I really wish I could scream. Why are they listening to Wilkerson? I personally hope someone will just run him over and improve the world. He is the bastard who did this to me. And for what? Now he needs our help? Right. Because we would want to help him... why?

Not that anyone is really paying attention to me.

The phone Red is using should be in an antique shop. I can't hear anything other than Red's side of the conversation. He almost sounds appropriately not interested, but he did dial. And he hasn't hung up yet.

My... well, my everything hurts. I shift the laptop impatiently, wishing I could find a comfortable position to wait while Red makes this suicidal phone call. I'm pretty sure this is going to end badly. More badly. Worse? I don't care. Grammar isn't really a concern.

I look over at Emma and I feel betrayed. She has barely talked to me. I can see how guilty she feels those few times when she meets my eyes, and I'm glad. She should feel guilty. It doesn't change anything, doesn't fix the mess she got me into, but at least it means she's suffering. A little. It would be nice if she actually talked to me though. But she mostly tries to send Laika to talk to me.

Talk. Right. At least the girl turned on the voice. I hadn't thought of it, I admit, but then again I'm on serious painkillers. Not serious enough though.

Why hasn't Red told Wilkerson where to shove it? What could that scum possibly say that is worth listening to?

The look on Red's face is rather priceless, if I was thinking about that sort of thing. I hope he doesn't believe anything he's hearing, although in the few moments he's been on the phone there can't have been too much to hear. But still. He's on the phone.

My fingers fumble over the keys impatiently, wincing at the pain in my hands. I hate this. I hate this. I want to go home, back to my Star Wars sheets, and download questionable content from the internet. Instead I'm stuck here with these people. The ones who got me into this mess.

"He says he'll give us Grozny." Red's voice breaks the silence and I start to pound my fingers into the keys angrily, trying to type out the words I want to say.

Emma beats me to speaking, though: "Can we believe him? After...," she trails off, looking at me significantly. That's all they do, look. Sympathy, pity, but I'm left waiting to see what other trouble they're going to land me in.

The Bear, or whatever his real name is - I didn't catch it - shrugs, and remains non-commital. In all fairness, not that I want to be fair, this isn't his problem. He used to work for Grozny and he seems to be doing ok. He's helping Laika, which is the only reason we're here. But we aren't his problem and I doubt he wants to get dragged into it.

Red looks determined. Possibly feverish. I can practically hear the music that would be in the soundtrack of this moment, the kind that is supposed to make the audience expect the hero to finally be on the right track, headed toward victory and a happy ending.

I never believe that music. I don't think we can possibly have a happy ending. But it looks like Red still believes. And maybe Emma too.  I can't tell what Laika thinks. She keeps moving her fingers, making gestures like they mean something. Personally I think she's just faking it and laughing at us when we can't figure out what she means but assume she must mean something.

"Do we have a choice?"

If those aren't the most ominous words ever to be uttered I'm not sure I know what are. I look at the screen, at my half-typed rejection, and delete it. They aren't going to listen to me. They have a Mission. I'm just collateral damage. I was never really part of the whole thing, just the guy that kept the wheels in motion for Emma so she could get her message out.

I didn't care about it then. I definitely don't now. Should have kept to myself. See what it got me trying to help someone out?

So I close my eyes, trying to find a comfortable position as I lie here and wait for the two intrepid wannabe-heroes to decide my fate.

The End

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