My Father The Commodore Part III - Goodbye
rating: +13+x

Jack is sitting in this car, remembering nothing about how long it's been idling. Not his car. Sam's. The hospital. The heart attack. Was he driving? Try remembering. Waking to a moonlit phone call. Sam is in the hospital. A heart attack? Sam's heart. Racing, racing, twisting, minding Sam.

Running with the Arcadians is a legal route to murdering someone.

Jack's pulling into the empty parking lot. It's empty. Typical lazy employees, wouldn't be arriving for work until daylight.

Jack is alone with torrid thinking.

Fighting Commodore was tilting at windmills. Competing, outselling, holding its head in the commode until it was cold in a grave. Nothing clever about buying into a deal with the devil. Those demons lurking in Atari's basement had always been a dirty little secret. That, I could live with. Not Sam's life. Not today.

"I have to kill this company."

Open the car door. Walking, controlling his breathing, unlocking the lobby doors, elevator dinging as he rides to his office. Sam's office. Different taste in decor but the sword is still here. The glass around it isn't long for this world.

Once the stapler finishes shattering the glass, the sword is liberated.

Breathing harder. Moving faster. Lowering back down below the basement. Jack can't see where the walls are down here, but somewhere that locked door is beginning to fabricate itself, anticipating his arrival. The occult employee entrance.

Jack is rolling up his sleeves, just like when I was going downstairs to lecture Sam. The freestanding Arcadia employee entrance is an unremarkable office door save for the shining padlock binding it shut.

Grabbing it, Jack felt a familiarly dull heat and hissing for one last time. The melting portal begat an aperture into a mad tinkerer's workshop. Mountains of circuits and organs warping together in a puzzle of silicone and flesh. Computer terminals whining like toddlers as dried vomit sits crusting around their disc drives.

The few grotesque disciples of Arcadia were standing with mouths agape. The boss is here, whoa, tell me he's not canceling us again? Oh gosh, oh jeez, do we show him the pentagram room? What's that sword for? Why isn't he saying anything?

Ignoring the cowering warlocks and occultists, Jack is proceeding toward the sound of a rattling furnace somewhere in the lurching catacombs. That old anger was heating up in his feet, crawling up his legs, incinerating doubt, preparing to blow.

"NOLAN."

Nothing about this place comes close to resembling an office. Torches burning impossibly green as motor oil drips from the ceiling. Walls becoming monitors with a single bleeding eye staring wildly at nothing.

"NOLAN YOU SON OF A BITCH I'M COMING FOR YOU."

The passageways end abruptly. The vile angles culminating in a door so small only a child could comfortably get through.

Jack stands before it, remembering when Sam was young. Their closet under the stairs with a door just this size. Once Sam's playroom until that little boy outgrew it. A door covering up dusty space overflowing with cardboard boxes containing nothing of consequence.

It broke easily beneath his boot.

Crawling was the only way in. This last room is lit only by a glowing cathode ray tube. Exhaustion is creeping up Jack's back, his blade dragging more heavily with each step. That glowing glow refuses to come any closer.

"Nolan?"

The television shuts off. The crinkling static of its cooling glass is for a moment the only sound and soon, it too, is quiet and dark.

"Been a while, hasn't it baby?"

Gritting his teeth and wobbling slightly, Jack props himself up on the sword. "End what you've started Nolan, so I don't have to."

The screen is now flickering static only inches from Jack's face. "Jackie, you've been a saucy little boy tonight haven't you? Looking a little pale… I thought you were retired?"

A facade of young Sam is fading in on-screen, with black eyes and gold teeth. A hideous grin stretching from one side of his face to the other keeps distorting further with each passing second.

"Isn't it past your bedtime, old man?"

Bellowing from somewhere beneath his diaphragm, Jack's muscle memories of holding Sam come surging through his arm. His eyes electrify with new focus, squaring on this false Sam before him. The blade's arc curves up from the ground, peaking above Jack's head before crashing down into the television with vicious force. Cleaving it in two, the bleeding is more than any other television will ever bleed. Sparks and wailing permeating every inch of Jack Tramiel's being.

Now, all is gone in the dark.


The light of a setting sun was streaming through the lobby's glass doors. The employees were home with their severance pay, apart from a couple stragglers. One of them was Sam Tramiel. Taking a breather next to his little pile of boxes, all that remained of his Presidency.

"Careful, son. Let me carry that for you."

"I'm okay, Dad. Thank you. We'll just take multiple trips."

"Nonsense. I'm an old man, but my ticker's got you beat."

"… Sure, sure. Do you actually mind if I sit in the car?”

"I'll walk with you. There's not much left here, anyways."

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