THE MISSION (Working title, thankfully)

It was a day like any other day in Walkerton's office. All SEMY squadron commanders received a small room which doubled as living quarters and other necessities of secret military life. For Walkerton, "office" was only meant in the loosest sense of the word -- it was basically where he sat all day. Which was just dandy considering there wasn't much room on the floor left to actually walk anywhere. Walky wasn't a neat person.

So Walky merely leaned back in his chair and set his dirty unshoed feet up on his cluttered desk. He whistled happily and innocently as he passed the time away doing absolutely nothing.

He would have it no other way.

The intercom speaker crackled. "Pilot Walkerton?" The voice of the most evil creature in the universe, aliens included, spoke with her steely voice through SEMY's communications system. Miss Eables, Big Boss's receptionist, was largely avoided by anyone who knew her at all costs. She just seeped evil out of every orafice of her body. When she spoke, shivers shot down spines everywhere.

After noticing the outbreak of goosebumps on his forearm, Walkerton reluctantly replied, "Yeah?"

"Big Boss would like to see you in his office."

Walky's feet left his desktop and stuck them back on the floor, squishing some old bananas. Not only did Miss Eables have the Voice Of Death, but when she called, it was usually to call him in for another mission. And that meant Walky couldn't fool around all day.

Willing to risk a few more verbal exchanges with the receptionist from Hell, Walky decided he was going to retaliate. "I can't go on a mission today, Miss Eables." He paused as he hastily tried to come up with an excuse. ""

He glanced at his feet on the ground, burrowed in mashed banana. "My feet are stuck to the floor." There was a momentary pause of silence. Walky hoped that had worked.

"Don't toy with me, Walkerton."

The grinding of his name through the receptionist's voice once again forced Walky into submission. "Alright, alright. I'll be there. Gimme a moment." He picked up the television remote from his desk and flipped on the television.

A slow rumbling started to come from the hallways, until the roar reached its zenith with the horrific bellowing of Miss Eables' cry: "NOW!!!!!!"

After his chair crashed up against the wall behind him with himself in it, he rubbed his head and handed victory to the receptionist. "I'll be there three minutes ago."

"Thank you. Have a nice day."

After covering his eyes and ears in order to survive the trip through Miss Eables' office to Big Boss' office, Walky stopped exhausted just inside of the large doorframe. He had run all the way up the stairs to the expansive top floor (which covered about a third of the main SEMY building) which consisted of mostly Big Boss' office and the small room that Miss Eables centered her reign of terror.

To his left, as always, was the impressive three-story picture window in all yellow-tinted glass, with the word "YMES" printed largely across it, forming the large yellow panel with the properly displayed "SEMY" as seen from outside the building.

Big Boss' large desk, which was dwarfed by the sheer enormity of the room, was directly in front of him on the other side of the lushly decorated room. Big Boss himself was easy to spot. The yellow glow from the window reflected brilliantly off his bald forehead. He had his elbows on the table, pattering his fingers together in front of his great nose.

Walky waited for Big Boss to speak. The fate of the rest of the day would depend on his superior's next words.

"Walkerton....why aren't you wearing any shoes?"

Walky looked down. His socks were covered in banana mush.

"Never mind," Big Boss said before Walky could reply. "I don't want to know." He stood up from his desk, revealing his squat frame. Speaking with the most utter professionalism, he began his mission spiel. He clicked a button at the corner of his desk and panels in the wall moved to reveal a large screen.

Walkerton cheered, "Woo! Multimedia!"

"Yes, Walkerton. Multimedia." His eyes wearily looked up at the ceiling and then returned to the squadron commander. "Two days ago, Squadron 135 left for this location in the Bermuda Triangle"--the screen showed a computer-animated wide shot of the Bermuda Triangle, with several surrounding areas labelled largely, and slowly zooming in on a small island a few miles south of the tip of Florida-- "and reported the existance of a new weapon of sorts." The footage cut to a roughly recorded sequence showcasing a massive gun of sorts. Female human fingers came in from the sides unexpectedly, forming a shadowpuppet of a dog.

Walkerton applauded. "Do a woodchuck!"

Big Boss continued, "But our satellites have lost contact with the squadron a few days ago. I know your team is quite familiar with Squadron 135, and I want you and your squadron to follow their footsteps, locate and/or rescue them, and secure the weapon displayed."

"Save Joyce?" Walkerton asked. "Yes." "And Steve?" "Yes." "Can I leave Jim behind?" "No." There was some more silence, and Big Boss silently waited for the next annoying question.

"'Kay, I guess I can go now."

Big Boss weakly saluted and gave Walkerton a tired "thumbs up."

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