It's 5:30:23 in the AM when I finally get home from Afghanistan. I crash into Neo York in something flashy I cobbled together from what little was left of the dealer's room in Outland, kiss the handsome young fellow I brought over on a special needs workers visa goodbye, at least for now, and take a much needed shower in Chateau Adolf.
Metalmaid does not seem happy to see me. I'm guessing her circuits are still a little sore after the night of the television. I'll find some way to make it up to her, though. Maybe another duster attachment that turns into a monofilament wire whip. Or a chartreuse shotgun disguised as a vacuum cleaner.
Something deadly yet sexy, as befits a somewhat-reformed slaughterbot turned domestic engineer. Only the best for my staff!
That reminds me of the meeting I have with The COMPANY in about, oh, fifteen minutes ago. I throw on my suit and abseil into the Flyer as it churns on by for about the tenth time. I don't think the crew's too happy with my lack of punctuality, but that's why I pay them the big bucks.
They're even less happier with my lack of aim, but thankfully no one was standing in front of that porthole. What's a little busted Plexiglas between friends? Not a !@#$ thing.
The meeting's one of those thrown-together things I only assemble if there's some big decision we have to make, or that I've made for everyone already and want to go through the motions with some level of decorum. I've found that drunk 3 in the AM mandatory conference calls are not very helpful in this regard, and lead to lingering resentment. And no one wants that.
At the same time, not everyone is there. You know what I said about the Harolds in our midst? We don't know who they all are, but we know enough to make some educated guesses. And the longer we're in here, the longer they're going to wonder what the heck we're up and why they didn't get an invite.
So I make it short and sweet. Smashing the lectern with the butt of my sidearm sets the right tone.
What I say is "Here's the news, kids. From now on, The COMPANY is no longer in the business of reacting. We are no longer going to just sit back and deal with problems as they crop up, or as we uncover them. We are going to uncover problems 24/7, including things we may have inadvertently let go down the memoryhole, and deal with them right the !@#$ yesterday."
I continue "No more GORGON. No more HONEYCOMB. No more ABWEHR. No more Legion of whatever the heck they're calling themselves this week to avoid a lawsuit. We tell our Harolds to get ready to move on something big, and then we use every piece of info they've ever given us to bring these !@#$s down hard. No remnants, no splinter groups, no werewolves. No doomsday devices or scorched Earth !@#$. All over in a month or less."
Of course, that gets everyone talking. But now is not the time for crosstalk, and a few shots fired into the air makes them shut the !@#$ up. It always does.
(That's why the insides of the Flier are everything-proof. Usually.)
I tell the incredulous that this is my word and my word is law. We're returning to the crazy-ass super spy cowboy ninja spaceman hi-jinks that defined our role in the world back in the 1960s. No more of this post-modern post-cold war realpolitik nonsense that has us sitting on our hands calculating thousands versus billions and drinking ourselves to early graves from stress and guilt.
From now on we get drunk and mindsmashed in celebration, not regret.
I assure them that everyone in the room is now part of a company within The COMPANY that gets to deal with this.Unlimited budgets. Superscience. Personnel they didn't know we even had. Resources they never even knew existed.
First things first, we take down GORGON next week, just to show it can be done. I'd rather it was tomorrow, but everyone's got some catching up to do.
That's it. I'm done. Anyone wants out, they can put their resignations on my desk and go down the hall for a mindwipe. Everyone else, read the emails that are sitting in the new accounts I've just had beamed into your heads.
It's a new day, kids. Rise and shine.
About an hour later, I'm duly informed that three of my former top people are now mild-mannered insurance salesmen in Parma, Ohio, who are hiding terrible and kinky secrets from their long-suffering spouses. Everyone else is along for the ride, at least for now, but we'll see how many I can really count on, especially when the inevitable leaks come through and GORGON starts to !@#$# itself.
Good thing I was lying. We're after ABWEHR first. When in doubt, kick super-nazi ass first. They've had it coming the longest.
I down three bottles of Chateau Adolf and piss off the back observation deck of the Flier, wondering if I can still kill people from this far up. I only aim for the cars with the "Where's the Birth Certificate" bumper stickers, really.
It's a new day, indeed. Bright and sunny. Everything's going to be fine.
(SPYGOD is listening to The Man (The Motorhomes) and drinking a whole wreath of Kolsch by himself)