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Empire on Ice #43:
Gleesy 0007
Birthday Boy

This week! At least somebody remembered Josh's 12,000th birthday.

[In his office, Josh is at his desk reading the script for Empire on Ice. Silence is sitting next to him, on the desk itself.]

Josh: Ho ho ho!

Josh: Oh ho ho ho!!

Josh: BWA HA HA!!!

Silence: You don't have anything for Empire on Ice, do you?

Josh: How can you tell?

[Silence pats Josh on the head.]

Silence: Magic.

Josh: I've gotta come up with something.

Silence: How about an avant-garde black-and-white thriller about the futility of modern entertainment?

Josh: I'm thinking maybe some kind of James Bond ripoff? You know, Double-Oh Seven. Except I'd prolly add an extra zero so that nobody sues me.

Silence: Sounds unoriginal.

Josh: No, but, get this! The twist is that it won't actually be a spy thriller story at all. It'll just be some completely unrelated, mundane dead end that doesn't actually make any sense in the context of a James Bond—

[The intercom beeps.]

Diva: [VO.] Celeste to see you, Your Majesty.

[Josh presses the reply button.]

Josh: Send her in.

Silence: How'd you get Diva to be your secretary, anyway?

Josh: It's part of her community service after she disemboweled that little kid at the mall last month.

Silence: Oh yeah. That was in the news. Little snotcrack cut in line at the Dippin Dots stand. I'd have done the same thing.

[Diva enters as Josh speaks.]

Josh: Yes, well, this being an Empire of laws and orders, we can't always respond to people who steal our place in line with…what was it she used?

Diva: A rusty tin can lid.

Josh: What were you even doing carrying that?

Diva: Am I really the only one who carries a rusty tin can lid on her keychain anymore?

Josh: I have an Imperial army knife.

Silence: I don't use keychains.

Diva: What?

Silence: [Waves her hands flashily.] It's all biometric cloud storage woo-woo for me! [She pivots around on the desk and leans in toward Diva.] Do you want to know the closest person who died in the past ten minutes? [Whispers.] The Cloud knows.

Josh: [To Silence.] Enough. [To Diva.] And what are you even doing in here? I told you to send Celeste in.

Diva: She won't come in. She insists you meet with her in the waiting room.

Josh: Did she say why?

Diva: She's Celeste. Whatever she says has to be run through a number of filters before it makes any sense.

Josh: All right, let's go see her out there.

[The three of them egress into the waiting room, where Celeste is sitting demurely on a chair.]

Josh: Hello.

Celeste: Wait! I've developed a new algorithm on Gleesy for salutatory social platitudes.

Josh: [To Silence and Diva.] Gleesy?

Celeste: Gleesy 0007, my latest contribution to the field of intelligent cybernetics.

[Celeste pulls out a cute little widget the size of a mobile phone. It has a bunch of unknown buttons and wires, and a tiny receiver dish on the end.]

Celeste: Gleesy, we have been greeted in a formal setting!

["Gleesy" has a cute, tiny robotic voice.]

Gleesy: Very pleased to meet you! Let us show that we agree to interact civilly by sharing a firm handshake!

[Celeste extends her left hand, which Josh takes in his own, and they shake.]

Josh: What have you got there?

Celeste: It's a project I've been working on. Gleesy adds a little glee to the endless demands of social interaction, making life that much easier. Hence—

Josh: "Gleesy." It's a clever little gizmo.

Gleesy: Why, thank you!

Josh: And you have a cute voice.

Gleesy: My voice reflects my positive and friendly nature.

Josh: That's actually pretty cool! [To Celeste.] So, how come we're meeting you out here in the waiting room? My office would be more appropriate.

Celeste: Oh, Emperor! Why? The furniture?

Josh: Well…no. It's because my office is private.

[Celeste looks around.]

Celeste: There's no one else here now.

Josh: But somebody might come in.

Celeste: I don't mind if they hear us. What I have to say isn't private. In fact, better if more people hear it!

Josh: ?

Diva: This ought to be good.

Josh: What exactly did you want to tell me?

Celeste: Gleesy did some calculations and discovered that today is your 12,000th birthday!

Gleesy: Bleep blorp!

Diva: 12,000th?

Silence: That must be in days rather than years.

Celeste: Exactly. Gleesy didn't realize that "birth-DAY" is more commonly a yearly thing.

Gleesy: Happy birthday, O Imperious Cosmocrator!

Josh: Gleesy…I like you!

Gleesy: To commemorate this occasion I ordered you a t-shirt with your face on it.

Josh: Squee! How did you know?!

[Diva rolls her eyes.]

Josh: [To everyone besides Gleesy.] And what did the rest of you get me on this very special day? Well?!

Silence: Uh…

Diva: Actually…eh…

Celeste: Er, oops.

Josh: I see. [To Gleesy.] Gleesy, at least I can count on you. [To everyone else.] The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Celeste: Well…I made Gleesy. Does that count?

Josh: Oh, I suppose it does. You're off the hook. [He glares at Diva.]

Diva: And…and I agreed to be your secretary despite all the infamous wackos who come in here? That's cool, right? Please please please please don't revoke my probation! I'll throw in a mint.

Josh: I'm not going to revoke your probation. Oh, fine, fine. We'll count that. Wait, what kind of mint?

Diva: Uh…one of those super-obnoxious icy ones?

Josh: Nope. Try Andes mint.

Diva: Andes mint! I got you an Andes mint.

Josh: Excellent. [He glares at Silence.] Well, what about you?

Silence: Uh…I was going to…er…buy

Josh: Yes?

Silence: …us…

Josh: [Raises an eyebrow suspiciously.]

Silence: —but mostly you—

Josh: Better.

Silence: …lunch?

Josh: Works for me!

Celeste: Phew! Happy birthday, Emperor!

All: Yay!

Gleesy: Boop! Beep boop!

* * *

Twelve thousand days,
Been a mountain and a maze.
Look back on all that I've wrought:
But is that all I've got?!

For twelve thousand days
I've schemed to be on the top,
Lord of the J, I proclaim
It's time to go, not stop!

Let the mooks quail.
Let them talk smack
And hope I fail,
Jealous of my Empire!

Let the mooks quail.
I'll thrash them with
My dragon's tail.
Glory to the Empire!
Mooks'll wail!
Haters fail!

Mookfall is where we start,
Twelve thousand golden crowns apart!
Twelve thousand regal titles says I'm smart!
Come at the Emperor, but you best not miss,
You mooky li'l mook upstarts!

Let the mooks quail!
Let them talk smack
And hope I fail,
Jealous of my Empire!

Let the mooks quail!
Let them talk smack
And hope I fail,
Jealous of my Empire!
At Mookfall!

At Mookfall!


Gleesy 0007 will return in: Modefinger

O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!