Fiction — The MagicLand Chronicles
The Death of Charlie Hollywood
My name is Charlie Hollywood. Before the First Eradication, I was a crypto gamer and financier. It’s all gone, now. All of it.
I’ve got about, oh, I dunno, maybe twenty million in crypto. But nowhere to spend it. The magicians have hacked the net. How do magicians hack a net? They’re magicians, not hackers.
I don’t get it.
I spend most of my time dodging eradication bots, crypto is worthless, and I haven’t bathed in about a week. This is no way to live.
Eradication bots shouldn’t be coming after someone like me, but they do. Another magician hack? I dunno. Maybe. But like I say, magicians, they aren’t hackers. Are they?
I’ll admit, my Behavior Score is only 59. Out of a hundred. Not great but supposedly out of the range of eradication bots. How do I know this? I don’t, not really. I’m just going on what I’ve heard other people say. The net’s down today, so the score threshold may have changed. I guess they can set the range to whatever they want, whenever they want. I wouldn’t know. I’m not in charge.
Or maybe the eradication bots have all gone rogue because the net has been down so often. They’ve got brains, those bots, sort of. They can make decisions on their own.
I spend a lot of time foraging. There’s still a lot of food left. Canned stuff. Which is fine, as long as what they say is true, that it lasts several years. I’m not dead yet, so it must be so.
Packs of dogs are a problem. They creep me out. I was climbing through a pile of cars the other day and spotted about a hundred dogs, mangy-looking things, like a boiling cloud of trouble rolling down the hill in front of an old freeway bridge. Just one big happy family looking to tear up poor fools like me.
Oh, by the way. My name is Charlie. Charlie Hollywood. Before the First Eradication, I was a crypto gamer and financier. It’s all gone, now. All of it. The gaming, plus the crypto because even with my mined allotment stored in a ring on my finger, there’s nothing I can do with it.