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Being a Geek Doesn't Mean They're Weak

© December 2004 All Rights Reserved
By The Hit Man

I walked into the house, just returning from a workout. I felt good but was pretty tired from the paces I had just put myself through.

"I'm home," I yelled out to no one in particular.

"In here," a familiar voice called out from somewhere else in the house. I knew the voice, that of my brother Robert and I knew where it came from, the computer room. I walked on through the kitchen, stopping just long enough to down a gulp of orange juice from the fridge, and then into the space that my brother had long ago claimed as his own. There sat my computer geek brother and a new boy I didn't recognize. They had their laptops open and it was obvious they both were mesmerized by what they were doing. I had no interest in knowing exactly what they were doing and turned to leave the room.

"Chris," my brother said, stopping me in my tracks. I mean this was unheard of for him to interrupt something on the computer to address me. He continued. "This is my friend, Ralph. He's into body building too." I looked over at Ralph. True, he was bigger than my brother, but dressed in baggy clothes, he looked anything but interested in the one true sport I was. But I wasn't raised to be rude.

"It's nice to meet you, Ralph. Keep up the good work," I said, biting my tongue not to laugh out loud. To me, he looked just as much the geek as my brother. I started to leave the second time.

"Wait, Chris, flex for him." Now this was starting to freak me out. Robert had never shown any interest in my muscles before. The only time had been when I'd asked him to set up a computer program that would allow me to track my routine and my advances. He'd been more than happy to oblige me then as I was treading in his world. I looked at Robert, sensing that somehow this was all going to turn into a big joke but I could see that he was serious. I took off my outer jacket, leaving only my wife beater on, and struck a double bi pose. They both got out of their chairs and came over to test my bicep muscle. It was a good pose for me, one of those I excelled at. I loved the warmth of their hands as they pressed against the rock solid craggy shaped muscle that filled that part of each of my arms. That's when I thought I saw a sneaky look pass from Ralph to Robert. Not anything I could swear to but still, all this was pretty weird to me anyway, totally out of character for the computer geek I knew as my brother.

"So," Ralph asked innocently, "how do your abs measure up?"

I almost lost it then, shaking their hands off my biceps, lowering my arms. I pulled up the end of my shirt, exposing my six pak. My entire stomach area was hard muscled, ridged and unyielding.

"Wow, those look like they could withstand a lot of punishment," Ralph said. Once again I thought I saw a sly wink pass between the two of them. But frankly, I wasn't worried about it if one of them wanted to take a punch at me. I'd seen many a hand almost broken punching me in fun.

"Go ahead; give it your …" I never got to finish my sentence as Ralph delivered one hell of a punch right to my solar plexus, a blow hard enough to take away the air needed to finish my sentence. I let out a heavy flush of air to cope with the blow. "… best shot."

"How many punches do you think you could stand up to," Ralph asked? I didn't exactly like where this conversation was going but there was no way I could wuss out on a couple of computer geeks taking a few punches at me. After all, his first shot had been a lucky one, I hadn't been prepared. Tightened up, I was pretty sure I could go for hours.

"As many as you can dish out," I replied, hopefully sounding more confident than I felt at the moment. "I'll let that first one be a freebee." As I moved back against the wall, Robert sat down at his laptop while Ralph stripped off his upper jacket. Shit, this kid was built better than I'd given him credit for. Still, I was pretty sure I could outlast him. I glanced down at Robert as his fingers were flying across his keyboard. "And just what are you doing little brother?"

"We designed a program that systematically tells Ralph where to punch to gain the most destructive power, building on each blow in succession. Let's call it a science experiment. The laser there," he pointed at a device on the table I hadn't noticed earlier, "will shoot a spot on your torso and that will tell Ralph where to hit. Any further questions before we start?" I shook my head no and was instantly sorry for it as Ralph leveled a fist right into the same spot as earlier. Almost without hesitation, he hit me right under the sternum, left rib cage, solar plexus again, solar plexus, right rib cage, center shot, center shot, center shot, lower gut (just above my groin), solar plexus, solar plexus, sternum … I was loosing track and his blows were not without strength behind them. Much quicker than I had expected, I was starting to loose the ability to harden my abs, breathing was becoming a chore, and Ralph didn't seem to be loosing any of his fervor for hitting me. His fist was coming in again for a low gut shot and I deflected it.

"Sorry, I need to catch my breath." I heard a beeping noise and looked over at Robert. He didn't look at me but at Ralph instead.

"Tsk. Tsk. Tsk," I heard his tongue clicking. "Not impressive at all."

"What," I said, sounding a little ticked off already?

"That was only 22 hits. I was expecting a lot more out of you, big bro." I glared at Robert but he didn't look up from his damn computer screen. In that moment, I hated the smirk I could see on his lips. I wanted nothing more than to pound him over the head with that stupid laptop.

"But we're counting total hits, right? Not each section by itself." What was I saying? This was all utter madness.

"Well, we didn't really design the program to account for sections," Robert answered. "I suppose we can make some adjustments for human frailty."

"Frailty," I spit out. "Frailty? Let's see how many of these …" Robert interrupted me.

"Section 2." Almost before I realized what he was saying, Ralph punched me right in the solar plexus again. I swear but as he followed the design the computer was supposedly designating on my torso, his blows seemed to become stronger and faster. I held my breath which helped me to resist his punches but some time I knew I had to get a fresh breath. He seemed to pause and I took the opportunity, exhaling loudly. It was like the computer knew exactly what I was doing for suddenly he started punching me fast and furious. The blows didn't hurt as much but without a good breath, I was finding it very difficult to maintain the hardness necessary to resist. Only problem was, without taking a breath I was starting to feel light headed. I had lost all track of the pattern, if there ever had been one. I had no idea where he would hit me blow from blow. His fists were moving fast enough that I couldn't concentrate long enough to block one of them, stopping the action as I had earlier. What was the count, I wondered, surely it had to be in the hundreds by now. My knees were weakening and I was sure my face must be pretty flush.

"Stop, please stop," I managed to whisper, my abs all but softened butter by now. As soon as I said it, Ralph stopped. Once again I heard the computer beeping. I looked at Robert in anticipation.

"Total is now at 58," he said matter of factly.

"That can't be right," I shouted. My voice came out sounding little more than a hoarse cough. "You're computer must be screwed up. The count has to be in the hundreds by now. Let me see that." Robert jerked the laptop out of my reach, turning the screen away from my view. I glared at him but he was unrelenting. "You little piss-ant."

"Sorry, bro. The numbers don't lie." I reached for the laptop again but this time Ralph stepped in, shoving me back against the wall. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to give him a dose of his own medicine. "Section 3."

Ralph hit me again, this time with a punch that dug deep into my muscled torso and shoved a couple of organs around on the inside. His blows were slower now, more controlled, more power behind each punch, each calculated for its depth of penetration. I was struggling to do anything to withstand the force of his blows. In fact, I was a total failure at the moment, every strike taking its toll. I found myself gasping for air between each and every punch, unable to get enough air to breath, let alone tighten my musculature. Ralph was relentless, his face a picture of pure concentration as he followed the pattern inevitably positioned on my body. Each blow dug in deeper, bruising my ribs, shoving my guts around like they were in a frying pan and the heat was too hot. My torso was a mass of red blotches, my skin even now sensitive to his knuckles. For the first time in my life, I was preparing to shout 'uncle', quits, game over, olly-olly outs in free, whatever it took to end this torture. What was it Robert had called it, a scientific experiment? Well, I'd had all I could take. Even while Ralph was still punching me, I sank to my knees, my magnificent abs now more like a bowl full of jelly. Ralph took a step back as if admiring his handiwork. While I pretended not to care any longer, I was on the verge of crying as I waited to hear the final tally.

"72." That was it, a mere 72? I still could hardly believe that this kid and a measly computer program had destroyed me so efficiently and completely. That's when Ralph and Robert began laughing. I starred at them uncomprehending what was so funny, so I asked them.

"What's so funny?" This brought on new bursts of gut-wrenching guffaws from both of them.

"There wasn't any computer program, you idiot. And Ralph isn't just my friend; he's the California Karate black belt champion. We bet some guys at your gym that he could waste you in under a hundred punches. We just made about 500 bucks." I must have looked pretty stupid as I starred at them both, first one, then the other.

"You'll never prove it, never collect," I said as I pulled myself to my feet with the help of a chair. My entire torso ached. Robert pointed to the device he had said was the laser pointer. That's when I saw the red recording light. It was simply a mini-camera. Anger boiled up deep inside me. Karate champ or now, these two were going to get their asses whooped by none other than yours truly. I headed for Robert first. I never saw Ralph's knee coming until it connected with my gut, bending me over double. His foot flew up, catching me in the mouth, driving me back up. I only felt the high kick to my chin for a second as it whipped my head totally to one side, whipping it back the other way as it smashed against the other side. Out like a light, I didn't even feel the carpet as my face met it full on.

"Let's go collect our money," Robert said as he picked up the video camera.