By Franklin W. Dixon
The Hardys get a choice for aid from their buddy Phil Cohen: turns out his cousin, a venture supervisor at a software program corporation, can't locate Steven Royal, the eccentric fashion designer of the company's well known Chaos video games. Is his disappearance a stream in a dangerous real-life online game?
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Additional resources for A Game Called Chaos (The Hardy Boys, Book 160)
He opened the door. ' The door closed behind them. Mr Mysterioso said 'Photoze will keep him safely out of earshot,' But he looked anxious. 'Can you really swear to tell him the truth of it ? ' Inspector Block went and stood in the middle of the room. He said 'The truth of it is very short, and very simple. I can tell it to you in' - he counted on his fingers - 'in fourteen words. In fact. I could reduce those words to six, and give you the whole story. Of course, I could say a lot of other words, but I'm not going to.
Fifteen years ago - a cornerstone to be laid for the local hospital, just another chore in the public life of Mr Mysterioso, stage magician extraordinary. But, mounting to the tiny platform, leaning his crippled weight on the servant's arm, there had come the sharp crack of the rifle shot. And in the top-floor room of the unfinished hospital wing, looking down on the scene, they had found the fixed rifle with one spent bullet. And nobody there. Up on the roof a press photographer who couldn't have got down to the window where the gun was fixed ; down at the main entrance a policeman on duty, seen by a dozen pairs of eyes, tearing up the stairs toward the murder room, moments after the shot.
I'd been on duty at the other end of the wing. He said, "My God, there's nobody here ! " He looked almost - scared, as though he'd seen a ghost. "There's a rifle fixed up," he said. "' In the last of the half-dozen little rooms that had so far received their dividing walls, there was a rough tripod formed of three planks. These had been shaped at their ends so that, propped against the skirting boards on three sides of the room, they met and dovetailed to form a crotch into which the butt of the rifle fitted securely.