Friday, April 13, 2012

3/8/12 - Busy With their Guns and Dreaming - pt. 4

It says something that, even after all the exertion he's put into tonight's activities, Doctor Krwi is able to leap out of the pit -- grisly prize in hand -- without much effort.

How much is magic and how much is muscle is something he's not wanting to spend too much time debating, however. They're still in La Casa de la Sangre, after all. And though he's just killed the King of the Vampires of Cuba, and the mewling, feeble ancients that attended him, there could be any number of other dangers lurking here, still.

(Not to mention the monster they brought with them, wherever it might be.)

So he sheathes his swordcane, takes a deep breath, and marches back to where his ally, SPYGOD went off to. He's standing in the back of the cathedral, by a number of stone tables on which lay supine figures covered in moldering, red silk. He's pulled the silk off the occupant of one, and his holding him up by his shirt lapels, saying numerous, angry-sounding things; the occupant looks genuinely afraid for his life.

"Forgive my interruption, my friend," the old man says, holding up his prize: "I have done what needed to be done."

The detached head of the King is already beginning to fester and rot -- meat aging and sliding off the bone as the untold aeons of stolen existence catch up to it. Killing the thing was somewhat anticlimactic, given how languid and sleepy it was in its hideous throne of blood, but watching its body twist and writhe in the gruesome ruins of its life support system was worth the struggle to get here.

(Putting the life support system to rest was more sad than satisfying, but at least the child's unending nightmare was over, now.)

"Good to know," SPYGOD says, not looking away from his captive: "You want to say hi to one of your last fellow Communists?"

"I was never a Communist, my friend..." the old man says, but stops when he sees who SPYGOD has captive: "Is that...? Fidel? Fidel Castro?"

"Si," the dictator sighs: "(Could you please tell this man to stop throttling me like a chicken for the pot? I'm not going anywhere.)"

"Ha!" Doctor Krwi laughs: "(You should be lucky he doesn't twist your neck, sir. Whatever were you doing down here? Learning murder from the experts?)"

"Yeah, why don't you !@#$ing tell him about that, Fidel?" SPYGOD asks, switching the conversation to English as he shakes him a little: "Tell him how our buddy Ernest got you in good with these bloodsuckers. How they were going to make you immortal so you could be !@#$ing Dictator for an eternity."

"How... how did you know...?" Fidel stammers.

"SPYGOD. Knows. All."

"That and we had your mutual friend on the business end of several books of matches, sir," Krwi adds, smiling: "So you wished to become one of these abominations? You chose poorly, sir. Observe!"

Doctor Krwi pulls the silk off one of the figures on a nearby table. A withered, mummified corpse lies underneath -- a cadaver with eyes still alive and moving, but unable to do more than stare at the cathedral's intruders.

"The forever sleep," the old man says, unsheathing his sword: "What awaits an upier when even a modicum of blood will no longer maintain its body. The state of affairs the King had circumvented through that obscenity in the pit. The fate that would await even you, in time, sir."

"Thousands of years from today," Castro insists: "But the things I could do... all the things in the meantime! I could-"

"You might want to shut the !@#$ up now, tubby," SPYGOD says: "This old man eats people like you for breakfast."

"Yes," Krwi says, smiling and shaking decaying filth from the King's skull: "I think I shall be having that meal in due course, once I am finished with these creatures."

"Well, don't stand on ceremony, Doc," SPYGOD says: "!@#$ 'em up. We don't have a lot of time."

"I agree," he says, and, without needing to put down the decaying head of the creature's dead King, decapitates the closest inert monster with one swift slice: "Are our allies almost done?"

"They haven't even really started," SPYGOD reveals, letting his captive go: "We're the !@#$ing distraction, remember?"

"And this was not a distraction?" Krwi asks, moving on to the next table. And the next. And the next...

"Not completely," SPYGOD says, grinning at Fidel: "But it gets us where we need to be to make it happen."

"I am confused, my friend."

"Good. Hopefully you aren't the only one," Then he cocks his head, as though hearing something, and smiles: "In fact, I know you aren't."

Doctor Krwi frowns, and decides the best thing to do is to kill ancient vampires, as he's been instructed. Whatever the plan has changed into -- or was all along, and is only now being fully revealed -- it is clearly out of his hands. He will have to trust that his ally knows what he's doing, for all their sakes.

As he's doing it, he feels something decidedly strange behind him -- as though a spell had gone off. When he turns back to look, he sees only SPYGOD and Fidel, there, though they've switched places. Both men also seem a little unsteady on their feet for some reason, but before Doctor Krwi can ask why, he feels another, darker disturbance at hand.

"SPYGOD, my friend," he says, killing the last ancient vampire to be found: "I fear our ally is approaching."

"That's... yeah," SPYGOD says, leaning over to vomit and then straightening up: "That's what I was counting on."

"What is... what have.. what?" Fidel stammers, sitting down on the stone table he'd been resting on, earlier.

"Doctor, we need a new plan," SPYGOD says, motioning the old man over to them, and holding out a small, metal disc with a large, red button on it, and a black dot painted onto the front: "Do you know what this is?"

"I do not," he says, coming closer as quickly as he can. He can feel Crazyface approaching -- sensing the horrible, treacle-thick displacement of everything kind and good that comes with his presence -- and does not want to be here when he arrives.

"It's a... well, it's a thingee," SPYGOD says, handing it over: "Bottom line is that, when you press that button, it gets you the !@#$ out of here, along with whatever else you're carrying. Or whoever."

"So you and I will escape?"

"No," he says, looking at Fidel: "You and our friend the Dictator, here."

Krwi blinks: "I thought we were going to kill him?"

"Doctor, I know we've had... well, our relationship's !@#$ing sucked for years, now. But do you still trust me?"

The old man has to think about that, but as the horrible feeling increases -- like watching a crying child being forced to eat his own !@#$ -- he realizes there isn't time for anything else. The hallway they came from is losing its red glow, and getting darker. That can only mean one thing.

"I am willing to trust you at least one step further," he says, holding out his hand to take the disc: "But do not ask me to save this man. He deserves what's coming to him."

"More than you'll ever know, Doc," SPYGOD says, grabbing Fidel, putting his button on the man's lapel, and pushing him towards his ally: "Take him out of here. That'll take you both somewhere safe. Hold the disc about this high off the ground... yeah, like that, and keep the black dot forward. When you get to where you're going, leave the button on him. And don't kill him for at least a day, okay? It'll all become... well... yeah..."

SPYGOD seems to falter in mid-thought, and Fidel doesn't seem to be doing much better, either: "Are you alright, my friend?" the Doctor asks.

"I'll be fine," SPYGOD insists, his facial features becoming less distinct as the red glow that illuminates the room begins to falter: "24 hours, Doctor. Just that long. If something hasn't happened by then, it won't !@#$ing matter, anyway."

Doctor Krwi nods. He takes one last look at the bare skull that's all that remains of the King, spits in one of its eyesockets, and lets it fall to the ground. Then he grapples the dictator in a bear hug, holds out the disc at the correct height -- with the black dot facing away from him -- and prepares to press it.

"I always admired you, old man," SPYGOD says: "I'm sorry things... well... I'm sorry."

"I always thought you were a monster," the Doctor says: "But I am glad to have been your friend."

Then he presses the button. At first, nothing happens, but then he and Fidel fade out, leaving only the disc -- floating in mid-air. The moment they go completely, it falls to the ground and cracks into three smoking pieces. Useless.

"Hooray for stolen tech," SPYGOD says, sitting down on the table and trying to un!@#$ his head in the face of certain doom. It doesn't work too well, but it clears up enough that -- in spite of certain, other complications -- he can at least do what needs to be done.

The red glow dies completely, leaving him in the dark. He looks up at the giant, iron door that they entered through. And standing there, glowing with the malefic darkness of the void that either birthed or nursed him, is Crazyface -- the stone about his feet warping and cracking from the stress of holding up the thing that should not be.

It is a swarm of cosmic, metal vermin in the shape of a man, if the man was made out of living cutlery. A million tiny, crawling things clink and clatter against one another, their endless droning eating holes in reality, and destroying the minds of any who listen for too long. Swirls of the creatures twist and curl as if caught in the wind, forming grotesque, menacing shapes that shine for a moment, and then are gone: extra limbs form and dissolve, wings form and flap and dissipate, blades slide in and out of the crawling chaos of its skin.

The face is the worst thing, though. It is the mask, itself, with its strange, almost robotic parody of a smiling face. But the eyes and mouth are lit up with its dark, inner anti-light, and shine so brightly so as to blind those who gaze upon it for too long.

Even SPYGOD, who can stare at the Sun for days on end, can barely look at that light for more than a few seconds without needing to look away. There's something dark and dangerous, there -- something cold and unlovely.

AND All oF ThE FiSHes weRE HollOW mY Dear, it announces in its buzzing, sing-song voice -- the song of dead, broken planets and cannibalized stars in a rotting sector of space -- aND All Of THem swAM at me...

"Thanks for the distraction," SPYGOD says, trying not to look at its face, or the anti-light blazing from it, or the way the air buckles and boils around it, unable to carry the strain of its presence: "But... did you have to kill the... their victims?"

We ARE All VictIMs, Crazyface says, holding its hands up to the sky, and making them turn into forests of blades and corkscrews: I aM ComE To Reap ALL. Now oR LAter mAKEs no DiffERENce. ALL wILL Fall. All wiLL FALL.

"Yeah, I thought you were gonna !@#$ing say that," he says, rising unsteadily from the stone table: "I'm sorry, Gilligan. I don't think you should have that mask, anymore. It's !@#$ed you up. You're not wearing it, anymore. It's wearing you."

Is THEre a MAsk ThAT Does Not? 

"No, I guess there isn't."

We HavE AlWays BeeN MovIng To THis MomENT, YoU anD i, Crazyface announces, slowly putting its arms to the sides so as to accommodate all the long, lovely sharp things they're generating: ThE fIRsT TiME I meT yoU, I waS PlanniNG thIS mOment. SeeING iT. And NOW, It iS heRE.

"For what it's worth," SPYGOD says, walking forward to meet his friend/foe: "I'm sorry."

FoR What COulD YoU BE Sorry? ThiS IS ThE Way of THINGS. We WEre ALWAys GOing tO be Here. I WAs alWAYS goinG to KiLL yOU. 

"Well, jury's out on that one."

YoU seek TO Limit MY Actions. In MY worLD, I am The DestroYER of That WhiCH STANds OuT. In MY waY, I am YOU.

If SPYGOD sees any kind of irony in that, he doesn't show it. Instead he takes a running leap at the monster he's let loose, hands ready to do all the damage he's been preparing for.

Crazyface laughs, and transforms into something like a metal flower, and something like a food processor. He expands outwards as far as he can, so as to take all of his foe in, and rip him to pieces before he can so much as land a single blow.

But then, just as the two monsters are about to collide, a third force enters the fray. It does so with overwhelming force -- and intense heat -- from some distance away. There is only a slight vibration in the air to announce its arrival, and then it's too late for either SPYGOD or Crazyface to do more than wonder what's happened.

And before either of the two can react, the third party turns the entirety of La Casa de la Sangre into dust and ash, smoke and fire.

* * *

Elsewhere in Havana, quite a ways from La Casa de la Sangre, Doctor Krwi and Fidel Castro slowly fade into existence in a small but well-appointed apartment. They materialize around a disc that hangs on a pair of strings suspended from the room's ceiling, and the moment they fully appear the disc's red button blinks twice, and then goes jet black.

Krwi looks at it with some regard, and gives it a tap. It swings a little, but does nothing. He chuckles, and throws Fidel on a nearby bed. The man seems uncertain of his surroundings.

"Just sit there, you goat," the old man says, finding a scrap of paper on a table. Recognizing SPYGOD's crabbed and coded hand, he deciphers: 

Doctor, if you're reading this, the plan went off, and we've been separated. If Fidel is with you, do not kill him for at least 24 hours. Guard him with your life until then. If he has sudden medical problems, do not send for a doctor or try to help him -- let him tough it out. I know trust isn't high between  us, now, but please trust me on this one. It will all make sense. Also, when you hear the explosions outside, don't look just yet. Give it a moment. There's cheese perogies, sour cream, and bottled water in the refrigerator. There's also a bottle of barenjager. Have a drink on me.

"I think that sounds like an excellent idea," the doctor says, reaching into the nearby refrigerator for the reed-wrapped bottle of honey liquor. As he shoots back a slug of it, he hears the first explosion, but resists his urge to look out the shuttered window. He resists further as he hears people screaming in what is either fear or joy, and has another drink.

(All the while noticing that Fidel, as prophesied, has frothed at the mouth and fallen down onto the floor in a slightly spasmodic heap. He makes the man comfortable and leaves him to his writhing.)

After a few more explosions, followed by what are now unmistakable cheers, the Doctor goes to the window and opens up its shutters. The sight almost sends him scurrying, given how bright and hot its burning, but he perseveres.

The apartment is clearly some distance from where they were. He can see La Casa de la Sangre from here, and can see that The Flier is hovering above it, raining down fire, missiles, and lasers. Every so often something inside it explodes, and the people cheer louder.

"My god, my friend," Doctor Krwi says, the implications of this sight becoming clear: "What have we really done here, tonight?"

He has a few more glasses of barenjager and watches the red brick warren burn.

* * *

Sometime around five in the morning, Fidel Castro stops breathing. Doctor Krwi, who's been sitting by the window all night, wondering what's going to happen next -- and wondering what happened to their other allies -- looks over at him, and, as ordered, does nothing.

He's about to get another drink when Fidel sits straight up, gasping. Then he's not Fidel, anymore, but the fuzzy and indeterminate man who is actually SPYGOD, wearing that certain button.

The old man jumps to his feet, dropping the glass and drawing his sword. It shatters on the floor (the glass, not the sword) and he lets loose with every Polish curse he knows, along with some Russian and Rom.

"You can !@#$ing say that, again," SPYGOD sighs, holding his head in his hands: "How long as I out?"

"Out?" Doctor Krwi shouts: "Out? You were... you were not you! You were Fidel Castro! And now-"

"Actually, I was me, all along," he says, blinking his fake eye rapidly: "And Fidel was Fidel. I just fixed it so that we both believed we were each other, and we believed it so strong that we became each other."

The Doctor blinks a few times.

"Yeah, I know, it sounds like horse!@#$, but it works," SPYGOD continues, rolling out of bed and taking a few, unsteady steps: "Picked it up from this crazy-!@#$ ninja clan, back in the 80's. It only works a short time, and not very well, but I always thought if I used the Eye I might be able to do something a little more spectacular."

"Well, you did," the old man says, sheathing his sword: "So Fidel, who thought he was you? He must have attacked that monster."

"More importantly, my old outfit attacked him," SPYGOD says, looking out the window as the Flier hovers over the smoking ruins of what was vampire central: "You see, the effect's so !@#$ing powerful that if they're looking for me, they'll find him. Neat trick, huh?"

"Very. And he is dead, now?"

"I'd say yes. And Gilligan... he's dead."

"So this had numerous objectives?" Krwi asks: "Was there anything resembling the truth in what you said about this mission?"

"You have to have some saying in Polish that translates to 'killing two !@#$ing birds with one stone,'" SPYGOD says, grinning.

"We do. It involves many penises and one woman. And that's how I feel, right now."

SPYGOD looks at the old man, who scowls, and hands over the barenjager.

"We were the distraction, like I said," he explains, shooting back a heady gulp of the stuff: "I knew Fidel would be there. I didn't intend for him to walk out alive. I didn't want Crazyface to walk out, either. And I knew that, the moment they knew were I was, the COMPANY was going to come in, guns blazing. I just put the pieces together and made a plan."

"And our friends? Are they not still there?"

"!@#$ no," SPYGOD laughs: "They're somewhere else, Doc. And they're safe. They made radio contact a few moments ago. That's what woke me up."

"So there was no object you needed to save the world?"

"Oh yes, there is," he says, knocking back more barenjager and handing the old man the bottle: "They have it secured. Tomorrow we meet them and trade off. And then we get the !@#$ out of this country before another revolution happens."

Doctor Krwi looks at his ally, shakes his head, and drinks: "You are a reckless man, SPYGOD. I hope you know what you are doing."

"I got you into vampire central for Cuba, didn't I?" he says, sitting down on the bed and putting his feet up: "Thanks to you, that threat is over. Thanks to the COMPANY, Crazyface is over. Thanks to us, Fidel Castro is finally !@#$ing dead. And thanks to the people of Cuba, the island will be free, shortly. If that isn't knowing what I'm doing, I don't know what is."

The old man sighs, but has to admit the man's right. It gives him something to do while watching part of Havana burn.

(SPYGOD is listening to Discoteca/Single-Bilingual (Pet Shop Boys) and having just enough barenjager to get some sleep)

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