Thursday, October 11, 2012

8/11/12 - 9/01/12 - (METALMAID) Unsexy Death Army - pt. 3

Of course, the spiked oil selection at the darkened, faux-mahogany bar is horribly limited, but METALMAID orders the best off the top shelf. The obese, big-talking slaphead running the place -- who is, by all accounts, quite queer for machinery -- takes one look at her downcast expression, and wisely leaves her to her funk.

He does, however, leave her the bottle after the third refill. 

As she sits there and drinks on Zalea's dime, she wonders if she should have had business cards printed out or not. She also wonders if she should have employed some of her Slaughterbots to walk the floors and drum up business, and if that would even have been !@#$ing allowed by these black-masked flesh fascists.

(Is she showing enough leg, or not nearly enough? Should she offer illicit favors or threaten to kill them?)

There's some large prt of this Outland that she's just not grasping, somehow. Maybe she should have done more research into this "selling" thing, beyond what she saw on the commercials that ran between poor, brainwashed Zalea's television shows. Maybe she should have employed subliminal messages in her floor videos.

Maybe she should just blow up half the!@#$ing convention with her {Quote}Scarletbots{Endquote}, and offer a discount to the survivors, now that they've seen what the product can actually do.

Maybe she should have another drink.

* * *

By the time she's finished the bottle and moved on to the next one, it's 2 AM on Sunday, and she realizes that the convention only has one more day. That jolts her brain awake, right there, but it's going to be a while before her legs follow. 

!@#$ good stuff, this oil. It's like it was refined by the ancient machine-Gods of Sumeria, and buried alongside their techpriests in the tombs of old; supplies to keep the honored dead comforted through their journey through the indignities of rot and rust.

Her head will doubtlessly feel like SPYGOD looks after a bender, tomorrow, but it can't be !@#$ing helped, now.

So she sits at the bar, drinks herself blind, and listens to the people around her. She hears them bemoan how much this Outland sucks, or doesn't. How so-and-so isn't here, but those other annoying people are. Wondering why this panelist cancelled and where the !@#$ they got the replacement from. 

Wondering why SQUASH isn't making a comeback, now that just about every other science terrorist outfit is dust in the wind. Wondering why they called off the all-nude swim, this year, and what would happen if it happened, anyway.

Really wondering who the mystery guest of honor's going to be, and not wanting to wait until the speech at the closing ceremony to find out. (All kinds of guesses, and METALMAID knows almost all of them from reading SPYGOD's files.)

She doesn't realize she's scraped her claws across the faux-mahogany until there's fake wood curled under them. She sighs, puts an elbow down on the damage, and drinks some more.
* * * 

Flying high on the luscious, smooth funereal oil of Babylon, it's few hours before she realizes the devil's joined her for a drink.

Or a devil, at any rate. This one's wearing a purple body suit with white highlights, boot, and gloves. A horned, white devil mask hides his face, and his chest is emblazoned with a white, grinning skull with ram's horns.

"I'll have a shot of the snake whiskey, please," he says, pulling his mask up just enough to be able to drink.

"You know that !@#$'s a little poisonous?" Lex asks him, cleaning his glasses.

A nasty grin: "I know. But is it poisonous enough?"

Lex sighs, pours the guy a shot, and takes his money first. The fellow pounds it down, slaps the wood, gasps, and hands back the empty glass.

"Okay. Grey Goose if you got it, any old IPA if you don't. And keep 'em coming."

"What's an IPA?" METALMAID asks, not really wanting to get into a conversation with this person but suddenly not able to resist asking a question.

"India Pale Ale," he answers, visibly glad to see the bartender's got the goose, after all: "Nice and hoppy. I find it helps with the poison."

"So you're not immune?" she snorts, wondering how long it'll take the dumb !@#$ to die, and if she should help.

"No, not really," he explains: "But the trick is to kick your body into overdrive trying to get the alcohol out, which makes the toxin dissipate faster. It's like riding the edge of the abyss with your toes just hanging onto the edge of the surfboard." 

He chugs the bottle down, gently places the empty thing on the counter, and signals for another.

"So I hope you don't mind if I spend the next ten minutes talking to myself about all the great ideas staring into the abyss is giving me. I'd talk it over with my convention friends, but they are all absent, sadly."

"Couldn't make it?" She asks, not quite sure why she's humoring this crazy flesh germ.

"Well, if they're lucky, they just ran afoul of the same navigational problem everyone else did, and they're stuck in Osaka or Christchurch for the duration, or something."

"And if they're not lucky?"

"Dead," he says: "Or vanished. The Imago aren't big on leaving remains to mourn over."

"So they may have ran afoul of our new {Quote}masters{Endquote}?" she spits: "If so, good for them for trying."

He considers her for a moment: "I take it you're not happy with with current situation, either?"

"Not in the slightest. I'm actually hoping to try and deal with that little problem. Just..."

She could say more, and part of her wants to, for some weird reason. She decides not to, at least for the moment. She smiles instead, and has some more oil.

"'Just'," he repeats, downing another bottle: "I saw your display in the dealers room. I didn't think arms merchants could afford to have an agenda, other than money?"

"Let's just say I have {Quote}long term goals,{Endquote}" she replies, using the best buzzword she can think of: "I think the phrase is {Quote}I use the enemy{Endquote}."

"''And I is An-ar-chy,'" he sings, grinning: "I like me a metal woman that likes it old school."

And she smiles and sits closer, not having a !@#$ing idea what the !@#$ he means, but realizing she may have just made a convention friend, here.

And maybe more. 

* * *

The conversation goes a lot easier from there. She lets her guard down, ever so slightly, and in return he gladly -- if somewhat quietly -- tells her everything he knows, has conjectured, or wants to test out about the Imago.

He says his name is the Violet Demon, and generates a few dancing balls of purple fire from his gloves to accentuate the moniker. He bills himself as a "global transmutationist," interested in changing the world through economic alchemy, social engineering, and applied terror. He claims he's pulled off numerous "happenings" that, while blamed on other people or groups, were actually his doing, and succeeded in making key changes in certain small countries.

He was planning on working his way up the ladder to the United States of America, but Imago's appearance on the scene has severely crimped his plans. So, naturally, he wants them out of the picture. He just needs to find the best way to achieve this.

"You see," he says, painting images in the air with a fine line of purple flame: "They have armor, and they have shields. They also have very high levels of strength, and I wouldn't be surprised if they have energy weapons as well, though we haven't seen them in action, yet."

"Well, their shields aren't worth !@#$ in hand-to-hand combat," she offers: "I killed one the other day by shoving a monofilament wire into his mouth. Maybe they're no good against physical threats?"

"I've seen them work against bullets and fisticuffs, though. Maybe they have to put the shields up, or else modulate between energy weapons and physical weapons?"


"But what I'm getting at," he says, making more notes in the air with the flame: "Is that they are using a lot of energy as it is. And on top of that they can teleport, which takes some doing and a lot of power."

"So do you think the energy is being beamed into them?"

"I do. And I think I know from where."

Apparently, there's a place in the Pacific, somewhere, that no one has returned from since 3/15. Those who have gotten close enough have spoken of a great, pyramidal structure that's risen out of the water, and floating above it is a massive, metal insect that sort of looks like The COMPANY's old Flier if you squint your eyes just right.

At night, the metal dragonfly shines brighter than the sun, illuminating that part of the Ocean for miles and miles. And if one views it at that time, one can see Imago traveling from the pyramid to the dragonfly and back, and floating around both things like strange, colorful moons.

So, it's Imago's doing. And there's a lot of them there. And, though it's possibly circumstantial, the hypothetical energy flow from there could be what's causing so many navigation errors in that area of the Pacific. Since the GPS satellites are gone and done with, ships are having to rely on compasses and magnetic-based direction finders to locate themselves, and if there's that much energy coming from the place, it could be fouling up their readings. 

"So if we could disrupt the flow of energy...?" METALMAID says.

"... we could disrupt them. If I'm right."

"And even if you weren't, you'd still deal them a massive blow."

"Especially since my idea of disrupting involves a very large explosion," he says, making his purple notes turn into a giant, rumbling fireball.

"I think I like this idea," METALMAID says: "But you'll need some help getting close enough."

"I certainly will," the Violent Demon says, downing another IPA in three gulps: "I'll need a fearless and well-armed army to distract them long enough for me to provide that explosion. And then I'll need them to provide clean up when they're helpless and flopping around like fish on the shoreline."

"You'll need railguns and mini missiles," she says, leaning in close.

"Big fists and diamond tipped chainsaws," he adds, leaning in closer.

"And a pelvic sonic death cannon."

"Oh, I love those."

She smiles, tosses money at the bar, and loops her arm into his: "Mr. Violet Demon, I would like to make you an exclusive offer..."

(METALMAID is listening to Anarchy in the UK (Sex Pistols, remixed by dj trikinosis) and having that yummy old oil)

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