*This was supposed to be the last part of this story but it ended up getting a little long so I'll post the rest tomorrow. Which also means I'll have to finish it. From now on I'm going to put all my short stories on my Word Press blog. If you missed the first 3 parts and don't have anything to do this weekend you can click the new link over on the right and find them there or try and dig around in here for them. Or get off the computer and spend some time with your family and friends.
I went home with a waitress,
The way I always do.
How was I to know,
She was with the Russians too.
I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this, ha.
Warren Zevon pumps out of an old boom box thrown haphazardly on a desk. The desk sits before a floor to ceiling window with a stunning view of Los Angeles, just one of many things wrong with this picture. The view itself is a problem. It's crystal clear. Where is the ever present smog that blankets the city? Where too are the employees who should be filling this large office? Hundreds of cubicles sit empty, as do the desks of supervisors, assistant managers and managers that ring the entire floor. The glass walled vice presidents and presidents offices that occupy each corner of the building also sit empty. It may be due to the gun fire that has damaged half of the floor. The centre of the office is dominated by a large table that is covered with architectural drawings and file folders. Atop these sit two assault rifles, six handguns and boxes of ammunition. Spent shells litter the table and floor. Everything to the south of this table has been riddled with bullets. Light fixtures and panels hang from the ceiling, cubicle walls have large holes punched through them, bullet holes freckle the windows on the far side of the building. Only a portion of the president's door remains of his office walls. Whoever 'Jeremy'is, he's not going to be happy when he finally shows up for work. Worst hit though seems to be the Coke machine which sits in a pool of it's own brown carbonated blood. Strangest of all is the group of men and woman who sit around a gaping hole on the northern side of the building. Two well dressed but hard looking men sit with their backs toward the view. To their right sits a woman in a strange looking jump suit. Her head has been bandaged. Beside her sits a man in a Stormtrooper outfit. Sitting or standing, facing the windows are eleven soldiers. Two of them are woman and another two seem to be wearing futuristic body armour. To the well dressed men's left, leaning on a desk whose legs have collapsed, is an enormous man wearing a strange military uniform. Beside him is a similarly dressed man who doesn't appear to be entirely human. They are surrounded by empty beer bottles and pizza boxes. All of them are looking to one another, startled.
"Who did that?" asks the well dressed man in a black suit, slowly standing. Others are coming to their feet now too.
"Kel, turn down the music," says the woman with the head wound. The man in the Stormtrooper uniform reaches behind him and does so without turning his back on the room.
"Shit!" the man in the blue pin striped suit swears, under his breath, "he's here."
"What the HELL is going on here?" a disembodied voice booms out from everywhere. "Who wrote all of this? What the hell happened to this office? Why is that building on fire!?" A block or two over, the top 6 floors of another office tower smolder. Despite the damage done by the fire, what appears to be enormous claw marks can still be seen on the building.
"That was the dragon...um, sorry," answers the black suited man.
"You don't have to apologize to him!" spits the pin striped man. Around him, soldiers have begun picking up their weapons.
Same office, three days later. Most of the soldiers lie in various states of sleep on top of desks, in chairs or on the floor. The enormous man stands beside the window with Sarah Farad. He's taken off the upper body section of his mechanized body armour which sits on the floor beside a broken desk. The desk is cracked from where he originally tried to sit the massive chest piece. They are sharing a bucket of KFC and discussing something in hushed voices. In one of the corner offices, the two suited men can be seen arguing heatedly about something. The office doors are shut so the sound of their words is muted. Even without the thick glass, the sigh of the ocean breeze coming through the shattered windows drowns out most of their discussion. The downtown office building is nowhere near the ocean, yet it is now surrounded by water. The islands of other office buildings are now the only sign of the city they were once in.
"So the dragon wasn't enough? You had to flood Los Angeles as well?" asks the Voice from above. Across the floor the sleeping soldiers roll to their feet and spread out, weapons at the ready. "Stand down," commands the giant man as he hands the bucket of chicken to the woman beside him. "Lower your weapons, now." Even though he is not their commander, his voice does not brook argument. "Apologies, sir."
"Why the hell does everybody think we need to apologize to him?" bellows the pin stripe suited man marching out of the office.
"We've been over this," growls Jarel. He too has picked up his weapon, but the grisly veteran has sat back down to see how things play out.
"You gonna' disappear again like last time?" pin stripe asks the ceiling.
"I'm trying to potty train my son, he's real so he gets priority," answers the voice.
"Great. That's just great. So first off we're just an image you jot down and forget, now we're taking a back seat to potty training. You know, as a creator, you really suck."
"What?" asks the Voice, incredulously.
"You heard me-"
"Easy, my friend," said the Fleet Lord.
"Why? Cause he might delete me? Well maybe he can't now, did you ever think of that?" spits pin stripe. Then back to the voice, "We broke out of our note, who's to say we can't just keep going? We're on the internet now."
"Not if you're deleted," answered the Voice.
"Really, well what if somebody still has us sitting on their computer in an open window? What if somebody copied us? Kinda hard to delete us then, isn't it?"
"You've got a point there. Look, I went back and read you guys from your break out. I'll admit I was pissed at what you did to the office, but I'm impressed. That said, I do have a pro-"
The voice stops as the men's room door opens and a dark haired man in jeans and a grey sweatshirt emerges. The two suited men look to one another. Pin stripe hisses under his breath, "I thought you were going to tell him to stay out of here!"
"I was going to, I just-"
"Tell me that's not who I think it is," demands the voice.
"Hi guys," says Denny Duquette sheepishly.
"Oh no, he cannot be here," commands the Voice.
"Why not? His writers screwed him over just as badly as you're screwing us," pin stripe throws back.
"They only wrote me so I could die and then they won't let me go. Really, I don't have anything else to do now once I get the next few episodes done," said Duquette.
A loud flapping of wings attracts everyone's attention to the shattered windows. A large heron has flown in and now sits perched on file cabinet.
"You made hot monkey love to Izzy Stevens for the first half of the season, you have nothing to complain about. Screwed over or no, you can't be here," said the heron.
"Irish? Is that you?" said the Voice.
"You don't know what I look like Captain, hence the bird. Duquette has to go now."
"I know. Sorry Denny, but I really can't have you here," the Voice apologizes.
"But-" Denny winks out of existence and the room is silent except for the sigh of wind through the broken windows.
"Jesus," whispers black suit.
"We told you bringing him in was a bad idea," said Captain Decker.
"So what now?" asked pin stripe quietly. The bravado has faded in the wake of the Voice's real power. "We disappear too?"
"I don't know, but I guess we need to talk about this," answers the Voice.
"Sir," the woman with the bandaged head raises her hand tentatively.
"Yes, Sarah?" asks the Voice.
"We've been cooped up in this office for a few weeks now, could we talk somewhere else?"
Pin Stripe opens his mouth to say something but before he can the scene shifts to a large apartment above the Quai des Grands Augustins. Across the water sits the Île de la Cité. Notre Dame is to their right, to their left, on the far side of the Seine, sprawls the Louvre. "Uh... this will do," said Sarah. One of the soldiers, Francois Genet, walks out onto the balcony smiling. "Home, sweet home," he says. "October?"
"Yes," answers the Voice, "I can make it spring if you like?"
"No, let's keep it fall," said Daniel Park, one of the future soldiers, "it was too damn hot in that office."
"Ok, let's get comfortable and we can talk about this," said the Voice. With that the apartment fills with sofas and chairs and a large table covered with food, coffee, tea and various bottles of alcohol. Some of the soldiers look towards Captain Decker who looks to the ceiling. "You're not on duty, Captain, you can all relax."
The captain smiled and reached for a glass.