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Chapter 7: Yatakang!
An executive assistant stopped just behind a concealing fold of tissue, examining his clipboard for the thousandth time. Dread throbbed in the pit of his anterior midgut. He could flee, there was still time, but ... but wouldn't it be better to die with honor than live with treason? And even if he did somehow manage to get past the perimeter and sidle out through an ill-guarded orifice, odds were good that he'd get swatted within five minutes. Rare is the fly who gets to choose how he dies, the assistant thought, and so I choose to go down with the ship.
He let out a little cough and then threw himself into the Situation Room, nestled comfortably in the place that used to house Rhonda Juniper's ability to plan a sequence of complex movements needed to complete multi-stepped tasks. "Sir!" he said.
Beezle looked up in annoyance from the topographic map spread across a cerebral artery. "Now's really not the time. The amount of work I have to do before dawn is really pretty ridiculous."
"Sir, I ... Sir ..."
"Buh! Luh! Uh!" Beezle mocked. "Spit it out!"
"Well sir, I just received this memorandum from, from, well, from the brass, and"
"Then maybe you should stop with the dillydally and start with the doubletime."
The executive assistant handed the clipboard to Beezle and then burst into tears. This got Mouche's attention, who'd been in an antechamber doing an intense abdominal workout. "What in the everloving piss christ is going on around here?" he cried, toweling off with two legs and angrily gesturing with two more.
Beezle was only halfway through the memo but already weak with horror. He'd seen the code word yatakang and that was all it took. Suddenly the vast future of strength and prosperity had been snatched away from him from them all! and he was powerless to stop it.
"Beezwax? What is it?" Mouche asked. "Spill it, my good man."
The clipboard slipped through Beezle's tarsus and fell to the floor. "Yatakang, Mouche," he said quietly. "Just got word from HQ."
Mouche's labrum hung open in shock. "You're ... you're joking."
"Do I look like I'm joking?" Beezle said, shouting to be heard over the executive assistant's moans.
"Not especially," Mouche said. "But why? It doesn't add up. We found a nice young host, one that'll finally get us where we're going, and to have them pull the plug now..."
"I'll tell you why," Beezle barked, fear suddenly replaced by a white-hot rage. "There was no promised land. There never was. It's Johanssen. He's been yanking the brass around from the get-go, and now that he's done with us, he's pushing the button."
"But ... but Johanssen was our partner. He'd never"
"He never planned on sharing the pork profits with us," Beezle wheezed, slumping. "So stupid. Why are our brains so tiny and ineffectual? Mouche, he never wanted us to join him. He wanted us to take out Franklin, get into Project Arnold via the temp, and off Rhonda Juniper for good measure."
Mouche shook his head. "That's the coke talking, Beez. We picked up Rhonda by chance at the bowling alley."
"Nothing was left to chance. You have no idea who she was, do you?"
"Yeah, I do. She was energetic jailbait with simple chronic halitosis."
Beezle heard the sirens begin to wail from deep within the nasal cavity. "That and so much more, my dear friend," he said
Moments later, there on the multicolored carpeting of the NASA, thin wisps of smoke began to emerge from Rhonda Juniper's delicate, doe-like ears. By the time the maid had steered her cart to Room 227 there was nothing left of Rhonda, or of the flies, except a sooty stain in the shape of a voluptuous young woman.
Posted by Rhonda Juniper at 12:17AM GMT on Sunday, June 17, 2001
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