the last time we left Atalan he was staring at an ATM. he still is...
the Brazil group have come to a new understanding of camaraderie and togetherness. their stories have formed a big green blob that are uniting them as one boulder slowly picking up speed as it goes uphill. there's no turning back. there's a sense in the air, it smells not just of chickenspace, there's a sense that this thing needs to get rolling into a conclusion soon or people will go crazy.
Uvula: what's next, boss?
Cotard: and you are? just kidding. you lead, mah dahlin.
Uvula: nah, i'm more comfortable with animals. i'm not sure this has to do with the fact that i can control them or i'm just shy. either way, it seems you are the one destined to conclude.
Cotard: destiny? fate? chance? randomness? an unseen whim? but from whom? why me? that is the eternal series of questions.
Fuerza: don't know, mijo, it just turned into you. even i can't hazard how you comprehend it. how must it feel to inhabit the space of the one who is to show the way? the one humanity pins its hopes on? how did Jesus really feel being the savior in his quiet moments away from his father? there are movies about this sort i thing i have yet to watch. you look around for help and realize you have the last thought. was it your utter ordinariness that made you special?
Cotard: i refused to take the drugs. i'm not a big drug guy, they don't taste good, they taste like balls to me, asparagus balls. my lack of cool saved us. here's to the meek in social skills, they shall inherit the social media and awkwardly flirt online with the wrong emojis.
Uvula: my animal forces from all around the globe are mobilizing: my mammals are muscular, ginned-up giraffes, the lone lion, trippin' tigers, ready rodents, illuminated iguanas, skateboarding snakes, a whale of a whales. my fish are at a fevered pitch. my birds are bustin'. my eagles are wearing glasses. oh boy, got a couple of good boys ready to take on some dog-fighting douches and overpriced vets.
Bridge: focus, the target is Codrus, he's the linchpin of all this newfound evil freedom. his base is a heavily-fortified apartment in NYC.
Kenyatta: those are the real crazies, they'll guard that property with their lives. be extra careful, people, prepare for the worst, keep a 1-UP mushroom in your pocket at all times.
Bridge: baby i know it's hard but we'll ween you off the stuff slowly. it's gotta take for our future.
there's a ring at the gate.
Erneste: you get it.
Uvula's face sweetens up when she sees her loyal companion Favor the raccoon and friends.
Uvula: Favor! second in command. but remember, SECOND in command. the good soldier. i've told you things in confidence and remember i can speak raccoon. who's this lovely lady on your arm, your girlfriend?
Favor: my mom. everyone, meet Forage. she's my rock and the one who collected rocks to board our bored hole during winters. sure our tree still came crashing down and got swept up in the river and our family dwindled down considerably but i don't blame mama for that, i blame god. mama's my everything, without her i wouldn't be here, literally, and figuratively, which mean the same thing now. i'd be dead enjoying the next life, truly living for the second time.
Uvula (after the '80s sound prompt of awwwww): awwww, as sweet as my face. Mama Fuerza, you can relate, whatchu reckon?
Fuerza: get those fleabags outta my ranch! sorry, i'm not used to all this excitement, i'm from the old country.
Uvula: my big screen is telling me that Codrus's masterplan is to...use atom bombs attached to hurricanes? seriously? let me discount double-check that for you folks. my insect spies are doubling down on the intel, they have it on good authority from the cockroaches in Codrus's studio apartment who told them before they ate their way through the second storie and it collapsed in on them. a moment of silence for our fallen martyrs. they were just voraciously hungry, following their god-given insect instincts. a cockroach is nothing without its word.
Kenyatta: huh, you hear all the time about the air force's efforts to quell hurricanes, stop Cat 5s in their tracks by dropping an atom bomb on them, that's where he got that crazy idea from. science is such a bad influence.
Uvula: he's gonna use the impossible propulsion of the hurricane's winds to carry the atom bombs all over the globe quickly before any army can react. anyone who doesn't accept his godless ways will be destroyed. he's forcing all of us to bow to him, bending our supple knees into supplication. he's the king of the world on a sinking ship, there's nothing we can do, he holds all the cards and he's the joker, he has all the power cos he has all the Stones, he's translated the ancient stone slabs, he has the lone esoteric knowledge, he's isolating to a fault, he's a secret society of one.
Bridge: not all the Stones. what about your cave?
Uvula: oh yeah, forgot about that. i'm more Beatles by the way. our one hope is that he needs hurricanes to form for his plan to work. please tell me it isn't hurricane season.
everyone: it's hurricane season.
Uvula: i told you not to tell me that. what are we gonna do?
Cotard: we have to stop the hurricanes before they make landfall, we have to attack them in the open ocean, but not with bombs. i'm thinking Waterworld.
at Codrus's apartment base:
Codrus is addressing the audience, looking right into the camera. it's like the fourth wall isn't even there for him.
close up of Codrus's face:
Codrus: ladies and gentlemen, i am sorry for this. this whole scene is all so cliche i know. to follow last week's sex with this week's violence, those two really are PB&J as much as you try to unstick them.
Codrus is sticking up with a long gun to the forehead of a Yayray bound and gagged on his knees. though with a blindfold in his mouth Yayray is still able to mutter a solid refrain to his captor.
Yayray (muffled): pig!
Codrus: yes, you are hogtied. yes i am, it's all very 1984, isn't it? yes i have a crush on Miss Piggy to this day. i love bacon, Imzhan turned me onto it. i'm into it. *deep sigh* coup de grace time. it's so hard to find good friends these days. when you're a dictator you have to be choosy, gotta be more eharmony, less match.com, just the right peanut butter. you could have been the one, Yayray, but you got too close, you're too smart for your own god, you became an ass. arrogance is nothing without power. friends are a fine thing, like wine, just the right ph balance, personal hatred, you want your friends to rub your soul, caress it, but not to snatch it from your body. you must maintain your identity and not get swallowed up in theirs. you are who you are at the end of the day, another limited human with flaws, can't help it, can't change it, can't caress your core enough for it to crack...
Codrus really looks into the camera, he's on top of the audience, his tongue is on the glass.
Codrus: ...until now.
Codrus tries to laugh grandly and evilly but it comes out as just wheezing.
Codrus: got to work on that, been too busy training. no i haven't been training as hard as i should, that's a little white lie i'll divulge for the home audience, don't go telling Cotard. i mean i spent a few days underwater training near the site of the slabs, breath control and shit, but then you get distracted with the slabs themselves, the next line of precious writing on them, the next direction that only you have in your watery possession cos you fired your whole staff. nothing like being at the bottom of the ocean alone bubbling on a tank trying to interpret an inscription to make you think about your life. you come up and your fingers are all pruney from a hard day's work sliding them along slits. holes are where power lies.
Codrus turns to a helpless Yayray with whiplashed head and pulls the trigger pointblank. silence invades the room, there is no more sound, but there is no the blood.
Yayraj gets knocked back sharply and dies but not before seeing his last words reflected on his killer's lips through the smoke. Codrus mumbles to him:
silence to silence, dust to dust. it's not bad, not scary, it didn't hurt too much, right? think back to the time when you were not yet born, you're simply going back to that place. memoria, memoria...
Codrus: fitting for a fellow warrior.
Codrus's shoulder shawl is shimmering with agitated energy. at certain angles he becomes simply a shaft of light. he slides his finger across the labels next to his elevator door and pushes two buttons below:
FLOOR ONE: the kids (ah, beautiful innocence, what everyone returns to)
FLOOR TWO: Imzhan, second in command (and confidant i keep in the dark) (and friend)
FLOOR THREE: motherfucking me
Codrus: come on, guys!
he hides the gun in his shaft but the smoke remains not quite cleared ceiling-collecting.
the kids: what's with all the smoke? are you vaping, papa?
Codrus: never you mind. and yes, i'm trying to be cool so i can relate to you guys.
Imzhan: i'm sick being cooped up in here, it's a bad environment. i want my family to expand.
Codrus (smarmily): me, too.
and the New York group take the downward spiral stairs.
in the corridor before, though,
IN TILTED RED LETTERS, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK
is the following final message sprawled out in big bold painted letters by Yayray:
HEY INTERNET: NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK, MOTHERFUCKERS!
Codrus: well how about that? didn't see that coming but he saw it coming, must have sensed something. good show, my friend, you will be missed.
Imzhan slides his middle finger across the red letters and tastes it.
Imzhan (recoils): shit, i thought this was gonna be strawberry jelly...
Cotard is sensing something not using any Stones power, he feels it, it's familiar instinct, familial instinct. something terrible has happened to Yayray.
Cotard (muttering to himself in his private study): this won't be easy to tell those two gorgeous aunts. he was beloved not just to them. but we shall win in his honor in the end. it's always good to have a unifying force, the gorgeousness of a group.
Cotard picks up the receiver of a replica Batphone from the '60s series that seems to be at the ranch for some reason. he chuckles and admits to himself that this does make telling the news a bit easier.
Cotard: if we all shroud ourselves in the cape of ridiculousness, it all evens out.