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Ch 7: Run Jamal

The next day, Jamal wakes up from his bed still groggy from the late gaming session. Today is Saturday so Jamal does not have to go to school today. He wakes up and fixes a bowl of cereal. "Aw man!" Jamal says as he crunches on the sweet cereal. "I know I'm dead after meeting that huge shadow creature last night. What was that though? Did I stumble on a hidden boss level or something?"

Jamal finishes his breakfast and heads to his computer. He puts the headset on, which stopped glowing while Jamal slept. He turns on the headset and zooms into Hero's Destiny.

When he arrives, Jamal opens his eyes to find that he is still in the cave! Jamal jumps to his feet, ready to fight or run away as fast as possible. He looks around, but the cave is completely empty. There are no signs of the huge army of rats or the large shadow that took out Jamal last night.

Jamal checks his status and his character doesn't seem to have anything wrong. Normally a character would suffer some kind of issue if they logged out without finding a safe place to rest their character. "I definitely wouldn't consider that rat nest a safe place to sleep. I guess the cave protected me from the weather after everyone left."

Just before Jamal closes his screen, he notices something different. "Wait a minute. WHAT!?" Jamal's jaw hits the floor and eyes open wider than dinner plates. He looks closely at his character's mission which should have a large green "Complete" under it. Instead, the complete sign is missing and Jamal's mission has changed from "Mission: Find the baker boy's pet" into "Mission: Save the world from the Virus!"

[Some sort of Intro]

Jamal closes his stats and exits the cave, confused about what just happened. "I wonder what happened to the rest of the Squad last night. I hope we can still finish the mini quest." Jamal walks through the forest, carefully avoiding any beasts along the way.

Jamal hears rustling through the bushes so he hides in a tree. Looking down, Jamal can see Brago running through the forest aimlessly and as fast as he can. Jamal double jumps to Brago and lands right next to his teammate.

Jamal asks, "Brago. Where are you going? Where is the rest of the Squad?"

Brago covers Jamal's mouth with his hands. "Shhhh! They will hear you!"

"Who?" Jamal pushes Brago's giant hands away.

"Monsters!" Brago screams before covering his own mouth. He opens his hands and begins to whisper to Jamal about what happened.

[Fade to visual explanation with Brago narrating]

Our squad was following your clues just like we were supposed to do. With 50 soldiers and no signs of any beasts, we thought this mission would be over quickly.

As we moved through the forest, we started to notice the birds all flew away at the same time. The ground and trees started shaking uncontrollably. We thought it might be an earthquake, but all of a sudden these giant beasts appeared out of nowhere! Huge beasts of all kinds killed everyone in our squad. We tried to fight back, but there were too many of them.

[Fade back to Brago and Jamal in the forest.]

"I barely escaped with my life, but I'm sure they must be looking for me. We have to get out of here!" Brago grabs Jamal and starts running aimlessly again.

Jamal thinks to himself, "Those rat's that attacked me earlier. Did they attack the squad? Are there more animals than just rats that are changing into large beasts?"

Jamal stops Brago to ask if he even knows where he is running to. When Brago replies, "Duh, I'm running away from the monsters", Jamal pulls out his map from the inventory. Jamal locates where they are and how far they have to go to get back to town.

Jamal and Brago continue to walk through the forest with Jamal leading the way. Thanks to Jamal's training as a scout, they easily avoid most beasts and Brago attacks any weaker looking ones for resources.

While collecting the drop items from one of their recent kills, Jamal's Painfully Aware bracelet activates and points towards the trees behind them. Jamal immediately yells, "Brago look out!" Both warriors turn and draw their weapons as two white eyes stare at them from the tree line.

Brago screams as the eyes come closer and closer. Red electricity sparks out from the beast's body. "Jamal, that's one of the beasts that took out our whole squad! That thing is too powerful for us to handle. We need to run!"

Jamal flips his axes around and sheathes them on his belt. "Don't worry, with our stats we should be able to run away from any giant rats as long as we don't get trapped."

"Giant rats?" Brago asks as a low growl comes from the beast. It's head pokes out to reveal a large black cat with razor sharp fangs and claws. Jamal and Brago both scream and run away as fast as they can. The giant cat surges with red electric energy and chases after the two heroes.

Jamal jumps through the forest with no problems thanks to his agility, but Brago's statistics are better for combat strength than running away. Brago trips on tree roots and smashes into trees with his overwhelming armor and weapons. The beast pounces at Brago's back, but Jamal dives onto his Brago and they both fly out of the way.

Realizing they won't be able to outrun the beasts, Jamal and Brago once again draw their weapons. The beast charges and Brago swings his large blade at its neck. The beast easily dodges the attack and uses its tail to trip Brago. Jamal activates Nini's Favor and appears next to the beast in a flash. Jamal's superior speed allows him to keep up with the beast's movements, but when Jamal swings his axes at the cat, his attack barely does any damage.

"Crap", Jamal says as he double jumps away from the beast and lands next to Brago. "I'm fast enough to keep up with it, but what does that matter if I can't do any damage?"

The beast's eyes focus intensely on Jamal who seems like the only real threat. It jumps at Jamal, swinging its talons at Jamal's head. Brago swings his sword at the beast's claw to stop it from hitting Jamal. A huge shock wave sends Brago, Jamal, and the beast flying back several meters.

The beast stands up and shakes itself to remove any debris on it's back. Jamal and Brago also stand up, but when Brago looks at his blade he sees that it shattered in the impact.

"Uh oh", Brago says as the beast's tail extends out and wraps around Brago. The cat's tail acts like a snake, twisting around Brago tighter and tighter. Jamal tries to save his friend by throwing his axe at the beast, but the cat doesn't even bother dodging. The axe bounces off the beast's fur and the cat licks the area that was hit. Brago screams as his armor cracks into pieces.

"Brago!" Jamal screams helplessly.

"It's all up to you now. Run Jamal! Run!" The beast squeezes tighter and tighter until, "SNAP!" Brago's body goes limp and the cat tosses his lifeless body to the side. A large red "Dead" message appears over Brago's body and Jamal screams with pain from losing his friend. Jamal's emotions run wild as he looks at Brago's body on the floor. His anger goes through the roof, and a spark runs across his forehead.

One spark turns into two, three, "BZZZZZ!" A wave of red electricity surges over Jamal's body. Jamal is too focused on Brago to notice his body looks just like the rats and the beast in front of him.

The cat roars and gets ready to pounce. Jamal turns to run away, but he is much slower than normal. "I had no problem running away from the beast before, but now I'm so slow! What's going on?" Jamal once again activates Nini's Favor to increase his speed, but nothing changes. Jamal trips over a tree root and falls down a steep hill into an open clearing.

"Fine", Jamal says as he dusts himself off and holds up his last axe. "if I can't run away then at least I'll go down swinging!" He holds his axe in his hand waiting for the beast. He can hear it running through the trees as it stalks him.

All of a sudden, all the sounds are gone. Jamal listens and waits for the beast to attack. Silence stops immediately as the beast jumps out of a bush behind Jamal with a loud roar! Jamal takes one last swing at the beast, knowing he is about to be eaten or crushed by the cat.

Jamal's axe swings at the beast's neck and slices right through the fur deep into its neck. The beast is knocked away by the force of Jamal's swing and is pushed away several meters. The beast lets out a cry of pain as it staggers around, barely conscious. Jamal holds his axe up and with one powerful thrust, throws his axe at the beast.

The axe not only kills the beast, it hits the head and carves completely through to tail. The beast splits in two and it's body falls to the floor. The pieces of its body fade into pixels and disappear.

In its place are a bag of gold and a rock. Jamal stands surprised and confused about what just happened. "How did I do that?", Jamal asks as he hears a ping from his stats. Jamal opens his stats and drops to the floor. "What happened to my stats!?" Jamal screams.

On his stat screen Jamal sees that he not only leveled up to level 3, but all of his previous statistics have been moved to his strength category.


Jamal's Stats

Level 3

HP: 100/100

Nini's Favor: (+10% speed to the user whenever in danger)

Right on Target: (+5% accuracy to the user when wearing this item on the right hand)

Painfully Aware: (A bracelet that detects any aggression towards you. The range of this device depends on the user's level.)

Up Up and Away Boots: (The user of these boots is given the ability to jump a second time mid-air.)

Strength: 211
(Nini's Favor +10%) (Right on Target +5%)
Speed: 0
Accuracy: 0
Intelligence: 0
Wisdom: 0
Agility: 0
Charisma: 0

EXP: 40
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