In a moment, there's a truck - horn blaring, light blinding - pain as it slams into her and her friends, then blissful blank black.
She wakes up in a small steel room, in a body not her own. She is a statue, precisely cut from stone and covered in circular glyphs that channel a blue energy down her limbs. She has sensation, but it is blunt and dull. She can't move.
Nem'rea mamria-SHALDEA mimset, sings a artificial-sounding voice.
Physical-interface remote-ADMIN install, something in her mind translates for her.
The stone melts away, reduces to a generic human bodyplan. Sensation floods in. She still can't move, though.
Nem'rea mamria-SHALDEA-ki mimsai!
Physical-interface remote-ADMIN-Heartsong update!
Cyan hair blossoms on her head and grows to the correct length, and her body shrinks and slightens, going from a generic neuter body to her body, correct in every detail. There's a shiver of cold air across her delicate parts as her sex forms from blank skin.
USERLEVEL: Local Admin (Energy)
~Anthem of the World Engine~
Administrative Body v10.7.4
CORE DRAW: ◘◘◘◘◘
Heartsong: 『Cherry Gum』
Grants endless endurance as long as excitement / lust continues.
Passion Core: ◘
The voice that was singing continues in what seems to be English.
"Welcome to Heartsong, Remote Administrator. You have been reincarnated here in order to repel the Corruptors, beings of twisted Heartsong that seek to overthrow the Hymn. This is a prerecorded message; I cannot know at what time this will find you or in what place. But you have been called here and given administrative access in order to do what we cannot. There is a manual of Hymnos in your user docs if you sing it. Good luck. Adzi, First Singer of the Hymn."
She blinks a little confusedly, as she feels the words to her song on the tip of her tongue.
She sings, the words flowing out oddly naturally as she enjoys the sound of her voice.
minri lee satura-anske Hymnos.
A basic tutorial on how to display and access Hymnos records displays, followed by a list of basic functions, centering on the ability to create and manipulate energy.
She blinks a little, and spends a moment catching her breath.
This body is... oddly relaxing? It was hard to describe properly but it was right and she could read it easily enough. She had no idea what was going on but being able to move would help with pretty much anything she wanted to do s-so...~
She incanted one of the most basic spells on the list - just a simple shockwave of energy around her that should hopefully dislodge whatever effect was holding her still.
The platform rattles.
A Hymnos dialog pops up: Complete Heartsong Install?
She blinks a little.
Okay. This isn't some fey bargain thing, they don't need permission, and it wouldn't give me access to a system like this if it meant me ill, probably, and if what it is saying is accurate then... I should really get to work.
An affirmation spills from her lips.
There's a sense of finality, a snap of a connector somewhere behind her back, and she settles into the body. Her limbs work now.
She stands, and paces around the room.
...What even is she supposed to do? It wasn't like she had a home out of here and she didn't know what would be outside this room but well...
She breathed out, and clasped her hands together.
Maybe the Hymnos displays have something for this...?
She queues up the basic console and sees if there's any earmarked resources on what this world is like.
There's a "scrying" spell that displays video taken from a specified point. Is that of any use to her?
She blinks a little, and tries it from... one hundred thousand kilometers up? Getting a view from space at this planet could be helpful to start...?
It has continents and clouds and oceans. Currently clouds are dominating. She seems to be above the edge of a continent by a harbour...?
Are there any obvious cities or abnormalities? Considering it's not night she doesn't expect to see anything really but...
And if she guessed right...
Minri lee satura-anske Shaldea-se.
Hopefully she can learn more about what it means to be an 'admin' here...
ADMIN: Have access to the full power of one part of the SYSTEM. Tasked to defend the world from Corruptors. Summoned approximately every millenium to deal with particularly nasty Corruptor incursions.
She hums softly.
So they are less organizational administrators and more the sort of system admin that is there for 'debugging', then?
Is there a reason on file for why the summons tend to happen once every thousand years, and maybe a list of files on each of the summonees that she could look through? Finding information on someone with her powers could be useful sometime...
Though that does make her wonder if there's any special ability to detect Corruptors granted directly to ADMINs - if there's a planet full of things happening at any given time, it seems like the scope of it all is to say the least problematic for any investigations...
No data on file for any of that, or it's outside her privileges.
She fidgets a little.
...Now what is she supposed to do?
She's probably alone, for now, and she doesn't know how she's supposed to get basic food and water and...
...hough she suspects that whatever her body has can deal with that and hypothetically she can probably run on whatever power source is used for all of... this without respect to conservation laws and...
She's under-equipped and lonely and feeling helpless and...
She wipes her slightly teary eyes.
She might as well page through her stat sheet's linked man pages - and maybe she supposes try some more general queries...? Even if it doesn't have a basic 'welcome to the planet' package - there's got to be something - some read on the patterns of energy of this world, anything linked on fighting Corruptors or what they are like or some innate system thing that she missed, or at least more information then she got from just learning the song-suite it gave her initially.
Her chest heaves, a little, and leans back against the metal walls.
Status is HP. Int, Wis, and Cha are as expected.
Core Draw is like inverse MP: it measures how much you owe the SYSTEM in spent CPU cycles and energy. If your Core Draw maxes you can no longer cast.
The Passion Core is how you clear your core draw: by falling into a certain flow state, common to sex and artistic work, you can produce mana and repay your debt to the SYSTEM.
A Heartsong is your soul, more or less. When a soul is executed by the system as a program, it gives permanent personality-based magic to the individual whose soul it is.
There is a further entry on how Corruptors break down into four types: Seducers, Destroyers, Tormentors and Infiltrators. Seducers attempt to hack the machine via the intimate lives of users and admins. Destroyers and Tormentors threaten what is dear or seek to gain control of the physical hardware. Infiltrators try to use the system itself to subvert it.
There is a song-suite in the advanced section that allows you to teleport to a designated point.
Oh that's interesting...
If only she had somewhere to teleport to.
She let her face flush, a little, at the idea of the passion core. There's going to be so much fun~ to be had figuring out what works best for that!
There's a lot of ways that you can delve into being artsy and bright and playful, but she's not sure what the depth she needs is and how much it means anything if she spends a few seconds utterly transfixe, or bops occasioanlly in and out of it.
And... the section of the adminstrative body is at least a relief. That's a whole load of things that she can stop worrying about.
Is there any sort of function for detecting mana production at range...? Hopefully she could find the sort of people with power or knowledge that she could try to explain this all to, or even just set up a little camp here with what she was learning about the wonderful things she could do with written Hymnos!
If there isn't, she takes a quick survey of the land around this place, and sees if she can note down the coordinates of this box for later - there might be some 'forensics' to do, or there might be something otherwise usefully special about this spot...
If she defines her camera down closer to the ground, she'll discover that she's in the middle of a town under a large statue of a singing man in the town square. It's around noon; there are apparently streetlights, but they're not lit.
She takes a moment to sway and sing, fingers looping in the air, stepping out and back in time with her shoulders.
She smiled, just a little as she incanted the teleportation method to just in front of the fountain.
She appears nude in the public square. A passing woman with dark frizzy hair wearing a cotton dress is awed and scandalized. After taking a moment to collect herself, she starts in: "I know you have to charge your Core," she says, "but there are children around! This is a public place! Can you please not just appear naked?"
She flushes hard.
"Oh I'm so sorry. Just a little new here and not entirely sure how to do this and...*
She flushes and covers herself up with her arms as best she can, and looks to see if she can find a more private place to figure something out.
...Please tell me that there's some nice way to at least look like she has clothes in her spellsuite.
She could always teleport back where she came from, but that would mark her Core Draw up to four; she'd be unable to get back out without triggering her Passion Core.
There are some nearby bushes that would at least give her some cover.
A fast skim through her Hymnos manual says she can summon a shirt and pants for two more Core Draw. If she wants shoes, socks and underwear too that'll max her Core Draw at five.
Can she go cheaper if it's just an illusion?
And what's with 'triggering' her passion core...?
In the mean time she scampers of flushedly into the bushes.
"Mages," mutters the woman from before.
She can maintain an illusion of wearing clothes for a day at the cost of one Core Draw.