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Shattered reality

Summary

Battles of wits with superpowers and ideas, in order to understand a little more about life.  

The story is with some experimental, creative approaches such as challenge mode for bigger interactivity and it is intended to be like a bridge between simple, direct language and complex stories, where you must read between the lines in order to really enjoy them. The story will reexamine various values, ways of thinking etc. and challenge readers to do the same.

Plot of "Shattered reality" takes place in world, where is invented technology, which converts  energy of emotions into various abilities (such as power to heal, create mist, control gravity). Main characters are high school students, who learn how to use the technology and evolve by interacting with others.  

Legend:
italic -  description of scenery, character design etc.;
underline - key words, sentences;
(brackets) - what character is thinking;
[square brackets] - suggestions how to improve immersion into the story, the experience.

Chapter 1. Silence before the storm.

1.1. I cannot wait tomorrow.

[1st challenge is for deeper understanding of the story - download it - docs.google.com/document/d/1ln8XMlaRc5v6TbI3Sm9dPE6ZttPpOHI47mSVTp4sZxM/edit?usp=sharing ]

[The tables are going to be updated as long as new forms are going to be achieved - docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1REBBt14K0nym0Kg7RtVTMdAjNOpCks5wPP8ClPzVvhc/edit?usp=sharing ]

Summer - blonde, thin, average height girl, who seems always welcoming, smiling [her look according to the Summer's shard of reality i.imgur.com/HWLLCpm.jpg , although I am going to use other people pictures as examples, in order to visualize my vision, you are free to have your own personal touches] [character theme music – very light, positive, for example, Boney M – Sunny youtube.com/watch?v=m2oAU-jmO0Y, for prolonged reading - mouse right click on the video – loop, if my song examples are with lyrics, then my vision conveys not only melody, but also words ].

August - black hair, thin, average height boy, who seems always phlegmatic, cold, deep in thoughts [his look according to the August's shard of reality myanimelist.cdn-dena.com/s/common/uploaded_files/1463340002-f024a822c84242b8c5475f19201f97a4.jpeg ] [character theme music – serious, a bit sad, determined - Scorpions – Humanity www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcFmvt3Rz7I ].

1st September, opening ceremony

Directress in front of audience, very fired up, with sparks in her eyes: 10 years ago was invented technology, which changed world what I knew by making seemingly impossible possible, by converting energy of emotions into countless possibilities! I am talking about the reason why 7 years ago Prometheus High was opened – ECHO – emotion charged, heightening object. Additionally to general subjects you will learn how to use ECHO, more extensively about psychology, philosophy and other wonderful things!

More serious, but still warm. I personally overwatched that based on our specialized test and interview results   each student has opportunity to be the best in their class, but utilization of this opportunity is up to you. The same regards rivalry between classes. I will end this speech with for me very important saying – there are many ways how to skin a cat.

After the speech people are going to their respective classes.

The Summer's shard of reality

After the speech, going to C class.

Summer: (The directress is so nice, caring and passionate! I cannot wait to be in my class and meet my new friends and cool teachers!)

In class.

Summer: (Where to sit? I wish to hear what teachers are saying, but more important also see what others are doing. Where to sit? That place seems free and I have a feeling that it will be a good place.)

She after a little hesitation sits down at 3rd column, middle row, right side desk.

Mrs. Smith: Hello! My name is Mrs. Smith. Next 3 years I am going to be your homeroom and Psychology teacher. During sentence her voice changes from serious to fired up. I chose to teach here, because this school is also involved into extensive research regarding development of human psyche and how it impacts ECHO, therefore here I have an opportunity to work with many very experienced professionals and is available the newest ECHO prototypes, which teachers with a special permission can try out.

Now I would like to hear about you – name, surname, reasons why you chose this school and other important information. Are there volunteers, who wish to start the 1st?

Summer: (It is so nice idea, because I will get to know interesting and useful information about my classmates. Moreover, if I am 1st, who speak, I will make a good atmosphere, in order to help other students feel more comfortable to speak in front of audience and show others they beauty.)

Summer raised up her arm, in order to show that she is a volunteer, but was ignored, because a boy with black hairs was already moving to speak.

Homeroom and Psychology teacher: Staring at the boy. If you insist, then you can start.

August emotionless: August Adler, because of huge overall self-development possibilities. Do not waste my time with irrelevant information and lies.

Teacher and many classmates were confused about the last sentence.

Summer: (Who answers like that? Maybe he was scared and wished that his time to speak ends as soon as possible. But, nevertheless, that part about his time was extra weird – why he said that?)

After August had returned to his place, the teacher invited Summer to speak. She went in front of class.

Summer very softly and happy: Good morning! My name is Summer Amorita, but friends call me sunshine. I chose this school, because I hoped to meet many wonderful people and learn how to make happy as many people as possible. I wish that all people in the class will be as friendly as possible with each other.

After Summer returned in her place, many classmates followed Summer's example.

Summer walking back to home:(I heard so many interesting things about my classmates. I wish to know about them even more and befriend. I cannot wait tomorrow.)

The August's shard of reality

After the speech, going to C class.

August:(I hope that in my class is many people, who will really try to use the opportunity, because only overcoming challenges I can become stronger, like a coal, which turns into diamond under pressure. Also soon I will need to choose, where I am going to sit. Logically thinking, it must be in a place, which is near to blackboard in order to better see and hear what is taught. Also near to doors, in order to reduce transition time between desk and doors.)

In class.

He without hesitation sit down in 1st column, middle row, right side desk.

Homeroom and Psychology teacher: Hello! Hello! My name is Mrs. Smith. Next 3 years I am going to be your homeroom and Psychology teacher. During sentence her voice changes from serious to fired up. I chose to teach here, because this school is also involved into extensive research regarding development of human psyche and how it impacts ECHO, therefore here I have opportunity to work with many very experienced professionals and is available the newest ECHO prototypes, which teachers with a special permission can try out.

Now I would like to hear about you – name, surname, reason why chose this school and other important information. Are there volunteers, who wish to start 1st?

August: (If I am 1st, who introduce with myself, then I will be sooner over it and can start to do more important things.)

August raised up and moved to front, in order to be a volunteer.

Homeroom and Psychology teacher: Staring at August. If you insist, then you can start.

August formal: August Adler, because of huge overall self-development possibilities. Do not waste my time with irrelevant information and lies. (I wish that my time will not be wasted.)

After August had returned to his place, he ignored other people and started to read philosopher quotes and analyzed them.

August: (It is irrelevant what other students will say, it means nothing to me. I better learn about something more useful. He reads "There is a big difference between reading and reading a book." The 1st part refers to an ability to convert symbols into words, but the 2nd – decipher hidden ideas, read between the lines. If I go beyond the idea of the quote – one thing is just to understand meaning, but other to judge, test, add to it. In the 1st case it is monologue of the author, but in the 2nd - dialog between the author and the reader even if they are separated by many millennia and thousands kilometers. That is a way how I can talk with notable philosophers, scientists etc. Regarding that, interesting how strong will be teachers and other students, when it will come to results of their deeds. They can hide the truth with words, but not with deeds. I cannot wait tomorrow.)

1.2. The sky is the limit.

2nd September

Mr. Berg very serious: Hello! My name is Mr. Berg. I will be your ECHO combat instructor.

In order to be on the same line, I will start with basics. ECHO - emotion charged, heightening object - has 2 main qualities: 1) If it is charged with enough an emotion created energy, it will convert the energy into an ability based on an emotion type, intensity and other factors; 2) It heightens emotions, in order to increase an output of converted energy.

The school will provide you with SCU – student combat units. It will store record about your name, class and ECHO parameters: name, element, type, max. registered output of emotion energy. By the way a name of your ECHO will be assigned by researchers. Other data such as your abilities will register me and other researchers.

OK. Time to determine your element. After you have received your SCU, wear it like a watch.

Mr.Berg shows the described action. Gives SCU to all in the class and the students wear them. The teacher confirms that all wears them.

Mr. Berg: Do not worry - safety is on and it will only measure output of energy and determine your element. Just try to feel various types of emotions and it will determine the most appropriate for you.

The Summer's shard of reality

Summer: (I tried every positive feeling what I could think of. Now I will go with my the dearest feeling. Happiness about all nice, interesting, wonderful people, who I have met and befriended, who I have made happy and how they have made my life more wonderful.)

SCU: 30, Sun.

Summer reads book: ("Sun – element, which excels with support abilities such as healing. Users of the element usually are very kind, others are more important than him/herself.")

Commotion around August.

Mr.Berg to August: Your element is ice... No wonder that SCU could not determine it with the standard test, because instead of creating energy it nullifies power of other ECHO users.

Summer: (Boy, whose power is outside standard... Very interesting what lies behind his ice cold exterior?)

During next few weeks Summer befriended almost all of her classmates. Only a few were out of her reach. For example, every time, when Summer wanted to talk with August, she was ignored – he just continued to read a boring book. Summer was eager to learn abilities, which she could use to help other people. Her wish came true, when she learnt how to heal.

20th September

Summer's mother cuts her finger during cooking.

Summer very happy: I will help you! Show your finger!

Heals her.

Mummy very happy: Thank you my little sunshine! But can you use SCU outside the school? I thought it is prohibited.

Summer: I got a special permission, because I have only support ability – heal, which not only cannot do harm, but even does opposite. I am so happy, because I can make a pain go away. For now I can heal small cuts.

Mummy smiles: It is so wonderful! If you become better at his, you will be able to heal everything and help so many people. I know that it will come true, because for you the sky is the limit.

The August's shard of reality

August: (Just try to feel various types of emotions? Only thing I can feel is peace. I am so calm.)

SCU: 0, undetermined.

August: (How I suppose to feel anything else?)

SCU: 0, undetermined.

Everybody is happy about determined elements.

August: (I will concentrate on calmness.)

[Meditation music such as youtube.com/watch?v=eOpOaG1-83Y ]

SCU: 0, undetermined.

August: (Why I cannot do it? Everybody can, but I? Does it mean that I have not place in this school? I must calm down, I cannot let this feeling overcome me. I will regret if my source of power is misery or even emotion.)

SCU: 1, darkness.

August: (No! I will find other way.)

ECHO combat instructor: August Adler. Let me test one thing. I will deactivate safety.

ECHO combat instructor came to him and created a small energy ball.

ECHO combat instructor: Concentrate on calmness whatever I will do. Can you do it?

August: Yes, I can. (Complete peace. Breathe slowly in and out, in and out.)

Mr. Berg a little bit touches August with the ball.

August: (It a little bit hurts, but I must keep to breathe slowly in and out, in and out.)

SCU: -10, ice.

Mr. Berg stops.

[End of meditation music such as youtube.com/watch?v=eOpOaG1-83Y ]

ECHO combat instructor: Your element is ice... No wonder that SCU could not determine it with the standard test, because instead of creating energy it nullifies power of other ECHO users. It showed 0, because without energy source and fully activated SCU you had nothing to nullify. Meet me after lessons in my cabinet, in order to talk about your element.

August: OK. (Power to nullify... Does it regards emotions? If it is the case, would it heighten my ability to control my emotions?)

In Mr. Berg's cabinet.

ECHO combat instructor: I asked you to be here, because I did not wish to tell some delicate information in front of all. Your speed of development will be inhibited. It will take 2 or 3 times more time to learn even basic moves comparing to your classmates, because you will need not only to learn the same things, but also be able to reverse them. With so much work it is very possible that you will not be able to keep up. Also I saw that you are a little bit in pain. The main reason is how your ability to nullify works – you must feel source of emotional energy, in order to lock on it, and only after that you can affect the source. Usually greater the source you try to lock on, greater pain and I do not mean physical. Are you really ready for this?

August: What does not kill me, makes me stronger. (Working harder than others even in spite of pain, defying odds... What is new? I am not scared of challenges, I welcome them. From pressure coal transforms into diamond. Weak is like a falling autumn leaf impacted by destiny's storm, but strong can become the storm and impact destiny like a leaf. I am strong!)

ECHO combat instructor: I see in your eyes that it is your final answer. In that case you will meet me after lessons every day from Monday to Friday, in order to learn about utilization of ice element. Do you have any questions?

August: Does the element have unique strong sides?

ECHO combat instructor: At beginner level the most notable is defense, because it can nullify attacks, and stamina, because hypothalamus caused effect does not affect negatively, it even helps [hypothalamus maintains homeostasis, which to emotions is like a gravity to objects, more askabiologist.asu.edu/bird-hypothalamus].

During next few weeks August developed his skill to meditate even further, increased deepness of concentration and strength of willpower, learned how to freeze and to utilize the ability, for example, to freeze ground in order to ice-skate. He withstood long training hours like nothing.

22nd September, after lesson training

Mr.Berg: You are resilient – no matter how many times you fall, you keep to stand up -, but can you go even further, withstand even more?

August: No pain no gain. (For me it is the best way how to increase energy nullification, because I can use it all day long. If I can nullify even more pain, I will be able to nullify even more energy and create more ice by decreasing atom movement speed, nullifying heat around me.)

Mr.Berg smiles.

Mr.Berg: I waited nothing else from you. Because of your determination, from now on training wheels are off, I will try to break you, in order to see the limit of your willpower.

August: For me the sky is the limit.

1.3. Fighting style.

30th September, C class

Mr.Berg: Next week will start "C class team tournament" and it will take place during ECHO combat lessons - Tuesday and Friday-, in the arena. I divided you in 8 groups, 4 in each. These groups are made in order to develop you as much as possible, therefore cannot be changed. The tournament format is my own invention – ladder type. At the beginning, in next Tuesday, I will order each team according to combined max. registered output without support abilities from other students. Team with the biggest combined output is going to be in 1st place, team after them 2nd etc. 1st place is going to fight 2nd, 3rd versus 4th etc. Winner will get higher place, but looser – lower, therefore, for example, if you start as 1st place and you lose, then you will become 2nd place. Next battle will be between looser of higher level and winner of lower level, t.i., between, 2nd and 3rd, 4th and 5th etc. 1st and 8th places will be free. After 7 rounds the placement will end and final places will be determined. The winners of the tournament will get automatically the highest grade.

The Summer's (a.k.a. Maiden of the Sun) shard of reality

Summer: (Interesting, who will be my teammates? I cannot wait to see them!)

The arena, each team is in their space

Windy explorer energetic: Hey Summer or should I call you Maiden of the Sun, can you believe that we are in one team?

Summer: It is delightful surprise and you can call me as you please.

Windy explorer: Then I am going to call you Maiden of the Sun, because it sounds much cooler. Officially name of my ECHO is Windy explorer, because it seems that all good names were already taken. That is why I prefer that you will call me Master of storm, Maiden of storm or any of 15 other cool names. I am sending them to your e-mail.

Summer smiles: OK, Master of storm!

Windy explorer very curious: What are your abilities?

Summer: I can heal. For me it is the most useful ability in the world, because I can help my family, friends and other nice persons.

Windy explorer: Right, you have special permission to use your ability outside the school. You are so lucky! Although it is no wonder regarding your ability, because it reflects your inner world.

Summer: What are your abilities?

Windy explorer: I can create wind and tornado, be very fast and even fly!

Summer: It is very impressive, especially to create tornado.

Windy explorer: I will show it!

Creates very small, 0,5 meter high tornado.

Echo of flora: Can you make it larger?

Windy explorer: No, because it is so boring patiently develop just one ability. I like more to learn new ones. What you can do Echo of flora?

Echo of flora: Heal myself and control vines.

Windy explorer: But can you make to bloom flowers?

Echo of flora: No. This is my limitation.

Summer: What cannot be done by one, can be done by many. I am only developing this ability, but if I succeed, I will be able to boost abilities.

Echo of flora very curious: Can you try it on me?

[Meditation music such as youtube.com/watch?v=eOpOaG1-83Y]

Summer: OK! (Friends are an extension of me and I am extension of them. We are many and at the same time one.)

Yellow energy surrounds Maiden of the Sun and Windy explorer. Windy explorer creates 2 times higher tornado.

[End of meditation music such as youtube.com/watch?v=eOpOaG1-83Y]

Windy explorer: It was so cool!

Echo of flora: By the way, where is the 4th member of our team?

Summer: Maybe sick? Should I ask about that to Mr. Berg?

Suddenly they receive a text message: "I am here."

Windy explorer: Is here a ghost?

Another text message "No, Shadow. I came here with you."

Summer: Calm down. If I remember correctly, in our class is very shy girl, who rather writes than talks. Shadow, can you come in front of me?

Suddenly a shadow in dark corner moves in front of Maiden of the Sun. Maiden's of the Sun light reveals a girl.

Shadow text message: "Can you see me?"

Summer: Yes. Do you wish be our friend?

Shadow text message: "What is it so great about friendship?"

Summer: So many things. For example, friends support each other - friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil. (For my father this Baltasar Gracian quote is one of the most favorite.) I accept you with your shyness. Do you accept me?

Shadow text message: "Yes. What is our plan regarding the tournament?"

Summer: The 1st thing what we must do is to relax – be the 1st or the 8th place, it does not matter. The most important thing is to enjoy ourselves, be teammates, who support each other.

Other girls: Yes!

Summer: We will show everybody else this fighting style.

The August's (a.k.a. Ice knight) shard of reality

August: (Another group work... No matter if I am in group with competent people or airheads, I will achieve my goal.)

Mr.Berg: Group H – Ice knight, Joker ninja, Jester ninja and Clown ninja. We will go to the arena, where each group will be able to start their training as a team in from others separated space.

The arena, each team is in their space

August: What are your element, abilities, max. output?

Joker ninja smiling: Party, chill out all night and too much to remember!

Jester ninja and Clown ninja smiling, laughing: The same!

August: Answer seriously.

Jester ninja: Chill out! Just relax – be 1st or 8th place, it does not matter. We are going to play the new video game so do not disturb us.

August: So you are not interested in winning, getting stronger?

Clown ninja: Yep! Too much boring work. Just not to fail will be good enough for us.

August: (This again... As always difference between not to fail and to achieve the highest is so huge...)

August goes to Mr.Berg.

August: As far as I understand in the rules is not said that in both teams must be the same amount of fighters, only that no more than 4. So can I fight 1 against other teams?

Mr.Berg: Why do you wish to be alone?

August: Because I am better alone than with people, who drag me down.

Mr.Berg: So that is your approach? I will agree with 1 condition.

Both go to the rest of team.

Mr.Berg: Ice knight wish to fight alone so I have proposition for you ninjas – all 3 fight against him. If you win, you will get average grades by default and all team will just skip all fights. If you lose, you will run 20 laps, ~6 km around the arena training area before each fight of Ice knight during the tournament. SCU will be permitted. All agree?

All ninjas: Yes!

August: Yes. (If I cannot defeat them, then I am not worthy to fight alone against other teams.)

All get ready for a fight.

Joker ninja: You have no chance!

August: (Overestimate yourself, underestimate your opponent and unpleasant surprise might happen.)

Mr.Berg: Start!

[Music - with a beat, which increases, rebellious - Korn - Twisted Transistor youtube.com/watch?v=7KSRAnwo3Uk]

Jester ninja with his enchanted speed gets behind Ice knight and together with Clown ninja trap Ice knight with wind pincer attack. Ice knight cannot move. Joker ninja like an eagle, who attacks to his prey, uses wind to enhance his jump and descends to kick Ice knight. Suddenly Ice knight avoids the attack and freezes unprotected Joker ninja. Jester and Clown ninjas understand that they will run out of energy if they keep up this and charge with enhanced speed at Ice knight, but they both slip. Ice knight freezes the closest of the opponents - Jester ninja. Clown ninja runs away to avoid Ice knight, but Ice knight creates ice in order to ice-skate and he catches up. Clown ninja tries to use wind to push away his opponent, but Ice knight nullifies it, tries to hit, but Ice knight catches his fist and starts to freeze. Clown ninja understands that there is nothing what he can do and gives up.

[End of the music]

Ninjas very confused: What happened? How is it possible?

[challenge – how you understand Sparanza – Vindication lyrics musixmatch.com/lyrics/Sparzanza/Vindication connection with the fight (do not read further until you have your answer)?]

Mr.Berg: Because you overestimated your power – you thought that you are predators and he is a prey, but in the reality your roles were switched. When Jester ninja attacked, Ice knight nullified Jester ninja's wind and got speed boost from Clown ninja, which helped to avoid the attack. After it Ice knight easily froze Jester ninja, because he put all what he had in one attack and did not predict possible counterattack.

Clown ninja: But how he avoided so fast? I did not felt any changes in my wind and then in just one moment my wind stopped to affect him.

Mr.Berg: Because in order to hold him you used max. 80% of your max. output in order to have enough stamina to keep up the pincer attack, but he used his max. output for one powerful burst. This was his 1st trap. 2nd trap was frozen floor, which you were not aware of until it was too late.

Ninjas! I hope that you remember about those 20 laps.

Jester ninja: I still cannot believe that we lost! How could you do it?

August: You think that you are free and can fly everywhere, but in the reality you are like birds in a small cage, who are not aware of the cage's restricting nature, because your understanding of everywhere is limited to the cage. This is the main reason why I won and do not wish to be with you in one team. Also you had quantity on your side, but I had quality. If you used more effective your cards, you would win.

Mr.Berg: Ninjas, I hope that now you understand what I meant that time, when I said that combat is more than max. output. Although it can show potential, it is only a part of factors, which determine outcomes of fights. Moreover, in some sense fight is even conversation without words.

[reflection – how you understand Sparanza – Vindication lyrics musixmatch.com/lyrics/Sparzanza/Vindication connection with the fight after reading the answers of Mr.Berg and August? Are there differences between the 1st and the 2nd time?]

August: (I will show everybody else this fighting style.)

[Test yourself - answers to 1st challenge according to my shard of reality - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kTyIbA57YZPKy8_TJqy9BqLpDUmOuVexeeFX8twIePI/edit?usp=sharing]