CHAPTER 49: A COWBOY, TWO MUSES, AND AN AGENT

The Muse of Mischief and Agent  Brzko stood looking at the Agent wearing a cowboy hat. A Muse came out of the dome and joined them. She wore a short patchwork denim skirt and bright green cowboy boots that matched her plaid shirt. Her ensemble was hideous, worse than his.

“Howdy y’all. I’m The Muse of Slight and this here is Agent Strno. We’re mighty pleased to meet ya.” She stuck her hand out, toward M. Reluctantly M took her hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m The Muse of Mischief and this is Agent Brzko.”

“Oh we know who you are darlin’! We ALLLL know who you are.” She said drawing out the word all as she rolled her head back for emphasis.

M was at a loss for words. Brzko came to her rescue.

“You’ve heard of us?”

“Lawd yes we’ve heard of you two. Who hasn’t?” Agent Strno said, comically drawing out the word Lord. “I mean shucks, we all heard about how you kicked ass on them VReoria. You two are old school all the way!”

“Old school?” Brzko asked, M was still too grossed out to talk.

“Yeah, you know, like our ancestors, before Clyreans got all selfish and stuff.” The Muse of Slight chimed in.

M was so busy thinking about how unintelligent this being seemed that it took a second for her process what she’d said. She scratched the side of her neck, activating her earcom link before bringing her hand back down.

When he didn’t hear her say anything, Zri attempted to initiate contact. “M, I’m receiving you. If you need help just…”

“Mmmm” She cleared her throat interrupting the voice in her head. “Selfish? Clyreans are selfish now?”

Agent Strno and The Muse of Slight looked at each other like ‘oh here we go.’

“Why yes darlin’” he said in a most demeaning tone. “Ain’t you ever wondered why the two of yas are the only ones working on fighting the VReoria? It ain’t like we don’t know ‘bout them. It’s just that, they can’t catch us, so why should we care? Shiiit, we’re having too much fun exploring, to spend any time risking our lives to protect lesser beings.”

“Is that an agent I hear?” Zri asked.

“Uh-huh.” M said, as though she were speaking to Agent Strno and The Muse of Slight, but really speaking to Zri, “So the other Clyreans we’ve met here were just talkin’ shit when they told us what they knew of the VReoria?” M asked, mimicking their Southern drawl.

“Well I suppose there must be other… Um overachievers like you two.” The Muse of Slight said, using her fingers to make quotation marks in the air when she said the word overachievers.

“Overachievers?” Was all M could say.

“Course darlin’, who ever said it was our duty to save every insignificant life form out there?” Agent Strno said.

M was at a loss for words. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to continue the conversation or kick these two country ass idiots in the shins and then box their ears so hard that they’d never stop ringing. Agent Brzko rescued her, while Zri stayed silent, listening.
“Wait, wait, wait, so you two are saying that you know other Clyreans?”

The looked at each other and shrugged. The Muse of Slight answered for them. “Well know” again with the air quotes, “might be a little strong. We’ve seen a few. Even a few of them devoted to the losers of their universes, like you two.” She looked over at her partner, Agent Strno when she said losers, with air quotes.

M wanted to kick her more than ever now.

“So you see these other Clyreans here, on Clyrea X9?” M asked.

“Sometimes.” Agent Strno said, as though he were speaking to a child.

“So then, you’re telling us that this isn’t the only place where Clyreans can mingle without consequence?”  Brzko asked.

I’m done Brzko.” M projected to him.

“Lawdy no, someone’s been feeding you a line of horse dookie. Oh probably some stingy Agent and Muse, wanting to keep you outta all these here domes.” He turned toward the Muse of Slight with an overemphasized frown when he said stingy.

“Thank you so much for your time. Good luck in your travels.” M said without waiting around for a response. She pictured the bridge of Zri’s ship at the same time she projected it to Brzko, and disappeared.

“Well!” The Muse of Slight said. “She’s not really all that friendly… and did you see that outfit? They ain’t got nothin’ on us sugar.” She turned toward Agent Strno, and reached for him.

Brzko decided not to interrupt them, it might be better to just leave Agent Strno and the Muse of Slight before they had a chance to share their impending PDA.

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