"It's been a while since you've been this, well, whole. Take a second to get it together."
|Get It Together >|
You don't remember exactly how your Shadow Clone got up here, but you do remember Stripey explaining the nature of the world to it…
This sounds like a flashback! >
You - the Shadow you - walk with Stripey to a portal deep beneath his shop. You alone step through the glowing portal into an electric world. Behind you, the circle shatters, leaving you standing just off of a busy thoroughfare. A younger Stripey walks out of the crowds, grabbing you by the arm and pulls you along.
"Better to go over this now, because once the future you breaks through, you'll have to move." He purchases a kebab from a street vendor, shares it with you, and attempts to explain the glowing, electric world.
"Okay, so, all of this - the buildings, the people - are constructs, running on the energy given off by the Loop. Everything up here is Chakra - everyone and everything you see. Well, except for you. Will affects the reality in the Aboveground itself. In fact, if a strong enough conviction stays in the same place long enough, even an entire city can spring up around them.
Everything here is based on one Chakra entity, feeding off the Loop below. The street, the stores, even the people you see walking around outside, are all the product of a single person's imagination..
Now that he mentions it, you start to notice little things as you walk. Multiple shops are selling striped hats, and food vendors like the one you just went to abound. Also, there's a giant billboard proclaiming "STRIPEY'S TUTORIAL WORLD - #1 IN KEEPING YOU ALIVE" with an arrow pointing directly down to him. Not that subtle. (Other than that you totally missed that sign until right now. Has it always been there? The arrow even blinks.)
You look quizzically at him. "Oh, the younger me? This is an ideal world - I guess I secretly like looking like this. How I did long ago. Everything in a world is affected by the controller of that world, including how they appear. Be careful."
Continue The Lowdown >
Still The Flashback
"Yeah. So, I experimented with long-distance chakra-based travel when I was younger, to be able to get from place to place. I sent a shadow up here while doing some recon for The Flash, and then he Looped, and boom, I was stuck. It took a while, but I managed to create a portal between the Aboveground and the Real (that's what I call it, anyway), so I could speak with my physical self. After a couple Loops, we worked out a method of communication, and looked into what is going on up here. Turns out it was a good idea - now, I can guide you through this world to your ultimate destination." He sighs. "However, we knew that bringing you through would break the portal, though, so we've only got one shot."
Once your Real self gets here - and you'll get here, we've made sure of that - you are going to have to traverse the Aboveground to get above the Failsafe and break back in. To do that without just flying off into the void, you'll have to leap from focal point to focal point. These places draw everything to them, so if the one vanishes, you'll get yanked like a rubber band to the next closest, and so on.
Counting this one, that means you'll have to deal with seven of them. Find the one in each who is responsible for it - everyone and everything else there is just a figment of their imagination brought to life - and either get them to shut it down. Or, shut *them* down. Your call.
Shut them down? >
"That's a nice way to put it. Hopefully it won't come to that. Many might help you - these are the shadows of those who've become your closest friends. But, some might fight you - after all, maybe they like the world they've made. Some might not even know what is going on. But in each case, they are the gods of their own reality, so it won't be easy."
Continue The Lowdown >
Back in the Unreal World
You sit down with Stripey in a park beneath a huge statue of a little dog.
"Okay, let's go over some basics of the world while we wait.."
You snap out of it.
".. remember, now? Okay. Now, it's going to be a little different for you, since you are actual physical matter. You'll need to blend in, which means learning how that world works, and to look like you are a part of the world you are in.
"If that wasn't all, you've only got a limited amount of time. This timer here - actually shows how much time until the next Loop activation. Without you there, it goes into a failsafe mode, and snaps everything back. That Loop releases a burst of energy up here - vital for us, but it'll be a you-barbeque."
He pauses for a moment, pondering.
"On top of that, who knows what would happen if you weren't there when the Loop fires off."
Look at your Timer >
You look at the timer anxiously, but it isn't counting down. Stripey sees your concern. "Oh, it *is* counting down - time goes really, really slowly in this store. That won't be true once you leave, though - everyone's internal clock counts down differently, and travel takes time."
Continue The Lowdown >
"So, you have to find the controller. Here, that's me. Other places, who knows. Find them, and challenge them for control of that world. That's your only chance to succeed."
"Take some time out there - familiarize yourself, get used to how interacting with these constructs works - and once you've got things down, come back and see me, and we'll talk. Until then, relax.."
He gets suddenly serious.
".. it is the last relaxing you might ever do."
You've unlocked Reaper's Game Day One Missions!
Go do a bunch of them (100), then come on back!
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|Pierce the Heavens||Day One - Prologue|