One of the things about being !@#$ing immortal is that you get to see history !@#$ing repeat, over and over again.
And yeah, I'm sure you could have !@#$ing guessed that, son. That whole thing about farce and tragedy? Pretty !@#$ing true. And so is the bit about being doomed to repeat it if you don't know it, though a whole lot of people know it and keep !@#$ing repeating it, anyway. Because they're !@#$ dumb.
But it isn't just the big !@#$ things that keep skipping like a broken record. People do it, too. You meet new people and then you realize you knew their parents, or their parents' parents. And then you see that the fruit didn't fall too !@#$ing far from the !@#$ tree.
!@#$, sometimes it becomes the tree, if you get my drift.
And that's why, if I'm going to tell you about the Trial of the Imago, and what !@#$ing happened in those two weeks in Paris, I have to !@#$ing tell you about the Terre Unifee. And that means I have to !@#$ing tell you about Direction Noir, and that means I have to go all the way back to the !@#$ War and !@#$ing talk about the Resistance.
(Not too !@#$ing lengthy a lesson, though. I've only got enough of this nice !@#$ French beer to last a couple thoughts, and then they're gone, again.)
Okay, so, after being a !@#$er, a !@#$, and a general !@#$ing prick, and making it !@#$ clear he wasn't going to stop marching across Europe, Hitler goes !@#$ing charging over the Maginot Line, drives all the way into Paris, and calls France a part of the Third Reich. Cue a whole lot of heartbreaking photos of that !@#$ marching up and down their monuments, looking like he's a kid in a !@#$ candy store.
Now, I'm sure you've seen the other photos from that time? The ones of grown men in berets crying in the streets, wondering if they can get the !@#$ out of town before they get shot for eating horses? Well, not all of those crying men and women were content to flee and hide the pack animal sausage. A lot of them went and either formed or joined resistance groups, some more effective than others, and gave that mustachioed little !@#$ and his Vichy government a lot of hassles.
So you flash forward a few years, and after a whole !@#$ of a lot of sweat, blood, secrets, and death, France is free, again, and we have the !@#$ing Resistance to thank for a lot of the ground work in making it that way. Of course, they never let anyone !@#$ing forget that, as well they should, but some of the people who are justly proud of having risked their !@#$ lives are maybe just a little too proud of it.
Which brings us to a rather !@#$ insufferable character by the name of Celestin Emmanuel Halevy, who always reminded me of what happens when a monkey takes a shine to a toad. He was involved with the Armée de Libération du Peuple Supérieure, which was a splinter group from the Organisation civile et militaire, who were !@#$ing with the occupiers up north, where the concentration of Nazi scum was higher. It meant they had a !@#$ of a lot more to do, and a !@#$ of a lot more danger in doing it, and had the bodycount to prove it.
Well, ALPS (and !@#$ did they hate that acronym) had a very singular goal. They had been there when Hitler's ubermenschen had come marching and flying through Paris, and knew what it felt like to see human gods taking over their country. So they were going around France trying to find their own supermen, or stealing Germany's means of making more. And they got some, admittedly, but not a !@#$ of a lot, and not enough to make a real !@#$ing difference.
Of course, they got wind that we had our own ways of making supermen, and they wanted in. And, of course, we said "!@#$ no, Frenchman!" Mostly because it was really !@#$ unstable, and more likely to kill you than make you !@#$ing fly. But also because, let's face it, this is one of the big pieces of wartime dynamite, and there's no way we were just going to hand it the !@#$ over to some guy who looks like a hairy amphibian in a bad suit with a worse mustache, now are we?
So the war's over, and Monsieur Halevy is alive, politically active, well-regarded for his work in the Resistance, and !@#$ing !@#$ed off at America for having condemned him to traipsing all over the French countryside, chasing down rumors of strong farmboys and flying village girls, instead of just handing over the !@#$ formula.
So when the Provisional Government starts handing out plum jobs to the people who helped make their freedom possible, guess who they put in charge of their strategic talents?
Got it in one, son. The toad-monkey. Halevy's the one who founded, shaped, and ran Direction Noir for its critical first few decades. And every time I had to work with those !@#$ers he went out of his way to make me know just how little regard he had for us.
Anyway, someone actually !@#$ed him for something other than money, at some point, and Celestin Emmanuel Halevy begat Giscard Hercule Halevy, who became a government functionary and reveled in anonymity. He, in turn, cranked out a very ugly young lady named Celestine Marie Halevy, who married some drunk !@#$ named Charles Gerard Geraud, who somehow got himself appointed head of Direction Noir in his later years, and ran it with an iron fist until earlier this year, when the Imago took the !@#$ over.
Where's Charles? No one wants to say. However, his brother, Henri, was also involved in major, behind the scenes intelligence wrangling. And he is now the interim president of the Terre Unifee.
Yes, son, you heard that !@#$ing right. The brother of the husband of the daughter of the son of the man who !@#$ing hated us for not sharing our super-soldier serum is now the man who is using France's massive stockpile of strategic talents to rebuild the world. And he was also the man who got to pick out who would oversee the Imago's war crimes tribunal.
Now, are you the slightest bit !@#$ing surprised that the judge's last name is Geraud? No? Then you're !@#$ing learning.
But you can imagine my surprise when I walk into that courtroom, in Paris, ten million other !@#$ing things on my mind, and see the spitting image of the fat little toad-monkey I used to laugh about, after the !@#$ War, sitting up in the presiding judge box.
And he's just !@#$ing looking at me, like he knows he's going to have so much fun finding me contempt for not tying my !@#$ing shoes.
Now, I have to be !@#$ honest, son. Jean-Jacques Excephir Geraud ran a !@#$ good courtroom. Maybe a little too good, given the circumstances. He didn't let the counsel for the defense get away with too !@#$ing much, and he made the prosecution do everything right and proper by the book.
The Imago could not say that they didn't get a fair !@#$ing trial. I know they weren't happy at the outcome, but at least they got to experience something they had never had, before, and were !@#$ing incapable of giving others.
Justice, for want of a better word.
But when it came my turn on the stand? Fat little toad-monkey let the Prosecution have a little too much lee-way, once I got up on the stand. Let them walk me all over the !@#$ park, so that something really bad came out of my mouth.
And between that, and a certain something happened at the White House, on Thanksgiving, that's pretty much why I'm stuck in this fine apartment, today.
And as for the other part? Well, about a week ago I found out something really !@#$ interesting, which, if it was common knowledge, might have invalidated a whole lot about what went on in that !@#$ing courtroom. But if we did that, a few other things might get invalidated, too. So here I am, keeping my mouth shut, again.
For a while, anyway.
More on that later. I think I need to send out a minion for some more of this fine ale.
(SPYGOD is listening to Anabasis (Dead Can Dance) and having some more Gavroche)