Updated: Jun 27
This is the first of its kind Blockchain story. I, have laid out the basic premise, but I hope to have your help in building the rest of this light novel.
Coin Token Blockchain
The world was in the throws of a mass adoption of crypto currencies. Every government was minting their own coin and the financial system as we knew it had been upended. Normies who had been sleeping on crypto woke up one day to realise everything had changed and they panicked — the money they'd once hoarded in banks and under mattresses was practically useless and was growing more useless by the day. The masses flew into a crazed rush to buy any crypto project they could get their hands on, scammers be damned. The fear of missing out was so strong that people were willing to bet at least a few dollars on just about anything crypto-related.
That's when something seriously strange happened and changed the game completely. No one knew where they came from, who made them, or how they really worked, but tokens started showing up on a mysterious blockchain with the power to alter reality.
The first was called the "CCoin" or "Celestial Coin". Months later, other coins would be minted and issued through random airdrops. Thus began the era of the Celestial blockchain and those poor souls blessed with the power of life and death.
Chapter 1 Shit Coins
Satoshi woke up to the chirp of an email alert on his phone. Rolling over to the side of his futon and grabbing his phone out of his slipper, he scrolled through his inbox. It was an invite to a new cryptocurrency project asking him to download their wallet. After pushing aside his blanket, he picked up the laptop sitting beside his bed and brushed off the potato chip crumbs from the long gaming session the night before.
Following the link, he found a website with a blinking download button for a new type of blockchain wallet called the Celestial Chains. Skeptical, he read the scant details on the site aloud to himself.
“Want to change your life? Download the new Celestial wallet to send, receive and exchange 100+ CTokens with ease on the leading desktop, and mobile app. C-Wallet was built with beginner users in mind, but is also ideal for experts and enthusiasts looking for a secure, easy-to-use wallet. With effortless security, manage your tokens from your mobile. This new world of tokens will transform your life to give you more control over your reality. Discover how by taking control of your Wallet now. Download to be part of the first to receive a free airdrop of new tokens.”
Satoshi couldn’t hit download any faster after seeing the words “free” and “airdrop”. Once that was done he quickly opened the installer which prompted him to read a user agreement before accepting. And like most people, he hit accept without a second thought. The program was unremarkably similar to others like it, requiring the typical sign up information. On opening the wallet, he saw that he already had 50 TTokens. Clicking on the token took him to another page with further information.
The TToken is the Token of Truth. Spend it to ascertain the truthfulness of any statement, spoken or written, or to force a truthful response to any question to which the spender requires an answer. This token goes by the “TRU” marker.
Satoshi rolled his eyes.
“What is this shit? Damn it, is this another scam?” he muttered.
Only then did he think to check the website URL. He squinted hard at it. The text was in some incomprehensible alien language. A jolt of panic hit him at the thought that someone could be stealing what megre crypto holdings he’d scraped together. His knee jerk reaction was to disconnect from the net.
He looked at his WiFi settings and paused, furrowing his brows. The laptop wasn’t connected to the net at all. Still confused,he tried to go on another site, and sure enough, the familiar “site cannot be reached” message popped up. Yet, when he clicked the link to that strange website, it loaded right up seamlessly. He slammed the computer shut and shook his head with a sigh.
He’d think about this later. For now, the digital clock on his desk told him he’d wasted enough time and would probably be late for work. After a quick shower, he was out the door and heading to his dead-end job at the Clucky Lucky.
Chapter 2 Truth Token
The train ride to work usually consisted of Satoshi staring blankly at his shoes, preparing his mind for another mundane day behind the register. Today, between the train’s jostling and the warm bodies pressed in around him, his mind was stuck churning over the strange events from earlier that morning. He was so lost in thought, he almost didn’t hear his phone go off. But it had never made that noise before, and that sent up an instant red flag.
Slipping it from his pocket, he saw the screen light up with a notification from Celestial Wallet. It informed him that the mobile app was successfully installed. Intrigued, he thumbed the name into the search bar and sure enough, there it was, the little winged icon staring back at him. He immediately opened it.
There were a few options upfront: send, receive, mine, and spend tokens. The last two options could not be interacted with. “Spend” was grayed out and “Mine” was overwritten with the words “coming soon”. He stared at them skeptically for a moment before the train announced his stop grabbed his attention. Shoving the phone into his pocket, he hopped off and made the short walk the rest of the way.
Despite his uncertainty about the app, he felt a certain level of comfort knowing that he really didn’t have much to steal. Sure, he’d collected a few shit coins here and there, but in total his net worth was less than a sandwich. If anything he was in the red. In debt for a degree he could never use and stuck in a job that would probably see him paying off the loans for the rest of his life. Acknowledging just how crappy his life was brought him a sense of ease. With nothing worth taking, he didn’t have much to lose. A scammer would end up spending more money robbing him than they would recoup.
Besides, he had much bigger fish to fry. Today was the day he finally asked his coworker out. “Get ready, Aya,” he sighed to himself, recalling her blushing face and dark, almond-shaped eyes.
Aya manned the other cash register at the Clucky Lucky and Satoshi had been infatuated with her since day one of work. He always had it in mind to ask her out, but it never seemed to be the right time. She was always either in a relationship or recently out of one. He would have jumped in whenever she was going through a breakup but he reasoned that she would need time to recover before getting into another. Unfortunately, before he ever got a chance to make his shot, she was with someone else. He wished she’d just give up on all those jerks she dated and finally see that he was the best choice for her. Those guys never really loved her anyway. But he did.
As soon as the doors of the Clucky Lucky slid open and Satoshi stepped in, his manager’s voice rang out and he began badgering him.
"Saaatoooshiii! You’re late! Again!"
Satoshi quietly rolled his eyes and shoved his hands into his pockets defensively.
“Sorry, sir. Won't happen again,” he said, trying to inch around the older man.
“It better not! Five minutes late almost everyday over a year means you're robbing me, Satoshi. Do you like being a thief, young man? A dishonorable louse?"
"Not at all, sir."
"Tell it to the judge, Satoshi!” the manager huffed. “Now quickly, get dressed. Ando called in sick today and someone needs to be Mr Clucky Lucky."
Satoshi’s jaw fell. "What? But sir, that's not my job. I’m a cashier.”
"Tell me, do you see any customers around here?”
"What?” he said, caught off guard for a second.
"Exactly! No customers means no cash, and that makes you obsolete! So put on the suit, get out there, and bring me some customers!”
The manager shoved him toward the break room and handed him the key to the locker storing the Clucky Lucky suit.
“You can either strut your stuff or go home,” the manager said, stalking off.
The day trudged by as Satoshi baked outside in a chicken costume, clucking and waving a sign saying “2 for 1 special”. Under the chicken head, he was fuming. But each time he glanced inside the store, he caught a glimpse of his princess. That was enough to get him through it. Aya was an angel. She was sweet, soft spoken and gentle. As if she could tell he was watching, she looked over and gave him a warm smile. Steam practically blew out his ears. For the rest of his shift, he was transported to a fantasy world where he and Aya were living happily in the peaceful countryside with their three kids. A renewed determination swelled in his chest and once his lunch hour arrived, he rushed to the break room.
She wasn’t there.
“Not a problem,” he thought, “Actually I needed to get rid of this stinking suit anyway.”
Tossing the chicken suit aside, Satoshi looked around for his fair maiden.
He found her in the freezer counting stock.
“Hey Aya, you got a minute?” he said, waving casually.
She lowered her clipboard and turned to look at him in mild surprise.
“Oh, Satoshi! How’re you coping out there? It’s pretty hot.”
He shrugged, returning his hands to his front pockets again.
“Nothing I can’t handle, but thanks for the concern.”
An awkward silence fell between them and he gave a nervous laugh. Then with a sharp inhale, he jumped straight into his pitch.
“Anyway, I happened to have some tickets to the Screaming Jem’s concert. I was wondering if you’d like to go.”
Aya’s face lit up and he fist pumped internally.
“Seriously?” she grinned. “How’d you even get a hold of them? Of course I want to!”
“Oh really?” he said, still acting nonchalant.
"Yeah, they're my favorite group.”
“Cool, well we can meet up at the venue.”
Aya blinked and glanced at the clipboard. “Sure, what day is it?”
She looked up with a frown. "This Friday?"
Satoshi nodded slowly.
“I’m sorry, Satoshi. I just remembered I’m visiting a shrine with my family that day. And afterwards we’re doing a grave visit to pay respects to my grandparents.”
Satoshi visibly deflated. “Oh… well, next time then.”
Just then Satoshi's phone began vibrating like crazy.
“Just a second…” he said distractedly.
Whipping it out, he saw the Celestial Wallet app open with a prompt to spend TRU tokens. He stared at it in confusion at first before realizing that the spend option was no longer grayed out. He smirked. Might as well try it out now that the option was there.
"Satoshi?" Aya said hesitantly.
She waved a hand to get his attention.
"Huh? Oh sorry…" he muttered, quickly hitting spend and putting his phone away. “You were saying you had somewhere else to be that day?”
At that moment Aya's eyes went wide.
"Actually," she blurted, "I lied. I don't have anything to do this Friday. I was just hoping to hook up with my ex.”
The two stood there, staring at each other as if something strange had just happened.
“Oh… so you don't really want to go?” he asked, testing the waters again.
Aya’s jaw fell as she vomited up the words.
“No. I want to go, just not with you. Anyone but you.”
Satoshi clenched his teeth and tried to look unaffected. “Why not?”
Her eyes widened again. She tried to cover her mouth with her hands, shaking her head vigorously in protest, but the words came anyway.
“Because I think you're a disgusting loser who’ll never amount to anything. Meanwhile, I'm young and beautiful. I can do way better than a nothing like you. The truth is, I hate guys like you - you all deserve to die alone.”
Again, they were frozen in wide-eyed shock. Satoshi felt like an MMA fighter had just sucker punched him in the chest, yet he pushed for more.
“If you hate me, why are you always so nice?”
The clipboard flew up to hide her face.
"No please, Satoshi, don't! Stop asking-” she started to protest, but cut herself off almost immediately. “It's because I have to keep up appearances as a good girl. If I told you what I really thought of you, people would see my true colors. Since I can't really live with the truth about myself, I have to pretend to be innocent and sweet when in reality I sleep around with random guys and secretly enjoy the attention I get from losers like you who wish you could be with me. To see you jumping through hoops for me gives me a false sense of self-worth.”
Once she’d spilled her guts, Aya broke down crying. She sank to the floor covering her face with the clipboard and refusing to look at him anymore.
“Please, Satoshi. No more…” she sobbed.
But by that point he was already striding out the door. His expression blank as the Buddha at peace, he donned the chicken suit and returned to his post outside. Then, he turned on the portable radio that played the Clucky Lucky theme song and resumed his dance, waving and twirling the sign as if he'd just started his shift that morning.
But under the chicken head, uncontrolled tears streamed down his face, and passerbyers who got too close could just about make out the sounds of his despair.
Chapter 3 More Token
Back at home Satoshi rolled over in his futon, pressing his pillow into his tear-stained face. He hadn’t bothered with dinner when he’d gotten home. Hadn’t bothered with anything besides beating himself over the head internally for being such a blind idiot. Aya’s doe eyes and sweet voice had all been a lie - a deceitful trick. And he had fallen for it.
His heart twisted. He didn’t know words could cut so deep. He rolled over again, crying out into his pillow in frustration.
Eventually, when the throbbing in his chest turned into a dull ache, he pushed himself up and wiped his face with his hand, clearing the snot and tears and grime away.
“Screw her…” he muttered bitterly, and turned to his laptop.
Despite what he had been through, the fact that these tokens were the real deal meant that they took president in his life. He opened his wallet once more and saw two new tokens had been airdropped with a note.
For using your tokens, you have been given two air drops consisting of: One hundred (100) TIM Tokens and ten (10) LIF Tokens. Click here to claim.
As he claimed his tokens he read the descriptions under his breath.
“Time tokens, styled TIM Tokens, allow holders to pause time for one minute, reverse time by five minutes, and move forward in time by ten minutes…”
He exhaled audibly and blinked back his shock.
“No way… this can’t be real.”
The spend button beneath the TIM token was broken up into payback symbols.
Pause/Play. Fast Forward/Rewind.
Satoshi hovered over the pause option with eyes squeezed shut to brace himself, and then hit it. As soon as he did, the chimes hanging in his open window stopped tinkling. He opened one eye. His laptop’s time was six o’clock on the dot as was the digital clock at his bedside. Satoshi opened his eyes all the way and peered around the room. The little colorful wind bell was frozen mid-swing as if held aloft by invisible threads. He jumped to his feet. This had to be it.
He ran over to the window and leaned out so far he almost fell out. Craning his neck, he made out some cars on the road, seemingly stuck in place. He glanced up at the evening sky.The sun had almost set, casting long shadows across the neighborhood. He scoured the area until his attention snagged on something. A bird had taken to the air from a rooftop, but was frozen in place with wings outstretched, its knobby legs unsupported by any solid surface.
Satoshi leaned back, hands still gripping the ledge tightly, and scoffed. A slow grin worked its way up his face.
He stood there for a few seconds more, marveling at the world in stasis. But then as quickly as everything had stopped, it started up again. The cars zoomed on, the bird lifted into the air, the chime sang with a gust of wind. Satoshi checked the clock again. It still read six, but he’d been counting in the back of his head ever since he hit pause. A minute had passed.
“This is crazy,” he breathed, flopping back onto the futon and turning his attention to the LIF token.
It’s description made his forehead raise.
Life tokens, styled LIF Token, grants holders extra life. Spending while alive restores holders to age twenty with perfect health. In the event of sudden death, one life token is burnt to restore holders’ life status. This is known as a Postmortem Burn.
"Oh my god," Satoshi said, sitting back on his hands.
He let his head roll back and stared at the ceiling fan for what seemed like ages.
‘This is insane!’ he thought. ‘What the hell am I dealing with here? Did I really get up for work this morning or am I actually having a really long dream? There’s no way any of this is real…’
Sitting up again, Satoshi reread the second line of the description. It took him back. His twenties were his best years. He had felt invincible and scared of everything at once; fresh out of highschool and thrust straight into the workforce but still playing around like he had all the time in the world. It seemed like a lifetime ago.
For a moment, he wondered how his life would be if he suddenly went back to his twenties. None of his family and friends would recognize him anymore, and if they did, what sort of problems could that lead to? What if other people found out about his magic tokens?
That thought instantly triggered another.
‘Am I the only one?’
He blinked the dryness from his eyes. There was no way he was the only person on Earth gifted this life-changing currency. Fortunately, this was a blockchain so he should have been able to see all the other addresses that had wallets with CCoin.
Checking the blockchain, his suspicions were confirmed. Hundreds of addresses had all been activated that month with a trickle of others still coming online. The total market cap of all the coins and tokens on the blockchain was one billion.
Satoshi slammed the laptop shut and fell back onto the sheets, groaning with barely suppressed excitement. He wondered why this wasn’t on the news or blowing up social media yet. Something this big would surely take the world by storm.
Satoshi rolled over, brows pressed together in deep thought. Like bits of metallic filings lying too close to a magnet, his mind was drawn to those life tokens; the thought of losing the gut starting to grow under his shirt, or not needing glasses anymore, and god-forbid, being attractive to girls! There was no resisting it. His phone was already in his trembling hand, his finger pushing “spend”.
He swallowed the hard ball in his throat and waited.
He didn’t feel anything significant. His stomach growled loudly and he jumped, scoffing nervously as if there were someone there to see him embarrass himself. With the initial tension dissolved, he opened the camera app. A thinning hairline greeted him like an old rival he couldn’t shake.
“Ah well, it was worth a shot,” he sighed. “But I wonder why it didn’t work.”
He checked his wallet again and saw a little pinning loading symbol with the words “Processing”.
Then suddenly, it said, “Processed successfully!”
And immediately, Satoshi’s world went black.
Chapter 4 Ando
Satoshi opened his eyes begrudgingly against the dawn light. Between the rush of early morning cars, birds chirped along to the song of wind chimes. Satoshi worked up a yawn from deep in his gut and stretched his aching limbs like a cat.
“What a crazy dream,” he muttered, rubbing his head.
His voice caught him off guard and he shot upright. He was still in his work uniform from yesterday.
He sprang off the bed and ran to the bathroom, grabbing the sink and gazing into the mirror with wild-eyed scrutiny. His hands went up to his face. He kneaded his skin, tousled his hair, flashed a winning smile, and then stopped to stare dumbfounded at himself.
“It wasn’t a dream…” he said under his breath. “This thing… it actually worked!”
Satoshi looked himself over. Not only had he gotten younger, he was fitter than he’d ever been in his life. He lifted his shirt and poked at the six pack abs lacing his midsection.
“Oh my god,” he said, his voice trembling.
Glancing up at the mirror again, he ran his hands through his hair. No more shitty hairline. His crow-black hair was full and thick, without a stray gray in sight. And he didn’t need his glasses to see the change either! In fact, with his vision now, he could probably hit a target the size of a cherry from opposite sides of Shibuya Crossing.
He began laughing hysterically.
The look on his face was ripe for an asylum, and rightly so. His whole life was about to change. The itch to tell somebody of his good fortune needed to be scratched and the first person to cross his mind was Ando.
Ando wasn’t family, nor were they close in age, but Satoshi had a precedent for his choice. It was Ando who had introduced him to the world of crypto. And despite their age differences, the highschooler was easy to get along with. One could even say they were friends. He always looked out for Satoshi when it came to finding crypto deals, so how could Satoshi not tell him about this great opportunity?
Although, his absence had meant that Satoshi had been saddled with his job the day before. He shook his head. No. There was no reason to be so petty. Ando was a good kid and he never complained or slacked off on work even though being the official Clucky Lucky mascot was the most grueling task of all.
He went to make the call. After two tries, Satoshi made one last ditch attempt when Ando picked up.
“Yo, what’s up, Sato?”
“Ando?” Satoshi replied cautiously.
“Yeah, that’s my name,” the voice that didn’t sound like Ando said.
“You sound different…”
There was a cough and then Ando said, “Yeah, bro. I'm sick right now.”
“Is that why you missed work yesterday?”
“Well don’t take too much time off. I don’t know how much more I can take in that damn chicken suit.”
The line went quiet for a beat too long. Finally, Ando sighed.
“Actually, I don’t think I'm going to be coming back to work. Sorry it’s such short notice but something’s come up. Will you let the boss know for me?”
Satoshi gave a half-hearted chuckle. It was unexpected news but honestly, he didn't care. There was a much bigger fish to fry.
“That’s funny because something’s come up for me too. It’s the reason I called you,” he said, getting comfortable on the floor beside his laptop. “I found the best cryptocurrency to invest in and - well, this is going to sound crazy but - it’s free! I’m dead serious. Hear me out before you write it off though. It’s called Celestial Chains Coin-”
“Christ, Satoshi!” Ando cut in. “Didn’t you read the agreement?”
Ando let out a long exhausted sigh. “Come on, bro. Get your shit together. The user agreement. You signed off on it when you downloaded the wallet.”
Satoshi smirked. “Who the hell ever reads that?”
“Fair enough, but you should take this shit seriously. The agreement says you're not supposed to talk to anyone about CC or you die. You got that, Sato? You die. D-I-E. And once you're gone, all your coins get put on the market. You’re lucky I’m a wallet holder too or you’d be another dead account.”
Satoshi didn’t know what to make of that. Death as part of the user agreement? Somehow he felt he’d been tricked into something way more extreme than he’d expected. Having seen the tokens’ ability to alter reality, there was no doubt in his mind that the threat of death was real. He swallowed hard, but his throat was dry as chalk.
Ando was still saying something.
“Stay where you are, I’m coming over. Think you can manage to keep your big mouth shut til i get there?”
Satoshi nodded blankly before realizing that he was on a phone call.
“Good. And read the agreement you moron.”
“Wait,” Satoshi blurted, regaining some of his senses. “You’re coming to my place? So you aren’t really sick?”
Ando laughed. “Never been better.”
Then… why do you sound like that?”
“Save the questions for when I get there.”
Chapter 5 Learning The Rules
After hanging up, Satoshi began scouring the website for the user agreement. What he found shook him to the core. There were only three rules.
A Celestial Wallet holder may not communicate or disclose any knowledge of the Celestial Token, Celestial Coin, Celestial Wallet, Celestial Gate, its blockchain, Celestial Chains, nor its marketplace, CelestialCap, to any non wallet holder except the holder’s legal spouse. Failure to abide by this rule will result in imitate termination of the holder’s wallet and LIFE. Following the holder’s noncompliance, all contents of the holder’s wallet and person will be posthumously tokenized and sold on the CelestialCap marketplace.
In the event that a wallet holder wishes to pass ownership of his/her wallet to another person, non wallet holder or otherwise, the act of "passing on" is permissible. However, it should be noted that since Celestial Wallets are tied to the wallet holder’s life, this exchange will forfeit the holder’s LIFE. To initiate this process, the holder must say aloud the words: “I (holder’s full name), being of sound mind, hereby pass on my Celestial Wallet and all contents therein to (recipient’s full name.”
The recipient must then “accept” in order to complete the transaction. If the recipient fails to accept, the transaction is thus terminated and the wallet holder will be fined 50% of his/her account’s value while the recipient’s memory of the transaction will be permanently erased.
LIF Tokens can only be mined from other Celestial Wallet holders.
Satoshi rocked back on his hands and took a deep breath, trying to come to terms with all of it. He was jolted from his second reading by a rythmic knocking on the front door.
As he went to get it, someone on the other side said, “Open up, bro! It’s Ando!”
“Quiet down, man,” Satoshi said as he unlatched the chain and swung back the door. “You trying to summon my landlady or someth-”
A hulking black guy towered in his doorway and he froze with a blank expression on his face. The guy shot him a broad grin. Without acknowledging the man, Satoshi stuck his head out and looked both ways down the hall.
“Who’re you looking for, Sato? Got a hot date I don’t know about?” the black guy said, still smiling goofily.
Satoshi looked up at him. The man’s voice sounded oddly similar to the person he’d spoken to over the phone. For a split second, he thought he’d been set up by some stranger. He took a step back.
“Who the hell-?”
“Am I?” the guy laughed. “It’s me, bro! It’s Ando!”
Remembering the reality-altering way the coins they’d been gifted worked, he realized that his fears may have been unfounded.
Cautiously, he said, “Ando?”
“In the flesh!” the guy claiming to be Ando said. “Like the new bod?”
He flexed a watermelon-sized bicep before pushing his way inside the tiny apartment. Taking out his laptop, he tossed his backpack to the floor and jumped onto the futon. Satoshi shut the door quickly and came over to sit beside him with a clear view of his monitor.
“You read the rules, right?”
“I did…” Satoshi said slowly, still staring at Ando in awe. “But more importantly, why do you look like that?"
Ando wasn’t looking at him, but Satoshi’s eyes were glued to Ando.
“You’re a black guy, Ando, what do you mean like what?”
Ando shrugged. “Oh that. It’s no big deal. I got an airdrop of Race Transformation Tokens, so I decided to be a black dude for a bit."
“There are tokens that can do that?”
“Why are you acting so surprised? There’s a CCoin for just about everything and you of all people should know there's nothing they can’t do.”
Satoshi made a face. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You look like you just came out of the womb, bro. Youth Token?”
Satoshi nodded dumbly.
“See? A token for everything - well, except cash.”
“There's no token to make money?”
Ando sighed, resting his pc on his lap and crossing his arms with a business-like seriousness.
“Sure you can - and I’ll show you how - but you can’t trade them on the marketplace for fiat. Although, these make cash kind of pointless anyway.”
Satoshi ah’ed and hm’ed and then asked, “So what kind did you get?"
“Mainly Transformation and Forgery Tokens. Had some Doppelganger Tokens but I ran out yesterday.”
“Yesterday? The day you didn’t show up to work?” Satoshi scratched his chin, noticing some fresh stubble. “Wait, was that not you last week?”
A sneaky grin parted Ando’s lips as he nodded. “You got it, bro. I’ve been making copies of myself for about a month now and it’s been heaven. The Doppelganger Tokens were the first ones I got. After I used them up, I got a drop of the Transformation and Forgery Tokens. Those have been pretty sick too.”
He pointed at Satoshi’s laptop and with a sly expression, added, “So besides Youth Tokens, what else did you get?”
“Truth Tokens…” Satoshi sighed.
Ando grunted. “Oof, that’s rough. Talk about bad luck.”
“What do you mean?”
Ando was shaking his head somberly. “The burn rate, bro, each token has a burn rate. After you hit ‘Spend’, the token activates, aka it’s burned. So for instance, I had twenty or so Doppelganger Tokens, but the burn rate was one per twenty-five hours. That meant once I made a doppelganger, it would be around for the whole damn day. But the burn rate on Truth Tokens is one per lie. So if you sit down with a liar, you could lose all your tokens in one sitting - at least, that’s what I’ve heard. Thankfully I never had them myself. But they're really cheap on the market anyway…"
“You can buy tokens?”
“God, you really are a noob,” Ando said, smacking himself in the face. “Alright, it seems I have to explain from the beginning. Listen up, bro!”
Satoshi sat up straighter.
“The app is broken into three main components: your wallet, the blockchain, and the market. The button at the top right of the app lets you switch between these areas. From the wallet, all you can do right now is send and receive tokens. On the blockchain you can see all the other users. And from the marketplace you can buy and sell tokens.”
Ando was saying this as he scrolled through the marketplace on his own phone.
“You can see the top token is LF,” he pointed out.
“Top coin,” Satoshi corrected.
“You said ‘token’, but that’s a coin. And actually, it’s the only one that’s a coin, meaning this is the native currency on this blockchain,” he said confidently, but ended the statement with a lowered head. “I think...”
He smiled and rubbed the back of his neck, feigning humility.
Ando rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, whatever Mr Technical. The point is it’s the most expensive by a long shot. One Doppelganger Token is .0001 LF Coin or roughly 5 CC.”
“Sorry, I’m talking about Celestial Coin. It’s the stable coin of the market so everything is priced in CC.”
“How much is the Truth Token?” Satoshi said, getting curious.
He reached for his own laptop to follow along. Ando scrolled on his phone for a bit and then reported back.
“Check it out.” He lifted the phone in front of Satoshi’s face. “It’s .00001. Damn, that’s so cheap. Man, you got the worst drop. Is that really all they gave you?”
Satoshi was going through the list of tokens himself and quickly began to realize that the 10 LF Coins he had, had made him a billionaire. He bit his inner cheek, barely able to contain himself but thinking it was better to keep it a secret for now. His father had always told him never to let anyone know how much money you make.
So, with a nervous pressure building in his stomach, he said, “Just some more Truth Tokens and a few Time Tokens.”
Ando straightened and looked him square in the face.
“Those are good! They’re from the Cosmic Set - worth a lot. I could trade you some of my forge tokens, and you’ll definitely need some now that you’re rocking this new look. They’re a lot like my doppelgangers, only these work for inanimate objects and allow you to create perfect forgeries of anything… except other tokens of course. You'll need them to make new documents, IDs, passport, driver’s license, and before you even ask, yes the coin handles all the backend stuff like falsifying government records. It’s basically your ‘go anywhere, do anything’ token; you can become a citizen of any country or get a PhD in physics from Harvard.”
He shrugged. “It's a bureau token but its value is equal to that of some Cosmics.”
“Uh, what’s this cosmic thing you keep mentioning?”
Ando blew a long, loud sigh and fell back into a relaxed position on the bed, his arms folded behind his head. He stared up at the ceiling fan whirling in lazy circles, circulating nothing but humid summer breeze.
“Alright this is the breakdown. Celestial’s cryptocurrencies are divided into several categories - picture it like spokes on a wheel. At the center is the LF Coin which stands apart from the rest. It’s unique, cool?”
“Well, radiating out from the LF Coin wheel are the spokes - the five classes or sets of tokens. You have the Cosmic Set which includes stuff like Time, and Space tokens. There’s the Bio Set - anything dealing with organic matter goes in that bucket. Except for plant stuff. Plant stuff goes into the Terra Set along with shit like earthquakes and changing the soil type - go figure. And you already have a token from the Mental Set. Obviously anything to do with your brain goes there. And then there’s the Atmosphere Set, which is self explanatory.”
“This is a lot… to process…” Satoshi said.
“Don't stress. You’ll catch on soon.”
“So how much are my Time Tokens worth?”
Ando sat up slowly, scrunching up his face in thought.
“It depends on the type you’ve got,” he said. “There are Time Tokens that can transport you hundreds of years in the past or future, some that only work locally, and others that work globally. So which is it?”
Satoshi didn’t have to double check, he’d already experienced what his could do firsthand.
“Mine lets you pause time for one min and rev-”
“Oh, that one,” Ando scoffed. “It's pretty common - not that great. But I’ll trade you one forge coin for ten of them.”
Satoshi raised an eyebrow, and at the same time Ando’s eyes shot open like he’d just inhaled a bee. Clutching his chest, he blurted, “You’ve got one of the best Time Tokens there is, bro. It’s the exact one I was looking for. The thing’s worth at least twenty forge tokens, you’re freaking lucky to have it.”
Once he was finished, he huffed. But there was a half-smile playing on his face.
“Shit, bro. I forgot you had those. If only I had a few Deception Tokens I could cancel them out. Always thought they were too expensive but now I see why people cough up the dough to get a hold of them.
“You can cancel out the Truth Tokens?” Satoshi exclaimed.
“Not just those. A lot of ’em have an opposing token that cancels them out. In which case it's a matter of who has more.”
“So, presumably, these deceptokens do what? Make you a better liar or something?”
“No. It makes people believe anything that comes out of your mouth. But like I said, with enough Truth Tokens, even their effects can be negated.”
“Good to know, but it wouldn’t have changed anything. I can see right here on the market my Time Token is worth ten of your forge,” Satoshi smirked.
Ando facepalmed himself with a laugh.
“Jeez. I knew you’d learn fast. Do you want them or not?”
“I’ll bite. Give me ten.”
Ando looked up from his phone with a flat expression. With a drawn out sigh, he finally said, “You’re a damn extortionist/yakuza. What’s your wallet address?”
The two exchanged information and made the trade. As soon as it went through, Ando’s head snapped up and he stared at Satoshi in wonder.
“Bro, you sent me an extra five by accident.”
But Satoshi shook his head. “I did it on purpose.”
“What?” Ando said, looking about to shake some sense into his friend. “Why would you do that?”
“It’s for the info you provided, not to mention getting me into this crypto thing in the first place. If it weren't for you I may not be where I am today.”
Ando grabbed his arm and squeezed it, grinning like a fool.
“You’re an idiot, bro. Generous, but an idiot. I’m not complaining but you shouldn’t make a habit of it. You’d be surprised how fast they run out.”
“Alright, then tell me how to get more.”
“There’s only one way to do it and that's staking. You can stake your coin to earn more of it. Every account has a staked LF Coin that naturally brings in CCoin, but that takes forever to payout.” Ando fell back on folded arms again. “Which is why we’re all waiting on the mining update - Update 2.1. It should allow us to mine coins, though I’ve got no clue how that’ll work.”
“Soon enough. Until then we’re just biding our time.”
The tiny room went quiet as Ando rolled over and began typing on his phone. The silence was interrupted periodically by the little notification pings from his cell. Satoshi couldn’t tell what the conversation was about, but he could see that he was messaging a discord chat. After a while, Satoshi said, “So… are we…? Are we just not going to talk about the fact that you’re a big black guy now?”
“Huh?” Ando barely glanced up. “What’s there to talk about?”
“For one, how long do you intend to stay like this?”
“Well the burn rate on the coin is twenty-five hours and I have five million of them sooo…”
Satoshi blinked incredulously. “You’re serious? Forever?”
Ando just gave him a look.
“Any other questions, hm?” he said. “And before you ask, the answer is yes, both in length and girth.”
Satoshi flushed. He didn’t know if he was more embarrassed or jealous at that point.
“How much for the token?” he broached cautiously.
“You don’t need it. There’s a dedicated token for enhancing your junk - you even get better results. This one is for people who prefer the black aesthetic.”
“You used both, didn’t you,” Satoshi said.
It should have been a question but they both knew it went without saying. Ando only smiled. But Satoshi’s curiosity continued to blaze.
“How big is it now?”
They burst out laughing.
“You’re the worst. That won’t change your luck with women you know.”
Ando lifted his brows and shrugged.
Chapter 6 Pool
Ando closed his laptop and got to his feet with a stretch.
“Alright, let’s go.”
Satoshi looked at him in confusion. He rarely ever knew what Ando was talking about, but this time even less so. Still, he got up and began gathering his things.
“Leave it, you’ll get new stuff,” Ando said, slapping the bag out of his hands. “C’mon, we don’t have all day.”
“What do you mean?”
Ando rolled his eyes as if he couldn’t believe the question. “You really didn’t think this through, huh? Well, I’ll spell it out for you. Your old life is over, so say goodbye to it. You look completely different, bro! Do you think anyone will believe you’re Satoshi Nakamoto? And if they did, would that be better or worse for you? Just leave it all behind and abandon reality, cause now you’re a part of the metaverse.”
They went downstairs to meet a car pulled up haphazardly in the empty lot. Ando jumped into the passenger’s seat without missing a beat. Before he shut the door, he signaled for his friend to follow. Satoshi hovered just out of range, eyeing the license plate suspiciously and wondering if he could turn back now. Ando rolled down the glass and with a sigh in his tone said, “Look, I get that you’re a paranoid little bitch, but just get in already. We’re not going to kidnap you for parts.”
Laughing nervously, Satoshi slipped into the backseat without making eye contact with the driver. But when they spoke, he glanced up.
“What’s he got?”
It was a female voice. Ando responded quickly.
“Time and Truth tokens.”
The girl looked at Satoshi in the rearview mirror with huge dark eyes that seemed to linger a moment too long.
“Time, huh… Which kind?”
“The good kind,” Ando grinned.
Instantly, the girl swung around with an equally wide smile. She pinned Satoshi to the backseat with her forwardness.
“Oh boy, sweet! Hey, my name's Karin but you can call me Ace. Ever teleported before? Stupid question, of course not! Just try to get all the air out of your body, okay? It can be a little weird the first time.”
She swung back around and released the steering wheel to take out her phone.
Satoshi shot Ando a worried glance, but he wasn’t paying him any attention. In fact, he looked totally nonchalant about the whole thing.
Karin tapped her phone’s screen and in a voice barely above a whisper, said, “Banzai!”
The entire car and its passengers disappeared with a pop and reappeared at another location with a boom. The car rocked and Satoshi came bursting out the back, wobbling and clutching his stomach. He made it all but two feet before falling to the floor and retching the meager contents of his stomach onto the pavement.Ando walked around the side of the vehicle to stand beside Karin, who had just gotten out.
He extended a helping hand to his friend without a word. Satoshi eventually found the strength to grab his hand and get to his feet. He propped himself on his knees to catch his breath just as Karin walked by, too busy fixing her hair to spare him even a concerned glance.
“Everyone pukes their first time,” she chirped.
“Don’t worry,” Ando laughed, muttering conspiratorially. “You’ll get used to it - and you might get used to her.”
Satoshi nodded, still too out of breath to talk. They followed Karin to the front gate, taking it at their own pace as Satoshi recovered. He was looking around as if he’d been transported to an alien world and was ready to pack it in. As usual, Ando read him like an open book.
“My guess is, you want to know where the hell we are. This is the mining pool HQ of the Red Bears. Or as you'll come to know it, home sweet home.”
Satoshi gulped down a mouthful of air and straightened up.
“Mining pool?” he said, hoping he didn’t sound as parched as he felt. He’d already made a fool of himself, no need to sound like an old man on top of it.
“Holders have been joining pools to increase their chances of block rewards before the update drops - we assume… Honestly, we’re only guessing what mining will be like. But the road map said we can form pools once we have more than five holders - but no more than ten. And wouldn't you know it, you're our lucky number seven!”
Karin was waiting at the gate, fingers tapping her cheek a mile a minute.
“If he joins,” she scoffed. “You say it like he doesn't have a choice in the matter.”
“It’s called a sales pitch, Karin, and you ruined it.”
She stuck out her tongue at him as he pushed the gate open and gestured inside to a neat stone pathway leading up to the steps of an unremarkably ordinary suburban home.
“I’ll introduce you to the rest of the pool,” he said to Satoshi.