《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 3 - Setting the avatar & Accommodation Time

Vol. 1 - Chapter 3 - Setting the avatar & Accommodation Time

Mathias began filling his hours and continued on with his everyday life, until the sixth day after he completed the contract and sent the money, he received a call from an unknown number to him, yet which was based in his country.

"Sir Dumitrescu, we brought you the item you purchased from the company S.A Group, a VR capsule, to be more specific." said the voice of a man to Mathias.

Mathias was home since it was Saturday, a resting day for him, quickly got up from his couch and replied back.

"Yes, that's me? Did the item arrive?"

"That's right sir, we are currently in front of your apartment block, but we need some help in bringing your item up. Can you get down?"

"Immediately." replied Mathias, a bit impatient from all the waiting and thoughts that run in his mind since he purchased the VR capsule.

Storming his way down the apartment, he saw the guys contracted by the S.A Group to bring his capsule, and after greeting them respectfully, he began guiding them toward his apartment while a group of 3 men took a decent-sized packaged device and began climbing up the stairs while cracking a joke with Mathias and their boss.

"Hey man, next time, get your apartment to the 10th floor."

"Next time I move apartments, I will keep that in mind. To express my appreciation for the extra work, I can offer you some wine for the hard work. It is homemade from out of the province."

"HOH, that's more like it, man. Let's go. We still have 2 more floors to climb with this shit. Hey, can you tell us what's this stuff exactly?" asked one guy who was handling the VR capsule from the front.

"That is a capsule used to play a VR game."

"VR game? Like that headgear stuff that kids use to play around and drop headfirst like fools?" asked back the guy who asked Mathias about the capsule. (A/N: Is enough to search on YT about VR Fails to see where I am coming from)

"Haha, my son has one of those headgears. Tsk, his mother whines so much to buy that little brat of hers that toy of his, and I tell you this.

It is so satisfying seeing that brat dropping on the floor like some idiot. However, things are fun until he breaks something in the house." replied another delivery man while laughing a bit.

"Ahem, I don’t know if I should feel sorry for your son. Anyway, this one is a bit more complicated to explain. If you want, you can stay to see it. Is like the Mothership"

"Haha, don’t be sorry for that spoiled brat. We’ll stay for sure, it’s rare we see such fancy gadget coming from America. I've never seen such stuff in my life." replied the guy who talked about his son owning a VR headgear.

In no time, the group composed of Mathias and the delivery men got inside his apartment, and with careful handling, the delivery guys placed the capsule on the ground, while Mathias signed something from the head of the team that confirmed the delivery of the gear.

"Get going. We still have some other stuff to deliver."

Mathias nodded his head while quickly going back to the kitchen and taking a 2L bottle of homemade wine from his father back home, along with some plastic cups.

"Here, guys, thanks for bringing this up. Now, let's see what we got here."

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As Mathias ended saying that, and after giving the 3 guys, except the head of the team who was the driver, he got busy unsealing the package.

In no time, the figure of the capsule was brought to light, making all the guys inside the room look amazed, like some prehistoric guys seeing for the first time fire.

.

Having the delivery men help as much as they could with the installation of the capsule, one of the guys took some steps back and told Mathias with an awed tone.

"Young man, I feel like I am looking at some rockets that were used to launch people into space."

"No, man, you are wrong. This stuff looks like some airplane. Hey, young man, are you sure you can handle the electricity bill for such a thing?" asked another delivery man, with an amused expression.

"I can handle it. The developers say it would eat less than what your average AC device would consume. It's about the same as any computer." replied Mathias while taking in his hand the instruction guide for installing the connection of the capsule.

"Wow, if the consumption of that spaceship isn't that high, then you will most likely be able to handle the bills. Anyway, it was nice meeting you, Mathias. Also, nice wine, tell your father our appreciation, hehe." replied one of the delivery men who tasted Mathias's dad's wine while moving to grab his hand into a shake.

"Likewise. Thank you a lot for helping me out with the capsule. Other delivery guys would probably leave me alone with the capsule in the front of the apartment block." said Mathias while shaking their hands with a genuine smile on his face.

The delivery guys chuckled a bit, and the team leader said as they started moving out.

"Mathias, if you need any help with carrying stuff, deliveries and so on, this is my number, so don't hesitate to call since our price compared to those greedy bastards that you might think is at the overall European market price, to maybe lower."

Taking the business card from the team leader, Mathias nodded his head and guided them out.

After the delivery guys left his apartment and he saw them off, he got back to the capsule and read the instructions on the note attached to the package.

.

[ Dear Customer, the VR capsule is one of the first models implemented for our game, but this wouldn't mean your comfort isn't assured. The capsule itself is built using quality material, and the cushion on your body support is made out of quality material that would simulate the feeling and sensation of high-quality natural leather.

The installation steps are straightforward. You will have to connect the capsule to your internet connection along with the power source.

After this, once you enter inside the capsule, you will have to configure its internal settings. Think of it just like setting up your computer in a way. Just follow the internal system guides if you are unsure what's the best option for your gameplay.

Hope you like your new spaceship, dear customer. Sincerely S.A Group team.]

.

"Hah, good one. Even you guys believe you built a spaceship here.

I guess that's all I should have done for the installation of cables. This capsule needs an internet connection and a power source supply. It will run by itself when I am seated inside the capsule."

Saying this, Mathias moved to the capsule that was placed in a "spacious" side of his main room, and after double-checking the connection, he opened the top part of the capsule that began raising up like the hood of a car.

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'This really feels like some science fiction technology, just like what the delivery guy said.'

After the capsule hood opened up, he could see a place that seemed like a comfortable deluxe chair. Entering that chair, he noticed some buttons next to his right hand that read "OPEN" "CLOSE" "START-UP".

Making himself a bit more comfortable while inside the capsule, he pressed the "CLOSE" button that began activating the hood in such a way that only the part of his head closed, enveloping his head entirely.

"Something new indeed. I still can breathe fine here." said Mathias while checking to see if he could still breathe like in normal conditions.

After he was done checking, he pressed the 'Start-up' button that finally began powering up the capsule, and slowly he could see how his vision shifted and right in front of his eyes began playing a giant "Loading" interface.

'Wow, this sensation is really unique.' thought Mathias as he waited for the loading to finish.

He didn't have trouble keeping himself calm in the face of waiting since his old laptop would do something cliche for hours to no end. Actually, he felt the capsule was running so smoothly that he couldn't complain about a single thing.

"Welcome, dear user. My name is Morpheus, and I will only help you along with your character creation and game settings. After that, you will be required to wait 26 more hours before the server for the game enter in its initial stages." said a friendly voice of a young man that belonged to a fly moving around Mathias's face.

'Huh? This is the game system the developers have been talking about, who administers the entire game?"

"Do you wish to start now?" asked Morpheus, like he was set to follow a certain protocol.

"Yes, please." replied Mathias with a confident tone.

Suddenly, after some seconds, his vision changed yet again, and this time, he was looking from an omniscient perspective at a human who didn't seem to have features, a blank puppet.

"How would you want your features to be? You have three options. The first one being automatic customization that would use your exact features as in reality.

The second one is a manual feature option, where you as the user have the rights to customize your character in whatever manner you want.

The third option is a combination of automatic and manual, where you can select the features you don't want on your avatar up to a certain point.

If the options you choose on the third pick contradict your overall appearance, it will be denied."

"There's also something else to clarify when you select the automatic option. Your features will fluctuate along with your real body. So if, for example, you are an overweight person, you will also be overweight inside the game. If you are slim, you will be slim in the game too.

If you change your appearance over time, they will be corrected by the automatic feature you enabled."

Explained Morpheus to Mathias in an orderly manner before turning quiet as if waiting for a response from him.

It didn't take long for Mathias to choose his approach, and looking around this world, he said calmly.

"Enable Automatic customization features." replied Mathias to the world.

A mechanical voice replied back with. [You have enabled the automatic feature. Be aware, this feature can't be revoked once it's fully accepted?]

[Do you accept it?]

"Yes."

After he replied to this warning, his vision changed again, and he found himself looking at a greenfield with a mound, and suddenly he noticed that he was in control of things. He panicked a bit until Morpheus came for assistance.

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"Don't panic. You are right now inside your avatar, and all your brain neurons and brain activity are in charge of controlling your motion function.

Think of it as an extension of yourself." said Morpheus in his young man’s tone, which did wonders for Mathias, who began doing some breathing exercises.

Slowly he calmed down and brought his arms to his face, next he unveiled his long hair from its tie and said with an impressed tone.

"This is my hair. Morpheus, do you have mirror features?"

A mechanical sound came back after the question was asked. "[Request accepted]

[Be aware, user. This is just the accommodation process for the Beta users.]

[After the servers enter the live phase, everything will be in the hands of the users.]

Ending that reminder, a body-size mirror came from nowhere in front of Mathias, who saw his reflection to the fullest.

'This is me. Ahh, my hair really moves like it does in reality.

This game actually managed to capture this. How??

Look, I can move my body whenever I think of doing an action. Heh, this will be fun. I can't wait to try it in action.'

'Wait, what am I even thinking? The first thing on my list is to start writing my novel, and if my head goes blank, I will try a bit of the game, check some bugs and exploits if there are any.

Since this is a beta stage, my progression will be most likely reversed. No need to stress myself.'

"Morpheus, this is enough. How long can I stay inside the avatar currently without entering the game?"

"To not overflood the servers too much until the servers get balanced out and optimized for the general players, it is recommended for now one hour of accommodation." replied Morpheus in a human tone."

"This is the supporter talking with me, right?" asked Mathias, a question that kept him pondering.

After what seemed like 30 seconds of waiting, the young man's voice came back at him, which told Mathias something surprising.

"Indeed. Because of certain settings inside Morpheus, we will need for him to register all the possible questions and responses from his data flow.

Actually, you and some certain individuals are lucky because us developers are also playing a bit with the game, and once someone connects to the server, we receive the notification."

"I see. Nice to meet you, sir. Are you by chance mister Karl Gearwizzen?”

“Ohh, you recognise my voice? Interesting. May I ask you, how?”

*Cough* “I’ve documented myself a lot with regard the game, and I’ve stumbled on one of your interviews talking about some overly complicated thing I couldn’t understand. But because this information is still fresh in my mind, I could perceive your voice.”

“I see. Right, that’s an interesting effect in psychology in regard to that. But I will bother you with my scientific research in regard to neuro-science. We are here to have fun. Hahaha, so we better make sure to live this new world to the fullest potential. Right, Mathias?”

Hearing this cheerful guy, who didn’t sound older than himself, made Mathias smile a bit, fully agreeing with the developer.

“Besides, do you find anything troubling with the game? Maybe the loading sequence? And I told the graphic team to reduce with their over sparkling effects, since it makes it hard for the mind to adjust. But nooo, they should contradict me and that idiot Yanis for our research.

“Well, maybe because it’s our first time we aren’t adjusted? But for what I’ve noticed the seconds it takes for the game to load, is not a lot, so it wouldn’t be a long-term effect on the player.”

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The fly around Mathias seemed to shake a bit, as if disagreeing with Mathias, and it was indeed that.

“I also thought of that first and I did a small simulation with a time-span of 10 years, the amount of time we foreseen our game to be in it’s prime time. The effects while small, show to affect some neurons inside the brain. Nevertheless, they are small and I don’t know the full extent of the effects it might have on the brain.

Still, a good assumption. You aren’t a dumbass like the rest of guys who gained access to the Beta Phase. At least all the guys I’ve helped around, all were dumber than an AI from the 50s.”

“Thanks sir for the praise. But I am just your average worker. Nothing as big as you or other people with a lot of experience and studies.”

“Nah, you might not know, but even those Nobel Prize winners are dumbfucks, or at least some of my collegues are as such. Ahem, I shouldn’t have said that… Forget it, okay.”

“... Sure.” nodded Mathias, who went about exploring his new body, while raising his leg, stepping with various stages of power on it, remarking to Karl.

“You know sir. It is truly like what the showcase video showed.”

“Ohh, what do you mean?” inquired Karl with a curious tone, flying closely around Mathias who was checking the physics of the game.

“I was thinking a lot those days while watching the showcasing videos. Usually, those types of videos are forged and over-edited, but it seems not the case here. The grass I am stepping right now really feels like the feeling I would get when stepping on my grandparent's property barefooted. Is this something like the Unreal Engine?"

"Glad to hear that man. And no, this isn’t some cheap stuff those scammers are using to make their worlds.

*Sigh* You don't want to know how many unslept nights we went by just to set those settings. Go on play around while I check other beta players.

If you want something from me, tell me, I will get notified and come back." replied the developer to Mathias, who began getting busy.

Moving around the defined place that was something like a mound, he began climbing down and up the mound to check more on the movement system conferred by the game.

'Truly like in reality. This starts getting scary a bit.' thought Mathias after settling down, getting a seat on the green field.

'Hmm, what should I do now? I checked the movement and got used to the feeling. How much time do I still have until I can exit? Morpheus didn't specify. He only said the recommended time for accommodation is 1 hour. I think I will stay for a bit more.'

Thinking that, he looked around himself, and out of curiosity to see if the developer who he thought for a bit actually could come back, he asked.

"Sir Karl. Can you check a bit with me? Sorry for the disturbance in advance."

After one minute of waiting, an avatar appeared from nowhere, of a young man in his mid twenties, with a tall body, being 1,93 meters, with golden hair and blue eyes, standing tall next to Mathias, as if it was a ghost.

"I'm here, don't worry about disturbances. This is technically still a working day for me. Imagine a working day where you have some relaxing time.

So what do you want to ask?"

"Do we, as players, really can do whatever we want?" asked Mathias, a simple, yet foolish question to be asked to a developer.

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"Ahh, this one. Technically you can do really anything, but this freedom you players have also has consequences.

There are also certain limitations to players, like if you die, for example, in a game, you can revive at the closest respawn point in your area, which would usually be cities.

But here comes the limitation, that usually one would find the hard way if you die twice in the same day your access to the game is automatically stopped, and you would be out for 12 hours real-time."

"I see, so does anything work inside the game, even writing inside?" asked Mathias again for confirmation of his most sensitive problem.

Karl give Mathias a double look, remaining quiet for some long minutes which made Mathias uncomfortable, but on another hand, the developer was using a lot of his brainpower to figure out what Mathias wanted to imply by asking that, and even after spending all that effort he didn’t come to a great conclusion.

Looking weirdly at Mathias and scratching his hair a bit before replying back, with an 'I have no idea' expression.

"I guess that's right."

Breathing out relief, Mathias thanked the developer for his time, and after he disappeared from his location with a remark that confused Mathias, “I have to study that question. I got no damn idea what that guy wanted.”, he also logged out from the accommodation platform.

Still, inside the capsule, he waited a bit to adapt to the reality check. Only after a minute or two passed did he rise from the comfort of his capsule and move toward his laptop that was prepared ahead of time.

Entering the popular forums appearing like mushrooms sprouts on the web, he browsed some threads who expressed how impressed they were by the experience.

--- I tell you guys, this game will be the future of the gaming industry. --- said a user called Dais on the forum.

--- Totally agree with the person above me. While the game assistant seems a bit weird, like he is a bit bugged from the robot to human-like tones, it was still nice. I can't wait for the beta release to go live. Also, do you guys know kimchi? Try it. It is healthy and very delicious --- said a user called Peak Sword.

There were many more of those comments, but Mathias chuckled a bit to himself when he saw the Korean guy comment, also adding a bit about his food.

"What a crazy guy. Who even cares inside a forum about what you guys eat back home."

Yet, for sure, Mathias' comment to himself wouldn't even reach that person who made him stop at his comment.

.

From another part seated behind his computer, a man that seemed to be in his late twenties or early thirties looked at one person who came into his small office.

"Boss Kang-nim, are you sure we can afford this investment on the game released by S.A Group?"

"Don't worry, Changsal, we only bought 5 capsules. It is a small investment for the Korean Patriotic Association and the act of supporting our brethren and spreading a good product to a wider audience." said the man seated at the computer.

"I understand Kang-nim."

.

.

There were many players just like him from around the world who gained beta access and who couldn't wait to enter and try the game, from simple gamers to people with medical problems who couldn't wait to escape from the reality they were living and even those who were advanced in age and wanted to try a new experience before meeting their maker.

In such a similar situation was Mathias, who was now focused on writing his story to take away his boiling excitement.

"I wonder what weapon or play style I should approach the game with. Close combat, long-ranged combat or caster?"

"I shall see what works the best in the game since everything is up to us players. Probably we can use both combat systems, yet it remains to be found out."

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