Game Over
Author:James Patterson

Chapter 65





THEY SAY AFTER a great tragedy, the only thing to do…

I woke up in the middle of the night and pulled out my List computer. I went right to the top—to Number 1’s entry: The Prayer.

Oh, how I was going to take him down. Oh, how I was going to make him pay for everything he’d done to me. I was done losing friends. I was done losing family. I was done waking up in the middle of the night worrying about my life and the lives of the people and creatures I loved.

They said I wasn’t ready for Number 7 and Number 8, and they were wrong. I’d taken them both out at once. And now I was going to show that evil space bug just how strong he’d made me. I was going to cut the head off his precious List, and I was going to live like a normal person. A normal person with a regular life, with regular concerns, and with no more pits in my stomach about not having avenged the lives of my parents and my friends.

Something touched my shoulder, and I wheeled around, dropping the computer to the floor and instantly creating an Opus 24/24.

“It’s okay, Daniel. It’s me.”

Dad.

“You’ve come a long, long way, Daniel. And I was wrong to doubt you were ready for Number 7 and Number 8.”

“Glad you’re able to let go of that one, sensei,” I said bitterly, still primed for a fight, I guess.

He winced but nodded. “I had that coming,” he admitted. “But please don’t entirely discount my advice from now on. I was wrong, but my concern wasn’t unwarranted.”

I wrinkled my mouth and nodded. “What did you want to tell me?”

“I want to tell you not to go after Number 1—not yet.”

“Why doesn’t this surprise me?”

“No question, you’ve suffered a lot, Daniel. And now to have lost Kildare…”

“Yeah!” I blurted, stung even by the mention of my dead friend’s name. “I’m getting much more experience losing than I am hunting. Maybe they should call me the Alien Loser instead, huh?”

Dad shook his head. “Let me ask just one thing of you, Daniel.”

“Sure,” I said. I knew I was being a jerk. I softened my voice and looked him in the eye for the first time. “Name it, Dad.”

“You know what it’s like to lose a best friend. Promise me you’ll at least try to understand what it would be like to lose… a son.”