Immortal. Superpowered. Drunk.
Highly conservative. Queer as !@#$. Out as Hell.
Assassin of the President of the United States of America? Well, it sure as !@#$ looks that way.
After a quarter century or so of eating out on having killed Hitler with his bare hands, rescuing the world too many times to count, and saving the lives of three Presidents (and having to shoot one), it would seem that SPYGOD has turned his back on his oath, and his country, and done the unthinkable.
For the President is dead -- shot down on live television. And SPYGOD's hand was on the gun.
How ironic that the former Director of The COMPANY, tasked with handling America's Strategic Talents, is now being hunted down by the organization he once ran! Especially since he was the one who had to kill rogue Supers when they went off the ranch.
What could have happened to him that would have made him sink so low? Was it losing a major battle to GORGON? Being fired by the President?
Something else entirely?
(Well, maybe we're !@#$ getting a little ahead of ourselves, here. Let's back up a bit.)
Since The War, SPYGOD had been a major player in the international spy game. He was the go-to man for America's part in the zero-sum dance that kept the world from being conquered, annihilated, invaded, eaten, or just plan vanished by way of Science Terrorists, Supervillains, aliens, or threats too weird to classify. Sometimes this involved the use of Supers, sometimes conventional forces, and sometimes just a single bullet in the right head.
(And boy is that really !@#$ painful to consider, right now)
Until May of last year, the dance involved a detente tango with hideous partners like ABWEHR, HONEYCOMB, GORGON, and The Legion. In a sane and rational world, those boogie people would have been harshly dealt with some time ago. But they were dug into the world and its governments like fat bloated ticks, and had a marked tendency to create and use doomsday devices when attacked too massively, or thwarted too harshly.
So, under the circumstances, it was agreed that it was better to lose a few hundred civilians every year than risk billions.
However, last May, SPYGOD -- for reasons never fully explained -- decided he'd !@#$ had enough. The Outland that year was a real bang, much to the consternation of the International Spy Community, and all the evil people of the world were on notice.
The era of complacency was over. Complacency Kills. From now on, all their asses were belong to him.
The first dance was easy -- maybe a little too easy. The COMPANY came to call on the Ice Palace in Antarctica, and, faced with a massive attack not seen in decades, ABWEHR flopped over like a greenhorn nellie in a black leather dungeon. The Super Nazis' attempts to engineer a new Reich by way of repurposed alien technology -- some of it truly !@#$ terrifying -- could not withstand the assault, and their reserve guard turned out to be sadly pitiful.
Buoyed by swift victory, SPYGOD extended himself a little too far, and went after GORGON's stronghold in West Papua with a skeleton crew. Saying the "plan" was the big !@#$ mother of all fiascos is extremely generous; If it hadn't been for new allies he didn't know he had, SPYGOD would likely have died there.
However, his recklessness did have a price. The President -- already less than pleased with him for certain, highly embarrassing breaches of protocol -- decided The COMPANY's presence was no longer required at the South Pole. From now on the United Nations, along with America's favorite son (and SPYGOD's personal nemesis) Mr. USA would be looking after things, there.
They would not be getting their hands on The Chamber, though. He'd already seen to that, by way of America's fourth-smartest man, and his brilliant wife, who would also be looking after Mr. USA.
(America's premier Superhero is up to something, you see. SPYGOD's just not sure what, yet.)
Unfortunately, round two with GORGON would have to wait. They'd quietly and messily vacated their island paradise, and SPYGOD suffered a bad case of "animation sickness," requiring exile to a cartoon colony "for his own good." Not one to suffer big government, take-a-hammer-to-a-hangnail solutions gladly, he was deniably plausible when the other patients finally took matters into their own hands.
Was that what did it to him, then? Being Tooned for so long? Or was it the wave of assassination attempts, all involving his secret weakness, making him more paranoid than usual? The President was one of the few people who knew what it was, after all.
Or maybe it was dealing with that truly monstrous assassin -- Moloch. After he challenged the monster a fight, Moloch pulled a really !@#$ dirty trick and killed SPYGOD. Sort of.
That SPYGOD kept dying and coming back from the dead over and over again was courtesy of a cloning trick, by way of some of the stranger equipment in The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G. But the side effects were highly unexpected, and the fallout was truly disturbing.
And that, on top of having to interrupt his operations against HONEYCOMB -- a truly evil organization -- may have had a hand in future events.
The Science Terrorists' attempt to attack Neo York City during one of its citywide conversion processes led to a gruesome discovery in South Korea. That he expressed his displeasure at the revelation in his own unique way, and then capped one of the Legion's retirees to cover for his internationally embarrassing actions, could be seen as business as usual, or perhaps a warning of things to come.
For a while, it looked like things were going forward, though not without question or cost. After having previously tweaking the dictator's nose, SPYGOD and a small army of international Supers went back into Libya for an operation just prior to Colonel Khaddafy's inglorious end. Oddly enough, he not only allowed his reporter "protege," Alternet reporter Randolph Scott, to attend the proceedings, but also gave him free reign to publicize what took place, there.
SPYGOD's actions making the press made a few people up top less than pleased, as one might expect. But whether he did this to anger them or reward Scott has yet to be determined.
Following that successful action, SPYGOD shifted gears and fought a terrible war against the supervillain collective known as The Legion -- a battle that also pitted him against certain, highly-placed elements at the CIA. In fact, one of the other Company's pet monsters did a terrible thing in order to get closer to SPYGOD -- a thing that didn't become apparent until after SPYGOD had smashed the organization, and taunted its leader into sending out its best and deadliest weapon for a no-holds-barred fight with The Flier.
(A fight won only because of Deep Ten, and its mysterious and mercurial Director -- a man SPYGOD later became romantically entangled with, for too short a time.)
After that, there was just mourning and a mop-up. The Flier was all but destroyed, and many of his Agents dead, but yet another dark dance was finished -- maybe.
However -- did the self-sacrifice of that promising Agent send him towards the edge? And did the Legion's leader -- the Big Man -- manage to put an alien idea into his mind?
Was he really as immune to mind control as he claimed to be?
Yet another ill-timed detour put that issue on hold. Randolph Scott took the Ice Palace kids he'd been looking after since NAZISMASH to the wrong place, with tragic consequences. This set off an epic journey across two continents as SPYGOD took their kids from bolthole to bolthole, trying to evade assassins he initially thought were Israeli, but turned out to be BUSH -- seeking revenge over a terrible thing SPYGOD once did, decades ago. SPYGOD's revenge for the loss of his ward, and endangerment of the others, was somewhat delayed due to testicular difficulties, but was swift and all-engulfing when it finally came.
Meanwhile, back at the Heptagon, plans continued on without him. The reformed supervillain known as Underman -- Myron, if you please -- was given leave to assemble a tiger team from pieces of what remained of The Legion, and put to them work on the plan SPYGOD sort of had cribbed down for his return. The end result was that, by the time SPYGOD returned from his Big !@#$ Road Trip, OPERATION BUGSMASH was over and done with, and HONEYCOMB's central hive in Costa Rica was defeated.
Of course, as with the Ice Palace, the ruins of what had been left behind had to be taken charge of, cataloged, and defused. Some dark discoveries awaited -- maybe more than The COMPANY really should have tried to take on. But between the satisfaction of having an enemy stomped in his absence, and seeing that he'd been right to trust Myron -- however much work he still needed -- SPYGOD got back into his "came, saw, conquered, !@#$ up the !@#$" routine once more.
But you remember what we said about how complacency kills.
A looming threat was made plain to him by an agency he dared not ignore. It was in keeping with something he'd been told earlier, by someone else he could trust, along with other bits and pieces he'd picked up along the way.
The message was clear: something bad was going to happen, and soon. And whatever it was, he already knew its face.
Was it panic that set in, then? Making him behave somewhat recklessly and mysteriously? If so, it may have been justified. A Republican Presidential Candidate was assassinated, and certain fingers of suspicion pointed to his involvement. And while he might have been overseeing the rebirth of The Flier at the time, in his line of work that was no guarantee that he didn't have a hand in it.
Disasters piled up. First a moment's carelessness led to the escape of Zalea Zathros -- one of the most deadly supervillains on the planet, and the only person The Big Man ever feared. Then the head of BUSH was "rescued" from a cell in Africa, only to be found dead, most likely courtesy of a truly nasty GORGON operative, which meant all he knew is now known to them, too.
Then total disaster: a tripped deadman's switch caused a volcano to explode, destroying a large portion of Northeast Costa Rica. SPYGOD offered to massage the results to save America's face, but the President, tired of his seeming incompetence, came clean to the international media, and began to take steps to remove SPYGOD from his position.
No sooner did SPYGOD hear about that then he found out Randolph was in a medical coma in San Francisco -- a victim of a hit and run that might leave him severely brain damaged. Someone tried to kill his Second in Command, too, on board The Flier, but somehow SPYGOD was more worried and upset by Scott's dilemma. (Go figure.)
But this critical juncture is about where the story gets more than a little befuddled.
SPYGOD effectively vanished from detection for a couple days, which isn't outside of his power set, of course, but highly unlikely during a crisis. What happened to him was something he didn't want to discuss, but it clearly bothered him a great deal. It may also have lasting repercussions, either now or in the future, depending on what he does or does not do.
Then, when he got back to The Flier -- only to find it wracked with cascading malfunctions -- his Indian ally, Dosha Josh, was there, along with his age-old enemy/ally/love interest, The Dragon. He'd been found in Paris, apparently, and Dosha had handed him over rather than leave him to the French to deal with. Saying SPYGOD was happy to see him was a massive understatement, and before long the two were !@#$ inseparable (and inseparable !@#$).
Apparently taking this as a good omen, SPYGOD activated long-stalled-out OPERATION DECAPITATION, intending to deal with GORGON. He told the President off while promising him victory, and then called up every operative and spare Agent, press-ganged every useful supervillain, and turned in every favor he had on the gamble of a lifetime.
It failed. Badly. But even in the wake of that colossal failure, SPYGOD tried to rally the troops for one more push. He might have succeeded, too, if he'd been allowed. But the President of the United States of America had other ideas.
He fired SPYGOD, then and there, bringing about the end of an era in super crime-fighting.
True, SPYGOD was initially infuriated, homicidal, suicidal, and despondent, but after a truly dark night of the soul he seemed resolved to his fate. Maybe the President was right. Maybe he had gone too far, too fast, after too long of hanging back and doing nothing at all. Maybe his instincts had failed him, and he, in turn, had failed America.
Maybe it was time for a long !@#$ vacation, someplace where he didn't have to worry about saving the world.
(Plus, he could get the !@#$ away from The Dragon, who'd gotten more than a little weird on him.)
But one trip to The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G later, a harmless musing while packing up led SPYGOD to a whirlwind of discovery, which led, in turn, to a number of very distressing concerns. This is, of course, a nice way of saying that everything he knew was either wrong, very wrong, or !@#$ wrong.
And the next time anyone saw him, he was in the White House Rose Garden, shooting the President on live televison.
What happened in the penthouse atop The B.U.I.L.D.I.N.G? No one can say. METALMAID is missing in action, and SPYGOD's rather peculiar -- and outright dangerous -- cat, BeeBee, was last seen kneecapping several elite commandos with that gun she's always dragging around behind her.
But it's fair to say that, right now, outside of maybe the robot and the cat, SPYGOD doesn't have a friend in the world. They've disbanded the SPYGOD SCOUTS, and the story about what he had to do to President McKinley is no longer a secret. Right and left alike hate him with renewed venom, and the Republican Candidates for America's upcoming elections are taking turns explaining just how badly they want him dead.
They'll have to get in line, though: all Armed Forces branches are on alert, all law enforcement agencies are engaged in the hunt, and The COMPANY -- now under new management -- has been tasked to find him, and to shoot to kill when they do. All NATO countries and many of America's spying partners have also sworn to find the man and deal with him, which means his old network of allies, friends, and people he could pressure doesn't mean !@#$, anymore.
He doesn't have a flying car to get away in (someone blew it up) or a massive armory to pull weapons out of. He doesn't have an army of Agents willing to kill and die for him, or the backing of any Supers who want to maintain good relations with the organization he used to run. Except for his powers, and whatever he had on his person when he did that terrible thing, doesn't have !@#$.
He is disgraced and disavowed. Hunted and harried. Cursed and condemned.
But all that probably means is that he's never felt more alive.
SPYGOD. A massive !@#$hole, yes. But hopefully he's still our !@#$hole.
Hopefully there's some reasonable explanation as to what happened that day in February.
Hopefully he'll live long enough to tell us, and save us from the !@#$ that's coming.
Sometimes hope is all we have in the face of the bad times to come.
(SPYGOD is listening to Warriors of the Wasteland (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) and watching the Sunset with new appreciation.