Ghost in the Machine
by Mere (mbmincey at hotmail.com)
Thanks for the compliments, guys. Here's more.
"Oh, no, you don't!" Rusty said, clenching his teeth in a
bite that could bend steel. He was ninety-percent damaged and
running on auxiliary power, but his arch nemesis had taken some
heavy blows himself. Time to go for broke. The entire universe was
at stake! Left, right, left again. Firing all he had as his enemy
backed him up against a corner unmercifully -- and then, horror upon
horrors, dealt the final deathblow, his victim's small body flying
through the air and bouncing off the dungeon wall. He laughed his
sinister, taunting laugh like he always did. That evil ranssum
franssum Frog Commander had once again killed Rusty.
"DANG IT!" Rusty threw down his controller and placed his
head in his hands, completely frustrated. "I'm still bulletproof,
I'm still bulletproof, I'm still bulletproof...." He would never be
able to beat the Frog Commander. Not ever. Not without a cheat code,
but what was the point of winning if you cheated?
"Sheesh, don't be such a spaz. It's only a stupid videogame."
Rusty turned around to see Pierre come up the stairs into his
room. That he was up here just grated on Rusty's nerves to no end.
He was so tired of Pierre walking around, strutting his chubby stuff
all over Quark like he owned the place.
"What do you want, Derriere?"
"Wow. Did you come up with that one all by yourself or did
Big Doofus help you? He's so witty, after all."
Just once. Just once, he'd like to make Pierre eat that smirk
of his. "Buddy, you are so lucky there's a Robot Rule Number One."
Pierre dismissed him with a wave of his hand. "Whatever. You
too busy warping your emotion grid or do you want to go do
Pierre wanted to do something? Do something with him?
"Why?", Rusty asked warily.
Pierre shrugged. "I'm bored. Uncle Axel said he'd spend the
day with me, but he's in a meeting right now. Some big hoohah with
Big Guy had said that Pierre probably didn't have it so easy
because his mom was always ditching him with Dr. Donovan, but even
Dr. Donovan didn't really have time for his nephew, running a big
corporation and all.
"Poor kid doesn't really have anyone to look after him like
you do. He'd get in a lot less trouble if he did, that's for sure."
"You mean I have to pretend I like him?!"
"I'm just saying you should be more understanding."
Easy for him to say! Big Guy didn't have to put up with jerks
like Pierre. Still.... Rusty sighed, his struggle over doing what he
wanted (telling Pierre to buzz off) and doing something he really,
really didn't want to do (letting Pierre stay).
His conscience won. "I guess if you want to." Rusty then
brightened. Might as well make lemonade. "You wanna play dominoes?"
Pierre folded his arms against his chest. "Pft. No."
"Um, watch TV?"
"Hide and go seek?"
"What are we, four?"
"Hawk loogies on Dr. Don-- Um, on Dr. Pollack's car?"
"No, and oh, yeah... no."
Rusty shook his head at the older boy. "Cheese Louise,
Pierre. Why do you even get up in the morning?"
"All your suggestions are childish."
"Well, you're the one who wanted to do something! You pick
Pierre brought a finger to his chin, appearing to be in
thought. Hopefully it wasn't about stealing or causing minor
"You know, I heard Dr. Slate was working with repulsor
fields.... Think she'd mind letting us have a peek? With adult
supervision, of course." He smiled a winning smile at Rusty, but
Rusty wasn't fooled. All Pierre really wanted was to see Dr. Slate's
invention and he needed his help to do it. It had nothing to do with
wanting to do something with him.
"She's working right now," Rusty said, frowning disdainfully
at him. "And even if she wasn't, she wouldn't let you within
sneezing distance of anything. She's still mad at you for draining
"God, I said I was sorry. No wonder everyone says she's frigid."
Frigid!?! Wha... What did 'frigid' mean...? Well, whatever it
meant, it was bad. Rusty hopped down from his bench and walked right
up to Pierre, looking him straight in the eye with hands on his hips.
Pierre smirked. "Everybody. 'Cause she is. She's a total Ice
Rusty's jaw dropped, completely shocked. "She is not!"
"Is too. You'd get a ice cream headache if you kissed her too
Rusty glared at the other boy, his temper flaring up. "You
take that back!"
Pierre lightly pushed Rusty, daring him to push back. Boy,
was this guy stupid. *Genius my butt!*
"Make me," Pierre said simply, pushing just a bit harder,
thoroughly enjoying working Rusty into a frenzy.
"I will make you!"
"I don't see you making me." Pierre pushed him again, Rusty
clenching his hands into tight little fists. "You don't have it in
ya, ya wuss. My Uncle Axel would throw you in the grinder if you
even touched a beautiful hair on my darling head. He owns you
and you know it."
*Counting to ten... One, two, three....* "I'm not afraid of
Dr. Donovan. I'm not afraid of anybody! Especially you!"
*Four, five, six, seven....* "Only reason I'm not laying the
smacketh down is 'cause you're a human."
*Eight, nine, ten. Hmm... Lieutenant Dwayne's right. That
Thankfully (for Pierre, that is) the signal went off and
Rusty gasped, Pierre temporarily forgotten. He stood tall with
heroic purpose ready for a real battle. Making Pierre pay would have
to wait. There were bigger fish to fry! Pierre had to go and ruin
the moment, of course....
"The Big Guy Signal!" Pierre mocked.
*Big fat, fatty fat of a meanie!*
"I wasn't going to say that," Rusty said coolly.
Then Dr. Slate called from downstairs. "Rusty!" Why anyone
wouldn't like Dr. Slate, Rusty couldn't guess. She was the nicest
He lifted his nose at Pierre, trying to be just as snooty as
he was. *I'll take care of you later.*
"Excuse me, but I have to go save the world now." Rusty
started his boot jets, lifting off the floor and about to fly
downstairs. Before he left, though, he looked over his shoulder at
Pierre. "And uh.... don't touch any of my stuff."
On to Part 4!
Back to part 2
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