When Mortimer falls onto one of the couches in his living room and closes his eyes, ready to do battle yet again with his boredom, ZERO interrupts over the the speakers built into the walls, “Mr. Hex, you might want to switch on the television.”
“Shut up; I’m struggling with the futility of my existence!”
“I realize you’re busy,” ZERO says sarcastically, “but I think you’ll want to see this.”
In response, Mortimer slouches further into the couch and pushes his face into the upholstery, placing a pillow on top of his head.
Despite these precautions, a familiar, unnecessarily cool music makes its way to his ears. He sits up begrudgingly and looks at the TV, making a mental note to reprogram ZERO soon.
“Last Kale has again been the target of a terrorist attack. Our sources confirm that the same terrorist organization responsible for the destruction of the precinct yesterday is also responsible for the attack on central plaza this morning. The White House released a statement this afternoon linking this organization to political radicals in Iran…”
Mortimer watches as the news anchor presents a video of Caucasians in makeup claim responsibility for his crimes. “No. No! They wouldn’t dare!”
“I’m afraid they have, Mr. Hex,” says ZERO in a completely unhelpful manner.
Though the tactic makes perfect sense to Mortimer–a foreign entity blowing up a building is a far more convenient reality for most people to accept–it still enrages him. He will not let his work be plagiarized. When they had given the credit for the destruction of Knorobly Bridge to Al Qaeda, it had been convenient for him, but this time, no one has asked his consent, and he feels violated. He considers writing his message to Last Kale in the sky, but that isn’t bold enough. Perhaps he can spell it out in destroyed buildings across the city.
Then a better idea occurs to him.
This is part 21 of Vile, which I forgot to post the day before. Want to read the first part?