Sunday, October 19, 2008

"FLI and the Illusion Generator" Part i

Excitement coursed through him, anticipation dominating his thought. Soon, soon he’d be here. Agent Ham was true to his word and as a direct result Agony was on his way up. G-Wiz had seen him get on the elevator through the security cameras. Now he wasn’t sure what to do. His body was trying to tell him to run, to retreat into his room, but his mind wanted to stay. Morbid curiosity he supposed, but he had to meet him. Had to know what a man with his background was like. After all, he could handle himself pretty well if it came to it. At least enough to get to his room, and there he would be safe. Resolved to stay, he tried to appear natural; lounged in his chair, legs over the arm, system controller in hand, virtual combat blazing across the TV screen and through the speakers.

When the door finally opened he froze. He didn’t mean to, he just reacted. A deer in headlights, he watched as Agony entered. He was immediately struck by the size of the man. Towering, it was a wonder he got through the door without ducking. And muscle. Not that grotesque body-builder bulk, but lean, hard girth. Solid mass like a Mack truck. He moved with a nonchalant swagger, as if he’d just returned from some errand instead of walking in for the first time. Within a moment Agony’s long strides had him directly in front of G-Wiz. Wide eyed, he couldn’t help but stare.

Agony gave him a curious look; mocking, but in a way, friendly. It was a look that said he’d seen this reaction before and was a little amused by it. He seemed to consider the kid briefly; eyebrow’s rising, “Right.” His demeanor shifted as he turned toward the large TV screen, pointing at the cyber fighters still waging their epic battle, “So, what game you playing?”

The question caught G-Wiz off guard. This wasn’t at all what he’d expected. Agony turned his head with a questioning glance, willing the dumbfounded G-Wiz to snap out of it. A micron of composure returned to him. “Technically none,” he managed to say as he began to remember the controller in his hand. He tuned back to the screen, and instantly felt more confident, now in his element, “I’m testing environments for the Fight Club.”

Agony watched as the kid performed impressive and complicated combat maneuvers inside a virtual environment that looked almost real. He glanced over at him, “You’re doing what now?”

“Testing environments. It’s my Illusion Generator. It lets us—“

“Wiz,” Slo’s voice interrupting him. He appeared out of nowhere, but G-Wiz was used to it. No one ever saw Slo unless he wanted them to. “You gonna introduce me to your friend?”

The kid could tell Agony hadn’t seen him coming. His appearance had either scared or impressed him because he wasn’t friendly or curious anymore. Now he was cautious, watching Slo carefully. “Agony, this is Slo. Slo, Agony.” Agony took his eyes off Slo long enough only to give him a questioning scowl. G-Wiz shrugged, “I saw your file.”

“Wiz.” Slo said the name mildly, but G-Wiz could feel the warning in it.

“What?” It hadn’t occurred to him that the information was secret.

“What kind of name is Slo?” Agony interrupted, attention back on him.

“What kind of name is Agony?” Slo responded now returning the favor, attention locked on the larger man.

“Hell, what kind of name is G-Wiz” him attempting to break the tension. The two men broke their stare to give him a disapproving look. “I’m not helping am I?” G-Wiz turned in his chair, sitting in it properly for the first time and tried to appear invisible as he mashed slowly at his controller buttons.

Agony and Slo turned back, eyes locked, each measuring the other with a fierce intensity. Slo broke the expanding silence first, “What do you say Wiz, shall we show Agony what the Illusion Generator is in person?”

The kid turned slowly, looking to see if Slo was serious. Agony seemed to understand the implications though. He spoke before G-Wiz could reply, “You gonna show me personally, Slo?”

“That’s the idea.”

Like everything, Slo spilled the words like they were no big deal, but G-Wiz knew otherwise. He was picking a fight with Agony. Didn’t seem like a good idea to him, but then again he wasn’t the one getting in the ring so who was he to bitch?

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