Antonosky flinched as he heard the sound of Yeezus opening the iron door again. He closed his eyes and wondered what new hell was to come.
Kanye West stooped as he entered the low-ceilinged cell and stood in front of the prisoner. “Doctor,” he said, his voice barely a whisper.
“Oh, God,” Antonosky thought, “here we go again.” “Doctor,” Yeezus said, a little louder this time, “we have a problem.”
“We?” thought the doctor, but he said nothing. After a pause, Yeezus continued.
“I promised the Fetid Lord I would not kill his servants, but … there was a little accident with the Commander.”
“You killed him?!” The doctor couldn’t believe the happy news. He would never have to deal with that idiot again!
“No!” exclaimed the Order’s torture master. “No, I didn’t kill him! He just … died. It wasn’t my fault! He was just so weak!”
Antonosky began to see where this was going. After all, this was what they kept him for—his skills, his special knowledge.
It was why they had sent him to Chernobyl with Putin, although no one could have foreseen the meltdown.
It was why they had sent him with the Commander to retrieve the body of that psychic cephalopod.
It was he, Antonosky, who had realized that the octopus was not really dead, but merely in a state of suspended animation.
There had been no provision for that, no Plan B. They had not even anticipated that Putin would try to capture the corpse—the fools!
No, they would never get rid of Antonosky. They would never kill him, although he had begged for death several times in the past few days.
“Doctor!” Yeezus repeated urgently. It was both gratifying and shocking to hear the Angel of Pain plead for his help. Antonosky sighed.
“And what will you do for me if I help you?” he asked. “What do I get if I reanimate the Commander, whom you have killed?”
Kanye West began to protest, but Antonosky interrupted. “It does not matter if it was an ‘accident.’ You heard the Red Tsar’s order.”
Yeezus was beginning to panic. “Anything! Anything, Doctor!” Antonosky pursed his lips and pretended to think it over.
At last he spoke. “No more torture, of course. And should I ever call on you, you are to come to my defense at once, no questions asked.”
Yeezus raised his eyes. “Nothin’s ever promised tomorrow today, but we’ll find a way. It hurts, but it may be the only way.”
The doctor nodded thoughtfully at Yeezy’s lyrics. “All right, then. I will help you. Take me to the body.”
The doctor followed Yeezus from the cell, shaking his head. Imagine! He was actually going to reanimate that idiot! Antonosky sighed again.