Last week the bitcoin fairy appeared above my bed and said in a voice that sounded slightly annoyed: "I cannot give you three wishes because I'm not a traditional fairy, I'm the bitcoin fairy. It's quite unfair, I think: the other bitches get to grant 3 wishes and all I can do is beam you naked to a destination of your choosing with 1000 bitcoins salvaged from lost keys in your brainwallet for the duration of one week, at which point you'll be beamed back to your bed. So please tell me you know what bitcoins are and that are willing to go and where you wish to be transported."
Just when I was going to answer: "wow, this is cool, I'll go to the Atacama Desert", I saw a sequence from a star trek movie: the part where enterprise goes to warp drive. Just when I realized shit was probably real it stopped and I saw above my head in huge letters which seemed to be made of starlight: 'key: sha256("thebitcoinfairyrulez")'. After that faded away I came to realize people where looking at me and covering their childrens eyes. It seemed as though I was indeed in the Atacama Desert.
What I thought at first being people with children was in fact a herd of guanacos miles away seen through a Fata Morgana. A hot glaring sun burned on my skin and I found myself lying in the midst of a gigantic dried up salt lake. The horizon seemed endlessly far away, covered by a nervously wafting layer of hot air with occasionally appearing silhouettes of four- and two-legged animals. Only when I squinted my eyes a bit I could spot some heights in the distance.
"Maybe guanacos are llamas, too...", I silently thought to myself as I stood up. Unsure of what to do and where to go I stood there maybe half an hour randomly turning in all directions, staring at the horizon. It all looked the same. Eventually, some weird logic took over my sun-burned head. ">Satoshi< starts with a >S<, so let's go South!" Convinced of that being the right decision I wondered which direction >South< would be... finally I ended up walking in opposite direction of the sun, proclaiming to myself that it would be South.
I walked an hour. And another one. And another one. The scenery around me seemed to be fixed with the only evidence that I actually moved being my own walking trail in the salty crust behind me. I was very thirsty and my head felt like an overclocked GPU after three months of nonstop Bitcoin mining. But I kept on walking.
Quite suddenly it was evening. And without warning the night came. It was cold, a freezing cold. I was exhausted, dehydrated, sleepy. But I knew that sleeping at freezing temperature was not a good idea at all. So I kept on walking faster, hoping it would prevent me from cooling. At times I almost could have sworn hearing some faint noise of alpacas seemingly being in rut. But my body and mind were already too mined out to really care about such things any more.
I don't remember how I made it till the next day. But I remember the salty taste when my face hit the ground - my body collapsing at some point this day. Then I passed out.
When I woke up I found myself in a small dimly lit room lying on a cot vested with some fancy floral pajamas. A few steps next to me a guy sat in front of a large computer screen with weird looking scientific stuff on it. "A Mr. Blockchain!", he shouted with a loud yet warm voice smiling at me through his oversized glasses as if he had immediately sensed the lifting of my eyelids using some miraculous supernatural skill. "Mr. Blockchain?", I was puzzled. Then he told me the whole story...
He was member of an astronomic science team working at the Atacama Ultra Long Range Space Radio Transmitter (AULRSRT) - a project I've never heard of before. The team had been on one of their traditional "llama spotting trips" last night, meaning they were driving drunk through the Atacama desert on a pickup truck wearing night vision goggles. That was how they found me lying naked in the desert.
They picked me up, gave me something to drink (I vaguely remember them talking that "some Corona would help"...) and drove back to the AULRSRT-camp. On the way I was hallucinating, constantly talking about some mysterious >Blockchain<, >Bitcoins<, >starlight<, and a >warp drive<. Then I began repeating two very long character strings over and over again. Back at the camp the team put me on the cot hoping that I would fall asleep quickly. Since I carried on repeating those strange character strings for another two hours before finally beginning to snore, at some point the science team decided to do some empirical exercise and wrote them down.
After wracking their brains about the meaning of those character strings and drinking a few more brewed beverages the guy with the oversized glasses got an idea: "Why not ask deep space for help?" After some debating about the pros and cons of such a strategy the team decided to target NGC 1502 in the Camelopardalis constellation with their AULRSRT-array, transmitting the character strings into deep space repeatedly for five hours for a total of 21 million times.
"What the ... !?!??", I shouted. "You just send my 1000 BTC to outer space!" - obviously I had a lot to explain. But the guy with the oversized glasses quickly catched the concept and was fun to talk to. The other team members that slowly poured into the room joined the conversation and were interested to learn about decentralized currencies, too. "We're afraid, there is no way we could call back your funds", they sighed, "but in exchange we'll offer you unlimited free accommodation at the AULRSRT including participation in our llama spotting trips."
The following five days turned out to be the most interesting and fun in my life. I learned a lot about space radio transmission and llamas too.
After one week the fairy beamed me back. I was confused. What the heck did I do in the Atacama? Was this all real? But even if it had been just some kind of lucid dreaming I was somehow confident having been in the right place at the right time.
Decades later when I already had retired living in a small home on the outskirts of Auckland - pursuing my hobby as an amateur astronomer - one evening I suddenly saw a fast flashing light in the center of the Camelopardalis constellation...