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Overheard somewhere between Milwaukee and the 8th Dimension:
"Skip, you messed up out in California."
"Gee, ya think? I only had to manage an ascension for a new warrior, figure out how to stave off the apocalypse when the only tool left in the box was one guy with nothing but guts and heart, and stop someone praying to Chaos to spark off the Big One."
"Yeah, I know, I know. But the bosses have called a Red Alert anyway. Ya gonna finish that frank?"
"Get yer own. And lemme guess: they heard about Angel being dropped in the harbor? That wasn't my fault and you damn well know it."
"It ain't that. The quiet, the solitude, probably do him some good. Course, if someone doesn't find him in a few months, he might be a little punchy, but them's the risks. There's something worse."
"Look, whatever it is, we'll handle it. We always have, we always will."
"You obviously haven't seen the paper recently."
"So I slipped a little on the big picture. I was on assignment. Is that a crime?"
"Just look at the paper."
"Okay. India and Pakistan heading for war. Bad, but not our department. Middle East a mess: gee, where've I heard that before?"
"Wrong section, Skip."
"Brush fires. You sure this isn't last year's paper?"
"New Star Wars flick was a bomb. Damn."
"Skip, will ya just keep going?"
"Lakers reach NBA finals. This isn't news, it's a rerun."
"Yeah, Skip. Now look at who's on the other end of the bracket there."
"Okay, okay. Lakers beat Kings in overtime, will go for the three-peat against the ... oh, crap."
"Now do ya see what's got the bosses so worried?"
"This ain't real. Someone must've opened up a door to a parallel universe. It can't be real."
"Oh, believe me, it's real. This could be as bad as the '86 World Series."
"Now I understand the Red Alert, but come on, the East Coast isn't my jurisdiction."
"You couldn't have schlepped out there once?"
"Come on, Whistler. They're the Nets, for crying out loud."
"And a Nets championship is one of the biggest primers for the End of Days. Dammit, you know that as well as I do."
"So we all dropped the ball there. How pissed can the bosses be?"
"'Pissed' ain't the word, Skip. Next week, maybe they'll have calmed down to 'pissed'."
"Look, Whistler, you don't tell them about how I let the Nets get this close, and I won't tell them about how you went on a bar crawl and woke up to find the Sox one strike away from the Apocalypse back in '86, okay?"
"Hey, wait a minute, that was not my fault!"
"Yuh-huh. That'll draw a lot of water with the bosses, I'm sure..."