Dr. Ghostell is measuring himself. not like that, he's wondering what it will take for him to don the flight helmet, which looks awfully like a stahlhelm, and step inside the cockpit of the pink stealth bomber and choose his harder destiny.
Greg: i don't want to do this. but i must. i never anticipated this, but i must accept it.
James Comey: you don't have to. you've simply decided your life needs to be more exciting. that's on you, not fate.
Greg: JIM MOTHERFUCKING COMEY?!! what up, motherfucker. haven't seen you since our summer stint at space camp in Huntsville, Alabama together. when was that? sometime in the '80s i want to say cos i sharply remember that feeling when life was still good. well you certainly shot up like a beansprout. how does one grow to be a giant? a lot of milk?
Comey smiles for the first time in a while. but no one sees it.
Comey: a lot of peas. and peas milk.
Greg does a cartwheel and handstands and tries to high-five Comey with his foot but Comey's too tall for all that nonsense.
Greg: where'd you come from?
Comey: oh i'm always around lurking. i was the air-force guy you were talking to. i'm master of disguise, helps when you're in the FBI.
Greg: i'm a bit hesitant about all this. where's the cockpit to this thing?
Comey pushes Greg in.
Comey: invisible cockpit of course.
Greg: wow, i phased in. this is Next Generation stuff.
Comey: i never saw Star Wars, it was rated PG. easy controls.
Greg: how do you control this thing? it's like a mix of the inside of a 1978 Cylon raider and the inside of a TIE fighter. as you can tell, i'm a science nerd.
Comey: it pilots itself.
Greg: why is there a 12-month calendar nailed to the wall in here with a different picture of Edward Snowden in a speedo?
Comey: one speedo for every color of the rainbow.
Greg: i don't mind the company to be honest.
Comey: i figured this was the cheapeat way to travel. those noon LAX flights are highway robbery in broad daylight. i have to clear some things up...like my desk.
Greg: how do you like your job? i'm finding my job a bit boring.
Comey: good news is this frees me up to pursue my real dream, the one my mother wanted me to pursue. i'm gonna go to a team that's still working. i'm gonna play ball with LeBron James!
Greg: oh, cool charity. yeah i do a spelling bee myself.
Comey: no for real. my tryout is in Washington. i'm gonna say all the right loyal things at my introductory press conference but then screw the Wizards when the Cavs offer me more money. it's my paltry attempt at a modicum of revenge. of course nothing will really change until the pumpkin is smashed.
Greg: fan of their early work but Billy seems lost now.
Comey: i'm sorry, i meant to say squashed. i'm losing myself, too. i'm so tall it hurts to walk.
Greg: you have that classic chiseled face and short black haircut of a G Man. i look like a dump. but things will change when i file this report.
Comey: yes your work is invaluable. without you there is no atom bomb. to quash the hurricane i mean.
Greg: incoming call. which button do i push?
Greg: hello? Maria? my love why are you still working?
Maria: i'm not, i'm at the afterhours bar. how do you like my wisdom earrings?
Comey: *whispering in Greg's ear* just say they're lovely. the bomber can see everything. and hear everything.
Greg: you know you guys at Starbucks should be open 24/7. imagine all the money you'd rake in! imagine all the college towns bursting their windows from the steady rain of coins from all the students pulling all-nighters.
Maria: um, Greg, maybe Starbucks DOESN'T do that cos they have respect for their workers. maybe that's it. ever thought of that Greg honey?
Greg: no, i hadn't. i just get my coffee and think nary a second word. are we breaking up?
Greg: we're breaking up, another call's coming in. hello?
Bump: go for President. i am so bored. this job sucks. now they have me sitting for hours in this hallway at my impeachment hearing. i mean at least get the air-conditioning humming. you guys want anything to eat? i'm thinking about a Starbucks run.
Comey pulls the intercom by its roots wires and grabs the stickshift, which is really an old-skool push-button school-announcements trigger microphone.
Comey: i was a career agent. i don't want a night job. sir, and i use that term loosely, let's pretend today never happened.
Bump: okay, once we get the time machine you guys are working on. you should have seen your face when you found out you were on Walk the Prank. Walt, good man, good man.
Comey: you didn't hear those things i called you, right?
Bump: no, you're tall. i can't hear a word you say. so how is circus life working out? how's Robin?
Comey: i don't need stilts.
Comey: okay, i feel a little better.
Comey jumps out of the moving stealth bomber and pulls open his plane parachute.
Bump: is he gone? look this is all a big misunderstanding. no need for backstage reporting, i provide the wild speculation. Jimmy had to go. he was becoming a cloud over the administration. we were just talking about this the other day in the office. they were dubbing him Cloudy Comey or Comey the Cloud. that's them, not me, i like Jim.
Greg: is that why he gets to wear that cool cloud sticker on the side of his nazi helmet?
Bump: who the hell are you? new phone who dis? New York Times? anyway i did it all for Hilary. she's my mother you know. or we're related or something. i'm dating Huma. a guy in a Wiener Hot Dog suit jumped the fence and recommended her to me. she's not blonde but she's fitting in nicely with the pack. before i had only heard the silly name but it turns out Huma's hot! has that weird pepe frog-mouth that i like to play with.
a chorus arises in the background. a group of Members chanting in a mock.
Greg: it's time for Weather on the 8s!
Bump: shut up! i want to hear this!
chorus: na na na na NA NA NA NA HEY EY YAY GOOD-BYE!!!
Bump: oh that's the signal the jury has reached a verdict! gotta go.
Greg: thanks for waiting.
Maria: i thought i hung up.
Greg: look. loving me was always gonna be hard. i was meant for the open road...in the sky. the bottom line is, sweetheart, organic coffee. organic coffee, what's the point?
Maria: okay, Greg. well it was fun while it lasted.
Greg: wait the thing is telling me to make a hard left.
Maria: where are you?
the pink plane veers offcourse and tracks the former Director like a heat-seeking missile. Greg rolls down the window and speaks to Comey mid-air.
Comey: wow, these planes really are fast, huh.
Greg: nah, you seem to be floating in a perpetual circle.
Comey: well i am caught in the eye of a hurricane.
Greg: Jim, i told her off.
Comey: bad move. talk about chia seeds. they should put chia seeds in all their drinks to give it an extra hidden kick. i know about life. i accidentally invented chia seeds when i worked at the lab working on something else for the government. my lab partner eventually became my wife. we've been married with years and kids. hobbies. people have forgotten about hobbies. you should have invited her to ride.
Bump: chia seeds? that's a great alternative to my pcp powder. salt and cornicello pepper, love it!
Greg: Comey i'm starting to lose it, too.
Comey: it won't be long now. here, this should keep you up.
Greg: does it have chia seeds?
Comey: in a way. it's 1893 cola. we've been working on it for a long time.
Greg: OMG I LOVE 1893!
Comey: but here's the exciting part: it's two new flavors! black currant and citrus.
Greg tries to hug Comey but only manages to wrap his arms around Comey's shoe.
Greg: DAMMIT JIM i love you!
at the bar the survivors are trying to wait out the restless storm which shows no sign of comaing.
Mike: this storm needs to go down. as do i.
waitress: *Jenna Marbles face*
Mike: don't look so incredulous. wow, that's the first time i used the word incredulous in conversation. are you new here? new to me. go down means to go to sleep. turn around and let me gaze at your butt.
waitress: that's extra. are you willing to pay the Island rates?
Mike: what's with the Islands motif? are enchiladas tropical? last time i checked...
Goody: ...will be the last time. all life comes from islands. and this place is quickly turning into a real-life island. we're in a bad spell, an evil cycle where the water keeps coming.
Dammi: i'm a cycle tramp.
Goody: that's something different, honey. we're trapped in here for the immediate future.
Mike: the future is never immediate, that's the present. okay okay, let's change the subject. i need a distraction.
Maria: that bastard hung up on me! he sent a vague subtweet about chia seeds then immediately went dark.
Mike: sounds like you need a distraction, too. let's do guilt-free three. me first. my guilt-free three are...
Goody: ...Ari, Ari, and Jackie if she were still alive. you don't necro, right? i've been seeing a lot of baby_boy screen names on those boards recently. gotta take this.
Dammi: Robert Redford, Rose Quartz from Steven Universe, and myself. i don't want to fuck a clone of myself, i want to fuck myself.
Mike: you do that every time you cross the threshold and work at the station.
the radio hums in the background: you're listening to WCPE, North Carolina's only classical-music station. we rock Bach. quiet storm when the storm is loud. speaking of, by last-minute request, surprised you were able to get through, here's Bach's "Sleepers Wake". get out of and break your bed. dulcet tones. one more time before the end. kiss your dog for me tonight. this is for all the lovers out there.
Goody: hey you sell bran muffins?
waitress: only Parkerhouse-style rolls and woven wheat. is Saffron Road closed, too? i need to feed my cats.
Goody: don't worry, they're good swimmers when they need to be. mine are any gangsta rapper from the '80s, any gender is fine.
barcade hipster: Bowie of course, Philip K. Dick, and Steven Universe.
Mike: we need trance music.
random grocery worker: cucumbers, eggplants, and Tieton cherries.
Mike: Ari was always into Utah Giants.
waitress: Carrie Fisher...
Goody: ...too soon, too necro...
waitress: ...Elvira, and Michael Fassbender but only if he break-dances in bed with me.
Mike: so you're saying there's a chance.
Maria: Anthony Edwards, Howard Schultz, and your mom. that's a compliment.
Maria loosens her high-heel and rips her nylon stocking to play footsie with Mike under the table.
Mike: oh no, i'm taken now. missed your shot. here's a shot glass. twirl. let's see the goods. let's see your butt.
Mike: bit of a pancake. sorry. it's not the butt i look for, it's the amount of space required to hold that phone. it's the phone that's the key to any relationship.
the waitress fans herself and raises her hand.
waitress: woo hoo, all this talk makin' me thirsty. who's up for some bulldog margaritas? who wants to go to Blue Lagoon in Iceland? oop, but we're missing one more bottle to invert and break the drink in.
Maria pulls an empty glass bottle of tequila from out of her vagina.
Mike: and sold. i'm taken but she doesn't know i'm alive. that damn husband always in the way. let's do this!
they slowly take each others' clothes off.
the back saloon doors burst open in a torrent of forced wetness. the bar fills up with flood in less than 3 seconds.
Greg on board the pink stealth bomber.
Greg: hello? Goody? how are you on this fine evening?
Goody: let's do a practice run. we'll tape this segment and show it in case you can't go live. so here's the weather map. what do you see?
Greg: a lot of red. and a big circle in the top-half portion of the country's lid. it's trying to squeeze out in the middle but there's red all along the coasts. hap.
Goody: looks like the country is trying to take a shit. but it can't. it needs more fiber.
Greg: okay. that's it? thanks. you're really going to show that?
Goody: it just went live.
Greg: okay. thank you. thank you for the opportunity. i thought that would be a different experience..........but okay. that was the first time we've worked together, huh?
Greg: hello? someone else is coming through? yes, Jim?
Comey: how did you like the orange can?
Greg: yeah. citrus, right?
Comey: has a grapefruit essence. i don't appreciate the O.J. comparison.
Greg: why do they call it grapefruit? couldn't they have come up with a better name? something better like Ruby fruit. it's not small or purple, it looks nothing like a grape.
Ari plunges into action. immediately upon opening her eyes, she swims through the house and busts up to the surface. she doesn't need to take a breath, she's racing too fast for the air to catch up. she runs on her own internal oxygen, saving her kid's life. she skips upon the surface of the water, skimming above the dripping rainclouds like a gerridae out of hell.
Ari: where the fuck is my little girl, she screams. but it's a silent scream to herself. her eyes have become razor-sharp and can see near and thin like contact-lense goggles, far and wide like built-in binoculars.
she circumnavigates the entire closed perimeter of the town, and some into the other town, breaking the barriers with her frantic love. love from above.
Ari: where would my baby go if she were lost?
she spots the spelling-bee venue on the right.
Ari: of course! she would better herself no matter what.
Ari glides around the corner and slides over the bend. with a sleek skin like a lizard person of ancient old she submerges and mutates until she freestyles the doors down with her webbed feet.
the little girl is standing on the dais, on the stage next to a strange man. she is dripping wet.
little girl: mommy you have webbed toes!
Ari: we all do.
little girl: you have webbed fingers!
Ari: just pruney. oh........and it appears like i unintentionally skinny-dipped. come here, baby. daughter, did you spell the word right?
little girl: mommy, what's a R-E-T-I-C-U-L-A-T-E T-A-I-L-D-R-O-P-P-E-R?
Ari: uh........i don't know. let's go home.
little girl: played with one while i waited to keep spirits up. so cute.
the first outlier bands of the reformed hurricane are slowly topping over the hall.
little girl: mommy, what is B-A-N-D?
Ari: something only mommies put in little girls' tummies. stay away from bands. especially drummers.
little girl: i want to be my own V-A-G-R-A-N-T D-A-R-T-E-R.
at the far right corner of the stage, a man sits motionless without a chair. he is a living breathing statue who doesn't move. his stare is blank and his eyes have glazed under. inside his mouth his tongue swirls in a circle as a steady stream of spit coats his teeth. like a visit to the dentist's but forever. he wears a sweater torn at the gut and his pants are soaking wet.
to the right of him lies a flyer's helmet on the stage floor. with a sticker of Pac-Man on the side.
the pink stealth bomber flies in the opposite direction. it turns a sick shade of puke orange. then bright orange. it turns into Sue, the only female ghost from Pac-Man.
the man is Dr. Greg Ghostell.