You know, son, you have never lived until you've had the manager of a massive hotel beg you not stay another day.
Not order, mind you. Not demand you get the !@#$ out before he calls the cops, or his cousins, or his cousins who happen to be cops. Not even strongly hint, but begs, because the government said we could stay, and he can't force us to leave, but every day we're here means at least another month he'll have to be shut the !@#$ down to clean up our mess.
So here's Hector, on his mother!@#$ knees, crying his eyes out and begging me to just get out. His bad hairpiece is falling down over his face and he looks as ridiculous as a drunk bum doing clown porn to get a six pack and a burger.
Me? I put my cigar out on his hairpiece, promise to think about it, and tell him to go make sure the Bavaria Negra keeps flowing in sufficient quantities. And keep the buffet going 24/7, would you? My boys and girls work up a real appetite.
(And the hookers! Can't forget those. Clean, preferably)
Not that the poor man doesn't have good reason to give us the heave-ho, though. The place has been through six shades of !@#$ since the COMPANY showed up, after the end of OPERATION: BUGSMASH. All their previous guests were scooted out toot !@#$ sweet in the name of international security, and they got replaced by all these gun-toting gringos, most of whom desperately needed to relax and unwind after dealing the death-blow to HONEYCOMB.
So there's been chaos at the scenic Hotel Riu Guanacaste. Bad enough that most of the floors have been appropriated and turned into large deconstruction areas, giving our science boys a place to take what we trashed apart and figure out how it !@#$ works. But there's also been a lot of hi jinks after hours, most of it drunk.
And when you have badly hungover COMPANY Agents trucking weird and often-experimental things in and out of the rooms, or using the swimming pool as a containment unit for certain exotic things we seized, or conducting interrogations of captured HONEYCOMB personnel, replicants, and would-be gene donors, accidents are going to happen.
I make no excuses for this. Mistakes have clearly been made. I think I'll be writing apology letters to everyone in the Costa Rican government for the ill-advised "fireworks" display that may or may not have caused cancer in everyone due West of our current location. Thankfully, that's not a !@#$ lot of people, but I think the fish are going to look a little weird for the next decade or so.
(Unstable reactor fuel we had to launch into near orbit before it blew up this side of the country. It happens.)
But, at the same time, I'm not making any apologies, either. The greasy, little mustachioed !@#$face that runs this swanky joint couldn't have not known what was going on up the road. And even if it just fell under the category of "bad mierda that, thank the blessed Virgin Mary, I do not have to deal with," like so many other things down here, I still think it's high time he licked some mierda off karma's well-worn boots for his obvious moral cowardice.
As it was, he was content to kiss my designer, lizard skin Pradas and pick cigar ash out of his hair. And be very !@#$ grateful I didn't do worse.
I have to be careful, though. It's just one slippery step too far to the right and then I'm in fascist territory. Something this region knows a lot about, unfortunately.
They tell me I act like one, already, but !@#$ that !@#$. I'm just a transitory state of affairs; a bad smell that shows up in your town a couple days after year and then leaves, having drank half your beer and stolen some boy's heart (and backdoor virginity).
The real fascists don't show up in costumes and special, black PVC suits to save you from some threat from beyond your understanding, shoot a few collaborators, and !@#$ off to their flying headquarters. They move in slow and quiet: taking over schoolboards and churches, maybe the chamber of commerce, and then the police and town hall. Next thing you know, the leader's picture's up in the schools and supermarkets, and then you're all being told not only what to think, but how.
Case in point: the HIVE we're cleaning up and out had plans towards that state. Nasty !@#$ plans.
Near as we can tell, there are at least 500,000 people around the world who have been victimized by a special treatment, courtesy of HONEYCOMB. It's similar to what was done to South Korea's Unit 684, only those men were actually activated and trained. These people, all recipients of certain, "special" blood transfusions during minor surgical procedures, are out there, living their lives, unaware of HONEYCOMB microtransmitters in their spinal columns, and dormant RNA in their systems.
One signal from the central HIVE, and they'd all wake up changed people, with enhanced strength and endurance, killer instincts, a soldier's skills, and a program to follow. They would no longer be who they were, but be murder machines for HONEYCOMB, ready to infiltrate key systems and governmental services, and then kneecap the major powers in one quick, coordinated action.
Yeah, son. Just like the toasters, only without the CGI cloning and nude Asians. And it could have been really !@#$ bad if that !@#$ had gone down.
The good news is that, thanks to the files we salvaged, we now know who's been tagged with this !@#$. Better still, we know how to cure it without harming them. So we can devise a careful and quiet program to inoculate them, singly or in groups, without them knowing anything ever happened to them, or what we're doing about it.
The bad news is that, based on the files we salvaged, there are countless other doomsday plans and sleeping threats that HONEYCOMB amassed over the decades. Some of these are only hinted at on what we've got, and some of them may have been completely spelled out on the files we didn't get, thanks to some badly-placed explosives and a very large tunnelator.
But that's acceptable, for now. We've got a foot in the door, and that's all we need. We can take today, tonight, and tomorrow as they come, and while it's a shame we don't have Gerde to explain a few things to us, I'm can't say I'm not sorry the !@#$ is dead.
(Haven't checked in with her sister to see how she's taking the news, but that's not much concern at this point. I think Professor Yesterday's got that in hand. He'd !@#$ better, anyway.)
I feel good, strangely enough. Every instinct in my body is screaming at me to duck and !@#$ cover, but for some reason I can't help but look back at the last year and think we're on the right track. No more super-Nazis, no more organized super-crime, and now no more science terrorists.
There's just one more big domino to knock over, and then...
And then what? What do we do in a world where The COMPANY's biggest foils have been foiled to !@#$ and back? Put out small fires? Rescue cats from trees?
What does the small town policeman do when there's no criminals to arrest? Go fishing? !@#$ the secretary?
I don't know, yet. This all seems like it's going too easy, even if it hasn't been. I keep expecting someone to leap out of a door, yell "surprise," and throw a pie in my face.
And knowing my luck, it won't be my favorite flavor.
Ah well, another question for another day. I think I'm going to go down to the bar the poor manager's having to keep open all day and night and enjoy some of the fruits of my temporary fascism. Like a couple doubles drunk out of some poolboy's !@#$crack.
"O Sweet victory. How strange the taste."
(SPYGOD is listening to Save it For Later (English Beat) and having a ton of Bavaria Negra)