next day, Xander was at the construction site consulting with the architect
when one of the electricians walked up with a message. "Hey Xander, you
got someone out front asking for you." Xander looked up worriedly, because
of the First, an emergency call could come at any
time. "Is it one of the girls?"
The electrician laughed. "You wish. Speaking of that, don't you know any ugly girls?"
Xander tilted his head. "Come to think of it Todd, I don't. Anyway, who's the visitor?"
Todd shrugged his shoulders. "Beats me. He wouldn't give his name, but it's some creepy looking guy in a fedora."
Damn it. Since when does Whistler visit the Normal Guy? "Thanks Todd, you better hurry up now or you'll be late clocking in."
Todd laughed again. "Good thing I've got an in with the foreman. I hear that he's pretty understanding."
Xander quickly finished up with the architect and walked to the site entrance. Sure enough, a man was standing there in a trench coat and fedora. "I hear you're looking for me." The man turned around, and Xander was somewhat surprised to see that it wasn't the Balance Demon, but instead a wrinkled old man. Not Whistler, but definitely someone I've never seen before.
"Ah my boy, you're not an easy one to find. You are, I presume, Xander Harris?" The old man extended his hand for Xander to shake.
"That's the name. What did you mean I'm not an easy one to find?" Xander looked suspiciously at the man whose name he still didn't know.
"Well my boy, it took quite a bit of legwork to find out who the local Starfighter champion was. And after that it took a bit more to find the man himself."
Now Xander was completely confused. "Champion? All I did was beat the high score at the arcade. How does that make me a champion? And how did you know the high score had been beat?"
The man chuckled good naturedly. "My boy, so full of questions. I'll do what I can to answer them. First off, the high score on the Starfighter machines are set so insanely high that only the best of the best will ever beat them." The man's eyes seemed to twinkle in the sunlight. "Is it so farfetched in these days of personal data assistants and wireless networking that an arcade console can't automatically notify the creator when the high score is topped?"
Xander thought about it for a second, and nodded. "I suppose not. So what is it you want? And besides that, who in the hell are you?"
The man grinned broadly. "Well Xander, can I call you Xander?" At Xander's nod he grinned even brighter. "Excellent. Well had you come along a few years earlier, you would have been designated the world champion immediately and without question. But, in these days I've determined that a competition should be held. All of the regional Starfighter champions are to gather and compete against each other to be Earth's... Ahem, the World Champion. And you my dear Xander Harris, are the regional champion." The man took the fedora off in a small salute and then held it to his chest. "And to answer your second question, the name's Centauri."