Fiction from Web del Sol

The Religion

Ben Marcus

T H E M A N activity looks like many other tasks. An overhead view shows your man in your choice of terrain, accompanied by certain fellow living creatures such as slow-moving children and older, less relevant persons which can do no harm. An occasional bald eagle soars overhead and fellow men sniff at you in greeting. Your man can run walk, sleep, drink, eat, and, of course, weep and die.
      But it is actually living as a man that makes Man addictive-and life as a man is hard. Man lets you move through different scenarios, from the simple-killing the child or finding water-to the difficult-mating with a man of the opposite sex.
      You can operate in a campaign mode where your man lives in a pack and tries to become the "thompson," or supreme leader, while grappling with everyday survival. Bad weather, nonspecific terrain, and scarce food all are quick conquers compared to the threat of the animal; eluding the dog that might stalk you is nearly futile, and not worth failing at, even for points of valor. The quickest scenarios, such as digging the hole and achieving confinement, ultimately prove to be the fastest forms of exit, considering the complete coverage of the animal, and its central, driving need to have your man, wherever you may have hidden him.

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