Bleachy, Bleachy Desert. The Vintagemobile pulls up to ShadJackBlack's ruined home. ShadJackBlack barely registers Prufrock's presence, but wanders around explaining nonetheless, "I was searched, robbed, punched, kicked, maimed, taken for a fool, fooled into submission, all of the above." The assailant or assailants remain a mystery, but the one thing we do know is that she was a thief, you got to believe, she stole his heart and his cat. Girls in cartoons leave him in ruins. Prufrock asks if he can be of any help, and ShadJackBlack starts murmuring "Prufrock" over and over again, as Jim futilely tries to ascertain whether there is any significance to the water bottles in ShadJackBlack's sculpture and whether that significance is significant regarding Watermark Consolidated. But it's too late, because ShadJackBlack is craaaaaazy just in time, standing up and screaming over and over again, "My name is Walter Shadrack. And by the power invested in me from [sic] the Attorney General of the great state of Nevada, I demand that you leave." Can everyone repeat their dialogue that many times so I don't have to rewind as much? Thanks. Jim looks up to see what ShadJackBlack is freaking out about, and sees The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse in their three shiny cars driving by and keeping a fair distance. Prufrock leaves. It's so hard talking to an artist about meaning in their work.
Alone in his car, Jim's cell phone rings. It's Grace, her hair in a delightfully noir-ish flip with a few more curls than usual. She's sitting at a small desk, looking like the SATs are going to just bust out around her at absolutely any moment. She informs Jim, "My disciplinary hearing is in a few minutes, and the panel may want to ask you a few questions regarding my 7-C search, the quality of my work, and the content of my character." I love her. Smooth as silk, this one's delivery. She asks if he can be reached at this number "for the next few hours," and he tells her he'll be "waiting by the phone." But right now, he's hot on the trail of three black cars riding in tandem. They pull into a gas station, and The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse step out of their three respective automobiles. Jim sees them from afar, and puts it together for the first time that they're the three men who claimed to be from something called the "Gaming Commission" when he had his first run-in with them at the charred remains of the house of Silas Bodnick. The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse pick up three cell phones, and the first in line reports, "Of the 2,000 emails sent, we estimate that 1,873 will reach their intended recipients. Approximately 67 percent of those will be immediately deleted, dismissed as spam." How shortsighted of that two-thirds of savvy surfers! Blah blah blah isn't Prufrock resourceful. They note that killing him is "no longer an option. We need a more elegant solution." Like killing him while wearing a frilly pink cocktail dress? And why is that new now? We've gone over this. Ross #1 makes another call, and it's patched through to the two Tech Nerds we met earlier. "I was given assurances of 100 percent success based on your data. Clearly, your data is flawed," he chides. "We need to be more thorough. Deep background. I want to know everything about him. Every person he's ever talked to. Every thing he's ever done. Every thought he's ever had." In other, plagiarized words: If Jim goes to Indochina, they want a Ross hidin' in a bowl of rice, ready to pop a cap in his ass. The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse snap shut their cell phones and drive into the dusty expanse of Americana called "all the world between Los Angeles and Brooklyn." Jim waits a cursory moment before pulling into the gas station himself, forgetting perhaps how frequently The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse must check themselves out in the rearview mirror, sometimes making that fake gun gesture with their thumbs and forefingers and asking, "So, how's it feel to be a Ross?" before pausing a second and answering, "Gotta admit it feels good." Jim pulls up to one of the pumps, where the display screen reads, "Would you like a receipt?" Sure. A printed receipt from the last transaction comes rolling out of the machine. Ha! Good luck filling out your expense reports now!