17 - Dinner with Shmucks
Another thing to add to the list of things that I took for granted before The End, was depth perception. I used to be able to tell how close stuff was by just looking at it, now that I only have one eye however, it's a combination of guess work and luck.
The Emperor sent me away to get changed into something a little less "pantomime" as I had still been wearing the costume from the show I'd been in. I was taken to a "wing" of the Emperor's Palace which used to be a GAP. I got changed into my "Gap Apparel" and Humperdink lead me back to the table.
Emperor Elliot was strapped into his highchair and cooing to no one in particular. Not having had food with an emperor before I wasn't sure on the correct etiquette so just sat in the nearest mismatched chair.
There was silence for a while as my mind raced to think of something to say to a baby, some kind of common ground we'd have. My childhood came rushing back to me as I thought about what I had done when I was his age. I remembered my mother and father and my big brother and I realised how much I missed them all. I hoped they weren't here, in the post-end world I was living in.
Elliot broke the silence "So... you like sports?"
I didn't. There wasn't any kind of sport I enjoyed that wasn't a computer game version of the real sport. But to avoid the silence that would no doubt happen after I said that I didn't like sports, I decided to lie and told Elliot that indeed I did enjoy sports.
"Who do you support?" he asked, sitting up on his high chair a little and for the first time since I met him, I noticed he had a strange look in his eye. A look that seemed to be daring me to put a foot wrong, I shrugged off my interpretation of Elliot's stare as after all he was just a baby. But... he DID order Myke to kill all the "mutants", so this baby was far from innocent.
So who did I support? I tried to think what teams he would want me to support. I didn't want to say one team, only to find out that he hated that team and would have me killed for supporting them, then again I had no evidence that this was any kind of test where if I said the wrong answer I'd die.
I thought about what team his father supported, The Air Cyans. Maybe Elliot was raised to support them? Or maybe he rebelled against his father, as there was no sign to where the elder Gray was.
"Well?" he asked, sitting further forward in his high chair, raising one eyebrow at me in the process.
"The... Air Cyans." I replied in haste.
Elliot didn't look convinced and was about to say something when a sudden chill fell on the room and seemingly out of nowhere his mother JoJo appeared. She looked very pale, and had died her hair jet black. She looked not unlike Morticia Addams and when she moved, she seemed to float.
"Adamicus, I was so pleased when Ellibear told me you that were still alive" she said in a cool calm voice that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end. I looked down at my cat Humperdink and all of his fur was on end, so at least it wasn't just me.
"Mother, please do not refer to me as "Ellibear" in front of... guests." Elliot replied in an angry tone.
His mother looked at him and laughed a sweet shallow laugh, then sat herself down at the table.
Next to arrive was a friendlier face, it was Hagley, who I'd not seen since I got her. She was on the arm of the disfigured Wolverhamptonite Myke and she couldn't take her eyes of him. She was so in love. Myke nodded at me, bowed before the emperor and then sat down with Hagley opposite me.
"Will father be joining us?" Elliot asked his mother. JoJo, was staring at me at this point, like a dog stares at unguarded food on a table. I had the distinct feeling she wanted to kill and or eat me.
"No, your father is in his workshop..."
"And what of the Godfather?" he replied, going a little red in the face.
"I'm here" said a croaky voice in the corner.
Matt Warb, a very talented artist before The End, walked into the room. He had aged significantly as he was about a hundred years older than the last time I'd seen him and now had a zimmerframe for support. Poor ol' bastard. My hopes of doing a "your mum" joke were dashed straight away as I felt too sorry for him in that moment.
"Well then, we're all here" Elliot surmised.
"Not quite all of us! Or are you forgetting me?" a female voice called out. I looked around and there was no one else in the room with us, well, no humans anyway. Looking down I noticed the Gray's cat Pom sauntering towards us.
She was a beautiful looking cat before The End, and looked even more appealing now. I noticed Professor Humperdink lost his cool and went over to sniff her, she swiped at him and he came running back to me.
"I think she likes me" Humperdink whispered.
Elliot asked me of my adventures so far, what had happened, so I filled him in on my plight. He assured me that I was safe now I was in his domain and that they'd send soldiers to try and find my long suffering lady wife Louise.
Things were perfect... until I complemented Elliot on the pork, to which he told me it wasn't pork, it was the remains of Hagley's half-arachnid sister who Myke had murdered in cold blood.
Nothing is ever what it should be after The End. You have a lovely meal and it's always spoilt with finding out that you're eating a loved one or worse.
Hagley, although happy to finally be reunited with her long lost love Myke, lost all her composure and began shouting at the infant. Elliot was not happy, not happy at all and rang a little bell.
Soldiers appeared from nowhere and dragged Hagley off into another room, I looked to Myke who simply stared at his empty plate. I couldn't believe he let them take her away, and so I demanded to know what was to happen to Hagley!
"She'll be sent to the Tower, and if you have a problem with that, you'll go there too. Now, I want to go in my jump-a-roo for a few hours, Mother see that our guest is properly housed." and with that the little emperor was lifted from his high chair by his mother and put in a bouncy play seat thing which played music and made him giggle.
JoJo floated over to me and told me that I'd be staying with her till my quarters were ready, Professor Humperdink gave me a glance that told me that I'd either wake up dead or not at all if I stayed with JoJo, but I had no other choice, she "insisted".
With that debaucle over, I left with JoJo, Professor Humperdink and the ancient Matt Warb, whilst Myke sat there staring into his plate... planning his next move...