Chapter 12: Arcade Anarchy
While the angel’s away, the monkey will play. Master Mim Mim pulled and pried at the contraption Young Master Artanis had climbed into, moments ago. A syringe was held in his paws; dry and parched for a sample of the man’s blood, I assumed. To what end, even I don’t know.
Master Mim Mim had a certain hatred of Artanis, that flailed between petty and obsessive. Revenge was foremost on the primate’s mind – eye for an eye, as it were. Followed quickly by his morbid fascination with the young man’s physiology. Were it not for the Master’s burgeoning curiosity of the world of wrestling, I would have thought it impossible for him to think of much else. Young Master Octo may prove to be a positive influence on Master Mim Mim, in that regard.
Theirs was a friendship he had been deprived of for much of his life; one that he was in dire need of, certainly, if only to grow as a person. Because the humanity that the Master so desperately sought, may be less physical and mundane than he had originally envisioned. In fact, it may very well be the bonds he forms here and now, with this group. At least, that is the hope of this humble servant.
My hand found purchase around the Master’s torso, as I gently lifted him off and away from the machine. He fought back against my grip, at first: flailing, growling, even biting. Before he accepted the five-fingered inevitable.
“Master Mim Mim.” I chastised him like a child. In a way, he still was. “You must not disturb them. They are in the middle of something important. I dare say that messing with this equipment will prove detrimental to their goal, here.” At the time, I hadn’t realized how right I was. Or how much my warning would serve to foreshadow the coming events that would seize this ancient facility in its chaotic grip, that even now, tightened around us.
“Mim Mim wasn’t doing anything!” The Master, as always, was quick to make excuses. To differ blame. To pathologically make paper-thin lies, that a stern stare could easily tear through. “Mim Mim was just going to…uh, check his vitals?”
A sigh escaped my lips, that had long since been pulled into a frown. I drew him toward Young Master Klaud’s machines, a pair of contrivances that obediently kept to themselves. There was an example to be followed here. No matter how hollow, or superficial. “Master Mim Mim. There is nothing to be gained in your mischief. Young Master Artanis gave you a chance to redeem yourself. To be better than what you are. And I, for one, believe you still can. Why, look at these…things. Lumps of circuitry and metal, though they are, they are still regarded as companions by the Young Masters. Friends. And why is that? Discipline, Master Mim Mim. As artificial as it is. Discipline and loyalty. These things can be counted on and trusted. Which is rare in the wastes, and treasured far more than any bit of ancient technology.”
I believed he could change. That he could help, instead of harm. Even when he could not, and would not believe it, himself. But even I couldn’t predict how quickly he would step up, when Ding jumped to its feet and a gunshot tore through our brief reprieve.