Sighing with wistful boredom and crouching down amongst the piles of scrap metal and plastic, I began to ponder my situation. From my location I could see a great deal of my surroundings and the compound that I and so many called home. Like moths to the flame, we kinsman had spent a great deal of our virtual Xsyon life huddled within the safety of tribal land; crafting and creating, and simply trying to make sense of it all.
I watched as two or three bearded fellows worked a short distance away from my scavenge piles; each one equipped with a spade pawing at the land in stiff emotes. Apparently their goal was to achieve a moat by sunset, the elder members of the tribe said it couldn’t be done – it was the foolhardiness of youth they said, I agreed whilst stroking my non-existent beard.
As I surveyed the land around me, I began to feel a great yearning for adventure and surprise. Since donning my military cowboy outfit, I had gone out a grand total of two times on a war march. The first time, detailed previously, ended in a simple shuffle back to base, and the second was an exercise in patience as two members dropped Internet connection, and a third seemed determined to send us into the hillside in the search of elusive bears. No, I wasn’t getting anywhere looking like a gigolo frontiersman, it was clear that I was stuck in a rut and I wanted out.
For the best part of a week I had been relegated to the role of scrap collector. The many brown masses that inhabited the tribe's surrounding areas were my domain, my temples. For hours every day I could be seen in diminishing sunlight, slowly stumbling from incline to flat land looking for the awe-inspiring signs of a metal icon in the action bar.
I had become so boring that I was an obsessive collector of nails, and I would also mention to other members about the day’s nail catch: “We got three today Dave, three”. I would excitedly whisper in his ear, scanning his motionless face for a fleeting sign of glee – but Dave didn’t smile, he simply uttered "cool" and walked away uncomfortably, noticing that one of his minions was suffering from what is commonly known as “nail madness”.
You see I wasn’t crazy, the little iron spikes are a valuable commodity within Xsyon. From searching around and sorting scrap metal, I was becoming a pillar of this community, but nobody seemed to care. They were more impressed with our burgeoning fashion designer-come-military leader – or they simply adored the chap that could produce tents of all manner of sizes: I simply deemed him a doe eyed little flirt.
I was like the slightly underappreciated drummer of a band. To my mind everyone around me was receiving praise, being eyed up in admiration, getting all the “skirt,” and here I was, the Ringo Starr of the group: slightly ugly, big nosed, and constantly having my efforts unappreciated. Nails are important, without nails, this world would collapse, quite literally – unless of course you use some sort of adhesive with the strength of nails without any of the mess, but I digress, this isn’t DIY Survivor, yet.
I had a chip on my shoulder; I won’t lie to you dear readers. Every item of scrap sorted, another whip lash of oppression fell upon my back. I was underrated and having no fun, and I wouldn’t take it anymore, I needed to strike out in the name of Adam Tingle and freedom, oh sure I was an mild-mannered English gentlemen but it was time to take a leaf out of the book of American clichés and get jabbering about liberty. I had a plan in mind.
Below the scrap fields (now termed the Scrap Prison) were the majority of the storage baskets, smallish green tubs that held the life blood of the tribe. Tools, weapons, food, resources, everything that you could think of resided in these baskets, everything needed to survive the game.
Taking heed of the Babyshambles song “beg, steal or borrow” I began to take the sentiment to heart and set about “renting” items from each basket. Within Xsyon a player can only hold so much weight so I carefully selected what I needed for immediate purposes. I was about to set out and explore, I would be back for the more choice items such as precious metals and anything else I thought held any value. Picking a small number of essential items I headed toward the Tribe entrance/exit, taking in a deep breath and preparing myself for a new life of excitement and freedom away from the scrap piles.
Picture the scene if you will, here I was, a bald, bearded man dressed in an attire that proudly echoed the words “sexy cowboy” equipped with a golf club, hatchet, fishing rod, spade, and mining pick. I looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, except if the film was focused on gardening rather than “killing Sully last”.
Just as I exited the tribe compound I came face to face with my biggest fear. Equipped to the nines, and with a nine iron golf club jiggling at my thigh, I happened across none other than “CrazyDave” the commander-in-chief of the tribe. “Hey there, where you off to?” I was rumbled already. Abort! Abort! I thought to myself. In reality I glanced towards the cleaning products in my room, wondering whether to take the spies way out and engulf myself in chemical death.
Calming myself slightly and grasping on to whatever nerve I had left I replied “Oh you know, out looking for some more scavenge piles, ours seem to be running low on nails you know?” that was it, mention nails, old' Dave will wander off into boredom, I was a genius. “Well you know what, we do need a few more nails, you’ve been doing a great job helping us all out with it, everyone's been mentioning it on TeamSpeak, if you can get more then go for it man” and with that “CrazyDave” disappeared into the walls of the compound.
Slightly shocked and with a small salty tear in my left eye, I shook myself back into action. I was the talk of TeamSpeak, people were mentioning me, if it was 1960’s London I would be known as a “face”. No, I couldn’t let the oppressive bastard that is “CrazyDave” pour honey into my ear, I was on my way towards the American Dream – Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and nobody could take that away from me.
Moments later and one slightly large stream crossed, I decided that I had reached my goal. Oh sure I was a mere spitting distance away from my tribe land, I could even see it in the distance, of course I could, I was five minutes and a waterfall away from my original starting position. But you know what, this place was mine, it was good, and it was situated on the side of a stream embanked by two high granite walls and a dozen or so hanging trees. It was my own little colony, an alien territory but still “homely”. Time to get to work.