Baa, baa, black sheep. Chapter 9


When we went in, we saw the black sheep at once. It was difficult not to see it. It was right in the centre of the yard. The yard was round, the walls were high and empty. There was nobody in the yard. Only the sheep was standing in the very centre, and I was sure the exit was there.
The sheep blocked our exit. It changed somehow. It was the same size and colour, but it felt very dangerous. Maybe its eyes gave this feeling of clear and present danger. They were very clever, they looked right inside you.
It was time to fight or die.
There is one detail about digital fights against bad bots. You can have any weapon you like. You can destroy everything around you. But when you’re fighting a dangerous bot, you can easily destroy yourself. Those bots are programmed like that.
Normally in modern games it can never happen. But when you have a bad bot the situation changes. When you enter a game, the computer takes control of many important parts of your body – your head, your eyes, your lungs and your heart. In a normal game everything is tested by doctors, and no one can die or get hurt. But bad guys are always here. If a dangerous bot enters a game, everything is possible.
When bad bots die they also try to kill you. What can help you at this moment is a combination of luck and your skill. But one rule is always right: you fight only if there is no escape. And you try light weapons first. With any powerful weapon there is always a chance that you will die, too.
Now I was in command. They understood that. So I said to my little army,’We attack from three sides. Sir Archibald, you have the honour to attack straight ahead. I attack from the right. Sir Lancelot, try to go behind it and cut its back legs. Don’t try to kill, just go for the legs’.
And we went forward, all three of us.
Sir Archibald had no fear. He could do only one thing – fight. And he was doing just this.
I was coming to the sheep from the right. But something was wrong. Suddenly I saw it. The sheep was changing, and changing fast. Now it had eight legs. And now it was in the air, and it had even more legs. I couldn’t say how many. It was useless to cut them. There were too many of them.
My PDA made a sound, and I looked at it. There was only one word – Christmas. That was a message from Andrew, and that was all. I didn’t understand it. I stopped thinking. I had to get to that thing and try to hurt it. That was all I had. If I died here, I would sell my life dearly.
The sheep now was not a sheep at all. It was an enormous thing. It had no legs. Its legs turned into big pipes. They were tunnels of darkness. A strong wind began to blow. This wind was driving us right into tunnels. And now it wasn’t a wind. It was a hurricane. I saw Sir Archibald, he was flying in the moving air like a toy soldier. But he was a very good soldier with a brave digital heart. He still had his laser sword, and in his flight he was trying to cut one of the tunnels. Then – Puff! And I couldn’t see Sir Archibald any more. I couldn’t see Johnny Lancelot either. I lost the game. The game was over. The mouth of the tunnel was right in front of me. I could look inside. There was grey fog of forgetfulness. This grey fog was death itself.
My mouth and chest were already full of grey fog. Suddenly I remembered the last thing to do. I gathered all my energy left and cried, ‘CHRISTMASSS!’ And with the hiss of the last sound darkness came to me and took me in.