Junkie-Jabber: Ok so this isn't quite as long as I had hoped after taking so long to post it, but here it is. I am actively writing part 5 as I post this, so you may be seeing that over the weekend. the odd thing is with these is that it takes me a grand total of maybe 2 or 3 hours to write one and get it sounding more or less the way I want it to. Its all the other crap that goes on around me on a day-to-day basis that makes it take for ever to get one done. Enjoy, and if you really like it feel free to give me a nice little donation of Crack Hits!! hehe.
The Fan: Part 4
The championship game had been all that Gerald had hoped it would be and so much more. The roar of the crowd, easily ten times the size of that at a MCOVI game, exploded with near nuclear force at each touchdown. Even with protective coverings Gerald’s ears were still ringing more than an hour afterwards. As he entered the hotel room Gerald dug a finger in his ear, wiggling it in a vain attempt to clear his hearing. He tossed his side-pack onto the coffee table, spilling its overflowing mass of souveniers across the glass top. A black and silver glove that would expand when worn to make a giant “number one”, several posters, a cap with the raiders logo, a fake champion’s ring, and of course Gerald’s tattered, lucky pennant.
Gerald flopped down onto the plush sofa and pulled the data-pad onto his lap. He activated the display and within minutes was swapping out lines of code; breaking the pads connection with the wall mounted screen and attaching it to the window display. With a final tap the window flickered and instead of showing the senery choices, the screen was divided into six different sports broadcasts.
Gerald sighed pleasantly as he surveyed his handiwork. It was nice to know that even after all this time he still had the knack. He looked on as the different programs flashed through their play-by-play run downs. The three along the top, devoted to the Raiders, were where Gerald put most of his attention. Suddenly the middle screen cut its review of Barnes’ game ending forty-five yard touchdown run, which left two of the blockers seriously injured, to a big logo of a helmet done half in raiders black and silver; the other in team colors Gerald had never seen before. Block letters above the helmet declared: “Breaking News!”. Below that in a smaller font: “Pride of the Purist Nation to Grace Tier 2!”
Gerald Quickly snatched up the data-pad and enlarged that section. He turned up the volume just as the commentators appeared on the screen.
“This is Chip Mustafar here and I have some exciting news for all of you Quentin Barnes fans out there! It seems that the recent rumors concerning young Barnes’ contract being sold to a second tier franchise have been comfirmed!” Chip smiled broadly displaying large too white teeth. “We go now, live, to the press conference already in progress.”
The image changed to a room crowded with reporters, all jockeying for a better position. The focus of their attention was a podium behind which stood Stedmar Osborne, the owner of the MCOVI Raiders, and beside him was Quentin Barnes himself.
“…came through just last week. Quentin here,” Stedmar put an arm somewhat awkwardly around the much bigger man’s shoulders. “signed the contract right way with my endorsement.” Stedmar grinned up at Quentin with a proud, almost fatherly, grin. “But this is his news. I will let Quentin do the big reveal.” Stedmar stepped back and to the side gesturing for Barnes to take the podium.
Quentin stepped up smiling at the crowd. “Tier two!” he shouted pumping a fist in the air, and the reporters chuckled politely. “That’s were I’m headed, and from their on to tier one. No waiting in line!” As they quieted Quentin continued. “My contract was bought last week by the Krakens, a tier two team in the Quyth Irradiated Conference. It seems the Krakens know how to pick players, seeing they already have Rick Warburg. Between the two of us we’re going to show the sub-races how the Purist Nation plays the game” Applause burst out and a few of the reporters lost decorum enough to hoot out a praise the High One. Quentin stepped back, and amid a flurry of questions being shouted by the throng Stedmar retook the podium. He gestured for silence the spoke.
“Due to GFL league regulations we can’t go into any more detail as to the particulars of the deal at this time. After Quentin finishes his testing at the Combine you will all be receiving official statements and press packets from both myself, and the Krakens team owner. Until then folks, good night.” Stedmar gave a little head nod of a bow and followed Quentin off the small stage.
Gerald sat in shocked silence as Chip came back on, opening up a discussion with a second commentator that had joined him during the conference. He just couldn’t wrap his mind around the announcement. Gerald had hear the rumors, but he’d thought that they were just that, rumors. Of course he knew Barnes was upper tier material, but to have him snatched from tier three so soon was inconceivable. He was still only nineteen, and a long way off from getting confirmed. Nobody left the Purist Nation until then. It just was not done.
As it all started to sink in Gerald worked past the religious implication and came to the sudden realization that he would not get to see Quentin play for the Raiders next season. Hell, with all the strictures the Purist Nation put on out-system broadcasts Gerald would probably never see him play again. And how Barnes leaving faired for Gerald’s beloved team was just as bad. The winning streak was done, that was certain.
Gerald turned from the screen and looked, with a depressed stare, at the pile of swag from the game where it lay on the table. After a minute his gaze caught on the edge of something bright green poking out from one of the open pockets. Numbly he reached out and pulled the object from the bag. It was the card that Diego had given him, and stuck to it was the “sample” of Verge. The skull on the package grinned toothily up at him. Gerald sighed and was about to toss it back onto the table but reconsidered. Why not, he thought, maybe it will take the edge off. He tore open the package and looked at the odd patch inside. It was two toned, one side filled with a bright green liquid that almost matched the name card; the other neon orange. Gerald peeled the backing off and took a deep breath before slapping the patch onto his upper arm.
For a minute Gerald thought that maybe he had done it wrong. Nothing was happening. Just as he was about to take the thing off he started to feel a tingling sensation in the tips of his fingers and toes. The feeling radiated upwards, numbing his limbs as it traveled. Then a sudden explosion of pain ripped through his chest. It felt like having a white hot iron had been stabbed into his heart, then for good measure kicked deeper by a horse. The pain jolted to his feet, but his numb legs refused to obey him, and he toppled to the floor, clipping his forehead on the sharp edge of the coffee table. A long gash opened where the table hit, arching over his right eyebrow and up into his hairline. Blood poured from the wound, coating the side of his face as Gerald tried to think through the pain.
Violent aftershocks rocked Gerald’s chest, not as bad as the first, but not far off either. He forced his mind to work. Something had to have gone wrong. He needed help. Phone… That’s what he needed. But where is the phone? Gerald thought. Bedroom… nightstand… He willed his arms and legs to move, feeling his strength ebbing away as he pulled himself into the room, leaving a trail of blood from the cut on his head. Somehow he managed to get onto the bed, and just lay there a moment, trying to muster the strength to reach for the phone.
As Gerald rolled towards the phone the stabbing pains subsided. The numbness had crept up into his chest, and was slowly moving up his neck. Thinking became even more difficult now, his mental processes slowing. Phone, Gerald’s mind screamed, need phone… call… He looked down at his outstretched hand thorugh the one eye not coated with blood that was starting to flow more slowly. Call…call who…why…? The tingle was now encompassing his head and at last the pain was gone. All feeling was gone. Gerald let his hand fall and slumped onto his back staring unblinkingly at the tiled ceiling. No…at clouds…at stars… Gerald’s thoughts drifted slowly off into a peaceful ocean of oblivion...