Well, it took a lot of doing, and a lot of !@#$ excellent arguments, and a lot of hits to the face, chest, and groin. But I have at long last secured the full !@#$ing cooperation of the ex-President of Russia, who is going to be very !@#$ happy to take me where I need to go.
Just as soon as his face heals enough to go out in public, anyway.
Not one of my prouder moments, son. Bad enough I had to blow that ex-President's metal-skinned bodyguard's !@#$ing brains out on my way into his so-called safehouse...
Well, that was actually fun. And long overdue. I kind of owed the first Soviet Steel some revenge for having been replaced by a !@#$ing spoil-sport, a shifty user, and a !@#$ shady character, respectively.
But bad enough I had to threaten to tear pieces off of that ex-President's dead, metal-skinned bodyguard, melt them down on his super-expensive stove, and pour a molten stream of it down his gaping !@#$hole, or right down the shaft of his open !@#$, before he finally caved in and told me he'd help.
He's resting comfortably in the other room, right now. I duct-taped some ice bags to his !@#$ face and wrapped his head up like a !@#$ing mummy. Then I put him in front of the television, tied him to the chair, and popped in a DVD of "Pink Flamingos" that I'd been saving for just such an occasion.
And I figure, him being a hard man and all, he'll make it as far as the dog turd scene before begging me to turn it the !@#$ off, and then find out that he can't !@#$ing talk, right now.
(I !@#$ing hate John Waters, but his !@#$ does make good coercion material. Just don't tell him that. I really don't need to inflate that sorry hack's !@#$ flaccid ego any further than it already is.)
Now, son, I know you're a kind-hearted sort of person. I know you're sitting there, listening to me go on about torture and physical coercion. And I know you're !@#$ing wondering "SPYGOD, what the !@#$ is wrong with you?"
And I'd say "What the !@#$ do you mean, kid?"
To which you might reply "Using torture to get information? That's un-American. And self-defeating."
And I'd say "You know what, son? You're god!@#$ed right."
And you would be, too.
What's with the open mouth, son? Stop !@#$ing looking at me like I told you I'm Mother Teresa in drag. I agree with you. You're right. Torture is self-defeating, and that's why I never !@#$ing use it to gain information.
I mean, seriously, son. If you got some guy locked up, and you need to know what he knows, and the way you get it out of him is to !@#$ him up and make him hurt, then maybe he'll tell you what he knows. Sooner or later he'll probably !@#$ing tell you everything he knows, just to make the hurting stop.
Now, is what you want to know among the things he knows? Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't. But the answers and information you're !@#$ing looking for don't just magically appear in his brain because you tore his !@#$ing fingernails off, or waterboarded him for ten whole !@#$ing hours. If he doesn't know, he doesn't know.
But if you keep it up, he'll talk. !@#$, sooner or later he'll !@#$ing tell you anything you want to hear, as long as you can make the hurting stop.
It just might not be true, is all.
And that's why torture is next to useless as an interrogation tool, son. Because we're not !@#$ing stupid. Sooner or later we realize that if the only way to make the !@#$ pain end is to tell the person with the hammer and nails that we do know where so and so is, or that yes, the bomb's going to be on that plane, or that Al Qaeda does have a presence in Honolulu, in fact they run the local roller disco, then we are going to tell you that.
We'll tell you anything you want to hear. Anything you want to know. Just stop hurting me.
Please just stop.
So what the !@#$ happens? You get your info, go check it out, and sure enough your special guest lied to you. So you pull out the rest of his fingernails and make him eat dog !@#$, and then he tells you more things you want to hear. And then you go and find out that wasn't !@#$ing true, either.
And sooner or later you either kill the poor SOB, because he lied to you, or you realize that he never knew anything in the first place, and just lock him up, somewhere, and hope those wussies in Amnesty International don't start writing him !@#$ing letters in prison.
End result? One physically and mentally damaged prisoner in a cell, one !@#$ of a lot of wasted time and effort on your end, and the potential that, one day, you will find yourself in a cell, too, for gross human rights violations.
And the thing is that it's so !@#$ing unnecessary, especially in this day and age.
The best kind of torture is purely psychological, son. Like the blindfold-meatball-eyeball trick I play on people. You scare them enough, and make them think they're !@#$ing dealing with some !@#$ crazy son of a !@#$, sooner or later they'll do anything to cooperate. Especially if they think you're going to flip out and start removing body parts, or stick nasty, caustic substances in orifices that really weren't !@#$ing meant to take them.
Either that or you get someone who's so !@#$ good that they get you to !@#$ing spill everything you know without even realizing it. This only works if the person actually knows something, of course, but even then it's a good thing to have that sort of skilled interrogator around. At the very least, they can usually corroborate the fact that your prize captive is a !@#$ing know-nothing, right from the get-go.
And if you don't have the presence of mind to do mind tricks, and you want information out of someone bad enough to wipe your !@#$ with the Geneva Conventions, then just bring in a !@#$ing telepath! Have them root around the person's noggin for a little while, and then you'll have all the !@#$ information you wanted in the first place.
Of course, that's provided you got a good telepath, rather than somebody who's got the power but none of the talent. It's also provided your chosen target for telepathic invasion isn't skilled in psychic defenses, or doesn't have !@#$ing brainbombs stuck in their noggin, ready to blow their skulls apart if they detect some serious, directed digging through their memories.
And that's also provided you want to skirt the !@#$ Geneva Convention, anyway. Because, believe it or not, son it turns out that using telepathic powers to interrogate someone is just as bad as torture, at least in their eyes.
(I don't think the people who wrote those conventions have been been !@#$ing waterboarded, or maybe saw that !@#$ing Scanners movie too many !@#$ times.)
Of course, if worse comes to worse, you can always bust out a !@#$ N-Machine on them. And I know we've talked about that, son. Several !@#$ing times, I'm sure.
But even that's not a sure-fire solution. For one thing, do you know how much !@#$ing information your brain holds? It could take months to find out the answer to a simple, single question, using the tape you get from an N-machine. Maybe even years, if you're really !@#$ unlucky.
And if you're !@#$ing desperate enough to sic one of those things on someone, then you usually don't have the !@#$ing time to wait for some tech to find out which !@#$ string of numbers you've memorized is the abort launch codes for the nuke, now do you?
So no, son. Torture is no way to get information out of someone. It's useless and counterproductive. You can't be sure you're getting the right !@#$ing answer, and sooner or later there's going to be one !@#$ of a bill to pay.
And I can hear you asking me "Well, if that's true, SPYGOD, then why were you beating up the former president of Russia?"
And I'll gladly say "Well, son, that's different."
"What the !@#$ do you mean, SPYGOD?" you may well ask.
And I'll happily tell you that I was torturing him in order to get him to !@#$ing cooperate with me, which is an entirely different thing.
Sure, son. You see, you torture someone to get information, then you're stupid and they could be lying, and maybe you have enough time to find the answers a different way. But if you torture them to get them to cooperate, that's because you're in a tight spot and you really !@#$ing need them to hop to and do what you need. You need them to open the !@#$ door, turn off the !@#$ bomb, show you how to get in... whatever.
And since time is tight and you don't have time to !@#$ around, you punch them a few times and threaten more, or else threaten them with abuse from someone powerful enough to throw a !@#$ tank on them.
Now, for some weird !@#$ reason, that's okay. I'm not allowed to put elephant-strength laxatives in your food, or stick a glass rod up your pee-pee hole and smash your !@#$ with a brick, or anything like that to get you to talk. But to get you to walk, as long as I'm not choking you with your own !@#$ing intestines, it's good all-American fun, and Amnesty International has no !@#$ing problem with it.
Go !@#$ing figure, huh?
So that's why it's okay for me to have the former President of Russia getting an extreme makeover in the room next door, son. Because I need him to take me somewhere and show me something that, if we're all !@#$ lucky, will stop me from having to go through with a really !@#$ed-up plan to save the world from the Imago.
And I really, really need to be able to trust that he's not going to do one of his stupid !@#$ing lizard-person doublecrosses on the way there. Because I do not have the time for that !@#$ right now, son.
And, more importantly, neither does the world.
(SPYGOD is listening to The Exploding Boy (The Cure) and having some tasty Russian tapwater)