So I'm in the middle of eating leftover donuts outside the cell of a very repentant supervillain, deep under the Heptagon, and I get a phone call from the COMPANY's labs, upstairs. Can I come up immediately? They seem to have found something very interesting hiding inside some of those giant metal insects we shot down over Neo York City, last weekend.
What can I do? I leave the bag just outside of his reach (not that I think he's going to touch a donut for the rest of his life after that forced-feeding jag) and get topside, just in time to see something that takes me back to the last Parliament/Funkadelic concert I snuck into, years ago, before George made that awful song about my choice in !@#$less chaps.
That's right, kids. Something tore the roof off the mothersucker. And we were at ground !@#$ zero for the whole thing.
That something was caused by an unfortunate coincidence. It just so happened that the insect remnants were in the same lab as the computer drives we got out of that HIVE the other week. They're not entirely sure what happened, but the best bet we have is that someone accidentally turned the insects on at the same time the drives were running, they talked to one another, and started trying to turn the Heptagon itself into a new !@#$ HIVE.
This involved taking control over every airware-connected machine in a ten-room radius and putting it to work trying to restructure the rest of the building to suit its' needs. Why this involved making giant, mega-pneumatic waldos and ripping the roof off the building is something that's just going to remain gods' little !@#$ mystery, but it sure made us look like !@#$holes on the 6 O'Clock news, let me tell you.
Fortunately, the casualties were minimal. It turns out some other young genius was working with some complicated anti-earthquake thingamabob that kept buildings from collapsing when their structure gets weakened by seismic waves. Fortunately, it was not connected up to the wireless network, and he was able to get it working in time, which is why the roof seemingly came off in one piece, and came down the same way.
As for the waldoes, the drives, and that giant !@#$ metal insect, I X-57ed them into metal and plastic confetti before anyone got any stupid ideas about preserving them for science, or some other bull!@#$. There's science, there's reason, and then there's the basic human need to save your own !@#$ when one goes amok and the other fails in a major way.
Which is, I might add at this point, the big problem with HONEYCOMB.
We talked a lot about those !@#$, before, but I don't know if I really touched on the huge problem with them. Other than the fact that they were made by a bunch of disgraced eugenicists, assembled by an eyeball-stealing Nazi war criminal freak who just happens to be one of the smartest people on the !@#$ planet, of course.
That and they're the very definition of scientific terrorist outfits, which earns you a special seat in SPYGOD !@#$ when I catch up with your sorry !@#$. And I will, eventually. No doubt about that.
The problem isn't that they're trying to make a better world. We're all trying to do that, in our own way. Some more effectively and altruistically that others, of course.
(Some a lot more fun that others, come to think of it.)
And yes, it's more than a little disturbing that they're doing it by decanting their own perfect people in their HIVEs. But to hear some scientists talk that's what we'll be doing when we actually start sending out colony ships to other planets, however many centuries away from now. So maybe they're actually just really !@#$ ahead of the curve on that one?
The problem is the means. The problem is that they steal, suborn, coerce, poison, kidnap, and murder to get their way. The problem is that they hook up with supervillains, would-be alien conquerors, and even weirder and deadlier things to get what they want when the previous methods get their disposable soldiers shot in the noggin.
The problem is that they have no recognizable ethics or moral concerns in bringing their vision of the future to the unwashed, dorito-eating masses at gunpoint, and advocating the effective genocide of those masses in order to do it.
Yes, son, that means you. If you don't have a .5 Einstein rating or higher, aren't relatively free of genetic defects (including a family history of cancer or other such maladies), and can't do fifty pull-ups without collapsing into a whiny ball of snapped muscle, then the only thing you're good for is a trip to a reclamation plant, where your useless bodies will be sterilized, picked apart, and recycled for useful parts, nutrients, and leftovers.
We know this because they have told us this. Several times. Every so often Gerte releases a public statement extolling the virtues of their bold, scientifically-run world to come. She gets all rapturey about how great it will be, how beautiful, and how peaceful, and how well run.
So long as we don't mind when the hammer comes along to pound the stuck-out nail.
The scary thing is that this vision has people who agree with it. Top scientists, sociologists, and media darlings actually think there's some merit to the notion of a future where everything is planned out for you. At last, everyone would get a fair shake! No prejudice, no inequality, just one happy, sunshiny day in the sun for the whole world.
All it would cost us is our souls.
All it would cost us is a future where no one could dream except what they were allowed to dream. No one would be allowed to make mistakes or be a step out of line. No one would look to the stars and wonder, or walk into the gutter and laugh.
Just one endless, perfect dance routine on HONEYCOMB's machine planet.
Me, I say we were meant to be imperfect. We have to be. It's who we are and what we do.
I know I don't seem to have much tolerance for failure, but in reality it's the parade of lame excuses and attempts to shirk blame that make me want to cap you in the !@#$. If we don't !@#$ up we don't learn from it. If we don't learn from it, we don't grow.
And if we don't grow, we go nowhere, and just wind up sitting on the couch, eating corn dogs and watching "America's Got Chutzpah," or something incredibly worse.
That's not to say we can't work for a better world. But perfection isn't in our nature. We always side with the hidden flaw. And sometimes this is answerable with pain and punishment, but usually we just call it the price of being human.
And take it from someone who only just barely qualifies, anymore. Humanity is not overrated.
So no, HONEYCOMB does not get to win this one. I will stomp them down like I did to ABWEHR, and will do to GORGON when I finally figure out where those slimy, false-faced !@#$ slunk off to.
The secret's in their technology. I know it is. That's why, once we get the roof back on the Heptagon, and I have a few words with the science corps about basic caution while dismantling mad science devices in a weapon-rich environment, we're going to get back to work on taking their tools apart, the better to !@#$ them in the !@#$ with.
Well, that and a few drinks and some mindless !@#$. I feel the need to be very imperfect, tonight, and no one's going to !@#$ stop me.
(SPYGOD is listening to Nemesis (Shriekback) and having a tasty bottle of Barenjager, and not !@#$ sharing)