Constantine Tybalt Atkins worked the joystick over familiar territory. Having eclipsed his previous Breakout record by a whopping 239 points, he allowed himself a moment outside the trance.
The Vectrex was suffering from burn-in, CTA rasterized permanently on yet another monitor. Which was annoying, because was down to only 3 Vectrexes. Think of what these would bring on eBay, he thought, laughing to himself. Gingerly, he placed the Vectrex back in its packaging,...
"CON-NEE! TELLAPHONE!" The shrill voice of his mother pierced through his door and right into his temple. Loathing stabbed into his brain; he hated being disturbed.
"Is it one of my clients?" through gnashed teeth.
"Wouldn't say," said his mother, placing the cordless phone on his desk and curtly marching out his room.
The phone was still wobbling a bit when he picked it up.
"This Atkins?" The voice on the end was gruff, authoritative. Probably some rich dude who wants a suit, Constantine thought.
"Yes. Who is this?"
Cooper was a childhood friend. A friend in the sense that he spoke to Constantine, unlike most of the other children. Perhaps the two were even fond of each other from time to time...Constantine's pupils rotated rhythmically as every instant he spent in Cooper's company flashed through his mind.
Bright bursts of wet on Cooper's lawn. A plastic clown spitting through a garden hose...paddle controllers on his Atari 2600...
"Wonder why I'm calling, huh?" Constantine would have had to care first. Cooper was just another set of memories to shuffle around in his head...the firstborn son of the richest family in Castle Hills, living in a huge brilliant white box way back on the lot. Daddy was a big time investment banker-that was before they built the Dominion out on the West Side for the real big bucks... A call from Cooper Davison, one more memory to add to the pile. Constantine mumbled something that was exactly the minimum effort required to continue the conversation.
"Gotta job for you. Remember how you were always good at video games?"
Constantine's eyebrows were suddenly 45-degree angles, his hand tight around the hatband it had been haphazardly fingering the second before. And Constantine Atkins did geniunely wonder why Cooper Davison was calling.