He freed his dinner from the bin after watching the holo-ad. It was Chicken Fried Rice again. Afterward, he petted Chelsea during relaxation period, but his mind was elsewhere. His eyes drifted to his cell every two minutes until it was game time.
Magnus logged onto R.O.US. The player scores were displayed. He wasn’t first, but he was in the top hundred out of a half million players. Not bad. He dimmed the lights and checked that Chelsea cat was charging. His fingers danced across the controller as never before. He was a man possessed.
In two hours, he was up to level 40, but 41 took another sixty minutes. It was getting harder. He wasn’t tired after sleeping late in the morning, so he continued, ignoring the vibration in his forearm telling him it was time for the nightly news feed. He completed level 46 at midnight with just four levels to go. His heart was pumping; he felt energized and laser focused.
Magnus didn’t go to sleep as required; he continued to hunt Nutria. His cache showed 26,445,991 tails. He’d earned over 132 million gluco-coins. He was a rich man for the moment, but only the winner would keep the currency. He grabbed more Vitamin water, peed and returned to play. He’d never felt so in command before, not at work or on Facebook or even playing squash years ago when he was in school. All those sports trophies would look cheap and dinky when he won the Golden Nutria. Every fifteen minutes his forearm buzzed, but he found it easy to ignore.Narrow bands of light from the window blinds partitioned the blank walls of his apartment. Magnus blinked. Something happened. Did the screen freeze? It went black, then screamed – GAME OVER. He slumped in his chair and checked his cache: 50,000,000 tails. A giant Golden Nutria emoji appeared below the banner and it slowly turned toward him,