Tuesday, February 26, 2013

10/04/12 - I Will Never Be Clean Again - pt. 3

The President of the United States now realizes the enormity of his mistake.

He should not have hesitated. He should not have assumed he had the time to take a second and think about what he was doing. He should have taken the shot and killed Wen Boxiong.

But now he has no recourse. The Imago are here, floating around him. He will simply have to wait for one of them to get out of the way for him to fire.

And he realizes that, the moment he fires, the Imago will sense his presence, and come for him. He may just have enough time to press the button and destroy his apartment, and press another button and destroy the gun. But he won't have any time to get away after that.

The moment he pulls the trigger he is most likely going to kill both the General Secretary and himself.

(Thus proving a whole, probably-now-deceased gaggle of Washington Neo-Cons right, he grimly notes.)

But that is of no matter. The man must die. The President must be the one who kills him, even if it kills him, too.

He tries to vector the shot differently, wondering if he would have a better angle if he stood, or moved to another window. But by the time he left, anything could have happened. It would be far better to watch and wait for the right moment. 

As he watches the encounter go on, he realizes that Wen is becoming agitated -- quite animatedly so. He cannot hear what he is saying, but he seems to be screaming it at them.

"What are you doing?" he asks, wondering why the man he was about to kill seems ready to commit suicide by alien invader. 

* * *
"Greetings to you, O SPYGOD," a booming, self-satisfied voice announces, just a second before its owner teleports into the empty room, there to join the fifty or so Specials who arrived just five seconds before. 

The ex-President of Russia and SPYGOD are in the center of a circular firing squad, staring down a lethal ring of gauss rifles. The Imago appears in the doorway they came through, his Orange and Gold arms outstretched as if in welcome, or if he were gracefully landing. His smile seems as wide as his face.

And his eyes are afire with malice thinly disguised as kindness.

"Well howdy-do to you, too, !@#$face,' SPYGOD snorts: "I guess you found me."

"We did indeed, O SPYGOD."

"You didn't seriously think that !@#$ty plan of yours was going to work, did you?" he asks, weighing his options: "You really should have just !@#$ing killed the President, !@#$hole. I eat nasty-!@#$ alternate realities for !@#$ing breakfast. Ask anyone."

"You are indeed an unusually resilient man, O SPYGOD. But-"

"Wen talked, didn't he?"

"Wen?" the Imago asks, seemingly perplexed: "Which Wen would that be?"

"You know who, you tin-plated !@#$-"

"No," the ex-President says, holding up a hand while fishing around in his mouth for another, broken tooth: "I just told you, SPYGOD. I told them where we were, after a fashion."

"Explain, Valentina," SPYGOD says, taking a step back from his captive but still pointing his gun at his head.

"I was charged to make a report every night. If I did not, then it could only mean that I had been compromised, and that could only be by you, or one of your people. So they would begin tracking me, and follow where it led. Though I think the ending point was never in doubt."

"You...?" SPYGOD says, blinking and taking another step back: "Not Wen? You?"

"Yes, SPYGOD," the ex-President says, smiling through a mouth of broken teeth: "Me."
* * *

"Just do it, already!" Wen Boxiong shouts at the Imago surrounding him, jumping up and down like some kind of idiot: "I know that you know! I know what she told you!"

"Who is this person you speak of, O Wen Boxiong?" One of the Imago asks.

"You know who she is! Stop toying with me!"

"What are we supposed to know, O Wen Boxiong?" Another asks.

"You know what I've done! She told you! Stop it!"

"Perhaps you should calm down, O Wen Boxiong," yet another suggests: "We do not know what you are talking about-"

"Stop it stop it stop it!" the man shrieks, balling up his fists and shaking: "I hate you! You and your smirking faces and metal brains! This is torture!"

"Why do you accuse us of torture, O Wen Boxiong?" One asks.

"Why are you so certain we know something worth harming you over, O Wen Boxiong?" Another asks.

"What are you trying to say, O Wen Boxiong?" Yet another asks.

The man howls and screams, his face turning as red as blood and his eyes screwed shut. Even like that he can see their smiling faces and friendly eyes, and feel the contempt they hold him in. Why won't they just tell him what they know and then kill him?

Why are they being so !@#$ cruel?

* * *

"Bull!@#$," SPYGOD snorts, looking at the Imago and then his captive: "Then why did they blow up that train just after I found out my contact in Beijing might have been made?"

"A necessary deception," the Imago announces: "We did not want you to suspect you were being set up for a trap. We calculated that throwing an attempt on your life in your path would make you feel as though you were, as you say, jumping through the correct number of hoops."

"Well it's a !@#$ funny coincidence-"

"It was just that, SPYGOD," the ex-President says, finally getting his hands on that pesky, busted tooth and pulling it out for inspection, and disposal: "A coincidence. But at the same time, a coincidence you can believe in."

"The proper poetry of things," SPYGOD glowers: "And if I hadn't seen it was coming, what then?"

"You would have survived, and made certain that he did as well," the Imago says: "The ammunition we used on that train was not anywhere as harmful to you as what these guns are loaded with."

"And even if you did not save me, I would see to it that you were given the means to get here," the ex-President says, fishing in his pocket and holding out a small, black cube: "This key also opens the door."

"You !@#$ing idiot," SPYGOD says, looking at the man he's been bullying, beating, and carting around Russia for the last few days: "Why? What on Earth could have !@#$ing gotten you to go in with these things? Don't you know what they are? Don't you know what they do?"

"They came to me after I disappeared," the ex-President explains, his eyes suddenly wet and reverent: "I thought I could evade them, but they showed me the lie in that. And they told me of the Day, and the plan, and I realized that this was the moment my entire life was building towards."

"Really? What the !@#$ are you getting out of this? A lifetime supply of Vodka?"

"I will be leaving with them," he says, smiling: "When the Day comes, and this world is forfeited, I will be riding their ship with them. Together we will go into the darkness, hand in hand. I will know eternity, my friend. And you will help me."

"When the day comes?" SPYGOD asks, looking at the Imago.

"Oh yes, O SPYGOD," the Imago says: "We are surprised you had not pieced it together already. This is not an invasion.

"This is an escape."

* * *

As the President watches the encounter go on, he realizes he cannot make the shot. Not cleanly, anyway.

It will only be a matter of time before one of them reaches out, takes hold of Wen's face, and begins to drain his memories. At that point the entire game will be up, and everything they have worked for will be over. 

He decides on a course of action. It will not be clean, quick, or pretty, and it will leave no chance for escape at all, but he will have to do it.

He adjusts his aim. One shot to the knee will bring the man down so that his head is on the ground. And one more shot after that will turn that head to useless, red mush.

But two shots will delay him a few critical seconds, which will be all the time they will need to find him. And then all he'll be able to do is die in such a way that they learn nothing. 

He thinks of his wife as he does this. He wishes he could find a way to say goodbye, and that he loves, her, just one more time.

His finger is on the trigger, and he makes ready to pull it.

* * *

"O Wen Boxoing, I fear you are trying to tell us something," the Imago who's done most of the talking says: "What is it? What should we know? What are you so afraid of us knowing?"

The General Secretary unscrews his eyes and looks up at the floating, metal man. And in those eyes he realizes, for the first time, that he has misjudged this encounter. 

They were not here to kill him for his sins. They were not here to question his loyalties, or confirm their suspicions. 

They really did just want to know if he was alright, given that he went off the grid the last few days.

"I..." he stammers, realizing that he has condemned himself. There is no way out of this. They are going to kill him.


* * *

"Getting out ahead of the big nasty thing you've been warning us about, huh?" SPYGOD asks, wishing he had a cigarette to pull on, right about now: "Yeah, I didn't really !@#$ing think you were going to save us."

"Exactly, O SPYGOD," the Imago says, gesturing to the room they are in: "The spacecraft is not meant to defend against (UNINTELLIGIBLE CONCEPT). If we wished to fight it, we would simply use Deep Ten, but even its mighty armaments will mean nothing to the creature when it arrives."

"It's meant to get them and their trusted servants off the planet in time," the ex-President says, the look of starry-eyed reverence still making his eyes glow as he turns to look at the Imago: "Everything that has been done... the orbital elevator, the harvesting of energy, the freeing of the Imago from their prison... all has been done to further this goal."

"Trusted servants," SPYGOD says, looking at his captive: "Your escape is built on the backs of the dead, Valentina."

"Isn't everyones?" the ex-President asks, smiling at his savior.

SPYGOD raises his gun and shoots the man in the skull, right in one temple and out the other, pulping his eyes in his sockets at the same time.

"A foolish gesture, O SPYGOD," the Imago says as their loving servant falls to the ground, dead as a stone: "Do you not imagine we already know everything that he does?"

"That wasn't protection for me, !@#$face," SPYGOD says, dropping his gun on the floor and raising his hands: "That was mercy for him. I'm sure whatever you had !@#$ing planned for him would have been !@#$ing awful."

"We merely would have used his energy to further our goals. Not a painless fate, but not awful either-"

"You took a walking weasel of a man who believed in nothing but what he could gather for himself, and made him believe in a cause higher than himself for the first time in his life. You filled his head with bliss and his heart with joy. And then you were going to !@#$ing pull the rug out from under him right when he thought his reward was due?"

"That is essentially correct, O SPYGOD-"

"Well, maybe they don't have the word 'cruel' where you come from, you metal !@#$-stain, but that's about as cruel as it gets."

"Oh, we understand cruelty, O SPYGOD. Perhaps better than you do."

"I !@#$ing doubt it-"

"You do not understand our story, O SPYGOD. You know only the edges of it. You know nothing of who we were, or how we came to be here, or why. You see our actions as evil, perhaps monstrous, but you of all people should know that a people will do anything to survive."

"And you should !@#$ing understand that we might have helped you, if you'd just !@#$ing asked," SPYGOD says: "All you ever had to !@#$ing do was ask for help."

"That is not in our nature, O SPYGOD." 

"Well, neither is rolling over and dying, O !@#$face. We will also do anything to survive. And if there's one thing I can do, it's do anything." 

"You can, indeed. We have clearly underestimated you, O SPYGOD. It will not happen again."

SPYGOD smiles as the Specials re-aim their guns right at him.

"Just so you know," SPYGOD says, looking right at the Imago: "Everything that !@#$ing happens from here on out? That's on you. All of you."

"It is indeed," the Imago says, and gives the order to fire.

* * *

The President of the United States of America pulls back on the trigger, making ready to shoot Wen Boxiong in the knee.

Wen Boxiong pulls out a small box and presses a button, expecting to get help from the man who's about to shoot him.

SPYGOD outstretches his arms, as if he is ready to embrace death at last. 

And then...

(SPYGOD is listening to Strobe: Fragments (Front 242) and having a Baltika no 6)

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