The Fourth World

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Atınç had already crossed the line. If I was a stone of patience, I would crack. "Nihan Aunt, for God's sake, warn your son," I said.

“I'm an atheist, baby,” said Aunt Nihan.

It was obvious who Atınç looked like. "I'm not an atheist, is this our topic?"

“What is our topic?”

“Your son makes money where he sleeps, but he is not doing his part.”

“You talk about that game thing. I warned you, remember?"

“You were right, it is not possible to do business with Atınç. Aunt Nihan, I beg you, I am in a very difficult situation.”

Aunt Nihan, pointing to the worn-out armchairs in the living room, said, "Do you think we would be in this situation if I could control Atınç?"

Atınç took off one of his headphones and turned his head towards us. Meanwhile, the war was going on in the hologram covering the table in front of him, and the soldiers he controlled continued to fire at the enemy.

"Hello Atınç, I hope I'm not disturbing you," I said.

"Is there a problem?" he asked.

“Yes, we have a big problem, Mr. Kaya is talking about terminating our contract because we couldn't finish the game.”

“Doesn't Mr. Kaya know that art cannot be rushed?”

“He is the producer of dozens of computer games, but he doesn't understand art as much as you do. All of the other companies delivered the games. We are the only ones who did not deliver the game before the fair.”

“Interesting,” Atinc said as if hearing it for the first time.

Atınç was my friend from university, he used to make crazy drawings to relieve his boredom in class. I also remembered that he was a dream narrator in the canteen, collecting tips in return. He was the first person I thought of when I needed to find someone to turn the dream recordings into computer games.

“Nihan Aunt, this is a great opportunity for both of us. I'm begging you, get your son under control."

"You're very depressed, obviously. It is difficult to do anything with Atınç. After spending a week together, his father had attempted suicide.”

“Do you have to tell this lie to every friend of mine? He was committing suicide every week, one of them happened to me.”

“In his farewell letter, he complained that his son looked like him. But he does not," said Aunt Nihan. The cigarette she had left in the ashtray had burned out by itself. She took a new cigarette from the pack and lit it.

“My father left my mother in his crazy state, this is what my mother can't accept,” Atınç said.

“I think it's best to look ahead. If Atinc takes his vitamins and goes to bed with his device plugged in, we can tidy up the Fourth World in a few days.”

Atınç's last words angered Aunt Nihan so much that she did not even hear what I said.

“If the woman was a decent person, I wouldn't be upset. At least I would be happy for Metin's name. Bora, you are not a foreigner. I say this with all sincerity. I don't blame my husband or that woman. Both were sick. That insidious disease appears in the 20s. After someone gives heart to another one. Later that woman died, and Metin is in the hospital now.”

“If my mother forgives him, if they kiss each other, the matter will actually be resolved,” Atınç said. He stopped the game, got up from the table, and sat next to me.

“For Atınç, the issue was that simple. He can't understand that my heart is broken."

“It would be good for you to visit him at the hospital, hold hands and say something,” Atınç said.

“Atinc did not look like me or Metin. I liken some of his habits to his stupid uncle. I don't know what I did to deserve such a heartless child."

“I don't think Atınç is stupid. On the contrary, he is very smart. He used this family turmoil to establish a small kingdom for himself. After all, her mother is always supportive.”

“You're right,” said Aunt Nihan.

“He spends himself like a coin. Those with a tenth of his talent became famous. All he has to do is put the dream recorder on his head every night while he goes to bed. How hard can it be?”

Atınç was cornered, he knew that there was no excuse for his irresponsibility, but he did not hesitate to try his luck: “The device makes me tired. Otherwise, why shouldn't I?"

“The device is only reading the waves, it's a tiny thing anyway, it's not possible to tire you out,” I said.

“He has to go to bed early tonight, right?” Aunt Nihan asked.

“He'd better do some exercises to fuel his dreams and go to bed before his brain turns to jelly. But I'm already past that. I need a dozen extra scenes. If we're lucky, we can even make it out of three dreams," I said.

Both seemed convinced; as if something had occurred to me, I got up hastily and headed for the door.

“Where are you going, we haven't been able to offer anything yet,” said Aunt Nihan.

“I'll stop by to celebrate when the game is released,” I said and left the house. I had to get this done. I was out of money, I would never get an opportunity like this again. Because I have claustrophobia, I went downstairs using the stairs instead of the elevator.

It was raining lightly outside, and as with any rain, the taxis had disappeared. I put the hood of my coat on my head and started walking. Atınç had bought a top-quality desktop hologram player with the down payment he received for the game. With his mind on his new toy, my warnings went in one ear and out the other. I was so mad at myself for giving him the down payment early.

The rain had gradually increased in intensity; but I didn't care about this situation, walking made my mind work better; I was turning my plans around the Fourth World over and over in my mind. My cell phone rang as a self-controlled taxi splattered me with mud. I got ready, ignoring my soaked pants, and said, "Here you go, Mr. Kaya."

"Where the hell is the game, it's like it's going to end today?" Mr. Kaya asked.

“It is not possible to keep up with today, but we'll make it in a few days. Sorry for the delay. I am so embarrassed. But, Mr. Kaya, it's going to be a great game,” I said.

“I'm curious about the game. Report the developments to Ms. Ebru every day. Hurry, otherwise, we will have to terminate the contract,” he said.

“Of course Mr. Kaya, we are on the job day and night, don't worry,” I said.

While talking to Mr. Kaya, the rain had accelerated; I could feel the rainwater seeping down my chest. It had been raining non-stop for two weeks, now it bothered me; "Enough, stop it," I shouted, lifting my head. As angry as I sounded, the woman walking in front of me now turned and looked at me with frightened eyes. Soon after, a white pillar of light landed across the road and exploded like a firework. I threw myself through the open door of the sex toy shop to avoid the sparks of the falling lightning. Since such an event took place right after my little rebellion, my face turned pale, I was trembling all over.

The man at the counter laughed at me and said, “The balance of the seasons is disturbed, this is reflected in the sex preferences of the citizens.”

I didn't care about the bad seasons and the sex life of the citizen, my troubles were enough for me; “Thank you, have a nice day,” I said and left the shop.

In the evening, Gözde called and offered to go to the puppet show at Köklü Center. “I can't move anywhere, we need to finish the Fourth World,” I replied.

“Did Atınç send new scenes?”

“No, he will send them tomorrow.”

"Then you can come with me tonight."

She was right as always. There would be no use in dozing off at home in the evening. She picked me up from the multi-story runway in Taksim Square with her gamajet and after a short flight, we reached the area where the show center was located.

They had filled the huge stage of the performance center with giant ghoul-sized puppets. The play was about the nature of being a puppet; While dragons, mammoths, and dinosaurs complained about being the slaves of their instincts, on the other hand, they worked hard to serve their instincts. Turkish beast Tepegoz, who appeared on the stage in the last act, complained that he was misrepresented to the masses, he was not actually a bad guy. He was also smart enough to put glasses on his only eye.

The show was just as pointless as our post-modern lives, but I wasn't bored as the huge puppets were backed by all sorts of digital effects and weird jokes. As a result of a strange twist of fate, we met Mr. Kaya and his wife. If it were up to me, I would give a nod and walk away from them; but Gözde fell into a deep conversation with his wife, whom she knew from who knows how. I told Mr. Kaya that I was thinking of transferring a few elements from the show to the game I build and that I took lots of photos for this. I especially liked the use of light. I added that the gaming industry has a lot to learn from the performing arts, but this potential is not being tapped by programmers who spend time in front of the computer all the time. When I thought about it afterward, what I said seemed quite inappropriate to me. Of course, when I was caught outside on the evening of the day I said, "We work day and night," I was unsure of what to say.

In the days that followed, dreams began to flow regularly from the tape recorder. These were far more vivid and detailed dreams than the previous ones. Themes also diversified and became crazier. It means that Atınç could do better things when he concentrates. As the images came, I would select them, render them in 3D with a special program, and insert them into my puzzle-solving adventure game. I've made five games in the last eight years, but none of them could compare to the Fourth World. It was my first time using the dream recorder and unlike other game producers, I had created all the scenes from dreams. As the dreams piled up, I had to change the scenario several times; but it was worth the effort.

The next day, we went to the office of Kaya Bey's production company in Ataşehir to present my play. After playing the game live on the hologram player, I was going to show the holographic slides I had prepared beforehand. Even though I invited Atınç, he did not come and Gözde was with me as an intruder. Before entering the presentation, she asked me to introduce herself as the general coordinator of the game; I didn't know what that title meant, but I didn't object. It was raining hard outside again and I was very excited because if I wanted to continue producing games, I had to take the order of a new game from the company. The game started in a slowly flooded metropolis and the adventure continued in underground tunnels, open sea, and dark forests. I turned some dream scenes into clues found by the hero. Kaya Bey was following the presentation with great attention on his hologram player. I was trying to figure out if he liked what he saw, but nothing was clear from his facial expression.

“I have never seen a game like this before,” said Mr. Kaya at the end of the presentation.

I couldn't grasp what his words meant, but I didn't dare to ask. “How should we interpret your words?” Gozde asked.

“I didn't know how to interpret the game. We cannot publish this game under the Interactive Dreams brand. Maybe we can sell it to a company that markets indie games,” said Mr. Kaya.

I was very disappointed, we wouldn't be able to get the new contract that I've been dreaming about for days. “I guess you didn't like the game,” I said lamely.

“On the contrary, I really liked it. The game seems to consist of the dreams of two separate people. Anyway, it's a strange piece of work. We will fulfill the contract and make your payment. However, as I said, it does not fit the Interactive Dreams brand,” said Mr. Kaya.

“So there will be no new contract.”

"Yes, it looks like that."

“Can't you create a sub-brand for indie games?” Gözde asked.

Kaya Bey hesitated for a moment, at that time a thick column of light passed from the window, and then a loud rumble was heard. We got up and looked out the window, the lightning struck the tree in the garden of the building, splitting the tree in two, smoke was rising from the tree.

“Maybe the emblem of the sub-brand could be the tree split in two?” said Gözde, smiling.

“I will think about it,” said Mr. Kaya.

She left me at Atinc's house with her gamajet and went shopping. Atınç was playing his game, as in our previous meeting. Besides Nihan Aunt, there was a bald, broad-faced man in the house. Nihan Aunt introduced the man by saying, "My husband Metin."

“How was the interview? Did they like the game?” Aunt Nihan asked.

“The situation is a bit complicated, Mr. Kaya said that the game consists of the dreams of two different people,” I said.

“Atınç, answer your friend,” said Aunt Nihan.

“I have a situation to have my game character read for $3000,” Atınç said without taking his eyes off the game. His color was yellow, he had dark circles under his eyes, he had turned into a zombie.

“No one compares Metin about dreams. I had to take his device and plug it into Metin. Thankfully, he didn't offend me,” said Aunt Nihan. Uncle Metin was smiling like a naughty child at this time.

"Can we continue the work with you?" I asked Uncle Metin.

“If my manager sees fit, why not,” he said, then turned to look at Aunt Nihan.

“As long as he takes his medication regularly, it won't be a problem,” said Aunt Nihan.

A few days later, we received good news from Mr. Kaya. he offered a lower contract than the first, but it was better than nothing. “Life isn't all about zeros and ones,” Gözde said. Indeed, she was right.

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/VW2oU66mwbc

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