I take a minute to collect myself. My head still aches like someone dropped an anvil on it. Ah well, I’ve tasted worse. I decide that I’d better give Mandy a call and tell her what exactly happened with her brother. She’s not gonna like this.

I uplink to my private Interweb voice-communications directory and hit Mandy Collins in the “phone book.” It doesn’t even get through one full ring before Mandy answers with a frantic “Jack?”

“Yeah, that’s me,” I reply. “I had a run-in –“

“I heard he was sighted, I’m on my way now! Two minutes!”

“Mandy, don’t, it could still be very dangerous around here!” But there’s a squeal of tires and the line goes dead before I can even finish my sentence. Stupid broad is gonna get us both killed.

True to her word, less than two minutes later, Mandy’s shiny red Volkswagen rounds the turn like a tornado and screeches to a halt in the middle of the parking lot. She’s out and yelling her pretty head off before I’ve taken a step.

“What the hell happened? Where is he? What happened to your head?” Questions fly from her mouth like a stream of bullets.

“Okay, okay, waitasec, calm the hell down. I followed him into that store, he bombarded every computer in the place with a ton of messages, and then he attacked me when I came outside. After taking a chunk out of my head, he ripped up the parking lot and jumped onto a subway train. Happy now?”

She’s quiet for a second. Guess that shut her up.

“He’s obviously a Prostheticore-enhanced cyborg now. Good luck.” I say with a wry smile.

“Well. We’ve got to find him, we . . . we should . . . we should check out Prostheticore! Figure out what the hell they did to him! C’mon, let’s go!” She runs back to her car and peels off towards the Prostheticore building across the street.

I don’t get paid enough for this shit.

      Follow her

I couldn't take it anymore. I called it off.