Johnny Faa – Chekhov’s G-string

“You know,” Johnny said after a short pause, “I’ve got half a mind to hop into that rift and fuck with all of your own personal histories so bad that you’ll each spend your lives scraping pigeon shit off the Chernobyl reactor.”
“Oh, but we know you won’t, Johnny,” Adorra’s words rang with pleasure, “because you kinda like where things are now, don’t you? You’ve got your little buddy outside, things are looking good for the first time in decades… no, possibly centuries… and you don’t want to lose it.”
“Whereas you guys are fine with unmaking all of existence,” Johnny countered, “and you think I’M the bad guy.”
“We just consider it a cosmetological omelette. Gotta break a few eggs.”
“Fuck’s sake!” the Gypsy fired back, “the world is ‘cosmological.” Try using that Ivy League education your parents bought you for something besides a placemat.”
“Okay, that’s enough,” Adorra’s face hardened, “You get in the rift, or it’s the end for your perfect little life.”
Johnny thought to himself, but for once didn’t speak his mind out loud, “You think THIS is perfect?”
Meanwhile, David still had two rifles trained on his head.
“I can’t believe they got to the rest of you guys, too,” he moaned.
“They didn’t ‘get to us,” Berg,” one of the guards growled, “He got to us first.”
“One would think you guys enjoyed the stress relief of a prisoner you could shoot without hesitation whenever he started cracking wise,” David said with a shrug. The second guard gave the first a worried look, as if to say “How did HE know about that?” but the other waved him off angrily with a jerk of his head.
“It loses some of the punch when you’ve shot the guy half a million times,” the first guard said again, “what’s the point of shooting something annoying that can’t die?”
“Ah, I see,” David nodded sagely, looking down the long barrel of the assault rifle, “So… exactly how small is your dick, then? Because I’m guessing it’s somewhere between a Tic-tac and microscopic.”
The guard stepped forward and cracked David across the face with his rifle butt. In his weakened state, the scientist went skidding across the floor, blood pouring from his mouth. He was still too dazed to realize that gunfire had broken out over his bleeding head, and when he came to he saw the kind face of General Tate standing over him.
“Well, here’s a how-de-do,” David said through a mush of bloody gums and a few loose teeth. He glanced over to see the two guards lying dead, pierced directly through weak spots in the body armor by perfectly placed shots.
“Ya got ’em, huh?”
“Yes, but we don’t have long,” Tate said, hoisting David to his feet, “I don’t know if there’s anyone left down here who’s on our– aagh!”
The General staggered a bit, but kept standing and forced David to his feet. It was then David realized that not all the blood was his.
“Shit!” he cried out, feeling silly for doing so, “Are… are you hit?”
“No big deal,” Tate hissed back through gritted teeth, “I saw worse in Fallujah.”
“Are you sure?” there seemed to be an awful lot of blood.
“Yes, dammit!” Tate bellowed, “Now get in there and save your friend!”
David grabbed a keycard from one of the fallen guards, trying not to think to himself if they were dead or not. It was a strange feeling, having the key and walking inside the room like one was, say, coming home to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Instead, David walked as casually as he could into a situation where a half dozen spurned young scientists of privilege were trying to force an immortal Gypsy to undue all of existence. The grilled cheese sandwich would have to wait.
“Well, this is just ducky,” Faa muttered as all eyes turned to David’s sudden entrance. His face was bloodied and swollen, but his eyes showed a clarity of intense fear.
“Why on Earth would you come in here?”
“Because…” David shrugged, “the General said so?”
“What possessed that moron to say that?”
“Well, he was sort of shot with bullets at the time.”
“Oh, well I suppose that makes sense.”
“EXCUSE ME!” Adorra shrieked, causing both David and Johnny to finally turn their attention to her, “Have you two forgotten something?”
“Eh,” Johnny waved her off, “We’ll get back to you fuckwhistles later.”
“God damn it!” she shrieked again, “Pay attention to me!”
Johnny turned to her then, and his face hardened. It wasn’t a face that liked finding new and interesting insults for people, or driving hours for a perfect fried chicken dinner, or even the face of someone who would spend eons crafting the perfect whiskey. This was the face of a man who had seen eternity… twice.  Hard, detached, ancient and terrible, he walked toward Adorra, fixing her with a stare that numbed her right arm, making it impossible to raise her gun.
“Okay,” he said calmly, without emotion, “Okay. I’ll pay attention to you.”
He dealt her with a slap across the face that sent her staggering. Furious, she pulled her gun on him. The Gypsy King grabbed her hand like a vice and forced her to empty the clip into his shoulder, eventually wrestling the pistol from her grip with his one working arm.
“Now… now what?” He spat at her through clenched teeth, “You guys never think far enough ahead… you’re so fucking lazy.”
He belted her sharply across the mouth with the handle of the pistol.
“And you didn’t exactly bring a knife to a gunfight,” his breathing was ragged as it was clear he was taking some time to heal, “But you tried to bring a gun to a Gypsy fight.”
“Shoot him, you idiots!” Adorra screamed, backing up in terror until she was flat against the wall, “SHOOT HIM!”
“And you should all know by now,” Johnny continued, unabated, “That you never fuck with a Gypsy.”
Suddenly, he was everywhere at once. The Gypsy King was an absolute flurry of arms, legs, fists and the sharpness of knees and elbows, beating and disarming the inexperienced scientists with a practiced ease, despite being shot too many times for David’s blurry mind to count. He felt something graze by his unbruised cheek and had sense enough to hit the floor as bullets whizzed by overhead. Above all the clamor he heard Johnny, laughing like a madman as, one by one, the gunfire ceased and the room was reigned over only by the immortal’s increasingly labored breathing. David stood up when he felt the coast was clear, and saw a horrific, bloody mess standing where his friend should have been, with pieces of flesh simply blown away all over his body. His shoulders heaved as, sickeningly, he thought he saw a lung expand and contract from behind what looked like a shotgun wound in his chest. He held one shotgun by the barrel, an improvised club that dripped sticky blood, and his other hand held nothing but a tightly clenched fist. His eyes, brown and wild, stood out from the cloak of red that covered him as he bled and bled, and the whites of his eyes made for a maddening contract with all the gore. Johnny tried to laugh again, his voice choked with blood and mutilated by shrapnel, but still his spattered lips curled into a grin over a few broken teeth. He rasped and crackled as he staggered away from the scene of the carnage and, by the time he slowly made his way to David, he had already shown signs of healing.
“Holy fucking hell,” David feared he would vomit instead of making words, “You…”
“And that’s why I’m the King, motherfucker,” his voice was still broken and guttural, but words were intelligible, “You don’t live as long as I have without knowing a few things.”
It was then that David finally saw why the government was so interested in him. They were fools, he decided, to think that a simple case of immortality would have yielded such a perfect warrior as this one. This grisly spectacle that stood before him could only have been forged in the fire in which Johnny had lived his life, all of the blood and the horror that was humanity for hundreds of years… no, now more than millions… and it was then he also learned why the Gypsy didn’t want to fight anymore. It never made any difference how many times he bathed in blood or lost a limb, only to return to the front of this war or that conflict… it made no difference. Johnny wasn’t strong enough to save humanity from itself… and that was the cruelest thing about his immortality.
“So!” he cracked another ghastly smile, “How do I look?”
David couldn’t answer.
“I figured,” he replied, “Shoulda seen me after Guernica. Stood out there in the middle of town, two middle fingers in the air. Buck-ass naked, too. Sadly, I never got to talk to Pablo about it.”
“Are they…?” David couldn’t bring himself to look at the bloody remains, let alone ask that terrible word.
“I dunno,” Johnny spat out a tooth that may or may not have been his, “but they aren’t moving anytime soon.”
A piercing alarm bell rang out abruptly through the room. The two injured men made their way to the control panel, shoving aside the senseless body of one of the scientists to reveal a flashing red screen command.
“Oh, damn it!” David hissed, “They set the rift to expand and take this whole room out with it.”
“Babies,” Johnny sniffed, “I guess they did have a backup plan. A shitty one.”
“It’s getting too big,” David looked with terror as the rift had gone from being able to accommodate one human to now being the size of a small car, “I won’t be able to close it!”
“How do we stop it?”
“We can’t,” David said grimly, “but all my research says it’ll collapse if it gets much bigger than this room. Too weak at the center, that’s why I chose this room in case anything went wrong.”
“So we gotta get outta here, huh?”
“What about the bodies?” David asked, looking at the carnage at his feet.
“Fuck ’em!” Johnny said, taking David by the arm and dragging him away as the rift grew a bit larger and began to suck up some of the manipulator hardware. They made it to the door only to find it unable to open.
“The key won’t work from this side,” David threw the card into the rapidly expanding rift, “there’s got to be someone in the booth upstairs to unlock it!”
“How about General Boytoy?” Johnny asked, adopting a cold smile as a few of the bodies were being absorbed by the rift.
“I don’t think he can even walk right now,” David shot back, “and we’re both fucked if we can’t get someone to open it. They probably figured no one would come to our help, and–”
“Can I be of some help?”
The soft voice came over the intercom system in a polite, delicate voice. Both of them looked up into the booth to see the watery-eyed young scientist standing at the control board, he thin, pale hands shaking as she pushed the buttons.
“Well, glory be!” Johnny hollered, “It’s great to see you again, honey! How ’bout you open this door for us?”
“Sure thing, Johnny,” she replied, smiling awkwardly around a faceful of freckles, “But first…”
She turned around until she was facing away from the window, and then quickly tucked both her thumbs into the waistband of her slacks, emerging soon after displaying a hot pink g-string. She turned back around, facing them and, with a heavily flushed face and nervous, awkward smile, she pushed the button for the mag-lock and the two were able to escape the manipulation room before the rift overtook them. The two of them tumbled out onto the cold metal floor, hearing the lock slam safely shut behind them. As David checked to make sure the General had survived, Johnny lay on the floor, still healing, still bleeding… but laughing all the while.
“Ah ha ha ha ha… I knew it!”
He curled his fist into a clenched sign of victory, and grinned up at the ceiling until his vision was filled with watery blue eyes as the scientist returned from the control booth to dab at his wounds, blushing heavily as she did so.
“You just go on laughing,” she said, her face as red as the blood that covered his, “but I’m going to expect a few dates, now.”
“He leaned over and slapped her playfully on the behind.
“Sure thing, toots.”

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