The voice was loud and extremely clear. It jolted Lex awake from his somnolent state and found that he had been lying on the sidewalk all night. Rubbing his aching head he looked around but could not find who had been speaking to him.
He quickly dismissed the voice from his mind and ventured towards home in slight alarm. He couldn't quite remember what he was doing last but he was sure that he had no intentions of taking a nap on the sidewalk, and he couldn't help but think of all the diseases or ailments that would cause him to pass out. Did he have some kind of seizure? That was not the kind of excitement he was looking for in life.
When he reached back his apartment he quickly went to the bathroom and undressed to observe his condition. A few slight bruises on his body suggested that he had fallen quite abruptly and quite hard on the floor when he passed out.
"I apologize for that," Lex heard a voice in his head, and before him appeared a tiny floating woman who looked incredibly like the heroine from the Spiderman movie. "There really is no safe way for assimilation designed in your body. A major design flaw in my opinion."
"What!?" Lex yelled in alarm and fell backwards. He stared at the tiny floating woman in shock. He was not scared but the appearance of a tiny floating woman had given him quite the jump scare.
"Oh dear, the host acclimation manual had something about reactions like this...let me see...ah yes, a self introduction is necessary.
Allow me to introduce myself, I am the augmented reality avatar provided by the Midnight Inn for your acclimation. During the assimilation process between the Midnight Inn System and yourself, an analysis of your memories provided the template to define the best interaction method, with the greatest ease of use, between yourself and the Midnight Inn.
The scan showed a recent increase in your fondness of novels with a System therefor that is template that was chosen for assimilation. The scan also showed that you have the greatest affinity for this female character, and thus the avatar was created with her as a model. This is an irreversible process. In summary, you now have a System and I am its avatar. You may ask any related questions to me."
Lex, who was on the bathroom floor shirtless, stared up at the tiny floating woman with his jaw dropped. It took him a few moments to process everything she had and mumbled to himself, "am I going crazy?"
"I'm sorry," the floating woman replied, "I meant you can ask me questions related to the Midnight Inn. I do not have a grasp of your mental faculties. Would you like me to pull up your status for you to review?"
Lex stared at the floating woman with the feeling that he had been made fun of. He picked himself and dusted himself off, his face expressionless. He walked to the kitchen wherein he pulled out a box of apple juice and poured himself some. He sat down comfortably on a sofa and stared at the floating woman for sometime, slowly sipping his juice in the meantime. His thoughts were hidden, or so he imagined as his expressions changed from time to time while lost in thought. Sometimes he stared at the floating woman with a serious frown, sometimes with a quirky smile and sometimes he dazed off lot in his thoughts.
"What does the system do?" he finally asked, pulling himself together.
"The Midnight Inn is a universal establishment that provides accommodation, sustenance, entertainment, safety and other facilities to those who wish to avail them. The universe is a dangerous place, but also a prosperous one and the clients for Midnight Inn are various, from weary travelers to adventurers, from those who are lost to those who who seek change. The Midnight Inn is the most renown universal hoteling establishment in the entire universe.
"Please note, currently Midnight Inn is the only universal hoteling establishment in this universe."
Lex felt like facepalming when he heard that last statement.
"So basically you want me to manage a hotel for the travelers of the universe? I guess that goes without saying, but does that mean there are aliens?" he asked.
"That is correct," the floating woman replied with excitement. "But there is much more to it than that. Midnight Inn will have many more features and amenities as your authority goes up. Currently the Midnight Inn has no physical existence and it will be up to you to develop it. You will be guided through quests on how to level up."
Lex sipped his apple juice as he processed everything he was just told. There was a small part of his that thought he was suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer's or something. He'd never studied medicine so he wasn't clear on what those diseases were or how they presented, but the gist of it was he thought he might have gone crazy. But for the most part he believed what the floating woman told him, and even if he was going crazy there wasn't much he could do about it now. Best to enjoy what he could before someone locked him up in an insane asylum.
"So what do I call you? Or do you also go by Midnight Inn?"
"You may call me Mary Jane, or Mary for short, taken from your memories as a part of your first childhood crush. Only your establishment and the system are named as Midnight Inn, named after the time when you first encountered the system."
Lex blushed slightly in embarrassment; wasn't this taking naming too arbitrarily? But with the naming convention of system novels which followed trends such as Little Black and Little white he wasn't too surprised.
"Alright Mary," he said the name hesitantly, "where did the System come from? Why did it choose me?"
"As of right now your authority is insufficient to know the origin for the System. As for why you were chosen... a thorough analysis of various factors such as IQ, Luck, Competency etc. throughout your world caused the system to... momentarily lag during which...the system crashed into you and initiated assimilation." Mary blushed as she told the details and looked up at the ceiling as if the worlds most beautiful painting were upon it.
Lex facepalmed. It was better not to dwell on these philosophical questions such as why. What's important is that the System is here now.
"Can anyone else see you?" he asked.
"No, as of yet you have not unlocked projection capability. However it is a possibility. Furthermore no one can hear me either and you can communicate with me through your thoughts, and can give me complex orders to carry out while you may be focused on other real-time tasks. I can only help with tasks related to the Midnight Inn."
After a moment of thinking whether Lex had any other questions he might want to ask he said, "Alright, time to get to business then. Show me my Status Panel."
"With pleasure," replied Mary and waved her and a panel appeared hovering in front of him.
Name: Lex Williams
Cultivation Level: Mortal
Health: Suboptimal (developing brain tumor, damaged muscles, damaged joints, weakened digestive system, weakened lungs, weakened heart, mild nicotine addiction...*select to display full list*)
Midnight Points: 0
Midnight Inn Level: 0
Inventory: Starter Pack
Quest: Open starter pack!
Remark: Your YouTube history is more embarrassing than your internet search history!