She followed the trail of destruction. The debris, the shredded electricity cords, the gaping holes torn through all seventy-nine floors of the main Olympus Group building. Delphyne clenched her jaw around the knife in her mouth and climbed as fast as she could. Somewhere at the bottom – that’s where Amadeus was. And he had to be okay.
The sub-basement was dark and still, winding corridors, concrete and steel. She dropped quietly from the busted ceiling, pressed herself against the wall. Not a soul in sight. Her heart beat wildly with fear and fury in her side. The snakes curled around her neck, trembling. There was always the risk someone else had gotten to him first. She took the knife from her mouth, spitting out the taste of worn leather into her hand and wiping it on her skirt. To the right, the corridor ended in a flat wall. To the left, it made a sharp turn. Delphyne took a deep breath to calm her racing pulse, and snuck soundlessly off in that direction.
The blood started after about fifteen paces. In the dark, she might not have seen it, but the smell was unmistakable. When she crouched down to touch the floor, her fingers came away wet. Delphyne leapt to her feet and started running. Fuck stealth. Whoever had hurt Amadeus was going to die by her bare hands, and they were going to know it
She could hear something up ahead. A voice. Or voices, hard to tell. Delphyne sped up, rounded the corner – and stepped on something.
“…warning you, don’t come any closer ‘cause I’m packing—Ow!”
Momentum broken, she stumbled a few steps before coming to a halt. Despite almost falling on her face, she couldn’t help smiling. That voice was everything she had been hoping for.
“Delphyne? S’that you?”
“Yes, it’s me,” she said, kneeling beside him and feeling for his hand. She squeezed it, as hard as she dared. “Is there a way to turn on the lights in here?”
“Should be an emergency flashlight around somewhere. Opposite wall, I think. Unless that’s in sub-basement 3, then we’re screwed.”
Fortunately, they weren’t. Delphyne found the small locker easily enough, smashed the glass and got the light. To be able to see him calmed her further. Amadeus was pale and his smile, though warm, was shaky, but he was all in one piece, breathing and speaking and not dead. As she sat back down by his side, one of her snakes slithered forward to rub itself against his cheek.
“Looks like you’re saving my ass. How many times is it now?”
“I’ve lost count,” she said, wiping some blood from his brow and brushing away his bangs to inspect the wound. It wasn’t deep. Good. “How badly hurt are you?”
“Other than the foot you stepped on? A broken arm, sprained legs, a dozen or so cuts… I’ve felt better, not gonna lie, but for a guy busting through the entire building I think I’m doing pretty well.”
She was going to ask further and get to treating him as well as she could, given the situation, but a glance downwards made her lose that train of thought.
“Um, Amadeus? Where are your pants?”
“Knew you’d ask,” he said. “It was right after they stormed my office and blew up the floor the first time. I was gonna jump through the hole, except my pant leg got caught on a reinforcement rod and I had to take them off ‘cause I was practically living bait, dangling like a– Hang on. Are you giggling? You are! Don’t try turning the light away, I already saw you!” He snorted, obviously amused despite his words. “Yeah, you think it’s funny. Try being the guy with the plasma cannon pointed at his unmentionables; see if you’re still laughing.”
“Sorry. Go on.”
“Anyway. That’s when they blasted me.”
“How did you survive?”
“Cranked the shields up to max and braced myself. Should’ve worked fine, but there’s something hinky about those guns. Around basement one my shields started giving out and when I landed…” He made a little gesture towards himself. “You can see how well that went. I slammed right into the floor at full speed. When I fix the shields, I’m installing some brakes.”
“But if your shields were down, how-“
“They didn’t die completely until the console got smushed,” Amadeus said.”The bruise on my butt should tip you off to how that happened.”
There was a sound from above, a low, distant rumbling that sent vibrations through the walls. They both went silent, Delphyne with a hand on her gun. For a few seconds the sound seemed to be coming closer, and then it disappeared. Delphyne heard Amadeus exhale, and she knew how he felt. She didn’t want to fight anyone or anything right there and then, not with Amadeus in this state. Worry had started picking away at her initial relief at having found him alive. He seemed to be in a lot of pain. Clearly wouldn’t be able to walk. He must have dragged himself away from the spot where he landed, slowly and excruciatingly, possibly making his injuries worse. The snakes hissed in her ears. She wished she had found him sooner.
“And now we are getting invaded by aliens,” she said. Amadeus sighed.
“Well, we have to stop them.”
“No prob, I’m starting to get a routine going for this whole world-saving gig. And,” his eyes darkened, his face tensed. “Delphyne, they smashed Herc’s statue.”
This was probably a bad time to tell him she had always found that thing rather tacky.
“…Right. Let’s get you patched up.
The majority of his wounds were only smaller cuts, mostly on his legs. Delphyne ripped off Amadeus’ sleeves and a good portion of his shirt to dress the ones that looked worst, including the one on his head. She used one of her hunting knives to splint his forearm. The bone wasn’t jutting out, luckily enough, and it didn’t seem to be swollen.
“It’s not too tight, is it?” she asked, testing the improvised wrap, made out of her stockings.
“Nah, it’s good.” Amadeus regarded her work with a strangely satisfied expression. “You know what you are? You’re like a hot, Amazonian MacGyver.”
Delphyne had no idea what he was talking about, but she didn’t ask. Every time Amadeus tried to explain a cultural reference to her he had a tendency to go off on tangents.
“How did you escape the mind control?” she asked instead. It hadn’t surprised her not to find Amadeus rounded up with everyone else present at the time; he always made a miraculous escape, with or without godly intervention. She was still curious.
“They sent the signal over the intercom, right? Yeah, I don’t have any intercom in my office. In this company, I talk to people. They don’t talk to me.” He looked at her. “What about you? Wait. Is it a gorgon thing? Mind control antibodies?”
“No, I...” she began, hesitated, then decided she was being ridiculous for hesitating. “I had to pee. The closest bathroom was the one you’re remaking into a cafeteria.” The sixteenth new one in less than a month. “There’s currently no intercom in there, I suppose.”
The corner of Amadeus’ mouth twitched.
“That really, really shouldn’t be cool to me, but somehow it is.”
Delphyne laughed and flicked his nose.“You’ve lost too much blood. You’re not thinking straight.” She paused, adjusting her belt and holsters. “Speaking of thinking… What’s the plan?”
“If I get my shields back on, I’ll be healed in no time."
“Good. How do we do that?"
“I don’t know!” he said, a little too loudly. “I haven’t eaten in more than three hours and my brain is kaput and my arm’s broken and there’re aliens in my office and I liked this suit! I just don’t know what to do. I’m sorry.”
His fist was clenched and he looked as close to panicked as she had ever seen him. No wonder. It must be terribly frustrating, being used to seeing the world from every direction at once, to always be able to find an answer to everything, and then have it all go away. Especially when you lost your pants, too. If it got him a tad off balance, Delphyne couldn’t blame him. She took his hand in both of hers and spoke to him in the tone of voice she had used back on Amazonia whenever a new girl had a breakdown during a mission. Calm and comforting, authoritative and firm.
“All right. We’ll find you some chocolate and take it from there.”
Amadeus closed his eyes for a moment. He unclenched his hand, ran his fingers through his dusty hair and nodded.
“Yeah. Okay. Sorry.”
Delphyne leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the lips. It didn’t remove the tenseness in his shoulders, but at least it brought him back to smiling.
Getting him onto her back took some time, lots of uncomfortable positions and several pained exclamations. Once she had gotten a good grip and managed to stand back up, Delphyne began walking back to the pillar of reddish light stretching down from the opening in the ceiling.
“We’re likely to run into armed patrols if we take the elevators or the stairs. I’ll be climbing up the way I came, so hold on tight.”
“That is so not going to be a problem, bone fracture be damned.”
She felt his nose pressing against her cheek, and she turned her head a little, rubbing back. They were going to be all right. She believed in them.
“Next stop: chocolate,” she said, extending her steps.
“And pants,” Amadeus added.
“Are you sure?” She pinched his thigh. “This works for me.”
His breath was warm as he chuckled.
“It works ‘cause I’m working it. But fighting in your undies? That’s more a superhero thing. Me, I hang out on the demigod side of town where men wear pants or miniskirts.”
“Miniskirts, hm? I’ll lend you one of mine.”
“Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
They had reached the hole. Delphyne let go of Amadeus’ legs carefully, her snakes slithering out to hold him instead. She tossed the flashlight to the floor and took a deep breath. It was going to be a long climb.
“There! Vending machine!” Amadeus yelled.
If she had not been brought up to be a bone-hard warrior representative of the Island, Delphyne might have cried with relief. Her arms felt like they had been torn out of their sockets, reattached, and then torn off again. Her mouth tasted like iron, her ears whooshed with imaginary wind and little black dots swam before her eyes. She heaved herself over the edge to floor twenty-two, dropping Amadeus as gently as she could, then rolled over on her back and just lay there, panting, for a while. The marble tiles of the hallway were mercifully solid beneath her.
“Oh, shit.” Amadeus’ voice reached her through the haze of exhaustion. Gathering willpower out of her already depleted resources, she lifted herself up on her elbow and drew her gun. ‘Oh, shit’ never meant anything good.
“What is it?”
He looked at her sheepishly.
“I don’t have any quarters.”
She fired four bullets into the machine. The glass cracked and shattered in a very satisfying manner. Amadeus crawled over and reached for some triple nuts, shaking of any shards caught in the creases of the wrapping.
“Can’t believe I didn’t think of that,” he muttered.
Watching Amadeus eat was like seeing the lights flicker on after a power outage. The look in his eyes was suddenly all focus, his face brightened up and in a feat defying both physics and the powers of second-hand embarrassment, his posture, though he was half-lying pantsless on the floor, seemed straighter and more self assured.
“Aaaaand the mastermind is back online,” he said with a grin. It had just enough arrogance to convey aggravating cockiness while still managing to be charmingly attractive. Delphyne still wasn’t entirely sure how that worked. “I’ve got good news and bad news,” Amadeus continued. “Good is that I know not only how to fix the shields, but how to locate some top class leg wear. Bad news is I’m starting to feel so much pain that doing the thinking to pull it off’s gonna be tougher than usual, even with all the candy bars in the known and unknown universe."
That was when the rumbling returned. This time it was close, growing louder by the second. The vending machine rattled, the glass shards that still clung to the frame falling like razor sharp snowflakes over the plentiful assortment of snacks.
They exchanged a quick glance. Without a word, Delphyne pulled Amadeus into a corner somewhat obscured by a large potted plant, while he threw what appeared to be his wrist watch at the lamp in the ceiling. It lodged itself between the plug and the socket, disconnecting them, leaving the two huddling behind the cover of and moderate darkness. She would have preferred to attack, Amazon style, but until she wouldn’t have to worry about Amadeus, hiding would have to do. Finger on the trigger, she waited.
Their shadows appeared first. Delphyne didn’t understand them as shadows at first; they weren’t dark, and didn’t behave like shadows did; rather, they shimmered like the reflections at the bottom of a swimming pool and kept stretching and shrinking without consideration to the light sources. The two creatures casting them were even stranger.
The color closest to the shade they appeared to be was blue – if blue had devoured yellow and purple and then thrown up all over itself. They were both tall and wide and didn’t have anything resembling limbs. More than anything, they looked like a couple of dust bunnies that had swallowed a light bulb and doused themselves in glitter. Their contours were not quite defined. Delphyne knew what was alien and what wasn’t, but if asked to define the line where alien became not-alien, she wouldn’t have been able to come up with a satisfying answer. They were blurry, fluctuating. If she looked straight at one of them for too long, she started to feel nauseous.
“Area is searched. No police boxes detected,” the alien to the left said. Its voice was high and melodious, like someone running their finger against the edge of a wineglass.
“How come we can understand what they are saying?” Delphyne whispered.
“No idea, but it’s freakishly convenient,” Amadeus wheezed back.
The alien to the right spoke.
“Much excellent. The Doctor must not interfere. Humanity must fall.”
They vibrated in unison for a few short seconds, the air humming with energy, then continued down the hallway, accompanied by the rumbling noise of their movements. Once they were gone, everything seemed much quieter than before they arrived.
“I don’t understand,” Delphyne said. She felt confused in a way she usually didn’t when any type of fighting was involved. Like everyone was talking in code, except her.
“Yeah,” Amadeus huffed. “Why’s it always about world termination with these guys? Why doesn’t anyone ever come here for sightseeing and a few burgers?”
“Not that, the…” She frowned. “The other things.”
“Right. That. That’s from Doctor Who.” He put a finger over her lips when she tried to speak. “No, don’t say it, the joke’s way too easy. It’s a tv-show, and no offense, but having to explain it always kills these moments for me.”
“I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not,” she said, swatting his hand away. “What does this mean for our situation?"
“If my guess is right – and let’s face it, I’m a genius, I get it right 99.738239793% of the time – these space blobs have been doing their research on the sci-fi channel.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“Given my current ratio of predicted plot points in any given thing I watch? Yeah. Yeah, I’d say it is.”
When they finally reached his office, Amadeus’ face had taken on the dull, grayish color of decade-old cardboard. With his brain back on track he had been able to direct them through the ventilation system. It was no less strenuous, but a whole lot faster.
Delphyne managed to get them both down from the ceiling without a single ‘ow’ from Amadeus. Not that it made her feel good. He had become increasingly silent during the last twenty minutes, and now lay limp in her arms as she lifted him up. His lips were pursed tightly, his face twisted in pain.
“Hey,” she whispered, stroking his cheek. “Don’t pass out on me, baby. We’re here now.”
“Already?” Amadeus opened one eye. ”Jeez, a hypermind can never catch a break around here. Get me the clock radio on my desk and the screwdriver in the top drawer. The Choster’s gonna work his magic.”
She gave him the items, helping him hold the radio as he unscrewed the plastic casing and got out the remains of the gameboy from his suit pocket. From outside the double doors to the room, she could hear the sing-song of alien voices. Guards, most likely. Amadeus had better hurry up. They could be discovered any second.
The shields went down with a crackle of static and a surge of heat. The color returned to Amadeus’ cheeks almost immediately. Encased in a faint, blue glow, he got to his feet. He moved gingerly at first, but within a minute he was tugging the wraps to the improvised splint off his arm.
“Thanks for the loan,” he said, handing Delphyne the knife. “And, you know. For lugging me around.”
Delphyne smiled. There were a lot of things she might want to say all brought on by the warmth and relief fluttering in her stomach, but she settled for:
“Don’t worry about it. And now, if you have healed, there is some havoc I would love to wreak on these things.”She sheathed the knife with a little more flair than she normally would. All her snakes rose and hissed at the same time, fangs dripping with venom. She knew she looked the very image of ferocity, and she knew she made it look good. She could tell from his appreciative grin that Amadeus thought so, too.
“Can’t wait to see that. Think you can hold back on the wreaking for just a sec, though?” He held up the clock radio. “Without a display there’s a lot this thing can’t do for me, but it keeps the retro factor and it can at least manage this.” Amadeus pressed the snooze button, and a second later a pair of black suit pants appeared, hanging over his outstretched arm.
“Did… Did you just synthesize a pair of pants?”
“Nah, nothing that complicated. I just have the story layout and coordinates of Marc Jacobs flagship store memorized, and information about any and all changes and new arrivals plus sales get automatically transferred to my systems. I teleport over a pair of pants, make an online payment with the company funds and bam! Easy peasy pants."
“Easy? That sounds like a lot of work for something you could have accomplished with an organized closet. ”
“Pfft, closets. I’m way beyond closets.”
He had just zipped up the fly when the doors exploded. There were five aliens outside, all armed with strange looking guns. They weren’t so much holding them as simply absorbing one end into themselves.
“Unforeseen escape attempt thwarted,” one of them said. “Prepare for defeat.” It pointed the gun towards Amadeus. “Skinny stick arms. Gadget outdated. No match.”
“Hey! I resent that!”
“Secondary sex characteristics indicate green one is female. Easily disarmed by use of worst fears.”
“I’ll disarm you,” Delphyne growled. The alien cocked the part of its blob shaped body she supposed must be the head, and retorted:
“The female is ugly. Means you,” another chimed in.
“Single forever,” piped the third. “No offspring. Life worthless.”
The fourth added:
“Career never satisfying substitute for fulfillment through servitude and male genitalia.”
“Additionally,” said the fifth one, swelling in a way that was probably supposed to be intimidating. “Currency would be bet on you being the promiscuous type. Feel the shame.”
Silence fell. Neither of the aliens moved, regarding them in a way that appeared expectant. Delphyne felt as though she was caught in a bizarre, sexist nightmare. She looked at Amadeus, dumbfounded.
“Guess they sat through the commercials,” Amadeus said, eyebrows raised in disbelief.
“Ugly!” said an alien.
Enough of this.
She didn’t count how many times she shot at the one right in front of her. Many. The bullets went straight through, but the alien emitted blue-purple flashes of lightning and the rumbling noise became a screech. It floated out around the edges and withdrew several meters.
“Strategy unsuccessful! Nervous breakdown non-existent,” it wailed. “Anyone! Bring out yoghurt to pacify!”
They scattered, some further into the rooms, others along the wall. Delphyne dodged a blast, then another. The window panes shattered and the left wall simply caved in on itself. Amadeus cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted:
“Delphyne! Aim for the gun!”
So she did. It blew up beautifully; literally, not in fire and smoke and metal scrap projectiles. Rather, it folded in on itself with a soft pop and a shower of prism-colored sparkles.The creature toppled over, trying to crush her underneath its body, but she dodged, leapt over a couch and fired again.
“Never assume someone’s gender based on appearance!” she shouted. She wasn’t sure if they could hear it over all the noise, but it didn’t matter. “A person’s worth is not determined by their looks!” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Amadeus cleverly dodge another blast, the energy blast making part of the ceiling cave in and both bury the alien and crushing the cannon. Delphyne Zigzagged between the large, shimmering forms panicking around the room. “No one has a right to judge anyone else’s sexuality! Loving sex is not shameful!” Another hit. And another. Her last bullet lodged itself firmly into the last alien’s weapon, disappearing together with it. “And 'female’ is an adjective, not a noun, you objectifying pieces of shit!” The aliens retreated through the demolished doorway.
Amadeus brushed some dust off his new pants.
“Think they’ll be back? Eh, who am I kidding. They’ll be back.”
Delphyne didn’t reply. This was silly; these were the lowest, most laughable insults and they didn’t get under her skin, not really. But modern society did. Away from Amazonia, it was so blatant. She knew the worldwide oppression of the sisterhood inside out. It was a part of her as much as the gorgon curse, but she didn’t use to live in it. Not like she did when she was out here. Where it was everywhere. Where it not only got under her skin but tore the skin off, cut through her flesh and gnawed on her bones. She was tired. She was angry. For herself. For everyone. No escaping it, not even when dealing with creatures from outer space.
“Hey,” Amadeus said, touching her shoulder. “You know it’s no use being angry with them for thinking crap like that, right? They got it all from us.”
“I know. That’s what’s so infuriating.”
Amadeus traced the length of her arm, took her hand, intertwined their fingers.
“Besides, y’know. Not that it matters to you with all your gun toting, badasser-than-thou attitude, but I think you’re really-“
The heap of rubble from the ceiling suddenly erupted. The alien underneath rose like a wave above their heads, ready to roll down over them. Delphyne spat a curse between gritted teeth. All out of bullets. Drawing her knife, she lunged herself at the creature. Too late, she registered Amadeus’ voice.
“No, Delphyne, don’t!”
The shock threw her across the room, bashing her head against the opposite wall. The last thing she thought before unconsciousness embraced her was how glad she was not to have to feel the pain.
She came to reluctantly, bit by bit.
The first thing she noticed was that she was not hurting. Unable to move, even to open her eyes, she lay there listening to the soft humming tones that filled her ears. The sound came from everywhere at once. She could tell there was a light source nearby, even with her eyes closed. Briefly, Delphyne wondered if she had died, but discarded the thought quickly. There was no way Hades was this comfortable and smelling of nice cologne.
When she at last managed to pry her eyes open, her field of vision was filled by Amadeus’ face. The creases of worry on his forehead smoothed immediately as she met his gaze. She was lying in his lap, surrounded by the glow of the shields. Carefully, she tried to move her arms and legs, and found them all in place and responsive.
“I tried to warn you before,” Amadeus said. “The aliens, they’re made of compressed, conscious energy. When you stabbed it, you got zapped. For a second there, I thought you ‘d been electrocuted.”
“It would take more than that to finish me off,” Delphyne said with a smile she hoped was reassuring. “How long was I out?”
“Eight minutes and forty-six seconds. After I teleported us here, I got the shields to work on you.” He swallowed, hard. “You weren’t breathing for a while.”
“You teleported-,” Delphyne began, sitting up. Looking around, she realized they were no longer in the office. This room resembled the inside of an egg, white and smooth and rounded, except for a set of controls and a large screen in the middle.
“Can you believe making the system find the place with the least aliens would take us inside their ship? I planned better campaigns than this roleplaying in elementary school,” Amadeus said, sneering. He did like feeling superior. “Maybe you should keep the shield for a while. I’m not sure they’ve done their job yet,” he added.
“No. You need this more than I do. You’re a human.”
“Why does everyone think I need to be reminded every five minutes?”
“We would stop if you would remember your limitations.”
“Fine,” Amadeus said after a moment of silence. “If you promise you’re okay?”
Her head pounded, her fingers were numb, her throat burned when she breathed, her whole body felt like it was on pins and needles.
Amadeus pressed a button, and the blue glow transferred from her to him.
“Gonna be smooth sailing from here, anyway,” he said. “While you were out I had a quick look at the ship. Turns out it isn’t driven by fuel and doesn’t have an energy source, which means all I need to do is this.”
He stood and walked over to the control panel. He pulled a lever, and the screen lit up. There was a sound, a low whoosh similar to a vacuum cleaner.
Delphyne waited, ready to strike at the first sign of attack.
Seconds passed. Nothing happened.
“What’s going on?”
“You mean… they’re gone?”
“Pretty much, yeah. They power their technology using themselves, so all I had to do was upgrade the energy intake and extend it to the entire building. They’re all sucked into the energy reserves of the ship. ” He shrugged. “Effective, but anticlimactic.”
Suddenly, the ship shook. A number of little red lamps started flashing over the controls.
The shaking intensified. Delphyne started for the door, but stopped. There wasn’t one.
“Teleport us out of here!” she yelled over the intensifying roar of the engines.
“I can’t! The ship’s sucked up all electronic power within two miles. All systems are dead!”
She threw herself at the walls, ran her hands frantically over the smooth surface searching for any trace of irregularity, trying to pry her knife into non-existent cracks. She saw Amadeus try to connect the clock radio to the panels to tap energy from the ship only to have it explode in his hands. Despair turned like a heap of worms in her gut. They couldn’t end here. They just couldn’t, she thought desperately.
That’s when the wall she pounded on didn’t respond with a dull, solid thud, but a hollow clonk. She didn’t have to tell him; he was already there. Gauging the unassuming off-white surface, he knocked on it once. Twice.
A shivering moment went by with the wall as plain as ever; then it slid open, revealing rows of shining silver guns inside.
There wasn’t even time to be smug. Delphyne tore out the largest of the weapons she could find, following Amadeus back to the control panels with the bulky, shapeless thing in her arms. He was saying something, she saw his lips move almost nonstop, but the words were lost in the deafening noise. She didn’t need to hear, though. The gist was pretty clear.
In no time at all, the gun was connected to the ship. It started blinking in several places at once . She slammed her fist down on each one in rapid succession and sometime during her frenzy she must have hit the trigger, because the wall in front of them ripped open. Cool wind stirred the sterile atmosphere of the control room.
Delphyne threw herself outside. She knew Amadeus was right behind her, she saw him land right beside her, and then she didn’t hear or see anything else as the entire ship imploded in a burst of blinding light. Her snakes cowered behind her torso. Delphyne didn’t cower, but only because there had been no time. She wished she had. It would take ages to get all the glitter out of the tartan.
When light disappeared, the roof was empty, save for the two of them and the rubble that had once been a particularly obnoxious statue.
“That went relatively well,” Delphyne said, a little louder than usual what with all the ringing in her ears.
“Yeah, yeah. No biggie, nuh-uh.” Amadeus was panting so hard she could barely make out what he was saying. “Just another day on the job.”
The office had, all things considered, fared quite well. Sure, there were two holes in the floor and one in the ceiling and the desk was blown to smithereens, but alien invasions usually did a lot more damage than that. Amadeus’ ruined shirt and jacket had been laid to rest in the waste basket, and their former wearer, after a bit of repairs and teleportation and other things Delphyne didn’t bother keeping track of, had found himself a couple of acceptable replacements. He looked out over the room in disgruntlement.
“Great. Now I gotta whip up a PM and get my people away from playing solitaire or whatever else they like to waste time on and into repairing the building.”
Delphyne, lounging on the part of the couch that was still intact, shook her head. She liked having Amadeus as a boyfriend, but it would suck to have him as a boss.
“Just hire someone else. Spare your employees, for once.”
“Do I look like I’m made of money?” he said, putting on his 4,000 dollar suit jacket, adjusting his platinum cufflinks. “So. What’re you doing now?”
“I was thinking of having a shower and cleaning my guns. Maybe a nap after that.”
“And tonight? ‘Cause as much as I love watching you blow shit up, it’d be fun to get some variation going with our dates here.”
“That was a date? You should have told me, I would have brought you flowers. Incidentally, Sister Areto recently told me about a nice restaurant two blocks from here.”
“Lemme guess. Greek?”
“Catch you there in five hours.”
Five hours and fifteen minutes later, a horde of solar-powered electronic killer crocodiles attacked a Greek restaurant two blocks away from the Olympus Group building.