Summer Wars: A Live Report Rip Off
Chapter 9: Always Second Best
They said losing could drive a man insane.
A fist swung down, striking the tabletop, sending an empty bottle skittering into the corner where it shattered amid the wispy cobwebs.
What did they know? Believe it or not they said the same thing about Finnish death metal, though even he would freely admit that what blared through his speakers was more garbled nonsense than music, let alone art.
It had been like this for years, ever since that fateful battle. He had come so close, but ultimately fell. Weaknesses become strength on that day, bringing him within inches of victory. And yet, strength turned to weakness at the critical moment.
He should have been King. It was he who deserved to command Earth’s population. To drive them towards the reality he envisioned, a perfect reality where Finland ruled and none contested his reign.
He cackled as his gaze flitted towards the small window. Beyond these walls were the mountains, majestic and most importantly isolated. Every day he had ruminated on his defeat. Every day he had trained so it would never happen again. Even he knew Durn was growing increasingly withdrawn. The man was a warrior, not a king. All Durn wanted was a fight, a worthy challenge. He would get both soon enough.
Because the time was coming for him to leave this cabin behind, stalk down from the mountains and take what was deservedly his. No one would stop him. No one could. He was Luolis, the true King and he would have that charlatan’s head.
Chapter 10: By the Balls
If there was one thing Musicus liked, it was control. Why else would someone dive into a stressful career as Police Commissioner? Why else would he have doubled down and become chief of the fire department? At this point every train in German operated under his watch. He’d even wrangled authority over every sprinkler system in a three kilometer radius.
It was good being in control, that much was true. They said it was in his blood, in which case he was truly the paragon of his people. Every word measured, every action prudent and calculated. What a life it was being completely in control.
A gun shut silenced the screams of the man being him.
Being in control was a grisly job, but he had full faith in his underlings’ ability to make a mess disappear. This particular mess went by the name of MockHamill, a rebellious dissenter who had made the mistake of staging a protest in Musicus’ neck of the woods. That was all done and taken care of, though. He could finally breathe easy.
Musicus made his way upstairs, into his study where a number of rifles and knives were splayed out on a mahogany table. Rumor was Durn was emerging from his palace. Such an act was bound to attract attention from the worst kind of people. Musicus couldn’t help be rankled by the thought of some massive conflict disrupting everything. He wasn’t going to let something like that happen on his watch, though. He heard France was lovely this time of year, though he had never had a chance to actually check it out. This was as good an excuse as any to visit.
Chapter 11: Paris in May
Poopi put down the first edition of Houellebecq and reached for his narrow stemmed glass. 1990 was a good year for Burgundy and Latache was exceptional. Not deep enough for his liking, but exceptional nonetheless. He savored the ethereal nose for a moment before allowing the draught to slip down his throat.
In that moment of exaltation, his eyes swept over his study. They perused the leather bound volumes, a collection which would have made the world’s greatest libraries envious. This was a truly sublime way to spend a mid May day. And to think, his boorish coworkers were out in the streets picketing for a worthless cause.
The transportation strikes were framed as a fight for their livelihood, but in reality it was a creative solution to work two less days each week. Poopi chuckled. Those days were meant to be enjoyed, weren’t they? While others baked in the sun or shivered against the cold, he thrived in his residence, surrounded by fine wine and literature. He couldn’t imagine a more noble way to pass the time.
It was coming to an end though. If you paid attention, you knew that the critical moment was approaching. King Durn had emerged from his castle and anyone with ambition, no matter of upbringing or country of origin, was focused on this rare opportunity.
The world was a simple place. The easiest way to become King was to depose the reigning one. And who was more fitting to become the new King than he. He was learned, sage, pragmatic and able. Durn’s kingdom was crumbling with each passing hour, but Poopi’s would be a paradise of intellectuals. Science would blossom and the arts would be rediscovered. It was a perfect world. His perfect world.
Poopi took the final sip from his glass and sighed. There was no time to waste. His revolution was about to begin.
Chapter 12: Paris in May Part Deux
No matter how you sliced it, Arty had a shit job. Seven days a week spent trapped in a cubicle with walls so high and an entrance so narrow it might as well have been a box was positively a inhumane existence. The cherry on top was the fact that he was the very definition of underappreciated. Listening to other people speak was a fact of life. Nobody thought of little old him spending his waking hours trying to predict where things would go wrong.
RTK didn’t understand what was so hard about it. Words were just letters arranged in a predetermined manner. It wasn’t hard to figure out how they were supposed to sound. People struggled so mightily with it, however, and he supposed he should have been thankful that was the case. In a perverse way the stupidity of others paid his bills. Still, there had to be a better way.
Because every public speech was preceded by hours of preparation and practice. It was Artic’s job to write out the correct phonetics for every one of them. Be it in French or English, he was the best. No one knew how to pronounce an obscure word better than he did. He’d become rather famous in some circles, though that wasn’t doing his wallet any good.
He supposed it was destiny. Ever since his youth people had struggled to pronounce his name. ArtyK! Was that so hard? Their idiocy never ceased to amaze him. It had been like this for decades, but he had finally had enough. This was his last day at work. He was moving on to bigger and better things. They said only a King could change the world. If that was the case a King he would become. He would overthrow Durn and claim the throne for himself. He would remake the world in his image; a world where no name went mispronounced.
It was time to make a change and it seemed he was the only man fit for the job.
Editor: The Spirit of Tzuyu, Durn