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That Nasherkan Legacy by Sudhish J Vyas
SUMMARY: Legends have it that there is a creator in place.
What if they are true?
Odin watched in horror as the sweat drop fell to the floor, splattered against the surface & disintegrated into numerous droplets. For hours he had been guarding against this very event and now just a short nap had undone all the hardwork. The alarm soon reached its crescendo, and even in midst of the cacophony, he could hear the clamour of machine parts down the tunnel. He had about 5 minutes before the installment's tracker application pinpointed his location in the maze, and another 30 seconds before he got executed through a high voltage jab sent at the corner where the sweat drop was detected – his corner. The security system always worked this way, ruthlessly terminating any attempt to transgress the boundary of the installment. It had been a bad idea to escape, right from its conception, but still Odin wanted to take his chances. After all, a chosen death is preferable to an inflicted one.
It all started off with a simple game of Nasherkan. It was in this very installment that he had challenged Oni. Odin had always been a good player, but more than confidence in his skills, it was a sense of adventurism that had made him challenge Oni, the reigning champion of Saarga multiverse. In his hot blood, even Oni's dark & mysterious ways hadn't deterred him. An uproar was expectedly caused when Oni put down his conditions, as was customary for the challenged. The game was to be played locked out in this installment and the loser was deemed to be terminated. There was no way out, he contended, when the clash is for the title of ‘Champion of Saarga'. These conditions were ratified by the Council, Nasherkan's regulatory body, and it was decided that all the other rules would be kept intact.
The game of Nasherkan was played in a two player mode in Saarga (though in other multiverses, there had been instances of multiplayer games too). The game was both virtual and physical in nature - virtual for the players, as they viewed everything in the game with Nasherkan headgear, and physical because the actual action was performed physically through the simulation controllers. The game's playground was a small spherical ball known as Terra, portions of area of which were divided equally between the two players, the division being sporadic like polka dots, as per the player preferences. The players were then expected to create their own ‘growths' – patterns of quasi-intelligent characters and surroundings, collectively known as societies, with the help of the simulation controllers, placed at a short distance from the Terra, which was enclosed in a glass chamber. A Ring of Ignorance (ROI) was also established around the Terra, so that the growths remain concerned with themselves. These growths were reared to be antagonistic towards each other and, in the ensuing warfare, the player whose growth got eliminated first was deemed the loser. Thus, the wholesome objective of the game was total annihilation of the rival growth, and any steps taken for building, and maintaining growths were mere means to the end.