DC: System Shock (COMPLETED)

Well, if I had plans for a wild adventure, this wasn’t what I had in mind. One moment I’m crashing on the couch, thumbing through my dog-eared DC Comics collection, and the next... Boom! I’m smack dab in the middle of Metropolis, and let me tell you, it's not the Metropolis you see on postcards. Imagine, the skyscrapers you dream about from movies and comics, now they're crumbling. Flashing lights and explosions paint the skyline. No, it's not some fancy holographic display; this is real, alarmingly real. There I was, regular old me, standing in all my awkwardness in a city under siege by god-knows-what-and-who. Superman is up there, cape fluttering and all, throwing down with these ominous-looking entities. And me? I'm over here, equal parts stunned and terrified. As debris rains down like a disaster movie on steroids, I’m diving for cover behind a partially collapsed building. The dusty, shredded pages of my comic collection flutter around me, a stark contrast to this gritty, chaotic reality. Then, out of nowhere, this shimmering interface pops up, hanging in the air like a neon sign in Times Square. It’s like some cosmic computer screen offering me options like I’m about to pick a new phone plan. I poke at it because what else do you do when you’re yanked from your comfy world and dropped into a super-powered showdown? The thing offers guidance, quests, and, get this, points. Points! Like I’m suddenly part of some cosmic rewards program. So here I am, taking cover, trying not to stick out like a sore thumb in my jeans and old band t-shirt, while navigating an interface that might as well be from a sci-fi flick. “Welcome to the Universal Network System,” it says. And I’m thinking, “Yeah, thanks for the warm welcome, but can I get a ticket back to my couch?”

Wicked132 · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
98 Chs

Cruel Twist of Fate #10

"Now, let's take a look at what's cookin' here," I mumbled to myself, summoning the system's interface and diving straight into the shop section. 

The points I had in the bank, a paltry 195, stared back at me, earned solely for breezing through that quest like it was a piece of cake.

Gotta admit, that number made me a tad suspicious. 

I had this inkling that fate would cruelly pull the rug from under me, leaving me five points short of something crucial that I'd desperately need. I couldn't shake off the feeling that the system designers were having a grand ol' time messing with my expectations. Classic cosmic humor.

But hey, no time for dwelling on suspicions. I was on a mission: find some mental shielding powers, pronto. As a visitor from another dimension packing memories of stuff that hadn't even happened here yet, strutting around without mental protection was a one-way ticket to Disasterville. Population: me and this world.

Just imagine what some nefarious, telepathic cunt-bag could do with all the juicy information in my head, secret identities, future knowledge, and all kinds of shindigs that could topple countries. 

So, I jumped right into the shop's lists, my sights locked on that much-needed mental shielding. The shop was a smorgasbord of strange and fascinating abilities—all kinds of superpowers, magical artifacts, weapons, gadgets, and even one-time-use items. 

"Ugh, this is getting tedious," I muttered to myself, scrolling through the shop's offerings. My patience dwindled until, hallelujah, I stumbled upon a search filter. How did I miss that gem earlier? Nevertheless, better late than never.

I punched in the keywords, filtering for mental-related superpowers. The list was a smorgasbord of extraordinary abilities—telepathy, telekinesis, mind-altering marvels, you name it. Amidst this mental mélange, I found a glimmer of hope—a brain-shielding power.

But guess what? Fate's cosmic joke strikes again! The brain-protecting superpower, a steal at 755 points, might as well have been a trillion bucks for me. I barely had a fraction of that and no prospects of earning the rest anytime soon.

Opting for a power over an item made sense. Powers were harder to snatch away than items, which could easily be swiped by a nimble-fingered pickpocket or forcibly taken by someone stronger. Unfortunately, my meager points disagreed with my preference.

Downgrading was inevitable. So, I navigated toward the less glamorous section—items related to mental powers. And boy, did I enter a strange and wondrous realm.

Among the assortment were a dagger that promised to induce berserker mode with a mere cut, a feather touted to summon tears when tickled against skin, and a host of other bizarre gadgets with varying and equally quirky uses.

It was like stumbling into a yard sale hosted by Sheogorath himself, the Daedric Prince of Madness. The items in this mental bazaar were more absurd than a talking cheese wheel. 

But this wasn't about browsing for quirky collectibles or oddities to display on a shelf. No, this was about safeguarding my brain from prying minds.

Amidst the craziness, I finally spotted something promising—an Amulet of Mental Warding. It whispered promises of shielding my mind from even the most persistent telepaths. 

I stared at it, then at my pitiful points—still stuck at a disappointing, suspicious 195. If this thing cost 200 points like I initially expected, I swore someone was going to pay. 

I didn't know who or when, but somebody was definitely going to suffer my wrath.

With a mix of apprehension and determination, I clicked on the amulet to check its price. The number started with a tantalizing '1,' teasingly close to what I could afford. But then, the digits unfurled like a cruel joke—196 points. 

"Godamnit it all!" I erupted into an expletive-laden bout of frustration, words tumbling out in a mess of gibberish that even I couldn't decipher. In my rage, I found myself trying to strangle the air, wishing someone's neck was within my grip instead.

For a solid minute, I spat out incomprehensible words and wrestled with the air before finally reigning in my temper. There I was, grumbling and accepting the cruel twist of fate that left me at the mercy of a single point, downgrading me yet again to the pitiful section of one-time-use items. 

I found myself swimming in options again, facing a mishmash of choices that would give a hyperactive squirrel a run for its nuts. But details? Spare you the agony, I shall. After a dizzying search, I finally settled on a consumable called the Mental Shield Talisman. 

At a paltry two points, it was a steal—no flashy effects, no drama, just instant activation upon purchase. The catch? It had an expiration date, lasting a mere 24 hours. But when you're scraping the bottom of the points barrel, beggars can't be choosers, can they?

I crunched the numbers in my head, calculating that with my available points, it'd get me through approximately three months. By then, I hoped to have hoarded enough points to buy something more permanent. 

Sure, it was a short-term fix, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Remember when I swore off using the system? Well, that was before I uncovered a sneaky loophole. Turns out, raking in points didn't require me to wreak havoc or unleash chaos. Nope, just being a player in the big events was enough to earn rewards, whether my impact was angelic or downright devilish. 

What's more, though it might be wishful thinking, I had a hunch that rubbing elbows with heroes and villains, yanking their strings here and there, and molding their fates could fill my point piggy bank too.

Establishing relationships, whether cozy or combative and nudging their moral compasses might just unlock a reward chest of points. It was all about making a mark in the grand scheme of things.

This system felt like one of those 'user manual not included' gadgets, leaving me to navigate its labyrinth of features blindfolded. But hey, asking for help? That'd be like shouting into a void. So, embracing the 'sink or swim' philosophy, I dove into the unknown. 

Life's all about the thrill of the unknown, right? Or so my spontaneous wisdom would dictate.

Feeling a tad philosophical—or perhaps just delusional—I conjured up an image of an older, sagely-looking version of myself stroking his long, flowing white beard with his hand. 

It seemed fitting for a moment as I went ahead and clicked to purchase the Mental Shield Talisman. The sales pitch promised instant activation sans any flashy theatrics. So subtle, in fact, I almost wondered if it had actually done anything. 

But before I could dive into that mystery, a notification popped up, stealing my attention.

[By purchasing an item for the first time (excluding the tutorial items), you have unlocked the Daily Deals tab in the shop]

Cue the drumroll of curiosity. It felt like stumbling upon a hidden section in a game, you know, the one where they lure you with flashy deals you don't really need but want anyway? 

Yeah, I might have been guilty of a few too many hours on mobile games in my previous life, mostly during 'extended breaks' at work-- on the company's time, of course. 

A fool shits on his break, while a wise man shits on the company's clock, or so the wiser side of me dictated, yet again. 

I leaned in, eager to see what this Daily Deals section had in store. Who knew? Maybe it'd be like Black Friday, but for cosmic doodads.

Just as I was ready to peel back the cosmic curtain and peek into the Daily Deals, Livewire's electrifying voice jolted through the door. "What's taking so long, pal?! The brawl's done, and the metalheads are waiting in the stadium!" She sounded peeved, instantly grounding my excitement like a lightning rod in a thunderstorm.

"Yeah, yeah! I'm coming!" I called back, quickly closing the system interface and rising from my seat. "Guess the new shop section will have to wait," I grumbled to myself as I made my way toward the exit.

But as I took a few steps, a commotion behind me made me halt. Angry chattering. I swiveled around to find Rattigan, looking at me with a downright affronted expression. 

"And here I was hoping to make a swift exit and forget all about you," I muttered under my breath, but it seemed the rat caught every word. It responded with a barrage of indignant chitters, clearly taking offense. 

"Alright, alright, come on, let's go," I sighed, rolling my eyes in surrender as I extended my hand toward the critter. Without hesitation, Rattigan scurried over and perched itself smugly on my shoulder, looking like it just claimed the Iron Throne of rodents.


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