“I’m Moonslash, the famous Cybermancer, terror of Atlanta!” Edd Rockatansky shouts. Well, I guess Edd is probably an alias now that I actually say the name out loud. It definitely cries “really fake identity I used to fool my employers.”
Karina turns to me. “Hey, uh, who is this guy?”
“He’s the one who I ran into at K-Store yesterday. I guess he’s a Cybermancer.”
“What’s a Cybermancer?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Hey, guy, what’s a Cybermancer?”
Edd, or “Moonslash” I guess, stomps his foot on the ground and raises his Power Gloved fist in the air. “The Cybermancers are the most feared criminal organization in Atlanta! We will stop at nothing to bring to its knees anything that stands in our way. Each and every one of you should tremble from our might!”
We both look at Moonslash.
He grimaces. “Seriously, you don’t know the Cybermancers? Shit, that’s pretty bad.”
“So you’re the one who did the fake Bidbay auction, right?” I ask.
“Clearly. Who else could possibly have pulled that off?”
“And you leaked all my personal info online?”
“Mostly to dilute the brand.”
“I think he means to make sure it affects you forever,” Karina says.
“I mean, it’s not like I really care…”
“Oh, but you will,” says Moonslash.
“So what do you want to get you to stop the annoying robots?” I ask. “Do you want the video game back?”
He laughs. “Oh, no. I got myself like, two hundred copies of that thing on Wednesday, no thanks to you, and I’m getting more every day by intercepting robot couriers. The game is out of stock everywhere so I’m just going to keep making it scarcer, and then I can start scalping it online. I’m thinking it’ll sell like hotcakes at two hundred dollars a copy. Maybe even three hundred. You WISH you could make money like that.”
Creating an artificial shortage of a popular video game in order to drive the price up on the secondary market… that’s the most evil plan I’ve heard of yet. Truly heinous.
“Then, what do you want from me?”
Moonslash smiles. “Revenge.”
“Ah, crud. I’m not sure if I can give that to you. I’m fresh out.”
“By the laws of the Cybermancer Code,” Moonslash says. “I am forced to give you an official Decree of Challenge. From this day forward, I will pursue you relentlessly and destroy your life to restore the honor I lost after I was humiliated and fired because of you.”
“You got fired because of me?”
“Well, mostly because I got caught manipulating the price of the Genesis Crush copies. But you’re the one who got me caught.”
“Yeah, but you’re still going to be rich, just like you said. Who cares?”
“You can’t worm your way out of this one,” he says. “Cybermancers don’t take kindly to those who cross them. We are people who can alter space and time with the flick of our wrists. We can control the technological elements. And our honor is the most important thing we possess.”
“Eh, I’m good. I give up.”
“Really, I don’t feel like fighting.”
“Morgan, shut up,” Karina says. “I think he’s serious.”
“What? You’re taking his side? How come?”
“That Power Glove looks pretty scary.”
“Oh no, what is he gonna do, motion control us to death?”
Moonslash laughs. “I won’t directly harm you this time. That would be incredibly dishonorable, on our first meeting. But I will do my very best to put you through trials you have never before encountered.”
“I’m not sure if you realize exactly who you’re dealing with when you targeted me… But okay, I’ll endure your evil wicked trials or whatever,” I say. “Good luck.”
He raises his Power Glove into the air and crunches his fist. Bolts of lightning shoot into the sky and explode like fireworks. Some of the people skating around the park stop and look up at the display, probably wondering if this is an early start to Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
All I know is I’m going to be in for something really stupid and I need to consult with some experts very quickly. I see some auction robots starting to gather outside the entrance to the skating area and they really look like they’re going to offer me some deals. Again.
What I don’t know is that in all of my sarcastic quips, I really should have been taking Moonslash seriously, because I’m in for a world of pain.