Entourage:2039 Chapter 23: Vincent and Ari in the Spirit World (part four)

Is this all weird, confusing and a little scary for you? Start at chapter one.

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Vince and the girl visit the production’s barn and quietly retrieve the “Unicorn” – the flawless white horse presented to Vince in the film, now without its horn, of course. They lead the horse along the path to the small stand of forest being used for the shoot, and then, to Ari’s growing amazement, they take off their shoes and walk barefoot into the trees. A little way in, they come to a clearing, where moonlight is shining down on the blue grass. Ari hangs back among the trees, like the multiple-personalities serial killer in eight of the scripts currently piled on his desk. Vince and the girl stand in the moonlight and- they just talk to each other. Ari can’t believe this shit. They’re just talking. Now the girl is holding Vince’s hand, and rubbing her other hand on the back of his neck, and she whispers something in his hear. And… is he?? Is Vincent Chase crying??

Ari tries to turn away – he’s seen enough – but before he can he sees the girl take out some kind of horrible New Mexico turquoise-and-crystal necklace, and he sees Vincent bow his head so she can place it around his neck.

The next morning, Ari is ready to go: he’s seen more than enough. He shakes hands with Vince, and leans in to a half-hug, yelling in his ear to be heard over the prop wash of the waiting helicopter.

“You’re fine. Everything’s going to be OK.” Ari tells Vince, even though the commitment plan is now fully formed in his head- even though he already made a few phone calls to exclusive private facilities when he awake at four thirty a.m. that morning. As turns and walks towards the helicopter, Ari feels good: He is never more true to himself than when he is lying to someone.

And as Vince watches his friend recede into the sky, he feels good too, because he is never more true to himself then when he is telling someone what he wants to hear, when he is being what the world wants him to be.

And just like that, it’s over. Ari sits bolt upright in the California King of the black hotel suite with the black windows in the heart of the black Santa Monica night, with his black heart beating two hundred times a minute in his chest- but fuck that, because he’s still alive he’s still here he’s still Ari Gold who does what needs to be done and runs straight into the guns of the enemy and takes it in the gut, like a soldier.

And Vincent is back: falling into the ocean, and then he’s in the black water and it’s in his lungs and he can’t breathe but he’s not afraid and he sits straight up in the bedroom of the derelict house floating on the dead sea of the night desert, and the girl Mary is there, and she’s been watching him, and everything is new.

Entourage:2039 Chapter 20: Vincent and Ari in the Spirit World (part one)

The party is a quiet one. It should have been a great night- Ari’s army had made their way from Chavez Ravine to the coast with no casualties at all, unless you counted a little indigestion and light vomiting. They’d plundered and looted a swath as wide as a football field across the remains of the city, and now here they were at the end of a hard day’s work, in Santa Monica, ensconced in the safehouse of the late beachfront luxury hotel, Shutters.

The boss had made a perfunctory toast – thanking everyone for their hard work – but no one was really buying it. He wasn’t smiling, and everyone knew what it meant when the boss didn’t smile at all, which was the same thing it meant when the boss smiled too much- which was that heads were going to roll, and soon.

Mr. Gold disappeared immediately afterward, bound for a sound- and light-proof suite on a floor so secure that 99 percent of the guests at the party would be shot dead before they were allowed to set foot on it. So the party isn’t very good, because everyone is just standing around looking at everyone else, trying to figure out who’s going to be dead before seven tomorrow morning. Some people are trying- there was a run down to the beach, and a few people even went in the water, laughing off the risk of certain, fast, extremely painful death that comes when you feel a forty-foot tentacle tightening around your ankle.

No one sees one of Things in the water on this night; no one sees anything much unusual- least of all the spirit, or avatar, or whatever of Vincent Chase floating in the dark outside the big hotel windows and looking in at Ari Gold holding a glass of fine red wine. Not only do they not see Vince, they don’t see Ari either because Ari has retired a good three hours earlier. Ari is 16 floors up, mired in combination of a meditative state, sleep, and a stupor induced by three of the industrial-grade Sequonel tranquilizers he carries at all times, in a little zippered compartment on the inside of his left boot.

The party actually looks pretty good to Vince, floating outside the window. No one seems to be having much fun, sure, and it’s a total sausage fest. But Vince’s standards are not what they once were. He sees these professional mercenaries- sipping wine and cocktails, and talking quietly in pairs and small groups about who pillaged what and the things and people they shot- and he experiences an overpowering urge to be with them, just for ten minutes, cracking jokes and holding court again, having three or four drinks and then, when his new friends have been brought effortlessly into his orbit, heading out to look for some weed, or some girls – anything – just keep the night going and see what happens.

The urge is so strong, there are so many memories coming back now all at once that Vince wants to cry, or scream that it’s all a mistake, it has to be a mistake it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this- but there’s no time because he’s flying now, away from the hotel and the lights of the restaurant perched on the end of this ruined city: The last light in the world- and it shrinks smaller and smaller behind him until it’s a tiny yellow-white dot swallowed by the endless night, and Vince feels himself being torn away from everything that he ever loved, or wanted in his life, and now there is no light at all and nothing below him but the bottomless black ocean, and now he is falling.

Entourage:2039 Chapter 10: “In the Garden of Allah”

It’s hard to worry, from way here up on the roof. Which is a good thing, because Mr. Gold doesn’t like to worry. He could have replaced his personal staff years ago, brought in the cyborgs, but that’s just not Mr Gold’s style. What good is yelling at something that lacks the capacity for humiliation? What good is directing hate at something that lacks the good sense to hate itself afterwards? No, Mr. Gold prefers to employ flesh and blood. Mr. Gold is a humanitarian.

He calls this place The Garden of Allah. Ari likes the connotation of Old Hollywood glamor. And the “Allah” thing makes him laugh, too. Mr. Gold doesn’t have any problem with Muslims, in principle- as long as they stay outside the wall. Ari’s kingdom is bordered by the 2 freeway to the east, Western avenue and the remains of the 101 on the western side, and Griffith Park on the North. Standing on the twenty-foot high, twelve foot thick battlement, a guard can look over the sight of his assault rifle (Israeli-made) and see smoke rising from the hillsides and reclaimed fairways of the huge park. It’s best not to ask too many questions about what goes on in the park.

But inside Ari’s Green Zone, all is peaceful and efficient. A frontal assault by any enemy is unthinkable. Uniformed, smiling Vincent Chases serve as security guards, valets, street entertainers, and for the right discreetly-arranged price, private concubine to the needy of either sex. It would be a stretch to call it Paradise, but you can get whatever you need in Ari’s little kingdom, if you want it bad enough.

“This kid doesn’t look happy,” thought Ari to himself, as he looked at one of his sub-commanders standing in front of him like he had a particularly pointy stick up his butt.

“Here’s your drink, Mr. Gold, sir.”

Ari took the frozen concoction off the tray. It was good for the kids: He had started in the mailroom and he had clawed his way up, because he wanted it. So just because this kid had killed a few people for him and gotten a few medals pinned on him, that didn’t mean he was too good to serve drinks all of a sudden.

Ari looked through the sparkles of light forming on the rim of the glass, refracting off the big grains of Dead Sea salt. The kid was still here.

“What?”

“Well, sir… Mr. Gold…” The kid looked like he was going to piss himself.

“Spit it out!”

Ari hurled the glass over the kid’s head, and it shattered somewhere off in one of the grottoes. Jesus, was the kid crying? The glass hadn’t even come close- he’d purposely sailed it at least two feet over his head.

“Yes sir, Mr. Gold. There was another attack. They came up through the pipes.”

Ari was awake now. He sat up straight, and took off his sunglasses. “What did they get?”

“A couple of hard drives. We think it was some of the Source.”

Ari was actually starting to like this kid. He had straightened up there at the end, and answered like a man. Someone handed him a rag and he oiled his pistol, lovingly. The spent cartridge was still smoking on the ground next to his wicker Chaise lounge, liberated from poolside at the Peninsula.

In the background, two servants were carrying away the kid’s body, and three more were bleaching the bloodstain back into nothing. But all that was out of focus. Who could possibly know where to find that code, or understand its full significance? This wasn’t just some random Griffith Park tribal Mad Max bullshit. They were Beyond Thunderdome here. Ari was going to find out exactly who was fucking with him, and then he was going to deal with it, just like back in the mailroom, just like he always had. Two men enter, one man leaves.

Ari dug for his phone, which had worked its way down into the cushions of the chair when he’d gone for his gun. He was going to need another drink.