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14. (00) OR NOT-(00)

(* for those just joining us from other programming a quick summary of the previous events is now provided:
phideyuki(ii): capt. r., i found it.
phideyuki(ii): alright, sounds like a plan.
phideyuki(ii): yeah, i know.
u_mitsu: god-damn (00).
cowboy: fuck! fuck fuck fuck!
phideyuki(ii): no, fine, that's alright.
phideyuki(ii): what?
phideyuki(ii): i forgot.
phideyuki(ii): preferably complete ignorance.
chaur(00): phideyuki(ii)'s in the hole. fuck! little fucking bastard!
k_mitsu: yeah.
k_mitsu: yeah, well. fuck.
phideyuki(ii) almost god-damn spits out här tea.
phideyuki(ii) almost squealing,
phideyuki(ii): ye-es.
phideyuki(ii): yeah, but who was it?
phideyuki(ii): what?
phideyuki(ii): thanks for the hospitality, uop(i).

.. now to resume. *)

paub .. unger ride the countryside on white cycles with black lining, powerfully built engines encased in pretty metal contours roaring loudly. they each wear white rubber gloves on their dainty hands. the wheels pound past the white cement ground of the road. paub's medium blue hair is exquisitely styled in respectable fashion above här confident forward looking head. hä yells over to unger importantly
paub: never fall in love with someone you can afford to lose, babe!
6 birds have joined their furious pace flying overhead .. are conversing patiently. paub steers with one hand .. the other rests on här waist-hip casually. a miniature black-stenciled "p." adorns här u._cycle.
the birds fly down to unger .. paub to converse with them.
the birds: you see what the god-damned mini-carnations are doing to us, the god-damn fuckers. something must be done. it isn't that we aren't happy with the plan. .. in fact we are quite pleased with it. no, .. not the effluviumed effigies of pretend that we set up either. it is really only that one quite precise moment. .. each time it passes, .. each time we look back on it quite fondly, .. each time we are quite uncertain that we might bear it once more. if the mini-carnations are unbridled to continue with this semblance once more we might protest.
unger: maybe you kids should think about minding your own business.
the birds: ha! yeah, mind our own business. that's what we'll do.
paub: eh, boys, you know better than to listen to unger. hä's just blowing steam.

the birds: no, no, we understand. we don't want to get in the way .. seeing as how you guys are doing the real bang-up job we could surely only interfere.
paub: so fucking sensitive! we'll beg if we have to but come on. unger's p-pissed 'cause hä hasn't been able to back-stab phideyuki(ii) yet .. it eats här up, that's it, that's all.
the birds: yeah, yeah, we're just joking. unger's a bitch, though, you can tell här that for us.
paub: yeah, unger's a bitch, so fucking what.

dr. c. sits at a round table with a birthday cake sitting on it with multi-colored lit candles .. well-sculpted frosting, talking to här good friend hiroku delightfully. hiroku is kind-of pacing around in the back corner of the room sort of preoccupied, white bandages covering här face completely except for eyes .. mouth .. small puncture holes at the nose, .. over heavily bunched up hair that pushes upward in akward contours.. hä wears an old but finely tailored white cotton jumper, white rubber slippers that cover här ankles.
dr. c.: i suggested to unger that when hä comes over hä should bring an umbrella. hä kind of took offense at that, though. hä likes to think of härself as här own man. so many times i've told här, unger, unger, you're never going to conquer the world. flat-out. fact. it's just not going to happen. but hä just keeps on plotting, scheming, coming up with these ridiculous god-damn conspiracies that don't even make sense to här let alone här co-conspirators. i've never even understood the differences hä has with phideyuki(ii). they always struck me as being so much alike. i think it dates back mainly to that incident in (000000) when they were both still in middle school. even though irenee was really more to blame than anyone .. neither of them holds a grudge against här. i thought it was kind of strange. or, not strange so much as just unexpected. hä had to say här piece, though, otherwise it just would have lingered forever. but all that time, like from 2nd to 6th grade when the truth finally came out, unger thought that all the mags were coming out with those articles about här shady past because phideyuki(ii) was feeding them the information. i talked to phideyuki(ii) about it later, too, .. i thought hä would just turn me away but instead we actually were able to converse for quite a while .. hä was entirely forthcoming. on the surface, now, they've patched it up anyway, but there's still that tension. in their brief island stint as co-administrators they even put together some pretty fine projects. i don't know, i just think maybe there never has been such a vibrant but oddly matched couple .. maybe there never will be. pretty god-damn unique situation. realism is always short on stuff like that, the stuff that happens all the time .. when it does everybody says, man, who would have thought that would happen, but it always does in some form.
hiroku: where were you when you first met unger.
dr. c.: that was in (00). i was lucky to come over as an intern for una's recon company, operating as här assistant/ mathematical expert. unger came over on här own, man, fast as fast .. just blowing through, being chased like hotcakes by the u.r.o. .. they were pretty much closing in fast at that point. anyway, hä knew una from some past mishap .. una owed här a favor so hä holed up with us for a couple of days. i was assigned to pretty much just occupy här time .. we played cards, read the newspapers, managed a little bochi ball. we didn't talk much but became acquainted .. then later we spent a month in (00_0000) doing weather balloon samples .. it was there we became the fast friends we are today. perhaps the trouble between unger .. phideyuki(ii) was, .. probably still is, just that there isn't enough victory to go around to satisfy their mutually ridiculously over-grown egos. because they're both in favor of the poor

.. dedicated to the rise of the cartel in matters of state. each has provided several folders of material to the other over the years to buffer their common cause, of course, .. they're not fucking communists, always squabbling over the intricacies of the words to the fucking national anthem of all things. phideyuki(ii) once wrote här to say hä wanted to meet to set up a joint faction .. unger was all excited about it .. ready to go, but then right then the o incident went down .. everything went haywire, .. each of them were called out to different continents, .. the project got permanently sidetracked after that. they're both just kind of u.-obsessed pansies i suppose, fuck 'm. they'll devour themselves on their own anyway. would you like to join me for some cake? hiroku! hiroku? you look like you're having a god-damned epileptic fit.
hiroku is gasping .. grabbing här heart real dramatic-like, här knees beginning to buckle, .. really just over-all looking like hä's in some serious .. rather genuine bad shape. dr. c. looks back at här for a moment, fork .. knife poised at ready over the cake.
dr. c.: oh, hiroku. i know you think you're suffering hiro but it's all just in your head. stop crying about it. i get people with more reason to complain in my office on a daily basis. in fact, just today someone came in with a dislocated knee-cap. has that ever happened to you? it's no fun believe me. babies are always the worst, you've got nothing on them there. always crying .. bawling .. screaming like their god-damned lives depended on it. …hmmm. this is some quite fine cake anyway.
hiroku falls to the ground in absolute conniptions .. dr. c. blows out the candles .. begins to enjoy här delicious white cake.

unger knocks on the metal door with paub in tow. in här bright red .. white pattern unifrom.. mint green whiite rubber head-mask with gaps hä looks pretty much ready to fuck some shit up. dr. c. answers the door .. ushers them in with the utmost quickness, finger at nose. once the door is safely closed .. they are inside hä starts whispering frantically.
dr. c.: hä's dead. hä just up .. died, for no apparent reason!
unger: who?
dr. c.: who?! you know damn well who!
unger: no i don't. what are you talking about?
dr. c.: hiroku!
paub: ok, zip it. enough with your love-life, we really don't care. the trick is, .. what we're really concerned with, .. the reason we came here, is how are we going to pull the switcheroo? fujima will track them down. we can count on här for that at least. but once hä finds them hä's got to be able to switch it out without their noticing. that's the trick. .. phideyuki(ii)ie, i'm not certain hä's up to it.
paub starts pacing around the bare white room with the lamp-shade-less lamp .. hiroku's dead body on the floor, .. a circular table with a cake-crumbed plate .. discarded candles .. utensils.
paub: yes, this is perhaps not entirely justified, but what the fuck. what else are you going to do. look, hiroku was irrelevant to our plans, hä always was. nothing's changed so get yourself together .. realize hä was fucking expendable.
at this point we should pause just a moment for an explicatory aside concerning hiroku, because här place in the story is somewhat problematic. hä really serves no perceivable function in regard to either plot or theme or mainstream marketing appeal. there are 2 things, though, that lend här presence

credence. first of all, här plight .. misfortune serve to foreground dr. c.'s essential callousness. being, at least according to rumor, a doctor, one might expect här to come to the aid of här fellow man in need. but instead hä was more concerned only with här own pleasant undertaking of cake-eating, a character trait which, without the presence of hiroku, might have gone unnoticed. .. secondly, .. perhaps most importantly, hiroku's fit provides us with that one brief momentary moment in which, clasping här heart .. bending just backwards against här knees, hä must evidently be either dying or dancing enthusiastically, but it is not entirely clear which. paub knows this, .. dr. c. might, but it is pretty clear that unger is at an utter loss to explain the stiff's presence .. pretty much without a fucking clue.
dr. c. grabs the plate from the table .. shuffles off to the kitchen disagreeably. paub .. unger pull 3 chairs to the table .. plop the lamp in the middle of it. dr. c. calls out to them from the behind the wall.
dr. c.: should i bring in the forms?
paub: yeah, bring in the forms. i'm certain we'll be able to figure them out now.
unger walks in a circle around the table distractedly, hemming .. hawing to härself in quiet. här brow is furrowed in the deepest of thought.
unger: (to härself, as in this is none of your god-damn business, private!, skip ahead you prying bastard) it's a mystery, truly. hmmm. there's facts .. then there's gaps where everything is absent, unclear. then it adds up to something, but then. but if it- ok. fact 1: it wasn't real. fact 2: there was a surprise ending. fact 3: the id number. fact 4: the occasional quietnesses. wait, back up. is fact 4 a fact or red herring? what happened next? i don't know. is it a happy ending or a tragedy? there is no way of knowing.
(ok, you can look again.)
paub: unger, stop pacing, you're making me nervous. come sit down at the table.
unger: you don't know, paub, you don't know. ok, where are those god-damn forms? what!
dr. c. rushes in with a stack of papers. the bell rings .. they all look to the door nervously. unger gets up to answer it.
unger: that must be här.
unger opens the door .. lets in fujima, who brings in with här, slowly letting it swing back .. forth as if unaware of its hypnotizing affect on our 3 neurotic obsessives, a metal case with a eurostile "u." stenciled into one corner. hä whistles a little tune to härself.
unger: that's the fake?
fujima: yep.
unger: nice work. who provided it?
fujima: got it from yoneda. paid a pretty figure for it, too. we tried to be all coy .. all but it was inevitable some of our despair would be evident .. hä picked up on that right away. squeezed us real tight. anyway, it's ready .. real precise-like.
paub: did you get the costume?
fujima: yeah, i got the costume, too. it's in the case.
paub: ok, fujima, this is important. when it goes down you can't be too cocky. just get the fuck out of there as quick as you can but real suave .. professional, too. the more you fucking contemplate the joy of gloating the more difficult it will be to wake up.
dr. c.: oh my god.

fujima lays the fake u. case on the table .. they get to work.

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