《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 1 – Beta Access Rights

Vol. 1 - Chapter 1 – Beta Access Rights

The thought of an era where technology could be the beacon of a new life. If I would tell you that such a thing was possible would you believe me?

Most probably will call me a rambling fool, but what couldn’t be possible with time? From the industrial age to the automation age, only hundreds of years passed while this could account for 1% of our entire history as humans.

The thought that this period in time can amount to only 1% in the age of our species, can put a lot of minds to think about it.

However, it is not my job to ramble about this, instead, I come bringing forth news. News, about a new technology that was developed in a future not far from us, where the technology advanced enough on certain domains of research that lead to a new Age.

Some would call this, the Virtual Age, where thanks to the Virtual Reality Technology, one could enjoy a new life, make up for their lost time in their younger days, and experience those thoughts, of “Maybe if I did this differently, I wouldn’t be who I am right now. Maybe, I would have turned better in life.”

This is a thought that haunts many of us humans, and even I don’t deny that some thoughts of “What if I did something … better.” but those are ifs, and we have to live in the present and future.

Yet, I know one person who managed to bask in this new Virtual Age, his life, just like the average, simple, but full of hope and dreams.

It is the case of a young adult who was living alone in a small apartment in the capital city of Romania, Bucharest, in a period in time where the advances in technology could speak for itself, but those changes, seemingly didn’t touch this young man.

His surroundings were the walls of a small apartment house, of only 30 mp, the equipment in the room gave off the vibe he was living in the 2020, as if whoever owned this small apartment didn’t bother to change around with the new trends in the world.

Nevertheless, this young man looked unbothered by his surroundings, as if he got accustomed, reading some forums on the internet about a particularly big announcement, written all in Bold.

[A new World is upon us! Satisfy is about to open its gates to everyone wishing to step inside]

Reading that title with his green eyes scanning the big title which gave off a cheap marketing tactic, it made this young man, with a decent looking appearance, but by no means handsome, to stroke his cleanly shaved chin.

Even though he was staying on a cheap chair with a metallic structure and some cushioning that was about to give up on him, his height was 1,80 meters, while he sported a long hair of ink-black color, left tied in a loose tail.

His name was Mathias Dumitrescu, a young man from the provincial town, living by himself in the big capital city, trying to make a better life for himself.

From what his apartment looked to be, it was clear he worked a job that didn’t afford him high wages to give him the chance to afford a pricier rent, and even with this small apartment, with his hotel cleaner job, he was making sure to gather from what he could save for his future home, he could call his own.

From what he could save since he was young, from pocket money to scholarships, and other part-time jobs from his adolescence. Years upon years of savings, he kept on adding there small sums of money, but that sum was by no mean great, to allow him to invest in an home.

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Even now, as a full adult, working with a decent wage, he still didn’t save enough for his own home, as prices were at a sky-high even for the apartment blocks that were 50 years old, out of commission.

With his saved money getting prepared for such a life-changing endeavor such as buying a home, it came that the internet was assaulted by the announcement from a group of renowned scientists claiming to have built a second world in the form of a game.

This new V.R. technology appeared on the market like a storm, a VRMMO game entitled Satisfy.

For Mathias, everything about those big announcements from the Mass-Media and other forms of media, made him skeptical, still not believing about the possibility of such technology to appear.

Still, as he was reading more information about the Company after the announcement, and reports about their research that they published in regard to Satisfy, it made his skeptical green eyes to lower a bit, as if he was getting spellbound by what he was reading.

Then came the reports from the closed alpha phase where only a small group of players from the employers and the top game testers were hired for the job, most of the reviews were positive and the mechanics only required small amounts of final touches.

In general, those reviews and reports given by the S.A Group were like an guarantee for the future players that their game was worth investing in, but for Mathias what intrigued him was the story of this game, a medieval world in a fantasy setting.

It was a common troupe of the game industry to stage their games in such worlds, but from the reports he read, Mathias understood that it wasn’t a cheaply done game who would be on the market for 1-3 years at most and later shut-down, vanishing on the horizons with the hard-earned money of the public.

No, Satisfy, this game that was supposed to bring a new revolution, used a Supercomputer that from what the Team Leader of the Developers, Lim Cheolho, was a combination of a Quantum Computer with another secret innovation they developed to enhance the abilities of their computer and servers.

The system was also an interesting piece of information, being something like a “Free-for-All” giving the player freedom in their actions, not being bound by the constraints of a normal game. For the young this game could be a world to be explored while for the elderly a relaxing spot to enjoy the remaining days of their retirement.

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Staring at the screen of his laptop which had many files opened, with text highlighted in colors, as if Mathias already finished his research on the subject, by now was tapping with his left index finger on the table, pondering about this “Revolutionary Game”, “New World” as the developers entitled this game to be.

‘All in all, this doesn’t seem like your average scams. All those scientific reports, and data released along with the reviewers who are credible people. A scam artist wouldn’t be smart enough to put to play all those tricks.’

‘No, in fact, I searched. This S.A Group didn’t even begin with a Crowd Funding, while they are an unknown game company. Only the Developers are accomplished scientists and researchers in their domains as that article mentioned, so it should be genuine.’

‘But my money … It is also something I genuinely worked hard to earn and I might not be able to part with the idea that 5.000 $ will go flying in the bank account of someone else. Mom would probably nag me for an entire year that it would make me not want to talk with her …’

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‘Should I call grandpa? He knows about investing money since he made a good fortune for himself to be retired early. Nah, he will rat me out, or make fun of me when he hears I might want to invest in a game.’

All sort of thoughts got into his young mind that was still having a lot of space to mature, but it was tempting to invest in this new big thing even thought it was something only circled in small communities.

‘This is an investment, 5.000 $, let’s not bitch about such an amount. Some people are earning this much in a day, but me … Hah, months? If not years.’

He was thinking this, but his mind was in a dual conflict, he wanted to buy himself an home inside the capital and required gathering money, but remembering about his grandfather’s stories about the rise and fall of the Cryptocurrencies and how a lot of people made fortunes over a thing that was laughed upon.

It was exactly those memories from when he was only a child, when listening to his grandfather’s stories as he was reminiscent about his own father, Mathias’s great-grandfather who missed the chance of investing in this “new big thing” and by the time he released what a mistake he did, it was rather late.

Such a situation was looking similar to this Virtual Reality escape, it was a technology questioned by everyone, laughed upon by the “smart” ones who didn’t see it successfully, similar to the Tesla EV-s of the entrepreneur legend, Elon Musk.

Rewatching again some interviews given by Lim Cheolho, who was speaking in impeccable English, listening to an hour long talk that was back and forth with the host, it made Mathias push up his chest, taking a deep breath and exhaling.

"This doesn't sound bad. Besides being an good investment for the future, even thought the chances of failing are high, at least I can see this V.R. technology as a way of becoming creative with my project. Living inside an medieval-world? I can’t pass on this.”

“I will be like that old meme, with “Shut up and take my money.” chuckled Mathias as he was searching for some other information with regard to Satisfy.

Then as his mind was settling down on a decision, he accessed the S.A. Group's official site that had a well-done website design with a trailer for the game appearing first in his sight.

Looking around the website, he entered the entry register. He began writing his information for joining the beta access, and as he was typing on the cracked keyboards of his old laptop, he heard, aside from the constant gypsy music, a loud scream from a man's voice.

"FUCK YOU, HOW COULD YOU BE SO DUMB TO DO THAT?"

"THAT WAS THE DEAL. I'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG EXCEPT DOING THE USUAL BUSINESS!"

"YOU CALL THAT BUSINESS YOU FUCKING IDIOT? WHAT IF THE COPS ARE ON US NOW!"

"THERE'S NO WAY THEY WILL BE ON US. RELAX."

Mathias stopped a bit from typing to look a bit up from his chair as the men argued. His shoulder-length hair flowed down.

"Are those bastards yet again arguing at 12 midnight? Don't they have to sleep too? One year, they have been like this for 1 year since moving to the capital city and into this cursed apartment."

Turning away from the roof, he went back to read the English entry form in a patient manner. Even reading a bit about the terms of the agreement before finishing the registry for beta access. "

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"All I have to do is wait for a reply and the contract for their V.R. equipment, which I think will take a bit to happen."

Saving the username and password for the site, he opened a document containing many files named with different names, chapters, ideas, characters, and references. Clicking the chapter file, he created a new chapter on the file he opened, named "Basileus against the Nika Revolt".

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While listening to music in his noise-canceling headset, he began writing on his chapters until the clock passed to 1:15 AM.

Getting on his feet, he walked toward the small kitchen to drink some tap water. He looked down the window from the 5th floor with a glass in his hand to see a big surprise. A lot of black vans being pulled in front of the apartment complex.

‘Ohh, the police are here? There's not even a bit of a police alarm in the zone. So what's going on? Is there someone they target around this neighborhood?’

‘Wait … They entered my apartment block? Don't tell me?‘

‘Those guys are some criminals? This explains why they threatened me to keep my head low. They got some business, maybe drugs or prostitution? Hehe, my mind got curious.’

‘Let’s see if I can eavesdrop on something.’

Saying that he walked to his door hall, and picked his ear on the door, trying to be as silent as possible, resembling the dead, and with a quick glance at the eyehole he saw men covered in special forces uniform and with assault rifles in their arms, climbing swiftly the stairs.

‘Wow, I've only seen those guys on the television and on the internet. Hah, Karma exists, they are for sure after those bastards.’

Pushing his hair to the side, he listened carefully to the door, as the policeman was loudly speaking while knocking hard on the door.

"Open the door. It's the police. I repeat again, open the door."

The bastards above Mathias's roof began panicking as they said something he could pick from the walls.

"Hide all dangerous stuff and leave only the ones with lesser effect."

But not long they said that the policeman began smashing the door with their ram. The ram continued for a bit more before the metal door gave in and got opened.

"ON THE FLOOR! ON THE FLOOR, I SAID. ON THE FLOOR RIGHT NOW!" yelled a policeman while pointing his rifle at three gypsies-looking guys who held their arms in the air.

"What happened, boss? We didn't do anything bad." said one of the guys as the policeman pointed his rifle at him and pushed him with force on the ground.

"SHUT YOUR MOUTH, YOU PARASITE. EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAY WILL BE AGAINST YOU IN COURT!" yelled in a high voice a policeman as he put down the other guy's cuffs.

The rest of the policemen began searching the apartment for weapons or any incriminatory stuff.

As the search was going upstairs, Mathias said to himself.

‘Goddamn, that was brutal. I even heard one of those guys hitting the floor hard. I take my words back. There's still some future in this country.’

Then he heard the policeman ask in a high tone one of the bastards who didn't let him sleep at all with his loud music and arguments.

"Where's the rest of the drugs?"

"Boss, that's how you do your job? Hitting citizens?"

"Hmph, if I was me doing the orders, I would just round you parasites and shoot you dead since you are just scum of this country."

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Time passed, and the time on Mathias's clock already reached 1:35 AM. The voices of the policeman were heard by Mathias, saying to a man that was the investigator.

"We found the drugs with the dog, Sir, even their preparation equipment and scale."

"Good. Now get those bastards in the main room, and let's question them a bit."

Minutes passed, and the clock already turned out to be 1:50 AM when he heard people climbing downstairs. While looking at the eyehole, he saw the three bastards being handcuffed and led by the policeman.

"Mhm, it's finally silence. No music, no arguing. Let's close the laptop and go to sleep."

Walking with slight tiredness in his eyes toward his laptop, he closed it without thinking much about the V.R. game he just signed on before walking to his bed and shortly after beginning to sleep profoundly.

The clock began alarming for him to wake up, which made him reach for his phone with a tired and half numb hand movement. Looking at the clock, it was 5:50 AM.

"Phew, I thought I overslept for a moment." said Mathias while closing the alarm on his phone clock.

Looking at his cracked old phone, he walked to the bathroom, showering and preparing himself for a new working day. Drying and combing his long hair, he changed his clothes and looked again at the clock on his phone, which showed the clock being 6:15.

Nodding his head, he placed some cheap salami slices on some white bread, packing it up with some white napkins before taking off to his job.

When walking out of the apartment, he saw nothing going on, such as the media or anything of that sort. After some minutes of walking out of the neighborhood and arriving at the metro station, he began his commute with the rest of the rushed working people.

Looking at the clock as he exited from the metro station, he saw that he still had 20 minutes before his shift started.

Lucky for him, his job as a hotel cleaner was close to the central part of the city, around the old town. Moving quickly around the people, he arrived in time at the hotel he worked, even meeting some of his coworkers, primarily girls.

Greeting them, he walked toward the worker's dressing room and took the hotel's uniform. After changing himself in his working clothes, he walked toward the male receptionist, who also seemed to have just arrived.

"Do you know where I can find the manager?"

"Lady Leonor? What for? Do you have a report to give for your Housekeeping Department? Well, none of my business. She's in the staff room."

"Random stuff. Since Lady Caterine is on her leave, Lady Leonor has been assigned to keep watch over the housekeeping department. Things must be hard for her, so I will not bother her.”

“Sure, you better don’t hit on her. You’ll get fired for sure.” remarked his colleague with a smirk, making Mathias to laugh dryly while walking in the direction of an office.

Entering inside the room, he saw a gorgeous lady who looked to be in her mid twenties or late twenties, estimating her age was hard because of her make-up,

While she was drinking her coffee, noticing a newcomer, she turned her head and asked Mathias.

"What's the problem, Mathias? You’ve come to give me the reports for the clean-up? By the way, thanks a lot for the support and patience you and the housekeeping guys have given me.”

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“I am not on duty tasks today, I just come to ask for the keys.”

“Right, right. Lady Caterine reminded me that you are one of those…”

*Cough* “Lady Leonor, you know the procedures. I can't just simply go to each room at random."

"Correct. Go to Alex and ask him for the rooms on this list. When you're done cleaning, you can relax. When you’ll be needed I will be sure to call you."

"I understand. Thank you."

Mathias nodded his head while moving to the equipment room after taking a set of keys from the receptionist Alex while taking his cleaning cart full of clean towels and cleaning equipment.

On the other hand, the lady who was the Hotel manager, was thinking about Mathias and his situation in regard to the hotel, and couldn’t wrap her head on how Mathias done what he did in one year.

‘Such a hard-working guy. He’s only 21 years old, but he really doesn’t look like one. I would give him 25. Also, he is rising in ranks fast, from what the Administrator mentioned, once Lady Caterine retires, he will be promoted as Housekeeping Department Manager.’

‘I never saw such a rise inside the hotel hierarchy, not even mine was so fast… He’s been here for one year, and he didn't even complain about his wage or working load being small, which made the Administrator interested in him.’

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