Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

XVIII
John and Bill had now been wandering around aimlessly for three days, and they were very lost. With each passing hour, they grew steadily more doubtful that they’d ever find the Red Herring. The fact that Captain Arousing was quite obviously following them – he didn’t seem to realize that merely ducking down wouldn’t hide him – only added to their problems.

“I’m hungry!” whined Bill, who in actuality wasn’t hungry at all but felt as though he should say something to break the awkward silence John insisted upon maintaining in order to avoid subjecting himself to the inane chatter of the garbage man.

“We just ate in that McDonalds over there!” said John, who figured Bill was gullible enough to believe him. “You ordered enough food for five people, and now I’m broke. Stop complaining.”

“But I’m hungry!” repeated Bill.

“Okay, fine. We’ll eat Captain Arousing,” conceded John.

They turned around to find a very shocked Captain Arousing quickly ducking down.

“Where’d he go?” asked Bill.

Too annoyed to respond, John just continued walking. Bill followed, forgetting all about his hunger when they saw a plane fly overhead, the first sign of non-Captain Arousing human contact they’d seen since arriving.

“I’ve never seen a plane fly this low before; I think it’s about to land!” said John, running over to where he thought the plane would touch down.

Unfortunately, his guess was a little too accurate, and the plane very nearly decapitated him as it descended. It was tremendous, far larger than any plane John had ever seen before; it seemed capable of carrying a small army. The plane also bore no insignia, which John took as another bad omen.

“Get ready, Bill. We don’t know who’s in there – it may be an enemy,” cautioned John.

It began to slow down, John’s tension increasing with each second; but when it stopped, only one man exited: Mischa Petrovitch. The plane took off again immediately, leaving the now-unemployed Deputy Secretary of Evil stranded in the frozen wasteland.

He saw John and Bill and instantly took out a pistol, which he clumsily dropped, then picked up, then dropped again, finally remembering his decision to betray Josiah.

Jogging over to the two, he raised his hand in a sign of greeting and smiled weakly. John, by nature a distrustful cynic; and Bill, conditioned always to do whatever John did, were quite suspicious, but they figured they’d let the man have his say.

“Greetings, comrades! I was sent here by Josiah Malum, but I am going to betray him, so let us find the Red Herring together!” he said.

“How do we know we can trust you?” asked John. “After all, the last time we met, you tried to shoot us. I don’t forget things like that easily.”

“No, that is actually incorrect. The last time we met was for but a brief instant, at the airport. The time where I shot at you was actually two meetings ago,” corrected Mischa.

“I think you’re missing the point,” said John.

“You must forgive me. I have the unfortunate habit of taking everything literally. For example, when you said that I was missing the point, for a moment I thought you meant that I had failed to notice your pointing at something. See?”

“This conversation is going nowhere. I’ll just come out and say it: I’m reluctant to take you at your word, but I’m willing to give you a chance. If you’re going to travel with us, you need to prove that you’re really trustworthy. Kill Captain Arousing!” demanded John. “Then we’ll know whose side you’re really on.”

“Having never met him before and therefore having absolutely no emotional attachment to him, I fail to see how that will prove anything. But okay!” said Mischa, picking up his pistol and shooting Captain Arousing in the face.

The good captain fell to the ground dead, and that was more than enough to satisfy John; so he, Bill and Mischa set off together, in search of the Red Herring. And some food.

2 comments:

Sandra said...

This is... a completely different Mischa. I think I missed the chapter where he was kidnapped by aliens and replaced with a clone.

Jason Cohen said...

Apparently you also missed the other chapters where Mischa isn't around Josiah. He's only Mischa-y with the boss around.

Besides, his decision to betray Josiah emboldened him a little. Just a little.