There’s no turning back. Not after what just happened.
We won the battle but our position is sacrificed.
We need more OGs. It’s our only hope.
The war has just begun and we need to be ready.
Chapter 1: Comfort
“We got most of them!” G-Ma yells from my side as we escape to the valley. “Stragglers on our tail. Mad as wet hens!”
“Another squad incoming, dead ahead!” I shout back. Footsteps thump nearby. “Sounds like lone wolves in the valley.”
A news alert appears in my sidefeed:
“The stakes just mooned!” I yell.
“Wohoo, I’ll take my turkey with extra gravy!” she responds pretending the money matters to her. With a quick reflex, she turns and spears the enemy to her side dead.
It matters to me. Earning bitcoin in 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 health is low. So is his kill count.
“Knock that bush camper out!” G-Ma yells. “We’re about to be up to our assholes in alligators!”
He’s 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 need a fort to defend ourselves 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 the foundation build. 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 that stop the ambushing squads in their tracks. “Now we’re cookin’ with napalm!” she exclaims.
A handful of survivors reach our fort. G-Ma delivers the coup de grace to the final enemy with a spear to the head. Witnessing the brutality of her white-haired, cardigan skinned avatar always puts a grin on my face.
The chaos suddenly turns to silence. A winner’s circle enshrines the three of us. 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 put in 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! 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.