24 – B

Amanda sighed as she walked through the corridors of the mothership, handcuffs in both hands and escorted by two guards. Joana and her had been caught by the extremely politically correct aliens, and they had soon been separated by the alien army to be taken to separate destinations. Amanda was taken to a door, which opened to reveal an interrogation room. She was pushed inside, and the door closed behind her. A man of scarlet skin took off her handcuffs and looked at her.

“Please, take a seat”.

“Thank you” Amanda answered, seating in the only chair that was available. Her mind had already started to race with all of the intelligence that she had gathered. She started to plan something. “Just as constructive criticism, considering that you are supposed to be a politically correct civilization, the way I was handled as a prisoner was pretty violent”.

The man raised his eyebrows. “I was pushed around, you know, treated without any dignity. I could understand that it’s a war-like situation and, thus, some rules necessarily need to be relaxed…”

“Yes” he confirmed.

“But if we take into account that in this country I’m a racial minority that gets oppressed pretty often, the way your men handled me was not… very nice” Amanda finished.

The man’s eyes opened wide, and he run out into the corridor. “You two! To the recycling chamber! Right now!” He came back inside, composing himself and making sure that his blue suit was in an impeccable state.

“Thank you for your swift action, but I need to ask. What is a recycling chamber?” Amanda asked, knowing well what it was from the data that she had gathered.

He started to explain the whole thing, almost pedagogically. “It is a chamber where the atoms of those who have not been politically correct enough get recycled. The process consists of…”

“So you apply the death penalty?” Amanda interrupted. “That’s rough!”

He was getting nervous by the moment. “Don’t call it that! It’s recycling!”

“Death penalty” Amanda repeated, crossing her arms and sitting comfortable in the chair.

“DON’T CALL IT THAT!” he shouted, punching the table between them with both hands.

“That was also quite politically incorrect” she said.

He stood back up. “What?”

“You know, the physical intimidation. I mean, I’m a woman, so it could be interpreted as a macho kind of attitude… If only I wasn’t a lonely woman and I was accompanied by a friend that could reassure me…”

He ran outside, and took a few minutes to come back. This time, he was accompanied by Joana, who was looking around in every direction. She went towards Amanda, and had soon been given a chair to sit next to her.

“Are you OK?” Amanda asked, seriously this time.

“Yeah, everything is fine. They have tried to restrain me, and they have failed miserably” Joana smiled.

“Tea?” Amanda asked, summoning a pot of boiling water and two cups.

“Sure, I’d like that one you make with flowers, the one that is super-bitter” Joana asked.

“Oh, that’s a family legacy recipe. Here” she handed in the cup to Joana, and proceeded to prepare her own cup.

“Hrm” the interrogator cleared his throat, trying to signal that he wanted to continue.

“Do you want some, too?” Amanda offered, summoning a third cup.

“No, thank you. I’d like to resume the conversation” he said.

“OK, but let me explain where we are to Joana” Amanda said, right before taking a sip of her own tea. “Ah, it’s perfect. No need of sugar for this one”.

“Is that your new mix?” Joana asked.

“Yes, it is. I perfected it the other day. This one has half as much tea as your particular recipe, and it has several spices, chiefly cinnamon. I also lemon juice to it”.

“Excuse me” the man said.

“OK, OK. So, Joana, this man here is Captain Daniel Regyn, a high level officer of the alien army. He has several hundreds of beings and non beings of all species, races and genders under his charge. His trajectory has been stellar, and his curriculum is impeccable”.

“Yes” he nodded, pleased with the introduction.

“Yet he has a dirty little secret that he has not told anyone” Amanda continued.

“What?” he got extremely nervous hearing those words.

“Oh, this starts to get interesting” Joana pronounced. “What is it?”

“Don’t say a thing!” he shouted.

“Well, apparently Captain Regyn here has a secret lover he has not told anyone about” Amanda said.

His eyes opened as much as they could. “Shut up!”

“Oh, but that’s nothing. Everyone has lovers, what’s so impressive about that?” Joana continued, understanding Amanda’s game.

“Yes, but what if that lover was a man?” Amanda asked.

“Gay marriage is completely legal here” Joana said, dismissing the fact as too mundane.

“Don’t say anymore!” Daniel shouted, his face blushing – which was quite difficult to appreciate in a skin that was completely scarlet, but still, it happened.

Amanda nodded. “That’s true, but it’s not accepted where he comes from, and they just use a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ kind of policy”.

“Oh, that’s too bad. How could a nation so advanced that they have interstellar travel not have accepted gay rights?” Joana asked.

“I know! It did not make any sense to me either!” Amanda agreed.

“I don’t know where you are getting that information from, but please, shut up!” he begged more than ordered now.

“But you haven’t heard the juiciest part yet, Joana” Amanda continued.

“Oh, my! There’s even more!” Joana sounded excited.

“Yes! His lover is one of his subordinates! A relationship that is forbidden in the army!” Amanda concluded.

“NO! DON’T YOU DARE!” Daniel shouted.

Amanda was frozen, and she looked up. “Fuck”.

Joana snapped back to seriousness. “What’s going on?”

“We need to get the fuck out of here!” she shouted.

She barged the door open, and Daniel tried to hold her. “What are you…?”

“If you want to live, get Kyle and run away! Now!” she told him.

Amanda and Joana started to run through the spaceship, trying to find an exit. Eventually, Joana just started to destroy walls in her way out, until they reached the outside layer of the mothership. Amanda looked up and saw it: a toaster on a throne, flying above the spaceship menacingly, getting ready for an attack. Meanwhile, Joana was looking down, and she pointed towards a silhouette in the ground.

“Amanda, quick, is that a witch or a nun?”

“Mmm… Witch” Amanda answered.

“OK, just hold on to me. The landing is going to be rough!”

Amanda held onto Joana’s back, who started to run towards the opening, and just jumped out of the spaceship, in a fall of hundreds of metres. Joana joined her two hands and concentrated. Amanda just prayed. When they were about to fall above the witch, Joana hit her with a powerful hit from her joined hands. The witch’s, who had not seen them coming, broke into several pieces, splattering blood everywhere, and the shockwave threw them flying once more, but at a slower speed this time.

“Man, that was brutal” Frank said, as he recorded the whole thing.

“Thank you” Joana answered.

There was a noise of metal bending, and they all turned towards the mothership, up in the air. It was getting crunched into itself, and it was soon destroyed beyond recognition, killing most of the aliens in the process. Only a throne with a toaster was left in the air.

“It’s a pity that Daniel didn’t make it. Kyle and him made a cute couple” Amanda commented.

A voice came from behind. “Hey, don’t think us dead”.

Daniel had managed to escape in a small ship, and he had a male companion with him. Amanda knew in that instant that it was Kyle. The blue skinned alien greeted them.

“So, what now?” Kyle asked.

Amanda paused a little before answering. “Now it’s the final battle. For the Multiverse”.

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