Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last wonky chapter and inspired me to write this one, which is even worse. My copy of "Lollilove" finally arrived while I was working on this one, so if I seem distracted, that why... I expect to go missing for several days, actually."How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?"
Jim: Did I ever want to be a superhero?
Jim: I guess so... I never read too many comic books.
Jim: I liked Spider-Man, though, because... he was always making jokes and stuff and I thought "here's a guy that doesn't take his job too seriously."
Jim: And I had a lot of respect for that.
Jim: I didn't really like Batman, though...
Toby and Pam rushed across the parking lot to find their fallen coworker.
Dwight was fortunate enough to have his fall broken one of the many hideously-manicured shrubs scattered randomly outside the restaurant. However, the angle of his fall and the fit of his wet-suit had rendered him as motionless as a tortoise on its back.
"Are you okay, Dwight?" Pam asked as she and Toby moved in to help Dwight.
"Oh, Pam," Dwight lamented stoically (which is difficult, but not beyond Dwight's abilities), "I'll never be okay."
The fact that he was wearing a thick rubber bodysuit didn't make getting up any easier, but with both the help of both his coworkers and a healthy dose of stubborn nastiness, Dwight was eventually able to get back on his feet.
"I've been looking at this war the wrong way," Dwight said, trying to sound dramatic despite the small pieces of twigs still stuck in his hair. "Before I bring the fight to the Amish, I must put my house in order."
Toby was the first to ask the question on everyone's mind. "Um... what?"
"I have to start questioning the members of my family and finding out where their loyalties lie," he said with a sad certainty. "Only once I can be sure that I am safe within my own home can I turn my attentions to the drug-dealing Amish scum elsewhere in Pennsylvania." He dusted himself off and scratched his chin thoughtfully. "I can only hope Mose is ready for what's coming."
As was tradition with Dwight, Pam and Toby stared in baffled awe as Dwight strode boldly towards the office, his rubber-clad thighs ricocheting off each other and squeaking like porpoise mating calls.
Dwight: Mose was always closer to his Amish roots... now he's going to have to make a choice.
The dramatic pause.
Dwight: Join or die.
Raises his head and glares furiously.
Dwight: I always knew it would come to this.
Back in the office, Karen took a moment to reflect. "Don't you think this whole thing with Amish is a little crazy?"
"Of course I do," Jim agreed readily.
"No," Karen continued. "I mean, don't you think this is crazy even for Dwight?"
Jim took this as a sign that Karen simply had not had enough experience Dwight. He blamed himself. "Karen, he wanted to screen potential employees based on the Japanese blood type myth."
Karen wrinkled her nose in confusion. "The what?"
Jim: Apparently, there's a tradition in Japan to link people's blood types to their personality type. According to Wikipedia, all the most evil people in history... from Hitler to Rick James... are Blood Type A.
Jim: Dwight wanted to fire anyone who was Type B, which is supposed to be more relaxed and creative.
Jim: He felt they'd hurt productivity.
Karen smiled slightly as she wrapped her arms around Jim. "How did he feel about people who were AB?"
"He was not a fan," Jim admitted.
Jim nodded. "He called them 'unnatural,'" Jim felt embarrassed even repeating it.
Karen laughed and shook her head.
Karen, cheerful: You know, I there were times when I wasn't so sure about this transfer, but...
Karen: Things at work have actually been going really well lately.
"You know, if you want to talk some more about those feelings you were having..." Toby began, trying against hope to seize some small victory out the sea of defeat.
Pam shook her head. "I'm okay. I just needed to vent a little."
This didn't really give Toby much of a chance to suggest they meet after work to discuss the problem further. "You're sure?" he asked, trying to keep the hope out of his voice.
She smiled sweetly and said "Don't worry, Toby. It's fine."
Toby nodded, then slowly stuttered back into the office to resume his withered balloon existence unhindered.
As she was walked through the door, Pam felt her arm get caught on something. When she looked to investigate, she realized it was Angela.
She was looking up with Pam with wide, desperate eyes. Pam thought she might even cry. "You can't let him keep doing this," she pleaded.
Pam didn't know quite what to say. "He wasn't really hurt this time," Pam offered pathetically.
Angela was the most shaken Pam had ever seen her. "He fell off a building, Pam," she whinged.
"It wasn't a very tall building," Pam tried, feeling stupid for even opening her mouth.
"Pam," she begged.
When she tried to see things from Angela's perspective... Pam was invariably terrified. But she couldn't help but sympathize with the other woman. "He's not going to listen to me, Angela."
Angela nodded and lowered her head mournfully.
Pam wondered briefly if she should give Angela a comforting hug or if that would just cause the smaller woman to start screaming and accuse Pam of trying to turn her into a lesbian. Before Pam had a chance to decide, Angela raised her head again. "He'll listen to Michael," she said with a certain lost resignation.
Michael: I am always there for my employees.
Michael: I pride myself on that... if someone has a problem, they can always go to me. That's why I'm here. To manage things.
Michael: Of course, sometimes I've got a lot I need to take care of and I have a lot on my plate and... I mean managers have problems, too...
He smiles weakly.
Michael: And then it becomes sort "why can't you handle your own problems?" I mean... I'm not God, right?
The way Michael looks at the camera clearly suggests that he expects an amount of uncertainty towards that last statement.
"Can't you take care of this?" Michael grumbled. "I'm kind of busy here."
"You were watching cartoons," Angela said, trying to retain moral superiority while emotionally overwrought.
"It wasn't just a cartoon, Angela," Michael snapped, "it was the Family Guy."
Pam sighed. Michael watching Family Guy meant he would spend the next week and half explaining jokes from Family Guy to the entire office. She had seriously considered starting a grassroots campaign to get the show canceled again.
"It was disgusting," Angela rebutted.
Pam wasn't about to let this debate start up again. "Michael, Dwight's really out of control."
Michael brushed this aside. "He's always like that."
"He's planning to go to war on the Amish," Angela said as seriously as was possible given the subject matter.
Like many Americans, Michael wasn't sure how to react to this news. "What?"
Michael's self-defense instincts kicked in. "Do why have any Amish people in the office?"
"No," Pam stated.
Michael considered this for a moment. Then seemed to decide he wasn't convinced. "Are you sure about that, because... that could really be an issue in the workplace."
Finally, hurt and frustrated, Angela couldn't help but lash out. "Do you even know who the Amish are?"
After a pause that couldn't help but be a little emasculating, Michael weakly decided "I will talk to Dwight."
"Heeeeey, buddy..." Michael said softly as he sidled up to Dwight's desk.
"Hello, Michael," Dwight said cheerfully as he perked up from his war journal.
Michael shook his head solemnly. "I think you and me need to have a little talk about something."
"Of course," Dwight agreed enthusiastically. "Is this about that Appalachian skiing trip, because..."
"No, no," Michael shook his head rapidly. "This is about..." Michael sighed and took a moment to gather his energies from the universe around him before pressing on.
"Dwight... you just can't pursue your own personal interests on company time," Michael asserted without a hint of irony or self-awareness. "It's not professional."
"But, Michael," Dwight protested, "this is important to me."
Unfortunately, Dwight was the one person on the planet Michael could hold the hard line with. "Dwight, there no 'i' in the word 'team,'" he stressed. Then, after a moment added "But there is a 'you' in 'masturbate.'"
Like most of Michael's jokes, Michael found that joke explosively hilarious while the rest of the room simply felt boredly uncomfortable.
The one man who generally appreciated Michael's sense of humor was lost in the worst cloud of hurt since he found out what happened to Dumbledore.
Dwight: I always thought Michael would stand by me until the end...
He shakes his head sadly.
Dwight: This war has shattered so many of my beliefs.
Dwight rose to his seat forcefully, which caused his Body Glove to emit a strange swerking noise. "I'm sorry, Michael..." he looked right at Angela as he said "everyone..." then cast his gaze skyward... to the ceiling tiles "but this is something I have to do."
Michael said nothing, feeling that he'd put in enough effort on the matter. Angela rushed into the bathroom, trying to hide her tears. Stanley very nearly looked up from his crossword puzzle.
Feeling betrayed by Angela's reaction but unwilling to step back from the ledge, Dwight carried on. "And there's only one man who can help with me with this mission," Dwight paused just long enough for Michael to speculate in abject terror that Dwight was still referring to him. "Jim Halpert," Dwight roared.
This pronouncement was clearly intended to shake up the room, but the only visible reactions in the office came from Pam and Karen.
Dwight closed the distance between Jim and himself and held out an arm. "Are you with me?"
Jim had a distinct feeling that Dwight was going to try to kiss him, but decided that he'd have to chance it. "Until the end," Jim replied huskily as he linked his arm with Dwight's.
Dwight smiled almost unnoticeably. Jim bit the inside of his mouth to keep from laughing. Karen and Pam looked at each other, then quickly looked away.
Dwight: Have I had my problems with Jim in the past?
Dwight indicates that this is a given.
Dwight: But since I began this campaign, Jim has been the only one to stand by me.
He rests his lips on his index finger thoughtfully.
Dwight: And that means he's the only one I can really trust.
Jim, elated: A while ago, a friend of mine was telling me how he felt the first time he got to see Eric Clapton live.
Jim: I really didn't have anything to relate that to...
Jim treats us to a smile so wide most of us just don't have the lips for it.
"So, you're really going to this farm to watch Dwight threaten his cousin?" Karen asked, already knowing the answer.
"Wherever the Scarlet Schruter goes, his trusty sidekick Woodpigeon is sure to follow," Jim explained deadpan.
Karen raised an eyebrow. "So, are going to start shaving your legs and wearing hotpants?"
Jim didn't even blink. "If that's what it takes to win this war, Karen," he said solemnly. "If that's what it takes to win this war."
She shook her head. "Who is this child I've involved myself with?" she asked sweetly.
"Come on, Jim!" Dwight yelled from the door jam.
Karen gave him her signature wide, thin smilet. "Jim, you know he's going to end up doing something really stupid."
Jim nodded, that was his whole reason for coming along. "I know it's really hard to see your man march off to war," he said seriously. "I just need to know you'll be there when I come back."
"Just try not to get arrested," she cautioned.
"I'm sorry, Karen," Jim replied, "but this is a matter of conscience. I can't make a promise like that."
Karen nodded and walked him to the door where Dwight was tapping his foot impatiently. "This might be the last time I see him alive," Karen explained sadly. At this point, learning when not to laugh was becoming a form of Zen meditation for Jim.
"A true warrior has no place for love," Dwight sniped bitterly, unable to keep himself from looking towards Angela's now-vacant desk.
Jim gave her one final embrace then walks off, following the steps of his commanding officer out into the battlefield that their world had become. She watched him slowly depart until he was gone from her vision... vanished into the elevator. She returns to her desk and tries to concentrate on her work, but she can't help but think about his return, almost afraid of the stories he might bring back with him.
Back at the reception desk, someone sees it all.
Dwight, darkly: We grew the beets together. Me and Mose.
Dwight: We worked the fields together.
Dwight: Beets are nature's candy.
Dwight narrows his eyes bitterly.
Dwight: Mose taught me that.
Next Week's Episode: "Blood and the Beetroot Fields"
They took his family.
They took his home.
And they framed him for the crime.
They didn't know about the Cornell's top Vengeance Program.
Ed Helms IS Andy Bernard IN Angry Justice
Because sometimes anger can't be managed.