Categories > Cartoons > Class of the Titans > Practice

Trojan Virus Man

by Lutrani 1 review

Odie enters the picture, and the two of them start out after the rest of the 5.

Category: Class of the Titans - Rating: G - Genres:  - Published: 2009-01-30 - Updated: 2009-01-30 - 4697 words

He could feel the timer ticking down beyond his field of vision, but he knew that if he divided his attention to look at it, he would fail at what he was attempting. A bead of sweat formed where his headset touched his forehead, and quickly trickled down his face. He ignored it and it fell neglected on his keyboard, where it was quickly lost in the typing of his fingers. The importance of what he was doing weighed heavily on his mind, and he could feel the shadow of failure hanging in the air. But he was close, so close. All he had to do was-


The timer sounded and the screen went black. For a second he kept on typing, as if his fingers couldn’t quite accept the truth that his brain was faced with, he’d lost. But then those snotty South Koreans started laughing over his headset, and he pulled himself back from the computer screen. They started jabbering at him in their broken English, but he didn’t want to hear it. Growling under his breath, he slammed shut his laptop screen and tore off his headset. The silence in his ears was a blessing.

He got up slowly from his computer chair, scratching his beard in a nervous habit he hadn’t become aware he was developing. He knew he had work that morning, but his defeat at the Korean’s hands wasn’t making him feel particularly enthusiastic about rushing there. Failure didn’t exactly make for an appetizing breakfast. He’d practically been dominating the new ‘Code Breaker’ video game since it came out, no one could keep up with him online. Every game felt to him like an insurmountable wall, and solving it like breaking the wall down to its foundations, while his competition was still scrambling to get up. But since those two South Koreans had started online, he hadn’t been able to keep up. He was so used to excelling at anything computer or number orientated, it had never really occurred to him that someone out there could best him at it. Not that he was trying to be egotistical, but from his personal experience, that was just the way things had been. But now his personal experience had brought him up against someone who could, two someones actually, and now he couldn’t help but visualize himself as that person who was crushed in the rubble of the disintegrating wall.

He dragged himself out of his bedroom and into the small kitchen of his apartment. He wasn’t really a house keeper. His bachelor pad had bits of old laundry that lay where they fell until they almost seemed a natural part of the room, and he was lacking many of the bare appliances that even a student dorm room would consider necessary. However, he’d never been without a coffee machine in his life, and this morning he needed a particularly strong cup. His recent clash with the Korean’s hadn’t only been affecting his home life, he’d found recently that he was faltering in his personal project as well. He called it “Calypso”, although he hadn’t been sure why at the time. He’d never thought of the word before, except in some vague pop culture reference to tropical islands. However, when he’d been looking for a word that emphasized sexy and mysterious, the very things that personified his project in his eyes, the word had just popped in is head and he’d decided to stick with it. The name made his project seem innocuous as well, and he enjoyed the hypocrisy of it. If he was successful, he could put an end to Trojan Viruses as society knew them, and that was hardly an innocuous possibility.

He grabbed a nearby cup, and gave it a quick wash to remove the brown crusty layer which had been forming at the bottom. He filled it quickly with the thick dark liquid he’d been brewing in his coffee machine, and leaned back against the counter to sip it. He sometimes found himself stopping in the quiet time in the morning, like a cat waiting in the morning grass for a turn of fortune to provide it with a meal. He’d felt like this ever since he got out of High School, the feeling that he was meant for something more, that his life was poised on the cusp of great events. But years had passed, and nothing had materialized. And finally, out of desperation he’d been forced to get a minimum wage IT job in order to support himself, as his parents would no longer put up with his computer dungeon in their basement. And then he’d come up with Calypso, and he’d gotten his first taste of being a part of something great. Calypso was a program designed to neutralize any form of Trojan Virus by essentially doing what the Trojan Virus’s do, hiding its true identity. His program would enter a Virus by reading the programming of that Virus, and essentially copying the virus’s code into its own, making it appear to the virus as if Calypso were another copy of that virus. His Calypso could then get inside the Virus and make the virus essentially infect itself, systematically destroying it. The beauty of it was that, once complete, his program could adapt to ANY Trojan Virus out there, based on the very definition of what that virus was. Essentially he was ‘out-Trojaning’ the Trojan Viruses, and the more powerful the virus, the more effective Calypso was. He loved the irony of it. But since those damn Koreans had started messing with him, he hadn’t felt like he could do anything right. And his poor Calypso had remained idle in a file on his work computer, neglected and lost.

He leaned back to take another sip from his mug and found that he had finished it without him noticing. Alarmed, he looked at the blinking clock on his coffee machine and realized he’d daydreamed himself straight through the time he needed to get ready for work. He dropped his coffee mug to the ground, the plastic bouncing nosily off the floor as he scrambled into his bed room. He’s abandoned ceramic cups long ago, it was too much work remembering to clean up the pieces when they broke.

A second later he was dressed haphazardly in his only work suit, and was out the door. The high-pitched whining of his scooter engine reverberated through the room, vibrating his plastic mug where it had fallen on the ground.


The air conditioning had broken in his office a week earlier, and it wasn’t foreseeable when the management would get it fixed, so for now his office was a sweltering oven that smelled consistently like sweat. Most of his coworkers were wrapped up in feeling sorry for themselves in the heat, and didn’t even notice as he crept in 20 minutes late. His boss’s door was even closed as Odie crept by, and it seemed to him that a rare bit of good luck was passing his way. Taking one final look around the cubicle walls, like a prairie dog poking its head out of a hole, he slunk around the carpet covered wall of his cubicle and sat down behind his desk. Surviving his near miss was giving him a better feeling than he’d been having all week, and he suddenly found himself thinking about the Calypso project. Smiling to himself, he set his briefcase to the side of his desk where he could ignore it the rest of the working day, and pushed the ‘on’ button on his desktop. It was in this state of hopeful optimism that his co-worker Joe Burns decided to intrude on, as he poked his reddening face over the fuzzy cubicle wall.

“Hey-hey Odie!” Odie cringed a little bit as the middle-aged man tried to get his attention. As always, he tried to make it seem obvious that the interruptions of the other man bothered Odie, but as always Joe remained blissfully ignorant. Or just chose to ignore Odie. “Odie, did you just get in?” Again, the question bothered Odie, and he tried not to look up. If Joe was asking, it meant he’d been looking for Odie since the workday had started, and he knew good and well that Odie had come in late. He tried to ignore Joe’s bulbous head sticking over the wall, but the man refused to budge. Finally, signing internally, Odie looked up and replied. “Yes Joe, I just got in.” hoping that the less he said, the less Joe could pick up on to make a conversation about.

“Oh, okay, good. ‘Cause I told this guy here that you hadn’t got in yet, and I’d hate to look like a liar in front of someone I don’t know.” Joe’s head disappeared over the wall after he spoke, and Odie was left looking at the place Joe’s head had been in confusion. For the first time in their working ‘relationship,’ he found himself wishing Joe had kept talking.

And then someone else walked around the cubicle wall separating Joe and his work spaces. The man didn’t look like he belonged in any IT office, let alone the tiny business Odie found himself working in every day. He looked well groomed, and athletic, like he had the free time in his day to devote a good lot of it towards personal attention. For a second Odie wondered if he could be some kind of celebrity, they certainly seemed to have enough hours in the day to work on their physique. But then Odie realized that he was wearing a jacket covered in company logos, and he decided the man must be an athlete of some kind. That, and there were no celebrities he knew of that had purple hair.

“Odie?” The man asked uncertainly, his hands buried deep in his pockets like some insecure teenager. Odie, who knew for certain that there was nothing like a nametag on his desk, felt a little disturbed that this man knew his name. He subconsciously put a leg around his laptop briefcase at the base of his desk. “Do I know you?” Odie asked back, giving the man his best suspicious look. The man’s expression brightened a bit as Odie spoke, and Odie found himself wondering if his suspicious look had lost its touch.

“Do you recognize me?” The man asked, his voice coming out quickly and hopeful.

“No.” Odie replied quickly and firmly. The strange behaviour of the individual in his cubicle was starting to give him the creeps, he wanted to end any conversation with the man as soon as possible.

“Wait- I’ve seen you before.” An excited little voice piped up suddenly. Both Odie and the man turned suddenly to Joe Burns, who both of them had forgotten was still there. “Yeah, on the BBC, I’m sure.” His head disappeared over the wall, and Odie could hear Joe’s fat fingers typing furiously. Odie looked away from the cubicle wall and tried to ignore what Joe had just said, things were weird enough already without trying to figure out what Joe was going on about. He looked back at the purple-haired man, who was still looking at the cubicle, and had a strange expression of embarrassment and frustration on his face. This is getting too weird, Odie thought to himself.

“Look,” Odie said suddenly, trying his best to sound commanding. “I don’t know why you’ve come here, but the IT help services are on the third floor. That’s where we help clients of the company. This area is just office work, so if you don’t mind, the elevator is right over there by the wall.” Odie pointed past the man to the wall behind him, and hoped that that was the end of it. The man did follow his hand for a second, but when he turned back to look at Odie, his eyebrows had come together and he looked straight at Odie.

“No Odie, I came here to find you.” The man said suddenly. “Listen, I’ve been doing this the wrong way, “ He took a step towards Odie and his desk, and Odie found himself leaning back in his chair in an attempt to put some distance between him and the excited purple-haired man. He started to run through his options if the man tried to jump him, but the purple-haired man stopped, and the intensity in the stranger’s eyes abruptly made all thoughts in Odie’s mind come to a crashing halt. “Odie, I don’t know how you ended up here, but you’re better than this,” He looked up as he spoke, breaking the spell his eyes had on Odie’s mind, but the strange feeling they left clung to the back of Odie’s thoughts. It reminded him a bit of the vague hopeful feeling he’d had leaving High School. Before he’d gotten his IT job, before the Calypso project, before he needed a litre of coffee a day just to survive. “Don’t you ever feel it? That you’re made for something more than what you’re doing? Like you’re never satisfied?” The man was looking at him now, and Odie found that no matter how suspicious he felt, he couldn’t help but nod to the stranger’s accusations. Something about this man had suddenly captivated him. It felt as if this stranger who had come literally out of know where, knew him personally on a level that Odie was barely aware of himself. The very strangeness of the situation was almost addictive. The man, seemingly satisfied by Odie’s answer, leaned in closer over Odie’s desk. This time Odie didn’t pull back, but he didn’t even notice the change in his behaviour. “Odie, what if I could show you why you’ve felt like that? What if I told you I could change it, and you don’t even have to get out of your chair?” A little red flag went up in Odie’s head as the man spoke. So this is it, the catch he thought to himself. I should have seen this coming.

“Look, whatever you’re selling, I’m not interested. I don’t fall for things like that, so if you would be so kind as to leave-“ As Odie was speaking, the expression on the man’s face went from shock to disappointment, which Odie took as a sign that he had broken the charade of this stranger’s game. He expected the man to excuse himself any minute, off to try his trade elsewhere. But instead, the man’s eyebrows came back together in a look of determination, and he pulled up a seat to Odie’s desk. He sat down, and looked directly at Odie from across the cheap press wood tabletop. “Listen, I’m offering you an answer to your all the questions you’ve ever had about your life. I’m not asking anything from you, and I promise I can do it without you even leaving your seat. What do you have to lose?” Odie looked at the man without answering, waiting for some kind of indication as to what this stranger was up to. But the man didn’t move, his eyes were glued to Odie’s face. His determination was unnerving.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of silence, Odie decided he would give it a shot. Why not? His day had been lucky after all. “Okay, fine.” The man’s face broke into a broad friendly smile at Odie’s response, another reaction which he found confusing and didn’t quite understand. “Alright!” he exclaimed, and then suddenly extended his hand in a very business-like manner. “Shake on it?”

Something in the back of his mind sensed a trap, but the logical part of Odie’s brain told him that there was nothing a simple handshake could do. He took the man’s hand, and immediately felt the man’s fingers close over his hand in a vice-like grip. He had only a few panicked seconds to sense danger in the man’s actions, before everything in his vision was engulfed in a bright flash.

“I knew it! I knew I’d seen him before. You’re the Achilles King-“ Joe Burns exclaimed, poking his head excitedly over the fuzzy cubical wall. But his voice caught in his throat when he saw that the cubicle below him was completely empty.


Archie could feel Odie trying to pull his hand away the second he’d taken it, but he knew it was too late. In less than a second they were no longer in the stifling IT offices. A cloud of dust enveloped them abruptly, apparently stirred up by the use of the teleporter, and swirled around where the two of them stood, giving the vague effect of sitting in the eye of a storm. Odie looked up at him with wide horrified eyes, the dust slowly coating his white dress shirt and plastic nametag as if the cloud was trying to swallow him whole. He seemed too shocked to even move. He’d slacked his grip on Archie’s hand, and Archie decided to let it drop. Out here there was nowhere Odie could run to anyway.

Abruptly the cloud began to clear, and the gnarled ruins of an ancient stone structure began to encircle them, like the fingers of some long-buried hand reaching up from the ground. Odie seemed to come to his senses then, and tried to stand up, but it took him several tries to do so. It seemed like his legs were shaking so bad he could barely get his balance. I probably should have prepared him more for the whole teleportation thing Archie thought to himself briefly. Mental note for next time.

“Y-y-you,” Odie said suddenly, his voice coming out hoarse and shaky. He was bent over as if out of breath, but Archie wondered if it wasn’t just because of the shock. “what did you-“ he exclaimed, looking up at Archie from his bent position.

“Archie! There you are.” A voice exclaimed suddenly. From behind Odie Archie could see him now, as if he’d been in the clearing all along. But the griffin behind him gave him away. Odie saw him too, and Archie could see the black man’s eyes go wide. “I was starting to wor-“ Hermes began, but stopped short when he saw Odie’s expression. Archie had just enough time to grab Odie as he made a run for it.

“Oh my.” Hermes muttered as Archie fought to hold the struggling Odie in his arms.

“Don’t just stand there- hurry!” Archie exclaimed, gasping out his words as he held down Odie’s thrashing form. Archie’s exclamation seemed to snap Hermes out of his surprised stupor, and the God rushed forward.

He placed his hands on either side of Odie’s head, trying to hold them there as Odie continued to thrash. “Hold him still for a second now Archie…” Hermes muttered, focusing on Odie’s face. Archie, still struggling to maintain whatever little control he had over the black man, decided to disregard Hermes comment. Then suddenly Odie’s whole body seemed to go slack. Confused, Archie loosened his grip, suddenly reserved to the role of supporting Odie’s body. He looked up at Hermes, and noticed that both Hermes’ and Odie’s eyes were glowing. Then slowly the glowing faded as Archie watched, and suddenly Odie’s body began to move again. As Hermes stepped back Odie groaned, moving his hands up to hold his head. Archie was suddenly hit with the fear that Hermes power’s didn’t work, that maybe none of the Gods would be able to restore his friend’s memories.
That he’d be stuck being the only person in the world who remembered a life with Greek Gods.
But then Odie looked up at them, and even though he hadn’t spoken, Archie recognized a friend in his eyes.

“Archie?... Hermes?” Odie asked slowly, looking back and forth between the two of them. “What’s… going on?”

“So, as far as we know, Cronus is free, more powerful than ever, on a Terminator-esque rampage to wipe us all out. Oh- and no one remembers anything.” Odie exclaimed out loud, although more to himself than to Archie sitting next to him. He was fingering the paper lid on his coffee cup, which he hadn’t touched since he’d ordered it and they’d sat down. Archie sipped deeply on his Coke and leaned back nonchalantly in his chair, watching Odie struggle with the problem of their situation. They’d left the temple after Hermes restored Odie’s memories, and eventually made their way to a town which they could just make out from the hill Hermes shrine had been on. Since he’d filled Odie in on their current situation, the computer geek hadn’t spoken much to Archie. Not that Odie hadn’t spoken. He’d been speaking plenty to himself out loud, and Archie was content to wait for Odie to figure things out. It was what Odie did after all. Sitting back now made Archie realize how nervous he’d been waiting in that cramped office for Odie to show up. Although he’d agreed to Hera’s plan, and a part of him really wanted to believe it was possible, another part of him had serious doubts. Especially since a large portion of the plan depended squarely on him. And when he’d found himself waiting in that office, trying to think up some excuse to get Odie to come with him, he’d come to the realization that he felt very uncertain when alone. Fighting Cronus had really been the only brave thing he’d ever done in his life. Before that he’d still been athletic, but he’d only really competed for the glory of it. Being one of the 7 heroes had been the first test of his character ever, and he’d loved it. But he’d always had his friends by his side, even in the darkest times. Sitting in that office, listening to the nonsense prattler of Joe Burns, was the loneliest Archie had ever felt in his life. But now, sitting across from Odie, he felt he could relax again. Suddenly everything didn’t seem to depend on him. And even if it did, he had Odie to back him up.

“Am I forgetting anything?” Odie exclaimed, suddenly turning to look Archie. Archie sensed that Odie was trying to make a joke, but he could think of a few things Odie was forgetting. For instance, needing to convince several Greek Gods to disobey their King and risk the loss of their immortality just to help a few mortals. But Archie decided not to throw that one Odie’s way, he’d had a big day.

Odie, after pausing for dramatic effect, sighed and went back to fiddling with his coffee cup. “So I’ve been thinking, who should we go after first? If what you say is true, Cronus can only track us through media sources. But that also means that we can only track everyone through media sources. Cronus can just ‘poof’ himself there, while we’ve got to use good ole mortal public transit. Even with Hermes’s transporter, we can only go to where we’ve already been.” Odie paused and looked to him as if expecting Archie to add to his current chain of thought. Archie nodded quickly, not wiling to interpret Odie’s chain of thought with his own. He was feeling thankful all over again that Odie was the first person he’d gone to find. Odie sat in silence for a moment, staring intently at his coffee mug. Then unexpectedly, he looked up straight at Archie. “Okay, so if it doesn’t matter who we go after first, let’s go by how easy it’ll be to track them down. We know Atlanta’s in Canada, and I remember her talking about British-Columbia. That’s just a few hours from my home town, which I can teleport us to. We could make a short trip across the border and check the first provincial phone book we can find. I know it’s rudimentary, but- Archie?” Odie stopped suddenly, and Archie realized that his friend must have been reading the expression on his face. It probably wasn’t difficult to interpret. Mention of Atlanta just reminded him that she was with Pan. That they were in a relationship, and it was Pan, not himself, who was protecting Atlanta from Cronus.

“Archie?” Odie asked again, snapping Archie’s train of thought.

“Atlanta’s safe, we don’t need to go after her.” Archie replied curtly, avoiding Odie’s gaze. He hoped his answer would be enough to satisfy Odie, but his friend wasn’t one to accept half-answers.

“What? But how can you be sure? Wouldn’t it make sense-“

“She’s with Pan. Okay?” Archie spat, looking intently at his Coke cup. Odie was silent for a second, before muttering a quiet “oh.” Archie thought the conversation was then over, but suddenly it seemed to occur to Odie what exactly Pan meant for Archie. “Oohhhhh. Sorry man- I mean, I know-“

“Yeah, whatever Odie.” Archie grumbled, trying to drown Odie’s sympathies. “This is a different life, remember? It doesn’t matter anymore. Just- Atlanta’s safe, we need to go after someone else.” Archie was already feeling bad about the whole situation, receiving his friend’s pity would just make it worse.

Odie stayed silent for a moment, as if he were considering saying something to change Archie’s mind. But when he finally spoke, he’d changed topics completely. “Herry lives on a farm, I remember that much. We could really use his strength. Plus, I bet out of all the Gods, Hercules would keep track of Herry. He’s his direct descendant after all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has Herry’s memories either. And I bet that as a former mortal, he’d be more willing to help us mortals than the other Gods.” Odie paused, not hiding the fact that he was waiting for Archie’s reaction. Achilles’ descendant sighed inwardly, he wasn’t feeling as cheery as he had been a second ago.

“Yeah, sounds good. Hera mentioned something about using the temples. Do you know any Hercules temples around here?” A smile spread across Odie’s face as Archie spoke, and Archie could sense his friend was already picturing a plan coming together in his head. “Yeah, com’on!” Odie exclaimed, jumping out of his seat.

“What- right now? Don’t you want to relax a bit-“ Odie grabbed his arm as Archie was stammering, and nearly pulled him out of his chair. “Com’on Archie,” his friend exclaimed, “we’ve got a God of Time to thwart. This is no time for Coke.”

“Okay, okay, fine. Put away the super hero impersonation, I’m coming.” Archie replied, smiling. He was starting to feel glad all over again that he had tracked down his friend. If it wasn’t for Odie, he’d probably just sit around and sulk about Atlanta.

As the two friends disappeared into the crowd, the busboy came to clear the table they’d been sitting at. As he picked up the paper coffee cup, he was surprised to find it full. He wasn’t aware of the significance of it, but it was the first coffee Odie hadn’t finished since High School. It was the first one that he didn’t need to.
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