by David Martin
Finale of the Inception story arch with essential dialogue.
In a large room with dim, overcast lighting, with light blue lights emanating from multiple lamps that sit on well-furnished wooden décor and furniture that is dull colored sit several men whose bodies are silhouettes, yet there faces may be dimly seen. These men are multi-national in assortment and all are wearing business attire, and while sitting down around a circular table, they currently face a stern Italian with sharp features, who is speaking about ‘the Council’ and its next priority with a wave of his hand. He stands up, walks over to a large window and looks out into the twilight, with the strong light of the moon reflected on three quarters of his face. He says facing the window, “This Bunny vigilante is a thorn to the organization. He is exposing and removing the Italian sect, and who knows if he will target anyone else. We must assume his motives are that he knows of the establishment.” An Asian-looking man slightly turns over, with his face veering over his left shoulder, and says, “Are you sure he knows about us? His targets are specific. Maybe it is a vendetta, nothing more.” The stern Italian turns around, with his right arm extended outward, index finger pointing up, and replies “Such are potentialities. However, his actions have thus far affected our operations nonetheless.” He walks over and places both hands firmly, down on the table, and looks at the circle of sitting men. One of the Aryan looking men pipe up, saying, “Regardless, if this continues our existence is threatened. Massive exposure, political frauds, our reign of power comes to an end.” The stern Italian stands forward, with a slight smirk forming on the right side of his mouth and replies, “Exactly. The Council has many safety measures….”
Earlier that morning, somewhere in the wintry-laden and sleepy deciduous forest of Mississauga, the Grey Squirrel lays buried under a pile of snow, recently stabbed and in an unconscious state. A glowing, otherworldly amber yellow orb, with oscillating lines of light within it that gives it a simultaneous murky and sinewy effect, continues to hover above the mound of snow some distance from the Marino mansion.
North of the Marino mansion property, the Neurotic Bunny places his left foot on a tree trunk and launches himself into the air to avoid a flurry of bullets fired at him from the guns of the Marino gangsters. He hops off another tree trunk and lands twenty feet away, pumping his powerful legs to pull him forward. He runs deftly for a large man, moving at a speed that only someone small and nimble could perform, outrunning the gangsters when he reaches the top of a hill and looks at the street below.
Back at the snow mound, the glowing orb slowly begins to emanate more light, which turns white. Suddenly, the Grey Squirrel’s mask is visible within the eye of a tornado, which itself is milky silver and swirls around his face and shoulders, until suddenly everything around Martin turns white. He sits up, looks around and notices that everything is white around him. He quickly clutches his side to look for the wound, which has also disappeared. He notices blue wraps expertly tied on his hand and wrists, on both hands, to which a disembodied muscular arm and hand extends from thin air, and he hears, “Get up. Good balance and striking, but your too headstrong. Every offence is also a defense. Let’s go.” Martin clutches the hand, and he is pulled forward to stand up in a dojo, furnished in Thailand regalia. He hears the slamming of punching bags as other students train the martial art of Muay Thai. He is facing his master Kru, who has training pads on both hands, with his left pad hand pointing at Martin saying, “See? You need to focus on your defense. You swing the hip, then you forget the second turn. That’s the defense. You think that yours are the only attack?” Martin looks at the Kru, throws his hands down in anger and sits down, is face in both of his palms, and begins to pout. The Kru walks over, and kneels down on his right knee, facing Martin directly to stare into his eyes. “Keep heart, Martin. You can stay here tonight…” Martin gets up, quickly runs over to a punching bag and jumps into the air, extending his hip flexor and right knee as far out as he can; as his body slowly reaches the large punching bag, it transforms into Andy the truck driver, who face shatters into millions of pieces upon contact with the knee. From the headless body spews forth a fabric of the cosmos, with an array of colors and space gases and stars. As Martin lands on the ground, he is back on the road where he first met the driver, and sees the trailer jackknifing again. When the trailer stops, a yellow orb floats out of the side of it, as if the trailer was not tangible. It flies forward and hits Martin on his forehead.
Martin is back at the police lab, and is awaiting the results of a chemical test. As the results spew forth from a printer, he sees the results on a piece of paper showing a plethora of indistinct symbols on the bottom page. Suddenly, his coworker Andreas Chuck walks into the room, and hands him another piece of paper, saying, “This was proscribed for you,” and stiffly walks out. The piece of paper has chemical compounds he is not familiar with, and at the bottom of the page reads, “Universal time. Your time. Universal time and your time. Universal time is your time. Timing is everything.” Martin calls out ‘Andreas!’ and the room swirls to darkness.
The glowing orb, still at the snow mound of Martin’s buried body, begins to implode on itself, and a burst of white light may be seen from the tree tops and slightly skyward, and with a great mass of light, it disappears as quickly as it starts. Martin wakes up, disoriented, and quickly thrashes to get himself out of the snow. He stands up and thinks to himself, “I must’ve hit my head extremely hard, since I know I must be crazy!” He touches his wound with his left hand, and sees the remnants of fresh blood, which he looks at on his glove. He thinks to himself, “I almost died. I may have died. Sometimes people may die hundreds of times, and never know what it means to live. If I go after Marc again, I need to fix this situation. There is a chemical compound for everything; I’ll make this stronger than any Kevlar. Who needs fur anyway?” He looks down at the suit and turns his head over his right shoulder, extending his arm to the left to accentuate his right latissimus dorsi. He asks himself, “Now where does that come out of again?” He resumes his normal walking posture, and heads over to a tree, extending his boot claws to climb the trunk, with one hand propelling him upward. When he reaches the top, he crouches and begins patting himself all over as if looking for a button. A strong wintry gust of wind blows the tops of the treetops, and Martin almost loses his balance. Within his eyepiece, suddenly a flashing option for wing extension turns on, and he yells, “That is it! Go go, gadget wings!” He activates the function and the flaps of wings come out of his forearms and down the side of his back, extending to connect to a flashing azure blue node on the side of his ankle. Once in place, he leaps high into the air and extends his arms and legs away from his body to catch the drafts of wind, and begins gliding away from the Marino mansion. He sees the late morning skyline and city lights of Mississauga, which also reflects against his eyepieces.
Meanwhile, as the Grey Squirrel glides mid-air, the Neurotic Bunny leaps into the air from the cliff, and lands hard in the snow, which simultaneously cushions his fall. Snow flies everywhere as he continues to run down the hill, away from the whizzing and zipping bullets from the guns of the gangsters still at the top. He eventually reaches the street to which he quickly continues to run on, leaping in and out of the shadows around the street lamps.
Somewhere down the road is a bridge that overpasses the highway. While gaining speed, a lonely truck with an odd amber glow in the cabin makes its way to intersect.
Marc eventually reaches the bridge, and stops to look around. He hears the squeal of tires on the road, and notices the lonesome truck approaching. He takes his chance and jumps up onto the cement guardrail and waits. As the truck disappears under the bridge, Marc flexes his huge quadriceps and hamstrings, muscle taut to the point of almost ripping his pants, and makes a mighty leap into the air. The truck passes the bridge, and Marc lands on the topside of the trailer, denting it in the process.
Around 5 a.m., the Grey Squirrel glides over some condominium buildings, with the morning skyline reflecting in the eyepieces of his mask. He continues to glide the air currents until he reaches his building, and glides up to the top. He lands softly and retracts the wings, and walks over to a small, rectangular shaped hut and opens the side door to an elevator shaft. He leans over and looks down into the darkness, and a wide smile crosses his face underneath the mask.
Without hesitation, he yells out ‘excelsior!’ and dives headfirst down from the 47th floor, down into the mouth of elevator shaft. As he nears the bottom, right before the darkness envelops him, the suit’s wings spring out and he extends his arms and legs, slowing his decent almost to a gliding crawl, landing softly into crouch and simultaneously retracting the wings. He stands up, walks over to the elevator doors and places his hands in the partition opening. He flexes his shoulders and pries the doors apart, to reveal the underground parking lot. He leans around the right and notices a globular camera, which he is cognizant of the fact that it is motion detecting as a safety measure. He takes aim and fires the grapeshot into nothingness, taking care not to hit any other vehicles to distract the camera, and darts out to hide behind his SUV.
He quickly takes off the mask, and opens the trunk door to face the cylinder. Once off, he places the combat suit and mask into the container and shuts the door, taking notice of his reflection in the gunmetal complexion of the exterior. He quickly dresses himself with his work attire, and puts on his gray trench coat and walks around to the passenger side after slamming the trunk door shut. He starts the car and drives out of the parking lot, thinking to himself that he must destroy the tape of the grapeshot whenever he gets a chance. As he continues driving, he thinks to himself about Andreas, reminded by his ‘dream’ and how he can make the suit more resistant and efficient. He pulls out the bloodied handkerchief, and he asks aloud, “I wonder what this symbol means? It was in the same area as Marc from what I remember.” The SUV speeds down the road to the police station.
At the crack of dawn, the Neurotic Bunny steps into his apartment and walks over to the closet. He places the suit top on the mannequin-stand, which reveals a muscle shirt underneath with suspenders over the top. He leaves his eye mask on and walks over to the couch. He lies down, and looks over to the coffee table, where a liquor bottle and empty glass sit. He pours some alcohol and drinks all the content, then pulls out a semi-crushed cigarette pack from his pants, takes out a cigarette and lights up, inhaling a deep toke. He is thinking about the night’s events; he thinks about what happened at the Marino mansion, he thinks about the Council, and he begins to think about Tera and the bar. He leans over and grabs the remote to turn on his television, and adjusts his body to place his head on his right hand for support, sitting sideways. He exhales deeply, releasing a plume of smoke into the air….
…. The plume of smoke turns into the exhaust fumes of Martin’s car, which pulls up to the police station. He heads inside of the building, and walks over to the crime labs, picking up a clipboard while on route. He walks into a laboratory, puts on a white overcoat, and studies the clipboard for several moments. Suddenly, a hand touches his left shoulder and he jumps back, turning to face Andreas Chuck. Andreas says, ‘Whoa Martino! It’s just me, the mechanical machismo! You seem to forget who Andreas Chuck is?’ Martin responds with a confused look, ‘Yes. You are lucky that you are half my brother, otherwise I would have to deflate your ego faster than engine gears could shift.’ Andreas laughs at the remark and says, ‘you’re too uptight Martino. While I was busy saving the established world at night, you disappear on your escapades. Here, this is for you.’ Andreas hands over several pieces of paper, and Martin has a flashback to his ‘dream’. Shakily, Martin takes the pieces of paper and asks, “What is this?” to which Andreas responds, “Listen man, you don’t look good. Maybe some rounds in the ring to relieve the stress may help?” Andreas jokingly punches Martin on the side, the same side he was stabbed on, and Martin recoils from pain and quickly resumes a stoic look. Andreas catches the gesture, however he does not know how to respond. Andreas, with a puzzled look says, ‘Anyways, before you read that rubbish, come take a look at this, it was all over the morning news.’ Martin attempts to hide the re-opened wound as much as possible, and walks over with Andreas to the cafeteria. Several police officers and some forensic scientists are eating breakfast, with the faces metaphorically glued to the television screen. The reporter says the following, “…. late last night Mrs. Sophia Artinez was found in critical condition on the road by a motorist, who had the following to say….” On screen, the television switches to a tall and burly gentleman with a serious face, holding a baseball bat, and with more than a hint of passion in his voice saying, [yeah, I found her on the road! There was this gray freak all over her, so I pulled over and grabbed my son’s baseball bat to help her out. Come to think of it, it looked like that Squirrel Man! The gray freak, these masked freaks are all no good! We will find you! Be sure that we will find you!] The reporter continues, “…. Police are corroborating this witness testimony, and an all-police broadcast commences on this ‘Squirrel Man’. This string of Vigilantism has citizens worried, with many letters sent to the Mayoral office to impose stricter penalties and more resources for police action to stop the vigilantes….”
Marc quickly shuts off the television, and a bright smile crests his face, and he lights up another cigarette and inhales deeply. He thinks to himself, “I knew it. Martin and his priorities. Always loyal, and nothing has changed.” He ashes the cigarette and inhales deeply again, thinking, “So that explains the Marino incident. The explosions, the goonies runnin’ around like chickens with their heads cut off, though im not complaining.” He chuckles to himself, and consumes the remnants of another drink. He inhales deeply once more, leaning back onto the couch, thinking, “I wonder what that genius freak came up with this time? If not for some fancy Muay something, it’ll definitely be impressive.”
Meanwhile, Martin looks down and places his left thumb under his jaw, resting his chin against his index knuckle. He thinks to himself, “Well that is it. I cannot turn in the suit. It seems that no matter what I plan, everything has a self-destruct switch. I plan this, chaos element A enters here. I plan that, chaos element B mixes here. The police cannot help me here, nor can I help them either. The suit must stay with me…” He looks over at the zombified persons watching the television, including Andreas, and thinks to himself, “On an amusing tangent, who calls me the ‘Squirrel Man’? Well then again, what are the alternatives? Fur Boy? The amazing Squirrel Boy? The Man Squirrel?” He grabs Andreas by the shoulder and says, “Hey, I have to ask you something…” to which Andreas shakes off his zombie look and says, “I knew it. This world is crazy, and it will end. If not for doomsday prophecies, then by mankind itself. Vigilantes, here in suburbia?” Martin pushes Andreas gently, saying, “Listen, we are the police! We can handle these masked miscreants, the legit way!” They exit the cafeteria, and right before Andreas enters the Mechanical lab, Martin stops him and says, “As I was saying, I need to ask you something,” to which Andreas replies, “you don’t want to see what I’m working on? Its awesome, I was able to synchronize the pistons using minimal heat dispersion, which effectively allows the torque output to increase exponentially by-” Martin looks into the laboratory and cuts him off by saying, “Listen. I am deathly scared of walking in there and having my head blown off by a robot. I wanted to ask you about polymer compounds. To destabilize the sub-atomic structure, I would need to mix a catalyst for longer than prescribed right?” Andreas thinks it over, and says, “Yes. If you want to harden something, then you mix for a longer duration. If you want to soften something, you mix shorter. What is this for anyway?” Martin smiles and responds, “I am working on an experiment.” Andreas waves his hand, turns around and walks into his laboratory, to which Martin can hear him mumbling, “I don’t get the chemical genius. Who wants to dabble with soap and liquids? Its brutish, it’s messy, and it’s not as beautiful as the music that is the whine of gears and servos….” Martin shakes his head and resumes his work back at the forensic portion of the police station.
Many hours later, around 11 p.m., Martin sits at his desk, surrounded by test tubes, chemical solutions and scientific tools. The gray combat suit is splayed over the table, and Martin sits top naked with visible bandages and gauze covering the stab wound. He peers intently on the underside of the right arm, and squeezes a drop of a chemical mixture using an eyedropper. The liquid sinks into the suit to finish molding a dark patching that connects from the underarm to the wrist, which is black in colour and supports a glossy texture. The suit visibly looks slightly different, since Martin has been working on it for the majority of the night. He leans over to his left to look at an aquarium filled with sand, where a large tarantula slowly walks over to a plant. Martin places his left index finger on near the spider, and the tarantula places its front legs and tries to bite it. Martin chuckles and says, “Peter, I don’t know how squirrels and spiders are around each other, however I am sure that we can be friends.” He grabs a dead grasshopper from a jar with his right hand, and drops it into the container. He peers closer as the spider makes it way to eat it. Martin says to Peter, “I wonder Peter, how you feel about Bunnies? I mean, they hop around and just eat everything in sight, but they are really cute.” Martin smiles and says to the spider, “Hey Pete, thanks for hearing out my madness.” Martin spins around in his chair back to the table, where the suit has been chemically enhanced; to start, each side of the suit from the ankle up to the armpit has been altered to sustain knife points, which looks thicker than the rest of the suit and glossy. It wraps around the waist slightly before the abdominal region, and it continues down the armpit to the wrist, on the underside of the arm. Satisfied with his work, Martin picks up the mask with his right hand and says, “I don’t like what the media has dubbed me. I am starting to think that now, since this is where the conditions of my universe have taken me, I need a hyperhero name. Something jazzy, that will stick, and will hopefully set right the minds of everyone who slandered me….”
Meanwhile, Marc stands on his small balcony and places his fedora with bunny ears in place. He puts out a cigarette with his shoe and looks out at the city beyond.
Back at the conference table with the businessmen, the stern Italian continues his speech to the choir, “…. Yes, safety measures with martial purposes. If it is the decree of the Council, we shall send him out. Is everyone agreeable with rabbit stew for tonight?” A sardonic smile crosses his face, and he says, “We can turn to economic matters at hand. The factories are in place and production has started. The product will begin locally, which will fund the current political platform. Bion’s resources are in place, and we will expand in the near-future to our multi-national goal.” All the men sitting around the table stand up and clap in approval. The Italian smiles broadly and motions for the men to stop, saying, “Gentleman, the world has changed. Borders are no longer rigid; every country is in the space of flows, and our cultural borders no longer suffice being self-sufficient. The Council is power, and the next step in globalization….”
Marc brings his right leg up to the balcony rail, and he propels himself forward onto a building rooftop. He runs the short expanse and jumps off the building, leaping high into the clear Mississauga night.
At the same time, Martin has placed the handkerchief with the Council’s symbol over the suit, completely unfolded, while still holding the mask. He looks at the mask, and glances over at the handkerchief. He then takes the mask into both of his hands, and turns around in his chair so that his back faces the table, and the lighting is behind and above him. He turns the mask slightly and sees the reflection of his own face in the left eyepiece. He thinks to himself, “Well, if this is my coincidence, then so be it. Here, in the Greater Toronto Area of Mississauga, the Grey Squirrel protects its suburban citizens….”