Austin Zane had it all, fame, fortune and an asteroid mining company. He'd spent his life doing what others said was impossible.
He no longer recognized himself, some big shot CEO hundreds of floors above his engineers, his friends falling away as he worked, some jealous, others blaming him for their shortcomings.
Thankfully the VRMMORPG Emerilia gave him an escape, not to go and become an adventurer, but to escape Earth, to work with his hands and make something.
He just wanted peace and quiet, to build a house, do some fishing, to take some time to find himself once again. What he found out instead was a cause, he found out the biggest lie of his life. He found out the truth about Emerilia and the lies of Earth.
His life, his world since the day he had been born was shaping him, molding him and making him ready to play Emerilia, he'd broken the barriers that the AI's placed on his life and became something never seen before, he became a bleeder. Someone that the AI's controlling simulate Earth and the Emerilian prison overlooked.
What's the best way to control slaves? Make them think that they're free.
But what happens when they realize the truth?
My Opinion: 516 pages (160k words), $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Michael Chatfield originally published the story on the Royal Road and it’s now on Amazon.
Austin, the human CEO of asteroid mining company longs into the full immersion VR game Emerilia. There he becomes Dave, the half dwarf, a guy just looking to build a home and relax. Little does Dave know that the real world is actually a virtual prison created by Aliens to manage the rebellious human race and the Emerilia, is a reality forged with advanced tech to mimic early earth’s MMOs.
This is a fun story. Lots of crafting, skill exploration, and town building. There’s still fighting sometimes but it’s not the emphasis of the story. The main character becomes the only human to be made aware of what’s really happening with the game and it was interesting to see what he did with that information. I also liked that the player’s magical ability to conjure objects based on his real life familiarity with those objects. So while he hypothetically can conjure beer, his first attempts taste horrible because he’s not really familiar with the brewing process and all the component parts.
It’s honestly a nice change of pace to read a story that doesn’t focus so much on combat. I’d give it a 7 out of 10.