"And you should !@#$ing understand that we might have helped you, if you'd just !@#$ing asked," SPYGOD says, looking at the Imago that's floating in the air in the chamber, under Yekaterinburg: "All you ever had to !@#$ing do was ask for help."
"That is not in our nature, O SPYGOD," Orange and Gold says, smiling at him, and still not remotely fazed by how coldly SPYGOD executed their former collaborator.
"Well, neither is rolling over and dying, O !@#$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 !@#$ing happens from here on out? That's on you. All of you."
"It is indeed," the Imago says, and gives the order to fire.
The Specials assume proper stance and prepare squeeze the triggers. SPYGOD outstretches his arms, as if he is ready to embrace death at last.
And then, just before they fire, something very interesting--
!@#$ing stop, there son. Back that !@#$n train up a few stations. You're not quite ready for that, just yet.
I mean, I could tell you what the !@#$ happened, down there. God knows the President really wants to find out. And I'm sure Mister 10 wants to know, too, for reasons I'm not quite !@#$ing ready to divulge.
But you know me, son. When I'm telling !@#$ing stories, it's like anything else I do. I'm either all in or all out.
So if I tell you about that, then I have to tell you about a dozen other !@#$ things, too.
For example, I have to tell you about the guy I met that night we were !@#$ing crawling around Beijing. Remember when you had to wait in that !@#$ alley for a couple hours, hiding in a pile of rotten cabbage?
Yeah, I thought you did. And if I'm going to tell you about him, I have to !@#$ing talk about that Chinese xeno-arms dealer I lit on fire, exactly a month ago. And then I have to tell you what I !@#$ing got from him, which wasn't JUST what I used on the !@#$ space elevator.
And then I have to !@#$ing tell you about a half-dozen other deals and agreements and sleight-of-hand tricks SPYGOD's been putting together since I had my big !@#$ skull!@#$ing, when we got back from Alter Earth. All the meet-ups and !@#$-ups and drink-ups that were either intel-gathering in disguise or promises made or kept. The time I had to be a big !@#$ Chinese prostitute for a week...
And before you know it, I'm going to be !@#$ing telling you everything. And then I either have to !@#$ing shoot you or put you to work.
And trust me son, neither of us wants either of those.
Of course, if you've been !@#$ing paying attention, you could probably make a big !@#$ guess about what's been going on. And who knows? You might actually get it !@#$ing right.
But we don't have the time for that, right now, son. We just don't. We have a war to wage. And that means I've got to get all my !@#$ pieces lined up, and this time I have to get it !@#$ing right.
No ball gowns, son. No long-winded speech in front of the troops. No magnums of champagne and self-congratulatory bull!@#$.
No sense that we can't win, because we have never !@#$ing lost.
Because we have, son. We've lost it all. Big time.
And now we have to !@#$ing take it back, the hard way.
Which is why I'm sitting here, drinking beer like it's !@#$ing going out of style, and putting every single piece of the puzzle down on the floor of this !@#$ing apartment ju kikan was kind enough to provide for me to plan for when the war !@#$ing kicks off, a day or so from now.
Oh, yes, son. It's coming. Head on !@#$ing fire, it's coming. Wrath of god and hand of man and all that !@#$. Bullets and bombs and broken bodies.
Flame and hell and sound and fury.
And I'm the one who decides how it all goes down.
And that's why I'm mapping out about three or four different plans for what to do when the war actually starts. It's a puzzle of sorts, only I'm playing with people and tools instead of puzzle pieces. And I have no !@#$ing idea how it's going to look until it's halfway though the first couple skirmishes, and I can see what they've got left, and what I've got left.
Hopefully, it'll !@#$ing look like victory. But you can't be sure. Helmuth von Moltke, biggest and baddest of the Prussian Field Marshals, famously said "no battle plan survives contact with the enemy," which is why he had plans stacked on top of plans, wrapped inside more plans, and served up on a big !@#$ plate with some extra plans on the side.
Or, as a certain Floridian psychopath with a taste for creative murder and local history likes to say, "the number one directive of any decent Master Plan is unlimited sub-Master Plans."
(Reminds me -- I need to give that !@#$ crazy bastard a call, after this is over, and make sure he's okay. I'm sure, if anything, the Imago are !@#$ing afraid of him, rather than the other way around. But you never know for sure.)
So yes, son, it's Sub-Master Plans R Us for the next few days or so.
In this corner, I've got the who: Superheroes, Supervillains, superspies, SPYGOD SCOUTS, Submarine Warriors, Mongolian bandits, a couple underground armies, societal drop-outs, Harolds, sentient cartoons, the President of the United States of America, and a cat from !@#$ing Hell.
Over here, I've got the what: the big surprise on the !@#$ing Moon, the piece of anti-Imago tech my campers have been making, Lady Gilda, the nice thing that Ju Kikan let me play with, and one last, lonely satellite, among other things.
(That and the FDOS, which I'm sure I'll have to use, even though it's going to !@#$ing suck)
In the middle, I've got the where: That !@#$ing city in the middle of the Pacific, what's left of the Flier, Neo York City, Deep Ten, the Imago's spaceship, and all those !@#$ing white boxes where the kids wound up.
And if I'm really !@#$ lucky, I won't have to trash all the wheres to get what I want.
A lot of !@#$ to keep track of, huh, son? So you can imagine why I really don't have the !@#$ing time to explain everything, right now.
I'll talk more when it's all over, and we can have a beer in an Imago-free world, I swear. But for now, !@#$# off?
(SPYGOD is listening to Just One Kiss (Extended) (The Cure) and having a Shiga Kogen Pale Ale, or 50)