08 October 2023

Mnemonic Gun: The Hook


Mnemonic Gun

It was a chilly, misty October night as Donny Robson, age 24, raced through the maze of alleys in the BAM’s harbor districts. His clothes were drenched by the freezing rain, but despite his exhaustion, Donny felt exhilarated. He was one of the last few participants left in The Wild Hunt—the Shadoweb’s most notorious live-action roleplaying game—with a million Commonwealth reserve notes up for grabs as a prize.

According to the latest gamemaster’s update, there were only three players left.

And, of course, Donny was one of them.

The prize money was a very tempting payout of one million Commonwealth reserve notes. Mind you, Donny Robson didn’t need the money . . . but he craved that adrenaline rush playing the game gave him and how high it made him feel. You see, Donny had been in a rut the last few months and he needed something, anything, to make himself feel good once again.

That was why Donny found himself sprinting down a poorly lit, trash-strewn alleyway as he zeroed in on his next targets. Terminate the other two players, slice into the Solntsevskaya Gang’s data cache and—

There was a flash of baleful red light that tore out of the darkness like a scythe, searing into Donny's chest – a direct hit. His body collapsed onto the wet pavement like a puppet with cut strings, leaving behind a wisp of steam from where his heart used to be. Afterwards, the autopsy report said he never felt any pain.

In that moment, the game ended for Donny Robson.

And that’s how it started for me.

© Brad Smith

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