Friday, October 09, 2015

Things Take A Dark Turn

{Calvin's standing alone in a sunny field ringed by woods. He's scribbling in a small, yellow notebook and mumbling under his breath to himself.}

Calvin: Yes, this field has definitely been mowed, as it was supposed to be. *pauses to look up* Can't help feeling I should be writing something more expansive, but I'm not sure what else to say. . .

{As Calvin turns to his left to return to his truck, something whistles past the right side of his face. It's a sharply pointed boot, with a foot inside it. Calvin flinches away, and sees UnCalvin alight a few steps away in a crouch, back turned. The wind from her landing makes the cape flutter impressively.}

Calvin: Did you just try to kick me in the head?!

UnCalvin: Yes, you oaf.

{With that, UnCalvin springs backwards, towards Calvin, and spins, planting her left foot squarely into Calvin's stomach. Calvin goes flying, then skids across the field as he lands. Before he can rise, UnCalvin is charging towards him, winding up for a kick to the chin. Calvin barely gets both arms up to block, but still goes sliding several feet more. He manages to awkwardly roll backwards and get to his feet, pulling his backpack in front of him as he does, trying to use it like a shield.}

Calvin: What the hell is wrong with you?!

UnCalvin: *advancing steadily* I'm seeing things clearly now. *burst of speed, draws a blade, Calvin's left holding two halves of what used to be his backpack, and with a small cut on his right shoulder.* No more fooling around with trying to wreck your blog through your own computer. I just need to destroy you.

Calvin: So this is your Nineties, grim-n-gritty revamp? Maybe you could destroy my blog through a different computer instead?

UnCalvin: Enough jokes.

{UnCalvin thrusts, and Calvin, having wrapped the remainder of the pack around his left hand, grabs the blade before it can run him through. He twists, spins, and draws his metal water bottle from the other half and hopes head trauma will settle his opposite down. Before he can make contact, the bottle is blasted from his hand and spent flying. The combatants separate, though Calvin is at least able to take the sword with him. Looking up, Captain Adrozier and five other members of Smile Time Alternative Solutions' security force emerge from the tree line. While UnCalvin's face breaks into a cruel, triumphant grin, Calvin's remains largely expressionless.}

UnCalvin: Nothing left to chance this time. The panda hasn't been by in months. Too busy hanging out with the robot wizard, I hear. Deadpool is still dead for another month, and you're so cheap it'll be another month after that before you buy his comic. The orange-hooded girl is a state away, and wouldn't help you anyway. And the girl with the terrible mutant powers is even further, and let's just say I'm not too worried about her acute time-determining powers or good eyesight. *UnCalvin pitches her voice higher, mock concern adding bite to the taunt* Who's left to help you now?

{Calvin looks around at the enemies in front of him, and at the truck several hundred yards behind him. He glances at the sword he's still holding by the blade in his left hand, sighs, and takes a grip on the handle with his right. Then, he looks back up at UnCalvin.}

Calvin: *calm in a way the surprises even him* When you put it like that, nobody, I guess.

UnCalvin: Why don't you just return my sword before you hurt yourself? That's my, well, job isn't the right word, I enjoy it too much, what's the word I'm thinking of?

Calvin: Privilege?

UnCalvin: *snaps fingers, points at Calvin* That's it precisely! Now hand over my sword. *with mock sincerity* If I have to beat you to death it's going to take so much longer.

{Calvin regards UnCalvin silently, then looks at the sword, and his grip shifts a little. Androzier tenses, concerned Calvin might do something crazy and/or stupid. The other guards follow suit. Calvin raises the sword until it's over his head, parallel to the ground, pointed at UnCalvin, in his best mimicry of Saito's Gatotsu stance from Rurouni Kenshin. Because what the hell, might as well try to go out looking cool, right?}

UnCalvin: *smiling in a seemingly good-natured way* Well?

Calvin: *smiles back* Nah, fuck you.

{Calvin hurls the sword over their heads as far as he can and turns to run. Androzier prepares to gun him down.}

UnCalvin: No! *turns on the security team* Damn it, he is mine. You are here to prevent outside interference, nothing more!

{UnCalvin turns to give chase, and it's no contest. She moves lightly and swiftly, while Calvin dashes clumsily in boots poorly suited for sprinting. UnCalvin closes the gap easily and leaps in the air, planning to bring both feet down squarely on Calvin's back. Then she'll grind them into his kidneys a bit, that'll be fun. She's so lost in that thought, she almost doesn't notice the flash of light out of the corner of her eye. And that's why, even if she avoided being cut by her sword, her cape didn't. But twisting in mid-air throws her off completely and UnCalvin crashes to the ground on one shoulder. A moment later she rises, eyes swiveling, holding her left shoulder.}

UnCalvin: *through gritted teeth* Who threw that? *looks to her security team* WELL?!

Androzier: Commandant, we don't know! We didn't see anyone!

UnCalvin: *notices Calvin is still running* Stop him, shoot him, but only wound him!

One of the security lackeys: Sure, don't shoot him when he was only 20 yards away, but now that he's a 120 yards and at full speed, absolutely. Swell. I hate crazy bosses, that guy in the break room was right.

Different security lackey: I know, right? Benefits are getting slashed and now we're out in the middle of bug-humping nowhere shooting at some nobody. What the hell?

Androzier: Shut it and do your job! Save your discontent for the suggestion box!

Still another lackey: Nobody actually reads those, do they?

Second lackey: Well, I asked for an alternative to cheeses 'cause of my lactose intolerance, and they added some fresh fruit and vegetables.


{The security team raise their weapons as one, and the sword flashes through the air again, slicing through all the barrels. Then it stops and spins lazily in the air, before wagging back and forth at them.}

UnCalvin: *muttering* The ghost, of course. *turns to Calvin, still running for the truck - hey, it's a big field* I suppose you thought that was clever, "No body"?

{Calvin doesn't hear the question. He's making too much noise, and so all he hears is unintelligible shouting. He hopes it isn't someone warning him that's he's being chased by a T-rex, and needs to stand still. As it is, he's almost to the truck, he's got the keys in hand. And then a black SUV screeches to a stop, blocking the access to the road.}

Calvin: Oh come on.

{Three more security guys pile out, and then one more person emerges. The others quickly form a protective circle around him, though he's a big guy. Six-foot-five, probably at least 240. Hair shaved almost entirely off, kind of a chubby face. He moves towards Calvin, the guys still around him.}

Big Guy: Mr. Pitt?

Calvin: *resigned* Yeah?

Big Guy: *gets a big, goofy, slightly shit-eating smile and extends his hand* I'm Robert Bartlett, and I wanted to come out here and apologize to you personally about all this.

Calvin: *shakes hand* Apologize for what?

Robert Bartlett: Well, all this. *gestures behind Calvin, where UnCalvin and the security guys are still trying to catch up, dodging the sword as the Ghost of the Forest swings it at them. UnCalvin is in the middle of preparing to cast some spell when she notices Bartlett.*

UnCalvin: Sir, you and your entourage need to leave the area immediately! We are testing - erk - some new magnetic suspension gloves - yikes - and it isn't safe to be here!

Robert: Now Ms. Pollock, you know that isn't true. You don't have any such thing as magnetic suspension gloves in design stage, let alone testing.

UnCalvin: *stops, stunned* How do you know that?

Calvin: "Ms. Pollock"?

UnCalvin Pollock?: *rushes up to them, turns to Bartlett* Answer my question!

Bartlett: *cheerfully* I'm your new boss! I just finished buying up a controlling interest in your company last month, and had myself appointed as president just yesterday. We wanted you there for the vote, and the official transfer of power, but you were busy with this.

UnCalvin: On what grounds are you taking over?

Bartlett: *turns to his security guys* You think the little lady is serious, boys? You're here trying to commit cold-blooded, premeditated murder of this fellow. What's worse, you've used company resources to do it. Prior to that, you've been harassing him for years, to no particular gain, and you've wasted how much money on "secret bases" and trick desks? You couldn't even run a travel agency in Nebraska without screwing it up. All of this is hurting the bottom line, and the stockholders demanded a change.

UnCalvin: *sputters incoherently*

Bartlett: *still smiling* Now don't fret, sport, we still want you as part of the company. You have a lot of good ideas, and a knack for hiring smart people. You just need someone a little more level-headed to help you control your emotions, that's all.

UnCalvin: You, you, *clenching fists*

Bartlett: *turns to Androzier and the other guards* Don't worry fellas, we know you were just following orders. Just pick up what's left of your stuff and we'll head back to New York, get back to making this the best darn company around, what d'ya say?

{Several of the security guys murmur and nod agreeably among themselves. Androzier looks troubled, and glances at UnCalvin, who is still standing dumbfounded, shoulders sagging. UnCalvin doesn't react to Androzier placing a hand on her shoulder, and the captain reluctantly follows the team to their ride.}

UnCalvin: *to Bartlett* I, I need a little time to process this. May I catch up with you? I suppose I have some vacation time stored up.

Bartlett: *very cheerful* Well sure, take a little time to think things over if ya feel you need to. We really want to keep you as part of the team at ExpanCo!

Calvin: "ExpanCo"?

Bartlett: "Smile Time Alternative Solutions" is too much of a mouthful. we need something quick and punchy.

Calvin: I'd suggest you keep looking, then.

Bartlett: *smile's looking a little strained* I'll keep it in mind. Nice to meet you, son.

{As Bartlett extends his hand once more, the sword comes whistling by and he has to retract it swiftly. He's surprisingly quick for a big guy, if a little awkward. A dark look passes over his face for just a moment, a cold scowl, then it's gone, the big smile back in place.}

Bartlett: Whoa ho! Feisty friend you have there!

Calvin: *shrugs* Yeah, sorry about that. Thanks for not letting me be killed, I guess.

Bartlett: *waves as he climbs back into the SUV* Not a problem, and Ms. Pollock, don't get any ideas about killing him in your free time once we're gone. That'd be a breach of the conduct clause in your contract for sure!

{The SUV backs up fast, throwing gravel around as it departs, leaving Calvin and UnCalvin standing at the edge of the field.}

Calvin: So, you're not going to kill me, are you?

UnCalvin: *sighs* I'm alone, your ghost has my sword, and frankly, I have bigger problems now. How did he manage this?

Calvin: See, this is why I don't play the stock market. It's all a lot of backstabbing and dirty deals, whichever side you're on. Just a big hustle.

UnCalvin: Yes, yes, and the bourgeois are parasites spoiling the fruits of the proletariat's labor. Why didn't anyone at the company warn me?

Calvin: Why didn't you tell me you were going by Ms. Pollock? And why Ms. Pollock?

UnCalvin: I had to do a lot of paperwork to get a flying castle built, or start a business, and I wasn't going to have "UnCalvin" on my stationery. And I like Pollock's work.

Calvin: He's just throwin' paint at a canvas, I could do that.

UnCalvin: Please don't make me want to kill you, I need a ride.

Calvin: I'm in a work truck, I can only take you back to the office.

UnCalvin: *glum* That will have to do. Can you have the ghost give me my sword back?

Calvin: I can ask. Ghost, you feel like giving it back?

{The sword floats in front of them, then points at Ms. Pollock and slashes the air once.}

UnCalvin: Of course, perfect.


SallyP said...

The bourgeois are awfully tricky.

CalvinPitt said...

So I have been told by that odd young man on the street corner with the mimeographed newsletter.