The Games We Play (Part 2)
Two-Jay felt that familiar buzz and reached for his phone, expecting to hear the voice of his co-conspirator. “Do you have the item?” said the voice. “Was it worth it?”
“Well,’ replied Two-Jay, “it all came down to a game of Parcheesi. That should tell you everything you need to know.”
“So it was a trap after all. I suspect it was for Tomar. Any hard feelings that we were the ones to take care of that issue?”
“I don’t believe so, sir. In fact, I won that key Tomar was so eager for us to steal.”
“It exists? I just took that fool to be a madman.”
“Well it is a key. A big, golden key, like the proverbial ‘Key to the City.’ Doesn’t’ seem that valuable to me. Actually, I’m beginning to wonder if we were the intended targets of this ‘game.’ It was that… feeling.”
Two-Jay could hear the crinkling of paper on the other end. He hated when his friend read letters while on the phone. Letters! Who still writes letters in this day of age? Despite his anger at being kept waiting, Two-Jay calmed his mind enough to hear a gasp coming from the phone’s receiver.
“I… think I know what that is. Quick, get out of there! Tomar was not the fool I thought, but it is a trap. Your life may be forfeit if you don’t hurry up.”
“Yes, Mr. Truxton. I’m on my way.”
Dear Mr. Truxton,
By the time you read this letter, your friend Mr. Dontaven will be dead. This is a reminder about the petty games you all have played. Just like stories, there is power in our games. As you know, they can take on a life of their own. You are not as strong as you think.
For most people, the key your friend possesses is meaningless. For people like us, it can be a destructive force. That key is not the only symbol of power in this world.
We know you’re curious as to how we knew the winner of Dontaven’s last game. Have you ever played Dune? Well, we hold the pieces of the Bene Gesserit on our person.
You and Dontaven have bothered us for the last time. Even if you see the glittering of the key, beware, for that is the instrument of this death.
Before you think to strike back at us, know this: we also hold the ghola pieces of the Bene Tleilaxu in our hands.
The Players of Games
In the darkness, illuminated only by his torch, he ran.
Truxton’s tone said it all. Two-Jay raced as fast as he could back to Castle—a place he and Truxton had set up in case there was trouble. The provisions there would last them several months. The security detail would keep him safe.
As he ran through the streets he could feel eyes upon him, studying him and his belongings. He felt as though their eyes were burning through his being.
Still, he ran.
Out of the corners of his eyes he could just make out a dark figure stalking him. It came close, but it never touched him, just like the people whose eyes burned with greed.
Still, he ran.
Quite unexpectedly he came upon a bridge he did not remember. Fearful he was losing his mind and fearful of the dark figure following him, Two-Jay dropped his torch—its light no longer illuminating the path to safety—and relinquished his coat to a nearby homeless man hoping this would keep the figure from following any further.
In the darkness he ran. He felt as though his entire world was collapsing on him. Death’s cold breath was nearly upon him.
Two-Jay could see Castle and Truxton just ahead! As he ran to greet Two-Jay, Truxton asked, “Do you have The Key? Let me take it.”
No sooner had he said this when the dark figure, Death, appeared next to Two-Jay, and with a simple touch Two-Jay dropped dead. Despite the danger, Truxton fervently searched for The Key and upon finding it ran toward Castle. All he had to do was reach the door and he would be safe.
The path seemed to elongate, however, twisting Truxton’s sense of space and time. He looked behind him and saw the world collapsing all around him.
He ran but it was too late. His world folded over and he ceased to exist.
The experiment was a success! The unbelievers became believers and were swallowed up. We have taken care of the problem. Mr. Tomar, Mr. Truxton, and Mr. Dontaven are no longer a threat to our cause. We will create our own story where we will be the movers of pieces.
We will become the history makers.
The Players of Games
After finishing up the letter, Gary left the room to get some more drinks. Al took this opportunity to take the Bene Gesserit and Bene Tleilaxu pieces out of Gary’s coat pocket and replaced them with pawns. Al then added the Nuclear Commander and Diplomat pieces from Risk 2210 to his own collection.
Its time for me to become a Risk Master. Gary’s already had his chance, thought Al.
“Hey, Gary? Want to play Risk?”
“How about we play Risk 2210 instead?” said Gary. “We’ll start once Chris gets here.”
Although Al took the lead at the end of Year One (he held onto Africa and two ocean areas the entire game), the lead position kept switching between the three of them. Often territory count numbered near or in the twenties. In Year Five, Al went first and nuked several territories: North America lost an army in each of its territories and South America (completely controlled by Gary) lost a powerhouse army and lost all armies in two of its territories.
Thinking that South America would be easy pickings, Al decided to attack Gary in Europe, hoping to take complete control over the continent. However, Gary ran away and the entirety of his army in Europe moved back to South America! Once again, South America was strong, allowing Gary to take many land and water territories from Al (who was unable to play Cease Fire because of an ill-timed Frequency Jam). A “sure win” by Al was turned into a guaranteed win for Gary.
Would Chris do anything to fight back “Gary the Red?” Nope! He fled to the moon, which he took over in its entirety, and although it gave him many points towards victory, it would not be enough. Gary became Master of the World.
“All hail King Chris!” the crowd roared. Chris was still surprised, after all of these years, that Gary the Red had never sought reprisal against him for abandoning Earth and establishing a new a new society on the moon.
There had been a perilous five-year war on Earth for reasons he never quite knew. Regardless, he, Gary, and Al were thrust into power during this conflict, with Gary controlling South America, Al holding onto Africa, and himself maintaining armies on the fringes of these two powers. Like all men with power, they desired even more. Even I was like that back then, Chris remembered.
Chris would always be grateful that most of the missiles launched at him by Al proved to be duds. After using some well-placed and well-timed propaganda, Chris acquired the funds necessary to flee Earth.
Through Chris’ guidance many peoples also fled the dying planet for the moon. He had never sought the title of “king,” but the people seemed too eager to place him in an authority position after the chances he took to get them here.
His only regret is that he left a broken world without the means or resources to be repaired.
My place is here now. I must continue to be strong, thought Chris as he looked upon the throngs of people below his parapet.
From below, a young man looked up and whispered: “I want this.”