Sunday, February 2, 2020

Ashes to Ashes, Ones to Zeroes, Dust to Dust

Yellowstone's ashes buried the world. Space was the only refuge. Our ancestors, those lucky few who escaped, left behind everything and everyone.

Through hard work and ingenuity, the survivors made barren Mars their home. But the domes that kept out the cold also kept us in. For eighty generations we were trapped.

After centuries of waiting and yearning, the ashes settled and Earth finally began to resemble the blue world of yore. We returned to reclaim it and with it, our humanity.

Today, more than 2000 years after Yellowstone, YOU have arrived on Earth. Your goal is to MINE THINGS. What riches and wonders your efforts will yield only time will tell..

       - from the homepage

Ten years is a long time to play one game. This entry will stand in memoriam of that time, of the game that was Minethings. I have seen scarce few like it since, and none that weathered the test of time.

But, as all thing must, to ashes it does return.

A form stumbles out of the shifting ashfall. Another fortunate soul discovered an abandoned mine in the shifting debris, and found hope within themselves to unbury a life of their own...

For the last two years, as the ranks of players have dwindled, on the continent of Aso, in the city of Harmond, two small factory buildings toiled in defiance against the chaos and the quiet. A couple of weeks every month or so, the two factories would switch on, a pair of laborers would enter, and when their efforts or pay cycle were done, they would leave in search of a new job. And in that time, the factories would churn out a few dozen boxes of ammunition and a block & tackle or two. Then, they would fall silent once more, ticking away as their hulking masses settled once more beneath the shifting ash.

That was me.

I played bum for a short time, elevated to factory worker until I could scrape together enough gold to buy a pittance in ore and wages to build my own factory and become manufacturer extraordinaire. While I dabbled in banking, supplying ammo was my primary income. For a short time I even built and traded factory buildings themselves.

In that time, my single basic mine was joined by two specialty mines, my robots equipped at my own expense fairly exquisite and rare boosts. I built accounting sheets such that ensured I never might sell my wares at a loss; and I did indeed profit greatly, until I became the primary supplier of ammunition to all who found their stocks running low in Harmond. I could have raised my margins when no other seller stood against me... but I did not.

By the time the end drew near, I had climbed to be the 31st highest ranked player on the server and 8th ranked manufacturer, with an astounding one hundred and fourteen unique melds to my name. The batteries in my mines would run for 134 hours before they required my presence to recharge them, though it had been years since I allowed them to drain down to their dregs.

And I would give it all up to see the game spun up once more...

I'd like to think that even though I can no longer access my account, my batteries still supplied power to my mines, until they at long last, ran dry. Only then did they pass on, to slowly wear away and return to the chaos from whence they were summoned. ash... zeroes... dust.