Update: 7/7/19 added translations
When I opened my eyes (when did I even close them?), I was on my back staring up at a bland grey ceiling. There were children crying, and when I sat up, I saw they were all huddled around the room. Which had bars at the door, and no windows from what I could tell. My eyes caught movement on the other side of the bars in time to watch a guard pass. They were wearing an obvious 'evil villain henchman' uniform with a red skull-octopus symbol on their shoulder that looked familiar.
Seems I still ended up in a shadow orientation despite not taking both. Was HYDRA the one with the Cthulhu looking symbol, or is this something from the comics? Wait, am I in the comic universe or the movie one because I do know at the very least they are very different. I really hope I'm in a universe were End Game doesn't happen. I do not want to deal with dying for five years or having to deal with any friends I make here dying for five years.
I watched the kids crying for a few minutes before getting up.
I used to do a lot of babysitting so I had a few tricks to calm kids down. There looked to be about twenty of them, the oldest looking to be ten or eleven.
Yeah, this had creepy child soldier or experimentation vibes all around. Isn't the x-men part of the Marvel universe? Is this a weird artificial mutant place, like what happened with Deadpool?
I quickly tuned that out of my mind as I sat next to a group of kids who weren't screaming for their parents.
"Hi," A girl with dirty blonde hair said with a shy smile.
She sniffed a little, but wasn't outright crying anymore. The kid was also taller than me, but considering I don't know how old my new body is, that doesn't mean much.
"What's your name?" I asked with a smile, still looking around the barren room.
"...Sandra. What's yours?"
I froze. Should I tell her my old name? What if we're being watched and there is already a name on file? This would have been a good moment to see if my gaming power lets me know this kind of information. Like a pause menu or something.
[ ] Quest log
[ ] Stats
[ ] Relationships
[ ] Runscript
[ ] Load Save
When the floating text appears it was like everything paused. Only when I looked around at the kids I realized that they were just moving really slowly. I was unable to move, but like with an eye tracker, as soon as I focused at Stats, it was selected.
[Name: Lani Chen]
[Title: none selected]
[*: -10 to physical states, -5 to wisdom and +5 to charisma due to age]
"Lani?" I repeated out loud.
It was close to my old nickname, so I could get used to it.
"That's a nice name."
I didn't even notice that time was back to normal. Maybe because I spoke out loud?
"Thank you, um, Sandra. What about you two?"
The two boys remained silent, just looking at me.
"They don't know english." Sandra pouted.
I made an 'o' face before facing one of the boys head on.
"Lani." I said, pointing at me.
"La-nee?" He repeated while I nodded.
"Lani." I said once more, before pointing to the boy. "You?"
I repeated a few times before the boy gave a nod of approval, and did the same with the other boy.
I smiled even though I felt like I was going to be sick. Did they really just kidnap kids from around the world for this?
We ended up expanding on the language game that I made-up, and got to the point where the three kids I was watching were all smiling. Then the first guard came in.
"Skazhi mne, chto ty khochesh', ili net yedy i vody dlya tebya." (Tell me what you want or no food and water for you) The guard ordered, and Feliks looked over wide-eye at me.
So we are in a Russian speaking place.
Which is a point for this being HYDRA. Or at least I think they were based in Russia.
"On govorit, chto u nego yest' yeda." (He says he has food) Feliks tried telling us before getting up.
A few other kids got up, which I assumed were the ones who could understand what the man was saying.
"Yeda?" I repeated.
Felik nodded and made an eating motion with his hands, like in our game.
"Wait, they are going to feed us?" I couldn't help but ask in disbelief.
I couldn't see any food by the man. And to have enough to feed everyone in this room would be more than one man could hide on his person.
Even realizing that this is bad news all around, I still stood up and followed Felik. Sandra ran over as soon as she heard me talk about feeding, and Sandip stayed where he was on the dirty floor.
Once we got into the line, I realized that the guard would repeat that sentence and only give a grey disk looking thing if they answered.
What, are they trying to teach us Rusian?
Immersion is the best way to learn a new langue, and when you need it to survive...
"Skazhi mne, chto ty khochesh', ili net yedy i vody dlya tebya." (Tell me what you want or no food and water for you) The man said monotone like when I was in the front.
The hockey puck size thing was given to me, and that I realized it was some sort of nutrition bar. It was dry and needed water, but apparently, we were only allowed one thing.
I quickly learned the name for water after that.
The next day I woke up before any of the other kids.
I flinched when the text appeared, have forgotten about my new life. Though it was hard to forget the situation I was in, looking around the cell. It was quickly drawing on me that I needed to get out of this place. Get all these kids out of this place. But even if I figure out how to teleport, I don't know if I could bring 20 kids. If it's exactly like how apparition in Harry Potter was, they would have to be touching me and one wrong move on my part, and suddenly someone's missing a limb. Which is something I want to avoid... if possible. But if I practice the guards might see me.
Then I remembered my runscript skill I saw in the menu yesterday.
[ ] Quest log
[ ] Stats
[ ] Relationships
[ ] Runscript
[ ] Load Save
The load save option made me remember the text that startled me moments before. There is no save option. Meaning I can only save when going to bed. And looks like only one save file as well. That doesn't give me much error room to work with. At least it'll give me a groundhog day. Though, I have no idea if the save will work if I die. It might only be if I load the save through the menu.
Right. I think trying not to die is my best option.
I felt a chill go down my back and suddenly, everything around me took on a blue tint.
[Runscript Successfully activated]
[Would you like to read the summary?]
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
I wasn't expecting a tutorial with any of this, but doesn't sound like a wise choice to just skip it.
[Welcome to Runscript]
[In this mode you are able to split your attention in order to run mental simulations to train your skills or Talents]
[EXP gained during your simulations is earned half as quickly as it would be should you train them in real life, but you can do other things simultaneously without detriment to your attention]
[Physical strength is not transferred to the real world from simulations, although muscle memory is]
I frowned a little since that was the same information that was given to being during my whole death/second life set up. I was hoping for something a little more than that.
I stood up in hopes of doing something when suddenly what I could only describe as a holograph straight out of a sci-fi movie appeared before me, walking where I was thinking of going. It looked to be a small girl with puffy black hair and I somehow knew it was me despite not seeing my new body yet.
Oh, I could do tactical stuff with this.
I looked over to the other side of the bars. I remember that apparition had to do with three d's. Something like destination, determination and something else. If I could apparition there...
I watched as my holo-form simmered then with a pop sound that only I could hear, appeared on the other side. The holo-form fell to her knees and then another hologram of a guard appeared and...
Okay, not doing that.
The rest of the day I kept runscript running in the background trying to come up with escape plans (not very good since I couldn't see down the halls), how my powers worked, and other skills I thought would be useful. Like sneaking, climbing, lockpicking. Things that rely on muscle memory.
I dare not practice my powers outside of the weird mental program simulation. I do not want to test and see how far the Incognito will work.
By the time the lights were turned off and I went to the huddle of kids to keep warm and sleep, my head felt like it was going to split in two.
[status healed: headache]
[HP at max]
Feeling much better despite only sleeping a few hours, I continued my routine from the previous day.
When I tried my transmutation in the runscript, I performed the clap and slap from FMA. However, the most I was able to get was pulling iron shapes out of the steel bars. Nothing like changing iron to copper like I was trying to do.
The food guard came earlier that day, which was the first tip-off that something was different. Also, he provided food and water without us asking. I wondered if the food/water was poisoned, but what could I do? An adult human can survive only three days without water, and we are only given a cup a day. If they were being 'nice' enough to give us extra, that means they think we need it.
So when a new man arrived, I was not surprised. It was worrying was that from the way he was dressed and how the guard acted, the newcomer was some sort of commander.
"Privet deti, segodnya my budem play v game." (Hello children, today we are going to play a game) The man said with a smile that could only belong on a villain.
Which, considering where I was, he likely was one.
If the few words that I recognized thanks to Feliks wasn't enough, the fact I recognized the man who was behind the villain scared me shitless.
I ended up watching Captain America: Winter Soldier before First Avenger because my friend wanted me to watch it with her. It was a long time ago, and since I never got around to watching Civil War, it was also the only movie where I saw the winter soldier instead of Bucky. And there was no question which version of the man was standing in the room.
"My budem play v hide and seek, i moy volk zdes' budet iskat' vas. Yesli volk naydet tebya, game okonchena. Posledniye vyzhivshiye pobedyat. U vas yest' dvadtsat' minut, chtoby spryatat'sya." ( A game of hide and seek, and my little wolf is going to find you. Yes, if the wolf finds you, the game is over. Only the last survivors will win. You have twenty minutes to hide.)
He took a long look over all the kids, Feliks and some of the other kids who could understand him even looked excited. Hide and seek though... sounds like this is some sort of elimination process. Like the kids who are found last will be determined useful enough to move onto phase two of their plan.
Which if that is what's happening, what is going to happen to the ones who lose?
"Gotovy? Idti!" (Ready? go!) The man said as he stepped out of the way, leaving the door wide open.
I was the first one through the door. I didn't even think. The moment the door was open I just ran. When I passed a guard, they didn't even look phased. Like they were all to use to this 'game'.
By the time I made my third turn I was started to get out of breath and remember that I needed to hide. And that I just left all those kids there without a second thought.
Guilt gripped my heart, but I stayed focused on my task. There was plenty of rooms in the corridor I ended up in. However, if there was one thing I learned in video games is that the best place to hide/escape is in a vent.
Looking up at the crud vent that was way too high for me to jump, I prepared for my first real apparition. Teleporting to a place I could already see should be easy. It was easy to do in the runscript, but now it was real.
A child's scream that was quickly cut off was the last straw. I threw myself forward, and with a pop and a feeling that my head was about to get squished, I teleported. I barely had a second before I had to stick my fingers into the gaps of the vent and planted my feet on either to keep from falling. There were only four nails keeping the vent secure, and the head was completely smooth.
But that wouldn't be a problem.
Since the door was made of steel, I assumed that the nails were as well. I removed one of my hands and slapped it over the nail, visualizing moving the iron enough so that the ridges around the nails disappeared.
I heard another cut-off scream as I slid the nail out, before placing it back in and moving on to the other two. Once the vent cover was unstable, I had to perform a weird crab walk on the walk to get in the vent. Once there, I twisted the vent back in place and fixed the nails.
I thought about going deeper in the vents, but that would make noise. Noise that would let them find me, and I knew that the screams that were being cut off where being killed. It was just too sudden and I don't think they care about keeping those they consider weaklings around.
So I just waited in the vent. My hand covering my mouth to keep me quiet as there was less and less screams letting me know what the count was.
I was waiting there long enough that my knees were starting to cramp up when the vent cover was just ripped away by a metal hand.
A/N: Wow. I was not expecting this big of a response when I posted the first chapter yesterday. I had this story over on ao3 for a few days before I remembered I forgot to post it here as well. Thank you BasicallyComplicated, the two guest, Death Fury, and Emerald2211 for leaving a review! I'm still writing the next chapter, so it will be a while before chapter 3 is out, but I hope you continue to enjoy what I have so far and tell me your thoughts.
Until next time, have a fantastic day/night!