Sunday, August 21, 2011

8/19-21/11 - The Great Giant Metal Insect Turkey-Shoot

Been a crazy couple of days, but I am happy to say that things have turned out even better than I'd thought. The city's stopped moving, everyone's just about back where they belong, and me and some of the top people from The COMPANY are having a Luau on top of The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G., now in its new home overlooking Central Park.

The good news, besides the wonderful new view, is that very little was damaged in the move, and I still have structures behind me to help hide the back elevator. The bad news is that, when I play "air stairs," I'm going to have to drop them over the left side. The right side is now hosting a retirement village, and I think it would be kind of rude to ruin their afternoon with splattered, would-be assassins. 

After all, a lot of them are probably fellow veterans.

Ah, luau, SPYGOD style. Atomic skirt steaks, Hawaiian beer, my ultra-black-top-secret mystery punch, sweet boys in grass skirts, tiki torches, and the opportunity to do some live fire shooting with some of our new and improved handguns.

We're especially proud of the X-57. It's the size of a Saturday Night Special, but has the kick of a rampaging hippo. These babies will skull!@#$ anyone without a duranium noggin at about fifty feet, and I think we've finally gotten the recoil issue solved.

(Not necessarily the noise, judging from the windows I'm hearing shattering across the way, but that's why we wear earpieces on the job. Right? Right.)

So the move started on Thursday evening, and we got everyone evacuated well ahead of the actual total conversion's start, late Friday morning. We lost a few people along the way, as usual, but most of them were heart attacks, transfers from intensive care wards, or involved in accidents that occurred on the way to the convergence in the park. There were also things that happened in the tent towns we threw up to house everyone while it was going on.

Not to sound too callous, but these things happen during any evac. As sad as it is you have to realize that they probably would have died at home, anyway. Otherwise you're going to blubber all over the place and be no use to anyone. And we do not have the !@#$ time for that.

After we got everyone settled in the tent towns, and internal and external security established, it was up to The COMPANY to keep an eye on the city, itself. The last time it moved there was an attempt by certain members of the Legion to try and hijack it mid-conversion, and hold it ransom. We !@#$ on that little maneuver with extreme prejudice, of course, but I didn't rule out their trying again.

Friday was normal. Maybe a little too normal. We took advantage of the apparent lack of science terrorist bull!@#$ to park the Flier directly over the city and take readings of what was going on down there, inside that weird, metal and brick whirlwind that Neo York City becomes every few years.

After the last few times we've put a lot of effort into improving our observation equipment, and can now take more detailed scans of the process. Also better photos. I think I caught the snap of the year, myself: the Chrysler Building seemingly going right between the Twin Towers.

(It's those little moments that make apparently immortality not seem so bad. Well, that and all the near-mindless !@#$, but let's not tell anyone about that, son.)

So yes, Friday was !@#$ perfect, which could only mean that Saturday was when things were going to turn to !@#$ stew.

10 in the AM and we were in the middle of another observation sweep. Just a little after the hour we started getting messages from the Agents on patrol in the harbor, who reported that they were getting some weird underwater readings down there. That isn't unusual given that the strange energies given off by Neo York City's conversions tend to !@#$ up bird and fish migrations, but this had all the hallmarks what was either a whale orgy, or a submarine invasion.

A quick call down to Thurl assured me that, no, Atlantis hadn't sent up any observation platforms. I hung up on him before he could give me another one of his !@#$ lectures about how much more amazing and awesome his undersea kingdom is, and called up the Octopussy. Unfortunately, they were on maneuvers under the North !@#$ Pole and would be a few hours from getting there.

Right on cue the water erupted with subs. Dozens of them. I didn't recognize their make or model, at least not at first. But when their launch irises opened up and started spraying what looked like a stream of metal insects into the air, I knew it could only be HONEYCOMB.

The metal insects were ingenious little things, I have to say. We later learned that their job was to attach themselves to the buildings and try and hack the city, which is not exactly the sort of thing you can do on the fly. This must have taken years of preparation on their part, and for that I salute them.

With a gun, of course. We opened up on those !@#$ bugs with everything we had. We couldn't use attack drones or mine missiles inside the city, though, so anything that got through the firing line had to be dealt with hand-to-hand by Agents.

I was, of course, the first one to jump off the back of the Flier, guns in hand and knife in my teeth. I was so excited that I almost forgot the jet pack, which would have made for some real high-flying comedy, I'm sure. But I am confident that, in a pinch, I could have leaped from flying building to flying building, grabbed one of those insects, stripped it for spare parts, and cobbled together a makeshift jetpack that'd last at least a few go-rounds.

Impossible? That's all part of the job description, son. Pity we'll never !@#$ know now!

There's some things you can say you've never lived until you've done. Most of them involve death defying feats, leaps of faith, or trips into the dark corners of tourist trap cities, there to witness the strange thing near-dead hookers can do with their junk. But fighting a swarm of giant robot insects inside a city that's re-arranging itself at outrageous speeds is something you just have to try to believe.

I think we got them all. I hope we did, anyway. And something tells me that, even if we missed a few, the city's not going to deal with their !@#$ very kindly. The sight of a few of the subs spontaneously combusting from the radar dish on down kind of bore that notion out.

Of course, they tried to get away. Fortunately, the Octopussy got into mega-torpedo range just in time and nailed the living !@#$ out of them. Whatever it missed was quickly snatched up by the timely arrival of the Coast Guard, who were more than happy to employ those depth charges they only get to use once in a blue moon, and then only on test targets, coke subs, and homicidal giant squids on the warpath.

Not a bad days work if you ask me. We salvaged what was left and were able to get some excellent electronic intelligence to complement what we got from the last HIVE we busted down. I think a few more successful smash-and-grabs like this and we'll be ready for OPERATION: EXTERMINATION.

This morning things started settling down. The buildings slowed, stopped resembling a giant mobile on Martian speed, and began plunking themselves back down from the outside in. A massive cheer went up from tent town, as, free drinks or no, people had had just about enough of !@#$ in portajohns and standing in line for dinner. Once we landed and confirmed the city was stable, again, they couldn't get on those sleds fast enough.

And now, it's Sunday night in Neo York City. Everything old is new again. It'll take a few days for everyone to get used to the new layouts and traffic patterns (I just learned Bangkok Eight is a block closer, oh happy day) and I'm sure we'll have the usual grumbling from the great unwashed.

But if they don't like it, they can get the !@#$ out, and make room for one of the millions of people who, every year, get on a waiting list to get on a waiting list to get to live in what has always been the greatest city on Earth.

New Amsterdam, New York City, Neo York City. Like my favorite pinko said, only the landscape has changed.

(That and the Katooeys are hanging out a little further away, now, but I can adapt.)

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm going to drink half a bottle of Adolf and see if I can fire one of these X-57s with my penis. A luau just isn't a luau without it.

(SPYGOD is listening to Houses in Motion (Talking Heads) and having some Three Philosophers)

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