Chapter 26: Easy As Krekh-znah
11.18.2002 Edited by , every Sunday.
Jesus was wearing white.
She sat on the bare, white bed in a bare, white room and stared at the bare, white wall. White light streamed in through the bare window, from a bank of fluorescents beyond. There was a hum of ventilation. The clop of footsteps that moved through the hallway outside her door.
But no one was bothering her. No one would ever bother her here, for that matter. She was safe.
Jesus rose and walked towards the mirror. She stared at her features – the wrinkles in her forehead, the soft lines of her cheekbones, the red of her lips. She brushed her hair behind her ear. "Poor Bjorn," she said in a flat voice.
Then she ran her hand over her face, wiping away all the stress and pretense of the past few days, shedding tension, emotion and concern. She stared into her own eyes; they were now hard, and her gaze was fierce. She smiled a jackal's smile.
"Yes, my loyal soldier, everything goes according to plan."
It was a dark room. A tall man stood by his short, unibrowed master. Crumbs flew as McNoHart stuffed a strange snackfood into his mouth.
"Is the connection open?" he asked.
Dionne shook his head, long ponytail swaying behind him. His eyes were serious and dry as stone.
"She is too independent!" McNoHart snarled, voice squeaking. "She should be more subservient! Quiet and dumb! Like you!"
Dionne pressed his hands together palm-to-palm. He said nothing.
Suddenly there was a loud bleeping sound from the console before them. A red light flashed in the gloom. McNoHart reached forward with a small, pink hand and slapped a touchpad. A screen blinked out of nothingness, spreading on the wall that faced them. Bright, white light flowed out of it - McNoHart and Dionne looked away, squinting. The kid sneezed.
When their eyes had adjusted, they looked back into the holographic monitor. There was Jesus' face - long lashes, pouting mouth, sensuous mole.
"Todd," she said.
"Master McNoHart!" McNoHart demanded.
"Todd," she said again, a smile moving into her lips.
"You are to call me Master!"
"Does it matter so long as I do the job?" Jesus said, tilted her head to the side.
McNoHart hesitated. "Uh. No- No, I suppose not."
Jesus gave a small nod of the head. "All right then, Todd," she said lightly.
A shadow passed over the boy's face, and a red flicker of true menace flashed into his eyes. "But don't fuck with me, Jesus, or you'll be back on the streets of Latvia less than what you left with."
There was a slight tremble in Jesus' solid composure, but she quickly dismissed it with a laugh. "No sweat, Todd. Master. I'm here for you."
"Good," said Todd, the childishness returning to his expression. He grinned triumphantly at Dionne then clapped his hands together. "Bjorn is meeting with the king of those celebrities. I imagine they'll boot him. In my last discussion with Philbin, I dropped a few hints about his being 'dangerous'."
"Boot him to ground-level?" asked Jesus. "He'll be toast." She showed her teeth. "I want my comission, regardless."
McNoHart shrugged. "Such a toasting is unlikely. I'm treading lightly with Philbin - the takeover must be seamless and complete... I didn't push for him to strip Bjorn of his things, and the celebrities are so absolutely filled with philanthropic magnanimity that they were unwilling to even consider taking his possessions. The suspicions that Hollywood was overrun with golden-hearted do-gooders was entirely correct - their greed seems nonexistent, their wisdom great... As much as People Magazine always suggested the Beautiful People were smart and funny as well as gorgeous, I hadn't believed it..."
"So they won't take his stuff-"
"Precisely. He still has his pills. They have served well, so far, at revealing to us some of the timelines that might be harvested... but they will prevent his goose from being cooked," McNoHart smiled, "when he is released into the radioactive wilds of New York state."
"And you want his goose to be cooked, now?"
"Yes. The time has come. He is gaining too much of a sense of destiny, methinks. He is getting ideas. Once I've harvested Elysium, things will be reaching a fore, and his use will be minimal. I will have had my revenge against the Lincoln clan."
"I'll go with him when he flees, then."
"And follow him to wherever he's going."
Jesus nodded, running her tongue over her white, sharp teeth. "Goody," she said.
"You have you orders then," said McNoHart, turning away from the screen. "When you're finished, meet me here. 1984."
"Easy as krekh-znah. I'll see you soon."
Todd swung around. "Wait- There isn't anything going on between you two, is there? Anything funny?"
A quick spasm trembled over Jesus' face. She smiled though - a confident, beautiful smile, like a razorblade in snow - "Of course not, Todd. All work. No play." She winked at him.
"Good," he said, turning to Dionne. "End transmission."
In the moment before the screen turned dark, Dionne glanced backwards along the length of the hall, to where in the distance he could see the milling-about of hundreds of grey shapes; shadowy, unseen forms. Their work was almost done.
By Sean Micheals