Better than my life. Chapter 2


To find him was easy to say, but difficult to do. First, I had to know what exactly changed him. To do that, I had to go Bill Shepherd’s way. To enter that game, Sweet dreams Inc.
All modern computer games are graded A, B or C. A-games are absolutely safe, they are good for everybody: children, old people with weak heart and so on. When you buy a B-game, you have to sign a document. You put your name under a paper which says you take the responsibility for everything that could happen to you. So by writing your name on that paper you say that you are ready for every trouble you may find in the game. At first only very brave people bought B-games and took the risk. But with time the situation changed. It was like taking drugs in ancient times. Those young people who in 2010 took drugs would buy a B-game in 2410. Not the same people, of course, but great-great-great-great-grandchildren of people who enjoyed life in 2010.
I don’t know when C-games came to life. Some of them were reported in 2359. That’s 25 years before I was born. I don’t know what to tell you about a C-game. Maybe this: it’s not only dangerous. When you buy a B-game, you know that you may be at risk, sometimes in the game. But when someone buys a C-game, he is asking for being in danger. He wants to take risks, he is looking for it. Maybe his life has become boring and useless? Who knows.
It’s not easy to buy a C-game. They are very expensive and illegal. The police are after them. If the police find people who produce C-games, those people go to M-prison. That’s the highest security level prison. It looks like an ordinary prison, with guards and dogs. But actually, the guards can walk away with their dogs, because every prisoner in that prison is wearing four titanium bracelets – two on their legs and two on their arms. The bracelets are connected to a very powerful magnet in the middle of the building. If a prisoner escapes he can go away as far as 100 meters from the prison walls. Then the magnet drives him back. It drives him back so hard that one prisoner was killed when he ran into the wall. He just smashed his head against the wall. That happened in 2370, and since then nobody has tried to escape. No escapes for 40 years.
I have never bought a C-game myself. When we work with C-games we enter them from the client’s computer. Usually a C-game gives you a multiplayer mode, so you can invite a friend to go with you. That‘s how we enter a C-game to help a man in trouble. Usually it’s a man, sometimes a woman. There are seven men and three women out of every ten people using a C-game.
So I’ve never bought a C-game, but I knew how people did it. First, you find the right man. There is no advertising – nothing on the Glonet. Not in press, nothing in H-news, not a word anywhere. You just find the right man. If you want to find him, someone should recommend you. Actually, two people must recommend you, not one. Then you health is tested in a special hospital. In theory only very healthy and strong people can buy a C-game. In practice they need E-money, and sometimes they say ‘Yes’ to people with weak heart or other health problems. Actually, it happens very often.
Bill Shepherd became successful 5 years ago. He and his wife Helen had no children, Bill worked hard and he was very good at his job. He was a manager in a big E-bank. So 5 years ago big money came to him. It took him three years to come to C-games.
So I was sitting with Helen in a virtual Skype room. We were talking about Bill, and I was asking questions. But now I knew the most important thing for me: Sweet Dreams Inc was a C-game. Tomorrow is Sunday. Bill usually plays on Sundays. Tomorrow I will secretly enter the game five minutes after he enters.