1-1. Cataclysm Begin Through Death March
Great numbers of them
Sometimes glimpsing a shooting star
When people see such fleeting moments, each recite a wish in their heart.
But isn't the sky divided by the falling meteorites?
Accompanied with thunderous roar, the mass falls upon the earth with overwhelming speed.
There might be people who enjoy seeing them on TV or a video site... but no one would want to see this downpour in close proximity.
Yes, right now hundreds of meteorites are falling down in front of my eyes.
I shouldn't say it like it's other people's business. This disaster is unmistakeably caused by me.
Due to my thoughtless choice about 10 minutes ago, now meteorites gouge the earth.
Striking dozens of kilometers away, trampling down the [enemies] there. From the corner of my viewpoint, the red dots on the radar are disappearing along with their lives.
And then, a while after most of the meteorites disappear into the earth the slightly delayed sounds reach with a bit of ground tremor.
Before the wave of dust crawling on the ground...
Suddenly, I'm struck with acute pain, like it's some sort of divine punishment
My head feels like it's splitting.
As if my body is being torn apart and scattered away.
Immediately after my consciousness parted from the pain, my body is swept away by the dust wave.
Let's rewind the time a bit.
I'm working on holiday to meet a certain much-delayed project deadline. The so called smartphone and PC browser game from major company who dispatched outsourced subcontractor programmer to complete it.
Even black company doesn't normally commission one person for two project. However the junior programmer disappeared on the verge of release, leaving lots of bug and specification change! Deplorable!
Working in a place with high turnover rate, the only programmer around is the junior and me. Having no means to anticipate the situation, I'm forced to not only manage my own project, but also stuck with my junior's doomed project.
"Alright, completed all the classes, I/O and comment entries, the rest is auto documenter from source code, relation diagram and seriously squashing the bugs.
I let my neck loose for a bit.
Surveying my surrounding, the office is full house on holiday like always. My neighbour, an outsourced person responsible for debugging, is grumbling while working, but no one shift their focus. There is no room for that. The surrounding designers and planners work silently with hollow, dead fish-like eyes.
When I returned from getting some coffee, the monitor already finished displaying the output material needed for debugging.
Even so, with no documentary to work with I can't get fired up.
It can't be helped if the junior who was thrown into OJT right away to complains like dying. Among the 4 programmers who were present when the junior entered the company half a year ago, only I remain, I'm not even sure how many is it in the whole company.
"Sa... Suzuki-san, the client claim that difficulty of WW is too hard for beginner, what do we do?"
You almost said Satou damn you. We've been in the team for half a year, stop getting it wrong!
The overweight director and planner turn his head over here with his usual troubled face.
Moreover, even though such troublesome thing arise, he somehow looks happy. Why are there so many M's among developers?
WW is an abbreviation of the smartphone and PC browser game [War World]. It's an orthodox strategy game with a bit of social aspect in it.
"Didn't they say that the main target market won't play it if we lower the difficulty any more ?"
Yes, the current difficulty level was decided after great many meeting with the clients. Those time-wasters were really a waste eh. Miserable.
"Why don't we use the canceled bonus for the first timer, the show all enemy on map and the 3 time map annihilation bomb? And give the skilled guy who doesn't use it a rare title or such as a present for clear condition?
"Since there's no time, let's go with that~. I'm counting on you for the implementation Suzuki-san."
Mr. Overweight said it as carefree as ever.
"Waitaminute. I'm still debugging the smartphone MMORPG right now, just give the OK to the client for now. There's no time to fix it if it gets rejected due to poor implementation."
"OK. Will immediately tell them on the phone~"
The gigantic figure of Mr. Overweight disappear into the smoking area with phone in hand.
I continue to work while silently muttering to myself.
The GO sign on Mr. overweight's office lit up, he's out eating junk food on late night.
After correcting numerous superficial errors left behind by my junior, I leave the rest to the debug team.
That remind me, what was the name again? It didn't usually come out since I always call it MMO or Roleplay. Oh yeah, it's [Freedom Fantasy World]. Because it's easy to mix up with WW's former name, [Fantasy War World], no one called it with the proper name. When I think back on it, the documentary marked it as FFW. Since we removed the [Fantasy] from WW, nowadays it's not ambiguous though.
While the modification for WW goes on for a while, I'm sending the bug I discovered from FFW to the debug team... All-nighter again today huh.
The checking continues until the next morning, Miraculously the client program of the MMO-RPG is delivered.
Of course, probably there are still some bugs remaining, but since the super weapon called [Update Patch] exists for net distributed programs, there's no need to worry. I feel like I can hear booing from users but I'm sleepy. While the debug team is working, I forwarded the modified exe package of WW to Mr. overweight via intra-company mail, then I retreated to the safe haven under my desk to sleep for the first time in 30 hours.
Ah, bliss. The funtime of a corporate slave. For now, sleep is justice!
Do you know what lucid dream is?
Being aware that you're inside your dream.
Right now, I'm in wilderness.
I'll stop since it looks like a line from Pol-san <TLN: I have no idea who>
Yep, wilderness. I guess it's okay to liken it with the American Grand Canyon.
Why do I know that it's a dream?
One, because I remember sleeping under my desk. Another is because I can see [Icon] for 4 on the lower right and [Menu] written on the upper-right of my vision.
It looks like the thing on WW I worked on earlier.
However! This is the first time that I'm dreaming about the thing I worked on during a debugging Death March. Though I'm not sure why it's wilderness instead of my work room...
Was it because the room was dry, I'm feeling that's the reason.
Somehow the menu opens when I tap it with my finger. A transparent window often used for near-future stuff appears in my vision... I have poor imagination if I say myself, I'll never be a planner or designer.
The menu is divided into tabs for [INFO], [MAP], [Unit Management], [Storage], [Exchange], and [Log], as well as [Status], [Equipment], [Magic] and [Skill] menus that don't exist in WW.
Did it get mixed up during the FFW debug last night?
Well, you can't really expect consistency in dream though.
When I check Status, level is 1, HP, MP, Strength and all other attribute are 10. This is the basic status that hasn't been assigned with bonus points. Come to think of it, the last check was character creation.
Hmm? There's also Job Type and Reward & Punishment parameters that don't exist in FFW? Where did it get mixed in from?
Age, 15 years old... Did I want to have mentality of a student again?
[Job Type: Management], but I don't even have one subordinate!
Even so, [Affiliation: None], is it a sign that I want to change job...
The content truly has hidden meaning in it... Ah, I want a vacation.
The peculiar ability of [Unit Creation] or [Unit Arrangement] probably mixed in from WW, but is there any need for the peculiar ability field to be written in the menu?
Furthermore what is with the last ability being [Indestructible]? What a strange dream.
I'm wearing a Polo shirt, chinos pant and sneakers. Hey, this is my attire just now. In the storage, there is my wallet, mobile phone and a yellow box with impressive nutritional balance food inside, 1 box. Come to think of it, I left it on the desk with the intention of eating but I lost to the drowsiness in the end.
[Magic] and [Skill] are blank.
There are 10 skill points but sadly there are no skills to allocate them into.
Opening [Setting], I add map and radar on basic indicator. Map displays a wide area and my own position. Radar is almost the same as map but it searches for enemies on the area, and adds color-coding to enemies and neutral units.
I'm shown on radar as a small white point. The surrounding 100 meter is shown in gray, indicating unexplored region.
"Umu, I cannot see any enemies. It's free time. If only this was grassland I could indulge myself in lying around inactive."
I'm not interested in lying down on a rough ground.
I inadvertently stare at the icon "4" on the lower right corner. [All Map Exploration] is 1, [Meteor Shower] is 3. These are the measures for newbies from the arrangement with Mr. overweight.
[All Map Exploration] is just like the name suggests, search all the region in range. It also makes it possible to view detailed information, including the weak point of all units.
I thought that the scope of information was too much with no practical use for it, but Mr. overweight pushed for it to be included in the package.
I tried tapping it like on a smartphone.
The radar searched for all enemy and countless red dot appear. I lower magnification on the radar to display wider area.
Red dots filled half the map... Aren't the enemies too many?
I choose to keep them company with my own army using [Unit]
I'm getting fired up on having a small army defeating large one!
...There was an era when I thought such thing.
[Unit Creation]... Possibility to make unit, none.
[Unit Arrangement]... Can't arrange nonexistent unit.
"Attacking with a level 1 character lololol"
Truly a dream. Even absurd things are unreasonable.
I glanced at the [Meteor Shower] icon on the lower right.
This is [Meteor Shower], the celestial annihilation.
[Meteor Shower] is set with high tension parameters; it could destroy everything, beside the campaign scenario last hidden boss, in a single blow.
It's a message for beginner that says "Bulldoze the map you can't clear with this".
Would you push?
Heil Braiking! <TLN: Thanks for the context!>
The last one seems to be a bit different.
Maybe the effects the from all-nighter still remain, I tap the icon while thinking such thing.
...The silence hurts.
I expected something amazing but there's nothing happening is it?
I was sad for a moment and proceed to lie down. My back hurt from the rough ground.
Then I turn my face toward the sky, something comes into the view...
Thank you for waiting.
We're finally back to the opening scene.
Real name, Suzuki Ichiro. Character name, Satou's life in different world begin this way.
Edited by : Fate Trooper