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Boys and girls arrived from the strobes and the rink and circled a six-foot cabinet, who wielded against their chief both joysticks and coin slots.


Billy had gotten to M. Bison. He grappled a joystick and jabbed at its buttons. Sweat sheened, and the cabinet groaned under his fists.

The watchers hooped at Billy’s opponent in would-be intimidation.

“What game is this?”

“I’ve gotten farther than that.”


“Spin kick him.”

“Last week.”

“Come on Billy.”

“Spin kick him.”

“I like the guy with the slappy hands.”

It was over in less than a minute. The skaters skated away, and the sock-hoppers hopped back to the stage.

They had lost their bounty. M. Bison had won.

Billy watched his would-be prey count down Ryu’s defeat. Three, two, one—Game Over. And it was. Billy had spent his last quarter. And, ostensibly, so had his friends.