|A picture of a random van in no way related to this story that is
not in any way about copyrighted characters.
Neat paint job, though.
And now the conclusion.
I will tell you a story.
It is the story of the end. Not the end of all things or anything melodramatic. Just the end of one war--a war most humans never even knew the Earth had fought. The Human/Octorian war.
It's not even Octorian end, which happened a week prior with the surrender to Writing About Writing, the issuance of a quarantine over Earth, and restitutions for the war, but rather it is the story of the final end on the Earth side with the rogue general Gilgish and his unsanctioned continuance of hostilities.
He entered our world one last time, killing Lt. Lambaste as he came through the rift. He attempted to commandeer the Pretentitron to clone himself infinitely and marshal an army with the will to continue his genocide, but in her dying moments, Lt. Lambaste thwarted his plan, leaving him alone and outcast in our world. So Gilgish took the SciGuy hostage and demanded that I face him alone and unarmed or he would kill and kill again. Well....maybe not me.
And so, I left my office, and went to meet destiny--even though I'd been warned that this Destiny chick wasn't as nice in person and could be sort of an ass to people who marched to meet her.
Leela Bruce looked up from her desk in her office as I walked by. "You can't be serious! He'll kill you." She sprang up, tearing out of her office to match pace with me.
"This has to end," I said.
"Let me deal with him," she said.
"I would Leela," I said. "You've single handedly killed them before in hand to hand combat. No one doubts your skill. But he has a hostage."
"I think I can hit a pressure point that will make him let go of The SciGuy before he can strangle him."
"Up on bipedal cephalopod anatomy, are you?" I asked.
Leela sighed. "Well, you can't just waltz in there and get yourself killed. Do you really think that'll save the SciGuy? Do you really think he'll stop with just you?"
"Leela," I said, pausing my walk to turn and look at her, "if you really want to help, go find the A-Team. Get them armed with the Octorian plasma rifles, and make sure they're in that room."
"The A Team? You mean AN a team? Those guys are pathetic. They suck. I don't even think they're worthy of being an A team. They're like a D minus team. And that's in one of those special schools where everyone gets a trophy for attendance. They can't hit anything, Chris. I saw them open with automatic assault rifles on a guy ten feet away and they only managed to hit the ground in front of his feet."
"There's one thing they can hit," I said. "We all have to play to our strengths."
"Okay," she said. "But this is like next level stupid, Chris. This is like above-your-paygrade stupid. This is like even-the-short-bus-kids-think-you're-stupid stupid. This is--"
"I got it," I said. "Just hurry. I'll try to walk slow to give you some time."
"I'm here, Gilgish," I said. "Put down the SciGuy. I'm the one you want."
I could hear staff and guest bloggers filtering in behind me, but Gilgish's eyes never left mine. Four of his arms held The SciGuy in a vice grip, giving him just enough air to survive. Four others brandished the huge Octorian plasma rifles, each cradled in two of his tentacles.
"Come here," Gilgish said. "A plasma burn on your temporal lobe is too good for you."
I had to try and stall. I needed our A-team in place.
"You know, you screwed up the Christmas thing," I said. "I'm the wrong Chris. Actually it's not even a 'Chris'. No one thinks I'm the savior of mankind. Most people don't even donate to my PayPal."
"SILENCE!" I have no interest in the witty banter portion of your execution. You are the most pretentious artist in the world."
"Have you heard of Justin Ber--"
"I said SILENCE!!! Come here, and I will drop the SciGuy, that I might pick you up instead and squeeze the life out of you. Up close. Personal. Intimate."
"Are you having feelings we should talk about?" I asked.
The response to this was a gurgling from the SciGuy as Gilgish effortlessly closed off his wind pipe.
"Okay! Okay!" I said. "I'm coming. Just...let him breathe."
The SciGuy quieted and I saw his chest lifting and falling. I took a few steps toward Gilgish.
"First," Gilgish said, "tell Leela Bruce to take ten steps back," Gilgish said. "I've seen Hero. I wouldn't want anyone interrupting our fun."
Leela was here! I hoped she'd found our A-team. I looked back and gave her a look that I hope was of the "Did you find them?" variety. Her lips were pressed so tightly together, they looked white, but she nodded and edged back. Was she nodding to stepping back or to having found the mercenary A team?
Oh well. Too late to find out.
"Good," Gilgish said. "Now come here."
I took a few steps, but before I was all the way to Gilgish, I heard a commotion behind me.
"I'm here Gilgish," I heard him say behind me. "Put down the SciGuy. I'm the one you want."
Damn it! This had to be the one time that little goody two-shoes prig was actually watching a guest blogger's segment. Of all the dumb luck bullshit that could have happened right this second.
"What is this? There are two of you? What kind of bullshit is THIS!! I demand an explanation."
Think fast. I thought. Come on. Try to use this.
"Dude," I said to Gilgish. "Seriously? You came here to steal a big machine that makes clones. Figure it out."
In as much as it is possible for a bipedal cephalopod to look like it was trying to cover up looking embarrassed, Gilgish did. Good. I needed him off balance if what I was planning was going to work.
"Anyway, that asshole fucktard back there is my clone," I said.
"He's the clone," Chris said. "I'm the real Chris."
"Poor bastard doesn't even know it," I said. Then sidelong to Gilgish "He's kind of stupid, really."
"Silence!" Gilgish said. "I will kill you both. You! Clone. Or original. Whatever. Approach with this one. And don't think I haven't noticed your mercenary friends behind you with Octorian weapons. I've seen the intel files on them. My only real danger from them is that if I get too close to the big, black guy, he might throw me over a camera. But I can make this entire room into a bloodbath long before they can hit me. So no sudden moves."
"Actually, Gilshmicky--" I said.
"Yeah, whatever," I said. "Actually, I was hoping to bargain for my clone's life with a really cool piece of technology we invented. See....I hate him so bad, but I kind of can't abide anyone picking on him but me--and killing him is sort of right out."
"He's the clone!" Chris said.
"Shaddup!" Gilgish and I said in unison.
I reached into my pocket.
"I said NO WEAPONS!" Gilgish screamed, pointing both rifles towards my head and tightening his grip on The SciGuy.
"This is not a weapon," I said, gingerly taking the device from my pocket. "Look, I'm pointing it away from you so that you can see what it does. It's called an surreptitious portal revealing optical enhancement device. SPROED for short. It can reveal any hidden door...anywhere."
I pointed the Sproed around the room and showed Gilgish how it worked. There weren't really any hidden doors in this room though, so it mostly just looked like a weak flashlight shining across the surfaces of the walls and the various staff members.
Gilgish sneered. "This is the most pointless thing I have ever seen. Why would I trade the life, even of your clone, for such a useless bit of technology."
"Well, wait, OctoNoob," I said. "I haven't shown you everything. I had it tricked out with a leather holster....and a reverse switch."
Gilgish thought about that for a second. "So...it makes walls look like doors even when they're not?"
"You must be very good at killing things," I said. "On Earth, many of our generals are actually really smart. I'm sorry. I just assumed."
"Wait...what?" Gilgish said. "Are you insulting me?"
I shook my head. "Not at all. Actually instead of revealing doors, it hides them."
Gilgish looked interested. "So it makes doors look like walls?"
"Not just doors, Doc Oc. Anything. And not just walls either. It makes them blend into the background."
I waved it around the room. "See, this bad boy in reverse makes doors look like they're just part of the wall behind them." Everywhere the SPROED's light touched, the doors appeared to simply vanish and become part of the walls
"Fascinating," Gilgish said. "There may be some application for this technology." Then he paused and regained his murderous focus. "But not enough to spare your clone's life!"
"Slow down there, my eight armed wonder. It gets better...." I said.
Gilgish's eyes narrowed. "Go on...."
"It doesn't just work on doors. See, I can make ANYTHING look like the wall behind it." I pointed it at Leela. "See, it looks like Leela just disappears. She looks like she's just part of the wall behind her. Amazing huh?"
"Get it off of her!" Gilgish said. "Don't point it at any of your people. I want to be able to see them."
I moved it back around. "Sure thing, Gilly. I'm not sure, but I bet it would even work on Octorians. Let's see..."
I flashed the Sproed at Gilgish, careful to angle it so I hit him and not The SciGuy, and suddenly he looked like the wall behind him.
"NOW!!!" I shouted.
In a cacophony of crackling and electric hums, plasma blasts filled the air with green streaks of energy and the smell of ozone. "A-N A T-E-A-M" appeared on the wall where Gilgish stood--spelled out in plasma bolts. I turned the Spored off, and revealed Gilgish riddled with holes across his torso spelling out "An A Team". He gave one squeak before dropping The SciGuy and falling to the ground in a splash of goopy cephalopod blood.
It was over. In the long moment before the cheering started, I heard The SciGuy start to gasp and cough.
"I love it when a plan comes together," I said.
I'll spare you the rest. The congratulations. The strange detente with Chris where he grudgingly promised not to keep pumping nerve gas down into the basement to try and kill me. The handshakes. Leela even did the proud Sansei nod from Kill Bill which was weird because she didn't have a Fu Manchu mustache. It was a brief moment of joy, anyway, since we soon remembered the price that Lt. Cynthia Lambaste had paid to keep the Earth from crawling with genocidal cephalopods bent on the destruction of everything pretentious.
There are other stories. Stories of funerals and eulogies and loss. The visit by the Men In Black and the fact that Chris's personal assistant is still an Octorian named Cedric and how awkward that can be when the health inspector comes to the W.A.W. compound. But I'll let other people tell those stories. This story is finished. Because this was the story of how the Human/Octorian war ended. And how thanks to Chris Brecheen--or at least me, his evil clone--and the efforts of everyone here at Writing About Writing, pretentious people everywhere don't have to worry about being hunted down by enraged cephalopods.
And now, you can see what THE A team (instead of just AN A-Team) looks like.
From all the cast and crew and staff and guest bloggers here at Writing About Writing, thanks for joining us for the first season. Seasons Greetings, and may your various important days be wonderful. We'll see you in a couple of days to put the final touches on Season 1, and see you back here in January for Writing About Writing Season 2: The Wrath of pLink.