Once and Again
Ozymandias 2.0

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In a Whole Lot of Shhh

Back to David on the Stool that's really a chair. "It's like [Miles] is the ultimate alpha male, and everyone is supposed to urinate submissively in his presence," he scornfully says. "And I simply refuse to squat, and he doesn't like that." Well, I for one am thankful that David doesn't squat, if that counts for anything.

Back to the office. David and Rick are facing Miles with their arms crossed, looking steely. "These are interesting times," Miles informs his students. He elaborates, saying that corporations are aligning "like so many planets," and that soon enough, the world will "live under a half dozen flags -- not of nations, but of corporations." To Miles The Bloodless, this vision represents utopia. Miles asks them what they know about a company called Atlantor (I think that's what he says. For once, Miles doesn't enunciate everything precisely, so I kind of lost the last syllable.) They supply us with a little background: the company's into computers, pagers, and other high-tech stuff. Miles gives them a gold star and then fills them in on the rest of the company and its soon-to-be holdings, which range from a TV studio and satellite system to a sourball manufacturer. Miles offers the lads one of said sour balls. Rick takes and David declines. Surprise. Miles continues, explaining that Atlantor has approached him with a plan for consolidation, and that they're interested in combining their "private and public spaces" in a complex that "would blossom from the seed that is [his] building." David and Rick stand agape. Rick wants to know what size of a complex they're talking about. Miles wordlessly unfurls an enormous roll of paper on the floor. The roll stops when it hits the wall on the other side of the office. The complex is big, in other words. After a groaningly pregnant pause, Miles says, "Big enough to lift its designer to a very high, very exclusive plateau." He looks vaguely amused. David squints suspiciously. He wants to know why that type of client would be interested in them. "Because I am," Miles states grandly, baring his teeth. Oh, pardon me. That was a smile. He watches his lackeys place the model of his building in the center of the unrolled paper. "'After' is about to begin," he proclaims. Did I miss something? After what? David glances at Rick, who's busy staring at the spectacle before him. Rolling his eyes, David walks away.

Suddenly David is on the other side of a glass partition watching Rick and Miles crouched near the model discussing the project. Miles loudly says that he must give Rick a word of caution: there is some skepticism on the part of the client as to Rick's ability. Rick stands when he hears this and repeats what Miles said. Fiddling with his pinky, Miles assures Rick that the doubt can be "dispelled in a matter of moments under the right conditions." He suggests a "convivial dinner party Saturday night." Rick agrees. Buttoning his jacket, Miles says he thinks the party "should be here." Rick thinks he means Chicago. Miles means in the office. Miles asserts, "Even the best of men can be overpowered by the wrong restaurant -- especially if the people serving the food look better pressed than he." Rick looks down at his rumpled plaid flannel and makes a joke about drinking wine out of pencil cups. The corners of Miles's mouth curve patronizingly. "You're serious," Rick says. "Almost always," Miles answers dryly. Rick looks confused for a moment -- stunned, no doubt, that Miles actually made a joke. Finally, Rick agrees to the plan "if [Miles] thinks it will put [them] over the top." Miles looks off-screen, makes a face like he's calling a cat, and nods. Male lackey appears, bearing his coat. He helps Miles on with it while Miles drones, "I will make the arrangements. And as an added bonus, I get to meet your significant other." Rick's mouth forms a perfect O. "Oh," he says when he regains his speech, "...okay...okay...I'll, uh, have to call her...see if she can make it work." Miles levels him with a steady, slightly coy look that screams, "You're joking." Rick stammers, "Kids...you know." Yeah, Miles knows kids. If Miles ever reproduces, it'll be asexually, like an amoeba, and his offspring will be fully formed, humorless adults. "Apply gentle pressure," Miles advises, thinking of the eyeful of Lily's ass he got on last week's episode. His eyes bug. "I think it'll be an enlightening evening." How is it that Miles can make anything sound ominous?

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Once and Again

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