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Chapter 15: The Fruits of Labour
6.23.2002 Edited by Ben, every Sunday.

Lightning crashed and rain pounded against the huge picture windows as the two eerily contrasting figures stood peering into the night. Each flash from the maelstrom illuminated the two silhouettes as though they were graven images carved by bloodthirsty pagans. In a way it could be said they were, if one saw society as a pack of bloodthirsty pagans and the boy's image as not having been conceived in the womb, but rather carved out of some giant block of meat. So in another, more accurate way, this metaphor does not hold at all.

The smaller figure turned and walked away from the window. The larger figure followed as closely and as quietly as a shadow. Moments later, the curtains drew themselves shut, and a grand fire ignited itself in its gigantic hearth, as if by magic or natural gas. The rising flames cast their orange glow on the smooth features of Todd McNoHart, making subtle shadows played over his child's features and monstrous unibrow. If one were to see his face at this point, one would note that this wavering, flickering glow made Todd appear much older, and one would even go so far as to say that the intelligence of one who has seen generations come and go glinted in his big eyes.

As it was, no one but Dionne was there to observe this, and he had seen it many times before. Dionne stood silently beside Todd. Arms crossed, feet spread into a solid stance. Always silent. Always wary. Two Samurai swords criss-crossed on his muscular back, and the shadow cast onto the wall by the light of the fire gave them the appearance of great, folded bat wings.

Todd held in his hand a small pouch that crinkled when he reached into it. He pulled out a handful of small, wafer-like snacks. These curious snack items fooled the eye. One minute they looked like crackers, and the next chips. They were the sort of snack that you couldn't look at for any extended period of time, lest this paradox drive you hysterically mad. How could one snack possess all the qualities of two different species of snack? It was as if a cracker and a potato chip were occupying the same space at the same time: a very technologically advanced snack.

Todd shoved the handful of chips/crackers into his small, pouting mouth and chewed evilly. He turned to Dionne and spoke before he was finished chewing, and soggy crumbs flew from his mouth as he spoke.

"So, our dear friend Mr. Lincoln thinks he is catching on to our plan. Good for him."

Dionne did not respond vocally. His face maintained its stony composure, but his eyes like glittering nuggets of jade kept unwavering eye contact with the boy. Todd continued.

"He seems to have lulled himself into the delusion that he is capable of escaping any attempts I make on his life. Yes. That is what he should be thinking. He does not yet know my full capabilities. He does not yet know the wrath that I can bring upon those who oppose me. He is hoping now to find some ally with whom to topple the precarious card-house of my plan. I feared for a single moment that he may have succeeded, but now I realize that it no longer matters. My Canadian spies by now will have lured him into a false sense of security. Soon they will do away with him. Yes, Dionne my friend, soon Bjorn Lincoln will no longer be a worry."

Todd's eyes widened slightly, momentarily, and he glanced up at Dionne.

"Not that he ever was a worry Dionne. Not that he was ever was a worry. Indeed, he was doomed from the start, when I tricked him into taking those pills. With my agents stationed in every time period past, present and future, Bjorn will be to busy running away and avoiding death to present any sort of significant threat to me. As long as he continues to use his pills in situations of confusion and panic, and never learns to control his time-jumps, history will bury him soon enough."

Todd looked absently into the flames, and took another handful of the delightful yet puzzling snack wafers.

"Yet Dionne, I feel we are not using Bjorn for all his potential worth. That is why I did what I did today. The thought blooms in my mind that Bjorn would be much more useful if he were not dead, but alive and well and working for us."

Dionne's eyes flickered once, and his eyelids stirred slightly before settling back into their place of unmoving, watchful rest.

"Yes, Dionne. Think of what he could do for us. That is why I visited him when he was only a child in grade school. To set him on the path to become what he is today. That is why I bribed his teachers and employers all throughout his academic and professional life, to develop him into the man that he is, working for the government and testing new drugs. That, Dionne, is why I did those things to his parents. He will serve me Dionne, or he will die."

Todd sighed.

"Yes, my most loyal soldier. It has been a very busy day. Bringing up Bjorn Lincoln has proved to be a most daunting task. Yet it is complete. I think the fruits of our labour today will very soon become apparent. How I pity that fool Bjorn. Imagine finding out that the life you have lead has not been your own at all, but a single day's work of your most despised foe!"

Todd threw back his head and cackled his child's cackle.

Dionne looked away from the demonic child and into the raging fire.

By Mike Trudeau

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