It had been five days since Arianna Huffington had first used her powers on Mila. Or five weeks. Mila could no longer keep track of time.
She had been trained by the KGB to withstand the worst torture imaginable, but they had never imagined the Order.
Kanye, Dick Cheney, and Arianna all focused their efforts on Mila, while Dr. Antonosky kept close watch to ensure she stayed alive.
The Red Tsar was mildly curious as to what Mila knew about the Hive, but the interrogation was not primarily about discovering information.
No, Mila was being tortured to stoke her resentment. The Red Tsar wanted her to hate the Order, and to lust for their destruction.
It was with this goal in mind that Kanye had spent hours frying bacon while reciting dialogue from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
Questions, when they were asked, were often nonsensical. Cheney liked to blast “Who Let the Dogs Out” and then demand an answer from Mila.
Mila understood brutal treatment in pursuit of valuable facts, or sadism for sadism’s sake, but her captors’ behavior baffled her.
Why had she been forced to read so many end-user license agreements? Why was the TV always showing “Good Morning America”?
One day, when Kanye was making Mila read YouTube comments at gunpoint, he abruptly turned off the computer and left the room.
Moments later, the cell door creaked open and George Takei entered. “Hello, Mila,” he said politely. “The Red Tsar requests your presence.”
Mila, still hunched over the keyboard, looked up through her greasy hair. Takei was smiling warmly. “Please follow me to your bath.”
Mila was too numb to resist or to question what was happening. She took a long bubble bath in a gleaming pink-marble, candle-lit bathroom.
The relaxing soak brought back her wits, and by the time she’d dressed in clean clothes, Mila again felt like an indomitable black widow.
When she was ready, Takei led her to the Red Tsar’s private dining room, a pentagonal stone chamber with tapestries on the walls.
The Fetid Lord was seated at the table, facing the door. “Ah, Mila. Thank you for joining me,” he said. “Sit. We have much to discuss.”
Mila gasped; the nauseating stench wafting off her captor seemed to make the air between them shimmer. She braced herself and sat.
Though she was nearly starving, Mila found it almost impossible to eat amid the horrid odor. Warily, she noted that her host ate nothing.
Yet he was amiable and well-read. They discussed Harold Robbins until her curiosity got the better of her. “Why have you brought me here?”
A chuckle emanated from beneath the hood. “It’s really quite simple, my little genatsvale—we need your assistance. We want you to join us!”