Author: Joey Fazzone
“Make it red, make it orange, make it purple, yellow, pink,” he sang, twirled, and danced. “Make it brown, magenta, and any shade you think.”
His assistant was about to speak before he whirled again, proclaiming dramatically, “So don’t chew the purist, shoot the jurist, or sob till you’re blue….”
He tripped on the hem of his oversized lab coat.
“…for you are the tourist, to behold the surest procurers of the rarest hues.”
He gasped and collapsed in a heap.
His assistant paid him no mind, as he continued to monitor the screen. “I believe the spectrometer has finished its analysis. Of the colors matched in the gradient, there are no known matches.”
“Let it believe what it wants to believe,” the man explained bitterly. He spat out a hair most likely from his black bushy beard.
“Khronos,” the assistant began.
“Prasino, how long have you been an intern for me?”
The intern answered swiftly and with a measure of defeat in his gravelly voice. “72 months, sir, roughly six years. You know this answer.”
“That I do,” Khronos explained, “My question wasn’t really an explanation of longevity but of your station. My question was the polite way.”
“To explain that it’s not your place to question me,” Khronos said sharply.
Prasino was contrite as they shared an uncomfortable silence as Khronos checked the readings.
“No, no, it’s not here!” He growled.
Prasino already knew that but said nothing.
“We have to get to Venezuela. I’ve had a dream about that place. I think it’s our shot.”
They both stared at the screen.
Khronos scratched his head and banged on the screen lightly with his knuckle. “Despite all these gadgets, we have nothing to guarantee the integrity of the software and hardware’s ability fully encompass the precise point on the spectrum we need.”
“We have the seer!”
“She’s not a seer! She just has a great eye for color!”
“An uncanny eye.”
Khronos eyed him warningly. “That’s what I said. ‘Good eye.’ sheesh!” He sighed deeply. “Here we have all this amazing technology, ten years and billions of dollars, and we’re asking that dried-up apricot pit to pick a color out of a rainbow.”
“A very rare color,” Prasino added.
“Not as rare as the truest blue, but yes, on that gradient, it is the rarest color.”
“Run the scan, sir?”
Khronos bit his lip. Each pulse from the scan cost the company millions, and if he was wrong…
“For the postulate,” Prasino encouraged.
“For the money,” Khronos groaned. He put on his blast shades. “Do it.”
Prasino hit the button. A deep hum rattled the small room, as a motor the size of a small apartment building hummed, and then a flash of light.
Within moments the scan was complete. Prasino read the screen.
“I can’t look,” Khronos shuddered. “If I have to upcharge him for another scan he will turn me into one of those flying monkeys.”
“And we won’t get paid,” Prasino added.
“True!” Khronos snatched the report and breathed a sigh of relief. “Today is a good day!”
“Emerald! That’s our gold! The color is ready for extraction and is located outside of the city, thirty miles into the rainforest. We can siphon what we want!”
“Excellent news,” Prasino said with a smile. “Shall I call Oswaldo?”
“Yes,” Khronos grinned, “Tell the Wizard that he and his city are about to be another satisfied customer of Hugh Hues!”
“Who is Hugh?” Prasino asked.
Khronos’s eyes grew misty and mysterious. “That, my dear assistant, is a question for another time. After we get paid! For now, let’s get moving on the extraction process.”