[Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Epilogue]
I woke up in a med-mob bed. Woochie was smiling down at me. I sat up, a little too quickly.
"What happened?" I asked, holding my head in pain.
Wu put her hand on my chest and eased me back down on the bed.
"I rescued your ass, is what happened," she said.
"But ... how? The toxin!"
"Derezzed. When you got close to the exit, I picked up your signal. I sent in a team, which found you and Steve and the girl holding a gun on you both. The team stunned the lot of you and brought you out. It didn't take long to figure out what was going on.
"We fixed the control mod and extracted the derezzer directly from her wi. We've had a little more trouble with the babble job, however. We're hoping you can help us."
The door opened and she walked in. She was dressed in a simple white robe. The bruises on her face had been treated with skin sealant and were already shrinking.
"SimplyJews," she said. "You know, it might work! How they do it in Taiwan."
Wu said, "If you can keep her talking while I take a look at her, I may spot the right circuits."
"All right," I replied. I couldn't believe I was already cured. "How's Steve?"
"He'll be ok. New arms regrowing. But he's out for a while."
The girl sat on the edge of the bed. Wu sat down beside her with a neural neutralizer and began poking at her wi.
"Do you understand what we're going to do?" I asked.
She reached out for my hand. "Everyone Needs Therapy. Going Home, Part One. A dad and a missing cell phone."
"That's right. Going home." I took her hand.
She looked at me penitently. "Heichal HaNegina. LAG B’OMER: The Fires of Rashbi. The last day of his life."
"Ah, don't worry about it," I said. "Kylie had a control job on you. You couldn't help it."
"Life in Israel. Southern Judean Desert. Touring Israel." She put my hand to her face.
"Now don't get all sappy on me," I warned her. She smiled.
She took my hand and put it to her lips, and kissed my fingertips. "Torah Thoughts. B'har: on equal footing. Give to the Poor."
"I'd be happy to, if Woochie will give us some privacy," I replied.
Wu scowled at me around her ministrations with the girl's wi, "If you don't mind ..."
"My Right Word. Don't Be Fooled. By the prime minister of Lebanon."
"Oh, Woochie's not all that bad. One time, she even ..."
A sudden spark shot out from the wi, and the girl bolted upright. Her eye's glassed over. She swayed on her feet.
"Militants in Pictures & Captions. They're really terrorists."
And then she dived for my throat, hand clawing at my flesh.
Her momentum knocked us both off the bed onto the floor. Medical equipment tumbled and crashed around us.
In my weakened state, she overpowered me. Her hands found my throat and began tightening. She was screaming.
"Ellie's Exposition! ... Coerced Cooperation. Mitzvos aseh shehazeman gerama."
"Wh ... Wh ... " I croaked. Wu Chin scrambled to her feet and jumped onto and over the bed.
"I must have triggered another trap! I'm sorry!" She jumped onto the girl, the net result of which was that both of them crashed on top of me. The rest of my wind was knocked out of me, but at least the clutching hands let go of my throat.
"Pure Widows," the girl screamed and struggled as Wu tackled her and pinned her down. "Who can kohanim marry?"
"Get the neutralizer!" yelled Wu.
I scrambled and found it on the bed and knelt down to the girl. It sparked when it came near her wi.
"Little Frumhouse on the Prarie. Forgive Us, Father-in-Law, For We Know Not What To Think. When you don't really believe! Ahhhhh!"
"I forgive you! I forgive you! Now lie still!" I yelled back. I brought the neutralizer close to he wi, as the sparks grew brighter and the skin on my hand and her ear began to burn. Wu's hand was across her head, and she began to bite it.
"Ahhh!" yelled Wu. "Do it already!"
"I want to disable it without killing her!"
"Random Thoughts. Reasons Why I Am Not A Pulpit Rabbi." Her faced was once again etched in agony.
I could smell my own burning flesh now. Almost got it ...
"Careful of the identity matrix circuits!" yelled Wu.
"Veeblog! Going Off One Generation at a Time. Don't compromise on the mitzvot!"
"Almost ... There!"
And she collapsed. A moment's silence was interrupted by a precariously balanced metal bowl falling off the nightstand onto the floor with a clatter.
Wu sat back on her heels. "Is she ... alive?"
I placed my head onto her chest. A faint heartbeat.
"I think so. Let's get her onto the bed."
We picked her up and laid her out. I sat down next to her, holding her hand.
"Well that was a kick in the teeth," said Wu, slumping into a chair. "Figures Kylie would throw us one more trap for his own amusement." She spit onto the floor.
"Wait. She's waking up."
The girl's head was moving. She was muttering. I bent my head down to hear her.
"Reb Chaim HaQoton, Herod and the eternal sancitiy of the Holy Temple, don't destroy temples. Ignoble Experiment, The REAL Zionist Conspiracy, must organize Jewish bloggers to lobby America." Her voice trailed off.
I hung my head. Wu began attending to my burnt hand with skin sealant.
A moment passed. Her eyes opened.
"Hello, Jonny," she said.
My head shot up and I looked at her, disbelieving.
"No really, I'm better now."
I took her hand with my good one, and she grasped me in return. A single tear rolled down her cheek.
"Wha ... What's your name?" I asked, finally.