The Throne Under the Starry Sky – Chapter 7

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Chapter 7: A Letter From The North

Gu Tie woke up from a deep sleep.

The panels of the window cut the sunlight into messy shapes. It was an early autumn morning in Beijing.

He looked at the table clock in the corner of the room. It was 9:15 a.m. The house was silent. His housekeeper, Zhao Bo, should have washed his face, eaten, and practised his shadow boxing. Now, he was supposed to be walking with hold his birdcage.

Gu Tie rubbed his temples.

The dream wasn’t a happy experience for him. His dream was always very sticky as if he was trapped in a barrel of syrup.

The sleep clinics couldn’t do anything to help him, and they advised him to stop using the Brain Wave Interference Device. Anyway, humans couldn’t live by light sleep alone. However, the game he played last night made him feel relaxed and he wanted to share this game with Xiao Liping immediately.

“Call Mr Xiao for me.” Gu Tie pulled back the bed sheet, scratched his head and snapped his fingers.

After a few seconds, Xiao Liping’s 3D projection appeared in the middle of the room. He was sitting behind a desk.

Gu Tie pointed at him, laughed and said, “You clothes are still very formal.”

Xiao Liping scowled and said, “Come off it. That old man will have a surprise visit this afternoon, and our reception work will start in fifteen minutes. Let’s get right to the issues.” He wore a white shirt and a blue jacket. He didn’t put on a tie, but his hair was very neat. His old-fashioned glasses made him look much older than his real age.

“Your grandfather?”

“Bullshit. I was talking about that topmost old man in China.”

“Wow, that’s an important thing! Okay, let me condense things. Shamshel sent a message to me and she said that a strange online game was published. I tried it out yesterday. It’s very cool! We can play the game together if you are interested.”

“You just have got way too much free time. What’s the game?”

“Hey, you have a goal so you always have your hands full, but I’m a lazy man. I just want to loaf away my time playing games. It’s called ‘World’. Fantasy backgrounds.”

“I have no interest on it. I’m getting off the line. Besides, you need to wash your face.” Xiao Liping turned back and said to someone out of the 3D projective, “Call Government Offices Administration for me.”

“Wait, wait, let me finish. First, it has been published for a year, and they only released one million accounts; second, the game wasn’t released to the public. The accounts of the game were only released to universities, research agencies, government departments, and some random people of different social stations. Are you interested now?”

Xiao Liping furrowed his brows and said, “It sounds like an anthropological experiment. You have five minutes. Introduce it to me.”

Gu Tie smiled and said, “Stop your conspiracy theories. Listen, the development and running of this game are all based on GENESIS, which also means that this is the first game applying the quantum computing technique in history. It was published by GTC and a I-don’t-know-its-name company. The human-machine interactive interface is using the brains electrical signal, there is a subcutaneous injection probe in the package of the game. Look, this is the probe, I got it yesterday.”

Gu Tie picked up a metal syringe from his bedside cupboard and said, “I had injected it in my medulla oblongata yesterday. It’s easy if you try and you won’t feel the pain. It’s said that it’s made up of organic materials and microbes.”

“You mean, if I wanted to play this game, I didn’t need to have a computer?”

“That’s right, my dear Minister Xiao. Once you injected this little probe, you could login to the game in any place coverage with wireless signal – which means that you can play the game in 95% human settlement whenever. Take an imagine, one second you are making love to your mistress, the next second, you are killing evil Goblins in the game. What a wonderful life!” Gu Tie grinned.

“What is the interception rate the game towards neural signals?” Xiao Liping took off his glasses, looked dignified and said, “And, I have no mistresses.”

“Autonomic signals: 0; others: 90%. You can maintain your basic perceptual ability towards the real world in the game. I think it’s a design for the people who don’t want to be caught by his wife with his mistress.” Gu Tie said. He picked up a carton of opened milk and glanced at the production date, then he drank it.

“Will it be harmful if others suddenly rouse the player from the game?”

“According to the data Shamshel sent to me, no. The human brain needs to make a judgement, but because of the 10% difference between the two worlds, people will know that they have returned to the real world. Oh right, she is working for the Western Institute of Anthropological and Ethology, and this institute is one of the outsourced companies of the game. They are taking charge of the 15,000 random accounts of Northern America, so I think her data is reliable. Let me sent the data to you.”

Gu Tie made a snap and brought up a menu. He chose a file and sent it to Xiao Liping.

“Dr Junee Farah Comanche. Is this her real name? I think it’s a bit weird.” said Xiao Liping. He printed and bound the file, then he wore his glasses and read it.

“That’s why I like to call each other’s apostolic name. Not for safety, just for the sake of simplicity.”

Gu Tie threw the empty milk carton into the trash can.

“And for the sake of your poor taste, I have researched it. These damn names were from a Japanese anime, half a century ago.” (ps: he meant the Neon Genesis Evangelion)

“If you called it ‘Literary Heritage’, I would very happy.”

“I’m not as naive as you. Based on ‘GENESIS’… neurowire… the safety of the probe… the introduction of the game… wait, What is ‘EARTH’?”

“Ha-ha, you are such an old fuddy-duddy. You found something isn’t shown in the printing papers, haven’t you?” Gu Tir clicked on the file and opened a 3D animation.

There was a house on the beach. Tide ebbing and rising. Sunrise and sunset. Thirty years past, the beach was still the beach and the house was still the house. The video paused at two contrasting pictures: one was the picture when the video started and another one was the picture when the video ended. Because the house was corroded by the seawater and sea breeze, in the picture thirty years later a lot of small holes appeared on the wall of the house. Plaster has peeled off the wall and barnacles wrap around the columns. Obviously, the house was more decayed than thirty years ago.

“So? Anyone who knows a little video editing can do this.” Xiao Liping said dismissive.

Gu Tie waved his hands disdainful and said, “You don’t know. It’s simple in real world but it’s pretty complicated in the games.”

“If a game engine could simulate the weather, water, and the movements of the earth completely, and transformation the behavior of the NPCs and player – no matter whether it was done intentionally or unintentionally. This will make the environment in the game completely unpredictable, even if you were the game developer.”

“In other words, in addition to the cultural background, this game has no differences with our real world. Is it cool? The game engine called ‘EARTH’, is short for ‘Evolutional Authentic Reality Template H’. If this wasn’t a trick, then they really created a real world – and with the ability of GENESIS, I think this isn’t a delusion.”

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