Wednesday, March 13, 2013

10/4/12 - 10/10/12 - The Lights Growing Gradually pt. 4


In an undisclosed location, a young man comes into his darkened workroom, bringing a cup of morning coffee with him. The mug says EVIL GENIUS.

He sits at his cluttered desk, and wakes up his computer. Once it pops into life it gives him all the information he'd told it to watch for, and he smiles at what it tells him.

His phone rings, and he answers it: "Yes? ... Yes. I think we are. ... I'm pretty sure. I'll get in touch with her and see, but I think she's taken what I said to heart. 

"Okay, good to know. Let them know I'm ready when they are-

"Oh, that quickly? Well !@#$, Ben. I'm impressed.

"Okay, will do. You can count on me...

"Yes, I do know what you said about hanging separately. No worries, here. I'm all in.

"You too. Talk to you soon, old man."

He puts the phone down and smiles.  His eyes glow purple as he sips his coffee, and violet sparks jump from his teeth to the cup.

"Let's go change the world," he says to himself. 

* * *

"... still reeling from the events of yesterday afternoon. We're not entirely sure what's happening inside Neo York City, today, Wolf, but one thing's for sure. Something just changed, here and now. And the world we thought we knew has been turned upside down."

"What do you mean, Bob? Can you at least tell us what's happening where you are?"

"I can. I'm by what's left of the west end of the Queensboro Bridge. It's... well, as you can see behind me, it's a mess."

"You mean the Ed Koch Bridge, Bob?"

"Well, Wolf, no one here calls it that. It's Queensboro to the people who used it every day to get back and forth from Queens to Manhattan. And now it's a mess of twisted metal and broken concrete. Dozens of civilians dead, hundreds wounded."

"And you're saying this was done by the Specials? The rapid response troops the Imago have been using as security worldwide?"

"That's correct, Wolf. There was a massive car chase, all the way up 25 from the Eastern outskirts of Queens. A lot of armed men who have been identified by the police as being suspected of Mafia involvement were chasing a white van, shooting and trying to run it off the road. It got as far as the west end before coming to a halt, and then they got out of their cars and started shooting at it-"

"Right, and we have some amateur footage of that. A commuter named Ed Jones was kind enough to film it on his phone and post it to his youtube account. This footage you're seeing has not been retouched, and, Bob, I'm presuming you can see this, too?"

"Yes I am. Now, what you're seeing is all these armed men firing at a white van. We're told by the authorities that these men chased it all the way from Queens because they were after the masked vigilante known as The Black Card-"

"Okay, and that's the body they found at the scene, right?"

"Well, Wolf, that's going to be hard to say, for reasons you'll see soon enough. But he had an accomplice, and that's the woman you can see in this film, shooting back at the men."

"Do we know who she is?"

"No we do not. As you can see in the film, she throws a smoke grenade, right about here, and then high-tails it down the bridge. About five seconds later the van catches fire. The police are saying it was an incendiary device, which is what's made it hard to really identify the Black Card, if that was indeed him."

"And then... well, they take off after her, and then we see the Specials teleport in. There's a lot of scared people in cars, and they're trying to get out of their way, and... what are we seeing, Bob? Is that what we think it is?"

"It is, Wolf. The Specials marched across the bridge and turned it into a giant kill zone. They shot everything moving. The suspected mobsters, the people in their cars, everything. And they kept marching and firing, chasing after the female accomplice as she ran to the other side of the bridge."

"Okay, and you can actually hear people screaming and crying for them to stop. I think that Mr. Jones is screaming for them to stop."

"He is, yes. And then this happens."

"That's Bronze and Blue, right? One of the Imago from New York State, right?"

"Yes, it is. He looks right at Ed, and you can hear Ed screaming at him to stop them. To just stop them from killing any more people. And then there's that flash of light from the eyes of the Imago, and we hear Ed scream. Then the camera's falling down, and looking up..."

"And then that boot, coming down on it."

"That's right, Wolf. We just saw an Imago execute an American citizen without trial, right on the spot, for filming their Specials killing civilians while trying to quell an armed riot."

"Alright, so, as difficult as it is to process that, and just setting the reality of what this means aside, what happens next? You've been talking to people who were watching at the time, and people who are there, now?"

"Well, the Specials didn't stop, Wolf. They kept marching across the bridge, firing and firing. And then they chased her down the off-ramp. But the moment they actually got onto the ground, something happened. People who were there said it was like the first few times the city woke up, and the people who were there were all snatched up by force fields and moved out of harm's way. Only the Specials were all picked up and flung right out of the city, just like the planes that one time those terrorists tried to fly planes into them, back in 2001, and the last time the city was attacked, last year."

"And has it done that before?"

"Not that anyone knows. And it didn't just hurl those Specials out, Wolf. The reports I'm getting say that all of the ones in the city were tossed out. And any that have tried to teleport in since then have been flung right out again."

"What about the Imago?"

"The same, Wolf. They're not even on the ground a second before they're up and flying away."

"And what's going on in the city? Are there riots? Crimes of opportunity?"

"No, Wolf. No one's doing anything violent, at least as far as we can tell. There's a makeshift memorial for the people who were killed and a lot of people are there, putting down flowers and wreaths. The police have called for calm and order, and I think the mayor is going to make a public statement sometime today."

"Now, I did hear something that sounded a little weird. There are apparently reports of street people setting up portable televisions in public places, all over?"

"That's true, Wolf. In fact, I even saw one. I asked him what he was doing and he just smiled at me and said 'turn on, tune in, drop out.'"

"Well, that's a blast from the past. But I thought televisions weren't working any longer, Bob?"

"I thought so, too. But there's something being broadcast on them. I'm just not sure what, yet."

"And what about that woman who was being chased by the Specials? Do we have any news on her? Is she still alive, or...?"

"That's another unanswered question, Wolf. Eyewitnesses say that she was wounded but still running when the Specials were being flung away. No one's seen her since. We have no idea who she was, but we figure that the whole world saw her on that video. It's only a matter of time before her identity is made known."

"Alright. Thank you, Bob. We're going to go back to the Situation Room, here, for a moment..."

* * *

They say that Japan is as close as you can get to being off the planet without actually leaving it. If that's true, then the world-famous Harajuku district, in Tokyo, must be the launching pad.

The real blastoff doesn't happen until Sunday, when every grey-faced wage slave with a few Yen to scrape together for a cool costume will be down at the park, pretending to be something they're not. But until then, there's always the crazy fashion shops and unique boutiques, selling their wares to the dedicated and curious alike.

And there's also the bars and cafes, each dedicated to a different subsect: bars where everyone dresses like anime characters, coffee houses for "blackface" players, rockabilly diners -- anything you could imagine. There's even a bar that caters to people who like to dress up like the Imago, though the clientele are being a little circumspect, today.

Which is why it's not so outrageous to find a SPYGOD PLACE, here, in spite of everything that's happened in the last year.

It's a dark, 50's-style bar, serving drinks and food they stole from the menu of the nearest rockabilly establishment. It's full of posters of SPYGOD, the COMPANY, the Liberty Patrol, and the Freedom Force in action, and features fairly decent replicas of their costumes up on the walls, and special gadgets and weapons under glass behind the bar. The staff dress like COMPANY Agents from the 50's, and the clientele dress as Strategic Talents, supervillains, science terrorists, famous enemy agents, and the like.

(Their number one selling t-shirt has a freeze frame of SPYGOD shooting the President, with the phrase GET YOU THE HOT BULLETS TO DIE!!! on it. Available in white, black, and pink; sizes S, M, L.)

Tonight, the bar is quite packed. There's a party going on at one of the central tables, and the normal customers are quite in awe of how good their costumes are. If they didn't know any better, they'd swear that SPYGOD, himself, was sitting at the table, along with the President he shot. But that's just impossible, surely.

(Conversely, they have no idea who the other people at the table are. Two Indians, some scruffy-dressed big guy with a large beard, a black man in a nice suit, and some insane-looking old, white guy in weird prescription eyeglasses? It must be some international group from a nearby university, out for a drink or something.)

"You always take us to the nicest places, SPYGOD," Mikhail grunts, downing what must be his third bloody mary: "Are you certain we are safe here?"

"Safe as !@#$ing houses," SPYGOD replies, knocking down a beer and gesturing to the server to set everyone up again: "Everyone here just thinks we're !@#$ing re-enactors. And that big !@#$ black box in the center of the table's scrambling our conversations and turning them into Japanese conversation. So far as anyone outside the table knows, we're talking !@#$ about our professors."

"Clever," Khalil says, wishing he could remember what he needed to tell SPYGOD: "Is that one of your devices, then?"

"It's courtesy of our friends at Ju Kikan," the President says: "And before anyone asks -- no, they will not be joining us, tonight. They're willing to do a deal with us, but I think they're not sure about you all, yet."

"Feh," Dosha Josh says: "It's not unusual. The leader of Ku Kikan hardly ever came to our little meetings, either. I don't think he trusted us. Not completely."

"The infamous Mister 9," Mikhail says, raising his empty glass to his memory: "The Tsar is dead. Long live the Tsar."

"So what are you wanting to talk to us about, then?" Dr. Krwi asks, regarding his straw-wrapped bottle of barenjager: "Is there something we can do for you?"

"Yes, there is," the President says, looking at each man in turn: "SPYGOD tells me that each of you is still in touch with what's left of your countries' real governments. And that some of them are in touch with what's left of their allies. I'm going to want to talk to them, fairly soon, about what we're going to do once the Imago are done."

The men all fall silent, look at one another, and then look back at him.

"You have to be joking," Dosha says: "With all respect, sir... do you have any idea how far underground they are right now? I'm barely in contact-"

"No one in Poland is worth a !@#$," Krwi sighs: "Worse than the Communists at this point."

"I'm not even going to get into how bad things are in my country," Khalil sighs. 

"And as for Russia, well..." Mikhail says, casting a look in SPYGOD's direction: "We still do not have a full understanding of what has happened there."

"Neither do I, come to think of it," the President says, giving SPYGOD a look.

"Look, you all !@#$ing knew it was coming around," SPYGOD says, getting his beer and smiling at the ersatz Agent who gives it to him: "And after everything we've learned and done, recently, it's got to be sooner rather than later. !@#$, it's starting now, in case you didn't see the news from Neo York City. And right now, we're the ones who are spearheading this !@#$ing thing."

"Which 'we' do you mean?" Dr. Krwi asks: "We at this table? We and our countries?"

"He means we, as in America," the President says, pointing to the two of them. 

"It is always nice to know the Americans are in charge," Khalil sighs.

"Exactly," SPYGOD says: "And do you know why we're in charge? Because we're the ones who are !@#$ing getting !@#$ done. Always have been, in case you didn't !@#$ing notice. You all are too busy !@#$ing arguing and debating, and by the time you've got a !@#$ idea hammered out we've already beaten back the !@#$ thing and taken its skull. And then you complain our troops are getting fresh with your hookers-"

"I might just be leaving, now," Dosha says, gesturing to Anil, who nods and makes ready to teleport them out of there.

"That's not the point, here, Dosha," the President says, leaning forward and raising a hand: "We don't want this to be unilateral. We want this to be a group effort. It has to be. If we take the point on this, we might win the war, but we're going to screw up the peace and the reconstruction really badly. Especially if we have to do some of the things we may have to do."

"Such as what?" Dr. Krwi asks.

"I think you know," SPYGOD says, having a pull on his beer. 

Dr. Krwi looks at the President, and then SPYGOD. Then he puts down his drink, and crosses himself. The others look at him funny, but no one cares to elaborate.

"So are we all gonna share the !@#$ responsibility, risk, and reward on this, or are you all gonna make !@#$ing excuses about not being able to find your leaders and their friends, and then complain that America !@#$ed it up, again?" SPYGOD asks: "Because I don't have the !@#$ time to hear excuses, gentlemen. We're !@#$ing meeting with Mister 10 tomorrow. We're !@#$ing putting the final big !@#$ plan into action not long thereafter.

"And when it goes off, we're gonna need everyone on board for what happens next."

"Especially after you do what you're going to do," Dr. Krwi says.

"What I might have to do," SPYGOD says, holding up a finger: "I'm hoping we can !@#$ing circumvent that."

"Does someone want to say what this something is?" Mikhail asks.

"Not really, no," the President says, looking at SPYGOD: "If we're lucky, it won't come to that."

"My people swear they can knock them out without having to do it," SPYGOD says: "But there is something we are going to have to do, gentlemen. And it's a doozy."

He holds up a piece of paper and shows the whole group. Dr. Krwi puzzles over it and shrugs. Everyone else's jaws drop to the table.

"You would not," Mikhail says.

"I did not think it existed," Khalil says: "I thought it was only a myth..."

"It is no myth," Dosha says: "it is very real. And if you press it-"

"When I press it," the President says: "It will deprive the enemy of their greatest asset on this planet. It will give the people their freedom and their minds back."

"And it will set this planet back decades," Mikhail sighs: "Mister President, there must be another way."

"Then talk to your leaders, tell them what we're up against, and ask them to find another solution," the President says, taking the paper from SPYGOD and thumping it down on the table: "Because from where I'm sitting? It's an unavoidable casualty of war."

And then there is silence at the table in the SPYGOD PLACE.

* * *

Ladies and gentlemen of the world, your attention please.

I am a man of few words, and so I shall keep this message short and to the point.

You may not remember me, though I am something of a legend amongst certain circles. 

But from here on out, when you hear the name Doctor Kyklops, I hope it will be held in the highest of esteem.

The reason for this is simple. I am about to conquer the world.

Now, I am certain you may be asking yourselves "What of the Imago? Do they not now rule?"

And you would be right to ask that. 

But I ask you, ladies and gentlemen: "What of the Imago?"

Oh, they may seem scary. They may have the numbers and the power. They have have taken control of certain key services and the like.

But I? I have decades of experience in this sort of thing, whereas they only just arrived.

I also possess an army the likes of which they have never seen, nor ever reckoned with.

And finally? I have the iron will necessary to do this. The will to take on the entire world.

The will to power.

Before that, their might is nothing.

And so begins the war. 

As you hear these words, my army is flying towards their space elevator, and will tear it from the ground and fling it at them. All who stand before them shall be crushed. All who stand with the Imago will die.

Your best chance to survive is to stay inside. You have my word that no one who submits will be harmed in the slightest. 

My rule will be fair but firm... but we can speak of this when victory is mine.

For now, stay indoors, and pray to what gods you call yours. Today is the war. Tomorrow, the victory. 

And after that, the world is mine.

(SPYGOD is listening to SEQ666 P.U.L.S.E. (Front 242) and having a Scorpion Death Rock)

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