* Okay, we're !@#$ live at five. That's in the AM, people.
* Drop your !@#$, grab your socks, praise the lord and pass the !@#$ ammunition.
* Shower, shave, !@#$, shower, drink, get a killer !@#$, shower again. Thank goodness for boyfriends with good stamina.
* Yes, I called him boyfriend. No, I don't love him. Yes, I need him. Yes, this is !@#$ confusing.
* !@#$ it. Deal with it later. Kill now, deal later. I'll !@#$ drink to that.
* I don't want to drink to my role in the fight, though. I feel about as right sitting this one out as I feel marching behind the token anti-gay float at the Republican plank parade.
* But Dragon's being really adamant on that point, which is to say "!@#$y as !@#$." Something about the General needing to be above the field, and not in it.
* There was a bunch of other Zen bull!@#$ that went with it, but it came down to "what happens if you die?" And for once I had no answer. So I'm going to be here, watching it from the Deck instead of fighting in the drink.
* Not that getting to the Deck's any easier for that. We try and open the door, and it won't Star Trek open. !@#$.
* I try the override and all the lights in the room blow out. Double !@#$.
* One pulled-to-the-side bunkroom door later, we're on the main hallway and seeing that things have gone to !@#$ overnight. Lights are flashing on and off like a Las Vegas hotel sign, sparks are cascading from overloaded circuit junctions, and the systems panels are all saying "!@#$ You Yankee Bluejeans."
* No, son. This is not good. I start shooting near techs and barking orders, but it's overkill by now.
* We run into Myron on the way to the deck. He and Toyboss and a gaggle of reformed, water-based, former supervillains from the Legion are on their way to their machines. I ask him if he's a mean mother!@#$, and he just looks at me for a second and says "!@#$ yeah."
* I can see his eyes behind those sunglasses he's wearing all the time, since Costa Rica, though, and I know the words are ringing hollow.
* This is not good, either. Really not !@#$ good.
* Come on world, come on gods. Come on, God. Give this butt!@#$er a break, here. Or at least something to smile about.
* No luck there. I get to the deck and half the systems are clearly not !@#$ working. The VR gun pods are spinning too fast or not at all. The Anti-G stations are mostly grounded. And the big screen is showing !@#$ Sesame Street reruns, and its not even a good !@#$ episode.
* First thing I get handed to me is a list of everything that !@#$ broke last night while I was sleeping off my poor attempt at Dutch courage and pre-battle deck-walking. The second thing is a stiff !@#$ drink, courtesy of Second. I'm gonna need it, looking at this list.
* The story is that about a third of The Flier's systems are compromised in some way, ranging from catastrophic to minor. The good news is that we can still fly this !@#$, and use its defensive measures. The bad news is that offensive shooting's going to be interesting, to say the least.
* Worse news is that if we can't get this !@#$ fixed we'll have to do it all manually, which means, Dragon be !@#$, I will have to go out there and kick some !@#$.
* Not that this would be a bad thing, of course, but I try not to crow too much. I'd like to sleep in my own bed, tonight.
* The more hopeful news is that Dr. Yesterday was working on it around the clock, mostly because I told him I was going to come down and kick his !@#$ around the South Pole if I didn't have tangible results by this morning.
* He said I should have a systems upgrade package on hand by this morning. I !@#$ better.
* While everything's !@#$ bedlam on the Deck, everything's fine on the flight deck. Everyone's ready to deploy. All we have to do is wait for the optimum moment, which should come as soon as Dr. !@#$ Yesterday sends me that !@#$ upgrade and we install it.
* Ah, right on cue. I got mail. !@#$ wonderful.
* He says we should just download it into the mainframe and sit tight while the ship reconfigures itself? Oh great. Remote !@#$ carrier repair at 12000 feet above a battleground? !@#$ me.
* I'd have rather done this last !@#$ night, really. Or a !@#$ week ago. But we're out of time and out of options. Do it.
* Okay... that was interesting.
* The lights went down, the walls shimmered, and there was a definite wave as the ship fixed itself from stern to bow. But then the lights came back up again, and while there were no noises, extra bangs, or whistles.
* The engineers are telling me the system failures are gone. We're running at 101%, right now, and it's about !@#$ time.
* Was that a cheer I heard from the flight deck? !@#$ me, I hope so.
* Someone hands me a big, purple spliff and a big !@#$ bottle of Jack Daniels. Three puffs off one and a half-a-bottle swig off the other, and we're ready to get this party started.
* OPERATION DECAPITATION is in mother!@#$ effect, kids. Look alive!
* Release cloak cloud. Take her down to sea level.
* Activate reflex weapons and long range weapons. Have torpedoes and depth charges on standby. Have shields ready to deploy on my mark.
* Ready the drop subs, dolphin pods, and specialized machines. Tell the drones they are go, go, go.
* The N-drones streak off to their target, about fifty miles away. I suspect they must be quite a !@#$ sight, all streaking in like that.
* Heh heh. If I was GORGON I'd be !@#$ my pants, right about now.
* The Dragon ruins my moment of joy by whispering zen strategy bull!@#$ in my ear. It has the effect of making me incredibly irritated while reaffirming what I really already !@#$ knew, just like most Asian philosophy.
* I can't really threaten to shoot him, so I thank him for his input and tell him to get down to the flight deck and make sure confidence is !@#$ high. He looks a little miffed, but he'll live. So will I.
* The moment he's gone, I tell Second to make sure Lady Gilda is fueled and ready to go. If I have to get out there and fight, I !@#$ well will.
* N-drones coming up on the target. They are submerged.
* Underwater sonar-assisted cameras are working perfectly. I can see them heading for the opening those GORGON subs went into, all those months ago. If all goes well they will be deploying their robot missiles in 3, 2, 1...
* And they're away. One in each cluster is a camera, programmed to hang back and show up the carnage. They fly into the fissure and down the tunnels Myron told us to expect, looking for possible targets.
* Holy !@#$ those tunnels are big. The one they're in now looks like it could swallow the !@#$ Flier and have room left over for a couple long-range subs.
* !@#$ me. The bricks they're made of are the size of small houses. Who made these things? When? How?
* There's large writing on them, but nothing I know. Though there's something about it... something familiar...
* No sign of any automated defenses. No GORGON subs. No soldiers lying in wait. Just the blackness and the cold, slowly lit up as we go further into it.
* Those Deros things could be around any corner, too. I don't know if they're sleeping or dead or if GORGON made some kind of weird deal with them. Wouldn't put it past them to try.
* This is !@#$ unnerving. I need more whiskey.
* Junction up ahead. Missiles are veering to the right, as that's where we think the juncture is. Hope it isn't a maze or they're going to run out of !@#$ go before they get to blow anything up-
* Aha! There they were. Subs straight ahead, waiting for us. Robots, die well.
* Phase two, release the specialist machines. That would be Myron and whatever weird underwater drill thing the !@#$ Toyboss came up with.
* They get the hard part in this. They drop straight down to the floor and drill their way just behind the junction while we fight from the !@#$ front, catching them in a twofer.
* Robot missiles are extinguished. Got the subs before they could even fire back. Excellent.
* Tell the N-drones to fire the second wave. Same trajectory as the first. Let's pick off !@#$ stragglers and survivors and see if they have more lying in wait.
* Word from Myron is that they're barreling down to the floor. They have to take it somewhat easy or they'll crack and flatten. That's if they don't get shot to !@#$, first.
* Even more unnerving, waiting for this one. If Myron !@#$ this up, there is no plan.
* Second wave of missiles is heading back into the sub pen. Nothing.
* Nothing? That can't !@#$ be right. Has to be some stragglers, somewhere?
* Keep going. Maybe those were meant to slow us down.
* Myron's reporting in. They're down and drilling. Toyboss is backing him up. Everyone's ready to go.
* Alright, I'm pressing forward. Tell them to drop the dolphin pods. Send them the !@#$ in after the drills and let them !@#$ anything they can't eat.
* Yes, Myron, that means a bunch of uplifted Japanese hentai rapist dolphins are coming up your tailpipe. Better hurry it the !@#$ up, hadn't you?
* Heh, proper motivation. Gotta love it.
* Okay, missiles are encountering fire. We have bogeys on screen. Looks like automated defenses. Also looks like they're sending subs into the fight.
* Hear that, Myron? You got your distraction! Go, go, go!
* Alright, he's through. Just in time from the looks of it. Dolphins are in and...
* What the !@#$ is that? There in the central juncture. It looks like... pulsating lights, circular motion. Some kind of a generator the size of the Flier?
* Oh, well it's obviously !@#$ important. They're shooting at the dolphins! Boys, send in the subs! We're going to need to go in firing.
* Well, okay, if the dolphins can mess with their man-subs that easily, maybe we won't need our own. Not that I need to really see GORGON agents get !@#$ in the !@#$ and explosively decompress through their armor-
* Oh man. What the !@#$ hit our missiles? Was that an energy barrier?
* Okay, plan D. Tell the N-Drones to go in, themselves. Let's see if we can loop around a different juncture-
* Oh my God. What just ate that dolphin?
* Great, they have giant prehistoric dolphin-eating cave fish. Of course they would. Yeah, send in the subs.
* Can someone get a good image of that central thing? It looks like a bunch of gears rotating around each other in freefall, to me. Glowing, too. Hard to make anything out.
* !@#$ it, this is why I should be in there. I can't see !@#$ from that screen. I need to be there, looking at it.
* (Oh, Dragon's back on Deck. Better button up that talk.)
* Okay, Myron's reporting in. The supervillains are go. They're going to find an access hatch and start storming the dry parts while we take down the water. There's got to be some sort of control center there, somewhere.
* Wait, that machine. I know what it is. It's...
* Oh !@#$. Oh !@#$ !@#$ on a !@#$ !@#$ with a !@#$.
* Get out of there! All personnel, abort! Abort!
* Get us the !@#$ airborne, now! Subs, head for cover! Repeat, subs head for cover!
* Can't we go any faster? Oh man, someone get me manual fire control! Make sure the shields are-
(SPYGOD is listening to Deep Six (Matthew Good Band) and drinking defeat by the gallon)