Plugs

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Parthenia Rook, episode IV: In the Hall of the Bonobo King

by Rudi Dornemann

INTERIOR, ONE OF THE INNUMERABLE CORRIDORS IN THE BONOBO KING’S SECRET SUBTERRANEAN LAIR

THE BONOBO KING, a chimpanzee in an expensive Italian suit, sans shoes, walks down the hallway, accompanied by two of his associates: DR MANDRILL, a blue-faced, red-nosed monkey in a white lab coat and HENCH, a shaggy gigantopithecus in stained overalls.

BONOBO KING: Brilliant work, Dr. Mandrill. The anti-gravity suit worked exactly as you said it would. Like being lifted up by the hands of angels. Perfect.

MANDRILL: Thank you, my liege. I trust the baby-bot and zombirazzi performed as expected?

BONOBO KING: They seem to have worked splendidly. After all, Hench got in and out of Fort Knox without any interference by the annoying Ms. Rook. Didn’t you, Hench?

HENCH: In-got.

MANDRILL: If it pleases your excellency, I have a boon to ask.

BONOBO KING: Ask away.

[They enter A GRAND DINING ROOM furnished in gold-crusted Louis XVI furniture.]

MANDRILL: From now on, I would like to be known as “Zaius.”

BONOBO KING [peeling a grape with his toes]: Zaius?

HENCH: Zay-us.

MANDRILL: Zaius.

BONOBO KING [through mouthful of pomegranate]: That’s ridiculous. Your name is Oscar. [Spits seeds.] It’s a perfectly nice name.

HENCH: Oss-car.

MANDRILL: But Zaius just sounds so much more…

[The Bobobo King gnaws on a pineapple.]

MANDRILL: …scientific.

BONOBO KING: Pfaugh! We’ve talked about this before. How those Planet of the Apes movies systematically misrepresent the glories of the coming pan-simian age…

MANDRILL: Isn’t it funny how “pan-simian” starts with the name of your genus.

[The Bonobo King freezes, his teeth just sinking into a kumquat, and stares coldly at his chief scientist.]

BONOBO KING: Exactly what part of “king” is it that you don’t understand, Oscar?

[Dr. Mandrill manages to return the stare for a few seconds before faltering and looking away.]

MANDRILL [quaveringly]: My apologies. I forgot myself.

BONOBO KING: Take that tone with me again, and I’ll ask that Gibbon sisters make sure that everyone else forgets you as well.

[Dr. Mandrill falls groveling at the king’s feet.]

HENCH: Pan-sim. I…

[His expression suggests he’s forgotten what he’s going to say next.]

BONOBO KING: Come on– [Burps.] Haven’t you got some new and even more nefarious devices to demonstrate? I believe you mentioned something about a giant robot that transforms into a robot giant?

MANDRILL: Oh, yes. I’ve worked up a few things I think you’ll enjoy quite a bit. And Parthenia Rook won’t enjoy at all. Heh. Heh-heh.

BONOBO KING: HA!

MANDRILL [maniacally]: Eee-hee, eee-hee, hee-hee-heeeeee!

HENCH [uncertainly]: HEH.

BONOBO KING [diabolically]: MWAHAHAHAA!

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