“This is the Manhattan-bound 7 train. The next stop is Junction Boulevard. Stand clear of the closing doors please.”
My glasses are on but I have no desire to escape to another world. My mind is just catching up in this one.
Rav’s words from the morning surface from my memory.
“…G-ma began your preparation when she guided you to take control of your time and money. Nation-states have manipulated our means of earning and spending through their currency for centuries. Meanwhile, tech corporations steadily optimized their products to control our attention and exploit our data.”
“Their collusion created a surveillance state with absolute power over our resources and actions. She freed you from their world.”
“You then learned the value of scarcity, the hard way, through her death.”
“The connection to Bitcoin’s principles of complete ownership, provable scarcity, and their role as cornerstones of a sustainable society made you a believer.”
“Geist then gave you the knowledge and tools to securely act on those beliefs and even fight for them…”
Bright animated billboards greet my exit from the subway station. Times Square is packed with glasses wearing dancing teenagers. Face Fest is in its prime. The grand finale is approaching.
Logging into Faceworld transforms the silent disco into a festival of vibrant abundance. The IRL Times Square crowd is dwarfed by avatars as far as the virtual eye can see, dancing to AI-SKRILL’s post-human beats.
I refer to the venue map and set my direction. Rav’s words continue to play in my head as I navigate through the virtual crowd.
”…but fighting for Bitcoin is not easy. It requires sacrifice. Sacrifice sparked the revolution and a social contract of collective sacrifice binds it together.”
I reach my destination. The centre of the venue where Faceworld’s founder stands in statue. His right arm is raised with an open palm to the sky as if he’s saying, ‘look at all that I’ve given you.’ The soon to be dropped emblematic globe awaits midnight above him.
Avatars hang and dance on the statue. I engage my Brainlink sensors to ascend past them to its highest point. My feet stand upon the crown of the powerful creator.
AI-SKRILL plays to the energy of the crowd. Their movement is coordinated as if all part of a single organism. The thought of their collective potential runs a shiver through my body.
I grab Hachiman’s bow and arrow from my toolset.
The crowd’s energy amplifies in rhythmic progression as AI-SKRILL’s beats pulse faster, louder. “10…9…8…7…6..!” the avatars count down in unison.
My left hand extends the bow while my right sets the arrow. My gaze turns upwards.
“5…4…3…2…1!” Virtual and IRL clocks strike midnight. AI-SKRILL’s beat drops. The attention of the crowd draws to the Faceworld globe as it begins its spectacular descent.
My arrow levitates to the sky. Its tip pierces the globe releasing a burst of white light that radiates throughout the venue. In an instant, the light contracts and transforms into a cloud of doves. They fly throughout the venue until one is delivered to every single avatar.
The avatars gawk over the spectacle before their focus shifts inward to their digital package. Their virtual eyes widen as they read the file’s message. The same message that accompanied a string of characters in the piece of paper I unfolded in Rav’s presence:
These tokens are the seeds of a money for the people.
If you understand what they represent, value them and learn how to use them, they will give you sovereignty.
Fight for them and they will give you purpose.
The avatars’ jaws slowly close. Their focus flows from their inward state to the source of the airdrop. They’re looking at me.
My heart beats out of my chest as I gaze over the captive audience.
Until suddenly, a blue screen flashes in front of my eyes. My view is replaced by the IRL young people of Times Square, still looking at me.
A news alert appears in my sidefeed:
The sound of my thumping heart fades as my mind flashes back to the cabin.
“Do you understand now, Otto?” he asks looking deeply into my eyes.
My attention lifts from the encoded message. I place the paper down, grab his hands and nod. Our eyes glisten in silence.
An unsettling realization disrupts my ease. My hands draw back to my side and my eyebrows furrow.
“What is it?” he asks.
“I see the path to winning this battle,” I respond, puzzled in thought. “But if I take it, I don’t see how I can stay free and continue to fight. The war has just begun and we need to be ready.”
His eyes stay focused on me, “You’ll have your story, Otto. Don’t underestimate its power. The stories of today shape the future just as the stories of the past have brought us to this moment.”
“Also, whatever you do,” a grin forms on his face, “it might make sense to hold some bitcoin, in case people think it will catch on.”
My dreamlike state is interrupted by a man walking briskly towards me from the Times Square sidewalk. Geist. We exchange a silent nod and duck into the subway station.
“This is the Brooklyn-bound 2 train. Stand clear of the closing doors please.”
“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”Robert A. Heinlein