The video was just starting to get good when William Closetdoor III noticed someone else was in the room with him. He scrambled to close the video, but two new ones started up every time he got rid of one. He looked over his shoulder, smiling while sweating.
“Oh, hey Cassie. Didn’t see you come in. You know how these alien computers can get.”
She stood there, her mouth open. “You’re looking at gladiators again? When we’re on a space station that is orbiting the sun, drilling into it so that it can drain all of the Vitamin D from its nutritious core, I still find you looking at half-nude men fighting to the death?”
He continued trying to close them, his mind racing. “It’s a defense measure. These futuristic computers can, uh, read your mind and block your progress with the most repulsive thing it finds in your memory. After all, why would I want to look at a bunch of sweating, corded muscles locked together in an embrace that is fierce, yet tender; a dance only two burly men could ever hope to achieve? That just sounds awful.”
Cassie crossed her arms, her slave dress glowing from the screen’s light. “You’re supposed to be studying their laws so that you can beat them in court. You know the Shadowgobblers only respect those who can argue which fictional character is better.”
He threw his hands up in the air. “Blast this cursed body of mine! Ever since the accident, I’ve needed to watch gladiator videos in order to power my transplanted organs. Even now, I can feel my otherworldly pancreas demanding I watch more well-oiled combatants pulling and tugging at each other. If only you hadn’t fallen asleep at the wheel, we wouldn’t be in this predicament!”
Cassie grabbed him by his bandages, pulling him up from the chair. Tears streamed from her eyes. “Unicycles don’t have steering wheels, William. You said that yourself, remember?”
He pushed her away, leaning down over the keyboard. He let his eyes wander up to the screen, feeling his energy levels increasing as he watched the two men grunt and groan while they locked arms. “I remember. It was…Thursday. I…forgot the garbage.”
Cassie threw her giant stone chariot wheel on the ground, the crash making William turn from the screen. “Finally got you to pay attention to me, huh? Is that what it takes to get you to see me now?”
William leaned down to pick it up. “Don’t be ridiculous, Cassie. Put your Wedding Chariot Wheel on your upper back again.”
“No! I won’t stay with someone who watches videos while aliens steal our precious vitamins! I can take that you don’t care about me, but I won’t stay with someone who uses his one chance to save the world to look up classic wrestling matches! You only care about you and that pancreas of yours!”
William reeled back, his hands reaching for the punch cards that controlled the alien device. His fingers shook as he produced another one, his senses tingling as he thought about the macho and giant men it contained within it. His pancreas trembled inside of him, sending waves of insulin coursing through his veins, making him stronger than ever before. The euphoria tried to carry him away on waves of diabetes-stopping fluids, and it almost did.
His eyes fell on the giant chariot wheel, though. He thought back to how happy she’d been when he threw it at her from the Engagement Field, and how overjoyed they’d been when it only broke most of her ribs and both her legs upon impact. Such a series of breaks was considered to be a sign of eternal love in their village, but the pancreas had made him forget all that. In a glucogin-fueled haze of wrestling and gladiator videos, the cursed organ had made him forget everything he stood for.
He took a few deep breaths, feeling the pancreas growing angry inside of him as he refused to look at the videos. Its rage radiated out, making him weak as it pulled itself from his body, a glob of absolute darkness with tendrils that reached all over him.
Its voice came from everywhere and nowhere, rumbling inside of his head. “I am the Pancreas, most powerful of all the organs. My will is life. You will bend to me, and give me the semi-erotic videos that I demand!”
He slammed his hand down on the close button, and only a screen showing pricing options stood in its spot. A single image was there to fuel the foul organ, but that was it. This was his only chance.