Yeah, maybe that was it. But in any case, it was clear that by this late point in the evening Nessus and I were agitated and volatile compounds let loose in the bell jar. Tweedle Dee was the nitro-, and we were the glycerin. A retreat to our room, and a damn quick one, was called for. Then maybe, just maybe, this drug frenzy could end, and I could get straight enough to cope with whatever might happen at dawn.
Nessus and I both knew that in our state, meeting anyone could lead to vicious consequences for everyone involved. Without a word, we snuck back to our room through back-end tunnels and through access hatchways. Suddenly we were standing in front the door to our room. The Mint in its effort to prevent hacking had gone back to the metallic key model, and Nessus had two of them in his hands.
"Try them both first," I said. "if the door is booby-trapped like I think it is, it won't trip on the wrong key."
Nessus grunted and struggled with the first one. His knobbed mouthstalks were tremorless, and his motions were sure; it was just that he couldn't get the goddamned thing into the keyhole.
"Jesus Christ," he said through the keys. "They've changed the locks on us. Goddamnit. We're toast."
"Wait a minute," I said. "Give me that fucking--" and I reached to grab the keys out of his mouth, and they both fell to the floor.
"Now look what you've done!" Nessus roared, and his voice carried through the hallway like thunder. "You rat bastard! You wanted me to try the door first!"
I ignored him--clearly the idiot couldn't see that it was both of us who were in danger from these hotel fascists--and sat down Indian fashion on the hallway carpet, digging through the lush fibers, enchanted by the rich feel of it all, trying to find the keys, which were escaping me for some reason. After a long time I found one, and I looked up happily at Nessus, who was still screaming, Jesus, still screaming.
"You organlegging son of a bitch!" he yelled as I looked up and my mind began to process what he was saying again. "I've been on to you since Jinx! How much did you get for me? 50,000? A hundred?"
Then he saw the key I was holding up, and he grabbed it from me savagely.
"Ha!" he said. "You fucked up, now! Let me open this goddamned thing."
And he did. There was the sound of the key scraping its way into the keyhole, a thud as the bolt retracted, and the door swung backwards from Nessus and me, and we looked into our room, which looked, as best as we could tell, perfectly normal, and absolutely undisturbed.
"Quick," I said, leaping up and over the threshold into the room even before Nessus could enter. "Thank Ghod we made it back in time, before those jackbooted brownshirts got here. Hide the drugs and the weapons, and destroy everything else."
Nessus, once he saw the room, became entranced, stopped his yelling and got with the program. He immediately went for the kit bag, and for our holsters. Then he pulled something else out: the Sinclair molecule chain.
My eyes went wide, I'm sure. "Oh no, you don't." The molecule chain makes a straight razor look like a chisel, cut you clean in half without a drop of blood. Who knows the damage it could do in the knobs of a dangerous Puppeteer in the throes of an acid freakout?
"Nessus, put the molecule chain down," I said, trying to sound calm.
Instead, he swung the button heads through a light shade. It come apart effortlessly, the lamp beheaded without a sound, as the monomelcular wire disassembled the fabric and wire at the atomic level. The only noise save Nessus' cackling was the shade as it hit the carpet. Nessus moved towards the writing desk. He sliced it in thirds in fifteen seconds. Then he grabbed paintings off the wall, stood them up on the floor, and sliced them into thin strips. And then a bookshelf and then the vidscreen, and then he turned to me.
Turn your back on a man, but never on a drug, is what they say. I looked Nessus straight in his eyestalks. "Oh no, you don't. We need some sleep, you freaking psychopath. Put down the molecule chain, and let's get some rest. I wanna get down to the garage in the morning."
"Don't worry about it, Bey," he said, and he sounded almost reasonable. "I don't wanna hurt you."
"I just want to slice your jugular to see what happens."
Sometimes, when insanity shows up, the only thing to do is to split the scene. I backed towards the doorway.
"Alright, you twisted freak, last time I do acid with you. I'm gonna go down to the restaurant and grab some limes for my morning Cuba Libres. Hopefully you'll have calmed down--or just cut yourself to ribbons--by the time I return."
With my hands in the air, I carefully backed towards the doorway. Nessus watched me go, and he looked almost sad as I left the room and shut the door, which had been open the entire time.