Thursday, November 05, 2009

Legion I

The events of this story take place approximately six years before those of this one; Mr. Zhang had not yet shed his given name.

Mr. Zhang was quite enjoying his vacation, largely to his own surprise. The weather was consistently lovely, the attractions were admirably attractive, and - spending most of his time out-of-doors, out and about - Mr. Zhang was able to forget his sorrows. What trouble an email unrecieved, when your email goes unchecked; what woe a Facebook-friend rejected, when you have not the slightest thought for Facebook? For any person, the mood in which Mr. Zhang found himself might be described as good - for Mr. Zhang himself, it was nothing less than splendid!

This is, explicitly, to contextualize the moment in the third morning of Mr. Zhang's vacation, in which he found a severed head on his doorstep.

Mr. Zhang rubbed his eyes. He closed the door. He opened it again.

The severed head looked at him with sightless eyes. It was sideways. This lessened the effect slightly.

"Um," Mr. Zhang said.

He kicked the head with his shoe. The head rolled in a small circle.

"Eww," Mr. Zhang said.

He put it in a trash can.

Then he went about his business!

After breakfast, he went to see a bridge.

The bridge was quite large!

Mr. Zhang admired it politely.

He opened his guidebook.

"This bridge was the largest of its kind on the continent when it was first built," Mr. Zhang read, pausing briefly as a shadow passed over the book. "Accounting for inflation, it cost billions in today's dollars!"

"Wow!" Mr. Zhang said politely. There was a thud.

Mr. Zhang raised his eyebrows. He lowered the guidebook.

There was a severed arm on the sidewalk in front of Mr. Zhang.

"Am I being followed by a prankster?" Mr. Zhang asked. He looked around - but there was no-one nearby!

On a hunch, Mr. Zhang looked up - but there was nothing there but suspension cables!

He admired the suspension cables politely, and then moved on, tossing the severed arm off the side as he walked.

Significantly later, Mr. Zhang walked out of a diner. His stomach was full. "That was a delicious meal!" he said to his dining companion.

Mr. Zhang's companion was rude. He did not reply to this comment. Instead, he talked about something else entirely! He asked, "Why is there a limbless human torso lying on the ground?"

Perhaps he could be permitted, in the circumstances.

Mr. Zhang observed the torso. His brow furrowed. We might fault him, saying, "You have already seen two body parts today! Cannot you see a pattern!" But we have, for the sake of narrative, truncated and summarized; hours passed between each incident! So it took long seconds before Mr. Zhang thought to look up -

- and saw, for a fleeting moment, an object floating overhead.

"It went onto the roof!" Mr. Zhang cried. "Find stairs!" Mr. Zhang dashed to the left; his companion, after a moment's delay, went right. They met at the back of the restaurant, finding a fire escape, ladder retracted; a nearby dumpster gave Mr. Zhang a platform from which to reach the ladder, and from there the roof.

"Ha!" Mr. Zhang cried, triumphant. Behind him, his companion clambered onto the roof. "Found you! What do you have to say for yourself?"

"" the floating ball of corpses groaned. Slowly, it began to float away.

"What? Stop!" Mr. Zhang shouted. "I want you to explain yourself!"

The floating ball of corpses stopped.

"Who are you? Where did you come from?" Mr. Zhang asked in interrogatory fashion.

"...m...i...t...le...gion..." the agglomeration of corpses, slowly, answered.

"It's called 'MIT'?" Mr. Zhang asked, perplexed. "Are they trading up for mascots?"

"Nah, it answered the questions the wrong way around," Mr. Zhang's companion clarified helpfully. "Probably some bio kid's senior project."

Mr. Zhang's brow lightened. "Oh. Well, 'Legion', tell me - why have you been following me? What do you want?"

"...want... friend..." Legion groaned.

"Aww! It wants to be your pet! That's adorable!" Mr. Zhang's companion said.

Mr. Zhang's stance firmed in decision.

"I'll let it!" he cried.

Legion bobbed up and down with joy!

Next up: Mr. Zhang versus Sanitation Regulation!


Calvacadeofcats said...

that man is quite nikolasish

Cavalcadeofcats said...


I am not very good at writing characters. It is probably my #1 weakness!