This one's for Alara - not only did I write because she needed cheering up, she also gave me the seed of the idea and told me to post it here. So you can blame her for the whole thing :).
"We're all set, then. Equipment checked and stowed, itinerary planned, and everyone thinks we immolated ourselves in a fight above Genosha. So they shouldn't bother us for at least three weeks."
"I remain unconvinced that this is a good idea. Surely your students will be upset when they realise that you have deceived them once more?"
"I'm sure they'll understand the importance of my mission."
"I'm preventing you from taking over the world."
"I wasn't trying to take over the world . . ."
"Let's not get into that argument again. Besides, I really needed a holiday."
"So. We are going fishing."
"That is the plan."
"I think that I discern a flaw in your plan."
"What would that be?"
"It has come to my attention that there are no fish in this river."
"Once again, you miss the point entirely. Look at it this way: a Chinese sage was once fishing beside a stream when the Emperor rode past. Noticing that the sage had no bait on his hook, the Emperor asked him how he expected to catch anything. The sage replied that he was not attempting to catch fish, but waiting for an Emperor."
Pause . . .
"Then what was he doing with a fishing rod?"
"<sigh> Just sit back and bask in the beauty of nature, will you? Fishing is an art that requires patience."
"I am certain that these are genetically modified insects sent by the US government to drain the blood of the mutant population, making us weak and itchy so that we can be captured easily."
"I assure that they're perfectly ordinary mosquitoes."
"Why aren't they biting you?"
"Obviously because your blood you tastes better or has a superior nutritional value. May I also remind you that we could be sitting on a boat out in the Caribbean somewhere, probably catching fish and perfectly free from insect life, if you'd just let me fix your sea-sickness telepathically."
"I am not letting you inside my mind for any reason, certainly not so that we get on some god-forsaken ship. How anyone can possibly claim to enjoy sea travel is beyond me. Besides which, even if we were in the Caribbean, we would still be getting sunburnt."
"I don't know why you're complaining - you'll probably end up with a tan. I, on the other hand, will be lobster red by this evening. I wish I'd had Jean pack my hat . . ."
"Jean thinks we're dead."
"I have been patient. There are no fish."
"I will admit that they've been unusually slow today."
"Fortunately, I foresaw this possibility and made a contingency plan. I packed sandwiches."
"These sandwiches. Do they involve liver?"
"I'll have you know that liver is an excellent source of iron, protein and vitamin A, and that in addition . . ."
"I will save one for you. You will be grateful later."
"What was that?"
"The tree-tearing, anti-mutant alarm ringing sort of noise?"
"That's the one."
"It would appear to be some kind of Super Sentinel. And I am afraid it's made out of plastic."
"Blast. This always happens to me when I go fishing. Last time, they knocked me out, and when I woke up, we'd been to an orbiting satellite that crashed into Hudson Bay, and Jean had turned into Phoenix. Every time I go away for the weekend . . ."
"No rest for the wicked, I suppose."
Pause . . .
"You don't happen to have access to a space ship, do you?"
"No, but I can rustle one up fairly quickly."
"Good. If you can get us to somewhere civilised I'll lay in some supplies. We can head for Guderian. It's very pleasant at this point in their lunar cycle."
"Do they have mosquitoes there?"
"Mutant hunting robots?"
"None that I'm aware of."
"How about super-intelligent, reality warping aliens?"
"Yes, but they're friendly. Well, they were friendly until Corsair sold them a faulty pulse generator. But they've probably forgotten me by now."
"Are there fish?"
"Plenty. Of course, most of them could take your arm off at the shoulder with a single bite."
"Perhaps we should leave the rods behind, then."
"That might be for the best. What would you say to a game of chess instead?"
See, pretending to be dead so that you can go fishing has all kinds of unforeseen complications. I'm sure there's a lesson there for all of us. Or something like that.