|"But something tells me that I've seen him 'round before..."|
(Art by Dean Stahl)
Sometimes, visitors to the penthouse atop The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G. may have cause to wonder why I have picked human heads on display in the hallway to the hot tub. Anyone who actually knows me understands that this is a !@#$ing stupid question. Keeping trophies is a time-honored perquisite for saving the world on a regular basis.
But where costumed martinets like The Owl and Mr. USA tend to collect criminal gimmicks and weird things that crash to Earth and try to hump trees for Azathoth, I tend to collect more direct reminders of the times it almost all came crashing down.
And I figure, if you're going to rip the enemy to pieces with his own jawbone, you might as well collect their head. It's the one sure way to make sure they can't come back. Especially if you pickle them just right and turn them into alcohol dispensers, like I did with Adolf.
Hence Chateau Adolf. Best damn vintage in the world. Ask Peter the Great, if you can find him.
But there's one head that always makes new guests start. They say "Wait, he looks familiar, and not in a super villain, evil genius kind of way. Who was he?"
And I say "Well that's !@#$ing classified. But let's just say he almost caused World War III and leave it at that." Hopefully a few drinks and they'd rather talk about something else. Like the tasteful yet extravagant decor of my swinging bachelor bedroom, and the strangely alluring devices in the closet.
But every once in a while I have to crow. I wish I could tell you all the truth, but I have to keep some secrets secret, after all. I wouldn't be SPYGOD if I always tipped my hand when I got mind-smashingly drunk and had amazingly perverse congress with the most beautiful person I've met this week, would I?
I will give you a few hints, though.
It was 1972. There was only one Apollo mission left to go for various reasons. And Buzz Aldrin and I rode up in a special compartment all the way to the Lunar surface, without the crew knowing we were there, just so we could determine which of the two men in the lander was masquerading as a Soviet replicant intent on sabotaging our presence on the Moon, but in actuality was a member of SQUASH, trying to frame the Soviets and get us and them in a shooting war.
And yes, SQUASH was with the Soviets, once. But yet they !@#$ing weren't by then because things had gone right down the damn toilet. But that's another story for another time.
(And it's a !@#$ing doozy, son.)
It was a long trip to the Moon, down in that unlit chamber. We passed an oxygen tank back and forth, played chess in our heads, and talked theoretical physics to pass the time. Every once in a while we'd joke about looking out the window to see if we were there yet, but no, we weren't.
Long !@#$ing time to be in the dark with one of the greatest American heroes you never heard of. And I am talking about Buzz. Remind me to tell you why you don't !@#$ with him, sometime.
By the time operation Blood Cheese actually went off, it was a fait accompli. Turns out the mole insisted on coming down first so he could get to the gun his SQUASH compatriots hid under the Lander. Imagine his surprise when he learned that Buzz had beat him to it and taken out the bullets!
Imagine his further surprise when I rammed those bullets somewhere dank and warm and watched him fly away. But not too far! I had a head to collect, and my God, I was going to have it.
So no, Buzz and I don't talk too much, anymore. I think it was the puppet show on the way back to Florida. Or maybe it was just that, in those long, dark days in that cramped little space, wondering if he was cheating at brain chess or I was, we got to know each other so well that no further conversation was necessary ever again.
It probably was the puppet show. The other two Astronauts were violently sick and he had to clean it up. SPYGOD does not clean up his own mess.
So that's the head in the hallway you know but never recognize. He fits in nicely, and every so often I mail another piece of what's left of him to what's left of SQUASH, just to let them know they can run but they can't hide. One day I'll smash them for good. But that's another errand for another day when I don't have a lot of dead enemy-flavored alcohol to drink.
SPYGOD is listening to Monster (Lady Gaga) and drinking his enemies.