It’s been a while since I had the opportunity to cook anything. So I ran over to Fami really early in the morning, picked up food stuff, and now I’m making some breakfast for the rest of this little party here.
Karina’s still asleep in bed, and Jones is asleep on the couch. Yes, the couch is still ruined, but you can technically still use it even if it’s all ripped up.
We did a quick runthrough of the house to clear out the broken glass and obvious trash but the house is still pretty wrecked. I’m just dealing with it as it comes for now.
And the way I’m dealing with that? Frying some eggs!
I’m not a huge fan of cooking when it’s just me, but I really enjoy cooking for others. It’s actually pretty fun when you know other people are going to get to eat it. Otherwise I’m fine with canned spaghetti and convenience store takeout, and that’s about half my meals each week. Right now though? I’ve got some eggs frying in a pan, some bell peppers sauteing over in the wok, and a couple pieces of bacon I’m about to light up. Enough to feed the four of us.
(R8PR can give me his leftovers.)
After I take off two of the eggs and slide them onto a plate, I crack open the next duo of eggs and let them start to sizzle. Now for the bacon, which I pop on there gently so a bunch of grease doesn’t splash all over me.
I salt the new eggs, and then I bring out some cayenne pepper for that extra kick. Just one pinch for each egg and each piece of bacon. You just take your fingers with the pepper right above, and– “Bam!” Perfect, even-spread spiciness. My Dad would be proud of such a fundamentally flawless egg.
Let’s do it again– “Bam!”
“Why are you shouting ‘Bam?’”
It’s Jones, wide awake on the couch. I didn’t realize she had woken up.
I can feel my face turning red. “I’m, um, just… cooking. Food, that is.”
Jones, her curiosity apparently satisfied, looks away from me. She shifts her position on the couch, as if she’s weighing something important on her mind and needs to sit up to think. I’m not surprised she’s awake after what she’s been through; she’s probably had a lot of trouble sleeping the past couple days.
“Are you okay, Jones?” I ask.
“What do you think?”
“I think you might be ready for some breakfast. C’mon, it’s been a tough week.”
She looks at me, and then back at the ceiling.
I know she doesn’t want to be here and we’re essentially holding her captive. But I really hope we can convince her to take a less completely ridiculous route to finishing all of this than whatever she has planned. I’m not sure what we can do to help her, but after a hearty breakfast I’m sure we can plot something more reasonable.
We should probably hurry this up and get some food in our stomachs.
“Hey Karina! Wake up!” I shout.
A few moments later, Karina stumbles out of the bedroom, her hair sticking up in all directions and still in her underwear.
“Huh? Morgan, are you cooking–”
Her mind sparks into consciousness the moment she sees R8PR and Jones, and she darts back into the bedroom.
Where did I even find her?
She comes back in wearing the same clothes from yesterday and is currently brushing her hair, though it doesn’t seem to be staying down. She clears her throat. “So Morgan, you’re cooking breakfast? What’s the occasion?”
“Well, we are about to figure out a plan to protect Jones’s life and keep the city from falling into ruin.” I started out this week being accosted because of the Social Media Killer. It’s only fate’s cruelest joke that I will end it by saving the Social Media Killer herself.
I set down the third plate of eggs and bacon on the kitchen countertop, which is cracked in places but still doing a whole lot better than the kitchen table, which didn’t survive my fight with the thugs.
“Come and get them, you two,” I say. “R8PR, you’re not hungry, are you?”
R8PR is silent, still standing in front of the door apparently in guard mode.
One-track processor indeed.
People love my jokes. Not laughing at my joke probably means you didn’t hear it.
Jones gets up. She’s still dressed in that same hoodie from before. Her hair is perfectly straight, going down to her shoulder blades.
“Welp, it’s a Saturday morning and I know I’m right about to chow down on all this beautiful food,” I say.
“It does smell really good…” Karina says. “Man, I haven’t eaten since the– since last night.”
I don’t think I’ve eaten since I met with Marge at Neddrick’s, either. The sudden burst of hunger fills my being and I realize yeah, it’s been pretty close to an entire day since I’ve had any food.
Jones looks at the table and then at me. “Thanks, Morgan. I’ll join you after I use the restroom.”
She goes over to the bathroom, and Karina takes a plate from the counter while I move everything from the counter to the sink. “Itadakimasu,” Karina says. I still don’t know what that means.
“So R8PR, seriously, you okay?” He’s certainly not chatting it up this morning.
“Shh, he’s sleeping,” Karina says.
“Yeah, he’s really tired from all that guard duty,” I say. “He– Shit.”
I run over to the bathroom, where the door is locked and won’t pull open. With the pain of a thousand repairmen weeping inside me I break the knob off and swing the door open–
The window is open, and Jones is gone.
I rush back over to R8PR, who is standing still with his eyes activated, but making absolutely no response to any actions.
There’s an electrified knife sticking out the back of his head.
I pull it out, and almost immediately he reactivates.
“…how it goes,” he says. “Yeah, you– huh? What happened?”
“What the hell happened to YOU?” I ask.
“Oh, uh…” R8PR’s eyes blink in green flashes. “She got me while I was distracted. She’s a lot better than I ever gave her credit for.”
“Well, she’s gone now,” Karina says. “What do we do? Chase her? I’m not exactly… awake enough for that.”
“It’s been two minutes,” I say. “She can’t have gone too far.”
“And I imagine you know exactly where she’s going, don’t you?” R8PR asks.
“Just a hunch,” I answer.
“I don’t do hunches.”
“She has nowhere else to go.”
“So it’s more than a hunch.”
“Uh, where is she going, again?” Karina asks, unable to follow our innuendo.
“She’s going to kill Mayor Epstein,” I say. “But I have a plan.”
“It might be a stupid plan.”