"Nothing changes, on New Years' Day."
Bono (that is, Paul David Hewson) wrote that more than 25 years ago. Every once in a while I have reason to visit that song, usually for silly !@#$ reasons that have nothing to do with the meaning behind the lyrics. Either that or they visit me by way of an 80's DJ with a limited back catalog and no !@#$ idea who John Foxx is (!@#$ Philistines)
But I'm splattered in someone else's blood, and for some reason the song is coming back to me. That line, especially, but of course "I will be killed again" is coming up for !@#$ air, too.
(It's actually "I will begin, again," but I know what I hear.)
I'm in Costa Rica, today -- about four miles Northwest from scenic and tiny Plazuela. About as far Northwest as you can get without falling off a cliff into the !@#$ Pacific. And the only thing around, other than a beach hotel we've taken over for the duration, is a large smoking crater that was HONEYCOMB's central HIVE.
"Was," until Myron and his boys drove his Tunnelator up through it like a drunk steroid-junkie leather daddy in search of a forced !@#$-slam in a toilet stall, that is. All there really is now is a shattered complex with a shut down reactor, hundreds of dead, dying, or mostly suicidal HONEYCOMB soldiers, thousands of broken and twitching giant metal bugs, and a few outlying structures we're going through with fine toothed combs in one hand, and big guns in the other.
Big !@#$ guns, like the one Myron just used on the prisoner we were interrogating.
Roll the !@#$ tape back a bit? Don't mind if I do.
Yesterday, I was in Washington D.C. enjoying New Years at the White House, for a change. Usually I spend it on the Flier with my Agents, having the party to end all parties, at least until next year. But, given the fact that the Flier is sitting in the Atlantic being rebuilt, well beyond the estimated date they gave me (!@#$ commie government contractor !@#$ !@#$) nand we're dealing with what's left of HONEYCOMB, the party's going to have to be postponed for a while. Which sucks !@#$ !@#$, but that's why we call it life.
The President and I were trying hard to not discuss certain matters that came up the last time we talked, but between what he and I didn't say I am reasonably assured that certain steps have been taken regarding a certain rival intelligence agency, its links to the late, unlamented Legion, and its dumb!@#$, supervillain-coddling Director. Given that, I don't feel the need to talk to some scandal-loving bottom feeder journalists I know.
But he can't help but ask me how things are going down in Costa Rica. Apparently, the Ambassador's been on the phone a lot, lately, and is gently relaying that country's growing unease at the COMPANY's presence inside their borders. I guess they don't like the fact that we're flooding their local businesses with yankee dollars?
Of course, this is by my third or fourth bottle of Tusker (say what you will about the man, he knows a good beer) and Dick Clark's face is about to drop, or maybe the ball is. So I tell the President that maybe he should ask their government where their concern's been all the years that HONEYCOMB's had their central !@#$ HIVE in their country. And maybe he should follow it up with "suck my mother!@#$ !@#$ you !@#$ !@#$."
Needless to say, that stops a few conversations, including our own. But a little later, after my liver's done what it normally does with a good beer buzz, I assure the President, on my way out, that I will go down to personally supervise the cleanup and see what we can do to expedite matters. Anything for an ally in whatever "war" we're fighting this week, right?
He makes a face like someone handed him a rotten lemon to chew on. Then I realize my kidneys have also dealt with the beer buzz how they normally do, only without the aid of the nearest bathroom. Which also !@#$ sucks, but it's nothing he's not used to.
(You should see what the veep does when he gets !@#$faced)
So instead of sleeping in all !@#$ day, brainslammed like a cheap nail that met a hammer forged by angry gods, I'm on a transport to Costa Rica. Of course we encounter chop. Of course I puke out the !@#$ window.
Of course I have to make a window to !@#$ puke out of.
Now, Myron's already down there to meet me, and he doesn't look happy. Oh no. In fact, he looks !@#$ pissed. Not at me, of course. But this isn't what he was expecting during the mop-up.
So I let him know, in no uncertain terms, that he should have read the file. It was all there. I even smack him over the head with it a few times so it'll sink in, and I won't have to do that in front of his people ever again.
Though, in honesty, the often clinical nature of our write-ups tend to leave a few things filtered out. And maybe this is what Myron's having the problem with.
Like the smell of the reclamation plants. There is nothing that can prepare you for the meat, chemical, and !@#$ stench of what's left of massive amounts of human bodies. And while you might be able to visualize the sight of hundreds of human bodies, picked clean of all usable organs and parts, actually !@#$ seeing them is another thing.
Especially when you consider that these bodies, mostly locals who get too close, or the kidnapped victims of HONEYCOMB operations around the globe, are about to be turned into pinkish-red slush, and then either pumped into their gardens as fertilizer, or fed to their soldiers as food.
But there's a few other bodies in there, too. And this is what has Myron currently frothing at the mouth, insane with anger, and clicking an empty gun at what's left of the head he just blew up all over me.
Point of fact: HONEYCOMB does not want you to join them. They do not do recruitment drives. They do not bring willing people into the fold. Either you were amongst the original engineers, or you got kidnapped and worked to death, or you were spawned in a machine, fed a personality, and put to work.
But they will accept donations from interested parties.
HONEYCOMB has people all over the world, looking for potential donors. They want the smartest people they can find that are also in top physical condition, with minds that sit on that fine line between scientific detachment and unorthodoxy. And the occasional dip of the toe into the crazy pool is seen as an asset rather than a !@#$ deal breaker.
Once they find you, they scan you with their super science doohickeys, and find out if your genes are decent enough to pass their stringent qualifications. Then they slip you a puzzle to figure out, and if you get that far, they might just approach you with the offer.
The offer is simple: they want you to be a part of HONEYCOMB. But it's not what you might think. You will not be joining, as you would a company or military. You will be harvested for your genes and intelligence, which will be added to the group genepool, so as to make bigger, better, stronger, and smarter HONEYCOMB soldiers.
(It's a kind of immortality, I guess. But I know you can !@#$ guess what your pal SPYGOD has to say about that.)
The scary thing is how many of these kids say "yes." Scarier still is why.
You see, HONEYCOMB understands that these people have vivid imaginations. And they've probably spent their entire lives being told "no" when they want to exercise them. No, you can't do this. No, you can't do that. No, that's wrong. No, that's illegal. No, that's just sick. No, no, !@#$ no.
You know what happens to someone like that? Well, with any luck they eventually outgrow it, but chances are there's this beast raging inside them for the rest of their lives, waiting to come out.
As payment for being willing to !@#$ die (painlessly, admittedly) for HONEYCOMB, the group offers these kids a week in which anything they want will be given to them. !@#$ anything. At the week's end, it's the harvester, but until then, they get a large room, and anything they want.
You want a room full of action figures so you can play out the great battles you couldn't have after your parents tossed your toys? Done.
You want to !@#$ dozens, or even hundreds, of beautiful people? Or ugly ones? Midgets? Horses? Done.
You want to rape? Murder? Maim? Kill? Abuse children? Eat your weight in human flesh? Play "Hostel" or "Human Centipede?"
The Tunnelator came up under the central Nexus of the HIVE without much !@#$ warning. The central area was trashed. The Freedom Week blocks are outside the central area, and didn't take much damage. This means that we've been going from block to block, since then, "liberating" them from college age sociopaths who have no idea why the lights went out on their private little paradises.
And some of those paradises... well, you know SPYGOD is a hard !@#$ man, son. But that hardness wasn't always there. I threw up and cried when I got to Auschwitz. I still mist up when I think of some of the things I've seen since then. Some of the things I've done.
But this? Well, some of this is about more than yours truly really wants to remember, right now. Not without several drinks.
Which is why I am not stopping Myron from doing what he's doing. He made the mistake of walking into the room after we'd pulling this whiny man-boy out of it, stark naked and covered in dried blood and human !@#$, and demanding to know why his week was canceled. He still had two days left!
Myron walked in there, flashlight in hand, and saw what he'd been doing. And to who. Or what, rather.
Then he walked out here, took the gun right off my holster, and started shooting. I don't remember when he started crying (maybe the third bullet) but I'm not sorry to see those tears. They're proof that there's still something inside us that can be so outraged by needless atrocity that, even when doing the obvious thing to the person who made it happen, our humanity's coming up for air in the sea of !@#$.
I might have to take it away a minute or two, though. Dry-firing's not good for a gun. But for now, let him pull the trigger and cry. It seems a fitting epitaph for this whole !@#$ place.
I can only hope it's all worth it. This last year's led me to nastier places that I'd thought it might, and even though I !@#$ wrote most of the files, I'm still constantly surprised by the !@#$ we're finding under the rocks we're turning over.
(SPYGOD is listening to New Years Day (U2) and will be having something with very high alcohol content, soon)