"So what the hell is it?" Zed growls.
"Haven’t a clue," K replies.
"What?" J yells. "C just finds some damn thing lying around on some random planet, and he just brings it right on back here?"
"Pretty much," K says, giving it a poke.
"Well, don’t do that, dammit!" J yells again.
"You worry too much."
"You mean, I’m not a crazy old guy who goes around poking things that are gonna suck off his skin or some shit, so his partner has to go--."
Zed has had a lot of practice ignoring K and J when they go on like this, and right now he’s too busy scowling at the object to play referee.
Whatever it is, it’s big. Two stories tall big. So big, they’re leaving it in the Landing Bay for now, until they get one of the larger labs cleared for it.
Zed pulls out his MiBlackberry and brings up a holographic display showing the results of the initial scans. They were enough for the techs to print out a 3D model, which looks exactly like the full-size version but doesn’t do them a damn bit of good because even the best scans haven’t been able to get under the hood so they can figure out what the hell it’s supposed to do, much less how it works.
Zed gives the artifact another glare. "All right, both of you shut it," he growls and points. "I want that fucking thing explained, and as of three minutes ago it became your problem. I don’t care how the hell you do it, but I’m not having it in MY Headquarters--."
Say... did the artifact just go ‘click’ and point something at Zed just then?
"—and not know what it does. So get on it!"
He spins on his heel and stomps out.
* * *
Three hours later, Zed is sitting in his office in the middle of the MiB Main Hall when the lights go out.
"Goddammit." He punches his comm. "B! How much juice are you idiots sucking down there? We’ve got a blackout up here, for fuck’s sake."
Agent B isn’t having any of it: "What the hell are you talking about? The only sucking going on around here is--."
"Well, if you’re not draining the goddamn generators," Zed interrupts. "Who the hell else would be?"
"What are you, senile? I’m looking at the status board now, and everything’s fine."
"Fine my ass, all the lights are out--." Zed stops. The lights are out in his office all right. But the rest of the Main Hall--clearly visible in the windows surrounding his egg-shaped office--looks perfectly normal. Zed growls.
"What?" B barks.
"Never mind. Get back to work. Try doing something goddamn useful today. That’d be a change."
"How about you go f—!" B starts before Zed shuts off the comm.
Zed heaves himself up and stomps out of his office, onto the causeway linking his office to the upper level of the Main Hall. Seeing an agent walking across the floor below, he lens over the rail and shouts "T! Where the hell is S? I need her to check out my office---."
Zed pauses and looks up. The lights over the causeway just went out.
Zed makes a noise. Then jerks out his MiBlackberry again. He mashes the power up button. Then mashes it again.
Nothing. No display. No shimmering lightboard.
Zed starts bashing the button with his fist.
T looks up worriedly. "Uhhh, Chief?"
"Nothing! Just get S, dammit, and tell her to get the hell up here."
T hustles off. Zed sighs and turns back to his office. The lights are on in there again.
"Huh," Zed grunts. "Ok, then." He walks back in.
The lights go off.
* * *
Twelve hours later, it’s confirmed: everywhere Zed goes, the tech shuts down. Which makes the labs off-limits, along with the generator rooms, the anti-gravity chambers, the high-security cell levels...
It’s driving him nuts.
In fact, it’s driven him to the point where he’s actually considering--. Zed drums his fingers on his desk in the dark for a while, and then calls out:
"All right, you Big Bastard. I know you can hear me. Open the goddamn Door, I’m coming in. Right now, even Your dump would be an improvement."
Apparently, the Landlord’s not about to pass up a chance like that. The glass door to Zed’s office swings open, and there’s the bar. Zed lurches up from his desk, and with a sigh, walks through.