One in a Minion: Chapter Eight - Regimes, Rings and Rebellions (Part Three)
"Budge up, you pillock – I'm being squished here!"
Cleveley sharply elbowed her brother in the ribs as she fought for more space among the mops, brushes and cabinets that crowded the small supply closet they had found themselves in. The additional presence of Parker and Sanders only made matters worse – the group coming dangerously close to being entangled in each other's limbs.
Parker scrunched herself up even tighter as the door was pushed open onto her. Through the very narrow crack this provided, Redmond awkwardly managed to slip into the closet herself.
"Thank you all for agreeing to meet with me," she said, drumming up a smile as she hunched herself up into the least cluttered corner.
"I'm not sure this is the best location," Carnesky grumbled.
"We can't risk being found or overheard," Redmond replied. "What we're planning is treason… maybe even a suicide mission. But we all agree that Malvolio has to be stopped. Sanders, you're a demoted commander. Parker is an Evil Minions Union representative and wants it to reform. Carnesky, Cleveley – you were stripped of your guard positions."
"He called us unreliable, the cheeky bastard," Cleveley snapped. "You try stopping an intruder you can't see. We asked The Great One for heat vision goggles – we got told they were ' an unnecessary luxury'."
"Please," Sanders pleaded. "Don’t speak ill of The Great One. Not in the circumstances."
"Although, since the subject has been raised, that's an interesting point," Parker piped up. "Once we overthrow Malvolio, and with The Great One MIA, who is going to be in power?"
"Well, my vote, if I have one, is for Redmond," Cleveley said. "She's the one who's running all this."
"Thank you, but I don't want that kind of power," Redmond told her humbly. "Perhaps the Union could establish some kind of council?"
"No," Sanders asserted. "It has to be Ashworth."
"Well, it was a given that you'd choose him," Carnesky challenged. "You're been trying to get in his trousers for years – we all know that. But if we're establishing a new order, why should he automatically get the top position just because he was second-in-command before?"
"It's not just that," Sanders continued. "It's… it's his birthright."
This revelation brought about a stunned silence.
"What… what do you mean?" Redmond asked.
"His full name is Audric Ashworth," Sanders explained. "He's the son of The Great One – Augustus Philemon Ashworth - and the late Dark Empress. After his mother died, his father had to choose between raising him, or world domination. So, he handed Audric over to the Minion Division, but ensured he'd have the very best training so he could one day be his successor."
Redmond nodded thoughtfully.
"Ashworth always was very powerful… his telekinesis was the talk of the training grounds."
"But doesn't he suffer from ill health?" Parker added.
"A side effect of Lommick's vaccine," Sanders replied. "He had it whilst he was still in his mother's womb."
"So, he might not reign for long, then," Cleveley observed.
"But he'll be a strong ruler," Parker noted. "Already respected by the minions. And the title is rightfully his both through blood, and the fact The Great One willed it so. I'm with you, Sanders. Ashworth is the true successor."
Carnesky and Cleveley hastily mumbled their agreement.
"Plus, if he marries Sanders, he might have an heir," Carnesky quipped – causing Sanders to blush scarlet.
"So, we're agreed," Redmond said, moving the meeting along. "We overthrow Malvolio, and declare Ashworth our new overlord."
"There's just one problem," Sanders continued. "I'm not sure he'll accept the title straight away. He's desperate to save his father."
"Well… tell him it's only temporary," Redmond said kindly. "Once the entire organisation's resources are at his command, it will give him the best possible chance of bringing back The Great One. I can’t blame him for wanting to save him. Any loving child wants to protect their parent."
"I think he'll agree to that."
"In that case, our first step to putting the wheels in motion is to get all of the other minions on our side."
"No worries there," Cleveley scoffed. "Everyone hates that red-headed bastard. Hungry to the bone, worn out from constant training. A few whispers through the ranks will soon get the ball rolling."
"I'm not sure it's enough," Parker said reluctantly. "We need some sort of trigger. A spark to light the bonfire."
A soft rapping on the door had everyone turning their heads. As Redmond opened up the door – slowly, cautiously – she risked a peek outside, dreading the sight of a commander. Instead, she was met the worried face of Franklin. She let him in without delay: the conspirators groaning as they struggled to bunch together even closer than before.
"Thanks for coming, Franklin," Redmond said, before noticing the terrified look in his eyes. "Is… is everything all right?"
Franklin fought his way to the cluster towards Cleveley and hurriedly grabbed hold of her hand. After a bemused pause, the ex-guard began to shake it up and down.
"Yes, Franklin," she told him, her confusion clear in her voice. "I'm happy to see you too."
Franklin simply squeezed her hand tighter as he gazed into her eyes, pleading for his message to be understood. As Carnesky observed the scene between his sister and her new companion, the cogs whirled around in his head, until suddenly, he made the connection.
"Sis… you're not singing."
Cleveley snatched her hand away - staring at it as though it was some alien appendage attached to her arm. She looked to Franklin for some kind of explanation, but unable to speak, he simply nodded sadly. The other minions all took turns holding Franklin's outstretched hands, but no melodies burst forth from anyone's lips.
"What happened to you?" Parker asked, gravely concerned.
Franklin mimed a syringe being thrust into his arm - the plunger pushed down.
"An injection?" Redmond asked, aghast.
Franklin began waving his hands wildly, doing his best to convey what had happened to him – only to be interrupted by the harsh barks of Malvolio bursting through the tannoy system all around the complex.
"Now hear this! All minions are to report to the Medical Bay to receive a new injection from LOSCA Laboratories. Attendance is compulsory. Any minion who refuses will be severely disciplined. So commands Malvolio!"
As she heard this chilling announcement, Cleveley began to tremble – both her brother and Franklin rushing to embrace and comfort her.
"Our powers," she gasped. "He's going to take our powers!"
"There's your spark," Redmond told Parker sharply, before turning her attention back to the twins. "Carnesky, Cleveley – teleport through the complex and tell every minion you can what's really happening. Don't let them give you or anyone else the injection. If we lose our powers, we lose everything. We have to fight back now."
Nodding, the siblings disappeared in a second - all too happy to obey.
"We're not ready for this," Parker asserted nervously. "I was going to get the Union back together, try and find a way to take over the communications. Oh, God… if only something else was happening to take away Malvolio's attention!"
Fate favoured the aspiring revolutionaries. The moment Parker finished her sentence, an almighty crash was heard, coming from the direction of Basement Six. Redmond smiled – praying that her hunch about what was happening was true.
"I think we have reinforcements," she cried in delight. "Sanders, you rescue Ashworth, and Parker, spread the word."
Rushing out of the closet, she raised her fist in defiance.
"Malvolio's reign of terror ends today!"