Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: The Doctor's Office Part 1


Sisters are, without a doubt, a pain in the ass.

Not a fleeting pain. Not sitting on a tack. More like a vicious beating with a paddling board.

"That's fine Becca. If you want to be a pacifist, I have no issues with that. We, however, are mercenaries by trade and need to work to pay for food."

"We've got plenty of money for right now. If everyone got a conventional job, we could do this without violence."

I pushed away from the table in disgust and stamped off.

"Will someone, anyone, shut her up so I can plan this raid?"

But of course no one offered. No. Not after that delicious breakfast. Not after a goodnight story. Not after she drew a hot bath or served green tea or polished revolvers or cleaned a topcoat.

Of course no one offered to. Ignore the fact that all this was given to us by the man that killed them. Ignore the fact that I gave up ten years apiece for each of them. Ignore the impending danger.

Instead, we'll sit here and be bloody well pampered.

"Did you want your coffee Michael?"

"Why yes please. Thank you for bringing it to me."

She smiled. That smile vanished as I hurled the cup at Mr. Jonathan's head.

"Get up you bleeding hairy twit. We're going. NOW."

Mr. Jonathan sat blinking from his spot on the couch. He had dodged the cup by the barest half inch and now sat nearly in Trevor's lap.

"You too lone gunman. EVERYBODY, we're LEAVING."

I turned back to Rebecca as her lip quivered.

"We have work to do. Like I said, I don't care if you do or don't fight. That's your choice. For the rest of us, it's a job."

"But Michael..."

I turned around, snugged up my tie, and headed out the door. Everyone else followed wordlessly, shoulders rounded and heads hanging. Even the imps.

The snow had stopped falling during the night but it was still frigid. We slogged through the drifts, unsure of exactly how we were going to get to the West Worthington lab.

But by God, we were going.

"Mr. Jonathan, I'm never getting married. Being related to a woman is bloody well bad enough. I surely don't need one haunting my every footfall."

He just laughed.

"Another snicker and it's coming out of your pay."

Silence. Very good. A team of professionals even. What an idea.

My head was pounding.

Where the hell was my brandy?


I can't plan worth a damn when angry. As usual though, this bit of observation was reserving for the moment where we're surrounded by large fellows in thick suits carrying mini-guns.

"Are you sure you're up this Mr. Nod? This is a complex operation. We need you to obtain the sample of the Berlin Flu antivirus West Worthington is storing in the lab we've designated Omega. Other contractors will handle other lab sites. But we're going out on a limb here offering you this position. We're content to just obliterate the antivirus if it means forbidding West Worthington a competitive edge. But we'd prefer to have the edge ourselves. Understood?"

"Understood. Heavy resistance?"

"Count on several sanitation squads. We're talking about the biggest cash cow this city has seen since the creation of the arcologies. You do this, do it right, they'll be more work for you."

"Have no worries sir. There will be no chance of failure."

No. Of course not. Chance won't be involved at all.

It'll be a guaranteed failure.

Stupid Nod. Very stupid.

We had all moved as a single unit with the intent of a full frontal attack. Ignored the small amount of intelligence that we had and assumed the small cadre of guards at the reinforced gates were the extent of their defenses.

I was impressed. We made it halfway across the courtyard before the sanitation squads rose out of the ground. It was brilliant bit of entrapment. Certainly took us by surprise.

So here we stood as they continued to rise, guns starting to spin up.

"Hey boss?"

"Yes Trevor?"

"About our line of work?"


"I think I'd rather be a musician. Or truck driver. Or professionally beg."

"Wouldn't we all."

That's when I saw the teddy bear. Teddy - polar - bear actually. The one carrying a machete. It was grinning through steel trap teeth as it leapt it the air and brought the machete down on one of the suits still rising from the ground.

A platoon of toy solders was marching into the east flank of the suits. Each one carried a bolt action rifle slung over its shoulder. As the sanitation suits ascended, the toy soldiers formed a firing line. Fire. Advance. Crouch. Line behind fire. Advance. Crouch.

More modern toy soldiers in fatigues stood in the back of radio controlled pickups, manning minature bed mounted M60 machine guns.

And on every toy, there was a strand of hair looped around an arm. A leg. A wheel.

"Hello brother. Am I late?"

"No sis. You're right on time."

I turned to the rest of the team.

"Well gents, what are you waiting for?"

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