MILO: I’ll take that as deviation enough, then. May I consider it a small victory?
GAFFNEY: A pathetic one.
MILO: Of course.
MILO points up at the Greeves Institute, and GAFFNEY realizes that a single light in the tower is on. It glows with a weird green light.
MILO: What is that room, Gaffney?
GAFFNEY: One of the laboratories.
GAFFNEY: Damn you.
MILO: That is Gaffney’s private laboratory. The one you have bugged for years.
GAFFNEY: And the one he knows I’ve bugged for years.
MILO: And, in your paranoia, you have assumed that the one room you’ve bugged for years is exactly the one he’d never perform his true experiments in, because, being your twin, he is as paranoid as you are. However, unlike you, he’s also not a megalomaniac, and is capable of the clarity you and I could never achieve. It’s there that he’s finishing his latest toy.
GAFFNEY: You’re clever, Milo. I like you on whatever it is you’re on.
MILO: What is the problem with murder, Gaffney?
GAFFNEY: They never choke fast enough.
MILO: That says maybe, but for those of us not immediately concerned with constant and perpetual spree killing, the disposal of bodies does seem to be a pressing annoyance.
GAFFNEY: And he’s working on the way to...
GAFFNEY snaps his fingers, understanding what GIBNEY is up to.
MILO: Just as you were skulking around trying to resurrect the Argus Project, he’s already rebuilt the Disintegration Ray. It’s already done, now he’s just in sort of an existential angst about it.
GAFFNEY: Oooooh, Milo.
Our two momentarily central Zanzibarbarians walked in silence for the remaining quarter mile, neither one making eye contact with the bedraggled streetgoers as they passed. It was unnecessary. For once, Gaffney was too dumbstruck to accept their silent praise, and Milo had spoken more than he had spoken in months, except perhaps to certain marital aids he kept in reserve.
When they arrived at Gaffney’s fortress, both walked creakily up the stairs to the second floor, to the room Argus was kept. Silently, Gaffney pushed open the door. In the rear of the bedroom, Argus was licking a brass bed knob, hoping to find some sustenance. For the next day and a half, in preparation for the fete, the three brothers reacquainted themselves. Milo was most notably interested in Argus’ tendency to lick nearby inanimate objects. He mentally noted it as vital, similarly licked the bed knob, found nothing jazzy about it, and proceeded to question Argus about life in the oubliette.
That evening, under the pretense of getting prepared for the party, Milo soaked a bit of the fungus around the oubliette door into a rag. He sucked on it like an infant with a gin sop. He had the greatest high of his life, experiencing communion with digitally etheric eyeball-fairies.