True Blue Lou
by K. Kylyra Ameringer
"Me?" Lou asked. "I had nothing to do with this! I'm a loyal citizen -"
"You had everything to do with it!" Phoebe told him. "We needed you to gain access to Traffic Control. How else do you think Yuri was going to get in here? He's been putting up with your attitude for years now. And Gloria had to make sure that everyone who could gain access to the common room was informed repeatedly about my performances, which I must say were rather convincing."
Gloria nodded her head. "It wasn't easy to continually override communications controls. We had to make sure every citizen in the complex was well aware of Phoebe's bizarre behavior after the manifestation process - you did do admirably well, by the way -" she added, nodding to Phoebe, "so that both Administration and Traffic Control viewed it as a normal occurrence."
"And she made sure," Yuri piped up, "to only calm down in your presence."
"I have to ask," Gloria interrupted, looking at Phoebe, "who thought up that thing about ponies?"
Phoebe rolled her eyes and looked at Lou. "It was his idea."
The trio stared at Lou. Yuri shook his head and continued. "By pretending to increase her reliance on you Phoebe caused your manager, your Tech, even the Special Ops team to implicitly trust you to handle the situation."
"Hmmm..." Phoebe said, "I suppose I could have done better. It did take over six years."
"Time well spent," Gloria affirmed.
"Speaking of time," Yuri said, glancing around, "we should probably be going." The trio packed their belongings and hid them as Lou sat with his eyes glazed over.
"Are you going to finish that?" Yuri asked Lou, indicating his now cool cup of espresso.
"Hurry up, Yuri," Gloria said as she helped Phoebe drag Lou out of his seat.
Lou felt the others pull him towards the exit. He'd been made accomplice to acts of sabotage, subversive activity, and treason. They would be caught, and he with them. He'd come under investigation, face prosecution...
The foursome paused before stepping through the doorway. "Well," Phoebe said, releasing her hold on Lou and slouching over, "time for another command performance."
Lou felt the familiar popping sensation of stepping through the doorway and then he was in the central office area. Yuri and Gloria let go of their hold on him and he swayed slightly on the doorstep as he caught sight of his manager standing nearby, waiting for them. They'd been found out!
"Hello, Lou," his manager nodded, ignoring Yuri and Gloria who melted away into the background. "Is she -?"
Phoebe stepped through the doorway with a soft pop. She slouched over and let drool run from her mouth. "People, people. People in boxes. Phoebe remembers the boxes, yes, run the maze, Phoebe does, yes," she said.
"Phoebe," Lou's manager said, stepping closer to his field agent. "How are you now? Feeling better?"
"Phoebe here now, Phoebe at home, yes."
"That's right, Phoebe," Lou's manager continued. He glanced at Lou. "Did Lou take care of you?"
"Lou, Lou, Blue Lou, always here to take care of you," Phoebe said, fawning at Lou's side. "Phoebe likes Lou."
"And he explained everything? How no one here is out to get you? There are no plots or schemes against you, Phoebe. You know that, right? Lou explained it to you."
"No, no. No plots or schemes, yes, Phoebe knows," Phoebe drooled by Lou's side.
"Excellent!" Lou's manager beamed at him. "Let me be the first to congratulate you, Lou. You've been named the Pride Department's Demon of the Month! I alerted Administration when I got back to my office. Do you know that's the fourth time you've gotten Phoebe down from the chandelier? Hell is awarding you for outstanding service and loyalty. We all understand how difficult it is to be First Liaison to The Demon of Terrified Paranoia."
"Lou, Lou. Blue Lou. True Blue Lou, true blue. Lou is loyal, yes, Lou, Lou, Phoebe trusts Lou."
Lou's manager barked a short laugh. "Yes, Phoebe. Lou is true blue." He regarded Lou with a smile. "How about we celebrate? I'll buy you an espresso."
True Blue Lou by K. Kylyra Ameringer