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Jun 24, 2021 4:43 PM
Bruce Banner is the Gamer, in Worm
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The music sounds like the top 40 hits radio station, If he listens long enough there will be an "advert" in a Microsoft sam voice that different albums or radio stations may be specified via voice command.

External voices setting only applies to the people outside not his own voice and doesn't amplify any other sounds. However, it counts breathing noises and lip smacking as "voices" so if mouth sounds from everyone around him even when they aren't talking bothers him maybe leave it off in crowded rooms, but otherwise does what it says on the box.

The subtitles subtitle any recognizably speech sounding sounds that Bruce is trying to listen to, even if they are too faint to actually make out properly as long as it is recognizably speech and Bruce is trying to hear it he will get accurate subtitles of the speech.

One person Bruce subtitles for the test is complaining over the phone that behemoth threw his Disney trip to California out of whack because his luggage got wrecked. 

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He turns the music off for now, but acknowledges that it'll be useful if he's ever bored. 

These audio features probably weren't intended for making him an excellent eavesdropper, but that sure is what they add up to.

For some reason, the person complaining about his luggage is what makes him realize that all of this is real and not some bizzare hypothetical situation he can just move through on autopilot. Also, that shape the rescue workers are pulling out of the rubble over there is probably a corpse, isn't it.

Half the people he randomly passed on the street in the past three days are probably dead. Fuck. Thank goodness he's alive, that too, but mostly fuck.

Eventually he pulls himself together enough to put the audio settings back to normal, but with master volume turned slightly down and external voices turned slightly up, and check out the Notes menu.

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The notes page has a glowing keyboard and a blank page with the blinking | cursor showing it is ready for text input. Also little microphone symbol to the side, And a Save file button and a Load file Button.

Seems like a basic word processor and if the microphone button does what it would seem to, a voice recorder as well. So that you can take Notes, It does what it's for.

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Bruce tries typing, and speaking, and saving, and loading, and promptly concludes that he loves the Notes. He's never going to spill something sticky on a lab notebook again. He's never going to forget a grocery list or have nothing to write down an important address on. He can look at his speech notes during conference talks and nobody will ever know. He would marry this power if that wasn't arguably incest. 

Incidentally, why is his power so useful? Most capes get stuff that's good for combat and maybe something else if they're lucky. His power will probably have combat relevance in time, but it also has all these amazing features that help with being a mild-mannered academic. It makes him suspect there's a catch somewhere that he hasn't found yet.

But it's not like he can stop having this power, so he might as well enjoy it. And that means doing what you always do in video games: looking for quests to increase your stats. He goes outside and offers to help the city workers with their cleanup.

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Nearby there is a gruff official looking man in a hardhat and facemask holding another person in similar garb steady as they throw up after seeing a corpse. These are probably disaster workers, the second person wanders off to go sit down and recover while the gruff man gets back to hauling rubble off of a corpse and taking pictures so it can be identified later.

 

It’s grim work but they could probably use some help. Or Bruce could head back to where they set up tents for refugees to help out there if that is too much for him.

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He has ever taken an anatomy class, but hasn't ever actually seen a corpse before. It was all photos and videos, and the interface didn't have an option for turning off his sense of smell. Not to mention the half-subconscious drumbeat of that could've been me whenever he thinks about people getting crushed to death. He makes his apologies and goes to the refugee tents.

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There doesn’t seem to be a volunteer table or tent or anything, if he asks around the workers tend to to think he is another refugee looking for help at first but eventually he is pointed towards the trucks holding the food and supplies that have arrived. 

 

If he goes over to help he will be given a high visibility vest all the other workers are wearing and told to help shift the big bags of staple foods like rice or cornmeal off the trucks.

 

 

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This is boring but involves zero corpses; he's happy to do it. He turns on his new private radio station and amuses himself finding the most optimal route through the ever-shifting people and tables, and doing a Fermi estimate of how many grains of rice are in each sack.

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For a couple of hours moving big heavy food sacks he gains:

 

|For pushing your body, you have earned +2 strength!|

 

Now maybe he does think he can feel himself be a bit stronger than when he woke up this morning, he has gone from 8 to 11 in a day and that’s a significant increase.

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If it's in fact going off DnD like it said it was, he is now stronger than average, which every memory of grade school gym class he has says is as fake as Twinkies wrapped in political speeches. Speaking of memory, he should try memorizing something and see if it boosts his INT. If his power lets him become actually smarter . . . Well, he doesn't know what a smarter version of him would do, but he knows it's better than he can imagine.

Eventually, he and the other workers get all the trucks emptied and the food secured in places it can be easily handed out.

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The guy in charge thanks him and offers him an extra ration if he wants it, he doesn’t know if Bruce needs it but behemoth did just attack and lots of people lost everything so no harm offering.

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He appreciates the offer, but he's actually a tourist here and lost next to nothing; he'll be fine with the one ration. (He is unusually hungry after the afternoon's work, but he figures he'll be in Vancouver tomorrow and can buy food there where there's less shortage.)

He goes back to the hostel, finds out that the manager is alive and confirms that he's checking out tomorrow, and sits in the kitchen to eat his ration and start memorizing the first chapter of his current Star Trek expanded universe novel.

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Nothing happens after just one chapter, but Bruce has an 18 in intelligence, it might take more work the higher the stat is.

He must be on the right track though because he gets:

|For careful consideration, you have earned +1 Wisdom!|

 

 

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Hard to be sure what Wisdom does in this world with neither clerics nor explicit spot checks, but higher numbers are better. He memorizes for another hour or two, then goes to bed and sleeps the sleep of the well-exercised, resolving to buy a book of sudoku or logic puzzles when he gets to the land of intact buildings and functional storefronts. 

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Two whole hours of memorization is enough to get him what he was working towards, and another suprise.

|For Exercising your mind, You have earned +1 intelligence!|

19 intelligence now, that really does seem high.

|For performing a special action you have unlocked a skill!|
Reading: You read good now. increases the speed at which you read and Increases your comprehension. 

First skill gained! And Bruce does notice an improvement in how fast he can read a page and memorize it now, he isn’t sure how exactly he is doing better at it...it just seems to be easier. And Bruce was no slouch at reading speed before either.

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Ooh, awesome! He really hopes the skill includes reading academic papers; it will really help with literature searches.

In the morning, he gets his breakfast ration and heads to the bus station again, checking the map to see if the optimal route has changed. He's not sure if it accounts for walking traffic, but it does account for road accessibility and yesterday the straight-line route was blocked off.

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Nope no change, even if there were foot traffic it apparently isnt enough to make that the non optimal route. Bruce gets to the bus without issue and gets a free seat near the front.

 

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Being about to go somewhere gets Bruce thinking about the future. He was looking forward to continuing in academia, he still is, but getting superpowers and using them to do a slightly better version of what you were going to do anyway seems like such a waste. Especially with a power like his, with so much room to grow. If he trains, and improves, and fights some villains, he could get strong enough to make a real difference. Maybe even strong enough to help more people survive Behemoth and Leviathan. 

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As the bus is getting ready to leave someone who wasn’t in the line waiting to get on steps up to the door. He is wearing multiple sets of designer clothes 3 sizes too big for him with a mishmash of brands, some of the clothes have those anti-stealing tags on them. The bus driver asks him if he has a ticket.

 

”I got your ticket right here buddy.” And he pulls out a 9mm handgun and waves it at the driver and passengers. “Okay you tourists, hand over your valuables and get off the bus, this is my ticket outta this dump.”

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Shit. Well, he was just thinking about becoming a superhero. And he does apparently heal when he sleeps. Bruce gets his (empty) wallet from his inventory and pulls it out of his pocket, walks toward the gunman with his hands in front of him, then when the gunman is distracted reaching for the wallet, he shoves the gun sideways and aims a kick at the gunman's kneecap.

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Shoving the gun aside works, his gun clatters out of his hand and onto the floor, the kick is...less effective, it sort of glances off. "You fucking prick!." And the Gunman punches Bruce in the side of the face really hard, it splits the skin it hits so hard and the inside of his cheek is cut up on his teeth.

But Bruce got the gun out of the gunman's hand and his stand against him was enough of an example that other passengers decided to get involved. Piling onto the gunman and pinning him. With the strength of an average human and the risk of death, Bruce is more of a hero than a lot of capes.

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This fight appears to have been implemented as a stack, or possibly a heap; Bruce ends up near the bottom, minus his wallet and barely holding on to his glasses. Eventually the pile sorts itself out enough to summarily eject the no-longer-a-gunman out the door.

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Someone has also called the rescue worker capes, one flies down, salutes the bus driver and takes the gunman away. Fucking with evacuations and taking advantage of the endbringer attacks gets you ridiculously harsh penalties, sucks to be the gunman.

The driver gets the first aid kit out of a compartment after the cape flies off and helps bandage up Bruces face, though if he wasn't someone who healed with a nights rest he would need stitches. "That was stupid what you did, brave but stupid. Could have got yourself killed over just some stuff. Can always buy more stuff." The bus driver tells him.

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He can't really share any of his true reasoning, so he goes for, "If I'd had more time to think I'd have acted differently. I'm just glad it worked out alright. Thanks for the first aid."

Oh dear, there's the adrenaline crash. He knows exactly what the molecular structure of adrenaline looks like, and also that he just went through a lot of it. Well, he did just have his second brush with grievous bodily harm in three days. Time to sit in his bus seat and get where he's going without doing anything else, yes?

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Does he nap? It is a very long bus ride, the beggining of it is slow with the bus having to veer around rubble and broken road, the bus driver already knows where to go though he had to navigate these obstacles on the way in.

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