Torquis in Machina, Part 25

“What are you planning on doing?” I asked, not entirely sure I wanted to hear it, in the unlikely event of Yoru’s actually knowing.

Yoru shrugged, an act which dislodged something wet and slithery from a fold in his clothing. Whatever it was, it fell to the floor and I refrained from looking at it more closely by sheer force of will. “I don’t tend to make plans,” the cobbler replied, confirming my suspicions, “but if the fake Hatboy is gone, and the real Hatboy is leaving, and that guy isn’t going to take over,” he pointed at Creepy Junior, “I guess I’ll have to do something to make sure this whole reign of terror doesn’t just continue in absentia.”

I waited. Yoru’s train of thought didn’t appear to have reached its destination, so much as pulled in at a station along the way.

Torquis snorted, sounding as though he really meant it. Yool, the almost ghoulishly buff Christmas tree who has been here the whole time, rustled.

“Of course,” Yoru went on, “I don’t suppose there’s much a cobbler can do about the state of the world.”

“Yeah,” I said, looking around at the carnage Yoru and Torquis had tracked into the throne room like grass stains after a day spent working in the garden. There was another knock on the door, even more timid than the last. “You’re really just a helpless leaf caught in the current.”

“Right,” he said, and levelled a finger at me. “I’m not the Hatboy. You are.”

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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