Finale – Now Available!
“I know I said that after the incident, we’d always have a position for you. A position on the shelf, at the very least,” submits The Scholar, and it sounds genuine. “But I don’t know how else to say this. The experiment is over. You are uniquely unqualified to act as head of security.”
We should establish that The Scholar is standing in a closet, and he is speaking to a jar. In addition to a human skull, the jar in question contains several quarts of green fluid which - as if in response to the comment - shifts in color to a milky white.
The Brute pokes his head in, his brow knitted with disgust. “Plus, your jar is dumb.”
The Brute, who is Gabriel, and another name besides, is unmoved by this call for civility. “Whatever. His jar sucks,” he asserts, his stance on the jar issue absolute. “It’s dumb, and I hate it.”
The Scholar assesses the battlefield. The jar wasn’t great, and there’d be no profit in defending it. It was the first jar he could find; there had been no care taken in its selection. He could substitute another jar in its place, but he honestly didn’t know what effect decanting this demiconscious skull would have on Jim. Anyway, it wasn’t about the jar.
It is at this precise moment that the phone rings.
A ringing phone, like a dripping faucet or a howling dog, is not especially noteworthy. Phones ring; that’s why they have the bell in there. But this is the phone associated with the number that is associated with the Startling Developments Detective Agency, which means that someone, somewhere might be calling about a job.
The phone churrings insistently, and Gabriel is beginning to wonder what the fuck, looking at The Scholar, then back at the phone, and then back at The Scholar, elevating the expressive power of shrugging to a kind of coarse ballet.
“I got it,” declares The Scholar. “It’s just that…”
“I just… I just like the sound.”