Man, I can see why storytellers of your era like to over-use cliffhangers. You should have seen the look on your face! “Oh no, is he dead?! WTF?!” LOL, I say, in your parlance. That abbreviation always confounded me, though. I mean, I know it’s supposed to be “laughing out loud,” obviously. But what I don’t get is if it’s supposed to be a way to save time and effort and keystrokes…why not just type “L”? Do we really need the “out loud” part? That’s not verifiable, and even if it was, it wouldn’t matter. All I need to know is that — on some level — you thought it was funny. I don’t care if you laughed out loud or laughed inwardly or laughed while jacking off a walrus with three dicks.
LWJOWW3D is gonna end up on one of those damn plastic bracelets now, isn’t it? Fuck it all.
So! Shockwave shot Wiseau. No one was more surprised than Wiseau. Of course, he was even more surprised that he could still register surprise. He knew his trusted friend and partner for years couldn’t shoot for shit, but there was no way he would miss from point blank range. But then it occurred to him that he was no longer in the secret cloning facility hidden under their devastated country estate…he was in a holding cell back at headquarters, staring at a very confused barista.
“Uh…so, does this mean I can go now?” said the young man.
Wiseau ignored him, and instead started pacing the room, muttering to himself. “I don’t understand none of this. He clones me, but he kills the clones? He kills the clones, then protects me? He protects me, but then shoots me? He does not actually shoot me, but bridges me here? You make me crazy, Shockwave!”
The barista sighed, muttered “And so it goes…” then dropped his face back into his palms.
“GUARDS!” Wiseau screamed as he pounded on the door. “Let me out of here!” A slot in the door opened after Tommy had made enough racket, and the guard that looked in didn’t quite believe what he was seeing. But after providing his identification card, badge, retina scan, voiceprint, sign, countersign, blood sample, urine sample, and singing the agency fight song backwards AND in Latin, the guard freed him from the cell. Tommy made a beeline for the Research & Development, where Shockwave kept both an office and a laboratory. And after finding both places turned figuratively upside down, his oddly-crafted mind arrived quite jarringly at the appropriate conclusion. “Shockwave didn’t kill the clones. But who?”
A wave of thoughts crested over Tommy’s frenzied brain as he made his way out of the building, down to the garage, and onto his Suzuki Hayabusa. Why was Shockwave cloning him? Who would kill 43 Wiseau clones? How would he or she even know they existed? Why would they pile them up in a coffee shop Tommy and Shockwave frequented and then keep the heads? How could they have bypassed all of Shockwave’s intricate and usually lethal security measures? He revved his engine and sped out into what was now dusk, trying to ignore the last question: How powerful and dangerous was their enemy?
The sun had set by the time he arrived at the only place he could think of to go: the scene of the crime. The coffee shop was still roped off, but the lights were on, and as Tommy put down the kickstand on his motorcycle, he swore he saw movement through the windows of the building. He drew his revolver, checked that it was fully loaded, then crept around to a back entrance. The door was unlocked, but just as he was about to step through, a metallic hand grabbed his shoulder and hauled him back.
“Thomas, going in there would be seriously unwise. We are dealing with a force here that is beyond even my understanding.”
“Oh hi, Shockwave! How did you find me? Why did you bridge me to holding? Why are you cloning me?!”
The purple Decepticon lowered himself onto one knee. He had repaired the damage to his chestplate, but it was a quick fix. The glow still flickered occasionally, and scorch marks lined the spot where the hole once was. “I was tracking you the whole time, Thomas. And I knew that — left to your own devices — you would somehow arrive at the least-likely yet somehow correct conclusion. This is why I have been cloning you. Your mind is completely unlike mine. Unlike even other humans. It is capable of incredible leaps of deduction that bypass wisdom, experience, or even reason. As advanced, powerful, and intelligent as I am, I cannot do what you can do. But your brain is also flawed. You are needlessly reckless and prone to self-destructive behavior. I have tried to mitigate these flaws, but whatever I try either fails, or hampers your gifts. Cloning was the only option to ensure that you remain at my side.”
Tommy blinked. “Wait…so you made copies in case I die?”
“No. I made copies because you have died. 12 times. The last being almost three years ago, which is actually the longest you have remained active since I became your partner.”
There was silence for a long time. I mean, how does one respond to that? Dying even once is outside the realm of possibility for me, so I can’t even fathom dying twelve times. Most of these were suicides. Some broad would screw with his head or cheat on him or just straight-out dump him, and Tommy would feed himself his service revolver. It was one of the reasons Shockwave insisted on a move to the country — so Tommy would have fewer opportunities to engage the opposite sex. And no, no, no, I’m not saying that all women drive men insane…just this particular man. I mean, he also killed himself once after a particularly turbulent season of American Idol, so it’s not like he’s the most stable platform. Shockwave instituted a “No Reality TV” rule after that, which is something you should all think about, honestly. But to illustrate the kind of leaps that the Wiseau Brain made, he zoomed straight past all the other questions he could have asked about his deaths, about his clones, and about how he himself was a clone and the “original” was long dead. Instead, he looked up into Shockwave’s glowing yellow eye and whispered:
“You love me.”
The Decepticon registered no such emotion, or any other emotion for that matter, but you can be assured that subroutines were running their asses off inside that Cybertronian brain of his. “I am incapable of what you perceive as love. But perhaps, under the most technical definition of –”
Shockwave was interrupted by a shadowed figure leaning in the doorway. “Well, this is absolutely touching, and I do hate to break it up, but you two have absolutely wrecked my timetable as it is.”
Now, in TV shows, the shocked heroes usually exclaim the name of the revealed villain right before they cut to commercial. But neither Wiseau or Shockwave did this. And I understand why not, because it’s cliche, and people don’t really work like that…but it does tend to serve a narrative function. As it is, I’m going to have to be the one to tell you who was behind all of this, and since I’m a dispassionate observer with no horse in the race, it has less punch coming from me.
But anyway: The barista did it.