Chapter 1: Glyph of Desire
The Metascape blurs the lines between the real and the virtual. It creates endless possibilities, for pleasure or for pain. Used by the masses, it offers an escape from an environment controlled by the corporations, from a society polluted by the lies of the media, and from the corrupt politicians only looking to stay in power. In other words, an escape from the post-industrial, post-truth, and post-modern society they are currently living in.
But what if it did not have to be this way? What if there was a better way to live? Solana thought so. That is why she founded the Decentralized Defiance.
One day, Solana had a meeting with the leader of the Blockchain Brigade, at an industrial complex located on the outskirts of San Diego, California. As she opened the door of the nondescript hideout, she heard a voice dimmed by the sound of fans spinning from a room full of servers. Eventually she found him, typing away at his computer. He looked at her.
“Long time no see, Solana,” the elder spoke softly, yet his face teemed with bursting urgency. “Come over here and see for yourself. I think we have FINALLY created it.”
“Created what, Ethereum?” Solana rubbed her eyes together in disbelief, as she heard such a promise in the past. On her side, a Samoyed pup barked its pint-sized lungs out, wanting to be caressed. Solana patted the canine’s fluffed white fur and stared at him.
“Finite Gwei, lass combined with… endless power!”
A glyph hovered in Ethereum’s hand, mimicking the motion of his palm with the ethereal glow of verdancy and glitter. Solana’s eyes widened. She was mesmerized at such gravitating potency. “It… looks intricate. This can’t be… Please tell me you are kidding, right?”
“Whoever holds such power can bend it to their will. Imagine being able to control what the world consumes. Solana, this is beyond you-”
Kshhhhhk! The windowpanes from the skylight above shattered into innumerable little shards as five heavily armored soldiers rappelled down in sync. Bullets stormed the hideout. Ethereum dropped to the ground. Solana activated her hacker cloak and rolled out of sight. She kept her breath motionless despite the sweat trickling on the side of her cheeks.
The sound of a heavy thud followed as Ethereum’s body was being dragged across the room by the SWAT team. Solana squinted her eyes looking at the scene. A man in a suit holding a state-of-the-art rifle made his entrance on the sole door of the hideout.
The man with a military badge written J. Powell, whistled his way to the struggling Ethereum. The Samoyed pup buried its face in the arms of Solana, briefly startling her. She covered the little one’s muzzle gently.
“Ol’ Ethereum, still hangin’ by the thread! You’d think we wouldn’t find out what you’re up to. You, of all people, should know the government is always watching. You can’t simply be that thickheaded!”
The lasers on the barrel of each rifle pointed directly at the whimpering tinkerer.
“Come now, give it up,” the suited man motioned his fingers impatiently. He kneeled. “This can only go one way, Ethereum.”
“This is the same old story. You lay yourself to cater to the oppressors,” Ethereum coughed and quickly wiped the blood from his mouth. He dared not show weakness.
“No, no, no, Ethereum. This is destiny. We are destined to rule over the entire Metascape. Hand it to us or we take it by force!”
“You cannot handle such power. It will only consume you, like it has, time and again.”
“We’ll just have to see about that, eh?” The man then stood up and turned his back on the elder. “Men, arrest this man. Ethereum, you are hereby sanctioned to trial for obstructing the peace, conspiracy against the government, and insurrection against the Authority.”
The sound of ruffled handcuffs echoed through as Ethereum kneeled faced down. Two of the soldiers grabbed him forcibly on each arm and dragged him away. In a brief moment, they were gone with the wind.
Solana closed her eyes, attempting to blend in and keep composure. She caressed the dog in her arms for comfort. After a moment, she decided it was the time to deactivate her cloak. The room, filled with machines computing endlessly, was desolate. It was as if the memories she shared with the man had vanished along with him. Despite their long-lasting rivalry, they worked as Leaders of the uprising. Now, it felt as if an empty void blew a hole in her heart. Vengeance set her eyes ablaze forming its distinct aura from the city lights.
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