The Collectors, Part 3

by Adam Trionfo

(November 2, 1996)

These are the last words written for "The Collectors," a series that was meant to continue in each issue of the newsletter. With the addition of another writer for volume two of the newsletter, room was very tight. There was simply no room for fiction -- and poorly written fiction at that.

      This third part of "The Collectors" was intended for OC&GS Vol. I, Issue #4, which was never completed. It is presented here for the first time.

      -- Adam Trionfo, March 23, 2012

      Read The Collectors, Part I here

      Read The Collectors, Part II here

      The Story so far: Henry, a classic-games collector in the future, has met with another collector, Helen. It is rumored that she has discovered a cache of rare cartridges in New Mexico. She denies this fact, and accuses Henry of lying when he mentions it. Riding along with Henry in the back seat of her car, she points a gun at him, which he grabs for...

Henry looked in disbelief at the gun that had been pointed towards him. It wasn't that he had never seen a gun before. Guns had become rather useless items, now that there was no ammunition for them. He had heard an expression: "Guns don't kill -- people do." Well that wasn't quite true anymore. "Guns don't kill -- bullets do" was what people should have said. He didn't think Helen had anything in that gun. A bluff was all it was. It had to be a bluff. He moved towards her and grabbed for the gun. It was the last thing he did before the bullet tore into his arm.

He hadn't really thought it possible. Where had she come across ammunition for that weapon? It should not have been. Yet here he was, in a great amount of pain. That wasn't all. He was bleeding from a wound caused not by a knife or blade of any kind, but from a bullet. A bullet shot from a gun held by Helen.

As soon as the pain in Henry's arm registered, he stopped all motion.

"Henry, be still. When we arrive at our destination, I will see that your arm gets proper care. Until then, be still, or the next bullet will, regrettably, leave you quite dead."

Henry looked at Helen. It was all an impossible dream. This wretched woman, a woman he had once loved, had taken complete control of the situation. It had always been Helen in control while they had been together. She had used power over him to try to keep him in check. His stature was just a notch below hers. Until now, she had never done him harm. This wasn't the Helen he remembered. This was a demon, a monster from Hell.

As if reading his thoughts, she spoke.

"I have not turned into some crazed creature bent upon your destruction. Far from it, in fact. I need you now. I need you now more than I ever did before. I would have liked that bullet to have taken your last breath. Henry, I would like to see you dead. All the collectors would like to see you dead. After what you did at the Classic's Revival seminar in Chicago, you should have been snuffed out. I don't understand how you got away with it in the first place. But it is a different time now, and all of us collectors, including you, appear to have a common enemy."

Henry was bewildered. He didn't know what she was talking about, even though he knew which incident she was referring to. He had stolen a few shrink-wrapped cartridges from the convention in Chicago. Just some VCS items; he honestly had not thought that anyone would notice. That was before he discovered their value. Henry had, quite by accident, taken some of the rarest carts available for that system.

I find this story amusing. Maybe this isn't the last that we'll hear from Henry and Helen. Who is this mysterious "common enemy" that Helen refers to? (I'll tell you who! It's eBay!)