Dirk Destroyer Part 11 Chapter 5 Part 2
This is the middle of a chapter that is about a quarter of the way through a novel that became obsolete before it could be published because Donald Trump is not mentioned.
For those of you still reading - my apologies.
“You’ve heard of Jonma.” said Akwar, somewhere between a question and a statement.
“Necromancy,” I said. “You find a Same, and the Same channels the thoughts of a dead person. But the Same retains his or her personality and thoughts; you’re never really sure when a Same is telling the truth. Even if you’ve dug up old Uriculous from his hellish vapors, that’s a pretty unreliable way of running your ministry. That’s why people don’t use Jonma much anymore.”
“That would be true,” said Akwar, who was suddenly no longer behind me, but standing in front of a door at the end of the hall, “if we used a Same.” She opened the door into a laboratory. Wires, tubes, and busy photons festooned the lab-like furnishings. Facing the door was a round-faced little man with a blank expression. Three clear tubes sprang out of his largely bald head. Each tube had a different color liquid running through it, blue and red liquids flowed in, brown sludgy liquid flowed out.
Suddenly, the face animated. The unfamiliar features took on a familiar expression. I shook my head in unbelief. “You found a Claim?” I asked.
“That’s right,” said Akwar. “Meet our Jonma Claim, but you may call him Director of MOIST, High Priest of the Thirty-Seven Really Good Ideas, Uriculous the Great!”
“Hello Elmer,” said Jonma Claim with just a hint of a lisp. “I’m happy you’ll be here for the end.”
“The end of what?” I asked, stupidly.
“The end,” said the Jonma, but before he could complete his sentence his face spasmed. A second expression, you might see on a frequently angry person of low intellect momentarily took over the visage.
“Too shmuch money in shpoliticsch!” he sputtered, throwing a gob of spittle onto Lustavious’ bandage. “No sHouse or Shenate member can do sche right shing with sho musch temptaschion!”
“One moment,” said Akwar, adjusting tubes. “Even a Claim sometimes fights back.”
Claims were people of sub-human intelligence. I wasn’t surprised that the Claim said something political; that’s where they were most often found.
Uriculous’ expression reclaimed Jonma Claim, though his eyes looked a little wild, like he’d just been thrown from horse he’d been told was safe and now found himself back in the saddle.
“Don’t think my little… interruptions are going to save you and your Brother, Elmer,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of time to realize my mistake. Now I have a chance to remove the Destroyer curse forever, and in Light Bringer Lustavious Brachenhun, I have just the tool to do it.”
Brachenhun smiled his wide smile. Some people enjoy being called a tool.
“The problem all along,” said Jonma Claim, “was you.”
“Me? I don’t make any trouble.”
“You bring your brother back,” Uriculous’ host sputtered, reliably finding Lustavious’ bandage once again.
“I don’t do a thing!” I protested. “I have no idea how Light Bringers send Dirk into oblivion, or how he comes back. Most of the time I don’t even know he’s back until I run into another Light Bringer.”
“That’s true,” said Jonma Claim. “You are stupid…” Again the Jonma Claim’s face sputtered and spasmed. “Schtupid, I say! I hardly knew Charles Keeting! We shared an elevator once – that’sch it! I didn’t take any money! I didn’t fall into temptation!” This was followed by a screeching caterwaul punctuated by intermittent hisses. It sounded like two cats were fighting inside the Jonma Claim. Akwar was busy working tubes. Lustavious was trying to remove spittle from his bandage using glass cleaner and a rag.
Jonma Claims are, by definition, among the stupidest humanoids that walk upright. There was only one reason that Uriculous’ ghost was having trouble controlling his Jonma Claim – it was that he wasn’t too bright either.
This came as no shock to me. I knew Uriculous Wisehind. Dirk used to torment the man mercilessly, and Uriculous’ only response was the use of governmental power. When people are too stupid to think for themselves, they gravitate to large punitive collectives like government to make them feel smart and relevant. Maybe Akwar and Lustavious were those kind of people as well, because I was the only person in that room that seemed to be comfortable with the empirical evidence that Uriculous the Great was actually Uriculous the Dim.
Who else would retranslate a whimsical “don’t bugger the sheep,” into a planet ruining, “don’t bug the sheep?”
“The transplant is incomplete,” said the restored Uriculous as if he knew what I was thinking. “Millennia of death spread my consciousness across the planet. Soon, I will be complete, and in complete control of this body. Then I will go with you and the Light Bringer’s party myself and make certain that this time – not only will Dirk Destroyer be cast into oblivion for all time… but you will be as well!”
Maybe I was as dim as Uriculous, but I hadn’t seen it coming. All this time doing everything I could to stay out of trouble and now I was to be cursed with eternal oblivion?
And what about Dirk? If I was the reason he was able to return from his torment, was it fair to take that away? Dirk wasn’t a bad guy. He was kind of fun. Sure, he didn’t have a lot of respect for Uriculous and others who abused power, but that didn’t seem to be a crime worthy of eternal oblivion.
Oh no, trouble for our protagonist! ‘Oh no,’ said my publisher, ‘it took you this long to create trouble for your protagonist!’ So much of life is perspective. What’s that? You don’t see it that way?
Now that we’ve introduced our first true character-caricature of an active politician, they’ll start coming faster. If you’re having trouble identifying these ne’er-do-wells, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can start a group to read the excerpts together and discuss it among yourselves.
What? You thought I didn’t like money?
And now, a political spot from Mr. Bean.