NEO YORK CITY
Dir. Straffer: (REDACTED)? Where did you go?
SPYGOD: That's !@#$ classified.
Dir. Straffer: It sounds like you're in another room.
SPYGOD: Sounds can be deceiving.
Dir. Straffer: And something smells wonderful.
SPYGOD: Well, that could be !@#$ faked, too. But I think it smells wonderful, too. So maybe that's a !@#$ draw.
Dir. Straffer: Are you actually cooking me breakfast?
SPYGOD: No, I'm cooking us breakfast. I don't know about you, but I'm !@#$ starving.
Dir. Straffer: Oh, that makes two of us. Those rocket trips to and from the Moon did me in.
SPYGOD: You and me both. Ah, here we go...
Dir. Straffer: Is that quiche?
SPYGOD: No !@#$ laughing. I will kick your !@#$ out of bed.
Dir. Straffer: You made quiche. And bacon. And are those grilled tomatoes?
SPYGOD: And I've got champagne in the cooler. The flutes are by the bedside.
Dir. Straffer: Is that what those were there for?
SPYGOD: I always keep them there, just in case.
Dir. Straffer: Oh, so I'm not the only person who gets the full bed and breakfast treatment the next morning, eh?
SPYGOD: You kidding me? Most people are already out the !@#$ back elevator. You, on the other hand, get proper treatment.
Dir. Straffer: And why is that?
SPYGOD: Shut up and pour the champagne.
Dir. Straffer: Oooo. Yes, sir.
SPYGOD: Now I hope I didn't put too much spinach in this. It's a fine line between flavor and mulch.
Dir. Straffer: MMM. Well, I think you got it about perfect, there.
SPYGOD: You're not just saying that because of the rocket ride?
Dir. Straffer: If it sucked, I would tell you. I might feel the need to duck, afterwards, but I'd tell you.
SPYGOD: And that, my dear Director, is why you get proper treatment.
Dir. Straffer: I'll drink to that. *clink*
SPYGOD: Likewise. Now, how about you tell me why you told me you don't drink?
Dir. Straffer: Same reason I told you didn't put out on the first date.
SPYGOD: Which was?
Dir. Straffer: My little secret.
SPYGOD: You are bad.
Dir. Straffer: I am, yes. And you look like you have something you want to say.
SPYGOD: Don't worry, I'm not going to ruin things by getting soppy or crying into my bacon.
Dir. Straffer: Heh. You know what gay men do on the second date?
SPYGOD: Ask me the next time I bribe you with dinner.
Dir. Straffer: *laughs* I'll drink to that, too. But okay. What's on your mind?
SPYGOD: It's work related.
Dir. Straffer: What, you need me to vaporize something for you, again?
SPYGOD: Oh !@#$ no. Nothing like that.
Dir. Straffer: Need a hand doing an end run on Congress?
SPYGOD: Well, I might. But that's not it.
Dir. Straffer: Then what?
SPYGOD: It's a matter of intel sharing.
Dir. Straffer: Ah. That calls for more champagne.
SPYGOD: Pour away. And please, for the love of !@#$, don't laugh.
Dir. Straffer: I make no promises.
SPYGOD: Okay. What do we know about (Unintelligible Concept)?
Dir. Straffer: That's... an interesting question, (REDACTED). What brings that up?
SPYGOD: Recently, I learned that, if I'm somewhere really remote, where there isn't a lot to listen to, I can hear things out in space. I can hear the stars !@#$ singing to each other, if you can believe that.
Dir. Straffer: I can.
SPYGOD: Believe it?
Dir. Straffer: Yes to both questions. But it takes me a really sensitive electromagnetic monitor, and then I only get every other note. It sounds like half-heard techno, heavy on the classical samples.
SPYGOD: I hear a chorus singing. It's heartbreakingly beautiful. I don't have... I don't !@#$ have words to describe it. It's like that one time when I busted in on the wrong room in the West Wing when a certain former colleague of mine was reporting to his superiors. I almost cried.
Dir. Straffer: Okay, now. Don't get soppy on me. You didn't ask me about you-know-what if you wanted to get all maudlin.
SPYGOD: Fair point. I've also learned, just recently, that if I'm in a situation where I can't hear anything else around me, and I'm in the right brainframe for it, I can hear really far out into space. So much so that I actually can see things, in a way. Maybe it's echolocation, or maybe it's just that some things are so !@#$ massive and tremendous that I can't not hear them.
Dir. Straffer: And what did you hear out there that has so you spooked?
SPYGOD: It wasn't what I heard. It was what I dreamed I heard when I was in that situation where I couldn't hear anything else. I imagined a presence out there. Massive !@#$ thing, but so dark that I could only tell the vague outline of its shape by what I couldn't see, behind it. Then it went by a gas cloud, and it was so !@#$ big the matter was drawn off and started to reveal what it actually looked like...
Dir. Straffer: A ship?
SPYGOD: No. A being. Something so large that it made my brain want to crawl out of my skull and move to !@#$ Guam just to get away from it.
Dir. Straffer: One of the Preternaturals, maybe?
SPYGOD: What are those?
Dir. Straffer: Well, as near as we can figure, when the last Universe ended, not everything that was in that Universe ended along with it. Some things survived the last big crunch, and made it through the big bang. They're incredibly huge, incredibly alien, and so far over our heads we can't even begin to contemplate them.
SPYGOD: So they're some kind of Cthulhu deal, basically?
Dir. Straffer: That's one way to look at it, yes. Now thankfully they tend to stay far outside of our stomping grounds. Most of them are still riding the creation wave. Some of them make really weird, long orbits that take up to a billion years to complete, and mostly stay between systems. But when they come close to civilizations, really bad things tend to happen.
SPYGOD: Like what?
Dir. Straffer: Extinction events on a galactic scale. Especially when they wake up and realize there's something nearby they can feed on.
SPYGOD: And I'm !@#$ betting that if they're big enough and powerful enough to have survived the end of the last universe and the birth of ours, they've got one !@#$ of an appetite.
Dir. Straffer: The ruins of an entire galaxy is attributed to one of them barreling through it, stopping at the center, and starting to feed. They think it's still there, somewhere, in the Preternatural equivalent of a food coma. But no one wants to go and look.
SPYGOD: I don't !@#$ blame them. How many of these !@#$ things are out there?
Dir. Straffer: The Catorese say there's twenty that they've seen.
SPYGOD: !@#$ twenty?
Dir. Straffer: Maybe. The Catorese also have ten digits on each hand, and two hands, so twenty could be a convenient guess on their part. I'm willing to bet good money there's more.
SPYGOD: Have you ever seen one of these !@#$ things?
Dir. Straffer: No. I don't think anyone could without going mad. They have that effect, I'm told.
SPYGOD: So we are dealing with some kind of Cthulhu deal.
Dir. Straffer: Well, for all we know...
SPYGOD: Thank !@$#$ for the Eye, huh?
Dir. Straffer: You can say that again. So you think you saw one of these things in a dream?
SPYGOD: I don't know. These things are massive, but how intelligent are they?
Dir. Straffer: Impossible to say. When they come around and start shoveling whole solar systems down their throat it's not really feasible to fire off the first few prime numbers and see if they start replying.
SPYGOD: Okay then.
Dir. Straffer: Is that relief I see across your face?
SPYGOD: Maybe. What do you know about The Chamber?
Dir. Straffer: I know we shouldn't be talking about it unless we're really secure, here.
SPYGOD: We are.
Dir. Straffer: Then I'd say I know enough to know it's a very good thing that thing's been locked down since you left the Ice Palace.
SPYGOD: The ceiling's a mile high. And there's some evidence to suggest that the things that built it were at least that tall.
Dir. Straffer: And you think you saw one of them?
SPYGOD: I don't know. It was a lot taller than a !@#$ mile.
Dir. Straffer: Maybe it's the father of the thing that made the Chamber.
SPYGOD: Maybe it's the thing that made the Chamber, but all !@#$ grown up, now?
Dir. Straffer: Neither thought is comforting. And are you saying you think it might be (Unintelligible Concept)?
SPYGOD: I'm wondering. How much do we !@#$ know about (Unintelligible Concept)?
Dir. Straffer: Not a heck of a lot. Most of the races we know of have that word in their syllabary, somewhere. It's pronounced almost exactly the same way amongst the ones who communicate like we do. And it means almost exactly the same thing: an absence of meaning. An anti-thing.
SPYGOD: The Decreator?
Dir. Straffer: In some languages, yes. I didn't know you had an interest in pan-galactic mythology.
SPYGOD: I don't. I just kept having that word pop into my head when I think about what I saw.
Dir. Straffer: Cosmic consciousness?
SPYGOD: Now that sounds like you've had enough champagne.
Dir. Straffer: Line from Repo Man, actually.
SPYGOD: That movie with Giles from Buffy ripping people open and taking the organs they couldn't pay for?
Dir. Straffer: No, the one with Emilio Estevez? The aliens in the back of the car?
SPYGOD: Oh yeah. That one.
Dir. Straffer: It's a must see on Deep Ten. We make new employees guess which race the trunk aliens are.
SPYGOD: And what are they?
Dir. Straffer: None of them. Stuffed condoms, we think.
SPYGOD: Yours is a cruel wit, my friend.
Dir. Straffer: Well, we gotta do something for fun up there.
SPYGOD: Yeah. Speaking of which, when do you have to go back up?
Dir. Straffer: Not until later today. Much later.
SPYGOD: Time for another rocket ride?
Dir. Straffer: Several.
SPYGOD: All that talk about mouths the size of stars didn't freak you the !@#$ out?
Dir. Straffer: It does. But this is the world we live in, (REDACTED). You deal with the scary !@#$ on the ground. I deal with it when it's up in space. My backyard might be larger and a little stranger than yours-
SPYGOD: A lot !@#$ stranger, you ask me.
Dir. Straffer: Well, yes. But it's the same deal. In the end, we have two choices. We can either deal with that strangeness, or we can run and hide from it. But there's no where to run or hide, really. It doesn't matter if it's science terrorists in Costa Rica or a war fleet from three stars away. If the darkness is going to rise up and try to get us, well, it's going to. But me? I'm going to make it wish it'd !@#$ stayed home before it gets too close. And that goes for anything out there, no matter how large.
SPYGOD: Shut up and !@#$ kiss me.
Dir. Straffer: Yes, sir.
(SPYGOD is listening to Lux Aeterna (Gyorgy Ligeti) and drinking... well, figure it out)