Monday, June 20, 2011

6/19-20/11 - The Day We Gonna Give It Back to You

The epic punking of GORGON is upon us, and I finally got an idea on what to do and how to do it. It came to me in a brilliant drunk dream that involved ice, snow, and trannie penguin strippers shaking it to Lady GaGa in the light of the Aurora, but has nothing and yet everything to do with these vaguely related elements.

The perfect plan, in other words. It's just too bad I had to spend a few hours in the infirmary convincing the doctors that I hadn't frozen half to death while sleeping outside in the nude to get it.

Of course, this scheme is so epic and massive that it will require about three weeks to get off the ground, both literally and figuratively. So we're going to have to get every COMPANY Agent we have up and running quadruple-time to meet or beat the deadline.

Which is right !@#$ now, incidentally.

I can't remember who said "Be realistic. Demand the impossible." It may have been Situationists or some mad scientist I used to beat up in the 60's. Maybe both at once.

But at The COMPANY those words are inscribed and enshrined in many public places, and a few places you wouldn't expect to see them. Because they are SOP at all times, in all places, in all ways.

After all, that's why we have a trans-lunar defense array for GORGON to have subverted in the first place.

Do you remember the 60's and 70's like I remember them, son? I'm willing to bet that you do not. Most of what happened back then has been rewritten, apologized for, explained away, or just plan ret-conned into happy, homogenized oblivion.

And some of that's because some very strange things happened back then. Things that, from a national security standpoint, we'd rather not dwell upon in this day of Youtube and Twitter and Gods only know what else.

But some of that's because things actually didn't happen the way that they did, because reality got shuffled around like a red jack in a three card monty game.

Case in point, Deep Ten.

In the early 70's, we did not have the capability of putting a defensive array in far far far out orbit, some distance past the Moon. We barely won the space race with the Soviets, after all, and everything we did after that was just cementing our claim on the big gray ball of rock, along with the occasional secret mission.

And yet, Deep Ten has been out there, watching out for us, since before the last Apollo Mission. Its massive batteries of missiles and lasers, and vast network of observation and annihilation sub-platforms, make it clear to any would-be alien invaders that they had better be sure they want us bad enough before they even try to step over our lines.

Because the robots that are tasked to tirelessly watch over it will shoot first and ask questions later. No question about that.

So how did it get there? Well, there's a story for you, son, and it'll fit right along with the other crazy hijinks that were going on at the time.

In 1965, Wendell Williams, 34 year old Archaeologist enfant terrible, was engaged in a one-man expeditions to the cursed ruins of Cyprus. A pit of despair a mile underground, those ruins had claimed every other tomb robber and treasure seeker who'd followed the clues to find it.

But by some dark miracle, Wendell didn't die. He braved the traps, defused the challenges, defeated the puzzles, and made it to a great hall of statues no one had ever seen the likes of before or again. The actual, true images of the Greek Gods, or, more accurately, the powerful beings those gods had been based upon.

In the center of the room was a large silver box. Wendell should have known better, but he opened it, anyway.

And in the twinkling of an eye his molecules were shifted from our dimension right into another. A fantastic realm where science and sorcery were one and the same.

The place where those ancient, powerful beings who'd been interpreted as the ancient Greek Gods had been hiding for ages.

They'd left us to our affairs, long ago, so they could retreat to where they'd come from and continue their researches into the impossible and otherworldly. They were content to wait, willfully ignorant of our progress (or sad lack thereof) until we found the box, which, by their reckoning, meant that we'd proved ourselves worthy to speak to them again.

But then they got to Earth, they realized that what this mewling, self-important little human was saying about the world was true. We really were a bunch of divided, little kingdoms all at war with one another over stupid reasons, and all loath to cooperate with one another unless there was some kind of profit in it, somewhere,

Now, anyone who knows anything could tell you that's how things were when the gods left, however long ago. But these beings were still not happy to return and find the world this way.

It's kind of like your parents coming back from vacation to find the grass wasn't mowed, the dishes weren't washed, and there's three dead hookers stuffed under the sink.

But the gods, being better parents than most, felt responsible for not having left better directions. They knew they couldn't just go home and leave things like that. And while it would have been just so easy to draw down wrath, flood, and lightning, they wisely decided that the time of gods was over.

So they would stay and help instead of punish. But this time they'd lead by example. And since new guises were called for, and, as most people who had abilities beyond that of a normal human explained it away by having a mask, a cape, and a silly name like "Captain Cape," the gods decided they should all become superheroes, too.

So there was a time, back in the mid-60's, when literal gods were walking amongst us human gods, helping us out and trying to get us back on the straight and narrow, like any good superhero ought to. Sometimes they succeeded, even if most of the time they failed, but there were plenty of us normal folks around to pick up the slack.

And whether we worked together, or in complete ignorance of one another, there was a sense that, even in our darkest hours, something greater than ourselves had our six.

So yeah, the late 60's and most of the 70's were glory days for the superspy and superhero business. The crap leather armor and dingy outfits we'd worn before, during, and after the War were switched over to amazing costumes in bright, primary colors. Our dour and cranky ways were recharged with the strange poetry of infinite possibility. And everything we said and did was elevated to a truly super heroic level.

Scientific romances crazier than anything we'd done, or had done to us, during the War? Possible.

Outlandish inventions that should not have worked? Mass produced.

The melding of the mind, the tool, and the weapon to the point where we could engage in titanic, life and death struggles for the fate of the entire world and yet speak pure poetry while delivering three-fisted justice square in the face? Seamless.

Anything was possible, nothing was prohibited, and anything forbidden could be dealt with a solid, skull-splitting kick to reality itself.
And that's how Deep Ten got to be there.

You see, when the gods came back, they saw that our defenses were total !@#$ when it came to being invaded from outer space. So one of the first things they did was to take steps to ensure that would not happen, and created the Wonderwall in trans-lunar orbit.

When I first set foot on board it, back in the day, I was impressed. And you know when I say that, that's something, because I am not, by definition, an easy man to impress. They had observation platforms that could see as far as the nearest star, and enough wonder weapons to turn a good-sized invasion fleet into space dust, all crewed by humanoid robots who were so lifelike that it was hard to believe they weren't flesh and blood.

Like I said, an A-1 operation. I was !@#$ proud to have strode its impossible platforms. Me and some of my colleagues jumped from sub-platform to sub-platform, all the way around the Earth and Moon, for a tour of our corner of the Solar System that few beings ever get to take, laughing all the way.

The impossible was, at long last, as realistic as we'd demanded.  

But things changed. You know they changed. I'm not at liberty to discuss exactly how and why, except to say that when Rappin' Ronnie sailed into the White House, he had a number of backers that needed executive pleasing.

From on high, as it were. In several senses of the word. 

That's not to say the gods vanished overnight. That would have been impossible, even for him and his quiet allies. What happened was that things were changed, through means I'm also not at liberty to divulge.

(Though you might want to ask poor Wendell. If you can find him.)

First, they weren't gods, anymore. They were ordinary people who could switch places with the myths and legends of the ancient past by speaking magic words. The theory was that being tied down to humans would make them less godlike and more flawed, but that was still too complicated for some.

Then they were just superheroes based on them, which is really ironic if you think about it. Some government lab created them and they got loose, and then went out to do what they'd been doing all long, only with crazy, super-high science instead of miracles.

But that was even more complicated, for some dumb reason I've never fully understood. Probably because !@#$ like that happens all the time in my side of the business.

So by the time the late 80's rolled around, and Ronnie was exiting the Oval Office, the gods had left the building, leaving an ultra-heroic void where they used to be.

That and a whole lot of leftover, ultra-heroic hardware that was not leaving along with them. Like Wonderwall and its army of killer androids, which was classified as Deep Ten by someone who imagined having nine other orbiting killer space doom platforms between it and the Moon by 2020.

No such luck on that one, but that's another story for another time.

The important thing is that you know why we have that floating relic up there. It's still as effective, magnificent, and dangerous as it ever was. It's still a remarkable defense against the many horrible things that are lurking out past the Moon, waiting to have a crack at us.

Except now we don't trust the robots who run it. So we have to send humans up there on creaky, old spaceships, and maroon them for years at a time in the most wonderful remnant of the 60's and 70's that weren't.

Not that it doesn't take care of them and give them a lot of things to take their mind off other things, but five-plus years in Wonderwall, away from Earth, is a real drag for some. Some people go crazy. Some people jump out of airlocks. Some are pushed out before they do something rash, like nuke Tanzania.

And some people will do anything to get home early. 

So it's no surprise that GORGON was able to hack their perfect, god-designed systems, and have no one notice anything. They probably bribed someone in exchange for getting them out early. I can't hear too well, up there, so I don't know just yet.

But, given that I remember things differently from most people who were around at the time, I remember something very special about Deep Ten, back when they called it Wonderwall.

I remember that, amazed as I was with all the power we had, a little suspicious piece of my head asked "What if it gets taken over?" Or, more likely, "What if I have to spy on this, someday?"

And that's a major part of the plan, here.

Judging from the keystrokes I'm hearing, my Agents in Neo York are about to call me. They're going to say that they found the thing in the back of The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G. that I told them to take to the Flier. And once I get a little something here up and running, we'll put two and two together and see to it that Deep Ten gets seven.

Because sleeping out under the Antarctic sky brings you a whole new perspective on the possible and impossible. And because, having lived in a time when both could comfortably sit next to each other on the bus, I'm happy to remind people like GORGON what they've probably all forgotten right now.

Fear and wonder on a cosmic !@#$ scale, kids.

Watch the skies.

(SPYGOD is listening to Heavy Metal: Black and Silver (Blue Oyster Cult) and knocking back a cold Mythos)

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