Chapter 1: Sovereignty
“They’re coming!” G-Ma hollers from the incline of the valley.
“Behind you also,” I shout back. Footsteps thump nearby. “Look out for lone wolves!”
A news alert appears in my side feed:
***Belgium to adopt Bitcoin as reserve currency. U.S. ‘very angry.’***
“The stakes just mooned!” I yell.
“Let’s bring it home, Otto!” she responds pretending the money matters to her. With a quick reflex, she turns and spears the player to her side dead.
It matters to me. Samurai Squad is my only income besides UBI. My nanodegrees in Philosophy and ET Studies don’t pay the bills and it beats consuming ads in FaceWorld.
There’s movement in a bush to my left. I see him. His avatar radiates weakness. His health is low. So is his kill count.
“Knock that bush camper out!” G-ma yells. “We’ve got to get busy.”
He remains docile despite his blown cover. A second look at his stats reveals bundles of building materials. “He’s got mats! We can use him!” Bringing him into our squad means splitting the winnings but we’re outnumbered and vulnerable in the valley.
I offer him alliance. He accepts without hesitation.
“Put those mats to work bud!” I command in the live chat. “We need elevation stat!” The confidence in my virtual voice takes me by surprise every time.
Lone wolf no more, FLWright sprints through a foundation that at first seems excessive. Layers mount on top of each other as if erected by a high-speed 3D printer.
The top platform towers over the surrounding hills, complete with shielded shooting posts facing all directions.
I ascend to the apex instantly thanks to my freshly implanted Brainlink sensors — a gift from G-Ma for my 18th birthday. No more goofy running or climbing gestures. I think about a motion and my avatar listens.
G-Ma joins. Our bows launch a storm of arrows stopping the ambushing squads in their tracks. “Like monkeys in a barrel!” G-Ma rightly describes.
She delivers the coup de grace to the final enemy with a close-range spear to the head. Witnessing the brutality of her white-haired, cardigan skinned avatar always makes me grin.
The chaos suddenly turns to silence. A winner’s circle enshrines the three victors.
Above our view appear the total winnings of over 300K sats — the interest accumulated throughout the game from the sats staked by each player. We staked most of our savings to get into this game but all players get their sats back and are insured against any loss.
100K sats deposit into each of our wallets.“That covers the rent G-Ma! The rest of the month’s winnings go to the virtual Amur Leopard!” I joke. Now extinct IRL, the Amur Leopard is the rarest and most valuable virtual pet. We could never afford it.