Keeping up, son?
I sure hope so. We can't !@#$ing afford to be caught out here by those metal-plated !@#$holes. Not only is it going to lead to a big !@#$ fight I'm not sure I can win, here and now, but the best weapon I got going for me, right now, is being dead.
And if they actually see me, well... there's that gun gone. Right before I really got to !@#$ing fire it, too.
Eh, don't worry about the security cameras and TV screens. That's what I was really doing, earlier, when I was walking around Beijing to clear my !@#$ head. I was really picking a safe route though the city, son. And I think I got the perfect one to get us to where we need to go, tonight.
Yeah, yeah -- alleys and tunnels and rooftops. Go !@#$ing figure. Kind of like Berlin after the War, minus the fog, supercommies, and pretzels.
And plus those Imago !@#$ers, which is really what we've been talking about all !@#$ night long, huh? Unit 731 plus Dark Star equals False Faces. False Faces plus Indonesia equals GORGON. And then GORGON plus the Object plus the city under the waves equals Imago.
And Imago plus 3/15 equals a big bag of !@#$ that we get to wade through for what may be a very !@#$ing short rest of our lives, unless we're careful, and !@#$ quick. And very !@#$ing lucky.
But that's me babbling like a !@#$ing brook, son. Let's get back on track here, while we wait for that Silver and Blue !@#$er I saw earlier to pass us on by, up here on this nice roof with its body-blocking, highly inefficient air conditioners.
Let's talk about The Object, itself.
What's the Object? Well, that's a good !@#$ question, now isn't it? Not a whole lot of people know it even !@#$ing exists, and no one's really been brave enough to try and study the !@#$ thing. And people who do tend to die.
And !@#$ing badly, son.
You see, it's one of those cosmically nasty kinds of things that really have no !@#$ing business even being in this reality. They come through and land here, and !@#$ up the landscape, and turn anyone and anything nearby into a mockery of what they'd been, before. And anyone smart enough to realize it tends to do anything they can to lock it the !@#$ away, if only to save others from !@#$, and possibly save the entire world.
Things like poor Gilligan's mask, if you want a more recent example. That god!@#$ed chunk of metal that turned him from a mild-mannered, decent man into a !@#$ing monster from beyond space and time. We thought we could control it, but we were wrong, and it took me decades to be able to !@#$ing deal with it.
Decades, son. And you don't want to know how much collateral !@#$ing damage I have on my plate from that thing alone-
Okay, think it's gone.
Now, that was Blue and Silver, again, but last time I saw him he was headed away from the center of town. Now it's gone back, again. Is it establishing a !@#$ perimeter?
Anyway, onward. Couple of blocks this way, I think... yeah. Keep it going, son. We're doing fine.
So anyway, this nasty thing that should not be appears, messes up the landscape for miles around, and attracts the attention of some !@#$ smart people. They realize it's a big disaster, and post guards around the edges of the zone of disruption. And it's so !@#$ing dangerous, they actually
!@#$ing sealed it up.
That's right, son -- wise men in Africa invented the closed city concept ages before the Soviets did. They took their best, most dedicated soldiers, teamed them up with farmers and craftsmen, and saw to it that they lived, worked, and died inside a
closed area of the jungle, just outside the distortion zone. They worked there, and never left, and had strict orders to !@#$ing
kill anyone who didn't come to them with certain words and objects, for only they were allowed to see the Object.
After that, and a few sad but necessary deaths, there was only one man who knew !@#$ing anything about this thing, and he went so !@#$ far underground that most people today don't even know his real !@#$ing name. It's probably no small thing to say that we owe our lives to the Wandering Shadow and his family, because they kept that secret safe for thousands of years. He took the objects and words into his care, and then acted to stop or kill anyone who went looking for that !@#$ing thing.
And there were a lot of them, son. Too many to count.
You see, that's the weird thing about this thing. It sends dreams. People half the world away go to sleep and dream of strange cities, full of riches. And they just know, somehow, that the city is somewhere in !@#$ing Africa. They just have to go and find it.
Now, not every person out there that gets these dreams can do anything about it. But some can. And some of those dreamers are able to interpret what they see in their mind when they're !@#$ing konked out. So they stage expeditions, get money and helpers, and before you know it, they're trudging through the !@#$ing Congo, looking for gold pyramids and rubies as big as !@#$ houses, or something.
So what does the Wandering Shadow do? Intercept them. He does his best to !@#$ with their supply chains, send them down the wrong paths, mess with their maps, give them diseases. Anything this man has to do to stop them from getting to the jungle, and risk they actually overcoming the guards, he does. No matter how hard, how bloody, how brutal.
And when World War II happens, and the Nazis start searching the world for objects of power? The man figures out a way to trick the Allies into intercepting the Germans before they even get within 100 !@#$ miles of the edge of the disruption zone. He actually !@#$ing impersonates Field Marshal Harold Alexander to pull it off, and does it so well that no one knew what had happened until well after the !@#$ war was over.
He's a man's man, this Wandering Shadow. I actually admire the son of a !@#$. All of them.
Anyway, it gets to be the 1960's, and the world's gotten too !@#$ big to keep a secret like that, anymore. They can !@#$ing see the sealed off area of the jungle from space, now. Europe and Russia and America are all fighting over who gets to politically influence Africa, and it's only a matter of time before someone finds the distortion zone, and tries to exploit it.
And this time they might be more powerful than even the Wandering Shadow and his family to deal with.
So the current Wandering Shadow finally reveals himself to the right people in power in Africa. Then he goes to the ancestors of the guards of this weird-!@#$ thing, and shows them the proper objects and words. Turns out they're a hardy lot, these guards, and he takes the best of them back to civilization, and they become part of what eventually becomes the Organization of African Unity's strategic talents organization, BUSH.
Oh yes, son. Them. The incompetent mother!@#$ers who didn't know what the !@#$ they were doing when it came to matters on this planet, but were amazingly expert on dealing with threats from outer space. There was a time when an ET couldn't even !@#$ing fart without them knowing about it.
But one of their primary jobs was to look after the blasted area of the jungle, and the Object within it. That job fell to the guards who'd come back from the edge of the distortion zone, and in that area BUSH did not !@#$ up. At all. They put more guards around the central guards, and locked the !@#$ing thing down like a champ. Missile banks, big guns, certain strategic talents whose only purpose was to watch the skies, the land, and what lay below...
Speaking of which? On your belly, now.
Him again? I wonder what the !@#$ he's up to? Is this a regular patrol?
Well, never mind. Let's keep going, son.
The Object was secured for more years, thanks to BUSH. But, eventually, that organization turns into a !@#$ing textbook case of just about everything bad about modern Africa. Political infighting, political incest, naked aggression, and dumb mistakes cripple their credibility, but given the complicated !@#$ing web of loyalties and statures of those involved, you can't just get rid of it. It takes a massive !@#$ing thing to do that.
That massive !@#$ing thing happens in 2002, when the African Union supersedes the Organization of African Unity's. At that time, a number of things that people didn't like come under the microscope, including BUSH. So, web of loyalties and simmer conflicts be !@#$ed, they get partially replaced by NGUVU.
I say partially because some African countries still liked those !@#$ing idiots, and helped keep them around. Sadly, that included the current Wandering Shadow, who had a nasty feud going with the family of the man who was tapped to run NGUVU. And you can imagine this makes it difficult to deal with questions about what to do with the Object.
So what happens? NGUVU !@#$ing take the thing from where it was, and put it into a new facility. But people can't know what it is, or why, because that would be really !@#$ing bad. So, to ensure that no one knew what was really going on there, the only
people who did, including the guards, were subjected to a very !@#$ing
dangerous neurochemical treatment, the Seyoum treatment.
What's that? Well, it's pretty !@#$ ingenious, son. It buries the information so far
down in your brainmeat that no one, not even the best psychic you can get your hands on, can !@#$ing get to it. The only
way to unlock it is to take a drink of this nasty, top secret
concoction that will probably turn your brains to goo rather than get
the secrets out.
So you know you know something, but you can't remember it for the life of you, and what you'd have to do to remember it would probably !@#$ing kill you. How's that for secrecy in the modern world?
Well, we saw how well that worked, anyway. The head of BUSH gets taken into custody after I smash them for what they did to my kids. Then NGUVU lets him !@#$ing escape, just to see what kind of a weird deal he had going with and against GORGON. Then he winds up dead, with his brain wiped, and we find out the hard way that Dark Star can crash though the Seyoum Treatment with no !@#$ problem whatsoever.
And that's that, right? So much for !@#$ing African unity, and score one for the bad guys.
So where do we come into all of this? Well, that's an interesting !@#$ story. How about we hide in this alley while I tell you?
Yeah, this smells !@#$ing great, son. Rotten cabbage and burned wet cardboard. Or maybe it's the dinner special. !@#$ if I know. There's places here where they pickle eggs in urine and sell them to you.
Anyway, me. Having this eye in my !@#$ing head, it opens up my mind to a
whole lot of !@#$ that really doesn't make a lot of !@#$ing sense. At
least not at first. Maybe later, after a few beers or some thought, or
maybe !@#$ing years later, it'll finally hit me.
And when I finally saw that that city in the waves looked like? I got hit, son. Hard.
You see, when NGUVU moved the Object? I was !@#$ing there.
Oh yes, son. I was. They didn't know it then and they sure as !@#$ don't know it, now, but I got wind that something really big was on the move, in that one spot where BUSH had people on guard. So I figured there had to be something in there worth guarding, and kept an ear open for big projects around the continent.
After that, it was just a matter of being in the right place in the right one at the right time to see what all the !@#$ fuss was about. Sure enough, I laid low long enough, and was rewarded by being in the chamber when they !@#$ing brought it in. Three remote controlled robots trundled it in, carrying it in a clear plastic case, treating it like it might !@#$ing explode at any moment. And then they left it there and scooted out as fast as they could, leaving me all alone with it.
I saw it, son. I saw the Object, itself, and it was a strange, shifting piece of thin, coppery metal. I saw how it waved and curled at the edges, like it was a flag caught waving in the breeze, and slowed down. I heard it singing with a voice like a hyena crying, distorted and warped underwater, and then echoed across the stars.
And in my mind, I saw the same !@#$ thing that all those explorers and conquerors and treasure seekers must have seen. Temples and pyramids and towers, columns and slabs, arches and aqueducts. All time periods, all civilizations, all places lost and found, reflected within it.
The genius of all lost cities, there in my minds eye. Maybe the lost archetype of all great human settlements, sending out ideas
to architects and artists throughout the ages, informing their hands as
they shaped clay and drew plans.
And it promised me wealth and power if only I could get there and take it.
So I left that chamber as quickly as I could, son. I knew that, whatever the !@#$ this was, it was something best left alone. Something that should not have !@#$ing been on our planet at all.
I was !@#$ing petrified, son, and I still am.
But I wasn't so scared that I couldn't realize what I was seeing. It wasn't just some weird thing sending out dreams, son. It was the key to that fantastic city, and, more importantly, it was the map to get there.
And my eye told me where that map was leading, son. The Pacific Ocean. Not that far from where we had it out with Gorgon, back in February.
And if I hadn't been !@#$ing distracted and second-guessing myself, back then, I would have known the !@#$ we were about to stumble into, down there.
So yes, son. That city that's risen above the waves? GORGON found it a long time ago, but they needed the key to really unlock it. And once they had the Object, they needed only get the rest of their plan into action in order to wake it the !@#$ up.
Which means that Dark Star wasn't !@#$ing lying about there being a treasure trove of weapons and tech down there. It just means that maybe she wasn't an alien, after all.
Maybe she was out there at sea, capsized, and her power picked that traumatic moment to wake up. Maybe she ran into one of the aliens from that city. Maybe she drank down his memories and became him, or her, and knew all that he knew.
And maybe she's been doing everything possible since then to wake that city up, somehow.
"Maybe." I !@#$ing hate that word, son. It's so !@#$... diffident. Uncommitted. It just says that you don't know something really !@#$ing important, and that you're left with guesswork and hunches.
But it's not a hunch to say that GORGON was connected, all along, to something !@#$ing alien, there under the waves. And they've been working towards getting that alien city up here since then, and finally !@#$ing succeeded.
And now... now we see what they're really !@#$ing up to, now don't we?
Okay, and this is our stop, right here. I am going to go into this building, and meet with someone I really !@#$ing need to talk to. And you are going to wait right here, in this nasty-smelling trash can, until I !@#$ing come out.
Yeah, yeah. It stinks in there. Better than being found by the Imago, right?
I thought so. Try not to throw up, son.
(SPYGOD is listening to Walking with Shadows (Gary Numan, extended mix) and having something with someone you don't want to meet)