ll have to prioritize.

[Log, 74- Day, 1][Attempt 10]

I haven’t made any logs in a while. Trying to just… sort my mind. Didn’t have anything to say at the time. I made it almost a month and a half, connecting the lines to all the nearby pods. Even Jareds pod. Hopefully one of these people can keep him in line.

[Log, 75- Day, 3][Attempt 10]

Okay. Lot to unpack here…

So… Sally was fine. She hates Jared too, but he actually kinda listens to her. Somewhat. Still whines like a bitch, but he’s actually using the drones to gather stuff now.

Pods ten, six and eighteen… Their occupants didn’t survive the crash landing. ‘Died in transit’ I guess would be the scientific phrasing to describe it.

I just… I wanted to save them. I had the plan in place, I literally had all the time in the world to set everything up! And it all amounted to nothing. A long line of empty habitat modules, stretching forth towards the graves of those already since departed.

Pod three held good news, at least. An interesting lady by the name of Maria. Easily twice my age and moves like she has Hera strapped to her back, but she’s got a good head on her. I’m gonna make another scanner room for her, so she has something she can do and doesn’t keep going around with that sour ‘I'm a drain on the group, I need to do something’ expression she’s been wearing since I met her.

Pod twelve…

Henry Macintosh. Archeologist and professional linguist. Had been contracted to come along on the journey due to his expertise regarding alien technology, according to his PDA.

He was in a coma.

It looked like a panel had come loose during his descent, slamming into his temple with all the force of a sledgehammer. He was unresponsive to outwards stimuli, and the only thing we really could do was make him comfortable.

Henrys condition might have also contributed to Jareds newfound meekness. The realization that not everything down here was all hunky dory… The guy has actually been spending most of his time in the scanner room, frantically collecting every bit of detris he could get the drones grubby little grabbers on.

I have an idea.

Maybe I can repurpose designs for the prawn arms, make them so they can be attached to seamoths? Mesh the constructors in there as well, and we could make additions to the habitat without even getting our feet wet.

[Log, 79- Day, 9][Attempt 10]

Okay, so… construction’s going well. Material acquisition is going well. Personnel interaction is… strained. None of us really have any idea how to care for Henry. Sticking an IV in him and turning him over every few hours isn’t cutting it.

The Sunbeam is coming, and I still don’t have blueprints for the upgraded communications antenna finalized. I don’t know if this will work, but I have faith.

I have to.

[Log, 80- Day, 11][Attempt 10]

It didn’t work.

It didn’t fucking work!

I… I just… I set up the antenna and station. It was all looking up. The signal was strong, I managed to get a connection to the Sunbeam easily enough…

The damned alien installation jammed us. It forced a counter signal right into the array, blowing up the damn thing in our faces.

Maria died.

The damn thing sent off more sparks than a Star Trek console and exploded a crappton of fragmentation everywhere. Even Jared got a chunk through the leg, and he was the farthest away from the antenna.

If I want to proof this against the energy feedback… I need better conducting material than what I have access to. It’s time to head into the most inhospitable area on this stupid planet.

Off into the lava fields.

[Log, 92- Day, 1][Attempt 12]

I go into the fields, I take the damn partner drones slaved to Heras’ operating system, I have Sally and Maria controlling additional collector prawns relayed through Hera!

Two resets through literal hell and I have nothing to show for it. Screw this stupid planet, screw the other survivors, screw Jared, screw the Sunbeam and the stupid antenna that doesn't friggin work even though I put literally thousands of dollars of materials into it!

I make chemical rounds specifically designed to drive off those warping bastards, and they just keep coming. And they aren't the only thing lurking down in the endless fiery caverns.

A fire... reaper. All the fun of a giant pissed off sea demon snake that is a reaper, now on fire! It also shoots fire… underwater. Balls of, I don’t freaking know, magma or some shit?! What the hell is with this stupid freaking planet?!

The fire reaper is bad enough. The legions of warpers inundating the area around them even worse. Can’t go a hundred meters without tripping over one of the bastards.

I just…

I’m so tired.

~^7^~​

Sally Mclinth didn’t know what to make of the other engineer. The strange man hadn’t even bothered to introduce himself, toting an unresponsive person over his shoulder as he hummed a nonverbal response to her greeting.

A man in a coma from one of the other pods.

After the ship started shaking for reasons unknown, Sally had been afraid. Falling from the sky in a malfunctioning escape pod had left her feeling terrified. Landing was even worse.

The fabricator was busted, so there went her only chance of fixing anything in that leaky tub to get out of there.

Then, lo and behold! An ugly Frankenstein cribbing of habitat structures strung out long into the distance. A miracle clad in Altera colours. With her pod venting atmosphere as quickly as it had been, the escape to the structure was a godsend. The only notable module in the line that she could see was the moonpool stranded right out on the end. Without anything better to do, she followed the tunnels to the source.

A few miles later, and she came out into the main structure. A collection of modules and rooms that seemingly sprouted up overnight.

How had the other engineer managed to build all this in such a short time? It was sketchy as all hell, and there were no easy answers forthcoming.

How long had he really been here, stuck on this hostile planet? His eyes were not that of a random crewmate freshly marooned, but that of a convict eternally searching for incoming danger.

A friend of her dads held the same look in his eye, a remnant of the time that man had spent behind bars. Constantly watching his own back for a shiv that never came, eyes roaming for threats she never saw.

He was unhinged, surely. Maria agreed.

“What can ye do?” the elderly woman confided in her, “While he’s definitely a bit,” she paused for a second, rotating a finger around her temple as she made a cuckoo bird tweet. “That don’t mean he ain't got somethin’ figured out. Always darting from place to place, spending more than half his time in the water gatherin’ metals and the like? Disjointed fool that he is, the man has a plan.”

Maria had snorted mightily, rubbing at her hip in discomfort. “Better him than me, I tell you that much. My bones get all achey at the slightest tellin’ of a storm, this whole darn place made o’ nothin but water has left me in the lurch somethin’ fierce.”

The man had been spending an awful lot of time in the water, she had to admit. In the few and far times she actually saw him walking around the habitat, most times it was to and from the scanner rooms. Gathering more materials via those illegally modified camera drones of his, or popping said stuff into the fabricators to create a multitude of supposedly useful materials.

“Excuse me,” she prodded as he walked past once more, suppressing a flinch as he turned to stare at her. “What are you doing?”

“Cyclops parts for the sub fabber,” he replied in a dry, almost listless tone. “We need to delve into the lava fields for materials. I’m heading off to island number two for magnetite. I’ll be back in a couple hours and we’ll head out.”

He turned to leave but Sally reached out and grabbed his arm. “What are you talking about? What island? Lava fields? You can’t just throw a bunch of random information at me and just expect me to cooperate!”

He eyed her for several seconds, the silence between them pierced by the sounds of the waves outside.

“Island number two is the one out west. There's two islands nearby, you can see fog banks surround them,” he pointed out the glass side of the compartment, towards said fogbank she had indeed noticed earlier. “Nothing much on island number one. Ruined habitats from somebody on a previous ship that also got shot down-”

“Shot down?” Sally interrupted, “What do you mean shot down? By whom? Who would want to shoot us? Who would dare? We’re smack dab in the middle of Alterra governed space!” she protested vehemently.

The other engineer let out a sharp laugh at that comment, jabbing his chin towards the room that held the coma patient he had brought in.

“That man is Henry Macintosh. An archaeologist,” he explained, handing her a PDA with a cracked screen. “Alterra brought him along because of his expertise regarding recovered and exhumed alien technology discovered on Alterra owned worlds.”

“What?” Sally stated almost breathlessly. She numbly took the offered PDA, carefully tapping through the uncorrupted log entries. “This… This is insane. You can’t actually believe this?”

He continued to stare at her with his dead eyed expression. “On day nine, the Sunbeam enters orbit on a rescue operation for the downed Auroras surviving crew,” he started.

“You’ve already got word from a rescue party?” She all but shouted in his face. “Why didn’t you tell us? That is the kind of critical information we need,” she stressed.

“The Sunbeam,” he continued undaunted, as if she hadn’t even spoken in the first place, “is then shot down by one of the alien installations dotting the planet, killing all crew members on board. No survivors.”

Sally froze, his previous words filtering through her head. ‘also got shot down’

“They shot us down,” she stated numbly. He didn’t comment on that, but did nod his head.

“If I can’t get enough kyanite from the lava fields before the Sunbeam gets here, then the reinforced antenna won’t be built in time,” he explained.

“Why does it need to be reinforced?” she asked. “As long as the standard unit is built someplace high, it should be able to reach a ship in upper orbit…”

“The gun skyscraper jams the com unit, overloading all the internals and forcing a… explosive result,” he stated in a haunted tone.

“Wait,” Sally cut in, “How do you know this? You haven’t already tried this, have you?”

“I could tell you any number of explanations,” the man mused, almost drunkenly. “It doesn’t matter, really. I could tell you the truth, that I’m stuck in a time loop… but you won’t believe me. You never do,” he stated resolutely. With his piece said, he turned and left.

Before long his presence was gone from the base, out to visit the supposed island. A long line of those strangely modified cargo carriages attached to the back of his heavily modified seamoth. She wasn’t sure, but those fabricated torpedos she had seen him loading into it didn’t look standard issue.

“He is a loony.”

~^7^~​

The young mans return brought little to celebrate, yet but more work onto their already laden plates. He was entirely too excitable, flitting from place to place. Barely taking time to rest, he was liable to collapse soon by her guess.

Maria hissed through her teeth, massaging her hip as she tried to ease pressure off her time tortured joints.

At least it wasn’t her shipping off all across the planet on some fools game.

After the lad had gotten back, he was off once more with the girl Sally in tow. Off to the wrecked remains of the Aurora, purportedly to do what they could to stop the reactor from blowing.

Why? To save Alterra property? To prevent radiation from spreading further towards their current location? To raid the on ship vending machines? Nothing so mundane, nothing so ordinary. Nothing in the realm of plain sense.

“If we let the reactor blow, that kills off a large portion of the planets ecosystem. Then the magic telepathic space fish won't let her fishy babies excrete the magic gunk that we need to cure ourselves of the carrar.”

Yeah. Sure. Whatever. He was still getting some things done that needed done… Have fun playing in the reactor young man.

Jeepers g’williams, but that boy was odd.

~^7^~​

This was intolerable! He was a man of high standing, he didn’t attend Princeton for five years to be subjected to this… barbarity!

The old woman had cowed him into menial labor, days upon days of sitting at that accursed screen and directing the drones into picking up random junk.

The thug had eventually returned on the fifth day after having disappeared into the so called lava fields, touting a container of strange smelling liquid. Without even a ‘by your leave’ the ruffian scooped out a glob and rubbed it into his face! Without even asking for permission!

Supposedly a cure to a disease he most assuredly did not have. Carrar. A silly, made up name for something that did not exist.

The other three members also received this unwanted treatment, at least he wasn’t alone in his torment.

The hooligan was heading back out to the island, to ‘turn off the giant gun’. As if an intelligent man like himself would actually believe in that. He’d believe it when he saw it with his own eyes, like any other rational human being.

He’d continue on with the secondary task he’d been given, feeding materials into the rocket fabricator. With any luck, they’d be sipping dry martinis on the sunbeam by the weekend.

~^7^~​

I had done everything I could. Baby sea dragon eggs hatched, gun tower turned off, Sunbeam contacted and told to fudge off and wait out of range just in case. The ship was in the final stages of construction, four extra seats installed in the cockpit for everyone.

The ship was finished. It was difficult to get Henry up the ladders and strapped in, but we managed. Maria equally had difficulty ascending the monolithic structure. Needed more lifts, had too many ladders. I should have changed the blueprints for them. Who cares if it needed more titanium? We were swimming in it at this point.

Oh well. A detail for next time. Once we reset I’d know what nonsense came after the rocket starting off. Would our supposed rescuers blast us out of the sky, protecting Alterras interests?

Perhaps there was some sort of spaceship eating super reaper that would fly into the sky and chomp us down just when we thought we were safe? Solar radiation arcing from the sun and knocking us out of the sky! A rogue A.I. taking control of the flight systems and sending us careening back into the planets surface?

“Final checks,” I mumbled, gaining a round of mumbled assertions from my crewmates. Flipping a few switches, the rockets engines rumbled to life underneath us.

“All logs show green,” Sally replied evenly.

“We’re go for launch, squirt,” Maria spat out, fidgeting in her seat as she tried to get comfortable. “Quit lolling aging and set this bird in the air, wont’cha? I‘ve been missin’ my soaps due to this whole mess, and I just know Stacie is gonna spoil what happened last night…”

I nodded, only half listening. As the engines roared to life we were plastered deep into our seats, staring up at the clear canopy. As we neared the lower atmosphere, the shield generator stolen from the cyclops blueprints sprang to life

A brilliant field of blue tinged hexagons spread out over the beak of our cockpit. It shielded us from the fiery hate of the planets atmosphere, and pulled double duty as we plowed our way through the debris of the Aurora still stuck out here in orbit.

It was as we became truly weightless, free once more of the planets gravity that I heard it.

What is a wave without the ocean?
A beginning without an end?
They are different, but they go together.
Now you go among the stars, and I fall among the sand.
We are different.
But we go... together.


The Sea Emperor. Magic telepathic fish person trapped in the alien containment facility down in the deepest dark deep depths. Too large to leave, and unwilling to give up the ghost and die until she had seen her eggs hatch.

The whole reason for the aliens presence on the planet in the first place. Her species exuded a natural chemical peptide that could ‘cure’ virtually any disease. They used her planet to run experiments with various ‘man’-made toxins and other virulent designs.

The only thing they hadn’t counted on… The Sea Emperors did not flourish in captivity. Hunting down the last of her kind, holding them in the facilities that dotted the planets seascape… Until they were forced to abandon the planet to quarantine. Leaving the last to wither in her cage.

I had found her. Waiting to hatch her last. I found the chemical compounds needed to induce a natural hatching, I made sure the reactor onboard the Aurora didn’t explode so that she wouldn’t dick me over again out of spite...

I watched as her young swam free, out into the wide ocean. One of them had been hanging around the main habitat building when we left, weaving around the supports.

But we go... together.

I couldn’t hold the tears back, they leaked freely. Was this truly it, was I finally free? Free as she was, so we both could continue on our way?

“Welcome back,” Jumpchan tittered as I collapsed in a boneless heap on the floor. “Did you enjoy yourself? The jumpers first time is supposed to be one of the easier jumps, but I figured you could take it. Nothing is too much for the choice applicants of my discretion,” she bragged.

“I can’t…” I mumbled.

“What's that?” she replied almost immediately. “Gonna have to speak up there.”

“I can’t… think, right now. I don’t wanna think. Can you,” I started, peering up at her with tear marred eyes. “Do you have any booze? I just wanna get wasted, I don’t wanna remember… I just don’t wanna remember much of anything right now…”

Her eyes narrowed, and a devious smile slowly crept upon her face.
 
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Jump -3- Gotta... Burn... Something... I Guess... (You Must Burn The Rope)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
(1400, Spent 1300, 100 Left over)

It is a desperate time for the kingdom. The Grinning Colossus, scourge of all that is good, has arisen in its lair to conquer the world. If hope is to prevail, the hero must take up their axe and descend into the depths. Tunnels, obstacles, and platforms will impede their path, and at the end of their journey awaits the greatest (and only) foe this planet has ever seen. Will you be the hero, ready to slay the monster of myth? Or, perhaps, will you play the villain, prepared to triumph at last over your pink-skinned adversaries? (This is a Gauntlet. Your powers from other worlds are sealed for the duration of your stay.)

ORIGINS

HERO

You're a small, pink-colored ball with limbs, a face, and a dapper hat. When the jump begins, you find yourself at the beginning of a tunnel that leads to the Grinning Colossus's secret lair. In order to succeed here, you must ensure this villain's demise. Don't worry, though: if you fail, you can always try again.

Heroic Agility
(Free, Hero Only)
Your ability to jump is unparalleled! Probably. I mean, who knows? Maybe that’s normal for whatever species you are. Regardless, you are capable of leaping several times your own height into the air, and can even change direction mid-air if you so choose.(P)

Axe Spam
(200, Discount Hero)
About once per second, you can summon a metal double bladed axe out of thin air and fling it in front of you. They disappear on impact, but pack quite a punch! (P)

Tunnel Tips And Tricks
(400, Discount Hero)
If you’ve ever felt yourself in need of some advice on an upcoming confrontation while also being underground, worry no more! Any tunnel or subterranean passageway you traverse will have helpful tips and tricks scrawled on the walls for whatever you might face once you reach its end. (P)

Mazapan Ignition
(600, Discount Hero)
Fire is a common problem-solving method, one that has been in play for thousands of years. In your hands, it becomes universally applicable. You will find that most objects are far easier to set alight than normal, even nonflammables like bricks or pixelated
line segments. And when it comes to ropes? Well, there isn't a rope in existence you can't burn. (P)

(The Boss)

Eye Beams
(200, Discount Grinning Colossus)
You can fire a ray of glowing orbs from your eyes! Although their damage is minimal, they can briefly stun whatever they hit, knock back their target several feet, and make them drop whatever they might have been holding. Ideal for stalling and delaying any meddlesome intruders in your lair. (P)

COMPANIONS AND ITEMS

(All options listed can be purchased more than once.)

A Fellow Hero (200)

Need assistance to overthrow the Grinning Colossus? Or, perhaps, have you swayed a former hero to join your villainous rule? Whichever side you're on, you're now joined by a pink-skinned, black-hatted companion with each ability from the Hero perk line. (P)

Your Own Arena (200)
A large, open room to call your own. Filled with wall- mounted torches, windows, stone platforms, and a central chandelier, this is an ideal place to have yourself a fight for the ages. Can be attached to another property you possess.

A Blazing Torch (100)

Burning bright, this special torch is all yours. It can be mounted on a wall for convenience, and no matter how much you use or misuse it, it will never go out. If it's destroyed somehow, another will appear in your Warehouse.

DRAWBACKS (HERO ONLY)

Two Chandeliers (+100)
Uh oh. Burning one rope won't suffice anymore: there are twice as many ropes, and until they're both cut down, the Grinning Colossus will remain a threat to the future of all the world. (P)

Fickle Fire (+100)
Why won't these sticks stay lit? Whether it's a stiff wind, a well-placed eye beam from the Colossus, or a substandard torch, it's quite difficult to keep your flames alight for long enough to actually burn the rope with. (P)

Pitch-Dark Tunnel (+100)
Normally, the pathway leading to the Grinning Colossus' lair is easy to navigate. But no longer! Now the path is pitch black, leaving you unable to see your way forward, and equally unable to read the helpful advice written on the walls.(P)

Slippery Platforms (+200)
It's wintertime, and the Colossus is in a festive mood, so they've decided to coat every surface in a thin layer of ice. You can still jump around and such, but controlling your movement is going to be much more difficult. (P)

You Can Has Rope (+200)
Good news! You now possess a long, prehensile tail that's every bit as agile as the rest of you. The bad news is, you're going to need it. Your legs have frozen up, so the only way to travel is to use your tail to drag you from place to place, swinging off of platforms, pegs in the walls, and anything else you can grab. (P)

Contact Damage (+300)
The lethality around here has gone up substantially. Whenever you're struck by eye
beams, accidentally touch the Grinning Colossus, or even fall too far, you'll take damage. Take too much, and you'll DIE. And then respawn at the beginning. (P)

Boss Rush (+300)
Grinning Colossi aren't the only threat to the world anymore: now you'll have to face foe after foe, as a dozen bosses from games you've played in the past come back to haunt you. Luckily, each of them now has a weakness based on burning a rope in some manner, allowing you to defeat them quickly if you can find it. (P)

CONCLUSION

At any point during your stay, you may choose to give up, conceding that the challenge is too much for you to surpass. If you do, you will regretfully lose everything you've obtained here, but may leave to continue your chain as normal. If, however, you succeed, then you will get to keep your purchases, as well as obtain the following perk:

Now You're a Hero (Free)

Not every accomplishment has to be earthshaking or revelatory to feel good about it. Whenever you're so inclined, you can summon up congratulatory music, with lyrics that describe your recent achievements in grandiose and uplifting terms. Comes with organ, guitar, and drum accompaniments.


I let the memories of that... horrid planet wash over me, my victorious game of property accrual falling by the wayside. The pleasant buzz I had been under vanished like a cold dream, leaving me utterly lucid. As unpleasant as that was.

“Are you just gonna keep moping?” Jumpchan grumbled, floating past me as she slowly twisted through the air.

I glared at her, for as little as the action actually accomplished..

“No,” I denied, prying myself off the floor. “And I’m not moping. I’m just thinking.”

She scoffed at that, her hair scraping along the floor with her passing, “Thinking angsty thoughts and the like. Oh woe is me, I was safe from dying on a planet where I actually died a bunch! Such a fate is truly one of pure sadness and woe!” she continued to mock.

I refused to warrant that with a response. She was obviously something that didn’t view things on a normal human level. She probably went and skydived out of airplanes without a parachute for fun, too.

“Not moping,” I repeated rebelliously, making my way over to the arcade cabinet. The decals on the sides had changed, no longer showing monsters and other wildlife from the planet of Subnautica. Now it showed nothing but plain brown wood paneling, a light grey metal ringing the marquee. The joystick remained the same, but the buttons had changed. Instead of there only being one, it had been joined by several others.

A ‘ready player one’ button at the top of the control panel. I would presume it's function to be similar to what it was emulating. ‘Starting the game’ once you’d put in your tokens.

Off to the right were three buttons along the edge of the cabinet. They were marked as ‘Top Page’, ‘Middle Page’ and ‘Bottom Page’. A few experimental presses showed that it whisked the view to the top, middle or bottom of the lists respectively. So it was mislabeled. Wonderful. Didn’t go to the given portion of the page I was on, it was referring to the entire document in full.

There was now two larger selection buttons in the normal position. One marked ‘A’, the other ‘B’. Standard select and go back buttons. Wonder why it hadn’t had these before, but it was nothing groundbreaking.

The last button was marked ‘Tab’. When pressed, it would just exit out to the main list.

The main list of jumps. There was a wide selection, beyond just the singular world I had seen previously. Scanning down the list I saw Princess Tutu, Generic Crime Drama, Mazinger, the damn thing wasn’t even in alphabetical order.

Most of these selections were unfamiliar. I didn’t know what the hell ‘Beetleborgs’ was. And that was one of the more normal sounding titles on the list. The darned thing wasn’t even twenty five choices long, but it honestly looked more like a hundred for all the useful information I was getting out of it.

There was a jump called ‘Cat Memes’ for crying out loud!

A name stood out from the others, catching my eye. I selected it, bringing the document up on the screen along with a few screenshots.

You Must Burn The Rope.

A quirky little flash game I remembered playing for all of a minute or two. It was exactly what it said on the tin. You were a little ball dude that had to jump across a few platforms, and burn a rope. Why? Cause the bad guy was standing under a chandelier.

Why the heck was this here? This was a game that could literally be beaten in half a minute, thirty short little seconds. Seemed like a bit of a waste to add this to the list, if I was being honest. What was even the point?

My eyes tracked down over the documents contents, a trickle of wariness itching away in the back of my head. It wasn’t until I got near the end of the short doc I noticed something. It wasn’t a Jumpchan granted gift, but you apparently couldn’t die in this jump either.

A short series of hops across a few platforms… Some of these perks honestly didn’t look half bad…

One granted extraordinary athleticism. “Heroic Agility’. The ability to jump several times my own height, as well as having directional input as I’m falling? No idea how that worked, but hell yes.

A few of these others… almost all of the Colossus perks looked useless, but the eye beams one might be fun. And for only two hundred points to boot!

One of them gave me a companion? Neat, whatever the heck that meant.

It was at this that I noticed I once more had no points. I didn’t start with any on this one either! Just like Subnautica, this jump was apparently a ‘Gauntlet’. Had to buy my points right off the bat with drawbacks. Lovely.

None of them really looked all that bad, however. All except the ‘I wanna be the guy’ inspired one. Screw that game. What do you get when you cross a substandard gamer with shitting shards of glass level difficulty? You get a wimp that rage quits a game and never comes back to it, is what.

Vetoed.

My selections made, I realized that I still had a hundred CP left over. Oh well, it wasn’t like any of the drawbacks I took looked all that bad. I’d see if I could roll the points over, and if that wasn't then it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I had just depressed the ‘Ready Player One’ button when Jumpchan stopped her errant floating to come over and look at what I had been doing.

“Wait, no,” She started, jabbing a finger at the screen. “This is another Gauntlet. I can’t let you do three in a row,” she groaned, smacking a hand into her other palm.

“But I already made all my choices,” I dissented, gesturing towards the screen as well.

She fidgeted in place, running a hand through her hair as she blew out a breath through her clenched teeth. “Look, I… gah, fine,” she relented. “It’s against the grain to even have one gauntlet near the start of a chain, and this will be the third you’ve done so far,” she continued to grate, “Look, I’ll allow this, but I'm taking all the other gauntlets out of the running for the near future. You have to take a normal jump next time, okay?”

As normal a jump as such potential worlds of ‘Pretty Pretty Cure’ and the like could be. Where the hell were the Dragon Balls, the Power Rangers, The Star Treks? Something I actually could recognize off a list?

“Fine with me,” I replied, once more jamming on the button.

She smirked at that, never once breaking eye contact. “Awfully eager to go, are you?”

~^7^~

I woke up on an earthen floor, my legs tightly coiled up against my chest and unresponsive. The ‘Can I Has Rope’ Drawback. Right.

The tail of said drawback unspooled from around my body, hanging heavily from my spine. It was with those movements that I noticed my body in full. Just how it described in the doc, I was basically a kirby. Large fleshy round body, small arms and legs. It was an odd sensation, to not have my bits in the right places.

I propped myself up in the dark, the tail I had taken forming into a coiled spring shape under myself. It was… odd. Despite how alien the sensation was, I still knew how to properly balance myself. I could use this tail to maneuver in as athletic a manner as I normally could, the drawback claimed.

I tried it out, flinging myself forwards. I quickly regretted this fact, slamming my face into the wall I couldn’t see before me. Someone… something grabbed me by the arm, hauling me to my feet. Tail. Tail coil/spring thing. Whatever.

“Hello?” I asked, feeling out with my hands.

I received no answer, The figure silent beside me.

I fidgeted under the heavy silence, deciding just to go and deal with whatever the heck this was later. If the person followed me…

I felt the wall before me hidden in the darkness, jumping up once I figured out the height of it with the full length of my tail. Continuing forward, I found three more walls I had to jump up. Behind me the silent apparition followed in tow, his own footsteps thudding closely behind my own measured hops.

We slowly came out into the light, a torch blazing merrily upon the left hand wall. I turned to look at my stalker, flinching as I did so. He didn’t react to my actions, his dead white eyes simply staring straight ahead. It was with a start I remembered what I had purchased, the companion perk. I felt like an idiot, forgetting about that so quickly.

“Uh, hi,” I offered, waving gently. He didn’t respond, even so much as to react to what I said. “Hello?” I tried once more, waving my stubby little hand in front of his eyes. Naught so much as a twitch. “Oh… kay… Well then, I’ll just Let you do whatever the heck you’re doing, and get to the burning of ropes,” I trailed off, jerking as the other held up a torch in his left hand.

“Uh… yeah. That,” I continued, raising my own. I hadn’t even really noticed that I had been holding, but thankfully I hadn’t just dropped it.

I readjusted my newfound chapeau ‘pon my head as we both lit our torches, bouncing off into the rooms beyond.

It was quite similar to the silly little game. A series of platforms leading up to the ceiling level. The surfaces absolutely covered in a thick sheen of ice, just as the drawbacks had claimed.

Sitting smack dab in the middle of the revealed arena was the grinning Colossus. A thick slab of blackened skin, almost as tall as the ceiling above. Sitting pretty under a duo of precariously hanging chandeliers.

“Well, what are we waiting for,” I chirped flippantly to my silent partner. He raised his torch in vapid agreement.

Making our way upwards wasn’t hard. Staying on the damned platforms due to the ice surprisingly was. Thankfully, falling on my ass several times wasn’t too much of a hassle due to this strange form. Half my body was my ass, it felt like. More surface area, less pain.

I jumped over one chandelier, torch outstretched. The rope caught ablaze, and the mass of metal fell from on high. One more to go. I gripped on to the side of the platform I had landed on with my tail, pointing myself at the other chandelier. A quick hop and-

My torch sputtered out mid jump. I sailed past the rope in utter uselessness, cursing myself for taking that stupid drawback. I barely managed to catch myself on an out hanging, my mind jittering along as I tried to think of what I was supposed to do now.

Well, there were other torches around the arena, inset along the walls. I could just relight mine and try again. I’d have to be careful getting back down though, even with the stupid GC continuously firing his slow traveling eye balls at me I had to be careful of the-

My silent companion leapt forth, his own torch going strong. With his passing the rope caught fire, quickly snapping in twain and sending the final orbital projectile flying downwards.

“Yes!” I crowed, throwing my arms above my head in celebration. As short as they were.

The chandelier hit, and the Grinning Colossus died. Yay, happiness all around, yes? Well, maybe save for the fact that I forgot I had taken the Boss Rush drawback.

“Well shit,” I muttered as I felt out the blackened tunnel before us.

Twelve bosses from my past, from games I had previously played.

The first was just as simple as the GC had been, a straight run over a creaking bridge high above a lake of lava. Thankfully Bowser kept floating platforms hanging above his bridge for us to leap across. We burned the two ropes, the chandeliers crashed down onto the axe and destroyed the bridge. Grand King Koopa took a well needed bath.

Unfortunately it was a lava bath, but that could only have helped the stench.

Second new tunnel had us leaping to and from a series of platforms set into the walls of an old houses bedroom. A fearsome she-yeti beset by the blighted power of Twilight whirled around the room, screaming that we would never take her treasured mirror.

A couple chandeliers later and a shattered mirror later, and she was thankfully back to normal.

Third and forth were much of the same, in one arena a rambling metallic bull with a freaky mask on its face. The other, a man in some sort of futuristic hover car. Both zipped around the room, their chandeliers wildly changing position as they moved back and forth.

Taking out their chandeliers caused both of them to smack face first into a wall in an attempt to avoid said falling bit of fabulousness.

Fifth was that damned clown jester guy from Dragon Quest eight. Don’t remember his name. He waited while we burned the first rope, then took his own turn. To charge up his attack power with an oomph. Second rope down and we left his stupidity behind us as he vowed revenge and retribution. ‘Next time’.

After the sixth tunnel I came out of the darkness, staring the final boss of Fable Two in the face. He stood there, not talking. Not moving. Just standing there. Myself and my compatriot eventually gave up the staring contest and took to the rafters. Embarrassingly, this room took the longest of the lot. Damn ice. Damn fizzling torch fires. We collapsed the ceiling decorations, and he just stood there and took it. One more down.

A shambling rock monster, a centaur that fired arrows at us. Frankenstein's monster himself showed up by the ninth arena. Thrown axes to halt their movement momentarily, then sundering the ropes from above their heads. It was nothing new by this point.

Tenth, and I was forced to stand stiff in disbelief at what stood before us. A Coca Cola can with arms and legs, and two giant eyes staring out at us.

“When the hell did I ever play a game with a coke can as a bad guy, even less a boss?” I wondered, “Must have been some sort of shitty product placement game when I was younger,” I mused, nudging my partner in the side. He didn’t respond, simply lighting his torch from a nearby sconce.

“Well you’re no fun,” I griped, following suit. The damned can kept putting out our torches with concentrated burst of pressurized cola, but beyond that it was just as easy as any of the others.

Doctor Robotnik really should think about putting in safety measures against falling chandeliers into his robot designs. And maybe not stand directly under the second one when he’s already been smacked by a falling mass of metal and crystal beforehand.

We finally came to the last boss, twelve of twelve.

A lone blob of green slime stood in a sort of cylindrical shape. A green Chu Jelly, from Legend of Zelda. But that was just a base level enemy, beatable with a few easy swings of the sword. This wasn’t any sort of boss enemy…

“Wait,” I realized, my eyes widening, “Minish Cap! They were a boss in Minish Cap!” I looked on as it wobbled too and fro. The standard enemy mob had been cleverly used as an actual boss when the main character shrunk down to the size of a flea. Unfortunately for Wobbly here, Me and my fellow torch bearer were much larger than the average hylian flea.

“Do we even need to drop the chandeliers on this guy,” I joked, nudging my fellow ball shaped humanoid. “He looks like he’d die if we so much as sat on him,” I continued, walking forward and punching the blob straight in center mass.

I died, starting back at the start of the tunnel. Oh right. Will die on contact with the boss. I forgot.

Two more chandeliers, and the Chu was now a Splat.

~^7^~

I woke back up in the void, Jumpchan clapping slowly.

“Woooo,” she teased, “The mighty champion returns! And your time was a respectable,” she tracked down to a pocket watch held loosely in her hand. “Thirty seven minutes, nine seconds. Not bad for a game that you can usually finish in under a minute,” she continued, rolling slightly in the air.

“Sooo, now that you’ve gotten that bit of nonsense out of the way,” she grumbled, floating forward and poking me in the forehead. “I’m sorry, but the dupe Neg isn’t formatting correctly, I’m replacing it with a minor perk,” she explained.

“Neg?” I asked, not knowing what she was talking about.

“The duplicate hero. The silent guy that's been following you around.”

I looked to my sides and behind me, noticing my ever present shadow was missing. And here I was, having just started getting used to him…

“Aww…”

“I know, I know, you like the strong and silent types,” she jibed. “I’m replacing the dupe Neg with the ability to split off a single copy of yourself, once every day for thirty seconds,” she explained. “It’ll be similar to the Neg in its lack of agency, You’ll have to order it verbally for it to do anything.”

“Can I have the tail instead?” I asked, thinking fast. “As something I can turn off and on again, I mean. It was awfully helpful, for what it was…”

She stared at me for a few seconds, nodding in response.

“Alright, I’ll allow it. To be fair though, It won’t be a toggle. It’ll be a grow/regress type.” She watched as I gave her a look of incomprehension. “It won’t be instantaneous. It’ll sink into the skin instead of just disappearing,” she explained. “And grow back out when you want it. Turn around of a second or two, depending on how much you push it either way.”

I made my way back to the arcade cabinet, flipping through the options. I readjusted my new hat upon my brow, a reminder of the land of hanging chandeliers.

Looked rakish, hopefully.

I didn’t know what to select. Everything looked just as unwise as the last, and each and every single one of them was a normal jump. I was going to have to spend ten long years in the one I chose. Ten years, committed to an ideal, a setting, a world I couldn’t run from. Couldn’t build a rocket just to get away from. Couldn’t burn a rope and send a chandelier hurtling to the ground below.

I needed something… Easy. Something I could relax in, get my toes wet. Something to take my mind off the dreaded ocean world, to let me truly decompress.

I made my selection after having looked long and hard through my choices, just as I felt Jumpchan peering over my shoulder.

“Meme Cats?” she whined.

“You sound disappointed,” I noted.

“I was hoping for something with magical girls.”

Authors Notes;

Once the next chapter is posted, the format will change slightly. No longer one jump per chapter, I'll be trying to have actual contained story arcs within each world.

Hopefully I'll be able to detail an arc from when Devin Arrives, a midpoint 'adventure' chapter and cap it off with a final chapter showing how Devin spends his remaining time there.

Not a black and white rule on that, though. Just wanting to make each jump bigger as opposed to what I've been doing so far.
 
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Jump -4- Cat, I'm A Kitty Cat (Memecats)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
(1800) (1700 used, 200 left)

Concatulations! You haz been chosen to be a house cat for the next decade. You get 1000 Cat Points and all the cat food you can eat.

MEMETIC GENESIS
You are 14d8 months old and your normal sex.
(2,5,6,4,5,8,4,4,2,5,5,8,2,3) (63 months) (5 Years 3 months)

Basement Cat: You are the (local) Cat Devil and possess dark powers. All Floors now have a crawlspace you can fit in.

MEMETIC CAT PERKS
Perks matching your genesis are 50% off, besides the cheapest, which is free.

ALL CAT PERKS
You Has a Flavor [Free]: You can safely lick anything to determine what flavor it is.
You have a flavor too. Your choice. Pick 1. (P)

Bounce Factor [100]: No matter how fast you are going, you can bounce harmlessly off any solid object. (P)
Almighty Trickster [200]: You can change any of your Names at any time. This does not provide knowledge of your new name to others. (P)

MINIONS

Generic Food Person [JC Freebie]: A generic, normal human who’s lived their entire life in this normal, boring version of suburban America. They have no powers, no particular specialness to differentiate themselves. You’ll never have to worry about your human being assassinated due to being the next in line for presidency, or being evicted from their dwelling and losing their day job, being unable to feed you due to a general essence of lackadaisical laziness.(P)

GRUMPY CAT PERKS
Cast Magic Missile [200]: You can cast magic Missile as a free action once per round. It does 1dCat non-lethal damage. Caster level 1. (P)

CEILING CAT PERKS
Sunradar [100]: You can recharge by absorbing heat or sunlight and have a 3rd sense for detecting sources of heat or sunlight. (P)

BASEMENT CAT PERKS
Hurr Durr I’m a Dog, bark woof [100]: Convince anyone that you’re a member of a species simply by acting like a stereotype of that species. (P)
Blame the Dog [200]: You find it easy to shift blame to innocent bystanders. (P)
Can Fix [400]: You are a cat. You can fix anything. Really! Even if it isn’t broken. (P)

DUNECAT PERKS
Glowing Eyes [100]: Your eyes can glow any color you want them to. If it is dark, you can be invisible with glowing eyes. (P)

MEMETIC CAT EQUIPMENT
Stuff matching your genesis are 50% off, besides the cheapest, which is free.

CEILING CAT ITEMS
Invisible Bike [100]: This is best bike in universe. Has all the speeds. Goes very fast. Can be upgrade. Upgrades also invisible. (P)
You Can Haz Cheezburger [200]: Whenever you ask for one, you will be given a cheeseburger by a hand from above. (P)

BASEMENT CAT ITEM
Sense of Balance [200]: This is a perfect sense of balance. It can be loaned out. (P)
Cat Charging Unit [400]: Fully charges any cat in 12 minutes or less. (P)

MEMETIC DOGBACKS
Dogback Limit of 600 Cat Points plus Limit Busters.
Are you Aware You’re a Cat? [+100]: Simple questions tend to baffle you.
If You Fits You Sits [+100]: Whenever you see a box you might fit in, you must try and sit in it and remain for at least 10 minutes.
Stupid Humans [+100]: You have a really bad name and a permanently annoyed expression on your face.
Dogeball! [+300]: A stupid hideous unkillable not-cat has invaded your jump and is ruining all your plans and claiming all your bases.
Spayed or Neutered [+200]: Your bits and pieces are missing. Limit Buster.
(1000CP, 1000CP used)
(‘>’=Purchased)

Note that your choices scale with age, so muscle definition and body build may not be as prominent depending on how young you are. If any CYOA causes you to change into a different species, you will appear as that species' equivalent body type. If you have a light, muscular build as a human, you will find that you will become that species' equivalent of a light, muscular build. Have fun with it!
To help customize your body to suit your tastes, you are given an operating budget of 1000 CP
How wide you are at the shoulders. Does not correlate to body fat or height. J- All basic builds are free, and do not offer any benefits besides the change in mass.
CHOOSE A BODY TYPE:
FREE Medium- the average.
Your height is the average for your age group depending on the age you are in the Jump.
Body types provide a base to work off of, a starting point from which you expand.
- You can skip taking a Body Type, instead using your normal body as a base.
ATHLETE
Athletes forego a buff physique with rippling biceps in favor of lean muscle, agility and flexibility. They can't lift as much as a Bodybuilder, but easily run circles around them. Athletes are much more suited for hit and run tactics, staying mobile and out of the line of fire. Compared to Bodybuilders, Athlete will take much less of a licking before they stop ticking.
Athletes gain two free ranks in Speed, two free ranks in Dexterity, and the Flexibility 1 perk.
-100CP
JUMPCHAIN SUPPLEMENTAL BODY MOD
- You start out with zero in each stat, which is the human average.
- Every point in a stat costs 5OCP and requires that all previous points are purchased.
STRENGTH -Lifting capacity, how well defined your muscles are.
>Rank-1- Bench press 180 lbs.
Muscles are visible but not overly so.
>Rank-2- Bench press 250 lbs.
Muscles are visible, moderately sized.
>Rank-3- Lift twice your own weight.
Muscles are very present.
>Rank-4- Lift three times your own weight easily.
Rippling muscle.
ENDURANCE -Damage resistance, how long you can keep going.
>Rank-1- Run a mile without breathing heavily.
>Rank-2- Run a 5k and walk away like it was nothing.
>Rank-3- Run a marathon, sleep 10 hours, run another one.
>Rank-4- Run all day without tiring. Won't feel sore in the morning.
SPEED -Leg muscles, how fast you can run and sprint.
>Rank-1- Run at a constant 6 miles per hour.
>Rank-2- Run at a constant 15 miles per hour.
>Rank-3- Usain Bolt.
>Rank-4- Usain Bolt on a motorcycle.
DEXTERITY -Acrobatics, motion, fine motor control, etc.
>Rank-1- Jump over a hurdle while maintaining a dead sprint.
>Rank-2- Basic parkour, keep speed while moving over obstacles.
>Rank-3- Keep your balance on a tightrope, riding a unicycle.
>Rank-4- Mirror's Edge skills, wallrunning, zipline, rolling from falls, etc.
SENSE -Situational Awareness, sight, smell, hearing.
>Rank-1- 20/20 vision.
>Rank-2- 20/15 vision.
PERKS -
- Certain perks can be bought multiple times, granting additional effects as listed.
- Perks cost the same amount every time you buy them.
Flexibility- CAN BE BOUGHT TWICE. (100CP EACH.)
>Tier 1 - Makes you extremely flexible, at the physical limit of your body.
>Tier 2 - Makes you more flexible than should be possible for your body.
>Metavore CAN BE BOUGHT ONCE. (100CP).
You will retain your physically fit body and appearance no matter how much or what you eat, so long as you are eating enough to not be malnourished.
>Evercleansed CAN BE BOUGHT ONCE. (100CP).
Your body naturally repels filth and mud. B.O.is erased as well. You will always be as clean as if you just got out of a shower. Good for travel.
(1700) (1700 used)

MODES
:

You must select one (and only one) of the Core Modes. Extra-Modes apply over Core modes, and there is no limit on how many of them can be picked. Note: WP can be banked for later usage, it is not wasted if not spent immediately.

Upfront Core Mode: You start with 1500 WP and may discount any three items (and their upgrades), gaining them for half price. You gain no additional WP.

The Patient Jumper Extra-Mode: For every jump past the first that you hold off getting your Personal Reality, you gain 100 WP. This is not applicable if you take any Warehouse Supplement or equivalent.

BASICS
FYI: A List of Freebies included in this Supplement: Cosmic Warehouse; Access Key; Starting Space; Neutral Lighting; Shelving; Environmentally Neutral; A Week & A Button; Security System; Loft; Entrance Hall; The Benefactor Lounge; Cleaning Supplies; and Companion Calibration Unit.

Cosmic Warehouse (free): Over the course of your adventures you’re probably going to collect a metric duckton of stuff. Weapons, armour, technology, cars, big evil laser beams, everything and anything including several kitchen sinks. Why? Because you can. Now, normally you’d have trouble storing it all, and that’s no fun, so here’s your very own Cosmic Warehouse to give you a place to stick all your stuff. It is contained within its own reality that contains absolutely nothing else (guaranteed) and no matter where you go (unless blocked by a drawback or gauntlet) you’ll always be able to access it. Before you do anything with it, it looks like a fairly dimly lit and very empty room.

Your Warehouse forms the base of your Personal Reality, with any additions you buy or make expanding it through various means. Anything added to the Warehouse via CP purchase is guaranteed to work flawlessly with anything and everything else attached to the Warehouse. Anything added by use of fiat backed powers or abilities is likewise guaranteed to seamlessly integrate. This means that, although you can’t just buy a house with cash in a jump and integrate it into your warehouse, you could enchant a closet already in your Warehouse with Harry Potter brand ‘bigger on the inside’ magic if you’ve been to a Harry Potter jump. Essentially, you’ll get a complete set of manuals on how each thing you buy functions and listing how various techs and magics that you have already purchased can be integrated with what you have already. It won’t make suggestions, but it will tell you how to accomplish something if you’ve already got the power and knowhow needed to pull it off.

UTILITIES AND STRUCTURES
All purchases in this section apply to all other sections and additions without the need for additional purchases.
Starting Space (free): Your Personal Reality starts out with volume of 80 x 80 x 10 meters, so 6,400 square meters of floor space or 64,000 cubic meters of storage volume. In the archaic and silly ‘Imperial' measuring system this translates to 262.5 x 262.5 x 32.8 feet, so 68,889 square feet or 2,260,138 cubic feet.
Access Key (free): This is a special key which lets you access your Personal Reality and its contents. When inserted into any lock on any door, the door opens to reveal a gateway into your Reality at a predetermined location within it. You are the only person who can take the key from the lock, the gateway remains open as long as the key is in the lock, and if key is ever lost or stolen you will find it in your pocket a few minutes later. You cannot close the door as long as you are inside the Personal Reality.
>Portal (-300 WP): (Discounted=150) :This optional extra removes the need for use of Access Key, instead allowing you to open a rectangular or circular portal that leads into your Personal Reality on any flat surface big enough to encompass the portal. You can open the portal on any surface you are in contact with or that your vehicle is in contact with… or that your vehicle will be in contact with in less than 5 seconds and within 100 meters if you don’t open the portal. The portal can be any size between 8 square meters and 80 square meters. The portal opens to the same place in your Personal Reality as the Door does and you may still use your Access Key if you want to open a door larger or smaller than the limits of the Portal. Any Companion with a copy of the key may also open such a portal. These portals open at their lowest size instantly and expand at the to maximum size over 10 seconds. This portal cannot be closed while you are inside your Personal Reality. Portals will slowly close over a period of 3 minutes if you leave them open and move more than 10 meters from one without closing it yourself, as long as you are outside your Personal Reality. This closure effect can be disabled, but you can’t open a portal if another is open.
>Portal Link (-300 WP)(Discounted=150): This Portal Upgrade allows you to open a portal from inside your Personal Reality leading to anywhere in the current Host Reality that you’ve already been to. With this upgrade, you can now close the Personal Reality Door or Portal while inside your Reality and may open up to two portals at a time. Purchasing this does not include Key Link. Additional portals cost (-100 WP) each.
>Free Portal (-100 WP): This Portal Upgrade removes the limitation on a portal having to be opened on a flat surface… or on any surface at all. It also allows you to open the portals to any part of your Personal Reality simply by picturing where you want the portal to open. Without the Control Rod, the portals must be opened within 2 meters of you.
>Portal Aperture (-100 WP): This Portal Upgrade allows you to shrink your portals down to planck scale or open them up to 8,000 square meters and increases the rate of expansion / contraction by a factor of 10. Additional Purchases will increase the maximum portal size to 80,000, then to 800,000, then to 8 million square meters. The expansion / contraction rate increases by a factor of 10 each time. The Portal shrinks to functionally no size, absolutely no size, and then conceptually no size. If you need it smaller than that, a fifth purchase will make it memetically as small as the number of fucks I give on the subject.
Security System (free): Anybody coming in and out of your Personal Reality is now checked for any authorization you've given them to access it; and should anything about said authorization (or a lack of it) raise any flags in the system, then you will receive a warning about it. This allows you to define just what sorts of authorization different individuals can have to access your Personality Reality, anything from No Access through Temporary Access and Limited Access to Unlimited Access is possible. All this does is notify you. It does not stop them on its own. A Keyholder’s Access cannot be limited by the Security System. Only hand out Keys to those you trust implicitly.
>Force Wall (-200 WP): This adds a force-field to the entrances and exits to your Personal Reality. Nothing unauthorized can pass through these force-fields. The field is fully permeable to anything authorized. A Keyholder’s Access cannot be blocked by these fields. Be aware, some enemies might conceivably be able to enter your Personal Reality without technically ‘passing through’ these force-fields. I don’t know, but don’t assume the Force Wall is utterly infallible. It is also potentially possible that you or your companions might bring something seemingly harmless into your Reality that turns out to be some kind of threat.
Loft (Free): What’s the point of having a room 10 meters tall if you can’t build upwards. Feel free to stack things up to the ceiling if you like.
Environmentally Neutral (Free): By default, the temperature in your Personal Reality is never too hot nor too cold, the air will always smell faintly musty but scent neutral, and the air will always be breathable… even if two different species with different atmospheric requirements are present in it at the same time…. well, as long as both species are there with permission. This won’t protect breathing invaders. Earth Standard Gravity will be maintained in all areas, and the air will be just humid enough.
Neutral Lighting (free): These lights are nothing special, It’s a color-neutral, source neutral ambient lighting system. It’s not really that bright… think early twilight gloom, but if you want better, install it.
Natural Lighting (-50 WP): Completely natural lighting that looks and feels and functions as good as the real thing (sun, moon, or starlight). Comes with sectional dimmer switches and can be sourceless or from any lamplike object you bring into the Personal Reality. Purchasing this upgrades all sources of lighting you bring in, even things like TVs and Computer Monitors to be perfectly safe and naturally adjusting for minimal eye-strain. This replaces Neutral Lighting and does not require any power source.
>Who’s Got the Powa (-100 WP): This provides enough electricity to power a city the size of New York City or London, forever, with nary a brown out or power fluctuation ever. It also comes with all the basic wiring hookups, surge protectors, outlets, circuit-breakers, routers, etc you might need… but you’ll probably want to get a qualified electrician in at some point… or pick up a companion who does that kind of thing. Purchase of this supplies all facilities inside your Personal Reality with electrical hookups.
>Tashi Station (-200 WP): Did someone say ‘Power Converters’? This Upgrade to Who’s Got the Powa means that your generator now pumps out any esoteric energy type your Personal Reality’s equipment or city-like objects might need by converting some of its electricity into whatever, be that mana, anbaric power, natural gas, ether, the power of love, or the power of rock and roll. How, you ask? FIAT, BITCHES! (insert Air-Guitar Solo Here)
>Pipes Pipes Pipes (-100 WP): Purchasing this provides your Warehouse with enough plumbing fixtures to turn the entire volume of your Personal Reality into one massive pool… or anything below that. This provides clean running water with any reasonably common additives you like (chlorine, glacial milk, fluoride), but does not provide a limitless supply, nor does it heat the water. By default, the amount of water this system can produce per day is 1 billion liters or one megaton of water or a block of water 100 meters on a side, and the default temperature of this water is 25 degrees Celsius. It can support any civilian infrastructure on the same scale as Mexico City or Tokyo. Comes only with the basic hookups. You’ll need a plumber to do the actual piping. We hear Mario’s very good. Bathrooms not included. Purchasing this supplies all facilities inside your Personal Reality with water feeds, and if you’ve Got the Powa, it will supply hot and cold running water as well.
Shelving (free): Basic metal shelves to keep your goods on, the kind you find in industrial big box stores, sized for pallets and numbered for sorting. You’ll get up to as many as will suit your initial space allotment, but if you don’t take all of them, you’ll need to buy more on your own… they sell them at most business supply warehouses, ironically enough.
Extranet (-200 WP): This handy add on connects your Personal Reality with the local Data Networks of the Universe you’re currently in… not only that, but it gets the kind of performance only really ever seen by ISPs at their hubs. If your current Reality of Residence does not have a Data Network, this will connect to the nearest equivalent.. yes, even if that is nothing more than a town gossip and a local library.
Basic Accommodations (-50 WP): This provides minimalist accommodations for you and each companion. Essentially the same thing you’d get in Basic Training in the military. A barracks with a bunk and a locker and a camp toilet. If you bought Plumbing, this improves to include a communal shower and toilets. In fact, someone need not be a companion for this to work. Anyone you allow into your Personal Reality will be allotted a similar level of basic living quarters, thus allowing you to turn your Personal Reality into a refugee center if you like. If you have Basic Nutrition, this will provide any such guests as you may invite into your Personal Reality with very basic food equal to 1200 Kcal a day, totally vegetarian. This can support up to a maximum of 1 person for every 4 cubic meters of space in your warehouse per day.
A Week & A Button (Free): You may, at the end of each jump, take 7 Standard Earth Days off before entering your next jump. A button is provided so you can end this downtime whenever you so desire. Dying in this period is still dying and will burn a 1-up from the jump you just finished if possible, then from the next jump if available.
The Benefactor Lounge (Optional but Free): This installs a special room in your Personal Reality that exists for the sole purpose of meeting with your Benefactor. It has a limited wet-bar and the furnishings keep changing depending on where you’re going next. Head into Generic Western and it might be a Saloon, Head into Star Wars and it might be the Imperial Throne Room. Head in Monty Python and it might be a fish tank. This room exists for you to make builds in or ask questions. Your Benefactor is not guaranteed to be in all the time, but you could leave a note. They might even get back to you.
Companion Calibration Unit (Free): While not a full Body Mod for your companions, this is perhaps the next best thing. Taking the form of a vending machine-sized diagnostic cabinet, this scans your companions (and all their alt-forms) for any form of illness, genetic malady, or physical / neurological dysfunction and corrects them. It also provides a statistical analysis of their baseline (i.e. what they’d be like powered down). This second function can be used on non-companions.
Medical Bay (-200 WP): Fully functional medical bay that can fix up anything that still has a pulse or equivalent. Does Dentistry too. Also provides detailed accounting of a person’s medical history. This will not repair genetic defects or replace / repair cybernetics and possesses no ability to differentiate between beneficial and harmful nanites or implants without you providing that information to the system. Works on animals as well. By ‘Fix Up’ we mean complete repair to full function, not patch up.
Body Mod Pod (-100 WP): Ever wanted to run a Companion or friend through the Body Mod? Now you can. Have fun. This pod is infinitely reusable as long as each person only uses it once. People using this get access to the same Body Mod Supplement as you used. You can’t use this to run yourself through Body Mod again. Anything that lacks a humanoid form can be given one by this machine.

I stared at her following her outburst, unable to figure out how to respond.

“I don’t want… excitement? Not right now anyway, I just wanna decompress, get my head on right,” I explained slowly. Not -intentionally- pissing off your fickle trickster god is a recipe for a long life, and helps avoid a fatal and embarrassing end.

“Seriously?” she whined, gesticulating wildly, “But it’d be awesome! There’d be fireworks! Explosions! Bad guys flying on stings!”

I twitched, unable to stop myself. “Don’t you mean strings?” I asked.

“Pfft, no,” she stated derisively. “Who wants to fly using strings? Thats just dumb.”

I decided not to respond to that.

“A bunch of these are mostly meant as a joke,” she cut through the paused silence, leaning over my shoulder as she somehow scrolled down the screen without touching the joystick. “So we can cross off this one,” she pointed at one of the perks onscreen, the selection disappearing from the list.

She continued on in this vein, deleting entries as she went.

“Hey, woah,” I protested, indicating one perk she just got rid of, “Why that one? It looked fine to me…”

“Do you even know how to properly define yourself in the context of a universal constant?” She asked to which I returned a blank stare. “Didn’t think so. Most of this is abstract nonsense, designed for a being that’s already got a divine spark. You don’t have anything like that yet, this stuff would literally tear your soul apart,” she explained as she vanished a majority of the Dune Cat perks. “Gah, this whole blasted thing is littered with traps! Just waiting for some straight off the train, hot blooded idiot to stumble across it…”

Well, if that wasn’t a blow to the ‘ol ego, I don’t know what was. I guess in this scenario I was the idiot.

“Okay,” she muttered, “That should be safe enough for you, if you’re set on this jump.”

I tracked my eyes back through the list, noting what had stayed and what had been culled. Which sucked, because a bunch of the ones she got rid of were the ones I had my eyes on. The basically ‘god cat’ description of Dune Cat in particular. I guess there'd be no easy godhood for me.

Still, trying to figure out what to buy now… there were a lot left there that looked fairly decent, that I wanted to get my proverbial claws on. Soon to be less than proverbial, I guess.

I wanted ceiling cat or grumpy cat based on their descriptions… but their points discounts was disproportionate to what I wanted. I guess I was going to be spending my next decade as a basement cat. Black. Unlucky. DEMON!!! Bwahahaha!

“It’s not an actual demon,” Jumpchan explained once I dialed in the origin. “It’s just a black cat. But for future jumps you’ll find demonic affinity to be easier to grasp? Maybe? It won’t make you allergic to holy water and crosses, but if you grabbed a weapon that could only be wielded by a demon you’d be able to whack and smack with it regardless.”

Interesting information, but not altogether helpful. It wasn’t like I was going for a ‘demon run’ in the first place. I was hoping it was just a normal cat anyway, with Dune Cat taken away from me for the easy get I was committed to just honestly treating this as downtime.

I had to take drawbacks to get what I wanted. I went way over the 1k mark, so it was unavoidable. Most of them were pretty standard, unimpressive things. Have to sit in any box I come across for ten minutes? Oh no, it was going to cut so much into my sit and lay around time. What ever was I going to do.

Some of them however were blatant traps. Drill cat? It basically said a respawning enemy was going to try killing me and my family. Repeatedly. Forever, for the entire decade. Not fun.

This last one however… It didn’t sound fun. But it was essentially free points, and it's not like I wanted the opposite for it in the first place…

“Spayed?” Jumpchan disappointedly groaned, mock crying over my shoulder. “But that means they're gonna steal your bits!”

“I know,” I relented, “but the age roll says I’m starting this at age five, right?” she nodded at my question. “Then it’s something that's already happened, back when cat me was a kitten, back before I was in my… head? Right? Speaking of, the companion thingy,” I pointed at the section on the screen. “When I got this on the last world, that just turned into a soulless double. Can’t I just sorta sidestep that? It says I make a companion that gets its own CP but can I just get… like a normal family or something?”

She hemmed and hawed, before finally nodding.

“Yeah, sure. They honestly should update this doc, it looks like it was hastily finished and discarded just as fast… Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers, don’tcha know love. Regardless, the doc stipulates right at the start that you’ll be spending the decade as a housecat, so they really should just restate clearly that you’ll be doing so in a somewhat normal home. Maybe have some options for CP for different quality living arrangements.”

She grunted, her voice dipping to a tone lower than I thought possible before continuing. “Anyway, I’ll make sure your family is well off. Steady jobs that’ll carry them on in comfort for the decade you’re there, at the very least.”

The way she worded that set my hair on end, but what was I going to do, complain?

“But back to the snip snip. Are you sure? Not having to pay for the companion option will make it so you don’t have to take one of these drawbacks-”

“I’m fine with what I have,” I countered.

“But the slashy slashy!” She repeated with a whine, “Why would you want that?”

“I have no intention of being driven by hormones to ‘bang every pussy’, I come across,” I inferred in a honey tinged tone. Thankfully I managed to get a smirk from that. “I’m not into bestiality, and it’s not like I’ll have hands for the jump anyway. Why leave the subconscious temptation there in the first place, without some way to ease the tension?” I explained.

She screwed her face up into a disgusted expression, before sighing heavily.

“Fine, not like I want to see your humans getting all confused about why you’re shooting blanks.”

“Excuse me?” I cut before I could think about clamping down on my brain to mouth filter.

“Simply stated,” she said, pulling a whiteboard out of nowhere and tapping it with a similarly appearing stick. “You can’t have kids while you’re jumping.” A rough caricature of myself swiftly scrawled itself into being upon the board in peach coloured ink. “The fact of the matter is that over a decade, a virile jumper could spew out more than a few dozen spawn. It’s not intrinsically bad per say, but it does have a possibility to lead to unhelpful connections forming that could end a jump before it even begins.”

On the board, I saw ink-me surrounded by more than a dozen different heads of wildly different topped hair colours. He was smiling, they were smiling. Then they slowly began disappearing, leaving ink-me alone and rather sour faced.

“I get it,” I admitted. “Reduce the temptation to stay on a world? Can I even do that in the first place?”

“Technically, yes,” she answered. The board popped back off to wherever the hell it came from, her stick following suit. “At the end of the ten year cycle, you’re supposed to have an option to stay or continue,” she stated squirrelly. She almost seemed to be hiding something from me, but what? “That being said, you haven’t really been in the right frame of mind to say ‘yeah, me am wanting a to stay here! Be looking loverlies here, it be’. You couldn’t leave Subnautica fast enough, really,” she tittered.

I wrinkled up my nose at that comment. Why the hell would I ever want to stay at that horrible planet?

“So, that’ll leave you with 200 CP left from this jump,” she continued, the numbers she was stating oddly echoing in my head. I could almost positively say she had said that with the number version of the numbers, instead of the written version. I had no idea how -either on how I knew, or how the hell she managed it in the first place- and thinking about it was making my head hurt, “and 100 from the last jump. Which brings me to something I should have informed you about after you left Subnautica, but again you really weren't in the listening mood,” she chittered.

“Body Mod, and Warehouse Mod.”

I waited patiently for her to continue, to which she finally deflated like a leaky balloon.

“Damn, was half expecting the ‘What iz dat’ line. You’re no fun,” she pouted.

“I try.”

“Party pooper. Anyway, both are supplement mods that are attached to a jumper after their first world, but again you didn’t really stick around for me to tell you about them,” she complained, glaring at me impishly. “Body Mod makes a few changes to your body, and otherwise physical abilities if you want to spend the points on such.”

With a thunk, two separate arcade cabinets fell alongside the original. Both were similar, save for their outwards decorations. The one on the left had the image of the cross eagle renaissance man flickering on its screen the other one just had the rather bland typefacing of ‘Warehouse-Etcetera’ slowly winding its way across the screen.

“Warehouse is basically a really big warehouse where you can store all your stuff you might accumulate. As well as any extras you might pick up along your travels,” she continued with a mischievous glint in her eye. She wasn’t telling me something important, I just knew it. “I managed to acquire the most recent update to it, so it has a bunch of upgrades you can get if you want.”

I took her unspoken suggestion at face value, stepping up to the cabinet in question. Pocket dimension, can store all my shit, natch. Was wondering what happened to Hera, if she was just going to be left to rust on that horrid planet. Never ever going back in the ocean for the rest of my life, but maybe I could repurpose her into some sort of spacecraft down the line.

Shouldn’t be that hard, what with the various ideas still bouncing around in my head.

There truly was a dizzying assortment of available options, to which I eventually just picked my way through and got the basics. Make it so I can open my personal space anywhere I want via portals, make it so I can change the size of said portals, turn them off and fast travel between them with the warehouse as a hub room…

Oh I was going to enjoy messing with my new family something fierce.

The shield thingy to protect my shinies, of course. No point in getting a place to put all my stuff if anyone could just walk right in and trundle off with my projects.

I used up the rest of the offered points on various selections, finally turning my attention to the other new addition.

“And just so you know,” Jumpchan stated sultrily over my shoulder, almost giving me a heart attack. “You can use the CP you gain from the jumps in place of WP. You can use them for the Body Mods as well, naturally.”

I turned back to the screen.

“Medium?” she opined, regarding me with a measured glance. “You do realize you’re six feet tall, right? You sure you want to be shorter?”

“What?” I bleated. “I’m average height, I’ve seen tons of guys taller than me,” I argued.

“Fine,” she relented, “What do I know? A medium height of six feet it is. Whatever.”

I opted for the more ‘swimmers build’ side of stats before piling on my points to the other options. Too many deaths on that hell planet due to tiring myself out at the least opportune moment, too many times I hadn’t been fast enough in making my escape. Never again. Speed was the name of the game, strength was a very distant third after having maxed out endurance.

“Sure you don’t want to put a couple levels into endowment?” she said evenly with a very pointed glance towards my pelvis.

“My dick is fine as it is!” I snapped back with more fervor than I intended.

“Fine fine, just saying,” she whistled a merry little hum as she stared off into the distance.

Don’t think on it.

“When they say size doesn’t matter,” she continued on just as I was about to put a level into what was basically the eyesight category.

“No!” I grunted frantically. “I’m not listening! I don’t care! Shush! Silence!”

“Just saying…”

I made my final choices. Jumpchan told me I could use my saved three hundred points -I couldn’t do the number thingy, even in my head. Accursed Jumpchan, how you vex me so!- but I didn’t really want to waste them frivolously. Avoiding the ‘endowment’ and ‘shape’ sections, I pretty much maxed out all the stats except for eyesight. Only bought two levels in that.

Devin the engineer had grown up without glasses, but I could tell his eyesight had been almost as bad as mine had been. Refusing to don spectacles for fear of ruining his bad boy reputation, He had stubbornly trudged through life seeing only half the things in front of him.

If it wasn’t for the telescoping visual modules hard worked into the seamoths internal display, I would have been killed far more regularly by demonic sea worms I didn’t see coming until they were less than a few meters from the cockpit.

Never again, with my most recent purchase I now had 20/20 vision. It was weird being able to see in such clarity, but I had plenty of time to get used to it.

“See you in a decade,” she spouted cheerfully as the void slowly faded around me.


~^7^~


Ben Morris hadn’t been looking to adopt a random mangy cat from the pet shop. The family already had a dog, and as it was he was more of a dog person anyways. You can’t play fetch with a cat, or expect it to sit on command.

It was his mothers’ idea, now that Bens’ sister was entering high school. She figured since Kathy always wanted a kitten…

The little ball of fur was almost pure black, save for the darkened grey fur that coated its front paws. Kathy had squealed and leapt all over the store like an idiot while Ben had been checking out the snake cages. ‘If they had just gotten something cool like a snake, this visit might have been worth it,’ was a thought that had raced through his head.

What else was a curious ten year old to do when his sister was busy making a fool of herself?

They took the small creature home, introducing it to the family dog. Rover -yes, a bit of a stereotypical dog name. Blame their father- was ecstatic to meet his new friend, snuffling to and fro as the diminutive thing slowly adjusted to its new environment.

His sister lavished attention on the aptly named Mittens for the first few years, cooing and cuddling as one is want to do with a treasured pet. Feed it, clean it, make sure it learns to crap outside, standard owner responsibilities.

When Kathy left for college almost straight out of high school however…

Couldn’t bring animals to a college dorm. Them was the rules.

Mittens was left at home. A normal cat, bereft of its human.

Ben was now fifteen, a year into high school himself. And at five years old… he noticed Mittens was starting to act very… strange.

Staring at Ben in the dead of the night with its almost eerily glowing eyes, perching on the couches armrest whenever someone turned on the tv and seeming to watch right alongside them… The black furred feline was even invading his room whenever he booted up his xbox for a bout of gaming.

It seemed the lonely critter had replaced Kathy with her brother, Ben figured.

Its personality had taken a near one eighty, Mittens all of a sudden acting like a total spaz half the time.

“What's up with you, huh?” Ben asked, prodding the cat with his foot. Said feline did not respond, staring at Ben as it kneaded the bed sheet underneath it.

“Weirdo,” Ben muttered, shoving the cat off the bed. “Get off, git! It’s too dang hot, and I don’t want you getting hair all over my bed,” he grumbled, a trickle of malicious boyishness seeping through as he turned his attention back to his game.

The next morning, Ben couldn’t find his shoes. Any of them. His tennis shoes, hiking boots, even his flip flops had gone missing. It was only an hour later that the missing footwear was found, resting piled up in the center of the back yard.

Ben very quickly learned not to unduly piss off his new cat. And surely the cat was now his, just as Mittens had claimed Ben as his own. His room, as well. It didn’t matter if he closed the door with the cat on the outside of said barrier, the little furball had found some sort of crawl space through which it slunk about from room to room in secret.

He couldn’t even find the damned opening, but the evidence of its sneakiness was plain to see. It wasn’t like the cat was walking through solid walls.

One nasty habit of Mittens he had thankfully given up with his personality shift was that he no longer dragged in dead critters all the time. No more mice, rats and lizards being left on the kitchen floor for Bens’ mother to screech over.

No, the patience trying fuzzball had somehow taken to stealing people's cheeseburgers. He had no idea how the lithe cat managed it, but the proof was in the pudding. They were quickly finding the wrapped sandwiches littering the dining room table daily, with wrappers from all over.

Some of the places weren’t even anywhere near their house, Ben couldn’t fathom how the damned cat was managing it in the first place. There wasn’t an Arby's anywhere near for miles!

Still, better cheeseburgers than the alternative. Bens’ mom had tried scolding Mittens for his newest hobby, to which he had very obviously taken a ‘Oh, so you don’t want me bringing that home, huh?’ stance.

The very next morning, Ben woke up to the sound of his mom screaming to high heavens at their newest visitor. Mittens had decided in lieu of dragging through the dog door yet another cheeseburger, it would be much more festive to invite a rather large and irritable barn owl instead.

The bird was just as frightened as Bens’ mother, defecating on many a placed bit of furniture in its frightened state. How the cat had caught it without injuring the owl was something of a mystery, much less having managed it without being injured in the process.

One visit from animal control later, and Bens’ mom grew to tolerate the frequent fast food.

Not that they ate it all, in fact a majority of it was simply tossed into the trash the instant the pilfered product was found.

Ben quickly grew enamoured by Mittens new quirks, abandoning his ill placed ire towards the black furred creature.

Heck, placing a controller in front of the cat sometimes even elicited a frantic mashing of buttons that almost looked like it was playing along! It was fun enough to have an opponent that didn’t react with a bots limited programmed responses. Wasn't like playing an actual person, but still, it was good for a laugh. Five years passed in the blink of an eye, highschool ending with nary but a whimper and a passing bit of nostalgia in the back of Bens’ mind.

He found himself wanting to attend college as well, but didn’t want to leave his little buddy behind in his absence. His sister left the cat behind and his behavior had changed considerably. If he left Mittens behind as well, how drastically would the fuzzball change once more? Would he even recognize the feline he had grown to love as a treasured pet?

So his choice was made. A job at a local supermarket to pay a monthly rent for an apartment, and he could take Mittens with him. Success! His parents were almost glad to have the energetic ball of fluff out of the house for a bit, the unhealthy foodstuff continuing to roll in despite whatever countermeasures they had attempted to take.

His mom had even taken to posting fliers warning people to not take their eyes off their purchased food at the nearby fast food joints, to little effect. No one had been reporting lost foodstuffs, either to unknown causes or to the quite distinctive black cat with grey mittens.

He took Rover with him as well, giving his parents a break from caring for the shaggy mutt. He still took both critters back over the weekends, his dad seemed much more willing to lavish the dog with love when it wasn’t him having to take the dog on walks and picking up its crap.

His roommate was blasé towards the animals, not having any solid opinion on them since Ben offered to take care of cleaning most of the apartment. He did however find much joy in the fact that Mittens left him a cheeseburger every once in a while for his lunch. Having a dog door installed on his bedroom balcony was easy with the sliding door, and Mittens made liberal use of the offered exit.

It was one day in the dead of night a single year into his college occupancy that something extraordinary occurred. He had been deeply asleep when a clattering of noise from downstairs in the common area roused him from his tightly clinging slumber. Making his way downstairs, he had turned on the common rooms solitary light.

Lying face down in a pile of shattered vase fragments, an unfamiliar form wearing all black lay unconscious. Upon the couches armrest two intelligent glowing eyes turned to look at Ben, a look of almost pride dancing in its depths.

Ben noted the crowbar lying at the figures side, as well as the wide open door that led out onto the rest of the apartment complex. The lock had been pried open, its mechanism turned useless from such a hostile entry.

Ben quickly called the cops, and as they were leading the dazed would be burglar away he was already on the phone with his parents. Wait until they heard about how Mittens had dropped a flowerpot on an intruders head from on high!

Heck, he didn’t know Mittens could even reach that shelf, it was so high he thought it out of the cats reach.

“Who’s the bestest kitty kitty in the whole world?”

Mittens screwed up his perpetually grumpy looking face in confusion at that, before skittering off up the stairs.

The tale of the ‘burglary bungled by moody kitty’ swept the campus, netting Ben more than his fair share of women willing to let him take them out on a date. Some of them he had little in common with, some just wanted a quick roll in the hay.

Some he figured he had a real shot with, perhaps.

It was with one of these fine ladies he found himself going steady with an upperclassman, a girl by the name of Lydia.

Mittens didn’t like her. Ben could tell, somehow the strange feline just couldn’t wrap his furry little head around the woman. He would leave half eaten cheeseburgers in her shoes, the days he didn’t just take said apparel and drop them over the balcony into the car park.

It was one day he finally found out why.

“You loathsome little fleabag!” she had exclaimed, nailing his furry friend with a kick when she thought Ben wasn’t looking. Mittens had left another ‘gift’ in her pretty red pumps, and she hadn’t taken kindly to it.

It was quickly decided that Lydia wasn’t the one for him. Ben dumped her and never looked back, glad to be rid of her the more time passed by. It was the little things he realized, the ways she subtly put him down, the ways she spoke so cruelly of events around them. Lydia might have been a damned good lay, a remarkable beauty to put most others to shame… She just hadn’t been all that good of a person.

Simple as that.

Ben eventually found a girl he went steady with, and wonder of all wonders Mittens liked her too! No relocating her footwear, no meowing irritatingly at her, just cuddling and sweetness.

Trish was a fine woman indeed, Ben knew she was the one. He was sure of it.

“What do you think, Mittens?” he asked the cat, curled up on his lap. “You think she’s the one?” Mittens didn’t respond, he never truly did. He did regard Ben with an even stare before he returned to licking the fur on his paw.

Another weird thing. No matter how long the cat went in between baths, he never seemed to really stink. Ben still gave him baths all the same, didn’t want to risk it.

College came and went, the years passing by in the blink of an eye.

Ben got a full time job with the store he had spent so long at, settling in as a regional manager. He saved up his paychecks, scrimping where he could for a very special purchase.

“Well Mittens, think you’re up to it?” he asked, holding up the object he had spent several months worth of his life on. The cat stared at him, before gently taking the item in his mouth. “Good boy,” Ben praised, confident in the cats freakishly high intelligence. Ben had been training Mittens for the past month for this moment, with little bits of wire and the like.

It was that night that Ben kneeled before his loved one, Mittens coming on command and relinquishing the ring to his waiting hand.

“Will you marry me?”

The cat watched on at the scene of great merriment, nodding his head in kind as his two humans collapsed into a giggling and crying pile of embraces.
 
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Jump -5- Dropping In (Aladdin chapter 1)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
(1300) (1300 used) (300 in bank)

Location

You’re going to Agrabah, the arabian city where the plot takes place. Ruling it is a jolly old sultan, but at his side is an evil Vizier. Take care. You arrive just as Jafar makes his first, failed attempt at the Cave.

Age and Gender
Replacing Aladdin- Male
Age- 18

Origins

Street Rat : You have lived on the streets for all your life, fighting, begging and stealing for your food. You long for luxury and comfort, and maybe adventure?

Perks

The 100 CP perks are free for the respective origins, all others are discounted.

General

Singing Voice- 0 CP: You are a really, really good singer. At a whim, you can break into song, and it will always be a proper song, with all the fiddly little details in place. Your voice never falters, you never forget any words,and the sheer quality leaves professionals in awe.

Drop-in

A Sense for Truth- 100 CP: All else aside, by god are these people bad at judging people. You aren’t, thankfully. You have an innate sense as to the morality and inclinations of everyone you meet, needing only a moment’s thought to let you know how they’re likely to act in a given situation, but not any of their plans or thoughts. Also updates every time you meet a person, so you can know of changes too.
(P)

Street Rat

Trickier than a Djinn- 100 CP: You have a talent for wordplay and trickery, being street-wise in a time when the streets are much less kind. You can tie people up inverbal loops, get them to reveal things they’d rather keep hidden, and pull ‘exact words’ tricks on creatures who have been pulling these tricks for longer than your civilization has existed. (P)

Prince of Thieves- 200 CP: Theft isn’t a crime so much as a way of life, out here on the streets. And you’re oh so good at it. From sneaking about silently and unnoticed to using your nimble fingers to pick up all sorts of things, you are simply very, very good at theft, pickpocketing and related things. So much so that you could live off of it in relative comfort, given time. (P)

Vizier

Pay no attention- 100 CP: Someone like you, with your manner, and obviously sinister airs, and the dark clothes should be outed as ‘secret mastermind of woe’ in the first glance. But You never are. You have a gift for explaining away even the most bizarre and suspicious things about you, making them seem completely harmless and you a good and honest person.
(P)

Items

The 100 CP items free for the respective origins,all others are discounted.
Wherever applicable, you may important existing item for no additional cost.

Street Rat

Explosive Apples- 100 CP: You have a bag full of bright red apples, with a small length of stalk poking out. When you eat them, they're sweet and delicious, absolutely wonderful apples. But snap the stalk with a thumb and throw them,and they explode with some considerable power. One apple is enough to kill a man. You have 99 in the bag,and it refills every day.
(P)

Magic Carpet- 200 CP: A carpet of the finest quality, with embroidery, decorations and tassels making it look extra pretty. It’s pretty big,enough for eight people to sit comfortably. The thing about it is, it flies. And it flies really, reallyfast. As in, it could take you to Beijing from Baghdad in a matter of hours, 6 at most. While flying, those seated are shielded from all environmental effects. Sapience optional.
(P)

Cave of Wonder- 400 CP: Your very own Tiger-headed cave of wonders! It has great and powerful treasures, magical and mundane. While this one doesn’t have anything as unique and all-powerful as a Djinni Lamp, it still has untold wealth, into the hundreds of thousands of gold coins, jewels and precious stones, precious fabrics and tapestries,all in all enough wealth to outmatch most national treasuries.

In future jumps it fills up with similar treasures, magical and supernatural items of relatively equal value from the local setting.There will never be anything that's absolutely unique or as powerful as a Hand of Midas or a Lamp, but expect it to have some of the most powerful weapons and most priceless items that can be had even somewhat commonly. And of course, an obscene fortune in more mundane wealth.
(P)

General

Oil Lamp- 700 CP: An old, cheap looking lamp, with a permanent smudge at one side. Despite its ordinary appearance, though, it is a device of extraordinary power. For it holds a Djinni, an honest to god, massively powerful being of magic and spirit. You may use this lamp to ask this Djinni for three wishes, and they may be anything, with a few limitations.

You may not force anyone to fall in love with you, may not bring back the dead, and may not wish for the Djinni to directly kill someone. Nor may you wish for more wishes, or rewrite history or wish for CP or indeed, anything that can only be gotten from a Jump-doc. Besides this, the Djinni can provide you virtually limitless wealth, magical power… anything, really.

After this jump the counter is reset, meaning you can ask for three wishes every jump. This becomes three wishes per decade after your chain ends.
(P)

Drawbacks
You may take up to 600 CP of drawbacks.

Head-cannon +0 CP: You aren’t in the past. This story in Agrabah now takes place ten thousand years in the future. Technology from the past still crops up every once in a while, but magic and savagery have overtaken the days of olde. Or maybe another head-cannon has cropped up, like perhaps Jafar having a son somewhere in Agrabah? Maybe the Sultan is secretly Jasmine's mother, having taken the place of her ailing husband after he fell ill?

Who knows.

In-story +0 CP: Instead of being an interloper, you may take the place of the canon character that suits your origin. If there’s more than one, you may pick. Not available to Drop-ins, obviously. (P)

Crossed Wires +0 CP: Well gee, that doesn’t look like the genie you know. Whether it be the cartoon version, the live action version or just some themed cover singer from YouTube, there appears to be something off with whomever shows up. Heck, maybe two or more of the genies you’re aware of show their face in some capacity.

Vital Component +400 CP: Jafar, the Grand Vizier of Agrabah and Dark Sorcerer, has determined your nature successfully. Now he's after you. He will use everything at his disposal to hunt you down and sacrifice you for your powers, and desperately gather more power to help him in this task. If you are caught and remain under his control for more than a year at any point in your stay, your status as a Jumper passes to him, with your chain over.


I sat up straight, the familiar comfort of the ever present bed beneath me having vanished from my senses. It was no longer night, and I could see the room around me in perfect clarity. This wasn’t Bens’ room. Heck, this wasn’t even a room in the apartment that I had ever fallen asleep in.

It was the warehouse.

I never went to sleep in the warehouse. I only ever occasionally used the portal function to jank teleport myself around to different rooms. It served to piss off my humans something fierce, being able to randomly move around in ways that they couldn’t account for.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure all cats have a minor affinity for teleportation, at this point. It just explains so much.

I didn’t even like spending all that much time in the warehouse, there was always the ever present sound of waves lapping at a crumbling shoreline softly echoing through the cavernous expanse. It was an eerie, scary sound that elicited memories I’d rather remain buried. Almost ten years and I still occasionally woke up in dead sweats at the thought of that horrid planet.

And I could hear it, the sounds of the waves bouncing off the warehouse walls.

“What's the matter, cat got your tongue?” I heard someone state flippantly. It was a familiar, masculine voice. I turned to look, the face attached to the voice quickly swimming into view.

Jumpchan. Which meant the ten years were most certainly up.

A shame, I liked Ben. I would have liked to leave him a going away present of an apartment floor completely covered in various cheeseburgers. It would have been glorious. Covering the counters and the furniture might have been overkill. But it would have been a good kind of overkill.

I leaned forward, somehow managing to avoid falling on my face -perfect balance for the win!- as I realized I no longer was my normal stature. Well, altered stature. Normal for ten years.

No longer cat. Am hoomin nows.

I opened my mouth, choking back an inarticulate sound. I knew how to talk, I just hadn’t done it much as of late.

“I’m good.”

Ah, the magic of speech! Truly an innovation of greater beings! AM MUCH BIG HOOMIN NOW, ME AMS TALKINGS!

I let myself have a silent giggle, slowly rising off the floor into a standing position.

“Better. Better? Yes. I think so…”

She stared at me for a few seconds, before having a short laugh herself.

The longer I stood here, the more the mindset I had been encapsulated in during my time as a cat washed away. Little things I now noticed as having been a product of the feline mind, like following motes of dust with my eyes almost compulsively. That feeling in the back of my head upon seeing that random cardboard box over there in the corner, no more having to sit in boxes!

Engineer Devin had also had an impact on me, now that I thought about it. He had been born in the UK, so unconsciously I had been thinking in the metric system. A tiny little voice in the back of my head saying that Americans were idiots for using such a botched system of measurements. An entitled sense of superiority of his place in life.

That last one kinda bled over onto Mittens, now that I think about it. Unsurprising, I was a cat. An entitled sense of superiority is a God given right that all cats are given at birth.

“Well now that your decade long vacation is over,” Jumpchan drawled as I slowly popped every vertebrae in my back in a languid stretch, “It’s time to get back to it.”

I nodded once, more and more of my previous self coming back to the forefront. Stepping up to the arcade cabinet, I flicked my way through the available options. Gah, there was nothing here that I was immediately familiar with.

“How bout this one?” Jumpchan piped up, her finger hovering over a title awash within the list. Not attached to the rest of her body, just floating there.

“Gargantua,” I read off the list out loud, “Verdurous Planet?”

Reading through the start of the doc revealed that it was some sort of science fiction world. Something about piloting futuristic robots, fighting against an alien enemy of humanity, being stuck on an apocalyptic earth that was absolutely covered in ocean-

“Nope!” I barked out resolutely, backing out. “Nope, nope nope nope nope nope,” I continued, hurriedly flicking through the list. A couple titles stood out as something I recognized, but I kept looking just in case I happened to see the holy grail-

Bingo.

I clicked on Aladdin, bringing the doc up. I didn’t really care about the movie growing up, but I knew it well enough. I had siblings, we were kids, our parents wanted to shut us up for an hour or two. The adventures of an unnaturally clean vagabond trundling around a vaguely Arab looking environment was just the movie for the job!

And better than any other reason, it was a movie that took place… wait for it… in a desert.

No oceans to dog my every waking step! No ungodly hideous monstrosity to crawl forth from the darkened depths to spear me through the chest in the midst of my sleep!

“Arrrrrrrrabian niiiiights,” Jumpchan happily trilled, “It's Arabian daaaays! Loved this movie when it first came out, Will Smith is such a hunk!”

I stared at her in confusion. “What are you talking about? Will Smith wasn’t in Aladdin.”

“Yeah huh, he played the genie,” she insisted.

“No, that was Robin Williams,” I stated defensively. “The Hello Vietnam guy?”

She screwed up her face in confusion, her errant digit finally floating back and reattaching itself to her hand. She pointed off to the side, a bloom of lights and colours coalescing into a large rectangle hovering in the air.

On the floating screen a scene was playing. Some random ethnic looking guy was sitting next to Will Smith. I didn’t pay attention to what was being said between the two, aghast at what I was witness to. Will Smith was blue.

“They made a live action version?” I managed to grind out, gnashing my teeth ineffectually. “Truly, Disney executives hate us all and just want us for our money…”

“Live action?” Jumpchan puzzled, tilting her head to the side. “Oooooh!” she let out, “Right, multiverse shenanigans. Should have figured there was some world where they made it into a cartoon or anime…”

Her eyes took on an eerie glow, reminiscent of myself when sneaking around the house when everyone was sleeping. Of how I was. Now that I had thumbs again I could do cooler stuff than steal the meat out of people's sandwiches. And lurk in front of bathroom mirrors, marveling at how cool my glowing eyes looked.

The glare diminished, her eyes returning to normal.

“Oh man, that's a good version too,” she admitted. “Robin Williams is a hoot.”

I stared at her for a few seconds, trying to get my words right.

“Did you just… watch the movie? Right now? In literally just a few seconds from my perspective?”

“Yep!” she cheerfully replied.

Right. Almost forgot she was some sort of ancient magical trickster goddess. Never forget. Lest you incur the rather of the easily distracted.

Trying to put out the injustice that was the idea that Disney could get away with replacing Robin Williams, I turned back to the document. What was here, a bunch of random stuff? Singing perk right off the bat, well it is a Disney property. It didn’t cost me anything, so on to the list with you.

Ooh, another perk to help me confuse the stupid out of people. ‘Pay No Attention’ would be a good addition to my lineup. It turns out that even if you imitate a pretty good bark, eventually Bens dumbass vapid headed girlfriends will figure out you are a cat instead.

So, doubling up to hide my tracks. I was quickly becoming the sort who enjoyed messing with people, at any rate.

It was at the bottom of the list I came upon the motherlode.

You could get the lamp. A genies’ lamp, one which somehow refilled its wishes every ten years. Basically, once every jump I could get access to three entire wishes. Holy shit. It was expensive as all hell, coming in at seven hundred CP. I’d have to take drawbacks once more if I wanted anything else on the doc…

“This infidels drawback, does that lock down the warehouse?”I asked, jabbing at the offending line of text in question, ”Can I pop in to my workshop, draw up some blueprints for some sort of a digging device, and just fab whatever I’ve thought up?”

She floated lazily backwards, a hand at her chin as she thought on it. “Well, the wording of the doc clearly states that you’d be digging out with your own two hands. While I could allow you access to the warehouse on a technicality, I’m afraid that I have to rule that traveling from the cave to the warehouse necessitates an instantaneous transit. Denied.”

I groaned, crossing the drawback off the list. I highly doubted that Jumpchan would let me carry a fabricator or a specialized drill sub into the jump.

“What about if I take in a fabber or a drill of some sort?”

She immediately shut that counter down, “No. It says you use your hands.”

Bah.

The other big CP item looked dangerous as all hell, but if I was right I could cheese it pretty hard. Especially given the nature of the fact that genies were a thing in this setting. One properly worded wish…

I eyed the companions section, letting loose a rigid sigh. The fact was, as much as I pretty much did all the work whilst on the Subnautica planet, it was nice having having people there to bound words off of after the cold iciness of isolation had begun to sit in.

I enjoyed simply sitting and listening to my Ben, as he tried to puzzle his way through original song lyrics to use with his highschool band group. Watching his family interact over the course of the previous decade was cathartic, a sort of salve for the soul I hadn’t known I needed.

“These companion options,” I led, Jumpchan curiously bouncing in place. “Do I have to buy the points in order to get actual companions? If I wanted to just-”

“You don’t need to buy them,” Jumpchan elaborated, her deep voice grating in my ears. “If you can convince someone to tromp around the he multiverse with you, then bully. But that thing I was telling you about earlier, with the whole connections thing?”

I stared at her uncomprehendingly.

“You know, when you were picking the ‘spayed’ option?”

I jerked in surprise as a flash of memory slipped forth from the depths of the abyss.

“That was ten years ago,” I strained, unwilling to go as far as to chide her.

“Ten years is a drop in the bucket,” she retorted hotly. “Do you remember or not?”

“Having kids means making connections, yeah, I got it.”

“Right,” she continued, bobbing around me as she went. “And the thing is, most people have this weird, indescribably attachment to the worlds they're born on. Makes them all kinds of loopy when being asked to go on any sort of adventure. Thing is, if you spend the CP on them, then you don’t have to twist their arm to get them to agree. They’d still be able to refuse if they truly wanted to, but most times they'll find it easier to truck on.”

I nodded, seeing the logic. CP buys meant an easier time. Still…

I didn’t want to supernaturally drag someone away from their life if they didn’t really feel like it in the first place. Felt a bit too much like brainwashing for my tastes. And sadly, the ‘Free Djinn’ companion also fell in this dip. ‘Oh hey, wanna travel the cosmos with me? I have the CP bought saying you do!’

God, it was a nightmare waiting to happen.

I came back to the end of the doc, spying a certain option I had my eyes on for nearly the entire time.

“Can I come in as Aladdin?” I asked, pointing out the option to replace a canon character.

She pursed her lips, staring at me for a few seconds. “You’ve got some sort of munchkinry planned out, don’t you?”

“Can’t you read my mind?” I asked, surprised she hadn’t already.

“While I can,” she stated snipishly, “That doesn’t mean I like to do it right before sending off a jumper. There's no fun in seeing exactly what any given one of you little devious fiends might be planning in your jumps. It makes it last so much longer to just let it happen more naturally.”

I inwardly smirked.

“You’re planning on wooing the lovely Jasmine, ain’t chu,” she chittered impishly, nudging me with her shoulder. “You mad dog you, got tired of the single life, huh?”

I ignored that comment, instead focusing on a single point of it.

“Speaking of dogs,” I started, looking down at the mutt that had been patiently sitting at my feet ever since I had gotten back. “Why is Rover here? Did I accidentally steal Bens dog?”

She laughed, a deep brassy thing that mocked me with every pealing note.

“No, you got Rover once you won the monopoly jump. As well as that hat you had up on your head. And is now over… there?” she pointed off into the warehouse, a lone hat sitting isolated on the floor all by itself.

Oh yeah. That thing. I kept it in here so it didn’t get damaged. Not much use for a hat on a cat. Unless you were big on the whole rhyming game.

I had meant to get around to stealing a bust to hang it on, but I never got around to it. Never really had a chance, all things considered. Wasn’t like Ben ever visited random stores with his cat in tow or carrying kennel.

“So… Rover’s mine?” I asked again, leaning down and giving the shaggy thing a pat on the head.

“Yep!”

Huh. Neat. I had gotten attached to this mutt during the last ten years. He had been getting on in his old age though, moving slower every year. It was good to see him back to normal, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I didn’t see any other drawbacks that I even wanted to touch. Game mechanics? No thank you, I didn’t want to spend ten years fending off random bullshit like elderly old grannies leaning through my bathroom curtains to swing ladles of scorpions towards my bollocks.

Or any other random ‘enemies’ that might show up.

Uncontrollable singing? Bah, it was woefully underpriced. Especially seeing as it apparently made you blab everything on your mind at anyone who would listen. Not a good situation to be under, especially if you’re trying to get anything done.

So, only the one drawback was usable for me.

I tracked back up through the items, wistfully glancing at the various goodies. Jafars’ staff was one of the better looking items, along with Midas’ hand. The latter being fiat backed so that the user wouldn’t accidentally turn themselves to gold if they errantly touched themselves.

But it was not to be. I simply didn’t have enough points, and I was unwilling to take any more drawbacks.

The cave was discounted, so I took it along with the carpet. The bag of apples looked underwhelming, but it was basically free so I took it anyway.

“Do I get anything free for becoming Aladdin?” I asked. “Like a couple perks, the carpet or-”

“Nothing free besides a preset age, lover boy,” she cut me off with a devious grin. “As well as any other memories that Aladdin might have gathered in his life. How to wield a dagger with a mediocre level of competency, how best to escape the guards through the crowded streets of Agrabah, how to juggle, etc. Not like there was internet or screens to entertain the lad growing up.”

Made sense.

“Okay, I’ve got my choices set in. See ya in a decade?” I joked, as if I actually had a choice in the matter.

“You can call me any time, you know,” she pouted. “I might not answer, but that doesn’t excuse you from being a stranger.”

The warehouse faded out around me as I depressed the ‘ready player one’ button at the top of the cabinet. The horrible sound of softly echoing waves vanished, and I felt myself relax.

~^7^~

I woke up, in a daze. What happened? The last thing I remembered was raging gouts of fire, the deep cloying heat of the crashing magma rushing beneath us. The stalagmites whizzing by our heads as we frantically tried to outrun the glowing wave of molten lava trying its damndest to erase our sorry behinds from existence.

How had I even gotten into this mess? I remember… Jasmine! The glowing angel of a girl, whom I had met in the marketplace! She turned out to be the princess in disguise, although it wasn’t much of one. Nothing could truly hinder her lovely beauty, she was stunning even in the threadbare cloak she had wrapped around her shoulders.

The guards captured me, threw me in the dungeons! Fat headed skavs, that idiot of a captain had been dying to get me in irons for years. I had nearly broken then, my only light in that darkened pit being my friend Abu. I didn’t take him long to free me from my shackles, but even then I was still trapped within their cells.

Then, the old man. He was a strange old coot, a lump resting upon one shoulder and forcing him to walk in a shifting trundle across even the flattest of ground. He opened a door in the wall, but surely I would have found the opening eventually. Even so, I owed the strange fellow.

I followed him across the desert, tales and promises of heaps of treasure upon the old mans lips. Enough gold to buy Agrabah, he said. If only a man with strength of courage and the will to take it could come along.

All he wanted was a single, solitary item from the cave. An old lamp, guarded in its deepest depths. A lamp, unassuming but important. If I gave him the lamp, he said I could have anything else in the cave.

And there was much to be had within the cave.

Gold piled high up to the cavernous ceilings! Jewels the size of my fist, more than I could ever take back to town! I could buy Agrabah hundreds of times over with all of this treasure, I could live in luxury for the rest of my life! I could be a sultan in my own right!

I grabbed the lamp, high up on an earthen pedestal. It was all within my grasp, I just had to take the lamp out to the old man…

Abu had touched something. So foolish, I should have left him outside! Our greed was equal, I should have known! Known he would touch something, known he would… No. I couldn’t have known. Just like I couldn’t have known what would happen next.

The old man betrayed us. After having almost made our escape upon the back of a flying carpet we found within the cave, I reached up to grab the old mans hand. He said he would pull us up, but he lied. He pulled forth a dagger, and made to stab it deep within me!

If it wasn’t for Abu, the crazy skav might have killed me.

Not that my current situation was much better.

Trapped underground, who knows how far. A deep cavernous space that reached up into the black emptiness. Only myself, Abu and the carpet to share this lonely experience.

It was with this thought that I flinched. I was… no, he was… memories blossomed forth in my mind, threatening to deafen me!

My name is… Aladdin.

No! My name is Devin!

I stared down at my hands, hardy appendages that were covered in calluses. I remembered how I came to be in the cave, from both sides of my memory. It was trippy, even more so than becoming Devin the engineer or Mittens the cat. Devin at the very least had still possessed an underlying sense of being me, I felt. Mittens had little in the way of self identity before I became him, he was just a five year old cat after all.

But Aladdin… he had lived his own life. His memory was front and center in my mind, a raging torrent of experience that I had brutally taken away from him. I felt a sharp sense of shame at this, as if I had done something wrong.

“Doesn’t matter, not right now,” I confided in myself. If I could do something about it, I would. But right now I had to get out of this cave. I could attempt to moralize myself till I was blue in the face, but at the end of the day I would still be stuck in this stupid cave.

I was ready to leave.

I stared down at the lamp that Abu had placed in my waiting hands, the very lamp the rascally little monkey had stolen back from the elderly jerk as he sent us plummeting to our supposed graves.

I stopped suddenly, staring down at the lamp once more. Something that didn’t seem out of place to me before the convergence of memories but which now was blaring a warning to the deepest parts of my brain.

The lamp was not the burnished golden bronze of the movie. It was a dull, almost blackened brass.

Most worryingly, was the fact that it had four spouts coming off the main body.

I gulped deeply, reached down and rubbed the lamp.
 
Jump -4- Friend Like Me (Aladdin chapter 2)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author

I don't know what I was expecting. Fireworks? Loud, rushing blue tinged smoke? Well I got those too but the volume in which they issued forth from the lamp knocked me on my keister as sure as if I had sat down of my own accord. Azure mist rocketed from the four pointed flutes of the lamp, the small thing bucking in my hands from the force.

Lights splayed around Abu and I, echoing off the walls of the cave in a dazzling display of colors and somehow sounds. I couldn't close my eyes to their play, witness to every quickly ratcheting second as four voices rose in tandem, their screaming cries bounding around me like the call of a many throated demon.

It came to a point, dying out as the caves newest visitors were revealed to me.

“Oy!” All four towering beings called out at once, rubbing their necks as hey stared down at Abu and I. “10,000 years,” they each drawled out, slowly realizing each and every one of them was not the only genie to have spilled forth from the lamp. “Will give you such a crick... in the neck?” they all ended on, blearily peering at each other in confusion.

Of the four, I barely recognized two. One was obviously the Robin Williams genie, looking like a bald version of the eponymous actor. One tuft of ponytail sticking up in the traditional style. His torso was billowing and vague, like it wasn't quite sure the form it wanted to stick to. A pillow with poorly defined muscles that shifted under the skin, slowly changing as I stared.

The next was instantly recognizable, although for different reasons. I'd been a fan of Will Smith movies growing up in the nineties, a plethora of amazing movies beneath under his belt by the time I hit adulthood. A blue faced Will Smith floated in the slowly spinning circle around me, his features and body gigantic just like the rest of his cohorts. Unlike the Robin Williams genie, his body was over defined with almost more muscles than seemed possible. His shackles weren't the plain flat gold bangles of Robins, but an elaborate working of complex patterns and engravings.

He almost looked gaudy by comparison, like someone had taken the idea of Robin WIlliams genie and decided ‘it needs more detail. No, why should we stop here? Add more!’

The final two additions to the cast were completely different from those that came before. In the fact that instead of being two giant blue dudes, they were two giant blue women.

Similar undulating pillar of blue smoke that composed the bottom halves of their torsos, obscuring their legs from sight. Albeit with some changes regarding colors and the like.

Whereas all four had sashes of crimson silk around their hips, the two women had on different coloured shirts as compared to Will and Robins bare chests.

Obviously. I mean, this was a kids film. Couldn’t have random women going around flashing their tits, especially not if they were going to be on screen for most of the movie. Would have bumped the rating to an X, or adults only, whichever the rating for movies actually was.

Wait, no, this wasn’t a movie. Couldn’t go at this all lackadaisical. This was real life now, couldn’t just expect everything to go my way like the last ten years. This was supposed to be a basically medieval society, thieves brigands and murderers and the like. The guards alone would like nothing more than to put me to the blade, especially seeing as I was wearing a known thiefs’ face. Problem, that.

Back to the new genies. Both ladies had long luscious locks of hair, so averse to their counterparts that they each had swathes of hair nearly as long as their gaseous ‘tails’. One had her raven black hair pulled tight into a long ponytail, and while the other had a ponytail just as long her auburn hair had free hanging bangs that hung loosely across her brow.

While raven head had what looked like a blue dancers jacket slung over her shoulders, the brown haired girl wore what barely counted as a red tinged bikini top. Scandalous. How dare a woman in a horribly hot climate take action to mitigate temperature dissonance! Or something. I think the introduction of so many cosmic beings might have scrambled my brainpan a little.

Brown haired geniettes armbands were glittery golden bangles, pretty little things that danced with her delicate movements. A stark contrast to her companions accessories, the raven haired genie had thick iron shackles adorning her forearms, her movements light despite their heavy looking appearance.

“Uh,” I let out into the tense silence. All four cosmic giants turned as one to regard me. The lone miniature creature in the midst of towering behemoths. Hopefully they didn’t feel like smushing me.

“Huh,” Brownie let out in an amused huff, piling to the ground beside me looking at me eye to eye. Eye to head… Eye to nose, maybe. Damn she was huge. “You are a lot smaller than my last master. Or I’ve gotten bigger,” she gasped, an ashen pallor flitting across her face. “My wardrobe! I’m gonna have to throw out all my favorite dresses!”

My master!” Ravenette called out, swiftly scooping me off the ground in a frantic motion that left me reeling as she held me protectively behind her. I could see Brownie scowling in displeasure past her gigantic fingers, and Abu wasn’t much happy with the situation either. The only reason he wasn’t freaking out was probably because he didn’t know what the hell was happening.

“Now, I hate to correct y’all,” Smith genie scoffed, reaching under the cuff of his armbands and popping me out, leaving me dangling dazedly by the back of my vest. “But I’m fairly certain this is my master. I saw him first, after all.”

“Um, hi,” I let out once more, my perspective changing wildly once as I found myself standing gingerly upon Robin genies outstretched hand, a rubbery lookalike dangling from the other genies hand. “Hello. My name is Dev-... Aladdin, and I’d much rather… not being tossed around like a childrens plaything, so can you all please stop that?”

Abu agreed with my sentiment, letting out a terse huff and readjusting his little hat. A perfect match to my own, now that I thought about it. Kinda weird for Aladdin to dress his monkey like a mini me version of himself. However one would care to take that statement.

“Apologies master!” Robin genie drawled in a grandiose tone, placing me delicately down on the ground once more. “You just have us at a bit of a disadvantage here, just a bit of raised spirits,” at this his outline fizzled, a grey jumpsuit appearing on his torso and an odd mechanical backpack perched over his shoulders. He unhitched the gun stick from his ghostbusters proton pack, and took a couple potshots at quickly appearing and disappearing cartoony ghosts. “Pesky little things, get in the through the dogdoors and they never leave...”

“This isn’t my lamp,” Will genie stated, drawing everyones attention as he poked at the blackened hunk of metal. A wave of affirmations echoed forth, seems no one knew anything about the shared living space. At least I wasn’t the only one broadsided by this little revelation.

“So… whats with this ‘master’ talk?” I prompted, feeling a bit uncomfortable about the whole situation. I mean, genies. Came with the territory. Still, felt extremely wrong for a black guy to be calling some random white guy ‘master’. Felt like someone was going to come out with a camera, torch and pitchfork. Ancient civilization. Right. Didn’t make slavery right, but I’d work on that. Maybe use a wish on making slavery illegal or something.

“That’d be you, you sweet ‘lil thang!” Brownie genie cooed, patting me on the head.

I'm your master?” I tried to direct. I didn’t remember exactly how the little bits of the movie went -Ben was more interested in lampoon movies out of highschool than cartoon disney movies- but I remembered the minor minutia.

“That's right,” Robin genie crowed, “He can be taught! What would you wish from me? The ever impressive, the long contained, often imitated, but never duplicated…” he paused in his antics, the other genies giving him amused glances as more than one of them shook their heads.

“Huh. well, uh, Genies... of the Lamp! Right here direct from the lamp, right here for your very much wish fulfillment. Thank you,” he continued, finishing sheepishly. He was actually a fair bit more subdued than I remember his animated counterpart being. Seems like he had no more idea of how to handle there being more than one genie than I did.

“Wish fulfillment?” I echoed back at him, keeping my response short.

“Three wishes to be exact,” Smith genie clarified, crossing his arms over his chest.

“And ix-nay on the wishing for more wishes,” Brownie genie spouted childishly, only to be cut off by Robin once more.

“That's it. Three. Uno, dos, tres.” a trio of him erupted from a slot machine of himself, dancing around me to my confusion, “No substitutions, exchanges or refunds.”

“Now I know I'm dreaming,” I scoffed, one of the few lines I actually remembered from Aladdin. It was of course what led in to-

“Master!” Brownie called out in a scandalized tone. I think I was just going to start calling her Anna. Black hair would be Elise, she looked like an Elise. Of course, I’d ask after they were done with the inevitable. Wouldn’t do to call them something when they could very well want to be known by a different name. I’d ask. Not like Aladdin ever did. Selfish self centered prick.

Anna swept low to me, the other trading knowing looks as they geared up for something big. I could feel the energy in the air, it was almost electric.I could hear drums starting to echo off the cave walls, and the two male genies were doing a mad jig in the air.

“Master, I don’t think you quite realize what you got here!” she declared, pushing me back into a plush armchair that appeared behind me. “So why don’t you ruminate,” she trilled, the chair spinning around once as a series of flashing lights flew up into the ceiling of the cave above. “Whilst we illuminate the possibilities!”

I could hear trumpets crowing in the air around me, other instruments joining in as the Song started up in full. I could no more delay it than I could hold back a raging fire with my bare hands, a tsunami with a half broken boogie board, a nazi with a balpoint pen…

Wait, didn’t Jones senior use a pen to fight a nazi in The Last Crusade?

My musings were cut short. The music waits for no man.

“Well Ali Baba had them forty thieves,”Robin started, floating near me as a band of rough looking bandits slowly crept in from the shadows, “Scheherezad-ie had a thousand tales.”

Anna cut in, tapping me once on each shoulder and singing all the while as the muscles in my arms grew to ridiculous size. “But master you’re in luck 'cause up your sleeves you got a brand of magic never fails.~”

Will surprised me, poking his head over the ropes of the boxing ring I found myself in. “You got some power in your corner now, some heavy ammunition in your camp!”

I took one swing at the lone bandit that had survived the transition to the boxing ring, his body being flung from the timid punch and exploding into glitter as the ring disappeared.

“You got some punch!” Anna cheered, joined by Elise as they both threw handfuls of rice above their heads in glittering swathes. “Pizzazz! Yahoo and how, see all you gotta do is rub that lamp and I'll say…” they both trailed off at the look on my face, as I realized I once more held the lamp they all had come forth from.

“Mistah Dev-Aladdin, sir,” Robin stated in a proper tone as I found myself seated at a nice looking cafe, “What will your pleasure be?”

“Let me take your order,” Anna crept in slyly, hers and Elises upper halves outfitted in frilly waitress uniforms, “Jot it down,” she stated in a lilting waffle, scribbling something on a pad of paper.

“You ain't never had a friend like me,” Robin appeared, laughing wildly as he nudged me from across the table.

“Life is your restaurant,” Elise started in a subdued tone, which she immediately threw out the window. Along with her uniform top as she jumped on top of the table, her blue jacket reforming from the scraps of cloth. “And I'm your maitre d'!” she declared huskily.

“Come whisper to me whatever it is you want,” Will whispered from underneath the menu, poking up the corner of it as it enveloped his miniaturized form.

All four of them spun around me in a dizzying circle as the cafe dissolved around us in a burst of light. “You ain't never had a friend like me!~” they sang out in a glorious harmony.

Robin was pulling the rickshaw I found myself in, Anna and Elise on either side of me as Will floated backwards in front of us. “Yes sir, we pride ourselves on service,” Robin called out as he gradually picked up speed,”

“You're the boss, the king, the Shah!” Elise crowed, the side of the cart breaking apart into various foodstuffs as we rolled down the sudden hill of wonderful smelling dishes. “Say what you wish, it's yours, true dish-”

“How about a little more Baklavaaaaa?~” Robin let loose, us all falling from a great height with various food raining down alongside us.

“Have some of column A,” Anna offered, a monolithic column raising before us with golden trinkets spilling forth from its top, try all of column B!~”

“I'm in the mood to help you dude,” Elise confided, pulling me off to the side as she grew wings and started flying about our heads as a colourful parrot, “you ain't never had a friend like me.”
The trumpets kept growing more frenzied, the music growing in a fever pitch as it tried to keep up with us.

“Can your friends do this?” Elise asked once more, bursting into a flock of tropical birds that covered the entire ceiling above us in flashing, flicking colours.

“Can your friends do that?” Anna asked as I found myself seated in front of an opera stage, each character dancing up on the wooden slats another Anna that twisted and twirled as the trumpets went ever faster.

“Can your friends pull this?” one of the Annas turned to me, Robins head sitting upon her shoulders, ”out their little haaaaaat?~” He reached down into a top hat he pulled from behind himself, jerking Will out as they both spilled out onto the stage.

“Can your friends go!” Will called out, proceeding to beatbox as the other three tapped along in matching tuxedos.

“We’re the genies,” they all started up at the same time, their voices an ominous unison, “of the lamp, we can sing, rap, dance, if you give us a chance.”

“So dontcha sit there slack-jawed, buggy-eyed,” Robin chastised me from the front of the classroom, ‘her’ ruler held tight in ‘her’ hand as ‘she’ waggled it in my direction. “I'm here to answer all your midday prayers!”

A short choir of voices lit up the air around us, joining in as Robin continued.

“You got me bona fide, certified, you got a genie for your chargé d'affaires.”

The classroom dissolved in motes of colour, the cave reforming around us.

“I got a powerful urge to help you out,” Elise drawled, leaning in close as she buffed her fingernails on a brilliant bolt of silk, “So what’s yer wish? I really want to know!”

“You got a list that's three miles long, no doubt,” Robin joked, an impossibly long scroll of paper rolling forth from his hands and disappearing into the distance as it raced across the ground.

“Well, all you gotta do is rub like so,” Anna taunted me, leaning into me as she grabbed my hand and made me rub her stomach in a blur of counterclockwise circles, “ -and ooohh~” she moaned, exploding into flashing lights, smoke and glitter.

She and Elise started up again, back to back as they sang, “Mister Aladdin, sir, have a wish or two or three!~”

“I'm on the job, you big nabob,” Robin griped, readying a long line of fireworks.

“You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend!” Anna crowed as rocks whirled around us in a dizzying pattern, each stretch of land crowded by boxes of waiting rockets.

“You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend,” Robin carried on, the music rising to a crescendo. The ceiling of the cave erupted above us as a swathe of fireworks went off ‘early’, shattering it to bits as we rose ever higher on a wave of music and frantic colours.

You ain't never,” Anna and Elise sang, the night sky illuminating them like angels as they danced and cavorted freely in the night sky.

“Never,” Will echoed, bursts of thunder punctuating his words,

Had a,” Anna and Elise intoned simultaneously, the stars dancing along as them as we spun with the dance of the cosmos. Will echoed them once more, as they vocalized angelically.

Friiiiiiiend liiiiiiike meee!!!~” They each joined in together, sight and sound barely having meaning as we cavorted among the sky above. I came down from my magic induced high with a sudden drop of the music, the song coming to an eventful close.

We plopped down on the sand below, Abu and I slack jawed and insensate as the carpet of all things tried to figure out what the hell just happened.

You ain't never had a friend like me, hah!

I sat in stunned silence for several seconds, before slowly regaining my composure.

“Huh,” I let out, a startled exhalation of wind that did little to truly convey the whirlwind of emotions that were rocketing around in my head.

“Well that was something.”

"Huh," Abu agreed.

Authors Notes:
You'd think basically copying a song wouldn't be that hard. I was wrong. Trying to make it interesting without just giving you all a copy paste of the original script was a challenge, and I hope I made it at least enjoyable for you all. See ya next time!
 
Jump -5- Loopholes (Aladdin chapter 3)

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
I readjusted myself, noticing glumly that I now had sand in places there should not be sand. Aladdin had never worn much in the way of clothes -loincloth, fez, breeches and vest- but there was more than enough cloth to capture an ungodly amount of sand with which to torture my skin with abrasions.

Boohoo, I didn’t need to manipulate a quartet of godly powered individuals into getting out of the cave without ‘wasting’ a wish. Shit, that's twelve wishes, I would have used one on that just for the novelty sakes!

“Uh,” I let out, after the bowing and the clapping subsided. I was responsible for most of the clapping, Abu was still sulking at not being able to keep any of the coins or trinkets he managed to squirrel away in his hat during the song number. Illusory gold… fools gold? Leprechauns better be taking notes, is all I'm saying.

Their attention was immediately on me, even Abu stopped trying to gain sympathy and payed me half of his attention. Shrewd little bugger.

“Okay, so… I’d like to just start this off by saying that I am familiar with the concept of genies,” I stated as I tried to figure out what all I wanted to say. “But as of the moment all I really know is from old stories and the like, and I doubt everything passed down is one hundred percent accurate.”

“Did they say how awesome and magnificent Genesis were, cause as you can see that is bone fide truth,” Will boasted, his arms swelling several times as he posed in several body builder stances.

“The tale of Sultan Rafiki the legless goes as such,” I said solemnly, nodding my head once as I touched my right hand to my chest. “Slightly paraphrased, of course. The original tale spanned several volumes, detailing conquests and the like… Anyway, Rafiki found a lamp from which poured forth a tall and mysterious genie.”

“Tall, mysterious?” Robin quipped, suddenly the form of a Great Dane, “I bet it was secretly old man Jenkins all along!”

“The genie said that Rafiki could have any one wish, from the lowest of desires even to becoming sultan. But that if he didn’t wish to… ah…” I stuttered, Aladdins acting chops more than enough to make my reactions seem genuine. “Perform… uh… debase acts with Rafikis mouth upon the genies… well,” I made a couple ‘subtle’ motions towards my crotch, “Then the genie would remove Rafikis legs.”

I kept my tone even, refusing the smile that desperately wanted to crawl out upon my face. Their slack jawed expressions, coupled with an almost palpable feeling of righteous anger… Yeah, this was exactly what I wanted to see.

Make sure that the unfamiliar genies weren’t the kind that would pull monkeys paw situations, or outright try to fool me with miss worded wishes? We’d wait and see. But their visible outright indignation was a good start.

“Needless to say, the tales say Rafiki wound up ruling Agrabah for the rest of his life. And never a day went by where he let his lack of legs keep him from living life to its fullest.”

‘Ya don’t have to worry about that nonsense kid,” Elise assured me while she patted me on the head, her form gigantic and making me feel like a tiny child.

“Yeah,” Will deadpanned, “Unless you really piss me off-”

“Genie!” Anna protested, swatting the genie wearing Will Smiths appearance over the head.

“Genie yourself,” he chortled, his head turning to wisps of smoke and slowly reforming in order to avoid the blow. “If a brothah comes up on you and disrespects you in the hood, ya can’t just roll over and take it, ya know?”

“So, all of you are just called ‘Genie’?” I asked, receiving a round of nodding heads. “Well while that may make sense to all of you, all I’m hearing is the same word. Mind if I give you nicknames?”

I received no dissent. Seems their previous master each had a proclivity towards referring to them by various titles and the like. Although hearing both Anna and Elise recount tales of their old masters made me want to use a wish on being able to go back and kick said assholes in the nards.

Female genies were sexually harassed a lot more than male genies, as it turns out. The more you know, the more you simply want to let the world burn.

So Robin, Will, Anna and Elise were born! Or named. Whatever. No gigantic flashes of light or the kind, but for some reason Elise was wearing a big dorky looking hat with her name on it.

“Back to the genie thing,” I started again, “I know you say I'm not going to have to worry about the whole Rafiki thing, but I have to assume there are some restrictions, right?”

‘Three provisos, er, a bit of a quid pro quo,” Robin parroted.

“Ya can’t ask us to kill someone. Well, I mean you can,” Elise waffled, bobbing her head from one hand to the next. “But we don’t do killing. You’d be surprised with what you can live through, but under no circumstances will we grant a wish that will obviously lead ta someone corkin’ it.”

“No mental enslavement!” Anna belted out, a terse frown upon her face. “It is a bit broad, but no wishing someones mental state to change so utterly and drastically that they cease to be the person they once were. That is also a form of killing, and it is a horrid thing. This also means no trying to make someone fall in love with you. That's evil, and mean,” she ended with a huff.

Will and Robin both surprised me, coming up from behind in the guise of zombies. The stench from their rotting flesh clung to the inside of my nose, I desperately fought to avoid leaving the contents of my stomach on the bleached sands.

“You can’t bring someone back from the dead,” Robin cackled, putrid muck sloughing from his face.

“It never ends pretty,” Will finished, an arm falling off as he slung it around my shoulders, “For a lot of various reasons. Trust us on this, it’s on our ‘haha no not gonna do that’ list of unwishable wishes.”

I sat on that, thinking. The wording had been slightly different from what I remembered, but the overall gist was the same. No killing, no love potion number nine, and no resurrection. But that last one left a giant void that almost begged to be taken advantage of…

“I’m guessing that beyond the immoral lengthening of enslavement, that wishing for more wishes would be seen as a... rude suggestion?” I asked, cocking my head to the side as Abu mimicked my actions.

They each stared at us for a couple seconds, before I got my confirmation. Apparently asking for more wishes was usually wish number one. Greedy halfwits.

“I mean, you already have twelve wishes here,” Anna declared, stunning me, “What could you possibly want that you could not manage to attain in less than ten?”

So… it was confirmed. No sharing three wishes among all four of them. Three wishes from each, for a total dozen! Holy shit, I think I love you Jumpchan, truly and forevermore.

“Well, I am planning on using one of those wishes to free you all. Can I do that? Just wait till the end after all the wishes are used up and have the last one be used to wish for your freedom?”

And I thought the Rafiki story got me a stunned round of silence.

“You… you’d actually use your wishes to free us?” Will stated in a disbelieving tone.

I nearly laughed at that, “Duh. I mean, the whole slavery thing isn’t something I’m cool with to start with, but you look like a blue version of Will Smith. A black guy. Who is currently, for all intents and purposes, enslaved by a white guy. This entire scenario doesn’t end well in my opinion unless I do my part and at least let you all go. Right?”

I got hugged. I didn’t think Robin was that emotional of a guy, but he damn near filled a kiddy pool sized depression in the ground with his tears. Damn near strangled me with his embrace, but I guess the phrase ‘you’d be surprised what you can live through’ applies to all actions regarding genies.

“You keep falling into both an American and British accent,” Will puzzled, a tobacco pipe appearing in his hand as a porkiepie Sherlock Holmes hat popped up on the top of his head. “You also recognized who I'm basing my appearance off of, a man who’s been dead for ten thousand years by my count…”

“Eh,” I grunted, wilting under his penetrating gaze. “Okay, I bet you aren’t just gonna forget about that…” I sighed, disappointed in myself for flubbing the charade so early in the game. “Fine. All cards on the table? I’m an interdimensional traveler who was sent here by being of immense power, basically a god in her own right as far as I’m concerned.”

Abu scratched his head, not really following the conversation. Probably wondered what kind of hustle I was trying to pull over on them or something.

“I’m here for the next ten years, and was originally from a two thousands era America.”

Robin mirrored Abus’ movements, scratching his own head, “Well, it isn’t the weirdest setup I’ve been in the middle of before,” he admitted.

“Queen Victoria, Nazi space vampires,” Elise declared, throwing down a handful of Polaroids.

“Dr. Gilligan, and an inescapable tropical island despite having access to technology that wasn’t physically possible,” Will countered, throwing his own batch into the growing pile.

“Spiderpig, cosmic dimensional fracture, met a whole bunch of other Spiderpigs,” Anna paused, showing off a picture with various spider themed costumed figures. “But they weren’t pigs!”

Hmm. Regular Spider-Man, Black and White trenchcoat Spiderman, White and Pink girl Spider-Man… Didn’t recognize them. Some sort of Marvel universe?

Something occurred to me, something I should have belted out immediately upon waking up and rubbing the lamp. I had even distracted, sure, but still.

“I wish that the man I know as Jafar would fall into a comatose state for the next fifteen years, unable to be awakened by any means, not even other genies granted wishes.”

Will snapped the fingers on his left hand before anyone could say anything else. “Your wish, my master,” he simpered in an insincere tone with a wide smile plastered across his face.

“No fair!” Elise spouted, turning her hand into a giant rubber mallet and slamming Will into the ground. He sprang back up from the impact, his entire body squeezing and contracting like a squeaky accordion.

“Hey, ya snooze, ya lose,” he groused as he regained his form by sucking on his thumb and blowing into it.

Hmm. Didn’t consider the fact that I might have the four constantly trying to one up each other so they could use up their wishes first and be freed before the others…

“So, again I ask,” I started, grabbing their attention. “Can I wish all of you free with a single wish?”

A flash of light popped in midair before me, and once sight was returned to me I saw I was holding a slip of paper. One that I most certainly hadn’t been holding before.

-No. Each Genie must be freed using their own wishes, no blanket wishing. No using a wish after the genie has been freed, all unused wishes will be forfeit. Attempts to supersede this rule will be met with aggressive pranking. ~JumpChan~​

I stared at the note in my hand, the genies crowded around my shoulders as they each read it for themselves.

“Well, I guess that's a no,” I griped.

Turns out, after the note appeared each of the four had felt a certain level of trepidation. As they recounted it, it was as if someone had held their lamps over a burning river of lava and threatened to let go. Warning received. Jumpchan doesn't mess around.

So I had to use a wish for each one in order to free them. Oh well, ‘boohoo, I only get nine wishes, how unfortunate am I.’ Absolutely laughable. It did bring to mind an itching suspicion in the back of my head, though. Why had Jumpchan given me four genies in the first place? What could she be plotting that would even require such an ace in my pocket?

I had no idea. And I had a sneaking suspicion that if I tried using a wish to figure out what was coming I would just get another note saying ‘Nope, nyeah nyeah nyeah nyeah nyeah.’ And use up the wish in the attempt, to boot.

So what was on my plate at the moment? I had Aladdins memories floating around in my head, but they didn’t hold the same urgency for me that they did for him. He had wanted to return to the city wreathed in riches, in order to ply the affections of Princess Jasmine…

Huh. No. I had no desire to do that. Sure, she was a badass of a princess, and cute to boot… But it felt wrong, somehow. I wasn’t Aladdin, no matter how much I looked like him.

Sigh.

Plan A then, I guess. I had been kinda hoping that maybe enough of Aladdin would have leaked over to me and made me slightly more amiable to the whole companion thing, but I just wasn’t feeling it. It just made me feel like I was somehow stealing them from him.

“My second wish,” I stated grandly, watching as Elise and Anna tied up a protesting Will in multicolored chains. “I wish I had an exact doppelgänger, one who was exactly like me in every way save for memory. Instead of having all of my memory, he would only carry that belonging solely to Aladdin before my arrival.”

A curious sensation raced through my limbs as the chains surrounding Will dissolved into motes of light. Each of the four genies floated, transfixed as surely as I was at the massive amount of mana that was pulsing around us. As one, they all raised their hands and shot off a never ending pillar of flashing smoke from their hands.

A figure was slowly forming in the midst of the assembled smoke, a human body becoming as the smoke slowly dissipated.

Tanned arms sitting starkly against his threadbare vest, a tousled head of hair resting underneath a fez that had seen better days. With barely a sigh, Aladdin dropped backwards upon the sandy dunes in a dead faint.

Yet another flash of light precipitated another note appearing in my hand.

-Congrats, you sidestepped the ‘Bring dead people back from the dead’ rule. Instead of just letting the spirit of the world fry you and scatter your ashes to the four corners of the planet, I redirected the wish process for you. Aren’t I nice? Anyway, doing what you wanted required much more mojo than a single piddly little wish. You ended up burning the mojo for a wish each from them for that. You’re down to seven wishes, Jumper. And just because I know you so well and am fairly certain you’ll try this kind of shit, no wishing for effects that could be described as perks. So no wishing to learn any language you come across, or similar. You munchkin you.
~JumpChan~​

Huh. Well, whoops. Guess next time I’ll just put myself out of the dating circle from the start instead of basically resurrecting a princesses dead boyfriend. Possible fiancée. Whatever.

“Well shit,” I grumped, crumpling up the note and tossing the note over my shoulder with the other. Continuing with plan A, I could then… “Wait, this means that Will only has the one wish left,” I realized, turning towards the stunned genie.

“That's fine,” Will joked, shrugging his shoulders. “You can wish for a mountain of gold if you want, I don’t mind. Really!”

Yeah right. As if I was going to go through all of that nonsense and chicken out with such loathsome greed. I already had a cave full of gold, what was I going to do with a mountain?

“I wish for your freedom,” I whispered without preamble.


~^7^~​


Dripping water echoed off the lonely walls, a steady beat that spoke of disuse and secrecy. These catacombs hidden deep under the sultans palace had once been home and laboratory to the sultans vizier, a crooked and wily man by the name of Jafar.

Now however, there only moved one individual. Feathered wing and foul, both in temper and genus. Iago flapped across the room, not wanting to get any closer to his fallen friend. Landing closely, he let loose with a titanic sigh before girding his heart.

He inched closer to the insensate pile of man flesh, his talons clacking almost woodenly upon the polished stone floors. It was a bit of a journey to hop from one side of his master to the other, but he had to be thorough. Checking the mans wrist showed that he still held a pulse, which was echoed shortly by the sounds of a soft snore.

“Oh, he is not gonna be happy when he wakes up,” Iago whined, his grating voice sounding even more hollow and worried than he had intended. “He’s gonna get up, be all cranky and shit, then he’ll start blamin’ me! Iago, why didn’t you catch me when I randomly fell unconscious? It’s all your fault I got this bloomin’ goose egg growin’ outta my melon, iffin you wouldda catched me, I wouldna’ beaned myself on the table!” he ended sourly, kicking at the mans’ robes.

Iago looked once more upon his fallen master, shivering as he contemplated what magic could have done such a thing. It had to be because of that whole Aladdin fiasco, he was sure of it. They find the perfect schmuck in all of Agrabah, and right after the idiot gets himself killed off then Jafar starts freaking out and writing down whole shelves of scrolls?

It was downright madness, it was.

A wobble of movement in the shadows under the table caught his attention. Probably some sort of rat that had scampered in hoping for an easy meal.

“Hey, you!” Iago snarled, pointing off into the shadows with an outstretched wing, “This here's my casa, everythin’ you gonna find in here is mine, and I don’t need you musclin’ in on my turf, ya hear me?”

The rat -for what else could it be?- did not respond, yellow eyes that seemed to glow from the darkness regarding the irate parrot. Finally the eyes disappeared, leaving Iago alone once more.

“Freakin’ scavengers. Give em an inch and they’ll steal yo wallet,” he groused, turning back to Jafars’ unconscious form. “What the heck am I ‘spposed to do with you?”
 
Jump -5- Interlude; A Scribes Lament (Aladdin Chapter 4) New

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
-M Charod

12-7-6
A truly remarkable time we live in! Scandal and intrigue upon the varied walks of the court these days. Another day, another fledgling prince set off with his cravenly tail tucked tight between himself and the ugly nag he hath rode in on. I weep for the princess, beset with such mud tongued suitors.

But still, I hope she finds promise in one of these young men soon. There are only so many princes in this world, and soon enough she will run that limited pool out and have to settle for someone she had already deemed unworthy. The line must continue, after all. If it does not, then Agrabah is surely lost. A rulerless jumble of buildings and sand, a wonderous and glittering jewel turned dull and tarnished from its rightful glory.

I do not believe that our beloved Sultan ever wished he had borne two sons, instead of a son and a daughter. Despite that, I can see the stress on his brow, the inevitable truth that one day he will have to force his precious blossom into a loveless marriage in order to hopefully bring forth a son.

Why did Tobul have to be taken from us, so young he was in his first routing of highwaymen and scaverous bandits?

If only we had more time with those we hath lost.

12-7-13
Utter scandal! The princess hath snuck her way from the palace in the very midst of bare and bright day! Where were the guards, who were supposed to be watching the young miss? Where were the attendants, who should hath been doting on her every whim? What madness had stricken the good princess to deign diving into the depths where the uncivilized dwell?

What use is that ridiculous beast, if Raja cannot even hold her attention from such foolishness?

A fever and worry fell upon the grounds, servants and all darting to and fro, desperate to not be chosen as fault of the princess's disappearance. And where upon was she eventually discovered? In an abandoned abode, alone with a scav! I care not if the scoundrel was thrown in the dungeons, if I learn the lout dared to lay even a single hand on the princess I will descend into the murky depths to cut the fools jewels from his body myself.

Praise be onto the wise and benevolent vizier for his timely discovery of Princess Jasmine's whereabouts. If not for him, she might hath had to suffer the indignity of creating a bastard. Utterly shameful of the scav. Know he no honor? If he was worth the spit in his mouth he would hath immediately gone to a guard to reveal the princess. Truly, his duplicity knows no bounds.

Aghast I am, upon hearing the hushed whispers traded between skittering maids! The scav nearly got the princess's lovely hand stricken from her! I sit here, jamming quill to the page with such utter chagrin that I've sadly broken mine favorite. Estior scav! Galor noem pitev! I would spit these words at the top of my voice, if I did not wish these poor lasses passing mine chamber to burn from their heads in scandal.

12-10-2
The vizier is a dark and secretive man, but no doubt for the benefit of Agrabah.

A great wail the princess had, upon learning that the scav she had been found with was executed for his folly. Young love, fickle and foul. Truly, it warps the sight of those caught in its mysterious grip. Was it love that drove the princess's sorrow, or just debase infatuation for a ruddy mug?

We may never know, but I for one am quite glad the lout has not another chance to dig his deplorable hooks in the young miss.

Truly, praise to the vizier for his decisive action.

His comings and goings are not one of common knowledge, but I will note that none I hath spoken to hath seen him in recent days. They say he claimed to be set off on a short journey to gather exotic herbs, a task he cannot trust to the common weak minded and vulgar lot.

12-10-28
The vizier hath returned! His bags empty and a temper most foul beset upon him, however. Set upon by bandits on his journey back, he had the many herbs he found pillaged and stolen!

What a world we live in, where the most noble of us cannot even travel the many paths of sand without being accosted by the least of man.

12-10-29
The vizier hath been in a right mood today, zipping back and forth from palisade to storeroom, pilfering many a stock of papyrus sheet. What scorpion hath crept in his shoe, to drive him to such activity?

Truly, an entire courts season could be recorded on what he has taken. Even mine own stores hath been diminished by his fervor!

I cannot decry it, though. Not in anything other than petty jest. If Jafar hath taken mine supplies, then he obviously has greater need of them than I.

12-11-2
Fie and alarm!

We hath been visited by a neighboring monarch, the King of Asphet. He and his vassals did sweep their way through the streets of Agrabah, dazzling the common scav with cloth of finest silk and glittering gold encrusting embellishes.

They arrived upon the palace, not for words of genial cheer, of profitable trade to be taken between us. Decrees of accusal, accusations of treason and war! Claims from a wizened seer that the kings own flesh and blood, his very son was held within our very dungeons!

The demon backed kings wrath shakes the eaves above, his very voice forcing trembling shudders upon the pillars that hold the ceiling. Even the sultan shies from such vitriol, the poor man. He does not deserve such unreasonable vitlrolifrence, so great and benevolent be he! He desires the return of his son, that if even a hair upon his head hath been misplaced...

The very… individual whom I had decried for assumed intimacy with our princess. A poor lad lost by his father, incarcerated within the poorest sectors of Agrabah and treated as naught more than a common street rat. A lowly scav!

I must retrace my journey through my thoughts and written words. I cannot risk proof of mine own smitten ire towards the innocent lad. I shall read through every entry, and mine words will be changed for the better. Either ink or fire, they will be changed.

I sigh most heavily in mine fatigue, our guests ire could surely be sated if the vizier could be found. He would know what to do, with but a carefully chosen word our tremultuous guest would calm himself, I’m sure.
 
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