... not dead. Not even close.
Trapped somewhere. Obviously. Can't hear anything from the Eye so they must be using something really !@#$ amazing to keep it quiet. High tech.
HONEYCOMB, maybe? Could be. Maybe I got sloppy and they caught me. Now they're running me through a brain maze to get me to crack. Or maybe spill something.
Well, !@#$ that. Next time I come around and see something other than nothing, we're having it out.
Speak of the devil. Here we go...
SPYGOD comes up on 16th and Rutherford, just feet away from Stuyvesant Square. Trees and concrete and honking cars. Honking at him for not getting the !@#$ out of the road, of course. The start of rush hour traffic in the city.
"Mother!@#$" he says, shaking his head and wondering why he's here. Then it comes to him in the breeze, along with the smell of ketchup, onions, and cabbage.
Wild Bill's hotdogs, over by the fountain. Best slaw dogs this side of town. He usually has a few picked up now and again when he needs to throw all digestive caution to the wind.
So he's here, today, by himself. On foot, far from The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G. This has "setup" written all over it.
So be it.
He walks over to the familiar stand, getting a far-off nod from the vet who runs it. Wild Bill hasn't bathed since Vietnam, or so he says. Even the flies won't touch him. But somehow he keeps passing all health inspections. It's like someone threatened the inspectors or something.
... or someone.
He's halfway to the stand when it starts. The fall leaves burst as figures leap from their hiding places. A dozen people, easily, clad in black and red. Form-fitting suits weighed down with obscene amounts of weaponry, crosses on heavy chains and rosaries made of razor blades flapping behind as they go.
SPYGOD recognizes them instantly. Kirisuto no Ronin. Ultra-Radical Christian Ninjas with a unique concept of proselytizing.
They're rushing his position, pulling swords and knives as they go. The weapons glow red and smoke like brands pulled from the fire. Superheated steel weapons, capable of melting through flesh and body armor, and catching wood afire with a glancing blow.
"Abomination!" One of them screams, getting ready to leap and strike. The others aren't far behind.
"Best thing I've heard all day," he hears himself saying. Reaching for his guns...
... wait. How are they ambushing me? Why didn't I hear them breathing in the trees?
Who's saying these words? I could have come up with a better comeback in my sleep.
And why am I moving so !@#$ slow? I should have perforated the !@#$face by now.
This is the moment. This is the hole in reality. This is the fake.
Time to get real...
His feet feel like lead as he moves them. Something wants him to be rooted to the spot and to take the sword, right to the head. He ignores it and steps aside, performing a perfect uppercut to the man's ribcage as he does. He's barely aware of the crunch of bone and bursting of organs, though. He's already on to the next target.
Turn around in a circle. Spin. Throw off their aim. Pull out the handguns at his sides and start firing, one shot per target. Easy pickings.
Except the guns are light. He doesn't even need to pull the trigger to know something he should have picked up even before they charged at him.
They're empty. All his guns are empty.
This is a set-up, alright. And a !@#$ good one, too...
... for anyone else, that is. He's the god!@#$ SPYGOD. No one gets the drop on him.
Survival tip #2434: Guns that are empty on the battlefield make great projectile weapons. If you have their weight right you can throw them short distances and break the enemy's face, or at least distract them long enough to pull out another weapon.
And if you're the sort of person who can toss 100 pound freeweights around like they're softballs, you can really do some nasty !@#$ damage.
The next nearest Ronin finds this out the hard way as something in his groin ruptures painfully. He's barely got time to groan and hit the floor before the next nearest after him loses most of his forehead structure to the well-aimed butt end of a very heavy pistol.
Little problem, though. SPYGOD was aiming for the chest and nose, respectively. He made those two shots only with luck. The others will take more than that.
SPYGOD weighs his options and decides to go with SPYGOD VISION. He lifts the flap on his eyepatch and thinks "!@#$ you crazy !@#$holes."
Except nothing happens. Behind his eyepatch is... another eye.
No wonder. No !@#$ wonder I'm so off.
I don't have the Chandra Eye. I don't have the sensory input I normally have. I'm fighting blind.
Me and the fists and feet against a pile of crazy !@#$holes who want me dead.
Just like the old days, then...
He's moving, then. Running towards them, which is not what they expected. Clotheslining some poor ninja with one arm and grabbing the sword from his hands with the other. Well-weighted and hot, it'll do nicely as he leaps into the throng, screaming.
He isn't the only one for long.
And then there's just one more left. Not doing too well, though. No one's really made to handle losing a leg and an arm, and the only thing keeping him from bleeding out is the fact that the blade cauterized as it cut.
There's a voice in his head telling him to hold back. Ask questions. Let the guy talk, for !@#$ sake. There's information to be had, here. Let's get it.
He doesn't listen, and soon the ninja's learned that he wasn't really made to handle losing half his head, either.
SPYGOD drops the weapon, sated. No one dares come near him. The cops try to keep people back, knowing that this is a fight they have no place being in, except crowd control.
"Well, I'm waiting," he says to no one in particular, perhaps addressing his many would-be assassins, and their twitching, bleeding parts: "You didn't kill me this time, did you? I've exposed your little !@#$ flaw. So let's see the exit, mother!@#$. Show me the way out."
Nothing. Nothing happens. Nothing appears. No one speaks.
Wait. Someone is.
"Yeah, this is Wild Bill," the hot dog stand says into his wrist: "I don't know what the !@#$ just happened here, man, but it didn't take the fall. I repeat, it did not take the fall. Still standing. Over."
He's running for him before anyone can stop and ask stupid questions. Wild Bill ducks behind the stand and holds out a gun. A nice one, too. Too big and !@#$kicking for his money.
SPYGOD's ready to grab it and shove it up his !@#$ and out his mouth, but the vendor holds it out butt-first. Surrender? A peace offering?
"Dude, you need to chill," he says, sweating buckets: "There's more going on here than you realize. Just take a deep breath and hold on. They'll tell you what's up soon."
!@#$ that. A quick tap to the side of the head knocks Wild Bill flat on his !@#$ without severely injuring him. The gun's in his hands seconds later. And this one is loaded.
"Nice gun, pal," he says, grabbing a slaw dog while he's at it: "Think I'll take it."
The cops try to get an answer. He barrels through them without explanation or apology, a plan forming in his mind. If asserting this much control over the dream didn't work, then he's got to go a step further.
He's got to knock out the !@#$ center of the whole illusion. And the only place that would be is The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G., itself.
Not the first time he's broken into his own house, of course. Should be the most interesting, though.
And when he gets there, someone's gonna learn how badly they !@#$ up, today.
(SPYGOD is listening to Battleflag (Low Fidelity All Stars) and wishing for A Saison Darkly)