27 March 2013
The Cyborg proceeded on foot; quickly and stealthily moving beneath the fluorescent lights, instinctively reaching out at just the right time to grab the correct package, barely slowing before moving on to his next target. Every now and then he would consult his orders using his faithful smartphone, and change course once more to a different section. With deft ease he avoided collisions with those uncontrollable four-wheelers, ducking, weaving throughout until he found himself making a perfect escape with a fresh batch of dog food.
Shortly thereafter he was greeted at the door by Miss BeerMiddy:
“M wants to see you.” She informed him.
“Why, certainly Miss BeerMiddy, though um, ah, I was hoping you’d want to see me first...”
“I see you’ve left your confidence with your fitness, 00D. Perhaps in a few months, when you’re back on your game.”
Miss BeerMiddy watched as he walked by, shaking her head at the thought he passed up such an easy opportunity for one of his trademark double-entendres.
M greeted the Cyborg from his office chair, “We have a new mission for you 00D.”
“Mission?” sputtered the Cyborg, “Have you not seen my recent failures, the DuoClassic, not being able to run in the iAdventure? I’m still recuperating. My body may be healing, but my spirit is shot! Can’t you try someone else-how about Engine? Junior? Groucho?”
“We’ve tried them all: we even tried the Immoral Support Crew, she said the only way she’d ride a mountain bike for 100km if it was secured, firmly, to a trailer - preferably a sealed, air-conditioned one with a good tv. You’re our last hope, Cyborg. We need you for the Capital Punishment.”
“The Capital Punishment?!” the Cyborg querybanged, “but that’s an AROC event. Surely you’re not calling Tom and Alina into question.”
“No, no, certainly not. In fact it’s their outstanding achievements with this event which is causing potential problems.”
“What do you mean?” queried the Cyborg.
M pressed a button on a remote control, and a large-screen tv came to life; it’s black screen growing lighter and lighter until an image of a rider came into view.
“Do you know this man?”
“Why, of course I do! That’s Mr Green the super-freak long distance and solo rider - and great blogger, I should add. Have you checked out Ed Rides Bikes? He used to be a disciple of the Beard’s; riding single speed bikes up the most insufferable mountains. He’s since learnt his lesson and started using gears. Now he’s placing very well - even winning - a number of races. In fact, he just been picked up by a major mountain biking team - the Target Trek team - a good catch for them I must say. He’s a good rider, and a good blogger.”
“Well, of course you know him from his fantastic riding and writing achievements, but did you also know he’s a proponent of alternative energy?”
“He mentioned something about having an honours degree in solar cell engineering, presumably he works in the field.”
“Well, yes, that’s how he earns his money. Do you think the Target-Trek sponsorship covers rent in the 26ers? They probably barely manage to cover his never-ending quest for the n+1th bike.
M continued: "Anyway, we suspect he’s planning on using the Capital Punishment as a prototype for his alternative energy requirements. There has been a lot of greeny-conservation chatter at the moment about zero carbon and the like...”
“I don’t understand, “ said 00D, massaging his already-aching calf, “I thought he only rode carbon these days.”
Max groaned, and gave him an impatient look: “Carbon Emissions, 00D. Do keep up!”
“Right,” he replied, trying to regain some face, “So he works with solar power, rides a lot, and encourages other people to. I don’t see anything threatening in any of this.”
“True enough, Cyborg, but what about when the sun goes away? I’m not just talking about night. I’m talking about dreary, cloudy days. Solar power just won’t cut it then. Sure, we can use batteries, but what if there was another way to generate electricity?”
"Now, think about it, this is Mr Green, the half man-half bike. What do you think would be the next thing to enter his mind as a way of generating power?”
“Well, bikes, of course... “
“And what even gets riders out on even the coldest, darkest and dreariest of Canberra days? Has riders so keen to pedal, even if they wind up just churning mud and trashing their bikes?”
“Look, the last few Capital Punishments have been in quite mild weather; almost enjoyable...” began the Cyborg.
“Yes, “ M interrupted, “But they still got thousands of riders to head out despite some terrible weather in the first year. No doubt Mr Green has entered this year to learn their secrets. And we want you, Cyborg, to go along and learn his secrets!”
“Me? How? He’ll start with the elites. And he’s fast. Really fast. He finished the Duo Classic about five minutes after I piked out at the halfway point. There’s no way I could keep up with him!”
“I don’t know, and I don’t care, 00D. My job is to give you the assignments. Your job is to achieve them. And throw the ball. And feed me gourmet meat. Speaking of which...”
So OOD headed into the kitchen to prepare M’s meal; all the while his mind beginning to formulate a plan.
Stay Tuned: Cyborg’s Adventures continue in Part 2: TrackRaker