《Apex Immortal: a LitRPG system rampage》Chapter 2: Macho Man


Some of the bolder or more fanatical members of the police, mistaking my hesitation in immediately attacking them, decide that where bullets have failed, direct physical force with batons and knives can only succeed.

One of the many peculiarities of the multiverse is that “The Village People” exists in the majority of human worlds once they reach a certain level of technological and cultural development. In a surprisingly large number of those universes, the songs are delivered and received without any irony whatsoever.

Even though I cannot remember my own name, as the facist cops - a pleonasm in most of the multiverse - lay into me, the band’s inimitable hit Macho Man spontaneously starts playing in my mind.

Oh well, time to do their gene pool a favour.

I crack my knuckles.


A holo-frame opens. Within it is a kindly old Buddhist monk smiling benevolently at me. Unfortunately, Buddhists are also a commonality across the multiverse, almost all mortal species have the equivalent of these awakened pain the ass types who you can’t punch in the face much as you would like to because only a real asshole would do that.

The monk bows.

“Amitabha Dominus, I am Chan. Your previous self installed me as your spiritual friend. You can summon me at any time of course but I will also appear automatically on certain cues, again selected by your previous self. I am a limited AI - think of me as a small part of your System Interface, spun off for specific scenarios.”

“Kinda busy here,” I say and flick at the holo-frame to close it. It remains open.

“Apologies, Dominus,” the virtual monk bows deeply, “you cannot dismiss me until I have imparted my guidance, humble though it is.”

The monk closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He folds his fingers into an elaborate double-jointed mudra. I stare at him while the cops keep pounding and stabbing.

“Well?” I ask.

“Amitabha, Dominus. The Buddha says: ‘Conquer anger with non-anger. Conquer badness with goodness. Conquer meanness with generosity. Conquer dishonesty with truth.’”

He stops and beams boundless compassion at me.

“Are you done?” I ask.

“Yes, Dominus, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the Buddha’s wisdom.” The monk materialises a brass meditation bowl and strikes it three times.

“Amitabha, Amitabha, Amitabha,” he chants and disappears.

“Now I really need to kill someone,” I mutter.

By then all but one of the cops have given up, having exhausted themselves, destroyed their weapons and/or injured various parts of their own bodies attempting to harm me.

The final persistent shit is shorter than the rest and has somehow lost his helmet in the midst of all the excitement. Ignoring half-hearted advice from the nicer cops, he is chopping at me with an axe that he had picked up from somewhere all the while screaming incoherently and frothing slightly at the mouth.


The cop is in his twenties, has watery blue eyes and affects a pencil moustache which is not a good look given his buck teeth. A couple of his cop mates, looking embarrassed and also a little concerned, start to pull him away.

Before they can do so, I pick up Officer Pencil Moustache and compress him into a diamond.

There is a knack to folding a carbon-based bipedal lifeform into a meat patty and then pressing that into a diamond. I am a master at it but the process is innately inefficient. It produces a fair amount of liquid, steam and heat: a small wet explosion in other words. Some of the closer cops including pencil-moustache’s concerned team mates are caught in the blast and thrown some distance away, covered in blood and other bodily fluids.


>User parameter discovered: [Universal Omnipotency]

There is no limit to the amount or type of raw energy you can exert or project. If turning a living person into a memorial diamond with your bare hands is just the start of what you can do, how much actual destruction can you cause if you try?

>: Dominus, you are using the basic command-line text interface. Initialise avatar? [y/N]



>Murders this quest: Humans: 1 :(

“C’mon,” I mutter, “killing a racist facist cop shouldn’t count.”

I flick both the holo-frames shut and check that the media helicopters are still there. They are and have approached closer, close enough that I can see mortals pointing cameras in my direction.

Fortunately, not only had my clothes survived undamaged, the flames from the explosion had also burnt off the blood and various fluids that had covered me in the first milliseconds.

I lift the diamond into the air.

“Seeketh I to meet thine king,” I shout.

The multiverse is full of mortals like the cops and the chain of bosses above them. From every layer, fists fall onto the layer below until finally the fists land on those men who only have their wives and kids to beat up. It’s a cascade of the strong shitting on those weaker below and it never stops.

When you enter a system like that, the first thing everybody wants to know is where you fit. Someone will come at you and when that happens, you make sure you put him down so hard he either never gets up or finds the guts to face you again. Then you do this to the next guy until you run out of guys.

Seeing as the monk had taken away the quantity of cops I could take down, I’d moved on to quality. And it worked, the cops are cowed for the moment - nobody wants to be made into a diamond. The boss cop is talking on his phone and making the faces someone makes when the other guy is calling bullshit. Soon the next layer of guys are going to turn up and I am going to fucking slaughter them.


Is there another path? In many ways, my previous self has set me up to fail but could I have spent a little more time thinking of a non-violent solution?

Yes. Yes I could have.

The Buddhist monk would have counselled non-reaction. I could have played the immovable immortal object to their mortal force and waited a couple of decades or centuries. Perhaps in time, some of them would come to me and talk, perhaps I could build a dialogue and change their society, one mortal at a time.

Well fuck that hippie shit.

Even if this country is only an anthill, it has a peak and on that peak is its leader. Regardless of how petty the scenario, the path I take will be always be the shortest path up, consequences be damned.

I reflect on this insight into my nature.

That’s the kind of attitude that will lead straight to another tortured regretful version of myself in some thousands of years, a guy who can’t stand himself. I look at the diamond in my hand.

Enough thinking. Time to act. I pocket the diamond.


>+Inventory: 1 memorial diamond (raw, amber, 7 carats). Might be nice to give it to his grieving widow or mother? Or just plain grotesque? Hard call that. Mortals, ammiright?

>: Dominus, you are using the basic command-line text interface. Initialise avatar? [y/N]


I flick the holo-frame shut and remind myself to look for a silent setting.

The public square is sizeable and I spot a huge statue of their leader in the middle of it. The elaborately decorated pedestal complete with carved columns and various naked humans is the size of a small house. The leader himself stands with his fist raised as usual, face stern, the other hand resting on the shoulder of a child who is looking up worshipfully at him. A bird perches on the leader’s head and shits on it.


Macho man starts playing in my head again. I try to think of another one but it’s hopeless. It’s going to play at every hint of violence from now on.

The cops panic and run about, some getting in my way, some getting out of my way, some shooting at me, others yelling to stop shooting as the bullets start to ricochet all over the place. A particularly ballsy pair drive their vehicle into me. I lift it over my head and flip it upside down. Bones break but no one dies.

I don’t break my step, I don’t break a sweat.

Things calm down somewhat after I reach the statue, climb up to the pedestal and settle in at the feet of the great leader next to the child. From there I get a great view of the square.


The police set up their cordon again. More police join them. Everyone settles in.

While all of this is happening, I am two-finger typing away at the System Interface’s absurdly tiny keyboard and trying to get it to do what I want it to do without enabling avatar mode.

My first objective is to get a grip on the language. I am clearly terrible at it.

: Play me some common local phrases.

> Dominus, these are common phrases from recent samples (pejoratives removed):

> Get away from me!

> Oh god don’t hurt me!

> Shoot him! Shoot him! Shoot him!

> Just die!

> What the fuck was that shit!

> Fuuuuuuck!

> Medic! Medic!


> Would you like to initiate avatar user interface? [y/N]

: N

: Scan for broadcast media on all frequencies comensurate to local technology levels.

> Dominus, I don’t know what “comensurate” means. Would you like to initiate avatar user interface? [y/N]

: N

: Scan for broadcast media on all frequencies commensurate to local technology levels.

> Scanning …

> 5 audiovisual channels captured

> 16 audio only channels captured

: Open a holo-frame for each chanel and play.

> Dominus, I don’t know what “chanel” means. Do you mean the luxury brand “Chanel”? [y/N]

: n

> [y/N]

: N

> Would you like to initiate avatar user interface? [y/N]

: N

: Open a holo-frame for each channel and play.

> Play what?


> Playback mode initiating …

> You don’t have to shout. Also a thank you would be nice … Dominus :).

>: Dominus, you are using the basic command-line text interface. Initialise avatar? [y/N]


Breathing heavily and sweating like a pig, I flick the command-line holo-frame shut.

Of the twenty one channels now suspended in a semi-circular holo-panel around me, one of them, far louder than the rest, is blaring out Macho Man.

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