Eventually, monsters like the bulette had become commonplace. Spear crafting had gotten easier and much sophisticated. "Practice makes perfect..." you muttered to yourself, slumping onto a tree stump, using it as a stool. No longer was every day a race. The entire tribe had exhausted the resources in the near surroundings and learned to manage the monsters that night brought with some routine now. Traps were built and fixed in the morning, supplies gathered after lunch, then a long stretch of nothing filled the eves.
"How are we ever going to get out of here?" you asked the air, staring towards the open dust that every new player walked across to entire this monotonous home.
"I don't even know how long I've been here... how many times I've fought... Death was only an irritation now, since respawning became so expected. To die just meant spending the next day re-creating all your tools and weapons, being mocked by the survivors; nothing more.
They'd expanded the camp. It was now truly a town. A sign had been painted with staining berries out front, welcoming new players and announcing its name. The first brick building now looked like a shed compared to the growing complexes where everyone gathered to sleep. Furs lined beds instead of straw. Fires burned around the clock, providing warmth, better food.
"We even have wagons...." you muttered, spotting one of the revolutionary transportation methods slumped against a building. At first, the wheel had brought them faster resource collection in tenfolds, they'd celebrated it thoroughly. But now, they'd managed to capture some of the mongrels that used to attack and use them to drive makeshift sleds across the dust, leaving the wagon too hefty and bulky to be worthwhile now.
"I have to get out of here..." you think, picturing home again outside of this virtual reality that is slowly becoming your only reality. Suddenly, in your words, you find something.
"Get out of here!"
"Guys!" you leapt up, rushing back into camp where several of the long time players are dozing around a flickering flame. "We have to go! Perhaps, the way to sign off, to logout, to escape... I think it's out there somewhere. There's got to be more than just this dusty place, right? So, we have to go find it!"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean leave, pack up. There's more to this game, this map, whatever we are in. There has to be a key out somewhere. If this is like a game, maybe we just have to beat it?"
"How? How would we leave? How could we, this is where everyone spawns?" Questioning you, they still stared with attentiveness. Your idea had struck them, clearly the cogs of their minds were turning contemplating it.
You locked eyes with Celeste, the most mothering of you all who'd often volunteered to walk in the new spawns, help them learn what you'd all struggled to learn. "Celeste, we can leave scrolls in trunks scattered around the dusty range, with tools and spears in the trunks - like the first one we found. They will learn, find camp, and be just fine like we were."
"Mardock-" you swiveled, meeting the war torn chakrat face to face, a constant snarl seemed to hold their bottom lip notched up slightly. "You've noticed the monsters here, they've become the same every night, they are easy... too easy? It's gotta be a sign."
You turned through the group, noting each concern pushing for this chance. Something burned inside of you, you knew somehow that the only way to ever escape was to leave the only place where you'd learned to feel safe.
Written by Picklessauce69 on 16 March 2017
Start of the expedition