Week 72

Mila sat quietly in the darkened apartment, sunk forlornly in the cozy chair, the vodka bottle on a side table next to a half-empty tumbler.

Half empty, or half full? “Fuck that shit,” Mila thought, solving the philosophical quandary by slugging down the fiery liquid in one gulp.

She closed her eyes and pretended the roaches were coming to connect her to Hive, but she knew that wasn’t going to happen.

It might never happen again! A tear trickled from beneath one eyelid and meandered down her cheek. She was banned: Mantis had banned her.

Before it died, the giant Kaiju mosquito had reported her presence in the hospital room, and she could not explain why she was there.

She could never admit she had been spying for humans, that she served a master other than Mantis, that she was a double agent.

Or perhaps a triple agent! She had taken the assignment for the Commander, for old time’s sake … for the excitement of working again.

But who did the Commander serve? Surely the FSB knew where Depardieu was held, surely they had their own sources of intel.

Their own doctors would handle interrogation right there in the hospital, so why send her? The Commander must be working for someone else.

Gradually she drifted into sleep, into a happy dream of being covered with a million roaches, feeling the Green Mother’s love.

Into her dream came a repeated gentle pinching on her upper arm … the roaches were biting her … Mila awoke with a start.

The Commander! In her apartment again, standing over her again, pinching at her arm. “Where are snacks?” he asked.

Still groggy, Mila just stared at him. “Last time you had snacks, good snacks,” the Commander repeated, drooling slightly.

“Snacks!” Mila shouted. Furious, she pushed his hand away and stood up. The Commander took a step back. “You call them ‘snacks’?

“Those roaches were my connection to Hive, to Mantis! They were my only way to reach the Green Mother! Snacks! Snacks!”

Mila stepped forward and pushed the Commander, who staggered backwards, his face a dull mask of incomprehension. “You!” Mila shouted.

“You ruined my life! You put me undercover as Putin’s wife, for years! You took from me my youth, and any chance of knowing real love!

“And when finally I found love, when I knew the Green Mother, you took that from me, too!” Mila paused, her eyes wild. “YOU!” she shouted.

Mila slammed a fist into the Commander’s slack stomach. He grunted and bent forward; she grabbed his ears, smashed her head into his face.

The Commander lost his footing on a throw rug and fell to the floor. Mila grabbed the vodka bottle and began bludgeoning his face.

As each blow landed, she shouted a single word: “You! You! You! YOU!”

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