All of me /us
The silence in his solitude prison was broken by the sound of the electric safety doors opening. As by all means it was made sure he couldn`t hack into the system it was necessary to scan your eyes, index finger and say a certain safety keyword. Each day a new word, the system also intelligent enough to recognize the voices of those who were allowed to enter. It was the price he paid for unleashing a new virus on the city.
Due to the mercy of the Mall Rats and the pleading of his older brother he got the chance to make amends. After he had stopped the virus just in time, he had been taken into custody, getting to stay in the very hotel from which he had operated before. Ram and Jack had made sure that he had only the technical stuff necessary to help the city run.
Why anyone would ever trust Ram considering “save technology” was still a mystery to him, but maybe this was the 2nd chance business. He didn
t care for a 2nd chance, he didnt know why he had stopped the virus in the end. Maybe because of the kids, maybe because of his brother. He was just happy he did it, because even if anyone would wonder, his life had far improved since the Technos. Now he spent his days sitting on monitors watching the city, leading electricity, working on systems for a general medical care system or a school system for everyone and such nearly fairytale dreams the Mall Rats had.
“Mega? Where are you?” the female voice echoed melodical through the lifeless place. “Up here as …” the door to his technical dome opened.
“…as always!” she sighed “Really? You`ve got a whole hotel at your leisure! You could reinstall the Spa and the pool…you could live pretty good here, you know?”
Shrugging his shoulders he tipped in the last codes to ensure today’s possible electricity was fairly divided between all tribes, before he turned towars her " No matter how often you try to tempt me Ellie, it isn`t …" he stopped midsentence surprised by the blonde Mall rat’s appearance. Dressed in red and green, her long hair in curls with silvery pearls braided in some of them, her eyes laid with white/green glittery eyeshadow, her full lips a powerful red and little silver stars painted skillfull around her right temple she looked just like a fairy. A christmas fairy.
Open mouthed he stared at her, making her look defensive “What? Got dirt on my nose?”
Head shaking, he tried to regain control about the sudden feeling that his insides were doing the conga. “No…erm…you just…well…are you applying for the job of Santa’s elf or what?”
Grinning she sat down a basket on the little table, the only space in his favorite room that was not littered with books, lists of codes and keywords ad notes to all kind of technical businesses. “It
s the first time since all the adults died that we celebrate Christmas and Im going to make the most of it!”
Looking curious he watched as she lifted a plate full of cookies from the basket. He inhaled the delicious smell that usually came with meals. Trudy could cook. Like really cook. Like “give her 5 stars at michellin” cook. One of the many improvements of his life. Regular meals cooked by Trudy. “Slade told us you used to love macaroons, so Trudy put in some extras of her cocos and nut macaroons. And she made cinnamon stars! Those are…”
Already having succumbed to the smell Mega had stuffed one in his mouth and was chewing it with an almost religious look. Ellie giggled at his greedy face " I take it you like them. Trudy will be delighted!"
“They are superb, like everything dear Trudy produces. She is a magician!”
His words were earnest and spoken without any sarcasm. Mega never underestimated others achievements, he honoured if people were really masters in something - no matter what. It was one of the things that made Ellie like him. But he also could make you feel as stupid as a piece of dry rotten bread. Because of that they had decided that only most self confident and strong minded people should be working alongside him and getting the acess to his place. Slade of course could visit his brother anytime. Jay, Amber, Jack and her were the ones with acess and they were the ones who could take others with them. Often they took Ram with them, because he was one of the few really understanding the things Mega worked on besides Jack.
t Jack coming today? Ive got to show him something! The idea he gave me yesterday was ruddy brilliant I fear…” he asked , hoping Ellie wouldn`t notice how eager he was to speak to her boyfriend. It was worrying him, himself, as he could not stop thinking of the joy and pride it would bring to Jack that his idea would do the trick. He took up the kettle full of Trudys onion soup out of the basket and walked over to his little kitchen pantry, where he filled a bowl with the soup and put it in his microwave.
“Oh yes he is! But Slade and him are first repairing the electrical line on the Roosters building. They are complaining on it being itchy since a fortnight!”
“Really? The Roosters?” forgetting his soup he looked down on his monitoring board, tipping in the coordinates of the camera that was placed right on the corner of the named tribes headquarter. “Ah there they are…but…but what are they doing?” he could not contain a stain of disbelief and shock to his voice.
Ellie jumped to his side and shrieked. Jack abd Slade were up high and a ladder was lying beaneath. It obviousily had fallen down; members of the Roosters standing there and laughing like they were watching some comedy entertainment programm. Without thinking, Mega grabbed for his microphone, “Central supply station calling…you
re being watched Roosters and if you pieces of scumbags dont save those guys asap I `m going to make sure that being supplied with hot water is the last on your list of worries!”
Reculantly, but also looking around worried the Roosters set to help the two Mall Rats and Ellie breathed deeply as Jack was back on firm ground. She hugged Mega “Thank you Mega, thanks a million!”
“You`re welcome…” he said indifferent, still staring on the monitor. His heart was racing. Was it because his brother had been in danger? Because he had been able to demonstrate his skills and warn people that he was still in charge somehow? Or because he had become really fond of Jack, who with his curiosity and fast thinking mind had become someone Mega called “bearable” (in face of others , to himself he knew that Jack was even more…a friend, maybe?)
Feeling Ellie’s warm cheek still on his, recognizing the twists his heart did, he got the impression that his reaction might have still more complicated reasons…
m telling you that Mega guy is a freak! Hes stalking every one of us!” The leader of the Roosters was striding up and down the mall’s center, not caring that his voice echoed through the whole building.
“Well you will forgive that in this case I can`t be worried about it! He saved Jack’s life!” Amber said, her arms tightly crossed.
“Oh come off it…guys were having fun…they wouldn`t have let anything happen to your precious little genius!”
t you talk in that tone in my home and not about any of the members of my tribe!" she said warningly. "We agreed in the city contract that each tribe is worth the same, each getting the same supplies and each having the same duties! Im not seeing your tribe fullfilling that by calling our guys for help with an electrical line and then having “FUN” while they are hanging from the roof! And Mega is supposed to watch the city through the cameras outside on the streets. We all agreed on this safety measure!”
“But he is not supposed to threaten people with withdrawing their supplies or even worse! It`s not on him to decide for punishment or any other public matter, come to it! He has no right…”
" No right to help? No right to save lifes if possible? Not even when his own brother needs him? Isn
t his whole captivity based on him showing that he changed? That he cares and protects, if possible? That he is worth something to our society? I was there, Ive seen him. He reacted on pure instinct, to protect Slade and Jack! HOW DARE YOU EVEN COME HERE BLAMING AMBER? It was your guys doing the crime!" Ellie screamed furiously just entering from the main entrance.
“As I already declared…”
“ENOUGH!!!” a clipping voice sounded up from the gallery of the malls stairs. A woman dressed in a tight red and black leather corseted catsuit; long braids swinging behind her came into sight. Leaning her hands on the banister, she stared down on the Rooster “You
ve come here. Youve complained. You
ve been heard. As much as we accept anyones worries, rest assured that Mega is under our control. We have strict measures concerning him. Its in our duty which we take serious. I
m sure you dont want to say you don
t trust us? The Mall Rats? The ones who saved every freaking ass in the city for a millin times?" Her eyes looked cold and waiting for a him to dare to contradict her "Im not hearing Amber or for fact Jack and Slade complaining like a baby and whining for venegance, even if the guys surely have the right to ask for punishment of your tribe members!” raising her left eyebrow she called “Jack? Slade? Do you want to put an official accuse against the Roosters?”
Both guys , looking perfectly at ease, came strolling from the mall’s cafe, each holding a steaming cup of coffee. “What? Why would we do that? I
m sure it was a one time mistake and with Mega’s video there isnt need for an official accuse because those videos show exactly what happenend. Pure fact. But if you ask if we want to have them punished…” Jack blew on his coffee sharing a look with Slade “…we don
t. We dont care for some poor , sad birds who chicken out as soon as they have to stand in for their own actions!”
Ebony’s lips twichted as did Amber’s, the leader of the Roosters glared at them, swallowing at the obvious bait to his tribe’s name. Without another word he turned around and left the mall.
As soon as he was gone, laughter errupted from the whole tribe “That was brilliant, Jack!” Lex said, clapping a hand over the friend’s shoulder “Absolutely!”
Slade roared "
“That`s our boy!” Jay laughed, ruffling Jack’s hair
“Hey…hey keep your fingers to youself, you`ve been eating Trudy’s treats!” Jack shook his red hairedd head stroking out non excisting crumbles with his hands.
Ellie stormed up the stairs, flung her arms around him “You
re well...Oh my god, youre well! It looked so terrible!” she breathed and kissed him fiercely
“Go get a room!” Lex joked good heartened as they broke off, Jack looking like he`d been hit with a stick over his head, but extremely pleased all the same.
“Me okay…” he mumbled, stroking her cheeks gently.
Sighing theatrical, Ebony threw her hands up “Yeah go laughing about some feeble joke…” but she grinned, which took the edge out of her words.
“Thanks Ebony, you really got our backs there.” Amber said from beside her.
With raised eyebrows the ex Loco queen looked at the Mall Rat leader “What? That was fun. Anytime you need someone kicking a whiner’s ass…I`m your girl!” With wondering looks following her she walked into the cafe “Any chance you left some cookies?”
Jay laid an arm around Amber’s shoulders “She`s acting weird…”
" Must be the Christmas spirit…" She turned towards Ellie, “How`s Mega? That was really fast thinking he did there. By speaking over the official mic line, he made sure we were alerted and Lex was there before any worse could happen!”
The other girl nodded. “Yes I`ve seen. Mega is okay, a bit surprised of himself if you ask me. He told me he acted without thinking, what has to be a first for him! He said to me I shall say sorry to you!”
“SORRY?! What should he be sorry for?” Ram made an impatient noise. “Dear me! I
l never understand how you have been leading that long...ts...Its obvious! Mega knows that his announcement will bring more then one “worried” tribe leader here…”
“Oh well that was just the leader of the Roosters, who was always a whiner, they all are to be honest.”
“I know, but mark my words…Mega knows how society functions. Now he as the outsider who only lives due to his use of that society , but isn
t a real part of it, has made a statement judging the behavior of real members of that society..." As if Rams words had been a keyword there was a ringing outside the malls main entrance. Jay went looking on the little monitor which showed the entrance "Oh my...seems youre right Ram!”
The former leader of the Technos rolled his eyes “Well THAT`s news to me!” and went back to his working room.
“Oh really…whats up with these people?” Amber sighed angrily " They wet themselves because Mega can SEE them, but it`s perfectly okay if some morons go try killing members of our tribe?" she hissed , giving a sign to her boyfriend to open up the entrance “EBONY? You better get here. NOW!”
Chewing on a piece of Weihnachtsstollen Ebony joined her whispering “We should just give some of those treats to the people…that`s absolut delicious!”
Again Amber looked wondering at the old rival. It wasn`t normal for Ebony to speak out compliments and caring for any of the others to be true. But since a while she only used BITCH MODE on outsiders. Not that anyone complained about that.
“Of course…the Demon Dogs, the Mosquitos with their new leader, the new formated Tribe Circus…all those jolly good friends of ours” she stated licking off some sugars from her fingertips “Watch me!” she said with wink and went down the stairs, arms outstretched in a clearly welcoming gesture “Welcome to our splendid home, do you like our decorations?” Indeed the mall looked like a Christmas wonderland with Mistletoes, candy canes and christmas baubles. Little colourful packages were laying and hanging everywhere, icing spray letting everything seem to be frosted, soft cotton wool imitating freshly fallen snow.
s your business. Were here for more pressing matters then taste in decoration” The newly elected leader of the Mosquitos said, wrinkling her nose at a very extraordinary christmas bauble, that Brday had decorated with dry noodles and painted then in all colours of the rainbow.
“Is that so?”
“Yes it is! We
re here because of what happened. That guy cant spy on us and speak out threats!”
“But people can watch out tribe members being hurt for purpose or fun?” Ellie snapped. Before either Amber or Ebony could stop her, she went in front of all of them, hands on her hips. Jack who just had ran out on the stairs again couldn
t blame that the people moved a few steps back, as Ellie looked so remarkable like her older sister when she was a fury. "Spare your crap! There were people in danger and Mega helped them! By giving out his so calledthreat
, he made sure those excuses for a human being helped both guys right in time. And by the by...would any of you complain it would have been members of your tribes saved by him? Or wouldnt you complain about the behavior of the Roosters, screaming for punishment?"
Some of them adverted her eyes, shuffling their feet embarassed that Ellie had found a point. “Are you telling us it was an empty
With a derisive laugh Ellie looked at Amber and Ebony "Do you hear that? What else? Of course it was! Mega is under our watch 24hrs a day by almost 50 cameras, he has no access to any technic without Jack knowing. He just wanted to help…after all…Slade is his brother!”
“And he wasn`t that wrong, if something would have happenend to out tribe members there would have been punishment. And the most severe there is, cutting away the supplies and privileges of the offending tribe.” Ebony spoke up, her voice icy and strict. Away was her welcoming warmth and her smile, replaced by her usual superior look.
" So…urm…" the leader of the Mosquitos had lost her ground of argument “…yeah…urm…well that
s ...thats quite right, of course…and it`s really generous of you—you arent punishing the Roosters”
“See it as a one time Christmas gift!” showing to the door Ebony made clear that the talk was over “And now if there isn`t anything else…???”
They shook their heads “No, no…yes…erm…good day to you!” the intruders left the mall, no one in the mood to start a fight for real.
All three women sighed deeply “Sorry for interrupting, Ebony!”
“No way, you`re good with making our enemies feel stupid and guilty. Alice would have been proud!”
“Those people aren`t our enemies, Ebony!”
Amber said exparated “Yeah, how would you call them then? Friends of family?” We should get out a statement about Mega’s postion, making clear that we have him under watch or next time we might have trouble convincing people" turning round Ebony made clear for the entrance
m going out...dont wait for me darlings!”
t go alone just now!" Jay called after her "Wanna join me sweetheart? Guess your girl wont like that!” laughing she vanished.
Amber shrugged her shoulders at him “Well…she will never be our best pal.”
“We take her as we get her…” the pair walked away to watch after Amber’s son.
Jack came close to Ellie, hugging her from behind “That was damn sexy…you being all bitch with those people…you know?” he breathed , kissing her neck and finally biting softly in her ear.
“Hmmm…wanna see some more bitch?” she asked pulling him already away to their room…
Staring into the night’s sky, Mega laid on his bed. He had moved the bed right under the window, so that he could look outside if he laid on it. Having always been a bad sleeper, he liked to watch the stars while he let his endless thoughts drift. It had been an eventful day on which end he had a visit of Amber and Jay, telling him they were planning to make an official statement considering his position and future in the city’s society.
Future. Did he really have one? Die he really need one? The Technos had meant future to him once, but now he realized it was his fear and helplessness that had brought him there. Was there really a future to someone like him?Wouldn’t people ever doubt him? It sounded nice to get maybe chances of leaving the building though, even with a guard. People might take him for a nerd, but he was trainend in fighting like every other Techno had been, so he wasn
t afraid of attacks. Jay of course hadnt forgotten his skill and made clear that whoever would walk with him, would carry a laser tag. He`d shaken his head then, telling them it would not do to give people the oppurtunity to steal a dangerous wepon and that it might be better if Jack and Ram created some kind of electronic Fußfessel.
With that they would be able to find him anywhere and everyone would always know where he was. Both had said they would discuss the matter with Ram and Jack. He would be able to go with Jack then, when he went for one of his missions to the old fabrics, instead of comunicating over a head set. They might be able to achieve something for real then. Jack had the vision to use solar energy and such and Mega was ready to give it a try. Why not using clean energy? The world population had declined drastically due to the virus and its after effects on humanity. Earth had time to breath. In a few years many animal populations would be back to normal. It was their duty to make the best of the world.
“DAMN! The guy really got to me!” he cursed, pulling a pillow over his head. The constant talk about having responsibility because they understood more of tehcnology and it
s uses...you couldnt listen to it and not agree on some point. But responsibility made life complicated and set borders. Being caged in a hotel, okay; being kind of prisoner, so what? But setting borders to his mind, to his imagination? Sighing he put away the pillow. He almost could hear Ellie telling him that it weren`t borders to his imagination but to his actions.
Those two really had achieved something by making think about himself and his actions. He longed for their visits everyday and was dissapointed if they didn
t come. They made him forget his situation, taking him for real and listen to his suggestions. Even if they more then often reprimanded him for having ideas like making people do things like garbage control through a little mind control. They didnt think of him as just a useful tool, but as a human being whose opinions were worth like any others. Slowly his eyes felt close as he finally found some of his so much needed sleep.