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System Apocalypse: Kismet

Fool's Play (System Apocalypse: Kismet #1)

Fool's Play (System Apocalypse: Kismet #1)

Written by: David R. Packer & Tao Wong
Narrated by: Michael Norman Johnson
Audiobook Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
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Read an Excerpt of Fool's Play (System Apocalypse: Kismet #1)

The cavern was warm—a pleasant change from the snow-covered mountain meadow outside—and Fool smiled as he walked around the first bend. He couldn’t remember if these were properly called “burrows” or “warrens,” but whatever they were, they were much larger than they used to be.

Probably just as musty smelling though. He’d always loved marmots. The hoary marmots in the British Columbia interior were his favorites when he was a kid. He’d loved to walk around them, because they just didn’t care about people. You could walk right up to them and sit next to them, and they’d keep on doing whatever it was they were doing, as if you were invisible.
He’d tried to share that awesome experience once. Decades ago, with someone he loved. She’d laughed. It had been a happy time, but all that was gone now.

So much gone and changed. The System had hit the world like a tidal wave of rage and sorrow and cleared out most of everyone’s lives.

Fool had been ahead of the curve on that. He’d had a manic drive to succeed, but that turned to being manic after a few years, then he’d started to lose touch with reality sometimes. Lost his career, lost his friends, lost his family. Two decades of living as best he could after that. Managed to hold on to his car for the first six months, and after that?

When he came back to the real world, it had been a different world. He’d learned to make what friends he could. He’d learned to scrabble to survive, and to fight for a sense of any kind of continuity. Most people he knew had given up, making it day to day. But not Fool. No matter where his brain or life left, he always fought for the hope of a better future.

Eventually it came, thanks to the same thing that had taken the lives of billions of others. The System came. At first, he thought it was another hallucination. Then there was the voice, whispering a promise of what he’d longed for. Somehow it differed from the other voices, and he listened to it. He’d struggled for the first few days, then Jackal had showed up and helped Fool on his way to sanity. But that voice was still there sometimes. Only now Fool could see it was one of many Skills, assigned by the System. Sort of.

Fool knew he should use his System-assigned Skills to navigate this cave, to search for any hidden monsters or to protect himself from threats, but he couldn’t bring himself to do that. He’d been gifted those Skills, and he resented that. Things like that always came with a price. And in some ways, he knew he still didn’t trust that all of this was real. Some part of him still wondered if he wasn’t stuck in a hallucination.

That was stupid, of course. He knew the flavors of the mind-lies, and these weren’t them. These days, magic was as real as cars used to be. So were monsters.
Everything had changed.

Like the Hoary Marmots. The cave was warm from them. Even as they hibernated, they still gave off heat and that musty animal smell. Before the System, they had been big rodents, about the size of a chihuahua, but a lot fatter and cuter. Now?

He walked up to the closest one and ran his hands through its fur. It was like petting a bus, but softer. He gave himself a moment and leaned into the side of the beast, letting the comfort and memory fill one little broken part inside him.

Big, soft, warm creature. A good dozen of them in this cave, all fast asleep. At least until winter ended for good. It had already started down at the base of the mountain. They’d sleep for another week or two at least.

His fingers pulled out of the fur, and the thick, downy undercoat came out in a mat in his hand. He held it up to his nose and took a deep whiff. Musky, but underneath that was the unique smell of the big creature. A delicate aroma that tickled the back of his nose and reminded him of baby powder.

The Hoary Marmots were the perfect example of the good that balanced out the bad of the System, as far as Fool was concerned. They were still monsters, giant and terrifying. The warning squeak they used to have had evolved into a shattering sonic attack that was loud enough to kill. But the System hadn’t really changed their essential character that much. They still would happily ignore you if you wandered amongst them. You just really didn’t want to upset them now. They sure weren’t endangered animals anymore.

Fool considered the luxurious fur for a moment, then raked his fingers through the big creature’s side a few more times. He stuffed the clumps into his pockets. It had much less value than an actual pelt—which could fetch an extremely tidy sum—but there were a few Crafters in McBride who could make use of even these small amounts. Especially one or two of the cute ladies. Every bit helped.

He took one more looked around the warren, but it all looked cozy and secure. Mission accomplished. He pulled the old, non-System radio out of his pocket and clicked it twice. That was the signal to Jackal that everything was okay. Then he froze.

Three clicks in his earpiece. That was Jackal’s signal for trouble outside. For a moment, Fool thought about grabbing another handful of underfur, but Jackal wouldn’t have signaled if it wasn’t something urgent, so he turned around and started his way out of the warren.

Product Details

Release Date:

Pages: 349

Genre: LitRPG Sci-Fi

eBook ISBN: 9781778551543

Language: English

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About Fool's Play (System Apocalypse: Kismet #1)

Not everyone falls during an apocalypse. Some rise to the occasion.

For Fool and Jackal, the System Apocalypse was a chance to start again. A chance to rise, and be who they were meant to be. 

Now, they're trying to offer others the same opportunities as part of a secret organization helping humanity survive the System.

Today's mission? Nothing big, just your typical save-the-princess quest. 

But when you're the Acolyte of a Trickster god, typical is the last thing you should expect.

Just ask Fool's cat.

Fool's Play is the first book in a new series in the System Apocalypse universe. Written by David R. Packer in Tao Wong's bestselling post-apocalyptic LitRPG universe, System Apocalypse: Kismet follows a different path through a post-apocalyptic world, one of hope, redemption, and second chances.

Additional information for the signed print versions: Signed by Tao Wong. This item will be shipped in 4-6 weeks depending on stock and external shipping factors. 


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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
John Phillips
Great addition to a well done universe.

I am horrible at writing reviews, but here it is.

A different feel than other books placed in The same universe, but in a good way. Similar enough to not be jarring, but different enough to suck you back in. A solid addition to both the universe and the genre.