"It's FINALLY ready!" Nemesis yelled at me from across the house."About time!" I hollered back, falling down the stairs as the quickest way to get to the basement. (I was not the most coordinated person at 14.)
Nemesis was installed in my spot, busily sorting through weapons. I elbowed him. "Move it. I drive, remember?"
"I don't have a chair," Nemesis shot back, ignoring me.
"Then go get one," I suggested, pushing him off. Nemesis muttered something uncomplimentary about my looks and snagged a chair from across the room.
I quickly made sure my controls were in order. "Now where are we?"
"Lower level of the city," my brother reminded me.
"Ah. Right." I quickly spun, surveying the landscape. A Stridicus was charging us, but it was far enough out that I figured we had some time. I quickly picked up a zorch propulsor for Nemesis. "I'd hold off on using that."
"Figured we'd go with the large zorcher," my brother agreed, punching the appropriate buttons. "If you'd turn around..."
I snickered and spun. Nemesis opened fire, spraying the Stridicus. After about ten shots, it gave a surprised Burr-hurr-hurr and vanished.
"It sounds like a chicken," I commented, charging out the door and turning around so Nemesis could strafe the two Flemoids hiding on either side of the door. He took them out with two precise shots.
"Lot of Bipedicuses heading our way," I warned, examining the the doors on the side of the street. One appeared unlocked, so I headed that direction.
"Isn't it Bipedici?" Nemesis asked, airing his fresh Latin knowledge as well as succumbing to his inner naturalist. "Also, there's no one out here."
"Whatever," I snorted, popping the door. "And I was referring to in here!"
"RAPID ZORCHER!" Nemesis yelled, diving frantically for his controls and spitting fire at the room. One mayhem-filled moment later, and the room was clear. I gave my copilot a look. He looked a bit sheepish. "I forgot about those guys."
I sighed. "You're going to get us slimed."
"Unlikely," Nemesis informed me. "Those were Flemoids, not Bipedici."
"And this one?" I asked, popping the door and gesturing to the alien bearing down on us.
"That is a Bipedicus," Nemesis confirmed, switching back to the large zorcher and frying the lumbering alien.
"Do you happen to remember what's behind this door?" I asked.
Nemesis frowned, rapidly switching through all available guns. "Uh...wasn't this where we got slimed by that Cycloptis last time?"
I wrinkled my nose. "Oh. Right. Which gun are you gonna--"
"The zorch propulsor," Nemesis cut me off, searching his cheat sheet. "Button...5. Ready."
I popped the door and charged inside. Nemesis dropped the Cycloptis with two quick shots. Celebratory cheering was abruptly cut off by the splorch of slime hitting our collective back. I spun around as Nemesis switched to the rapid zorcher so we could down the group of Flemoids that we'd both forgotten about.
"Oops," my brother snickered.
I sighed. "Where's the nearest water?"
"There's a supercharge breakfast up the stairs and to the left," Nemesis remembered.
I glared at him. "You remember that, but not the squad we just zorched??"
"Hey, guys, what are you doing?" Quill asked, wandering into the craft room.
I looked up. "Oh, hi. We're playing ChexQuest. Nemesis just got us slimed."
"It wasn't that bad, and YOU forgot too!" Nemesis protested.
Quill ignored the parenthetical comments, having learned that getting in an argument with us was about as rewarding as watching paint dry, with the added bonus of being as efficient as running on a treadmill was for getting places. "Slimed? What's that?"
"Eh, it's supposed to be a kid-friendly game, so you can't die, you just get slimed," I explained. "You get too much slime, and you get stuck and can't go anywhere. That's how you lose."
Quill peered over our shoulders. "How do you win?"
"By completing the levels and zorching all the aliens back to their own dimension," Nemesis explained.
"Aliens? Like that?" Quill asked, pointing.
"ARMORED BIPEDICUS RUUUNNN!!!!" Nemesis yelled.
"Shootitshootitshootit!!!!!" I screeched back.
"Uhhh..." Quill hesitated, backing slowly away. "What--"
Nemesis dropped the Armored Bipedicus with the zorch propulsor, but we sustained two slimeballs to the face. "Nemesis shoots, and I move," I explained, my fingers busy on the arrow keys. "He also has the map--Nemesis, where are we?"
Nemesis pushed the tab key, displaying the map. "We need to go right at the next hallway."
"No, the key is down the left turn," I argued. "The blue door is where we need to go, but we don't have the key. Also, we need to supercharge breakfast. Our health is down to 52%."
My copilot minimized the map. "And we need armor. See any slime repellent?"
"Zoombinis is better," Quill muttered, leaving the room. "You guys are weird."
"It's called being cooperative," I shot back, eyes never leaving the screen. "Besides, it's the only way I could sell Mom on this. Wanna play Oregon Trail with us tomorrow?"
"Only if I get to write the diary!" Quill returned excitedly.
"Fine. But I'm doing the hunt--NEMESIS SHOOT THE SUPER CYCLOPTIS ALREADY!!" I interrupted myself to yell.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK I'M DOING???" Nemesis yelled back.
We dropped the massive floating tank and charged through the final door to complete the level. Predictably, Mom walked in. "Okay boys, that's enough computer time for today. Go outside."
"Okay. Nemesis, wanna play ChexQuest?" I asked.
Mom gave me the look. "I said, no more computer games today."
"We're playing ChexQuest in real life," I tried to explain.
Nemesis bolted. "I'll get my zorcher!"
Mom sighed. "Fine. No firing darts at your sisters, though."
"They're just wusses," I muttered.
|A Flemoid, contemplating our impeccable teamwork.|