We were all in the same squad. My brother Henry, my brother-in-law Joseph, and my friend from college Lamar and myself. It was supposed to be fun, and an experience like never before. It was a battle royale game like no other because it would be virtual, and you would be there and you would feel everything through some new fancy technology. At least that is what was in the promotion for it. It would be free to play and also free to use this new technology with the catch being that the developers could not be held liable for any side effects or any kind of negative experience. In addition, you could not disclose any information without literally putting your life in real financial trouble. It was a technology in its infancy, not even at its beta stage that the company did not want to risk any negative feedback.
We went to the designated area in Nevada. It turned out to be a gated secured area full of hangars and inside them everything was set up and ready. Aside from the personnel helping you hook up to the system there wasn’t any sort of welcoming committee or anyone to communicate with besides your team. There was no connection to the outside world. Everything would be explained in the game.
In each hangar, there were separate squared rooms set up with 4 cocoon-like pods facing each corner of the room away from each other. There would be twenty teams of four. Inside the game, you would spawn only once and it would be the same start to the game like other battle royale games that you have to parachute your way down. You would be allowed one practice jump and if you failed that the only penalty would be that your team would wait around longer while other teams got a head start. Supposedly, this part was the only part of the game where you couldn’t feel pain, even if you broke your legs. Essentially if you were trained in skydiving you would be better off. None of us were. Once in the field, in which the setting was supposed to be a surprise, (It was a city that appeared to be a blend of three cities- London, New York, and Tokyo). You would have to scavenge for weapons and supplies to survive against all the other teams. The objective of the game was to be the last team standing. You could use some of the few vehicles that work if you could find them but other teams would be alerted of your position. You could camp out and relax if you chose to but others could be plotting to fish you out. You could be aggressive and charge at everyone but you could come across someone with better resources. There was one major thing that would happen so eventually every team would end up meeting each other and that was that the city you were in would become smaller and smaller. In other games it has been the case that you die if you don’t reach the safe zone. It would be the same here. If you didn’t reach the safe zone you would be swallowed by an airborne disease to which only the safety zone protected you from. The winning team would be teleported out and win the victory prize to which was an undisclosed sum of money, shares in the company, and the opportunity to play the game for the rest of your life for free.
I wanted to give you some background information before I put you into the situation I currently find myself in. I am running a bit short on time, but perhaps I could go into more detail later. There are three teams remaining. In my team, only Lamar and I have made it so far. And if the other teams are in the same situation at best for us there could be one person left in each, or at worst there’s full teams of four on both. The safety zone is about the size of a football field but there are so many buildings with so many floors I can’t imagine where these teams are. In the center of all these buildings though is a big open space, an empty prairie that is completely out of place. I’m afraid from what I have seen so far that the final safety zone will be there. We have been keeping our eyes on it for the last half an hour. I’ll explain how time works later but it is not the same. There was an extra perk that was announced to have been picked up already too and I feel really unlucky about that. I have been trying to forget since it happened but I have experienced the death of my brother and I was also shot and survived. It hurt so bad. So fucking bad. I can only imagine what Henry went through. And I only hope he is still alive and well waiting in the hangar for us to finish. Henry was shot on the thigh as we were running from one building to another by a sniper who Lamar, Joseph, and I were able to locate shortly after. Henry had already hurt his leg after pulling off the worst landing at the beginning when somehow the rest of us managed to catch ground without a scratch. He hadn’t felt the hit, but it had affected his sprint. After Henry was shot, we managed to carry him to safety but he said his legs were in the worst pain they had ever been in. And that he couldn’t breathe and was having a panic attack. He felt like he was really dying. I think that’s what really motivated us to survive. I remember thinking and telling him, it is just a game member, it is just a game, and crying.
Shortly after we found the sniper and neutralized him, Joseph had a quick death by stepping on a claymore set up by the sniper at the back part of the building he was in. We didn’t hear a word from Joseph, and he had been very realistically blown to bits. Lamar and I found a tunnel in which we hung out for a good hour in silence. In reality we were afraid of being killed the same way. I remember thinking, would I prefer to die quickly and not know I died or die slowly and actually feel it before I exit the game. I could experience death twice in this life, or maybe even more. I wasn’t ready to die.
Lamar and I are inside a convenience store. It amazes me how much detail the developers have put into the game. There are real candy bars in here and they taste like real candy too. There isn’t any people around though so it’s eerie as hell I still can’t get used to it. We are resting because we resolved to picking everything we could carry. Ha. I laugh because I read a book once that starts by describing everything a platoon of soldiers carried. Ours would be so long. Lamar’s choice of defense was a marksman rifle that apparently he kept because he had learned how to use it on one of his hunting trips with his grandfather. I have been using a classic ak-47 assault rifle. I have always been afraid of guns and I don’t particularly condone them but I have made an exception in video games and now in this. We have binoculars, we have food because we found out we can actually feel hunger and can eat. We have radios, we have knives, we have compasses, we have everything. But it’s taking a weight on us along with the fear of being ambushed.
We are planning to move to the bank in front of us and make our way up floor to floor. It’s the one closest to the prairie and we figure we can make our way down easily on the elevator and get there without being seen. Earlier we saw a hooded girl strapped with three rifles dash to the building that looks like a library. We do not want to go there.
To be continued.
I need to go to sleep.