Chapter 001 How a story beginns
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"Then, you have two choices. Become a mercenary or a prostitute."


Yeah, that's me, my life. My second life to be precise...

Here I am, a man who has lived until his thirties in his first life and over 150 years in his second, and you would think that I would have achieved something by now. Instead, that's the choice life put in front of me.


If you may excuse my crude choice of words... My life fucking sucks!


Okay, sometimes, luckily this isn't one of those edgy revenge stories. But I didn't know that back then.

But, well, since a good story should catch the readers' attention in the first three sentences and we're done with that, let's start this story from the beginning.


Its time for a self-introduction. Some writers can cleverly integrate it into their storytelling, but I don't plan to bother with that. And since my story doesn't have that one convenient guy who knows everything about everyone and can introduce them to the reader, that's also no option.


My name is Jacey Aldreigh. And no, I'm not a woman, that's why I have other people call me Jack. Well, you don't need to bother remembering this, I will carry many names throughout my life, but no one ever used this one in my second life, and that's where the interesting part begins.


My first life was nothing special, well, not the lottery winning or being a super-genius kind of special at least. I was always socially awkward and had a hard time talking with other people, so it quickly became a habit to read books during the breaks when I was still in school. Both, storybooks and textbooks. That, by the way, didn't help me to get better at social interaction in the least, as you might be able to imagine.


As a result, that lead to me never having more than three friends at a time and, sadly, not a single real girlfriend over the entire thirty-five years of my first life.


Well, it's not like it was all bad. I invested a lot of time in learning and as a result finished school as the best in my entire year by far. Although the above-average stupidity and laziness of everyone else in my year also played into that, but you shouldn't pay to much attention to that.


Thanks to my good grades, I managed to enter a good university soon after, where I studied electrical-engineering and, thanks to my already developed habits, once again became the best in my class. Just to make it clear, it's not like I was the most intelligent of the bunch. There were at least ten others I recognized as more intelligent than me. But while they were out partying late at night, I was at home, studying. And when they where at home skipping their lectures because of a hangover, I was a good student, taking part in the lessons and taking notes. And it isn't like I was the super hardworking kind of guy either, it was just out of habit and because I didn't have anything else to do.


In other words, they had a social life, and I didn't... Not that it bothered me.


Okay, yes, maybe it bothered me a little!


At least, it went like that for the first two months. That was when a certain girl suddenly asked me if I could teach her about something. And as a socially awkward guy, I had a very hard time refusing when a pretty girl asked me for help, not that I was planning to do that.


In between my personality, her beauty, and her just being a nice person in general, it only took a week before she had wrapped me around her fingers. For the next month, I did my best to be a good boyfriend for her and it felt like it was the best time of my life.


What? Did I say that I didn't have a single girlfriend over the course of my entire first life? I didn't lie. I don't recognize her as ever being something like a girlfriend. The reason is simple, after the first month, that girl scammed me out of more than half of my money before breaking off all contact. It wasn't all that much, I was still in university after all, but it was still enough to hurt pretty badly and put me in a bad spot for a while.


Some of you might now say: "Hey, maybe she had circumstances and she didn't want to drag you into them. You should have tried asking if you can help her somehow!"


Seriously, guys, my life isn't some TV drama.


Not good enough of a reason for you? Then let me tell you something. First, If you love someone enough that you don't want to drag them into your problems, you don't scam them out of their money. Second, after I was done crying, I stalked all of her Facebook, Instagram, etc. accounts, and realized that, over the course of the last two years, she had a total of twenty different boyfriends and not one relationship lasted more than a month.


She never even called them her 'boyfriends' on her social media, she only ever called them 'targets'. Her only circumstances were that she got a kick out of manipulating and scamming people.


As I said, I will never recognize her as a girlfriend.


And that was only the start of one of the worst times in my life. While my studies were certainly blessed with success, my life was definitely not.


I don't know if there was some kind of website with a hitlist of easily scammed people, but during my time in university, another twenty-one people tried to scam me. At least that was the number of times that I recognized it as a scam and big enough to be worth mentioning. And I'm not talking about simple rip-offs where you pay to much for some garbage fake article.


After the first three times, I slowly got better at recognizing such people, so I managed to prevent it thirteen out of twenty-two times, but that doesn't change the fact that I got scammed a total of nine times.


Depressingly, those times also included the second person I will never recognize as a girlfriend. Some of you probably think now: "Oh my god! How could he be so stupid?!"


But let me tell you, some people just know exactly what they have to say and do to creep their way into your heart. And in this case, she used the weakness that was the trauma of my first "girlfriend". She won my trust by helping me to overcome my trauma, only to end up doing exactly the same to me.


And yes, let me tell you, that girl certainly had circumstances, a pretty severe gambling addiction to be exact.


And also yes, I did look up her online profiles before I got in a relationship with her. Not that it helped, after all, turns out that she hadn't even told me her real name and all accounts had been faked. She definitely had already a lot of experience with this stuff. Only when I used reverse image search, one of those obscure functions where you don't feed the search engine with keywords but with actual pictures, did I finally find a total of over ten different Facebook accounts alone, all under different names, the only constant being the same face in the profile picture. Even until now, I don't know her real name, and I actually don't care anymore.


Well, as I said, at least my studies were successful and I finished university with lots of recommendations, as well as severe trust issues.


One of those recommendations introduced me to my new job. It was a job in the R&D department of a certain company. Now, normally this kind of job isn't actually all that interesting, at least in my opinion.


Just imagine, you get to develop the best vacuum cleaner in the world! Yeah... Nope. If I put hard work into something, I want the result to be something cool. And vacuum cleaners aren't.


You might have a different opinion on vacuum cleaners, but luckily, the job I found was one that had me satisfied.


The company I ended up working for, was one that developed new weaponry for the military. Yes, I know, it's supposed to be morally conflicting and whatnot, but I seriously didn't care about that.


I mentioned already that I read a lot in my free time? Well, with my favorite genres being fantasy and science-fiction, I couldn't help getting excited when I learned about my new job. It's not like we were building laser weapons or nano-bot technology, but that doesn't change the fact that we were developing some of the newest shit available. We had pretty much everything from power-armor to AR glasses with battlefield analyzing AI. You could say, my company was only a few steps away from developing an ironman-suit including Jarvis.


From that point on, my life was actually pretty average, and not much happened. To make things a bit more interesting, I started doing sports and became one of the official product-testers, taking the new equipment for a test-drive whenever my team made another breakthrough in the development. While I did get injured a few times in the process, it was definitely worth it in exchange for feeling like a superhuman once in a while.


And hell, I mean really superhuman. One of the experiments that had to be done regularly, was testing the upper limits of the gear. So, while the suit had to get hooked up to an external power source, I suddenly became able to lift cars with a single hand and easily outrun Usain Bolt. It's an indescribable feeling that you have to experience yourself to know just how amazing it is.


That was roughly how my life went, until a few days after my thirty-fifth birthday. Not that it stood in any relation to it.