The wind felt harsh and sticky. Off in the distance, Senator Ninja heard a bird chirping. But he wasn't really listening. It had been almost two weeks since Senator Bond had been mysteriously mauled to death on the Senate floor, and Senator Ninja was still investigating whodunit. All he had to go on was...
“Can I help you?” piped a shrill voice from behind Senator Ninja. Turning around, he saw a really short man, 2 feet at most. Not only was this guy one of the shortest he had ever seen, but he was dressed like a lawn gnome.
“Uh, hi, my name is, um... seriously, what's up with your clothes?” Senator Ninja trailed off, trying not to stare too hard at the man. That's when the man clenched his teeth and started making a growling sound.
“Hey, what's wrong with-”
Suddenly the gnome exploded, covering Senator Ninja in purple chunks that quickly evaporated into a pinkish mist. Coughing, he stumbled around in the thick smoke that was billowing out of the hole in the ground where the gnome once stood.
“Prototype 17, failure,” came another voice, this time in front of Senator Ninja. “Hopefully, we should be more successful with pro-”
“What just happened to me?!?” screamed Senator Ninja at the person in front of him.
“You just had a run-in with prototype 17. It was clearly a failure. If it worked properly, your body would be completely paralyzed by now”, the man said in monotone.
“What- huh? The gnome...” sputtered Senator Ninja, still at a loss to explain what had transpired.
“Consider yourself lucky. The last 16 prototypes killed their subjects. Progress!”
“But... What was that thing?!?” demanded Senator Ninja, glancing over his shoulder at the still-smoldering crater.
“That was a prototype of the GnomeMaster™. It's an advanced home security system, designed specifically for... uh...”
“For the Vice President. You can end the charade now,” said Senator Ninja to the man.
Reaching behind his ears, the man pulled off his mask, revealing his true identity.
“How did you know?” asked a frowning Dick Cheney.
“Simple. Only the real Dick Cheney would know that much about exploding lawn gnomes!” announced Senator Ninja triumphantly. “Now, if you don't mind, I have some questions that need answers. First-”
“Shhhh!” whispered Dick Cheney, as he looked around, paying close attention to the trees and shrubbery. “Come inside. Quickly. And don't talk.”
It's more humid in here than it was outside, thought Senator Ninja to himself as Dick Cheney poured him a glass of iced tea. The room was small and cramped, with ugly yellow wallpaper and a strange old man smell. There were weird sculptures all over the place, and paintings of impressive-looking people in suits. One of the walls was completely covered with newspaper clippings of Ronald Reagan. An ancient computer sat on a pedestal beneath a draped window. It's like Harry Potter meets the Unibomber in here.
“Now where would you like me to begin?” asked Dick Cheney, wiping his glasses with his sleeve.
“Yes, well, as you may have heard, two weeks ago Senator Bond was found-”
“Found mauled to death in the Senate chamber.” finished Dick Cheney.
“Yes, that's the gist of it.”
“And as I understand it, you were the only one in the building at the time,” said Cheney as he slowly sipped away at his iced tea, an accusing look on his face.
“Don't try to make this about me,” said Senator Ninja, putting down his glass. “Before Kit died, he said the word 'Scone'. What was he talking about?”
Dick Cheney sighed, and looked Senator Ninja right in the eyes. “Senator Bond was part of a covert congressional committee during World War II.”
“World War II?! That's impossible! Kit's not that old!” exclaimed Senator Ninja, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Yes, he is. You'd know that if you would kindly let me finish my story.” clucked Cheney, who pulled out a corn-cob pipe and lit it. “During the 1930s it was discovered that the food item known as the 'scone' was in fact a super-intelligent race of grain-based beings. We tried to explain to them that is was just a simple mistake, that if we had known they were sentient we would not have eaten them... but they refused to listen. They all went into hiding for almost ten years. Then, they resurfaced during the middle of World War II. They wanted revenge. Between 1939 and 1942, the scones were the secret behind Germany's success. Their ultimate plan was to get us to destroy ourselves.”
Wow! This guy's crazy, thought Senator Ninja as Cheney paused to take another swig of his iced tea.
“The Senate convened in secret an selected three of us to go undercover and infiltrate the scones. I was one of the three. Senator Bond was another.”
“Who was the third?” pried Senator Ninja, his interest clearly piqued.
“I can't reveal that information. Telling you could be... dangerous. Suffice it to say that the pursuit was successful. The Scone menace was sent into remission, and the three of us involved were changed.”
“I can't tell you any more than I've already told you. And now my dear Senator-”
Just then a ringing sound blasted from the ancient computer, and the screen flashed to life. A picture of a box full of puppies materialized on the surprisingly-preserved monitor.
“Vice President Cheney! We've received the prototype's self-destruct beacon. Are you all right?” came a disembodied voice from the computer's speakers.
“Yes, Don, I'm fine.” said Cheney into a microphone next to the monitor. “I had a friend over. And just so you know, this prototype didn't work either.”
“Are you talking to Donald Rumsfeld?” interjected Senator Ninja.
“As a matter of fact, I am. This computer can connect me to the heads of all the executive departments.”
“And why does it display a box of puppies?”
“That is my avatar!” blared Donald Rumsfeld. “You will treat it with the respect and authority as you would the Secretary of Defense!”
“That's all right, Don,” said Cheney, putting down his glass of iced tea. “Senator Ninja was just leaving.”
“Mr. Vice President, in light of the recent... incidents... I think you should be relocated to a top-secret facility.”
“I agree, Don. Senator, I believe you know the way out.”
Feeling satisfied, Senator Ninja turned and walked out of the room, going through in his head the new facts he had accumulated in his chat with the Vice President. Only one thing didn't add up...
“Mr. Vice President, what do you know about S.R. 8723? Mr. Vice-” but by the time Senator Ninja turned around, Dick Cheney was gone and the small room was completely empty.