We are waiting outside, waiting on an employee's meeting. Waiting, always waiting. Waiting, because we are early. We are always early, that is just who we are.
It is Matt, Mary, Justin, and myself. I am sitting on top of my car in my usual calm fashion. Matt and Justin are having a contest to see who can chuck pieces of gravel the furthest. And Mary is doing…well, whatever it is that Mary does. Matt, in his usual spontaneous manner, yells out, "Hey guys, watch THIS!"
He then proceeds to materialize a gatling gun out of thin air. He shoots it into the air, shouting in high good humor. He is crazy like that. He always had an obsession with guns.
Justin, not to be outdone, yells in confrontation, "Oh yeah? Well, beat THIS!"
Justin then summons a rocket launcher from nowhere. We ooh and aaah in admiration. Justin was always the best. He never let a challenge pass.
Mary, without saying a word, puts her arm into the end of Justin's rocket launcher. She pulls her arm back to reveal that the rocket launcher is now a part of her arm.
Matt jumps up, giving a high five to nobody in particular, "Whoah! You turned your arm into a rocket launcher. That is the coolest thing I've ever seen!"
Without a word, Mary fires her rocket launcher. A small missile-like device flies through the air, landing some yards away on the pavement.
Matt tries to give advice on the finer points of rocket launching, "That's not much of a rocket. It is much too small. And it needs to fly straighter, and not so much in a parabola."
Mary smiles, "I know it's not a rocket. It's a tiny nuclear bomb. And it's all mine. Isn't it cute?"
Matt is confused. "A nuclear bomb? What would you want one of those for?"
Mary wags her finger at him. "Why not? Prepare for a wide path of destruction. I'd get out of here if I were you."
Matt and Justin start to chuckle and laugh, when I notice Mary heading for her truck. You couldn't ever tell when she was joking, but I wasn't about to take the chance. I run and jump into the bed of the truck, yelling "Wait for me!"
She drives off, with me holding on in the back of the big gray truck. She drives like a maniac. First she goes up the wrong way of an exit ramp, then cuts across the entire highway, and enters a marsh on the other side. I look around in concern, "Uh, I don't think this is a safe road."
Mary calls back from the cab, "Of course it's not, silly. But if we never left the beaten path, then we wouldn't have any fun."
I realize that she is right. As much as I like to play it safe, I need this. I need this, and I need her. I look around at the marshland. We have gone quite a ways. The water here is pretty high, and filled with reeds. The truck is doing more swimming than driving. And then we stop moving.
"I'm hung," she calls back from the cab.
"I'll get it," I say. Looking over the back of the truck, I can see the rear passenger side stuck in a tangle of vines and grass. Jumping down onto the bumper, I let the water ooze into my shoes as I struggle to untangle the mess. After a minute, it is done, and I jump back into the bed of the truck. Climbing through the back window, I take a seat next to Mary. "We make a good team," I say.
"Yeah," she says.
Hesitantly, I ask, "So, that bomb, you know? It's fake, right? You aren't really going to blow up an entire city?"
"It doesn't matter," she says flatly.
"But it does matter. It matters to me."
"No it doesn't," says she.
"But why not?" I ask
She laughs. "Why? Why is such a hard question to answer, my dear boy. But let me start with this. You know that headache that you keep having? The one you can't get rid of? You thought it was a result of detox. But that's not entirely accurate. It is due to your brain expanding to take on a higher form of consciousness."
"Are you sure?" I ask.
She pounds the steering wheel. "Sure? Of course I'm sure! You think this is easy for me? You think I don't feel pain? You think I enjoy being crazy? Even back in high school you knew I was crazy. But I'm not really crazy. I just appear crazy to those of lesser intelligence. But there are a select few who understand my genius. You recognize my genius, otherwise you wouldn't have followed me. And THAT'S why it doesn't matter. Fake, real, it doesn't matter. The bomb is irrelevant. You would have followed me anyway, because I have power. I have power that you want, and I have you wrapped around my fingers like a toy, and you will follow me to the end of the earth for that power. And the whole time you will hate yourself for it. You will hate yourself because you will refuse to admit your own greed. You will deny your lust for power. You will pretend that you want power for others, when in reality you want it for yourself. My poor boy, you still have much to learn.."
We drive away, traversing the murky marshlands.