Ah, the Negev... It's good to be home. For Ms. Ophir, alas, the Negev will never be like home to her...even if it does make a decent battlefield. She just hopes her Elias feels the same way.

A zoril tires of the desert heat. He's half-black. He finds a crawl space under a caravan, and finds a corner to loaf near. With luck, there isn't a cobra in here to fight over the place with...

From far away, a tilt-rotor transport approaches. It generates a storm, as it arrives, and lands.

Around, gerbils, jerboas, and hamsters scurry back into their holes. Honeyguides fly away.

A woman's sandaled foot makes contact with the ground. Keeping her purse close, she scurries away from her transport's rotors. The transport's storm blows her hair around, and reveals bare parts of her from beneath her dress, by blowing it around. In moments like these, Ms. Ophir is thankful she doesn't have to drive out here in a jeep...or even a dune buggy.

The transport rises, and flies away. Since she's the president of Afroasia, it will return for her...as Hoopoe One...

Under the caravan, the zoril sleeps. The crawl space stays comfy, as long as he stays close to the opening...

Alas, a noise soon inconveniences him, as the tapping of Ms. Ophir's sandals creates a din that echoes throughout the crawl space. The zoril grows, and pulls his big furry tail over his head, in a vain effort to drown out the noise of the Afroasian president's way-too-expensive shoes...

Ms. Ophir's got some nice feet. One wouldn't believe she once spent her workdays fighting Afroasia's jihad barefooted...

With a polished hand, she touches a pad. The pad shines with bright light, and reveals her carpals, via X-rays.

Before her, an elevator chamber opens. In her sandals, she sets foot inside. They clop against the wooden floor. She does an about-face. The doors close behind her, sealing her in.

Below, the zoril releases his tail. FINALLY, he can get some sleep...

While on the elevator, Ms. Ophir pulls her smartphone out of her purse. With it, she dials up her MoJ. She and the MoJ go way back. They were amazons in the same unit...during the Muslim Balls vs. Jewish Bulbs War. (The thirteenth, specifically; not to be confused with the twelfth, or any one before that...)

Ms. Ophir straightens her brunette hair, from her face, as she waits for the MoJ to pick up. That transport's got some powerful rotors...


In the ducts and wind tunnels below and around, cooler winds blow. The fans down here work very hard to keep this facility climate-controlled...

Elias is still here. He's in briefs. He's lying in a vent duct. For him, the world is a thousand times bigger than before. It's only a matter of time before he finds out.

That polecat did something to him. He's still got a headache from it...


Below, the elevator doors open. Like a powerful being, Ms. Ophir scurries out. The smartphone's still to her ear.

She drops her purse in an armchair. Behind the armchair, the elevator doors close.

Whispering swear words to herself, Ms. Ophir charges across the chamber. She abandons her sandals in the middle of the floor...which is covered in Arabian rug-themed carpeting.

She rips open the freezer in the kitchen, and pulls out a frozen kosher pizza. She puts the phone on speaker, sets it down on the island, and aggressively prepares the pizza for baking, preheating the oven to 220 centigrade.

Above, within the overhead, Elias lies atop the mesh covering the vent. He talks, as he naps.

"She's left me," he mutters. "I'm not good enough for her. I'm just a German. She's a Jew." He yawns. "She can't keep wanting me. She needs a first gent. I'm no first gent. I'm just a river boy...from the backstreets of Cologne...raised by...fucking Turkish hip-hip immigrants..."

Below, Ms. Ophir slides the pizza in the oven, and shuts it in. She sets a timer for twenty minutes.

The smartphone goes straight to voicemail. Ms. Ophir swears.

"I appoint you, of all people, to be my MoJ when I take office," she mutters. "And you repay me by putting me, your commander-in-chief, on the back burner. Typical... And yet, I thought public officials were supposed to be better than this." She sighs, and moans. "The things a woman compromises, by becoming a fucking president..." She lowers her brows, and shakes her head. "AM I a woman?! I know we," she fixes her hair, "teach each other to think femininely of ourselves in amazon boot camp, but..."

Up in the vent covering, Elias still talks in his sleep. "She won't have me," he keeps muttering. "She won't keep me..."

"Aw, fuck this," Ms. Ophir mutters. "I need sex...now." She claps her hands. "ELIAS! ELIAS, GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE!"

"She's gonna have me...?!" Elias almost shouts, as he rolls over. This is a mistake. Soon, he's freefalling...in a room that's a thousand times bigger than he remembers it being. From the overhead, it's a long way down. Elias freefalls the whole way.

"ELIAS!" Ms. Ophir shuffles around the house, into every room, searching for her new boy toy from North Rhine-Westphalia. "ELIAS, I DIDN'T KIDNAP YOU SO THAT YOU COULD HIDE FROM ME! NOW WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?!"

Tiny Elias lands on the back of an armchair. He bounces off, and falls into the President's purse.

Inside, he bounces off a can of flame spray (it's like pepper spray...only flames, instead of pepper), and leaves a dent in the can's side. He lands on the side of another can, and clings to its side. He's like a bug in the President's purse. O damn, he'd sure hate for the Afroasian president to see him like this...if she could see him at all, if he's this small...

The sides of these cans say, "MISANDRY-S-US." It's a company, whose HQ is in Delaware, despite mostly selling in Afroasia, that makes flame-spray cans...and other anti-rapist weapons.

Ms. Ophir's got at least a dozen in her purse. It...looks like these are the ONLY things she carries around in it...

"O shit," Elias mutters to himself, while clinging to the side of one of his domina's flame-spray cans. "If her thighs don't kill me the next time we have sex, THESE just might..."