Encounter at Starpoint
As we landed at Starpoint, I stood amazed at all of the stores that lined the main promenade leading to the different docking bays. Various stores such as GameGo, Electronics Bouquet, and Baggages lined the walls. At one time, you would have found these stores filled with Sierra games in their front windows, but sadly, those days had long disappeared. The closed Radio Shock at the end of the game stores was another example (apparently there had been some sort of litigation about the store’s name…I wasn’t sure of all of the details…)
“Hmm…I wonder if we have time to eat at Monolith Burger before we meet up with Serena?” I wondered.
Brad considered this for a moment. “We should have enough time for you to get something to eat,” he said.
“I could really go for a Monolith with Polycheeze,” I said. “Just keep me off the Skate-O-Rama afterwards. Bad things always happen on that thing!”
As we reached Monolith Burger, I was surprised to see Serena in line in front of us. “Serena!” I called out to her. “Looks like we’re meeting a bit early.”
Serena turned around and smiled upon seeing us. “Josh! It’s good to see you. Who is your friend?”
“This is Brad,” I said, “He’s my friend Brandon’s android and he’ll be accompanying us on the quest.”
Serena and Brad shook hands. “Perfect,” she said, still smiling. “It’ll be good to have an android in our party in case we need to save our progress or something like that, and we’re away from the ship’s computer! You never know what sort of treacherous encounters we’ll come across on this voyage.”
“If it’s anything like a Sierra game,” I said, “We’ll probably need multiple save files. Last thing we need is to end up trying to turn on a machine without moldy cheese!”
“Well, I have good faith that there won’t be any dead ends on this journey,” she replied. “I think we’ll have a strong enough team to make sure we don’t forget or miss anything.”
The line had cleared so that we were next to order. After getting our food and paying the disgruntled looking alien behind the counter, we sat down at one of the tables to eat. I looked over at the broken down arcade games in the corner. “It’s too bad none of the old games are working…then again, I always sucked at Astro Chicken Jr.”
“It is sad to see old classics fall into disrepair like that,” Brad agreed. “But, since the days that the Vivendi Conglomerate took over Sierra, those good old days are in the past.”
“Still,” Serena said, “The Activision Expanse has taken several steps since they took over the Vivendi Conglomerate to bring back the classics, at least in places like the GOG Network. And the Phoenix Republic has been working with the Expanse, as I’m sure you’ve heard about how Gabriel Knight has been freed from their dungeons and is now working with Mrs. Holmes and Emperor Cesar for a remake of his first game.”
“That is true,” Brad said. “We will have to wait and see. I am hoping that the remake is successful. The galaxy has not been the same since the olden days of Sierra.”
While they talked, I couldn’t help but notice a cloaked figure sitting at a table in the corner, watching us. “Serena,” I said, interrupting their conversation. “Don’t look now, but there’s someone watching us at that table in the corner. Perhaps we should quickly head towards the docking bay…”
Serena briefly cast a causal glance to the corner, attempting to size up the figure without drawing too much attention. “You’re right,” she said. “If word has already gotten out about the Space Pope’s summons, then it could be related to the Two Guys’ kidnapping. Let’s head to the docking bay. That way, we’ll know for sure whether or not this is just a coincidence.”
She and I had finished our food, so we got up and started heading for the door. A glance behind me showed that the figure had also stood and was walking ominously towards us. “Serena…I think we should hurry….”
As we exited the door, we were surprised to find another hooded figure standing not far from the restaurant. The figure saw us as we left and started heading in our direction.
“Quickly, this way!” Serena said, grabbing my hand and heading off towards the central promenade.
“Serena, I do not think this is such a good idea,” Brad said, as we continued running. “We are headed right towards the…”
Brad didn’t finish his sentence, as the three of us slipped down the slope into the middle of the Skate-O-Rama.
“Oh man…” I said. “We are so dead.”