Chapter 5Do you want to continue?

Back at the scrapyard Chance and Jake just had finished their everyday work.

“Well, I think we're done here for today, pal.” Jake said. “It was a pretty rough day. How about a can of milk?” he asked Chance as he opened the refrigerator.

Chance played with Matthew's calling card in his hands.

“Sure.” he responded and Jake tossed a can over to him. He caught it while still looking at the card. “You know, I'm still thinking about what Matthew said earlier.” Chance said.

“You mean about the self-learning AI?” Jake asked.

“Yeah. Fighting those drones was really tough. You have to admit that they almost got us.”

“Yes, it had been a close call and I'm worried like you. But I'm still not convinced that Sally is as good as he claims her to be.”

“Well, there is a way to find out, I guess.” Chance said, raising the calling card into the air. “I'll turn on the game console and give it a shot.” He stood up, walked over to a small shelf were he kept his games and picked out one of the boxes. “There it is, Airborne Kats! Let's see if I still got the edge.” He turned on the game console and put the disc into it. Then he grabbed the game controller and started looking at the card again. In the meantime the start screen of Airborne Kats appeared on the TV screen. “Okay, let's see what I've got to do now.” Chance mumbled.

Jake looked skeptical at him as Chance tried to perform a complicated pattern using the game controller.

“What are you doing, Chance?” he asked after some time had passed.

“Would you please be quiet for another moment!” Chance responded. “I have to concentrate. It's not that easy to perform this pattern, you know.”

Half a minute later the message 'Challenge mode has been unlocked' finally appeared on the screen.

“Ha! Got it!” Chance shouted excited. “Okay, let's get this started.”

On the screen a jet appeared, flying over a landscape. A short time later some enemy vessels were approaching.

“There they are!” Chance shouted. “Let's see of which stuff they're made of.”

A few moments later Chance had defeated all of them. “That was easy. What's next?”

The next wave of enemy vessels appeared. This time Chance was challenged a bit, but it still wasn't really be an effort to him to shoot them down. “Take that! You can't beat me that easily!”

This continued for quite a while until Chance shouted “Wow! Did you see how he evaded 32

my shots? Now this is getting interesting.”

“Oh, really?” Jake replied, looking a bit tired and bored as he had been sunken deeply into the couch.

Now Chance really had a hard time defeating the enemy vessels such that he started to sweat. But he was successful once again. “Ha! I haven't lost my touch!” he shouted triumphant.

Another wave of enemies appeared. “You want something from me? C'mon! Hit me with your best shot!” A moment later his jet exploded. “What? How did,”

The message 'Do you want to continue?' appeared on the screen.

“No matter. I'll try it again.” Chance said confidently.

The game continued at the point were he had been shot down. “Alright! This time you'll be toast!” he shouted. When he attacked the enemy vessels they evaded his shots and missiles like they were dancing ballet. A short moment later his own craft was hit by a missile. “Oh, no! Not again.”

After some more unsuccessful attempts, Chance turned over to Jake looking like a frustrated child.

“They've evaded all of my attacks, no matter what I've tried.” Chance said. “It felt like they knew what I was going to do next, but I don't think they were actually cheating.”

“Then Matthew was right.” Jake responded worried. “We are in big trouble this time.”

“So, what should we do now?” Chance asked.

“I guess we'll have to avoid another encounter with these drones and need to find out where Dark Kat and Hard Drive are hiding.” Jake suggested.

“But how can we find them?”

“I don't know. Let's hope that they get overconfident and make a mistake.”

“Not much to go on.” Chance noted frustrated.

“Do you have any better ideas?” Jake asked.

“Maybe we should get in touch with Matthew,” Chance started to suggest.

“We've been through this, Chance. You know it's too risky.”

“Yes, it is risky, but I think he's right about the drones.” Chance argued. “You just saw what happened in the game.”

“Alright, alright. We'll get him involved if we don't find any alternatives, okay?”

“Okay.”

Jake started yawning. “C'mon pal. Let's go to bed. Maybe some sleep will help us to plan our next move.”

“Yeah, let's hope so.” Chance responded.