Week 46

Astride his gleaming, muscular stallion, Byan Khan stamped his halberd against the ground to emphasize his point, but Cheney didn’t hear.

Beak buried deep into his feathers, the former vice-president was too busy preening to pay any mind to his Brothers’ discussion.

On the Astral Plane, Council members were free to manifest as they saw themselves, not as nature made them. Cheney was a great horned owl.

He perched atop the left shoulder of Kissinger, and from time to time Henry would feed him a rodent carcass, or a small frog.

Khan frowned, but continued. “If Putin has secured the Octopus, then he may already know of us. We have no choice but to abandon our plans.”

Walt Disney—no longer a half-frozen head atop a giant mechanical scorpion body, but instead a whole man with mouse ears— disagreed.

“No! Putin’s presidency is not a choice, it is Prophecy! And Vladimir Vladmirovich craves power. Even if he knows, he will take the office.”

“The Mouse King is right,” the Fetid Lord intoned. “Pulpo Paul knows much, but not all. Our darkest secrets still remain hidden.”

“Then Putin won’t know of Mantis,” said Kissinger. “But surely they’ve found him. Diese grünen Volkswagen—green bugs—not very subtle.”

“Yes. We knew we could hide Putin from the Hive for only so long. They will be waiting for his presidency as well,” agreed the Fetid One.

“The Mantis ship will not reach Earth for months,” Khan said. “Until then, she has only spies here. We must strike before her arrival!”

“Yes,” Disney nodded. “The Resurrection will happen before Mantis can act, and then our Lord will have the power to exterminate the Hive.”

The Brothers looked to their Master, but he was staring off at distant mountains, remembering the corpse city R’leh’s cruel geometry.

After a moment, the Tsar of Unholy Odors turned back to his Council. “The time is coming when we will face our true Enemy at last.”

Everyone nodded solemnly. These were powerful men, masters of dark magic, but they knew of an ancient Force that dwarfed their abilities.

Only by using Putin’s near-invulnerable body as a vessel for the Fetid Lord was there a chance of stopping the prehistoric monster.

“With your vitality restored, my Lor …hach! … my Lor …” Cheney stopped to throw up a pellet of bones and hair. “We will surely succeed!”

“With Putin’s body, you will have the power to conjure even a Great Ol …gah …” He threw up another pellet, and Kissinger stroked his head.

“Yes, Richard,” Kissinger said soothingly, “but first we must attend to other matters. What about Doctor Antonovsky and the Commander?”

“They are both idiots, but useful at times.” said the Fetid Lord. “I want them punished, not killed.” He turned to his favorite torturer.

“Yeezus, deal with the servants.” Kanye West—appearing 10 feet tall, covered in gold, and wearing leather jogging pants—bowed in assent.