It is time for Queen Sheila of Genesis City to make a return! Sorry, Earthbound; your place in our hearts is solid even if your place in the cartridge slot is temporary. Here we go, Genesis Crush.
Lamar is back, and Kobi and I have cleaned up the place a little bit to celebrate his return to consciousness. He is now wearing a toboggan over his head to hide the metal protruding from his head, and has on a pair of glasses too at the recommendation of R8PR. Am I the ONLY person who doesn’t wear glasses among the people I know? (I choose not to believe that I “know” Marge Eisenhower.)
R8PR grabs Lamar by the shoulders and makes a series of rapid chirping sounds. Lamar falls to the floor unconscious instantly. He’s out, and so is his AI. For how long, though, is impossible to tell.
“Well, we have learned quite a few things from the past day,” R8PR says. “I am quite satisfied with all of the research that you inadvertently obtained.”
“Uh, thanks,” I say.
More people are starting to fill the streets of downtown Atlanta. It’s just now seven in the morning, but the number of commuters and early risers is starting to make this chase for Lamar very difficult. I shove a man in a suit out of the way, and yell, “Sorry!”
“This is just like when Sigourney gets kidnapped in Fourside!” Kobi exclaims as we stroll down the street, looking for any sign of Lamar’s existence.
“Her name is Paula,” I say. “And she’s not anything like Lamar. This isn’t a video game.” The hangover is starting to come on, and I’m feeling dizzier by the moment, but I of course am able to keep very calm and collected even in the face of ABSOLUTE DISASTER.
I open the fridge and bring out the six-pack of peach vodka sodas (for myself as the fruity drink asshole I am), and the six-pack of beers (for my dear friend with whom an evening of festivities is about to commence). Tonight, Lamar and I (and absolutely not Kobi) are going to have alcohol-fueled fun, and that is a direct order.
“Welcome to Yum Mart,” the Yum Mart robot says as we enter the Yum Mart.
“Why did it have to be Yum Mart…” I whine.
“You know I never go to Fami,” Lamar says. “Not after the chicken incident.”
My apartment is turning into a real wreck.
One of my very best friends throughout my childhood.
He was the one who dared me to climb the tallest tree in Piedmont Park, and then the one who called the fire department when I got stuck for two hours. He was the one who knocked out a girl who was teasing me on the playground. He was the one who joined me when I ran away from home for a day and a half middle school.
Lamar lays asleep in a dusty, long-abandoned emergency room of a former hospital in the outskirts of the city.
R8PR moves around a few times a year to keep potential sleuths off his trail, but this is the area he revisits the most often, because it’s the only place where there is functional medical equipment to use when we need it. Even so, this place seems a bit out of his style. It’s abandoned, but it’s not in ruins and certainly not a good place to hide out for too long because this is a popular spot for homeless people to gather, at least on the lower floors. We had to avoid a few drugged-out individuals yelling at us as we dragged this guy over here.
But we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t desperate.