Season Content notes: fictional bigotry
T-minus 1 year 65 days
Amal squatted down in the middle of the room and looked at his team. Joan held up the wall while she fiddled with her tablet. Amal didn’t ask what she was doing — he knew he wouldn’t understand anyway. On the chair next to her, Ahnold sat at attention and glared a hole through the Amal. (Not literally. He didn’t have laser eyes, even when he wasn’t wearing his skin suit.) In the other corner, Sarge was sitting on the floor surrounded by a disassembled gun or 10.
When Amal took his glasses off and tucked them away, Joan and Sarge stopped what they were doing to focus on him. Ahnold, of course, did not.
“The Council has a mission for us,” he said. “It’s an assassination.”
That got Ahnold’s attention. “We are finally going after the usurper?”
“No.” Amal braced himself. “They want Colonel — excuse me, General Cheung taken out.”
“You’ve gotta be kidding.”
“Cheung is not the enemy.”
“Right,” Amal nodded. “Cheung was always one of the good guys. But as much as I hate to say it, they just got a promotion. Why? They’ve been stuck at colonel for over a decade. What did they do — or agree to — to finally get stars?
“The Council knows more than we do, and they’re the legitimate government.”
Joan, in a rare display of temper, stomped around the room for a minute. When she stopped, she was glaring at Amal. “What aren’t you telling us?”
Amal shook his head and stood up to face her. “They want us to make it look like the Bastard ordered it.”
“So this isn’t really about Cheung or anything he’s done. It’s a maneuver.
“We’re supposed to be the good guys, Amal.”
They were in the basement. Cliche but one of the easiest ways to deter physical snooping was still solid concrete and dirt. Amal wished, desperately, for a window. He wanted to see distance, the horizon. Something to remind him of the big picture and the peace it could give.
“We are the good guys, Joan,” he said. “But being the good guys doesn’t make this a fairy tale. We need to keep our eyes on the goal. Sometimes that means making some hard choices.”
“Maybe,” Sarge said from his corner. “I don’t like what I’m hearing, the type of people the Council is recruiting… Hard choices we got, and maybe not the obvious ones.”
Amal sighed and rubbed his head. “I know. I know. But with the Bastard having so many nonhumans supporting him, it was inevitable that folks afraid of them would support us. And the Council isn’t actively recruiting the haters. In fact, I received warnings against working with them. They aren’t to be trusted.”
“That’s something. I just…”
“We’re the good guys,” Amal smiled, “We want to act like it. But even the good guys need to get a bit dirty sometimes.”
Reluctantly, Joan nodded. “I don’t like it. But you may be right. And that Bastard is sure as hell wrong, so…”
“So let’s get planning.”
And the light’s cut out.
What? No. I didn’t run out of time to write this. It’s an artistic choice. Really, you people…
How NOT to Save the World (S2, E5)