The lights were off and everything was quiet in the ward where Myles was sleeping. His friend Riggs entered, quietly opening the door of the ward. He jumped over the laser-lit cleaning robot and went straight to Myles' bed and said, “Myles, wake up, the terminators are coming.”
“Get the hell out of my head,” Myles said, turning to the side of the wall and pulling the cover over.
Riggs grabbed Myles by the shoulder, shook him, and said, “I said the terminators are coming, didn't you hear?"
Myles couldn't make sense of what his friend was saying, but since Riggs was so worried, there was definitely something important going on. He hastily got up, took the gum box he had hidden under his bed, and put it in the pocket of his tracksuit. They went outside trying not to make any noise.
They froze for a moment at the sight of what they encountered in the hallway. A huge cylinder was moving towards them, destroying everything that came across it.
“Why are they doing such a thing?" Myles asked.
“Zero-tolerance policy on pirate metaverses,” Riggs said, as they quickly moved away from the huge cylinder.
The view had become more distinct when they stepped outside the dormitory building. It was as if the metaverse they were in was a cornfield, and a huge harvester was destroying it.
”We left the dudes to die on the ward," Myles said. "Maybe I'm not an angel, but if I hadn't been drowsy...”
“Don't be a fool. How many people do you think can cross the bridge at the same time?" said Riggs. A person who saw him in a motley woolen cap and purple sunglasses would not have expected such an attitude from him.
“If I wasn't drowsy, I'd wake everyone up,” Myles said.
”Let's save ourselves first, and then we'll feel guilty if we have to," Riggs said. Then they started running towards the street that would take them to the bridge. Meanwhile, Myles popped a caffeinated gum in his mouth and started chewing it.
Riggs, seeing that the bridge had been decimated, just stood there with his head between his hands. Myles, on the other hand, started walking around him like a set doll. Riggs was the first to come out of a panic state. He grabbed his friend by the arm and sat him down on the side of the sidewalk. He sat down next to him, regardless of the fact that the sidewalk was wet.
”Once upon a time, my three-dimensional image was 8 terabytes in size," Myles said. "When I was piloting a time machine in the MetaPunk universe, people used to watch me with envy.”
“Our original is 24x24 pixels. Is that your problem right now?" said Riggs.
“I once transported Omer Khayyam to the year 2058 with a time machine. They had installed his mind diagram on a supercomputer. Do you remember what he did next?”
”The terminator is approaching, and in two minutes this place will be completely destroyed," Riggs said in a sad tone.
"He had hacked the Revenants Metaverse. And then he wrote all the way up to the sky, “No one can have me.”
”I wish there was someone who had owned me right now," Riggs said. “We will soon be disconnected from the artificial neural networks that make up our existence.”
"Come with me," said Alfred Carroll. “My boss is calling you.” He wore a black mask to avoid recognition, but this was not possible, because he was one of the two mummies in the Hive Punks collection.
”There's only one bridge here, and it's destroyed," Myles said.
Alfred had just entered by the door of the building opposite. Myles and Riggs hurried after him. “We will go downstairs,” said Alfred, who was busy unlocking the iron door in front of him.
“What would your boss have to do with us?" Myles asked.
”My boss is keen on copies of early-stage NFTs," Alfred said.
”We're not copies," Myles said.
“We are copies. I should have told you this sooner,” Riggs said. As a matter of fact, he also thought they weren't copies. He said so because he was afraid that Alfred would give up.
“You are copies, and so am I. But our mind diagrams are not copied. Like me, you have been to many pirate metaverses. My boss is collecting information about pirate metaverses,” he said.
Myles didn't understand what Alfred was talking about. “The first Hive Punks weren't connected to any artificial neural network,” Riggs explained.
“It's amazing that something like this happens here,” Myles said as he boarded the boat on the underground river. At this time, he noticed the terminator approaching them, destroying the tunnel through which they had passed.
Alfred got on hastily and started the boat's engine. An expression of comfort spread over Myles' smudged face when he was sure they had got rid of the terminator, forming a pink balloon with the gum.