Tuesday, September 18, 2012

7/3-7/12 - The Gate is Straight, Deep, and Wide - pt. 7

Ever had one of those days that you just knew, somehow, you'd be playing "kill or be killed" with a major religious figure?

No? Well, I guess you're !@#$ing !@#$  lucky, son. I've had this happen a few times, before, in my long and rather interesting career, though usually with secondhand saviors, replaced deities, and beings whose names are only remembered by neo-pagans looking for something cool to name their !@#$ cat.

And, like I said, before, it really doesn't tend to !@#$ing end well.

But it's the twilight of this crazy future Earth I found myself on, after Mongolian Shamans interrupted my big !@#$ Skull!@#$ing with dead people who wanted to talk to me, and another dead person who wanted to !@#$ me, and now that Jim Morrison's off doing his part of this crazy-!@#$ plan he and I "clubbed together" (as he put it) it's down to me and this alternate Earth's version of Jesus !@#$ing Christ, and I don't think we're going to get to talk this one through like gods.

No, son. Looking at the eyes of this man, I think we're going to have to battle, here, today.

And that suits me just !@#$ing fine, son. Because after the crazy !@#$ I've walked, flown, fought, killed, and smashed through to get here, I figure giving JC a major knuckle sandwich is going to be just what the !@#$ing doctor ordered. Provided he doesn't smite me, first.

But hey, son, it's like Jim always said: "No one here gets out alive."

And boy don't I !@#$ing know that by now.

* * *

But, okay, let's back what's left of Jim's poor but appropriately-named hover platform up a bit, so as to set the scene.

I'd just fought a major, nasty and bloody battle against an entire !@#$ing legion of Angels, all here to do the will of Heaven in the face of what seems like the best excuse for Armageddon they're ever going to !@#$ing get on this hyper-techno-planet. And, seeing as how they waited about three !@#$ing billion years for that rough beast to come 'round at last, and Babylon's nothing but a filled-in, semi-sentient trash pit at this point, they really don't !@#$ing care to have some !@#$ing tourist from an alternate !@#$ing timeline come along and ruin their big !@#$ plan to bring the !@#$ ing house down.

So when one of them succeeded in taking out my hover discs and my ride, I floated down to the ground in a shield ball, which is how they handle midair ejections in the year three !@#$ing billion and change. Unfortunately, the very small writing on the squeeze box said nothing about avoiding another !@#$ing legion of Angels who, incensed at how easily I went through the previous one, assembled down on the ground to kick my fine gay !@#$ into powdered meat the moment I got down there.

Perfect timing, too. I didn't the guns to fire or club them with, anymore, and I dropped the flaming sword I was using for a while there. So all I had left was my penis (which can be !@#$ing deadly), my SPYGOD VISION, and a certain something I'd been saving for a special occasion for what now seemed like for-!@#$ing-ever.

But then, along comes one of those massive, white wings and golden gears things that keep popping up in the Old Testament, and all the Angels kneel, and I just knew it was Jesus Christ, come around to tear me a new !@#$hole, or at least get crucified trying.

This was also part of the plan, son. Well, maybe not the "getting my !@#$ kicked by you-know-who" bit, of course, as I still got a long !@#$ing road to go from here. But if I can keep his !@#$ distracted just long enough for Jim to do what we got him into that Anti-City to do, this will all be !@#$ing worth it.

Again, provided I live long enough for that part of the plan to actually !@#$ing work.

* * *

Oh yeah, the plan. I haven't really told you what the !@#$ing plan was, now have I?

That was kind of intentional, son. You never know who's listening to these little talks you and I have, together. For all I know, my foes are listening, too. And it would be a !@#$ shame if they knew what the plan was well ahead of it going off, and therefore giving them enough !@#$ing time to stop it.

Yes it would, wouldn't it?

So for now, let's just say the plan is "don't get smited" and leave it at that, okay?


* * *

A little thing about recurring cosmic characters, son? In every alternate Earth that we've encountered, we've determined three things for certain: every world gets the Jim Morrison it needs, the Devil it wants, and the Jesus Christ it deserves.

If that's the case, then I think this Earth must have really needed a massive kick in the !@#$ing pants in ancient Judea, son, because the guy that walks down the extending, golden off-ramp from this crazy-!@#$ metal and feathers orinthopter archangel reminds me of nothing more than the snake-eating, epithet-hurling Drill Sgt. from "Full Metal Jacket," only in a one piece robe and with a beard down to his nipples. His eyes are on the wrong kind of fire, his brow is stern and commanding, and there's no smile or wisdom at his lips. 

No, there's just a cold sneer of contempt, there. And it's asking me who the !@#$ I am, and what the !@#$ I think I'm doing here, and why he shouldn't just !@#$ing zap me off the !@#$ planet.

He strides forward, confident as !@#$. The Angels all cry "halleluiah!" like extras from the start of that one bad film where James Bond is running around in a red diaper and shooting psychic hippies. The trumpet blast goes again, just as the Sun gets completely !@#$ing blocked out by the Moon overhead, and I swear gravity !@#$ing hiccups again.

And me? Well, I got nothing, son. I just smile at him as the glow ball fades away, drop the used box at my feet, and hold up my hands.

"You know," I say: "When I read about you in Sunday School, I kind of thought you'd be taller?"

"I do not know you," he says, simply.

"Well let me introduce myself," I say, and haul off and punch him right in the !@#$ing face.

Bad idea, son. Really !@#$ing bad idea. I break every bone in my hand, crush everything in my wrist, and my ulna and radius shoot out the back of my !@#$ing elbow about an inch or two.

And while I'm just starting to register the big !@#$ pain that comes from trying to suckerpunch the mother of all !@#$ing immoveable objects, he just sneers at me, and waves a hand, as if to brush away an insect. 

Just a wave, son, and then an invisible, charging rhino's hit me in the !@#$ breastbone, and I go flying about thirty feet, landing in a heap of broken bones and torn muscles just at the edge of the Angel circle.

They cheer. I groan. And as soon as I get myself put back together, maybe five long seconds later, and get to my feet to look at him, he's about three feet away from me, just smirking.

I swear I didn't even see him !@#$ing move over to this side of the circle. 

"I do not know you," he says, and his voice is deep and cruel: "Why do I not know you?"

"Different world," I explain, putting up my dukes and getting ready for another smackdown: "I'm kind of passing through."

"You should have stayed at home," he says, and smacks me again. This time I bounce off the angels, fly over him, and land on the other side of the circle. And it takes me just a little longer to get back up again.

"Well, if you knew me, you'd know I tend to get stuck into this kind of !@#$..." I say, getting back up. But before I can he's actually crossed the distance without moving. And then he puts his hand out and pushes down on the air with his fingertips outstretched, and the wave of force it exerts smashes me to the ground.

"You should endeavor to not be placed in such a position," he advises: "It serves you ill."

"I keep !@#$ing hearing that."

"You shall hear it no more, stranger. I am the wrath of Heaven made flesh. I am your death, here and now-"

"Whatever happened to turning the other cheek?" I ask, stalling for time.

"Excuse me?"

"Didn't you tell people to turn the other cheek when they hit you? Forgive your enemies? All that !@#$?"

"No," he says: "I did not say that, but I think I now understand your confusion. I am not the one you have encountered, stranger."

"I'd have never !@#$ing guessed," I say, and he drives me down just a little more, so that it's almost impossible to !@#$ing speak.

"I came to Earth to find a people subjugated and crushed. I lifted a flaming sword above their heads and used its fire to ignite their hearts. They took up arms and ran out their conquerors, and created a empire that lasted for more than five thousand years."

"And then what happened?" I try to say. Unfortunately, I'm talking into the dirt, so he can't really hear me, and I don't get a !@#$ing answer.

(Though, given what Jim told me about the history of this !@#$ing alternate Earth, I can kind of !@#$ing guess.)

"I taught them to be merciful, yes, but only in victory to a conquered foe. I might have spared you at any other time, stranger, but this is here and now the final battle, and you have chosen the wrong day to test my patience, and my resolve.

"And now you will die here, alone, and neither Heaven nor Hell will take you in. Because you are outside, here, stranger.

"There is nothing here for you but death."

I try to say something, but Jesus flips me over so I can see his face, and the look he's giving me is beyond !@#$ing frightening. I remember being told that he had a crowd kill the moneylenders at the temple, and exhorted the woman to stone the crowd for their sins, and made people blind and sick and lame when they offended him.

I remember that this is not the gentle, kind person whose only weapons were truth and grace, and suffered mightily for using both of them. This is the Jesus Christ this world deserved, and !@#$ only knows what it could ever have done to !@#$ing deserve this.

So I smile, do my best to put my hand up to my face, and flip up my eyepatch, so as to give him a face full of SPYGOD VISION. 

(I find that !@#$ing settles most arguments, son.)

Jesus doesn't like it so much. In fact, he actually screams and staggers back, holding his hands to his eyes and coughing up bile. !@#$, he actually pukes.

The Angels gasp and take a big !@#$ step backwards. Jesus screams in anger and fury. And just before he can round on me the entire !@#$ing world shakes, and a succession of great, big !@#$ booms and roars sound out.

And judging from the look on his face, it's not what he was expecting, nor the Angels for that !@#$ing matter.

So I use the moment of confusion to do three things. One is to get the !@#$ up and out of the SPYGOD-shaped hole in the ground. The other is to get ready with a certain something, in such a way that he can't see that I've done it.

The last is to look at what's left of my !@#$ing watch, and see that, yes, it's been exactly two minutes since I stepped into the squared circle with Jesus !@#$ing Christ. 

And that means the booms are what I thought they were, and the plan is well !@#$ing nigh.  

* * *

Oh, yeah! The !@#$ing plan I didn't want to tell you about? It's working right now.

Now, son, I know you're pretty !@#$ bright, and probably pretty !@#$ing observant, even if you were terminally damaged by hippie teachers in our nation's sad and sorry public schools. Sometimes I think it's a wonder you don't think Thomas Jefferson sang for the !@#$ing Who.

But I'm sure you might be wondering what the !@#$ing !@#$ the Anti-Cities, Electronauts, and the Moon about to crash into the face of this !@#$ing messed-up future alternate Earth all have in common with one another?

The answer is simple, son. It's the Singularity, come around to bite this planet on the !@#$ at long last.

You see, some time ago, during one of the big technology booms, the rocket scientists actually did a really !@#$ing stupid thing: they turned on the !@#$ planet. They made it so they could harness inexhaustible energy from it, and gave it defenses and environmental controls, life support, everything but the !@#$ing kitchen sink.

In other words, they fixed it so that, even if the Sun blew up and a black hole came flying through and planet !@#$ing Nemesis showed up to !@#$ us in the !@#$ without a condom, again, Earth would survive, and so would it's populations.

Nice of them, huh? Well, there's just one problem with that, son. They didn't just turn Mother Earth on. They woke her the !@#$ up.

That's right. Earth is the possessor of a low-level artificial intelligence. It's not enough to have a long !@#$ing conversation about !@#$ing Wittgenstein, or anything, but it's enough to be able to see, comprehend, and properly react to threats. And it can do this without any real prompting from some human, somewhere.

In fact, once they woke her the !@#$ up, they threw away the off switch and the manual, because they were rightly !@#$ing terrified of what would happen if someone got their hands on the controls.

Who knows how many Singularities ago that was? Who !@#$ing cares? Bottom line is, the Earth's been keeping herself, and her human cargo, in one !@#$ing piece for however many billion years since those long-ago, long-!@#$ing-dead scientists did this to her.

So humanity rises from the ashes of the last big techno-apocalypse, and builds giant, techno-miracle cities that draw energy from the core of the planet, and, maybe unknown to them, brush up against the big brain of the Earth, who monitors things up top through them.

And then these Electronauts show up, and take over certain stationary cities, and turn them into Anti-Cities. And these Anti-Cities get mobile, disconnect themselves from the Earth, and start trying to infect other cities by !@#$ing smashing into them.

And once all the cities are turned, they will begin replicating. They will take over the whole !@#$ing planet's surface, and turn it into a giant technopolis, kind of like what they left behind when they launched themselves out into !@#$ing outer space. And then they will wind their tendrils down into the core, where Earth's scared and frightened AI will be grabbed, overwritten, and destroyed.

Got all that, son?

So if you were an AI that had really kick-!@#$ powers over the environment, and the understanding that you were meant to play the long game, and keep Earth viable for however long you could, and therefore your continued survival was of paramount !@#$ing importance, what would you do?

If you were this Earth? You'd use gravity controls to bring the Moon down on you.

The cracking will shake up the entire planet. It will create a frightening wave of explosive force and fire that will wipe all intelligent life off of its boiling surface. The oceans will vent into space, the atmosphere will burn away, and all that will be left will be !@#$ing heat resistant bacteria.

Bacteria that will, once the Earth's surface finally settles down a bit, be nudged into developing into a new, higher form of life, once the Earth AI gets its !@#$ back together again. And maybe this time, the bacteria will be smarter and less destructive than the humans of this Earth have been.

And that's why there's a Moon coming into the !@#$ing atmosphere now, son. It's the pest control of the year three !@#$ing billion and change.

And that's why the Angels are flying and Jesus is here, because when the human pests are about to all be wiped out, that's their job done at long !@#$ing last. 

So what was I stalling Jesus for?

Well, son, you remember that Jim took control of that !@#$ing Anti-City? And you remember that electronauts turned themselves into carrier beams of information, which is how they traveled, and infected cities, and made new bodies for themselves?

Guess what else they have? A !@#$ing Hive Mind.

Yes, son. They can talk to each other in their !@#$ing brains, and send rudimentary commands and instructions back and forth. It's how they kept tabs with each other out in space, even over vast !@#$ing distances, and compared notes. It's how they all knew to start heading back to Earth at the same time, and form a plan to convert it back to what they remembered.

Now, Hive Minds are !@#$ing great, sometimes. But only if you make sure they're !@#$ing locked down so tight that no one and no thing can !@#$ing bust into it and take control of it. Otherwise, some really bad things could happen to your !@#$.

And I know, son, that you know that Jim Morrison isn't just going to let a small matter like the mother of all unbreakable firewalls stand between him and that !@#$ing Hivemind.

So here's what's happening, right the !@#$ now.

Jim Morrison just got that Anti-City we invaded to reconfigure its travel capabilities for short-distance spaceflight. And he just got every other Anti-City on the planet to do the same thing.

They all just took off. And they're all heading for the same place.

The !@#$ing Moon.

Yes, son. The Moon is going to be smashed into by every Anti-City on the planet. They may or may not survive the explosions, and Jim probably isn't going to even have a !@#$ing chance at all. But either way the Earth is going to realize the infection is !@#$ing off of it, and reverse the gravity well it's created to bring it in.

And if the Anti-Cities survive and take over the Moon, well, any time they get antsy and try to return, the Earth can just fling the !@#$er further out into space, or do any number of other things to keep it from coming down again. So Earth stays healthy for humans, the Electronauts can have the Moon, and everyone's happy in this snappy little thing we like to call "detente."

Unfortunately, that means Armageddon is about to get !@#$ing called off, and I don't think Jesus is going to be too !@#$ happy about that.

Which is why I'm getting that extra something out, before he can turn around, and putting it on.

* * *

And what, son, is that something?

Well, I told you about the time I went toe to toe with THAT, right? I used the ultimate weapon, and knocked it into outer !@#$ing space, and we went back to waiting for the next crisis?

Well, what I didn't tell you was that using that thing !@#$ed me the !@#$ up.

It's a simple piece of theoretical physics, son. You want to destroy a physical target? Use a physical weapon. You want to do the same to a spiritual target? Use a spiritual weapon, but be ready for some major !@#$ing blowback into the physical realm when you do.

And if you want to destroy a conceptual target? You have to make a big !@#$ conceptual weapon.

And then you have to be ready to suffer blowback through the conceptual and spiritual realms when that !@#$ing thing goes off.

They tell me I was out for a week, after that. The damage that !@#$ing ultimate weapon did !@#$ed me up so bad that it was all they could do to find all my little, crawling pieces, put them together in a big !@#$ing bag, and leave me in a warm corner to put myself back together.

(I think someone might have poured in a beer or two, towards the end there, and for that I am more !@#$ing grateful than words can say.)

But hey, son, we won. THAT was blasted off the planet, and we never heard so much as a !@#$ing peep from it, or the hungry space god it served, ever again.

(In fact, I hear tell that other worlds and empires out in the galaxy haven't been visited by THAT, either, so maybe we just !@#$ing killed it. Who knows?)

However, we still had a massive problem on our hands. The ultimate weapon survived the encounter, and actually got !@#$ing stronger. 

Now, you know me, son. I like big !@#$ing guns. I sleep with them, for !@#$s sake. But there are some weapons that are too !@#$ing powerful to have around, period. So you use them, trash them, and then try to make !@#$ certain that everyone who ever had !@#$ing anything to do with making them loses their memory, or gets !@#$ing lost, themselves.

Only problem is, the ultimate weapon could not be destroyed, even when it wasn't so powerful. And while I could do my !@#$ best to contain it, or hide it, or whatever, it would only be a matter of time before some !@#$hole came along and took it. And then, if they gave it to someone who was strong enough to use it on a !@#$ing frequent basis, or, worse, even fed off the energy that !@#$ thing gave off, you'd have a one-way ticket to world domination.

So I confiscated the !@#$ing thing, put it in a black box, put that in a shadow box, put that into a null box, and then deposited it into a certain Swiss Bank that's well-known for handling things that you simply do not want anyone !@#$ing with, at all. And there it sat for decades, trapped in space and time and surrounded by a layer of pure !@#$ing nothingness. 

And I would have !@#$ing left it there, too, if it hadn't been for those GORGON mother!@#$ers and their attempt to fake the President's assassination, and leave him trapped on the nasty, open sewer we call Alter-Earth.  

See, in order to get us over there, I needed to wake someone up that was so !@#$ing powerful, that I wasn't 100% sure I could corral his !@#$ if he decided not to play ball. Poor Simon Pure had a rough go of it, to be sure, and if I had to take him down I was going to need the mother of all weapons to do it.

So, just after I busted him out, but before I woke him up, I went to Switzerland, withdrew my deposit, and got the ultimate weapon back. I carried it with me all the while in Alter-Earth. And, at the end, when Simon finally went !@#$ing ape!@#$, like I was afraid he would, I got on my hands and knees, distracted him with a long overdue apology, and made ready to use it if he didn't accept.

Did he feel it coming? Is that why he flipped out and pushed me away, and sent the President and I back home to the !@#$ing future, too late to stop the takeover I'd been trying to prevent? I have no !@#$ing idea.

All I know is that I still have the ultimate weapon. And Jim knew I had it. And that's why he came out to meet me, and wanted me in on his plan. Because I had the one thing on this whole !@#$ing planet that would disable the largest X-factor in !@#$ing existence, and the one person who could !@#$ up his plan to save the world.

Jesus !@#$ing Christ.

* * *

Jesus has his back to me. He's howling at the Anti-Cities as they streak up into the air, destination Moon. He's about to call out orders and tell the Angels to stop them at all costs.

But I'm not !@#$ing giving him that chance.

The null box comes out of my pocket. I take the shadow box out of the null box. Then I take the black box out of the shadow box.

When I open the black box, the ultimate weapon is in there, shining with a strange, opaque light of its own. It looks like nothing more than a glowing, plastic, white ring, but the second I put it on my right hand, strange and deadly energies start to bubble up out of it.

Within seconds, my hand and lower arm are covered in a gauntlet of off-white, crackling energy that hisses and spits. I can almost feel my body starting to unravel as it takes its final shapes around me, and I know that if I leave it on too !@#$ing long, it'll kill me as !@#$ sure as anything.

Not that I'm giving it that chance.

I run up to Jesus Christ as quickly and quietly as I can. I do so knowing that, the moment I punch him, I'm probably going to !@#$ing kill myself in the process of !@#$ing him. But suddenly I don't care so much.

Is that what Jim meant about accepting your death before you walk out to meet it? Is this what he meant by being able to do anything at all so long as you aren't prepared to live through it?

I don't know, son. Half of what's going through my mind's regrets and things I've left undone, and whether the President's going to be able to fix the world without me there. And the other half's a calm, clear voice telling me that those regrets and concerns are all someone else's worries, now.

I've crossed over, son. I''ve gone beyond it all. I've walked on down the hall.

I've broken on through to the other side.

He turns just in time so I can punch him right between the !@#$ing eyes. Somewhere I think I hear the song "Relax" starting, but maybe it's just another !@#$ing trumpet blast.

And I hit him.


(SPYGOD is listening to Light My Fire (The Doors) and may or may not ever drink anything ever again)

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