|All aboard the Rape Train for Crazyville!|
Daffy lay in the bed admiring herself for what felt like for-fucking-ever. And admiring Spank too, of course. How he had taken her in such a rough, mechanical fashion unclouded by actual attraction.
He even admitted as much as he got dressed - "Just so we're clear, I don't like you. I just wanted to stick it in you... But I hate myself for doing that to you because you're so awesome because you're just a hole to stick things in... And now I feel like I need you and stuff because your vagina is magic like that... But I still don't love you because 'love' is grody..."
Daffy was so turned on by his schizophrenic babbling that she wanted to vault his pole again! "Oh Spank, you don't have to feel that icky 'need' feeling because I'll feel it for you!"
And they did it again. Loudly. Like atoms smashing because industrial imagery is sexy when you're too dense and self-absorbed to understand no one wants to screw you because you look like a chainsaw sculpture.
* * *
Tim Braggart staggered out into the rain after a long day of damage control and planning for the worst. The board had, as boards are want to do, done a complete 180 on Daffy's Gort Line. That single successful run from one point in nowhere to another had convinced the most fickle that this was a triumph for Braggart Big Damn Rail. Tim, being the one who'd actually handled the company for the past several years and having been privy to the many construction difficulties was less enthusiastic...
And that bit about running from nowhere to nowhere, that would bite them hard and soon. When he'd questioned the positioning, Daffy had launched into some ludicrous speech about how it wasn't their responsibility to stimulate failed local economies - as though a railroad could somehow turn a profit without customers. Though, this being Daffy, she probably expected all those wealthy airheads who rode on the Gort's maiden run to just buy up tickets every day. Tim found if he just assumed the most ridiculous and counter-intuitive outcome, he'd nailed Daffy's expectations of any situation.
"Goddamn rails," Tim muttered to himself. "Goddamn rain. Goddamn family. Goddamn world!" Times like this made him question his teetotalling.
...Well, how much would one drink hurt? Just enough to numb his mind to all this madness. To make him forget that his sister was running their company into the ground. Distantly through the rain, he spotted a convenience store with the lights still on.
An electronic bell chimed happily as Tim Braggart entered, soaking and miserable. He looked around for where they stocked the booze - and he found himself looking on a surprisingly beautiful woman. Surprising because she was working the register in a Wawa.
She didn't look up immediately, having some book open before her. When she did, she offered only a polite if curt smile and returned to her reading.
Tim found his way towards the booze. How the hell was this supposed to work anyway? Did he want something cheap? Something lite? Or go with the wines and find a whole new set of questions - none of which interested him as much as the woman at the counter. She had this soft, warm look about her, like the sort of person who offer comfort without any thought of reward. A quiet, selfless type.
"God, I'm worse than I thought," Tim muttered to himself, chuckling a little. Desperation lead to strange thoughts indeed. You couldn't gauge someone as a person based on one glimpse! That sort of two-dimensional bullcrap only happened in trashy romance novels!
-But was she just watching him in the mirror? Tim had one of those big, curved, don't-steal-anything-'cause-we'll-see-it mirrors stationed up above him and could've sworn he'd just seen her look back up from her book and straight at him...
With effort and the sense of general disgust that had been brewing in him all day, Tim managed to set it aside and carried a six-pack of something called "Modelo" up to the counter.
The woman set down her book and engaged him with that aloof sort of professional politeness. "Will that be all?"
Tim nodded, fishing in his pants for his wallet.
"I figured one of you Braggart types would want something fancier," she said, eyeing the beer.
Tim looked up, surprised. "Wh - How did you know?"
"You've been all over the news. You, your sister, all those other rich folks riding your green railroad." She was still polite but there was something flippant in her tone. "But hey, you're making money on it so you must've done something right -"
"That thing is a fucking class-action suit waiting to happen," Tim blurted out without really thinking. "I told Daffy every step of the way it was doomed. I told the board but one little run and they're all giving her a blank check to run our company into the ground with that Rearend asshole's snake-oil!"
The woman was understandably shocked at this. "I'm sorry, I thought you -"
"Thought I what? Gambled my own company on some vanity project!? Used unsafe, untested materials that got three of my own men killed because I..."
Tim caught himself. He'd been talking to himself more than anything and could now see he was frightening the poor clerk. "I'm sorry. Oh god, I'm so sorry... It's just... It hasn't been the best day..."
They both stood looking at each other in silence for a few moments. Silent except for the gentle drip of Tim's still soaked clothes.
"I'm very sorry about your men," the woman said softly.
"I am too," replied Tim. "Every day."
She smiled at him. A small, almost Mona Lisa smile but with enough warmth to make Tim forget about the rain chill. "I'm Sheryl," she said, extending her hand.
"Tim Braggart," he said, letting out a self-conscious chuckle.
"If, you know, you ever want to talk about this stuff... I'm usually here late but Mondays and Wednesdays I'm off at five."
"I'd like that."
They stood in silence again for a moment. Awkwardly again. Then, turning, Tim said, "Well, uh, should probably go. Long day tomorrow, I'm sure."
He was at the door before Sheryl could call out, "Hey, don't you want your beer? I was just kidding before."
Tim looked back, "...Actually, I don't think I need it now."
The rain still poured down on Tim Braggart once he was again outside but somehow it didn't feel quite as cold...
* * *
Daffy Braggart and Spank Rearend went their separate ways without a word upon returning to whatever city this is set in. This silent disdain was mutual, as they both conflated it with True Love or something. Of course, Daffy had found it the height of intimacy when just after blowing his load in her, Spank had slumped across her body and promptly fell asleep. Snoring like a chainsaw and drooling everywhere.
Being the fictional avatar of a self-loathing ugly chick, Daffy found this incredibly sexy.
Daffy was so, well, daffy with what her limited mind assumed was love she couldn't stop thinking about Spank's rear-end all the way to the Braggart offices. She ran into many lamp posts, which didn't help her appearance after spending half a day on a train. Yes, long travel and lack of showers does affect even self-important rich people.
She still looked properly hideous that evening when Spank Rearend appeared outside her apartment because creepy stalkers are exciting if you're too ugly to have ever had a proper date.
"I couldn't stop think of your railroad," he said all sexily. "Because rigid metal beams arouse me. It's not gay."
"Oh Spank, let's do it again like we're in a bad Harlequin novel!"
Which they were.
Spank threw her down in preparation for another rapetastic "love" scene. But before again indulging in Daffy's taffy, he had to know - "Has there been anyone else?"
"What, like today? Well, the mailman came by a little while ago and then there were some kids selling candy for their school -"
"I mean have you had anyone else?"
Daffy had to think about that. Long and hard, unlike Spank - Hiyo!
"There was one... That I know of. I drink a lot."
"Who was he!?" Spank demanded, because holding down a woman and screaming at her about her sexual history is sure to win her heart.
So they did some more angry, ugly whoopy. Anyone who liked this book should be forced to register as a sex offender.
* * *
Meanwhile Moen meandered morosely, moping over how damaged his equipment was after having used that weird green metal. Can you tell I really don't care?
Moen was also upset over how many companies were moving out to Colorado to escape that Act everyone was vaguely worried about in previous chapters. Because federal law doesn't apply in every state or something.
"Listen, you're reaching."
Eat it, Moen! I made a promise to myself to see this thing through, no matter how poorly it turns out!
"You've got nothing but smut to work with in this chapter. You're over two weeks behind schedule."
Hey, that wasn't my fault! Frakin' databases...
"Look at what you're doing - half-assed summarizing and metafiction. Is that what you really want to be?"
But I have to... I don't...
"You know this section is just lots of repetitive foreshadowing that only a blind duck wouldn't see through. Move on to the next Dagny scene."
* * *
Daffy stood in her living room, looking out the large and luxuries window at all the people who lacked the drive to be born rich like her. She felt somehow more pleased with herself, now that she'd found a purpose in life as Spank Rearend's latest receptacle.
And speak of the devil - he entered behind her, much as he would soon enter her behind. "But first I'm going to talk about myself!" declared Spank. "You missed a bunch of know-it-all 'metallurgists' and 'renowned experts' at the banquet who wouldn't give my awesomeness the respect it deserves!" He actually used entirely non-ironic finger quotes because he's just that much of a wanker.
"They're just jealous, of course," Daffy said while mooning over Spank like a Quaalude-addled groupie. Which probably isn't far from the truth.
"Fix me a drink so I can watch you wait on me."
This is love...
As Daffy busied herself serving her man, Spank continued - "I figured if I got 'em all alone at a big fancy dinner they were throwing, they'd at least admit to the surface hypocrisy. Because they're totally hypocrites for not using my metal!"
I'll spare you his idiot clown logic.
"But it goes so deep with them! They were all, 'Studies show this,' and 'Empirical evidence says that,' and 'How did you get in here without an invitation?'" He threw up is hands in exaggerated desperation. "I can only conclude this banquet was for no good reason since it clearly wasn't all about me!"
Daffy handed him his drink, saying, "I've never liked parties like that myself. And if I personally don't like something, I don't see why anyone else should."
"It was as if they had this sick need to be social! I hate need!"
"I need you."
"Yeah, but that's completely different because I feel good about that."
Somewhere an asteroid was flung loose from its orbit thanks to that impressively circular reasoning.
"Besides, you properly 'compensate' me," he said with a leer.
"Is that how you think of it?" Daffy asked.
"I'm perfectly okay with that."
They talked more of Spank's intent to move his spankmeum production to Colorado where, again, federal law has no sway for no clearly defined reason. "It's all just so much work," Spank whined. "I can only order around so many people in a day!"
"I know what you mean," Daffy said. "I've had so much paperwork to do for the Gort Line that I feel like my hand's about to fall off! Surely no one can claim a greater burden!"
"What about me!?"
"Well, okay. But nobody else."
"Hmm? Did you say something? I just blurt that out on occasion."
Daffy found this an admirable quality. She also found his infidelity to his wife and his habit of screaming his own name at climax admirable.
"I have an idea!" Spank declared. "Mostly thanks to the booze. It'll get us out of this rut of idle super-wealth."
Daffy gasped! "What is it?"
Oh hell no...
"You're getting meta again."
* * *
Some indeterminate time later, the Philanderer and the Phloozy set out on their spanktastic adventure in one of Spank Rearend's many four-wheeled compensation devices. Which he spent the first three hours of the trip going on about -
"It's got fuel-injected, carbide-tungsten, hyper-alloy, speedometer-grooved..." he blathered on for an eternity.
"Neat... Neat... Neat..." Daffy had no idea what he was saying but wouldn't let that stop her from being impressed.
Stretching out before them - the unspoiled countryside loomed with it's vibrant blue sky, deep green forests, and rolling hills upon which deer and butterflies cavorted in paradisaical bliss. And not a single ad or banner to be seen.
It terrified them.
"How do I know where to pull off for greasy trucker food!?"
"How do I know where the outlet shopping can be found!?"
"How do I know if there's a strip club nearby!?"
Daffy was averse to billboard haters - and anyone who disliked advertisements. She couldn't understand people who used TiVo to skip over the blaringly stupid ads for gizmos, makeup, and diapers that interrupted their favorite shows. How could they even know what to buy - or if what they'd already bought was actually lame? Such a limited, wicked existence - not letting one's life choices be steered by marketing departments.
They passed near MacGuffin Way - "Hey, let's see where this road leads," Daffy suggested.
"Because the narrator is tired of this romantic plot tumor and wants to wrap things up already."
Good girl, Daffy. I may yet spare you...
The road in fact lead to a former company town, now a ramshackle hell-hole because letting a for-profit institution dictate urban development is like using a gun for a lollipop.
"I bet there's a factory nearby," Daffy said. "If we find it, we can have all sorts of nasty, industrious sex in the refuse!"
"Hot dog!" Spank ejaculated. For which he apologized and proceeded to clean up with a tissue.
While he was doing that, Daffy leaned out the window to ask direction. Unfortunately the only person nearby was a trailer-trash woman, all swollen with pregnancy. How disgusting! Of course it's fitting that the loser parasites are so fecund - everyone knows the truly moral and virtuous reproduce through asexual budding, Rugged Individualists springing fully-formed out of other Rugged Individualists backsides!
"Hey, peasant! Where can I find the factory?"
The woman extended one finger. Daffy wondered how they would ever get up in the sky -
"Oh. Well, I'm sure if we drive around we'll run into it."
And they did! What a surprise!
Inside the musty old corpse of a building, Daffy and SPanky were distracted from producing another disgusting and dull "love" scene by some schematics that had weathered the mold and exposure so well as to still be legible.
"Spank, do you know what this is?"
"Uhhh..." He had to turn it around a few times, hold it up to the light and set it back down. "...A ducky?"
"It's some sort of engine! Some sort of fantastic fantasy engine that runs on static electricity!"
Daffy pointed to the relevant description - a crude doodle of a man rubbing his feet on carpet and grabbing a handle.
"Good God!" Spank ejaculated again. He has a problem...
"We need to find whoever designed this, because it's not like just anyone can assemble a machine from clearly written instructions."
And that's what they'll do - next time, on the exciting adventures of Spank and Daff!
"Just hit post already. That meta shit ain't funny!"